6 photos to capture for Valentine’s Day

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than capturing the amazing love you feel for your family? Here are 6 #TinybeansMoments to inspire you to make the most out of this lovely day.

1. Order matching V-Day shirts

Double the love! This is a great opportunity to capture the sibling bond. Bonus: grab a matching shirt for you and your partner for a whole family photo shoot!

2. Just mama and me

Whether you’ve got only a newborn or a full house, grab your child(ren) for a photo op with mom. Give your partner a turn next!

3. Show off those crafting skills

If you made any of our Valentine’s Day crafts, feature your creations in a photo shoot with baby!

4. I heart this outfit

Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like an explosion of hearts. Dress your little one in their best heart-y outfit and strike a pose.

5. My little love

Time for your close up! Lay baby down on a white sheet or plain surface and capture them perfectly in this moment. Insert all the heart-eyes emojis!

6. Grab their favorites!

Does your little one just LOVE a special teddy bear or toy? Take a photo featuring this little favorite so you two can reminisce when he or she gets older.

7 photos to take this holiday season

December is in full swing and your camera is about to get busy. This month brings a lot of cute moments with all of the festivities. Here’s 7 #TinybeansMoments you’ll want to capture this season.

Decorating the tree (or lighting a menorah)

Bonus points if you get a family member in the shot as well! These kind of images are going to be cherished when your child gets older and can appreciate the time spent with older relatives during the holidays. Credit: @insta.megz

Looking out at the snow fall…

There’s nothing quite like the magic of a silent snowfall where time stands still. Sneak a picture of your little one looking outside. These photos will make an amazing Tinybeans photo book cover! Credit: @alimobo

… Or if you’re in a warmer client, Santa hats on the beach

If you’re fortunate enough to be somewhere without the snow and cold, head on over to the nearest beach with some Santa hats. Don’t forget to post on your Tinybeans album to make everyone else jealous. Credit: @thetaggtribe

Building a snowman

Do you want to build a snowman? YES! Let’s be honest – when children make their own snowman, the results are pretty adorable. Enjoy this moment with them but don’t forget to take photos from start to finish. Credit: @tches13

Wearing the best holiday garb

Nothing says “style” quite like a Santa onesie. Snap a few photos of your little one in their best holiday outfit (note: ugly sweaters are acceptable). Credit: @owatto

Add in holiday lights

Holiday lights are actually a great addition to any photo! We recommend placing your little one in front of the lights to capture the glow on their face or stand behind them to photograph their silhouette. Credit: @sunshine_and_smiles08

Lounging around

Who says the holidays have to be all dressed up? One perk of the cold season is you can wear sweatpants at all times… We love embracing this comfy time family. Credit: @insta.megz

Tag us on Instagram and use the hashtag #TinybeansMoment so we can see your work!

5 ways to make photo books spectacular – PART 2!

It’s December and here at Tinybeans HQ our holiday planning is going full steam ahead. If photo books are on your to-do list, we’ve got five more ways to make your them stand out. From chapters to special themes, here’s a few ideas to make your bean the star of holiday gifting.

Make sure to check out Part 1 for more inspo!

1. Choose memories with stickers to add even more fun and personality

Tinybeans photo books

If you’ve saved memories with Tinybeans stickers on them, like smiley faces, hearts, or even the month and milestone stickers, it can be a great way to add extra style to each page.

2. Use colored backgrounds to mark new “chapters”

Tinybeans Photo books

The Tinybeans photo book will automatically add a colored page at the beginning of each month, but you can get creative and use those pretty colored backgrounds with the text layout to mark the beginning of any “chapter” you like! Think: seasons, x-months-old markers, or even themes like “funny faces” or “learning to eat” to help you create fun chapters for your child’s life story!

3. Themed photo books

Tinybeans photo books

Who said photo books have to be just about baby? You can use photo books to tell a story about a recent family vacation or a week with the grandparents. You can even turn these photo books into gifts for a special aunt, uncle, or cousin and feature your favorite photos of them with baby.

4. Special photo book gift to your partner

Tinybeans photo book

We love the idea of parents creating books for one another, with all the special photos of your parenting partner-in-crime and your child together, and special notes in the captions letting them know how much they mean to you both. We’ve seen some of the cutest, daddy-baby and mommy-baby gift books from Tinybeans families and it warms our hearts every time. What an amazing surprise gift!

5. Make it all about their personalities

Tinybeans Photo books!

