This past spring, I visited a gorgeous family of four at their home on the South Shore of Massachusetts for a lifestyle newborn session.
When I arrived, Mom was feeding little baby Hadley—who was just one week old!—so I spent some time getting to know Dad and Hadley’s big brother, 16-month-old Conrad. Dad used to play semi-professional hockey, so he’s already working hard to teach Conrad (Connie) the ins and outs of the game. He can already swing the hockey stick and hit the puck into the net, but his favorite thing to do, by far, is to throw his hands over his head and shout “GOAL!” So adorable!
Over the last eight years photographing families, I have found there are certain things that work exceptionally well in helping people relax while I take their picture. One of these things is quite simply making good conversation! This can be anything from talking about where families live, where they work or what they love to do in their free time. Being a bit of a chatterbox while I’m photographing them helps people feel less nervous or awkward and this translates into the most natural images! At every photo session, I search for a topic of conversation that allows me to bond with my clients. Perhaps it is becoming a parent for the first time, or it is the decision of whether or not to raise your kids in the city, or it is simply the latest episode of Top Chef!
At this particular newborn session in Jamaica Plain, I was over the moon to see a photo on the wall of this couple standing in front of the Taj Mahal! You see, back when I was in my early twenties (ie young, childless, and carefree!) I travelled to India on a whim. And, it’s not often I meet people who can say they’ve done the same. So whenever this happens, I can’t help but excitedly discuss what a fascinating place India is to visit. It takes a certain amount of courage, spontaneity, and flexibility to handle the beautiful chaos that exists in India.
Often when I’m photographing families I end up feeling like I’m just hanging out with friends and this is the best part of my job. Take a peek at baby Dylan and his incredibly cool parents! I love the natural vibe we captured of their family just hanging out at home loving their sweet new baby boy. I think he has a lot of adventures to look forward to in his life!!
Over the years, I have been inside countless client homes for photo sessions. I love meeting people in their personal space, seeing how they live and hearing their stories. No two at-home sessions are ever alike, which is easily the most fun part of my job! I love the thrill of not knowing what to expect when I open a client’s front door and then searching the location for beautiful light, color, lines and texture. I thrive on the anticipation of what new treasures await me at each and every client home.
I can safely say that the treasures hidden behind this family’s front door were nothing short of amazing. Not only was this family warm, welcoming and easy-going from the first hello, but the style and decor in this home were exquisite. Every room was simply beautiful, with bright colors, fun patterns, cozy and inviting furniture and unique accessories. Every decorating decision was carefully thought out by Alisa Shakarian, who has an innate talent for interior design, and who also just happens to the be the mom in this family! I am in awe of Alisa’s attention to detail and her ability to effortlessly make things look chic.
( Alisa is available for interior design consultations in the Greater Boston area. I was fortunate enough to get on her calendar after our session. She created a vision for the entire first floor of my home and I can’t recommend her highly enough! Please email Alisa directly at alkocharyan(at)gmail(dot)com to inquire about her rates and availability)
Here are the highlights from Alisa’s family session! Her daughter had just turned 8 weeks old, which is such a great age for a photo session because there are plenty of opportunities to get both asleep and awake images of baby, as well as a high probability of capturing some sweet smiles.
This was one of the times when I just happened to turn around, grab the shot and knew immediately it was going to be a keeper. Baby in mom’s arms is so sweet, but how fantastic is that forest wallpaper?!!
We started off the session in the nursery, which was full of gorgeous natural light. Everyone in the family is clearly comfortable hanging out in this cozy room..! I can’t decide what I love more, the colorful wallpaper or the rug that reminds me of cake batter ice cream…!
All little girls should have adorable fairies dancing above their cribs, don’t you think??
Big brother recently turned three and is handling his new role like a champ… 😉
I love the look on his face… and the tiptoes!!
This is another favorite of mine. I love how timeless this image is in black & white….
After a while we moved into big brother’s room for storytime with Dad….
I love the collage of various family photos mounted on the wall. I think I might have to adopt this idea for my own children’s rooms!
