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I'm Elizabeth Gelineau, a photographer, dreamer, and accidental entrepreneur. Based in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., I photograph portraits, weddings and events on both sides of Mobile Bay. Grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and enjoy browsing around. I'm so glad you stopped by!

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Open Post

A University of South Alabama Engagement Last March I photographed five weddings in addition to a dozen other sessions. I also met several of my 2020 brides for the first time during this month in 2019. I’ve spent most of this March like almost everyone else in the world, watching the continuous coverage of the […]

March 26, 2020

A University of South Alabama Engagement

Last March I photographed five weddings in addition to a dozen other sessions. I also met several of my 2020 brides for the first time during this month in 2019. I’ve spent most of this March like almost everyone else in the world, watching the continuous coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and wondering when we will see life return back to normal.

It seems so bizarre that just two weeks ago I headed to photograph an event in the early afternoon. I had no idea how fast things would change in a 24-hour period of time. Suddenly, almost all of my shoots for the month were cancelled, especially those that were for events and/or commercial clients. Some of my spring brides have already had to make the difficult decision to postpone their weddings, while others hold their breath to see if we will get good news in time enough for them to keep their plans. My heart breaks for them and, like them, I hold out hope that this won’t go on as long as everyone predicts.

One of the hardest things about social distancing and this whole coronavirus situation, has been the suspension of church services. Thank goodness we live in an age where live-streaming of Mass is an option, but it’s definitely not the same. For the past 14 years I’ve been volunteering to serve coffee after 9am Mass at church. I’ve met so many of my fellow parishioners just because I poured them a cup of coffee and wished them a happy Sunday. This is how I first met Bailey’s grandparents. After seeing them for several Sundays in a row, we found our paths crossing at the State Championship game for Alabama high school football. During the pregame festivities we recognized each other from church. Since that time, Vernon and Mary Ann have become two of my favorite people!

Coincidentally, my mom knew Vernon and Mary Ann’s daughter, Deena, from the gym she was a member of years ago. It truly is such a small world, especially in Mobile! Fast forward a few months and my mom ends up being in one of Deena’s exercise classes. One day, at the beginning of class, Deena shared that her daughter had gotten engaged. Soon after that, I sat down with Bailey and her mom to chat all things wedding!

It turns out that Bailey has very similar taste to my own sister, choosing the same ceremony and reception venues! I was so happy that Bailey and Dave were keen to go forward with their engagement session as planned. I truly love what I do and just getting back out with a camera in my hand was a good feeling! We did practice social distancing during this shoot. Since I prefer using lenses with longer focal lengths, this wasn’t a problem at all. I just missed out on getting to hug my clients…so I just gave a big wave instead.

We pretty much had the university to ourselves the day of this shoot, minus a few people who passed by while on a run or walk. It was a bit strange to see the campus so deserted, but it definitely worked in our favor! Enjoy my favorites from this sweet spring session and I hope you’re all hanging in there during these crazy times!

 

 

Category:

Bailey + Dave | Engaged

2020

Open Post

A Guide for Moms-to-Be My past brides inspired me to write a series of posts on newborn photography. While I have photographed newborns throughout my years in business, I would not consider newborn photography to be my specialty. My schedule largely revolves around weddings and engagements, which makes it difficult to plan time for newborn arrivals. The schedule […]

March 17, 2020

A Guide for Moms-to-Be

My past brides inspired me to write a series of posts on newborn photography. While I have photographed newborns throughout my years in business, I would not consider newborn photography to be my specialty. My schedule largely revolves around weddings and engagements, which makes it difficult to plan time for newborn arrivals. The schedule of photographing newborns is totally different from that of photographing weddings. Wedding work is predictable down to the date, while newborn photography scheduling has to be somewhat flexible.

My friends Danielle Parker Photography and Hannah Stinson Photography are crazy talented when it comes to capturing all that squishy newborn cuteness. They are my go-to recommendations when it comes to helping my past brides find a newborn photographer. In chatting with past clients who are now expecting their first babies, I came to the realization that many didn’t know what types of options were available for newborn photography. With Hannah’s and Danielle’s help, I put together this series of posts breaking down all the options for moms-to-be!

For today’s post, I sat down with Hannah Stinson Photography to chat all about the studio experience. If you missed the first post in this series that gives an overview of newborn photography options, you can check that out here. If you’re interested in having an in-home newborn session, or are looking for options for birth photography, check out post two in this series. All images in this post are courtesy of Hannah Stinson Photography.

