When I met up with the McCaslin family for their maternity session earlier this summer, I had such a great time getting to know their family. Daryl and Ashley were just a few weeks away from completing their family of 5. They weren’t sure if they’d be welcoming home a boy or a girl, but big sisters Keagan and Juniper were ready to meet their littlest sibling. And mom and dad were feeling great and excited about their new baby. I’m so excited to explain why I had to combine their maternity and newborn sessions into one blog. I am so excited to share their story!
I knew Keagan and Juniper were going to be amazing big sisters the first time I met them. It’s fun knowing at this moment during the maternity session, they had no idea if they were going to have a young brother or sister.
We met in east Lawrence for the maternity session. The great thing about east Lawrence is how much visual interest, color, and texture there is in that area. The neighborhood is filled with warehouses, revitalized industrial buildings, and arts galleries. These spaces make it a perfect spot to inspire just about anyone. It was the perfect spot to capture this growing family.
Ashley and Daryl weren’t necessarily planning to have a third baby. When they found out they had another baby joining the family, they asked me to shoot their maternity and newborn sessions and I was so thrilled to do that for them! There’s nothing better than seeing the joy involved in a growing family.
This couple (well, entire family really!) is so cute. I typically encourage my maternity sessions to schedule with me around 6 or 7 months along. That way you’ll be showing beautifully, but you won’t be so uncomfortable that you don’t want to move. Plus, I promise you’ll have that pregnancy glow. I know most pregnant women don’t feel like they have it, but it is very real and an insanely beautiful thing that I get to capture. If you don’t see it now, you will 5 years from now!
You have to be an amazing, strong person to be a mom. From the moment I first met Ashley, I knew she was incredible. But at the time, I had no idea just how strong she is. We’d find out not long after this.
I was shocked when I heard from Ashley not long after our maternity session. As it turns out, she went into labor while Daryl was at work. She didn’t labor long, and by the time Daryl rushed home, Kellan had made his arrival. It blows my mind to even think about it! While I think being in the comfort of your own home sounds lovely, I also can’t imagine going through what Ashley did without any doctors or nurses there.
Lawrence has an active police and emergency scanner community, with tens of thousands of people who follow its activities. I happened to see the following news post: “Medical – pregnancy…. Baby couldn’t wait any longer and popped out in the living room.” I’d find out shortly afterwards it was the McCaslins. Naturally, she had countless people from the community wondering how things turned out with this little guy and his mom.
We decided to shoot their newborn session at home, right where Kellan made his first appearance. It was so perfect. Keagan and Juniper snuggled him closely, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over him, as big sisters should do. And I couldn’t help but think it was perfect to be right in the same space where he took his first breath.
I also love that we were able to capture real life photos of the family in their home. Daryl is such a proud father, and getting to see him and his girls hold Kellan close made such beautiful photos.
If you’re considering doing a newborn shoot at home, I cannot say this enough: DO IT! I encourage you to do so, because you want these photos to feel as real life as possible. It’s okay if your home isn’t immaculate. After all, you have a new baby to think about, and there’s never enough time in a day when you have a baby at home! In the safety of your own home, you can show me a glimpse into your real life. I encourage you to let me capture special moments you where you’re most comfortable (for example, breastfeeding), because it can truly be an incredible experience that you want to remember long after it’s over.
Lifestyle photos like these are some of my favorite. When I get to capture beautiful interactions with every family member, especially in the comfort of your own home, it makes the photos that much more memorable for you in the future. My goal is always to make your maternity and newborn sessions capture a moment in time that goes by entirely too fast.
I will always encourage families to include maternity and newborn sessions as part of their plan for a new baby. Watch Me Grow packages include both of these sessions, as well as pivotal moments in the baby’s life as your baby grows within the first year. They are always some of my most favorite sessions to shoot, and they always give me goosebumps knowing how meaningful they’ll be to you for the rest of your lives.
If you or someone you know is expecting, get in touch with me to book a Watch Me Grow package. This is such an invaluable gift to give to yourself. And I love getting to be a part of helping tell your story. It’s worth the investment in your family’s story, as well as in telling your baby’s story. I promise you won’t regret it.