Mama And Me Photo Session At The Beach

mom holding baby boy by the water

I love photographing mama and me photo sessions at the beach! It is the perfect playground for sweet sandy snuggles, chasing the waves, and spending quality time at one of the most beautiful spots in San Diego. Mama and me sessions have a special place in my heart. As a mama to two handsome baby boys, I know what it feels like to be completely blissfully enamored in the moments we spend together. These experiences are ones I want to enjoy over and over again – and timeless imagery of those times will allow just that.

black and white of mom and son at beach
mom holding boy at beach
mom holding baby boys hands
mom and son at beach on sand
close up of baby boy smiling
mom looking out onto water holding son
mom holding baby boy in the air

Photographing Kids Through The Seasons

Last time I captured baby Jonah he was just a newborn. Loved seeing how much he has grown and his adorable personality! He seriously may have been the happiest baby I have ever photographed. He LOVED the ocean and beach, and was having the best time with his mama as they twirled and laughed by the water.

mom and son laughing in arms
black and white of mom holding baby boy
baby boy and mom laughing
toddler boy on beach

Posing Naturally In Photographs

I truly believe that the best moments to photograph are the in-between ones. The ones where mama’s glowing with love for her baby, where your little one snuggles deep into your chest during a hug, where you’re mid laugh after sweet nose kisses…these moments are never posed. They come out naturally and organically as you bond with your little family. During our sessions, I will lead you into natural moments that reflect the emotion we are seeking to capture. The images you receive will be the very best of our session, reflecting your natural personality and genuine moments of smiles, laughter, and snuggles.

mom giving baby boy a kiss
mom and baby boy on the beach
mom and son on the beach
mom holding baby boy by the water

What To Expect During A Mama + Me Session

Aside from wearing a gorgeously ethereal gown and having your hair and makeup done, your session will be as natural as how you are at home with your little. From smiles to tickles to holding hands and kisses, I encourage organic play and interaction between you and your babe as if I wasn’t there. This way, your little one focuses on their time with you, and their sweet personalities can shine through every captured image.

So go ahead: pick them up and twirl around, walk with them hand in hand, snuggle them close as you sing their favorite song. These little mama and me moments are what makes your relationship so unique and special, and what will create lasting memories from your session.

mom holding sons hands and walking
mom and son laughing
mom holding baby boy in arms
black and white of toddler boy looking down

Mama and Me Portrait Sessions can beautifully capture one of the most special bonds you will create in this life. The season of raising babies is so fleeting yet so magical – capturing these memories on film will create priceless heirloom imagery that you will never want to part with. To book your mama and me session, contact me today! Summer dates are filling up fast!

Clothing borrowed from Client Wardrobe Collection.
HMUA: @noir_beaute

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Paleo Family Portrait Session

family of four smiling at camera

San Diego Family Portraits

This sweet family has two beautiful babies, just 19 months apart. Our session was full of smiles, giggles, and exploring! I love being able to capture your most special memories and turning them into treasured keepsakes. There are so many seasons that you will experience together during these little years of raising babies – so many moments that you want to just freeze and experience over and over again. Having family portraits done allows you to do just that! We even designed a gallery wall for them after our session. I believe that your luxury portrait experience should not end after your photo session date – your memories should be turned into tangible artwork that adorn your walls for you to enjoy always.

mom holding two babies in arms
mom holding baby boy in field
close up of baby toes
little girl smiling at camera
family of four sitting on blanket in field
little girl in a field with mom
baby boy sitting on blanket

Beautiful Photos In Natural Light

I adore shooting outside at this time of year. My favorite field is so green and beautiful during springtime, and creates a dreamy ambiance for portraits. Their adorable daughter loved exploring close by, and picked flowers for her baby brother. Nothing gives quite the same organic and natural light as does photographing outside! It gives a completely different look and feel to your portrait session than shooting in studio – though both provide lovely images you will forever cherish.

