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The Kelly Brown Workshop Recap

September was an absolutely incredible month for me and AWP. The studio got a beautiful makeover, I booked two more weddings for next year, and I got to serve some absolutely wonderful new clients. To cap it off, I was fortunate enough to attend a small, in-person workshop with one of the greatest newborn photographers in the world, Kelly Brown.

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Up until now I've received all of my training and education from online workshops and courses, which are fantastic, but nothing compares to a full day learning in-person from the best of the best. And trust me - it was a FULL day! Two sweet little models came to visit us in the morning so that we could work extensively on posing, lighting, and of course, safety.

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After lunch, we dove right into business. We discussed how to determine what products to offer our clients, how to prepare clients for the session, and everything that goes into operating a successful boutique portrait studio. I loved this portion of the day because it's so important to me to run my studio in a way that ensures I'm still here to serve you next year - and the year after that - and the decade after that.

The best part was being able to collaborate with the other newborn photographers attending the workshop. Photography can be an isolating field, but we all worked together to help one another. It was so refreshing to see community win out over competition, and Kelly urged us to do some research to determine exactly how many babies were born in our area each year.

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I did my homework, and it turns out that 4,247 babies are born in southern Maryland each year. At the very most, I could photograph 50 of those babies in a year - that's just barely 1%! I couldn't possibly photograph every family in southern Maryland, so my goal is simply to ensure that I love and serve my clients the very best way that I can.

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All in all, this day was hands down the greatest investment I've ever made in myself and my business. I'm bursting with excitement about all that I've learned, and my passion for the newborn genre is at an all-time high. This is what I'm called to do, and I'm honored to share this gift with so many wonderful families.

Please note: all images shown in this blog post were created during Kelly Brown's workshop with her guidance. Visit the portfolio to view images created solely by me.

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Know Your Why.

It's hard to put the power of newborn photography into words, but I'm going to try. My births and post-partum experiences were difficult, physically and mentally, and sadly, I don't have many happy memories of the early days with my daughters.

Before they were born, newborn photography seemed like a frivolous expense. "What do I need a photographer for?" I wondered, "I'll just take pictures myself!"

And then real life happened. Fifty-plus hours of labor with Caroline, ending in an unscheduled c-section and preeclampsia complications. It was days before I could even stand unassisted, let alone muster the strength to take a photo of her. To stand over her to take a photo in the state I was in would've been flat out dangerous.

We opted for a scheduled c-section with Ellie, and things seemed to go a little better at first. Unfortunately, the day we came home from the hospital, I developed a case of pneumonia so severe that I nearly needed to be rehospitalized. Cue the post-partum anxiety spiral all over again.

I deeply regret not investing in newborn portraits of my girls. Not just to remember how tiny and cute they were - because they grow FAST! - but also as a reminder of the beauty of those days, even if my own memory has failed me. A newborn child is truly God's artwork here on Earth, even if my imperfect being cannot see it through the fog.

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And so, with my pre-motherhood self in mind, I'm thrilled to introduce a newborn collection for every parent and every budget. I love this collection because the price point is accessible, perfect for gifting to a new mom-to-be. Just skip one meal out per month for the duration of your pregnancy, and the base collection is paid for. Additional products and services can always be added.

It's such an honor and source of healing for me to serve families in this way. If you or someone you know would like to book in, please email me directly at hello@amandawosephotography.com. I can't wait to work with you.

southern maryland baby photographer

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"How do you want to be photographed?"

How do you want to be photographed? I begin all consultations with this simple question. Because it's not about me, it's about you.

Let me show you your greatest possible self. The beautiful soul that your family and friends adore. You are enough, you are worth it, you are valuable.

Great portraits are a side effect of genuine human connection. And so I ask again: how do you want to be photographed?

Debbie knew exactly how she wanted to be photographed. She and Kyle were celebrating 26 years of marriage, and it'd probably been about that long since they'd been photographed together. As she sat in the stylist's chair, Debbie scrolled through my website (which was awesome!), showing me images she liked best.

This experience was all about them. Together, we created images that perfectly capture Debbie and Kyle, and made them into portraits that will be here long after we're gone.

We added to their legacy. We preserved their best selves.

How do you want to be photographed? Let's create something beautiful together.

southern maryland portrait photographer

Just opened: additional fall mini session appointments!

