Surviving the Holidays While Pregnant

Are you already tired even though it’s only December 11th? Whether you’re not quite showing yet and not ready to tell the world, making the big announcement while all your family is in town or just trying to keep up with the holiday madness while proudly rocking your beautiful bump, the holiday season can be stressful. Below you will find some tricks for surviving the holidays while pregnant, no matter where you’re at physically and emotionally. Read on for all the juicy details.

Modern Chicago Newborn Photographer

Save The Water For The Christmas Tree

 Just because you’re expecting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to have a little fun at the boozy holiday parties too! Sticking to water is boring, and an obvious sign if you are still trying to keep it a secret. Try some Elderflower and fizzy water in champagne glass to make things feel more festive. This recipe gets an added bonus because it’s not only tasty but even looks like the real thing. Also look into some alcohol-free versions of wine and cider so you don’t feel left out.

On a more practical note, when out and about shopping make sure to keep that water bottle with you at all times. Dehydration is a major bummer and it can be easy to forget to hydrate. Try a super cute water bottle to help you remember in style!

What About All The Cheese!

Any other cheese lovers out there? It can be hard to cut out soft cheeses on a regular basis but when every party you show up to has a luxurious cheese board to eyeball it can be maddening . Not to worry, there are some great alternatives to those restricted varieties such as this Baked Camembert Recipe so you can indulge in melted molten cheese just like everyone else.

You Do You Boo

 Use your packed social schedule as an opportunity to buy yourself a new outfit. I know it can be hard to spend money on maternity clothes because they only fit for a limited time. Choose one nice outfit that you can wear to all of your parties that makes you feel gorgeous and comfortable. There are choices for every budget, check out Pink Blush or if you need to be ultra chic try Hatch! Pro-tip: Shop online to avoid the crowds and make sure to throw in a nice comfy pair of pajamas to wear at home as a reward for surviving the day. Feeling particularly pregnant and bloated? Opt for a manicure, pedicure or blowout to get you in the spirit.

Know When To Call It Quits

 Timing is key here, if you are at a party and feeling ready to go home then be sure to make your exit before things escalate to full party mode. Does this party include a free bar? You might want to find the door before 9:00pm when things might start to get crazy. And don’t forget, if you are feeling great then be sure to stay and dance all night long.

Does your family bring a dose of drama large enough for both of you? Remember to take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to say “no”. You are going to have a toddler running around in a couple years so you may as well get good at saying it now 🙂

Celebrating The Holidays While Pregnant

 There are tons of positives, just think about it, there is no hangover and you are guaranteed to have no embarrassing stories told about you Monday morning. And since you can’t drink you might as well eat more! A holiday party nap is a must for any pregnant woman at Christmas so send the men to the kitchen for the cleanup this year.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration so make sure you create that for yourself and your growing family. Make time for the things that are important to you even if that means drinking hot cocoa an watching Netflix with your partner. Happy Holidays!

Thanks for reading about how to survive the holiday season while pregnant. Since (hopefully) your December will now be bearable and dare I say enjoyable you might want to think about documenting this momentous occasion. At Erica VanHoosen Photography I offer several great options that would make a great gift for you or other expectant family members and friends. Maternity sessions can be added on to any Newborn Session or Baby Plan for only $100.

Click HERE for more information or CONTACT ME directly.

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A Modern Monochrome Baby Session (with twins!)

A Modern Monochrome Baby Session

I cannot tell you how excited I was when Samantha responded to my Denver model call sessions. She has 2 gorgeous 6 month-old twin boys! Samantha and I actually go way back, we went to the same elementary school and played softball together for years!

I was really trying to focus on my new monochromatic shooting style for this session so I bought lots of little goodies just to spoil these two!

Modern Chicago Newborn Photographer

Although Axel and Jameson look very similar their personalities could not be more different. Axel (in all black) is very outgoing and happy! He smiles all the time and is just an incredibly happy and sweet baby. Little Jameson (in the white and black) is a little more reserved and shy. He doesn’t give away smiles to just anyone but he has the most gorgeous eyes and he knows just how to use them!

Modern Monochrome Baby Session

These two were such champs the entire photo session. We listened to the Bubble Guppies theme song, which never failed to perk them right up. Jameson was a little unsure about the fur he was sitting on so we made sure he got plenty of cuddles from his Nana whenever he got uncomfortable.

Chicago Modern Monochrome Photographer

A couple of days later I got to spend a little more time with this sweet family when we took some family photos outdoors. Colorado welcomed me with a gorgeous 70 degree day in mid-November!