I think Dad is already pretty smitten with his little girl…
Those fingers…..That yawn! It’s all about the details….
I couldn’t miss taking a few pictures in the family guest room where the walls were a deep beautiful turquoise and the lighting was low and moody.. my favorite kind of light! Alisa affectionately calls this her “hippie room”. I would love to be a guest in this space anytime!!
Newborn stretches are definitely in my top 10 of things I love about new babies…
and belly buttons. Can’t forget belly buttons… !
At 6-8 weeks all the cooing and smiling begins…
Meanwhile in the other room….
Just a few more portraits of this sweet face!!
This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship…!
I couldn’t resist one last family picture in the ‘forest’….!
Cara Soulia is a Concord Massachusetts newborn photographer who specializes in capturing the most important moments in a family’s life in a beautiful and natural way. Cara has been a professional photographer for 8 years and has photographed hundreds of families over the years… Please get in touch with Cara to find out more about scheduling your family’s photo session!
I remember when my first son turned one, friends, family and even strangers suddenly started asking me when I would have another. Apparently, the first birthday is a milestone after which it is socially acceptable to start bugging parents about getting pregnant again! Personally, I couldn’t imagine having another baby right away. I was too exhausted from stressing out over every detail of my son’s life ( can you say helicopter parent?) to consider having another!! But over the years, I have photographed numerous families with two babies under two, and there are definitely some positives to this scenario!
- They are both in diapers. Wait, is that good thing? Well, in my humble opinion, it is. I was scared to have two babies under two and we waited until my son was almost 3 before having #2. I distinctly remember my son decided to start potty training basically the minute I came home from the hospital with my daughter and it was not fun. I think it is a blessing in disguise to have both kids in diapers for the first few months. My 2 cents: focus on potty training once your second gets a little older and has a routine. It’s so much less stressful that way!
- They both NAP! – Hallelujah, your toddler still needs a nap! And after a couple of months you should be able to figure out a way to get them both sleeping at the exact same time so you can get some solid down time during the afternoon to catch up on Top Chef or This is Us. I know they all say to sleep when the baby sleeps, but seriously, what fun is that?
- Your children learn to share and be considerate at an early age – Having a sibling so close in age will force your children to learn to share whether they like it or not. They will also grow up being more considerate of others and they will realize the world does not revolve around them.
- Your first child will learn to be more independent – Let’s face it, if you have two under two, someone is going to get ignored some of the time. And that’s not a bad thing. I think most parents can admit spending too much time focusing on every move their first child made. Breaking the cycle of dependence might involve a little whining and crying, but is definitely for the best in the end.
- Your kids might just end up being friends. While there are obviously no guarantees in life, having babies so close together provides a fantastic opportunity for them to become good friends. Your kids will go through the phases of life at relatively the same time and, over the years, they will mostly enjoy the same kinds of toys, activities and family trips, etc. Having them close together affords them the opportunity to become besties and that is a wonderful gift!
The last time I saw this beautiful family, they were just welcoming their first baby girl Maya into the family. I was excited (and surprised!) to hear from them again, just 15 months later, when they emailed to tell me they were expecting another baby girl! It was so much fun to see how much Maya has grown ( even though she is kind of still a baby, too). She was not jealous of her baby sister at all, rather just mildly curious about her. Grandma was visiting and helping out and I love that we were able to capture her in some of the images too.
Full arms, full heart!
Being a big sister is so exciting!!
Sisters, and hopefully BFF for life….
V+P = Sonya!
See those pictures on the wall in the background?? That’s baby Maya when she was just a week old!
Cara Soulia is a Dover Massachusetts Newborn Photographer who specializes in capturing natural and beautiful images of babies, children & their families on location in and around the Boston area. See more newborn sessions, read 9 things you should know about hiring Cara as your photographer or get in touch if you are expecting and would like to schedule as session!
Living next door to super cool people like this Mom & Dad is pretty great. But when they also happen to have a brand new adorable baby boy, and you’re a newborn photographer it’s pretty much the icing on the cake. I stopped by to visit them just a day after they came home from the hospital and (more…)