Natural Baby Care

Have you ever wondered how you can incorporate natural baby care into parenting?  We always want to give our children the best.  As a new mom you may be looking for ways to reduce chemicals that you are using around your house and baby.  I recently had a newborn session with Alicia.  She has made pure living her lifestyle and now raises her boys the same way.  I thought she would be a wonderful resource to give us more information about making our own environment cleaner and healthier.  Meet Alicia and the boys who are most important to her.

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Meet Our Guest Blogger

Hey guys! I recently had a newborn session with Shannon and I am honored that she asked me to be her first guest blog post! I am Alicia. I live in Hendersonville where Shannon’s studio is located. I am first and foremost a mother to two beautiful boys. I also own a local organic body product company called Apothepurity. My products are available in 11 stores and counting throughout middle Tennessee and beyond. I was asked to post about simple ways you can incorporate living a pure, clean lifestyle as a new mom. My boys were not the beginning of my journey for me, but seeing them encourages me every day to continue to spread the word about a natural lifestyle. First, I will tell you a little about what started this journey for me and then move on to a few easy ways to live pure!

My journey started at age 22, long before I became a mother, while living on the island of Oahu in 2011. I learned so much about sustainability, clean living, and caring for the Earth. When I returned to Tennesse, I had trouble finding truly pure products. I found that many companies were cutting corners whether it be sub par ingredients, plastic packaging, or only partial organic ingredients. These same companies were also often charging astronomical prices in the name organic. I wanted to create a truly good, philanthropic company that didn’t cut any of those corners and was still affordable to the average consumer. I went to school for aesthetics in my early twenties and had no idea at the time how I would use that knowledge. Fast forward to 2016, after much work and trial and error, I finally started Apothepurity. Our mission is not only to provide people with pure products but also to convince people to live a more natural lifestyle for a healthier you and planet too.

Motherhood brings about many changes. It often inspires us to re-evaluate our own lifestyle. It inspires us to research everything from what bottles are best to what products are safest for baby. Often enough, we decide it’s time to clean up our routine….but where to start? It can be overwhelming. In this blog post, I will highlight a few tips and resources for starting a clean living journey.


Your skin is your largest organ. That is why it’s so important to protect it. The majority of what you put on your skin is absorbed in seconds and much of it makes it into your blood stream. Remember, your skin eats it too!

My first bit of advice if to keep it simple. Read ingredient lists. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, or the list is a mile long, it’s pretty safe to assume there are some nasties lurking in there. A few ingredients I always look out for:

Synthetic Colors
Propylene Glycol

Without going into too much detail, these harsh chemicals are known to cause severe allergic reactions, skin irritation, respiratory damage, can disrupt the endocrine system, cause birth defects, can increase your risk for certain types of cancers, and so much more!

I am a huge fan of the Environmental Working Group. You can visit their website to search for ingredients or common products and see their rating. It breaks down what is toxic about the product by ingredients and is SO informative. They also have a free app you can download to make the search easier!

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Most of us simply do not have the means to toss (hopefully recycle!) every product in our house when we decide to make the change. I personally started replacing my items one by one as I ran out my old conventional products the over the course of a year. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Making the switch one by one will prevent you from going crazy AND is less shocking to your body. A few easy switches to make that are readily available:

•Hand Soap/Body + Baby Wash + Dish Soap

-Pour 1/4 cup liquid castile soap (We love Dr Bronners unscented) in an old foaming hand soap dispenser (This is for an 8 ounce container!)
-Fill the rest with distilled water
-?Optional: Add essential oils (properly diluted!) of your choice for scent + added cleaning properties. Lemon is a great choice for hand and dish soap. Lavender or Frankinsense are great choices for body wash!
Note: Dr Bronners is very concentrated. It is important to dilute prior to use on skin. It can be very drying!

•Baby Oil/Lotion

A single oil works perfectly for baby! Jojoba oil is our favorite, but olive and coconut oil are great too! A little goes a long way!

•All Purpose Cleaner

Combine equal parts:
Distilled White Vinegar
Distilled Water
Optional: A few drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. This cleaner works well for countertops, floors, sinks, etc.

•Shower + Bath Cleaner

Fill a spray bottle with cheap vodka and voila! It cuts through soap scum like nobody’s business.