Chicagoland Baby Photography

Don’t Axel and Jameson look completely identical in these photos when they are dressed the same?

Chicago Baby Photographer

We fit this session in right after Samantha got off work and only had about 20 minutes before the sun went down. We worked quickly and the boys made it super easy! Mom or dad was holding them the entire time so they were perfectly content. Luckily, their Nana also came so she could stand behind me and help get their attention. You can never have too many helpers, especially with twins!


Did you know that I offer a FREE family photo shoot during your 6-month session when you purchase The Baby Plan?

Are you ready to book your session and capture your sweet babies while you have the chance? CONTACT ME now!


White and Black Outfit: Bailey’s Blossoms

Black Hooded Romper: Lenny Lemons

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Why Digital Files Are Killing Your Memories

This is a cautionary tale about who you could be when you get older (and how your kids might laugh at you). It is also the reason I am a fine art photographer. Read on if you dare….

Modern Chicago Newborn Photographer

The Horror Of It All!

For the month of November I visited my parents home in Colorado. Even though I was away from home I still had tons of work to do. When my mom told me one night that she had a great Christmas present idea that I could give her, I was reluctant.

It turned out that reluctance was the correct feeling. As I followed her into the extra bedroom I had a creeping suspicion that things were about to get ugly. When she opened the closet I gasped. Inside were boxes upon boxes of unorganized photos.

Fine Art Photographer

But Erica, You Love Printed Photos!

For someone like me who is passionate about fine art photography and printing photos this shouldn’t seem like such a scary thing. But the point of fine art photography is to create artwork using the photos so you can see and enjoy them everyday. I would bet that none of my mom’s photos had been looked at in years.

Everything had been printed at a cheap store (sorry Walgreens, we love you but it’s the truth) then placed into thick binders never to be looked at again. Or they were thrown into a box until she could convince someone (me) to organize them.

So I did it, I organized the photos and placed them into binders where they would fade and disintegrate and get stuck together (because Walgreens) and no one would look at them again for at least 5 years.

The whole thing was honestly a little sad because I get it! These are great memories that my mom never wants to forget and this is the only way she knows to try to capture them forever. And in all honesty, it’s better than nothing, or the alternative…

The Alternative

About 3 days later my mom walks into the kitchen with a stack of CD’s and USB’s, I can already see where this is going. On my last visit my husband had purchased an external hard drive for the photos from her phone. She had realized that she should probably consolidate all of her digital files onto the external.

Chicago Fine Art Baby Photographer

Luckily she has an older computer so it still had a CD drive as the new ones do not. In the evening she began the process of going through all of the photos on the discs and USB’s and moving them over.

At one point she put a CD into the computer and it made a terrible groaning sound. It stopped but would not eject the disc. She was never able to see the saved photos.


Don’t Doom Your Memories To Never Be Seen Again

So what is the point of all of this? For my mothers photos the best-case scenario was that they would end up in a cheap album no one would look at. Worst case, they are stuck on a corrupted CD and never seen again.

When you get professional photos taken you research photographers then pay good money to capture incredible portraits. Why would you want the outcome of that to be one of the two options above?


I Know What You’re Thinking, I NEED The Digital Files!

I think that most people really love the professional photos they have taken. This is why people desperately want the digitals files so they can have them forever and upload them to social media. But wouldn’t it be better to have them turned into artwork that you see everyday? If you truly do love them then don’t you want to see them?

Even on social media you might upload them and get a huge response…for 1 day. After that they kind of get lost and you might not see them again until they pop up next year in your “memories”.

Chicago Fine Art Photographer

With the way technology is constantly changing there is a very real risk of losing even the most diligently saved files. In a couple of years there may be no CD drives available and any photos saved in that format will be lost forever.

Most people I know who get digital files from their photo sessions end up doing nothing with the photos. The USB gets thrown into a drawer never to be seen again. Wouldn’t that be a terrible fate for the photos you so carefully prepared for, the memories you wanted captured forever?

The Fine Art Photographer Solution

There is a reason why printed photos are the things that people grab when their house is burning down. They are important, they have meaning beyond the surface they are printed on, they are your memories, your history.

Chicago Fine Art Newborn Photography

The solution is to find a fine art photographer that understands the importance of your memories. You deserve someone who will create artwork so that you can truly cherish the photos you purchased. your biggest choice should be whether to have them displayed on your walls or designed into a quality album.

Enjoy them, live with them, see them, smile at them, cherish them. Your memories deserve better and so do you!



I am ready to turn your memories into gorgeous art, are you? Click here!

Want to see examples of more gorgeous artwork?

