Meet Leland Theodore

This post is just a little late, but I think that is just how most of my life is going to go from here on out!  The past 4 weeks have been the most beautiful blur as we have adjusted to being a family of three!

Our son, Leland Theodore Beatty, joined our family on Friday, July 20 at 5:55 p.m.  He came into the world at 8 lbs 7 oz, 21 inches, and we just can't get enough of him! He has a full head of hair, a nose just like his Daddy, and so far he is as social as his Momma. 

We cannot thank you enough for all of the messages, texts, gifts, cards and prayers.  We are feeling so loved and supported as we adjust into parenthood.  This little guy has stolen our hearts and we are just feeling so thankful to God for blessing us with this precious gift! 

David + Marissa

I had so much fun spending the evening in Detroit with David and Marissa for their engagement session.  We met for coffee a few months back and hit it off immediately.  They are fun loving, caring and totally in love- my kind of couple! I loved spending more time with them and getting to heat more about their story.  We started their session on Belle Isle and finished at the Z Parking lot at sunset- it doesn't get more epically Detroit than that!

These two love their pups, so of course we had to include them in the pictures.  It can always be a little comical wrangling dogs during sessions, especially when there is more than one- but these two cooperated (and I think even enjoyed all of the attention) even in the summer heat.  It was so sweet to see how much these two love and care for their pup children!

Towards the end of their shoot I was chatting with Marissa and David about the photo session.  I asked them if it was what they expected, if they felt more comfortable in front of the camera, and more prepared for their wedding day portraits.  They both shared a resounding yes for all of those things.  Then Marissa also shared that this was really the kick off to their wedding celebrations.  They had done lots of the big planning, but none of the fun celebrations had started yet.  She was excited to have something tangible to say okay it's here, we get to start celebrating! I thought that was such a fun way to look at engagement pictures.  The first time to say- wow, look at us, we are REALLY getting married!  I am already looking forward to celebrating that day with you this spring, David and Marissa! 

Our Maternity Photos + Taking a Break

I know I keep saying it, but can someone please pinch me! After all of the maternity pictures I have captured over the past 5 years, I cannot believe that I am sharing our own bump photo shoot! We captured these pictures in Birmingham at Quarton Lake, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to photograph.  No, we did not secretly find out we are having a boy and decide to announce it with these pictures :) Blue just seems a whole lot more gender neutral than pink, and for all of you ladies who have tried to find a maternity dress that you love you know that when you find one, the color is the last thing you are worried about!

These pictures mean so much to us, and I get a little giddy just looking at them.  My favorite part is how they capture the way Ted looks at me and my bump every single day.  It still surprises me each day when he wants to spend time with the baby, just talking to him or her and having his hands on my stomach.  I take for granted all of the time the baby and I spend together, and then I remember that Ted misses us during the day! He doesn't get to spend every single moment with this growing babe.  I am just so glad I have these photos to remember the way he looks at us.

This past week was my last week of scheduled photo shoots.  I am taking this week to get caught up on editing and sending out galleries and then I will be off on maternity leave.  I have spent a lot of time preparing my business and my heart for this leave.  I am really looking forward to taking 2 months to step away from photographing and diving completely into mamahood.  I plan to check e-mail very sparingly, and to do my best to fully unplug during this time.  I also decided to take a break from work on my social media channels.  Instead I will be sharing what is going on in the moment with our family.  So I will just go ahead and apologize nowfor the baby spam!  

If you are interested in scheduling a fall shoot please e-mail me your availability.  I will get back to e-mails once a week, and would love to see your family once I am back to work!  As always, we cannot thank you enough for your constant support of my business and our growing family.  We feel so loved and encouraged by each of you, and are so excited to share this next season of life with you!

Baby Wyatt

I have been so blessed to photograph this family since the beginning of their story.  Engagement pictures, their wedding, their first little lady and now a baby boy! As a photographer there isn't anything more rewarding than to walk through all of these seasons of life with clients. It is incredible to see how much Andy and Emilee have grown and to see how beautiful their family is! 

I met Emilee at Albion College where we spent lots of time together- from playing on the volleyball team to being members of the same sorority.  Emilee is one of the most kind hearted individuals I have ever met and I consider myself so lucky to call her a friend for all of these years.  She and Andy also met at Albion, and that has made capturing their story even more special. 

