Mom and me mini sessions

  • update- one spot open, because we were able to extend the time by an hour!mom and me mini sessionsAre you almost always the one behind the camera? I’m so happy to announce a day of mini sessions to celebrate moms and get you in the picture with your kids! These will be short, casual sessions to capture loving, hugging, kissing and fun between you and your kids. There will be a bed to hang out on (and maybe even to bounce on) as well as another area for spring pictures.The pictures won’t be quite done by Mother’s Day, but (hint, hint) they would make a great Mother’s Day gift idea.

The sessions will be held in a beautiful downtown Kalamazoo studio on Saturday, May 6th from 8:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.. Sessions will be 15-20 minutes long, and include 3 digital images. The price is just $125. You’ll get an online gallery with 5-10 images to choose from. Quick, fun, and a great deal!

There’s plenty of street parking available in front of the studio. I’ll send some clothing suggestions for you and your kids, and have some clothing available for moms and kids (mostly girls, though!) if needed. The goal is to make these mom and me mini sessions as easy and stress-free as possible for you!

To register, email me at ellendykstraphotography@gmail.com

Call me at 269-267-7083 with any questions.


four weeks- too late for newborn pictures? | holland mi newborn photographer

Your baby is four weeks old. Have you completely missed your chance to get beautiful newborn pictures? Amiyah is proof that you haven’t! This gorgeous girl was four weeks old at the time of her photo session, and she couldn’t have been any better. All babies are different, of course, and not all will pose this cooperatively at four weeks. There are two keys- preparation and the right expectations.

four week old newborn pictures

Amiyah’s mom got ready with the two things I always ask for, an awake time and heat. At this age, it’s even more important to prepare babies ahead of time. Keeping them awake for a few hours ups our chances of them napping for a while. That helps to get them into the relaxed, curly poses we love of newborns. I love awake babies, too, and getting pictures with open eyes is a bonus we often get at this age. The thing that’s hard to work with is an unsettled baby. They tend to flail around, frown and squirm, and that doesn’t make for cute pictures! That’s where heat comes in. I like to work in a very warm room- somewhere between 75 and 80. That way the baby is comfortable even when we take a few layers off. And a comfortable baby is way more likely to be relaxed and happy!

four week old newborn girl

With her tummy full and a warm room, Amiyah was more than ready to doze off for a while. She even still liked being very much curled up. Some babies are happier stretched out at this age, and that’s fine, too. The important thing is to take the baby’s cues and not force anything that they’re uncomfortable with. Some poses might need to be adapted, but there are still many adorable ways to photograph them. And after all, they will never be this little again, either!

four week old newborn poses

So the bottom line is, four week olds are not too ‘old’ for newborn pictures. Their pictures and poses may be a bit different, but then again, every session is unique. We may need to adapt- they may spend more of the session wrapped, for instance. But the pictures will still be beautiful and a timeless record of your unique little one.

Interested in a newborn photo session for your baby? Contact me to talk over your ideas for your baby!


family dog included in maternity photos | the ‘first baby’

A couple’s dogs ‘before kids’ often have a very special place in their lives. Many times, that special dog is referred to as the ‘first baby’, and it’s only natural to include them in some of the pictures if they’re comfortable with it. Of course, I’m a stranger to them and just setting up lights, etc. is stimulating and new. So, sometimes they’re just a little too excited to stick around for a picture. When they do, though, it’s so sweet! Here we included their beautiful golden puppy, not even a year old, and I love the results:

indoor-maternity-picture-with-dogIsn’t that an adoring look?!

And just a few more from our time together-

For more examples of maternity photography, see the maternity gallery here.

If you’d like more information about maternity photos, contact me to talk over your ideas for a session- I’d love to help you capture this special time!


elliot and his sisters | newborn with siblings

A great picture of the newborn with siblings is usually high on mom’s wish list, and Elliot’s mom had a spot all picked out on the wall for a picture of her three kids together. The pressure was on, because the two girls had a wonderful one from our session together. And to be honest, it didn’t happen in Elliot’s first session. If that happens, I’m always happy to try again- it’s so important to me that clients are thrilled with their pictures. So we did a second mini session with just the goal of getting that great image for the wall of the three of them. (Bribes may have been involved, I’m not sure. I do always think that desperate times call for desperate measures).

And this time, everyone was in a good mood, the stars aligned, and we got not just one, but a number of great shots of Elliot with his sisters. It doesn’t hurt that they’re crazy about him! Here’s just a sampling:

newborn with siblingsnew baby boy with older sisterDon’t you love his expressions?!If you’re expecting a baby and would like pictures of your newborn with siblings, contact me for more information. I’d love to help you get some great images of your growing family!


February maternity special | pregnancy and newborn pictures

The maternity photo special is back! Maternity pictures are all about anticipation and newness. February in Michigan this year is gray and dreary, and I need something to look forward to. And what could be more fun to look forward to than a new baby?  I know, it’s easy to feel more large than beautiful when you’re pregnant. What I hear most often after a maternity session, though, is “I felt so pretty, and it’s been a while since I felt that way!” So take some time to celebrate your temporary new body and that growing baby- you’ll marvel at these pictures in years to come.

Here’s a sampling of indoor and outdoor maternity pictures- as you can see, there’s a lot of variety available:

maternity photography special 2017

The maternity special is back for just the month of February. The details- schedule a newborn session for any time later this year and get a complimentary maternity session.  Your session does not need to happen in February; it just needs to be scheduled by Feb. 28th.   Call to book a newborn session by the end of this month and your pregnancy session will be free. We usually schedule the newborn session for somewhere about a week after your due date, knowing that we may need to adjust the date based on your baby’s actual birth date. A good time for a maternity photography session is about 32-36 weeks, and newborn photo sessions are best done between 1 and 2 weeks. Both sessions will take place in your home- easy and convenient. If you’re expecting, this is a perfect time to schedule a session!

See above for a few examples of pregnancy photography from past sessions. To see more, visit the maternity gallery on the website, or click on ‘categories’ up above and choose the maternity category. Then contact me here to set up your own session!