Why Baby’s First Year Portraits Are So Important

Like most new parents, I was a little naive. When I was expecting my first baby, people told me, “your life is about to change so much, it will never be the same after the baby arrives,” I thought that maybe they were exaggerating a bit. After all, my husband and I didn’t party, or travel, or really do much of anything. We were homebodies. We grabbed takeout and watched movies or read books together. So we very naively, thought, we would just have a sweet little one to join us quietly hanging out and watching movies.

Lifestyle Newborn in Crib by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

But, as some sort of cruel punishment, we got the complete opposite of that. We got a colicky little girl, who would cry and cry and then cry some more, for seemingly no reason and there was not much we could do about it. For the first six weeks of her life, any time you attempted to place her in her bassinet after she had fallen asleep, no matter how gently or carefully you did it, she would immediately wake up and start crying until you picked her up again. So, for those first six weeks, we took turns holding her while she slept throughout each night.

Lifestyle Newborn with Mom in Nursery by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

We were both miserable, and I felt like a failure. I had read every book on new babies and thought I was prepared. Instead, she arrived and I felt lost and helpless. It felt like we were messing up from the moment we arrived home with her. Eventually, things got better. We started feeling like we sorta knew what we were doing and that at least we knew our little girl. She got a little easier as she got older. (Well, maybe not easier, at 9 she is still difficult, I mean, “spirited.”) But her fussing, complaining, and crying got more predictable, and we knew what to do for her. As that first year rushed by, the days felt so long. I now knew exactly what people meant when they talked about “surviving” the first year of parenthood, because we just barely made it through.

Lifestyle 4 Month Baby with Mom Portraits by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

I learned how incredibly difficult, and sometimes completely miserable, the first year can be can be. Like when they decide they are done with their carrot puree so the dump the rest of the bowl onto their head. Or when they start screaming and crying in the middle of a trip to Target, and nothing you do calms them down, so you just have to just abandon your shopping cart to get them out of there. Sometimes you just feel a little bit like you’re drowning and there is no one to throw you a life preserver. But I also learned how truly magical that first year can be. Like when they smile at you for the first time, the way they are absolutely amazed by peek-a-boo, or when they start to crawl and you feel so proud.

Lifestyle One Year Old Session, First Steps by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

Sometimes the magical times can get a little lost in the difficult times. So when I realized that I could use photography to catch those magical times with my daughter and save them forever, I knew I wanted to do the same for other parents. There is nothing wrong with remembering the difficult times too, especially when they make you laugh in retrospect. But I hate the thought that the pure magic of that first year can be obscured by the sleeplessness, the fear, and the overwhelm. We are all better parents than we think, and I want every parent to remember how happy they made their little one, and how happy that little one made them.

Lifestyle 4 Month Baby with Mom Portraits by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

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Thank You for a Beautiful 2016!

Every year, on New Year’s Day, I go through my very favorite images from each of the previous year’s sessions and I create a very special slideshow as a huge thank you to all of our clients! In 2016 we met a lot of new families and had the amazing pleasure of photographing so many of our regular clients. It’s one of my greatest joys getting to watch all of your little ones grow up. These images fill my heart with joy and gratitude to each and every one of you. It is because of you that I am able to run the business of my dreams!

2016 was a year of hard work, some small set-backs and failures, but ever greater successes! We photographed 101 families with 66 babies & 160 kids. The year began slower than normal, but ended with a fall that was twice as busy as the year before! And in the midst of the busy season I had a health scare that inconvenienced some clients and made my work load even heavier. I want to thank all of the wonderfully kind, patient and understanding families who we had to reschedule. I am thankful to report that I am strong and healthy going into 2017. My body may have just been telling me that I need to remember to drink more water, get more sleep,and take a break once in a while.

I am an admitted work-aholic, always struggling against my impulses to overfill my plate. To save me from myself, I added a few new members to our team to help with our growth this year. Not only did we have a full shooting schedule but I also taught a workshop, an online class with @clickinmoms, and mentored a few other photographers. AND after an almost two year search for the right space we moved into our first commercial STUDIO!

I can’t wait to see what the year ahead holds for us. We plan to shoot more, teach more, play more, and laugh more! Bring me your babies!
xo,
Maggie

Final Holiday Mini Session 2016 Update!

Due to popular demand we added one last mini session date! And it is already half booked! If you would still like to book a mini session for your family, get in touch NOW to book your spot!

Email us at hello@justmaggie.com for more info.

Holiday Mini Sessions 2016 with Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Family Photographer

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