Category Archives: Newborn Photography

brand new princess | Santa Fe, NM Newborn Photographer

What a lovely afternoon I spent with this precious new little princess.  She was so little and perfect, and her mommy and daddy were so thrilled with her. :)








Love her little “thinker” pose here. :)  (It was all her idea!) ;)

Thanks again for allowing me to photograph your little darling!


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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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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

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

{ chunky monkey & family } | Pensacola, FL & Santa Fe, NM Newborn / Family Photographer

Looking at these photos makes me wish I could go give that chunky monkey a hug right now, but since we have moved across the country, that’s just not possible!  I mentioned a few posts ago that since our big move, I am taking it easy on the photography front (read: I have not had a session since the move, and that’s okay with me right now!) but I wanted to do some back-posts of previous sessions since this blog is SUPPOSED to be about photography as well as design! ;)

M Family beach session


I decided to start with this family because a.) the newborn portraits I was able to take of their little son are some of my favorites ever :) and b.) they have been such a huge blessing and encouragement to me and my family the entire time that we have known them!  Plus they’re all super photogenic. ;)  This family has returned to me for numerous sessions, and I’m still trying to figure out some way to bring them here to the high mountain desert (Michelle–read: much better hair days!) ;) of Santa Fe!


Justice Collage


I’m actually combining two sessions in this post; we had a separate newborn session for baby J, and then a few weeks later, a family session at our lovely white Pensacola beach, which I miss more than I had thought I would.  (Free info.) ;)


Justice green


Isn’t he dreamy?!  He was SUCH a good boy for the entire session; he was so sleepy and calm (as far as I remember!) and although his daddy kept popping in with “that poor boy” comments, I think baby J had a great time!  :)  I used all natural (window) light along with a reflector for these portraits; a calm and quiet house, thanks to his super-capable mommy, didn’t hurt either!


Justice with hands

This image was taken during the one time when he started to get fussy; I had his mom put her hands on him to settle him down for a minute, and I loved the “feel” of how this turned out, although it wasn’t what I had originally intended!  He looks so safe and serene in his mommy’s hands…  It reminds me of verses from the book of Isaiah: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…”  (Is. 49:16)  We mommies know that feeling of love we have for our own babies, so much love that it’s hard to even understand it sometimes; but we are still humans, and humans fail and forget.   But God is not human, and he does not fail!  Okay, I know that was a LITTLE off the topic, but it’s a good reminder, right?!


Justice with parents


You can see in the two images above, he looks maybe a tiny bit less “newborn-y” in the 2nd one (with daddy)–that one was taken during the family session at the beach.  It was pretty windy, which explains the squinty eyes. :)


Morgan family composite


Baby J may be the newest cutie in his family, but he certainly is not the ONLY cutie!!  He has two adorable older sisters to take good care of him, and they got their share of the cuteness factor as well!!


Morgan family composite 2


I just love the top right picture in this set–if you look closely, you can see the whole family reflected in Uncle J’s glasses.  He came along to help wrangle children (and provide the sunglasses necessary for this shot, of course!)


I have been doing a lot of thinking about organizing “travel” sessions, where I will travel to whatever destination free of charge to hold sessions, provided I have a certain number of full price sessions booked for that trip.  I am still thinking through all the logistics (it’s not as easy as it might seem with three small people :) {those would be our kids} and a busy husband-pastor who can’t just “take time off” for the most part), but if I do make it back to Pensacola, you can be sure I will be looking this family up!!  You guys really don’t have a choice; you realize that, right?!  ;)



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Filed under Family Photography, Newborn Photography