Tips from a new (again) mom

Guest blog by Danielle Quinn

All your kids want is you.

Not the fit mom.

Not the Pinterest mom.

Not every other mom you think you should be.

All they want is you, so be the happiest you there ever was. 

I read this post while scrolling through Instagram at 2:00 a.m. when my daughter was just a few days old. She was nursing (praise), and I had just scrolled past a bunch of new moms holding their babies, dressed in white with perfect hair and skin. I needed to see that post.

Because of my son, who just turned seven, I know there was so much truth in the message: All your kids want is you. He loves looking at his baby pictures, especially the ones where I’m snuggling him like he’s my whole world—because he is. He loves looking at photos of me pregnant with him, trying to guess what size fruit or vegetable he was at that moment (thank you, every pregnancy app). 

He doesn’t care that I’m sleep deprived. He doesn’t pick apart the image, noting that I was still 20 pounds heavier during his nine-month photos. He hasn’t a clue that in the room adjacent to us was a pile of dirty laundry and dust so thick I could write our names in it. He just wants to go down memory lane and see pictures of us. 

That’s why I knew I had to book newborn (and all the first-year photos) for my daughter, too. Not only for our family to enjoy, but for the grandparents and aunts and cousins who would proudly show off our new bundle of joy or display the updated family photo on their mantle. 

However, when you’re posting new baby pics on social media or prepping for a professional photo session, it’s hard to let that vain part of me that wants to look effortlessly perfect go. I still wanted to look and feel pretty. I also didn’t want people to see what my house actually looks like. 

Enter Emily Hardy Photography. Emily gave me guidelines to help pick out outfits for the whole family that complimented each other without looking like a matching blob. She strategically moved my furniture and piles of stuff (so many piles) so that the area around us looked clean and didn’t distract from our family.

She took photos of my son while I finished getting my daughter ready, making him feel special as he showed her around his bedroom. She took photos of my daughter after I nursed her to sleep so I could slap on some makeup and curl my hair for the first time in weeks. 

She understands the chaos that a new family is likely encountering and knows how to balance the needs of each family member during a photo shoot in a home that could use Marie Kondo’s help. She gave direction here and there so we could still interact organically while looking our best. She gave us time to reset because children are unpredictable. 

I cannot imagine packing up a car full of everything we might need and going to a studio to have our pictures taken. That’s one of the many reasons I love lifestyle photography—we’re in the comfort of our own home. I’m also proud of the nursery I put together, so I wanted that captured. Finally, we’ve moved several times. So, when I look back at older photo sessions, it spurs memories of past houses. 

So, for anyone concerned that you don’t have the type of house that lends well to lifestyle photography, Emily will find a room with the best light after giving you a hug and telling you to relax because she’ll make sure to find the beauty in every moment—even if your child is screaming.