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An Urban Maternity Session

When Eren first approached me about her maternity session she made it clear that she wanted something very different and unique. For her first child she had done a boudoir style maternity session and this time around she wanted something totally different. I immediately started forming a million ideas in my head but one thing was obvious; my normal maternity session style of long flowing dresses in a beautiful natural setting just weren’t going to cut it for this mama-to-be.

Modern Chicago Newborn Photographer

A Unique Session For A Unique Mama

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that style of maternity, I think it is timeless and stunning. But it is so great to be able to change things up to keep my creative juices flowing. I really enjoyed coming up with some ideas and location scouting for a more urban style session. More than that, I love being able to provide a style of photography that really speaks to my client, a style they can relate to and really connect with.

City Maternity Session

An Urban Maternity Session

When I pitched my idea of an urban photo shoot with graffiti and alleyways to Eren she was immediately on board. We agreed on a very laid back outfit for her with Chuck Taylors and leggings. What a great idea, she was comfortable the whole time and she looked fantastic!

Urban Maternity Photography

Chicago City Maternity Session

Together we wandered the streets of Itaewon in Seoul, South Korea. How lucky we were to have so many amazing urban backdrops, colorful walls and graffiti to use for this unique session.

Modern Maternity PhotographyModern City Maternity Session

Eren rocked it and ended up purchasing a gorgeous photo album to match the album from her first pregnancy. Now she can have matching coffee table books to display in her home showing her stunning pregnancy glow.

Let’s talk about how we can make your maternity session unique and perfect for you!

Learn More About Why It’s Important To Document Your Pregnancy With Photos!


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The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Children: Exist In Photos

A Coffee Shop Revelation: The Importance Of Existing In Photos

Recently I was sitting in a coffee shop working, much like I am now. At one point a group of several women walked in and sat at the table behind me. I was very focused on what I was doing and not paying much attention to others around me until I heard one of the women say the words “keepsake print”. Like a total creeper I turned my music down and popped one of my ear buds out to listen closer.

She was venting to her friend about her frustrations with her siblings. Her mother had recently passed away and “the kids” had been meeting at her mothers home to clean out her belongings. There was a large keepsake framed photo of her mother and everyone wanted it. All of the children were fighting over it because it was one of the only photographs of her that they had from when she was younger.

Modern Chicago Newborn Photographer

Are You “Keepsake Quality”?

I sat there wondering to myself, are there photos of me out there that are “keepsake” quality? I often hear moms talking about how they are always the ones behind the camera. How their Instagram and Facebook page is filled with photos of their children but only 1 or 2 shots of themselves. Have you booked milestone sessions for your children but not included yourself in any of the photos?

When was the last time you had professional photos taken of yourself?

Existing In photos

I think as women and as mothers it is incredibly important for you to exist in photos, for your children and for yourself. We have all seen photos of ourselves that we hate. We have all been uncomfortable in our own skin. But you need to know that you are good enough to be in a family portrait, you are good enough to be photographed with your kids. You are good enough to exist in photographs

Chicago newborn and baby photographer

The Most Valuable Gift You Can Give

My photography is not about being the best, its not about being famous or having a large Facebook following, in fact its not about me at all. The real goal of all of this is to create stunning portraits that you can look back on in 20 years and say, “this is more priceless than anything we own”. To create photos that all of your kids and grandchildren fight over because they truly capture you, your real laugh, your goofy smile and your true inner beauty, the things your kids will want to remember forever.

Chicago Baby Photographer

And sure your hair might not be perfect, your makeup isn’t done and you’re a little heavier than you wish. When you look back at photos of your mother or grandmother do you see her cellulite and fly-away hairs? Do you see the bags under her eyes and the pimple on her chin or do you see her glowing smile? Do you see the twinkle in her eyes and her infectious laughter? You are perfect to your children whether you feel that way or not. You are beautiful because you are MOM.

The importance of photography


What Will Your Children Have When You’re Gone?

And the truth is that we never know how long we have. We could all be gone tomorrow, or 10 years from now or maybe even 50. When that time comes, what will your children have to remember you by? Is that what you wish for them? Because if you cant do it for yourself at least do it for your children.

“One day your children will want photos of you, what will they have?” – Sue Bryce

photography gifts for your kids


CLICK HERE if you are ready to EXIST in photos for yourself and for your children.

Still not convinced? Check out this article by Alison Tate

Newborn Portrait Session Mentoring

As many of you know, prior to moving to Chicago, my husband and I lived in Seoul, South Korea. This is where my passion for newborn photography was born and I was so lucky to be part of a supportive military community.

