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One thing that sets my clients apart from the rest is that they all want their images to reflect the authenticity and unique qualities of their family. During the planning stages of our session, we collaborate to make the session one that will tell a complete story of this time in their lives.

This family absolutely knocked it out of the park! They were cracking each other up and giving the camera the most beautiful and genuine smiles. You can see how much they care for each other in their expressions and that just makes my heart happy.  Not only did they brave the cold (and by cold, I mean, REALLY cold, especially for Charleston), but they also combined their family session with their daughters’ dance portraits… so, there were lots of jumps (or “changements” for you ballet folk) in between sets.  I used to be a ballet teacher and still take classes every week so my inner-ballerina was getting all goose-bumpy… and it wasn’t from the cold.

These sisters are not only stunningly beautiful, they have so much passion for dance – you can see it in their faces. Their mother runs the Ballet Academy of Charleston (which is an outstanding ballet school) so they have been raised in a ballet setting and it shows in their pristine technique.  Here is what mom had to say about their session:

Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

Of course! My figure and me not being photogenic…

(um… she is GORGEOUS!)

Was there anything unique about you or your family that you wanted to incorporate into your session?

Just being ourselves, not pretending to be “someone else”

Do you have any advice for other families preparing for a family session?

To go with the flow, yet speak up, if you have some sort of inspiration/idea

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

For the kids: “that was fun, look how cute we were.”

For us adults: “look how young we were back then, and the kids were so little. Lucky we had those times captured”

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I have a lot of new clients ask if I have a studio and the answer is no. I make “house calls” for newborn sessions, setting up the gear and finding the best natural light source in your home (or using lighting equipment, if it is too dark). The light in this home was simply divine.

These twin boys were the most precious sights – so sweet and sleepy. They loved being close to each other.  I had the distinct privilege of working alongside a dear friend and amazing photographer, Danielle Hobbs. We have worked as each other’s assistant with our last few twin sessions and it has been so much fun!

Wishing this family all the best on their journey with these two precious boys! Congratulations!

At the end of this post, you will see their mom’s take on her Essential Newborn Session experience. Enjoy the twin cuteness!

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JM: Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

Mom: Yes-the temperature*

(*JM: most babies have a hard time maintaining their body temperature unclothed, that is why we strive to make the room as warm as possible for the health and safety of newborn babies).

 

JM: What was your favorite part of your session?

Mom: Watching the different, sweet poses of the boys. I just loved seeing them together.

 

JM: Do you have any advice for other families preparing for a newborn session?

Mom: Yes, book Jody & Danielle 😀
JM: What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

Mom: That they are classic & sweet.

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It seems like yesterday when I first met this little guy in the hospital the day after he was born for his Fresh 48 session (you can see a video of that session below):

Welcome to the World from Jody Mack on Vimeo.

It is such a treasure to have the chance to see newborn grow into toddlers and later, big kids! Happy Birthday, Maddox! It was a pleasure to chase you around the beach and capture your joy! Big brother is leaving soon for basic training so we were able to get a few of the boys together along with some great family candids.

Make sure to scroll to the end to see an interview with his mom on their experience.

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Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

It got a little overcast as we were headed out there, but the light in these pictures is gorgeous which is no surprise! Overall, I think that Maddox and the whole family is now quite comfortable with you and your style, so I didn’t have too many worries. I thought Maddox may get a bit distracted by being at the beach because he loves it so much, but I think that your pictures of him simply being him and playing in the sand are what I love so much about the end result!

What was your favorite part of your session?

All of it!! Probably skipping around and just interacting with Maddox in general. I wanted Maddox to be the focus of this session, so just keeping him moving, playing, and happy was easy and fun to do!

Do you have any advice for other families preparing for a mini session?

I worried so much about our clothes when we took pictures last summer, but Jody was a great help with picking out coordinating outfits. This time around I was less concerned about that because I wanted more Maddox vs. more family, so I would just say to let Jody know exactly what your goal of the session is…i.e. family, kids, etc.…I also wanted some special shots of Maddox with his big brother, and Jody focused on those two first for me.  So long as Jody knows what you want out of the session, you should be good to go!! I wanted to capture Maddox in this super fun age at the beach because that is what he loves right now…and that’s what Jody did for me!!

