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First Year Milestone Session

First Year Milestone Session

Black and Gold Mr. ONEderful 1st Birthday Cake Smash Session

I would estimate that about 70% of the babies that come into the studio don’t really like to eat the cake. They may take a bite or two but cake is not like foods they are exposed to on a daily basis and so it’s not really something they are used to. There is also a sensory component that comes with eating cake. Before you can get to the cake you have to make your way though frosting. Frosting is sticky and creamy and just flat out messy (that’s what makes these sessions so fun!). But the reality is most kiddos don’t like that feeling. It’s all a little sensory overload for lots of kids. 

All that being said, when a kiddo comes into the studio and loves the cake – frosting and all – you know it’s going to be a good session! This little guy was part of the 30% that loved the cake. He made a great mess and enjoyed eating every bite of that cake.

This little guy looked so dapper in his bow tie and suspenders. The theme for his cake smash session was Mr. ONEderful and he was for sure a wonderful little guy. His little mohawlk, chubby cheeks and thighs, and big dark eyes just melted my heart.

I hope you enjoy the cute little behind the scenes video at the end of the post too!

Mr. ONEderful 1st birthday cake smash session birthday boy eating his 1st birthday cake  black and gold 1st birthday theme black and gold 1st birthday cake smash - bow tie 1st birthdayblack and gold stars and bow tie 1st birthday cake smash black and gold stars and bow tie Mr. Onederful cake smash photography session

What a great little session! If you would like to celebrate your little one’s birthday in style please let me know. I would love to be your Indianapolis cake smash photographer. I do require at least 3 weeks advance booking for cake smash sessions. So be sure to reach out early if you would like to celebrate and capture your little one’s birthday.

Rookie of the Year 1st Birthday Cake Smash – Indianapolis Cake Smash Photographer

This little Rookie of the Year is one! This isn’t a new theme/set-up for me, but this sweet birthday boy’s cake smash session was a home run. I can’t get over his sweet curls, big brown eyes, big smile and baby rolls.

Lots of kiddos at one don’t really like to play with birthday cake. It’s a sensory thing. Since they aren’t used to all the texture they have trouble with the sticky frosting and crumbly cake. However, this birthday boy didn’t let the texture bother him at all. Not only was he all about eating the cake he also had fun rubbing his hands and feet in it as well. He played the cake as if it was a drum and overall just made a glorious mess!

studio portraits 1 year old child rookie of the year 1st birthday cake smash photography session baseball birthday cake Rookie of the Year Cake Smash Birthday boy eating cake baby feet with frosting

Do you have a little Rookie of the Year that is about to turn one? If so, I would love to photograph your little one’s first birthday cake smash session in my Indianapolis studio. Feel free to reach out if you would like to get a session on the calendar.

10 Tips for a Successful Sitter Session

tips for a successful sitter sessionI don’t share a ton of pictures from sitter sessions as often as I would like. Not because I don’t love them, but just because there aren’t enough hours in the day to share everything. So I thought I would do an informative post about sitter sessions and share a few sessions all in one. Here are a few tips to help your upcoming sitter milestone session go smoothly!

