Spring Mini Sessions 2018 || Grayson, Georgia

Spring Mini Sessions came and went and I LOVED how everything turned out! Ah! I mean…

White drapes

At my Momma’s home

Green pastures

Cooler weather

Peonies and tulips

Smiling faces and happy little ones

We had so much fun and I can’t wait for our next Mini’s! Make sure to keep a lookout for our next ones! I saw that the sunflower fields will be ready in early July! Anyone interested in doing them?!? We did them last year and I was over the moon being in a sunflower field all day but the images we walked away with were AMAZING! In the meantime, check out my favorites from our May Mini’s below! ↓

Jaelyn

E Jamison’s 1st Year || Milestone Sessions | Atlanta, GA

Heather + Lee Wedding-Bridal Portraits-63

Heather and Lee have been one of those couples that I wish all my clients would be – repeat ones. The ones I get to be present for each new season of life with. I had the joy of taking their engagement session then the honor to be their wedding photographer. But it didn’t stop there. When Heather knew she was pregnant, she emailed me and requested I be the one to do their Maternity Session, Newborn Session of little E and his Milestone Sessions throughout his first year. I couldn’t be more excited!

We joked that we were anniversary twins with having our weddings in November and then now our sons share the same birth month as well – how crazy is that?!? It was so much fun touching base every few months to see how much E had learned and what new thing he was doing. With both of us being first time Momma’s it was also a relief to have some one walking through very similar things. Sharing this season of life has been so rewarding and a blessing for me as a photographer and new Momma.

Enjoy these highlights from E’s Milestone Sessions this past year!

2 Month Session | In-Home Lifestyle Session

Remember how I said we gave birth the same month. Yea, we weren’t able to do a normal newborn session but we were able to sneak in a 2-month session in their home which is one of my favorites. It was so relaxed, E did amazing and we just enjoyed snapping every little detail of his life at that moment.

 

6 Month Session | King & Queen Building, Atlanta

This session we did at the same place we did their engagement session (and where they happen to work as well) which made it that much more fun. It was a beautiful morning and even though it was summer, not too hot either. We made sure to do blues to make his little blue eyes pop. Love that little grin he flashes!

 

9 Month Session | McDaniel Farm Park, Duluth, GA

Trying to decide where to do his 9 Month Session, we knew we wanted outside and I love all that McDaniel Farm Park has to offer so we ended up meeting there for some really sweet creek shots which turned out to be my favorite milestone ones.

Eli Jamison 9 Month BLOG 9Eli Jamison 9 Month BLOG 14Eli Jamison 9 Month BLOG 10Eli Jamison 9 Month BLOG 15

1 Year Session | Cake Smash || Capturing Bliss Studio, Lawrenceville, GA

I love a good cake smash session and E did not disappoint! He devoured his cake and it was the greatest thing to record! Heather said she wanted something classic and simple so we did everything possible to keep it bright and white for this one. We ran outside in freezing temperatures to snap a few family shots and I still love them. Heather was very smart when making the cake to color it blue inside so he would be interested in it and it was brilliant!

Lee is a huge golfing enthusiast, so much so that’s where we did their engagement pictures which happened to be where he proposed to Heather. In order to go full circle, we had to get a few shots with E and his golf set and balls which turned out super cute.

We had taken E’s picture in this sweet rocking chair for most of his milestones so we didn’t want to leave it out of this one.

Eli Jamison 1 Year BLOG 9

Henry Weiden || 1st Year : Part 3 {Monthly Milestone Portraits}

For my clients, I normally do a Milestone Package which includes Newborn, 6 Months, 9 Months and 1 Year Sessions. I knew I would want to do something similar with Henry and I’m so glad I did.

NEWBORN SESSION

I knew before giving birth I would want someone to do our newborn session since I knew I would be recovering and not feel like being bent over for 2-4 hours. We decided on Michele Zakeri with Michele Zakeri Photography and couldn’t be happier with all the beautiful and amazing images we walked away with! It was so nice to sit and watch another photographer work in her element. To love on my child and place him beautifully in props and on the beanbag. We knew we wanted some family shots as well since I can’t really do those myself and we will always cherish them!