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

That we were (and will hopefully still be) so happy! Maddox loves the beach, and that shows so much in these pictures! I really hope that Maddox and his brother will always share the bond they have now, and they each have one of these pictures to keep near and dear to them to help them remember it. My family already says that Maddox will have such a great childhood growing up here near the beach, and these pictures will always show that his love for sand started at a young age! I also hope Maddox never loses those gorgeous curls, but if he does, I have proof to show him! 😉

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I’ve got to brag on these amazing people for just a bit.  They were in a car accident a few days before her maternity session and she started having contractions (so much that she had to be admitted to the hospital for observation). Her contractions finally subsided a few days later  and she was cleared by her doctor to resume normal activities. She and her husband were just amazing to work with. They were so positive and relaxed throughout the whole session. They even joked about the experience being a “dry run” for labor and delivery, so they will be that much more ready for the big day! I can’t wait to meet their little boy or girl in the hospital for their Fresh 48 session! Love that they are keeping the baby’s gender a surprise!

The sweet book she is reading in one of the photos (quoted in the title) is one of our own family favorites too (“Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney).

Below are some of my favorites from the session. Scroll to the end to see an interview with this gorgeous, brave mama.

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Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session?

I was very excited for the session, I just wish I had more time to prepare like get my nails done etc 🙂 The accident kinda messed me up there. I felt that you were the perfect photographer for us so I was not too worried about that and just wanted to let the day happen and trust your professional eye. I was a little worried that my lack of preparation would make the pictures not be as good (not really wearing that much makeup, no nails done, etc). But I realized that those were superficial things once we got there and hoped our happiness overshadowed that part.

What was your favorite part of your session?

I loved the easy nature of the session and spending time with my husband before baby. Also, I appreciated how you tried to incorporate the photos that we really wanted into the session and listed to what we liked.

Do you have any advice for other families preparing for a maternity session?

The more relaxed you are, I think the more fun you will have. Enjoy this special time before your new little one!

Know what you want and make sure you communicate because the photographer can not read your mind and everyone’s style is so different! There are plenty of skilled photographers in Charleston, look through their portfolios and find one that reflects what you are looking for.

Try to incorporate something fun into the session or a keepsake of some kind.

What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

Since we don’t have any family here, we wanted to document our journey for them and also for our new baby. We want everyone to see how much love we have for each other and for the new baby. More than anything we want our new son/daughter to see how their journey started and we hope to continue to document their story through professional photography for years to come!

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Boating means so much to this beautiful family that a nautical theme was the choice for their baby boy’s nursery decor. How fitting it was that a few months before his newborn session, I photographed his mom and dad at the Charleston City Marina for their Maternity session. You can see her gorgeous baby bump and lots of sweet expectant moments HERE. Their Complete Newborn session included a blend of both Lifestyle (candid moments and environmental portraiture) as well as classic Newborn Portraiture with their sleepy new bundle of joy!

Baby’s 1-year old cousin (who looks like his brother, they have such similar features!) joined in for a few photos. Never again will they be this small together. It warms my heart to know that, one day, they will look back at these photos as adults.

I love allowing my clients to share their thoughts about the session, so I started including an “interview” with mom. Here’s her take on their Lifestyle Newborn session with me with the photos below.  Enjoy!

What was your favorite part of your baby’s newborn session?

My favorite part of the newborn session was how kind, warm and patient you were with my newborn. It is not easy to hand over a baby that is just a week old however watching and listening to you with him made me feel 110% percent comfortable.

What meaningful items did you include?

We included one of my husbands favorite shirts from childhood. He wore this shirt in his yearly school pictures from 3rd grade until 9th. It was also so meaningful being in the comfort of our house and having the pictures of the home that we have created. I am sure our decor will change over time or we might move but we will always be able to remember the way it was when we brought Eli home.

Tell me about your favorite images from this session?

It is impossible to say which images are my favorite from this session. I love the family shots especially in our master bedroom with our wedding portrait behind as well as on the front porch of the house with the bright flowers that just emphasize what a great spring it was. I love the individual ones of Eli, that really capture how much personality he had at 1 week old. I also love the ones with our nephew Max. Those two boys will be photographed a million times in their lifetime together but these photos will continue to be so special. Like I said, I really do not have a favorite, how could one with all the amazing photos to choose from.

Do you have any advice for other families preparing for a Lifestyle Newborn session?

Relax. I was so nervous, part of it was being a new mom and not knowing what to do or and exactly how to soothe my baby. Jody is so easy to work with, patient and gentle with babies that there was nothing to be nervous about.

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