Ahhh, I can't believe it! My first fall mini session event has completely sold out - and it's still almost two months away! To ensure I'm able to serve as many families as possible, I've opened up a handful of additional sessions on Friday, November 3rd. Visit the shop section for more details and to book right from the website, before they sell out again! Once these are sold out, I cannot take any additional sessions to ensure delivery in time for holiday cards and gifting.

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Planning for Your Newborn Session

Newborn photography is my absolute favorite genre. I love being one of the first people to snuggle baby, providing a cozy, inviting place for parents to rest, and creating stunning images that will be adored for a lifetime.

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You may not realize it, but a LOT of planning, preparation, education, and training has gone into your baby's session, long before he or she is even born! Below you'll find a few tips to ensure success at your newborn session.

1. Relax.
Babies can literally smell fear and anxiety, especially from their mama. I have created a warm, calming studio to allow my parents to fully relax while they're here, and I educate every client as to exactly what they can expect throughout the session. Ultimately though, the smoothest sessions tend to happen when mama is totally relaxed and comfortable. I encourage you to think of the session as a nice 2-3 hour break - feel free to curl up on the couch with a book, catch up on social media, or even take a little catnap. Baby is in excellent hands, and I'll let you know if I need you!

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2. Manage expectations.
Just like adults, babies are all different too. While I do utilize the same basic workflow for almost every baby, every session is unique, just like baby. Not every baby will be able to do every pose. Newborn portrait sessions take 2-4 hours, and most of that time is spent soothing and feeding baby. We move at their pace and never, ever force something that they just don't want to do. Rest assured, we will get beautiful images no matter what!

3. Keep it simple.
I know the little tutus and baby-size team jerseys are cute, but leave them at home for the newborn portrait session. I create classic, timeless portraits of your baby, and many store-bought props may look outdated before your little one even gets to kindergarten. I have a huge, ever-growing selection of premium fabrics, props, wraps, and backdrops in an array of colors and textures that will stand the test of time. Neutrals always photograph beautifully!

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4. Prepare for some tears!
Parents, I'm warning you now! I present each client with a printed reveal, meaning you will be able to see and hold each portrait in your gallery when you view it for the first time. In this digital age, this experience is often incredibly emotional and powerful. I'll have tissues on hand and will most likely be tearing up right along with you! Creating artwork for my clients is truly one of my greatest blessings, and it's an honor to serve you in this way. You'll even be able to purchase your favorite portraits and take them home with you that day.

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For more tips and insider info, sign up below for your free copy of my complete newborn e-magazine! You and baby will be totally set up to rock the newborn session with these helpful hints!

Sign up today to receive a complimentary copy of the newborn e-magazine!

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Why I Create a Timeline for Every Wedding

You've heard it a million times - your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye. The months (or years!) of planning and preparation will be over before you know it, and the next day, all you'll have is your groom and your photographs.

It's my job to make sure the latter are pretty freaking great, and if there's one thing that has more impact than ANY other factor, it's the timeline. I can work with crazy weather, your Uncle Bob who insists in shooting over my shoulder, even poor lighting or a small venue. But a wedding day timeline can make or break any celebration, which is why I start drafting yours before you've even signed a contract. Why?

First, to manage expectations. If a bride tells me that detail shots and getting ready photos are really important to her and that she's dying to have a first look, then I can tell her point blank: I will need to arrive at least three hours prior to the ceremony to create those images. I am always looking out for my bride, and it wouldn't be right to hear what's important to her and then agree to just show up an hour before the ceremony starts. I can't document moments that I literally wasn't present for, and having control over the timeline ensures that I give my clients what they want.

Second, to establish trust and rapport with the bride. I was a wedding coordinator for a few years during college, and I LIVE for event planning and logistics. Believe it or not, I'm likely thinking about your wedding just as much as you are! From researching your venue, continuing my education, and coordinating with other vendors, I want to you to know that your wedding is important to me. I love emailing back and forth with my brides in the weeks and months leading up to the event, adjusting little details and sneaking in Facetime chats to weigh in on decor choices. All of this culminates in creating genuine friendships with my clients, which makes my job a breeze on the wedding day!

