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The Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience | A First Hand Interview

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The Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience | A First Hand Interview

I could tell you all about my goals for your maternity and newborn sessions. I could describe my style and show you tons of photos from each session. However, who better to give you a feel for what that experience is like than from a mother who just had maternity and newborn photos with me done? So I bring you an interview with Julie, who’s family I photographed this past spring/early summer as they welcomed their first child, a beautiful baby girl.

Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Bellevue Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, Spring Maternity Photo of husband and wife

Q: This first question is a big, multi-part one! Why did you decide to have maternity and newborn photos done? Did you have any concerns or worries before you booked your sessions? Why did you choose Neyssa as your photographer?

 A: I always knew that newborn photos were a must for our family. Maternity photos, on the other hand, were just a dream. They were something I envisioned and very much wanted but I also knew it was another expense.  That all changed when I came across Neyssa’s photography business which included an affordable lifestyle maternity and newborn session bundle (with an album included)! You mean I COULD have both?! The decision was easy and my dream of having both experiences quickly turned into a reality. I knew it would be so special to build conversations with our daughter around photos of being in mama’s belly to then seeing herself in our home at just a few days old.

Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Bellevue Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, Maternity Photo of husband and wife together

Q: Could you describe your experience for your maternity photo session?

A: Our maternity photo session was a wonderful experience! Neyssa was amazing to work with and helped us find a beautiful outdoor location for our session. It felt as if we’d known Neyssa for years! She and I also discovered our love for the same show Friends. Could this BE a better fit?! She had my husband and I laughing throughout the entire afternoon. She reminded us to simply be ourselves and that was so helpful. Neyssa even sent us preview photos just hours after our session! Her professionalism and punctuality blew us away!

Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Bellevue Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, Maternity Photo of woman at the river

Q: Now let’s chat about once baby girl was here. What was it like having Neyssa come to your home to photograph your family just a week or so after giving birth?

 A: It was so nice to have a visitor! The best part was that we didn’t feel rushed in the morning to get ourselves and baby Penelope ready as the session was in our home.  I can’t imagine trying to get out the door with our family put together just nine days after giving birth. We also took as many nursing and diaper change breaks as needed without feeling pressure to hurry.

Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Bellevue Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, Lifestyle Newborn photo of mother and newborn baby girl in bedroom

Q: Could you describe your experience for your newborn photo session?

A: Another reason we chose to work with Neyssa is because she’s a lifestyle photographer. I didn’t want anything too posed or shots in a studio. I wanted pictures that clearly displayed real life moments. She captured this perfectly! One shot that I adore is of Penelope and I.  I’d just swaddled her, and the light and color contrast of the photo were breathtaking. I get emotional every time I look at it.  

The three of us were relaxed during the session and it was nice to be in the familiar environment of our own home. Once again, Neyssa sent us a couple preview pictures soon after our session, which I very much appreciated, and it truly shows the passion she has for her work.

Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Bellevue Lifestyle Newborn Photographer,  Photo of mother and father with newborn baby by window

Q: What did you think when you saw your newborn gallery? Any favorite photos?

A: We were so excited to get our photos back! My husband and I honestly love all the photos; it’s hard to choose our favorites! Our top pictures are one of Penelope when she’s swaddled on our bed and looking directly over at the camera. Another is where she’s looking right at the camera smiling with her tiny bow. I also love the candid shots of our family. The lighting was spot on and Neyssa captured our family’s joy in all the photos.

Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Bellevue Lifestyle Newborn Photographer,  Photo of newborn baby girl in a bow looking at the camera

What I also loved is that we received both black and white and color photos for each session. This was great when we were in the planning phase of displaying the photos in our home. With our newborn photos, we printed photos to hang in our entry way and went with a theme of combo color and black and white. The result is beautiful! 

Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Bellevue Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, Black and white photo of newborn baby yawning in mom and dad's arms

Q: How was the process for having your sessions made into an album? 

Creating our album was such a thoughtful process for our family. Once my husband and I were finished choosing our favorite photos, Neyssa created a draft album by carefully placing each photo to fit a beautifully themed layout. I loved the collaborative process as we had input and could move photos to a different spot or page, change a picture from color to black and white, etc… Neyssa was extremely quick and responsive throughout the editing process! She even had the album shipped directly to our home so we could have it in time for our daughter’s one month celebration with family. It arrived in only two days!

Maternity and Newborn Photo Session Experience, Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Bellevue Lifestyle Newborn Photographer, Photo of newborn baby feet laying on a swaddle

 Q: What was your favorite part of the entire experience?

