Birth Photo Tips From Your Birth Photographer

While you are laboring, the last thing you may be thinking about is whether or not you are photogenic at that moment. Who really cares at that point, right?? :) Well, with a little preparation & planning beforehand, your birth photos can turn out better.

Step 1. Wear a black tank top or black sports bra. Imagine that "Little Black Dress" look, only for a pregnant (laboring) woman. Black is always a good color for portraits, and birth is no different. Black is simple, not distracting, and has got style! And black creates contrast between the skin tone of your face and the color (black) of your shirt. Those of you going to the hospital, this applies to you too. You know you don't have to wear that drafty hospital gown, right? Just because the staff wants you to wear the gown, doesn't mean you have to. And leave your shirt on. Unless you want your n*pples in the pictures....?
Step 2. Use dark colored towels for when the baby is born. Again this creates contrast and more importantly, draws attention to the baby's face. The baby should be the center of attention, not the blaring white towel or receiving blanket.

Step 3. Leave a light on. Because I desire to be non-distracting at births, I do not use my flash. This does get interesting when a woman is laboring in the middle of the night and wants to labor in the dark. Some women prefer it to be dark, some don't care, it's a personal matter. But just know that if you hire me, and you want to labor in complete darkness, it will have an affect on your photos. So please, leave one light on. The hall light, the bathroom, the closet, whatever, just leave a light on! :)
These are all, of course, my personal recommendations for the quality and well-being of your birth photos. However, it's all a personal matter, especially when it comes to birth. You have your own personal preferences, such as laboring in the dark, or in your favorite t-shirt, or listening to your favorite band, etc, etc. The things I have said here may not be that appealing to your personally, but for your photo's sakes, these are my recommendations.


He's a Healthy Eater!

I just had to share this one!
I am working on a project with the lactation consultants over at Well Rounded Momma, and this little big guy was just perfect. He's super sweet and check out those squishy rolls all down his arms!!! He is exclusively breastfed, and you know he's not missing any meals! :)


Happy Birthday Grandma!!

I think this picture speaks for itself :) but I'll give you a little background. This fine woman was celebrating her 75th birthday! As much of her family that could gathered for the weekend. Part of the festivities included a family portrait, since its not everyday that they all get together. Part of the family portrait included Grandma with the kiddos, which are actually her great-grandkids. (with the exception of Maddie). If this picture is any clue to what the rest of the weekend was like, I'm sure it was a fabulous birthday!!!


Things to Display

I finished my collages, and may I say, they are beautiful! An enormous THANK YOU to the awesome moms who were willing to be a part of this project!!! The bigger of the two (and, boy is it big! Like 30x48!) is hanging at Well Rounded Momma. The smaller will soon be hanging at The Midwife House. Besides advertising for myself :) it is my hope that these images will encourage parents to see their birth experiences as amazing and beautiful, even if it does take some hard work to get through some spots!
And this is a Canvas Gallery Wrap. I loooove these. The image is printed directly to the canvas. The canvas is then stretched around a wooden frame, just like a canvas for painting on. You can see how the image wraps around the wood frame. There is no need for a decorative frame - this canvas is ready to hang on the wall just like it is! This canvas is a 20x30.


What To Do When Things Don't Go As Planned....

This little guy recently turned one. May I say he was an angel for his newborn portrait. His one year portrait.... that's a different story :) His mom describes him as "never wanting to do what you want him to do" and "he's always like this". Now, I've always thought he was a nice quiet boy every other time I've seen him, but he got a little vocal with me this day! And, at one point, he looked straight at my camera, gave me the stink eye, and turned and walked away. Now that is love!!

So... What to do when your little ones don't want to cooperate??
Step One. Prepare yourself ahead of time. No one is "perfect" all the time. Approach your portrait session hoping for the best, of course, but willing to compromise & be flexible if things aren't going how you had imagined. Even if your child has been perfect for every other portrait session, or they always put on a show when someone whips out a camera, they could be a hitting a new stage in their life right at the exact time of your next family portrait!

Step Two. Pick a wardrobe, location, and props that you know (assume?) your child will be happy with. Don't try to make your kid where a hat or headband for a portrait if they've never worn one before. Do pick a location that is interesting and has room for exploring (i.e. running around) in between poses. I will continue shooting while the child explores and we can usually get some really fun shots out of it. Do pick toys (props) that you don't mind them being in the shot with you. Notice the ball in the above picture and the puzzle in the below picture. And please, don't pick bribery snacks that end up running down their faces. Ew.
Step Three. Don't expect the "perfect" shot to be the one where everyone is smiling and saying "cheese". To me, this shot is perfection and can continue to be hung in the home long after he grows up and goes to college.
As could this one.

