Archive for 'Personal'
I actually brought my camera home this past weekend! I had planned on taking Giuliana’s 4th birthday pictures last week, but each day 5pm crept up on me with piles of work still remaining unfinished. I finally gave up and postponed her shoot to the weekend when work would be left at the studio. I also had one of my best friends stopping by with her adorable 2 week old son this weekend and I knew I’d want to get a few snapshots of her family, so having the camera would be handy. Thus I packed up the beast and brought it home, the place where most photography is sadly left to my blackberry. I know, I know, I’m not even instragraming yet. It’s pathetic. The posts from those shoots will be coming soon, but today I had to share a few randoms of my own family. If you’ve been following along with my blog, you have probably heard me promise many times to take more of my own family photos. And you’ve probably seen an actual personal post no more than a few times a year. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about that. And my blackberry has a heck-of-a-lot of awful photos should my kids ever need proof that I cared. This morning I joked that I don’t have baby books for either daughter (yet), but at least they can someday check out my facebook timeline for a history of their babyhood!
So back to the weekend. My camera was sitting on the dining room table and I noticed Grace was covered in drool. It struck me as odd, as she hasn’t drooled a whole lot since she was born. Then it dawned on me. She’s almost 3 months old. Giuliana cut her first tooth at 4 months. Grace’s toothless grin, the best part of my whole day, the smallest detail that brings me the most indescribable joy… is almost GONE! And I haven’t captured it!! Maybe I AM the worst mother ever. So I grabbed my camera and took a nice, grainy, un-colorbalanced snapshot of the cutest smile in all the world (if I do say so myself). And when Grace asks where her baby book is one day, I can at least point her here.
Hope you’re all keeping cool with your own families this week!
It was 4 in the morning and I hadn’t had the chance to sleep yet. The night nurse came in with my motrin and asked the baby’s name. ”Grace”, I told her. We had just decided that afternoon. She glanced over and saw the photo of Giuliana framed on the table across from my bed. ”And your other daughter?” she asked, motioning towards the picture. ”Giuliana” I answered. ”Both princess names” she said matter-of-factly. I hadn’t thought of it. I couldn’t help but smile.
2 weeks after princess Grace was born we made it into the studio for a photo session on a sweltering 85 degree afternoon. I was reminded of how hard it is to get out of the house with a new baby; trying to shower with 2 kids crying, haphazardly applying makeup while Dora the Explorer babysits, sweating at the slightest thought of jumping in a few photos with spit-up in your hair and pants that don’t button, realizing you never packed the diaper bag, hoping by some miracle the baby sleeps for you, wondering if your 3-year-old will cooperate and how much you’ll need to bribe them, wishing you had taken the time to plan outfits and get everyone’s hair cut before the baby was born. I felt for my clients! Then there was the predicament of being the photographer and the mother during the shoot. A hungry baby girl trying to eat my fingers every time I posed her. Nursing every half hour in between sets. It was definitely a challenge!
Thankfully I had the help of our amazing team at the studio. I couldn’t have gotten a single photo without their help. Though I was exhausted at the time of taking these, I’m so happy that we did it. I’m just in love staring at all of them. It’s like I get to gaze into Grace’s perfect little newborn face forever now :0) Bliss!
One week after Grace was born the peonies bloomed. Peonies have always been a favorite flower of mine and any fan of them knows that they don’t last very long. I was thrilled to incorporate them into our shoot during the short window of their blooming. My mom cut bunches of them from her yard and dropped them by the studio just before we started. I wasn’t sure how I was going to use them, so we decided to just scatter them around and play. Here are the first images of Grace with her big sister Giuliana from day one at the studio. My two princesses and lots of pink! <3
This is just part one of Grace’s modeling debut! Her individual, sibling, and daddy-daughter photos are still to come. Heidi created a gorgeous, brand-new set for Grace and Giuliana’s portraits, and I’ll give you one hint about how it turned out: the entire studio still smells like flowers!
I’m so honored to have been able to photograph their photos as an expectant family of three, and their first photos as four. Giuliana was just as excited as she was at Heidi’s maternity session, and even sang Twinkle, Twinkle to Grace for us when she got fussy! Such a great big sister already. Of course, my models made my job easy, being naturally gorgeous and happy and all.
