Archive: ‘Babies’

Wardrobe Wednesday {newborn sessions}

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

We are super thrilled to have the fabulous Jean Smith of Jean Smith Photography guest posting for us today! She is highlighting what to wear for newborn sessions. I just ADORE her newborn work…

Here’s what she has to say…

It took me a long time to get in a groove with newborn sessions. My newborn sessions used to be a combination of forced poses, crying babies, and a lot of frustration on my part. I almost wanted to give up when I had a “light bulb moment.” I realized that my niche is not posing babies perfectly. My niche is capturing the baby naturally, along with the relationships and interaction with family members.  So, I started shooting how I loved to shoot and newborns became one of my favorite types of sessions.


With the exit of solid backdrops and formal poses, solid white or black shirts and jeans on family members no longer worked with my lifestyle look. I wanted a soft and natural feel with the focus on Baby, but with Mom and Dad being an important part of the image.

So what should Mom and Dad wear to look natural, and still compliment the baby and image?

What about siblings?

And what about Baby?

Let’s start with Mom and Dad, since they are the most important “props” baby may have. First and foremost, we want Mom to feel beautiful and flattered…as she did JUST have a baby (and we all know how we feel right after we had a baby). I suggest short or long sleeves to flatter, or perhaps a cover up (like a cardigan sweater). Light colored, solid tops are soft and still flattering to Mom. I LOVE when Mom opts for a long dress…preferable solid, or with just a light pattern. It adds such a softness and whimsy to the images with a newborn baby. Dad can wear a solid shirt complimentary to mom’s color of shirt. A subtle pattern on dad’s shirt is also cute, and adds interest…like a striped button down shirt.


If siblings will be in the images, it is best to go with siblings in solid, neutral colors (ex: oatmeal, white, grey), so that the focus can still be on the baby.

And for Baby? I prefer the baby to be naked for at least some of the session. It is one time in his/her life that it is ok to be nude, and it is just SO. DANG. CUTE. It is also fun to get a variety of images by using scarves (or other wraps), thin blankets, or diaper covers on the baby. By dressing family members in solid, neutral colors, you can put the focus on Baby by swaddling him/her in a colorful wrap, or maybe a cute, lightly patterned blanket. I educate parents NOT to use newborn outfits, as they are usually too big and tend to drown the baby and cover their face when holding or posing him/her. However, if the baby has a special outfit from Grandma, friend, or someone else special, then by all means, take a few shots! If parents want an outfit for the baby, then solid and snug fitting outfits look best on newborns.

Oh, and bare feet are the BEST :)
Newborn sessions can be simple, or they can be fashionable. Both are beautiful. It just depends on the style and look the parents are going for. Just remember…simple, solid, and neutral work best for newborn sessions and help keep the mood soft with the focus on the baby.
Mom: Dress (Old Navy $25), Cardigan (Target $24.99)
Dad: Shirt (Old Navy $22.50), Pants (Old Navy $29.50)
Boy: Shirt (Old Navy $16.94), Shorts (Old Navy $19.94)
Baby: Hat and Diaper Cover (J Crochet Shop on Etsy $24.99)
Girl: Dress (Old Navy $19.94)

I am thrilled to be posting this for Wardrobe Wednesday…a fabulous site dedicated to helping photographers and clients choose clothing that will look amazing in photos. You can find more ideas and inspiration from them every Wednesday HERE.


Wardrobe Wednesday {Vendor Spotlight}

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

CUTE CLOTHING ALERT!!! This week’s post by Rebecca of Rebecca Keeling Studios is just what Wardrobe Wednesday needed this week! I LOVE new suggestions for clothing. Especially when said clothing is extra cute and fun. Read ahead for more info!