And finally, because I'm a little bit selfish. Listen, I can create beautiful images just about anywhere, anytime. But you likely fell in love with a certain aesthetic in my portfolio, and I know to create those dreamy portraits that are totally centered on the couple, I need to be able to steal you away just before sunset on your wedding day. For the majority of the wedding day I am a fly on the wall: perhaps giving gentle posing direction, but generally documenting moments as they unfold. The sunset portrait session is my chance to steal you and your new spouse away for just a few moments and create some ahhh-mazing portraits of you. It doesn't take long to make magic, but I assure you, building this selfish little block into your timeline promises authentic, stunning portraits of you and your husband.

There you have it! Want to start planning your wedding today? Let's meet for coffee or a glass of wine and start dreaming. Limited 2018 dates are still available.

Product Review: Folio Box

Nearly every client asks which of my products is my personal favorite - hands down, it's the folio box. Why? The folio box is versatile, stunningly gorgeous, and most importantly, archival.

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Each box measures 11x14 and includes an assortment of 8x10 portraits, matted to 11x14. This is the PERFECT size to either frame and create a wall gallery, gift the images to loved ones, or even display one at a time on an easel, while keeping the other images tucked away safely.

The moment you hold a folio box in your hands, you'll be able to fully appreciate the beauty. The folio box is handcrafted by skilled artisans, right here in the USA - in fact, each box takes over six hours to create. From the supple linen cover to the black lining and satin ribbon within, each detail screams quality.

Last but not least, the folio box is truly the best way to protect your images and ensure that they are enjoyed well beyond your own lifetime. The mat and lustre coating on each portrait protects them from fingerprints, and the box itself ensures that they are safe from harm while not in use. Imagine your grandchild finding this box in your attic one day and the joy the images within will bring.

I love this product so much that I've based all of my collections around it. Want to come see one for yourself? Let's set up a complimentary consultation!

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Time is NOT a Renewable Resource.

If there's one thing I've learned while juggling a full-time career, growing a business, and raising a family, it's how to make every single second count. Just yesterday, I loaded the dishwasher while simultaneously paying a bill online and playing hide and seek with my kid (count to ten reallllllllly slowly).

In today's world with endless apps and distractions, it can be easy to let a whole day slip by without really having much to show for it. The truth is, though, time is not a renewable resource. Once a day is over, it's gone for good. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to maximize your efficiency.

1. Have big-picture goals.
I evaluate my goals and set new ones every six months or so. Mine are typically related to fitness, finance, or my business, but I often have personal goals as well. The key is that they are actionable, measurable, and achievable with a little hard work. Dream big, get excited, and write down your goals somewhere that you can look at them every single day. My three big-picture goals for the remainder of 2017 are to lose ten pounds, book one new client per week, and to save $2000 for an upcoming home improvement project.

2. Create daily goals.
Begin each day by writing a quick list of your goals just for that day. These tasks should tie-in to your big-picture goals. For example, my goals for today are to eat one zero-carb meal, follow-up with two potential client inquiries and submit paperwork to sponsor Leprechaun Lilly again this fall, and to draft a personal budget for the month of September. These are small, discrete tasks that when built upon every single day, will help me achieve those big goals. I write these tasks on a notepad next to my computer so that I know exactly what I need to do when I have a few minutes to spare.

3. Schedule your tasks.
I'm juggling so much that I've found it difficult to schedule my entire day successfully, so instead, I give myself time limits for individual tasks throughout the day. For example, I allotted myself thirty minutes to write this blog post - at the end of that time, I will either roll with what I have so far, or I'll save and continue writing later. The key is to not allow any one task to dominate your entire day.

4. Outsource all the things.
I value my time above all else, including money. I can always make more money, but I cannot make more time. Therefore, I outsource everything I can as my budget allows, and it's been a HUGE gamechanger for our family. This doesn't always have to mean hiring help or spending money - perhaps it means trading services with a friend or colleague. As long as the trade is equal and satisfies all parties, I'm a huge advocate of swapping services. It takes a village, right?

Well, my thirty minutes are up! What time management practices work best for you? I'd love to hear about them!

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How to Dress for Fall Portraits

I absolutely love this time of year. The temperature begins to dip, football season has begun, and all of sudden pumpkin is in everything. It's also the best time of year for family portraits! You may be overwhelmed with options and trying to style a whole family can be difficult, so I've compiled a few steps to help.

1. Choose a color palette.
The beautiful fall foliage lends itself to warm, vibrant tones. Consider navy, charcoal grey, and cream as neutral bases, and add in burgundy, mustard, rust, plum, and/or sage for pops of color. Steer clear of stark black, white, or red.

