Casting Call : Expecting Momma

I am in search of a beautiful expectant Momma to do a bit of modeling.  The requirements are simple and I'm only looking for one Momma :)

So here are the details - The model Momma will need to be available in July, sometime between the 7th and 21st.  The images will be used in an educational post on shooting and styling at-home maternity sessions, so the model will need to sign a model release.  In exchange - the model will get to choose their favorite 10 images to be put on disc as a thank you from MKP.

  • Must be showing (ideally 6-8 months along - but flexible based on how the model is showing)
  • Must be in the greater Killeen area
  • Must have a nice, clean home with neutral colors
  • Must have available light via windows
  • Must be available sometime during July 7th - 21st for shoot
  • Must sign model release 

For more of an idea of what I am hoping to accomplish - please visit Kelly Hicks amazing maternity session.

If you are interested you will need to send a current image of yourself from within the last week (you don't have to be dolled up, I just need to see how you wear pregnancy).  Please send all correspondence to and in the title please put CASTING CALL.  The model will be chosen and notified on July 5th.

Newborns: It's time!

Did you read last week's entry on prepping the parents for the session?

Remember how I said that parents would be zombies, well that's them walking in your door.  I know you're excited, but they are probably exhausted!  Likely with sleep-deprived parents their imagination will be lacking, so you must help them with that.

I like to already have a game plan in mind - as far as poses go - in order to streamline the whole session.  It may be a good idea to have an inspiration board at the session, so it is easier to convey your vision to your clients.  An inspiration board can be poses that you want to do, so they have a visual explanation.  It can also be a general feel you want to portray during the session.  Your inspiration board is used to enhance the session for both you and the client.
So, they are here....what now?
  • If you haven't met with them before, introduce yourself and get acquainted with the newest addition to their family.
  • Undress baby and wrap him/her in a receiving blanket (diaper still on, but loose).
  • Have Mom/Dad feed baby.
  • Ask how the delivery went! If something happened, or they have a concern it should come up now - this is the way in for the parent to open up about any concerns or issues they may have avoided before.
  • Ask about birth marks or other skin issues (if you see any) that way you know what to work on when editing, and what to leave alone.
  • Ask what they brought for the session and show them what you have (if you haven't done this previously).
  • Once baby is full - then they will be in what we like to refer to ask the milk coma, this is a good thing!
Sleeping baby, check!  Excited photographer, check!  Anxious parents, check!
What's the next move....
Pose order
  • Start off simple so you can get a feel for the baby - some will prefer getting to sleep laying a certain way.  Some will even hate having their body a certain way, such as arms tucked in.  
  • While you are getting the starter pose, I like to do baby on belly with feet tucked under OR baby on side with hands together - have Mom/Dad/siblings prepare to make their way in frame (last minute face check etc.)
  • Once baby is in starter pose 1 get full body, half body (head) and get the details now! (hands, feet, lashes, belly button etc.)
  • Family - Get one to two family poses
  • Sibling - Get one to two sibling only poses
  • Parents - Get one to two shots with baby and parents
  • Each - Get one to two shots of baby with each parent alone
  • Solo - Get baby in to starter pose 2 with wrap. Now you want to get baby into a deep state of sleep and feeling cozy since he/she was likely just being held.  Wrap them up tightly and get a few more shots (get creative here).
  • Complex - Now move on to your more complex shots, ones that likely require a bit of composite work. (chin in hands, sack of potatoes, frog).
  • Last chance - Once you have your full set of poses completed if baby is still willing do a few 'unnecessary' shots - ones that are creative and *could* sell but aren't guaranteed like previous poses.  Be sure to ask parents if there are any poses left that they would like to see.
Are you tired and sweaty? You should be :) .....oh and you will feel like you did a full scale squat work out in the morning - that's normal.
  •  Thank your client for their time, and let them know how much fun it was!
  • Give them information (again) on how the gallery process works and when to expect to see their images.  They will be excited to see them :)
  • If you noticed any skin concerns during the posing, that you didn't before - ask again now. 

  These are the basic things you will do during a newborn session.
Thank you to Rachel Brenke for snapping this at her son's newborn session at the Jewels Avenue studio.

Jayda {child} | Killeen child photographer

It's her birthday!!!
Do you remember this little beauty from just about a year ago?  How about from a few months ago when she was just 6 months?  What about her sassy momma in leopard heels?!

She is going to be a heart breaker ♥  She has so much personality for such a little girl - as always she is a blast to hang out with :)  Happy 1st birthday Jayda - may all that follows be just as amazing as you are.

Newborns: Prepping the parents

Did you read last week's entry on prepping yourself for the session?

One thing you want to remember is that the parents of your littlest clients are nervous, this is their new, tiny, fragile bundle of perfection.  They are probably sleep deprived aka zombie mode.  It is ideal that you give them a step-by-step breakdown of what to do and expect at the session so things go smoothly.


