• March 31, 2023

Nesting Instincts

You undoubtably know someone who has a baby and carries with them a smart phone packed with baby pictures.  As soon as you hear the words, “oh, I took the cutest picture of Baby Bumpkin last week . .  .”  You know what’s about to happen. It’s like a trigger.  And the ensuing five plus minutes you’ll never get back.

Their phone is out, you are trapped. The dizzying array of images speed by as the proud mom or dad anxiously push past the seemingly endless stream of photos of last night’s dinner finally landing on the series of images of Baby Bumpkin pushing dog biscuits into his mouth.

Guilty as charged.  Yes, I do it too.

Seriously though, phones do a really nice job these days for snapshots and when mom or dad have taken the time to set up a shot with nice light and have moved the pile of laundry out of the background, it’s a good chance that they’ll have some pretty good photographs.

But when you want to capture a portrait with something a little extra special, hire a photographer.  A portrait session provides a package of memories in a fun mix of chaos and calm with an occasional sentimental family moment in between all the while expressions and interactions are being recorded. These are intentional memory making opportunities.

Scheduled photography sessions being planned regularly into a family’s calendar used to be one of those purposeful activities, either annually or bi-annually, intended to give mom and dad a chance to dress up and create a fun day with their little ones. The importance of recording these moments reach their full potential many years down the road, kind of like a savings bond.

More often than not, a portrait session is set up by families with small children and especially families with babies. Babies are fun and somewhat easy to pose when they’re asleep. Sleeping babies have been popular and this type of portrait is best for newborns it’s very peaceful and sweet. Older, alert babies, are going to be more wide awake, bright-eyed and smiling if possible. And photographing wiggly, wide awake babies is a challenge. A big challenge.

But I’ve come up with an interesting concept for creating interesting and precious images that make some beautiful portraits with children and their families.


This past February, I had an idea to create a large nest as a photography prop. I commissioned it to be created to a specific size by a woman in Flordia who has an Etsy shop, CarolAnn’s Creations  – I received it in May and have employed this prop on three shoots now. The reaction to the scene  has been consistent from the parents.


The nest is a hefty 25 pounds, it is flat and secure, it will not tip over. I line it with naturally dyed wool.  Once baby is placed into it, they seem to immediately get a calmness, they look very comfortable are either curious of their situation or restful and want to get snuggly into it. Mom and dad simultaneously stand back and sigh the sweetest sighs as they see their little one central in this dreamy scene.

The three sessions I’ve done with this so far have been babies ranging from 5 months to 18 months. The nest itself was an investment in my business and it does take a bit of lugging around, but the value in these incredible portraits is worth it for families with babies in that age range.


I found that putting it in the park and decorating it attracted quite a bit of attention. Passersby ooooh’d and ahhhhh’d when the run into our dreamy scene.