2. Dress Mom first.
I always find something for myself first, then build the rest of the family's outfits around my own. Why? Because if mom is happy and comfortable, everyone will be! Look for long flowing dresses, preferably in a solid color and textured fabric such as lace. Colored denim is a great way to add some interest to the look, but stay away from short dresses unless you're wearing leggings underneath as it may limit your posing options.

3. Embrace print.
Especially for the kids! Think plaid shirts for the boys and fall florals for the girls. As long as everyone is in the same color palette, it will look beautifully cohesive without being matchy-matchy.

4. Keep it simple for Dad.
Once you've figured out Mom and kids, Dad should be easy. There's nothing better for him than a perfectly fitted pair of dark-wash denim. Pair with a collared shirt or sweater in a shade from your color palette, and he's good to go! Just be sure to veto any t-shirts or sneakers.

5. Accessorize!
This is where it gets really fun and totally unique to you! Cooler weather means you can layer, and layering is an excellent way to get some variety in your images without a full wardrobe change. Consider vests for the guys, or cardigans for the girls. Add a statement necklace for Mom or even floral crowns for the girls. Bring props such as pumpkins, a bushel basket full of apples, or a beautiful blanket for even more options!

AWP fall mini sessions are November 4th and booking quickly. Click the button below to reserve yours today!

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Kelsey & Travis | Annapolis Engagement Session

They say that if you don't like the weather in Maryland just wait ten minutes, and that's exactly how Kelsey and Travis's engagement session went. We met at the historic London Town & Garden on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. Then it began to rain, but the sun was still shining. Then, the skies opened and a torrential downpour fell. Finally, the sun peeked back out - and through it all, we had a blast!

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These two are so fun and laid back, and if we could handle a crazy engagement session with this much grace and laughter, I know they'll be able to handle anything Mother Nature dishes out on their wedding day.

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Travis is from Pennsylvania, and Kelsey is from southern Maryland. The two met while teaching, and the rest is history! They've put roots down near Annapolis, and are planning a July 2018 wedding in Kelsey's hometown. I love event planning almost as much as I love my camera, and it's been an honor to be part of their celebration.

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When your bride looks unfazed at the pouring rain and suggests going outside for a game of catch, you know you've hit the jackpot! As the official, completely unbiased scorekeeper, Maryland definitely won by eight million points.

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Travis's one request throughout their preparations has been that they get married near the water - we are in southern Maryland, after all! He suggested we head down to the dock as the rain cleared out, and the results were ahhhh-mazing. The dip is their signature move, so I'm sure we'll see it on their wedding day too!

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How to Choose a Newborn Photographer

Congratulations, you're about to have a baby! You're probably Googling at all hours of the day: looking for the best car seat, the fastest route to the hospital, researching where your pediatrician went to med school juuuust to make sure it's legit.

I beg of you: give the same amount of care to choosing a newborn photographer. There are many investments that make sense to choose based on price alone. This is not one of them. The moment you hand your week-old newborn to your photographer, watching that person handle what you hold most dear in this world, you'll understand why.  Your baby's comfort and well-being are in that person's hands. Choose wisely.

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But what should you look for? To add to the confusion, there are no standard certification processes or requirements to meet within the newborn photography industry - anyone can start a business at any time, with no training or education. So, it's up to the client to carefully evaluate your candidates.

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Below are a few things to look for prior to hiring your newborn photographer:
1. How many newborns have they photographed? A photographer could be in business for decades and never photograph a newborn, whereas a newer photographer may choose to specialize and has already served dozens of newborn clients. Look for the latter.
2. Do they specialize in newborn photography?
3. What qualifications do they have to work with newborns? There are many avenues to receive newborn photography education, such as in-person workshops, mentoring, and online training.
4. Are they up to date on vaccinations, such as the flu shot and TDAP?
5. Do they have a studio?
6. Do they have props, backdrops, and outfits for you to utilize? A good newborn photographer knows what sort of fabrics and outfits will photograph best and typically supplies these for their clients.
7. Do they work with an assistant/ask the parent to help during the session? Many poses require a second set of hands and should NOT be attempted by one person alone.
8. Does the photographer's newborn portfolio match what you are searching for? Look for timeless images which feature calm, content, and comfortable babies. Baby should be the primary focus of the images.
9. Are you able to speak with or meet the photographer before the session? A good newborn photographer must be gentle, caring, and endlessly patient. They should be someone you'll want to spend as long as three hours with in the days after you give birth, comfortable with breastfeeding, and a source of calm and understanding to the myriad issues you may be dealing with.

