Little Model~Madison

Madison came for her nine month session this week.  Lucky for me she wasn’t quite crawling yet, although I warned her mom that she better break out the baby gates because Madison was sooooo close to taking off!  She was a fabulous little model for me.  I wish I could share them all here on the blog but I’ll narrow it down to these.

Classic Baby


Modern Baby



Vintage Baby


I always look forward to Madison’s sessions, not only because she is such an adorable little baby, but because her mom and I really “click.”  I enjoy chatting with her about our shared love of shopping for girls clothing!  At this session we were chatting about ways to make sessions go more smoothly, especially for babies.  She encouraged me to post some of my suggestions for all of you, so here goes…

1.  Consider clothing~I have mentioned before how important the right clothing choices are for a session.  This does NOT mean you have to go out and buy something very expensive for your child to wear.  Just make sure they are wearing something that fits them well and doesn’t have a tiny, busy print.  Bold patterns and textures like sweaters work well for photos as do simple and classic solids.  Try to pick something that both you and your child likes and something that represents “them” at this point in their childhood.  Babies under the age of one look great in “nakey baby” shots.  When else in your life are chubby rolls so cute!

2.  Session Day~On the date of the session try to keep your child’s schedule as normal as possible.  This is NOT the time to tinker with your child’s nap schedule!  This is also not the time to head out for a full day of activities before the session.  Try to keep things as relaxed and low key as possible.  Also, if you are nervous or stressed about the session–don’t be!  We all know how babies can pick up on our feelings of stress or anxiety.  So try to talk about how much fun we will have and how much you are looking forward to the photos.  And be prepared because we really WILL have fun!

3.  During the Session~Parents are often unsure of what to DO while I am photographing their child.  I prefer photos of children looking directly into the camera.  I feel it makes a more moving and emotional photo.  Therefore, your child needs to be interacting with me and my camera as much as possible during the session.  It is helpful if my voice is the only one they hear during the actual shooting so that they will look at me as much as possible.  I will sing songs, play peekabo, make my infamous monkey noise–you know, make a general fool of myself. :)  Now if none of that seems to be working and your child won’t make eye contact with me or becomes anxious, I will most certainly ask you to step in and help and I’ll be forever grateful for it!

4.  Safety First~If we decide to prop your baby in a basket, chair, stool, etc please stay within an arms reach.  And don’t be afraid to grab for them if they start to topple!  I’d rather redo a shot than end up with an injured or upset baby.

5.  Speak Up, But Keep An Open Mind~These two things sound contradictory and in a way I guess they are.  I don’t mind at all if you have seen a certain shot or pose and you’d like something similar.  Let me know and I’d be happy to give it a shot!  But also keep in mind that every child and every session is different, so it is best to keep an open mind.  I always say that I am grateful for whatever my subject will bless me with during a session.  You may or may not end up with “the shot” that we had in mind, but rather something more wonderful than we could have ever even anticipated!

Okay, that’s probably enough unsolicited advice for now.  If any of you have any further suggestions feel free to let me know.

I mentioned last time if was time for another contest, so here we go!  Anyone who leaves a comment on this post will be entered in a drawing for a free DVD slideshow (all images from a session set to music; these are NOT printable files) with their next session.  How cool is it to pop a DVD in and watch your images on TV!

Have a great weekend everyone and remember to leave a comment below–it’s free and easy!

February 3, 2009 - 9:46 am Melissa Westall - I am always worries about what to dress Peyton in for her pictures! Her 1 year pics aren't until March and I am already trying to figure out what to wear!!! I know though, no matter what she wears, the pics will be incredible!!

February 3, 2009 - 8:50 am Julie - Thanks for the comments everyone! If anyone else would like to join in, feel free. I'll be picking the winner very soon! Nikki--Ha!! You could probably give me more advice on teenagers than I could give you. :) Julie

February 2, 2009 - 5:27 pm Shannon Brenner - I love Madison's yellow with white polka dot outfit, so cute! Thanks for the tips too.

February 2, 2009 - 2:34 pm Nikki - Can you post some advice to help with teenagers, LOL I can hardly wait for you to photograph my three:)

February 2, 2009 - 9:35 am Joanna - We love Miss Madison! Her eyes are INCREDIBLE and that child has the best temperment :) Hi Shelby! Great tips that everyone can use :)

February 2, 2009 - 8:26 am Stef Geary - My favorite is the close up of her face--She looks likes she's thinking "yay--I'm cute--I know it." :)

February 2, 2009 - 7:57 am Wendy Messer - Thanks for the tips, I have often wondered what I should be doing while you are taking the pictures. Looking forward to out session at the end of the month!

February 1, 2009 - 6:46 pm Christy - Madison is a cutie. Good tips too!

January 31, 2009 - 10:56 am Kari - I adore the shot of this baby girl in yellow polkas with the sweet thumb sucking pose. Beautiful perfection!

January 30, 2009 - 7:52 pm Kelly Solomon - I can't wait for our next session, I had the hardest time giving the collage you did of the boys away for Christmas! Kelly

January 30, 2009 - 5:58 pm Denise Williard - What great pictures!!! We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our bundle of joy....5 weeks and counting! We will definitely be in touch as soon as he arrives so we can get started with the newborn session.

January 30, 2009 - 5:51 pm Shelby Groff - Hi Julie! These are some of my absolute favorite shots.. if it's possible to have any favorites?! I love them all! Great advice! Thank you for a WONDERFUL session!

January 30, 2009 - 3:57 pm Kate Hicks - I will definitely leave a comment for a free Julie DVD :)! Thanks for the great advice . . . that really helps us newbies! Loved the pics today as well. Take care.

January 30, 2009 - 3:52 pm Lori Hoffman - Thank you for all of the suggestions! I know I am always worried about the "clothing" choice! I totally look forward to a photographer who would rather work with my child, than one who expects me to do everything! Love your blog & love looking at the beautiful photos!! Lori Hoffman

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