When Birdie was one month old, I decided that we needed to have a family portrait taken; we would use the pictures for our Christmas card and to fill our home with pictures of our new family.


Dallas-based photographer, Stephanie Drenka, met me, Baxter, Birdie, Bear and Luca (our dogs) one Saturday morning at sunrise to take the photos. Luckily, Stephanie’s photos are always stunning, and she is great at capturing beautiful candid moments. I say luckily, because being a first-time mom, we were so not ready for this.


Here are some tips for taking photos with a baby:

  1. Feed your baby AND your husband before you arrive at the shoot. I fed my baby, but not my husband; these tasks are equally as important. You do not want a h-angry spouse in a chaotic situation like this.
  2. Don’t forget to take the leash off of your pet. This was a styling error on my part, and the images with our dogs with leashes tangled were not usable.
  3. On that note, bring a stylist friend if you have one. This person will straighten crooked belts, put your baby’s shoes back on her feet and keep your pets attention. This person can be your mom- professional stylist not needed.
  4. Paint your nails. Sounds obvious, I know, but it is more important on a shoot with a baby because likely, the close-up detail shots will be the best photos of the day and likely, your nails will be in the picture.
  5. Do not go into the shoot with expectations. Your new family photo will probably not look like a Ralph Lauren shoot, like you planned; it will be even more beautiful because it is your family. It will be the shots that you do not plan that are your favorites.

Photography by Stephanie Drenka