{Raleigh Newborn Photography} Keeping Your Baby Safe During Photography Session

August 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Keeping your baby safe during a newborn photography session raleigh cary apex holly springs fuquay varina nc newborn photographersKeeping your baby safe during a newborn photography session raleigh cary apex holly springs fuquay varina nc newborn photographersKeeping your baby safe during a newborn photography session raleigh cary apex holly springs fuquay varina nc newborn photographers

There is something so amazing to me about newborn babies.  Each one is a beautiful little miracle, a little blessing to their family.   I have been photographing newborn babies in the Raleigh area for almost 5 years now.  I take my job seriously and want to give each and every one of them the best care possible. 

The babies I meet can be younger than a week old when they complete their portrait session.  Their little immune systems aren't fully developed and they can be sensitive to things that older children and adults come in contact with every day.  

During all of my photography sessions, I take several precautions to make sure that your baby is kept completely safe:

1.  I am fully vaccinated.  My doctor knows that I work with newborn babies and has advised me on immunizations that are most important.  Most importantly, I stay up to date on whooping cough (pertussis) and I get a flu shot every fall.

2.  I will not conduct photography sessions if I, or anyone in my family, is sick.  If there is any chance at all that I could be ill, I will let you know and we will work to schedule a new session date. 

3.  I wash my hands before every single session and use hand sanitizer during the session when needed.  

4.  My studio room has a door that stays closed.  Although it's in my house, it's not a room used by my family.  The door stays closed when not in use, so that pets and children stay out.  After each use, it is thoroughly cleaned.

5.  Every single blanket, fabric, hat, outfit, and headband that touches your baby is washed immediately after the session.  I do my laundry with dye free, fragrance free soap.  Currently, I use this brand.  It's an all natural, earth friendly and chemical free soap. If anything is soiled badly, I'll usually just toss it.  Most of my props and outfits are homemade by me, so I don't mind having to do this.

6.  Safety during posing is a priority.  I'll often ask parents to help by sitting next to the baby and spotting him or her.  I often have parents help support the baby's head.  Any poses that you see on my website that look like the baby is balancing or sitting up are created by composites, meaning that in the original image, a parent is holding onto the baby so they can't tip over.  The hands are then removed in editing.  Take a look at the photo below for an example of how we accomplish this.  First, I have the mom or dad hold and support the baby's wrists and arms.  I quickly take a few pictures.  While still holding the arms, I have them use their other arm to hold the head securely.  I then have the mom or dad let go of the arms but keep their hand really close just in case more support is needed.  In that second or two while they've let go of the arms (but not the head), I take a few more shots.  In editing, I combine the left photo and the right and it lets me show the baby without any hands on him.  Pretty neat trick, eh?  

keeping your baby safe during a newborn photography session raleigh cary apex holly springs fuquay varina newborn baby photography photographerskeeping your baby safe during a newborn photography session raleigh cary apex holly springs fuquay varina newborn baby photography photographerskeeping your baby safe during a newborn photography session raleigh cary apex holly springs fuquay varina newborn baby photography photographers

 

7.  The baby's needs are most important.  I'll never force a baby to do something that they clearly don't want to do.  Although patience is sometimes required to help a baby settle into a pose or position, if a baby seems uncomfortable, unhappy, or needs a break to eat, I make sure that we stop what we are doing to make sure the baby receives what he or she needs. 

8.  The studio is kept nice and warm.  Although it is sometimes uncomfortable for the parents and me, babies need warmth.  They cannot regulate their temperature well and are used to being in a womb...which is a toast 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.  Keeping the studio this warm usually helps the baby sleep because they are so comfortable.  

Beautiful portraiture of your newborn baby is my specialty, but safety comes first.  I will never attempt any type of pose that is not safe and secure for your baby.  If you are searching for a photographer for your baby's first portrait session, make sure that your photographer does these 8 things, at a minimum.  

Are you expecting a new baby?  I would love to be your photographer!  I serve the Triangle area of North Carolina, including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, and surrounding areas.  I strive for a simple and classic style.  If you want portraits of your baby surrounded by soft colors and neutrals, we might be a great match!  Click here and send me a message.  Let me know what questions you have about newborn photography!

 


{Fayetteville NC Newborn Photographer} Pretty in Pink

July 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

This adorable baby girl and her family drove up from Fayetteville to my studio outside of Raleigh for her photography session one day recently.  My studio is in Fuquay Varina, which is nicely convenient to both Raleigh and Fayetteville.  Many newborn babies sleep a lot, but this little girl was so awake and alert.  I actually loved it because for the most part, she was pretty happy, and it was nice to be able to see her eyes.  A few things can make it tricky for a photographer when a baby is wide awake:

-Newborn babies can't see well, so they don't typically make eye contact with a camera, at least not on purpose.  Usually, if they are awake, they are looking off in the distance.

