New Born Photography

This weekend I was lucky enough to try out my first Newborn session with a precious little girl. We were not within the recommended 10 first days timeline. But that didn’t discourage me. I also never understood that time frame, but now I do! She definitely wasn’t as sleepy as a new newborn. But I think it worked anyways!

I loved it! There is a lot for me to learn still in the posing, and editing sides. But for my first time I think it was pretty good. Im going to have to stalk all my pregnant friends and family in the coming months for more practice! I love the added quote to the next picture. Its one of my pins (<3 Pinterest) And it was perfect with the colors and of course the actual quote.

My favorite was involving all the kids. She is now the youngest of 4, so I wanted to showcase that. I love how they turned out. I combined 2 photos. The top has the older kids in focus and the new baby slightly out of focus. And a reverse for the bottom shot. The black and white of the same pose was my fastest edit and one of my favorites. Funny how that happens.

Happy Valentines Day

Regardless of being single, dating, married, loved and lost or anything in between. I hope every day, not just on the 14th day of the second month, you have someone to love. Its not hard to make, or expensive to buy, but it can be all someone needs. So make sure those in your life know they are, and hopefully someone makes you feel the same way.

We don’t celebrate Valentines Day, instead we celebrate our first big date’s anniversary which is February 21. There is no scramble to buy cheesy heart items, or fight big crowds at restaurants and movies. Its just us. We usually spend the night in, making a big dinner and playing board games. Its perfect. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So today is just another day. But I love him just as much. And we both love these little feet even more.

Happy V-day.

Sawyer James

Our little boy made his arrival one week ago on thursday October 13 2011! I thought the 9 months went by fast, this week was a blink! Be warned this is going to be a long post and very picture heavy!

We were told a week prior that we would be having a scheduled Csection due to his size and amount of fluid. Its very odd to know the exact date and time. There were pro’s and con’s, we were able to leave the house looking perfect for bringing a baby home to, and yet the anxiety of a countdown made it awfully hard to sleep.

So last Thursday at 3:30 Brandon and I packed out bags in the car and took a very casual drive over to the hospital. We did comment on how different it would have been to be in a crazy rush going into labor randomly. We got to wait our check in 2 hours in a regular delivery room. If I wasn’t already nervous the 4 different doctors telling me the extreme risks over and over again sure didn’t help! My poor mom made an appearance early, she was a ball of excitement and nerves. We all counted down the last minutes, making jokes with our awesome nurse. Brandon changed into some scrubs, and all too soon they came to get us!

They wheeled us down the hall. They made Brandon wait behind while they prepped me. I later found out he used this valuable time to make a blair witch style video on our baby video. Its so him. I had an awesome team, and my nurse held my hand as I got my spinal block. I was  so terrified of it. Needles have never been my friend. I got the numbing needle first and even that wasn’t too bad and it made it so I barely felt the spinal block. It just felt warm and a little weird. Then they strapped me down on a skinny little table, arms out wide. The spinal block started in my toes and pretty fast an intense pins and needles feeling swept up all the way to my fingers. They draped me and got all the machines going. I had some leg massagers put on to help circulation, and they did one test to make sure I couldn’t feel anything. I sure passed. The nurse brought Brandon in and he was able to sit at my head and hold my hand. I got really tired, so that I thought I was going to miss the birth because I was fighting to stay awake. Brandon did a great job of distracting me from what was going on with silly little questions. Before I knew they had even cut into me, the doctor was telling Brandon to get the camera ready since they had the baby and were pulling him out! I know some women feel pressure and pulling but the spinal block was different from an epidural and I didn’t feel a single thing! All of a sudden I heard the cry for life. It was beautiful and strong. Brandon followed Sawyer to the station to clean up and weigh and tag him. He came in weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long. Because of the high amount of fluid (the doctor said it was like Niagara falls when they opened me up!) Sawyer swallowed a good amount in his first breath. They decided to take him straight to a transitional nursery to be monitored for the next 4 hours. Brandon was able to go with him, I saw him and gave him a quick kiss and off the two of them went. Another 10 minutes and I was closed up. It was only 35 minutes total for the surgery. They had two emergency Csections pop up the minute I was closed so they got me out pretty fast. Back to the delivery room, where my mom and sister were waiting. Brandon came in right away too, but Sawyer spent 4 hours in the transitional nursery and because of my surgery I wasnt able to see him there. But Brandon took my mom and sister to meet her first grandson and nephew. It killed me to wait that long. I felt like I hadn’t given birth yet. It was a very odd sensation. The nurses were great at making sure I was doing ok after the surgery. The spinal block stayed in my system and I was completely numb from the chest down for the next couple hours. A nurse asked if I could move my feet and though I thought I was, there was no movement at all. Then she lifted my leg to a 90 degree angle and I couldn’t feel it and though I knew it was my leg, it made my mind feel like it was a false leg she was waving around. It was so hard to digest that feeling. I was still tired but didn’t sleep.