Their two little ones are simply the sweetest.  Addy has grown into quite the big sister. As you can tell from the pictures of her and baby Wyatt together, she is gentle and kind with her baby brother- something that is hard to come by in most 3 year olds!  She was so anxious to get in pictures with Wyatt and was the very best listener as she cuddled up to her baby brother.  

Wyatt was also so great for his pictures.  He cuddled right up for his session, and decided to stay asleep for the majority of our time together- exactly what we hope for at a newborn photo shoot!  From all of those smiles in their family pictures it is clear to see, you are most certainly loved, Baby Wyatt!

Jessica + Anthony

I have known these two for a very long time, and now they are expecting their first little one!  l met Jessica and Anthony during our years at Farmington High School.  These two have been dating ever since and it has been fun to run into them in the years since graduating and hear their story.  They actually sit near my parents at church every Sunday, so my mom is regularly filling me in on what is going on their lives if I go awhile without seeing them!

Soon after we told my parents we were expecting my mom said that Jessica was due just a week or so after me!  It was so fun to capture these memories with her as we both grow our baby bumps.  It is always funny to me to look back at where I have been in different stages of my life and think, did I ever imagine I would end up in this exact moment? Like when we were 16 at Farmington High did I ever think I would have these two in front of my camera, celebrating their first little one while I am doing the same behind the camera? I didn't expect it, but I am beyond thankful for these moments! 

Jessica and Anthony are going to be the best parents.  They are so joyful as they await their little one's arrival, and I know they are surrounded by family and friends who are equally as excited for their addition! I cannot wait to hear if that little bump is a boy or a girl, and to see your little one grow up!  Congratulations, Anthony and Jessica! 

Greece

Okay, okay I know- this blog post is so picture heavy, but I would never say editing down my favorite images is my strong suit.  And when you travel to somewhere like Greece, it makes editing images even more difficult.  So out of the 600 pictures I currently have from the trip, I would say I am doing pretty good by only sharing 60!  

When we found out we were expecting a little one Ted and I decided we wanted to take one more big vacation before baby's arrival.  We called it a joint 5 year anniversary trip and babymoon.  Greece has always been high on both of our lists, and when we started to look into  the timing and the details it sounded like the perfect getaway for a mix of exploring and relaxing.  Yes I know, for some people that sounds absolutely crazy.  I was 33 weeks pregnant on our 11 hour flight home, and I know that doesn't make sense for every family.  But our doctor okayed it, and since I have been feeling great I had no problem traveling so late in my pregnancy. And with lots of prayer, everything went great! We are keeping our fingers crossed that baby is always this great of a traveler :)

We flew direct from Toronto to Athens.  We only spent one night in Athens, but felt like that was plenty to see the major sites.  From there we island hopped between 3 islands- Milos, Santorini and Crete.  Each island was completely different and I think that is what made the trip so amazing.  It felt like we were in a totally different part of the world after each ferry ride- the food, people, and landscape changed so much from island to island. 

Milos had very few tourists.  We stayed at a beautiful hotel where they completely pampered us.  We spent time at the beach and explored at a very leisurely pace.  Santorini is a must see, it is the perfect picture postcard image of Greece.  The rest of the world also thinks so, so there were more crowds to deal with here than in Milos.  Crete was a lush, endless island.  We rented a car and saw a big chunk of the island, and moved from mountains and gorges to beaches and historic cities within a few miles.  

The trip was exactly what we hoped it would be.  We moved at a slightly slower pace than usual, which made for slow mornings and afternoon chats over lemonade and Greek salad.  The memories from our 2 weeks in Greece are some of my very favorite we have ever made.  The people were kind, and I loved that everyone wanted to chat about our bump.  Always exclaiming- it's a boy! We will find out if all the Greeks were right soon enough!  If you are thinking about a trip to Greece I would say, go!  The blue water, fresh food, and endless opportunities to explore quickly made it one of our favorite travel destinations.

I will highlight a few things in the pictures below, but if you have any questions about where we went or what we did I would love to chat details with you!

We are already day dreaming about another trip to Greece in our future.  But for now I am looking forward to printing some of these pictures to hang in the nursery and telling the baby the story of his or her first European adventure! 

Matt + Liz

I met Liz for coffee a few months back to chat about her and Matt's winter 2018 wedding. The moment we sat down at our little, local coffee shop I knew she and I would become quick friends. The conversation was natural and easy- as we chatted about life, wedding planning and travel.  I was so excited when right there on the spot she let me know she would love to have me photograph her and Matt's big day.  