We’ve seen families make some amazing books with text pages describing their children’s traits and personalities, and photos to go along! Add a text page and start with “You are…” then describe all the things you love about your tiny bean and add a photo on the opposite page to illustrate that idea. Super cute and meaningful for your child to read when they’re older.

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5 ways to make Tinybeans photo books spectacular

In case you missed it: we launched brand new Tinybeans photo books! We think Tinybeans photo books are the easiest way to create keepsakes and gifts to share with the ones you love the most. We’re excited to offer more ways to customize your photo book to make it truly unique and treasured for generations to come. Here are 5 ways to make your photo books spectacular! Stay on the look out for future tips and ideas.

Order your photo books now

1. Include a dedicated page in the beginning

What better way to take personalization to the next level than by including a dedicated page? Whether it’s a dedication to grandma or for your little one to read when they are older, we think this is a great way to add a personal touch that will be treasured for generations.

Tinybeans photo books dedication page

2. Create a photo-a-day book

Photo-a-day books are a great way to showcase the individual months or seasons with a baby. We’re a big fan of setting one photo on each page with a small caption to allow the images to tell the story.

Tinybeans photo a day

3. Create a yearly snapshot including every month

Choosing the calendar option on the page makes it easy to have a book with the year in review. These also make perfect gifts! We recommend selecting the calendar option on one page and your favorite image of the month on the following pages.

 

Yearly snapshot photo books

4. Include your child’s artwork

Take a photo of your child’s artwork and add it to your Tinybeans album. Sprinkle these photos throughout your photo book to tell the whole story about this chapter of your little one’s life. Plus, it will be fun to look back on when they are older!

Tinybeans photo book

5. Use captions to tell a story

Dig deep into your inner children’s author and let the creativity flow! Use a photo book to tell the full story about a recent family vacation, life with the grandparents, or the adventure of parenthood through our captions and text pages.

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Mother’s Day Activities Even Dad Will Love

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On May 13th, mom is the star of the day, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the family can’t have a great time as well. Switch up your traditional plans and try one of these 5 super fun Mother’s Day ideas the whole squad will enjoy. Mom will be surprised, dad will score major creativity points, and the kids won’t be complaining that they have to put their napkins on their laps.

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 1. Plan an adventure she’ll never forget

While everyone else is doing the same old same old, take mom to a local amusement park, zoo or aquarium. Let each child select a special place at the park they want to take mom and help them write it down on a piece of paper. When you arrive at the chosen attraction/exhibit, let the children tell mom why they chose it just for her and take their photo. Attach the photos to the page they wrote earlier. Mom will have a memorable keepsake and the kids will have had a blast.

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2. Read mom a book!

Give her a night off from bedtime storyteller and let mom do the listening. Need a suggestion? Everything is MAMA by Jimmy Fallon is a lighthearted look at the world through a baby’s eyes—from birds, to toys, to dad himself, everything is mama. Or better yet, attend the book’s National Storytime event at your local Barnes & Noble on Saturday May 12th. Check out barnesandnoble.com for more details.

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3. The best of both worlds

Give her some time off and take the kids to a sporting event. It doesn’t need to be the major leagues; little kids will love to watch big kids play at your local fields. You can even arrange it with a bunch of dads and let the ladies do lunch or the spa together. The thoughtfulness and time to reconnect with her friends sans kids will go a long way. If mom’s happy, everyone is happy (and going to a game is little to no arm twisting for most dads we know).

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4. Go on a day date

After the kids have given their cards, gifts and perhaps breakfast in bed, surprise mom with an afternoon out on the town. Arrange for a babysitter and take her to the hot brunch spot that doesn’t have a kid’s menu, to the movie she has been dying to see, or just window shop your way through town like you did before you had kids. Let her celebrate being a mom, by forgetting she is one for a few hours.

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5. Taco Tuesday on Sunday

Rather than making reservations with everyone else and their mother, bring the fiesta to a table you know will be ready on time. Tacos are something easy that kids of all ages can help prepare. And because its make your own, even the pickiest eaters will be able to have exactly what they like. Make mom a margarita to relax while dinner is prepared. And of course, don’t forget to do the dishes!

Whatever you plan, be sure thank the moms in your life. And most importantly, remember: On Mother’s Day, everything really is, and should be, about MAMA.