We’re so happy to have little G in the HHP family. Stay tuned for Heidi’s post of Grace’s portraits!
It is just days, or perhaps even hours, until Shaun, Giuliana and I welcome our new baby girl into the world. With my due date approaching so soon, I thought I would check in with all of you for a little farewell. What else is a girl to do in between timing contractions?
It feels a bit strange to look ahead at the Heidi Hope calendar and see a whole month without any shoots. It feels strange to wake up in the morning and not have a to-do list I can barely manage. It feels strange to not have my brain buzzing with session ideas and the daily business of the studio. I’m a Libra, so I’m constantly seeking balance in my life. Unfortunately, I think balance is something mothers rarely feel. Especially mothers who are business owners! I must say however that focusing on the arrival of this baby has brought me some resemblance of balance in the past days. It has forced me to slow down and pay attention more to home and family. I’ve had to say “no” (which I’m not very good at). ”No” to over-scheduling, “no” to over-committing, and I even wearily said no to a publishing company and the chance to author a photography book (GASP) which has always been a dream of mine. It’s scary to say “no” when you’re a “yes” kind of gal. That’s why I’m so thankful for my wonderful team at the studio. They remind me that it is okay to prioritize. That sometimes “no” can mean “just not right now”. That it’s okay to envision how I want to spend this baby’s first year and make it happen for our family! And then they help me on a daily basis to run an amazing business AND keep that balance.
Of course you all know Mariah by now. She’s the super talented new addition to our team and in case you were fearing crickets on our blog (how on earth would you distract yourself at work??), rest assured that you’ll still be able to enjoy her gorgeous photography in my absence. The studio will also still be running as normal, but my camera and I will be HOME getting some R&R for the first time since starting Heidi Hope Photography back in 2008. Okay, well at least my camera will be getting some rest. If you have caught some of our recent previews, you know it is no wonder that our clients are going wild for Mariah’s work. Check out some of her recent shoots for HHP below as well as the maternity images of our family featured in this post!
Mariah’s calendar for May and June is already almost completely booked so if you are thinking of a Heidi Hope Photography session during those months, it’s time to call the studio and get in while you can! Believe it or not, we are already talking about family photos for holiday cards with our clients, high school senior portraits are in full swing all summer long, and we’re booking well into the end of 2012 with sweet newborns and fabulous cake smashes! We’ll likely sell out our summer calendar as we always do, so don’t hesitate to call us up and get all the info you need to make a session with us a reality this summer.
I’m also still receiving so many inquiries for mentoring and class opportunities and want to update all of our photographer friends out there. 2012 started off at a crazy pace for our family (pregnancy, selling our home, moving twice, buying a new home… all while juggling our normal studio schedule, growing the business and continuing our volunteer work and mentoring). Needless to say, I haven’t had much time to plan a teaching schedule, but when I return in the summer I will be ironing that out for you all. I had a wonderful experience as a Celebrity Photographer on the Chic Critique Forum this spring and I do plan to do it again, likely in the fall. My last class sold out, but you can now sign up for a waiting list and be one of the first to know the next time a I host a class with them! I also plan to offer mentoring opportunities at the studio beginning in 2013 on a very exclusive basis so keep an eye out this fall for details.
As for me, I will be back shooting in July part time and then full time in August. I’m looking forward to having a few weeks away from it all and coming back inspired and excited to work. I’m looking forward to mentoring and teaching again along with picking up the camera and capturing all of the wonderful clients who are already on the schedule this summer. Until then, you will certainly catch a little photography of a personal nature from me, including glimpses of our new baby girl, big sister Giuliana and daily life around our new house. Shaun and I may even jump in for a few!
Now, there is nothing to do but wait for this baby! We can’t wait to share our good news with our Heidi Hope family :0)
Mariah, here! Heidi and I wanted to test out a few outdoor locations this morning, so we thought- why not do a maternity shoot while we’re at it? The weather was perfect, and we headed just down the road from the studio to a little spot by the bay. I love the location, and the reeds and water matched the pastel styling perfectly. We brought some Organic Bloom frames for props, that you may recognize from a certain gender reveal shoot!