 

SEVEN MONTHS

The sunflower field! Somehow this year worked out where I opened up Mini Sessions at the Anderson Sunflower fields in Cumming, GA and I asked my hubby to bring Henry in between naps so we can get a few shots in during his 7th month in Mommy’s favorite flowers! My friend, Marissa came to help me for the day and ended up taking this sweet and amazingly precious shots of us. Luckily Henry loves Marissa so we were able to get a ton of smiles out of him.

 

NINE MONTHS

We knew his nine months were probably going to be in the studio just because we could and it would be fun to try to do it. We took so many in about 30 minutes and he did so good for us in that amount of time. He was picking up books and wanting us to read to him all the time so we wanted to make sure we included that in some images. I had also used the wooden toy camera from Fact + Fiction Toys for every month and session I had done with Henry so we made sure it made it’s way to this session too! Henry had started really crawling good by this time so we made sure to have a few with him crawling towards us to immortalize this milestone! Then Jerry and I took turns taking each other’s pictures as well.

10

During his tenth month, I ended up doing Mustang Mini Sessions and HAD to grab a few shots after we set up the ‘Stang in my family’s farm. Are these not so sweet?!? The plus side to being a photographer and already having things set up for Mini Sessions… By the way, he’s clapping in excitement in these saying “yay!”

ONE YEAR

His party theme was Lumberjack/flannel and was the sweetest thing! We went to the local tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree and took a few pictures while we were there! He was much more interested in the grass than looking up at the camera to smile at me but that was fine – I wasn’t going to push it. Do you see that first picture with Daddy and holding his suspender?!?! Cue all the heart eyes!

 

MONTHLY AT HOME

We wanted to do something we could see how much he had grown so my Nana made this sweet bear for Henry for Christmas and thought it was the perfect thing to show his size. You can definitely see his personality in these!

As I was lying him down for bed on his first birthday, I noticed the shape of his body isn’t the same as when I first held him a year ago. I noticed my arms were further apart, holding his back and under his tush. I noticed the amount of hair on his head was soft but not as baby soft as then. I noticed the way his hands are soft but so much bigger. I noticed I wasn’t the same as I was then. I have more confidence. More love. More grace.  He gives kisses. He notices you when you walk in (or out) of the room and flashes you the sweetest and biggest smile. He loves to read books. He loves when we make noises of any kind but especially animal noises (we’ve gotten good at them). He stands up so easily. Crawls “super fast” as we call it in our house. He chats and we love to stop and listen to it when he does.

They say the days are long but the years are short. I now understand that more fully than I did in the first few weeks of his life. Where has a year gone? Have I loved him unconditionally? Have I shown him he is important? That he can be a world changer? That Jesus loves him even more than me? We love this kid hard and am so glad God entrusted him to us on this earth. We will work hard to respect him, to love him and show him how to be a follower of Jesus.

Henry Weiden || 1st Year : Part 2 {Health}

Henry’s health journey is a long one and not always so pretty. Over the last year, I have realized something very important about what it means to be a parent and how to run a photography business that deals with families. It’s not enough to communicate over email before a session. It’s not enough to learn how to take amazing images (the mechanics, the posing, the editing). It’s not enough to send out a gallery on time. It’s deeper than that. It’s about building relationships. It’s about getting down to the kid’s level and talk to them face-to-face. Laughing with them. Chasing them. Playing with them. It’s about communication. It’s about an experience not just business. This year as we walked into 4 different doctor’s offices, I learned that when you speak to a child you instantly win the approval of the parent. When you remember details about their lives and ask questions, those same families want to come back. They feel important because they are important. I only hope this has changed my very nature and the way I interact with each one of my clients – old and young, big and small.