•Body Products

Visit us my site Apothepurity to shop my products! We make everything from body butter to hand sanitizer. Customers rave about our natural deodorant! Clink the FIND US link to try our products in person. Follow us on social media to stay up to date on our blogs, events, and promos! Use code: SPP20 for 20% off of your online purchase with us.

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Natural Baby Care


There are many harsh chemicals out there that cannot be avoided. However, it’s always a good idea to avoid what you can, especially with a tiny human in tow. You don’t have to go crazy, just be mindful! Our babies deserve it.

We hope that you will make the switch to safer products to create a healthier, better environment for you and your precious little ones!



Thanks, Alicia, for sharing ways to include natural baby care and clean living into our lifestyle.  I hope you guys find this information valuable!  Here are a few more favorites of Alicia’s newest little guy.

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Are you expecting a baby and interested in posed newborn photos? We’d love to hear from you. Shannon Payne Photography specializes in newborn photography. One of Nashville’s top newborn photographers, Shannon has trained with some of the best photographers in the world in order to great the best newborn experience for your family. It is best to get on our calendar during your 2nd trimester. Email us today to book your session.

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  • Lindsay - This is such a great blog. It can be overwhelming as a new mom to think about all of the chemicals involved in baby care/ household products. This is the perfect blog for new moms with a lot of easy recipes to try. Thank you for this!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - There is so much great information in this post I bookmarked it!  thank you for sharing and allowing us to hear from Alicia.  The natural feel to her newborn images is perfect for her natural approach to living.  Beautiful work.  ReplyCancel

  • Manda Young - Love this! Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Anna - Wow! So much great information, def have to bookmark this!. I love trying to live as organically as possible. 🙂 ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Vredeveld - So much amazing advice on how to live a clean lifestyle, especially about starting off slowly. Her products look amazing, too!ReplyCancel

  • Kandi -  Such a wonderful resource for new moms!  Thank you for sharing all the information and especially for the recipes. Your images or equally beautiful and pure I love how natural they all are ReplyCancel

  • melissa - so much information, so helpful!  Thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledgeReplyCancel

Planning Baby Cake Smash Photos

Planning baby cake smash photos may be one of the first things you think of when your baby nears his or her first birthday.  I think cake smash photos are just as much for parents as they are for baby.  Probably even more!  You have survived that awesome yet exhausting year.  A year full of firsts, memories, trials, and laughs.

Planning Baby Cake Smash Photos

As soon as you book your baby’s cake smash photography session, we start planning the look for your photo session.  I have an inspiration board on Pinterest to help get an idea for your vision.  My cake smash inspiration board does not feature other cake smashes.  I do not want to copy another photographer’s look.  I want our cake smash to be unique and original.  You will see other pieces of inspiration on my board.  From cakes to birthday invitations, you can browse and tell me the look that you are drawn towards.  I use this information to plan and prep for you cake smash pictures.

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Declan’s first birthday party was a lumberjack theme.  His mommy wanted to use the same theme for his one year old pictures and cake smash.  She already had the buffalo plaid clothing and birthday banner.  His little hat and boots were great finishing touches!  I added a stack of lumber and pine trees as accents for the theme.  Instead of using a cake stand, we used a cut slice of wood.  Every little detail is planned to match the lumberjack theme.  When planning your baby cake smash photos, you can choose a theme like this.  However, you don’t have to go with a theme.  You can use other pieces of inspiration like flowers, a certain color, fruit, the season, or more.  They sky is really the limit when planning baby cake smash photos.

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Nashville Cake Smash Photography

Are you ready to schedule your baby’s cake smash photo session?  I have several packages to choose from for one year old pictures.  If you are needing pictures in time for your baby’s birthday party, I recommend scheduling your session 4 weeks in advance.  That gives me time to edit, and you time to get your pictures ready to display.  Cake smash photo sessions are some of our most requested sessions.  We have even been featured on Sherri’s Berries website for inspiring cake smash photo sessions.  I would love to get started planning your photo session today!
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  • Anna - OH MY HANDSOME! I can’t handle this set up and his face in the last photo! Too sweet! 🙂 ReplyCancel

