We can now be found at www.evieclairephotography.com
Evie Claire Photography specializes in Newborn, Maternity, Baby, Child and Family Photography in Baltimore, Maryland and surrounding areas.
Evie Claire Photography specializes in Newborn, Maternity, Baby, Child and Family Photography in Baltimore, Maryland and surrounding areas.
It all started with Charlotte. Laura contracted me wanting a session for her 7 month old daughter. It’s family tradition in their family to shoot at this age and there was no way her third baby was missing out.
I laugh thinking back at how Laura asked if I could remove the catchlights (a very desired trait!) in all the photos. Good thing I didn’t write her off!
Charlotte and Laura returned at a year for a cake smash, right around the time I was searching for a new assistant. My buddies Lily and Evie (who helped with so many of my newborn sessions) were in the thick of their nursing programs and unable to help my business which was busier by the month. After Charlotte’s epic one year session, Laura threw her hat in the ring. I’m so glad that she is the one I chose!
Here we are 6 months later and I can’t imagine my business without her. Truthfully, she is the glue that holds it all together. She is a comforter to new frazzled moms. A jokester with the Dads. And always right there with whatever I need: an extra blanket, a finger that I will eventually remove from a photo in photoshop and most importantly, an ear to just listen. Honestly, I have NO IDEA how she even has time for me. With a husband and three children under six years old, she’s a Mom on the go and she does it all. Should I mention she does it all while looking super glam, with the best hair ever, even at a newborn session. I love her even though she makes me look like a hot mess!
So here’s to the the friends who make us better and to the people who make our business successful. Laura, I do not know what I would do without you and I know our clients cherish you every bit as much as I do!
In December of 2012, with encouragement and unlimited support from my hubby, I launched my studio. And business has been good, GREAT even.
It truly means everything to me especially because these families I photograph are more than just clients, they are friends.
They’ve included me in the lives to share in their joy and their everyday struggles. We have real honest conversations about kids and marriage and health. And to me, that really means something. I don’t just take pictures of your kids. I capture this time for YOU to treasure and for YOU to remember.
Being able to do what I love while building new friendships, is exactly why I feel so blessed day after day! Does it really get much better than that?
Those of you who really know me know that I’ve been having an especially hard time with Evie turning 4. I think it’s the realization that I really only have one more year with her before she’s off to school. Those 365 days, I need to make them count.
So in an effort to take advantage of every moment Evie and I have together and to make 2014 the most memorable year ever,effective immediately,
As a parent yourself, I know you understand exactly where I’m coming from and I can’t thank you enough for your support! Message me if you’d love to set up a playdate or a weekday session!! Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are my dedicated studio days and I will continue to book these dates for newborns, maternity and grow with me sessions!
Yes, prints and canvases can still be purchased in addition to digital packages, don’t worry! But you asked for it and I get it. Who doesn’t love instant gratification right? I wanna make your wishes come true too!
This only applies to new inquiries so if you have a session on the books I’m still honoring my previous collections.
In this second edition of my “How to choose a Newborn Photographer” series, I want to address the setting of your session. As soon as I knew that I wanted to start my own business, we converted our stone garage into a studio.
For me, working from home allows me the freedom to also be a work-from-home Mom. Meaning, I am not spending a lot of time traveling to either clients homes or a rented studio space. After a session wraps, I immediately head upstairs to my office, upload the photos, edit one and post a sneak peek for parents. Talk about instant gratification!
It also allows clients to get a sense of who I am. They can see my family photos hanging in my living room and occasionally (although never for a newborn session) Evie is there and clients can meet her as well. I am, of course, a Momma above all other things and I think my clients really appreciate the personal setting!
Perhaps the most important reason why I prefer working out of my studio, as opposed to traveling, is the sheer amount of STUFF I have (as evidenced in these photos).
I have samples on hand of every product I offer, from prints to accordion albums to canvases. I really think it’s beneficial to be able to show my clients the difference, for example, between a linen finish announcement and a pearl finish. I love these little details and I want every product they order to be a reflection of their style!
