Posts in Newborn Photography
How to Incorporate Older Children in a Newborn Photo Session | Seattle Newborn Photographer

The question of how best to include older siblings in a newborn photo session is a concern that many of my clients have.  So today, I thought I'd take a moment to explain why I love having older children at newborn sessions and how I ensure that it all runs smoothly!

Why I Love Having The Older Kids Involved

Bringing a baby home can be a big adjustment for everyone. This is especially true for older siblings. Sometimes they love the idea of having a new baby brother or sister, and sometime they don’t! And after almost twenty years as a newborn and family photographer, I have seen it all!

My goal is to make your older child feel special at the photoshoot. I spend a lot of time preparing them for photos and tune into their feelings about this big change in their life. What I’ve found, is that even if they are reluctant at first, they appreciate the attention and the time to “hold” and examine the their new baby.

Safety First

I understand how precious and fragile new babies are, and that even the most well intentioned toddler may not be up up to the task of holding a newborn! Most of the time, I’ll get photos of the new baby and older siblings by placing the baby safely on the bed in my studio and inviting the other children to sit next to him or her, or “hold” the baby by laying down next to it and snuggling up. The parents are always just an arms length away to assist when needed!

Make It Fun

Family photo sessions should be fun for everyone!  That is why I have a lobby full of toys and playthings for older brothers and sisters to do while I’m working with their new baby brother or sister. I usually start my sessions by showing the older kids where the toys are and letting them play. Eventually they will get curious about what I’m doing with the baby and want to watch…. that is when I invite them to be in some pictures. And I also have lots of stickers and lollipops to dole out after the session as a reward!

 

Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Baby and sister photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Baby and brother photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Babies photographed on film
Newborn photographer Seattle | Sandra Coan | Baby brother and sister photographed on film
How to Order Custom Photo Albums from Your Family or Newborn Session
millers signature albums custom photo albums seattle family photographer
Here we have an 8x12 album with a tundra linen cover, a 6x9 album with a blush leather cover and an accordion book album.

Here we have an 8x12 album with a tundra linen cover, a 6x9 album with a blush leather cover and an accordion book album.

It’s Important to Hold Your Photos

I am a BIG believer in being able to hold your photos. Call me old fashioned, but I think there’s something so special about being able to hold moments and memories in the palm of your hand. Plus, film just looks so beautiful on paper. That’s the main reason why ever single maternity, newborn and family session comes with a complementary set of 4x6 prints.

Another great way to create a tangible keepsake from your session is with custom photo albums! The cover of these albums are made of the highest quality fabrics, and the pages are thick and seamlessly printed on paper that’s meant to last several generations.

Products to Choose from

If you’re interested in ordering an album keepsake from your session, we have a few different options for you!

  • 6x9 hardcover custom photo album with linen or leather cover $750

  • 8x10 softcover custom photo album with photo cover $850

  • 8x12 hardcover custom photo album with linen or leather cover $950

  • Set of 3 accordion albums with black fabric covers $95

The custom photo albums also include a complete set of digital files! Please note, accordion albums do not.

How to Order

For ordering a hardcover album, we recommend favoriting up to 10 images from your gallery to be in your album (usually three horizontal and four to six vertical images work well). For a softcover album (the ones with the photo covers), we recommend favoriting up to 20 images from your gallery, or across multiple galleries if you did a session bundle. From there we will create custom album spreads for you to preview and approve. Please note, we allow up to two design tweaks per album.

For ordering an accordion album, we ask that you favorite 10-12 photos from your gallery.

Cover colors, materials and further customization

Once you’ve decided on the photos you want in your album, now it’s time to choose the cover! We offer several colors in two different materials, linen and leather. Our favorites at the studio are linen in tundra and leather in blush, as you can see below!

If you’re interested in further customization (such as adding text or debossing), we are happy to accommodate for a small fee.

Here are all the colors and materials we offer:

custom photo albums millers signature albums seattle family photographer
custom photo albums millers signature albums seattle family photographer
custom photo albums millers signature albums seattle family photographer

Simple, Beautiful and Fast

Once your album is ordered, it usually takes 1-2 weeks to arrive to your door for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.

millers signature albums custom photo albums seattle family photographer
millers signature albums custom photo albums seattle family photographer
millers signature albums custom photo albums seattle family photographer
An Open Letter to New Mothers | Seattle Newborn Photography
Photo by Della Chen

Photo by Della Chen

I have exactly one photo of myself with my twins from when they were babies.  