Needless to say, Heidi, Shaun, and Giuliana made my job pretty easy, and I love the results.
We’re just wrapping up a busy day at the studio and we can’t leave before introducing you to Mariah Gale, the newest member of our team. Mariah started with us today and is the new lead photographer of our Senior Division. She will also be working with our family, baby, boudoir and modeling sessions this summer. I’ve been in love with Mariah’s colorful work and fresh style for years so I’m over-the-moon to have her on board. Without further ado, meet Mariah!
Hello, I’m Mariah Gale! I’m thrilled to be leading the seniors and family division of Heidi Hope Photography. A professional photographer for 5 years, I specialize in on-location modeling, senior, family, and commercial photography. From behind my lens, I have watched families grow, talent blossom, and dreams of movies and tv commercials come true. I truly do what I love, and love what I do!
My goal is to make every session a fun, relaxed experience that will make your family feel and look like you belong on a magazine cover. From wardrobe to location, each part of the process is customized especially for you, and the resulting images will tell a unique story of you and your life, with that special ‘Heidi Hope’ touch!
I can’t wait to get to know you, photograph you, and show you how beautiful you really are!
Well here it finally is! We’ve had to keep it under wraps since before Christmas, but we are finally ready to share whether we will be painting the nursery pink or blue. To make our gender reveal extra special, we decided to let Giuliana smash a cake and have the inside color announce the baby’s sex. Thank you so much to The Organic Bloom for the beautiful frames, Sweet Indulgence for the delicious cake, Gigi’s Glitzy Boutique for Giuliana’s adorable outfit, and Eden XO for pampering me and making me look my best (as I was very hesitant to jump in front of the camera)!
And the inside is PINK! Giuliana is so thrilled that she is going to have a baby sister… can’t you tell?!
We’re all a bit obsessed with baby names lately, mainly because Shaun and I can’t decide on a single name we both like! So, we turned to Meredith, our editor and resident name expert to help us brainstorm. So…
Hi everyone! Meredith here. With Heidi pregnant and a heated debate starting over what to name the baby, names have been on everyone’s minds at the studio.
What’s my most frequently asked question in the studio? “Meredith, what’s this baby’s name?” With the amount of adorable babies and children that come through the studio every month, it’s sometimes hard to remember each child’s name from the years past. That’s where I come in. Blessed with an elephant’s memory and an affinity for names and their meanings since childhood (alright, let’s be honest, it’s kind of an obsession) I will usually remember the face and the name after one meeting. Growing up, it was unusual for me to meet many other Merediths. Having been born in the mid 80’s, I was surrounded by multiple Jessicas and Ashleys in all of my classes. The only time my name was ever in the majority was one class in college where there are 4 of us. We were all surprised that there were that many of us! I think the relative uniqueness of my name led me to my love of names.
I’m always excited to hear what our clients have named their babies. The statistics are coming out on the most popular baby names of 2011, so we (really just me) decided to look at what our most popular baby names were from our clients last year as some baby name inspiration. So here goes:
Most Popular Girl Names!
We’re doing a big cake smash at the studio today with G to reveal the baby’s gender and Heidi’s even going to jump in front of the camera for a few shots. (I’ll actually be taking the family shots.)
What do you think they’re having? Stay tuned to find out!!
Love, Meredith (the oh so amazing editor ;P)
This post has been floating around in my head for at least the past year, so I decided this week to take a crack at blogging it. Just about everyone I know is having a baby in 2012, including myself, and since there will be a period of time that I can’t take on any newborn clients, these are the questions I will be telling my best friends and family to ask before choosing their newborn photographer.
Newborn photography is an increasingly popular genre of photography these days. It seems each week a new baby photographer pops up on Facebook. Given the lower cost of digital equipment, the availability of ready-made websites, and the massive reach of social media, you can literally start a business with just a few clicks of the mouse today. This can be a good thing for consumers, and a very bad thing for consumers. It creates a more competitive marketplace and for those who are active online and do their research, there are some very good deals to be had. It is also a great time to start a business. Many of the most successful businesses I know locally have seen wonderful success through internet marketing (including ours!). The downside is that it also becomes hard to discern fly-by-night businesses from true professionals. Think of some of your favorite business pages on Facebook. Can you answer any of these questions about them: How long have they been in business? What kind of training and education do they have? Is their business registered in the state in which they operate? Are they insured? Where is their physical business located? How can you contact them outside of Facebook and are there any business hours during which you know you could reach them?