I came home today to find one of my MOST favorite catalogs waiting for me in the mailbox.  I love it so much that I felt compelled to share it with you for this week’s Wardrobe Wednesday post.  Those of you with boys know how difficult it is to find really cute, original, and unique clothing for them.  While living in England, I was overly excited during an early shopping outing when I came across Next in a little town near our home.  There wasn’t a time that I went into that store and didn’t come out with an armful of bags for the whole family, especially Kade, who was about a year old at that time.  Not only were the clothes super cute and stylish, the prices were very reasonable {which is really hard to find in the UK} and extremely well made.  Much to my dismay, when I moved back to the US, I realized that they didn’t ship to the States.  And thus ended my love affair with Next.  You can imagine how over-the-moon I was when, just a few short months ago, I received a Next catalog in the mail and realized that they have changed their shipping policy and now even list their clothing in US sizes!!  Holy shopping spree, y’all!!  One of the many amazing things about being able to shop online with Next is that they are truly a one-stop-shop when it comes to all things apparel.  Babies, boys, girls, mom, dad…shoes, accessories, outerwear, special occasion, casual, dressy, sportswear…even maternity AND homeware…all with a fabulous British flair!!  They even offer $5 shipping.  Seriously.  Here are a few of my favorite collections found in their brand new fall catalog.  With holiday portraits and fall sessions just around the corner, you’ll be glad you now know all about Next.  Enjoy…and happy shopping!!


I HEART FACES {Beautiful Eyes}

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

This week’s challenge at I Heart Faces is beautiful eyes. This little guy is one of my favorites to photograph because of his GORGEOUS eyes!

Join in on the fun over at I HEART FACES by clicking the button or the link!

Wardrobe Wednesday {Less is More}

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I am all about color or props in photographs. Bright colorful patterns on children OR coordinating with bright and colorful props can be wonderful. But sometimes I like things toned down a tad. It may boil down to preference or a matter of taste, but sometimes…less is more. As a lifestyle portrait photographer, I tend not to use too many props. I like to focus on the soul and emotion/interaction between my clients, rather than force a situation. Which brings me to this week’s post: whether you are photographing a baby, child or family, sometimes it’s best to leave most of the props behind, tone down the clothing, and focus on the individuals instead.

Some of my most favorite sessions recently have been those where the individuals i’ve photographed were just being themselves. I recently had the privilege of photographing the SUPER talented Jean and Travis Smith and their GORGEOUS boys. Jean told me ahead of time the vision she had for her session. She wanted lots of warm evening light, and photos of her family just being together. She decided she’d like some images in a grassy area with everybody dressed and then some by the water with her boys shirtless. All of her boys wore khakis and were barefoot. Jean wore a neutral colored maxi dress. The result? Pure joy and delightful images. Her boys were naturally comfortable and more likely to relax around me as a result.


Pssst…let me tell you a little secret. Sometimes the little ones need their comfort items with them–blanket, stuffed animal, doll. And you know what? Capturing them with their “lovies” is PRICELSS and clients LOVE IT!

I photographed this beautiful little guy last year. His mom wanted some of him tastefully naked. I love the result with this adorable crocheted hat!

His bedroom had the perfect white room with just the right amount of light. We placed him in his crib and voila. With gorgeous blue eyes like that, who needs anything else?


Here’s another example. Just a few weekends ago, I went to a client’s home to do a photoshoot with her children. I told her with the heat, humidity and bugs, that her children would most likely be most comfortable in their own home. I was in heaven when I arrived to their large and open home FULL of natural light. The kids were naturally active, as one and three year olds are, but I was able to relax them and get natural expressions by letting them do the things they like to do. The little girl wanted to read and hang out in her bedroom, so we did just that. I brought along some inexpensive blocks for the baby to play with, and he was very happy! It’s amazing what a book and some blocks can do. Keep that in mind when using props. In this case, less was more! :)

And one last example. This little girl loves dress up, so I knew this beautiful flower wreath would work perfectly for her. I was able to focus on JUST her and add a little bit of color and whimsy.

These are just some subtle ways to have fun and focus on the inner soul and personality of your clients. The compilation I put together is very simple and easy. All of the clothing items are from the Gap (keeping in line with my usual “one stop shopping”!). I am picturing the Dad’s jeans rolled up and everybody barefoot. Of course this would have to be a session shot in a warm climate, so it’s perfect for summertime! The props do not go along with the outfits I put together. They are just some ideas to add something a little extra special to your photoshoots. Take some time to relax and relax your client’s by letting them play and just “be”. You might be surprised at the results!