-Newborn babies love to have their hands up by their face when they are awake.  It can make it hard to capture good images of the baby's face when it's being covered up by their little fist.

-Newborn babies make some really interesting facial expressions when they are awake.  Some are really cute, but sometimes they are a little awkward looking and parents don't tend to want to keep those.  

This newborn baby girl, although she was awake, was very calm and content.  She was simply curious about her surroundings and didn't want to miss anything.  I loved working with her and capturing all her adorable little facial expressions.  Towards the end of her session she did eventually take a nap.  Take a look at this beautiful little baby. 

Fuquay Varina Raleigh Fayetteville NC newborn photographer studio portrait sessionFuquay Varina Raleigh Fayetteville NC newborn photographer studio portrait sessionFuquay Varina Raleigh Fayetteville NC newborn photographer studio portrait session    This one, I love, because you can see her face so clearly. She sure is interested in what's going on around her! Fayetteville Spring Lake newborn photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.Fayetteville Spring Lake newborn photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.Fayetteville Spring Lake newborn photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.

I love capturing baby yawns.  The simplicity of this image really shows off the baby.  I think we took this right before she started to fall asleep.  

raleigh nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.raleigh nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.raleigh nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.

 

raleigh cary apex holly springs nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.raleigh cary apex holly springs nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.raleigh cary apex holly springs nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with baby girl at a studio in fuquay varina.

 

raleigh cary apex holly springs fayetteville nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with parent posesraleigh cary apex holly springs fayetteville nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with parent posesraleigh cary apex holly springs fayetteville nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with parent poses
raleigh cary apex holly springs fayetteville nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with mom and dad holding babyraleigh cary apex holly springs fayetteville nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with mom and dad holding babyraleigh cary apex holly springs fayetteville nc newborn baby photographer portrait session with mom and dad holding baby

If you are interested in a newborn portrait session for your little arrival, I offer sessions like this both at my home studio as well as in your own home.  I serve Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, and surrounding areas of the Triangle.  Email me at erica@ericacourtinephotography.com and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about a photography session. 


{Raleigh NC Photographer} 10 Tips for Dressing for Your Fall Family Portraits

July 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Maybe it's the crazy humid heat wave we're in, but this week I've been thinking a lot about fall and Christmas.  I contacted my buddy Santa Claus to see if he would help me with some Christmas mini-sessions just for kids this November.  I've also been dreaming of the fall temperatures and beautiful fall leaves.  I've had a few families book fall sessions, so maybe that's another reason I've got fall on my mind.  In thinking of fall, I'm already brainstorming fall pictures for my own family.  I try to switch around with what time of year I have our portraits done.  It's nice to mix it up.  Last year, we did family portraits at the beach in August.  They were so beautiful, but since the boys have changed so much I'm going to have them done again.  

In no particular order, here are my tips for dressing for your fall family portrait session.

 

1.  Check the weather.  

We all know how unpredictable Raleigh weather is.  October and November can bring a huge variation of temperatures.  Some years, I've done fall mini-sessions in short sleeves.  Others, I've had to work around a layer of snow on the ground.  Of course, you don't want to wait until a few days before your session to start planning and shopping.  I always, always recommend dressing in layers because of this.  Layers are important because if it gets hot or cold, you can adjust what you are wearing to stay comfortable.

 I especially recommend this for children, who react a little more to getting too cold or too hot.  Some suggestions for boys:  a thin button down collared shirt and a sweater or cute jacket to go on top.  For girls, tights, skirts, and layers with sweaters or vests look really cute.  I also love it when families bring a cute hat for their baby.  It's so easy to find a nice warm, but adorable hat to put on a baby if it gets chilly.  

How to dress comfortably for a fall family portrait session in Raleigh, NC.How to dress comfortably for a fall family portrait session in Raleigh, NC.How to dress comfortably for a fall family portrait session in Raleigh, NC.

This family was dressed beautifully for fall family portraits.  The little boy is sporting a warm flannel shirt and a cozy red vest on top.  Mom and Dad are looking stylish too.  I loved how they didn't try to match each other.  Outfit choices like this always look great.  

2.  Consider colors that pop.  

Like I mentioned above, don't try too hard to make everyone match.  Not only will your family look unnatural if every single one of you is dressed in navy, but your portraits will lack interest and dimension.  Instead, pick maybe one color that everyone has a little bit of, or let everyone pick colors that are all different, yet look good together.  

