Fluttering Shutter Photography: Blog http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Fluttering Shutter Photography flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) Thu, 14 Jun 2018 19:08:00 GMT Thu, 14 Jun 2018 19:08:00 GMT http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u993842183-o294293082-50.jpg Fluttering Shutter Photography: Blog http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog 96 120 Picking YOUR Photographer http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2018/6/picking-your-photographer Every week (sometimes every day), I see posts put up in Facebook groups "ISO Photographer" and there are 180 million responses. Here in Loudoun County, we have a large number of photographers with a variety of styles and budgets. We are also such a melting pot of Northern Virginia with Fairfax and Prince William that those photographers get thrown into the mix, too. So, how do you wade through them all?? How do you decide who is right for you? I wrote a blog post a while ago about investing in a newborn photographer, which you can read here. The following is a general list of tips for people looking for any type of photographer, especially if you are using social media:

1) Be specific! 

If you are looking for a photographer who is within 15 miles of you, is available October 25, 2020, will cost you less than $500 total, will give you digitals and is named Susan, say that. Being overly general means that you will get a TON of responses, but only a few will be what you are looking for. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to go through the list. This is ESPECIALLY true when it comes to pricing (even though I have cost listed as the LAST thing that you should consider). Saying "reasonably priced" or "doesn't cost an arm and a leg" doesn't mean anything. "Reasonable" to you, might be totally unreasonable to someone else and what’s reasonable to someone else might be unreasonable to you. For example, my session fees are listed on my website, and then you get to choose what you want to purchase after our session since nothing is included in the session fee. Other photographers have an all-inclusive fee, which includes the session and digital images. Others have a different business model entirely. Listing your specific wants/needs makes it easier for people to respond to you and easier for you to find your perfect match!


2) Look through their portfolio

This seems like a no-brainer, but it's important to mention it. Make sure that the photographer is showing images that are consistent and within the style that you want. If you want really bright images and you hire someone who shoots dark and moody images, it's silly to expect them to produce those super bright images because it's not their style. It's kind of like going to a Mexican restaurant and expecting them to make you sushi. That's just not what they do. Are the images in focus? Do they fit your style? Do they do the photography that you're asking them to do? Portfolios can tell you quite a bit about a photographer, but you have to take them time to look through it.


3) Contact them!

If you're shopping around and not really sure what you're looking for, contact your top 3 photographers and chat with them! One of the things that I do for every new client is meet with them face-to-face to discuss their session, my products and my pricing (and it usually comes with a free cup of coffee!), so that we can get to know each other. Genuinely liking the person who is taking your portraits makes the session smoother and more enjoyable. Contacting them also gives you the opportunity to talk to them about specifics regarding your session. For example, if you have a specific location in mind or a special needs child or the session is a cover for a surprise proposal or pregnancy announcement. Letting us know ahead of time will allow us to figure out if we are the best fit for you and, if not, we can send you to people that we know might be a better fit. 


4) Understand what their experience is

Knowing how much experience your photographer has is important for a variety of reasons. Newborn photography, specifically, is something that takes quite a bit of practice and education. You are trusting someone with your tiniest treasure, so make sure that you are comfortable with their experience level. Weddings are also where experience is vital. Photographing a wedding requires quite a bit of knowledge of timelines, managing people and photographing in various lighting situations. Make sure that you have checked their portfolio and understand if they have been the primary shooter in earlier weddings. Now, don't get me wrong, everyone starts somewhere. People need to build their portfolios somehow, which is awesome! The learning in the photography world is never ending, so it's important to know where on that timeline your photographer is. I have clients who have been with me since the beginning and they are some of my best and favorite clients. Some people are generally hobbyists, but have a phenomenal eye and talent for photography. Some people are just out to make some quick money, regardless of the quality of their work. Some people (like myself) run a small business. Understanding what level of experience your photographer has will help to manage expectations and make sure that you get portraits that are what you want.


5) Look at their pricing

I list this last because I truly think that it needs to be the last thing considered. Photography is an investment in family portraits. If you find a photographer that you LOVE and they're too expensive for you? Contact them and tell them that you love their work and that you're saving up for a session with them. Ask to get on their mailing list so that you can see if they're having any special deals. Hire who you love, not just who you think you can afford. A budget is important, so again being specific is important because it will help people be able to respond to you that are within your budget.


I hope that these quick tips are helpful for you when looking to find your photographer. It's always strange to say this, but even when people don't choose me as their photographer, I'm happy to help people find a photographer who will work for them because I believe in the importance of having portraits done. I believe in the importance of capturing the moments that you want to remember.


flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) budget experience facebook fairfax county family loudoun county northern virginia photography portraits prince william county http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2018/6/picking-your-photographer Thu, 14 Jun 2018 17:38:55 GMT
Where Were You Mama? http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2018/5/where-were-you-mama As you all know, yesterday was Mother's Day. A day where everyone reflects on their lives as sons and daughters, mothers and granddaughters. Social media is filled with pictures of mothers with their children. But do you know what I noticed? Many of those portraits are from years and years ago, or from when their children were first born. Many of them aren't recent images. I also noticed some of my friends who were mourning the loss of their mothers. They had some pictures of their moms, either with their children or alone. But it was those friends that inspired me to post this blog. 