Men’s Jeans–The Gap $59.95

Men’s Shirt–The Gap $39.95


Women’s Dress–The Gap $59.95


Boy’s Shirt–The Gap $12.99

Boy’s Shorts–The Gap $24.99


Girls Dress–The Gap $29.95

Props and Accorsories:

Crocheted Hat-Etsy–Modiste Bee

Blocks–Wal Mart $23.99

Orange Blossom Wreath-Bloom Design Studio- Etsy $20.00



Wardrobe Wednesday {Chic Maternity}

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

This week’s fabulous Wardrobe Wednesday post by Erica of Erica May Photography is so fabulous, it ALMOST makes me want to be pregnant again. Almost.

This week, I decided to put together some wardrobe ideas for a maternity session. I have a few  maternity sessions coming up this Spring that I am excited about so it was a lot of fun! It has been awhile since we have done a maternity Wardrobe Wednesday and we were in need of some new Spring looks. Sometimes shopping for cute maternity clothes can be a bit of a challenge but I noticed that, especially this Spring, retailers have really improved their maternity selections! I was so excited to find all these fun Spring colors when looking around this week. When putting together a wardrobe for your maternity session I find it is easier to find the woman’s outfit first and then find a coordinating outfit for the man. Here are a few tips for your maternity photo shoot:

1.) Admit that you need maternity clothes – okay, we have all stretched our pants as long as we can but some well-fitting clothes are always a must for photo shoots!

2.) If you want to elongate your torso go for a long shirt and a short jacket.

3.) Prints that completely cover the fabric can divert attention away from the tummy and breast area if you want to tone these areas down a bit.

4.) Don’t be afraid to wear form-fitting clothes to show off that belly!

5.) Get your man involved to help think of ideas for your session. Do y’all love to watch baseball, hang out by the lake or beach, or go for ice cream? All of these things are
great ideas on how to incorporate your personalities into your maternity session!

The first outfit below is the most affordable option and would be super cute for a maternity session! I love the bright colors in the woman’s outfit and you could accessorize with some cute and colorful jewelry. The optional cardigan is perfect for layering. The second outfit ensemble is a bit of a splurge – hey, it is hard to find cute maternity dresses but you could easily swap it out for a cheaper solid color dress. I loved the nautical feel of this dress and by adding a big floppy hat you could change the look of the outfit dramatically. The man’s outfit is relaxed and pulls in the rest of the nautical colors. So, don’t miss your opportunity to capture your beautiful pregnant glow. It won’t last forever!

Shopping Guide:

Woman’s Outfit #1
Maternity Crochet-Trim Jersey Tops $14.50 Old Navy
Maternity Tiered Drawstring-Waist Skirts $26.50 Old Navy
Women’s Espadrille Wedge Sandals $25.00 Old Navy
Maternity Cropped Denim Jackets $32.94 Old Navy

Man’s Outfit #1
Royal Palm Peached Poly $21.99 J.C. Penney
Men’s Bootcut Jeans $29.50 Old Navy
Men’s leather-trimmer Flip Flops $19.50 Old Navy

Woman’s Outfit #2
A Pea in the Pod Collection: Ella Moss Sleeveless High-low Hem Maternity Maxi Dress $195.00
Large Straw Stripe Sun Hat – Dark Khaki $29.99 Amazon

Man’s Outfit #2
Fish Hawk Cliff T-Shirt $14.45 Abercrombie
Indian Pass Shirt Polo $78 Abercrombie
Cascade Lakes Pants $78 Abercrombie
Navy Stone-Washed Toms – $48

I told you it was fabulous.

Wedding blogged TOMORROW!


SJD Photography Products {Organic Bloom Frames}

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Now offering these ADORABLE and totally fun frames! The Organic Bloom has taken the country by storm with it’s unique and whimsical frames and SJD Photography is an authorized vendor for these frames. You can only get them through authorized vendors, usually photographers, so if you want some, let me know! (PS: they were featured on Extreme Makeover Home Edition last night!)