little girl in a white dress in field
close up of baby boys face
toddler girl hugging mom
family of four in field
mom holding daughter and smiling
mom holding chubby baby boy
dad holding daughter and smiling

Dressing For Your Photo Session

One of my favorite aspects of fine art lifestyle portrait photography is offering a gorgeous selection of high end wardrobe pieces for my clients to choose from. This takes the stress away from outfit planning and coordinating, and leaves you feeling pampered and taken care of on the day of your session. You will receive outfit planning ideas prior to our session for everyone in the family, as well as the option to have your hair and make up professionally done for an additional fee (something almost every one of my clients takes advantage of – as they should!).

toddler girl and baby boy sitting on blanket
mom and dad holding two babies
woman and man in field hugging
dad snuggling baby boy

Sweet Time For Family Bonding

Family portraits shouldn’t be about posing perfectly, getting “the shot”, or worrying about your kids behaving. My organic and natural approach to capturing candid imagery allows you to just be yourselves – revealing genuine smiles, abundant laughter, and your personalities to shine. It’s during those in-between moments where your bond as a family is beautifully caught on film. Your portrait session is a time to celebrate you and the beautiful life you have created together!

mom holding baby boy on chest
family of 4 in a field
close up of mom holding toddler girl legs
dad snuggling baby boy in arms
family of 4 walking in a field
mom holding baby in arms

Clothing borrowed from client wardrobe collection.
Hair & Make-up: Unique & Flawless

Contact me to book your family portrait session today! Whether they’re done outdoors enjoying the warmth of nature this summer, or in my home-studio for a more fine art feel, we will capture your most treasured family memories and turn them into tangible keepsakes to fill your home and your heart.

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Checklist for Expecting Mamas Before Baby Arrives

expectant mama and dad in field

How To Prepare For Baby

Whether you’ve recently found out that you’re pregnant or are a couple months away from meeting your sweet new bundle of joy, this post is for you mama! The joyful emotions and excited anticipation that flow out in the months leading up to your due date can be overwhelming, especially if you have a lot on your to-do list. Preparing for your new baby is exciting and you deserve to have the most stress-free experience doing so.

baby nursery crib
baby nursery wall decor

1. Schedule a Hospital Tour

This is super important especially if you are delivering there for the first time. Knowing exactly where to go will make go-time a lot less stressful. These tours are always free and are guided by a professional L+D nurse who can answer questions and help you register once the tour is complete. You will get to see birthing rooms, recovery rooms, and dads will have a better idea of how to navigate the building.

2. Research Your Preferred Birthing Method(s)

Figure out what type of birth you want to experience well in advance so you can mentally and physically prepare for it in the months leading to your due date. Signing up for birthing classes is also a great idea if it’s your first baby, or if it’s been a while since your last pregnancy. Give yourself plenty of time to think about what you want your birth to look like…whether its au natural, with an epidural, and what kind of atmosphere you want to be in, it’s important to have this planned out so that you feel prepared and ready for due date time.

3. Book Maternity + Newborn Portraits

This is such an exciting and sweet time in your life, being on the journey to becoming a mother! The biggest regret I have from my own experience is not having newborn portraits done of both my boys…I deeply treasure those images I have of my younger son, and so many mamas tell me how grateful they are for those priceless sweet images of their tiny loves during the first few weeks of life. It’s easy to forget how tiny and squishy their features were, so having those images is absolutely necessary to savoring those first memories.

Contact me ASAP to get your due date on the calendar as I typically book a few months in advance. Also you can check one more thing off your list and won’t have to worry about scheduling your newborn portraits once your baby arrives! Click here for more information on newborn sessions, and here for pricing details. You can also view more info here about booking your “Baby’s First Year Portrait Collection.”

