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For years both of my girls have been begging us for a cat. They both have been drawn to cats like crazy. Aubrey’s lovie is a cat named “meow meow” and Hayden wears cat ears to school daily. Nearly all of their clothing features cats. My husband and I have put them off and given every excuse not to get one we could think of. I have never owned a cat and always thought of myself as more of a dog person. Three years ago we put down our second dog and we still aren’t quite ready for another. Well last week a dear friend of ours passed away. He was an amazing man and left this Earth way too early. After attending his funeral we both were home talking about him, our children and how precious life is. Shortly after I saw a friend’s facebook post looking for a home for an adorable kitten that was found on the side of the road. That was it, I knew that kitten belonged to our family. Within hours I was driving home to surprise our sweet girls with the sweetest little feline. The looks on their faces when they saw her will forever be imprinted in my mind.

Today the girls were off school for the election. They wanted to get pictures with the new baby so off we went to the studio. This little angel was so good. She is still very young and tiny at 6 weeks and only 1lb 7oz. She sleeps most of the day still, so we swaddled her up, pet her sweet head and minutes later she was out. We got some precious images and I hope the girls will cherish these photos when they’re older. I know I will.

Life is too short ya’ll. Buy the shoes, take the vacation and… get the kitten!









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This beautiful family moved to Columbus, Ohio from Wilmington, North Carolina earlier this year. Mama reached out on facebook to a local mom’s group inquiring about photographers. Several mom’s recommend me, which is one of the best compliments I could ask for. So in she came for a consultation so we could chat about maternity and newborn portraits for her twin boys on the way! Ooh I love, love, love doing twin sessions. And even better is their beautiful big sister.

When the family arrived for their studio maternity session I got to meet big sissy and the first thing she said was “I’m going to have two baby brothers!” Be still my heart…She is so excited! It was so much fun including her in the maternity session. It reminded me of my own maternity session I did with my first daughter while pregnant for my second. What a very special time for this family and I am truly so lucky they found me to document this amazing journey. I can’t wait to see these boys in a few months!!!!

Here are a few of my favorites from their session.









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I first published this post in the winter for 2017, and thought it would be helpful to share again. There are so many things to consider. Whether your book me or one of the other wonderful photographers in Columbus and beyond, here are a few things to keep in mind.

So you are expecting and are so excited to begin your journey as parents. It's such an amazing and intimidating time all at once. Nine months seems like a long time. But somehow between doctors appointments, morning sickness, registering for and having baby showers and getting the nursery ready time seems to fly by. There are so many things to do from a planning standpoint as well. Like booking prenatal classes, parenting classes, checking insurance, registering at a hospital and booking a newborn session of course!

For many parents this will be their first newborn shoot. Here are a few guidelines to help you find the perfect photographer to capture one of the most important moments in your journey becoming a family.

WHEN TO BOOK
Each week I get emails from parents who have either had their baby already or who are due in a few weeks or days. It breaks my heart because I am typically already booked. There are exceptions if it just happens to be a slower month for me or if other clients delivered early. But generally, I'm booked up. Most professional newborn photographers book about 2-4 months in advance and often have a limited number of newborns each month. So if you do have your heart set on getting portraits of your baby, make sure to start researching and contacting photographers a few months prior to your delivery date so you can make your decision and officially book with the photographer of your choice.

BUDGET
When choosing a photographer there are several things to consider. First, budget. How much are you planning to invest in these portraits. For me, there are 3 times in one's life that you should invest in portraits - newborn, high school senior portraits and wedding portraits. Obviously there are other moments and milestones along the way. But these three are ones where your budget should be the largest. You can find photographers ranging in price from $250-$2500 and up depending on where you are located. But remember, not all photographers are created equal. Newborn portraits are just like anything else - you get what you pay for. But if you have a smaller budget that is okay. Just don't go in knowing that you might be going with a less experienced photographer who is just starting out. Hey, I was there once and wouldn't be where I am now without all of the clients who hired me then. Once you have decided on your budget do some research and contact your top 3-4 photographers for their rates. Then compare and go from there. You might end up spending a little more than you budgeted, but then again, this is a once in a lifetime kind of shoot so it's worth it!

STYLE
After establishing a budget you should begin searching for the perfect photographer for you. One thing to keep in mind is that there are several styles of newborn sessions. I refer to them as "posed" sessions and "lifestyle" sessions. Posed sessions are the ones you see of babies and all of those perfect poses laying on blankets with hats, headbands and other props. Posed sessions are often done in a studio setting, although many photographers do travel to homes and bring all the necessary props and equipment to achieve this look. Lifestyle sessions are more about the family and are designed to capture the baby and family members in a more natural, less posed atmosphere. They are often done in-home but you also can find photographers who design their studio space to accommodate lifestyle sessions. So take a look at both types of sessions and decide which works best for you.

