Category Archives: Baby Photography

so berry sweet | Santa Fe, NM and Kalamazoo, MI Family Photographer

One of my photography-related goals for several years has been to do a portrait session in an apple orchard.  There is a fine line between “suggesting locations to clients” and “manipulating them into going where I want to go,” don’t you think? ;)  (Maybe the line isn’t quite so fine…)  Anyway, last summer in MI, I had several sessions scheduled which just happened to line up with blueberry season, and a blueberry field sounded close enough to an apple orchard for the time being. :)  I posted a quick “is anyone interested” on my Facebook page and I got a bite!!  Thanks so much to Amy and her beautiful family for being up for anything! :)


Isn’t that little sweat pea just toooo cute?!   Her mommy had several different adorable outfit options ready for her, and I think we went through them all; but let’s face it, she could have sat there in a feed sack and still looked absolutely precious. :)


Daddies and daughters have such a special bond–so sweet!


We spent some time by the sweet peas in bloom before moving on to the blueberry fields….  And then wouldn’t you know it, we only took about ten photos before we got kicked out! :(  (And I DID call to get permission before we went!)  I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t have lots of time in the fields, but I can’t really be TOOO disappointed when we still got such great photos overall. :)


Plan B–up front to the rustic farm stand for a little bit different look. :)


Oh my word, anyone who wonders why “littles” are my favorite–it’s because of photos like these!  I get to enjoy their cuteness over and over while I work on the session!  I’m sorry, but you just can’t beat funny baby faces and cute baby feet. :)


We squeezed in this one last shot before we really really REALLY had to leave. ;)

Amy, I loved spending a slightly muggy hour or so with you guys!  Thanks so much for the opportunity to take your family portraits!  I love how they came out even with all the interruptions, and hope they bring back good memories for you. :)

And one day I will get my full session uninterrupted in an orchard or field or patch or SOMETHING!  :)  Maybe…


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the real thing | Santa Fe, NM and Kalamazoo, MI Family Photographer

One of my favorite kinds of sessions is when I get the chance to photograph an Old and Dear Friend.  (Name that book!) ;)  This was one such session; I’ve known Jessie since we were both in elementary school together, and we did a little bit of “bonding” in college when I worked in her building.  We were even pregnant together once upon a time–her oldest, my youngest!  Good memories… :)  We set aside an hour or so when I was in MI last summer to take some family portraits.


Jessie picked out this location, and I just love how green and vibrant it is.  She also chose such fun and cute outfits for her kiddoes!  (Random–my daughter wore that little blue dress too, and when I saw Miss K show up with it on for her session, I was pretty excited!)  

I just love how “real” the above photo is–you know with littles, you’re always going to get “real” right??  I say, embrace it. :)


Mr. Energy here had an absolute blast running around the new digs. :)


And this little cutie tried to convince me that she was shy, but I knew better… ;)


Poor Baby Brother was not very excited about family photos…  But I love those cheekies!  (Baby cheeks get me every time!)


This picture makes me just smile and get all wrinkly inside (haha!) because Big Brother and Sister were so absolutely sweet and cute.  Look at their faces!!  They weren’t sure why Little Brother was crying, but they sure wished they could help! ;)


We even squeezed in some photos of Mom & Dad. :)  (Personal goal–one day I will have a couples session with my husband!  Real photos!  Of me and him together!  Like this one.) ;)

Thanks so much for sharing your family with me again!  It is always a privilege to be trusted with a portrait session.  But next time, let’s do it in Santa Fe….  Okay?? :D

(You never know, maybe I’ll get someone to visit me out here if I keep hinting!)

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sweet baby girl | Santa Fe, NM Newborn Photographer

Meet Chanell.  (Say it like Chanel No. 5) :)  I absolutely love her name, and I LOVE all of her dark hair!!  So precious!


Almost NO newborn sessions go smoothly from start to finish.  I want to just put that out there, not because Chanell’s is an example of a not-smooth session (at all!), but more because of the poor new moms and dads who get stressed out because their baby needs to eat right when I arrive (naturally), or gets fussy when we start the session (I certainly don’t smell like mom!) or doesn’t like being unswaddled (poor things, they are brand new in this big cold world, they like to be warm and cozy!)

