How to choose the best location for your newborn portrait session

In-Home Session vs. In-Studio Session

One you’re back home from the hospital and your baby is settled into their new nursery, it’s time to capture those first sweet images of your newborn baby! You might wonder where the best location is to capture those priceless images – should you do them at home? Should you go into a studio? What about props? Where will baby (and you!) be most comfortable? Today I would love to share what the biggest differences and benefits are between having in-studio and in-home portraits done!

mom sitting on bed with new baby
new parents holding baby boy in swaddle
black and white hands on baby
baby boy looking at camera with eyes open
mom and dad holding new baby

Why book a newborn portrait session?

The purpose of your newborn portrait session is to capture sweet details and priceless moments of your babe’s first expressions, movements, and tiny newborn details. These are sacred images you will forever treasure and thank yourself for capturing – they’re only so tiny and little for such a short amount of time. With newborn imagery, you get to bottle up those fleeting moments with stunning and organic images you can frame, or put into an album.

newborn baby with eyes open on white bed
mom in dress nursing infant

Newborn Photos Done In-Studio

I love to photograph out of my home, where I have a luxuriously designed in-home studio full of everything you’d need to capture the best imagery of your new little one. Warm, natural light pours in all throughout the morning, the room is kept warm and cozy (babies get cold easily), and all props are readily available to easily grab and use. My in-home studio provides clients with the best of both worlds: a comfortable, relaxed, and natural home setting designed for capturing a wide variety of stunning imagery of your babe.

newborn girl wrapped in a brown swaddle
up close of mom and baby girl snuggling
baby girl in white headband and white swaddle

Having your portraits done in-studio is also less stressful for mama and baby, since you wont have to worry about clutter or noise coming in to disturb our session. I allow for plenty of time during the session to nurse, interact with baby, get those perfect natural-newborn poses, and to calm baby if there’s any fussing.

close up of dads hands holding babys head
mom holding new baby on shoulder

For their portraits, I will carefully lead your baby into natural, soft, and comfortable poses on a bean bag to give more of a variety for baby’s solo images. Photographing in-studio provides beautifully controlled imagery in a cozy environment designed to pamper both mom and babe.

mom in pink dress holding baby boy in white swaddle
newborn baby boy in blue onesie

Newborn Photos Done In Your Home and Baby’s Nursery

Your home and baby’s nursery is naturally a comfortable environment for baby since the smells, sounds, and environment are most familiar. It’s a sacred and special place, because it’s where you first brought home your little bundle! At a newborn session done in your own home, we will begin by grabbing a few shots of baby by themselves. But typically these portraits are done while mom holds baby in her arms, or with them lying on the bed/in their crib.

parents on bed with two kids laughing
mom holding two kids on bed
details of nursery for baby girl

I always bring along a few neutral and cozy swaddle blankets to in-home sessions, so that the imagery reflects my light and airy photographic style. I do however require at least one room in your home where there is ample natural lighting and the wall color is neutral. Normally this is a room where the soft and indirect sunlight keeps it well lit throughout the morning.

mom nuzzling newborn baby girls nose
big brother on bed with newborn sister

We will also capture images of beautiful details of your baby’s belongings! This includes room decor, heirloom items/toys, and any other detail you would want included in these portraits. In-home sessions are typically more lifestyle-focused, where mom and dad (and siblings of course) are invited to interact with baby as they would if I was not there.

newborn baby girl on blue sheet with dog lying next to her
mom lying on bed with newborn baby girl
mom in cream dress holding newborn baby girl
dad holding baby girl in arms

The Benefits of A Newborn Portrait Session

At both the studio and in-home, you will have the chance to interact, snuggle, and bond with your new baby! I will lead you into organic and candid moments in order to capture the best most natural poses of you and your new little one together. This portrait session is all about celebrating the new life you’ve created, capturing their tiny details and hints of personality, and enjoying the bond you’re creating.

newborn baby girl in white headband
mom and dad holding newborn baby girl on pink bed
mom and dad holding newborn baby girl
newborn baby in white swaddle looking at camera

Wardrobe and outfit styling for your baby’s newborn session

Your little babe will be in a soft, neutral swaddle for their portraits, as well as wearing tiny accessories such as simple headbands or bonnets if you wish. They don’t need much else! But what about mama? I provide all of my clients with a gorgeous, hand-picked selection of beautiful gowns and dresses from my Client Wardrobe Collection to wear for your shoot!

mom in white dress holding newborn baby

I have a wide selection of designer dresses for mamas of every shape and size, and plenty of outfits for babies up to age 5. My curated collection includes a variety of neutral tones and soft patterns that all flow perfectly well together, making it a breeze to choose your outfits for your portraits. Almost everything I have is nursing friendly, for those moms who want that intimate bonding time captured with their babes. There is also an option to add on hair and make-up, so that you can look and feel completely stunning and refreshed for these special photos.

