Months before my daughter’s birth years ago, I started to imagine what our first days and weeks at home would be like. I looked forward to the newborn snuggles, establishing a new routine, learning to breastfeed — and taking our first family photos. I was certain we’d book a newborn photographer to take pictures of our baby, complete with those tiny muslin wraps. The only thing I hadn’t planned for back then was what would happen if my baby arrived early.
My daughter made her way into the world six weeks early, and my plans were obliterated. In all the hubbub of a NICU stay and fumbling our way through our first weeks with a five-pound baby at home, I’d forgotten all about my desire to get professional photos taken of our sweet baby girl. It’s still one of my biggest regrets from that stage in our lives.
This time around, as I prepared for the birth of my son, I was determined to get photos taken of him — even if he arrived early. After all, our babies are only that little once! I booked a newborn photography session with Stephanie of Stephanie Beth Photography a month and a half before my scheduled C-section date. Right away, I loved how Stephanie helped me to plan for the experience.
In our first communications, Stephanie started by offering her congratulations. She then followed up with a short list of questions about my due date, the baby’s gender, and photo preferences (family, sibling, grandparents, etc.). Once she received my initial answers, she booked us for a session on a date that would’ve been just shy of my son’s two-week “birthday.”
After that, she sent a lengthier email detailing what to do before arriving at the studio for our session and expectations for what would happen during the session. The prep email was comprehensive, but it wasn’t wordy or confusing. Most of the email focused on things to do on the day of the photo session to ensure that my baby and any other family members there for photos would be rested, comfortable, prepared, and not overwhelmed. I really appreciated how thoughtful the email was.
My kids like keeping my on my toes. Our little guy arrived two weeks before my scheduled C-section. Thankfully, he only needed to stay in the hospital for a week. I emailed Stephanie after my son and I had both been discharged, and she was very kind about moving up our session date.
Stephanie’s studio is located in Milton. There’s plenty of free street parking near her studio. There are also several places on her block to grab a quick bite to eat or a cup of coffee. That detail is particularly important if you bring siblings or other adults to the photo session! Stephanie recommends allowing siblings to leave the studio for a bit until it’s their turn for photos. I’d initially planned to bring my 4-year-old to the session, and breaks would’ve been a must. It took me less than 15 minutes to drive to Stephanie’s studio from my home in Boston, and I immediately found parking in front of her building.
Her studio is beautiful! Everything is painted in soft whites and creams. The furniture looks plush and inviting, and all the textiles hanging and draped throughout the studio look buttery soft. Stephanie pointed me to this cozy little couch where I’d hang out for the duration of the session. She offered me a variety of refreshments before turning her attention to my sleeping baby. The rest of the session was a blur as I sat in awe and watched her quietly and calmly shift him from one pose to another, clean up poo-poo and pee accidents, gently shush him when he became fussy, and even stop to feed him when it was clear his little belly was empty. Stephanie took her cues from my baby and made adjustments to her plan when necessary.
My session with Stephanie was, by far, the easiest photo shoot I’ve ever experienced. At one point I dozed off on her couch (don’t judge me — I just had a baby) and later awoke to her gently rocking my son back and forth and talking to him about her plans for the next photo. I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience and the way the photos turned out.
The days with little ones are long, but the months and years are short. They grow so quickly and, after a while, it gets so hard to remember exactly how tiny those little hands, toes, lips, and noses were. I’m ecstatic we took these photos — and it makes my heart ache even more that I missed the opportunity with my daughter. Take it from me — book the session. You won’t regret it.