It might not matter to you much if you’re hiring a photographer who is going to burn all of your digitals onto a disk for $100. Heck, it’s not a huge loss. Who cares if you don’t love the images or if they aren’t in business tomorrow? It’s worth a shot to try them right? Well, with newborn photography, it should matter to you.
First, the period in which you can have newborn portraits taken is fleeting and very brief. Most newborn portraits are taken within the first month of life, often under 2 weeks of age. If you miss that period, or worse, hire someone that disappoints you, the opportunity to create newborn portraits is over. Much like wedding photography, there’s only one chance to get it right!
Most importantly, this is your very tiny, helpless newborn child. A newborn is a human life, not a photographer’s prop. You are entrusting them in the hands of someone you just met (or maybe just found on Facebook, YIKES). I remember how I felt when the nurse first took Giuliana away at the hospital. That gut-wrenching need to hold and protect the baby I just gave birth to. And that was a NURSE!
Note: I’ve created this post to highlight what I feel are important questions to ask when researching a photographer for your baby. The Newborn Photography industry is not regulated, nor is there a way to become certified. There are no right or wrong answers to many of these questions (although I will say that questions regarding safety in newborn photography should be considered seriously). It is up to anyone as a consumer to decide for themselves what answers make them feel most comfortable before investing their money with a professional. My intention is simply to get you to ASK.
Please, do your research and consider these things before hiring your newborn photographer.
Newborn photography is an art form and each photographer is an artist. When you are hiring a photographer, first consider their style. Baby photography can range from documentary black and whites to highly styled sets, from modern family candids to formal family portraits, from traditional newborn portraits posed on black to the use of colorful and whimsical props. Editing can range from soft and dreamy to sharp and full of contrast. When hiring a photographer for my family, I waited until I fell IN LOVE with someone’s work. I knew that every time I looked at their portraits in my home, my heart would sing. I saved up to go to them, rather than going 3 or 4 times to someone else who’s photos may never make it past an album on Facebook.
It’s often overwhelming to narrow down your choices. Style is a very personal choice and if you aren’t sure what you like, a good idea is to start with browsing photographer’s websites. A website portfolio is often the photographer’s BEST work. Out of all of the portraits the photographer has ever taken, these are their FAVORITES. If you don’t like the images on the website, move on, because chances are the BEST images from your session are going to look much like that… if you’re lucky! If the photographer has a blog, even better. A blog is often a photographer’s most recent work and can be updated daily. Our blog is full of sneak previews for clients, just a few images from every session we shoot here. Some blogs highlight full sessions, others showcase favorite images much like a portfolio. Find out what the blog is showcasing and you can look for consistency in the photographer’s work. A good photographer should get results you love at every session. Which brings me to my next point.
Experience should always be considered when hiring a photographer, but especially a newborn photographer. Experience should not just include how long the photographer has been in business, but also how long they have specialized in the genre that you are hiring them for. Ask prospective photographers how long they have been in business and how long they have been photographing newborns. Also, about how many newborns do they photograph a month? I’ve actually only been in business a little over 3 years. That’s young in the business world! But I also photograph hundreds of newborns a year (an average of 3 newborns each week). There might be someone who has been in business for 10 years and never photographed a newborn, or someone just starting out who was a neonatal nurse in their past career! You don’t know until you ask.
Why is it important to consider? I can tell you my newborn portraits today are leagues above my portraits from a year ago and a world away from my portraits of 2 years ago. I’m still learning more about newborns in every single session. With experience comes skill and consistency. Just being a parent does not make you a newborn expert (although I may have thought I was one after my first child). I think you can judge by how many people give you unwarranted baby advice just how many people out there think they are baby experts!