Interview with a Photographer: Ashlee Burton

Maternity photography is one trend we can’t get enough of. Here at Tinybeans, we believe your pregnancy is just as important to capture as the day your child is born. We sat down with Ashlee Burton of THROUGHALENZ Photography to learn about her style and how to get the most out of your maternity photoshoot.

Ashlee Burton

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Ashlee Burton. I’m a wife to my best friend, Chad. We met almost 13 years ago while we were both in the same wedding; I was a bridesmaid and he was a groomsman. We share a love for travel and have lived abroad in Scotland and China. I’m also a mom to three boys under three – an almost 3 year old and 12 month old (surprise!) identical twins. YES, my hands are full. I get that a lot! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being a boy mom! And surprisingly, I don’t even like coffee. I care for my kids full time and take on only a handful of photo shoots per month. It is a juggling act for sure but I could never give up my job as I love working with people and adore my clients but moreover I’m extremely passionate about the power of photography in that these moments are being preserved in time for people, so they can always remember…

How long have you been in photography? What sparked your interest?

I started my photography business, THROUGHALENZ in 2013 while I was still Ashlee Lenzi (Get it? A Lenz?) and after living abroad in China with my now husband, Chad, where I blogged about our adventures and took my camera with me EVERYWHERE I went. Over two years abroad, I taught myself everything I could about that camera. When I returned to The States, friends started asking me to take their maternity, wedding, newborn, and lifestyle photos and eventually I was able to quit my 9-5 job and focus solely on my business and my passion for capturing love and life through a lenz ;)

What or Who is your favorite subject to photograph?

My favorite type of sessions are births! My degree was in Health Science and I was an EMT while in college, so I’ve always been drawn to the medical field. While I love to be creative with light and composition in my photos, I also am very moved by documentary photography and birth sessions are just that for me. They are so emotional and so raw and one of the best moments a mother can ever have. You can usually find me hiding behind my camera with tears streaming down my cheeks during these sessions.

What is the hardest part about being a photographer?

I’ve always had this internal pressure and worry that my clients will hate their photos. Fortunately, I’ve never had such a problem but it’s a concern I can never shake. Photography is such a subjective form of art; what I love my clients may not love and what they love, might not be my favorite. Photographers pour their heart and soul into this art and sometimes when we don’t hear anything back from them, we immediately jump to the conclusion that we’ve failed them and they’re unhappy with the result.

THROUGHALENZ

What’s in your camera bag?

I am all prime! What does that mean? It means I shoot with only fixed lenses as they create a better quality image (AKA they can’t zoom! So, as a result, it forces me to move my body and use the space I’m given to create an interesting composition). In my bag, I have a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, a Canon 85mm f/1.2L, a Canon 100mm f/2.8 lens and use a Canon 5D Mk III camera body.

I also have a piece of broken glass (not sharp!) to shoot through and a 2 inch long copper pipe, also known to photographers as the ‘Ring of Fire’ for when I want to create a lens flare during sunset. I don’t use these often, only when the light is just right and I got all my important shots.

What was your favorite experience or photo that you’ve ever captured?

I was on strict bedrest for the last 4 months of my pregnancy with the twins and I wanted so badly to have a last photo session with us as a family of three. Of course I dreamed it would be with a professional photographer, out at some gorgeous location with the sun setting in the background but I couldn’t leave the house, let alone walk a couple of yards, so spontaneously, I decided to grab my husband, set the camera settings myself, told him where to stand, threw on a dress, took a few steps forward so I was in front of our bedroom window and picked up my toddler…. I remember feeling like my heart could literally BURST with love for my little boy and now when I see those photos, I remember exactly how I felt and it brings me back to that very second he wrapped his arms around my neck and my throat tightened and chest became heavy as I tried to hold back my emotion while I held my first child who introduced me to the strongest love that exists. That’s what photography does. And to think I might have completely missed out on that moment… My husband is so proud of himself ;)

THROUGHALENZ

What do you enjoy the most about photographing pregnant women?

There’s just something so magical to me about capturing a woman expecting a baby, no matter how many babies she may previously had. For me, it’s the miracle of life. A woman’s body is just the most incredible thing. I feel like I can empathize so much with them and am usually pretty close to the level of excitement as they are about that first moment they meet their baby after months or even years of waiting. It’s the start of the rest of their lives.

What are some things moms should know before booking their shoot?

You will not regret having these photos taken! Even if you just have a friend take some photos of you on your iphone, do it. They will be a treasure for years to come.