4. Pack Your Hospital Bag With Essentials Only

There are so many things Pinterest will tell you that you “need” to bring to the hospital, but really, a lot of items are not even necessary (let alone, wont even be touched). here are the basics and most necessary items that you should have on hand while you’re at the hospital:

  • Black maternity panties
  • Nursing robe
  • Cozy socks and/or slippers with non slip grip
  • Nursing pillow (lactation consultants will help you 24/7 with nursing while you’re there, and bringing what you’ll be using at home will make you more confident for your nursing journey)
  • Pillow(s) from home to sleep on for both mom and dad
  • Deodorant, travel size shampoo and conditioner/dry shampoo, toothbrush and tooth paste, mouthwash, hair ties
  • For dad: laptop + charger, favorite snacks, athlesiure clothes he can lounge in, phone charger so he can snap some pictures of baby while you’re staying at the hospital.

5. Stock Your Freezer With Pre-made Meals:

I have a few go-to tried and true meals that my family loves. These type of “freezer friendly” meals are essential for the first couple of weeks you’re at home with the new baby! Anything that can freeze well, makes lots of leftovers, tastes good, and is packed with nutrients will be optimal for you to make ahead of time.

My favorite that I love to share with new mamas is a delicious and healthy chicken tortilla soup recipe! It’s perfect to double the recipe and freeze. I sub for chicken bone broth and omit the water. Click below for the recipe!

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

newborn baby snuggled on moms chest

I hope this list helps you to feel more relaxed, less stressed, and all the more excited for your little one’s arrival! I cannot wait to get to know you and meet your tiny little love when the time comes. Please reach out to me for a complimentary consultation to discuss booking your maternity and newborn sessions this year!

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How Often You Should Have Family Photos Taken

maternity session in a  field

Perks Of Professional Family Portraits

I recommend having professional family portraits taken at least once a year. Time with your little ones is fleeting! And during the every day, it’s hard to remember to snap photos let alone set up the shot for ones you would want to hang on the walls. Having professional family photos done is such a sweet way to document your life in seasons!

Another amazing thing about my luxury portrait experience is that I believe your experience does not end after the session. The investment you are making in these images goes beyond just digital files – we provide numerous options on how to tangibly enjoy every image with luxury heirloom albums, custom gallery wall installations, and fine art prints.

mom and daughter laughing on bed
little girl in blue dress smiling
first birthday cake smash
first birthday cake smash
mom holding young girl on bed

Become A Part Of The Collective Membership Program

Many of my repeat clients become a part of my Collective Membership Program, which offers significant discounts and perks the more sessions you book. Signing up for this allows you to have priority session booking throughout the year and priority registration for my annual events (such as my very popular Santa Sessions and my annual Motherhood Event). Your photos will all flow together beautifully, and will create a timeless cohesive feel for your home as you have more and more sessions done.

mom holding little toddler
mom with two boys in chair
mom holding baby on chest

Photos Are Not Just For Holidays

If I asked you when during the year you would for sure have family portraits booked, you would probably say for the holidays — to go with your Holiday or New Year’s cards. There are so many memories that occur within a family during a single year, that it’s hard to remember it all without having stunning imagery capturing the best of the seasons. While I always recommend at least capturing family portraits once a year, booking at least two sessions in a year will give you a wonderful reflection of how your family has grown over the months, especially in the early years where they grow leaps and bounds in those short months.

toddler looking down at new baby sibling
boy snuggling santa claus
boy and girl sitting on chair

Never Miss A Single Moment

It is so important to not miss all of the sweet milestone moments for each child. So much changes within a year, especially if you have young children in your family. Babies lose their infant rolls, toddlers grow into preschoolers, children become taller, and you might have another baby bump before the year is over. Documenting all of your family milestones throughout the year guarantees that you will have those special occasions forever saved in beautiful imagery. I offer various portrait experiences throughout the year for this very reason: in the Spring I host my Annual Motherhood Event, and I host the most magical Santa Sessions with more than enough time to create your holiday cards.

