Welcome to the world, baby Ellison.
A pair of my favorite people in the world are Jon and Candace.
I met them shortly after I moved to Milwaukee at Brew City Church.
They’re high school sweethearts and they have two beautiful boys.
The second of their two sons was born in January and they asked me to take some newborn photos of the little guy and I enthusiastically said yes!
Since I know them personally and call them close friends, I even made the shoot back-to-back days and they were all about helping me not only take beautiful portraits of their son, but to experiment with different photography techniques that I had never tried before!
I came in with a lot of super inventive ideas that were going to be hard to pull off with different light setups and complicated poses and positioning, but as usual I ultimately found that clean and simple ended up being the best.
For example, one of the first ideas Candace wanted to implement was using a couple different quilts made by the grandmothers. So in a couple shots we bunched these thick blankets together and laid Ellis atop them and another we just put them down flat and I shot across them seeing Ellis with his eyes open and Candace’ hand across the top of his head. The hand gave it a sense of comfort and intimacy to the whole photograph.
After using the colorful quilts, we switched to a more simplistic white fluffy blanket and used that for various poses.
One of the more fun ones came when we incorporated a childrens’ puzzle into the shots. Candace and Jon are both quite smart and love games, so it was a fun way to give these newborn shots fun and quirky.
In this one we assembled a portion of the puzzle, enough to make it easily recognizable and then scattered a few more pieces and handed a piece to Ellis who quite fortunately held on to it and put it against his forehead. It’s absolutely adorable and many people have loved the photo.
I shot it in a couple different angles, but the one that worked best was shooting from atop of hit and that way you saw the whole scene spread out below you.
I used this same angle when shooting Ellis wrapped up in a fuzzy baby blue and cream colored blanket. These shots worked well, because Ellis was calm and comfortable enough to relax and give me some good faces, some good happy faces.
At this point we began incorporating Jon and Candace into the photos. A great photo that I enjoyed was one of Jon holding Ellis out in front of him. It worked perfectly, because all you could see of Jon was his striped t-shirt and his hands and Ellis was wearing a matching striped onsie.
We matched Ellis with Candace as well, who was wearing striped shirts and we got a closeup shot of Candace holding his feet and him nestled into her arms.
Just a few other shots I wanted to mention, which turned out well were a few more of Ellis wrapped in a blanket, but we switched back to one of the more colorful big blankets made by his grandmothers.
He was especially happy in this spot, which turned out well and then he fell asleep, which also helped because at this time we had been working with him for two different days and a couple hours in between stops to eat and sleep.
But, there is one where he is wrapped in a blanket sitting in a basket and he looks so happy, it’s almost a funny scene. I’m sure in 20 years, he’ll look back at that photo and the whole family will laugh at how cute he looks!