 

Meet Hannah

I’ve long-admired Hannah’s beautiful photography, but believe it or not, we only just met in person for the first time last week! Hannah’s studio is less than 10 minutes from my home. We have mutual friends and have even been at the same events before. Yet, we’ve never been introduced. In this big, small town that seems crazy. I love that this series on newborn photography gave us an excuse to finally “officially” meet, even though we’ve known each other via social media for a few years.

Hannah is originally from Auburn, AL – “War Eagle,” she exclaims! After graduating from college and marrying her best friend, she moved to Mobile. Eight years ago she started her photography business, but she says she’s had a love of photography as long as she can remember. From the very beginning of her business journey, Hannah knew she wanted to specialize in children and family portraits, with an emphasis on newborns.

“I have two boys of my own and being able to look back on pictures I’ve taken of those little chubby cheeks and baby teeth smiles is one of my greatest joys,” she says. The ability to extend that gift to others, she says, is truly the reason she loves her job so much. Hannah’s studio is located in the heart of Mobile and there she is able to capture timeless portraits that families can treasure for generations.

The Studio Experience

Hannah says her goal is to make every newborn session as calm and relaxing as possible. At her studio, you’ll find the environment very clean and tidy, quiet with a little white noise playing. You can expect it to be a bit on the warm side too because warm babies equal happy babies. A sitting area offers parents a place to relax with coffee, drinks and snacks provided. If older siblings are present, Hannah has a toy area to keep them occupied as well. She says it’s not uncommon for dads to sneak in a nap while their little one is being photographed!

 

What to Bring to the Studio

When it comes to posing, props and wraps, Hannah is well prepared. She says her large collection of props and wraps will suit many tastes and styles (read, borderline hoarder…she laughs!). Clients aren’t required to bring anything for their little one unless they want to. Hannah says she discusses color preferences with her clients ahead of the session. She typically selects three or so blankets and coordinating wraps, outfits and hats/headbands before her clients arrive.

Before the session begins, she goes through these options with her clients and they select what they like. Hannah encourages her clients to let her know if there is something she’s pulled out that they don’t like, or if they would prefer another color/style of prop. “Above all, I want them to love their images and a big part of that is making sure all props used for the portraits align with what they’d like to see hung in their home,” she says.

 

Parents + Siblings

Parents and siblings are welcome to participate in the session as well. Hannah says she knows from experience that the first couple of weeks with a new baby can be hard and post delivery moms aren’t always feeling camera ready. But, she says, “there is no better scale to really get an idea of just how little your new addition is/was than holding them in your arms.” This is why she highly encourages new parents to be in a few of the portraits.

Why a Studio Session Might Be for You

If you’d prefer to not have someone come to your home for a portrait session, then visiting a studio like Hannah’s is a great option for newborn portraits. With space for both posed portraits of the family and newborn, you can relax in a comfortable environment while Hannah works her magic. An added benefit is that there is no pressure on the new parents to clean their home.

Hannah only holds newborn sessions in her studio. This way, all her clients have access to her extensive prop collection. “I have a feeling my clients would think I was moving in with them if I tried to bring everything with me to an in-home session,” she laughs.

Milestones

If you want to document your baby’s first year beyond the newborn session, then you may want to ask your newborn photographer if they offer milestone sessions. These sessions are designed to capture baby’s first year. Most milestone packages begin with either the maternity session, or the newborn session. Hannah offers a “Grow With Me” milestone session plan for her clients. Just like working with your wedding photographer for your engagement, bridal and wedding day portraits, it’s nice to build a relationship with a photographer you’ll want to work with throughout your baby’s first year.

Hannah says milestone sessions are a great way to document how quickly your little one changes, as well as capturing all those big milestones like sitting up, crawling and walking/standing on their own.

 

Don’t miss Part One and Part Two of this series!

 

 

Category:

Newborn Photography | Part 3

2020

Open Post

A Downtown Mobile Spring Wedding The best getting ready places for a wedding day are those with lots of windows! Natural light streaming in from floor to ceiling windows is my favorite. The room where Resi and her bridesmaids spent the morning of her wedding day was such a dream! I had been to the […]

March 11, 2020

A Downtown Mobile Spring Wedding

The best getting ready places for a wedding day are those with lots of windows! Natural light streaming in from floor to ceiling windows is my favorite. The room where Resi and her bridesmaids spent the morning of her wedding day was such a dream! I had been to the Malaga Inn in downtown Mobile, Alabama once before, but had never seen this particular room. Between having ample window light, gorgeous marble accents, and being close to great portrait locations, I was in heaven!