  1. Scheduling – Sitter sessions are best when baby is sitting solidly on his/her own. Client’s normally like to schedule their session at 6 months due to it being a nice round number and halfway between their other two sessions in the grow-with-me package. However, baby is typically sitter much more solidly at 7 months. If your little one isn’t sitting solidly (a good measurement of this is – are you comfortable leaving your little one sitting on a hard surface without a spotter?) on his or her own a week before  your scheduled session date please reschedule. I can be flexible as long as you give me a little advance notice.
  2. Plan Outfits Ahead of Time – For full milestone sessions normally I recommend doing 2-3 outfits and one naked baby outfit (i.e. diaper cover or romper. Both of which I have in the studio). You are also welcome to do family/sibling pictures in one of those outfits as well, if you like. Make sure to pick a few outfits and try them on before your session. There is nothing worse when putting a beloved outfit on your little one for the first time during a session and realizing it doesn’t fit. It’s temping to buy clothes a size up for pictures so that they will last longer. However, snug outfits are better then loose ones for pictures. You don’t want your little one to be swimming in their new outfit.
  3. Less is More – For outfits, it’s best to keep things simple so that baby shines through. Avoid bright colors (especially neon anything) and busy patterns. My favorite outfits are neural colors and can be as simple as a little boy in jeans and suspenders.
  4. Utilize My Client Closet for Sitter Sessions – I’ve got lots of diaper covers, rompers, and simple dresses in the studio that your little one can use for their sitter session. You don’t need to plan these in advance as we can try on as many as you like until we find the perfect fit/color for your little one during the session. It’s pretty common for client’s to love the pictures of their little one in outfits from my client closet the most. This is because I purchase items that photograph well and aren’t your every day street clothes.
  5. Sleep – Be sure you little one gets a good night sleep or a good nap before your session starts. When scheduling your session start time be sure it doesn’t interfere with your little one’s nap time or bump right up against it.
  6. Bring Something of Meaning – Sometimes clients like to bring a small item that has meaning. Examples of this include a blanket/quilt made by a loved one, a lovely or special blanket, a decorative toy from the nursery that has sentimental value, or something else that has meaning to you or your child. Feel free to bring an item that we can feature and remember during your session.
  7. Come Prepared – Plan for the worst but expect the best! Be sure to bring something to comfort your child in case your little one gets upset. Sometimes that’s an extra bottle, a small snack or a pacifier.
  8. Avoid Technology During Your Session – I know it’s tempting to turn on your little one’s favorite YouTube video to try to get them to smile. However, I’ve seen this backfire more times then it works. Let’s save this for an absolute last resort. Sometimes little ones just need a few minutes to warm up and that’s okay!
  9. Go with the Flow – No matter what your little one does during the session know that we will get some great images. If you are stressed your little one will pick up on that. Just go with the flow and have some fun with me while we play with your little one together!
  10. Make Sure Everyone is Healthy – We won’t be able to photograph the best of your little one if he/she isn’t healthy. If you little one has a runny nose, fever, etc. please reschedule. It’s also not best to schedule pictures within 48 hours or receiving a vaccine. Typically little one’s aren’t on their A game right after that happens.

Have you had a session with me in the past and have a tip for everyone else? If so, share below in the comment section. I would love to hear it!

I look forward to seeing your little one for an upcoming sitter session!! If you don’t have one booked yet and your looking for more info on booking an Indianapolis child photographer be sure to reach out and let me know. I would love get a milestone session on the calendar.

 

sitter session - Indianapolis child photography baby on the move - Indianapolis child photographysitter baby on a quilt from home sitter girl with flowers on white woodblack and white sitter imagebacklit sitter session images in studio sitter session poses for 7 month oldsitter in a silly hat baby in a box on dark wood  happy little girl during sitter session on dark wood

 

 

 

Daisy Cake Smash Session in Peach, Mint, Blush and Yellow – Indianapolis Cake Smash Photographer

This is a completely new theme for me and I’m obsessed! This little birthday girl’s Mama wanted a boho daisy themed cake smash session. Making balloon daises was a new challenge, but I figured it out and I’m excited with the results. If you want to see me in action check out the video at the end of the post. The video takes about 3 hours of work and puts it into a one minute time span. I love customizing these sets for little ones but it does take a lot of time! I always enjoy listening to a good audio book while building these custom sets. So if you have any audio book recommendations don’t hesitate to send them my way!

This adorable little birthday girl had me laughing during the whole session with her adorable little expressions. My favorite was when she would stick out her little tongue. I also love how her top two teeth are just barely sticking though her gums. What a cutie.

 

peach, yellow, and mint daisy cake smash for 1st birthdaydaisy cake smash for 1st birthday1st birthday fun - daisy cake smash session photography   balloon arch for daisy cake smash session - Indianapolis photographer daisy balloon arch 1st birthday cake smash in peach, mint and pink

If you have a little one that is about to turn one be sure to reach out and let me know. I would love to be your Indianapolis cake smash photographer! It’s important to know that I require at least 3 weeks advance booking for cake smash sessions (often longer when my calendar is full). The 3 weeks gives me the time I need to completely customize (ie order everything I need) the set-up for your little one’s birthday theme. The bakery I use (yep – I provide the cake from a local bakery) also requires 3 weeks advance ordering for custom cakes. It breaks my heart to turn away clients who want to book a cake smash session in the next week or two however, with these custom sessions that just isn’t possible. I recommend booking your cake smash session 2-4 months before your child’s 1st birthday.

Surfing Cake Smash Session

This sweet birthday boy had all his surfing dreams come true. He was a happy little camper for his 1st birthday cake smash session in the studio. The theme was surfing and we went all out with blue and teal balloons, surf board, water creatures, and lights. And I’m just obsessed with his perfect hair do as well!