Then finally after waiting 4 hours Brandon went to the nursery to request Sawyer in our room. They wheeled him into the room in a clear bassinet and I could see him right there but was still so numb I couldn’t get him. But when Brandon placed him in my arms I thought he was the most perfect baby I had ever seen. This beautiful round face with tiny little features that were somehow a perfect mix of Brandon and I. We had made this little baby. He was ours and our life was forever going to be changed. There was lots of love and pictures and begging to hold him after being passed through the 4 of us.

My mom and sister left around 10, though there was no limited visiting hours in the delivery room wing. Around 1 am they moved us to our postpartum room. I met my night nurse and immediately loved her. Our first night was easy. We fell into a gentle routine. Sawyer was very calm, Brandon helped out, and I cuddled until 4 am when I sent him to the nursery for just an hour to catch some sleep.

The next morning we had both, my parents and sister, and Brandon’s parents visit/meet Sawyer for the first time. He was such a sweet and good baby. I was still feeling fantastic with morphine in my system. We tried to breastfeed right away but because of the Scheduled Csection my body was in sort of a shock and my milk had no come in. So we supplemented with formula for a couple days. Which was nice because Brandon and other family were able to feed the little guy, a special bonding moment for everyone.

The good stuff eventually wore off and I was switched to percocet. Which besides making me overly drowsy, didn’t have any bad side effects. Just made it able to have visitors! And then the hubby gave me the best present. I fell asleep and because he was up working, let me sleep the entire night through! Talk about amazing new daddy! Even after going to sleep himself he still got up every time Sawyer cried. He is a pro swaddler and is trying to be a very hands on daddy. We even left Sawyer alone at home with him to run some errands tonight and came home to one sweet happy sleeping baby.

We were discharged within 48 hours of arriving. It seemed so short! I know most people cant wait to get out of the hospital but I had such amazing nurses and was feeling great that I would have stayed the whole week without complaining. But it was nice to get home. We got to watch his birth video. It was crazy to imagine him inside one minute and outside the next.

Its been a great first week. Lots of visitors, 2 or more extra people in the house. My sister, my dad, and my best friend from Texas rotating through, and now just my mom. Who leaves Wednesday and that just feels too soon! It will be hard to not have Grandma down the street. But it will be nice to have some alone family time too. Sawyer is such a good sweet baby. Only crying when he needs something. And I just think he’s too cute! I don’t think my camera battery has ever died faster, or the SD card filled so quickly. I’m going to need to figure out a digital storage system fast!

Thanks to everyone who made this pregnancy, delivery and recovery easier for me. My friends and family, my nurses at CMFM monitoring, my nurses at Summerlin hospital, and especially my husband. Without whom I would never have had such a beautiful perfect baby. Its so amazing to have such a strong support system, and know how loved this little boy is already!

Maternity Photo’s

This is just going to be a heavy photo post. I got a little package in the mail today. I was having a bad morning, no sleep, lots of contractions and just plain done with being pregnant. Well just like one of my favorite songs, “Brown paper packages, tied up with string. These are  a few of my favorite things!” This mail brought me great joy! I mean the little package alone was too cute!

She also sent along some cute little knit slippers for Sawyer. Im always overjoyed with the love this little boy is already bringing out in people. This is the second pair of little knit slippers he has been sent. One of my moms clients sent these little bunny ones for him last week. They are both just too cute and make me excited to get them on little baby feet!

but enough with the talk lets see pictures! Back in July I was home visiting family and we squeezed in a maternity session. Im so happy we did. I just love the pictures! If you do too, you can contact Amy at her facebook page or her Blog site. I shared a few teasers with you a couple weeks ago. To see those ones click here. But here are all the new ones! I cant wait to print them and use them around the house and in projects!

So if you are looking for any maternity, family, or newborn sessions make sure to check her out!

Maternity Teasers!