When I walked into the getting ready room, Resi and her bridesmaids had already hung the dress. This is typically something that I do upon arrival, but when I saw how high the ceilings were, I was thankful that they had asked the Inn’s maintenance staff to bring a ladder to their room. I told Resi I was proud of her for selecting a spot to hang the dress that was in good light! I was super impressed that Resi thought about getting a ladder to the room in advance. There is no way we would have been able to hang the gown in that particular spot without it! I just love when my brides get excited about their detail shots as I do!

After Resi shared a First Look with her bridesmaids, one of them asked if she thought Jacob would cry when he saw her. Resi said she wasn’t sure, but I’m pretty sure I saw some tears sneak into the corners of his eyes when he did finally see his bride. I always love a bride and groom First Look because it just immediately relaxes everyone. Once a bride is in her dress, she knows she’s only minutes from seeing her best friend. It takes away some of the nerves and pressure of the day. It’s also nice to get to spend the majority of the day with your full bridal party instead of just half of it.

Getting Variety in Your Portraits

Since Resi and Jacob did see each other ahead of the ceremony, we were able to get bride and groom portraits at several different locations. If you’re a bride who wants a variety of backgrounds in your final gallery, a First Look is definitely the way to go because it means we have more freedom to move around and use more than one of your venues in your portraits. For this day, we started out at Malaga Inn before walking across the street to Spanish Plaza for additional portraits. I love this little spot in downtown Mobile. It’s centrally located and rarely crowded.

Next, we headed to their ceremony location, Dauphin Way United Methodist Church. This church had so many beautiful spots for portraits! It had me wishing I could shoot an engagement session there. Finally, we squeezed in a few roof-top portraits at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center where the reception was held. I love the terrace at this venue. Even though we were only out there for a few minutes, it was worth it to capture a bit of the downtown skyline.

Resi and Jacob, thank you so much for having me be part of your wedding day! It was such a joy to capture these moments for you and your families! Cheers to the newly Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald!

I’m OBSESSED with this spot! I didn’t want to leave it behind because the light from that window was perfection!

The grandfather of one of Resi’s bridesmaids was their chauffeur at the end of the night.

His vintage car was definitely one of my favorite details of the day!

VENDORS

Second Photographer | Toni Goodie

Photographer’s Assistant | Alexis Williams

Getting Ready Venue | Malaga Inn – Mobile, Alabama

Ceremony | Dauphin Way United Methodist Church

Reception | Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Florist | Belle Bouquet

Cake | Kathryn Cartee

Catering | Creative Catering

Hair Stylist | March Hare Salon

Makeup Artist | Wonderstruck Studios

Band | Fuego Show Band

Rentals | Mobile Popcorn

Bride’s Gown | Mimi’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses | I Do Bridal, Morilee

Groom + Groomsmen Attire | Men’s Wearhouse

Programs + Invitations | Paper Jubilee

 

 

 

Category:

Resi + Jacob | Married

2020

Open Post

A Guide for Expecting Moms My past brides inspired me to write a series of posts on newborn photography. While I have photographed newborns throughout my years in business, I would not consider newborn photography to be my specialty. My schedule largely revolves around weddings and engagements, which makes it difficult to plan time for […]

March 9, 2020

A Guide for Expecting Moms

My past brides inspired me to write a series of posts on newborn photography. While I have photographed newborns throughout my years in business, I would not consider newborn photography to be my specialty. My schedule largely revolves around weddings and engagements, which makes it difficult to plan time for newborn arrivals. The schedule of photographing newborns is totally different from that of photographing weddings. Wedding work is predictable down to the date, while newborn photography scheduling has to be somewhat flexible.

My friends Danielle Parker Photography and Hannah Stinson Photography are crazy talented when it comes to capturing all that squishy newborn cuteness. They are my go-to recommendations when it comes to helping my past brides find a newborn photographer. In chatting with past clients who are now expecting their first babies, I came to the realization that many didn’t know what types of options were available for newborn photography. With Hannah’s and Danielle’s help, I put together this series of posts breaking down all the options for moms-to-be!

Today’s post will look at options that Danielle Parker Photography offers for newborns, including birth, Fresh 48, and in-home portrait options. If you missed the first post in this series that gives an overview of newborn photography options, you can check that out here. All images in this post are courtesy of Danielle Parker Photography.