Step Four. Don't forget that you are supposed to be having a good time. It's ok to be a little silly, especially if it helps keep the kids happy and interested. A portrait session is not the time to get angry, make threats, or get frustrated. In my experience, these tactics have never improved any portrait session situation. Be FLEXIBLE! And show love. And eat a flower petal if you have to...
Step Five. Let everyone have a break. If the child needs to do a little running around, let him! That way I can get shots of just mom & dad, or singles of the other kids, or more candid shots of everyone while they "take a break" (you think it's a break, but in reality I am still watching with my trigger finger poised!).
Step Six. Sigh in relief when it's all over? Pray that you end up with something decent? I think Lindsay did have her doubts by the time we were through, but I've posted 10 images here! And I wanted to post more! I do try to limit my posts so they don't get too lengthy for you guys, but I do have some other super cute ones that didn't make the cut to be on the blog :)

Lindsay & Aaron, I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!


Admitting My Folly

OK, I haven't done this in a really long time, but yesterday I thought I was in a pinch and I ran to the local convenience photo printer to get 4 prints made. Big mistake. I thought it was going to be close enough, but it's really not!!! I am putting together a collage of my birth photography. The photo on the right is from my regular professional lab. The photo on the left is from {Will Remain Anonymous}. The cheap print is, uh, Black & Green, not Black & White!!

I recently randomly came across a story about a quilter who was using a discount store fabric. As she neared the end of her quilt, she realized she needed more fabric. She asked around and one of her quilting friends had the same fabric, only the friend's was purchased from a quilt shop. The small amount of quilt shop fabric was noticeably superior (brighter colors, cleaner design) to the discount store fabric! This quilter was agast and embarassed at her own blunder. She said the quilt shop fabric stuck out like a sore thumb! She & her friends now saw the difference between buying good quality fabric, and buying a cheaper lesser quality product.

story by C.M. Anderson found in the Country Register March/April 2010

The parrallels to my situation are so striking, it's strangely funny. A photo collage is much like a quilt. I only needed a small amount of photos to finish my project (because of an oversight, I had originally ordered the wrong sizes) . And boy, does it stick out like a sore thumb! However, I am willing to wait the couple extra days it will take to order new prints from my regular lab. There is no way I am putting those cheap prints in my frame!!!

"You get what you pay for" holds true for fabric and for photos.



A fabulous client gave me a Whole Foods gift card as a Thank You. First, their gift cards are soooooo cute. How can you not love this??

Second, how can you not love it when that cute little card turns into something that comes in another cute little bag?

...and tastes sooooo delicious???
I looooove Hazelnut gelato. Ten years ago in Europe, I discovered the smooth heavenly-ness of hazelnut gelato. Love. Love. Love. The bad thing is my local grocery stores don't carry plain hazelnut, they carry Chocolate Hazelnut, which I don't think would be quite the same (I know you chocolate lovers are all appalled that I won't buy it). So when I saw the Whole Foods gift card, I knew exactly what I'd be using it on! (or at least one of the things I'd be buying...) Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

What's your favorite thing to splurge on??


Wedding: Amanda + Justin

Yay! Congratulations to Amanda & Justin!!! Hope you guys had a good time in Hawaii!!

Amanda & Justin were sealed for time & all eternity at the Las Vegas LDS Temple on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Lately the weather has been so strange around here, but A & J managed to get a non-windy, slightly warm day. Justin even took his coat off for most of the portrait session (if it's that warm now, don't you feel bad for the grooms in August??? I do!)

I love vintage. Yes, I do. I've been looking for just the right action to give me that old photograph feel. Thank you April, for steering me in the right direction! It's just what I've always wanted! :)
You know, I have certain shots that I feel are essential and I try to do them at every wedding, but it's really nice when I try something different and it totally works out. Like the following. I can honestly say this is the first time I have ever done these two shots!

Work that sassyness, Amanda!
The next few are mostly of Amanda. She's just so so beautiful!

Amanda comes from a family full of stunning women, but her Grandpa is my favorite! He's the cutest grandpa I've ever seen!!


Happy Mother's Day

For Grandma....
All the girls...

And a fun out-take...
Happy Mother's Day all, and thanks for use of the wagon, Wendy!


Wedding Details: Amanda + Justin

These two are a stunning couple. Too bad I'm just showing you more teasers for now! I love these detail shots, so I will post the portraits tomorrow or so.


Melissa & Lexi

These girls wanted their Senior Portraits done together because, well, it's more fun! I completely agree. It is more fun to bring a friend along who you can be silly with, who can help you with last minute outfit concerns, etc. Not that I can't help you with these things, it's just that sometimes it's nice to bring a friend. :)

Meet Melissa: Softball player, big sister, Prom Queen nominee, and aspiring photographer!

And Lexi: Also a big sister, volleyball star, & loves going to the lake.

Now if these girls were in a band together (or a little twosome of a singing group), then this would be their album cover!!
And this would go on the inside cover.
Thanks for the fun afternoon girls, and the beautiful pictures!


jessica B photography

Specializing in Las Vegas birth photography and newborn photography. Jessica B is also available for weddings and portrait sessions.

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