Protect your digital photos! Meetup on 5/20, Notes from Jessica Peterson!

Hi Mamas!

Mark your calendars for May 20th at 6:30pm, Mosaic Coffeehouse in Wallingford, for the next Mamas With Cameras monthly meetup!


Do you have thousands of photos clogging up your laptop computer? Are you one crash away from losing months or years worth of precious memories? Protect your photos with some help from Molly Bullard of Seattle Photo Organizing.  She will discuss the technical components of your computer and hard drives that house the data and a give you workflow ideas on how to organize and create a backup of your file sets.

We hope to see you there!


And a reminder, our Shooting in Manual Workshop on June 8th is open for registration! (Mary is going on maternity leave in late summer so this will be the last opportunity to take this workshop until at least late fall!) We hope you can join the fun! 🙂

Check out the beautiful image captured by Carrie Sievers McClinton during the photo exercise portion of the Manual workshop!


APRIL WRAP-UP: Baby’s First Days with Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson, the speaker for our April Meetup, did a wonderful job talking us through how she approaches her labor & delivery photography, and how she captures memorable photos of baby’s first days. She had a gorgeous portfolio of images to share with us, and was kind enough to share her notes, and one of her photos with us for the wrap up this month!

Baby’s First Days- Jessica Peterson’s Notes

Day One

  • Hospital, birth center, or at home
  • The Newborn Exam Can request to wait for photographer. Or do again. Or stage. Weighing, measuring, footprints
  • First Meetings/siblings
  • Find the light Daytime, use hospital windows, use isolette light (at night esp.)
  • To flash or not to flash. I flash a lot. But bounce only. If you don’t have an external speedlight to bounce,  don’t flash directly. Increase ISO, find the light.


Days 2-5

  • Snuggle and rest – Seriously!
  • Best for lifestyle approach
  • Use people as props
  • First bath  


Days 7-14: The Newborn Session

  • Lifestyle or posed or both? I do a mix at every session, sometimes more of one or another depending on light in the home. A mix provides interactive family shots and some focusing just on baby.
  • Session environment

Baby’s want it WARM. 85 degrees

You need light, find a window with no direct sun

White noise machine (app on phone works)

  • What to bring

Beanbag – target works great, tie the bottom if it’s not full enough

Or just use couch cushions with boppy on topBlankets – texture, matte, washable

Absorbant, waterproof pads, chux,

Portable heater


Wraps for baby! Cheesecloth, knitted, crochet, stretchy fabric, scarf

Hats or headbands

  • Setting up for sleepy baby shots

Beanbag so baby can be 45 degrees to window.

Build your nest (heating pad or not?)

Layer lots of blankets, protect the ones you want to use.

Stretch blanket backdrop smooth and out, not just up.

Clamp blanket to backdrop stand or dining chairs with NO WRINKLES

Have diapers, wipes, rags on hand. You will need them!


  • Working with newborns

Think about the womb. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block
They want to feel secure, like movement, warmth, white noise (loud),

Bounce and sway!

Full tummy first.

Challenges: wiggly when awake, color issues, funny faces/grimaces, eye contact is hit or miss, and they want to be on their mamas 

  • Posing – You could do a whole workshop on posing, which I haven’t done, but I’ve learned through trial and error.

Safety first! Don’t try hanging baby, chin on hands – those are composites
Respect a baby and don’t force a pose – they’re all different.

Don’t shoot up the nose. Don’t let light shine up the nose. Watch expressions and hand positions. Gently press to get hands or arms where you want them.

Start swaddled/wrapped. Then unwrap as you go.

Easy poses on side and tummy

Patterned or special blankets for baby lying on back


  • Lifestyle Snuggle, adore, soak in the love.

Find the light in the home, or go outside

Use the bed – it works for whole family, mama or dad, siblings

Shoot through the crib (move it if you need better light)

  • Siblings I love watching them discover their new sibling



  • What’s your style?  Mine is minimal; I enjoy color and contrast.
  • Get it in camera  Especially for newborn skin, this is crucial.
  • My basic edits  Curves, to lighten midtones (skin!), curves to increase contrast (S curves)
  • Trouble shooting  Jaundice, flaky skin, skin smoothing.

One Tree Photography

Thank you Jessica for a wonderful guest presentation!


Hope to see you all next week!