What are some of your favorite locations to shoot at?

The beach! Fields with open spaces, flower gardens, vineyards, viewpoints, the redwoods/a forest, somewhere urban, in front of landmarks or beautiful architecture, even a cute neighborhood or my house (the natural light is amazing!). The beach is probably my absolute favorite because it allows my clients to interact with the water which results in fun, candid shots. I actually leave the location decision up to my clients as I like them to be able to take ownership of this. However, I’m always happy to help with location ideas after they give me a better understanding of what they envision when they imagine their maternity session.

What do moms have to do to prepare for the shoot? What can they do to make the day of the shoot easier for you?

I completely understand pregnancy can be rough and for good reason! You’re growing a living, breathing little person! For me, I was terribly ill the entire duration of both of my pregnancies. I had to be hospitalized, was on medication, had fetal surgery while pregnant with the twins, the whole gamet. I definitely did not have that ‘glow’ that everyone talks about while carrying a baby(ies). To be frank, I was pretty miserable but regardless, it is absolutely a time in my life that I knew needed to be documented and remembered. I look at my children now who are full of smiles and life and I just can’t believe they were in my tummy and that I grew them inside me. It’s nothing short of magic. I’m also not one who likes to be in front of the camera, however, I know just what a gift it is to other people and yes, even to myself, years later. There’s a photo of my mom while she was pregnant with me and it’s my all time favorite photo of her. She is the definition of beautiful in this image and to know she was carrying me at the time makes my heart swoon even more. And then there’s other moms, who feel their absolute best while pregnant! So, as a result, I usually just recommend that mom’s try to feel as best as they can for their photos. It’s often a fun (and very deserving!) time to get a little pampered if possible and have someone do your makeup and hair. I know when I feel not so ‘mom slobby’ I tend to like photos of myself more.

People sometimes feel silly getting too dressed up for photo sessions but DON’T! This is something special for you all. Embrace it. It will be beautiful! I always love a flowy dress as they are really comfy and flattering and at the beach when the wind picks up… omg. Soft colors are gorgeous as are more dramatic colors.

Lastly, there’s a sweet spot to when is good to have the maternity session. I usually recommend anywhere between 7 and 8 months. Month 9 can be hard because you never know when baby may arrive and it’s also the hardest physically on the mom due to the baby being it’s heaviest and just the pure exhaustion by then of growing a full term baby!

THROUGHALENZ

Where do you get inspiration for your shoots?

I love Instagram and have so many photographers I’m just in awe of. It’s a great resource to help with inspiration but I always notice that I end up finding my inspiration from my clients during the shoot. I work off their energy, passion, and fun loving dispositions and as a result, it makes the images more unique and candid.

How can people contact you if they want to book a shoot with you?

Oh, I would be so honored! People are welcome to email me at ashlee@throughalenz.com. Thank you so much for your time and following along!

Follow Ashlee on Instagram for more inspiration!

Interview with a Birth Photographer: Elise Hurst

One of the biggest trends we are seeing in 2018 is birth photography. Parents all over the world are hiring professional photographers to capture the precious moments during childbirth. A birth photographer can document the entire process so you can focus on the important tasks at hand. Most birth photographers can even shoot in any setting, including hospital, home, and cesarean births. We sat down with Elise Hurst of Elise Hurst Photography to learn more about birth photography and how you can prepare when booking a photographer.

Elise Hurst Photography

Tell us a little about yourself.
I have 3 children. I have a 4-year-old, 2.5-year-old, and a 3 month old, so I’m still in the beginning mom stages of life. My husband is a pastor. During the day, I mainly stay home with my kids. However, 3-5 times a month, I photograph women while they are in labor and having the biggest day of the life by bringing their little one into the world.

What got you into birth photography?
I would love to be a midwife someday but I wanted to be a part of the birth process right away. I started after my second son and I knew that with a newborn, I couldn’t go back to school right away so I decided to do birth photography so I could still be a part of the  process. Plus, birth photography is one of the only ways you can be in the room without a certification so it’s a good lesson. However, let me tell you… I broke all the rules. I bought a nice camera and a week later I photographed by first birth. It was an amazing experience. A few of my friends were pregnant so I asked if I could photograph their births. It became a business after that.