Working with newborn’s I learned a lot about babies and different stages they go through but I had not actually walked that as a parent until this past year. I knew baby acne was a thing and that it would come in his first month of life but I never knew it would look this rough at times. Then cue the nastiest stuff I have ever dealt with – the cradle cap or what we referred to as the cradle crap. Looking back I feel like these things presented themselves for a reason. Everyone and everything you read says it’s just hormones releasing from their bodies but I think there’s more to it than just that.

Month two was the beginning of gas, spitting up, blow outs and the continuance of the nasty cradle cap and when we started giving Henry daily baths just to keep his head moist and dry. You knew it was bothering him since he continued to scratch it especially when we would lay him down to sleep for naps and bedtime. Luckily this never detoured his sleep habits since he started sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old. We would try putting olive oil, coconut oil, oatmeal, lotion, anything and everything on it. We would comb it, brush it, put a hat on it after lotion but nothing seem to work. Finally after more than a month it started clearing up but unfortunately it took his beautiful newborn hair with it. He would scratch and pull it out and it was the saddest thing. This was probably the beginning of socks on his hands.

About this time, before we went into the 2nd month well visit, we started noticing some strange red sort of rash on his tummy and diaper rashes that would never go away. We tried to get into a doctor’s appointment (that we had already confirmed and showed up in the office for) but was declined. We begged to see the doctor but they said we weren’t allowed and needed to find a new pediatrician. At that point, Mama Bear instincts kicked in and I was searching frantically for someone to take us. We finally found one in Lawrenceville a few minutes from my hubby’s work (it was nice for him to be able to come to the visits with us). We finally made it in around 3 months at that point after all the paperwork was transferred from the old doctor. We went in hoping for answers and willing to do anything at that time. The pediatrician weighed him, measured him and did a look over his skin. She said I believe he has a staph infection of the skin and we need to give him bleach baths in lukewarm water, apply steroid cream and lotion within 5 minutes of getting out of the tub. We thought, ok. We’ll try it and see if it helps. Sure enough it went from this to this in a day.

We already liked this doctor so much more than the previous one simply because she looked us in the eye when she spoke to us, made sure we understood everything and asked if we had any questions AND we didn’t wait but two minutes in the room for her whereas we waited 45 minutes in the room for the other doctor (which is not fun for a mom who is breastfeeding or with a newborn baby). We walked in, checked in, and as we sat down, we were called back to our room, then the doctor came in almost immediately after the nurse was done. THIS is how they should run a doctor’s office I thought.

Now, most people would agree with this course of treatment and do it and we did for a a little over a week but thought it was a bit scary to keep giving him bleach baths every day and applying so much steroid cream to his precious skin. When we went back in for our one week check up, the doctor was thrilled with the results and said keep doing the bleach every other bath since “his body doesn’t know how to deal with his own staph (skin)”. She gave us a number for a dermatologist if we wanted to get a second opinion. We debated whether or not to do it but when we saw that not doing the bleach baths would cause the rash to come back, we made an appointment.

