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3 Month Old Neutral Twin Session | Northern VA Baby Photographer

How adorable are these sweet little 3 month old twins?  3 month old milestone sessions focus on your baby’s emerging personality.  They can hold up their heads in tummy time, look at the camera and smile.  Little mister even laughed at me during his session.

Their mom reached out with the request for a simple, neutral session for her twins.  Neutrals are a big favorite here. We are always collecting neutral props for sessions and mixing in different fabric textures.  It is incredibly fun to dress up the sweet little babies who visit us.  We strive to make it easy for you by providing a collection of age and size appropriate outfits from our favorite handmade prop artists.

3 Month Old Neutral Twins Jamie Romaezi Photography

If you are looking for a baby photographer in the Northern Virginia area, I would love to work with you.  Milestone photos are taken throughout baby’s first year at my in-home studio in Sterling, VA when your baby is showing good head control, sitting, standing or, celebrating their first birthday.  Discounted baby plans are also available.  It is important to book your milestone session 4-6 weeks in advance.  Please contact me for specific availability.

Max, An Adoption Story |Northern VA Newborn Photographer

Meet Maximino!  He was the sweetest little guy and came to visit me when he was 18 days old.  I met Max’s parents a few years ago through mutual friends and through those friends, I learned that they had begun the wonderful and wait filled process of adoption.

I was so thrilled when Max’s parents reached out to me for photos.  His mom sent me a message when Max was 13 days old.  She shared, that after years of trying to become parents, they finally adopted their little boy.  We, of course, found time to get them in as soon as possible!

How perfect is this little guy?  He is so huggable and I didn’t want to let him leave the studio!

If you have adopted a baby, or are in the process of adoption, I would love to photograph your newest family member for you!  Virginia adoptions are not finalized until baby is 10 days old.  Please don’t worry about timelines and email me!  I will do whatever I can to make sure your sweet little one has newborn photos.

Baby B’s Newborn Photos | Loudoun County Newborn Photographer

This little guy and his sister are 20 months apart and I absolutely love their newborn family photos.  Last year I began offering baby-only mini sessions for the client who wants photos of just their baby.  I always encourage my clients to consider newborn family photos.  This is the only time of life that your teeny tiny baby will fit in your hands.

Collage of photos: Parents with two babies, 20 months apart. Mother with her children, father with his children.
Collage of photos. Mother holding newborn son. Father with baby in his hands.When asked to kiss her brother's foot, sister instead leaned in and felt his foot with her forhead.FV5A0115-Sneak

Having 2 siblings close in age never changes my thoughts on the importance of newborn family photos.  Having 2 under 2 certainly seems like a lot to juggle, especially in the first 14 days.  However, there is nothing sweeter than sibling love.  This may just be the beginning, but that is all the reason to document the beginning of their time together, too.

I have photographed siblings as close in age as 13 months apart and these two are not my first pair with a 20 month age gap!  I’m a professional. Not only am I a spare set of hands during your session (Did you know, I change all of baby’s diapers while they’re here?), but I have a strategy for making this easier for you that I share before your session too.  Additionally, all photos are taken with age appropriate poses and props with the safety of both babies in mind.

Collage of 3 images. Baby on bed with sister looking at him. Baby on bed with sister smiling, baby swaddled on bed.

I was so thrilled when this family reached out to me for newborn photos.  As it turns out, they live up the hill from me and we had never met before!  It was so great to photograph this sweet little guy and his family.

Collage of newborn taco pose, and two swaddled poses on gray backdrop.

If you are looking for a newborn photographer in the Northern Virginia area, I would love to work with you.  Posed newborn photos are taken at my in-home studio in Sterling, VA when your baby is between 6-14 days old.  It is important to book your newborn session no later than the beginning of your third trimester.   Please contact me for specific availability and a free consultation..

Free Download: Valentine’s Day Coloring Card

Enjoy a free Valentine’s Day coloring card from Jamie Romaezi Photography!

