What to Bring to Your Baby's First Year Photo Session | Seattle Family Photography

About a year ago I wrote a post about what toys and props to bring to your newborn photo session and I featured images from a  shoot where the mom had brought some truly unique and beautiful things to be included in the photos.  (You can see that post as well as my list of suggestions by following this link)

Well, it has been a year since then, and the same family came back for their baby's first year photos with the same toys from their newborn session!

How fun is that?

So once again I'm featuring this adorable family along with some ideas for what to bring to your baby's first year photo session!

Party Hats

A party hat is always a fun prop to bring along to a one year photo shoot.  I can promise that your baby will wear it for long, but I can promise that the shots will do get will be adorable!

what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday wearing handmade felt cone birthday hat | film photographer sandra coan

Letter Blocks

I'm obsessed with letter blocks.  I love the colors and fun patterns!  These gorgeous blocks by Uncle Goose come in a variety of colors, patters AND languages!!  I mean, how cool are these Japanese blocks that spell out this little guys name?!  LOVE!

what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | first birthday japanese character blocks | film photographer sandra coan
what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday japanese character blocks | film photographer sandra coan
what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | first birthday japanese character blocks | film photographer sandra coan

Special Family Items and Calendars!

This guys mom has been documenting his first year using a Fujifilm Instax camera, so we thought it would be fun to get some photo of him holding the camera!  She also brought a calendar like the one we used in his newborn session to show off his Birth Day!

what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday with toy blue polaroid camera | film photographer sandra coan
what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday wearing red bowtie and holding calendar | film photographer sandra coan

Favorite Toys

We also did a few shots with his favorite toys.  I did this with my own sons when they were this age, and it's so fun to look back at those photos and remember how important those toys were to them and to our family

what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | baby's first birthday snuggling plush owl toy on bed | film photographer sandra coan
what to bring to a photography studio | bringing props and toys to your studio session | happy baby's first birthday chewing on toy sitting on bed | film photographer sandra coan

Book you session!

Do you have a baby in your life who you need photos of!  Send me an email and I'll get you on the books!  After all, they're only little once! 

Newborn Photography Without Props | Seattle Family Photographer

I'll never forget the day my children we born.  All I wanted to do was look at them. I couldn't get enough. 

Their little faces!

Their toes! 

Their tiny fingers. 

I would sit and just watch them sleep. 

I loved the way they stretched and squirmed. 

I loved their little yawns and baby sneezes.

They were so perfect!!  I couldn't get enough.

I think about that every time I work with a newborn.  I look at other people's babies just like I looked at my own; full of wonder and amazement. 

Why I Don't Use Props

Seattle Newborn Photographer Sandra Coan Why I don't pose babies

That is why I choose not to use props or unnatural posing in my work.  I believe babies are perfect, just the way they are.  They don't need anything else.  Just a baby being a baby is enough for me.

I also know that newborns are precious and fragile little humans.  They are meant to be cared for and protected which is why I would never place them in any kind of an unnatural pose.

What You Can Expect From Me

If you are bringing your baby in for a newborn session with me, please know this.  I understand how precious this little person is to you.  Our babies are our world and I know that.  

I will keep your baby safe.

I will keep your baby warm and comfortable.

And I will create classic, timeless images that you can look back on years from now and see your child's personality shining through.

Remember, they're only little once.  Don't miss it.  Book your session today!

Seattle Newborn Photography Sandra Coan newborn photography without props
Seattle Newborn Photography Sandra Coan Infant photography without props and posing
Sisters on Film | Seattle Family Photographer

These two cuties came in for their photos just before Christmas and their session was a big wake up call for me as a parent! 

You see, I used to be really, really good at photographing my own children when they we babies and toddlers.  I didn't want to miss one thing!  They changed so quickly during those early years and I wanted to capture it all!

But as they got older, that changed.  For some reason, the older my kids get, the less I photograph them.

I know I'm not alone in this.  I think we all realize that babies grown up fast, and we make an effort to capture those early years.  But what about the middle years?

What about the teeth falling out stage?

What about when they start developing their own sense of style?

What about the elementary school?

Or middle school and high school?  That time when they are somewhere in between childhood and adulthood?

Don't those years matter too?

The answer is, of course they do! 

The older my own children get the more aware I am of how fast it all goes.  What is the old saying? The days are long but the years are short.... 

And that is why I love this photo session so much.  These sister reminded me to celebrate the middle years.  

Your kids, my kids; they are only young once.  This is it. 

