Henry’s First Birthday
I had a blast last Sunday when we celebrated my youngest son’s birthday. I was so excited to debut my long awaited gold and black “King Henry” themed party! Everything looked amazing. After the party, we did a little photo shoot in the studio just to round things out with the bottom tier of the cake and then it was ‘splish, spash’ into the tub! For a fun bath after the cake eating. These images are the perfect compliment to the laundry basket pictures I took of Collin when he was about this age. (I’ll show these pictures in the next post I write)
The party decor featured a gold fringe curtain with his monthly portraits hung from gold rope and clipped with black clothespins, black tablecloths with gold ribbons down the center and gold and black star balloons. There was a cute chalkboard printable I framed that was free online here, and some chipboard letters spelling “one” from Hobby Lobby were perfect accents. I painted the backs of some cheap plastic plates gold for a fancier look and tied gold plastic silverware inside black napkins tied with gold ribbon. A bunting with little gold flags hung from the counter and fireplace. The cake was proudly displayed after all the work that I put into modifying it from the version created by my local bakery. I actually ended up picking off most of the detailing she had done, piped on some pre-made Wilton black frosting and hand-painted the trim with metallic gold airbrush food coloring. Whew! LOL! Next time I think I’ll just make my own. We also had cupcakes with little flags for our guests since Henry got to have the whole top layer for himself to smash into and I saved the bottom for our studio session.
I made a bib with black faux fur I had on hand and decorated it and a black t-shirt I purchased with a #1 cut from gold painted fabric. I also made a crown out of the same gold fabric and lined it with felt to make it more sturdy and Henry wore it like the little king he is! So glad he liked it. He seemed to really enjoy the whole party. I think I’ll have my hands full with this little guy as he gets older!
Little Keira : Newborn Portraits
You know that feeling that you get, when a kid you used to babysit is graduating from high school, or worse yet, college? For me it’s like this sinking realization that I really am aging, even though most of the time I don’t feel like I am. Do you know what I mean?
I felt that way when the mommy to this baby girl came into my studio for their newborn session. I did Senior portraits for her when she graduated from highschool, she’s done with college, been working for a while, got married, and now has a little baby!
I know the answer, but it always makes me want to ask the question, “How did this happen?!”
But enough about me… back to this little blessing.
Little Keira was already a month old so I wasn’t going to hold my breath and wait for her to go to sleep, but I knew if I worked carefully, I could still get some of those really cute artsy type of portraits with my favorite props. Lucky for me, she decided to play along and I got some of these beautiful images for her parents (and grandparents!) to treasure for years to come.
Let it be said again, because as much as we get annoyed hearing it, the phrase bears repeating… “They really do change so fast.”
I know, I’m in the midst of it right now with my little guy, Henry. He’s almost 8 1/2 months and he’s pulling himself up on things all the time and loves it when you help him stand on his own two feet! It really was only a few months ago I was cheering him on as he made his first attempts to crawl.
It’s crazy, but we need to do our best as parents to relish every joyful minute of it. And capturing it with beautiful, professional portraits is definitely a great place to start. Kudos to Keira’s parents for investing in her memories!
Our Big News : Baby Houg Due in February!
In early August we were happy to announce to our families and close friends, and a few weeks later, to all our other friends via Facebook that we are expecting a baby in February 2013!
How we did it was a really fun idea… but more on that later… I’d like to share more about our joy for this newest addition to the Houg family…
Our son, Collin, who will be 6 years old by the time the baby arrives, is beyond excited. He is the sweetest and asks to hug the baby (aka: my tummy) all the time. He also says the sweetest dinner prayers… “God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our baby and pray that you help the baby grow strong, Amen.”
If that doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will! I have been feeling great, all things considered. I’ll admit, being pregnant at 32 is definitely different than being pregnant at 26 years old! LOL! Plus having a little boy that comes home from school and wants me to get up and go play soccer outside instead of being able to put my feet up or take a nap whenever I feel like it, might be making a difference too!
But it’s all good! I can’t complain for a second. I’m unbelievably excited to be a mom to a new little baby. It took me a while to be ready… but managing my business, working behind the scenes for my husband, and building a new home can kind of put a bit of a damper on the ability to catch baby fever.
We announced our pregnancy to everyone using a clever shirt I’d seen on Pinterest a while ago that the gal had made herself with a plain white t-shirt and fabric paint. I decided I didn’t have time to monkey with painting a t-shirt, plus I’m a perfectionist when it comes to those things so if there was one letter not quite right it would have bugged me every time I looked at it.
