Baby Malia with Mom and Dad | Tacoma Newborn Photographer

I was heading back from my newborn mentoring classes out of state when this Puyallup mom called to schedule her newborn photo session at my studio.  The reception was going in and out and I had to find a rest stop with wi-fi to finally work out all the details, however I am so glad she trusted me to bare through the dropped calls and book her newborn baby session!  Just days after I arrived back to my Sumner natural light studio she brought this perfect brand new bundle of joy to have her first photos captured.  They especially requested lots of images with mom and dad; I was more than happy to oblige as these are some of my favorite and most cherished images I have with my own little ones.  During the session we had a chance to chat more about this sweet little girl’s arrival and mom was happy to let me share that with you all too:

After a previous miscarriage, we were ecstatic to be pregnant with our little rainbow baby. We were grocery shopping when we got the phone call to tell us we were having a baby girl. I immediately started crying and Keryzz had a big smile on his face. The reality of our little family was coming true!

Pregnancy seemed to come easy for me. I didn’t have too much morning sickness or food aversions. I remember wanting protein shakes and hamburgers. I enjoyed the excuse to take an afternoon nap everyday!

I had my heart and mind set on having a baby at the Birthing Inn in Tacoma. I was determined (and maybe a little stubborn) to do things my way and to do it with the least amount of medical interventions as possible. Women have been giving birth for centuries and I wanted that unique, natural experience for myself. In order to safely give birth outside the hospital, this meant that I needed to be very diligent on what I ate, how much weight I gained, and careful monitoring of my blood pressure. I held my breath when it came time to do the gestational diabetes testing. When it came back positive, my heart sank – this put me at more risk of having a hospital birth. Luckily, we got through it with minimal medical influence and I was still on track for the Birthing Inn.

My midwife was leaving to go out of town two days before my due date. We took the hint that baby girl wanted to stay put and we made a plan to just relax and enjoy pregnancy for the next week. The hesitation was that this would push me closer to 41 weeks but my midwife would be back shortly after that determined we would do all we could at the center before we made the call to have a medical induction. I felt that we had hit another speed bump that could potentially send me to give birth in a hospital. So that week, I relaxed in our lovely summer sunshine! Baby and I just enjoyed each other while we had this last moment connected as one.

On Thursday, July 21, (5 days past due date) Keryzz and I went for a drive around town in the sunshine. It seemed that I would have a few contractions here and there when we would drive in the car but they would stop if we got out and walked. I would have a few contractions that were painful, but they still didn’t have a pattern to them. So, we decided to go to a movie to keep my mind off of it. After, went to meet my parents for dinner and as I got out of the car at the restaurant, my water broke spilling everywhere in the parking lot. The midwife filling in for mine advised me to just rest and see if contractions would stabilize into a pattern. If not, I would have to go to a hospital – anxiety rose now that the idea of a hospital could become a reality. I accepted that we needed to do whatever was necessary and safe for the baby even in that meant giving birthing in a hospital.

Baby girl decided this was the moment she was waiting for! I had horrible pains that kept me awake all night long. Friday, July 22 (6 days past due date), it was a stormy, rainy day. In the early morning, we drove to the birthing center to see how far along I was – 4 cm. We decided to stick around the area and drive around since my body seemed to have contractions best while I was in the car. I had my go bag in the car, just like every book I read said to, that was packed with every snack and drink we could need. You would think I packed for a week long trip! Keryzz was a great support during the long hours of sitting in the car. He encouraged me through each contraction and helped hold my death grip when the painful ones came.

The stormy morning gave way to a beautiful, sunshine-filled, day. By 11:30 am, I was in such pain and my contractions were roughly 2 minutes long and coming fast. We drove back to the center to see how far along I was. By noon, I was soaking in the warm birthing tub and was at 7 cm. We were surprised, and relieved, that baby and I made that much progress in that short amount of time. Keryzz was the only person with me at the center and never left my side. Being the over prepared person that I am, I had a print out of my birth plan that had a column of phrases and cues for Keryzz to try if and when we needed them. Everything went so smoothly and naturally that the birth plan paper never made it out of the car! Keryzz was the perfect support person and stayed calm through every stage.

Finally, Malia was born at 3:18 pm in the tub. She emerged with the biggest pouty lip on her face! She arrived weighing in at 8 lbs 5 oz and 21 inches long, surprising both Keryzz and I since we thought she was smaller. For me, timing of the day went by in a blur. When I finally realized just how long I was in labor, I was shocked that it was short. As a first time Mom and with the multiple speed bumps we had this pregnancy, I was expecting something much different. We rested as a family in the beautiful natural lighting of the room taking in this beautiful, miracle of a baby and the empowering experience we all just went through. 