How many births have you photographed (estimate)?
About 45

What has been your favorite moment that you’ve had while shooting?
One that gave me adrenaline was about a month before my sister-in-law gave birth. She contacted me and wanted me to shoot. However, I live in Texas and she lived in Denver, so she was about 7 hours away. I offered to help her find a local photographer as it might be too tricky for me to get there in time. She insisted I do it, so I said I would try, but you never know. When the day came and she said she thought she was in labor, I started to look for flights to Denver. Sadly, 2 flights were overbooked so I thought there was no way I would get on. The next available flight was the following morning but there is no way I could wait that long. I decided to take the flight anyway but as I was headed to the airport, it really set in that I would not be making it. I told my husband I would just drive there – at was 6 PM already (keep in mind that I was 28 weeks pregnant myself). I get in my car and I drive. I get there at 1 AM and my brother texted me saying she was 9.5cm dilated when I pulled into the parking lot. I walked into the office and she starts pushing. It actually took her awhile to push but it was just so down to the wire. She finally had my nephew at around 4:30 AM. Even though I traveled quite a bit, it was so sweet to watch my brother become a father and for him to get a taste of what I do for a living.

Elise Hurst Photography

What is the hardest thing about shooting births?
Birth doesn’t play out how we think it does. Demise is definitely the hardest part – whenever moms lose their babies, its heartbreaking. The 2nd hardest is the time management – I get calls in the middle of the night even though I have 3 month old. My husband helps me balance everything. His amazing support is everything. I have a special ringtone when moms call and he’s very encouraging when he hears it. He has a flexible job so if he has to come home early, he can. We also work with a college group that help babysit if I need them. We’ve had them sleep with my newborn at the hospital while I’m busy shooting.

Why do you feel birth photography in important?
It’s just like your wedding day – it’s a huge, informative day in your life. I feel like it should be documented and so often it isn’t. Although you have some memories, it’s hard to remember some of the details. Most of the time when you don’t have a birth photographer, your partner is clicking away and is never actually in the photos. You get the pictures but you don’t get the whole moment. The pictures that are my favorite are the partner supporting the mom in labor – you can see it in their eyes how much they admire and adore the mom in this moment. You just don’t get that same moment when the partner is taking the pictures.

What are some things pregnant mothers should know before booking a birth photographer?
Birth photography is not cheap. I know that sounds silly but it’s not like a mini-session, it could be a marathon. You’re asking us to step away from families and holidays to go and photograph your birth. We’re on call for 5 weeks (usually from week 37 to delivery)… you just never know when it’s going to happen. Even with scheduled c-sections, I’ve had people deliver early. Just like a wedding photographer, these are important moments you can’t redo, so to have a professional to do this, it is important. We are on call emotionally and physically for you. It’s 100% worth it. If money might be an issue, contact your photographer as soon as you are pregnant so you can pay it off. Also, interview your photographer. You don’t want someone you don’t mesh well with.

How can moms or the families help make your job easier on the day of delivery?
I’m documenting everything during delivery. I’d recommend that people should put the phone down and enjoy the moment so I can document everything. I know you want that picture to send to relatives, but wait an extra hour to take the picture, you’ll be in the pictures yourself and you’ll be there in the moment. I will take many pictures and send them to you before I leave the hospital.

Elise Hurst Photography

What does your typical day look like when mom is about to give birth?
It always starts off by thinking who is going to take care of my kids. :) Once I get my bags packed, camera charged, snacks ready to go, and a change of clothes by the door, I get the ball rolling. My babysitter’s on call so they will come over. For hospital birth, the mom gets checked in and I’ll come when they are 6-7 cm but it depends on their history and how fast they are progressing. I’ll listen to the phone and if they cant talk through it, I’ll listen to my gut and head over there. For home births, I just go sooner since they aren’t being checked. I’ll show up when the midwife comes in.

If I am doing videos and pictures, I take pictures outside and introduce myself in the room or I step out. This all varies depending on how much support the mom has. If she has a lot of support from partner or doula, I’ll be a fly on the wall. If she doesn’t have a doula, I’ll be a little more encouraging. I’ve had moms say they prefer someone who is encouraging and talks her through it, but i’ve had moms who come in and not say a single word – all are okay. I stay about 2 hours after the birth or however long it takes for moms to have her skin-to-skin and first latch. We also wait until they weigh the baby after the first feed. I stay after the newborn assessment has been done and when the partner has had a chance to hold the baby.