So, I designed and ordered a shirt online through Zazzle.com and it was pretty easy. The product arrived fairly quickly and was screen printed to perfection!
I decided to offer the design on their site for other expecting parents to order.
Here’s the link in case you’re interested. I’ll admit, I earn a little credit for each shirt sold which is pretty cool.
Only Child Expiring T-Shirt by RebeccaHougDesigns
Look at other Pregnancy T-Shirts at zazzle.com
And here’s the pictures I took of Collin wearing the shirt…
Oh, and while I was at it, I designed another shirt he loves that says “Soon-to-be Big Brother” he loves. You can check that one out too!
Soon-to-be BIG BROTHER T-shirt by RebeccaHougDesigns
Find more Big T-Shirts at Zazzle
Little Eve – 6 Month Baby Portraits
Another fun session with this little beauty and her mommy. I just love getting booked for the whole first year of a baby’s portraits because I know I’ll be able to see that customer again and again and see their child grow up and really get a strong grasp of their personal taste and style. By the one year session, I can almost predict what they’ll order and lots of moms and dads let me take the wheel and steer them in the direction I know they’ll love in terms of wall portraits or framed collage prints.
I hope you love these images from Eve’s six month session as much as I do. The half-way point for baby’s first year… if you’d like to see her newborn portraits, click here.
Brooklyn : 7 Months Old
Brooklyn was back in the studio for her portraits. I always recommend the parents have their babies photographed three times in the first year. Once, as a newborn, once as a chubby little baby that can sit up independently (6-8 Months) and again for their one year session.
Little Brooklyn here wasn’t quite sitting up yet and her mommy was just so excited to get her portraits taken again, that she just couldn’t wait any longer! 🙂
That’s okay, because she did a great job and we still got some really fun images.
I love the one with her pink monkey shirt where she’s grinning really big. Her face looks just like the monkey on her shirt.
Then the ones in the tub were just sort of an inspiration I had… which I’ve done variations of before, but I don’t think I’ve ever had mom blow bubbles… which added a nice touch!
And the funny little expression where she’s checking out the rubber duckie!!! Priceless!
Then there’s the tutu and the pretty dress… ugh! She’s just so stinkin’ cute! I had a really hard time picking a favorite for the proof book cover.
I’m just glad I got so many smiling, laughing pictures because at first, all she did was kind of scowl at me and look at me with this really distasteful expression. 🙂 I think she was trying to decide if she liked me or not. I was all over the place, working my butt off to get her to smile. Glad she decided in my favor!
Brielle : Newborn Portrait Session
I was so blessed to have my dear customers, Ryan and Christine, (who honored me with the opportunity to photograph their wedding last year) ask me to photograph their new baby girl!
Like usual, I’m always excited to photograph a newborn. They are a bit of a challenge and can be pretty time-consuming the day of the session… but they are sooooo worth it!
Every single one of them is a little miracle and I always hope and wish for the continued opportunity to photograph all their first year portraits. I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting to do all of Brielle’s since her parents have been so thrilled with the work I’ve done in the past.
(And it blows my mind a little bit because they live like an hour away… I still don’t realize that I’m worth it most days.) 🙂
So this little angel was a little hard to get to sleep at first. Mainly because she got a nice long nap on the drive up. Luckily, my experience with newborns serves me well… and with some patience and a nice bottle of milk, it was back to dreamland for Brielle. Heheehee.
It was Friday before Easter when I photographed these, so I just had to take a couple with this sweet bunny ears hat my mother-in-law crocheted for me. And just for kicks at the end, when I sensed she was ready to wake up, I posed her with this pink alarm clock I’ve got… and she did the perfect expressions.
Although, my favorites are still the more simple images.
Mason : 6 Months Old : Little Miracles Baby Plan
This little stud-muffin has changed a lot since the newborn session I shared not so long ago.
I tend to recommend parents wait until their baby starts sitting up well on their own before doing another baby session. That way you can really see a dramatic difference in their portraits.
Mason’s mommy had lots of clothing options for him, and I have to say, he really was a trooper through all the changes.
My favorites are the ones in the baby legs and the stocking hat. I loved when the hat kind of fell over his face and when he was chewing on the tassels.
I also loved the ones with his daddy’s sunglasses. I caught one of him peering over them at me. (I can see him checking out the ladies like this in the future!)
Oh, and the cute little farmer look with the pumpkins turned out really adorable on my portrait porch.
