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Graham is Here || Spring Hill Newborn Photography

I always give a set of instructions to new parents when we are setting up our newborn session, and they’re extensive. Make it hot, no elastic, full belly, etc. All those things together make my sessions run really smoothly, and usually I’m done in one to two hours.

Ashley and Matthew had an extra challenge, because they were brand new to their home! They wanted it ready for both their new baby boy, but also for pictures. Graham’s baby room is decorated rustic, and the bathroom is black and white Mickey Mouse, so they were very smart and set out blankets and simple props that they wanted to include in the session to make the pictures match their home. I matched my wraps and lighting to match those rooms, and they turned out great! Such a cutie!
SarahMariePhotography_0029We snapped a few impromptu images of mommy and daddy doing their thing. Mommy was so natural, it was hard to believe she only had five days of experience.SarahMariePhotography_0030The baby room was so cute!!!SarahMariePhotography_0031*Wink* Here’s lookin’ at you kid.SarahMariePhotography_0032Their incredibly beautiful new home, complete with a new baby…it’s a dream.SarahMariePhotography_0033Meet Graham! Those perfect lips!SarahMariePhotography_0034This is the set I imagined for the baby room. I think they look awesome side by side.SarahMariePhotography_0035I don’t use a lot of props, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with Mickey, but this is SO magical. It just screams Disney to me.SarahMariePhotography_0036Bits and pieces of baby, my favorite shots from the session.SarahMariePhotography_0037You have to get at least one completely naked shot, for future ammunition.

Thank you Ashley and Matthew for sharing Graham with me! He was so precious, and I loved meeting you two. Congratulations on this amazing child and on your new home, and I hope to see you again soon!


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6 Fast, Organic GOOD Meals (That You Can Make With Two Awake Kids in Tow)

As a nanny for the last year and a half plus, I’ve cooked four meals a week every week for the family I work for, and I bring home portions for Jason and myself. It’s a great arrangement that lets me spend the three hours I have at home at night until bedtime NOT cooking, and I get to make things that I normally wouldn’t be able make (because Jason’s only fault is extreme pickiness. If he doesn’t happen to like the meals I make now, he eats a sandwich or salad). Well, four months ago things changed up a bit, because the family added another kid to the mix! Now I have a four year old and a four month old, and I’m still cooking organic meals for the two families. It’s actually been a really good experience, because it has forced me to become much more creative, and find meals that are still organic, light on the bad stuff and heavy on the good stuff, and, above all, FAST. I know there are lots of moms who want to make these kinds of meals, so I thought I would put some of my favorites altogether in this blog. Here goes:

Tips: I buy my groceries from Whole Foods (I push the stroller and the four year old pushes a little cart on his own), and I always get an organic rotisserie chicken, which I debone right after I get back from the grocery store, while the big kid is eating and the little kid’s bottle is warming up. I get two meals out of that chicken, and it’s been a huge time (and money) saver.

1) Organic Chicken Stir Fry
It’s fast because I use frozen organic stir fry vegetables and an organic rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods, and serve it with a side of organic quinoa from Whole Foods. To make it, start the quinoa according to the directions, and while it’s simmering for those 15 minutes, throw in the chicken you deboned right after you got back from the store, the frozen veggies, some hoisin sauce, black bean sauce, and a little bit of soy sauce into a large fry pan and saute’ them up. By the time the quinoa is done, 15 minutes later, so are your veggies and chicken! For extra protein, sometimes I fry an egg and put it with the quinoa together with the veggie mix, and make it a little more like fried rice, except without actually frying it.

2) Organic Chicken Tortilla Soup
It’s fast because I buy all organic canned or frozen veggies and ingredients, plus the rotisserie chicken. You throw all of the ingredients into a crock pot, and wait five hours. Done in 15 minutes or less, and the big kids can help with this one. The little one is in a bouncy seat, looking at us the whole time.
Ingredients: Organic Frozen diced onion and corn (sometimes I buy them separately, and sometimes I find a “Spanish mix” of veggies with those ingredients that I just buy instead), organic canned chipotle peppers (only if you like it spicy), pinto beans (drained), black beans (drained), diced tomato (not drained), and organic chicken broth (about two quarts). Throw it in the crockpot with some cumin, salt and pepper, chili powder and cinnamon, to taste, along with some of the chicken and some garlic. Done! I mix up the amouns depending on what my families like, so there’s no set recipe.