If someone doesn’t have a birth photographer in their area but wants to DIY it, what pieces of advice would you give to those who want to have nice photos during delivery?
If you can’t afford it, i would suggest having a better camera than just your phone. Pass it off to a bring and stand at your head so they cant pictures of mom and belly but not everything.

Are there any must-have angles or photos a mom should have during delivery or pictures that you try to capture (dad’s first look, mom’s first look, etc)?
I love doing aerial shots and have a birds eye view of mom usually in labor. I usually do it when baby is on her chest and I almost get it every single time.

If you’re interested in following Elise’s work, make sure to like to her on Facebook and Instagram. You can also check out her website for more information.

How to Capture the Tiny Details: Erin Loechner

Taking baby photos can be hard. Figuring out creative ways to capture your baby at this precious stage is even harder. While we love a good photo of a baby’s smile with those chubby cheeks, we also believe the little moments are worth celebrating too. Whether it’s your baby’s tiny grasp on their soft blanket or how their hair looks after an afternoon nap, it’s important to capture these details while you still can.

When searching for inspiration, we came across Erin Loechner. Erin is an author and founder of Design for Mankind. She also takes incredible photos of her children. Erin breaks away from the traditional “smile and say cheese” pose with her children – she strives to capture the tiny details that won’t be so tiny in months (and years!) from now.

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Erin’s aesthetic got us thinking about how we can truly enjoy this stage in our little’s one life. We’ve compiled a list of the tiny details we think you should capture the next time you break out your camera. For more inspiration, visit Erin on Instagram!

1. Their chubby fingers
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2. Your child’s favorite snack
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3. Holding their favorite stuffed animal
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4. Playtime with family19120627_308568219596776_806540677176360960_n

5. Kisses
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6. Messy hair
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7. Tiny drawings
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10 Baby Photo Ideas to Try From This Creative Mama

This blogger takes the most beautiful shots of everyday life with a baby.

@Madebylon

Madelon is a mom of 3 who isn’t afraid to document the little details of parenthood on her Instagram, @madebylon.

Her Instagram page is full of adorable pictures of her children and life with family. After spending time scrolling through her feed, we became inspired by her creativity and aesthetic. Here are 10 photo ideas to try from her page.

 

Props

1. Place props next to baby during nap time
Placing a prop near your sleepy baby adds a personal element to the shot. You can take this one step further by adding baby’s favorite blanket or toy which preserves the precious memory from this time in their life.

Stand over your baby

2. Stand over your baby and shoot from the top
This allows you to document your true point of view. There will come a time where you’re no longer looking down at them – you can appreciate this memory forever.

Natural light

3. Take advantage of the natural light
Place your baby in a room with large windows in order to capture the gorgeous light and shadow contrast.

Black and white

4. Take black and white pictures
It’s easy to get caught up in a world full of filters. We recommend resorting back to the classic black and white look. This allows you to focus on your baby in the shot and appreciate the simplicity.

Up close and personal
5. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal

Does your baby have an adorable freckle or long lashes you envy? Take photos of their unique qualities by getting a close shot.

Tiny Details
6. Embrace the tiny details while they are still small
Unfortunately, those tiny baby toes and fingers won’t last forever. Take as many photos as you can of these small characteristics to look back on later.

Mirrors

7. Play around with using mirrors
Mirrors are a great way to get different angles in your pictures. Also, once baby is a little older, sit them in front of a mirror and capture what happens next

Simple moments

8. There is no such thing as a boring moment
Whether it’s baby napping, playing, or eating, each moment is worth celebrating.


Candid

9. Always be ready for the candid moments… they are the best!
We know parenthood isn’t picture-perfect, so if baby wants to play with paper towels or tries to eat the table, embrace it!

Selfies

10. If all else fails, the selfie angle is always the way to go
We hope you never feel pressured to get every picture “right.” The memories you create don’t have to be magazine worthy. Go on, switch your camera to selfie mode. We believe selfies with baby are equally as compelling.

Tinybeans
Don’t forget to upload your photos to your Tinybeans album!

Interview: Brittnie Storm – Newborn Photographer

Here at Tinybeans, we are always looking for ways to give you inspiration and tips for your baby photos. We caught up with one newborn photographer who produces some of the most creative and stunning work we’ve seen. Brittnie Storm is the artist behind Heaven Sent Photography. Here is her full interview, plus tips to help you find a photographer in your area!