Ruth : 6 Months Old : Baby Session
If you follow my blog at all, you should recognize little Ruthie by now. Her mommy and I have done four sessions already this year now. 🙂 (not just for Ruthie, but for her family and her mother’s family as well)
But back to business… Ruthie is just too, too cute! I mean it! I don’t think I can look at another picture of her smiling. It’s making me sick! I have such a hard time narrowing them down! 🙂
It’s about as bad as when I have to narrow Collin’s pictures down. LOL!
And Ruthie is the queen of making funny faces… really cute ones! I also know how much her mama adores the “bloopers” so we have quite a few to pick from and I’m thinking a collage will be necessary.
P.S. Don’t you just love the pettiromper on Ruthie??? I think they work so well for the 6-12 month baby girls. I have three of them… in pink, ivory, and aqua!!! 🙂
Urijah : 3 Month Session : Baby Portraits
Normally, I encourage my baby plan customers to do 3 sessions during their son/daughter’s first year. Once, when the baby is a newborn (ideally less than 10 days old), again when the baby is sitting up strong (maybe wait till they start crawling) and before their first birthday (standing/walking). This allows for a good variety in the portraits as they are in three very distinct stages.
There are lots of people, photographers, baby books, etc. that encourage portraits at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months the first year. That’s a great idea, and I definitely encourage my moms to take their own personal photos at those milestone ages, but I just think it gets to be overwhelming for moms that aren’t big “picture people.” It gets to be a lot of trips to the studio with the session, ordering, and picking up the order… (at least 12). Also, you are picking up the finished prints about the time we are scheduling the next session so you don’t have as much time to just enjoy them before you are planning the next order.
That’s just me. But I definitely have moms that want lots and lots of pictures of their babies. And it doesn’t bother them to have to make the quick trip down to my studio for each appointment. (Lots of my clients say they really enjoy the relaxing drive out to the country) Many times they did the more frequent schedule of portraits with their older child and they want to keep the tradition going. (Kuddos to them! Because we all know the 2nd child often gets the shaft!… 😉 this is a comment from a 2nd child, by the way!)
Urijah’s mom falls into that category of parents that love professional portraits and had done the newborn, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 month sessions with their oldest in Florida with their past photographer. (I should write her a Thank you) LOL!
I’m happy to share this little chubber’s three-month portraits with you. They are just too cute! Christina brought the cute little blue knit sweater and hat… and I just keep thinking those pictures would make such a cute Christmas card (this one in the munchkin stocking hat looks like he just saw Santa!) But he will have changed a lot by then and have lots of new portraits to pick from.
Belly Love Session : Maternity Portraits
Today I am sharing a few images from a recent maternity portrait session… or as I like to call them, my Belly Love Sessions.
The beautiful gal in these pictures drove all the way down from Lakeville, MN to have me photograph her after comparing my work to several other photographers in and closer to the Twin Cities.
I think she might start to give me a big head! LOL! She said she loved the authentic emotion that I capture and appreciates the fact that I don’t feel the need to contort newborns into unnatural poses. I sure loved hearing that! It just validates all the choices I make to stay true to my unique, personal style and not attempt to copy other people’s work.
In return, I want to give her the praise she deserves. I am always so proud of my mamas who are brave enough to step in front of a camera in the late stages of their pregnancies. It’s not easy when you’re starting to feel like you’re the hugest pregnant lady that walked the earth (even though you know that’s not true, all rational thought has left by the start of the third trimester and “baby brain” has taken over.)
I always recommend getting your pregnancy portraits taken in the 32-36 week window. Opting more toward 32 weeks to be safe, in case your little one decides to make their appearance early… and it gives you time to order and appreciate the images before you give birth (and then all you really want to see are pictures of your newest love). LOL!
Having a professional photographer capture the end of your pregnancy is such a great idea because if you’re anything like me… you have been looking in the mirror and seeing pictures your family/friends took of you and aren’t feeling the best about your self-image… But when I take pictures of expecting mothers, it’s done with beautiful lighting and tasteful posing so that when you see the images you are thinking “WOW! I sure looked amazing, after all!”
The Carlson Kids : On-location session with Baby Chicks
I just loved this session! It is the kind of session that I really started my business to do. It’s shot all on-location with a story to tell.
The family had ordered these adorable baby chicks (and you might recognize Ruthie from her newborn portraits) and it was time for Ruthie’s 3 month portraits. So we were able to have some fun and get some great shots of the kids.
Personally, I love all those “blooper” type of shots. Don’t you? The one of the little brother putting the chicks on his older brother’s head is a favorite of mine… that and the one of the little guy thinking about dashing out of the group picture. Just priceless!
Anyhow, I hope you feel the same way… and if you do, give me a call and we can brainstorm a portrait concept that would make your family portraits even more personal and unique!