Mother’s Day intimates {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

I love mother’s day. Both as a mother of children who were born from my body and as a mother to children that we are praying to bring home through adoption, mothers spend a lot of time on my mind. I feel such connection with every new mother who sits in my studio with her days-old baby, a mix of wonder, bliss, adoration and nerves and questions and hopes of doing it ‘right.’

Mothers in other parts of the world are on my mind an awfully lot, too. What a gift and blessing it is to raise our babies when sometimes for the most heartbreaking reasons, some mommies can’t.

Mothers are amazing. YOU, mom, are amazing. For all of our missteps and worries and fears of not being enough, our children’s safe place is our arms. It is just pure magic to see that ridiculous, overwhelming, overpowering, pure love that we have for our little ones reflected back at us. And I want to capture that for you to forever treasure!

This mothers day is all about the relationship that you share with your child. These sessions will be at my maternity ‘water spot’ {often requested!}  and will be fueled by a series of discussion topics to elicit genuine emotion between you and your loved ones. There is no limit on the number of participants… bring your grandma, mother, daughter, and for the first time since I started offering mother’s day sessions, your sons, too!

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Every session includes your session, artistic retouching, plus one album and one companion book (retail value of over $1000). These are true heirlooms, to be treasured for generations and I expect them to fill quickly.

Sessions will be $495 and a $100 retainer is required to schedule. I will have twelve April dates available.

hour by hour photo challege {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

I loved this photo challenge from life unscripted to drop whatever you are doing at the top of every hour and grab your camera. Lifestyle photography is not my norm, I prefer posed and well lit. So it was an awesome challenge to just capture what was there. There are some AMAZING images on their blog, mine are pretty basic, but it fed my creativity yesterday and that is always welcome in dreary January.

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And because I like words almost as much as photographs, here is what we were doing:

7:00 am: Snow day! Time to attempt my bible study, coffee drinking and journaling while the baby crawls all over me and the kids anxiously await snowfall.

8:00 am: naptime for this little guy, who woke up at 4:45

9:00 grab a quick treadmill run, while replying to emails because that is how work at home mommas do it!

10:00 My second grader brought this precious drawing in to show me. Love his little heart for Africa and orphans. Goodness… he is just darling.

11:00 crawling and play time with my tiniest guy. Swoon!

12:00 more coffee. STAT.

1:00 nursing snuggles.

2:00 salad, editing and listening to the lifepoint worship CD my friend gave me for valentine’s day… trying to balance the fact that I still have not opened that bible of mine today, despite my best efforts.

3:00 “Guys! You don’t have to get dressed but get some shoes on… we need a starbucks break!”

4:00 big stack of client orders have arrived! Packaging those for pick up.

5:00 While packaging orders, the playroom just could not be ignored any longer. Moved things out to clean and found approximately two inches of human hair. When asked, all kids claim it is not theirs. Whatever. When you have six kids, you are just glad (and self congratulatory) that they know how to work scissors… survival of the fittest, y’all!

6:00 Daddy is home!!!!

7:00 It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It is super Henry!

8:00 baths, showers, teeth, hair, prayers, kisses, bed.

A favorite, take two! {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer, Fredericksburg VA maternity photographer}

When I was expecting my sixth little one, I knew that it would be my very last pregnancy and I challenged myself to take as many self portraits as possible to document our special time. One of my favorites was with my fifth baby, in her tutu fabulousness. I wanted to display a similar image in the doctor’s office display that is in the works, but wanted one of my beautiful clients in the piece instead. Insert D, who is one of the most beautiful women I have ever laid eyes on. And her daughter, M? Um… Gorgeous.  I SO appreciate these girls coming in for a whirlwind mini session and I can’t wait to display this adorable image!

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Art belongs on walls {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

We were chatting about all of her options when my client said “Wait, so no matter what, I have to order prints? I can’t just get digital files? Because that is all that we are really interested in.”

I hear this a lot. This has become a standard business practice with some photographers, especially those just beginning, because often they have not evaluated the true cost of doing business and it seems like the cheapest way to work. First, it is not. In fact, this is a practice that causes many businesses to drown. A business: a legal, registered, tax paying business cannot keep its’ doors open by giving everything away to it’s clients. My clients are smart enough to understand this and I have never understood why discussing profitability feels so uncomfortable for business owners. If I don’t earn a living, I cannot stay open. Which would mean that I could not capture growing families like this one…

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…what an honor that we both, their family and my business, were able to grow together!

Second, my clients hire me to create art, not take pictures. Most of my clients these days have dslr cameras and take pictures of their children often. They are not looking for basic documentation of their child’s growth, they are commissioning artwork of their finest masterpieces: their new babies, their beautiful bellies. Digital files are for pictures, Fine art is for masterpieces. Art belongs on walls.

So yes, you ‘have’ to order prints. Or canvases, or folios, or albums. I want you to walk away from your session with a tangible, beautifully crafted work of art. As your children grow, I want these images to become a part of their story. I grew up in a photography family (my grandfather is a photographer) and for all of my life there was a portrait hanging above our fireplace of me, as a young preschooler, typing on a typewriter (I am old). It is the iconic image of my childhood and many memories are attached to that period of my life. Wall art is a tangible memory and as your photographer, I want to help create exactly that for your family. Your newborn is only 6-10 days old once.

Every collection at Stephanie McFarland Photography includes a piece of wall art. Some also include digital files for archiving, but my wish is that every one of my clients has a beautiful image of their precious baby on their wall, not a disc of beautiful images in a drawer.

By the way: the client I was speaking of called me this weekend to let me know that her wall art is beautifully installed now over her baby’s crib and she cannot imagine not having it in her home and said I could tell everyone, so there ya go!

Baby A, seven days new {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

I LOVED baby A. He was just so squishy and adorable and um… his parents? Super gorgeous and wonderful to work with. So, it was a dream session with a dream baby and dream parents, too. I was so glad that they wanted a few family photos, these first few days are just so precious!

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T {Expecting}

I just could not love this session more. T is GORGEOUS and so easy to photograph. She was a total trooper, too, in that COLD winter water!

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Baby C {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

This little man takes the award for the easiest newborn EVER! He was in and out in 66 minutes (most sessions take 3 ish hours!) He is just so darling and was such a treat to snuggle!

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