Ready to book your newborn photos? Let’s Chat!

Prior to our portrait session, we will meet for an initial consultation to discuss the little details. where your portrait session will take place – in your own home, or in the studio – and then decide on wardrobe styling for you and baby (and siblings, if they will be in any of the photos).

black and white of baby lips
black and white of baby hair
black and white of baby fingers
black and white of newborn sleeping on dad's chest

Approximately 2-3 weeks after our session we will meet at my home studio in San Elijo Hills for your custom ordering & design appointment where you will view and hold your images in print for the first time! You will be able to touch & feel the beautiful heirloom quality pieces I offer. During this time, I help you design your images into tangible memories that perfectly flow with your family style and home decor. This is also when you choose and pay for digital files, framed fine art prints, and/or an heirloom album. 

Typically newborn sessions are done within the first two weeks earth side, to best photograph them at their sleepiest and squishiest. Send me a message to book your consultation session so we can talk due date, location of choice, and plan your precious babe’s first portraits!

newborn baby girl on bed in white swaddle
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Outdoor Family Photography in Rancho Penasquitos

Getting The Most Out Of Family Photos

Choosing the right photographer for your family portraits is a process, but when you find your perfect match for your style, that’s when magic happens! That close relationship that builds throughout the duration of your portrait sessions cannot be paralleled.

I’ve been photographing this family for the last two years and absolutely treasure when clients become friends, as they have. So far we have captured the maternity, newborn, 6 month and 1 year milestones through my Collective Membership Program! I will also be seeing them again at my annual Motherhood Event in a few short weeks.

Father Son Bonding Time

Dawson and his daddy have such a sweet and special relationship! He loves his dad, and they were both all smiles the entire time. I love when I get to photograph dads blissfully playing and enjoying their babies – family portraits are such an amazing opportunity to capture those organic and natural moments together!

Raw, Real, And Candid Imagery

Having family photos done can be intimidating at first, wondering how to pose and whether or not you’ll look “natural.” I am drawn to totally organic and candid imagery, and rarely pose my clients (or even have them constantly look at the camera and smile!).

The images that bring out your most raw and real selves are the ones where you’re focused on each other and simply being you. I will guide you into natural and effortless moments, where you can engage with one another and forget I’m there. Our goal together is to create memories that last a lifetime through professional imagery. You will see nothing but love, laughter, and happiness through the photos we take!

How To Dress For Family Photos

Part of my services include offering a complete Client Wardrobe that is available to all mamas and babies up to age 5. I carefully and thoughtfully select each clothing item for each client based on our location, your style, fit, and color theme!

For dads, I always recommend wearing neutrals to compliment – khakis, earth tones, light blues, creams, and whites are always best choices. You deserve to be completely stress-free when planning your family portraits, and in my opinion planning your coordinating outfits is the hardest, most stressful part. I love being able to take care of wardrobe styling for my clients!

Clothing borrowed from Client Wardrobe Collection.
Hair and Make-Up: Unique and Flawless. 

Let’s Capture Your Family Memories Together

Natural, bright, and timeless family photography that evokes emotion, sweet memories, and overwhelming joy every time you look at your beautiful imagery is an investment. Working with me is not just another portrait session to check off every year – it’s an immersive and luxurious memory-making experience you will never forget! Mother’s Day is coming up soon, and what better gift to receive than the gift of priceless and gorgeous images of your precious family? I would love to work with you to begin planning your beautiful and luxurious family portrait session just in time for those summer memories to happen. Contact me ASAP to book your portrait planning consultation.

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Family Photography at the field in San Marcos

mom smiling down at baby girl

Natural Light Family Photography in San Marcos

I absolutely love when I get to photograph families who are just beginning their parenting journey! Capturing priceless memories of you and your little love and experiencing the magic your family brings to our sessions is so much fun. The images we create together will forever remind you of those early days as a new mama and dad.

mom and dad smiling at baby girl
family in field smiling at camera
close of baby smiling with floral crown
mom snuggling baby girl
close up of baby's feet
mom holding baby in field
mom kissing baby girl
baby girl with floral crown

