Michele Jeanine Photography | Blog

Pioneering Parenthood with Jubilance and your Newborn Photographer!

September 05, 2016
Truly happy people are those who find their work exhilarating! Not only does photographing babies allow me to be artistically expressive, just as if I created a painting with a brush on a canvas, but it's also truly heartwarming to engage with young adult newbie moms and dads. 
These special people pioneering parenthood are often at the pinnacles of their careers when they decide to expand their families, very confident and secure in life, and yet now they find themselves dedicated to the biggest new project they will ever take on ... and one with the greatest possibilities. Independence and assuredness aside, I admire these folks for jumping in and tackling such a grandiose challenge. In return, they will experience the most intense joy and love possible - for each other and also for new life as they nurture their baby in all of its freshness. What they saw and felt during the nine months that preceded that awe-inspiring delivery room moment was only the beginning of the fresh innocence of new family affection and the heightened emotions they will experience over the next many years together as a family.
New parents are still awestruck and so proud when I visit them, yet humbled and uncertain of what will come next. Their homes are sprinkled with jubilance and a slight bit of tentativeness, and I am honored to work with them during this precious period giving them an in home newborn photography session. I relish the chance to gently sway their precious infant with patient, slow, calming and nurturing movements that reassure both parents and babe in arms. And, when I'm finished creating a full set of newborn pictures that capture the essence of the baby, I can then spend a few more delightful moments with the trio, evoking mom and dad's innermost emotions as they "give birth" to gorgeous wall art or an album of heart-warming memories. 
As I work to preserve the fresh innocence of new family affection, my mind daydreams ahead to the many milestones that will continue to emerge when this little one is all grown up and heading off to college, getting married, or having a baby of her own in 18, 26, or 30-or-so years. All of the joy and love that parents encounter during this new, fragile, fleeting time will come rushing back to them as they look at their wall hangings with rays of light drawing attention to tiny fingers tucked under baby's chin.
My eyes get watery remembering my own tiny children grasping at the world even as they slept so soundly. I just adore capturing these emotive glimpses and turning them into endless heartwarming memories that will stick around forever!
Michele Jeanine Photography | expert newborn photographer in DC MD VANewborn photographer in homes | MD VA DCbrotherly love

Irish Charm | Newborn Portraits at Home in MD DC VA by Michele Jeanine Photography

April 12, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

This sweet little girl deserves a preview all of her own. Her precious, puffy lips will bring lots of attention her way over the next few weeks and for years to come. Ciara was a delight to work with. "Top o' the morning," to her family in Ireland!

baby lips | newborn portrait by Michele Jeanine Photography serving MD DC VAbaby lips | newborn portrait by Michele Jeanine PhotographySweet baby lips!


Create a Masterpiece

April 04, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

During this spring season, I have revamped my Storybook Collections to emphasize large, gorgeous high-quality art work for your walls. I am also falling in love with video clips like this one, and will be gifting video birth announcements to new parents to share with their families and friends around the world, whenever they make a storybook investment.

Book your newborn or infant fine art photography session now! 


Create A Masterpiece | Newborn Portraits by Michele Jeanine Photography

One-size Doesn't Fit All | Newborn Photography Maryland, DC, Virginia

March 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Tell me, would you take your baby to an orthopedic surgeon for a tummy ache? Just as with medical specialties, not all photography professions are appropriate for your new baby's portrait. So why is it that we expect to find a one size fits all photographer?

I never really understood this until it “clicked” (no pun intended) during my recent workshop experience with world renowned newborn photographer, Kelly Brown. I realized as we all sat in that New York City penthouse watching infants sleep, that the reason I am so drawn to newborn photography is not just because of the pure innocence these newbies embody and the attention to detail that the job requires, but because I feel a deep connection to the babies themselves. Kelly unwittingly helped me recognize that this special attachment is what separates newborn photographers from “quick shoot" sessions with your average portrait photographer.

The genuine caring and patient approach Kelly demonstrates with newborns and their families stands out among those who simply just squeeze in a baby here and there among many persons on their schedules. I felt her pain when she spoke of how long it had taken before she was respected by her peers, and wondered how it could be that her effort and talent was not immediately recognized! Babies are different.  Just imagine for a moment how difficult it would be to work with adults who can't express their likes and dislikes, call for food when they're hungry, or shift positions to get comfortable. A newborn photographer has to be willing to work effectively in “one-way” relationships while loving their subject despite their helplessness and lack of response. Like Florence Nightingale, the true newborn photographer is ignited by a passion to give comfort and sees beauty in those that sometimes smell and leak fluids when they least expect it! Kelly, like the rest of us in this field, works in a very quiet baby-friendly space, without a big oak desk, without a water cooler, without a conference room full of other adults trying to move up on the corporate ladder.  Instead, we are more likely to be hunched awkwardly over a beanbag waiting for just the right moment.

MD DC VA Newborn PhotosNewborn Baby Photo | Maryland DC VA by Michele Jeanine Photography Perfect sweetness from Kelly Brown NYC Workshop


Of course it takes technical skill to do this job – to choose the best in-camera settings for achieving spot on focus and beautiful, buttery background blur. Newborn photographers want to call the viewer's eyes to the subject to make the baby stand out, crisp and clear from the soft background bokeh. An understanding of manual camera settings goes without saying, but newborn art also requires deliberate, well planned movements and an acceptance that the baby will ultimately determine your time schedule and routine. Fingers, toes, even the edges of frilly wraps and blankets are the details to be accounted for during each and every pose. With superb technical capability ready, but taking a back seat most of the time to warm caresses and artistic development, the newborn photographer moves through each session comforting babies for hours and coaxing their bodies into position with a gentle nudge or fold. While sometimes keeping rowdy toddlers at bay and making sure everyone is comfortable during the session, we slowly shape drama with available natural light and colors reflected around the room.