I loved capturing such precious moments with my little girl and husband. The best part is having these beautiful memories that will live on forever.  Neyssa was a joy and we will work with her again to document the growth of our family!

Wow, thank you, Julie for taking the time to share your experience with others. Your kind words and honest review mean so much to me.

To see more from their newborn session, click through this “small” preview of their gallery!

If Julie’s experience sounds like one that you’d like for your maternity and newborn session I would love to chat with you and get your due date on my calendar. Together we will walk through planning your maternity and newborn sessions.

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Three Tips to Rock Your Maternity Photo Session | Seattle Maternity Photographer

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Three Tips to Rock Your Maternity Photo Session | Seattle Maternity Photographer

So you’re expecting, and you’re having maternity photos taken. Now what?! I have three easy tips I give to all of my pregnant mamas during their session. Use these and you’ll rock your maternity session.

Show off your baby bump.

The reason you’re having photos done is to document your pregnancy, so make sure you’re showing off your baby bump! Before your session, look for clothes that are flattering and really show that you are pregnant. (For ideas on what to wear, check out What to Wear for Your Maternity Session.)

During your photos, I will help you show off your bump by framing your belly with your hands. Kids and husbands will get in on the action to, making sure we keep that focus on baby, while making sure you look amazing.

Tips to Rock Your Maternity Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Photo of husband and wife with baby bump in gorgeous light, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Issaquah Newborn Photographer,

Have your session when you are still comfortable.

There can be a fine balance between ensuring you have a nice round baby bump and waiting too close to delivery. You never know how the third trimester will go. You could deliver a little early, or the weight or pregnancy could start taking it’s toll on you. Instead schedule your session around 30-34 weeks when you are more comfortable, feeling great, and not yet over being pregnant! (Let’s be real, that last month can feel like 4 as you wait for baby to come!)

Keep in mind that if it is your second or third (or fourth) child, your body knows what to do and everything starts to happen sooner. With my fourth baby, I was pretty big by 28 weeks and had my own materntiy photos done in the 29th week.

Not sure when to have your session? Visit When Should I Have a Maternity Session.

Tips to Rock Your Maternity Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Maternity Photo of family of five in gorgeous light, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Issaquah Newborn Photographer,

Bend your front leg to create more shape.

It is easy to stand flat footed and just in what position is comfortable, which isn’t often flattering. When a camera is in play it can become even worse and we can stand stiff and straight in attempt to look leaner. But your goal isn’t to look taller (well, I guess that could be your goal), but your goal is to accentuate the baby bump, while looking amazing and feminine.

By bending your front leg, and even dropping the knee towards your other knee (creating a V-shape from your hips to your knees) you create a beautiful shape that really makes you shine. This simple move may even make you feel like you are posing for the cover of a magazine. But don’t worry, I will guide you and help you into positions that shows off your beauty!'

Tips to Rock Your Maternity Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Maternity photo of mother and son in gorgeous light, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Issaquah Newborn Photographer,

Bonus Tip: Spend time with each child individually.

Your maternity session serves to capture this time before you welcome new life, before your family dynamic changes forever. You and your husband are not the only ones whose roles will change, your kids are affected to. Spend time snuggling your baby before she’s promoted to big sister, Hug your oldest remembering the time when she was in your belly, and look adoringly at your son who you know who cannot wait to have a baby brother.

Tips to Rock Your Maternity Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Maternity photo of mom holding toddler close, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Issaquah Newborn Photographer,

Now that you’re ready to rock your maternity session, it’s time to book your session.

Contact me with your due date and I will help you select the right date for your maternity session. You just have to click the button below.

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When Should I Have Maternity a Photo Session  | Seattle Maternity Photographer

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When Should I Have Maternity a Photo Session | Seattle Maternity Photographer

Everyone says that pregnancy is 9 months, but really it’s more like 10 months, right?! So you’re expecting, and you know that you want to have this special time photographed. One of the most common questions I get from expectant moms is “When should I have maternity photos taken?”

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Serene photo of a pregnant mom in beautiful light

Maternity photos should be done between 31-37 weeks along.

The main goal of a maternity session is to capture your family before a new baby enters the picture, all while showing off that sweet baby bump. Therefore, it is important that you actually are showing. I understand how in early pregnancy you can feel “huge” but trust me, you want to have an obvious baby bump for your maternity photos.

At the same time, you do not want to wait too long in pregnancy that either the third trimester catches up with you, making you very uncomfortable, or that baby comes a couple weeks early, meaning we miss the maternity session all together!

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Lifestyle Maternity Photographer, Pregnant mom with  young daughter

You can book your maternity session while in your late first trimester to early second trimester.

