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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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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 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 Guide for Expecting Moms I am a wedding photographer, but when I got started in this business I thought I wanted to focus my business on newborn photography. I mean, who wouldn’t love capturing little bundles of joy during their first few weeks of life?! In those early days of my business, I studied […]

March 2, 2020

A Guide for Expecting Moms

I am a wedding photographer, but when I got started in this business I thought I wanted to focus my business on newborn photography. I mean, who wouldn’t love capturing little bundles of joy during their first few weeks of life?!

In those early days of my business, I studied newborn photography like crazy and practiced setups with a baby doll. I even paid for a newborn posing workshop and read everything I could about newborns. Some of my first client sessions were for newborn portraits.

I was never going to photograph weddings. People asked me to, but I always said no. Oh the irony!

I stumbled into wedding photography by accident via taking engagement portraits for my cousin. That stumble changed the course of my business path. I now refer out almost all the newborn session inquiries I receive, but I’ve started to realize that many moms-to-be need a guide for what’s even out there when it comes to newborn portraits. It’s a whole other world of photography!

This post is the first of a three-part series that will introduce you to two of my friends who are amazing newborn photographers in Mobile, Alabama and will explain the differences between the various styles of newborn photography. If you’re a mom-to-be, this post is for you!

 

Meet Danielle Parker + Hannah Stinson

Danielle Parker and Hannah Stinson are two amazing newborn photographers who are based in Mobile, Alabama. I’ve been friends with Danielle since high school and have followed Hannah’s work for years. We’ve all been on our photography business journeys for about the same amount of time.

When I’m asked for recommendations for newborn photographers, these ladies are at the top of my list. I was super excited when they both agreed to share their expertise (and some of their beautiful images!) for this series on newborn photography. I’ll share more about each of their specialties in two upcoming posts. For now, here is a little background on each of them. Danielle’s and Hannah’s images are watermarked so that you know which images belong to each of these talented ladies!

Danielle says she’s had a love of and appreciation for photography as long as she can remember, but her journey to newborn photography began with the birth of her twins nine years ago. After battling infertility for quite some time, Danielle feared she would never become a mother. When it finally happened, she wanted to document every step, every phase, EVERYTHING about her babies. That’s when she knew she’d found her calling.

She says, “My struggles with infertility gave me a greater appreciation for new life and just how fleeting those early moments are. I feel blessed to capture the uniquely beautiful details of this brief and special time for others before the chance is gone.”

Hannah has also had a love of photography as long as she can remember. She was born and raised in Auburn, AL and moved to Mobile after graduating from college and marrying her best friend. Hannah has been in the photography business for nearly eight years.

She says, “I knew from the very beginning of this journey that I wanted to specialize in children and family portraiture 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. The ability to extend that to others is truly the reason why I love my job so much!”

Types of Newborn Sessions

Did you know there are several types of sessions that fall under the category of newborn photography? These most commonly include birth photography, Fresh 48 sessions, in-home sessions and studio sessions. There is also a distinction between “posed” newborn photography and “lifestyle” newborn photography. Confused? Don’t worry, I’m breaking down each of the options below.

Birth Photography

 

Birth photography is definitely not for the faint of heart. A birth session is best scheduled during your second trimester. The photographer will put your due date on their calendar and will essentially be “on call” for when you go into labor. They are there to document all the candid moments in the delivery room from the intensity of labor, to the excitement and raw emotions, as well as the moment your little one takes his or her first breath. Danielle says a birth session might be for you if you want to document the big moments, deep emotions, and small details that tell one of your greatest love stories. This way, she says, “you’ll forever have a reminder of what you’re bound to forget.”

Fresh 48 Sessions

 

A Fresh 48 Session takes place while you’re still in the hospital. These sessions really capture the newness of your little one and preserve those memories of those first couple of days as new parents. These sessions also need to be booked as in advance as possible, usually around the start of the second trimester because your photographer will essentially be “on call” to work your session in within that 48 hour window of time between when you give birth and when you head home from the hospital. Danielle says a Fresh 48 session might be for you if you want to relive the experience of those first few days with your sweet baby – the moments filled with awe, delight, and love for your tiny little miracle.

Studio Newborn Sessions

 

Studio newborn sessions take place in a studio. Typically, they include posed portraits of your newborn, as well as portraits of the family together (parents and siblings). How do you pose a newborn? Is normally the first question I hear from moms-to-be when discussing newborn photography and the option of posed versus unposed. If you’re wanting to go to a studio, then you likely want posed newborn portraits.

Photographers who specialize in newborn photography are incredibly talented and patient when it comes to settling your little one into a pose. Sit back and watch while they work their magic and I promise you’ll be amazed. A studio will typically have various props, backgrounds and wraps on hand for the session. Meaning you need to bring very little with you to the shoot. Hannah says a studio session might be for you if you’re looking for a stress-free environment to deliver perfectly posed professional portraits of your newest addition!