Heaven Sent Photography

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Brittnie Storm with Heaven Sent Photography. My studio is located in Sheldon, Iowa. My husband Charles and I have two little girls aged 2 & 4. Merry Lou is 4 years old and Emmie Kay is 2 years old. Being a new mom totally fueled my fire with photography. As soon as my daughter was born, I couldn’t get enough photos! I picked up my brand new camera that my mother-in-law gifted me for Christmas and my business began to bloom from there. Outside of photography, I am a makeup junkie, a bookworm, and we love to soak up all the little moments we can with our children whether that be going to the park across the street, or out to Grandpa & Grandma’s farm to ride the side by side and play outdoors. Family time is the most important to us all! Our little ones are only little for so long.

2. How long have you been in photography? What’s in your camera bag?

I have been in photography for 3, going on 4 years now. I started really focusing on professional photography when my daughter Merry was 6 months old. My business took off from there to where I was at the point that I could successfully transition to a downtown studio in June of 2016.

First and foremost I feel like I should talk about my camera bag itself because I truly feel like anyone who is a photographer NEEDS a House of Flynn camera bag! The amount of detail they put into not only their bags but also giving back to the community is really amazing. I carry a full size Evermore and I can fit everything I possibly need inside! I primarily shoot with a Canon 5D Mark iii. My go-to lens is the Canon 50mm 1.4 or the sigma 35 art 1.4 lens. There is nothing sharper on the market than the sigma art lenses, in my opinion. I also shoot with a Canon 135mm f 2.0 or a canon 85mm 1.8, but I only ever use those lenses outdoors. I’m a total prime girl so all the lenses I own are prime lenses.

3. Why did you go into newborn photography? What do you enjoy the most about it?

I really got into newborn photography because I was absolutely fascinated by it. After we had our own daughter’s newborn photos done, I was so in love and infatuated by all of the images all over Pinterest as well as the images that our our professional photographer had taken, that I just knew that photography was a creative outlet that I would truly enjoy. I researched newborn photography and took courses online, both free and paid, and I learned as much as physically possible before I even attempted to take on a real live newborn myself. Newborn photography is a daunting task and I truly did not understand how much work it was until I started researching it myself. Newborn photographers have a knack for making it look easy!

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4. Where do you pull your creative inspiration from for your shoots?

I have joined a lot of photography groups on Facebook and that is where I draw my inspiration from. In these communities there are photographers from all over the world. It really helps me to be able to see what is on trend as well as draw some creativity from these other artists! Sometimes it can be as simple as loving the way they used a prop to loving their perspective they shot the photo. Other times it can be more complex as to what they used for their setup. I also have tons of ideas from just seeing different backdrops. A lot of times I will pull images from magazines such as Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware. I find the littlest things to use for inspiration, it can be as simple as an outfit I find or a backdrop I am in love with.

5. What is your favorite professional photo you’ve taken and why?

My favorite image I have ever taken.. that is hard! There are always a select few that really stand out in my mind. There are so many different images that pull at different heart strings of mine. But this Pooh Bear image is probably right up at the top as one of my favorites. I melt when I catch a newborn smile and I was obsessed with Pooh as a kid. When Leo’s mom was pregnant with him, we were planning out his photo shoot and she mentioned that his entire nursery was decorated with all of her old Pooh Bear decor/toys that she had as a child. It meant so much to her to have a pooh bear image to be able to hang in his nursery. We never imagined we would catch a smile. But little Leo really brought this setup to life. His image is probably the one that sticks out in my head the most.

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6. How should parents prepare for a newborn shoot?

I have found a tried and true method to really get a sleepy baby. This is the one thing that parents stress about and the most important thing that a parent can do is to NOT stress about it! Babies can tell when you are worrying, so do your best to stay relaxed and calm. I always plan a newborn session for 10:00 AM. I have found that this is typically the magic time for babies. I tell my parents to try their best to keep their baby awake for a couple hours before you come. I know that sounds like a daunting task, but it can make a world of difference for the session. Before you leave for the shoot, I ask my parents to give their little one a bath. This typically wakes the baby up, and it also makes for a clean and happy newborn!  After that, it is important to put a little bit of lotion on baby. It is super important for parents to put their baby in an outfit like a zipper or button up pajama onesie… something that DOES NOT pull over the head. I also tell parents to avoid mitts with elastic as these can startle baby when being taken off. After all that, a very full feeding and car ride to the studio usually does the trick. Your photographer will take it from there!