  • Kandi - Cutest cake smash I have seen!! Your images are all so unique and ADORABLE!!  I love how you offer done great ideas and make it do original! Love following your blog ! Great job! ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Vredeveld - So adorable! I love that he literally smashed his face into it. Such a handsome little guy, and the best set-up ever!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - what an amazing gallery!  And that setup is so perfect!!ReplyCancel

Studio Newborn vs. Lifestyle Newborn Photography

Studio Newborn vs. Lifestyle Newborn Photography

One of the most common questions new parents have is what is the difference in studio newborn vs. lifestyle newborn photography? I wanted to share the differences by sharing Miss Josie’s newborn sessions.  Her parents wanted posed newborn pictures.  But they also wanted pictures of their new family together in their first home.  We created a custom package for them so that they could have both.

Studio Newborn Photography

Studio newborn photography includes trained posing, props, and specific lighting.  The environment is very controlled in order to get baby comfortable and posed.  The equipment that I use to achieve these looks is not portable which is why clients come to my Hendersonville studio for their posed newborn portraits.  Josie’s newborn photography package included a Petite Newborn Session.  This is my smallest package and includes 2 different poses.  One pose is a prop and the other is a blanket.  We chose a bucket and several girly layers for Josie’s prop pose.

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Newborn Studio Poses

The second pose we used for Josie’s newborn photo shoot was a neutral toned blanket.  I love blanket posing because the focus is entirely on baby.  I love working with babies to get them in sweet little poses.  They are so curly and moldable at this age.  Many newborn poses resemble the positions they are in while in the womb and baby just loves it. Every detail is meticulously posed from their fingers to their toes.

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Lifestyle Newborn Photography

A few weeks after her newborn session, I met Josie’s family at their home in Nashville.  They wanted family pictures together in their first home.  Lifestyle photo sessions are much more relaxed.  There is less prep and planning.  Posing is minimal.  I incorporate parts of your home including the nursery and even your pets if desired.

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If you are still on the fence on determining if studio newborn vs. lifestyle newborn photography is the best choice for you, I invite you to visit examples of each.  You can see samples of our studio newborn photography sessions here.  Visit here to see lifestyle newborn photography sessions.  I’m also happy to help you determine the session that is best for you.  Contact me today so that we can discuss your options.

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  • Anna - I love that you created a custom package so that they could have the best of both worlds! I am obsessed with how cute their house is! <3 ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - This is such a great idea to give mom and dad the best of both worlds. I really love all of these images and the candid shots of this new family are priceless. This package is perfect for new families.ReplyCancel

Maternity Newborn Photography Package

Maternity Newborn Photography Package

One of our most popular photo packages is our Maternity Newborn Photography Package.  The “Belly to Baby” package includes a maternity photography session as well as our Classic Newborn photography session.  One of my favorite parts of this package is getting to meet my new clients before baby arrives.

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 Belly to Baby Maternity Newborn Package

Maternity photography sessions don’t just document your growing bump.  They capture the love and excitement between you and your spouse.  You can see more of our maternity photo sessions here.

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Classic Newborn Photo Session

A few weeks later we will meet again.  The second part of our maternity newborn photography package is your newborn portrait session.  Our Classic Newborn photo session is included in this package.  The Classic Newborn package includes your choice of pictures of baby individually, in props, detail images, family, and sibling images.  It is our most popular newborn portrait package. By booking the Belly to Baby portrait package, you are guaranteed a spot on our calendar for your newborn photo session.  Once baby arrives, we get you scheduled for studio portraits.

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 Family Newborn Pictures

Family pictures include poses with mom, dad, siblings, and family together.

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Posed Newborn Photos

Posed newborn portraits include prop setups, blanket setups, wraps, bonnets, headbands, seasonal setups, and more.  Our studio is fully stocked with boutique products designed specifically for newborns.  Leave the work and creativity up to me.  Everything is setup when you arrive.

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 Newborn Detail Images

Newborn details images have quickly become some of our most requested pictures.  Tiny toes and fingers, pouty lips, flaky skin, wispy eyelashes, and wrinkly skin don’t stay this way for long.  Your baby will change and grow in the blink of your eye.  Baby Olivia pictured below was born before Christmas, so her parent requested a Christmas themed pose for Christmas cards.  Now that the holidays have passed, I can finally share it!  Click here to see more samples of our newborn photo sessions.

