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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lumberjackcakesmash(pp_w768_h890) Planning Baby Cake Smash PhotosFirst Birthday Themes

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

  • Choosing Your Newborn Photographer - Shannon Payne Photography - […] types.  You can view more about the differences between these types by reading our blog post on studio and lifestyle newborn photography.  When choosing your newborn photographer, make sure you visit their social media pages as well as […]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

  • Nashville Newborn Baby Photography - Shannon Payne Photography - […] is Nash.  I first met his parents a few months ago at their maternity photo session.  They are new to Tennessee, and I was so glad they were referred to me!  Nash had to spend a […]ReplyCancel

Newborn Hospital Pictures

Newborn Hospital Pictures

Newborn hospital pictures are becoming very popular.  In the newborn photography world, we refer to them as Fresh 48 sessions.  They are great for families who don’t want the whole labor and birth photographed.  Instead I come to the hospital within the first 24-48 hours to document the first hours of baby’s life.  This is when we photograph hospital bracelets, wrinkled skin, squinty yawns, first baths, first diaper changes, and more.  If you have older children, we can photograph sibling’s first meetings.  These are all of the memories you will yearn to keep years down the road.  When the memory fades, you will have quality photographs to keep the memory alive.  Then you won’t have to rely on Grandma or Grandpa’s iPhone pictures either!fresh48nashville(pp_w768_h512) Newborn Hospital Pictures

Documenting Baby’s First Days

Meet Annabelle.  She is the tie breaker baby for her family.  She joins 2 big brothers and 2 big sisters to make baby number 5.  Her parents have newborn pictures from each of their other babies.  They decided they wanted to do something different for Annabelle’s newborn pictures.  They asked me to come to the hospital to photograph her first days with just mom and dad.  Those quiet, sleepy hours before she goes home.

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Fresh 48 Photography

Fresh 48 photography does not require special outfits.  You don’t have to get dressed up.  These pictures are all about remembering your time in the hospital, and those first hours with your new baby.  I do not bring props or pose baby.  This is not a typical newborn session.  If you are looking for posed studio pictures as well, it is best to book a newborn photo session in addition to your newborn hospital pictures. Please browse both of our portfolios to see the difference in these types of sessions: Newborn Hospital Pictures and Posed Studio Pictures

How do I book my Newborn Hospital Pictures?

Because I have to be on call for these picture sessions, I take on a very limited number of hospital photo sessions each year.  Once baby is scheduled to be induced or you go into labor, you will contact me.  We will remain in touch during your labor, so that I can estimate when I will come to the hospital.  Are you giving birth at a birthing center or your home?  I can still come to you to document the hours after babies birth.  I will plan to come 24-48 hours after baby is born.  I am usually there for 45 minutes to an hour.  There are lots of visitors and nurses coming in during your time in the hospital.  This is a good amount of time to capture all of the details that I need.  What should baby wear during your session?  I love keeping babies in the original hospital blankets and hats.  I think it makes them look brand new.

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What makes Fresh 48 Photography so special?

I am the mommy to an 8 and 11 year old.  Each year as their birthdays get closer, I get more and more reminiscent.  I love looking back at our time in the hospital.  Maybe it’s because those memories are the foggiest.  I was under a lot of medication with baby #1, and I had a C-section for baby #2.  I don’t remember much about our time in the hospital.  So our pictures help bring back memories.  I wish I had professional quality photos of that time!  If you are a parent already, you know how quickly time passes.  These have quickly become some of my favorite photo sessions.

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Are you expecting a baby and interested in scheduling newborn newborn hospital pictures?  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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  • Linda - These are beautiful memories for this family.  The alone time with mom and dad before meeting her brothers and sisters was a great choice for this little ones first images.ReplyCancel

  • melissa - Such a very special time captured, so perfect.ReplyCancel