Although it may be hard to predict the size of your baby bump ahead of time, getting your session on the books early will allow for you to start planning ahead of time for your session. We can start planning what to wear for your maternity session along with the perfect location and details to include for your session.

When you are on my calendar, we are also able to be flexible. Since I only take on so many sessions at a time, your spot is reserved and should we need to adjust a little earlier or a little later based on baby, we are able to do that.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Family Snuggled together with beautiful light

It’s not too late to get maternity photos until that baby comes!

If you are expecting and thinking you waited too long, don’t stress. Contact me and we can get your maternity photo session booked and scheduled and done to capture your family as you are right now (before that baby comes)!

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5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session

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5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session

You have your family session booked, the date is on the calendar. So now what? If you're anything like me you want to plan to make the most of the family session. Here are the 5 tips I give families with an upcoming family photo session.

Plan What to Wear in Advance

I know it can be easy to put outfits until the last minute, however, no one likes racing around to stores trying to find coordinating outfits, in all the right sizes the day before family photos. Instead, start thinking about the color palette and feel you want right away. Then you can check closets for pieces you already have for everyone and slowly start looking for what you need to fill the gaps. For more ideas on putting together what to wear, click here.

When you have booked a session with me, I not only can help you as much or as little as you'd like with picking out your wardrobe, but you'll receive a private link and password for Style and Select, an easy online styling service. In a nut shell, you complete a simple questionnaire, then select outfits options for everyone in your family based on your answers. The best part is that the results offered give you prices and where to buy for everything. I know you're busy, so I'm hoping this not only eases stress for planning for a family session, but simplifies the process for you!

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family sitting on log pile

Explain to the Kids What Will Happen During Family Photos

Kids like to know what to expect. Chatting about the day and what will happen will help make them more comfortable. Explain that you're going to go explore a fun park (or river, or lake, depending on the location we've selected) together as a family. Tell them that I will be there with a camera, and a camera bag. Showing them my picture if they don't know who I am can help them get a better idea. You can even tell them I have four kids so I REALLY like kids!

If you're making it a fun event like having family photos and then all going for ice cream or hot chocolate or to a special playground, chat up the entire event. I suggest not bribing like saying, "You behave and you get a hot chocolate," but making it more about the fun family adventure you're going to go on together from family photos to special treat afterwards.

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Dad spinning with son

Mama, Pamper Yourself

When you feel special and beautiful, it shows on camera. I'm not saying this has to be anything big, get a pedicure, a massage, or even just a new lipgloss. Sometimes taking a moment for ourselves helps you recharge and forget about the stress of wanting everything perfect for picture day. 

If you really want to treat yourself well, consider a spray tan. Did your brain just start counting "Mississippisously" like Ross in Friends? I know. That's what I first thought when an old friend and co-worker, Amanda, told me she was starting her own spray tan business called Endless Summer Spray Tan. But then I learned more, like how the products she uses are vegan, and free of parabens and added preservatives. Amanda also comes to you, matches your skin tone. Gone are the days of orange, splotchy spray tans. Now I'm all about keeping it natural and being true to who you are, but I also know my legs right now are ghostly white - not photo ready at all! A little warm glow may be just the pampering you need to feel like the beautiful and confident mama you are. Wanting to try out a Spray Tan? Mention my name when booking with Endless Summer Spray Tan to save $15! 

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Husband and wife snuggled together

Pack the Snacks and Feed the Kids

Even if you're going out to dinner, it is a good idea to feed the kids something before your session. Hungry kids can't think about anything besides being hungry. Full tummies make for more fun. You can also pack snacks to eat on the way or during the session. While sessions typically only last about an hour, I know that all that playing together can feel like hard work. I just suggest a "clean" snack that doesn't leave messes on face/clothing or turn mouths colors - unless you want that captured in your photos!

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family dancing together in beautiful light

Show up Relaxed, Ready to Love on Your Family....No Matter What.

Your job is to just show up relaxed, take a breath and love on that beautiful family of yours. Drop all expectations of perfection and let me photograph the connections and love in your family. Remember, we aren't after that perfect shot, but a collection of images that show who you are right now. Rest easing knowing that I have seen everything from the shy kid to the wild ones, and everything in between and always capture images that are true to those children, true to your family. 

One mom told me, "My husband said, 'We were such a tranwreck but somehow Neyssa made it look like we were pulled together and getting along!'  I told him that is why you’re the professional!" 

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Mom with sons

Feeling prepared but haven't booked your photo session yet? Don't worry, I can help with that. Contact me and let's get your session on the calendar. 

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