I loved what I had built in Seoul and I desperately wanted to give back before I left. I decided to do a series of mentoring sessions for the other local military spouse photographers. There are very few English speaking photographers to choose from and even fewer newborn photographers so my relocation was going to leave a gap for expectant parents.

Modern Chicago Newborn Photography

The Fadare family was the perfect fit for this session. 8 day old Josephine was so precious and slept through all of my mentoring explanations.

Lincolnwood Baby Photography

How precious is that little pout?

I am always honored to photograph the military community. As a military wife myself, I can relate to them and understand the importance that the military plays in their lives.

This sweet little girl stuck her arms straight up in the air every chance she got. I just had to grab a photo of it. Those are the little memories you always remember and will love to look back on as she gets older.

Chicago Newborn Portraits

I was obsesses with this sweet girl and how content she was to just sleep and be held. Clearly her parents are infatuated and rightfully so.

Chic Newborn Photographer


This “potato sack” pose is one of my favorites because the baby always looks so cozy. The light colors really show off Josephine’s gorgeous creamy skin.

Modern Chicago Newborn Photographer

I love to incorporate any special little trinkets that are important to my clients. Josephine’s father Sam is from Nigeria so we took some gorgeous photos on a piece of Nigerian fabric. How unique!

North Chicago Baby Photographer

Jennifer loved the photos so much at her viewing and ordering session. They have a huge excited family so she ordered tons of gift prints and custom designed birth announcements. Best of all was this stunning canvas collage she ordered for their living room!

Chicago Fine Art Photographer

“I purchased canvases and I love saying “awwww” every time I look at them”. -Jennifer


Are you ready to adorn your home with gorgeous fine art of your brand new baby? Book Your Session Now!



Lifestyle vs. Posed Newborn Photography

So you just found out that you’re expecting, what an incredibly joyous and emotional time! Perhaps you are a first-time parent and the wonder of it all is just beginning to hit or maybe you are a seasoned pro anxiously awaiting your next awe-inspiring bundle of joy.

Either way, I am sure your to-do list for baby’s arrival is growing longer by the day. I hope and urge you to add “newborn photographer” onto that list and here is why; your precious new addition will only be considered a “newborn” for the first 2 weeks, an ”infant” for 3 months and then will enter the realm of “baby”.

This means that you have merely 14 days to capture one of the most precious times in your babies life, moments that you can never get back.

A Choice To Make: Lifestyle vs. Posed Newborn Photography

In the vast world of newborn photography there are two main styles that need to be considered carefully before choosing your photographer.

Both styles have pros and cons and there is no right answer on which is better, what is most important is that you choose the style that really speaks to your heart. Does one style evoke your emotions over the other? Which style can you see hanging in your home? Which makes your heart skip a beat as you imagine being there yourself many months from now?

It can be a tough choice but I am here to help!

Posed Newborn Sessions

The Setting

Although some photographers complete posed sessions in their client’s home, most are performed in a professional studio setting. Lighting is incredibly important for this style of photography so it is best to be in a more controlled environment.

There is also tons of equipment needed even for the simplest photos. A posing beanbag, baskets or bowls, wraps, backdrops and blankets are staples of nearly every posed session as well as any other props your photographer might utilize.

Modern Chicago Newborn Photography

At least at Erica VanHoosen Photography, parents are able to come in, sit down, relax and enjoy some downtime as I take over the session and do all of the work. Although it can be intimidating to leave your own home for the first time with your baby, my clients have actually found it a relief and a nice change of pace to enter a relaxing and safe environment.


Posed newborn photography is all about the timing. The vast majority of those curly little newborn photos you have been pinning were taken in the first 14 days of life.

Each photographer has their own sweet-spot as far as timing but I prefer 4-10 days old! This is a great time when your baby is still comfortable in those posed positions and is still sleeping deeply.


Lifestyle vs. Posed Newborn Photography

Because the timing is so important, it is imperative that you book your session as soon as possible and definitely before your baby is born! This way, your photographer can ensure they will be available during these precious first days.

The Focus

The main focus of a posed session is your newborn baby. This means that most of the photos taken will be of your baby alone. This is a great way to capture every tiny detail and achieve a distraction free portrait.

At EVP I take this one step further by eliminating bright colors, large over-the-top crocheted props (you know the ones I’m talking about) and highly patterned fabrics. For me, this truly ensures a photo with timeless beautiful simplicity.

I also take time, usually either the first or last 30-45mins, to capture some photos of your family. These include posed photos of your baby with their siblings and portraits of mom and dad with baby as well.