In-Home Newborn Sessions

 

For in-home newborn sessions, the photographer comes to your home to take your newborn portraits. A variety of styles are possible for in-home sessions. Some newborn photographers offer both posed and lifestyle portraits in the same session, while others may specialize in just one or the other. If you prefer carefully posed newborn portraits, then it’s important to choose a photographer skilled in this style. For posed in-home sessions, the photographer will often bring any necessary props, backgrounds and wraps with them.

Lifestyle newborn sessions are another style of newborn photography that can take place in the home. These sessions are often less focused on posed portraits of your newborn and more focused on photographs of the family interacting with the new baby. Danielle says an in-home newborn session might be for you if you’d rather not have the hassle of leaving your home. It’s also for anyone who feels more comfortable and relaxed in their own surroundings and/or wants to incorporate their home into their session.

When to Schedule Your Session

Danielle and Hannah both agree the earlier you can schedule your newborn session, the better. Because newborn photographers are penciling you in on their calendar based on your due date, they can only take so many sessions within a given timeframe.

The start of your second trimester is the best time to reach out to a newborn photographer. If you’re already closer to your due date than that, or have already given birth, don’t panic that you’ve missed out. Hannah and Danielle both have been known to work in last minute bookings depending on the time of year and their current calendar load.

Next week we’ll be taking a closer look at Danielle Parker Photography and learning a little more about the in-home session experience.

 

Category:

Newborn Photography | Part 1

2020

Open Post

A Washington Square Maternity Session I remember the day I met Rachel and Alex as if it were yesterday. We sat outside the now closed Cream & Sugar cafe in the Oakleigh District, a place we all loved. The conversation flowed easily. I loved their vision for their wedding day, an intimate ceremony followed by […]

February 13, 2020

A Washington Square Maternity Session

I remember the day I met Rachel and Alex as if it were yesterday. We sat outside the now closed Cream & Sugar cafe in the Oakleigh District, a place we all loved. The conversation flowed easily. I loved their vision for their wedding day, an intimate ceremony followed by a reception with family and friends. Working with them was like working with friends. How is it that we didn’t know each other already? As much as I love creating beautiful portraits, it’s ultimately good people, their stories and their families that make me love my job so much.

A few months ago I watched a video Rachel shared on Facebook. In the video, she and Alex were announcing the happy news that they were expecting to Rachel’s mom. I LOVE baby announcement videos, but this one had a twist. Rachel and Alex are expecting not one, but two babies! TWINS are on the way! I sat with tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face as I watched Rachel’s mom’s reaction. Their joy was contagious!

Needless to say, I was delighted when Rachel reached out to me for a maternity session! It is such a privilege to work with the same clients over multiple seasons of their lives. It was also really fun to just spend time visiting with these two, who share my love of local restaurants, historic homes and Golden Hour light! Enjoy this look at some of my favorites from their session!

I think we can all agree that Rachel selected the perfect dress for this session!

Category:

Rachel + Alex | Maternity Portraits

2020

Open Post

A Cornerstone Gardens Family Session My friends Debby and Richard moved to Birmingham about a year ago. I was so happy for them to start this new chapter, but I was also a bit sad to see one of my best friends move away from Mobile. Debby is also a photographer and we hit it […]

January 31, 2020

A Cornerstone Gardens Family Session

My friends Debby and Richard moved to Birmingham about a year ago. I was so happy for them to start this new chapter, but I was also a bit sad to see one of my best friends move away from Mobile. Debby is also a photographer and we hit it off from the day we met. It’s been so strange to not be able to call her up for an impromptu coffee chat at Carpe Diem, one of our favorite local coffee shops.

We’re always bouncing ideas off of each other and lending one another an ear when it’s been a challenging day (it’s so important for solo business owners to support each other!). Needless to say, I was excited to catch up with these two when they were in town over the holidays. Taking portraits for someone who is used to being behind the camera is always fun, especially when they have the most adorable pup ever! Elliot is always trying to steal the show!

I’ve loved the other times I’ve been able to shoot at Cornerstone Gardens in Mobile. It was the perfect location for this mini session because it gave us a lot of variety in a quick period of time without having to change actual locations. Debby and Richard were in town for a short time over the holidays so we squeezed this session in just before they headed back to Birmingham. Elliot liked exploring the gardens too. Although, for a minute I was worried he might try to jump in the pond!

Brides to be who are planning a Birmingham area wedding, definitely check out Debby’s site! I know first hand that she’s a fun person to have around on wedding day because she’s second shot weddings with me several times over the past few years. She also took several of the portraits of me that you see on my site! Fun fact, Debby is also a master when it comes to bustling a wedding gown, a skill that I’m still working on. I should probably get her to give me lessons ahead of my sister’s wedding this coming June!

Category:

Cullum Family

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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