A baby is born | Jersey Shore Birth Photography

I was so delighted when a fellow photographer contacted me for birth-coverage. She has such a beautiful family and they were beyond a pleasure to work with during their maternity family session. I was so excited when I got the text at 2am that labor had started!

Here’s a glimpse into that special day.

Jersey Shore birth photography

NJ Birth photographer

Morristown NJ Birth Photography

New Jersey Birth Photographer

Morristown NJ Birth Photographer

Jersey Shore University Medical Center Birth Photographer

NJ Birth Photographer

Central NJ Birth Photography

Central NJ Birth Photographer

Jersey Shore Birth Photographer

New Jersey Birth Photographer

Morristown NJ Birth Photographer

Ocean County NJ Birth Photographer

Congratulations to the new family of 5!

 

Interested in custom birth photography? Due to the nature of the industry I only take on a limited amount of birth clients per year on a case by case basis. Email me at amanda@amandamcculloch.com for more details.

What to Wear: Beach Holiday Ocean Grove New Jersey Family Photographer

Tis the season for Holiday Christmas Card Mini-sessions.
And they’re in full-swing here!  Here’s part one of my 2 part What to Wear Series, offering two different looks for two different styles.

Here’s a modern holiday look employing the classic red and white look with modern chevron and stripes. We’ve paired them with some dark denim to break up the candy-cane look for a more contemporary feel. These outfits would be perfect for a fall beach session while it’s still a bit warm around here. I’ve given Mom two different choices for tops because I love them both and couldn’t decide.

And while I love the boy’s red cords, they too could be swapped out for some denim if that’s more your style.

I’ve also added an option baby outfit from BabyGap which is gender neutral. I haven’t added shoes because barefoot is for sure the way to go at the beach.

Holiday Beach photo attire

Jarmon Family | Ocean Grove NJ Maternity Photographer

When Courtney contacted me for a maternity session I was thrilled when she agreed to a beach session, and even more thrilled when she suggested beautiful Ocean Grove.

It was a beautiful day, the water was still warm, and the beach was quiet. I almost squealed when her daughter showed up in a blue Lilly Pulitzer dress… and again when I found out she does Les Mills Bodypump! FINALLY SOMEONE WHO GETS IT! ;]

NJ Shore Maternity Photographer

NJ Beach Maternity Photography

NJ Shore Beach Maternity Photography

NJ Shore Beach Maternity Photography

Ocean Grove NJ Maternity Photography

Neptune NJ Maternity Photography

Neptune NJ Beach Maternity PhotographyJersey Shore Maternity Photography

Jersey Shore Maternity Photographer

Ocean Grove NJ Beach Photographer

NJ Beach Family Photographer

Ocean Grove NJ Family Photographer

Manasquan NJ Family PhotographerManasquan NJ Beach Maternity Photographer

 

Swoon. You can all thank these guys for reigniting my love of family sessions. Normally only available to previous clients, I’ll be offering a limited number of family beach sessions now through the end of November. For more information, email me at amanda@amandamcculloch.com

xoxo
Amanda

What to Wear: Maternity | Morristown NJ Maternity Photographer

It’s been a while!
Our move back to New Jersey has brought many changes. It’s been an exciting year for our tiny family of 2. J started his second year of preschool and I began working fulltime outside the home.   While my job is immensely fulfilling, it does mean I cannot in good conscience make myself available to be on call for birth photography.  And while I am sad to no longer be able to offer this service to my clients, I am learning a lot in my chosen field as I work towards my dream of becoming a certified nurse midwife. And I am enjoying the ability to offer maternity, newborn and family sessions.
Look out for some new maternity coming soon as I relaunch my maternity art. And be on the look out for new changes to the website and site details for new pricing, packages and offerings.

 

Enough about me :] This blog is about, you, the customers. Or maybe you’re not even one of my clients. Seeing how popular these things become on Pinterest, chances are you’re from another state or country. I make these fashion mock-ups because what you wear is so incredibly important and will make or break the final look of your session. And with my personal vision, I put a great emphasis on fashion and styling and am always happy to offer suggestions and guidance on picking out the attire for your session.

With the weather changing from summer to fall, here’s some great looks for Fall I’ve put together.