Oh those specialists doctors that think they know everything really rub me the wrong way. The nurse did all the measurements and told us that the dermatologist would be in shortly. I think it was close to 25 or 30 minutes by then. As a new mom who is breastfeeding, you never know whether you have enough time to feed your kid when your in a situation like this – will the doctor be in just a minute or two and you’ll have to stop feeding but then the kid will be upset or do you deal with a hungry child just to make sure he’s available to be checked over by the doctor. Looking back now, I will always just feed my child when it’s time despite what they need but my child needs to eat at that time. The doctor finally came in and went straight to her stool by the door and introduced herself… to the stool. She never looked at us and opened the chart. She said “what are your concerns?” My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief because she hadn’t even looked at his chart for why we were there. Ok. Well, our son has this red rash all over his body and we are worried about it so can you look at it and give us your insight on it? I mean let’s be a doctor and look at our child. During the entire time we were waiting for her to come to our room, our son was without clothes, just in a diaper because undressing for measurements and then redressing then undressing again isn’t what they like to do in doctor’s offices. So, he was cold, hungry and clearly didn’t want to be in there so he was crying the whole time she was talking to us. I was holding him first and in hopes that he would calm down if we were by the window, but he only got more upset. The doctor didn’t come closer to us, nor did she speak up any so I passed our son to my husband and moved closer to the doctor to answer her questions and to hear her. She did a once over on his body, opened his diaper to see the rash was there as well and just said “he has eczema and you need to put cream on it every day.” I said ok but I don’t think eczema lives in the diaper area since it’s so damp there. She replied “it can.” Ok. Could it be a reaction to an allergy? Can we run some tests to see if he has any allergies? Should I try to stop eating gluten and dairy just to see if it would help? “No, it’s not an allergy. It’s just eczema.  Is he scratching?” Lady… look at him. Yes he scratches. Her response, “I’ll call in this cream and an antihistamine for the itching.” Great more meds. We would really like to know WHY he has the eczema. Can we not run some tests? Another nonchalant reply of, “We don’t need to run any tests just use this and come back for a follow up.” I just looked at my husband and shook my head. We left that visit thinking, Why in the world did we come? That was a complete waste of time and money. 

In 2015 my husband was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called hashimoto’s disease where the body attacks your thyroid and causes the body not to function the way it is suppose to. We had already dealt with the generic specialists doctors and were never impressed. We did have a bio nutritionist who was the one who actually diagnosed Jerry and encouraged him to change his diet completely especially after doing the ALCAT (a food sensitivity test). We had already changed the way we ate and what we drank so we knew there is always a reason for things. Looking back now, we know God took us through that overhaul of our diets and lifestyle then to help us go through another with Henry. You could say we became those prius driving (yes we have a prius), granola bar eating, all organic, whole foods, no crazy chemicals couple but we did it for our health not because it was popular or a fad. This only helped us and encouraged us over the last year.

We were not satisfied with either one of those treatment plans – bleach baths, steroid creams, and pumping our child with drugs every day if we didn’t have to and had no bases for doing so. I then started looking for a holistic, integrative, functional medicine doctor. Fortunately I found a pediatrician, Dr. Jamilet, that could take us the next day for an appointment. They were so nice over the phone, answered all my questions and told me exactly how it would work. Wow. What a relief already. Since it was so quick to get in and it was in Johns Creek, Jerry couldn’t go with us. I walked in praying, God, please help this doctor find what’s wrong with Henry and help us to walk out with relief and answers. As the elevator doors opened, I looked around and it was to inviting – it looked like an entrance to a nice spa.

I was met at the desk by Neu (the nurse practitioner) who took our filled out paperwork and walked us back to the exam room. She took all Henry’s measurements and looked Henry in the eyes, talked to him and asked to hold him. My heart was already growing two sizes bigger. The pediatrician walked in, introduced herself to me, shook my hand, and then looked at Henry and introduced herself to him. Wow. She looked at my son. First one to do so in almost 4 months of life. I told her all that we had been through, my medical history, my husband’s medical history, our concerns and then she looked intently at Henry all over. We were at this appointment for 2.5 hours and only spent about 30 minutes without someone in our room since I was breastfeeding. She noticed his lymph nodes behind his ears were extremely swollen and looked at me and said, “Something is going on in his body and we are going to find out what. It is in over drive and I’m not ok with just calling this eczema.” Oh Thank you Lord! Someone who seems to be on my side. Who cares about my son. She then took several vials of blood and talked ever so sweetly to Henry while we held his arms down to get it. At that time, she suggested to go ahead and stop eating dairy and gluten (remember, I asked the dermatologist if I should do that…) and that she was going to run several tests – his liver, thyroid (for any autoimmune disease), immunoglobulin levels and allergies.

