I leave my house around 9:20 am on a windy Wednesday morning in April. I'm headed to the home of Meag and John to photograph their newborn baby boy by the name of James.

When I get to their home, I'm greeted by Meag at the door. She shows me upstairs to the nursery where we will be working.

In the nursery I can see the cloud theme that she had mentioned to me over the phone. I'm so excited to begin setting up and thankful for a quiet room. Meag has the space heater turned on already, making the room pretty toasty. Perfect for a newborn photoshoot. 

As I get set-up, let's dive into how this little bub came to be.

Two images side by side of a baby in two different prop setups during their newborn photoshoot

Instant Connection

Meag and John met when they were in high school, though it remained friendly throughout that time. In 2015 they reconnected at a Halloween party that they left to get McDonalds and the rest is history.

Meag carries a Pikachu glow-stick in her purse with her. It was a gift given to her by John on their first date. She knew she had found her person in life based off their similar interests, mannerisms, and sense of humor. 

Keeping with the tradition of Halloween romance, John asked Meag to marry him with a surprise proposal at a murder mystery dinner party 4 years later. The two were wed at Boulder Creek in May of 2021.

Image of a baby boy on a blue backdrop with clouds around him during a newborn photoshoot

Storm Clouds and Rainbows

In January of 2023, Meag and John began trying to become pregnant. Their first conception unfortunately ended too soon and they lost the baby in early April of that same year. In June, they discovered Meag was carrying Baby James in her womb. 

Meag was blessed with a very easygoing pregnancy for little James. She was tired in the first trimester, but otherwise everything went very smooth sailing for her.

She and John took a vacation to New Orleans when she was around 24 weeks along. Meag was able to walk around fine the entire time. The pair enjoyed some much needed couple time before the arrival of their baby boy. 

Despite everyone in her family telling her she would be having a girl, Meag knew she was carrying a boy. A blood test around 10 weeks of gestation confirmed what she already knew. Baby James had visited Meag in her dreams countless times, already forming this unbreakable bond between the two of them.

The baby shower for James was held in January of 2024 with the theme of "On Cloud Nine." Meag's whole family and childhood friend traveled out to Colorado from Tennessee to celebrate with her and John. 

Close up image of a baby's feet and toes during a newborn photoshoot

Sunny Side Up

James arrival into the world was a simple journey. Meag felt strongly about allowing him to come when he was ready. At just under 41 weeks, however, she was ready to meet her son in person.

She was induced at the hospital around 10pm and labored for about 25 hours. Because James was a little off-center, they had to do a few exercises to help get him in the perfect position for his exit.

A nurse suggested to do some practice pushing to move labor along. These practice pushes turned into active labor and James was out after about 2 hours of active labor. Baby James was born at midnight on March 9th weighing 7lbs 9oz and measuring 19.5 inches long!

He emerged face up and had a shoulder dystocia, requiring a bit of medical intervention to make sure that he had a safe birth. Meag was allowed the golden hour after birth to hold James skin to skin and breastfeed him for the first time. The hospital honored her wishes for a delayed cord clamping. This is a common request which can help the baby to fight off jaundice and iron deficiency in those early days of life. 

Meag was a whirlwind of emotions when James was placed on her chest for the first time. She couldn't stop crying as she was finally able to hold this baby she felt she had known for her whole life. When John asked her how she felt to not be pregnant anymore, her response was, "I can't wait to belly flop on our bed!" 

Black and white close up image of a sleeping baby's hand who is swaddled in a soft wrap during a newborn photoshoot

Scrunches and Snuggles

Meag and John are settling into newborn life. Meag admits, "raising a newborn is simultaneously the hardest and easiest thing she's ever done."

Breastfeeding and sleeping have been difficult in these early weeks, as is common for most new parents. Thankfully, she and John have a network of support willing to help them through the early days with a baby. Having a newborn to snuggle up with at the end of a hard day makes all those stresses disappear in that moment though. 

image of a baby boy wrapped in a blue swaddle sleeping on a matching blue backdrop during a newborn photoshoot

Wide Awake

Now that I'm finished setting up in the nursery, I run downstairs to wash my hands and let Meag know I'm ready for James now. We both head up to the nursery to begin the photoshoot. 

The first prop that I use is a basket with some greenery around it. I wrap James up in some of my softest wraps and he falls fast asleep. We are able to get some great poses in the basket and I chat with Meag about how she's doing. 

Meag tells me finding a sleeping schedule has been a huge hurdle. Thankfully, though, they've recently discovered how to get him to nap for longer stretches of time. I'm relieved for her, I remember those early days of trying to find a schedule with my own kids. 

After the basket, we move onto a bowl set-up. When I try to unwrap James, he wakes up, despite the room being warm.

At 4 weeks, he's a little more alert than the younger newborns that I photograph. That's fine. We work around him and get a couple shots in the bowl with his pacifier that I'll be able to edit out later. 

About an hour and a half into James' newborn photoshoot, we decide to take a break. James is starting to become unsettled so I want to let him nurse to get calm again. When Meag returns with a happy baby, I've taken the time to setup this soft blue drop on the beanbag. We're gonna take some dreamy cloud photos to match this sweet nursery theme that Meag has carefully curated. 

While James is calmer after his feeding, he is still wide awake. I make the decision to wrap him once again as we take the photos on the bean bag.

Once he is wrapped up again, he falls back to sleep. He must like the security that the swaddle provides. After taking some time to get him fully settled, I'm able to conclude the shoot with ease.

I leave the session after about 3 hours, knowing both Meag and James are probably at their limit for the day. Meag helps me to break down my setup and hugs me goodbye. 

close up image of the details of a sleeping baby boy's face during a newborn photoshoot

A Photographer's Perspective

I absolutely loved working with Meag and Little James! He was a bit of a challenge for me throughout his shoot, but we still managed to snap some fantastic photos. Meag will be happy to have these keepsakes of her darling baby.

I actually enjoy the more challenging babies at time as they help to keep me on my toes and push me to be better! I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this sweet family's story. It brings me joy to capture this small moment of time for them. 

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