Happy Thursday everyone. Things are busy over here at the Paint The Stars Photography studio but I wanted to check in with you all and share a beautiful baby story.
I did a friend’s maternity photography session a few weeks ago. Stephanie and I have known each other for years. We may have even done some clubbin’ together back in the day (haha.) It’s weird to imagine all of us mommies back when we were younger and crazy. We’re all still a bit crazy actually…
Stephanie has always been such a great girl. Fun, outgoing, tons of friends, and a very welcoming personality in my opinion. She has an incredible career taking care of children in the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center – Emergency Department. I’ve always said it takes a strong and caring person to do a job like that. She also has a strikingly handsome son named Dominic who is so much fun to be around. Him and I have a blast together. He’s quite the jokester so I love to pick on him during shoots and he does the same to me!
Steph met her sweetheart, Louie at a Crossfit gym a few years ago during a police fundraiser. Louie has been a police officer for 7 years. He’s a little intimidating when you meet him at first. When I met him at the maternity session I noticed he had a big pocket knife hanging out of his pocket. At first I was like..uh oh.. But then I was thinking “If any crazies jump out of these bushes we’re protected.” Louie just oozes that ‘Don’t mess with me or you’ll get hurt’ vibe…if you know what I mean. You can tell he has big love for his family though.
The maternity photography session we did in Pasadena went beautifully. I found a little gem of a location tucked back into a neighborhood. There is a pier where the sun sets perfectly behind the trees and sparkles so magically over the water behind it. A few steps further there is even a whimsical tire swing hanging between some bushes.
Stephanie wore a gorgeous red gown that she purchased from Etsy and a pretty flower crown she bought at Claire’s of all places (Can you believe the beautiful accessories they have there!?) I’ve been known to get a couple of my photography props there. Her outfit paired well against the water and green nature in Pasadena, MD. When she arrived and stepped out of the car my jaw dropped. I said: “Wow, you look like a garden goddess!” She promptly laughed and said she feels nothing of the sort. Typical preggo mama.
We had the best time taking in all the beauty from this location. Stephanie and Louie looked like royalty on that pier with the sun kissing the backs of their heads. Dominic loved it too because there were some rocks on the beach where any 8-year-old boy would be in heaven. He kept climbing all over the place and exploring the nature around him (of course mom was not too happy about how dirty he was getting his outfit.) But he had fun nonetheless. Which in my opinion is more important than a little dirt on the knees. Because after all, happy kids look the best in photos (just take a look at the photo of Dominic and his mommy below!)
After the photo shoot in Pasadena I went home to go through all the photos. I had the hardest time picking my favorites because they were all AMAZING! You can see how beautiful they were in the photos I’ve posted below.
Then on May 1st Stephanie starting have pains at home around 7pm. She thought it was just Braxton Hicks but by 11pm when Louie got home from work they were more intense. They were trying to decide if they were going to go to the hospital. They were unsure because if they were going they’d have to wake up Dominic in the middle of the night and take him over his grandad’s house. But they decided it was time because they wanted to play it safe. It’s a good thing they did too because by the time they got to the hospital around 11:45 she was already 4cm dilated and contracting regularly! Once they got the IV in Stephanie’s water broke on it’s own and they did the epidural.
Within about an hour of the epidural being placed Steph was 10cm and ready to start pushing. Stephanie told me that it only took 3 pushes for her baby to arrive… 3 pushes people!!! Steph said it felt like the blink of an eye and her baby was here! At 3:07 in the morning on May 2nd baby Laina made her grand arrival.
Once Laina arrived she was placed on her mommy’s chest. Both mommy and daddy were deeply in love with her immediately. Stephanie said “We both kissed her cheek and were speechless.” Even Dominic couldn’t believe his baby sister was finally here. He was begging to hold her from the minute he saw her and once he was finally able to Stephanie said his face lit up. Can you imagine being in that room when Laina was born. The love that must have filled the room as mom and dad were staring at her tiny little face. It gives me goosebumps to imagine them becoming a family of 4. Such a memorable moment.
About a week after Laina was born Stephanie, Louie and Dominic brought their brand new sweet baby to the studio for her newborn photography session. When I laid eyes on that little pumpkin pie I couldn’t help but grab her up out of her car seat and snuggle her just a little!
One thing that was really fun for me was to observe the difference in Louie’s demeanor in the maternity photography session we did in Pasadena vs. the newborn photography session we did at the studio. He went from a tad bit standoffish and distracted at the maternity session to a big ball of mush when he brought his newborn baby girl in for the newborn shoot. He was very involved in the styling of the photos of her in his police gear and he kept smiling really big at her during all the setups. You could tell he has this incredible love for his baby girl.
At her newborn session Laina was bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Wide awake and wanting to know what was going on. Typically we want a sleepy baby for these sessions but in this case I was okay with it. She was so calm and sweet. She kept looking at me with those big bright eyes of her’s. Then about an hour in she started to get very sleepy. She laid there in the different poses looking just like a little baby doll. What a treat it was to photograph this princess.
Stephanie, I’m so honored that you chose me to photograph Laina’s journey into the world. It’s been a pleasure working so closely with your family. I can’t wait to watch the four of you grow into an even stronger and happier family.
Here are some of my favorites from the maternity session we did in Pasadena. Do you see how the gorgeous sunset light was twinkling off the water?
These are some of my favorites from the newborn session we did at the Paint The Stars Photography studio. Look at this little girl. She was so sweet! I was a little nervous to do certain poses with her because her big and scary daddy was sitting nearby. You don’t want to make him mad by upsetting his baby! (LOL!)
What did you guys think of the photos from the Pasadena maternity photography session and the newborn photography session? Did Laina’s story give you goosebumps like it did for me? I’m a sucker for a good baby story!
Do me a favor a leave a comment here in the comments section. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Laina’s baby story. Or if you have suggestions for a future blog post, I’d love to hear that too! Or if you just want to say “Hi!” I love hearing from my readers 🙂 🙂 🙂
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