3) Organic Tacos
We always buy lettuce, tomato and avocado, so all we need is organic cheese (shared with meal #5), organic shells, meat and a seasoning packet. Brown the meat, add the seasoning packet, and let everyone build their own tacos the way they like them.

4) Organic Chickpea and Vegetable Tagine
Just make this organic by using organic quinoa and veggies, and again, by the time the quinoa is done, so is everything else. Very simple. Save time by using leftover frozen diced onions from recipe #2, and use the rotisserie chicken for an extra protein kick if you like.

5): Organic BBQ Chicken Pizza
Definitely recruit the kids for this one, and it’s not a chore at all. Just buy a frozen organic pizza crust from Whole Foods and roll it out. Add BBQ sauce, cheese, red onions and rotisserie chicken and bake it for 20 minutes. You can use the cilantro and pepperoncinis if you want, but I didn’t find them necessary. This was a huge hit!

6) Organic Polenta with Chicken Sausage and Peppers
This one is sooooo good! Just buy the premade organic polenta from Whole Foods, cook it in the microwave, and choose organic sweet peppers (I use red, orange and yellow), and organic sausages (chicken or any other kind you like. Sometimes we buy apple chicken or mild Italian) and stir fry them. The sausages are already cooked, so you just need to brown them, and chopping up and sauteing three peppers takes very little time. Done in 15-20 minutes.

I hope you like these! They’re only a few of the recipes I’ve used in the last two months, but they’re some of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy them:-)


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How to Add Canvas to Your Home

Planning your newborn’s room takes a lot of work. Fun work, usually, filled with Pinterest boards and trips to the paint store, but it’s still very time consuming, and it never seems to be quite finished.

I don’t have a baby room in my home, but I do enjoy decorating (see my nautical bedroom makeover), and I especially love decorating with pictures. The way I choose to showcase my images? Canvas, always. It’s just such a standout way to make your images come to life, and it’s always classy looking. I have canvas all over my living room (I did a family art project in black and white), and when I have a baby, it’ll be all over that room too (I’m thinking of a mix and match sizes and shapes wall!). Selecting size, images, and layout can be very difficult.

Well, good news! I am now offering in-home consultations for getting canvas in your home, and I am super excited about it. They will be included in every future session you book with me. Pictures are not meant to be kept in a box, on the hard drive, or used only in Facebook. You should have them up in your home, or in a lovely, professionally put together album for display. I want to help make that happen for you, so I’m excited about this new step I’m taking.

Here’s how we chose the images and layout for this bedroom below…

First step is to pick the place! Whether you have an obvious bare wall that needs filling, or you have no idea where you want it, finding space is the first step. Greta wanted her newborn’s room to have a cozy nook in the corner, so she put up her namesake typography accordingly, not in the middle of the room. That left a lovely space for us to fill up.

Second, measure the area you want to add your canvas to, and do a realistic size projection. You might think an 11×14 is big, but when it gets on your wall, you’ll be shocked at how small that area is. These four canvases are 12×12 each, which, looking at them on the ground, looks pretty big altogether. Once on the wall though, it’s definitely not too big, and compliments the space beautifully.

Third, pick your images. You can choose one big one or a collage of many, but it has to fit the space, and it has to match the look and feel of the room. You wouldn’t want a soft, muted image in a room with bold primary colored walls, nor would you want multiple images to be mismatched in color or texture. For the four images Greta chose, I went over them again in post-processing, putting them together on the screen to make sure the colors were exactly matching. If I hadn’t, she would have ended up with a bright newborn, smiling, a dark, contrasty one of her and the baby, and two others that matched each other quite well. I also made them a little more muted and brought out the pinks to match the colors of the bedroom, and I love how it turned out.

There! Easy, right? If not, let me know at your next session, and we can plan something great for your home!