I want to do something a little bit different in this post, and share a few images that I almost always take, but don’t usually include in my blog posts.  My goal is just to maybe put a few nervous parents’ worries to rest (or simply answer a couple questions!)

Let me assure you that babies are rarely asleep when I arrive, and almost never have they JUST finished a full meal.  (I mean, really, what one-week-old baby really ever finishes eating?!) ;)  No worries.  I am a big fan of variety, and that means we want to see your new little bundle of joy’s eyes too! :)  (Which is not to say that I won’t try to lull your baby to sleep by the end of the session…)


Often we start out with some wide-awake shots.  These are sometimes hard to “pose” because babies like to wiggle.  NEWS FLASH! :)  Little Miss Chanell only weighed 5 lbs. something, but she really wanted to pull her arms in to her tummy and pick her head up and look at me.   Sweet!08

Almost certainly, after being alert for a few minutes, babies will get fussy…  It’s okay.  It’s normal.  At this point I almost always swaddle them and see if I can calm them myself–if they don’t settle down quickly, I let a parent take over (more for the parent’s sake than for mine.)  As you can see here, some Mommy-Time was just what the doctor ordered for this little sweetheart.


There’s not much worse than being all warm and comfy and asleep, and having someone suddenly pull the blanket off of you.  Are you with me?  So I don’t do that to my newborns either…  They get to stay swaddled for now, while my space heater purrs along, making very convenient white noise. :)  Often I will get them settled and snuggled in, and then have Mom step in and cradle her baby just with her hands, to ease the transition even more.  At this point my goal is to keep them warm and comfortable and asleep (or at least calm, if they haven’t fallen asleep yet!)


Often right as newborns fall asleep, they give cute little mysterious smiles.  I TRY to be ready for these, as they are just so adorable!


You can see in one of the details shots above that Chanell is still swaddled; and in another I’ve pulled the wrap off (at least partially).  I try to ease the baby through each transition, so often I’ll unswaddle but leave them loosely wrapped or covered, especially if they are stirring a little.  The space heater is key at this point—if the room (or my hands!) are cold, I am almost certainly going to have an unhappy baby on my hands when I remove the swaddle.


Success!!  I looooove how “casual” she looks here.  So comfy. :)


And cheeks…..  Who can resist squishy baby cheeks?!

Thanks SO much to this darling’s mommy for the chance to photograph Chanell!  I loved spending the morning with her. :)

Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions regarding newborn sessions!  I’d love to share.

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…down to the sea again… | Santa Fe, NM & Pensacola, FL Family Photographer

This session was so much fun.  You can’t ask for much more than a perfectly sweet family, cute kiddoes, and a gorgeous evening at the beach!  (Yes, the lovely green park backs right up to the sand!) :)  This was my third time working with this group, and you know what they say….  ;)  I think these photos turned out charming, anyway!





(holy eyelashes, Batman!)


 This little pink princess was such a joy!  She has been prayed for and thanked for much in her little life already!


 An all-time favorite.




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six days new | Santa Fe, NM Newborn Photographer

I spent about an hour last week with the teeniest, most beautiful, cuddliest (did I mention adorable??) little new baby girl!  She was sooo small, less then six pounds!  I guess mine were all that size at one point too…  well before they were born…  ;)

six day old newborn baby girl with eyes open

I have been trying for a more natural feel for my newborn portraits–back when I started I was all about the PROPS BABY! :)  But these days I am heavily leaning towards a more natural or believable approach.  It is one thing to photograph a baby with a huge set of wings, or on top of a stack of neatly folded white towels…  And I’m not saying there isn’t a place for those kinds of portraits!  But I personally have started aiming for more realistic portraits–definitely “created” or posed, but in such a way that you could picture such a thing happening all on its own. :)   (End of philosophy section!) ;)

six day old newborn baby girl in pink, sleeping

six day old newborn baby girl sleeping

Little Aaliyah was sooo easy to photograph!   She didn’t cry even the tiniest little bit (!) and didn’t seem to mind being moved around.  She watched me for a little bit with those big blue eyes, and I’m pretty sure she was enjoying her experience based on all the adorable little newborn smiles she was giving me!!  Then she decided to just go to sleep….  so she did it instantly, without a sound! :)  My kinda baby, let me tell you!! ;)

six day old newborn baby girl in black and white

six day old newborn baby girl in polka dot wrap with pink flower

Such squishy little cheekies!!  One of the bestest little parts of babies!! :)

six day old newborn baby girl, closeup of sleeping face, with flower headband and bracelet

six day old newborn baby girl with flower headband sleeping in diaper

Thanks again to Sara for letting me play with your new baby. :)  She is so adorable!  It really was my pleasure! :)  And thanks to Monica, Brittany, Arianna, & Chris for helping make it happen! :)