See…I drive a Honda Civic with a toddler seat in the back. Which means I am extremely limited in the amount of things I can take with me to any given session. In my studio, if a baby poops on one, or two, or even five blankets (It’s happened!!!!), I have plenty of blankets on hand as back ups. But if I traveled, this might not be the case.
In my studio, if I pick a set up and the Momma decides she hates leggings or headbands or whatever, I have so many alternate options for her to choose from. She can literally pick right from my ever growing stash.
Working in my studio allows me more time photographing the client as well, as I’m not spending time unloading my car and setting up my lighting and backdrop stand.
My room specific heat allows me to warm my studio to a balmy 85 degrees (to keep naked baby toasty), while allowing the rest of my house to remain a comfortable temperature for parents. If I came to your house, you’d have to crank the heat! A studio session means I’m paying to heat that toasty warm space, not you!
Am I saying that working from a studio is better than traveling to a client’s home? Absolutely not. But for me, it really works better. It may not be your home, but it is a home. And I strive to have lots of luxuries to make Mom and Dad and baby comfortable. I have a glider and boppy for Momma, available wifi, and snacks. To the 37 babies and their parents who chose to make that journey to my studio space in 2013, please know that I appreciate you!
I may be a little type A. Well if you ask my Mother or my college roommate they’ll tell you I’m a LOT type A, but I like to think of myself as reformed! Except when it comes to planners. I may or may not currently have 3 calendars and 1 excel spreadsheet on my bulletin board right now. Ok, I admit I’m almost over-organized! Colorvale planner to the rescue!
This planner arrived last week, beautifully packaged to boot! It’s incredibly well thought out and addressed things I had honestly never even considered tracking (fav websites, forums, monthly fees, meal planning). Here are my 5 favorite things about the planner!
1. Mac Daddy Size
My first impression was how substantial it was in size and weight. It’s no pocket planner for sure. The cover and all divider pages are laminated. Honestly, carrying this makes me feel like I’m on a mission, a mission to take my business seriously and grow it beyond my wildest expectations!
2. Workflow chart
First of all, I love that this was all left blank, allowing each user to determine what steps are crucial to their workflow process. For me, I knew I needed to track things like deposit invoices, questionnaire emails, and whether or not testimonials were left on my facebook page. There are spaces to track anniversary sessions, perfect for newborn photographers like myself who offer “Grow with me” packages. At a glance, I can ensure that nothing was forgotten and that each of my clients received consistent, attentive service.
3. Calendar pages
This is perhaps, my most favorite part of the planner. Big monthly spaces with inner rectangles where I write holidays or birthday information. An at a glance view of a month: what weekends are crazy, where I need to build in some precious family time, and a big note section on the side to create priorities listing.
Then, the following 10 pages track weekly schedules with spaces for EVERYTHING (correspondence, blog posts, editing). I.so.need.this. I track my household bill due dates here, status of pending referrals and blog posts/facebook posts to keep myself accountable for having a thriving online presence.
4. Client tracking
Hooray! I’ll no longer spend endless hours searching through files for email addresses, phone numbers and session dates. I’m thinking ahead to December when I’ll send out holiday cards to clients. All I will have to do is look at this page and I’ll have a ready made list of every client I need to include. I’m going to skip a line between clients so I can include address info as well.
No more loose pieces of paper floating around my desk! No more post-it notes! No more scraps or paper, receipts, napkins, full of ideas that inevitably get tossed in the trash during a crazy cleaning session. All my brilliant ideas bound in one place.
Have I convinced you that you need this yet? Shall I sweeten the pot and tell you that Stacie, the creator, even has a facebook group page where we all share tip and tricks for how to best maximize your planner. Now…wipe up your Type A organizational drool and go get your own!
In our house, Tuesdays are library days. We grab our Princess Sofia book bag, I stop at DD for a big coffee, and we head out to find new adventures and to meet new friends. We are blessed to have an amazing, busy local library. There are always lots of kids for Evie to play with and the toys and puzzles rotate on a monthly basis depending on a chosen theme (ex. insects, dinosaurs, safari animals).
The first thing we do is pick out new books and music. Then Evie plays on the computer while I search for more books. I always pick a mix of fiction and non-fiction for her.
