THIS very photograph, reminds me why I chose this profession. Smiling, adorable, handsome babies like this sweet boy! Don't get me wrong, I have a soft spot for the posed newborn photographs of week old babies but there is just something about a wide eyed, smiling, 3 month old that just melts my heart EVERYTIME!! Newborn photography has become increasingly popular over the last five years but I still have a handful of parents that choose to hold off until baby is 3 months old to have their first photo shoot. Many people, including myself prefer images with baby awake which is why the 3 month milestone session appeals to me so much. Each milestone (3, 6, 9 and 12 months) has its advantages and disadvantages. The perks to 3 month sessions are smiley, expressive babies that are curious about the camera and are easy to please. This is the perfect session to capture the changing color of your baby's eyes, their curious fingers and ticklish feet! It's also a great opportunity to get wonderful naked, black and white images for your scrapbook or nursery walls, just like these!
I often hear the question, "Why do you love Lakewood so much?" Before I answer that let's rewind just a bit. I grew up in the outskirts of Sandusky, Ohio on 15 acres of farm land. I had ponds to fish in, barns to climb in and a woods to camp in, all in my backyard. I went to a private school with nearly no diversity and our neighbors were few and far between, with other kids my age rarely near by. (Don't get me wrong, I loved my childhood and I am lucky enough that we can make the 45 minute drive to visit "the farm" anytime we'd like). After college my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I settled in Lakewood because it was in between our two job commutes, mine to Huron and Paul's to Pepper Pike. We have now been in Lakewood for 11 years and plan to stay here for the long term.
So here's my why! This city is ALIVE, Paul and I are very social people, we thrive on activity and human interaction. Parks, restaurants, festivals and schools are all in walking distance. It's the most densely populated city by square mile between New York City and Chicago and you would notice that when you drive around town and see there is a large number of apartment complexes and multi family homes. Lakewood city school is a melting pot of culture and diversity with over 30 (yes 30) native languages spoken by it's student body. We have really great neighbors, neighbors who we are forced to interact with due to living in close quarters and in our case, sharing our driveway. The housing size and prices are very affordable (well "mostly" until just recently when word got out how awesome Lakewood is and now we are currently a desirable inflated market). The housing stock is old, with the majority of homes being 100 or more years with Colonial charm and character. I never thought after growing up rural that city life would be what I desire for our family, but it is! Lakewood is so much more than the loathed stereotype title of "college town." This is no college town, Lakewood is a thriving community of families, families of every age and size who seek more than what the average city offers.
So many families start out in Lakewood because it appeals to the younger, more active population. It's no wonder when it comes time to say goodbye, families such as the O'Brien's want to document some of those memories before moving on. These are the houses that new couples purchase as their first home. The house where they buy a puppy because they finally have their own yard. The house where they have a bar with their name on it because they used to party A LOT! The house that they bring home their first baby from the hospital to. The house that they remodel each room one at a time. The house that's not just a house anymore it's their HOME! The home they almost can't bare to leave.
Even though we don't plan to leave Lakewood ourselves, there will come a day when we move to our next home and when we do, we will leave with all of these amazing memories just like the O'Briens. Leah, I hope I didn't make you sob while reading this and it was my pleasure to take these very special photographs!
Admission time! I made a HUGE mistake this past weekend. I accidentally wrote a client in for their newborn session on the wrong date in my scheduling book, what an epic fail! I was so very disappointed (heart racing, sick to my stomach, cried in the shower disappointed) in myself when I received multiple phone calls and messages from my client who arrived on time (and on the correct date) of their newborn session only to find me, NOT EVEN HOME!! Why would you make this public knowledge Ashley? Because, I am never afraid to admit when I am wrong and I learn from each and every mistake that I make. It may be time for me to enter the digital age and use a virtual calendar (where less error may occur).
I was so relieved and thankful this family was willing to give me a second chance to prove my worth. Good thing they did, is this not the cutest baby boy photograph ever?? His mom expressed that big sister really likes trains. I originally planned to use the trains as an ice breaker for his big sister. While setting up my studio, I had the idea to make the trains part of their theme for his studio newborn session. This is the first time I have done a train theme and I can't believe I didn't think to do one before! These train photos are just choo choo cute!
Thank you to these fellow "Lakewoodites" for arriving in my life to teach me a valuable business lesson, one that I am not likely to forget anytime soon!
Such an angelic, energetic and expressive baby girl! This past weekend, I dared to try something new (as I tend to do). I photographed this precious baby girl at 6 weeks old (outside of the normal newborn session window of 14 days new). It was a true learning experience. First, and as I suspected, she was wide awake for nearly the entire time making posed photographs almost out of the question. We did luckily manage one series of sleeping baby shots. Second, we got the most AMAZING wide awake, alert photographs that I've had from a young infant in awhile. She was so very expressive and showed me her personality with each and every take. From her story telling eyes to her soft full hair, she was truly a special baby to have in the studio. I am very much in-love with these "oh so cute images!" I can't say I wont ever take an "older" newborn again because these photographs are just so magical that I'd love to have more someday. I do know that I just wont plan on posed or wrapped photographs with infants more than 4 weeks. At least for this baby girl, she was already wanting to stretch her wings and very curious of her surroundings, keeping her eye on her mom as to ask, "Mom, I'm okay right?" I do very much hope that I get to see her again in the future to see how her wonderful personality blossoms!
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