Newborn Photos | Grand Rapids Photographer

Newborn Photos | Grand Rapids Photographer

I got to meet handsome little Keegan for his newborn photos! Being a Grand Rapids wedding photographer, we get to photograph not only weddings but newborns of our past wedding couples. This is by far one of my favorite things about being a photographer.

Little Keegan was one of my easiest newborns yet! He was zonked for his entire session, which definitely makes my job a lot easier.

Less is More

Capturing newborn photos used to be a bit intimidating to me, after all, newborns don’t really care what angle you want to photograph them in. And everything is done on their time. But after years of practice and trying different techniques, I’ve learned that less is more. SO much more. Keeping background changes to a minimum and outfit changes to the least amount possible (I generally prefer bare buns!) is that best way to achieve sweet photos of your babe.

Another tip I tell clients is to bring swaddling blankets or other fabrics that are from you home. This makes your photos more personalized to YOU.

If you are expecting a little one soon, I would love to capture those sweet rolls and tiny fingers. I offer in studio and lifestyle newborn sessions that can be pencilled in before your litle one arrives. View more of my work here.

newborn photos grand rapids photographer

The Importance of Photo Albums

I have so many reasons why photo albums are important to me. This post has been a long time coming, and while I want to express to you how they are important. It’s not me preaching… it literally took me being on maternity leave with my THIRD child to get my FIRST child’s first year in an album. Five years of photos that were never printed. Five years of showing my kids the pictures on my phone or computer. Five years having something on my to-do list. If you know me, they know that I am “a-get-stuff-done” kind of girl. But in the midst of my wife-mom-business owner life, that was one thing I just couldn’t get done. But now it’s finally done, so I won’t be a hypocrite for writing this post. 🙂

My first and biggest reason for why photo albums are SO, so important is because of the photo above of my middle child, Audyn. She and her big sister Kenlie love to look at pictures of themselves… of our family… of our old house… of our dog when she was a puppy… of everything. Give them a toy and they’ll play with it for 5 minutes and be done, but give them a photo album and they’ll spend an hour looking at it.

In a world of cell phones, emoticons, screens of every size, and chaos to clog their minds, give your children documented moments of their life that they can touch and hold close to their heart.

Not to sound like a sap, but it’s true. There’s something to be said about holding an album full of your family moments. Or pulling the 4×6 print out from the album sleeve and looking at it closer. Comparing how your mom’s baby pictures look to your own.

You won’t believe how many times people learn that they didn’t backup all of the pictures in their phone, never got any printed, and then find out when it’s too late.

Or perhaps, think about when your son brings home his future wife. What are you going to do, hand her your cell phone to look at his adorable baby pictures or awkward teen years?




My stack of 5 years worth of pictures to put into albums, happy to say I got it done!





The correct way to organize your family photos

Part 1 in Storing Your Photos:

Having a set system for organizing your photos is a crucial component in storing your photos. Over the last 7 years, we’ve developed an easy method that will make finding your pictures simple.

The first thing you must do is determine where you want to save your photos. You can use the folder called “Pictures” which is always under “My Computer” or if you have another hard drive where you store important information that’s even better. We have a shared drive on our network that we can access from any device, it’s great. If you need to access your photos outside your home or if you don’t already have an off-site backup solution you can use one of many cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive or Icloud to store your photos. Depending on how many photos you have you may have to pay for extra storage when using those services. I’ll be talking more about this in part 2 of organizing your photos.

Go to where ever you would like to save your photos and create a folder named “Pictures”. Within your “Pictures” folder you’ll need to have a few main category folders. You’ll see our personal files below.

Then within each main category, create a folder starting with the month or year for each time you add pictures. Below is our “Florida folder, whih is within our “Trips” folder.


And finally, be sure give your image files a name that describes what the photos are about.


This wraps up how we organize our personal photos. Organizing our client photos and portfolio follows the same guidelines but is a bit more involved.

The most important tip that I can give you is to make sure that you put your photos in the correct file right away. Don’t just dump them all onto your desktop!! Also, don’t store pictures in several different places. This is especially important if you have a shared folder that several different people access. You’ll waste too much time searching for photos. Keep them all in one place!

get them on the… door?