We, as moms, tend to not be IN portraits with our children. We usually have a million and one excuses as to why we're not in the pictures with our children. We're behind the camera. We're not happy with how our bodies look. We don't have any make-up on. We don't need pictures of ourselves. Etc. Etc. But let me tell you this: Your KIDS need pictures of you. They don't care that you don't have any mascara on. They don't care that you have 10 pounds left to lose. They don't care that you are wearing a sweatshirt that is from 1999. They don't care about any of those things, but they DO care about you. They want to be in pictures with you, and those pictures will matter even more to them once you're gone. No one likes to think about that, but it's absolutely the truth. One day, you won't be there anymore, but they will have pictures. They SHOULD have pictures of you with them. You don't want them to say "Where was Mom?" when they look at the family albums. You want them to see pictures of you smiling and laughing and playing with them! So, forget about not having mascara on, forget about those last few pounds, hand someone else your cellphone or hire a photographer and get in front of that camera!! Get in your pictures! And here's the best part about getting into portraits with your kids: When you're in pictures with them, and they're snuggling you and smiling? YOU are glowing. You have that beautiful smile of pride and calm and JOY. Those faces of joy are absolutely priceless to your children. Those are the moments that they want to remember and should be able to look back on to smile all over again.

To celebrate Mother's Day, here are my favorite images of Moms with their children. Happy Mother's Day!

So, to all of you mothers out there, I hope that you had a wonderful Mother's Day and that you remember to get INTO the portraits with your children. They deserve it, and so do you!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) camera family fluttering shutter photography get in your pictures mom mother newborn photography pictures http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2018/5/where-were-you-mama Mon, 14 May 2018 22:45:00 GMT
Hug-A-Preemie Mini-Sessions http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2018/3/hug-a-preemie-mini-sessions Hug-A-Preemie


Hello my lovelies!

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that we welcomed our last child into the world 6 weeks before her due date. Being born 6 weeks early made her a preemie and earned her an 11 day stay in the NICU. While she was there, I saw many babies come and go. Some stayed overnight for observation, others stayed for a few days and some were there for a short amount of time before they were transferred to higher level NICU's in the area.

During our time there, I was so blessed to have the support of two amazing women who are also mamas to NICU graduates. Jamie Romaezi and Blaire Ring are the owners of their own photography businesses and I am honored to join them in helping to raise money for the March of Dimes!

Here is a quote directly from the March of Dimes website about their mission: 


"In 2017, the March of Dimes convened the Prematurity Campaign Collaborative to address the persistent health inequities and rising rate of preterm birth in the United States. Through the Collaborative, hundreds of organizations and experts work together on the shared challenge to “Achieve Equity and Demonstrated Improvements in Preterm Birth.” If you’d like to join the Collaborative or receive its newsletter, send an email to collaborative@marchofdimes.org. 

Prematurity Campaign activities fall in five main areas:
1.    Research and discovery
2.    Care innovation and community engagement
3.    Advocacy
4.    Education
5.    Family-centered newborn intensive care units (NICUs)"


Donations to the March of Dimes help them to fight premature birth and support those babies and families that can't avoid a NICU stay.

Are you interested in helping the March of Dimes? Of course you are!

Are you interested in having a mini-session with me? Yes!

After signing up, are you also interested in having your name put into a drawing to get some of the best food in Loudoun at Solo Pizza in Leesburg?! I mean, you're already all dressed up, you might as well make it a fun night out!


If you're ready to sign up, you can fill out the online form here! I'm so excited to see all of you!!!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) family fluttering shutter photography hug-a-preemie loudoun county march of dimes mini-session photography preemie virginia http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2018/3/hug-a-preemie-mini-sessions Thu, 01 Mar 2018 17:03:17 GMT
Before and After Shots http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/12/before-and-after-shots When you hire a photographer, you are investing in their knowledge of how to use their camera and how to edit images. Some photographers do beautiful composite work, where they put together images using multiple shots to create a magical portrait. Some do minimal editing and others do no editing at all. Personally, I edit my images so that they are enhanced, but I do my best to keep the portraits close to the way that they looked when I took them. (I should note here that when I'm doing a session, I purposely underexpose images because when you overexpose, you lose parts of your image.) The only exception to this is with newborn portraits, but I'll get to those in a minute.

Here are some examples of family portraits.


After: (A simple, higher-contrast image)




When photographing newborns, safety is the number one priority, so the final product is not always what it looked like right out of the camera. (Note: When photographers do not do this images as a composite, it is not safe. Always ask what they do for safety prior to booking your newborn photographer!) That being said, here are some behind the scenes shots and final products:


Before and After:

Before: (When I saw this image after our session, I immediately saw the heart and knew that I was going to re-shape the purple basket stuffer into that shape.)

After: (I'm so happy that it turned out the way that it did!)

I hope that you enjoyed my before and afters! Feel free to ask me questions about my editing :)


flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) before and after composites contrast editing photography http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/12/before-and-after-shots Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:30:00 GMT
Full-Service Photographer http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/12/full-service-photographer I moved from being a photographer who gives my clients discs with the option to print them at their leisure or through me, to being a full-service photographer.  This has prompted some questions from both past clients and prospective clients, so I've decided to blog about this transition and why it is the best thing for both my business AND my clients. 

1) What is a full-service photographer?

A full-service photographer has a multi-step process with their clients. For Fluttering Shutter Photography, that means that clients will speak with me before the session to get acquainted with my business and what they should expect. After the session, I will meet with them again to show them their portraits and allow them time to order a collection of heirloom-quality products. 

2) What about digitals? Why don't you give out a CD with images?

I do still provide digital versions of the portraits, but I don't think that that is what my clients really want, so it's not something that I encourage my clients to purchase without prints of those images. Why do I do this? Because I've been a client myself. This is an embarrassing truth, since I am now a photographer, but I share it because it is what happens to many photography clients. I had these amazingly gorgeous portraits by Emily Law at Flom Designs & Photography of my wedding seven years ago. What did I do with these digital copies? I printed a few 4x6's and a couple of 5x7' and then left them on the CD's, where they still sit gathering dust. As of now, I STILL haven't made a beautiful wedding album, or had gorgeous canvases made because it's just not the top thing to do on my daily list of chores while running a business and staying at home and raising my children.

SO, I don't push my clients into buying digitals alone. I encourage my clients to purchase from my collections or from my a la carte menu because their portraits deserve to be seen. CD's are slowly going the way of the floppy disc, so they are no longer a part of what I offer to my clients. Instead, I offer beautiful customized USB's. Digital versions of your images should be backups of beautiful prints.