One year old in suite blue and teal beach themed cake smash session - 1st birthday surfing cake smash session Surfing and beach themed first birthday cake smash photography birthday boy eating cake bite teal swim trunksHappy birthday boy during surf cake smash session baby feet, frosting, cake, and twinkel lights

If you have a little one that is going to be turning one soon don’t hesitate to reach out I would love to schedule a 1st birthday cake smash session for your birthday baby. Let me know if you are looking for an Indianapolis photographer.

The Gray Family – Indianapolis Family Photographer

I loved spending time with this beautiful family! We dodged some crazy weather for this session and I’m still not sure how we got so lucky. It ended up being a lovely session with a happy baby girl. I was glad to get to see this family again to celebrate their sweet little girl’s first birthday as well. I remember her newborn session, too!

cuddling familybaby girl Happy little family of three Family pictures Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis, IN

What a wonderful family and a wonderful session!

If you are looking for some Indianapolis family photography, I am booking for 2022! Reach out today and let’s get a session on the calendar.

Blue Ombre 1st Birthday Cake Smash

We had blue, blue and more blue for this sweet cake smash! It was a fun one with a happy little blue eyed birthday boy. I’ve enjoyed watching this sweet boy grow over the last year and I’m a little sad his first year is over! It has been an exciting year watching him and grow and I just can’t believe that we already celebrated his first birthday! Time really does fly!

blue ombre 1st birthday cake smash photography blue 1st birthday theme blue ombre 1st birthday smash cake Happy birthday boy 1st birthday blue cake smash photography dot of frosting on baby foot

Happy first birthday sweet little man! Hope you enjoyed your cake smash!

Let’s celebrate your little one’s first birthday as well. Each session is completely customizable for your child! Reach out today and we can start coming up with something One-derful!

A year in review – Was 2021 the redeeming year?

2021 was supposed to be the redeeming year after the madness that was 2020. Professionally it was! I didn’t have to shut down at all and instead had one of my best years yet getting to photograph more families then ever (265 to be exact). Personally, it was a bit rough but we will get to that. So was 2021 really the redeeming year? Keep reading ALL the way to the bottom to find out.

But before we get to that, let’s start with the good stuff! In no particular order here are a few highlights from 2021.

23 Milestone Sessions – One of the best parts of my job as an Indianapolis photographer is watching kids/families grow. One way I do that throughout baby’s first year is though milestone sessions. I do 4 month session (baby holding head up), sitter sessions (around 7 months), and 1st birthday cake smash sessions (more on those later). Some clients even do milestone sessions for years 2+ after baby’s 1st year. These sessions are always fun and full of lots of baby personalities.

Indianapolis photographer child milestone sessions

2 Birth Sessions – COVID didn’t completely keep me out of the delivery room this year (although it did severely limit my access). Towards the middle of the year, I was permitted to photograph births as long as I was the couple’s 2nd support person. This means the couple could have no other guest in the hospital besides myself. It was a huge honor and privilege to be this person. For the families that had me in the delivery room, I’m extremely grateful as I adore birth photography. If birth photography life wasn’t so unpredictable I would be at it all the time. But, with two little ones at home and COIVD restrictions at the hospital constantly changing that makes things a little harder. For now, I’ll be grateful for these two Indianapolis birth photography sessions and hope for even more next year!

Indianapolis Birth Photography - 2021

99 Family Sessions – Oh how I love family sessions! We had a beautiful Spring and Summer for family pictures this year. The Fall was a hot mess (so wet and rainy), but what are you going to do about it?! Somehow we still ended up getting everyone in. This year included Spring, Sunflower, Creek Side, Urban, Fall and Tree Farm Minis. There were also lots of full family sessions in that mix too. Thank you to all the amazing families who allowed me to document their family this year as your Indianapolis family photographer.

Indianapolis outdoor family photography creek side sessions in IndianapolisSunflower photography sessions in IndianapolisSpring family photogrpahy in Indianapolis urban photography session downtown Indianapolis fall family photography in Indianapolis, INTree Farm family photography in Indianapolis

52 Cake Smashes – That’s an average of one cake per week. That’s a lot of cake! I adore the whole process of these cake smash sessions. I love creating custom set-ups for each tiny one year old I have in the studio. Most of these one year olds I’ve had in the studio throughout their whole first year which makes these sessions extra sweet.