This season is all about layering. The essentials for a good fall maternity outfit are a basic shirt, a cardigan, a belt, and some great shoes. My absolute favorite maternity ensemble to photograph is the shirt+belt+cardigan combo. Just add some cute heels, flats or cowgirl boots and some simple jewelry and you’re done.
This also gives you more versatility in your session, as we can remove the cardigan and get some great shots in a plain solid color shirt. (Or horizontal stripes!)

Some great layering colors?
Plain white maternity tee + mustard yellow, kelly green or purple cardigan.
Black and white striped tee + black cardigan.
Can’t find a great maternity cardigan? H&M cardigans are under $20, just buy one in XL. It’s ok if they’re baggy, it’s part of the look.

What to wear to a maternity photography session | New Jersey maternity photographer

What to wear to a maternity session | New Jersey maternity photography

For this second look, we’re breaking the “no white after labor day” rule. Wearing white is totally permissible; as long as it’s not overdone. A white lace dress is ALWAYS shootworthy. Just make it fall friendly by bringing along a great cardi or sweater, or some cute western boots.   Here I included a skirt because it’s a great way to showcase your bare belly in a few shots. And it adds in a great feminine element that jeans just don’t bring to the party.

Remember as always: Bring extra outfit choices. The more you have the more we can work with.

Curled hair is always a classic, but straightened or blown dry are also great looks. Messy buns, ponytails and braids don’t tend to photography well. If straight hair is your preference it should be blown dry or flat ironed for a “finished” and neat look.
Not a “makeup” girl? Consider throwing a tad on just for your session. A tiny bit of liner and mascara go a long way. Same goes for some lip color.

An important note about footwear: Your shoes will be visible for many photos. Boots and flats are best for maternity sessions. Sneakers, old flip flops, etc can seriously downplay an otherwise lovely outfit. Think about the whole picture :]

 

Until next time!
xoxo

Amanda

Levon at The Farm in Summertown Tennessee | Northern NJ Maternity and Childrens Photographer

I had the pleasure of meeting Levon’s mama on “The Farm” in Summertown Tennessee. We both attended the Midwifery Assistant Workshop and it was an incredible week! I am so blessed to have met such a wonderful mother with similar goals and aspirations.

Central NJ Family Photographer
Northern NJ Family Photographer
Somerset County Family Photographer

It was so refreshing working with this age again. So many smiles and giggles. It definitely made me miss family sessions! I’m excited to be offering family sessions for the months of October and November.

$500 includes up to 2 hours of shooting time, 25 digital files and an 11×14 print.

$200 deposit required to reserve session; balance due upon ordering.
To inquire about a family session contact me at amanda@amandamcculloch.com

Birth of Gwyneth | Central NJ Birth Photographer

I was in the car driving to G’s mama’s house when I got the text that she had just made her grand entrance into the world, peacefully at home with their doula and midwife.

I was excited to have the opportunity to capture some of those first few details and moments. Especially all of that crazy blonde hair!

Somerset County Birth Photography

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Amanda

Why hire a birth photographer? | Morris County NJ Birth Photographer

Birth Photography. You’ve heard about it. Maybe you’ve winced. Maybe it piqued your interest.

Well, I’m proud to say, it’s here to stay. Years ago, it was not something that was ever really talked about or considered.

There are many misconceptions and criticisms against the field, which has been gaining popularity recently, perhaps based to more media discussion of this misunderstood field. And as a birth photographer, I am often asked why anyone would want to hire a photographer for their baby’s birth.

Birth photography is documentary. It is not posed or planned. It is real life, as it unfolds in front of the camera. It is tangible evidence that tells a story of a baby’s arrival.

 

This is the birth of my first child Joel.

Well, actually, it’s a snapshot, taken 10 minutes after his birth.

I walked into the hospital at 6:30pm and had him 3 ½ hours later, at 10:03pm, after pushing for 2 contractions. I tell you this because I have no photos to show you. I have nothing.

The birth of my son is easily the most important day of my life so far. It’s the day that changed my life forever. It was a monumental day in my life. It was the day I became a mom. It was the day I triumphed. It was the day I was pushed to my breaking point, and pulled from my inner strength, and brought forth life. And I have absolutely nothing to show for it.