One.

My friend Della snapped it when I was sitting on the floor in my living room, unaware of her camera.  If I had been aware, I probably would have told her not to take it.

I would have told her that I wasn’t ready to be in photos yet.  That I still had too much baby weight. That I didn’t like my hair that day and that the babies were cuter then me anyhow, take their picture, not mine.

You see, my pregnancy was not an easy one.  I went into labor the first time at 22 weeks and was put on hospital bed read until I delivered at 36 weeks.  Being in the hospital for that long saved my babies (for which I’m eternally grateful), but it wrecked me.

My muscles atrophied.  I gained over 100 pounds.  I was scared and depressed.  

Once the babies were born, I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital until I could walk on my own around the hall- it took me a week to get there.

By the time I got home, I didn’t recognize myself.  

I was weak.  Exhausted. Heavier than I’d been in my life.

And I didn’t want my picture taken.

I didn’t like the way I looked postpartum.  And I didn’t like the way I felt. My pregnancy had been hard.  And it left me with a lot of emotional pain that I saw when I looked at photos of myself.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because I want you to know I get it.  When you come in for your newborn photos and tell me that you don’t want to be in any pictures, I get it!  100%.

But this is what I want to say to you, and what I wished someone would have said to me when my babies were little.

The photos we take are not for you.  

They are for your baby.

And when that baby grows up and looks at those pictures, they are not going to see that you are tired, or that you look heavy, or that your hair wan’t perfect that day.  

They will see their mother, who they love.

That's it.

I have exactly one photo of myself with my twins from when they were babies.  

One.

And it’s my biggest regret.

I wish I had photos that told my story to give to them.  

To show what I went through because I loved them so much and wanted them so badly.  

Was I over weight?  Yep! Because I had made TWO people… at the same time!!!  That is nothing to be ashamed of!

Was my body weak?  Yes!! I had spent almost four month in a bed in an effort to keep them safe.  That is was mothers do!

Was I exhausted?  Absolutely. I had two newborn babies!  Being tired is normal!

I wish I had photos to show what a warrior I was.  

I wish I had been proud and brave instead of feeling like I needed to hide myself until I was perfect.  

There is no perfect.  

Especially when you’re a parent. And thats okay.

My children deserve to see that.

Yours do too.

So when you tell me you don’t want to be in the photos, I get it, but I will urge you to be in them anyway.

I will remind you that these photos are for your baby, not for you, and that they will want them someday.

And I will let you leave, knowing that I’ve done my job.  You may not like your photos now, or even in a year or two… but someday you will cherish them.

I promise.



How to Prepare for Your Newborn Photo Session | Seattle Newborn Photographer

There is nothing like those first few days at home with your new baby.

So full of love. So full of awe! And SO tired! Ha! I remember it well!

It’s seems like everything you do, even just simple every day tasks, is new. No longer can you just go hop in your car and run to the store, for example. Now you have to get the baby ready, fed, diaper changed, in the carseat, buckled… then you can go out to the car and to the store. It can all be overwhelming to say the least.

I recommend that families come in for their newborn photos within the first 10 days. And I know how hard it can be to just make it out the door in the early days! So let me help make it a little easier by sharing what you need to know to prepare for your newborn photo session.

how to prepare for your newborn photo session with Sandra Coan, Seattle newborn photographer

How to Prepare Your Baby

Try to change and feed the baby right before you leave. A dry and well fed baby will likely fall asleep in the car on the way to the studio, and I’m REALLY good at being able to get sleeping babies out of the carseat and onto the bed at my studio without waking them up!

Most babies who come to the studio asleep will stay asleep for their entire session!

How To Dress Your Baby

Don’t worry about bringing fancy outfits. I find that newborns are best photographed in a simple swaddle or in just their diaper. So save yourself the trouble, and leave the outfits at home.

Feel Free To Bring Heirlooms And Special Items

Yes, I know I just said that I prefer to photograph babies in just their diapers, but if you have the blanket you came home from the hospital in or if Grandma spent eight month hand making something special for the baby…. bring them! Those things are important and I will do my best to incorporate them into your photos.

Expect To Be In The Photos

How to prepare for newborn photos with Sandra Coan, Seattle's best newborn photographer

I always take a few photos of the parents with their new baby at each session, so come prepared! I find that neutral colors work best, and try to stay away from clothing with patters or logos.