Posed Newborn Sibling Photos

These first couple family photos are important and great memories but I have often found that the entire family, although thrilled with their new arrival, is not always feeling their best. Siblings are often going through jealousy issues and parents are just exhausted and sore.

Posed Newborn and Mom Photo

This is why I have added family portraits into my Baby Plan at the 6-month session. At this age your family has hit their stride and everyone is feeling more like themselves. Your baby is also old enough to truly interact with the camera. These are the family photos that you will want to hang above your couch and smile at every morning. 

Chicago Baby Photographer

The Final Product

Because the lighting is much more controlled and the photos are a bit more “formal” posed newborn portraits are often the “show-stoppers” that create stunning artwork for your home.

These portraits make for great wall art whether you choose a framed print, canvas or modern metal. They also look stunning laid out in a coffee table album or displayed in a folio box. They are truly an all-around great choice.

Chicago Fine Art Photography Canvas

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions

The Setting

Lifestyle sessions always take place in the client’s home! One of the focuses of this style is to capture “everyday moments” around the house.

Your photographer will bring their equipment into your home and will likely use the natural light available in your space. This can create photos with a dynamic range of lighting situations. It can also be easier to incorporate a large number of siblings or pets.

It can be relaxing to not have to worry about loading the car up but this is replaced by needing to tidy up your home prior to your session so I guess you just have to pick your poison.


Lifestyle sessions are much more flexible with their timing because the session is not dependent on your baby sleeping. This can be a great option for parents who forgot to book their session in advance or for those who didn’t realize how much they would want to capture this time until after their baby had arrived.

The Focus

The goal of a lifestyle sessions is to capture the beauty of “everyday moments” with your baby. The photos will be more candid in style and will capture the interaction between your baby, your family and your home.

Chic Newborn Photography

In most photos the baby will be held or will be in normal places like their crib, changing table, master bed or on a nice fluffy blanket. The session will capture less photos of your baby alone and more of the family together.

The Final Product

Lifestyle photos can be absolutely breathtaking when you feel like they can take you back to a specific moment. Because of their more candid and relaxed nature they often display better in an album or folio box. These fine art mediums are the most conducive to photos with a storytelling nature.

So what style do you prefer; is it the everyday moments that make your heart sing or the timeless portraits? Whichever you choose, please add finding a newborn photographer to your to do list.

P.S. DO NOT end up like these people. As funny as these seem (and most are) several have some very serious safety issues that make me cringe.

For more help in choosing the right photographer for you be sure to check out 10 Questions To Ask Before Hiring Your Newborn Photographer

Do you love the posed style of photography but want a modern twist? Contact Me Now.


10 Questions To Ask When Hiring Your Newborn Photographer

The world of newborn photography is vast and there are many choices to be made to ensure you choose the right photographer for you. The birth of your baby truly is an once-in-a-lifetime experience and you don’t want to miss a thing!

The more you know, the better equipped you will be to make a great choice and walk away thrilled with the final results.

Some things, like photography style and session location are purely personal choice and preference whereas other things, such as baby safety, should be non-negotiable.

The most important thing is that you have complete confidence and trust in whatever photographer you choose. After all, your newborn photographer will likely be one of the first non-family members to hold your precious new bundle of joy!


Hiring Your Newborn Photographer – Non-Negotiables


Unfortunately there are no legal obligations that a photographer must complete in order to call themself a “newborn photographer”. For this reason, it is imperative that you ask plenty of questions about your baby’s safety and the photographers education and experience.

Any photographer that is really serious and a true professional should be able to answer correctly and confidently the below questions:

Modern Chicago Newborn Photographer

 1) Do you have insurance?

This is one of those things that should absolutely be a legal requirement but is not. Your newborn photographer will literally be handling the most valuable little person in your life so it is important that they take their job VERY seriously.

All newborn photographers should have general liability and business insurance just in case anything was to happen. If they do not, it might be time to look elsewhere; this is not something I would recommend skimping on. To me, a lack of insurance is a sign that the photographer might not take their job seriously.


2) How important is newborn safety?

Literally the most important thing.

This is the only answer you should accept and this goes hand in hand with question #1 because there are also no educational requirements for newborn photographers. On the other hand, there are a lot of Internet resources that will provide a “certificate of newborn safety training” after clicking through a few slides and answering some multiple-choice questions.

Your photographer should be able to explain exactly what they will do to ensure your newborns safety. At Erica VanHoosen Photography that means never leaving your baby unattended even for 1 second, using a spotter at all times, using image composites, and never forcing your baby into any position that is uncomfortable or unnatural.

I could talk about newborn safety all day but these are the absolute bare necessities that any photographer should express to you.