When I had my son 3 ½ years ago, I had never even heard of birth photography. It wasn’t something anyone I knew had done, and it wasn’t something that was really talked about. I’d never seen a real “birth photo.” And now, as I prepare to send my child off to preschool, my heart aches for some sort of tangible evidence from that day. I’ll always remember the first words I said to him. I’ll always “remember” holding him for the first time. A mother never forgets the birth of her child. But oh, what I’d give for a photo of the first time he was placed on my chest. Of my face, the first time I saw him and cried and said hello to all 6 lbs 9 oz of him. Of the first time I counted all 10 toes, and grabbed his teeny tiny pinkie toe. Or even, as I labored and worked hard to bring him into the world.

It wasn’t long after my first birth photography job that I knew I wanted to specialize in birth photography. I believe in the importance of professional birth photography. I know exactly how much it means to families, and I know the power my images posess to help my clients remember those first moments that so easily become a “blur” after the chaos of a birthday.

I’m often asked “Why not just hand the camera off to your husband to take photos?” to which I answer “Because he’s a part of it.” The birth of a child is a family event. Some of my favorite images are of Dad seeing his baby for the first time (And often tearing up!) or Dad holding his baby and gazing into her eyes. The look on a father’s face as he locks eyes with his wife moments after their baby’s birth.

In many cases, Dad plays an integral role in his child’s birth. He is there, supporting his wife. It isn’t his job to pick up a camera and click away while his wife is having a contraction. It’s his job to be there! To be involved! (If that’s his wish!) Whatever his role is in his baby’s birth (be it “a coach” “A team player” or “a spectator.”) he gets to be there. He doesn’t need to worry about setting his white balance or interpreting mixed hospital lighting. When his baby is born, he doesn’t need to be worrying about setting his shutter speed or getting the right angle. He doesn’t need to see his baby for the first time through a viewfinder. He should be there! Experiencing it. Savoring that moment.

“Well what about my mom?” The fact is, people who are happy with snapshots off mom/brother/uncle’s camera, more power to them. However, it’s important to note, professional birth photography is an art. It’s a craft. The birth photographer is not only familiar with the anatomy and physiology of birth and knows what’s happening when, is familiar with protocol and where to be and when; they are very good at what they do. They are experienced at photographing birth. They use professional equipment that can take extraordinarily sharp photographs in low lighting conditions. They know how to properly expose an image, even with quirky hospital lighting, without flash! Their choice of lens, shutter speed and aperture are intentional. They work quickly and deliberately, to capture these fleeting moments that can never be replaced or replicated.

Much like a wedding, a birth can only be photographed once. You’ve got one chance to do it right. There are no do-overs. And you can leave those memories to a friend with a camera, or you can trust them to an experienced professional photographer.

A good birth photographer goes virtually unnoticed in the delivery room. They are not asking you to turn and smile. They are not in your face. They are not snapping “crotch shots.” They are not firing off their flash. They are not in the way of the doctor or midwife or nurses. They know exactly where to be and when. And they know how to process and deliver images that tell a beautiful story of your child’s birth.

Morris County NJ Birth Photography

I am happy to say that Birth Photography is not going anywhere soon! In fact, it’s the “in” thing to do! As the push towards more choices in childbirth grows, more and more women and their partners are recognizing the importance of birth.

As a doula, I was taught to recognize that birth has a profound impact on a woman for the rest of her life. Forever, she will remember her baby’s birth, and how she felt on that day. A doula’s ultimate goal is to “preserve the birth memory.” And as a birth photographer, I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to preserve the birth memories of my clients.

Hunterdon County NJ Birth Photography

Baby K | Morris County Newborn Photographer

I had the privilege of photographing this cutie pie right before the holidays! So much fun to finally have a little girl to work with after a year of boys boys boys.

 

Expecting | Somerset County Maternity Photographer

I’ve got some major blog catch up to do! So here goes.

I met Meredith while training for my DONA certification, and I was SO honored when she hired me to take her maternity portraits. I am so incredibly blessed to call her my friend, and she’s been such an incredible resource to me throughout every birth I have attended. It was great getting to spend the day with her, and I’m so excited at the prospect of photographing her homebirth later this season.

Maternity sessions are seriously some of my favorite sessions to do. I’m beyond excited for winter to be over, though Meredith totally rocked the cold weather with me!

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NJ Maternity Photographer

Morris County Maternity Photographer

 

maternity photography

Maternity Sessions are best held between 33-37 weeks. It’s never too early to book your session. For more information, email amanda@amandamcculloch.com.

Have a wonderful week!
xoxo
Amanda