It's been a little over a year since I met Amanda and Josh for the first time, back before COVID - back in the "before times".
I'd love to tell you the story of our year of photoshoots and show you some examples.
But first I'll let you hear from them.
For this one, I'm going to take you in the wayback machine... back to pre-COVID days.
Remember how carefree and footloose we were?
Remember how my maternity minishoots were just lovely indoor events we could do all close in families' homes?
Remember how we didn't wear masks?
Remember how we hugged our friends and sat at Starbucks with a warm coffee and a soft muffin and scrolled through our phone, inches away from the dude next to us on the next stool? OK, sorry, getting off topic.
So it was early December when I connected with Amanda - early December 2019. She told me she'd found me through Facebook (ooh, I didn't even have my fab Year One Together group going back then - she must have found me through an ad... but if you're expecting or have a new babe in Boston - come join my new group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/yearonetogether)
Sorry, off track again. So Amanda found me on Facebook, and I came out to her house for a maternity session the first week of December. Of course it isn't uncommon for me to find that we have a very important subject who ALSO needs to be documented at maternity sessions...
A canine subject!
I mean, when you have a pup this adorable, it's pretty necessary to fully document this family of three, right?
The journey to get to this point for Amanda and Josh has included a lot of heartache, and that pup's been there for all of it.
Even got some by the new crib...
Amanda and Josh asked me to hold off posting their gallery until after they'd had their baby - of course! I'm all for surprises.
Want to see more from the maternity session? I blogged it here.
So Ben arrived in January, and since I'm not a "make them fall asleep" kind of photographer, I don't have requirements about when we do our first photoshoot in the Baby's First Year package. Some families opt for photos in the first few days, some wait a few weeks for some smiles.
So Amanda and Josh decided to wait until Ben was 8 weeks old.
Have you done the math yet? You know what happened 8 weeks after Ben was born, right?
8 weeks for Ben was early March, 2020.
Womp womp. Sooooo... we were all locked down for March, April... but the moment the restrictions eased up around here and I got going offering my Social Distancing Outdoor Minishoots?
Ben was my first session out of the gate! And, I'll admit it. I was nervous, anticipating his photoshoot.
It was May, and he was only 18 weeks old!
How was it going to work, taking a baby that small outdoors for pictures??
I haven't been nervous on my way to a photoshoot in a long time. It was kind of exciting, actually. I had this nervous energy bubbling on my way there... just thinking of all the different moving parts.
But see, the thing is, I realized the very coolest thing while I was there.
It was like I'd been training for this.
But I should back up.
I still stand by my decades-held assertion -- that babies under a year old are more comfortable indoors for photoshoots. It's just the truth.
The wind and the light filtering through trees outdoors is really distracting to babies and it's hard for them to be themselves outdoors.
But there's a global pandemic!
I couldn't take pictures of babies in their homes anymore, and I didn't know when I'd be able to do it again.
So I needed to figure out a way to do this. I decided to go for it. I decided it was time to take my seventeen years of in-home infant photography experience and combine it with my seventeen years of outdoor minishoot experience and attack this idea with gusto.
So I have a thing now!
I'd made up a thing.
Time marches on, coronavirus or no coronavirus.
Babies are growing! Cheeks are getting chubby... wrists are getting rolls... elbows are getting dimples...
And mamas and daddies are squeezing their babes.
And I can document them from far away, with a mask on. My zoom lens is gooooood.
Learn more about my new Social Distancing Outdoor Minishoots here.
Want to see more of the photos from the 4 month session? I blogged them here.
Since Amanda and Josh knew they wanted to do my Baby's First Year Minishoot Package for Ben, they opted to do his the middle-of-the-year session at 8 months old.
That's actually not uncommon, to do 4 months, 8 months and 1 year for the three sessions in the package - and it's a gorgeous option, no matter whether we're in the midst of a global pandemic or not.
So I arrived for Ben's 8 month session in late September.
I just about melted when I saw the outfit his family had picked out for him. That jacket?? I die.
Goodness, and the cheeks??
His little expressions... the fact that he could sit up a bit more... it made for really fun photos.
I love when he got playful with Daddy...
Also the knuckle dimples, critical to document... with my zoooooom lens.
And snuggling with mama, of course.
Want to see more of the 8 month session? I blogged it here.
So then it got to be January 2021, and my GOODNESS we were cold. But it was time for Ben's birthday, and we can't let that pass without his pictures!
So January in New England is a weird time for outdoor pictures with a baby, I know... chilly chilly chilly, but we're making it work, and I really do think it's actually completely fantastic.
With the stillness of the day (wind-wise), he didn't even need his winter coat!
I loved that he got to show off his standing skills!
His parents had set up an adorable "Oh The Places You'll Go" backdrop on their garage, and his high chair was out there, ready to go when I arrived. Look at his face as he anticipates his cupcake! Love it.
Oh, the places you'll go!!
Want to see more from Ben's first birthday? I blogged his birthday minishoot here.
Want to see me flip through Ben's First Year book that comes with the Baby's First Year package?
I made a First Year Book "Reveal" Video here:
Interested in considering a maternity or new baby photoshoot?
Let's chat! Schedule a time for a phone call in the next few days at a time that works for you. I have quickie 15 min phone call spots available at my calendly link here.
Not sure if you want to do photos at all?
I get that. Even if you aren't in the market for photography right now, if the whole "having a new baby in your house" thing is happening, I just launched a new VIP Facebook Group and I would just ADORE it if you'd come hang out with me in there!
My new group is called Year One Together.
It's for new parents who are getting excited about or already navigating their baby's first year here in the Boston area. I interview local experts in all things baby every Friday, and then those interviews are saved in the group archive so you can watch them anytime. Topics the experts are covering in their interviews with me will include: "Dressing your Baby in Boston Weather", "Do I want a Doula? A Midwife?", "Buying a First Home around Boston", "Postpartum: The Emotional Side", "Year One With Twins"... and so much more.
Don't have a baby in your house right now, but you live in the Boston area and want a fun online community of families to connect with? Come join my group for families with older children - it's called Boston Families Together and you can join that group here.
Hope to see you in there!
I'm Jessica McDaniel, and May 2021 will mark my 18th anniversary photographing babies and their families all around Boston.
BBP Demo Video
- How to Prepare for a Stress-Free Family Photo Session August 2, 2021
- Saugus, MA: Sweet six month old zoo themed nursery photoshoot July 12, 2021
- 5 Tips for Including Older Siblings in a Newborn Photo Session June 17, 2021