Filed under Baby Photography, Goals, Newborn Photography

the very middlest | Santa Fe, NM Children and Baby Photographer



Zachary has always had his share of chaos around him.

three year old boy sitting on steps smiling up at camera



From the moment he was born, with his poor little punctured lung

Through his first year, which can be summarized with one word:  “crying”

On to his 2nd year, when it was truly noteworthy if he had no bruises on his head

And in his 3rd year, when his most famous and often-repeated phrase, in his most injured voice, was “I don’t like it”

Even now at the ripe age of three and a half, he is the very most likely to be dirty or to get injured or make a mess or spill or break something


But he is also the most likely to be screaming with laughter

Diving into whatever new adventure awaits

Rushing headfirst into all sort of scrapes

Full of life and passion, whichever way it takes him.

collage of two brothers and little sister, sitting on steps

He is the “very middlest” in his own words, and there is just something about him!   I could never have dreamed, three years ago, after he would FINALLY go to sleep for the evening and I would put on Enya to soothe my poor troubled ears, how much love and joy and adventure he would bring to our lives.

On Sunday I wanted to do a little mini session with our children after church, because they all sort of coordinated; and I am soooo happy with the pictures we got of the three of them.  They are all so close in age, they are bound to be best friends and worst enemies; but I think these photos captured more of the best friends aspect than the enemies, and I love them.


collage of sibling portraits

However, for some reason, the photos of Zachary, the “very middlest,” really stood out to me as being so vibrant.  They show so much of his true personality, several of his current little “faces” that he is always making, and his fun little zany-ness that is so irresistible to me.

collage of five year old boy portraits

Gabriel is the big brother, and he knows it:  he is always willing to share his most important knowledge and skills with the world around.  Especially since he is reading now, he feels extremely wise and grown up.  It’s a funny stage, and at times frustrating, but it is also very endearing and special because he IS growing up; he is transitioning from a “little boy” to a “BOY,” I refuse to call him a BIG boy yet, but he is definitely a *boy* now.  He is a good big brother, very willing to help out and guide his little brother and sister, whether they always appreciate it or not.

collage of two year old girl portraits

Madelyn is the little sister, very much happy with being the baby, and yet also becoming very independent.  She was our little surprise, and we are so glad we were surprised with her!  She is a girly girl who loves her “pretties ” and her dollies and her painted nails; and yet she can hold her own in any fight with her brothers.  She loves her puppy, loves to go outside, loves to say “He’p you?!” and loves to snuggle.

collage of three year old boy portraitsThen there’s Zachary, the middlest, with his goofy faces and fun-loving twinkly eyes.   The two bottom pictures in the set above are so typical of him lately; he has been making these crazy faces and gestures when he talks, that just crack me up!  I can’t decide if he is trying to copy something that he has seen somewhere (PLEASE Lord, not me!!) or if he is just finding new expressions of his own unique self! :)

collage of three year old boy portraits in black and white and color

Zachary, we are so thankful you are in our family, and we love every little bit of you, crazy, sweet and loving, and pessimistic. ;)  You filled up that middle spot in our family just right!

Love, Mom & Dad


Filed under Baby Photography, Children's Photography, Family Photography, Personal, Uncategorized

Sweet Baby Girl | Santa Fe, NM & Querétaro, MX Newborn Photographer

Recently my family had the chance to be in Mexico to spend some time with family; and while we were there, I was SUPER excited to sneak in a quickie-session with our newest little niece. :)  Baby K  & her mommy and I stayed home from the day’s activities to rest one day;  I took these photos in literally less than ten minutes right at the end of her nap.  I wish I would have had more time, but you take what you can get with at least five crazy and loud older cousins around!! ;)

