Reasons to Have An On-Location Newborn Photographer

Coming from first hand experience, I can tell you that arriving home from the hospital with a newborn baby is no easy transition.  There are the physical aches of having just given birth, the wave of hormonal emotions, the well-wishers eager to make their visits, the adjustment period for all household members (whether human or pet), and of course, the well being of the newest kid on the block!

So when I started my newborn photography business back in 2009, I knew that being an on-location photographer would be one of my most attractive service points.  Having been doing this for five years now, I can only count on one hand the number of times I’ve had a family request their session be done in my own home. So here’s my take on why an on-location or in-home newborn photography session is better for you and your family.

 

Why Having An On-Location Newborn Photographer is Better.

1. No travel involved. I bring the “studio” to your home, including backdrops, blankets, props, and, of course, my camera. No need to worry about packing a diaper bag or packing up siblings and their essentials.  All I require is a little space, a heated environment, and a good source of natural light.

2. Weather always permits. This holds especially true for winter babies. You won’t have to worry about how cold it’s going to be or exposing your newborn to other people’s germs (and yes, all my blankets and props are washed and sanitized after each session. I am a NICU RN after all!).

3. You’re comfortable. Everything you need is within the comfort of your own home… food, water, bathroom, your master bedroom to nurse/feed, pump, sleep, rest, etc! I am so serious! Since sessions take about 2-3 hours on average, I’ve had parents take naps, eat meals in peace, catch up on bills, etc! In cases with siblings, most parents have found it easier to entertain (or find help entertaining) siblings in their own home. Plus, if you’re taking parents and sibling shots, you also have the time and everything you need to get “picture ready” since those setups are done towards the end of the session.

4. Your baby is comfortable. Being out of the womb in new surroundings is already an adjustment on it’s own for a baby… So why go anywhere when a newborn session can successfully be done inside your home? And again, no need to worry about packing a diaper bag.

 

Whenever you book a newborn photography session with me, you’re my only client for the day. On average, newborn sessions take about 2-3 hours and that’s because I allow time for feeding and comforting to help facilitate a sleepy baby.  Nothing is ever rushed ! And because I only book one session per day, I’m able to spend extra time with each baby to ensure amazing images are captured every time.

To inquire about a newborn session, please contact me! I only take a very limited amount per month since I do photography on a part time basis.

The following photos were taken by client of mine. Love it when families share these behind the scenes shots with me! And mama just reminded me that I was pregnant with Kalia at this time!in home newborn photographerphoto 2photo 3

Now for the finished product from yours truly:-)

El Monte Newborn Photography

Los Angeles Newborn Photography

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The Villegas Family

Photographed this lovely family last week in Newport!  It’s supposed to be the start of fall, but here in California, it’s still summer! I met Mercedes over 10 years ago when we started in the RN program back at Riverside Community College. So crazy to see how far we’ve come in the past decade! Her and husband just recently celebrated their 7th anniversary and their youngest is now turning 1! I had a great time catching up and documenting their love for one another:-)

orange county family photographerorange county family photographerorange county family photographerorange county family photographerorange county family photographerorange county family photographer

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2014 Mini Sessions

For the first time ever, I am offering mini sessions! These are perfect if you need family photos taken for your holiday cards this year! This is also perfect for families with small children who won’t sit through a regular one hour long session! I, myself, have been partaking in mini sessions for the past two years!

Space is limited… and on a first come, first serve basis, so book soon!

email: kristineatienza@me.com

minisessions

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Progress Over Perfection – Part 1

Before I became pregnant with Miles, my last documented weight on my medical record was 121 pounds in April of 2013.  It was the slimmest I had been since working out for my wedding back in 2007. But last year’s weight was all due to running, not strength training. So in essence, I was skinny, but I wasn’t strong.  At my last “pregnant” OB appointment (when I was actually a day overdue), I weighed 156 pounds.

Today, after a solid month of working out pretty much every day between Pure Barre, Boot Camp, and now training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, I am back down to 137 pounds. I was actually disappointed with the number on the scale because I had a goal of being closer to 130 by this point. I mean I’m exclusively breastfeeding! That’s an additional 300-500 calories a day that my body is burning just by making milk!  After dwelling on it, reading on it, and talking to some of my fitness pals, I gradually began to accept that it was progress over perfection.

Although my diet this month hasn’t been exactly 100% clean, it has been healthier with my beloved sweets in moderation.  I used to eat ice cream almost 4-6 times a week, but this month, I’ve only had it twice. I don’t do any type of meal replacement because I am breastfeeding (and I’m afraid it’ll mess with the liquid gold I’ve got going on), but I did do a 3 day juice cleanse a few weeks back. I’ve also grown accustomed to eating smaller portions more frequently. I still have my one-cup of coffee every morning… because let’s be real, I have a newborn...  but I now drink only water and/or my green iced tea throughout the day. My esthetician, even complimented me on healthier skin the other day. This month I’ve shed 2 ½ inches off my waist, 1¼ inches off my hips and 3% of body fat.  I’m not exactly sure why my hips have been so stubborn, but I’m hoping the increase in my running mileage in the upcoming weeks will help with that.  I can plank longer, I can lift weights that are heavier than my weights at home, and I can jog/run through an entire 55-minute episode of Orange is the New Black without stopping. Overall, I feel stronger, so I can’t say the entire month was wasted.