Raleigh NC family photographer colors that are good for family picturesRaleigh NC family photographer colors that are good for family picturesRaleigh NC family photographer colors that are good for family pictures

3.  Pinterest is Your Friend

Pinterest is such a great tool for gathering inspiration for your next family portrait session.  Need a place to get started?  Check out the board I have on my Pinterest page with lots of great ideas for outfit choices.  You can search for outfits that have bold colors, outfits that are mostly neutral, outfits that are comfortable or ones that are a tad more dressy.  

4.  Treat Your Feet

Unless you are planning a shoot with a special stylized look, skip the high heels.  You'll be doing a bit of walking and to be honest, high heels look out of place in a park setting.  A better choice is boots.  Tall riding boots are comfortable and can also keep you warm if it's chilly.  Ankle boots look adorable and are a perfect pick for fall.  A pair of simple flats can also look adorable.  For kids, opt out of having them wear their school sneakers.  The neon colors on Johnny's favorite pair of running shoes just aren't something you want to look at on a giant canvas.  Loafers, boots, or a cute pair of Converse sneakers is a better choice.  For little girls, it can be too chilly for anything open toed, so choose a comfortable flat boot, flats, or more casual choice.  Men look great are easy- look for dress shoes or loafers.  If you want to try something different, rain boots or duck boots can be a really cute choice for anyone.  

 

Fall family portraits can be a great opportunity to treat you and your family to new outfits that you feel beautiful in.  Don't hesitate to shop around and pick out new outfits that you will make you smile every time you look past the photos hanging on your walls.  Fall is just around the corner (hopefully...ha ha).  The peak time for fall portraits is from the last week in October through Veterans Day.  During these weeks, the leaves are changing and look magnificent.  Weekend afternoons book up the fastest, but I still have many open.  Spaces are limited, since the fall leaves only look nice for so long.  If you are thinking of booking a fall session for your family, it's not a good time of year to wait til the last minute.  I recommend that families book in August and September to get the date they want.  In another blog post coming up, I'll delve into my favorite locations in the Raleigh area for fall family portraits.  If you are interested in securing a photography session this fall, please email me at erica@ericacourtinephotography.com. I'd love to help you start planning your dream session!

 

 


{Raleigh NC First Birthday Cake Smash Photographer} A Birthday at Raulston Arboretum

July 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I've been lucky enough to meet this little guy a few times over his first year of life.  The first time was last spring when he was born and I photographed his newborn portraits.  He was so adorable and fun to work with.  In the fall, I got to see him again for a fall mini session at Sugg Farm.  And most recently, we met at Raulston Arboretum to celebrate his first birthday.  We walked around the garden letting him explore, which meant picking up all sorts of rocks and twigs.  He even brought his new pillow chair from home.  Towards the end of the session, we set him down with a delicious banana flavored cake.  It's hard to tell what he liked better, the cake or his balloons.  As you can see he made quite a mess, but had a lot of fun! A little boy celebrating his first birthday with a photo session at Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC.  A little boy celebrating his first birthday with a photo session at Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC. A little boy celebrating his first birthday with a photo session at Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC. There was a big grassy field lined with flowers that was perfect for the cake smash.  Both the balloons and cake were a hit.  Dad was happy that some of the cake survived the cake smash because he wanted to try a little bit of the banana flavor. Luckily, there was a whole side of the cake that had gone untouched. 

A baby boy with a blue themed cake smash at a garden in Raleigh NC, by photographer Erica Courtine. A baby boy with a blue themed cake smash at a garden in Raleigh NC, by photographer Erica Courtine. A baby boy with a blue themed cake smash at a garden in Raleigh NC, by photographer Erica Courtine.

I love the last image where the little boy turns his back to the cake and decides that the balloons are way more fun.  For a few pictures, we ended up taking away the balloons so he was willing to give the cake a try.  

When it was time to clean up, it was a little cumbersome trying to figure out the best way to clean up this messy little guy.  We had baby wipes, water, and towels on hand to get the job done.  I love these shots of Dad picking him up, blue frosting and all.  He came to the session straight from work and you can tell that he's trying his best not to get blue frosting all over his clothes.  The little boy thought is was a fun game. 

Daddy holds a dirty baby after a cake smash photo session at Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh NC.  By photographer Erica CourtineDaddy holds a dirty baby after a cake smash photo session at Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh NC. By photographer Erica CourtineDaddy holds a dirty baby after a cake smash photo session at Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh NC. By photographer Erica Courtine

I had such a fun time doing this cake smash and photography session.  Is your little boy or girl about to have their first birthday?  Unlike indoor cake smashes with overdone props, I much prefer simple cake smashes, like this one, done outdoors.  A simple blanket and set of balloons are really all you need. My first birthday sessions are not limited to only your baby.  I'm happy to do some family and sibling portraits as well, for no additional charge.   If you are interested in a photo session to celebrate a first birthday, I would be honored to help.  Email me at erica@ericacourtinephotography.com and we'll start planning your dream photography session.

