Yesterday my bestfriend came over & we shot Johnathan’s newborn photos. We did this when William was a newborn too. Newborn photography can be costly & intimidating but they don’t have to be! These photos took about an hour all in all to shoot. Ideally you want to take photos in the first week or two when babies are the squishiest & easiest to pose & they tend to stay asleep through different positions. Below I’ll share tips for taking your own photos & the set up we used.
The Set Up
Heating Pad – Be VERY careful with a heating pad. I placed it under a thick plush blanket & set it on the lowest setting, checking frequently to make sure it wasn’t too hot, I ended up turning it off completely.
Plush Blanket – something with texture is nice
Somewhere near a window with lots of light!
I put the heating pad over the boppy pillow, followed by the plush blanket I wanted to use. This blanket is extra special because my late aunt sent it to us shortly before she lost her battle to cancer one day after our son was born.
I positioned the boppy / blanket set up on our bed near a window that got plenty of afternoon light. But when I took William’s newborn photos the set up was on his rocking chair, near a window. The key is finding an area of your home that gets good natural light.
The heating pad helps keep baby nice & cozy & asleep. I use it when I’m taking photos when baby isn’t wearing anything but a diaper. As I mentioned previously, exercise extreme caution when use the heating pad, don’t use it above the first setting and check frequently the temperature!
Next up: Angles! I go by one simple rule: if you can see up the baby’s nostrils it’s not the best angle. You want to shoot the opposite way. Granted you’ll notice not all of the photos live by that rule but it’s a good thing to keep in mind while you’re taking photos.
Editing: Most photo editing apps have a lot of free features you can adjust. For newborn photos I usually follow these basic steps: Straighten the photo, increase exposure, decrease shadows, decrease texture & clarity. I use light room to edit all my photos so I’m also able to fiddle if I want to decrease any hues of certain colors. You’d be amazed at how much better a photo can look just by simply straightening it & adjusting the exposure.
If you’re on a budget, don’t want strangers in your home taking photos during a pandemic or are like me and can’t stomach paying hundreds of dollars for photos you can take yourself try out these tips!
Last night we spontaneously decided to head over to Baker Beach for the sunset and it ended up being one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve probably ever seen. This past week was so busy, Chris was gone Monday through Thursday for work, I worked 3 shifts including Saturday night. I celebrated a friends birthday & Sunday we went to Dim Sum for a red egg & ginger party. So Sunday was the first day Chris, William & I were all together for a whole day in a week!
Before having Will I used to take Juno to the beach weekly. It’s truly her heaven on earth but now days it’s a two person job. One to wrangle the dog and one to wrangle the toddler. I’m acutely award that we won’t live 10 minutes from the beach forever so I’m trying soak up all the beach days I can & even though it can be hectic I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Part 2 of our trip to Tennessee & Georgia! These photos are from the wedding we attended in Bell Buckle Tennessee. As you can tell by most* of the photos William had a blast. We got to spend some great time with family, we all stayed at a B&B together & were just a few blocks from the rehearsal & wedding.
Our little boy is ONE! Saturday was his birthday & we celebrated at home. He woke up and got to read new books & play with his birthday balloons. Will’s auntie stopped by to have brunch with us. After Will woke up from his nap he got to play with his water table that Chris & I got him. And he ended the evening doing his cake smash before his bath! It was the perfect low-key day, we decided not to do anything big since there will be plenty of years of birthday parties to come so laying low and enjoying time with just us felt like the best way to celebrate.
The past year has simulatenously felt like a blink of an eye and a lifetime. When I think about all that happened this year it just doesn’t feel possible that it was only 365 days. The past month I feel like William has really transitioned into such a little boy! He can wave & blow kisses & give high fives, say yes & hi & shakes his head no. My sweet little guy loves to give Juno treats and pets Peggy. I can’t wait to see all the leaps he’ll take this next year.
We took William to the pumpkin patch last week! He loved it!! There was so much for him to take in & he loved touching all the different textures of the pumpkins. Will is turning 6 months old next week, it’s so crazy to think he’s half a year old! He’s just getting more and more fun each day!!
Time is flying! I feel like I blinked and it’s October. This month William went on his first plane ride, discovered the possibilities of rolling over & sleeping on his tummy. He continues to babble & learned how to blow spit bubbles. His budding friendship with his fur sisters is just about the cutest thing I’ve seen. I can’t get enough of his tender curiousty with the world around him.
