I can't tell you how much I love hearing from couples who are getting ready to welcome a new baby into their families: not only is it an honor to be asked to capture such an important time in a family's life, but the emotions, events, and changes that take place over the course of the months surrounding a baby's arrival are, hands down, my very favorite to document. What I don't love as much is only photographing a new family once. It's still a wonderful opportunity, of course, but even when the portraits are made, printed, and delivered, I feel like my job's only partially done. The thing is, a single session can't really tell the whole story of a new family. One of the (many) overwhelming feelings that I had looking at my own newborn sons was that of wonder: how could such tiny, helpless creatures possibly turn into walking, talking, independent-minded little people? Equally overwhelming was the fact that they did, each in his own distinct way, and at a rate that still seems impossible to comprehend. Those early days (and nights) that felt so long when I was going through them somehow evaporated into thin air, leaving behind only flashes of dream-like memories. And like dreams, those memories have become increasingly hard to recall as the boys have grown, their new selves continuously vying to eclipse the memories of their former selves.

With that in mind, a couple of years ago I started offering a portrait session series geared specifically toward new families. The Baby Plan allows families to choose between either three or four portrait sessions that are timed to document all the big milestones that come between the end of a pregnancy and a baby's first birthday. Planning ahead means that busy parents don't have to worry about forgetting to schedule sessions in the chaos of everyday life, and have simple solutions for birth announcements, holiday gifts, and decor for their nursery walls... all with built-in discounts and thank you gifts!

Claire, when she was brand new:

Chapel Hill Newborn Photographer
Chapel Hill Newborn Photographer
Durham Baby Photographers
Durham Baby Photographers

At six months:

Durham Family Photographers
Durham Family Photographers

And on her first birthday:

Chapel Hill Maternity Photographers
Chapel Hill Maternity Photographers

Winnie, before her big arrival:

Chapel Hill Newborn Photographer
Chapel Hill Newborn Photographer

Just after:

Chapel Hill Family Photographers
Chapel Hill Family Photographers

And at six months old:

Chapel Hill Family Photographers
Chapel Hill Family Photographers

Now that several of the Baby Plan's original participants have "graduated," my only regret is that I didn't have a similar series set up for my own children! I have loved working with each of these clients - getting to know them and seeing their families transform - and couldn't be prouder of the collection of images we've created for them. As a parent, I know they will be treasured forever... and as a photographer, that's a pretty amazing feeling.

xox,

annemie

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