 

Meet Danielle

Danielle and I have known each other since high school. We lost touch during our college years, but photography made our paths cross again. I still remember the first time I saw one of Danielle’s photographs. I commented on it and was surprised when her reply said she knew me! We are both members of a photography community, but I only knew her by her married last name there. We have both been in business for about the same number of years. It has been fun to reconnect with her over the past several years over our mutual love of photography!

Danielle says she’s had a love of and appreciation for photography for as long as she can remember. Her journey to newborn photography began with the birth of her twins nine years ago. After battling with infertility for several years, Danielle feared she would never become a mother. When she finally did become pregnant, she was overcome with the desire to document everything about her babies. She says that’s when she knew she’d found her calling and her focus for photography. “My struggles with infertility gave me a greater appreciation for new life and just how fleeting those early moments really are,” she says. “I feel blessed to capture the uniquely beautiful details of this brief and special time for others.”

 

Birth & Fresh 48 Sessions

Unless you’re having an in-home birth, both birth and Fresh 48 sessions take place in the hospital. Danielle’s birth sessions capture the details of your surroundings and the emotions you feel during the final hours of your little one’s long awaited arrival, as well as the excitement and joy immediately following your baby’s birth. Just like you hire a wedding photographer to document the joy of your wedding day, hiring a birth photographer is part of documenting the next chapter of your love story. It’s important to feel comfortable with the person who will be part of this very special day of your life. Danielle recommends a pre-delivery meeting with both mom and dad so that she can get to know them a bit beforehand.

From her own experience as a mom, Danielle says it’s difficult to remember all the details of giving birth. She loves capturing it all, from the easily overlooked details, to the big moments. For a birth session, your photographer is essentially “on call” based on your due date. This is why birth photographers typically take on only a handful of birth clients within a given time frame.

Fresh 48 sessions take place while you and your baby are still in the hospital. Danielle says that she knows from experience that those first few days go by in a blur. “Despite the long hours of staring at your baby in your arms, cradled by your partner, or sleeping in the plastic bassinet, it’s all too easy to lose the clarity of those memories,” she says. Fresh 48 sessions are design to capture how fresh and new your little one is, as well as the family’s love and joy in a natural, documentary way.

If you’re interested in birth or a Fresh 48 session, don’t delay in booking a photographer. You’ll want to get on their calendar early enough so that they can be on-call during the final weeks of your pregnancy.

In-Home Sessions: Lifestyle vs Posed

Danielle offers both lifestyle and posed options for in-home sessions. If you’re unsure of the difference between these two options, be sure to check out part one of this series. Danielle says her sessions typically include a mix of posed portraits of the baby, as well as lifestyle family images. If you’d prefer to have your baby photographed in the comfort of your own home, then an in-home session is going to be the ideal option for you. Ideally, posed newborn sessions take place within the first two weeks of a baby’s life. This is when they’re still in a sleepy stage and before they discover their surroundings too much.

How in the world do you pose a baby? This is probably the most frequent question I hear when talking about newborn photography and it’s important to know that posing newborns is definitely a talent and a skill. Photographers who specialize in newborn photography are well aware of what poses are safe for your baby. Additionally, posing can be done in a way that is organic and natural. There are various styles when it comes to newborn posing, so be sure to check out the portfolio of any photographer you’re considering for your newborn portraits to make sure their style matches your vision for your portraits. As with wedding photography, each newborn photographer will have their own unique style.

Danielle says she prefers to use simple, natural poses for her baby portraits. Neutral backdrops and wraps give the images a timeless feel. Who doesn’t love a portrait like this?!

Preparing for an In-Home Session

Danielle says preparation for an in-home session is easier than you may think. She emphasizes that she knows from experience that things aren’t always perfectly “put together” around the house after bringing baby home. It’s easy to put pressure on yourself to have the house presentable, but it’s truly not something to stress about. Danielle says if something needs to be moved during the session, she’ll gently move it out of the way and then put it back when she’s done. She also says that she doesn’t need a great deal of space, or even a huge amount of natural light. “Some of my favorite images have been taken in a small room with only one window, when the sky was overcast,” she says.

The real beauty of in-home sessions is capturing the “realness” of what belongs to the family, the environment that is unique to them.