Last year I designed custom cards for my son to share with his friends for Valentine’s Day.  He wanted his friends to be able to color their cards in themselves.  It was quite the hit and easy to do from home so I thought I would share this idea and FREE DOWNLOAD for a printable coloring card with you!

You will need:
– Letter sized (8.5 x 11 in) card stock.
– The ability to print from your computer, tablet or phone.

Download your cards:
– Click the “Free Download” link below.
– Right click on the image and select “Save As”
Free Download

 Printing and assembling your cards:
 – Simply load your printer with your paper of choice and click print.
– Remember to print enough for your child’s whole class!
– Cut cards along the dotted line.
– Assign your child the task of writing their classmate’s names on all of the cards (They can cut them out, too.)

To dress things up:
– Consider purchasing a pack of crayons and taping them to the back of the card with scotch or (bonus points) colorful washi tape.
– Last year my son was into melting and molding crayons, so that’s what we did!  It was a fun activity!

Feel free to share the link to this template with your family and friends!

Download Your Free Valentine’s Day Coloring Cards Here!

Jamie Romaezi Photography-FV5A9999

Simplify Your Holiday Card Process

Now that busy season is behind me, I am spending time with my family and building our holiday traditions.  We have a holiday bucket list every year, which includes sending out holiday cards.  This is a task that can be a bit tedious, but as a former project manager whose family also once owned a mail house, I want to share my process and tips to make this easy for you!

Holiday cards are something I personally look forward to every year.  I love to send them, and the whole family loves to receive them.  The kids love getting mail, opening the envelopes, and hanging the photos and cards our family and friends have shared.  As much as I love making and sending our own holiday cards, it can be a chore without the proper process.  Here is my process with a few tips that speed up and simplify card sending for me every year.  