3) What is a reveal session?

A reveal session is when a client is able to see all of their gorgeous images and place their order. I will meet my clients in their homes or at a designated location and share their images with them. They are able to review each individual image and choose which products they would like to have in their homes.

4) What happens after the reveal session?

After the reveal session, I begin the design process for albums and products. I make sure that my clients approve of the design and then I order the album. It takes a few weeks to get all of the products in for me to do my own quality control. Once I have made sure that your products are beautiful and perfect, I will schedule a time to hand deliver all of my clients products to them.

5) Why should I choose you to be my photographer?

Obviously, I am biased answering this question, but here is why I am a great choice for being your photographer: My goal is to help you have gorgeous images that capture moments of your family. I want you to have portraits on your walls and in albums that you will treasure and pass down for generations to come. Being a full-service photographer is about helping you to create art for your home from beginning to end, and this is what I do at Fluttering Shutter Photography. I would love to talk with you more about what we can create for you!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) fluttering shutter photography photography portraits http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/12/full-service-photographer Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:15:00 GMT
Perfectly Coordinated http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/perfectly-coordinated I had to save this one for close to the end of my busy fall season because they hadn't seen their portraits yet, but I love this session so much! The family was so perfectly coordinated for our session that people at Morven Park felt the need to compliment their outfits! This session made me get a little more creative because the park was full of teenagers on their way to Homecoming. The boys did a great job staying focused and we were able to get some gorgeous family portraits of them!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) family fluttering shutter photography loudoun county morven park northern virginia photography virginia http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/perfectly-coordinated Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Golden Hour at Claude Moore Park http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/golden-hour-at-claude-moore-park This family is always fun to work with. They are just the sweetest! When Mom contacted me to do their family portraits this year, we discussed the look that she was going for and settled on going to Claude Moore Park because it would be easier to get the feel of "fall" in our typical warm Northern Virginia October. That was such a great decision because I love the golden hour light that shows up at Claude Moore!


flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) claude moore park golden hour northern virginia photography portraits virginia http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/golden-hour-at-claude-moore-park Wed, 29 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Photographing A Photographer http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/photographing-a-photographer Ok, so this is possibly my favorite session from this season. Lindsay is a fellow photographer with Kloepping Photography and had talked about how hard it is to capture your own children because of the dreaded Photographers Child Syndrome. I offered to do a family session for them because I love helping out other photographers (#communityovercompetition) but I had no idea how much I would fall in love with their portraits. We both regularly photograph clients at Morven Park, so it made sense to go there and be comfortable. They were so photogenic that I had a hard time narrowing down their images! Lindsay ended up ordering canvases for her walls with images from this session and I can't even begin to tell you how proud that makes me. Photographing other photographers is always nerve wracking, so having them now up as art in their home is one of the highest compliments I could have ever received.


flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) family morven park photographer's child syndrome photography http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/photographing-a-photographer Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:15:00 GMT
Newborn With Peter Rabbit http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/newborn-with-peter-rabbit You guys know that newborns are one of my very favorite subjects to photograph, but this sweet girl is particularly special to me. I got to photograph her big sister two years ago and was so honored when her parents contacted me to photograph their newest addition, as well! Both girls have had the Peter Rabbit themed nursery and since we photographed her sister with the Peter Rabbit during her newborn session, we had to incorporate him into this session also and I'm in love with how it turned out!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) newborn nursery peter rabbit photograph photography session sisters http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/newborn-with-peter-rabbit Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Co-parenting + An Amazing Kid http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/co-parenting-plus-an-amazing-kid These two? They created an AMAZING kid together and wanted to have portraits done with their daughter because they know that it's important to have family pictures done. Co-parenting has allowed them to raise one of the kindest girls that I know. I love working with them every single time and can't wait for our next session!


flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) co-parenting family morven park portraits http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/co-parenting-plus-an-amazing-kid Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Twins At Morven Park http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/Twins-at-morven-park This session was a mini-session for one of my favorite sets of twins. I've been photographing these boys for a few years now and every session is a high energy adventure. Morven Park is, once again, a favorite location because it makes it so easy to keep the focus on my subjects, while allowing the background to be a beautiful addition to the image. These images are from the first part of our session, which was more formal portraits, but afterwards is where I let them just run and do their own thing.


The second part of our mini-session was allowing the boys to wear their superhero capes, but not before I spotted one climbing a low branch in the magnolia trees. After getting him out of the tree, I had them stand in front of the mansion and look out over Leesburg, while preparing to save the town! Then they ran down the hill to save the people! I love these images because I love the movement and pure joy that radiates from the boys. I can't wait to capture their portraits again next year!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) leesburg mini-session morven park photography portraits superheros twins http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/Twins-at-morven-park Wed, 15 Nov 2017 00:15:00 GMT
Why You Should Get Professional Family Portraits http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/why-you-should-get-professional-family-portraits I recently posted in my favorite local Mom group to ask them if they got family portraits taken, and if not, why? The reasons why not were mostly expected, but there were a few that surprised me! So, here are the biggest reasons:

This is one that is the most common and the most understandable. Professional portraits are an investment, and not everyone can afford everything that they want. This is why it's so important to do your research. Find a photographer that you love and see what they cost. Contact them. Talk to them about their pricing. I know that for me, when I truly value something, I will save up for it because it's important to me. OR, I find something that is affordable to me and figure out if that will work. I've also been known to barter on occasion! With Fluttering Shutter Photography, I meet with all of my potential clients before you ever give me a dime so that I can go over all of the products that I offer and what everything costs. I also offer payment plans! :)


Getting everyone to look good

As a mom of 4, I totally get this one! Coordinating everyone can be a chore! BUT I looooove helping my clients choose outfits and I have pretty solid advice on how to choose outfits, as well. In fact, I've written entire blog posts about preparing for a family session! You can read two, here and here. This family coordinated so beautifully and was also able to make sure that they all still had their own style.