Last month I met up with these two at their downtown Detroit apartment for their engagement session. Matt quickly made me feel as welcomed and comfortable as Liz did at our first coffee meeting.  These two have so much fun together, and I couldn't help but notice how comfortable and safe they seemed to feel when they were close to one another.  Not to mention, I was so thankful for the way Matt offered to serve me during their session- offering to carry my bag and step stool since I have pretty much perfected my pregnancy waddle these days.  

I had such a wonderful evening exploring the city with these two.  Detroit was certainly showing off.  The setting sun, budding trees, and a city that continues to surprise me with each new restaurant and ground breaking for new buildings.  What a fun and exciting place to start your life together, and I loved being able to capture a little part of their story in the city.  Enjoy all of the planning, Matt and Liz- and I can't wait to see you say 'I do!'

Meadow Rose

I had actually heard all about this sweet family before we met.  I photograph some of their closest friends and throughout the years I had heard stories about their friendship and that they were expecting a little one of their own.  It is always so fun to feel like you know a family before you arrive at their home, and to have some similarities to chat about as you get to know each other.  Not to mention they were beyond kind, so I think either way we would have become quick friends!

Little Meadow made us work for her pictures, but it was so worth it! I love how many things the Shankin family included in the session that brought out their personalities.  Dad loves baseball and mom is part Native American, so including those two aspects of their characters made the session so personalized.  And as always, the pups had to jump in for the last few pictures.  To be honest, it was seeming like there was no chance we were going to get a picture of everyone looking at me.  Meadow was ready to be done, and the dogs were anxious to be up on the bed, but somehow it happened! That last pictures in this post just makes me laugh because if you could have seen the few moments of chaos leading up to it.  But it was so worth it! 

Shankin Family, thank you so much for inviting me into your home to photograph your sweet, baby Meadow.  I hope you are loving every moment with your new bundle of joy! 

Baby Douglas

Baby Doug was so great for his session.  I had to keep reminding his mom and dad, 'just so you know it doesn't typically go like this.'  I typically spend a lot of time during newborn sessions just cuddling and swaying newborns, waiting for them to fall into a deep sleep.  Doug was sleepy and ready for his session right when I arrived! A photographer's dream!

I loved getting to know Doug and his family.  His mom and dad made me feel like we had known each other for ages.  I love when I come into a family's home and I immediately feel at home, and that is exactly what happened at this shoot.  Their space was light and bright and made everything simple and enjoyable.  And when a little guy is born with a head of hair that awesome, it needs to be documented!  Katie and I started talking about if the wives tale about heartburn and hair is true.  I have been experiencing a good amount of heartburn lately, so we will see if that means our babe will come out with a full head of hair!

And of course we had to end the session with a few family photographs.  Which means Doug's two pups got a chance in front of the camera! They were so sweet around Doug, and even though they were so excited to finally be included in on the action, they were cautious and calm around their new baby. It was such a peaceful session with so much love, and I am beyond grateful to have captured this exciting time.  Enjoy all of your new baby snuggles, Kilbourn Family! 

Ariana Phyllis

Baby Ariana, we are so glad you are here!  Ariana's mom and dad are in the small group Ted and I are blessed to be a part of at our church.  I remember the day Kaitlin and Nick shared with us they were expecting like it was yesterday.  Our group had gathered for a little evening pool party, and before everyone headed outside they shared they had a joy- a baby on the way! Since I get to see Kaitlin weekly, it was so fun to watch her bump grow throughout the months.  

When we found out we were also expecting I immediately thought about what a blessing it would be to raise our little ones alongside Kaitlin and Nick.  Kaitlin has been so open and honest about mommahood, and I have already texted her with some of my more personal questions.  When can I go back to work? Is this normal? Is Ariana taking a bottle yet?  I am sure by the time our little one arrives Kaitlin is going to be so sick of hearing from me! ;) 

I had such a sweet afternoon hanging out with Kaitlin, Nick and Ariana at their home.  In-home newborn sessions are just the best, as they capture what life looks like at your house right now.  I love being able to use your space to tell your story.  Kaitlin and Nick already seem like parenting pros, and little miss Ariana spent the majority of her session fast asleep.  Ariana, we are so thankful for your life.  We can't wait for you to meet your new baby buddy in July!