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Our little one is one-month-old! Jake helped me to remember this special day by shooting a mother baby photography session! I loved all the beautiful natural photos that came out. Lisa has been such a lovely little girl we are very lucky to have her in our lives. Last night, she even switched over to crib sleeping without much fuss, but we are still keeping her in our room because she is too little to be on her own.

During the latter stages of my pregnancy we didn’t schedule as many photo shoots as we usually do, but Jake didn’t mind going out for a few on his own for this lifestyle family photo shoot. While I was editing them I got a little choked up thinking about what it was going to be like once our little one arrived. The Grahams have a beautiful family, and I know Jake and I are going to want photos on our walls, just like they do.

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As morning turned to afternoon Jake was exchanging emails with Michaela and Joe, discussing the pros and cons of trying to get their engagement shoot in before the rain. Eventually they decided to go for it. I was much to pregnant to attend this one, but I was nervous for Jake as he headed down to Tampa with his gear. Jake and I make it a point to work together whenever possible - that’s why we started our business together in the first place - so I knew he was going to miss me.

Even though the rain was supposed to start at the same time as their session, Michaela and Joe must have done something right that morning because the clouds were still distant on the horizon when they got started. Jake said that throughout their shoot he could see half the sky getting darker and darker, until, as they neared the end they were walking a little more briskly than before as they went from shot to shot on their way back to the cars.

I wish I could have been there. Jake said that they were an amazing couple, and they sure look that way in their photos. You can tell when a smile is natural and when it’s posed, and these two clearly smile a lot when they are together. We wish the best to Michaela and Joe as they start their lives together.

Lisa 20 days old
Lisa 20 days old

While I was pregnant I told Jake that I’d be happy if I got two months “maternity leave” from our business to take care of Lisa and do some bonding. So Jake made sure he could handle the workload by taking on fewer photo shoots and sharpening his photoshop skills. I was never worried that he would pressure me into returning to work, but it turns out he wasn’t the one I should have been worried about. When you’re self-employed you are your own boss, and it turns out I’m a real slave driver. Even though my time with Lisa is precious I couldn’t help but worry about our business, our family income, and the huge gap between posts on the blog. It’s only been three weeks and I’ve already been sneaking to the computer to work when Jake isn’t looking ?

Six days old baby Lisa
Six days old baby Lisa

Elizabeth Summer Littlefield was born on September 1st, 2015! She was a beautiful healthy 8lbs and 9oz at birth, and we can’t wait to watch her grow up. Expect to see a lot of photos on the blog (especially since her parents happen to professional photographers).

We hope that we have what it takes to raise her to be strong, healthy, clever and kind. If anyone has any words of wisdom for little Lisa, let us know.

Sitting on the beach doing some yoga

Well, today is my expected due date, and as of eight in the morning… no baby yet. Not that I’m getting impatient 🙂

I took the last few days off from blogging as I made final preparations and edited the last photos on my list for the studio. Later this morning I have an appointment with my OB, and I’m going to have an ultrasound and some time with the heart rate monitor just to make sure my amniotic fluid levels are ok and the baby isn’t in distress. I got nervous when they told me that this is the stage of the pregnancy when they consider recommending that I induce labor. I know it’s a safe procedure, but I still hope that Lisa decides to come out before it comes to that.

I’ve got very little to complain about though. Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve had good checkups and mild symptoms. Even though I’m getting uncomfortable now, all I really want is for her to come out healthy, whenever it happens (soon would be nice though). I’ll keep you updated. I’ve done everything I can think of to get ready for the baby to arrive. The nursery is ready. We have all the clothing and diapers we’ll need for the first few weeks. Jake and I have taken our classes and read our books, and the family is on standby. If you don’t hear from me in a few days, there’s a good chance I’ll have a little girl the next time you do. Thanks to everyone I know for all the good wishes and support I’ve received.

Dannie

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We were relieved recently when the weeks of rain finally let up and gave us a good opportunity to get outside and take some maternity photos. You might have noticed some photos in previous posts that might have qualified as maternity, but I really wanted some with Jake by my side. I was 38 weeks pregnant and determined to get a last photo of just Jake and me.

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It’s exciting to get your portraits taken by a professional photographer. Hiring a professional makes a big difference in the quality of your photos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything else to help make your shoot great. Here are 10 Photography tips to help you get the most out of your photo session.

1. Make Some Plans

Jake didn’t want to miss a chance at capturing my Maternity Photography, but as a nervous first time mom I didn’t want to “show-off” my baby bump too soon, so we waited til towards the ends of my 1st trimester to start capturing those special moments. Here are some photos of me at different stages … I know my belly looked huge, but I carried it with pride!

1st trimester: I photographed two full 10 hour weddings during my first trimester, oh can’t say I wasn’t a bit worried.

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During my pregnancy, I’ve learned a great deal about taking care of myself and loving myself. I’ve learned that my capacity to love anyone is directly related to my ability to love myself. I learned a lot about this in April on my birthday/babymoon silent yoga retreat in (Ashville, NC). Admittedly I’m just getting a handle on easing gracefully into my 30s, but here’s what I’ve picked up so far.

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Dannie at 37 weeks and ready to pop ;)

Trust Yourself and Your Own Decisions

In my 20s, I made a lot of mistakes in my career and my social life. I was much to quick to let go of things that were important to me. I’ve learned that when something is valuable I need to stick with it, even when things are difficult. It’s true that nothing worth doing is easy. I always used to get nervous when things started getting shaky (or sometimes when they started going suspiciously well), and I still do. But now I don’t try to escape from that nervousness by changing course on the drop of a hat.