Example of a posed image

Example of a lifestyle image

SAFETY
One of the most important things to consider when booking your session is the safety of your precious new baby. Sometimes people get so excited over images they've seen of babies in certain poses or hanging from objects, they forget to consider the safety measurements, or lack of, involved. The very first thing you should ask a potential photographer is if they carry insurance, specifically liability insurance. Your baby, only days old, will be in the care of this person for several hours. It is important to make sure that if something happens in the care of the photographer, they have insurance to cover any damages both to your property and to your child. Other things to consider are best practices. For example, I have taken multiple posing safety classes to help ensure I am not harming your child when putting them into specific poses. Not all newborns will go into the same positions and I would never force a newborn into a pose just to please myself or parents. I know how to properly pose their arms, legs and head to ensure they are not losing circulation among other things. And also, I NEVER hang babies in props. I have images where it looks like a child is hanging, but they are composites of 2 images taken - one with the baby in the prop on the floor and the other of the prop hanging empty. Then using photoshop I compose the image together. So just make sure to ask some questions about safety practices when contacting potential photographers. No image is more important than the safety of your child.

Shot of the baby on the floor in the prop

Example of the finished image

PROPS
Most newborn photographers have a collection of props available for your use. If there are specific props you are hoping for, just ask and they can let you know if they can provide what you have in mind. Some might even purchase it for you. I like to provide a nice collection of wraps, hats, headbands, outfits, baskets and bowls for use so parents don't have to worry about bringing or buying anything for their session. Also, take notice of the images in a photographers portfolio. Are they mostly neutral colors or do they use bright colors? Do they seem to use a lot of props, or are most of their images of babies on blankets or furry rugs. This is important because if you show up to a photographer's studio that displays mostly neutral colors and set ups, but you're hoping for some bright colors and props - you may be disappointed. This used to happen to me all the time. I now do my best to communicate my style and the types of props I have available to avoid any confusion during our session. I also offer studio tours so parents can come and see what I have available to them.

SCHEDULING
Most photographers who specialize in "posed" sessions try to schedule newborn sessions within the first 2 weeks of baby's arrival. Newborns are typically the most sleepy, flexible and cooperative during that time. So make sure to contact them within a few days after your baby's birth to set up your shoot. Now, things happen and there are circumstances when a session is not able to be booked within that time. That is certainly okay, just know that if your baby is 3, 4, 5 weeks or older, you may not get those sleepy, squishy poses you were hoping for. If you have booked with a lifestyle photographer, the age of the baby is not as crucial to a successful shoot.

PREPARATION
So now you have done your research and have officially booked your session - you're so excited and can't wait for your little one to arrive. Make sure to ask if there are any instructions you will need to prepare for your shoot and go over them ahead of time. After your baby arrives things can be very crazy so knowing ahead of time is always helpful. I have an entire guide I send to clients so they can do their best to prepare their baby for a smooth session. Not every baby sleeps the entire time, but if you follow some simple instructions from your photographer, you will have a much better shot at having a successful shoot.

Congratulations on your little one on the way. I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have any questions about booking a newborn session with me or if you have any questions about this blog post feel free to contact me at christa@gablephoto.com.

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Both 2017 and 2018 have been filled with little boys in the studio, so when these parents told me they were having a girl and wanted to incorporate flowers into their session you can imagine my excitement. Don't get me wrong, I love me some precious little baby boys, but after a 5 baby boy streak I had, I was ready to get some flowers a bloomin' in the studio!

This little angel also happened to be so tiny and an amazing sleeper, so all around it was an incredible session. Here are a few of my favorites!

For more information about newborn photography and to view more of my work


















 

 

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For the past 6 years I've been photographing this family. Before they were three, before they were husband and wife actually. Their engagement, wedding, newborn portraits, holiday photos, milestones and family portraits. It's been such an honor going through this journey with them and this most recent session may be my most favorite of all. I love how they turned out, but I also know it will be the one of the last times they are photographed together for a while. Daddy is being deployed in a few weeks and knowing that he'll be away from these beautiful ladies kinda tugs at the old heartstrings. I know he's going to do a great job overseas and I know he's going to come home safe. But it will be a long time away from his loved ones, and he is not alone.

Thank you for all that you do. Being a military family is a sacrifice and I am so proud to know many of them, especially this one. God bless you all and be safe my friends.
















