Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Joanna Monger Photography: Greater Seattle area Photographer

You know that quiet awkwardness you sometimes see in portraits? How your smile is strained, your eyes are just a little fake and your entire posture is so stiff and unnatural? That's because you're trying to show a very personal side of yourself to a complete stranger. Portraits are hard work! 

Shortly after Ruby was born, I had the pleasure of working with Joanna Monger, of Joanna Monger Photography, to take our family portraits. I was a little worried as I was preparing for this event. To call Penny "shy" in new situations is a severe understatement. She was at a very insecure stage; she would cling to me and completely shut down in new situations.  I knew that it would show in a picture that she's uncomfortable. Her comfort level was extremely important to me, but getting a family picture with our new addition was too. I knew this was going to be a very difficult task.

Joanna and I met in January when she was at the tail end of her pregnancy with her second son and I was in my 3rd trimester with Ruby. We initially started out meeting for coffee but ended up at the local burger joint - what a sight we two pregnant gals must have been! We chatted for a couple hours about our two businesses and how we anticipate the addition of second children would be. Not too long after our meeting, she had her precious little boy and a few months later Ruby followed suit.

Ruby was a fresh 13 days old when we visited Joanna at her home studio. In addition to the challenge of getting my toddler to be at ease for the photo shoot, we asked Joanna for the trifecta of a photography session - newborn, sister and a family portrait session all into one sitting. We approached our appointment with caution and hoped for just one great photo. Just one is all I ask for!

As soon as we arrived I could tell that Penny wasn't completely at ease. Her eyes roamed around Joanna's studio, eagerly searching for something to play with. Joanna quickly brought out necklaces, boas and a toddler sized rocking chair. She got down to Penny's level and simply introduced herself. Imagine my shock at how quickly Penny warmed up to her! Words couldn't describe how much it meant to me that this woman knew exactly what to do. It has to be a mom thing, because within a few minutes Penny saw the environment as comfortable and safe...and as we all know, if the toddler is happy - everyone is happy!

Getting along with Joanna was so easy, and that clearly shows in her photography. You can see the genuine smile on our faces - because even our eyes are happy. She caught so many wonderful moments in our studio session and my entire family was comfortable while she was working with us.  Joanna also made sure that I was getting the breaks that I needed to either sit down or nurse Ruby, and took advantage of the few minutes of just Adam and Penny to take very sweet Father/Daughter portraits too.

When it was time for Ruby's newborn session, we sent Adam and Penny home so that we don't have to worry about keeping the toddler content and quiet. I gave my new little lovebug a nice top off of milk and attempted to get her into that sleepy newborn state that everyone loves for their newborn photography.

...Well, Miss Ruby had other ideas. She wasn't letting me put her down so that we could take adorable swaddled poses! Eeek! After a few attempts with only being able to catch a millisecond of snooze time, Joanna suggested that we try taking some pictures of her nestled in my arms. Those pictures ended up being my favorite...

It's so hard to believe that this tiny little girl is now 4 months old and is rolling around, pulling toys to her mouth and will be sitting up before I know it. Looking back at these precious images reminds me just how fleeting these moments are. Thanks Joanna! 

If you're in the greater Seattle area, don't wait! Joanna offers several styles of photography to fit what you're looking for. She offers maternity, glamour/boudoir, family, studio or in home sessions for newborn portraits, and she's currently booking 2015 seniors (better hurry!). She also has a fun "Baby's First Year" program, which documents their first year with sessions as a newborn, 6 month and 12 month old. 


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