Every baby is so different from the last. There are endless variations in how each newborn eats, falls asleep, likes to be held and positioned, how heavily they sleep and how easily they wake, and their overall disposition. Experience allows the photographer to read a newborn’s temperament from the moment they walk in the door and create a session that keeps a newborn comfortable and happy. A newborn should never be forced into a pose or a prop they are uncomfortable in.
Good newborn photography takes a very high level of skill. Anyone starting out will remark at how hard it can be. Over time you learn babies and fine tune your practices. This leads to overall quality and consistency. No matter what the baby’s temperament, a good newborn photographer should be able to achieve beautiful newborn portraits out of EVERY SINGLE SESSION. If you hear a photographer excuse poor photos with “well, the baby just wouldn’t sleep” or “they wouldn’t settle down” or “all they wanted to do was eat”: be weary. Babies run the show. Some DO want to cluster feed, some will want to stay up the whole session, some will be fussy or gassy. A good newborn photographer observes your baby and allows what they see to inform the poses they choose during a session. If your baby is alert, I’m never going to try a hanging shot. I’m sorry. If they like their arms tucked in tight, I’m not going to force them to be propped up on their hands. No matter how much you love the shot.
An experienced newborn photographer should be able to comfort your baby, to work with them whether they are awake or asleep, and to create a gallery of beautiful portraits no matter what. After just about every newborn session I shoot, parents will remark: “Thank you for being so patient. You’re like the baby whisperer. It was so fun to watch. Can you come home with us?” Those are the best compliments I can receive.
A baby photographer needs to be good with babies first and foremost or you will never get the results you envision.
This is probably going to be a hot button issue in this post, but I’m telling you what I would tell my best friends and this is it: After running a growing photography business for the past few years I can guarantee you that someone who charges $200 for a DVD of all of the digital images from a newborn session is either A: portfolio building and doesn’t mind losing money on your session (so likely has little experience in the genre), B: has very little business and is just trying to get clients in the door (not knocking it, but you should certainly consider why their business is hurting), C: will either be out of business soon or forced to increase their prices. Here’s why:
Every business is different. I own a studio that has a full time salaried staff of 4 highly educated and experienced professionals. Our pricing is going to be different than, say, when I ran the business out of my home on a laptop. It doesn’t mean one is better than the other, just different business models. I can tell you however, and I know every legitimate business in the country will back me on it, all businesses have a huge list of taxes, insurances and other fees (lawyers, accountants, payroll, unemployment, etc) that go into staying afloat. Add all of that boring mumbo-jumbo to the fact that a newborn session takes 3-4 hours of shooting time, plus 6-8 hours of editing, equipment and image storage costs, gallery hosting, (I could go on and on), if anyone out there can profit off of only $200 when all of that is taken out of it, they should be teaching economics at Harvard.
I’m not saying don’t take advantage of a deal. Just know that there is a reason you are paying those prices and take the time to research WHY. Is it their experience? Is it the quality of the images? Is it their low overhead? You’re taking a chance and you could end up with a great deal on an up-and-comer or you could waste $200 and miss out on your chance for the newborn portraits you were hoping for, or worse, endanger your newborn.
This is another hot-button topic in the newborn photography industry today. There are some wonderful articles on newborn safety already written, so I won’t rewrite the book. Please take a look at these articles as they are a great wealth of information:
Take Off Your Mommy Goggles (a website full of resources)
After reading through some of the biggest issues in newborn safety above, here are some safety related questions you can ask your potential newborn photographer:
If the photographer is not coming to your home, what is the environment that you will be bringing your baby into? Please go visit beforehand if you can! You should make every effort to meet with your newborn photographer and ensure you are comfortable with them before you hand your baby over to them. Their studio should be cleaned regularly and be set up for babies as you will be spending a good deal of time there, usually when you are still recovering from delivery.
How do they achieve their more difficult portraits? Often if you look at a portrait and say “how did they get a baby to do that?”, the photographer composited a series of images together to achieve the portrait. That means they took multiple images in which baby was always safely supported and then spent a good deal of time in photoshop editing the images together to seem as if baby was really in that remarkable position! If they didn’t, they are risking the safety of the baby. The time and skill it takes to produce such images safely is another reason why you may pay more for that photographer. Ask photographers how they created those remarkable images. Babies should never be placed high above the ground without someone spotting them, placed in an object that could tip over without support, hung without support, or placed in glass containers. All of the images below were created using compositing.