Getting kids to cooperate

This one is easy for me to answer, but hard for me to personally do. The easy answer is: Don't force your kids to cooperate. Trust that your photographer knows what they're doing and allow them to do what you've hired them to do. When parents are stressed, they make their kids stressed, which leads to a tricky portrait session for the photographer. Also, parents who hover to the sides of the photographer tend to get a lot of images that look like this: 

www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 Not ONE single kid was looking at the camera. Smiling? Yes. Looking? No.  And yes, those are my kids because I was the Mom that I'm warning you not to be. But when I let go and let my awesome photographer (Second Ave Photography) work with my kids on her own, she got amazing images of them. It was only when I was trying to get them to cooperate that they couldn't focus on the photographer. 

www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

That being said, kids don't have to cooperate for long and sometimes I just let the kids be themselves and we get some amazing portraits of them! Can you believe that I got these images (plus a ton more) in 15 minutes? 

Fear of not liking the images

This is always a fear for everyone. Photographers, non-photographers, moms, dads, teenagers, everyone! Here's what I say to this one: You might not love them, but what if you do? Besides, the point of having your portraits taken is to capture this time in your lives as it is. Personally? I hate how I look in photographs. I need to lose about 30 pounds, make sure my hair is appropriately covering the gray and that I have at least a little makeup on. HOWEVER, my kids? They don't care about anything that I just mentioned. They're going to love me if I go entirely gray, gain another 30 pounds and never put on another speck of makeup again. They just want to have fun with me and snuggle. And you know what? That's good because the portraits that I get taken aren't for me, they're for them. They're for my kids and my grandkids and my great grandkids. Also, a great way to make sure that you're going to like your images is to really research your photographer. Make sure that you hire someone whose work you l-o-v-e. Not everyone has the same style, so really try to find a photographer whose style fits you and your family. (This is another reason why although cost needs to be a consideration, sometimes it shouldn't be the number one reason to go with -or not go with- a certain photographer.)


Time/Availability of the Photographer

Finding the time to take family portraits is always a challenge, but with planning, it can be done. I always advise clients to start thinking about their fall family portraits in the summer. This is the best way to try to book with the photographer you want and get it on your calendar before the craziness of school and fall sports sets in. Planning far enough ahead also gives you plenty of time to plan your outfits and figure out payments. For more details on when to schedule sessions, check out this blog post.



This was the one that really surprised me! A few moms commented that they had been disappointed because their photographer shared too many images or shared images when they were specifically asked not to. First, I wouldn't be doing my job in this blog post if I didn't do a little bit of education in the beginning of my response. When you hire a photographer, there should be an understanding up front about what is involved. Occasionally, I will do a model call where I do a free session and my "model" will get a few free digital images in return. I do model calls for two reasons: 1) So, that I can practice something or 2) To get images for my portfolio that I want. I just recently posted a blog about a model session that I really wanted to do because the session that inspired me specifically requested that I not use their images online or in any part of my promotions. I always, always, always respect my clients privacy when they ask me to, so I did a model call and got some great portraits that I could use! Model calls can be great for both the client and the photographer, but it is SO important that both sides know what to expect going into it. 

Model calls aside, clients usually sign something called a model release (mine is in my contract) that states that a photographer can use their images for promotional purposes. We do this because it's the best way to show potential clients what our work looks like! If no one ever signed a model release, we would have a really difficult time selling ourselves as photographers. There are some photographers who charge clients that don't sign the model release. Please know that Fluttering Shutter will NEVER do this because I believe in your privacy. You hired me to do a job and I will do it regardless of whether or not I can share your images. Especially living in Northern Virginia, I know that there are a variety of reasons why people don't want their images online.

The other thing that came to mind when I read this comment is that the photographer who doesn't pay attention to things like model releases or a clients wishes is likely a new photographer....and one who won't have a ton of business unless they start to do those things. Again, this is why it's SO important to really research your photographer before you hire them.


We Don't Want To/We Do It Ourselves

My response to this one is super simple: Okay! If you're not hiring a professional, that's fine, I just want you to have family portraits! If you do it with a timer on your camera or use your cellphone? That's okay! Just be in pictures with your family!


The bottom line is this: BE IN PICTURES! We, as moms, tend to NOT be in pictures because we're the ones taking them and that is really, really sad to me! Your kids want to see you in pictures, and so will future generations! I would love to help you get family portraits done, but I know that professional pictures aren't for everyone and I know that I'M not for everyone, and that's okay! Find a photographer you love, gather the people you love and GET IN THE PICTURE!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) children cost family fluttering shutter photography newborn northern virginia photography portraits privacy http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/why-you-should-get-professional-family-portraits Fri, 10 Nov 2017 17:23:09 GMT
A Redhead During Golden Hour http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/a-redhead-during-golden-hour Next up in my favorite fall sessions is this awesome session!

Last year, I did a family session at this location and fell in love with it. The family did not want me to share their images online and because I always respect that request for privacy, I wanted to re-create the session using a model. This cutie is a friend of my daughters from preschool and I knew that I HAD to photograph her. With her AMAZING red hair and the addition of that gorgeous golden hour light at Claude Moore Park, it was sure to be fantastic! Her little brother jumped in for a few shots and I was so pleased to be able to deliver this gallery to their parents! 


flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) claude moore park fall family fluttering shutter photography golden hour red hair http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/a-redhead-during-golden-hour Fri, 10 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Fall http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/fall Every year, fall is the busiest season for me (and all photographers). I always explain it like this: Fall for photographers is like spring to accountants. Busy, busy, busy!! 