Last weekend we packed up, dropped Juno off at pet camp & headed north for Calistoga! We stayed at Indian Springs Resort & we loved it. Our room was awesome. It had a great little balcony so when Will went to sleep around 7:30 Chris & I would head to the balcony & play cards & drink wine! This was our first getaway as a little family of three. We’ve taken Will to my parents house but he’s never stayed in a hotel. We really wanted to go on a trip to get him more accustomed to new places but we didn’t quite want the stress of flying yet. He’s typically a great napper on the go, but I think the heat was to much for the little guy because he definitely struggled to nap when we were out & about. I can’t blame him though it was hot even for us! Luckily he slept wonderfully at night! William also got to go swimming for the first time this trip! We’d wake up in the morning I’d feed Will really quick & then we’d head to the pool before it got too hot. It was great because the pool was empty that early in the morning. The pools at Indian Springs are natural hot springs so the water is around 92-94 degrees this time of year. William loved it. He was so relaxed, he would start sucking his thumb & closing his eyes while he floated! It was wonderful to get away for a few days & enjoy the summer weather & just recharge. We’re in SF for the next few weeks as I wrap up my maternity leave & then in September we’ll be take Will to Austin for the first time! YAY!
I’m trying something new & am posting some of the highlights from the week before along with some photos.
The best moment last week was waking up at 7am & realizing that Will had slept through the night!!! It was amazing. He slept through the night twice last week & the nights he didn’t he slept from 7pm until 5am! I have to say I feel like a whole new person getting so much sleep last week. I’m definitely hoping for more of the same this week.
My go to breakfast that is great for breastfeeding mamas has hands down been oatmeal, either regular or rolled oats. I love having it in the morning usually after Will goes down for his first nap. I usually top it with cut strawberries & walnuts & some brown sugar.
I’ve started working out again & this week is week 3 of BBG. I love that it’s only 28 minutes & it’s such a good workout. I’ve had to make some modifications but overall I’ve been able to keep up with it, plus I’m doing the 12 weeks with two other people so it’s nice to have some accountability.
Along with working out I’ve been making an effort to take Juno out for walks alone in the evening. It’s nice that the sun sets well after William is in bed & the weather has been really nice. So it’s been a great way to get some fresh air & clear my head after busy days with my busy boy! The photos of the USF cathedral were taken on my walk Friday night.
This might sound silly but I bought these ice cube trays last week because our old ones kept cracking and leaking water & honestly they are AMAZING. I remember listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast Happier & she would talk about how simple upgrades can make you happier & it’s so true. I love having ice water & I was drinking less water because I didn’t want to deal with our annoying old trays. Well $12 later problem solved!!
We took William to Costco for the first time. Chris & I don’t venture to Costco all that often although we have a few set things that we like to get there & it was time for a restock. Costco on a Saturday in general can be a nightmare but I feel like the Costco in San Francisco is made worse with the crowds & city size isles. Will did awesome though!! he was awake the whole time just taking everything in.
Will has been LOVING the play mat we got him a few weeks ago! It’s so fun to watch him swing his arms & try to grab the hanging toys, he also is such a little kicker that the paino part of the mat is great (although the same song on repeat can only get a liiiittttlllleee annoying haha!) If you have a newborn & are looking for an inexpensive activity mat I highly recommend this one.
We don’t have too much planned for the beginning of the week but the second half of the week Chris’ parents will be here visiting so we’re excited for that!
Happy Friday everyone. Yesterday was the summer solstice & a few friends & I took Will to the San Francisco conservatory of flowers. The conservatory is a ten minute walk from our apartment & a $6 entry so it made for a perfect afternoon adventure.
And last night was Chris & my first date!! We went to our favorite restaurant that does a delicious multi course food and wine pairing.
This weekend we have some friends coming to visit us and the weather is supposed to be AMAZING in San Francisco. Happy summer!
Last night we took Will to his very first Giants game, we went for a friend’s 30th birthday. It was so great to get out and do something social, plus it was a great test to see how Will would do staying out past his bedtime! He did great at the game & was able to sleep at night when we got home. So I’d say it was an overall great success!