First Photos As A New Family

As you reflect on the first family photos you take together, all of the dreams you had for your new family of three will be portrayed in your enchanting and organic first family portraits. This sweet local family won the giveaway I ran on my Instagram a couple months back for reaching 2k followers. This lovely mama is also signed up for the Motherhood Event I am hosting in April, so I will get to see them again in a few short months! Her daughter has the most beautiful smile and personality, and the love that her mama and dad have for her overwhelms each and every photo we captured! Mom shared with me during planning our session together, that Eleanor was their little miracle baby! She was born with a congenital heart defect and had two heart surgeries in the first five days of life, but was a total fighter.

dad smiling at daughter
dad kissing baby girl
dad snuggling daughter
baby girl with floral crown
mom kissing daughter on cheek
baby girl with floral crown
mom holding daughter's hands
close up of baby on mom's hip
dad throwing baby girl up in the air
mom & dad playing with daughter
walking in field holding hands

Planning Your Annual Family Portraits

The timing of your family portraits is always something to consider when planning out your annual photo sessions – each wonderful milestone of your little one is special and unique! The newborn stage, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and after are all great times to plan out your family photo session to get the best captures of your growing babies!

baby girl smiling at camera with floral crown
mom and dad holding daughter's hands
mom ticking daughter
parents smiling at daughter
parents kissing baby girl on cheek

What To Expect At Your Portrait Session

family smiling at camera
mom snuggling baby girl

Another thing we take care of is wardrobe styling for each portrait session. When you book a session with me, we will have a separate wardrobe styling consultation beforehand where we hand pick items that best fit your vibe, style, and shape going into our session. No detail is left out of the luxury portrait experience I offer my clients – you can also plan to have your hair and make up professionally done by one of my amazing professional stylists the morning of your session. When your images are edited and ready, we will meet again for a design appointment where you get to see your beautiful imagery for the first time in print. This is when clients are able to choose from the various luxury framing and album options I offer.

Clothing borrowed from Client Wardrobe Collection.

Film Scans: The FINDlab

Floral Crown: Kendra’s Floral Design
Hair & Make-up: Unique & Flawless

My ultimate goal as photographer is to not only produce organic and timeless imagery, but to also provide a luxurious and stress-free photography experience for new families. The luxury portrait experience I offer includes a pre-session consultation to discuss your vision for the session, exclusive access to my curated client wardrobe collection for both mothers and babies, personalized wardrobe, photo framing/heirloom album designing appointments so that we can create the perfect look that matches your home decor, and an optional add-on for professional hair & make-up services to make you look and feel gorgeous the day of your session. The only thing that should be on your mind is how much fun we will have capturing your beautiful family portraits!

Contact me for more details and to begin planning your family portrait experience!

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Maternity Photography North County San Diego

mom in field with baby bump

Maternity Photography In North County San Diego

It’s so amazing to capture local San Diego families through their seasons of growth. This has turned many clients into dear friends! From bump to baby to next bump, documenting all those intimate and lovely milestones in your life together turns your family memories into treasured heirloom keepsakes.

mom and dad snuggling baby boy in field
maternity photo of mom in field glowing
walking in field with mom and dad
close-up of baby boy smiling

Capturing Families Through The Seasons

I’ve been photographing their family since their son Bodhi was a newborn and I can’t wait to meet their new baby boy in just a few short weeks. Bodhi was the sweetest giving his mama lots of love and kisses throughout the session – he is so excited to become a big brother! I will be photographing their newborn session also…cannot wait to share some sneaks of their darling boy once he’s born!

dad holding mom's belly
son kissing mom's belly
family smiling at camera in field in North County San Diego
parents smiling at son
son touching mom's belly

Create A Gorgeous Gallery Wall In Your Home

It’s one thing to have digital images to take home and save to your computer from your session. But what makes your experience even more special and timeless is receiving beautifully framed prints to hang on your walls! At your custom design & ordering appointment after your images are ready for viewing, we will decide on your favorite images to pair with our variety of framing options to create a gallery wall perfectly tailored to your style and needs. Gallery Wall Installation is also included in your order! Your images will be perfectly and professionally delivered and mounted on your wall all in the same day.

closeup of mom's belly
mom & son smiling at the camera
son kissing mom
mom kissing son on cheek
son on dads shoulders in field
smiling at son in field
son on dads shoulders kissing mom

Make Memories Last A Lifetime With An Heirloom Album

A delicately bound heirloom album that will last long enough for your grandchildren to enjoy is a family keepsake that will never gather dust on a shelf. The albums I offer come in your choice of linen or velvet cover with custom debossing. They are bound by hand on thick archival pages that lie flat with no inside crease at the binding. Heirloom albums are an investment that many of my clients make! There is just something so timeless and special about having all of your family milestone memories beautifully housed in an elegant and luxurious album to pass down for generations.