Being that muscle is heavier than fat, I’m not really sure if I’ll get back down to that 121 pound mark that I was at last year. Plus I’m going back to work next week which means the daily workouts will now come to an end.  That’s just the reality of it for me.  My diet will also be changing again due to the fact that I’m training for a half marathon. And to be quite honest, I think I’ll be okay with that.  As long as I continue to feel good about my progress and my endurance, then the scale number will just be like age…  nothing but a number.

 

To be continued…

progress over perfection

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Behind the Names: Our Gems and Our Light

When it came to choosing names for each one our kids, Ron and I wanted unique, traditionally spelled names that had meaning. Literally, each name was pretty much chosen on the day of (or day after) birth. I get asked quite often why we chose the names we did, so here’s a little insight on how each our babies were named.:-)

 

EVA JADE – precious life

When we initially started family planning in early 2010, it took about 4 months for me to become pregnant with Eva. Being the planner that I am, you can only imagine my surprise, frustration, and anxiety with how long it was taking. I always thought that getting pregnant would be easy and I was hoping to have this baby during the summer months following my graduation from UCLA. I began to think that something was wrong with me. That March, I went on a People to People Nursing delegation to China. I was expecting and prepared for ‘Aunt Flo’ to accompany me at some point, but to my surprise she never came. I shrugged it off and made the excuse that the stress of travel, the time change, etc, had discombobulated my system. The day I came back from China, I figured, What the heck, let’s do a pregnancy test. And of course, the rest was history.

I told Ron that I wanted to include the name Jade, because I remembered one of the tour guides saying that it was China’s most precious gem. It just seemed fitting since I was in China carrying a precious gem without even knowing it.  Eva (pronounced ee-va, not eh-va) became her first name because we liked how it flowed well as Eva Jade.  That plus, Eva’s Hebrew meaning of “life”….  The day we were to announce our pregnancy to our families was the same day my grandma passed away. My grandma never got to hear the news, but I knew she knew. Shortly, I later found out that one of my cousins (who had also been trying hard to conceive) was pregnant as well! We both ended up delivering in November (the birth month of our late grandma), just two days apart from each other. Call it coincidence, but my oh my…  what a coincidence of events…:-)Eva Jade

 

KALIA PEARL  - precious beauty

Since it took about 4 months to get pregnant with Eva, we thought we’d give ourselves a few months head start with baby #2. We wanted our kids to be no more than 2 years apart in age. Well, we became pregnant right away (the girls are 18 months apart). At my initial appointment, the OB who saw me (not my regular OB provider) could not find an implantation on ultrasound. I ended up having to do serial blood tests to detect pregnancy hormones and rule out an ectopic pregnancy. Funny thing was, I actually called and left a message saying that I was feeling left sided pain (which could indicate an ectopic pregnancy), but I didn’t receive a call back until 4 days later while we were vacationing in Maui (and by then, the pain had subsided). Upon returning from Maui, I had a stat ultrasound the very next day which did reveal and confirm, a viable pregnancy.

Interestingly enough, the name Danica, which was up against Eva, didn’t even make the running when we found out we were pregnant with another baby girl. Due to the nature of events and being in Maui, we decided to go with a Hawaiian name for baby girl #2. We had friends whose daughter was named Kalia and we were thrilled when Alysce and Martin gave us their blessing to use the name (I know some may think it’s a little strange to ask for permission, but you know, some people do get a bit territorial with names!). Anyway, we loved the name Kalia because it meant beauty and it was simple to pronounce in comparison to other Hawaiian names. We also decided to stick with the “gem theme”, so with pearl being the state’s precious gem, it only seemed natural that we go with Pearl.

Kalia Pearl

 

MILES APOLLO – soldier of light, music, and healing

When we found out we were having a boy for our 3rd baby, we knew we had to scratch the gem theme. It was too feminine in our opinion. But we did get a good laugh when people tried to come with “masculine” gem names :-D. Initially we had a few names up for debate. The first name would either be Miles or Maximus… and the second name would either be Kingston or Apollo. We let the names just sit until pretty much my 40th week of pregnancy. Although we loved the named Maximus because of my late grandma (who was named Maxima), Miles just seemed to come more naturally for us. I had been running 1ks, 5 ks, 10ks, and 1/2 marathons throughout this pregnancy (which probably explains why walking didn’t help in the end) so we always joked that this baby would come out running due to the mileage he’s accumulated. We also liked the Latin and Hebrew meaning behind Miles – soldier and gift from God.

For his second name, we considered Kingston for a short while because it sounded regal to us. But that’s about as far as it went.  Apollo struck with us because of the Greek meaning behind it. Apollo was the Greek God of the sun/light, music/poetry, healing/medicine and knowledge/wisdom. All traits that Ron and I appreciate and could identify with. And because I haven’t posted newborn pics of Miles yet, here’s a couple from his first few days of life.:-)(Although I photographed the girls’ newborn sessions, we decided to hire the super talented Carrie, from Baby As Art, to capture him and our family. I’ve long admired (and have been inspired by) Carrie and Brittany’s work, so I’m excited to see what Carrie captured of him and our family!)

Miles Apolloima2ima3

So there you have it! The reason behind the names of each of our kids! Thanks for reading!

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