  1. Planning, Early November
    • Brainstorm what you want your card to look like.  Any good brainstorming session starts early so that you can plan appropriately.  I used to aim make the card recipient giggle when they opened their card.  Recently, my goal is to send an updated family photo with season’s greetings for our family and friends.  This means we have to have updated photos taken, obviously.  You will also want to think about the colors and style for your photos if want your outfits to match your card design.  
    • Budget for your cards.  Let’s face it, money is a factor in most life decisions so planning ahead is always important.  Typically the best deal on cards is the Black Friday through Cyber Monday holiday.  If you want to save, you will want to plan to order your cards during those sales.  In addition to budgeting for your physical cards, you also want to consider the cost for address labels, stamps, and having photos taken if that is the route you choose.  If you have fall family photos, I would argue that since those photos have other purposes like gifts and artwork for your home, that entire budget should not be factored in for cards, but certainly a portion can be counted.  If more custom or themed holiday mini sessions are your plan for holiday card photos, then one could argue to budget an entire session fee. Though, you will likely gift those as well.
    • Create a timeline to be mindful of.  Since holiday dates are fixed, it’s easy to work backwards.  You know that you want family and friends to have cards in hand before Hanukkah, Christmas, or for some, the New Year.  As you can see, I have recommended timelines for you throughout this outline which is based on planning for the Christmas holiday. You should move your timeline forward or back as you need.
    • Lists–this season is full of them!  Make a list of family and friends, or review the one you may already have.  I recommend using Google Docs or Excel for this. Don’t forget any new friends, teachers, babysitters, or coaches your children may have.  This will tell you how many cards you need to order. Tip:  Google forms is a great way to request updated addresses!  Simply create a survey and send the link to your family and friends, then let them do the rest!
  2. Design & Ordering, Late November – Early December
    • Card design can be done by your photographer, a bulk order card company, or yourself.  Some photographers will design your card and handle the entire ordering process for you.  This way, you can just take the stress of this entire part of the task off of your bucket list.  With the proper design knowledge, you can design your card yourself and upload and print a custom design.  Perhaps the most common, is to pick your favorite bulk card company, find a design you like and use their interface to create and order your card.  
    • Ordering your card is an obvious next step.  You will want to be mindful that labs can take anywhere from 2-5 days for printing.  Then, standard shipping takes 5-7 business days.  If you are on the later side of ordering, you will want to budget for expedited shipping–which adds up.
    • Don’t forget the stamps! When you order your cards, it is wise to also head over to usps.com to order the stamps you need for your cards too.  That way you aren’t adding an extra errand to your to do list when you already have enough to do already.  Shipping typically isn’t more than $1.50 and is well worth the time.
    • Extras?  Do you need to buy special pens, labels, or printer ink to address your cards?  Do that now too.
  3. Addressing & Mailing Your Cards, Early to Mid December 
    • Double check your mailing list.  You already have a list you created and updated addresses if you followed my planning advice above.  Double check those and make sure everyone has gotten back to you. Tip: Do this before your cards arrive.
    • Addressing your cards can be done a multitude of different ways. Hand written addresses are incredibly personal. This method may be incredibly time consuming if you have a large number of recipients on your list.  If you would like to address your cards before they arrive, labels are a great option.  This is particularly smart if you are pushing mailing deadlines, so that you can pop on labels, stamps and put them right back in the mail box. My personal favorite way to address cards is to print addresses right on them.  Tip: Utilize Microsoft’s mail merge feature for printing labels or envelopes (there are great tutorials online.)  Save this list so that all you need to do each year is check your list, update addresses, and print.
    • Stuffing your envelopes can certainly be tedious. This part of the blog is full of pro tips!  Enlist the kids to help.  My grandparents used to own a mail house and while much of the mailers they sent out were printed, folded and stuffed by machine, small jobs were done by hand.  As kids, we would sit down in front of the TV with our grandparents and help them.  My grandmother taught me an amazing technique for bulk processing.  This part should only be done AFTER the addresses are on your envelope.  Think of yourself as the machine you truly are!  You will need envelopes, cards, shallow dish with water, stamps and a sponge or wash cloth.IMG_3502
      1. Open ALL of the envelopes.  To do this, you want to face the flap side of the stack up, hold the envelope flap and slide each envelope fold under the next flap.  Lift all of the flaps together and, tada! They’re all open!  You can do this rather quickly once you’ve mastered the action.IMG_3452
      2. img_3453.jpeg
      3. Grab your stack of cards.  Take each card one by one and  place them inside of the envelope, pretty side facing you.IMG_3455
      4. Now to seal the envelopes.  Tasty, right?  False.  You don’t have to lick them! Grab a shallow dish of water and a small sponge.  Dip and wring out your sponge so it is only damp.  Lay out 5 or so envelopes at a time and run your wet sponge over the glue part of the envelopes, then immediately close the envelope.  Do this until you are done stuffing and sealing all of your envelopes.IMG_3456
    • Don’t forget the stamps!!  You’re almost done, and this part is simple!!  Stamps go on the top right and since you ordered your stamps when you ordered your cards, you can just pop those suckers on without having to run to the post office! 
    • Mail them off!  Congratulations, you’re done!  Pop your cards in the mailbox and lift the flag, or take them to the post office yourself.  Either way, say goodbye to your cards and pat yourself on the back!

Planning Snow Family and Maternity Photos in Northern VA Weather

Snow photos are among my favorite type of outdoor photos. It is SO cold out there, but the results are so pretty that it’s worth the temporary freeze. In addition to just plain being worth it, I have a few tips and tricks to share that may help keep you warmer than just tossing on a dress and running to play in the snow.

Jamie Romaezi Photography Snow Maternity Photos
Snow Photos March, 2018

Last March, we happened to have a very late cold snap and late snow.  It worked out well that I also had 2 friends who I knew wanted maternity photos taken in the snow.  Jess and DJ made it out for couple maternity photos in the snow.  One friend of mine, Justine, is also a photographer over at Fluttering Shutter Photography.  She and I met up with our good friend Blaire with Second Ave Photography. I absolutely love the way both of these sessions turned out.