Newborn baby girl in polka dot wrap, smiling with eyes closed

She was three weeks old here; sooooooo tiny (I am trying to remember, I think she was 5 1/2 pounds?!!?  That seems impossible to me, as mine ranged from 8 lbs 10 oz to 9 lbs 8 oz. at birth…)  and sooooo sweet.  Her mommy & daddy were so proud of her and took such good care of her; I was planning all along to take some family photos as well, but you know how it goes when you don’t have something pre-scheduled—it usually doesn’t happen! :(

Newborn baby girl in polka dot wrap, sleeping

I have never seen a newborn with skin as perfect as hers was.  She is so beautiful, almost like an adult, but in miniature!  She had amazing clear, pinkish baby skin, and always smelled so sweet and good.  (My daughter Madi, a.k.a Wipe-Snatcher, loooooved her Mustela baby wipes, which smell sooooo good, and are so soft!  I bought some when we got back home to the States—I am using them slowly and purposefully, so that yummy smell will last a long time.) :)

closeup of newborn baby girl with earrings in ears

closeup of newborn baby girl with long eyelashes

triptych of newborn baby girl yawning

(Those yawns signaled the end of our happy time together; once she got all the yawns out, she realized something was missing.) :)

diptych of newborn baby girl

I’m probably getting a reputation…  or maybe I already had one…  ;)   But I am SUCH a SUCKER for the crying baby pictures!! :)  In all seriousness, you have to admit that crying is a big part of a newborn baby’s life; and it is so super cute to look back on when they are all grown up and graduating from high school…  or getting married…  ;)  Just keeping it real here, folks!! :)   But really, that picture on the left is so sweet and funny; I just LOVE her little mohawk, and that sober look on her face— “Are we done yet?  I’m so super duper hungry!” :)

To her mom and dad:

I know you two are the best possible parents for this precious little girl; parenthood is an adventure, different every day, and you can never predict what will happen next; but God’s mercies are new every morning as well, and He will guide you through the entire journey!!  Listen to all the advice others give you, but remember, she was given to YOU to raise, and you will be given the wisdom you need for every situation! :)  We love you, and are so happy to welcome this newest little member into the family!!

Much love,

the Santa Fe branch of the Gutiérrez Family :)

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Family Favorites | Santa Fe, NM & Kalamazoo, MI Family Photographer

I know, I know, it’s not nice to play favorites…  But in all honesty, this is *one* of my very favorite families in the entire world.  :)  (I do have SEVERAL favorite families, and if you think you fit into this category, of course you do!) ;)  Jessica and I go waaaaaaay back, you know, all the embarrassing and crazy and great memories that you have when you’ve known someone basically forever.  She is an amazing people-person, so I’m going to attribute the success of our friendship over the years to her more than to me, as I am NOT great at keeping up with people…  :)  I WILL say that this is one friendship I would go to great lengths to keep around!!  All of that said…  (Wow, was I rambling??) ;)  It has been two months now since I was totally blessed to do this session; what can I say, it’s been a busy summer!!  I’m just happy I’m getting it up while we’re still in the same season! :)

Without further ado…..

family portrait in a green setting with a fountain and pond in background
The “C” Family… :)

Family portraits, with three sisters making silly faces

I always try to keep it light during sessions; if I think someone, especially children, is getting stiff or just isn’t “feeling it,” we can always take a break for a game or to make some silly faces… :)  And many times, the “fun” ice-breaker shots end up being some of my favorites. :)

composite of three sisters

These girls are always lots of fun, and they had lots of energy and lots of crazy ideas for poses! :)  I am almost always willing to try those volunteered ideas…  A couple of them made it into the finished album in this case; I hope they noticed and were happy!! :)

Composite of four children

The last time I was able to take photos of this family, we were on a beach in Pensacola, and they were minus a member! :)  The big news this year has been the birth of their very own adorable little baby BROTHER!!! :)  They have always had an amazing arsenal of pink clothing, with all girls, (I believe she said “pink” was a completely separate load of laundry??) :) so I had to smile when I saw the TOTALLY GREAT styling Jessica did for this session!!  Blues, greens, and yellows, not a shade of pink to be seen!!! :)  I do love me some pink, but I think little brother might possibly be expanding the color horizons for these girly girls. :)

composite of newborn boy with dad and with mom

I just loved these two shots of little baby L with his dad and mom.   He was not 100% thrilled with being a model; we kept him happy as long as we could, but if you know me, you know there is No Possible Way I could have refrained from taking and posting the following photo…  :)

