Behind the Scenes of a Newborn Shoot at The Camera’s Eye

Newborn sessions are one of my favorite things to shoot! Learn more about what goes on at a newborn shoot at The Camera’s Eye with a guest post from my blogger (and new mom!) Sam:

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We scheduled Ellie’s newborn session for when she was eight days old – it happened to be a VERY cold morning in the Binghamton/Owego area, but Lisa had the heaters on full blast for us when we arrived. This is important because, minus a few props, wraps, and adorable headbands, you have a nakey baby on your hands with a newborn shoot.

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A newborn photo session requires a TON of patience, which of course¬†Lisa has ūüôā We spent a few hours on the shoot – moving from setup to setup, but also taking the time to lull Ellie¬†to sleep as needed. Lisa’s studio has a Boppy, a diaper wipes warmer…the works!¬†We only needed one feeding break, and the baby¬†stayed asleep for the next few hours – even when we were shamelessly propping her up in buckets, putting little hats on her, etc.

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A lot of my job involved making sure that Ellie’s feet stayed where we wanted them to:

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Leaving the house with a fussy eight-day-old baby to go to a new environment and take very precise professional photos? Yes, that was a little scary! Even though I know and trust Lisa, I was anxious  РI kept having visions of Ellie screaming through the whole shoot. However, Lisa knows every trick in the book for calming down an infant and making sure they are happy for hours at a clip while they are having their photo taken!

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Thank you SO much to Lisa for a stress-free newborn photo shoot in what was otherwise a pretty stressful week ūüôā (And thank you to my mom for coming along and taking photos of the shoot!) We are so looking forward to doing baby announcements, canvas wall art and more with our fall-themed baby photos from The Camera’s Eye!

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The Camera’s Eye Meets Baby Blake!

It might be senior photo season, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have time for the younger set at The Camera’s Eye¬†– like newborns!

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I’ve worked with mom Carrie and dad Corey¬†through their engagement session¬†AND their wedding photos, and¬†I was honored when they tapped me to shoot their sweet little girl, Blake!

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Carrie and Corey are easily some of the most mellow new parents I’ve ever met. They completely handed the shoot over to me, and were very trusting. When I shot their wedding, it poured¬†– so they let me try out the idea of putting all the wedding gear back on and shooting them the NEXT day. It was just as magical as we had hoped! I was so glad we could find the magic with their newborn session as well ūüôā

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Newborn photography always brings its own challenges, and its own unique style of creativity and fun. Patience is key when photographing any newborn, and I think that (much like being pregnant and then having a baby) the end product is well worth it!

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Thanks to Blake and her parents for entrusting The Camera’s Eye with their newborn photo session!

A Year of Photos with Baby Gwen!

Meet Gwen! At 6 months old, she is one of my youngest customers but also one of my¬†studio’s most familiar faces!¬†I first shot Gwen¬†at 7 days old. We used that newborn photo session to¬†create birth announcements at The Camera’s Eye.

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Gwen received a year’s worth of gift certificates to The Camera’s Eye at her (parents’)¬†baby shower from a forward-thinking relative! We’ve been documenting her first year of life in various photo sessions. We have two left – Crawling Like Crazy and Up, Up, and Away. The following are from the one that I like to call Bare Bottom Baby – for reasons which you’ll see below:

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I’ve also been working with Gwen’s parents to create a TON of fun photo products throughout the year, including baby books and baby blocks!

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I’ve loved getting to know Gwen and her family through our portrait sessions at The Camera’s Eye! Looking forward to our next sessions in the coming months ūüôā

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“Every Now & Then…”

Every now and then, you are granted a gift.¬† Sometimes, when the stars align, the wind blows from the West or the cat didn’t wake you by licking your ear, you are granted several gifts all in the same day. Yesterday was one of those days in my business and I’ve decided to share it as a 3-part blog!

Gift #1… Lil’ Miss Harper

I met Harper when she was affectionately referred to as H3 by her parents, Heather and Duane.