7. Do you have any advice for parents who want to shoot with twins or triplets?

My advice for shooting with twins and triplets is to go in with no expectations so you can be blown away! A seasoned photographer will know how to work quickly and take advantage of each baby that is sleepy. Twins and triplets will require the same preparation than a single baby would – the hard work lies with the photographer.

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8. When should parents plan to schedule a newborn shoot?

I always tell parents to plan schedule their newborn shoot in the second trimester. The earlier the better because this allows for the photographer to really customize your session. A photographers schedules fill up very fast – I always encourage people to book as soon as they can to really ensure for availability.

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9. Since not everyone can travel to work with you, what kind of things should new parents consider when choosing a photographer?

When choosing a photographer for your newborn photos, make sure you choose them for their style. Every photographer is different. It is so important for you to research and find the photographer who offers what you are looking for. If a photographer has a simple and clean style, then lots of colors and props would not be their specialty. The same goes for a photographer who has a rustic style, their specialty would also not be colorful and bright more than likely. So find the photographer whose work would best fit your style and fit the walls of your home. When choosing a photographer, consider what you are getting with your experience. Many people think that because they receive more time or more images with one photographer over another that they aren’t getting as much. This is simply not true. There are many photographers who focus on quality over quantity. Would you rather have 10 absolutely stunning, beautiful works of art, or 30 pretty decent images that you feel you could have taken yourself? Sometimes people are confused by time also. Just because you get more shooting time with a photographer, does not mean that you get more images. Many seasoned photographers can get through a photoshoot very quickly because they have a workflow and know how to work with their subject. Just because you only receive a 30 minute session, doesn’t mean you will have less photos than someone who receives a 2 hour session. It is truly all about finding the right photographer for your wants and needs! If you want a beautiful baby album and wall art for your home, find a photographer who specializes in a full service experience and will be with you every step of the way! If you are more of a DIYer and love to have the digitals to be able to print on your own time, find a photographer who offers the digitals images for you to purchase. But most importantly find a photographer who’s style you love and who’s work will fit flawlessly into your home.

11. We’ve had lots of people ask us how to take quality baby photos in their home with their phone. Do you have any expert tips/tricks to getting the best photos without a fancy camera or a studio?

Lighting is the most important factor with photography. Find a place in your home with beautiful natural light. Whether in front of a sliding door or a big window. Don’t position your subject in the direct sunlight, instead step back or to the side about 3-5 feet to where you are in the shadows or the light. Your light should be at a 45 degree angle. From there you could use an ottoman or a bean bag to position baby. It is important to have the room be very warm, your little baby is used to being inside a natural heater that is 98 degrees, they like a warm room temperature above 75 degrees. White noise or a heartbeat machine do wonders to drown out noise as well. And photographing your newborn under 14 days old is key. They haven’t adapted to the outside world yet at this point.

But honestly, leave it to the professionals. I promise it is worth the time and the investment. Your little baby is only going to be little for a short amount of time. They really do grow so fast and I talk to way too many parents that regret not having professional images taken of their little baby! It is crazy how fast they grow in that first month.

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12. Do you know of any iphone/android apps that are great for picture taking or editing?

This I am not sure! I use adobe lightroom and photoshop to edit all of my photos, I know these apps are available for download/purchase through the app store and would be a great place to start!

13. Do you have any advice for those who want to make a DIY-style home studio to take photos of their baby?

If you still really want to attempt a DIY-style shoot in your own home, make sure the room is a balmy 75-80 degrees. Use blankets and clothespins to pull your blankets tight to avoid any wrinkles. Baskets and swaddled shots are much easier to attempt than trying to lay a naked baby on a blanket and pose them. Having warm blankets or a small heater going near your setup will keep baby sleepy. Use natural light but stay out of direct sunlight. And keep it simple! Don’t go overboard with props and pinterest ideas. The most timeless images are the ones that take the least amount of effort. You can find tons of newborn photography props, blankets, and clothes on etsy. But above all, if you aren’t comfortable photographing your newborn, don’t. We take safety very seriously when photographing newborns and children and many photos are actually composites (meaning they are 2-3 images stitched together to create 1 image). If the pose or image looks complicated and hard to accomplish, it probably is and we suggest you do not attempt it. Just keep your posing simple and don’t shoot up the nose of a newborn.

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14. What is the best email that people can reach you?

My email is brittniestorm@gmail.com but people can easily reach me through my “contact me” tab on my website www.heavensent-photography.com as well.