Indianapolis cake smash photography 1st birthday cake smash photography

14 Maternity Sessions – Look at all those lovely baby bumps! I love capturing pregnancies. I would love to do even more Indianapolis maternity photography. Each and everyone of these bumps were a joy to photograph. There is always so much excitement and love for these new lives during these maternity sessions.

Indianapolis Maternity Photography

Birthday Pictures – I love doing special pictures for my little ones on their birthday. I try to pick something that represents where they are in life of what their passions are. My son turned 5 (and started kindergarten). He is super into science experiments. So he had a science themed birthday shoot and party. Brynn turned two. She loves to make messes, crafts, and painting. There is no doubt that she had fun with her 2nd birthday paint smash.

72 Newborn Session – It’s no secret that newborns are my favorite! So I saved the best for last. This year I got to cuddle lots of adorable newborns. We had lots of baby smiles. Some that were followed by a little bit of baby poop (but that’s a small price to pay). The studio was brimming with all these beautiful babies. However, I like to also remind people that I offer in-home lifestyle newborn photography in Indianapolis along with Indianapolis outdoor newborn photography. I love photographing your little ones outdoor, in your home or in my studio. You can choose one location or more than one. It’s totally up to you! Just let me know if you would like to get your due date on my calendar as I would love to be your Indianapolis newborn photographer for your new little baby.

Indianapolis Newborn Photography by KristeenMarie - 2021In-home lifestyle newborn photography in Indianapolis by KristeenMarie PhotoOutdoor newborn photography in Indianapolis

A Little Extra that Can’t Be Forgotten – While this year was a fantastic year professionally it was also one of the hardest years of my life. At 17.5 weeks pregnant we lost our baby Ellie. I won’t go into too much detail here. However, I think it’s important for so many reasons to talk about pregnancy loss. If you are interested in reading more about this you can do so here.

Pregancy Loss Announcement with Older Siblings

Was 2021 the redeeming year?

In some ways yes, and in others no. Nothing is black and white these days.

Now is the point where I get a little sentimental on you. This year has taught me to be grateful for everything in my life. Life is fleeting and nothing is guaranteed. I’m so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you (my clients, followers and fans). You allow me to capture these amazing milestones in your life. You allow me to support my family in a way that I love. You gave me purpose in life when everything else was madness. I love my job more than words can express, and what I do wouldn’t be possible without each and every one of you. So thank you, thank you, thank you. And I hope to see all of you again next year.

Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday Cake Smash Session – Indianapolis Photographer

This birthday boy was a COVID baby born at the beginning of the pandemic. We had to do his newborn session outdoors due to local restrictions (not that I’m complaining because I LOVE outdoor newborn sessions) and everything about his first year wasn’t how his parents had planned since we were in a pandemic!
Fast forward a year, and here we are having his cake smash! Everything about this session was perfect. He was happy, he loved the cake, and we made some great memories/pictures. I am so glad that we were able to celebrate!!

Traditional 1st Birthday Mickey Mouse Cake Smash Session

 

Yellow, red, black 1st Birthday Mickey Mouse Cake Smash Session 1st birthday cake Happy birthday boy - Mickey Mouse Themed 1st Birthday Birthday boy looking for balloons

Happy First Birthday, sweet boy! So glad that you came to visit me to celebrate and to have your cake smash session! Let me know if you are looking for an Indianapolis photographer.

10 Things to Know Before Your In-Home Lifestyle Newborn Photography Sessions – Indianapolis Newborn Photography

Indianapolis newborn photographer

Most of the time clients book me for in-studio newborn sessions. This is where clients will get the lovely posed images that I’m well known for. However, did you know that I also offer in-home newborn sessions? You can book an in-home session (cost is the same as an in-studio session) or you can book it as an add-on to a studio session at a discounted cost. For more info about pricing and packages shoot me an email.

Here is some additional info on in-home newborn photography sessions to help you decide if this type of session is right for your and your family. If you follow these tips your session will go a little more smoothly.