This is the list I send to my newbie parents:

What to do:
*Try to not feed your baby for 2 hours before the session so they are hungry.
*Try to keep your baby awake for 1 or more hours before the session so they are sleepy.
*The room will be very warm, near 85-90*F so it is still cozy when the baby is nude.
*Bring your little one in loose fitting clothing so that there are minimal clothing indentations.
*Once you arrive at your session we will undress the baby right away.
*Once your baby is undressed you will get to feed your baby, this will make your baby ready to sleep and easy for the session.
*While your baby is eating we will go over questions concerns and last minute set up ideas you may have.
*Once your baby is fed I will take him/her and we will begin the session, so relax and enjoy.....babies can smell fear :)

What to bring:
*Bring at least 2 bottles for baby to eat (or if you are nursing, any supplies for that).
*If your baby takes a pacifier, please bring a few.
*Bring any special items your would like to incorporate, such as theme items or family heirlooms.
*Bring an extra set of clothes for you and baby....because everybody poops, especially babies.

Keep in mind:
*For older siblings bring a toy or special snack for them to feel special as well.
*Keep clothing simple and cohesive.
*Be patient, chances are your baby will cry and that's ok, I am used to soothing newborns. It will feel like there is so much time being spent soothing your baby, but that's ok I am still getting great shots of your little one.
*Feel free to bring a book, and relax.

I look forward to seeing you again, and meeting your new baby!


In the email make sure to ask a few questions - that way you KNOW that they have read over the list.  If they don't answer your questions within a few days, send them a reminder :)

  • Nursery theme
  • Heirlooms they would like included
  • Any health issues that you need to be aware of

In addition to all of that make sure to send a reminder of the location, session time and date as well as contact information should they need to pull up the informational email (it is best to have the information in one place, as new parents don't have time to hunt for it).

 These are the basic things you will need to help the parents for a newborn session.
Next week we will touch on what to do when it's time for the newborn session.

 Thank you to Rachel Brenke for snapping this at her son's newborn session at the Jewels Avenue studio.


Newborn tutorial : The prep

Preparing for a newborn session can be incredibly nerve wracking.
"Do I have everything?"
"What if I need.....?"
"Are the parents prepared?"
"Will the sessions go smoothly?"

There are a few things you need in order to pull off a successful newborn session.
  • Heat - whether it is from a space heater, heating fan or just cranked up temperature: baby is used to being in a body temperature womb for the last 9 months, so being exposed to room temperature is quite uncomfortable for them. Keep them warm and comfy.
  • White noise - it can be in the form of an app on your phone, a specialized machine or even a pre-recorded noise such as a vacuum or blow dryer in action. Remember the was noisy.
  • Wipes - everybody poops (and pees) especially babies. You will need these on hand for baby as well as anyone and anything in contact with the will happen.
  • Soft blankets - you can use them as padding in baskets, on the floor and anywhere else you need them. Make sure they do not have a sheen to them - as this will result in a glare on the blanket.
  • Bean bag - there are lots of posing bean bags (these are ideal), but for those just trying to see if it's is their niche or even if you just don't have the funds yet - a cheaper bag from your local store will suffice. The bag should be filled! I cannot stress that enough, it needs to be completely full to the brim - if you do not have bean fill you can put blankets/pillows inside to plump it up or use a hair tie/zip tie to pull it tight.
  • Back drop stand - if you are doing posed newborn shots you will need one to clamp the backdrops to. 
  • Blankets - you can go to your local store and buy throw blankets with great texture to use as newborn drops, or you can even go crazy at your fabric store - you want about 3 yards in order to have space to work with.
  • Adequate light - whether you are using natural light or artificial you need to be aware of the lighting conditions and plan accordingly. (natural light sessions will go more smoothly, as the baby isn't exposed to flashes.)
  • Inspiration - when you are trying to explain a pose to the parents you may need them to participate in you may want to bring an image example so they know what to do.
  • Assistant - you will 100% need one. You can use one of the parents, a friend or an actual assistant - either way you need one. Reason being is that newborn safety is paramount and should not be compromised just to achieve a shot. The assistant should be close to baby at all times (within arms reach).
  • Props - if you choose to use props, such as hats or headbands you will want to be prepared. First, when you purchase the props for wear make sure that they are very soft to the touch. Baby has very sensitive skin and a little abrasion to us is painful for them. My rule of thumb, if it feels like a cloud - it's a go.
These are the basic things you will need for a newborn session.
Next week we will touch on client preparation for the newborn session.
Go view it now>

Thank you to Rachel Brenke for snapping this at her son's newborn session at the Jewels Avenue studio.



The Confidence Journey

Dr. Morales

Spartan Performance Meals


The Confidence Journey - 100 days

Today, there are 100 days until showtime. Just 100 sets of 24 hours to get to where I need to be physically, mentally and emotionally. 100 d...