Hiring Your Newborn Photographer

3) What is your average client investment?

This is an important one to ask early on because it would be an absolute tragedy to realize later that you are unable to afford any of the photos from your session.

No photographer should be elusive with their pricing. At Erica VanHoosen Photography we talk basic pricing during our first phone call and detailed pricing at your in-person consultation as we go through samples of artwork!

Also beware of the bargain newborn photographer. As the saying goes “you get what you pay for”. Newborn sessions take an incredible amount of work and any photographer giving away a session and all of the images for $200 either isn’t putting in the necessary work or is potentially not qualified to be doing the work in the first place.

If you really do “get what you pay for” wouldn’t the very first photos of your brand new baby be a pretty good thing to spend a little more on? The piece of mind alone, that one of the first people handling your baby is an experienced, qualified professional with a multitude of thrilled customers will be worth it!

And just in case you were wondering, you can find the average client investment for Erica VanHoosen Photography here.

Questions For Newborn Photographer

4) How would you describe your photography style?

You might be wondering why this is listed as a “non-negotiable”. Here at EVP my client’s happiness is of the utmost importance to me. I know if you choose a photographer that does not have a style you love you will never be truly happy with the photos they produce.

One of the worst things you could do is book a “cheap” photographer and then print out a Pinterest page of photos you like that you want them to duplicate. If you love newborn photos with lots of crocheted props and bright colors then find a photographer with those types of photos in their portfolio!

If you love less distracting photos that use simple, neutral colors and no props then click here to book me! But seriously, find a photographer you truly love, there are so many to choose from with a wide range of styles which is great for everyone!

 Modern Newborn Photography

Questions For Your Newborn Photographer – Style and Preferences:

5) Do you use an assistant or spotter?

Every newborn photographer should use a spotter, it’s a matter of newborn safety (see question #2). However, some choose to use a parent and some use an assistant.

An assistant can be great and in the case of twins or triplets is likely necessary. One downside of using an assistant is that it adds another person in the room, which can make things cramped. It is also one more new person in contact with your baby, which for some parents, is a concern.

Others, EVP included, usually use one of the parents as a spotter. I work in a small space so it just makes more sense not to add another person. It also can sometimes help an anxious new mom or dad to feel more comfortable with the session if they are helping out and can see the safety precautions in action. You also get a front row seat and can see each little smile or yawn as your baby snoozes the session away.

 Newborn Photography Safety

6) What is scheduled into the session and where will the session take place?

Will your session include photos with siblings and parents, can you bring your dog, can you bring that blanket that grandma knit all by herself? All of these are things you need to know prior to booking and can be dependent on where the session takes place.

In home sessions can be great but aren’t as controlled. The photographer will often have to carry a lot of large equipment into your home and spend time setting up. You might have to clean up a little before they come and make arrangements for siblings or pets.

Sessions that take place in a studio provide a controlled environment where the lighting of every photo can be spot on. Your session can begin as soon as you arrive because there will be no set-up time necessary. One of the biggest advantages is that you need to do no prep AT ALL, no cleaning or picking up necessary. It is one less thing for you to worry about!

 Simple Newborn Photography

7) How are complicated or precarious photos achieved?

Do you see a photo on a photographers website that looks like the baby is balanced, hanging or suspended in air? It is important to ask how these photos are done. The answer you want to hear is that the photo is a composite (Photoshop magic!) or is an illusion so the baby was actually laying safely on a cushioned surface.

They should also be able to show you examples of the before and after photos to prove this if you would like.

It is a shame that it has to be said but no photographer should ever actually balance your baby on anything. Similarly, your baby’s head should always be supported; their full head weight should not be on their wrists or elbows at any time.

Here at EVP I much prefer poses where the baby is in a natural position that a baby would actually lay in. “Getting the shot” is so much less important to me than your babies comfort and safety which is why you wont find many of these shots in my portfolio. One great “illusion” photo that I love to do is this one!

 Newborn Photography Safety Before

Newborn Photography Safety After

8) How long have you been working with newborns?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a beginner and we all have to start somewhere but even a beginner needs some training before handling their first baby.

What is most important to know is how long your photographer has been working with newborns, what hands-on courses or workshops they have taken and testimonials from past clients.

It would be a red flag to me to look through a website that did not provide client testimonials outlining the details of their experiences. Any newborn photographer that has been in business for a reasonable amount of time should be able to provide you this at a bare minimum.

Posed Chicago Newborn Photography

9) Lifestyle vs. Posed?

