In 2007 we were thrilled to be expecting our second child. On Halloween, I went in for the big ultrasound, and all I wanted to know was- blue or pink? The technician wouldn't tell me. She wouldn't let me even see the screen, but w-Celesteshe did ask me if we had good insurance. I was told I needed to go straight to my doctor's office. How's that for a warm fuzzy? Needless to say, our baby girl was very sick and we prepared for the worst. She had a multi-septated cystic hygroma and severe fetal hydrops, symptoms of what was later confirmed to be Turner's Syndrome. What that meant is that we would never get to hear that first cry, or feel her little fingers wrap around ours. By Thanksgiving the perinatologist did not expect her to make it from week to week, but she held on, day after day. She was one strong-spirited little girl, and I treasured each day that I carried her. Our little Celeste Claire was stillborn December 19, 2007, and we laid her to rest two days after Christmas. It was a day we will never forget. So how do you heal? How do you go on? Well... you kiss your family twice as much as before, thank your Father in Heaven for His abundant blessings, and in my case, take pictures. Photography makes my heart happy. It allows me to feel creative, and I love that I get to share it with all of you! Having an experience like we did with Celeste made us appreciate the little joys in life that we took for granted before, especially as we watch our two princesses grow up. (Would someone tell them to slow down?!?) =) Every smile is precious. Celeste was my inspiration to start my business, so it is in her name that I capture those sweet moments of life that pass so quickly.
What should I expect when I book a newborn session?
Call me from the hospital if you can! Newborns need to come in within the first week of life to get that squishy newborn look and to have the best chance of cooperating. Wait longer than that and we are better off delaying your session until around 3 months. Since I only schedule one shoot per day, you will be asked to pay a non refundable booking fee of $50 to reserve your day, which will be applied to your session. For newborns, I just ask that you call me on the morning of your shoot. I know what it's like to be a new mommy, and things do not always go according to plan when you are trying to get out the door (or maybe you've just had *another* really long night). We can schedule your session time when it's convenient for you. The remainder of your session fee is due when you arrive for your shoot, and after that, it's playtime! Bring your baby hungry and sleepy. I want you to settle in, give a nice big feeding, and send that little one off to dreamland. You are welcome to bring anything you like, but we also have many newborn dressing (and undressing) options here in the studio, so you don't have to bring anything but your little snugglebug. Maybe you have a special blanket that grandma made? Perfect. Blessing gown? Love it. That dream prop you found on Etsy? YES! (see "props" below)
Where is your studio located? And what about props?
We live in Bridgeland, and I have a cozy little dedicated studio in my home. It may not be big enough for large families, but it's perfect for a couple of kiddos. Why is this better than going to that place in the mall? You won't be feeling the pressure to get your kid to perform in your little appointment window because there is no hurry! You will receive the personal time and attention you deserve. Maybe your child needs a snack or just some snuggle time? Go for it! I have a quiet, private room for nursing, a microwave to warm bottles, and all the patience it takes to get the shot you've been dreaming of. I am constantly adding to my collection of props and backgrounds to give you plenty of options. Have you seen a prop on Etsy you just have to have? Check with me first to see if I have one, and if not, I will probably be willing to trade back it's value in prints or something after your shoot so that the next person can love it just as much. (It's a return on your investment! I mean, are you really going to use that adorable newborn cocoon again?)
Do you do weddings?
Have I done weddings? Absolutely. I've lost count how many. Is it my favorite thing to spearhead? Not so much, but I would love to be there, camera in hand and put my creative spin on things. If you want me to help with your special day, I suggest you give Ed Cowan a call or stop by his website at EdCowanPhotography.com. Ed has been shooting high profile weddings in the Memorial area and all over town for about 30 years. We have been a team since 2009, so you will see a bit of my work on his website (you just won't know it's me!) If you give him a call, make sure he knows who sent you and that you want me there!
Do you shoot on location?
Yes! I have several local and downtown places that are great to shoot, but I am always looking to try new places, so if you have some place special in mind, I'd love to hear about it. Living in Bridgeland, we also have access to our many beautiful private parks, lakes, bridges, and forested areas that make for beautiful portraits. Memorable portraits can also be taken in your own home to capture that childhood wonder in his or her daily surroundings.
What should I expect with an outdoor session?
Canon or Nikon?
Why is custom photography more expensive than that place in the mall?
If you want to gain an appreciation for the value of custom photography and understand why it is worth the investment, I highly recommend you check out this page. It will also make you feel a lot better about my prices when you see that I don't actually ask you to "pay upwards of $50, $70, $90 for a custom photography (8x10) print" like so many other photographers. Working out of my home cuts down on my overhead costs, which translates into more affordable custom artwork for you.
Can I get a disk of my images?
In the past we have not offered digital images for printing because when a photographer does so, they relinquish all control over print quality of their artistic work. Some photo labs do not have properly calibrated equipment and the result is poor color and density, which reflects poorly on the photographer- not the lab. The professional prints I offer are from labs that set the industry gold standard, archival quality to last a lifetime, and guaranteed to be the proper color and density. However, I am now offering digital files that will print up to an 8x10 with a minimum order. These files are great for those extra prints you want to send to Grandma or plaster all over Facebook. If you choose to purchase digifiles, I strongly recommend that you use a quality photo lab to print your professional images. As a rule of thumb, if you can buy diapers under the same roof, I would look elsewhere. If you are in a hurry, Wolf Camera has 1-hour service, but if you can stand to wait a day or two for the mail, Mpix.com is a great consumer resource.