Two years ago was my first session with the {W} family.  Mom wanted to test the waters with a mini session.  Thankfully we were blessed with beautiful weather and really happy kids.  This family has a lot of love between them and have so much fun together that it was easy to capture their relationships.

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Two years later, we got together again but with even more of the clan.  So much love all around.  They really made it easy and so much fun to photograph.

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This one…could she BE any cuter?

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I have a soft spot for grandparent shots.  What I wouldn’t give to have more pictures taken with my own as a child.

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Last fall, Shutterfly sent me an email, requesting to buy images from my portfolio for use on their website.  Of course I said yes.  They were particularly interested in images of my family and I had to cull my archives in order to get images of both of my children from birth until now.  Today you will find them regularly on their website, mailed catalog, plus Facebook and Instagram feeds.  My friends like to play a modified version of Where’s Waldo and find our pictures.  Here are just examples of my images being used by Shutterfly.

Friends have screenshot their inbox to show me how my daughter greeted them good morning that day…

 

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They were sprinkled all throughout Instagram…

 

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We would see ads like this on Facebook…

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They even put together full photo books of my family.

 

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Happy to pair up with a company that understands the value of printing your images as well as incorporating them into your everyday life.  Thank you Shutterfly!

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The biggest concern I receive from my moms that just had a baby is the post-partum weight.  After two of my own, I hear you mom.  In my pre-baby life, I actually had abs and wore bikinis with no concern.  However, once that baby was born, my stomach became soft and squishy.  It felt strange for me and I was uncomfortable.  After 7 years, I am a mom of two and the abs have not come back.  It is still a life goal to reduce the squishiness but in the mean time, I am living with what I call poochie.  Now this squishy belly gave me two squishy babies so I am grateful for what my body has done.  However, I feel for you and understand how hard it is to transition to this new body.  That being said, it takes time for your body to heal and you don’t want miss out on precious photo opportunities with your family while you are comfortable with your body again.  Your baby will never be this little again.  So what is a new mom to do?

Posing is key.  Let’s accentuate the positive…everyone has a positive…everyone.  Below are images from some of my favorite ladies that have used the follow poses and rocked their post partum world.

THE SIDE LIE

Laying on your side snuggled with your baby is a very complimentary pose.  It allows for connection between the two of you plus gravity is your friend.

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Even adjusting the angle a bit is equally as complementary.

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Another reason I love the side lie is that it captures the intimate mother and child relationship.

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Shooting From Above

Shooting from above is a very easy way to eliminate any post-partum worries.  Plus being wrapped up into mommy’s arms is the best place in the world to be, so baby is nice and happy.

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UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

By you bringing your baby up towards your face and me getting in close and focusing on the two of you, that baby belly taken out of the shot.

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TAKE A STEP BACK

One of the reasons I love lifestyle photography is taking a step back and telling a story.  Shooting with a wide angle lens, I get more environment in the picture.  That distance is flattering for all that are involved.

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Baby Camo

Being photographed with a child in your arms is wonderful form of camouflage.  Not only does doing something like reading a book with a child on your lap is a great way bond with your child, it also easily hides your belly but keeps you fully in the picture.

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Now to put my money where my mouth is, here is a self portrait of my daughter and I.  It was her first use of our brand new sink and she loved bathing in it.  At the time, I had on really crappy clothes and my hair was a mess, and I had no makeup on.  Everything about my situation screamed, run away.  However, I was loving how much my daughter was enjoying the sink.  I had a number of great shots of her but I wanted her to remember that I was there too.

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So there you have it mom.  Not only do I have multiple solutions for your problem, I have been there/currently am in your situation so I understand how important this is to you.  Remember, your body gave new life and that is amazing.  You and your child are beautiful.  Let’s not waste those early memories while you adjust.  I will adjust my shooting to make sure your beauty is captured.

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Some may have noticed that I have that things have been a bit quiet with my online presence and emailed newsletters.  I greatly reduced the amount of time devoted to my business due to a family tragedy.  Here is what I posted on my personal Facebook site a few months ago.



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FACEBOOK POST:

With the heaviest of heart, I must write my most painful Facebook post ever.

On April 1st, 2016 my mother was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, Glioblastoma Stage 4 in the Thalamus…the worst brain tumor in the worst location. Unfortunately, early this morning my mother lost her battle with this highly aggressive cancer.