These are the 2 main styles of newborn photography and it is important to know which one you prefer so that you can choose the right person for you. This choice is very important so I wrote a whole blog post just about this subject HERE, but for now, the basics are:

Lifestyle Photography: Usually takes place in your own home, is not posed and is more candid in style. Photos will include your family interacting with baby and photos of baby lying un-posed on blankets, in their crib etc. Much more laid back.

Posed: Often takes place in a studio but can also take place in your home. The photographer will use a beanbag, props, blankets, backdrops to pose your baby in precious little curled up positions. If family photos are included they will also be posed. I see these as much more up-close and personal with your baby. Every little finger and toe is posed and can be seen in your photos.

 How To Hire A Newborn Photographer

10) What age of baby do you prefer to work with?

This may depend on whether the photographer is a lifestyle or posed photographer. Most posed photographers like to work with babies under 2 weeks old as that is when they comfortably go into those sweet curly positions. Photos can be done after this 2-week age but different poses and techniques will need to be used and the photos will turn out a little differently then typical newborn photos

For me personally, 4-12 days is the sweet spot! Because the timing is so important it is a good idea to book your session as soon as possible to ensure your photographers availability.


Still have questions? Interested in booking Erica VanHoosen Photography? CONTACT ME NOW!


5 Things You Can Expect From Your Model Call Session

Erica VanHoosen Photography model calls are the best and they are very rare! If you have the chance to do one then I would highly recommend you do it! But my word might be a little biased so here are some reviews from my previous model call clients:

“I purchased 5 canvases and I love saying “awwww” every time I look at them” –Jennifer F.

“You are worth every penny because you are so talented! Professional quality that completely blows any other photographer I’ve ever seen out of the water” –Lisa A.

Do you still want to know more? Here are 5 things you can expect from your model call session:


1) You will be treated with the same high level of customer service as any other client.

I am so honored to be able to capture the precious moments of your gorgeous children and they, as well as you, deserve nothing but the best!

Once chosen as a model call participant we will plan your session in-person to discuss the whole process. After your session I will be there to walk you through your artwork choices. I am here for you 100%, anything you might need, don’t hesitate to ask!

Modern Chicago Newborn Photography

2) Any artwork you choose will be archival and heirloom quality.

I would never dream of offering my clients anything but the most deluxe art pieces for your home. Whether you choose fine art wall prints, gallery wrapped canvases or a gorgeous keepsake album you can rest assured that it will last a lifetime.

The photo below is a mock-up of client artwork using a photo from their own home of their walls! During your ordering appointment we can view your photos on your walls to scale so we can choose the absolute perfect pieces for your home.

Modern Chicago Baby Portraits

3) I will use specific colors and props but also mix something different in if you would like!

The purpose of model calls is usually for me to try out new props, outfits and color schemes for future marketing purposes.

That being said, the most important thing to me is always that you love your photos. If there is something different that you would like or a specific prop you would like incorporated I will do my best to create something incredible for you during the last 15 minutes of your session.

Denver Colorado Baby Portraits

 4) Your session might be split between an indoor and outdoor session depending on your child’s age and the goals of the model call.

Most of my 6 month sessions also include an outdoor family session. My 1-year-old sessions also take place outdoors as this is the best place to really capture your baby’s personality.

Model Calls for these sessions might also include outdoor components. Don’t worry will go over all of this during your in-person meeting prior to your portrait session date!

Modern Baby Photography

5) You will walk away with impressive, refined artwork pieces that will be the envy of your family and friends.

Erica VanHoosen Photography specializes in fine art newborn and baby photography. The goal of every one of my sessions is to create refined portraits that you will cherish for a lifetime. With portraits so special, I aim to create timeless, keepsake art pieces to adorn your home.

The joy these photos will give you when you wake up and see them first thing every morning will truly be worth every penny.

Denver Colorado Baby Photography


“ We are so pleased with the results. We felt very comfortable and welcomed by Erica at each photo session and I believe that ease resulted in great photos. I also appreciate that she was exceptionally quick to respond whenever I had a question or concern” –Shannon L.

Contact me now for more information about my Denver, Colorado model calls running from November 8th – 19th, 2017.

Amelia Josephine Allen

Miss Amelia’s Plan

On July 3rd at 10:12am in Colorado Amelia Josephine Allen was born! It was 1:12am on July 4th Seoul time. I was balling my eyes out as I watched my first niece arrive. Sitting halfway around the world via Skype just wasn’t what I pictured. That moment was so incredibly bittersweet and there are many more bittersweet moments just like that to come. Oh the life of a military spouse.