Photo of couple in front of bamboo. Maternity photo in snow.
Jessica and DJ pose in the snow in front of Bamboo.

Planning your session:
Snow photos can be hard to plan if you live in an area like Northern Virginia. We get snow but it is often unpredictable as to when or how much we might get. If you want snowy family photos, or will be pregnant during the winter months of December to March (yes, even March) and have snow maternity photos on your wish list, email me well in advanced.  We can get started on the booking process and I will put you on a list so that I know to call you when snow is in the forecast. Unlike most maternity sessions, snow sessions are taken when mother nature allows. Luckily work from home days, or days off usually go hand in hand with snow days.  Maternity photos are suggested between 32-36 weeks, but there is wiggle room to that based on your own personal preference.

Excitement and fear of melting snow might make you think to run out at sight of first flakes, but good snow cover is suggested.  It is best to wait until the snow stops falling, mostly for your own safety.  If heavy weather is predicted, sit back and wait for the roads to clear.  With good snow fall, photos can be taken the day, or even 2 days after it snows.  This is typically how you get slightly warmer weather and also get snow.  There is still sometimes wind the day after, which can be just as cold.

Aim for the warmer times of day.  Solar noon is typically the warmest weather you can find in the winter.  Typically snow comes with large clouds and very overcast days so it is safe to shoot at peek sun and get nice results.  The snow will reflect nice diffuse light on your face, in addition to heavy cloud cover doing the same from above. You can absolutely take photos during golden hour, just before sunset but it will be colder.

Burgundy dress in snow maternity photo.

Dress the part:
Snow maternity photos are best paired with a pretty gown and that can be done without freezing off a toe.  Family photos are a bit easier to bundle for but most of these rules apply or can be adapted.  Just like you would when going sledding, layer up. Dresses are long for a reason.  I suggest wearing leggings, good socks and snow boots under your dress.  I personally have a pair of Under Armor active cold gear leggings that I managed to shimmy into when I was pregnant.  If you have something similar, dig them out of the closet for photos.  If not, any leggings will do.  It is important to make sure any under layers are not showing through your dress. This includes the waist band of leggings, or even your bra.  A selection of my prop dresses are long sleeved, you can take your pick from what I have, or bring your own, but long sleeves make a world of difference out in the snow.  If you have pretty fur or faux fur, bring it with you for an extra layer and extra fancy look. Bring your warmest coat and plan to put it on and take it off between photos and walking from location to location.  You can also wear ear muffs and gloves in between as well.  Just be mindful of hair and makeup when choosing something to cover your ears.

Photo of couple along shoreline. Pregnant woman, with her husband.
There is no snow here but it was quite cold this day.  Julia’s faux fur was the perfect touch. See more from this session here.

Logistics:  
You will want to stay near a heated home, or at minimum a car with the heat on and plan to take breaks. My in-home studio is surrounded by a wooded lot and very close to a walking trail.  It is perfect for popping in and out for snow day photos.  Your photographer will be in layers and likely won’t get cold as fast as you do.  If you are too cold and putting your coat on for a few isn’t cutting it, tell your photographer so that you can stop and warm up.  Your comfort is worth 5 minutes if you need it!

2 Photographers in the snow after maternity photos.
Blaire of Second Ave , and Justine of Fluttering Shutter, behind the scenes.

Embrace the cold:
Aside from dressing the part and planning your best, there isn’t much you can do about the fact that snow is just cold.  Sometimes it is fun to simply snuggle up too.  Plan to cuddle in jackets, or a blanket with your significant other.  It provides a different look and feel on top of an elegantly styled session.

Couple wearing coats in snow maternity photos

Are snow family or maternity photos on your pregnancy bucket list?  Email me!  Contact me here!

 

Gonzales Family, Party of 5 | Loudoun County Photographer

It was so nice to meet and photograph this family of 5!  The weather was gorgeous, fall was just beginning and the sun was beautifully perfect for their session.