 

Milestones

If you want to document your baby’s first year beyond the newborn session, then you may want to ask your newborn photographer if they offer milestone sessions. These sessions are designed to capture baby’s first year. Most milestone packages begin with either the maternity session, or the newborn session. Danielle offers a “Grow With Me” milestone session plan for her clients. Just like working with your wedding photographer for your engagement, bridal and wedding day portraits, it’s nice to build a relationship with a photographer you’ll want to work with throughout your baby’s first year.

Have questions about in-home newborn sessions? Leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to answer them! Special thanks to my friend Danielle for helping me put this post together!

Next week, I’m wrapping up this series on newborn photography with a closer look at studio session options from Hannah Stinson Photography!

 

Category:

Newborn Photography | Part 2

2020

Open Post

A Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Wedding Bailey and Tony had perfect weather for their engagement session! At the end of that shoot Bailey said, “I just hope it’s like this on our wedding day!” Well, their day arrived and not only was I excited to shoot at one of my favorite Mobile, Alabama wedding venues, I was […]

March 4, 2020

A Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Wedding

Bailey and Tony had perfect weather for their engagement session! At the end of that shoot Bailey said, “I just hope it’s like this on our wedding day!” Well, their day arrived and not only was I excited to shoot at one of my favorite Mobile, Alabama wedding venues, I was also excited because the weather was indeed perfect. Bailey got her wedding wish! On top of the perfect weather, the azaleas were beginning to bloom at The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion! It was a spring wedding dream!

This day was full of so many sweet moments! There’s no way I could pick just one favorite. Bailey’s first look with her dad had everyone in tears, her grandmother seeing her for the first time in her dress had us all reaching for the tissues again, and a musical tribute from friends was a highlight of the reception. Bailey’s dad said that he knew Tony was special from the first time he met him. He could tell his daughter had found her soul mate, even though she was still a teenager at the time. I love high school sweetheart love stories, don’t you?! As Bailey’s dad shared in his toast, it’s a rare thing to find “the one” at such a young age and that in itself is something to be treasured and celebrated!

Bailey and Tony did not see each other before the ceremony. I love that he was so excited to see her that he turned around to get the first glimpse of his beautiful bride the minute the doors were opened! It was such a sweet moment!

Timing the Ceremony with Sunset

When couples choose to not share a First Look, I always recommend checking the sunset time for your wedding date. It’s so important to leave enough daylight after the ceremony for natural light portraits! Bailey and Tony perfectly timed their ceremony to give us ample time for portraits afterwards. If you’re trying to figure out what time to set your own ceremony, Google the sunset time for your date and location. Then, allot a minimum of two hours between the end of your ceremony and sunset.

Many people think an hour of light is enough time, but many things can eat away time. Keep in mind whether or not your location is heavily shaded, how many portraits you’ll be taking with bridal party and family afterwards, as well as the chances of your ceremony running longer than planned. All of these factors can affect how much daylight you’ll need! Additionally, if it’s a heavily overcast day, the light will fade earlier than the official sunset time.

Bailey and Tony, thank you for being such a dream to work with! It was such a joy to capture these moments for you!

I love mother-daughter moments on wedding days! This one is going down as one of my all-time favorites!

This daddy-daughter First Look had everyone in tears!

I love this moment between Bailey, her daddy and her younger sister!

The moment Bailey’s grandmother saw her in her gown had us all reaching for tissues yet again! Definitely one of my favorite moments of the day!

My favorite portrait of the day! Thank you to my assistant, Alexis, for an amazing veil toss!

I just can’t get enough of the light in this spot during Golden Hour!

 

VENDORS

Second Photographer | Evan Davis

Photographer’s Assistant | Alexis Williams

Coordinator | Ginny McElhaney-Simmons

Venue | Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

Catering | Naman’s Catering

Florist | James Overstreet, Flowers by James

Cake | Publix

Hair Stylist | Sara, Studio 36

Makeup Artist | Sara, Studio 36

DJ | Aaron Ludlam, DJs by the Bay

Rentals | Mobile Popcorn

Bride’s Gown | Simply Elegant

Bridesmaid Dresses | David’s Bridal

Groom + Groomsmen Attire | Men’s Wearhouse

Invitations | Designed by the Bride, Bailey Parrish

Ceremony Musician | Hailey Thornton

 

 

 

Category:

Bailey + Tony | Married

2020

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth.

Read More

I'm Elizabeth Gelineau, a photographer, dreamer, and accidental entrepreneur. Based in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., I photograph portraits, weddings and events on both sides of Mobile Bay. Grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and enjoy browsing around. I'm so glad you stopped by!

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