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Are you ready to discuss our maternity newborn photography package.  I’d love to chat and see if our Belly to Baby package is right for you.

Interested in seeing our most recent sessions?  Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.

Shannon Payne Photography is named one of Nashville’s Best Newborn Photographers.  Expertise has ranked us as one of the top newborn photographers in Nashville.

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  • Amanda - What an informative post and gorgeous photos too!! ReplyCancel

  • Milana Photography - Great blog post with awesome information. And I am in loooove with your photos! You are extremely talented 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - I would book this package in a heartbeat! These images are timeless and so well done. This family will be able to look back at these images for years to come and smile about them. That feeling alone is priceless!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Vredeveld - Those cheeks! <3 <3 Beautiful momma and little one, I love that you included some images from their maternity session. And, the little details are my favorite, too! ReplyCancel

  • Anna - Awwww, look at all that hair! I’m sure Mom is happy she chose this package, what a wonderful collection of images to treasure!ReplyCancel

  • Baotran - I love the last photo with the christmas theme. So tasteful and just stunning!ReplyCancel

What to Expect for Maternity Pictures

Are you wondering what to expect for maternity pictures?  Have you been researching photographers and are trying to get your husband on board?  Are you deciding if maternity pictures are worth it?  Have you booked a session, and you want to know what happens next?  There are so many questions that come with planning maternity pictures.  My biggest advice?  Just relax.  Be you.  Let your love between you and your spouse shine.

What to Expect for Maternity Pictures

The most important thing to me during your photo session is connection.  I want to see the love between the two of you.  I want you to focus on your spouse.  We won’t even focus on your belly for all of the pictures.  This makes things so easy!  You two love each other, so let it show!  I guide you into locations based on lighting and backgrounds, and you two get to do the rest.  Another important part of planning your maternity pictures is choosing your clothing.  I have a What to Wear Guide that helps you plan your outfits.  Once you book your session, we will discuss the look you like.  I am always more than willing to help you select the best outfit for your photo session.

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Maternity Photo Locations

I choose locations based on lighting and the time of year.  The lighting is the most important factor to me in choosing a location.  I sometimes joke that I could take pictures in a junk yard if it had good lighting, and that is true!  Lighting sets the mood.  All maternity sessions take place 1-2 hours before sunset depending on location.

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Couple and Family Maternity Photos

You are more than welcome to include your husband and children in your maternity portraits.  Capturing the connection between all of the members of your family is so important.  Our maternity packages include your spouse as well as big brothers and sisters.

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Why Choose Maternity Photography?

Whether you are expecting baby #1 or baby #5, this is a great way to treat yourself.  Our maternity sessions are not just about the pictures, but they are about the experience.  Getting your hair, makeup, and nails done before your session is a great way to pamper yourself.  It will make you feel great before getting in front of the camera.  Make a date out of it.  Since our session will be at sunset, it is a perfect excuse to go out to dinner afterwards.  Let’s face it, you won’t have as much free time in a few weeks!  Once your pictures are edited, you will have beautiful portraits to help you remember this special time.

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Nashville Maternity Photographer

Once your photo session is complete, I will edit all of your images.  You will have access to a select number of digital files as well as the opportunity to purchase timeless pieces of art.  Our heirloom wooden blocks are some of my favorite ways to display maternity portraits.

maternityphotography(pp_w768_h562) What to Expect for Maternity PicturesI hope this has helped you know what to expect for maternity pictures.  Are you ready to book your maternity photo session?  Email me today so that we can chat about booking your maternity pictures.  Visit our maternity photo gallery to see more of our maternity photo sessions.  We offer First Moments packages to capture moments from maternity all the way up to baby’s first birthday.  While you are here, visit our newborn photo gallery and baby photo gallery to see more examples of our work.

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  • Lauren Vredeveld - Love this!! And it’s so true, no matter w=how many children you have, you should treat yourself and celebrate every pregnancy! Beautiful images as always.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - I would love to have maternity photos taken by you. Your work is amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Oh my goodness, I just loved looking through these images.  I don’t think I could ever pick a favorite.  Beautiful work.ReplyCancel