Puyallup-Tacoma-Newborn-Baby-PhotographerPuyallup-Tacoma-Newborn-Baby-PhotographerPuyallup-Tacoma-Newborn-Baby-PhotographerPuyallup-Tacoma-Newborn-Baby-PhotographerPuyallup-Tacoma-Newborn-Baby-PhotographerPuyallup-Tacoma-Newborn-Baby-PhotographerPuyallup-Tacoma-Newborn-Baby-Photographer

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!

Are you expecting a little one?  Take a peek at my newborn gallery and get in touch via the contact form above or email for current availability.  I take a limited number of newborn sessions each month to allow flexibility if your little bundle should arrive early/late and so that I can create something truly special just for you. Now booking fall/winter 2016 – limited space for October due dates (although you can always check for last minute availability when the time comes). Book now to ensure availability for your brand new baby – these moments are fleeting and the pictures will last a lifetime!

Don't miss a thing! Click here to get new articles emailed directly to you

Newborn Posing Mentoring Class Summer 2016 Review: Texas Kansas and Utah

This past summer I was thrilled to offer creative newborn posing and styling mentoring for photographers while on the road travelling with my family. Teaching is something that has been in my heart for a long time and at last the time was right for me to officially share what I have learned over 8 years running my small business from the heart. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing women who chose me to be their mentor, and I am so humbled by their gratitude and kind words they have shared with about our time together. Here is a little peek at some of the images creating during a small group mentoring class with Butterfly Kiss Photography.  Head to the bottom of the post to find out more about upcoming dates for a newborn baby mentoring session near you.Newborn-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-PhotographyKim says the biggest impact on her business since mentoring with Butterfly Kiss Photography is: Learning how to work smarter, not harder and she would recommend this small group class to: Absolutely anyone!!Newborn-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-PhotographyThe biggest impact on Beka’s business since mentoring has been: The way I style my sessions now, choosing one thing I want to work around with and add other props and accessories to complement it. Having a solid workflow is a great time saver.Newborn-Sibling-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-PhotographyJulie’s favorite part of the class day was getting hands on with posing because it is the best was that she actually learns!Newborn-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-PhotographyStudents say a favorite part of the day was learning how to put together creative set ups and consistent styling for a complete newborn session experience.Newborn-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-PhotographyJulie also recommends the posing and styling class, especially for newbies who are learning the basics for safely posing and working with babies, and want to gain confidence with positioning and lighting.Newborn-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-PhotographyStudents gain experience working with real babies, hands-on, including the challenges of posing an awake newborn with great results.Newborn-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-PhotographyWhy did Beka choose Tami as a mentor? I wanted some fresh ideas in styling and inspiration. Someone outside my area to chat with and get a new perspective on my business.Newborn-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-Photography“Hanging out with Tami was really my favorite part. She has been an inspiration to me for a while and I admire her work.” Newborn-Mentoring-Creative-Posing-Wrapping-Styling-by-Butterfly-Kiss-PhotographyKim’s favorite thing she learned was: That very first pose!! It’s my favorite. I do it with every session now:)

By request, I am travelling this FALL 2016 for newborn mentoring and have the following dates available for my Creative Styling & Posing Class:

October 14th – Boise ID October 17th – Coeur d’Alene ID For complete details on what the class covers and availability please EMAIL me. I look forward to helping many more photographers grow, gain confidence, and find direction with their photography business. If you are interested in TRAVEL MENTORING in your city please get in touch; once I have enough interest I will plan another trip.  I am also available for mentoring at my studio near Seattle WA year-round. Mentoring is available to local photographers with some restrictions.

Don't miss a thing! Click here to get new articles emailed directly to you

Meet Cortney Nickel, prenatal massage specialist in Tacoma

I have really been looking forward to sharing this amazing resource for local Tacoma and surrounding area moms. As a professional Tacoma newborn photographer, I meet a lot of new moms at my studio.  One of the things I always like to share is just how important it is to take care of yourself, even when your hands are full taking care of your new little one.  What better way to refresh yourself than a relaxing massage?? Cortney Nickel is a massage therapist conveniently located at Tacoma’s freestanding birth center The Birthing Inn, who offers prenatal massages, as well as relaxation and deep tissue massage for anyone, mom or not. So if you could use an hour all to yourself, check out what Cortney has to offer, support another local mom-owned business, and schedule yourself a massage today!

Tacoma mom resource Cortney Nickel LMP interview by Butterfly Kiss Photography

Name: Cortney Nickel

Business:  Cortney Nickel LMP at The Birthing Inn in Tacoma WA.

How many kids/what ages? I am the proud mama of a sweet baby girl who just turned one years old and who has my heart like no other.