 


{Raleigh NC Newborn Photographer} A Baby Girl In the Studio

July 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I had such a lovely morning recently photographing this adorable newborn baby girl recently at my studio in Fuquay Varina, just outside of Raleigh.  She brought her mommy, daddy, and big brother along.  She was such a happy baby and was so alert for the first part of the session.  She wanted to see everything that was going on.  

One of my favorite parts of this session, though, was the family poses.  I love that this baby girl's mom and dad were willing to participate in some portraits with their little girl.  Maybe big brother was not quite as willing, but he did an awesome job regardless.  

A family poses with their newborn baby girl during a photography session at a studio in Fuquay Varina, just outside of Raleigh, NC.A family poses with their newborn baby girl during a photography session at a studio in Fuquay Varina, just outside of Raleigh, NC.A family poses with their newborn baby girl during a photography session at a studio in Fuquay Varina, just outside of Raleigh, NC.

A mom and dad pose with their newborn baby girl during a photography session at a studio in Fuquay Varina, just outside of Raleigh, NC.A mom and dad pose with their newborn baby girl during a photography session at a studio in Fuquay Varina, just outside of Raleigh, NC.A mom and dad pose with their newborn baby girl during a photography session at a studio in Fuquay Varina, just outside of Raleigh, NC.

A beautiful mama and her newborn daughter cuddle during a photo session in Raleigh, NC. A beautiful mama and her newborn daughter cuddle during a photo session in Raleigh, NC. A beautiful mama and her newborn daughter cuddle during a photo session in Raleigh, NC.

A strong mother and her baby daughter during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC.A strong mother and her baby daughter during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC.A strong mother and her baby daughter during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC.

Her mom and dad brought some really cute Chicago Cubs props to the session.  The idea popped into my mind to use a mitt in one of the poses, so I snuck downstairs and found my husband's old baseball mitt.  I guess that's a perk of having your photography studio in your house.  Actually, my husband and kids had the day off so they were downstairs.  When my husband discovered that I was doing baseball themed images, he brought up all kinds of gear...a bat, ball, and batting helmet...none of which we got a chance to use, but it was really sweet that he found those for us.  

A newborn baby girl poses with chicago cubs baseball themed props during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC.A newborn baby girl poses with chicago cubs baseball themed props during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC.A newborn baby girl poses with chicago cubs baseball themed props during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC.

A newborn baby girl poses with chicago cubs baseball themed props during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC.A newborn baby girl poses with chicago cubs baseball themed props during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC.A newborn baby girl poses with chicago cubs baseball themed props during a newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC. Other than the baseball themed portraits, it was all dainty for this little girl.  She looked so pretty in pastels, like this blue and lavender. Pastel blue and lavender during a baby girl newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC. Pastel blue and lavender during a baby girl newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC. Pastel blue and lavender during a baby girl newborn photography session in Raleigh, NC. Even though it tends to be a tad easier to photograph a newborn baby when they are asleep, I always love it when I get a chance to see the eyes wide open like this.  Most babies can't really make eye contact like this.  She was so interested in what I was doing.  

A wide eyed alert newborn baby girl during a photo session in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC.A wide eyed alert newborn baby girl during a photo session in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC.A wide eyed alert newborn baby girl during a photo session in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC. This wide awake behavior didn't last.  She spent most of the session doing what brand new babies do best...sleep.  She even let us put her in this cozy bucket, surrounded by soft lavender blankets.  

A baby in a metal bucket during a newborn photo session in Raleigh, NC.A baby in a metal bucket during a newborn photo session in Raleigh, NC.A baby in a metal bucket during a newborn photo session in Raleigh, NC.

Since it was such a pretty day we ended the morning with a few poses outdoors.  I had a plan to finally grow some beautiful flowers in my yard so I can take some newborn photos outdoors.  Unfortunately, I don't have a green thumb, so we didn't have much to work with.  Since this session, though, I've managed to grow quite a pretty bed of zinnias in my yard.  

Outdoor newborn portraits photography at a studio in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC.Outdoor newborn portraits photography at a studio in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC.Outdoor newborn portraits photography at a studio in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC. Outdoor newborn portraits photography at a studio in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC.Outdoor newborn portraits photography at a studio in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC.Outdoor newborn portraits photography at a studio in Fuquay Varina, outside of Raleigh, NC.

If you are interested in a newborn portrait session for your little arrival, I offer sessions like this both at my home studio as well as in your own home.  I serve Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, and surrounding areas of the Triangle.  Email me at erica@ericacourtinephotography.com and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about a photography session.