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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 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 Midtown Mobile Maternity Session Wedding days are day one of a new life together. They’re day one of a new family. When a bride and groom walk down the aisle at the end of their ceremony, they are walking into their future life together. I always love witnessing this moment and capturing it forever […]

July 17, 2019

A Midtown Mobile Maternity Session

Wedding days are day one of a new life together. They’re day one of a new family. When a bride and groom walk down the aisle at the end of their ceremony, they are walking into their future life together. I always love witnessing this moment and capturing it forever with my camera.

I remember Alex and Taylor’s wedding like it was yesterday. It was a hot, but beautiful, June day. I was so excited to get to photograph my cousin and his wife-to-be as a bride and groom! Since I was the second photographer at their wedding, I’ve never shared any of the images here on the blog, but I definitely need to dig into my archives and pull out my favorites sometime in the near future!

You know how they say that a woman glows when she’s expecting? Well, Taylor definitely has the mommy-to-be glow! In fact, I suspected she was pregnant shortly before she announced the news to our extended family. There was just something that seemed different about her, an extra bit of joy in her already cheerful nature. And she still had that glow the day of this maternity session!

Taylor has such a great eye for decorating and I absolutely adore the nursery that she and Alex have put together for their little one. We decided to do their maternity portraits at their home. I loved shooting in the nursery and was equally excited that their neighborhood has plenty of beautiful trees and shrubs. I found one spot where the light was so dreamy that we stayed there for most of the outside photos. I always say that background is secondary to good light and it’s SO true! Be sure to scroll down to see the dreamy, golden light!

Taylor asked if we could include these books by Jimmy Fallon in their portraits. I thought it was such a cute idea! They’re definitely in preparation mode!

Can we talk about how sweet the name Henry is?! Paired with the middle name, Wallace, it sounds positively regal!

See Alex & Taylor’s Gender Reveal!

View more portraits sessions!

 

Category:

Waiting for Henry

2019

Open Post

A Gender Reveal Portrait Session One of the things I love most about being a wedding photographer is getting to bear witness to one of the most special days of a couple’s life. I say one of the ‘most special’ because I know that other special days will come after that day. The day a […]

June 15, 2019

A Gender Reveal Portrait Session

One of the things I love most about being a wedding photographer is getting to bear witness to one of the most special days of a couple’s life. I say one of the ‘most special’ because I know that other special days will come after that day. The day a couple finds out they’re expecting their first child is certainly one of those most special days, as is the day they find out if they’re having a boy or a girl.

I first met Samantha in 2016 when she was newly engaged to Robby. It’s hard to believe that’s been three years ago already! Samantha is one of the sweetest brides I’ve ever worked with. When she asked me if I could do a gender reveal portrait session to celebrate their growing family, I said yes faster than buttercream icing will melt on a humid summer wedding day!

It is such a joy to work with clients who love photos as much as I do and Samantha certainly shares my love of pictures! I absolutely loved her idea for this reveal. She incorporated both an exploding golf ball and confetti into the reveal. Only her friend who ordered the reveal items knew the gender prior to this shoot. Samantha and Robby wore the color that matched their guess of the gender. Seriously, it was the cutest!

While they initially intended to surprise everyone with their happy news via the photos, Samantha couldn’t keep the secret from her parents. They ended up coming to the session so that they could see the reveal in person. I love that her dad was able to record the moment as I took these photos!

I know y’all are dying to know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl, so scroll down to see the big reveal! Samantha and Robby, congratulations and thank you for trusting me with your very special memories! This was too much fun!!!

It’s a GIRL!!!

Samantha and her sweet parents right after the reveal! I love how close these three are.

Click to view more gender reveal and maternity sessions!

Category:

Will it Be Pink or Blue?

Portraits

Open Post

Baby Makes Three! A little over three years ago I received an email from a photographer looking for work as a second shooter. My good friend and fellow wedding photographer, Jennie Tewell, sent him my way. I had been looking for someone to work with me on a few weddings, so the email was quite […]

March 11, 2019

Baby Makes Three!

A little over three years ago I received an email from a photographer looking for work as a second shooter. My good friend and fellow wedding photographer, Jennie Tewell, sent him my way. I had been looking for someone to work with me on a few weddings, so the email was quite timely. We arranged a meeting at Carpe Diem. I didn’t know what to expect. At the time I was an associate photographer with Jennie’s business and new to weddings. I wasn’t even sure how I should conduct the meeting. Was it an interview? That didn’t seem right. I finally decided to approach our meeting as I would if I were just grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend.

I walked into the crowded coffee shop in Springhill and found him sitting at a table by the front window. “Hi, I’m Jacob,” he said as he reached out his hand to shake mine. I don’t remember how long we met for, but I do remember that about five minutes into our conversation I found out Jacob is from Memphis. “I have family up that way,” was my reply. That led to Jacob asking me if I was related to a Michael Gelineau. I love small-world moments, but this one had me in disbelief. It turns out that Jacob grew up playing baseball and my uncle, who lives in Memphis, was one of his coaches. How in the world do our paths end up crossing out of all the other photographers in Mobile he could have contacted?! I took it as a sign that we were meant to work together.

Three years later, Jacob and I have photographed a slew of weddings together. In fact, I think I’ve worked more weddings with him than I have with any other photographer. At this point, he can practically read my mind. One thing I learned about Jacob at our first meeting, is how much he adores his sweet wife, Aubrey. He absolutely lights up every time he talks about her. I felt like I knew her long before we actually met. Last fall, Aubrey worked as my assistant on one of my weddings. It was so much fun working with both of them on the same day!

At the end of an insanely busy season last fall, I told Jacob that I wanted to do a portrait session for him and Aubrey as a thank you for all his hard work throughout the year. As it turns out, they had a special surprise to share by the time that session date arrived. On our first wedding together for this year, Jacob told me that Aubrey is expecting their first child! I am SO excited for these two and was so happy that we could incorporate some baby announcement photos into their portrait session! Talk about perfect timing!

Now that they have shared the news with their family and friends, I’m excited to share some of my favorites from their session. Fun fact, even though Jacob is a photographer, it’s been quite a while since he and Aubrey have had a formal portrait session! Jacob said it was definitely weird being on the other side of things and not having a camera in his hand. I absolutely LOVED getting to photograph them during this special season in their lives. I am so thankful to call them friends and can’t wait to meet their little one later this year!

Carpe Diem is one of Jacob and Aubrey’s favorite spots in town. They’re regular visitors to this little coffee shop, so of course we had to work it into some of their portraits. I still can’t believe that we were able to get a few shots in without anyone on the porch. This place is always so busy! These turned out to be some of my favorites too!

Aubrey’s Hair Styled by Mackenzie Smith at Cara & Company Salon

Category:

Jacob + Aubrey

Portraits

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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