I've been back and forth in my head about whether to show you these pictures and this lovely testimonial on my blog for a couple of weeks now.
I'm just going to do it.
I'll explain my waffling about it in a minute. Before I get into it, here's Joan, minutes after we finished, to start us off with the blog post.
And honestly, the session was gorgeous.
Now you're going to start scrolling and looking at their pictures.
But that's why I didn't want to post this session!
Pictures tell one story... but not the whole story.
And I want you to take a second so I can explain something, k? You with me?
I'll try not to take too long explaining this.
OK, so say you're pregnant with a new baby.
You're thinking about doing a baby's first year package with me. You stumble upon my blog post all about this sweet family and their gorgeous photoshoot from their baby's first birthday.
And pictures stick in your head way more than words do...
So you file these kinds of photo in your head under:
"OMG, that's what I want"...
But then you get distracted and called away from your phone, because life happens... and all that you remember from seeing these photos is that you like my style, and you say to yourself...
"Yup... when I get around to booking baby photos..."
"I'll totally hire Jess to do photos of the baby when he or she arrives."
And YES, that's wonderful that you decide that, because I want nothing more than to do that.
But I'm afraid this photoshoot sticks the wrong thing in your brain...
This visual story I'm telling you, as someone who's just expecting their first baby... this story tells you yes, do photos to celebrate your baby's first year.
It tells you, yes, it's so easy if you do it as an outdoor session in your yard like I've been doing for the last year with my social distancing outdoor minishoots.
Small caveat -- soon, though, when I've been fully vaccinated... my business is going to go back to normal:
- Me driving to your house and doing photos in your outdoor space is *likely* going to be considered a full session again. TBD. Honestly I love doing it this way so we'll see about this.
- But it's likely that this kind of thing that I'm showing you here would cost $360 instead of $275. And then if you wanted to buy all the JPGs afterwards? It'd cost $750 instead of the "pandemic price" of $500.
- And then if we'd done it Sept-December? The session fee for this kind of thing would be $460 instead of $360 because I'd have tacked on my usual "fall premium" for my four busiest months of the year.
But I digress.
But all that isn't even the reason that I'm saying I've been waffling about showing you these photos.
I've been waffling because I'm a BABY PHOTOGRAPHER.
That's my whole thing. I adore YEAR ONE photos more than anything else I do in my entire job (so much so that I've developed this whole VIP group called "Year One Together" on Facebook just to address family's pain points in that first year - I interview local baby experts every other week in the group asking questions of them like "Do I Want a Doula? Do I Want A Midwife?" and other fabulous topics like "Naps & Sleeping in The First Year" and "Postpartum: Juggling Your Healing & Baby's Needs"... that's neither here or there - but come join my free group if you're expecting or if you have a baby under a year at home.
Here's the page of advertising I made all about it:
Ok, sorry, got distracted. Back to my story.
So really, I don't want to show you these examples if you're expecting a baby and considering doing professional photos... because they'll make you just generally remember that doing professional photos is a good idea, and hey, the first birthday is a good time to do it.
BUT WAIT... even though I know these are gorgeous.
I know, of course, that a first birthday photoshoot is a lovely thing to do.
It IS, of course it is!
And the fact that you're IN the photos - that's a big deal.
But I would so much rather you hear from families who started working with me when their babies were younger than a year.
Families like Erin's family (her blog post is here)... she and her partner started with me when she was pregnant and we did maternity photos and we did new tiny baby photos and in just a few weeks we get to do SIX month photos and I cannot WAIT...
Or families like Ben's family (their blog post is here) who started with maternity photos and then did photos at 4 months and eight months and a year and they did a book...
The Baby's First Year Package? THAT's what I love.
That package, by the way, the "three sessions in the first year + the coffeetable album" is $900 for just a bit longer, while I'm still doing all social distancing outdoor minishoots (until I'm vaccinated). Anybody who prepays for it now can lock in my pandemic pricing for their baby's entire first year, but pretty soon I'm going back to real life, and that package will go back to being $1200. More info about the package is here.
Ok, and here's the last thing.
This final photo is another big reason I was worried about posting.
This is the photo you're going to have stuck in your head, and I need to be really upfront about what this kind of photo means. Because it changes everything at your photoshoot, and sometimes people don't realize that when they start organizing their session with me.
This is the photo you want, right?
I adore it, and I want to get this photo for you. I will ALWAYS work to do this photo for you if you invite your extended family to your baby's photoshoot with me.
Absolutely, 100% yes.
But I always like to be really up front about how we get this photo, and what percentage of the time we spend together (and we all know babies' timetables are limited) attempting to get this one photo for everyone's frames at home.
So YES. I want to do this photo. Of course I do, it's going to be the most valuable thing you have from our time together, I get that - family is EVERYTHING and it's the same way at my house.
And I know how to get this photo, relatively quickly and painlessly, paying attention to everyone's needs, etc. But just to be clear - we took 50% of the time I spent with Joan and her family working to make sure this photo happened.
All those shots above, with the two lovely parents and their sweet girl together? That was half of the effort from the session at their house.
The other half of the work (and the time, when honestly Joan's sweet daughter could have started to get fussy - which she didn't, thankfully, but it's a risk we take) was working on different spots where we might take this photo, setting it up, getting it... moving to a different spot, trying that out...
And I am honestly so happy to do it, every time. But I felt like I wanted to put this in writing as you're out there daydreaming about your baby's "one professional photoshoot" this year.
Here's what I'd hope you'd take away from this (VERRRRY VERBOSE, SORRY) blog post.
- Don't just do one session! Come do a $900 baby's first year package with me because OMG the book at the end of the year is everything and squeee the SQUISH we can document in those tiny baby sessions BEFORE the first birthday are everything.
- If you invite extended family to your baby's photoshoot with me, just getting that perfect extended family shot does eat into the time we spend doing photos of the playful, sweet, lovely time you have as a nuclear family. And sometimes that's easy as pie and no problem, and sometimes that can be stressful to you, as new parent. But imma let you juggle the family part of this. You know your family better than anyone. And if you invite them and you want them to be part of it, I'm up for it and I adore nothing more than providing you with the photo you'll put in the frame and it'll be part of your family's history forever.
Phew. Too many words?
Probably. Too honest? Yep. I should just show you the pretty pictures. But if you're along for the ride with me, you know I like to get INTO it. Ha!
Thanks for reading.
Let's do photos sooooooon!
P.S. Oh, and if your baby's turning a year you will also want to join BOSTON FAMILIES TOGETHER! You're aging out of my YEAR ONE TOGETHER group, but if you like the way I'm addressing younger baby families' pain points in Year One Together, you might like to come on over to my other group, where I interview local experts every other week on topics like "Talking With Your Kids About Race" (this Weds, March 31st at 8pm in the group!), "Back To Work: Strategies to Cope" (April 28th in the group) "The College Process: Tips For Junior Spring" (that one's already recorded, go watch it in the group anytime), and I'm very excited about Weds, June 23rd's "Adopting Kids as a Gay Couple in Boston".... some come on over... all local families are welcome, not just my clients...
I'm Jessica McDaniel, and May 2021 will mark my 18th anniversary photographing babies and their families all around Boston.
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