Is their business insured? What if, god forbid, something should happen to your baby in the hands of this photographer who is practicing risky newborn posing techniques?
Do babies look comfortable in the photographer’s images? Newborn babies are very flexible and love being curled up into the positions that they were in in the womb. Babies should easily curl into these poses and their faces should be relaxed and peaceful in the final image. If a baby looks uncomfortable in a pose, they probably were. If they look like they were trying to squirm out of it, they probably were. I can’t even begin to convey to you how a portrait of a baby with their face buried in a bean bag or squirming on a hard surface makes me cringe! Who wants a picture of that? Peaceful baby photos are not magic. The baby really was peaceful. Some poses take a little comforting, or some time with a binky if baby is about to wake up from being moved, but your photographer should be able to comfort your baby and keep them happy.
Are parents allowed to watch the session? Every photographer is different in this respect. Personally, I love having the parents watch me work. I want them to see how comfortable their baby is with me. Actually, I even have the parents come over and help with some of the poses. Often they are the ones helping to hold the baby in some of the composites or sitting right beside a set up to ensure baby’s safety. I know I wouldn’t trust someone to take my newborn into another room and not allow me in for 3 hours, but that’s just me. It is sometimes easier for the photographer if nervous parents are not in the room with the baby, as the baby responds to a parent’s energy, but usually after a few minutes of watching me work, mom and dad lose any nervousness they may have had. I’d rather take a little extra time so that mom and dad can enjoy watching the experience and feel 100% confidence in me.
In a market where it can be hard to discern a legitimate business out from the crowd, one last thing to consider is the business practices of the photographer or studio you hire.
What happens if baby is born early or late (as they usually are)? Can the photographer get you in early or reschedule you to a later date. Newborn photographers are often more highly priced because they need to maintain flexibility in their schedule to move around their newborn sessions. Rather than jam-packing our schedule, we must limit the number of sessions we take each week to ensure each newborn is photographed within the first two weeks of life.
What is the general timeline for a session? How long will it take to see your final gallery, create birth announcements, receive your printed album? How long will it take for someone to get back to you if you call? I know it takes me a staff of 4 people full time to manage 6-7 sessions a week and maintain the level of customer service and quality of product that I am proud of. While it does take time to edit, design and produce orders, it shouldn’t take 6 months to receive an album, and you wouldn’t want birth announcements going out when baby is 5 months old. Not everyone needs a staff, but if you hire someone who shoots high quantity at low prices, know that you may sacrifice some level of quality and service.
Do you sign a business contract before the session? A photographer’s contract protects you as much as it protects them. A contract should outline all of the photographer’s business policies and be signed and agreed upon before your session date. And please, take time to read the contract and all of the policies before you sign the dotted line!
Reviews: Ask around town! Don’t trust everything good you hear, and don’t trust everything bad you hear. I remember I once had someone who never even booked with us write a bad review online because I couldn’t photograph her on a specific weekend (we’re not even open on weekends). With that being said however, if you repeatedly hear complaints about a studio’s service or quality, you should give it some thought. Also, don’t trust every good review you read online. I have a folder full of screen shots on my computer from start up photographers who have copied everything from my “about me” section to the reviews my clients have written off of my website. Don’t trust everything you see online. Anyone with some start up cash or a little copy and paste skill can have a professional website that looks pretty trustworthy in just a few days time.
Please don’t stop at a photographer’s website or facebook page. Take some time and be an informed consumer. Know what you are spending your money on. Your baby is worth it!
We’re all tied up this Holiday Season!
After a whirlwind of a busy season at the studio, it’s about time we let you all in on our little secret. Looking back over the last few months, I wonder at how we survived. Now that we’ve finally made it to the excitement of sharing our news, it all seems worth it.
For the past 3 years, every time I’ve had an announcement, I’ve had to preface it with “no, I’m not pregnant.” Now I can finally give an emphatic “YES”, Shaun and I are expecting baby #2!