PART 2 in the best way to showcase your photos

Last week I wrote about getting your photos up on the wall. This week I have a non conventional way to showcase your photos. 🙂

In June, we sold our first family home. This beauty was located in the basement of our 1920’s colonial in downtown Zeeland, it was a functional door, used in one of the small rooms in the basement. I always loved this door, and needless to say, I was NOT leaving that house without it. Andrew wasn’t so keen on the idea of this door. “What are you going to do with it?” he asked. “OOOh, I have plans for this door.” Now, in Andrew’s defense I have “had plans” for several other old, past-their-expiration-date pieces that have been sitting in the corner of our basement collecting dust.

If it had been up to Andrew, it would have stayed. Well, on moving day just as the house was almost empty, my brother-in-laws asked “What else?”. “Well, I’d really like to take that door.” Within minutes it was off the hinges and on the trailer.

And now, here the door sits in our great room being used as the exact way I always wanted to use it. If you ask Andrew, he’ll say that someone set it there while we were moving in and I hasn’t moved it yet. But it’s right where I want it. And I love it.

One main advantage of this, is that it eliminates a cluttered refrigerator which is one of my biggest pet peeves.


get them on the wall

PART 1 in how to showcase your photos.

You have invested time coordinating outfits, convincing your kids (and husband) to cooperate during the photo session, and time deciding on a photographer.

Your photo session was a success and you love your photos, now it’s time to pick out prints. For some, this can be a difficult task. For others, they know exactly what they want and go from there. One thing to remember when picking out wall art… go big or go home. You would be surprised just how many of my clients say they’d like to order a “big one” thinking that’s an 8×10. Gone are the days of an 8×10 being a “big print”.

As homes are getting larger, great rooms are getting greater, you really need to take this into consideration when ordering and hanging your family photos.

One of my favorite products are canvas gallery wraps. Don’t get me wrong, I still love frames prints. But I also love to see my work on canvas. Below you’ll see a few examples of canvas only clusters and canvas & print clusters. All of the photos below are from areas in our home.

Canvas gallery wraps in my office

You’d be surprised at how big you really do need to go with your canvas gallery wraps to make a BIG statement. Even with this one being 20×30 I know when we update our family pictures in a few months, I’ll be ordering a much larger one.

20×30 Canvas Gallery wrap paired with 2 12×12 prints.

Wall clusters with similiar frames all in B&W

I love your CD of family pictures that’s buried under a stack of papers! – said no one ever




Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting:

//  the best way to showcase your photos
//  the importance of photo albums
//  storing your photos
//  where to print photos
//  copyrights, vs print rights, vs no rights




So you had your family pictures taken in August, got the CD and….. there it sits. Life happened. You were busy. Your session was in August and with the kids going back to school, Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then New Years you had zero time. ZERO time. I’m not blaming you, I know how busy people are. I mean, it took me 7 years to print a wedding picture from my own wedding. SEVEN YEARS!

Partly because I just didn’t love the quality of our wedding pictures, and partly because I spend so much time on other people’s pictures, but mostly because they were sitting on a CD and on our computer, just waiting.

“I’ll get to it next week.”
“For our one year anniversary I am sooo going to get our wedding pictures printed.”
“We’re having a baby, I really need to get our wedding pictures printed.”
“We just had our second child, they should see mommy and daddy’s wedding pictures up somewhere.”
“Our oldest is almost 4 years old and I just printed a picture of her wearing my wedding dress, before I’ve even printed pictures of me wearing it. I really should get to that.”

And then one day, we sold our first family home. As I was packing up our photo albums and taking pictures off of the wall, I realized I had still never printed any wedding pictures. This made me sad. In fact, I was so sad that I finally went and ordered pictures so that they would be ready to hang up in our new house. And now, finally, after so many years Andrew and I have wedding pictures (from our OWN wedding!) up on our wall.

So, over the next few weeks I’ll be posting helpful tips to help you get your photos where they should be so that you don’t make the same mistake I did.

Awww, look at those love birds. 🙂