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Still in the womb at the time, H3 was nicknamed after a chemical compound, as her father works in Bio-chemistry at Cornell and her initials break down to 3 H’s:¬† Harper Helen Hoch. At the very end of our portrait session at the Cornell Plantations, Duane scribbled H3 on Heather’s belly with a marker I had in my bag.

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Very sweet moment between the parents for me to capture and I drove away with warmth all around me.

The next time I truly met Harper, she was a few days old and I had experienced a crazy morning with my GPS trying to find Harper’s home. Without missing a beat, Heather invited me in and I quickly tried to make up for lost time. If you’re a baby photographer, you have to be very conscious of your energy and this day I was wound up… Guess, who didn’t sleep? Miss Harper!

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While Momma worked her magic, I had the most interesting conversation with Cindy, Harper’s grandmom, who happened to be more than a seasoned veteran in the field of mammography. Fascinating. Who knew that only a month later, I would call Cindy in New Jersey on my own behalf for valuable information concerning an alarming mammogram.

At 6 months, Harper visited me in my¬†studio for a Crawling Like Crazy session. At this point, I had gotten close enough to the family that they brought their dogs to visit in the car and we spent a good amount of time visiting amidst catching Miss Busy Body on film.¬† It was now the “norm” to hug upon parting ways.The Cameras Eye007

Harper turns 1 this week and agreed to humor me with a Birthday Bash Session (thanks Heather & Duane!) including balloons, a boa, and the infamous extra icing Birthday Cake.

Happy Birthday Harper!

Happy Birthday Harper!

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So far, I was gifted a warm fuzzy, the wisdom of an experienced Grandmom, and friendship. NOT too shabby for simply showing up to work! But it’s the smile that I can’t wipe off my face, even as I work into the wee hours of the night with tiny slits for eyes, that I consider the gift that fills me for days. It’s the gift you’re granted when a family gives you the chance to document their lives over the course of time, as things change and as they grow. Come good times or bad, crazy sessions, balloons popping – whatever it might be – it’s the emotions they share with me as they interact amongst themselves that keep me shooting year after year!

Happy birthday Miss Harper, and congrats Heather and Duane!

Little Bambinos: Newborn Photography at The Camera’s Eye

In most of the newborn photography you’ll see, including at The Camera’s Eye, the baby is sleeping. This makes sense, since this is the majority of what they are doing anyway. (Ok,¬†maybe it doesn’t feel that way during the night for the parents, but that’s another story!) So it stands to reason that a sleeping newborn would be a cinch¬†to photograph. Right?

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Not entirely.¬†If you are a parent (and/or a professional photographer),¬†you know that you are totally beholden to the baby’s schedule. The baby might not want to actually be asleep during the time that you scheduled the photo session.¬†And have you ever tried to explain to a five-day-old that there‚Äôs a schedule to keep?

I’ve been photographing newborns for¬†13 years, starting with a set of preemies as my first clients,¬†and I love the possibilities that a newborn photo session holds! In general, it¬†really helps me to work with moms who aren’t afraid to have me handling their brand new little one. Of course, I am¬†super strict about washing props¬†and washing hands before handling anyone’s baby.¬†And I’m always amazed when brand new parents are willing to go with it when I say things that essentially add up to, “Oh, let me fold up your¬†bambino¬†like a tree frog and stuff him into this bowl. Sound good?”

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I truly admire and am inspired by newborn photography that is stylized and prepped, with perfectly placed accessories like headbands and themed props. My colleague Esther Fuller has some great examples, and I use Pinterest to keep track of other creative newborn images! In my own shooting, I gravitate towards the up-close details Рthe little toes, the warmth, and connection between the baby and the parents.

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Still, I am always developing my artistic vision when it comes to more precise newborn and baby photographs.

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I let moms handle their babies as much as possible during the photo shoot. It can be difficult for a mom to position their baby when they‚Äôve never done it before, or for me to position a baby when¬†he or she¬†isn’t familiar with¬†me. Plus, all you want to do is let the little angel sleep, but you’re probably going to rustle him awake with the many tiny adjustments you need to make.