This may not come as a big surprise to many of you, given the fact that I’m 5 feet tall and somehow begin looking 3 months pregnant before I even see a plus sign on the stick. I’ve gotten “the look” more often than I can count in the past 14 weeks. My sweet clients, especially those who have known me for years, would nervously eye my tummy, too polite to ask me if I’m pregnant (just in-case I had put on a few pounds, mainly in my uterus). Also, because the last 5 pounds I put on before becoming pregnant made zippering my jeans almost impossible, I started wearing maternity pants almost immediately, their unmistakable bands peeking out from under my shirts as I ran around the studio. No sooner than I saw a plus sign was I was unloading boxes of elastic waistband pants from my garage in a deep sigh of relief. “Praise the Lord of elastic-bands!” At least I have a good excuse, right? Honestly, I think elastic waistbands should be socially acceptable for everyone… especially around the Holidays… and I write this as I polish off an entire bag of Cape Cod Salt and Vinegar potato chips… but I digress…
Other than our 4 sets of parents and a few girlfriends who knew as soon as, in their words “Heidi didn’t have her wine”, our two employees were the first to know. We let them in around week 6, after a series of afternoons when I mysteriously disappeared from the studio, too sick to do anything but close my eyes and hope my lunch didn’t come back up. I felt so bad taking off without an explanation that after our first doctors appointment, we decided to fill them in. We figured if anything bad should happen, we would have to tell them at that point anyways. Plus, I feared they thought I was becoming really lazy and high-maintenance every time I made them lug the heavy chairs up and down the studio stairs for me. I wouldn’t have made it through the last 3 months without them and Meredith even photographed the three of us for this post. I kind of thought they were going to leave us tied up after dealing with me for the past few months!
Thankfully, my nausea didn’t last too long and I was back to my long days chasing around toddlers, scaling furniture, and rolling around on my tummy to get the perfect shot! (Just don’t tell my doctor.) For a while, I forgot I was even pregnant… that is until I returned home and found myself drooling on the couch by 7pm. So no more late night catching-up on the blog for me, but other than that, I can’t complain. I was extremely sick for my entire first pregnancy, but this time around, I’m feeling much better. They say that each pregnancy gets easier, but I’m thinking that after your first, laying around sick is just not an option. I remember being pregnant with Giuliana, returing home after teaching all day, throwing on Oprah and falling asleep on the couch until Shaun came home. We ordered pizza almost every night. I was too sick to cook, too sick to pick up the house, too sick to blow dry my hair. I was creating human life after all. Of course, that could never happen now. We’re juggling running a business with having a normal family life and there isn’t a whole heck of a lot of time to put my feet up. I look at women who are business owners and have 3 or 4 kids and
wonder how they do it want to know what drug they are taking. “Can I have some and is it safe for pregnancy?!” After surviving the first trimester, I realize the key to making it through pregnancy while juggling it all: “NEVER SIT DOWN!” Trust me, the second you sit down, you’re a goner. So I’m up at 5am, doing my yoga, checking my email, starting my day. When I finally sit down around 8pm, I better have everything done, because I’ve got approximately 5 minutes until unconsciousness.
Giuliana is privy to our impending arrival and so far, she’s thrilled. She’s even let a few people in on our secret. I’m guessing this will be old news for her entire preschool class. She’s already drawing pictures for her baby, which she lovingly refers to as “my baby in your belly.” Of course she is 3, so I see this lasting for about 1 week after the baby is born until she starts asking us when the baby goes back to where it came from. But for now, I’m enjoying all of the adorable, loving, big-sister cuteness.
So now you know why things have been extra crazy around the studio. As we wrap up our busy season, I’m happy to have the first trimester behind me and look forward to the quiet that comes during the winter months. We’re keeping our normal schedule through April if you’re thinking of a session with us, but will sadly have to turn away newborns due in May and June as I’ll be on a limited shooting schedule and then a brief maternity leave. I anticipate May to be a little baby boom after Hurricane Irene left us all without power around here! We have lots of recommendations we can make for some very talented photographers throughout New England who we know will take good care of you and we’ll be offering a special promotion to all families who are due during those months that we can not accept time sensitive sessions such as newborns, so certainly still give the studio a call if you are due in May or June.
Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving and start to the Holiday season. I know I have a lot to be thankful for this year! xoxo