Here are some of Evie’s top picks for the year:
Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. A classic for a reason. And a reminder that people once had fantastic vocabularies!!! This particular book was 3D and included lots of lift the flap and pull the arrow interactive illustrations.
What the Ladybug Heard by Julia Donaldson. A fun rhyming story about how a little ladybug saves the farm from robbers.
Wild About You! by Judy Sierra. Another rhyming animal story, this is the tale tells the story of a kangaroo desperate for a baby. When a random egg shows up, she adopts it only to find it’s a penguin. With the help of her animal friends, she raises the penguin as her own. An “it takes a village” tale for kids!
Adelaide by Tomi Ungerer. Adelaide is a special kangaroo. She can fly! Evie enjoyed reading about her adventures around the world and I loved how the illustrations reminded me of my favorite kids book, Dr. DeSoto.
Snow Bunny’s Christmas Wish by Rebecca Harry. This was one of those books that we added to our collection. Evie wanted to hear the story 2 and 3 times a day and eventually memorized the book. It’s a wonderful story about a thoughtful little bunny who puts others’ needs in front of her own. She is rewarded in the end with many new friends.
Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson. Follow Mouse on his adventure to school and see what the kids get to do all day.
Rhino’s Great Big Itch by Evie LOVED this story about how little animals can make a big difference.
The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri. Follow squirrel on his adventures as he prepares for winter. This was another book that Evie memorized and insisted we purchase!
Julius: The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes. We really love anything Kevin Henkes writes but Evie found this one especially amusing. It’s the story of Lilly and how much she despises her new baby brother. He smells and gets all the attention and she simply won’t stand for it! One day when someone else comments on how awful babies are, Lilly realizes she does love Julius after all. A perfect read for anyone expecting a sibling!
The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner. Talk about beautiful illustrations! Love the artwork in this tale that speaks to the benefits of sharing.
A Squirrel’s Tale by Richard Fowler. My brother picked out this book for Evie while vacationing on Skyline Drive. It was the perfect pick. It’s a story about a squirrel trying to remember where he stored his nuts. But the story isn’t the best part! The book has a series of tracks and tunnels for the cutout squirrel to follow, allowing him to POP into the next page. Evie just loves moving the squirrel from page to page and seeing where he ends up!
Not pictured, but also high on our list and in our home collection are:
The Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney
The Kissing Hand series by Audrey Penn
Any Little Critter book by Mercer Mayer (including the Early Reader books)
For us, reading means time together. It means using our imagination. It opens the lines of communication for us to talk about story lines and how we can relate.
Where will your books take you today?
Freedom. That’s what I felt the day I decided not to return to nursing school but instead to stay home with Evie.
And boy oh boy did we enjoy that summer and early fall together. We did crafts and went on trips and explored all that Baltimore has to offer. The Webers Apple Festival. Airplane sightings at the Thomas Dixon park. Birthday parties. Zoo outings. Family trips to the Aquarium. The Great Frederick Fair.
And then, well then I was blessed with a business that became instantly successful beyond my wildest dreams. October family sessions snowballed into November family craziness. And after I started newborns in December, the rest was history. I did 163 sessions this year. I worked 7 straight weekends this fall. I struggled to do it all well, not wanting my child to feel lost in the shuffle. Unimportant.
I let myself believe that I wasn’t a good mother. That I was a disappointment for not having the hang of running my own business while mothering. That somehow my child would be scarred by the fact that we missed Library Tuesday or that I didn’t have a craft theme for the week. That the store bought snack I bought for her school party was a tragedy.
Well…I was lying to myself. I am a damn good mother. And those crafts and day trips were never what made me a good mom anyway. What makes me a good mom is the unconditional love that I have for this child. That she wakes up each day knowing that I’m madly in love with her. That I believe in her endless potential. That I am proud of her.
If you can lay your head on your pillow at night and say “I did my best today” than that is enough. Some days my best is shit. Some days my best is amazing. But it’s always my best. And these little humans are quite forgiving. We could learn from them.
I took a moment and made this little collage of “selfies” from this year. The same pose was in my camera again and again. Evie hugging me as tight as she can, loving me like I am the best mom in the world. Because to her, I am perfect. And for me, that is simply enough.