She thought she would get a few results back in about a week but it would take about 3 weeks to get all the results back. This is the reason I love this office – they called a week later to inform me of the immediate results. Food allergies. All 8 common ones. Believe it or not it was a good thing I wasn’t going to give up. Peanuts and Milk were a class 6 out of 6 – meaning they were off the charts and he was extremely allergic to them. We went back in twice and did more allergy tests since he was testing positive for so many. Here is a running list we have now:

  • Peanuts (class 6)
  • Milk (class 6)
  • Eggs –  yolk
  • Eggs – whites
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Soy
  • Wheat/gluten
  • Goat’s milk
  • Hazelnut
  • Brazil Nut
  • Coconut
  • Garlic
  • Oats
  • Peas (class 6)
  • Sunflower
  • Sweet potato
  • Beets
  • Maple Syrup
  • Corn
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Since he was registering for all the beans so far – avoiding all legumes
  • Avoid all tree nuts except pecan or walnuts straight from the tree

Try going through just a few of the items in your pantry or fridge and tell me what you could have after elimination this list. Fruits, veggies and meats were left. Every time we received a new list, I would have to stop giving Henry any of the breastmilk I had saved up. This means I could throw it away or give it to someone who desperately needed it. The Lord placed a very special momma in my life at exactly the right time. Remember I told you that I had been pumping and breastfeeding this whole time? Well, this one Momma couldn’t produce milk and she did not want/couldn’t feed her newborn formula so we met up and I gave her my entire freezer stash. Each time I would receive a new list of allergies, I would text her to meet so I could gift her my milk. We both found comfort in a new Momma relationship that otherwise wouldn’t be and I am so thankful for that.

Since I had done no eliminations until he was 4 months old, we needed to go in repair mode of his intestines as quickly as possible. We started him on a probiotic, vitamin D and a supplement called glutemine that was suppose to help repair and rebuild his gut. We also continued giving him baths EVERY day. It’s part of our bedtime routine at this point.

Almost immediately after I stopped eating the top 8 allergens, we saw a difference in the rash on his stomach, now it was just on his back – and I came to realize that was from the oats, garlic and coconut I had still been consuming until I knew it was on his list at month 6.

Some people may ask why not just put him on formula? Well, that could have been somewhat of a solution if there was a formula that didn’t contain any of the above ingredients. So, life/diet change #2 in 3 years was happening again in our household. Since America only knows garlic as a seasoning, we can’t eat out – if we do, I get a plain salad with olive oil dressing. Not a very exciting or fulfilling meal if you ask me. We would see his skin get better and then it would have a flare up and mostly because we hadn’t completely eliminated everything from my diet until June. We knew it would take 2 weeks to get out of my system and then an additional 2 weeks to get of Henry’s system before we would really tell if it was working. The whole pump and dump theory would not work in this case since the those foods are still lingering in the body for two-three weeks after eating it. So, no chance of “cheating” is involved. If you really want to loose weight – have your diet completely dependent on another human beings well being… you will have no desire to “cheat”.

Beginning of May compared to the end of May:

Our last visit to Dr. Jamilet in August. He was so happy and looked so healthy!

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We still have flare ups and that could be because of new allergies developing or that could be an environmental allergy that we are unaware of but we have definitely seen a huge difference since we eliminated the foods we do know are a trigger. He never had gas, blow outs and rarely any spit ups after the diet change. I would say that it’s not a “normal” baby thing, that it’s the body’s way of telling you something is going on. At the beginning of October (10 months old) we started the wet wrap suit at night. This is a footed zipper sleeper like article that we soak and ring out then put dry clothes on top of. He was not a fan of it at first but now I don’t think we could do without it. We have noticed a HUGE difference in the moisture in his skin when we put him in it.

After finding out Henry was allergic to coconut and oats… that pretty much is every beauty product there is unfortunately so Momma needed to find an alternative lotion that would help keep moisture in his skin. Olive oil, 100% cacao butter, and essential oils (lavender, argan, aloe, tea tree and frankincense). We were using beeswax to help combine everything but a friend suggested to take it out and see if we saw a difference and we did. You can see what our lotion looks like in the picture above. It’s super easy to make too!