As for me, I've committed to getting my own children in the studio at least three times this year.  I want to create some portraits of who they are now as middle school boys, turning into young men. 

It all matters.  All the years.  Don't miss.

Six Month Olds Are So Awesome | Seattle Family Photographer
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film

Do you know what I love about six month old babies? 

Just about everything! 

For real, this is one of my favorite ages to work with.  They are so engaged, so curious about their surroundings, and almost always ready to great me with a big ol' baby smile!

So today, I want to take a minute to talk about the awesomeness of this age as well as answer some of the most common questions I get about how to prepare and when to book.

How to Dress The Baby

When it comes to dressing your baby for their session I believe less is more.  A diaper (so we can see all that glorious baby skin!) or plain white onsie are my favorites.  Hats are also really cute!  If you have a favorite outfit, bring that as well.  There are no rules!  What ever you love seeing your baby in is the perfect outfit!

When To Book

I call the mid-way through the first year the "Six Month Photo Session" but please know your baby doesn't have to be exactly six months old.  I tell my clients to book when your baby can sit on his/her own but is not yet crawling.  For most babies this is between 5 and 8 months.  

What To Expect

Out of all my photo sessions, the six month session tend to be the quickest.  Babies this age are so fun and engaged.  They come in all smiles!  They clap along when I sing.  They laugh and giggle.  We have a blast!  But they also get tired pretty fast!  I keep this in mind when working with them and do my best to be efficient with our time!  My goal is to keep your baby (and you) happy and engaged for the entire shoot!

Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | baby with giraffe toy photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | mother and baby kiss photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | family portrait photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | family portrait photographed on film
The Power of One Photo | Seattle Maternity Photographer
seattle fine art maternity photography by Sandra Coan

I started my career 17 years ago with a maternity photo of my dear friend Ginger.  We shot three rolls of film and ended up with one perfect photo that we both loved.  I used that one photo to launch my business.  It was the face of Sandra Coan Photography for years.  

Back then, it was common for a person to go into a photo studio with the expectation of getting one great photo.  Over the years, that expectation has changed.  Now it's more common for people to come in for a session and expect 50 great photos.  And while I totally get it (I love all the photos too) I would argue that there is power in just one great image.  

The Problem With Many Photos

Here is how I see it.  When you have many photos, they are often times forgotten.  They sit in your cloud storage.  Maybe a few, if they are lucky, will end up on Facebook or on your Holiday card.  But most of the time, all those photos are never seen.  They get lost.  And I think that is a shame.

The Power Of One Photo

When you have one photo however, the dynamic shifts.  It becomes special and the way you look at it changes.  You hang it on your wall.  You share it with your family.  It becomes an heirloom for future generations. 

When you have just one photo, the photo becomes a story in and of itself.  It tells us something about the person and who they are in that moment.  It becomes a portrait in the truest sense of the word.

What You Can Expect From Me

When you come in for a photoshoot with me, I will take lots of photos and give you many to choose from.  But my goal is that you will find one GREAT one.  One that will become your story, your heirloom.  One that you will hang on your wall.

My goal is to create a portrait.  It's what I love to do.  And I can't wait to do it for you.

Ho Ho Holiday Mini Sessions with Santa | Seattle Family Photography
Sandra Coan, by appointment Santa Photos Seattle WA

That's right! Santa is back in Seattle!

This year, we will be hosting Santa (and maybe even a few of his elves...) on November 25 in the studio for a full day of mini sessions with the big guy. These magical five-minute sessions are $95 for the sitting fee, online gallery, and digital files from your session or $65 for just the sitting fee and online gallery. 

Dress your kids up in those cute holiday outfits you've been saving or come as is, Santa is happy either way :) If you need a little outfit inspo, check out this Pinterest board for cute fall and holiday looks!

You can also check out some highlights from Santa's previous visits here!

As always, we will be using this event to give back to our community.  This year we will be collecting donations of food, socks, underwear and toys for the Greenwood Family Works Food and Resource Center.

We're excited to see you there!!

Sandra & Santa

By Appointment Santa Photos in Seattle
Fall is in Seattle, It's Time for Mini Sessions, 2017 edition!

As you've probably noticed, it seems as though our beautiful Seattle summer is coming to an end, but that means fall is here! Queue changing leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and anticipation for the holiday season. I don't know about you, but I'm SO excited!

Fall also means that it's time for mini sessions! These mini sessions are perfect for families looking for photos for holiday cards, gifts, or just an updated family portrait. We could all use an updated family portrait, trust me. 

