fine art maternity, birth, newborn, baby, child and family photography

birth

brand new year, brand new LOGO! {New Orleans photographer}

After a loooooong hiatus on the blog, we’re finally back!  We’ve been SOOO busy creating beautiful portraiture for families since our last post in July, we got too busy to blog!  So we’re hiring additional help so that we can manage it all. 🙂  The next few posts are going to let you in on all the new things going on at Olivia Grey Pritchard Photography!  First off, you’ll see a new look to our site, blog, and marketing materials.  We hired the amazing Katie Loerts of Katie Loerts Design to create a new interpretation of our brand. The most important thing I wanted the new design to convey were our standards of simple and timeless beauty and our commitment to excellence.  I think Katie’s design beautifully illustrates these principles!

The new logo was just one part of the many new things we are doing at the studio to refine both our craft and the way we do business.  We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality images, experience and products, and we will continue to invest in every area to provide that.  This year, we have invested in enlarging our studio space, a new continuous lighting system for the studio that newborns and babies prefer to strobe (flash) lighting, our new brand look, remodeling our studio viewing space, and an amazing private mentoring class with the world-renowned Julia Kelleher of Jewel Images.  I traveled to Oregon to spend several inspiring days with Julia and some model newborns in Julia’s lovely studio so that I could bring back such timeless, beautiful studio newborn portraiture to the heart of New Orleans.  More on that later!  For now, please enjoy our new look and new logo!

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Would you like to chat about a session for your family?  Call 504.421.4130 or visit our contact page at www.oliviagreypritchard.com!


fresh from God…{New Orleans newborn photographer}

fresh from god

I always feel this way about babies.  Their love is entirely unconditional, given freely with no judgement.  There are very few things in this world, I’ve found, that can make you feel warmer and fuzzier inside than a baby who makes eye contact with you and then gives you a big, gummy grin.  It makes my heart stutter every time a client comes in for a Baby’s First Year session and gives me a big smile, though I often haven’t seen them in four months.  I have such an amazing job. Thank you to my parent clients who allow me to capture their children’s lives.  It is such a joy!

www.oliviagreypritchard.com


colton’s birth day…{New Orleans birth photographer}

I just adore this couple.  Really and truly.  They are so sweet, so genuine, so laid-back, and so in love with their baby boy.  Sweet Colton is their first baby, but you would never have known it in the delivery room.  Danielle handled her labor beautifully, through some trial and error with pain medication that just didn’t seem to make a difference.  Before the pain meds kicked in, Danielle said, “If I had known having a baby would be like this, I wouldn’t have asked for one!”   But once they finally got her meds worked out and she was able to relax a bit, she rested up before pushing like a pro.  Dad Josh had a hard time watching her be in pain, but they both worked together beautifully to deliver little Colton.  Over in the warmer, when Colton was crying, it was amazing to watch Josh lean over and speak to his son softly, and then see Colton quiet instantly upon hearing his dad’s voice.  I can tell Colton was used to hearing his daddy talk to him in mama’s belly!  And then back over to Mama, where she nursed her baby boy and Colton latched like they’d been doing it for weeks.  It was such a calm, wonderful birth to be present for.  Right before I left, Danielle said, “Ok, I could do that again.”  🙂  Much love to the three of you, and thank you for letting me photograph Colton’s entrance into our world!

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www.oliviagreypritchard.com


the birth of luke oliver…{New Orleans birth photographer}

Anne’s labor came on fast and strong, and she knew she was going to get an epidural for her baby’s birth before going in.  By the time she and Brandt got to the hospital, she was ready for the drugs!  Luckily once they kicked in, she had some down time to rest before the hard work began.  After a few hours, the doctors suggested she start pushing.  She was feeling a lot of pressure, but it seemed like baby was snug inside his mommy and didn’t want to move down in the birth canal.  After a little while, the doctor suggested using forceps, which I had never seen used before.  They didn’t allow me to photograph the moment of birth, but Anne most wanted the photographs of her baby laid on her chest immediately after birth, which we did get.  Luke arrived healthy and beautiful!  Mama was a trooper, holding her baby boy skin-to-skin while the doctors took care of her and made her as comfortable as possible.  Luke was super-alert as soon as he came out and did a great job getting the hang of nursing!

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Anne and Brandt, it was intense, hard work, and you guys did beautifully!  I am so honored to have photographed this for you!

www.oliviagreypritchard.com 


the birth of caelen… {New Orleans birth photographer}

I got the call that M and D were headed to the hospital late in the evening, and I headed over to Ocshner in the wee hours of the morning, once Mom was in active labor.  There were still a couple of hours before sunrise, and it was very calm and quiet in the room as this sweet couple tried to get a little rest before the day began.  Slowly Mom progressed to full dilation, but we needed to wait awhile yet for the baby to move down.  When the sun came up, family visited for a few hours, and then hospital staff got things prepped for a delivery!  Sweet Caelen arrived a very healthy 8 pounds and 11 ounces, with a lusty newborn howl.  I photographed this family for maternity portraits (and newborn session to come), and they have so. much. love.  Really, there was nothing but love in that room.  Well, maybe some relief that Caelen was finally here, but otherwise all love!