We are all trying to serve as many clients as possible, which can be a daunting but really fulfilling task! I'm so grateful to live in Loudoun County, where we have some amazing portrait locations. This fall, I think I have captured some of my best work to date and I wanted to share some of those with you, so I'll be sharing a little at a time because some haven't seen their portraits yet and I don't want to spoil the surprise!

First up is my own crew. Being a photographer, I regularly take pictures of them because they're usually willing subjects. Peanut needed updated portraits because I'm determined that she's the most photographed baby ever. For these, she was just starting to sit a little and I found this adorable prop at At Home. I knew that I had to get it because it's just perfect for the sitter crew! Of course, we went to my favorite spot: Morven Park. My oldest was there to spot her the whole time, so that I knew that she was safe while I was shooting. She's pretty adorable, if I do say so myself.

Next up is when my 3rd child decided to chop off her long, beautiful hair. People would literally stop us in the street to compliment her hair, but that doesn't matter to a 4 (almost 5) year old! These were taken right after her trip to the salon to try to salvage as much as we could! She likes her short hair, but recently confessed that she misses her long hair. (I'm not-so-secretly grateful that she wants to grow it back out!)

Here's Peanut again with some 5 month pictures. I can't get enough of her serious face! She loves being in front of the camera and I can always capture at least a few smiles.

I took a trip to Morven with the amazing Blaire from Second Ave Photography to get some shots of the kids. I know that I've mentioned it before but there is a thing called Photographers Child Syndrome and my kids will often have it. I did get ONE shot of them all looking and smiling (except Peanut). I think that I got better shots of the turkeys that live there than of my kids!

That's it for THIS blog, but I'll be posting more blogs over the next 2 weeks, so keep an eye out!

Tell me, do your kids have Photographers Child Syndrome, too?

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) children fluttering shutter photography loudoun county morven park portraits http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/11/fall Tue, 07 Nov 2017 00:15:00 GMT
5 More Tips for Fall Family Portraits http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/9/fall-family-portraits-101 It's that time of year again! Fall is the busiest time of year for photographers, especially in Northern Virginia. Why? Because it's family portrait time! Everyone wants to get those family pictures done for their Christmas cards, so I've prepared some tips for you. I have a separate blog post with more tips about family portraits and another post about choosing a newborn photographer, but this one is specifically geared towards those of you who are planning on doing portraits of their family this fall.

1)  Decide the look that you want. Do you want candid moments? Do you want more posed family portraits? Or do you want a mixture of both? This is important because it will help you make your next big decision....

Mom and SonFluttering Shutter Photography 2017

A more candid moment vs. a posed moment.

Girl WalkingFluttering Shutter photography 2017

2) Choose Your Photographer. If you ask around to 10 different people, you'll likely get 10 different photographers recommended but before you feel overwhelmed, there are a few things to help you decide:

- Do they fit your style? Do you love candid moments or posed portraits? Is their work something that you are dying to have up on your walls? If not, you can take them off of your list.

- Are they experienced? To find this out, you need to look through their work. Are the images in focus? Do they have good lighting? Are the portraits consistent? Do the people in the portraits look well-posed? All of these things add up to a photographer with experience.

- Are they in your budget? This is definitely something to take into consideration, but keep in mind that *sometimes* cheap equals poor quality. This is why it's important to look through their portfolio and get a feel of their experience.

- One of the best ways to choose your photographer is to actually talk to them. Call them! See if you click! Discuss your expectations and let them explain what they do. This is a great time to ask questions, too!  

** One more note: If you post online for recommendations for a photographer, please be specific in your post. If you're not specific, you're going to get 90+ responses from photographers who are at a variety of skill levels, business models and price ranges. SO, in your post, include the following: 

- Size of your family. There is more planning that has to go into a large family session than a small family one. There is also sometimes an extra fee for families over a certain size.

- What kind of portraits you want to have done. (Lifestyle vs. posed)

- Your budget. And no, "doesn't cost an arm and a leg" doesn't count as specific. What is expensive to you may not be expensive to someone else. 

- When/where you want to do the session. If you're flexible, say that. But, if you want to do the session at your amazing property, say that! We love new locations!


2) Choose a location look. Do you want the leaves at their peak change? Do you want greenery? Flowers? Snow? (Although, that last one can be tricky around Northern Virginia, you just might be able to get it done if you're flexible and work with your photographer.) This leads into location ideas. If you have an immaculate backyard, take a look at the light and take a snapshot with your phone about an hour or so before sunset. Share that shot with your photographer and suggest a session in your backyard. If you're like most of us, who have given up on the weeds we used to call flower beds, a professional photographer should have a few locations to suggest for your session. Loudoun County has so many gorgeous locations, but please keep in mind that certain places require a fee and/or a permit to shoot there. Your photographer should know which locations have requirements and which don't. In an upcoming blog post, I'll be listing a few of my favorite spots for sessions, so keep an eye out!

Do you want this kind of look?

Or maybe this?


3) Decide what to wear. This is usually the hardest part, but over the years I've been able to narrow it down to a few simple tips:

-The 4 C's: Complimentary, Clean, Complementary, Comfortable. The clothing should compliment you and your figure. Make sure that the outfits for everyone in the family is complementary. Each outfit should "flow" with the others. They don't have to be (and shouldn't) be too matchy-matchy, but they should all look good together as a group. It should go without saying that clothing should be clean. With children this is sometimes hard to do, especially when you're trying to get a snack into them before the session so that they'll cooperate. So, if you know that you need to feed Billy/Jane/your husband/yourself a snack before the session, try to wear something to cover your clothing or eat before you get dressed. Each person should be comfortable in what they are wearing. If someone is wearing an outfit that they hate or that is itchy or too small, they're going to be unhappy and that is going to show in your portraits. They will also have a hard time relaxing and cooperating. Put them in something that they like wearing and is comfortable and things will go much smoother! This is a good lead in to my next tip...