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Want me to be your newborn photographer? Let's chat! I can't wait to work with you and meet your little one.

Southern Maryland Fresh 48 Sessions

The hushed excitement pulsing through the recovery room. Three (yes, THREE!) big sisters, eagerly waiting to meet the newest baby girl. The sweet swell of mama's freshly postpartum belly, cradling a newborn that's been earthside for just a few hours.

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Fresh 48 sessions are magical. Documentary and unposed, taking place in the hospital within 48 hours of baby's birth, Fresh 48 sessions are a natural complement to a styled maternity or posed newborn portrait session.

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The Berry family just welcomed their fourth baby girl! Dad beamed with pride - owning his title as a confirmed girl dad - and the girls took turns meeting baby Stevie.

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My favorite aspect of Fresh 48 sessions are the quiet, candid moments I'm able to capture. The hours and days right after birth soon become hazy in mama's memory, and it is truly an honor to be able to immortalize them beautifully.

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Thank you for trusting me to capture these, Berry family! See you again for baby girl #5? HA! ;-)

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A minimalist's guide to newborn necessities

Congratulations, you're about to have a baby! Prepare to be bombarded with unsolicited advice, sleepless nights, and more stuff than you know what to do with. Why do the smallest humans seem to take up the most space?!

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I've now raised two babies to toddlerhood (how did that happen so fast?!), so here's a quick list of what I do believe are necessities when bringing home a baby. I'm not going to cover survival items like food - common sense, y'all.

1. Baby carrier

Wondering how you're going to get anything done once baby arrives? You're going to strap her to your body and proceed with life, that's how! Not only does babywearing make practical sense, trusted research shows that it increases parent bonding and helps alleviate or prevent postpartum anxiety and depression.

Just like a pair of jeans, there are dozens of brands and styles of carriers, and everyone has a brand that works best for them. Your local Babywearing International chapter has a library full of different carriers that you can try out or even borrow for a small fee. My preference is a handwoven wrap ring sling for the newborn weeks (Oscha was my brand of choice) and a soft structured carrier like Tula once baby got a little bigger.

2. A backpack

Any backpack will do, but you will LOVE this item when you're trying to lug a baby, carseat, purse, groceries, and the mail into the house in the pouring rain. As a mom, the name of the game is taking stuff OUT of your hands (so that you can hold other stuff), so the backpack is king when it comes to diaper bags. My personal favorite is Ju-Ju-Be. Their modern minimalist designs make my heart soar, and the water resistant fabric is easy to clean.

3. Black out curtains

Naptime MVP. Enough said. I love these from PBK.

4. Video monitor

The video function may seem superfluous, but trust me, you'll love that feature when baby is half-fussing and you can see whether or not their eyes are open. Also fun for spying on your significant other while they're in the nursery. All monitors seem to get equally horrible reviews and we had to purchase a new one twice, but if you plan on having more kids, I highly suggest springing for a nice one with multi-camera/screen functionality. I can toggle effortlessly between both of my girls when they're not sleeping!

5. Swaddle sacks

Both of our girls LOVED to be swaddled in the fourth trimester. The trick is ensuring that they are wrapped super tight - as tight as you can, and then some. These Halo sleep sacks make it pretty easy to get a tight swaddle even in the middle of the night. Caroline still asks for her sleep sack every once in a while!

There you have it, my top five must haves for babies. Next up, an even longer list of everything you DON'T need.
 

Exist in Photographs: Scheduling their Sessions

Hi there, and thanks for joining me for Part I of the AWP Exist in Photographs blog series! In this edition, we're going to be chatting about how often your family should be professionally, intentionally photographed. Selfies and quick iPhone snaps are fantastic and SO fun, but they don't take the place of a portrait session! Check out this infographic for a fairly standard portrait schedule for families:

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Essentially, you want to aim for an updated family portrait each year, as well as individual portraits of the kids, with lesser frequency as they grow up. They change and grow so much in those early years, that I like to see them in front of my lens as often as time allows!