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Marin and Darren, it has been an honor and a pleasure.  Thank you for letting me document this life-changing event, and I’ll see you in a week for our newborn session! 🙂

www.oliviagreypritchard.com


briggs dermot’s birth day…{New Orleans birth photographer}

I know I’m posting out of order here since Briggs’ newborn session is a few posts below, but I’m trying to get caught up on the blog!!  As you can see, Briggs was beautiful from the moment he came out (and his mommy looked exactly like she does every other day, definitely NOT like she had just given birth!).  And then his sweet big sister Vera came to meet him and throw him his first birthday party with balloons, cupcakes, and presents!  Briggs also gave Vera a beautiful Corolle baby boy doll.  She was fascinated with him, and after being pretty quiet while she inspected him, she perked right up and talked to him constantly.  When they took him for his newborn exam, Vera asked, “Where’s Biggs Der-mut?” every 5 minutes until they brought him back.  It was so sweet, and he just contentedly slept right through it all.  I love this family, and I’m so glad they now number four!!!

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His daddy’s mama texted a picture of Daddy when he was born…the resemblance is amazing!!!

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www.oliviagreypritchard.com


why I’m a Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep affiliated photographer…{New Orleans baby photographer}

It took me a few days to write this post.  Last week, during the beginning of Mardi Gras parades and festivities, I went to Ocshner Hospital to photograph a birth for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  Normally NILMDTS doesn’t photograph births, but since I photograph one birth per month professionally already, I knew I could handle both the technical and emotional challenges that photographing a birth presents.  The reason it was so crucial to photograph this birth is that Mom and Dad were having triplets, and Triplet A wasn’t expected to live long after birth.  We wanted to photograph her with her sisters, and all three triplets with their parents, and since Babies B and C were being whisked away to the NICU right after birth and wouldn’t be allowed to come into the recovery room, that needed to happen in the delivery room.  We weren’t even sure we were going to get that shot, but we were hoping for it.  Mom delivered via C-section, and we did get the pictures we wanted, of all three girls, then all three girls with Mom and Dad.  Then we got to spend some more time with Baby A, and Dad baptized her with Mom watching from the operating table.

Several things made this session so special to me:  one, hospitals are dealing much more with palliative care and doing what is best for the family who is losing a child.  NILMDTS is a huge part of that, but we can’t be present unless someone calls to inform us of a family that needs our services.  Usually, it’s a nurse at the hospital who calls.  This time, a social worker dedicated especially to these situations called me and asked me specifically to photograph the birth.  I feel like it’s a huge step in the right direction towards easing the emotional burdens for families suffering a loss.  The second aspect of this session that really impacted me was the fact that it was a birth of multiples.  I felt it was so important to photograph all three babies together, so they would have at least a few pictures of themselves when they were three.  The third thing that stood out to me was that I got to photograph a father baptizing his daughter.  It was a special, special moment.

But the most important thing, that didn’t strike me until I had left, was that I got to witness a person’s entire life.  I was there when she was pulled from her mother’s womb and I was there as she drifted back out of our world.  What an amazing privilege.  How many people can say that they were present for another person’s entire life?  Given what that means, I would say, too many.  But NILMDTS was created for this purpose.  To document a life that was far too brief.  To give parents, and grandparents, and brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends, a tangible reminder that a little spirit was here, was loved, did love, and blessed those that knew her.  I watched this sweet baby make eye contact with each of her parents when she came out — she acknowledged them and blessed them with her recognition.  They felt that connection, and because of NILMDTS, they don’t have to rely on memory alone to recall that moment in the years to come.  They don’t have to experience the panic that must come on the inevitable day when they wake up and can’t picture their daughter’s face exactly in their minds, and don’t have any photographs to remind them of its details.

If you are a professional portrait photographer in the New Orleans area (or anywhere!), please consider volunteering with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. You can read up on the technical skill requirements and application process here.  And if you’re not sure and would like to talk about it first, I’m happy to have you come by the studio for some tea and a chat.  These sessions are, by definition, sad.  I usually go home and take a nap for a couple of hours to process what I just photographed.  I know it sounds weird, but that’s how I process it in a way that it doesn’t affect me for days.  And the joy that I get from knowing I’ve provided something absolutely irreplaceable for a grieving family far outweighs the grief I feel at and after each session.  Some people ask me, “How can you do that?!!”  I, along with probably every other NILMDTS volunteer who takes sessions for these families, respond: “How can I not?”

Hug the babies in your life tight the next time you see them.  Say an extra prayer of thanksgiving that you have them here with you, and healthy.  They are a gift!


Salvation Army Christmas Tree Angels and a $50 print credit! {New Orleans family photographer}

Who’s coming to my studio to adopt a Salvation Army Christmas Tree Angel (and get your $50 print credit!)?  Marina, my new office manager, or I will be there Fridays during regular pick-up hours from 3-6 pm, and I’ll be there on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 4th and 5th, from 10-5 both days.  If you’d like to come any other time, just give us a call at 601-297-1793 and we’ll make sure someone can be there!  Here’s how it works:

1) You come to the studio (Uptown on Baronne between General Taylor and Constantinople, at 3915 Baronne) and select a child, or “Angel”, on my tree.  Each child’s card includes info like gender, age, clothing sizes, and something they would like from Santa this year.