How long have you been a massage therapist?  I graduated from East West College of The Healing Arts in 2011 with a background in Shiatsu and Cranial Sacral Therapy which I bring to each massage.  I have specialized specifically in prenatal, relaxation and deep tissue massage for the last 5 years.

Why do you offer prenatal massage? What are some benefits that especially speak to you? My passion is to partner with The Birthing Inn and other healthcare practitioners to encourage wellness and relaxation in the community, particularly with expecting mothers.  I absolutely love creating a space for mommas to quiet their minds, center themselves and connect with their oh so changing bodies.  Massage not only helps so much with many prenatal issues, such as sciatica, low back and round ligament pain, but it can also lower blood pressure, reduce swelling and receive joint pain.  I absolutely love what I do!

What is the hardest part of helping moms relax and heal through massage and being a mom yourself? I think the hardest part of being a massage therapist in general is leaving your own emotions and stresses at home and not taking on your clients’ stresses.

If you could give one tip to an expecting or new mom, massage related, what would it be? Your body goes through so much during  pregnancy and labor which takes time to heal, don’t forget to carve out time for self-care postpartum. Even if its just a few minutes to ice your neck, shoulder and/or low back.  Ice is your friend.

What is your favorite place you have traveled to?  South Africa is my all time favorite place I’ve traveled, it’s an incredibly gorgeous country with amazing people.

Describe the perfect day with your family: I love starting our day with morning snuggles and a tasty home cooked breakfast, then head out the local Farmers Market or antique shops. We love to try new food and search for great deals. Ending the evening with a nice stroll down at the waterfront or catching the sunset at Chambers Bay.

Favorite quote/saying: “Do small things with great love.” By Mother Teresa

What’s for dinner? My homemade Pad Thai. Yum!

Website/contact info: The Birthing Inn +1 (253) 761-8939 or online at thebirthinginn.com  email cortneynickel.lmp@gmail.com

Tacoma Baby Photographer Watch Me Grow by Butterfly Kiss Photography

I was thrilled to be able to capture first birthday baby pictures for Cortney when her daughter was just about one year. Isn’t she the sweetest?  She certainly gets that beautiful big smile from her momma!

And in case you missed any previous local resources you can catch up on them all here.

Have you had any experiences with massage during or after pregnancy?  I would love to hear about it, share your experiences in the comments below.

Don't miss a thing! Click here to get new articles emailed directly to you
08/30/2016 - 10:54 am

Cortney Nickel - Thank you Tami. :) I love what I do and I’m honored to work with amazing women at The Birthing Inn.

Beautiful soft newborn pictures | baby Aniston

Tacoma area baby Aniston came to visit my natural light studio in Sumner for her newborn session….just like her big sister did 4 years ago! It is always such an honor when a family chooses me to be their photographer again and again; from capturing their sweet little one over baby’s first year, to family sessions as baby grows, and to celebrate the addition of a new family member. Speaking of family, older sister looks just like her beautiful mom and I was so happy to capture this stunning image of the three girls together – you must scroll down to the end of this post to see it for yourself!

We had a great time catching up at their newborn photography session and mom was so kind to share her birth story with me too. Read on to find out just how early this sweet baby girl arrived.

beautiful tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston with big sister sibling photographs

Our first daughter Alexis was born 4 years ago, almost 7 weeks before her due date. I had a traumatic c-section followed by a very long and painful recovery, while having to leave our firstborn in the NICU for 12 days. Going into this second pregnancy, we had so many concerns and worries. I was diagnosed with symphysis pubis dysfunction, meaning my pelvis was relaxing and separating far too early. It was an excruciating pain with no relief. Our fears began to come more real when at 21 weeks, my cervix was half the length it should be. I was put on modified bed rest and progesterone to try to ensure Aniston would stay in as long as possible. I kept my fingers crossed, made short term goals every couple of weeks, and watched them pass by. At 35 weeks and one day, my water broke.

beautiful tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston with big sister sibling photographsbeautiful tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston with big sister sibling photographsbeautiful soft tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston  by Butterfly Kiss Photography Seattle Tacoma Puyallup Sumner Bonney Lake Olympia newborn photographerbeautiful soft tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston  by Butterfly Kiss Photography Seattle Tacoma Puyallup Sumner Bonney Lake Olympia newborn photographerbeautiful soft tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston  by Butterfly Kiss Photography Seattle Tacoma Puyallup Sumner Bonney Lake Olympia newborn photographer

I headed to the hospital knowing that although she’d be coming early, we made it further than anyone thought I would. My husband arrived shortly after and we began the experience together.beautiful tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston 7beautiful soft tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston  by Butterfly Kiss Photography Seattle Tacoma Puyallup Sumner Bonney Lake Olympia newborn photographerbeautiful soft tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston  by Butterfly Kiss Photography Seattle Tacoma Puyallup Sumner Bonney Lake Olympia newborn photographer