Wendy Whiting Haines - July 17, 2014 - 4:01 pm

They look simply beautiful Greta and family!! Awesome job Sarah-Marie Photography!!!

Wendy Whiting Haines - July 17, 2014 - 4:01 pm

They look simply beautiful Greta and family!! Awesome job Sarah-Marie Photography!!!

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Purple Hair Highs and Lows

So I’m going to warn you about purple hair. Okay, so don’t get me wrong, my hair rocks. Having purple hair is SO cool, and I’ve said it before, but I feel like a punk Snow White. I get complimented all the time (especially from other people with colored hair, and kids. Lots of kids.), and it’s fun to have a permanent accessory! There’s some things I would have liked to know ahead of time though, and there are things that I’ve learned to make it easier, so here goes!

If you get purple, or any non-naturally occurring color, in your hair, it will come out. A lot. I didn’t know this! I thought, sure, one wash, I’ll see purple. That happens with any color, so I was prepared for it. What I didn’t realize was that it would be every single time, and that my white bathtub would be stained purple, along with any other bath items, like my comb and towels. So what do you do? Live with it? Well, yes, a little, but there’s things you can do too. For instance, wash and rinse with cold water! I miss warm water, but, keeping my color vibrant wins, so every time, I use cold water, and it’s worked wonders! My purple has stayed in much better since I learned this trick, and my bathtub only has a little hue of purple in it now, instead of the crazy amounts I was getting (like in that bottom picture!).


See those ugly toes? That was the color of the nail polish I put on my fingers. See those fingernails? That’s the color it turned after blow drying and curling my hair one time. No bueno. So, here’s a few more hints for you:

1) Wear dark nail polish.

2) Have a special towel and pillowcase that you don’t mind getting purple.

3) If your hair holds water and drips, be sure to put that towel on the floor before drying your hair.

4) Rinse out the shower IMMEDIATELY after you see purple droplets on the walls. Don’t wait two minutes because it really will stain that quickly.

5) Be aware that white tshirts and other clothing will likely become purple around the top in the back (and so will white pearl earrings!), especially in the first two weeks after coloring, so make your decisions wisely.

6) Use a shampoo that is color-safe!

You’ve been warned! To me, it was worth it, because I LOVE it, but the first week or so, I was pretty mad that no one properly warned me. Follow those tips though, and you’ll be fine. Good luck!

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The Tackett's Home Life Session || Spring Hill Photography

What a fun family this one turned out to be! I met Jennifer the best way possible, through customer referrals! She is friends with several of my clients and has seen their family photos taken in their homes, and liked them enough to set up a Home Life Session with me. We wanted to get a few shots outside in their gorgeous backyard as well, but sadly we got rained out. Cloudy days are good for inside shots though, because the light throughout the house is the same, so we got some great images!

Their three-year-old was a little bit shy of the camera, so I asked mom and dad to model for me so he could see. They did so well and we got into it so much, that we didn’t even realize that he had wandered off while we were shooting! Oh well, we got some really cute shots!
SarahMariePhotography_0013The grandparents were in town as well, so we made sure to get some with them.SarahMariePhotography_0014Mom had told me to watch out for fake smiles, but whenever I threatened the tickle monster, it worked like a charm.SarahMariePhotography_0015We started with a posed picture, and then let the magic happen as they interacted with each other.SarahMariePhotography_0016This poor little guy bammed his head into the stair rail, but he recovered quickly and was all smiles.SarahMariePhotography_0017Mommy made him feel so much better!SarahMariePhotography_0018We had to encourage these two to allow me to take shots of just them, but then they got in front of the camera and posed like they do it all the time!SarahMariePhotography_0019Married couples with kids should always have pictures of just themselves too. Look at the love in their eyes!SarahMariePhotography_0020After a long session, they were getting pretty tired. They really get along great though, so these smiles were pretty easy to coax out of them.SarahMariePhotography_0021Our last ones of the day, and the biggest smiles! What troopers! Mom had a place all set in the bathroom, with these specific pictures in mind. It is going to look completely precious.SarahMariePhotography_0022

Thank you so much Jennifer for letting me into your home! Your family is so very sweet. ~Sarah-Marie

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