Beautiful Baby | Kelly Brown Posing Workshop in NYC | MD DC VA Newborn Portraits by Michele Jeanine PhotographyIn Home Photos of New Baby MD DC VA by Michele Jeanine Photography | Kelly Brown Workshop in NYC

Newborn photography is a unique craft that clearly can only be developed through lots of practice and experience touching and handling. But the number of babies a photographer has handled and posed doesn't necessarily earn them a badge in this field. There is no degree to be awarded to a student of photography when they master “baby posing.” It's simply a genre in which love and patience is the guide, and potential is the motivator for composing priceless keepsake wall art.

My friends who shoot weddings will powder the faces of fresh, well-prepared young brides during their post processing workflow, but I spend my evenings retouching red and purple hands or feet, softening the edges of a delicate blanket backdrop and smoothing fabric lines to create a piece of art. Wedding photographers document an event while I focus instead on precious eyelashes, lips and wrinkled folds of skin. Their goal is to tell a chronological story of true love unfolding, planning, and then a period of celebration. My very different tale (but born out of the same celebration of love) has to evoke feelings of serenity, calm and hope.

It must be a dramatic change for photographers who shoot lifestyle portraits or weddings to switch to photographing a newborn in their studios every now and then. Their regular mode of activity involves catching the moments that they can't always plan for. Posing their models requires a lot of verbal direction; they use their own body language and facial expressions to cajole a smile or just the right glance from their models. While many of my photographer friends create angles and spaces between their subjects, we tuck and layer blankets and then fold sweet arms and feet over one another in just the right way to capture a peaceful slumber or an angelic expression.

Two weeks ago, ten other photographers and I watched Kelly demonstrate this painstaking but lovely process as she completed three partial newborn sessions during a span of about eight hours of posing and shooting. Some of us were in awe of her knack for moving the baby without waking him, but there were a few who became impatient that enough wasn't "happening," and some may have even drifted into slumber along with the babies. (You know who you are!) How could one help it, though – the room was extra warm, white noise and heartbeats were drumming in the background and Kelly was shushing us into dreamland like our angelic subjects!

As an adult, it's difficult to wait and wait ...and keep waiting .... for the most perfect deep sleep patterns from a baby, indicating it's okay to start the posing. Kelly wasn't doing anything magical, but she was without a doubt one of the most patient, caring photographers I have observed in this business and I learned a lot from her. As I watched her and my comrades carefully, I realized this job isn't necessarily for everyone and may be best suited to a specialist who focuses solely on baby art, kind of like I thought from the beginning.

Soft Baby Love from Kelly Brown Workshop in NYCIn home newborn photos by Michele Jeanine Photography in MD DC VA | Kelly Brown Workshop NYC

As baby photographers, we don't have the worry of changing mental tracks but we do worry about creating breathtaking images. In my newborn sessions, I kneel silently, rocking back and forth, sometimes shushing or humming, gently comforting my models with rhythmic pats on the back or caressing their foreheads with gliding finger movements. Kelly embodies the motto I have carried to my client homes, that new babies aren't “fussy,” and all can be soothed during those early weeks if you're willing to meet their needs first, and wait until they settle before posing the shoot. If the photographer's schedule is hopping from one shoot to another, babies might seem like a burden because their shoots can take several hours -- be sure to notice ... they won't be rushed!

My advice? Be cautious as you select the person who will spend the morning or afternoon with your precious little one; look for a photographer who specializes in newborn art and make that session only about your baby! 



A Boy and His Dog | Newborn Baby Photographer At Home in MD by Michele Jeanine Photography

February 10, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


These warm images from such a beautiful session are long overdue on my blog, but must be included! 

Before this babe was born, his parents had planned that playful puppy and baby boy would become best of friends, donning matching fur and floppy ears together.

Beautiful Maryland BabyNewborn baby in MD DC VA

This family's charming little dog surprised me with its willingness to be photographed. He barked like a big guard dog before the front door opened as I was arriving at the client's home, but softened quickly with Grandma's reassuring strokes while I set up my gear and talked to the baby's parents about background choices and props.

By mid session, Bentley seemed to approve of me holding and comforting the little guy, and so I just had to see whether we could encourage this furry family member (who at first had been feeling slightly "status bumped" by the new baby) to pose next to his new "brother." 

Baby boy was serene as we all moved around him to set things up. When mom brought out a blue bow that matched the baby's Little Boy Blue stretchy wrap, the set was just perfect and an impromptu image was born!

A quick change from blue to ivory as baby donned a new pooch outfit, grabbing even greater attention from his tail-wagging friend. 

I took a few more shots of the baby alone while his pal watched nearby, and then added portraits of the good looking, proud parents who had brought these new friends for life together. 

The star of the show really was this little charmer who warmed the heart of everyone with eyes opened and closed, even though his predecessor sure seemed to try to steal the show that day. 

We finished off the session with beautiful family art.



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