An ultrasound showed that Aniston was taking after her sister, she was breach. Knowing how my last c-section had so many complications, I was nervous, but also confident that my surgical team would take care of me, and they did. With my first c-section I was not conscious, and I didn’t meet Alexis until she was 12 hours old. This time, I was wide awake to experience everything, with my husband right there talking to me. As soon as Aniston came out, I heard her sweet, sweet cry and I couldn’t hold in my emotions. I cried right along with her. They brought her to me, placed her on my chest and I remember not wanting to ever move. It wasn’t an ideal birth story but it was as perfects as the situation would allow. Aniston Emery Smith was born 5 weeks early and so healthy at 5 lbs and 11 oz, 17.5″ long at 10:46 PM. Our last goal with the birth process was to be able to take our baby home with us when I was discharged. She did so well, avoided any NICU time, and 2 days later my husband, myself, and our two beautiful daughters were all home together. beautiful tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston mom and baby photographs

I’m so proud to have two premature, yet very healthy girls. My husband and I have completed our family and I couldn’t be more in love with them all. beautiful tacoma newborn baby pictures aniston with big sister sibling photographs

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!

Are you expecting a little one?  Take a peek at my newborn gallery and get in touch via the contact form above or email for current availability.  I take a limited number of newborn sessions each month to allow flexibility if your little bundle should arrive early/late and so that I can create something truly special just for you. Now booking fall/winter 2016 – limited space for August and September due dates (although you can always check for last minute availability when the time comes).  Book now to ensure availability for your one-of-a-kind newborn session.

Don't miss a thing! Click here to get new articles emailed directly to you

Newborn Posing + Creative Photography Business Mentoring Travel Dates

I am excited to share a big big announcement with y’all: I am now offering travel dates for newborn posing and creative photography business mentoring!

This is something that has been in my heart for a long time and at last the timing is right for me to officially share what I have learned over 8 years running my small business from the heart.  I am available for one on one or small group (up to 3) mentoring, which means you get lots of personal attention and hands on learning opportunity.

Teaching is focused on working with newborn babies, posing, styling, bringing your unique vision as an artist to your session, creating an amazing experience for the families you work with,  business structure and pricing that works for you.  During our time together I am an open book; we can tailor mentoring to meet your individual needs and I will be by your side helping you bloom into the artist you are meant to be.

newborn posing creative photography business mentoring workshop travel Texas Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska Colorado Wyoming Idaho Oregon Washington

Dates/Locations:

July 24 – Houston TX SOLD OUT

July 26 – Dallas/Fort Worth TX SOLD OUT

July 28 - Wichita KS, 2 spaces available

August 1 – Salt Lake City UT, 2 spaces available

 

Boise ID + Tri-Cities WA, early fall 2016

 

If you are interested in joining a 5 hour mentoring session in any of these cities please EMAIL me with the subject “mentoring +city” for additional details.

Don't miss a thing! Click here to get new articles emailed directly to you
07/14/2016 - 2:32 pm

Melanie - Mentoring in wichita ks was wondering the cost :) thank so much!!

Tacoma Newborn Pictures | Farm Baby Johann

Its kind of a funny story how I met this Tacoma family before we ever thought of newborn pictures. A few years ago we put an ad on Craigslist to sell our vintage Scout truck…and these two thought it would be the perfect addition to their family farm in Sequim.  It was sad to see our truck go, but at least we knew it was going to a good home. I kept in touch with them via Instagram and when I saw they were expecting their first little one earlier this year my wheels really started turning thinking of all the inspiration for their studio portrait session session when their baby boy would be just a few days old.  Take a look at what we created; pears to represent their fruit orchard and old milking pail from the farm.  Plus, could their little family be any cuter?!Tacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann wood crate pears knit organicTacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann 2Tacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann macro close up detail lipsTacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann natural organicTacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann brown overalls hatTacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann baby and dad warmTacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann family pose with mom and dadTacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann with mom warm smileTacoma Newborn Pictures Farm Baby Johann fox knit hat vintage campfire tinAre you expecting a little one?  Take a peek at my newborn gallery and get in touch via the contact form above or email for current availability. I take a limited number of newborn sessions each month to allow flexibility if your little bundle should arrive early/late and so that I can create something truly special just for you. Now booking Summer/Fall 2016 –  June is sold out, July is sold out, 3 sessions available for August, 3 sessions available for September, 2 sessions available for October (although you can always check for last minute availability when the time comes).  Book now to ensure availability for your one-of-a-kind newborn session.

Don't miss a thing! Click here to get new articles emailed directly to you