FINALLY after months of organizing and digging out from my busy season, I was able to go through my sample frames from The Organic Bloom and take some pictures. I also decided to put a few on my daughter’s wall and she LOVES them! Look how cute they are in a little girl’s room:


These frames come in all different sizes, colors and shapes! As you can see, I chose 3 coordinating shapes and colors for my daughter’s wall. For a complete packet of information and pricing, please contact me!

Newness {Punta Gorda, FL Maternity and Newborn Photographer}

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

I had the pleasure of spending lots of time with this couple and their new bundle of joy!  Danielle and Charlie were so easy going at their maternity session. Up for anything and actually brought “props” to add to the session! Charlie was full of ideas…I love it when clients are creative and up for anything! It’s no wonder their precious little boy was so easy going…












I love how serene and relaxed these images turned out. Thank you Danielle and Charlie for allowing me to capture these first images of your bundle of love!


Wardrobe Wednesday {Retail Spotlight: Jacks & Kate}

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I hope by now, our Wardrobe Wednesday {where fashion meets photography} posts have gotten across that white or black is a bit boring. Hopefully what we’ve been conveying is that when it comes to portraiture, bright, colorful and even whimsical is way more exciting! A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon THE cutest, most colorful and different children’s clothing I’ve ever seen! I decided I needed (ok ok…WANTED) a few things for my own kids, so I contacted the genius behind the sewing machine. Krisha Hinkle is the owner and sole designer of Jacks & Kate, a local Fort Myers area company. She whipped up a few shirts for my son, and an adorable dress for my daughter. Every time they wear their Jacks & Kate apparel, they get compliments and I get asked where their clothing is from. Not only is this clothing adorable, it is made VERY well and with love. Krisha is super talented, that’s for sure! I almost fell off of my chair when I read that she is self taught and only been at this for a little over a year. WOW. Not only does Jacks & Kate offer adorable ties, bowties, name and number t shirts, t shirt dresses and other dresses, but also totes! These bags are SO adorable and would make a great purse, overnight bag, diaper bag and yes…camera bag!! Enough rambling…bring on the eye candy!


Make sure you look at all of the images…there might be a special promotion code at the end!






And because you know you want to buy something adorable, Jacks&Kate is offering 15% off for one week only! (4.6.11-4.13.11)
Just use the following code: SJDBLOG
Jacks & Kate on Facebook
Jacks & Kate on Etsy
Pssst…I’ve got a few blog posts lined up for the next few days!  I know…amazing, huh?

Wardrobe Wednesday {Newborns and Toddlers}

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

This week’s installment is from the super talented (and entertaining) Morgan Dawson of Morgan Dawson Photography!

I love these ideas…so much fun! Thank you Morgan!

Straight from Morgan’s keyboard: :)

Some of the most popular portrait sessions are with kids in the newborn-to-two-years-old range, which is why I decided to focus on their clothing needs. Unlike other groups, you really need to dress for the age. So here we go…

: Less is better, but if you want your baby clothed go for a diaper cover rather than a plain disposable one. They come in all sizes – even newborn – and a wide range of fun colors.

Cake Smash: If you’re not familiar with them, the concept is simple: cake + child + camera = hilarious. This is going to get really messy, really fast – so a colorful diaper cover is all you need!

Bigger Babies and Crawlers
: Even though you probably have a closet filled with cute outfits, this might not be the time. Layers and ruffles can spell disaster with a constantly scrunched-up baby. The more time spent tucking in a shirt, moving away a collar ruffle, or pulling down a dress means more missed shots and an annoyed baby. Stick with simple pieces like a fun onesie or diaper cover with some BabyLegs. The other nice thing about these outfits is that they make changing diapers during a shoot a snap. (Again, less fussing = happier baby.)

Walkers: Once your child can walk you can start to consider layers. A skirt or dress with a cardigan, t-shirt with a button down on top, etc. Just make sure you still keep it simple (nothing that needs to be tucked in) and comfortable – these kids will be on the move!