Best of all?! They're FAST and FUN. Just 15 minutes!

The session fee is $150.00 and I will have lots of great add-ons, like digital files, albums and print package (perfect for holiday gifts)!

Click on the date below to book your appointment.

Not sure what to wear? We've got you covered! Check out our fall mini session Pinterest page filled with fall outfit ideas and holiday card inspiration.

See you in November!

Seattle Family Photographer Sandra Coan Fall Mini Sessions 2017

Psst... Interested in the Santa mini sessions that are later in November? Fill out the form below :)

Santa Mini Sessions

Enter your email address to be notified as soon as registration for this year's Santa mini sessions opens up!

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Exciting News! Film Week on Creative Live | Sandra Coan Photography
Sandra Coan Photography Creative Live

For the past few months I've been working with some awesome folks at CreativeLive to write and produce not one but TWO online classes about my favorite thing: film!! CreativeLive is an online broadcast platform specializing in education webinars about tons of topics in different creative fields and I get to have two of my very own film classes later this month! Can you tell I'm excited?!

The Classes

On August 21st (8/21), I'll be teaching an Introduction to Film Photography during which I'll show you how to slow down during your photo shoot, focus on what you’re trying to capture, and ultimately get a great image straight out of camera.

On August 23rd (8/23), I'll have a Film Photography with Strobes class that will cover everything to give you the knowledge to start taking portraits with your film camera and strobes.

The Live Shows

The coolest (and most nerve racking!) thing about CreativeLive? Both of these classes will be recorded LIVE in front of an audience in the Seattle studios and then will be available for you to download and keep forever. Are you interested in being a part of the audience on August 21st or August 23rd at the CreativeLive South Lake Union studio? Follow this link to sign up!! The event is free to attend but spots are limited.

Sign Up Today!

Can't make it to the studio? Too busy for the live stream? No problem!! These classes will be broadcasted and recorded live and will be available for download on my very own CreativeLive page.  

Follow this link to sign up!

I'm so excited!!

Sharing the cuteness | Seattle Family Photographer

Most of the time when I write a blog post I really try hard to give helpful advice or answer questions that my clients may have.  But sometimes, a post needs to be written just to share the overwhelming cuteness with the world.  This is one of those posts!

This little baby was just pure joy!  She smiled and giggled through the entire shoot!  So much fun.  And such a little doll!

Enjoy the cuteness!

Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Families photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | father and daughter photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Baby girl in white bow photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Mother and daughter photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | family portrait photographed on film
Magic in the In-Between Months | Seattle Baby Photography

Ask any newborn photographer what is the best age to photograph a baby and they will say "within the first ten days."  The reason we all say that is because in those early days babies are still really sleepy so it is less likely that they will be fussy, they still curl up like they did in the womb, and they're still really tiny, so getting those newborn shots of the little sleepy baby is easier!

But lets be honest.  Those first days home with your new baby are not always easy.  And sometimes, getting out of the house and making it to a photoshoot is just not possible.

So what do you do if you miss the "first ten days" window?  

I can't tell you how many emails I get from parents who feel they missed that newborn window and are not sure what to do.  Many feel like they just need to wait until the next milestone age.  But this is what I believe. 

There is never a wrong time to photograph your baby.  

Never.  

So you missed the first ten days.  It's okay.  Your baby at three weeks or four weeks or even two months is still really really cute!  And they will never be as little as they are right now ever again.  So don't miss it!

The benefits of photographing an older infant.

There are actually a lot of benefits to photographing an older infant!  

Older babies are curious.  They want to see whats happening around them, so they are more likely to make eye contact with the camera and hold it.  

Most babies start smiling around 6 to 8 weeks.  So waiting until your baby is a little older before scheduling a photoshoot will increase your chances of catching some of those first smiles.

The older your baby is the more you begin to see their growing personality.  And that is really fun!

The take away.

There is a lot of magic in those in-between months.  So don't let the fact that you missed the early newborn days keep you from scheduling a photo session for your baby.  Celebrate where they are now!  After all, they are only little once.

sandra coan seattle newborn baby photographer
sandra coan seattle newborn baby photographer
sandra coan seattle newborn baby photographer
sandra coan seattle newborn baby photographer
sandra coan seattle newborn baby and father photographer
sandra coan seattle newborn baby and mother photographer
sandra coan seattle newborn baby photographer
sandra coan seattle newborn baby photographer
sandra coan seattle newborn baby and family photographer