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As a photographer sometimes you spend so much time photographing other people, you put your own sessions on hold. My oldest daughter celebrated her 6th birthday last month and it was time for her annual session and I just kept putting it off. A dear friend and fellow photographer even lent me some gorgeous Dollcake dresses to use and I just couldn't get the motivation to get her ready. I did have a day planned last week but of course it rained. Today was another rainy day, however around 7pm it cleared up so I grabbed both girls, put their curly hair in some loose piggies and bribed them with an Oreo McFlurry and off we went.

I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go, and the older she gets, the more shy she is when people are watching so I had one special spot in mind I knew would be more private. It's interesting because also as she gets older she tries to "pose" herself and channels Zoolander with her facial expressions haha! Getting those natural smiles is definitely more difficult these days, but I was so happy to get a few of her and capture her sweet, gentle soul and get at least one of her natural smile! Of course little sissy had to participate too and OMG she is such a ham! She kept tugging at my leg saying "mommy it's my turn now!"









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When mama contacted me about doing her newborn portraits for her 4th child, I was so excited! They had 3 beautiful daughters and were waiting to be surprised with the 4th baby. Well it was another girl for this family and OMG after photographing her with her 3 big sisters it became clear that these little ladies were just meant to have another baby girl in the family.

I have to say, I was a little nervous to have them all in the studio and was literally praying we'd get at least one good shot for mama of the 4 of them together. Well, not only were they the most perfect little ladies and did we get many shots of them together, but I even managed to get individual shots of the older sisters too. They came with the most amazing outfits I just had to capture a portrait of each of them.

After the sibling portion the older gals left and I got to snuggle little miss #4 for her solo shots. She slept and then woke up right at the end for some of the most adorable awake shots. She had the best expressions I was so excited to have captured!

Here are a few of my favorites. If you would like more information about booking a newborn session click here.















 

 

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Having already met mom and dad during their maternity session, I was so excited to meet this little man. A tiny peanut at only 5lbs, he was a dream! The week of his session I had 5 newborns, which is a busy week for me, and a few of them were on the fussy side. Not this guy. He slept and snuggled like a champ and we were able to get so many wonderful images for mom and dad.

Working with babies and new families so frequently I get so see all of the dynamics. I will say these were some of the most chill, comfortable and non-stressed out parents, which also makes my job a little easier. They say that calm parents make for calm babies... in this case that was certainly the truth. However, every family is different and every baby is different and it really is wonderful to get to witness new families bloom each week.

To view my newborn portfolio click here.
















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I've said it before and I'll say it again... I just love doing maternity sessions. Not only because capturing these beautiful mamas while they are carrying the most precious little lives inside them, but because it gives me an opportunity to get to know my clients before the come in as newborn clients. When I used to photograph weddings, it was the same thing with engagement sessions. I got to meet and get to know the couple before the big day.

Getting to this stunning mama and daddy to be was so much fun. Not only are they GORGEOUS, but they are just the most down to earth. I love asking about the baby, if they have names picked out, the nursery decorated etc. I get so excited with anticipation along with them. Now I'll be even more excited when they come back with their little man.

There are so many images that I love from this maternity portrait session. I don't think they could take a bad photo. I also got to use a few of my new gowns which was exciting as well. Here are just a few of my favorites...















 

To see more maternity portraits click here. Or if you would like more information contact me here

 

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With the technology of amazing cell phone cameras and affordable pro-grade cameras, it's no wonder this generation is the most photographed in history. I love that parents are capturing special moments, day-to-day activities and life. However, I wanted to take things back in time a bit and create timeless portraits that would be difficult to achieve using a cell phone. A throwback if you will to a simple style where there are minimal props and the child, their expression, and they really come to life.

About a month ago I did this kind of session with my own two girls. I had such an amazing response I decided to offer them as a mini session. It was definitely a challenge to offer these as minis, because this type of session is so completely different than the normal children's session. With a traditional session I'm trying to get them to smile, but asking them not too smile for these images proved to be harder haha! And unlike my usual session, the goal here was not to get dozens of good images, but just a handful that would really stand out and have an impact. Then there was wardrobe planning, backdrop planning as well as the editing, which took much more time and technique.

Ooh but I'm so happy I did these because I just can't get over how amazing they turned out. Most of these children I have been photographing for years, so to have the opportunity to capture them so differently and so strikingly was truly such an amazing creative process.

I will likely offer these again, so if you are interested make sure you are subscribed to my email list or contact me at christa@gablephoto.com

Here are just a few of my favorites...

















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