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Keep in mind, even when your baby does sleep, they might not be making the most comfortable, relaxed expression. There is a natural “sleeping baby eyebrow scrunch” that can lead to a lot of post-newborn session Photoshopping!¬†

A client recently asked me:¬†“You do so well with these shoots, and you don’t even have kids‚Ķso how do you have the patience to get peed on?” And, I know it sounds¬†weird, but this is probably one of the greatest compliments I’ve received in my work as a professional photographer. At the end of the day, I’m truly enjoying myself – even¬†in the line of fire. And don’t worry – at The Camera’s Eye studio,¬†I always¬†schedule time afterwards to take care of all the clean up that might will need to happen. It just comes with the trade of natural lifestyle photography – and what’s more natural than that?

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Celebrating Women at The Camera’s Eye


The Camera’s Eye is always looking for an event in which to participate or a holiday to coordinate a fun, theme shoot. ¬†This Mother’s Day is no different, except we’re planning to celebrate more than just the month of May.

My primary client is under 24 inches tall most days and so I spend a lot of time with moms. ¬†Working moms, single moms, moms with aspiring ambition, moms with 6 children (2 sets of twins plus 2 singles)… it never, ever ceases¬†to amaze me. ¬†Every time you leave the studio, I sit down and think… “How on Earth do they do that??? ¬†…and then I think, they deserve an award ….” ¬†Thinking, thinking, thinking….

“What if I could just give them a half day of relaxation and pampering? ¬†What if I carved a moment in time that was all about them? ¬†WHAT if ¬†The Camera’s Eye CELEBRATED WOMEN?!?!?”

And so; ¬†I tried it with a woman I find to be amazing… School teacher, Mom, Volleyball Coach, Wife and HypnoBirthing Practitioner. ¬†Yes, all of that! ¬†Meet ¬†Tiffany Glielmi, ¬†HypnoBirthing Practitioner,“Taking the birthing world by calm.”¬†And if you’re asking yourself, “what IS HypnoBirthing?” we can put you in contact with her so you can find out for yourself. ¬†In my words… it’s simply incredible!

Her session included a stylist for hair and makeup, tea and scones from our fav, local sweetshop Fuddy Duddys, ¬†a photo session just for her and one that emphasized her connection with her daughter! ¬† We created a session that made her feel like Superwoman without lifting a finger… well, she did lift one, but it was so tiny and it was attached to the hand and arm that hugged her back! ¬†We call it the Madonna Session. ¬†ūüôā

Mother/Baby Connections at The Camera’s Eye


We’re social beings. ¬†We connect, network, and converse with friends, colleagues, and family all day, everyday. ¬† There’s one connection to me that’s more precious than any other… and that’s the connection between a mom and her baby. ¬†I love it!

I’ve been photographing babies for 12 years – from 5 days old and up. ¬†I can truly empathize with fathers who say, “no one has the ‘touch’ like Mommy when baby is crying.” I can do all the same things she does in a shoot and the minute she lays a finger on her lil’ one, WhaLaaa!… Baby’s all better.


There’s a thrill in capturing that connection for a mom and an even bigger one knowing she can show it to her child when he or she is older. ¬†They grow and grow and grow away from us and sometimes all we want is to “remember when…”

 

One mom put it best when she said, “Sometimes I want ¬†a day without anyone clinging to me and then I think to myself… I better take all the clinging I can get now, because soon they won’t even want to stand next to me in public!” ¬†How true is that??!!! ¬†ha Ha! ¬†Those are the moments you look at a picture like this and close your eyes to remember…. Aaaahh. ¬†ūüôā

Baby Blocks @ The Camera’s Eye

Expecting a new lil’ life or recently delivered a baby girl or boy? ¬†The Camera’s Eye has a new way of displaying those precious finger and toe images of your newborn. ¬†BABY BLOCKS! ¬†4 x4 inch wooden blocks boasting 4 timeless images and 1 side dedicated to his/ her name or initial.

Super cute… check ’em out!ImageImageImage