- Figure out who the most difficult person to dress is in your family. Does that particular person immediately pop into your head? Great! Figure out what THEY are going to wear first. Once you have their outfit figured out, you build off of that in order to be able to follow the 4 C's. For example, if they'll only be comfortable in jeans and a blue button down, find the next pickiest dresser and put them in a gray dress with a mustard yellow bow in her hair, then the next person can wear a mustard yellow skirt and white top and the next person can wear a gray button down and jeans. Pick 3-4 colors and go from there. BUT, be careful about patterns and please, pretty please don't wear neon colors (they reflect off of your skin and you end up with neon yellow/pink/orange skin).

- Once you have picked out outfits, lay them out on the bed next to each other to see how they look all together. You can even take it one step further and snap a picture on your phone and send it to your photographer! Personally, I l-o-v-e being a part of this process with my clients, so feel free to send me those previews!

- Lastly, if your three year old absolutely INSISTS on wearing her pink Peppa Pig rain boots to the session, that's okay. Bring the shoes that you want her to wear and we'll try to get a few with the "right" shoes on, but honestly? You will always remember her obsession with her Peppa Pig rain boots, so why not document it?


4) Read one of my other blog posts. It has some handy tips for your family session that I didn't include in this post. I hope that it's helpful to you!


5) R-E-L-A-X. This is one of the tips that I put into every single blog post about preparing for a session. Crabby, anxious parents make for crabby, anxious kids, so it's a cycle that's hard to break. Plus, sometimes parents get so wrapped up in telling their kids to behave that when the kids DO look at the camera, the parents often aren't. Photographers that work with children will know what to do. Just relax and have fun!


I hope that this blog has helped you feel a bit more prepared and that you all get amazing fall family portraits! Do you have any other tips that you'd like to share?

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) blog children family fluttering shutter photography leesburg location loudoun county morven park northern virginia photography portraits virginia wear http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/9/fall-family-portraits-101 Thu, 14 Sep 2017 00:15:00 GMT
A Pregnant Newborn Photographer's Journey- Part 6- Lifestyle Session http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/7/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-6--lifestyle-session Hello!

Welcome back to my blog about being a pregnant newborn photographer! I hope that you've been enjoying the posts so far but if you're just joining me, feel free to go back to the earlier posts to catch up!

Blaire, of Second Ave Photography, is a phenomenal documentary style photographer. She has an amazing ability to capture moments and, as you know, here at Fluttering Shutter Photography, that's what I'm all about! Blaire came over to my house and photographed these beautiful images:

www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

Aren't they gorgeous?! Maybe it's because it's my family, but I think that they're perfection!

I am not a lifestyle photographer, because I just have a hard time "seeing" the moments, but Blaire? She's a rockstar lifestyle photographer! I'm so, so grateful for these portraits of our family. <3

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) children family lifestyle moments newborn photography http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/7/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-6--lifestyle-session Tue, 18 Jul 2017 01:30:00 GMT
A Pregnant Newborn Photographer's Journey- Part 5- Newborn Sessions http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/7/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-5--newborn-sessions Welcome back to the blog following my journey as a pregnant newborn photographer! If you're just joining us, you can go back to the beginning (the pregnancy announcement), or jump to the maternity session, birth or NICU posts! This blog series is alllllllmost over, but I hope that you all have been enjoying it!

As a newborn photographer myself, my intention the entire time that I was pregnant was to do my own newborn sessions with her. I wanted to play with her everyday! But when she was born so early, she had to spend her first few days in the NICU and by the time we got home, I began to realize the reality of it all: I was TIRED and truthfully, snuggling my little girl was the only thing that I wanted to do. However, having a preemie does have an advantage when it comes to posed newborn sessions! We had a longer period of time to get them done because she was still small and squishy!

I did four official posed newborn sessions with her. Two with Jamie (of Jamie Romaezi Photography), one alone and one with Lindsay Kleopping (of Kleopping Photography).  Each one was beautiful and meaningful, so I'll share a little about each session before sharing the images. This is probably the most portrait heavy blog of the series, but I just couldn't narrow it down anymore, so I hope that you enjoy them all!

First up was one that I did myself when she was about 4 weeks old, so she shouldn't have even been born yet. This was the trickiest for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I was exhausted and my other children were running around asking me to do a million things other than taking portraits of their newest sibling. I took these in my kitchen using all natural light. When you get to the last image, you'll see why the session ended. (If you are easily offended, I apologize, but I felt like it was too funny not to share.)

Next was a posed session with Jamie outside and in her home studio. This session was done when she was 5 weeks old. I looooove these images because Jamie's work is always beautiful and I also loved being a part of the session. I've never done a newborn session outdoors, but I'm so glad that Jamie wanted to. Ashley was a trooper and slept the whole time, plus we got to use my garden wagon prop that I've had forever and just never used. The first session was just with Ashley, but our second session was the family session when Ashley was 6 weeks old, and I am totally in love with this session. My kids did such a great job with Jamie and we ended up with some gorgeous shots.

Next was a session with Lindsay of Kleopping Photography. We were using a light in her dining room (though she does have a studio, it was just easier to set up there). The purpose of this session was to get images of a new romper that she had gotten from Peeka's Boo-tique and I wanted to use new props that I had gotten from Hey Good Lookin' Props. Ashley was already 8 weeks old during this session (around 2 weeks adjusted), but she made us WORK to get her to sleep. Once we got her asleep, she was a trooper! Here are some of my shots from the session:

Here are some of Lindsay's shots from the session:

Overall, I think Ashley is one of the most photographed babies ever. My littlest peanut is growing so quickly and I am SO happy that I got newborn portraits of her because I know that she will never be that small again. Looking back on her pictures from the hospital, I am amazed at how much she has grown and yet she is still so small. 