For growing families, the best value is to book a Baby's First Year package. This includes FOUR sessions, spanning from maternity to the first birthday, plus wardrobe for mom, props for baby, and more.

A portrait session every few months can be quite costly, which is exactly why I offer kids' mini sessions each season. These sessions are the perfect way to capture your little one's growth more frequently!

As for full family sessions, autumn is by far the most popular time of year to update the family portrait. The weather is crisp, the fall foliage is stunning, and the portrait makes a lovely gift for the grandparents. My fall calendar is already beginning to fill - be sure to book your session soon!

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Exist in Photographs: A Guide to Capturing and Protecting Your Legacy

I know, I know, y'all hear me say this until I'm blue in the face: exist in photographs. But what does that really mean? Selfies are great for social media. iPhone snaps are lovely to scroll through as you wait in line. Those images are great, they serve a purpose, and they matter.

BUT.

How are they preserved? If you lost your phone, your computer crashed, or (GASP) Facebook disappeared tomorrow, what would you have left?

Are the images of professional quality, thoughtfully styled and arranged to your taste and personality? Is there more of you visible than just your face and anything else you can squeeze into a selfie? Is there a healthy mix of candid and camera-aware, snapshots and portraits?

One day, your children will come looking for photographs of you. What will they find?

If the questions above are causing a bit of a panic, not to worry! In this three-part blog series, I'm going to deep dive into the below topics:

1. When, why, and how often a family should consider being professionally photographed
2. The importance of printing those images in a way that is archival
3. How to safely archive and backup digital images

Talk to ya soon!

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Wilson Maternity Session Recap

Have you ever met someone whose story instantly inspires you? That's how I felt when I first met Candi. She's a Tennessean, an F-18 pilot for the US Navy, best friends with her mama, former pageant girl, and just an all-around awesome person. If there was ever a contest for the person with the most interesting "fun facts" list, Candi would almost certainly win!

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The more I learned about Candi, the more honored I felt to tell her story. Candi and her husband, Jim, are both active duty military, and Jim deployed overseas just DAYS after the two found out they were expecting. He has not even seen his wife's baby bump in person, and likely will not until their sweet girl is born. Talk about some incredible strength and sacrifice.

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I had to find a way to make this session special and include Jim, even though he was thousands of miles away. So, I put my Facebook stalking skills to the test, tracked down Jim, and let him in on my secret plan. Honestly, I wasn't sure he'd ever even see the message, much less respond in time - but sure enough, he did and was totally game to play along with my crazy request! Candi, that man is a keeper.

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The day of the session was absolutely beautiful, the sky filled with that hazy light photographers crave. Candi was already in hair and makeup when I arrived, so I sneaked away with Candi's mom, Pam, and let her in on the plan. Ahh, an accomplice!

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Soon the three of us headed to St. Mary's City where Katera was waiting for us. We had the park all to ourselves (save for one LARGE snake), so we were free to let loose and try all sorts of fun poses.

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With Candi sitting in a field surrounded by clovers, it was finally time to let her in on the secret. Out of my camera bag, I pulled out a letter from Jim, written the day before as he reflected on this time in their lives. And for just a moment, there wasn't a dry eye between the four of us.

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Whatever Jim wrote to Candi, it worked like a charm! There's something about written correspondence that just cannot be beat. That letter will still be in the Wilson family's stunning heirloom folio box, along with their portraits from this year, long after we're gone from this earth. Talk about leaving a legacy. I can't wait to meet Jim in August and thank him for doing this, and of course, photograph their sweet baby girl!

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Hair & Makeup Styling: Sara from Infinity Artistry

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A Morning with the Lopes Family

This family is SO ridiculously sweet! Dennisse and I totally hit it off during her consultation, chatting away like old friends for the better part of an hour late one evening several weeks before the session. A few days later I receive an email from Dennisse - she'd broken her foot (ouch!) but still wanted to go on with the session. Talk about a mama determined to create some new family photos!

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Not to be deterred by a little broken foot, I scouted out a beautiful location in downtown Annapolis where the kids could run free, yet mama could stay comfortable and not have to walk too much.

Poor third child. How many younger siblings out there can relate to this?!

Poor third child. How many younger siblings out there can relate to this?!

We had a blast getting silly with the kids, and Nico totally stole the show from his sisters. This little man is going to keep Dennisse and Tony on their toes, that's for sure!