Have Fun (And A Sense Of Humor)

My goal is to have your newborn session be relaxing and fun, but sometime newborns have their own plans.

If your baby cries. If they pee or poop on the studio bed, or even on me…. it’s okay!! I’ve been working with newborns for almost 20 years, and I’m the mother of twins. I’ve seen it all and nothing phases me… I promise.

Your photo session is a time to celebrate your baby and your new family! So enjoy it!

Oh, And One More Thing

If despite your best made plans, things happen and you’re running late, no worries… just give me a call or shoot me a text to let me know!

And if you have any other questions about now to prepare, fell free to send me an email at sandra@sandracoan.com.





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
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
Bringing Props & Toys to Your Session | Seattle Newborn Photographer

Families always ask what they need to bring to their newborn photoshoots.  There is no right or wrong answer to this question.  It's really just up to personal taste, but if you want a little inspiration, here are a few great ideas!

special stuffed animals and/or blankets

Maybe your baby was gifted a special blanket.  Or maybe you have the stuffed animal you bought the day you found out you were pregnant.  What every it is, if it is special and has sentimental value, or even if  you just like, you should totally bring it along!

I mean, how cute is this little guy all curled up with his stuffies! 

sandra coan seattle newborn baby photography newborn with a japanese stuffed animal toy owl
sandra coan seattle newborn baby photography japanese props, toys, and dolls
sandra coan seattle newborn baby photography japanese stuffed animal owl toy
sandra coan seattle newborn baby photography japanese props, toys, and dolls

a calendar

I've had several clients bring calendars over the years and I always think it's a great idea!  These shots make for fun birth announcements and look adorable displayed in a nursery!

sandra coan seattle newborn baby photographer calendar

letter blocks

It's always fun to use letter blocks to spell out your baby's name!  Again, these makes for a super fun announcement or nurserary art!

I'm obsessed with these Japanese  character blocks that my client brought in!  So cute!!

sandra coan seattle newborn baby photography japanese blocks, toys, and dolls

you... the best prop around

No matter what you bring or what you don't bring, you should alway be prepared to be in the photos with your baby.  

I know you're tired.  

I know you just had a baby.  

But trust me... in five, ten, twenty years, these will be your most cherished images.  

I promise!  

And, they will mean the world to your children some day. 

Seattle Newborn Photography , Sandra Coan.  Studio Photography, shot on film.
Seattle Newborn Photography , Sandra Coan.  Studio Photography, shot on film.
sandra coan seattle newborn and family photography

I hope this was helpful!  But if you have more questions about your session, check this page on things what to expect at your photoshoot.

Have a great day!

The Beautiful Maalouf Family | Seattle Newborn Photographer

One thing that happens every summer is that I get WAY behind on my blogging!  With my kids at home and summer activities (not to mention the beautiful weather) sitting down to my computer and writing is hard!

Now the kids are in school, the weather is yucky and I have TONS of photos to share!  My goal is to blog at least once a week!  Wish me luck!

This little one couldn't have been more fun to work with!  Sleeping like an dream for the first have of the session, then bright eyed and happy for the second half.  And so much personality for such a wee-one!

Newborn photography, Seattle  Sandra Coan, Newborns on film
Newborn photography, Seattle  Sandra Coan, Newborns on film
Newborn photography, Seattle  Sandra Coan, Newborns on film
Newborn photography, Seattle  Sandra Coan, Newborns on film
Newborn photography, Seattle  Sandra Coan, Newborns on film
Newborn photography, Seattle  Sandra Coan, Newborns on film
Newborn photography, Seattle  Sandra Coan, Newborns on film
Newborn photography, Seattle  Sandra Coan, Newborns on film
And Baby Makes Three | Seattle Newborn Photographer

I love working with newborns.  It always amazes me how different they all are.  Each one coming into this world with their own way of doing things... their own little personality that you can see from the get go, even when they're asleep! 

This little lady was no exception.  She wiggled and stretched her way through our session, warm and cozy in my Seattle studio.  Such a trooper!  And SUCH a cutie!  

Oh, and check out the STUNNING quilt made for her by her grandma.  Incredible!

Seattle newborn photography, Sandra Coan
Seattle newborn photography, Sandra Coan
Seattle newborn photography, Sandra Coan
Seattle newborn photography, Sandra Coan
Seattle newborn photography, Sandra Coan
Seattle newborn photography, Sandra Coan
Seattle newborn photography, Sandra Coan