Newborn boy crying as his mom holds him

It’s not a very desperate cry yet; I was hoping for some quavery hands—those REALLY get me. :)  But I am such a sucker for crying baby pictures!!  Crying babies, not so much (I mean, I do love the babies, but I don’t make them cry on purpose!!)  But crying baby PICTURES…  I just love them. :)

I HOPE we can do this again sometime soon (by that I mean sometime in the next couple of years!!) and what do you think about holding the big event in Santa Fe this time around, guys?? :)  You KNOW you want to come out West!!  Thanks so much for always being willing subjects :) and for being the great friends that you are!! :)

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{ Brothers } | Pensacola, FL and Santa Fe, NM Children’s Photographer

It’s been over a year since I had the chance to photograph these sweet brothers.  They were so fun and cute, even though it was RIDICULOUSLY hot and buggy.  I can honestly say, theirs has been *one of* my favorite sessions to date.   We met up in an open field in downtown Pensacola just a block from the bay, which made for some really classic feeling shots.

Baby boy gives his big brother a kiss on the cheek

These boys were so sweet with each other; I don’t *remember* any fighting or unhappiness between them, super impressive considering how unpleasant the weather was at the moment!  I think kids don’t notice weather as much as we adults do…  But that doesn’t take away from how pleasant they were!!

Brothers Photo Session

I brought along an old wooden rocking horse, which I think fit in with the feel of this session perfectly–timeless and classic.

The boys started out in their handsome Easter suits, and then got progressively more casual as we moved through the session, which gave us a nice variety of looks without much trouble at all!  (Their mama picked out all the outfits, and I couldn’t have done a better job!  Super cute!!)

Little boy portrait with old oak tree

We took a little break midway through around this old oak tree, which also made for some nice shots once they’d sung a little Thomas the Train and relaxed. :)

Baby boy portraits with chair and rocking horse

Such a handsome guy!!

Little boys jumping in puddles

To finish out the session we had a totally unplanned little puddle jumping! :)  I can’t say I blame them at ALL, after a hot and sweaty and buggy hour and a half!  I think I *might* have walked through the puddle myself on the way back to the car…  ;)

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{color & texture} | Green!!! and Calvinball

I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but here in Santa Fe we have been seeing signs of SPRING!!!  (This is NOT including yesterday when my husband saw snow falling, or today when I have the heat running…)  But for the past couple of weeks, the weather has been warming up, nice enough to even go out without a jacket at times, and Monday I found all kinds of green stuff sprouting!  I was downtown by myself (!! how often does that happen?!) just “for fun” to see what there was to see and take some photos while I was at it (THANK you honey!!) ;) and I definitely had green on the brain, so therefore that became this week’s color & texture challenge.  The thing is, with green and spring, green usually appears along with other colors as well, and I decided that was okay this time. ;)  (Hey, it’s my game, I can make up the rules as I go!  It’s like Calvinball!)


So without further ado, presenting…  Downtown Santa Fe, in the spring!!  Starring—Green!  With Other Colors in supporting roles…

(Yes, I do need a nap.  No, I’m not going to take one; I have a book waiting for me.) :)


Pine tree closeup

Tiny green buds on a tree

Flowers sprouting, leaves budding

Greenery sprouting

Green wrought iron bench, and hanging chiles

Bench with peeling green paint


While I was wandering around, I made the super happy (!) discovery that many of those rows of quaint little shops downtown aren’t actually that deep; every once in a while they’ll have a sort of passage that goes through, and the most beautiful little courtyards are hiding back there!  Several of these were taken in those little hideaways, which were just bursting with brand new sprouting flowers and greenery.  Sort of secret-garden-ish, but no crow, no key, and no Dicken. :)   Okay, and not really *secret* either, just not so obvious!

So my mind is full of great spring portrait session ideas for those pretty courtyards!  I think I’ve mentioned before that I was a little bit at a loss for on-location ideas, and now I have a great place to start.  If you are interested in booking a session this spring, just shoot me an email at for more info, or you can check out my website at!



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