2) You purchase gifts for your Angel.  It’s totally up to you what to purchase.  So for example, I chose an 11-year-old boy (since it seems to me the older kiddos are picked last), and I got him a tent, a junior-sized football with pump and tee, a Spiderman comic book, and a warm down parka in his size — along with a few other not-fun-but-necessary items, like underwear, undershirts and socks.  I also got him some packaged candy.  I bought everything on Amazon since I’m WAY too busy to go shopping nowadays, so I probably spent about $125 on all of that… but you can spend a LOT less (or a lot more!).  The little babies and toddlers are, of course, much less expensive to buy a full Christmas for! 🙂

3) Bring the unwrapped gifts and your Angel’s card back to the studio on or before DECEMBER 6TH.  I have to deliver them all to the Salvation Army Headquarters by December 7th.  Make sure each gift  has your child’s name and ID code written on it where it’s EASY TO SEE and can’t fall off!

4) Get your $50 print credit to use on your next order when you drop off your gifts!   And even better, get a warm fuzzy feeling from knowing you provided a beautiful Christmas to a child who otherwise wouldn’t have one this year.

I’m looking forward to seeing you!!!  And FYI, I got my beautiful trees (one for the studio and one for home) from the First Universalist Unitarian Church on the corner of Claiborne and Jefferson.  They’re open as of Saturday, so go by and get your tree!  They are BEAUTIFUL, they smell SOOOOOO good, and they’re in such good shape, fresh with no holes once they’re unwrapped.  They make a fresh cut at the base for you right before you haul it off, and they’ll tie it to your car for you as well.  There’s even a Santa look-a-like manning the cashier’s table!  🙂

www.oliviagreypritchard.com


dax’s birth day…{New Orleans birth photographer}

Baby Dax was snug as a bug in a rug, and did not want to come out into the Big, Bright, Loud Unknown…but once he committed to the idea, he was outta there!  It took mom Tara 21 hours to get from 3 cm to 10, but then it seemed like she pushed for just a few minutes before we saw a head, and then Dax was here!  She labored beautifully, and dad Josh provided calm, steady encouragement and support.  (He’s a nurse, so that was quite convenient when a BP cuff came undone or something needed to be adjusted!)  It was really such a calm, peaceful labor and delivery.  Tara’s doctor was fabulous, and her nurse was a family friend who stayed after her shift to assist.  Dax also had both grandmothers and both aunts on mama’s side there to see his arrival, so while the delivery room was crowded, it was extra special!  He had the most hair I’ve ever seen on a newborn — while he was in the nursery getting his first bath, the nurse could actually comb it!  He looks exactly like his gorgeous mama, but I’m betting he’s got his dad’s laid-back personality.  I’ll find out in a few days when I get to see him again for his newborn session!  For now, enjoy a little preview of Dax’s birth day.  I’m working on an extra-special Images and Interview DVD for this birth, and I can’t wait for it to be ready for everyone to see… stay tuned!

www.oliviagreypritchard.com


my new, exclusive product: Images and Interview DVD by Olivia Grey Pritchard Photography…{New Orleans photographer}

This idea came to me after seeing some of these “spots” a photojournalist friend in Paris produced, and then producing some myself when I was working in Africa. I altered the layout a bit to suit what I do now, but the idea is the same:  telling a story in your own words, set to a slideshow of still images.  It evokes a completely different emotional response than a moving audio/visual product.  I guide you through the interview, especially encouraging the personal and unique details that make your story yours, and then leave your home to edit your interview down to just your voice, just your story.  As far as I know, no one else offers this product, certainly not in the New Orleans area, and that’s something I wanted to offer my clients: something completely original, something that they would cherish for generations, and something that cannot be copied or reproduced.  I would have loved to have something like this from the time that my mama was pregnant with me!  So many of these little details either change in your mind or completely fade away as time passes; with the Images and Interview DVD, they are preserved forever, not just for you, but for your children and grandchildren.  I can imagine Brooke, the mommy in this story, giving this as a gift to her daughter Vera when Vera is pregnant with her first child…

I’m working on a second idea now, an Images and Interview story that incorporates interviews with Mom, Dad, Big Sister and Big Brother, talking about their favorite memories from the youngest baby’s first year and how they’ve adjusted to being a family of five.  I am loving this project — kids say the craziest, funniest, best things, and I’m getting it on tape (audio tape, that is!) to preserve for Baby when she’s old enough to listen.  Mom and Dad chime in with Baby’s first word, when she hit certain first year milestones, etc. etc… Well, you get the idea: this Baby will never doubt how much she’s cherished!  Stay tuned…

To see “Waiting for Vera Gray” in low resolution on my Facebook business page, please click here.

To see it in higher resolution on YouTube, please click here.

To learn more about the process, or to commission your own Images and Interview story, please visit www.oliviagreypritchard.com.

And because no post is complete without at least one photo, here’s my favorite shot from Brooke, Scott and Vera Gray’s maternity session…