Tuesday, January 30, 2007


This is Isabella. I've been photographing her since...forever! Seriously, I took photos of her before she was born - or at least, photos of her mom when she was pregnant with Isabella! Since then I've seen her quite a few times, from newborn until now. She's 18 months old and a real firecracker.

We took her to Saguaro Ranch, which is a beautiful old house and park surrounded by citrus groves. I remember going there when I was in high school, quite a few years ago. It has changed a bit, but it is still a beautiful place to take portraits.

We let Isabella run around, checking out the buildings and the staircases. She even got to chase a rooster or two. It was a beautiful day, and I am thrilled to see how perfectly the setting went with such a sweet little girl.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

Supposedly, 51% of the babies born each year are boys, and 49% are girls. But if I had to base the statistics on what I see in the studio, I would have to say the boys outnumber the girls by far. I've been doing quite a few maternity/newborn sessions the past few months, and for some odd reason - almost every single one has been a little boy!

So I was very happy today to photograph a mom-to-be and her precious little girl. Of course, you can't see her yet. But I'm sure she will be just beautiful and I can't wait to meet her. It's been so long since I've seen a girl baby, I'll have to go dig up the pretty pink bows and blankets! Or, maybe I'll use this as an excuse to go buy more cute little props - "gee, honey - I simply don't have anything for a cute little girl baby, I just must go to Hobby Lobby/Target/Michael's!"

Somehow, I don't think he'll buy it. He'll remember that even though he hasn't seen any little girls come through the studio recently, at some point there was a girl baby - and certainly I must have something to use for a session.


This is Cynthia - she's one of my longtime favorite little subjects. I've been photographing her since she was only 3 months old. She sure has grown, hasn't she? It's been such a neat thing to watch her grow from a little baby into a curious little toddler.

Cynthia is ready for Valentine's Day. She was OK with the present - but quickly unwrapped it. A rose caught her attention for a minute. Then the sparkly glitter-covered heart - well, let's say that it now has toddler-sized teeth marks in it! Finally, the solution to the problem of how to get a toddler to stay put - CANDY! Specifically, those little Valentine's conversation hearts. I don't think anyone over the age of 10 can stand the things, but Cynthia loved them. And the best part is, they're not too messy! Too bad I can't say the same thing about Easter candy.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Welcome little Austin!

This is Austin. He is a sweet little bundle of joy, isn't he? I love it when I get to work with brand new babies, for many reasons. They are so soft and squishy, and they pretty much stay where you put them. They don't have a lot of wants, only a few basic needs - make sure they are not hungry or wet, and make sure they are not too warm or too cold, and they will cooperate (for the most part!). Austin was a very cooperative baby! I'm sure by the time he's a little older he'll be more interested in rolling around, sticking things in his mouth and avoiding the camera - but for now, he's pretty easygoing!

Congratulations to Austin's family and a big happy birthday to Austin. I wish you many years of happiness!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A sweet little angel...

Yesterday was an odd day. I started the morning with a newborn session - a sweet little boy who was so tiny and cooperative. It was wonderful to see him, and a joy to work with him.

Almost immediately after that session, I got a call from the regional coordinator for NILMDTS. This is a group that does photos for parents who have lost a newborn, as these photos are the only images they are likely to have of their baby. The baby was a little girl named Amelia, who had been born in December at 24 weeks. She has a twin sister still in the NICU. Amelia had been very sick all week and the parents had decided to take her off life support.

Amelia was perfect, and very tiny. She had perfect little fingers and toes - just smaller than a full-term baby. She had a full head of hair. And she had two parents who loved her very much, and weren't really sure how to deal with this. Most parents never go through this situation, but every parent imagines it - what if something happened to my child?

If you would like to see a slideshow of Amelia, you can download it at www.lovebugsphotography.com/AmeliaNILMDTS.exe. The images can be disturbing, especially for young children - so watch with discretion.

I wish I would neverneed to get called again to do a NILMDTS session - I wish that every parent would have the joy of taking their child home and watching him or her grow and be healthy. But the pain of dealing with such raw grief is outweighed by the feeling of purpose I get from the NILMDTS program - I am able to give these parents something important, something they will value forever. When we lost our son Nicholas in 1999, there was no program to take beautiful photos of him. I'm glad that NILMDTS exists to help parents with their loss.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Looking for on-location maternity customers!

I was lucky to photograph a beautiful family this morning that is preparing to greet a new member in less than a month. If the doctors are correct, this little girl will have a new baby sister soon! She's thrilled about it, and I'm sure she'll be quite helpful. Her brother isn't worried about being outnumbered in the boys vs. girls count. As he told me "we have fish, and they are boys!"

As I mentioned below, I love doing maternity/newborn sessions. I've been doing lots of them in the studio recently, and it's always a joy. But I'd also like to get some images for my website showing what can be done on-location with just a little imagination and the right setting.

What I'm looking for is a maternity customer who has a home that is photogenic and has good natural light. This usually means a few good windows that we can open to let in the sunlight. As far as the decor of the home goes, it doesn't have to be Pottery Barn catalog-worthy - but having a clean house with a few interesting pieces of furniture can help. A nursery that is decorated and just waiting for baby can also look great.

If you think that you would like to do a maternity session in your home, here's what I'd like to do: the regular session fee for maternity/newborn is $150 in the studio. If you would like to do an on-location session for my portfolio, I would do the maternity and newborn session in you home at no additional charge - so $150 for two sessions, one 5X7 from each session and 25 custom birth announcements. This offer is only good until I have built up some portfolio images, so don't wait too long! The early bird gets the worm.

Be prepared for images that aren't typical studio shots - adventurous souls only!

Welcome to the world, baby Aiden!

This little guy was born December 3. What a perfect gift for Christmas! He was so sweet and very alert, I'm thrilled to have been able to meet him when he's so new.

I love doing maternity and newborn sessions - it's such fun to photograph the baby both before and after. You can never predict exactly how the baby is going to look or act. Sometimes the baby is very active while still in mom's tummy, then comes out kicking and screaming. And yet sometimes the most active babies will come out and then sleep through the whole session.

Anyway, welcome to the world, Aiden. You are so lucky to have a big sister to watch over you, she is a real sweetheart and I'm sure she'll show you how to get into all sorts of trouble.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sweet Sixteen

In a couple of weeks I will be photographing the Sweet Sixteen celebration for one of my former students from Maryvale High School. I recently did some formal portraits for her to show off her beautiful dress.

In Arizona, the tradition of a Quinceanera or a Sweet Sixteen is very popular. I think it's a great tradition, and a beautiful way to celebrate the passage from childhood into young womanhood. It's a day for every young woman to be a princess for a day - and what could be more special than that?