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These parents have their hands full with three young children and when Dennisse broke her foot, her mom, Elba, traveled from Puerto Rico to stay with the family and help out. This was an incredible opportunity to include grandma in the portrait session! Generational photos are so beautiful, and watching Elba laugh with delight and soak up the time with her grandbabies was so sweet.

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Tony will be called out of town for work for several months beginning in the fall, so this was a chance to capture some beautiful images of him with his children. Baby girl looks just like him, don't you think!?

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And at last, we got Nico to sit still for 1/200th of a second! I always tell my parents, that's all I need to make some magic!

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A Night with the Tafur Family

Guys, this session was SO incredible. It was the first time working with my amazing new hair and makeup stylist, Crystal, and we couldn't have asked for a better family for the occasion! I met mom, Stacey, at the Leprechaun Lilly event last month. Stacey's boys - husband Fernando and son Liam - keep her busy with crazy work schedules and tee ball, so a night of pampering before the session was right up her alley.

Crystal and I were blessed to spend tons of time prior to the shoot hanging out at the casa de Tafur, laughing and really getting to know the whole family before my lens cap ever came off. This family loves Disney, Chipotle, and playing Super Mario Brothers, so we're baaaasically BFFs now. Liam entertained us with his dance moves, and Fernando took charge of getting "the boys" ready so that we could focus on mom.

SWOOOOOON. I'm having some serious hair envy over here.

SWOOOOOON. I'm having some serious hair envy over here.

We had a blast exploring historic St. Mary's City together, soaking up the last of the daylight and admiring the beautiful landscape and architecture around us.

Stacey mentioned during the consultation that she has very few images of Liam where he's engaged with the camera. He must've liked my lens, because he hammed it up for me all evening long!

One of the sweetest moments of the evening came as Stacey and Liam snuggled in the garden enjoying the sunset. As the two were cuddled close, Liam leaned in, grabbed a locket that Stacey's had since before he was born, and filled it with kisses. This is one of Liam's signature moves, and I'm so glad I was able to capture it!

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And of course, no AWP family session recap would be complete without an obligatory preschooler-noping-out-of-a-photo image. This may be one of my favorites yet. Enjoy!

Dress: Rent the Runway
Hair & Makeup Styling: Crystal Howell

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Lindsay & Michael {Engaged}

Have you ever met someone and immediately felt like old friends? Sometimes within just the space of an hour, you can go from formal introductory handshakes to big hugs goodbye, with smiles and stories fueling the soul for days to come afterward. That's exactly what happened the day I met Lindsay and Michael (aka Zook) for their engagement session.

I see so much of myself and my husband in these two, and the three of us instantly hit it off once we realized that we all LOVE french toast. Lindsay is stunningly gorgeous, with a laugh that could light up a room. And Zook is really, really good at drawing that laugh out, whether he's teasing her about buying too many pears or sweetly kissing her forehead. They're perfect for each other.

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We met in Annapolis on the hottest day of the spring thus far. Downtown was a bustle of activity, with families and politicians alike hurrying around us. Zook swears that Chris Christie even walked by behind us! I couldn't tell you for sure, because for a moment, everyone else faded away and it was all about these two.

Their joy and love for one another is truly contagious and refreshing. You can feel their excitement and anticipation for the wedding building, which will be here before we know it. Congratulations, you two!

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Welcome, Baby Avery!

Ahh, that sweet newborn phase. You can feel it the moment you walk through the front door: a beautiful, pristine nursery, a careful silence in the air, and utterly exhausted and yet over-the-moon joyful parents.

That's exactly what I found when I visited Katie and Kyle. I had the pleasure of photographing their maternity portraits in February, and now it was finally time for Avery's newborn session. Avery had just been born about a week prior, and their home was somehow simultaneously bustling with activity and calm. Katie's dad had enlisted a crew to overhaul the backyard while a soft rain fell. Inside, the new family of three relaxed quietly, breathing in all of Avery's little features.

"I think I'll read her a book today!" Kyle mused, while perusing Avery's bookshelf. (Cue me dissolving into a puddle over how adorable that was!) He finally decided on Hop on Pop, an excellent choice for a new dad.

Avery is already so surrounded by love! She is of course adored by her mama and daddy, and she also has two little cousins born within a few weeks of her. This family is going to have their hands (happily) full!

Congratulations, Peddicord family! I cannot wait to watch Avery grow!

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