Next week on the blog: Blaire from Second Ave Photography did some amazing lifestyle newborn images!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) Fluttering Shutter Photography family newborn peanut photography portraits posed pregnant http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/7/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-5--newborn-sessions Wed, 12 Jul 2017 00:30:00 GMT
A Pregnant Newborn Photographer's Journey- Part 4- NICU/Fresh 48 http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/5/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-4--nicu/fresh-48 Hello! Welcome back to my blog series about my 4th and final pregnancy as a newborn photographer! I hope that you've been enjoying the story so far, but if you're just joining the series, check out the announcement, maternity and birth posts, too! Ok, with that taken care of, I'll continue the story where I left off:

Ashley was all settled into the NICU and I had been moved upstairs to the maternity floor at Reston Hospital Center, and it began to hit me that she wasn't with me. I knew that she was in the NICU, but it didn't really hit me until it was just Seth and I in the room. When I was still in labor, one of the neonatologists came and talked to us about what the NICU would be like, what she was likely to need and about how long she would be there. In my head, I understood everything that she was saying. Of course Ashley would need help maintaining body temperature! She was going to be small! A 34 weeker isn't terribly early but it's not ideal, either. I intellectually understood why she should be brought into the NICU, I just didn't understand what it would mean emotionally. 

I wasn't emotionally prepared for the sense that something was wrong. It felt that way because something WAS wrong: I had just had a baby and I wasn't with her. I wasn't waking up every few hours to nurse her; I was waking up to attach myself to a machine to provide breastmilk for her. This pump and I were best friends. 

Pump- Fluttering Shutter Photography- Reston, VA

I wasn't snuggling her to make sure that she was warm; she was in an incubator for warmth.

I didn't have to document her feedings/diapers; the INCREDIBLE NICU nurses were keeping close track of what she was doing, but it should have been me.

I couldn't kiss her anytime I wanted because I needed to rest and recover myself. (As I write this, she's snuggled on my lap and I'm kissing her over and over again.)

One of my nurses made me promise to sleep because she saw how often I was awake, either pumping or down in the NICU with Ashley. While I was there, Seth had gone home to take care of the older three and I was alone in the hospital. There was a code pink (where not all babies were accounted for) and a nurse came into my room and said "We're just counting all of the babies. Is your baby here with you?" And I had to respond "No, she's in the NICU." That was a hard moment for me because she SHOULD have been in the room with me. (Side note: The "missing" baby was never actually missing and there was just a miscommunication.)

When I was sitting in the NICU, I became very grateful, very quickly. Other babies were brought into the NICU that had trouble breathing or weren't moving well or had consistently low sugar or had a myriad of other medical issues. Not all of Ashley's neighbors were sick, but most of them were. That's why it became my mantra to say "She's not sick, she's just small." And she was! A teeny tiny peanut that was perfect in every other way besides being born almost 6 weeks early. While being in the NICU, I became accustomed to the beeping (especially the really sensitive pulse ox that would alarm whenever she moved in a way that it didn't like). 

I was discharged after 48 hours, but Ashley had to stay in the hospital because she still wasn't regulating her temperature well and was also having difficulty with her billirubin levels. Thankfully my parents live in Reston, so I was able to stay at their house while Ashley was still in the NICU. But leaving that hospital without her was one of the hardest things that I've ever done. I was heartbroken to leave her there. At night, I would spend hours sitting in the chair, holding her close and attempting to nurse her (which was hard because she was so small and nursing is more of a workout for preemies than many of them can handle). I visited her twice a day, every day because the thought of her being in the hospital with no one other than nurses and doctors (as incredible and loving as they were), made me infinitely sad for her. I wanted to be with her and bond with her as much as I could.

As a photographer, I've seen hundreds of Fresh 48 sessions done beautifully. (Fresh 48 sessions are where a photographer comes to the hospital and takes documentary style images of everyone still in the hospital.) But I wasn't going to have that experience. Not exactly. 

Blaire came to see us in the hospital while Ashley was still in the NICU, so we did a preemie session. I am in love with these images because it's a reminder to me of how small she really was. Not everyone knows what a NICU looks like, but that 8x8 space was my whole world for 11 days. Here are some of my favorite images from that day. (All images credited to Second Ave Photography)

www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

 This space would be where my little girl would fight to get to where she needed to be. This space was where I bonded with her for the first time. And this space was the only place that I felt whole because I had her with me, quietly sleeping on my chest among the steady beeping of the NICU monitors.


I hope that you're enjoying the photographic journey of my last year! Stay tuned for the next part of my series: Posed Newborn Sessions

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) 34 weeks Fluttering Shutter Photography Fresh 48 NICU Reston Hospital Center documentary newborn nurses photography preemie http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/5/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-4--nicu/fresh-48 Tue, 30 May 2017 23:24:22 GMT
A Pregnant Newborn Photographer's Journey- Part 3- Birth http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/5/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-3--birth Many of you already know the story of my sweet little girls birth, but if you don't, here is a shortened version:

On Friday, March 24th, I was sitting with some awesome friends (and clients) and showing them their beautiful portraits of their three kiddos. I mean, really, how cute are they?!

Siblings- Purcellville, Virginia- Fluttering Shutter Photography copyright 2017

As I'm sitting at their kitchen table, I felt a dribble but I ignored it. Now, if you're a mom, you know what I'm talking about. These things happen sometimes and this WAS my 4th pregnancy. So I continued on admiring these awesome kids and chatting with their equally awesome parents. But then it happened again about an hour later. And it kept happening overnight. I ended up going to Reston Hospital Center on Saturday evening with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law (I was with them when I was told to go to the hospital) to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid.....and I was. They told me that since I was over 34 weeks, they were going to admit me and induce me in order to try to avoid infection. As much as this WASN'T my plan, I knew that it was what was best for my baby and for me, so off to labor and delivery we went! 

Once I was all settled in, I sent a message to Blaire and Jamie which included a selfie of me in my hospital gown. They immediately began making plans to come and see me, with cameras in tow. This post is going to be more image heavy because they were shot over an entire day. Also, I can't narrow it down any more than this without losing parts of the story. 