Even though Henry is allergic to about 20 (common/main) foods, we still find a lot he can eat and he has never turned a single thing down. He eats chia seed pudding, prunes, a breakfast hash we came up with – butternut squash, ground meat of any kind, quinoa, chard, sage, and walnuts. He also eats plenty of greens – broccoli, chard, lettuce, spinach, asparagus, avocado, even Cold Pressed Green Juice from Trader Joe’s is his favorite which has kale, spinach, apple, cucumbers, celery, lemon, and ginger. He loves pork chops and bacon – clearly my son. 🙂 At 6 months of age, after getting all the test results back, we started him on solids – slices of avocado first then pieces of banana, prunes, mango smoothies, oranges, butternut squash. He’s never turned anything down and would probably eat all day if you let him. We decided from the beginning we weren’t going to do rice cereal and try baby led weaning (chunks of food instead of pureed baby food) which has worked extremely well for us.

You might think that the eliminating of foods would be the hardest part. It isn’t. It’s the constant scratching of exposed skin that is the worst. Since May, Henry has basically been dressed in long sleeve shirts, pants and socks unless he’s getting changed or in the bath where we put socks on his hands. He gets lotion applied throughout the day and rarely has any exposed skin for any length of time. There is something about the scratching that is so frustrating and stressful for you as the parent and as the child. It could be a way he’s learned to self sooth and/or habitual or his skin is so dry that it itches beyond what we understand. However it could be his response to his body’s stress level (immune response) due to the allergies and eczema. Whatever it may be, we have found that keeping him dressed in footed “sleepers” has stopped the majority of itching and he can play and be a kid instead of constantly scratching.

Despite all of these things that have come up, Henry has been an extremely loving, happy, and playful baby. He is thriving, eating foods like us and smiles/laughs freely. Part 3 of this series you will see his monthly pictures we did to show his ever changing size and the different places we took his milestone sessions. It may be my favorite blog post yet.

Henry 10 Month Blog Post 4

 

 

 

M Nolen | Milestone Sessions | 1st Year

The Nolen’s are friends of a November #cbpbride and loved us so much at her wedding that when she found out she was pregnant, she emailed me right away asking if I could do her daughter’s Milestone Package. Can I tell you this has been such a fun year filled with this little miss!

The first time I met them face-to-face was at their Maternity Session we did at a local park in Suwanee, GA. From the moment I met these two, I knew they were going to be amazing parents!

Mary Nolen 1st Year Album 1

Newborn Session

Meet M. She was an absolute dream to photograph. We did this session in the comfort of their gorgeous home in Atlanta. I love these images so much! Do you spot a little doggy in there? His name is Lincoln and is as sweet as can be!

6 Month Session

We did these in the spring so we had to make sure we went somewhere with beautiful blooming flowers and that happened to be at the King and Queen buildings in Atlanta. The flowers were in full bloom and the tall buildings worked as amazing reflectors. Morning sessions are some of my favorite!

9 Month Session

Ok, this one is my favorite! It was the perfect time for SUNFLOWER field pictures! Ah! The weather was perfect – not too hot with cloudy skies and a cool breeze! Little M rocked this session and we started to see even more personality come out! Check out that cheesin’ smile! She’s a blue eyed beauty for sure!

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Little baby details are some of my favorite to capture. I mean come on – those little fingers and toes will start forming into little toddler hands and toes in no time.

1 Year Session

We kept going back and forth whether we should do her last session outside at a park or in the studio. We finally decided to do family shots outside in the back of my studio in Lawrenceville and finish with the cake smash in the studio. I wanted to do something different for her cake smash – simple, pure, and maybe a hint of vintage and I think the backdrop turned out amazing. When M’s mom was leaving the studio after her session she said, “That was exactly what I wanted and I didn’t even know what I wanted.”

 

#capturingbliss #CBPBabies #milestones #babygirl