  1. Go With the Flow – In-home sessions are lifestyle sessions. This means that there are no studio lights, no naked posed babies, and no props. Instead we use your home as the backdrop for your session. If your baby is happy in your arms then we will get lots of cuddling pictures. If your baby loves his/her nursery then we will hang out in there. If big sibling(s) want to jump on the bed next to baby instead of cuddling baby then that is what we are going to capture. Hey – that is real life anyways! If baby is fussy and wants to eat then we can take a break and let baby eat! No stress or pressure. My goal is to capture your family in a flattering way but in a real, meaningful way.
  2. Consider Neutral Clothing – It’s important to pick clothing that complements your home. I typically recommend soft neutral colors for everyone – whites, pinks, creams, tan, peach, or any other soft color that matches your home. However, while color is important, it’s also important that you feel comfortable in whatever you are wearing. I know you just had a baby and I’ll shoot in flattering angles. But if you also feel comfortable in what you are wearing you are bound to love your images even more! Please try avoid wearing red or bright pink as these can create unflattering color casts on baby. All of my sessions include the use of a free styling tool. I’ll send you access to this after you book your session. You can use this tool to help pick out clothing that goes well together for the whole family. I would encourage you to consider what to wear for your session before baby arrives. It’s just one less thing to worry about after the craziness of baby’s arrival.
  3. Keep Baby’s Clothing Simple – A white onesie is my favorite outfit for baby. It’s that simple. You may also consider having a few swaddles on hand (and I’ll bring a few too). Swaddles are a great way to sooth a fussy baby and they are super cute to photograph baby in too. When babies are little they can get lost in busy clothing. Keep baby’s outfit as simple as possible.
  4. Who to Include in the Shoot – Normally I recommend immediate family for your in-home newborn session. This includes siblings and your fur babies (they are family too!). If you add too much extended family things can get a little crazy. That being said, if you do want to include extended family you totally can! If you (mom and dad) don’t want to be in the pictures then I would recommend doing an in-studio session where we can completely focus on baby.
  5. Session Scheduling – We don’t schedule your newborn session until after baby arrives. You can book your session at any point during your pregnancy to ensure availability. Then once baby arrives just shoot me an email and I’ll send you some dates/times I have open for your session. Sessions are typically scheduled on Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings. Sessions are best when done within the first two weeks of baby’s life. If you are doing an in-home mini session (add-on to a studio session) you should expect the session to last an hour or less. If you are doing a full newborn session then you should expect the session to last 1-2 hours.
  6. Before I Arrive – Try to keep baby awake for at least an hour before your session start time. This will help us have a sleepy baby during the session. I also recommend turning the heat up in your home to 80 degrees before I arrive. Babies love it warm! About 15 minutes before I arrive please feed baby as full as he/she will allow you to. It’s okay if you are still feeding when I arrive. I do also ask that you open blinds/currants and turn overhead lights off before I arrive. You may also consider having an an activity planned for your session. Don’t go crazy! But if you want to give baby a sink bath, or have sibling(s) help you with a diaper change, or if it is nice we can snap a few pictures outside your house.
  7. After I Arrive – When I arrive I’ll probably ask for a quick tour of the rooms you were considering for the shoot. I’ll be looking for lots of natural light. Typically clients use the nursery, master bedroom, living room, and/or any other rooms with interesting architecture or lots of light. While we don’t typically use lots of props for these session if you have any family heirlooms or other items you would like to include in the session this is a great time to show me so I can plan out your session.
  8. During your Session – During your session you are encouraged to relax and be you. You don’t need to look at the camera the whole session. Instead share a moment with your significant other, new baby and siblings. Let me capture the real you. I’ll pose you but feel free to relax and make the “poses” comfortable for you. I’ll also get lots of pictures of baby alone. You will want to remember those tiny feet, hands, and dimples. If you have a nursery I’ll also capture the details in there. If baby needs a break at any time to feed then we will take a break. Baby is in charge for the newborn session!
  9. What to Expect After Your Session – About 2 weeks after your session I’ll send you your online gallery via email. You will have print rights to all your edited images and you can download your whole gallery with the click of a button. I do still recommend having your images professionally printed. I’ll send you those recommendations when I send you your gallery.
  10. What About Other Sessions? – I also offer in-studio newborn photography in Indianapolis where you will receive images that are more posed and styled. I offer Indianapolis Fresh 48 photography. These sessions are done in the hospital within 48 hours of baby’s birth. I also love doing Indianapolis birth photography too! If you are interested in doing a grow with me package to capture baby’s first year feel free to reach out for more info on that!
  11. Indianapolis in-home lifestyle newborn photographyInclude the whole family - in home lifestyle newborn photography in Indianapolis The whole family - Indianapolis family with newborn baby and big brother big brother and newborn baby baby under the Christmas tree newborn baby in parent's bedroom adorable newborn nursery