How exciting that I have two wonderfully talented friends. Who both did an amazing job of some maternity shots for me this past 2 weeks! I got to do the first set with our friends in Colorado. And the second set with my mom and a friend from High school Cheerleading. It was so much fun because it was also a little reunion! And the pictures they have shared with me so far as teasers are just beyond amazing!

Our first set I guilted Brandon enough to be in. We set up in Colorado with our friends for the week. So besides having great pictures, we also got to have a great visit with them! Gary is based out of Houston, Texas area. He is also the photographer who did our wedding! He specializes in engagement, bridals, and weddings but also does events and portraits too. So if you are travelling or live in that area hit up his website! You wont be disappointed!

The second set (seriously I am so lucky! who gets one let alone two awesome maternity sessions!) For the second session I met a friend I havent seen in years! She has her own photography company as well. And also a new adorable little girl! She is based out of Calgary, Alberta, so I got to take my mom along with me which was fun. This one was a solo trip as my hubby thought one session was overdoing it! But we had so much fun catching up and working together. She does everything from maternity and newborn, to bridal and family sessions. If you are looking for an awesome photographer in her area you can “like” her facebook page, and send her an email!

We also did a name reveal photo! So officially its out there! Sawyer James! Cant wait to meet you little man, but for 14 more weeks you stay inside there. And no more stretch marks please! haha

A special thank you to both of you for making this a fun memory to look back on!

Viva Las Vegas

So I was spending some time with some friends this week, who were visiting from out of town. I NEVER spend time on the strip. But it was fun seeing the new cosmopolitan hotel which just recently opened up. We just spent a night walking around and I couldn’t help but take a million photo’s!

I just adore artwork with faces. So I was immediately drawn to these creations! The top right is just hanging colored circles. The other two are massive painting’s with amazing hair! I would hang those in my house I love them so much. They wouldn’t match at all haha but I love them all the same.

This is a massive chandelier in the Cosmopolitan, its ridiculously huge and covers a whole bar and lounge area. Its breathtakingly beautiful in person and picture just dont do it justice.

So that was a tour of my town, and two last pictures to leave you with. My favorite of the night. Because I have to get some sleep I am making cupcakes tomorrow! For a special little boy’s birthday! Nutella cupcakes because he can inhale a whole jar in one sitting if I let him!

I am just in love with ^this one. Hope you guys have a wicked wednesday! Stay tuned!

Guest blogger Gary Blake with photo tips!

So you got a nice camera for Christmas and you want to start taking nicer looking photos. Pouring through photography books and chasing good advice down the endless hallways of the internet can be time-consuming and can frustrate even the most patient people. I say there’s time for all of that later. I’m a self-taught professional photographer I think the best thing you can do is take a little advice and from a trusted source (ME!) and get out there and start gaining experience.

Step 1: Throw away your lens!
Well, don’t throw it away, but if your camera came with a zoom lens you should try selling it. With the money you make invest in a 50mm lens in the $100 range. The problem with those zoom lenses that come with your camera is that they will produce photos that will look similar to the point and shoot you got for Christmas last year. The whole point of upgrading your camera is to take better photos. The 50mm lens you get will allow you to actually see the difference.

If you have a Canon try this lens:

If you have a Nikon try this lens:

Step 2: Drop that F Number!
There should be a little dial on the top of your camera with different letters. Switch it to ‘A’ for Aperture Priority and use your scroll wheel to drop that aperture as low as it will go. With your new 50mm lens it will be 1.8. With other lenses it could be 2.8, 3.5, or higher. The lower that number is the more blurry the background will be.

Here is an example of a photo shot with my aperture at 1.8

Step 3: Are your photos a little blurry?
So you’re shooting in aperture priority and you’ve set your aperture to 1.8… but you’ve gone from shooting in bright light to shooting in dim light and now your photos are blurry? Don’t panic!

The next setting you need to learn is ‘ISO’. This is displayed as 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, etc… In Aperture Priority the higher this ISO number is the less blurry your photos will be. The tradeoff is that with the increased ISO you will also have increased noise in your photos. This noise on most new cameras is only really noticeable at ISO1600 or above.

Here is an example of a couple photos where it was important to freeze the subject. My ISO number was high.

Take your time and have fun! Before hitting your shutter button and taking a photo, think about how the photo will look. Move around and experiment with different vantage points. Nobody ever learned the intricacies of photography in a day. Good luck!