mom and dad with two kids at beach
mom and dad tickling son
family photos in living room
mom and dad playing with kids on bed
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5th Annual Motherhood Event Recap

mom holding little girl in arms and smiling

Capturing The Essence of Motherhood

This was my 5th year hosting my annual Motherhood Event and it turned out to be lovelier than ever. It was a beautiful, two-day petite session experience dedicated to celebrating and capturing the beauty of motherhood. I am always thinking of new ways to make my clients feel extra loved and special, and this event was no exception! Each mama got a fresh bouquet of flowers and a generous swag bag full of motherhood-inspired product from local vendors to take home. We had fresh floral crowns made for mamas and daughters to wear, yummy sweet treats, and a gorgeous setting for mamas and babes to have their portraits done.

welcome sign for motherhood event
mixed berries in serving dishes
dessert tablescape
bags with name tags
woman getting her hair curled

A Day Full Of Memory Making For Mamas and Littles

This annual event is something I look forward to the most every year! Celebrating the beauty of your unique motherhood journey is what I am so passionate about as a photographer, and I cannot wait to see how each mama who attended adorns her walls and home with her precious memories from this event.

young girl smiling at camera
pregnant mom holding daughter on belly
6 month old baby smiling at camera
mom of three boys smiling and holding kids
small boy smiling really big with mom
mom hugging son on bed

A Two-Day Petite Session Event Full Of Pampering For Mamas

We had 32 beautiful mamas participate this year – several were repeat clients and I had lots of new faces as well! This year, I added a new rattan cocoon chair which gave a whimsical and bohemian feel in the portraits. We also had flower crowns made for mamas and babes to wear in their portraits styled by Kendra’s Florals. Blush & Adore and Noir Beaute came out to pamper our mamas with petite hair and make up, adding to the luxury portrait experience that I love to treat all of my clients to.

mom holding little boy and smiling
mother's hand on daughter's back
little girl holding mother's arm
mom holding two sons in arms
mom holding son in arms on chair

Celebrate The Beauty Of Your Motherhood Journey

Motherhood — no matter where you are at in your journey — captures your heart and consumes your soul for a lifetime. Treasuring those little moments, which are so fleeting, is every mama’s dream. Combine your passion for motherhood with natural, lovely, and organic imagery of you and your babes and it will turn your memories into magical tangible keepsakes that will last years and years.

If you missed out on this year’s event, click here to sign up to be added to the mailing list! Clients on my email list will be the first to know about early and pre-registration dates for next year’s Motherhood Event.

little girl in moms arms looking down
mom holding toddler girl
mom tickling son on bed
close up of two boys smiling
mom and daughter in flower crowns
mom holding two boys on a chair

Thank You To Our Vendors

Hair & Make-up:

Swag Bag Vendors:
@koparibeauty @spagoddessapothecary @thepreggerspantry @gingersquaredjewelry @primallypure @mrbsnecessities @loveallspecies @teressalanejewelry @threadspun

Swag Bag Vendors:
@koparibeauty @spagoddessapothecary @thepreggerspantry @gingersquaredjewelry @primallypure @mrbsnecessities @loveallspecies @teressalanejewelry @threadspun

Motherhood Event Testimonials

“The images turned out BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE them! Thank you soooooo much.” -Amanda

“Michelle Popp Photography always captures me and my babies so beautifully at each Motherhood Event. I’m so lucky to be able to participate.”  – Rachel

“Thank you so much for the beautiful photos of me and Kyle! My husband already knows what to get me next year for Mother’s Day 🙂 You are so talented and sweet!!” -Rith

“I absolutely loved the photos from the Motherhood Event! The whole experience of getting pampered and ending the photo session with flowers was a special touch!” – Hyacinth

swag bag goodies
mom and daughter hugging
fresh flowers in a jar

I am drawn to emotion filled images, beautiful light, and soft neutral colors. It’s my passion to capture authentic beauty, family love, and connection in all of my imagery. Motherhood is such a special season of a woman’s life, and the little years of raising your children are so fleeting. Being able to document those sweet and intimate moments of mother and babe is such a gift to present mothers who never want to forget what it was like to be on that journey. Contact me today to inquire about our motherhood, maternity, and family lifestyle sessions.

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The quality of Michelle’s work has been widely recognized by clients and top publications