maternity photo of mom in field
mom smiling at camera holding belly
dad kissing mom on forehead in field
mom looking at belly
maternity photos in field walking
son hugging mom's belly in field
son snuggling mom's belly

Stunning Maternity Portraits In Natural Soft Light

Nothing comes close to the butterflies feeling you experience during the last few weeks of pregnancy. That beautiful and radiant emotion mixed with the soft light pouring through the sky that afternoon creates stunning maternity portraits! This mama was absolutely glowing from the inside out. I love capturing that raw, authentic emotion that families have when they’re expecting a new little one on the way – for more info on booking your maternity session, click here.

Clothing borrowed from Client Wardrobe Collection.

mom to be glowing in field
dad kissing mom on cheek
holding baby belly

My ultimate goal as photographer is to not only produce stunning and love-filled images, but to also provide a luxurious and stress-free photography experience for expectant mamas. The luxury portrait experience I offer includes a pre-session consultation to discuss your vision for the session, exclusive access to my curated client wardrobe collection for both mothers and babies, personalized wardrobe, photo framing/heirloom album designing appointments so that we can create the perfect look that matches your home decor, and an optional add-on for professional hair & make-up services to make you look and feel gorgeous the day of your session.

Contact me for more details and to begin planning your maternity portrait session experience!


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Natural Baby Photography in Studio

mom smiling at baby boy

Capturing the 6 Month Milestone

It’s no secret I adore 6 month sessions. Little Akasha is the cutest with those big brown eyes! The 6 month milestone is one session that you do not want to miss out on capturing. It’s full of curiosity, giggles, and bursting with images that highlight your baby’s sweet personality.

mom kissing baby boy
mom smiling at baby boy
baby boy's 6 month milestone session smiling at camera

Organic and Timeless Baby Portraiture

This session was done at my in-home studio in San Elijo where warm neutrals and soft light are abundant. Capturing their personality and curiosity is all a part of these milestone sessions! That is the beauty of documenting the little years – these images will become precious keepsakes of your sweet bonding time with your littles when they were tiny and you were their whole world. It’s also a beautiful time to capture a few nursing shots if you are breastfeeding.

baby nursing
mom breastfeeding 6 month old baby
mom kissing 6 month old son
mom smiling at baby boy
6 month old baby smiling
baby boy with big brown eyes
baby boy doing tummy time smiling
baby saying on white blanket
mom kissing baby's feet
mom laying next to son

Benefits of the Collective Membership Program

This is our 3rd session together – before Akasha’s sweet 6 month session, I photographed their maternity and his newborn sessions in the Collective Membership Program. I can’t wait to capture his 1 year milestone in a few short months!

Little ones grow so fast, from tiny babe to toddler – and so much about your baby changes during those short months! This membership is a wonderful opportunity for mamas to get their portraits scheduled with me to document all the big moments of their growing family. The membership offers priority booking, bundled sessions at a discounted rate ($100 discount per session) + $100 discount at each ordering appointment. Your sessions must be completed within an 18 month time frame (maternity, newborn, 6 month and 1 year milestone are the most popular, but you can book a session anytime during that timeframe). For more information on pricing and investment in my portrait experiences, click here.

6 month old baby smiling with thumb in his mouth

Pampering Included In Your Photo Session

If I told you that you will look and feel radiant and relaxed on the day of your photo session, what would you say?! Luckily, we can definitely make it happen and provide a luxurious pre-photo pampering experience for mamas. Not only will you have stunning imagery captured with frame-worthy prints to look forward to — but you will be styled in a gorgeous dress from my Client Wardrobe Collection that flatters your shape, and have the option to add on professional hair and makeup! You will show up to our shoot glowing from the inside out. To see more about what I offer my clients, click here to read about the luxury portrait experience.

natural baby milestone session
3 framed fine art prints

They chose a beautiful gallery wall of their favorite images from the session. All gallery walls include complimentary installation.

My ultimate goal as photographer is to not only produce stunning and love-filled images, but to also provide a luxurious and stress-free family photography experience in San Diego. The luxury portrait experience I offer includes a pre-session consultation to discuss your vision for the session, exclusive access to my curated client wardrobe collection for both mothers and babies, personalized wardrobe, photo framing/heirloom album designing appointments so that we can create the perfect look that matches your home decor, and an optional add-on for professional hair & make-up services to make you look and feel gorgeous the day of your session.

Clothing borrowed from Client Wardrobe Collection.

Contact me for more details and to begin planning your portrait session experience!

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

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