Before I get into the images themselves, I wanted to say that I am eternally grateful to have these moments forever preserved in photographs. This is my last baby and I wanted to make sure to document as much as I could. Why? Because births are similar to weddings. They are highly emotionally charged and one of the biggest days of your life. The result? Tons of adrenaline (and in the case of birth, possibly drugs) and a hazy memory of the day as a whole. So, I wanted to document the birth just like I had my wedding documented- from beginning to end.

Again, I am so thankful that I had Blaire and Jamie there to help me achieve this goal! I'm going to start with Blaire's images:

(Photo credit to Second Ave Photography until otherwise noted.)

www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

My husband pushing Jamie around on the rolling stool. Birth doesn't always have to be serious business! We spent quite a bit of time sitting around chatting and waiting for the Pitocin to do its thing.



www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

This is one of the many reasons why I married my husband. No matter what is going on, he can always make me laugh.



www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

Contractions are no joke.



www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

This is my AMAZING sister-in-law, who is also a L&D nurse. She was incredibly helpful throughout my entire stay at the hospital.



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Push time!!


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At 7:52pm, Miss. Ashley Grace was born at 4lbs 12oz and 18.5in long.



www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017 www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

Mama snuggles are the best!



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Seth walking with Ashley down to the NICU.


Now I'm going to share Jamie's images from the day: 

(Photo credit to Jamie Romaezi Photography)


The kids came to see me before Ashley arrived. Tyler was REALLY uncomfortable with me being attached to tubes.


Looking at the menu of all of the food that I couldn't eat. The circled part on the back is the liquid diet menu. It was pretty sparse, so I decided to daydream about what I would eat once I had given birth.



Blaire doing her thing.



What's funny about this picture is that Ashley still (8 weeks later) almost always has her hands by her face. It's funny the habits that form that early on in life.



After Ashley was settled into the NICU, my parents brought me a pizza. I was so happy!!



After Ashley was born, I knew that she would need to go to the NICU, but I had no idea what that would feel like. I'll talk more about that in the next part of my series. Stay tuned!

flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) Birth Fluttering Shutter Photography NICU Reston Hospital Center baby born contractions friends photography pictures pizza http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/5/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-3--birth Tue, 23 May 2017 23:53:31 GMT
A Pregnant Newborn Photographer's Journey- Part 2- Maternity http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/5/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-2-maternity Once the announcement was finished, we immediately began to talk about maternity portraits. This is my last baby and I had never done formal maternity portraits, so I wanted to make sure that I did them this time! Since I was due in May and we live in Northern Virginia, we discussed doing a maternity session that would be stunning local favorite: at the DC cherry blossoms! If you live in this area, you know how crazy the weather can be. So, the forecast was for a few more weeks of winter cold and then really warm, springlike weather in rapid succession. Our plan was to do some winter/snow maternity pictures and then do our spring/cherry blossoms. Because where else can you get both sets of images within a few weeks of each other, except Northern Virginia?! Of course, if you paid any attention to what happened in this area, you know that we had a massive cold front come through at just the wrong time and most of the blossoms died! We were so disappointed, but we WERE able to get our winter/snow maternity session in. I am so grateful to Kristen Abraham Photography for lending me one of her maternity dresses. None of the ones that I had available to me were what I was looking for because I really wanted something dark that would pop against the white snow. (Plus, having something with sleeves was helpful in the cold!!)

Throughout the blog, I wanted to talk a little bit about what it was like to be on the other side of the lens and what tips I would offer to women going to have their maternity portraits taken. 

First, I have to say that although I was self-conscious (there's a reason why I'm the one always behind the camera), it was SO helpful to have two people with me that I was comfortable with, and trusted to make me look as good as possible. Knowing their work and that they have the experience and knowledge to create beautiful portraits really made me much more comfortable.

So, tip #1: Find a photographer (or photographers) that you trust to make you comfortable and look good! And if nothing else, you guys will have fun!! 

www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017www.secondavephotography.com | blaire elizabeth ring ©2017

(Top image is Second Ave Photography; bottom image is Jamie Romaezi Photography)

Second, standing in the snow in a maternity dress was COLD after awhile! If I had to do it again, I would have an assistant close by to have my winter coat available when needed. 

Tip #2: Be aware of temperature and what your needs will be during the session. 

(Image above credited to Jamie Romaezi Photography.)

Third, I realized AFTER the session that I hadn't done anything with my fingernails. No polish, no filing, no even lengths, nothing. I also didn't touch up my roots! Ahhh! I didn't think anything of it at the time, but I definitely noticed in the final products! 

Tip #3: Take the time to pamper yourself before your session. Get your hair done, get a mani/pedi, have your jewelry cleaned, do what you need to do to present your best self.

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(Top images credited to Second Ave Photography, bottom images credited to Jamie Romaezi Photography.)

Fourth, I wore the wrong bra! 

Tip #4: Maternity dresses are form fitting for a reason, but you want to make sure that you're not going to have lines under your dress. This is important not only for your final product, but also so that your photographer doesn't have to spend time trying to get rid of those lines while they are editing!

(Image above credited to Jamie Romaezi Photography)

Finally, doing a maternity session was empowering! At the end, I felt beautiful and was really proud of my body for carrying this little life around! 

Tip #5: Just do it! You won't regret it!

(Top image: Jamie Romaezi Photography, Bottom image: Second Ave Photography)

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flutteringshutterphotography@gmail.com (Fluttering Shutter Photography) DC Fluttering Shutter Photography Northern Virginia cherry blossoms maternity photographer photography snow tips http://www.flutteringshutterphotography.com/blog/2017/5/a-pregnant-newborn-photographers-journey--part-2-maternity Tue, 16 May 2017 13:17:01 GMT