My mom was the best mother a girl could have ever asked for. She has made me everything I am today. She gave me my optimism, my patience, my sense of empathy. I have lost more than just a mom. I lost a best friend, shopping buddy, adventure seeker, personal chef, handyman, firework chaser, and best grandmother ever. She was the most thoughtful and selfless person I have ever met. Always coming to my rescue, from a little girl struggling through school to a full grown adult struggling with parenting and life. She dropped everything to help me and did it with a smile. She was always doing and thinking of everyone else. From helping to plan my friend’s wedding to taking another friend to her proton therapy appointment and everything in between.

I can not imagine a world where I am not greeted by her giant smile, hugs, and kisses. I can not imagine a world without her amazing cooking. I will miss her chicken pot pie, salads, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies the most. A world where I can not call her up with a quick cooking question when I’m in a pinch. It is just too painful to think about.

She has meant the world to so many people. She was loved so deeply by an amazing group of friends and family. I am forever grateful for all of the support that was shown to my family over these last 4 painful months. People have dropped everything to rush to be by her bedside. In every room she occupied, her bedside was lined with chairs so that a heavy rotation of friends and family could sit and hold her hand.

My house is filled with constant reminders of her. The wonderfully thoughtful gifts, the walls that she helped me paint, the pictures she helped me hang, and the furniture she helped put together. She made my family’s house a home. I am forever grateful for everything she ever taught me and the amazing way she loved me and my family.

RIP to the sweetest mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend anyone could have ever asked for. You will be kept alive in all of us.

I love you Mom! xoxoxoxoox

Your devoted daughter, Claire



It has been a few months since she passed but it is no easier.  I now feel like my title is now motherless daughter instead of mom, wife, daughter, photographer, etc.  Losing your mom in particular is life altering, esp when you lose her early.    Every day is a struggle.  I know this is something I will never recover from but just learn how to manage the pain.  I am still learning how to incorporate her into my daily life so I can keep her spirit alive.  She gave me the most amazing foundation for life and know I am better off then most with that foundation.

The day we found out about my mom’s brain tumor, we were on vacation in Florida.  (Slightly different from past trips to Anna Maria.)  She was leaving the next day to meet with the surgeons in Philly.  Here are a few shots of our last days together in Florida and her last birthday with us at home.

These are the hardest images for me to look at because it was after the diagnosis and we were terrified of her fate.  However, I am so happy that I have them and will treasure them always.  Until we meet again Mom!
Please feel free to share your story of lost in the comments below.   Learning how you dealt with the pain and how you are managing now would be wonderful to hear about.
Much love!
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  • Bernadette - Claire,
    Thank you for sharing these very precious pictures of Maggi with us. I have no easy advise for you on how to recover from this tragic loss. I have found that being thankful for all of life – the hard and the happy helps. I recently wrote this:

    I am enchanted by October. I find everything about this month irresistible. The sound and feeling of the crunch of leaves as I walk in the morning, the light that blazes so clear that is reveals all the nuances of the landscape, the vistas filled with oranges and yellows against an impossibly blue sky. Then in the evening the gift of the orange of a blazing harvest moon, with Venus sitting like a diamond next to it accompanied by the smell of the first fires being lit in nearby homes. All of the beauties of this month I give thanks for.

    But most of all I give thanks that I am still able to be enchanted by October. For October brought to my family our greatest tragedy. A tragedy I wasn’t sure that I would be able to survive. But I did and we all did. And I give thanks that although my heart will fill with sadness this month, I am still able to be enchanted with October’s beauty.

    Sending love to you,
    BernadetteReplyCancel

  • Ann Marie - This is a wonderful tribute and the pictures are too beautiful for words. I love you so, so, so much. XoxoReplyCancel

  • Annie - Oh, Claire. I can’t imagine how hard these days have been. Thank you for sharing and for these beautiful pictures. What a gift to have them.ReplyCancel

There is an old adage, “new home, new baby”. This mom just moved into her new home and didn’t even have the nursery set up for our time together the baby was so new.  It actually turned into a wonderful opportunity to shoot with a clean slate.  The nursery had such beautiful lighting, paired with the simplicity of the room and the adorable mom/baby, it made for a great session together.  So please moms, don’t stress out over having a perfect home for your session.  I understand life is so busy and expectations on parents today are so high.  I really need very little when I come to your home.  An empty room can easily be transformed by me with no stress on your already crazy life.  (I get it, I am a mom in the same situation.)  Here I just brought a raised aerobed and some blankets, mom and baby did the rest.

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This family was so laid back and easy to photograph. I loved just watching the parents bond with their brand new son.  This last image is my favorite.  It won’t be long before that tiny little baby is towering over mom.  Freezing this moment in time is what mom will treasure for a lifetime.

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