Fresh 48 at Inova Loudoun Birthing Inn

Oh, brother!

With two active twin boys and a newborn baby brother, this mom and dad have a lot of fun in their future! I so enjoyed meeting this family and documenting this precious time in their lives. And their session allowed me to highlight one of my most important principles in family photography.

siblings peeking at newborn
collage of newborn
collage of newborn
collage of newborn

Baby led

In my other blog posts and information pages on all photo sessions, I emphasize capturing honest connection and affection. Of course, I lead and guide and pose, however my goal is always to capture real life. For children this works especially well. They know they aren’t going to be forced to do something they don’t want to do, but are allowed to be their own selves. But even more so for newborns, letting them lead the way is critical. I’m not talking about not letting them cry for a bit if they are put down so we can get some photos of them in their hospital bassinet cart. They’ll be fine. But other needs always trump photos.

Screening tests, respecting that mama is recovering from an epic effort, and especially getting feeding off to a good start – those are all critical factors in this short time at the hospital. As the photographer, I am adamant that I work around those things. If baby wants to be held or needs skin time, we give it to him.

collage of mom with newborn


At this session, baby wanted to feed much of the time. I know that many photographers request that mama feed baby just before the photographer’s arrival. But I also know that with a revolving door of personnel, fatigue, and hardly knowing what time it is, some plans just don’t work out.

And I’d much rather that mama spend time on herself than forcing a feeding around a photo shoot. I don’t mean going all out on hair, makeup and clothes. It’s a little out of place to look like you’re dressed for a night on the town while you’re sitting in a hospital bed. Rather, if it’s not time to feed, I would like her to focus on resting, hydrating, eating, peacefully allowing herself to wash and dress, and if she chooses, a light application of makeup.

A newborn doesn’t have a “schedule” yet. They’re learning how to feed, and their feedings stimulate milk production. It’s important that they take full feeds and sometimes, that takes a long time and a lot of work. Since I don’t ever want to interfere with this important process, if baby is feeding during our photo session, that’s what the photos show. I think it’s a beautiful representation of this fleeting time between mama and baby. So, I don’t try to unlatch baby for the photos.

During this session, baby was feeding much of the time, and dad and siblings were interacting just like they should. I can still capture the details of baby and the intimacy of this bonding experience.

collage of mom feeding baby
siblings with newborn
siblings with newborn

Daddy time

In many of my sessions, including this one, dads are the swaddlers, and I love capturing this interaction between them. I have a friend (who grew up in a different era), who proudly told me he had never changed a diaper for his 4 children. The dads I meet today (including my husband) are proud that they are just as adept at taking care of babies as mom, and my dads-in-action photos on Pinterest are often the photos with the most traffic.

dad swaddling newborn

Big brothers

Toddlers know something big happened, but they can’t really wrap their heads around it. It might even frighten them – this being that used to be inside mom is now squirming around. So, I don’t want to force them to interact with baby. I don’t want to take risks with the newborn, and parents always spot if siblings want to hold baby, but these siblings weren’t comfortable holding their new brother, and I respect that. So, they observed baby and did what every little boy does in the hospital – explore, play with the remote control and check out every inch of the snazzy bed.

brothers playing in newborn hospital room

These guys also added some notes to the whiteboard :).

boy writing on board

I loved the family interacting with each other and each brother just being themselves. The boys were so happy and pleased with their family, it was a joy to capture.

collage of brothers
dad holding newborn with older siblings
family standing over newborn crib

Fresh 48 sessions are now custom add-ons to the holiday session. Please contact me for more information.

Headshot and Corporate Event Photographer in Northern Virginia

22375 Broderick Drive, Suite 135, Sterling VA 20166, Loudoun County