And finally, a quick note about accessories. Hats and headbands are definitely cute, but if your child isn’t a hat-person, then don’t force it. The hat-on hat-off scene is a sure way to upset a baby. If you have something picked out, consider practicing wearing it once in a while before the shoot. The more comfortable your child is, the better the photos will be!

I hope you like the examples I’ve picked out. They might not be for everyone, but I hope you’ll consider showing a little personality (yours AND your babies) in the outfits you pick. And with unpredictable newborns and toddlers, it’s always a smart move to bring a second outfit… so make it a fun one!

The pieces above all come from retailers that may be new to you, but I think you’ll enjoy. Please note that these are just examples; you can find similar items at traditional stores like Old Navy, Gap, etc.
Luvaboos: I think it’s important to support small and local businesses whenever possible. Luvaboos is a natural parenting store and baby boutique that specializes in cloth diapers. Even if you’re a 100% disposable person, their covers are too adorable and totally fit over disposables!
  • Happy Heinys Pocket Trainer (orange) $15.95
  • Blueberry Cloth Trainers (green) $15.95
  • FuzziBunz Perfect Size Diaper (white) $17.95
  • Bummi Super Brite Diaper Cover (mixed) $12.25
Kitsel: This is one of my favorite online retailers for fun children’s clothing. Be sure to take a minute and browse their full line of T’s and onesies – they’re hilarious! The “I’m only doing this till my band gets signed” onesie is a personal favorite.
  • Shabby Baby Hibiscus Dress $42
  • Felt Blooming Flowers Onesie $29
  • Headphones Onesie $23 (also comes as a t-shirt)
  • Chick Magnet T-shirt $22.95
  • See You Later, Alligator Onesie $28.00 (also as a short-sleeved onesie and t-shirt)
BabyLegs: I don’t have kids yet, but these just seem like the most brilliant item ever. They can be used as leggings in babies and toddlers, or worn on the arms of children (or their parents). A friend swears her baby’s uniform is onesie + BabyLegs.
  • Go Fish Leg Warmers (UV 50+) $12
  • Jelly Bean Stripped Leg Warmers $12
  • Camo Leg Warmers $8
Threadless Kids: They carry a large line of onesies, hoodsies (!) and t-shirts for kids of all ages. The main site is for adults.
  • Glou-glou T-shirt $9
Mini Boden: I don’t know where I’ve been, but until recently I was out of the Boden loop. Men, women, teens and babies – they’ve got it all!
  • Skate Cargos $24
I am LOVING all of these ideas and I hope you (past, future or potential client!) find some GREAT ideas to use for YOUR shoot!

Everybody have a great hump day!

Four and One {Fort Myers Children’s Photographer}

Monday, April 26th, 2010

When did I become a mom to a one and four year old? Did anybody else see that time FLY by?!?! I made a promise to myself to TAKE more and SHARE more pics of my own kiddos. They are the reason I got into photography in the first place. My daughter is my original inspiration and she has grown to HATE the camera, unfortunately. Oh well, a little bribe here and there never hurt anybody. ;)

Emma is our little firecracker. She is full of personality and energy and she is a girl who KNOWS what she wants. Don’t mess with her when she’s got an idea in mind…you’ll lose. She is so very smart and we learn from her every day. And the best part? She loves to snuggle and hug and kiss…and she makes us laugh. I could go on and on!

the bribe…ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

dance like no one is watching…

August is our sweet bundle of cuddles and kisses. I could just eat him up on a daily basis. I kiss and hug him all day long…almost literally! He is a kind and sweet soul. Complete strangers are just drawn to him. Oh how he makes my heart happy!

Emma was being a GREAT big sister…she asked August if he wanted some watermelon…

of course he said yes…

OUCH! He big my finnnnngerrrrrr!!!


but it really hurts…and I’m SOOO dramatic!

i’ll just sulk here in my watermelon…

They are my reason for living and loving life…

Thank you for visiting!


All Images Copyright Shannon J Dodge Photography | Blog Theme Created by LJP & SLR Lounge