The Adults Plan

I had bought plane tickets to fly home several months prior and was scheduled to arrive 2 days before Amelia’s due date. She clearly had different plans as she arrived 2.5 weeks early. So then I sat at home for 2.5 weeks waiting and waiting and waiting until it was time to fly home and meet my new niece. This sweet baby that I desperately wanted to know and experience and spend all my time with. This baby that everyone else was getting to know as time was just passing me by. LONGEST 2.5 WEEKS EVER!!

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My Chance At Newborn Photography

I spent a lot of time thinking during those weeks. I had already planned on taking photos of Millie. It’s kind of my thing and I love experiencing life through my camera lens. I had been throwing around the idea of trying newborn photos long before Millie arrived and now was the perfect opportunity. It would be a low pressure photoshoot for family. Obviously I wanted to produce good photos but it wouldn’t be a complete disaster if the session went terribly wrong. I was looking for things to keep me occupied anyways as the time refused to pass at a normal rate.

I threw myself into newborn photography. I watched Youtube videos and invested in online courses, took notes and stalked Pinterest like a hawk. Props and backdrops and blankets were bought and sent to Colorado so they would be waiting for me. I messaged family members and got their help in creating some things for me to help save money. Most of all I mentally prepared to meet this new little girl after missing out on so much already.

The Big Day

On July 20th I met my MilJoe and it was an unreal moment. Part of me knew I would be leaving in 3.5 short weeks and I selfishly didn’t want to get too close to her. The other half of me knew that was stupid, ridiculous and completely impossible and unrealistic. I threw myself into being an aunt instead. I didn’t even touch my camera or the props I had been so excited about.

Although I love photography I have learned, and am continuing to learn, that sometimes you have to set down your camera and genuinely, whole heartedly take in life moments. So thats what I did. I learned all there is to know about a new baby, her schedule, her likes and dislikes. The fact that she likes to be bounced excessively so you sort of feel like a bad person for “shaking the baby”. I went to breast feeding classes and went on walks. I shook toys and did tummy time. All the things that everyone else would get to continue doing for years after I had to flew back home. All these things that can’t truly be done over Skype.

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Photo Session!

When the time came to take photos it was a ton of fun. I knew and loved this beautiful girl and wanted to capture every little piece of her to remember forever. It was also one of the hardest photo shoots I have ever done. It turns out that babies don’t like being rearranged every time they fall asleep. I can’t say I blame them. The youtube videos and online classes were a little misleading, as they usually are. Those babies were always so calm and fast asleep. They made it took so easy!

Honestly, immediately after the photo shoot I wasn’t so sure that newborn photography was for me. It was exhausting, I had been peed and pooped on and I was hot and sweaty after only 2.5 hours of work. I couldn’t even get myself to look at the photos until the next day. I needed a break from them, they had kicked my butt and I needed some recovery time.  Never in my life have I worked so hard for 150 raw photos. My change of heart came after I began culling through the photos. Gosh this was incredibly rewarding! I worked my butt off for these and they are so cute!

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Editing Isn’t Always Fun

I hated having to spend so much time editing. Not because I didn’t like it but because it is incredibly time consuming and I would have much rather been spending my time with MilJoe herself. I finished the photos and we actually ended up doing another photo shoot the next week; a mommy and me session!

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Why Newborn Photography Is Amazing

Now I am hooked. Part of it was the fact that the photos were of my one and only MilJoe. Since then I have done another newborn shoot and it was just as rewarding. It makes you feel really good to be able to get a little baby to lay and pose a certain way. It’s dangerously fun to buy so many cute little props and blankets. More than that, it is so rewarding to be able to capture those little moments that only last so long. The baby toes, noses and eyes that begin to grow much too fast and the initial connection between baby and family that is instinctual and immediately unbreakable.

As far as what I have learned from being so far away during this big life moment…Although getting very close to MilJoe made it significantly harder to leave…like rip your beating heart out of your chest hard…I wouldn’t have done it any other way. It hurt but I have no regrets. She won’t remember the time we spent together but I will and I will cherish it this next year before I see her again. By then she will be a completely different 1 year old baby!

Why I Do What I Do

Being on this side of the situation sucks but I couldn’t even imagine being on the other side. The women stationed in Korea having their new babies here without their families around; that must be so hard. These photos meant so much to me and I can look at them anytime I am missing Millie. I want to give that back to the women here and their families back home that are feeling guilty and upset about missing their new nieces, nephews or grandchildren. The gift of photos and captured memories is so unique and it lasts a lifetime. Being able to feel connected when we are so far away is such an important part of this military and overseas experience. The gift of photos is one really special way to make that happen. A good photographer can make you feel like you were there even when you couldn’t be…

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