Amanda Maree Photography » Amanda Maree Photography - Brisbane Newborn Photographer

There’s something very soothing

To Know

That every other mumma,

with a little babe

Is feeding and changing

and loving and crying

and likely up

at 3am with you.

There’s something very beautiful

about the interconnectedness of it all

In our own little homes

and our own moments of ecstasy

our own moments of challenge

all together.

In every moment

there are thousands of other mothers

staring into their babies eyes.

While being connected to you.

This is motherhood.

Mother holding newborn baby boy sleeping in cream knit romperToday I had the most lovely session for a sweet new family. They were gifted their newborn session so it was a true surprise when we all met today. They brought their darling little man to the studio and he was absolutely perfect! Mumma told me she had some serious words before we started…lots of snoozing, no peeing, and be extra cute…well he listened and was all that and more! We got through a load of set ups in such a short time and he was just gorgeous! Mumma asked for soft blues and greens and lots of creamy neutrals….and it all went perfectly with this little guy!

World…Meet Leighton…he’s new here.x.

Newborn baby boy sleeping on cream blanket with tan wrap and knit bonnetHe was such a teeny bundle that just loved snuggling up….

Newborn baby boy wrapped in green knit wrap sleeping in farmers basket with green blanket and green knit layer and bonnet on white wooden floorNewborn baby boy sleeping in cream wooden day bed wearing blue romper with blue wrap and pillow on white wooden floorHow adorable is Leighton snoozin on this little day bed? When the post man delivered this last week just in time I knew we had to use it for today’s session and I popped him down and he went straight to sleep so it was perfect if you ask me? Did you see my little behind the scenes video of this set up?

Newborn baby boy sleeping in oval cane basket with cream fur and blanket and wrap and knit bonnet on white wooden floorEeeeep look at those little piggies….

Newborn baby boy sleeping in round cane basket with blue fluff and wrap and felt heart and bonnet on white wooden floorSqueee….I adore this baby blue colour and who doesn’t love a little snuggly heart and pom pom beanie?

Newborn baby boy sleeping on white wooden bed wearing cream knit romper and bear beanie with bunch of teddy bears on white wooden floorJust a little bear and his pals…

Newborn baby boy sleeping on green fur with green wrapNawwww….that little smile…

Newborn baby boy sleeping on blue blanket with blue wrap and beanieNewborn baby boy sleeping in cane basket with cream knit layer and wrap and bear beanie with bear on white wooden floorNewborn baby boy sleeping on dads shoulder wearing cream knit romperAnd last but by no means least…ending his session safe snuggled in Papa’s arms…we all had a giggle at this shot cause sweet Leighton was snoozin with his mouth open…apparently just like Papa!

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Oh my heavens look how much you’ve grown little love? I had the most lovely session on the weekend, sweet Clarebelle is One….can you believe it? So she came back to the studio to capture some special memories. I just adore these milestone sessions throughout babies first year because it allows us to compare their newborn sessions and see just how much they’ve changed over that time. We re-create the same set ups and add in some new magic and get to see their sweet little personalities flourish throughout. And Clarabelle certainly lived up to that! She wasn’t overly excited to have her photo taken on the day and didn’t love the outfit changes but I’m so glad we managed to capture her gorgeous scrunched up little nose and perfect pout.

Sweet Clarabelle it was so lovely to see you today….Happy big number One birthday.x.

One year old baby girl sitting on vinatge gold iron bed in park at sunset wearing maroon romper with flower tieback sitting on pink velvet pillow surrounded by flowersWe popped to the local park with this gorgeous vintage bed and just let Clarabelle sit and play with the flowers….Newborn baby girl sleeping on cream blanket with mustard knit wrap and mustard flower tiebackOne year old girl wearing lace and mustard romper on cream flokatiEeeeep it’s hard to imagine that just one short year ago she was this teeny tiny baby snuggled with her mustard wrap and now she’s and adorable big girl!Newborn baby girl sleeping in cream bucket with pink lace wrap and blanket and bow tieback in wooden drawer with pink flowers on white wooden floorOne year old girl with pink lace wrap and bow tieback in wooden drawer with pink flowers on white wooden floorNewborn baby girl sleeping in cane basket with mustard wrap and halo and flowersOne year old girl in cane basket with brown romper and mustard flower halo and flowers on white wooden floorCould she get any sweeter?Newborn baby wrapped in mustard wrap with mustard blanket in farmers basket wearing mustard tieback on wooden floorOne year old girl wearing mustard knit romper and bow tieback or bonnet on mustard blankets on white wooden floorShe wasn’t too sure about my bonnets but we managed to keep this one on…so cute right?Newborn baby girl sleeping on pink blanket with pink lace wrap and pink flower tiebackOne year old sitting on pink blanket wearing maroon romper and flower tieback on white wooden floorNewborn baby girl wearing mustard pants and halo on wooden bed with navy blanket and mustard wrap on white wooden floorOne year old girl wearing mustard romper and halo on wooden bed with navy blanket on white wooden floorLook how big she is now on that little bed?One year old girl in cane basket wearing peach romper and bow with peach blanket and flowers on grass at sunsetI just adore these soft peachy colours with the most amazing sunset….Pregnant mother wearing peach floral dress holding one year old girl wearing peach romper and bow in park at sunsetPregnant mother wearing peach floral dress holding one year old girl wearing peach romper and bow in park at sunsetPregnant mother wearing peach floral dress holding one year old girl wearing peach romper and bow in park at sunsetAnd I managed to sneak in a few pics of Clarabelle and her Mumma…do you spy that gorgeous baby bump? Yep…that’s right, sweet Clarabelle is about to be a big sister any day now!Pregnant mother wearing peach floral dress holding one year old girl wearing peach romper and bow and toddler sibling boy wearing white shirt and tan shorts in park at sunsetAnd big brother Teddy joined us too…who doesn’t love a bit of sunset dancing with Mumma and Sissy.Pregnant mother wearing peach floral dress holding one year old girl wearing peach romper and bow and toddler sibling boy wearing white shirt and tan shorts in park at sunsetPregnant mother wearing peach floral dress holding one year old girl wearing peach romper and bow and toddler sibling boy wearing white shirt and tan shorts in park at sunsetPregnant mother wearing peach floral dress holding one year old girl wearing peach romper and bow and toddler sibling boy wearing white shirt and tan shorts in park at sunsetClarabelle…little love…it has been the greatest blessing to watch you grow this past year! See you in a couple of weeks with your new baby!

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“Some families are created in different ways….but are still in every way a family”

I’ve always loved that statement…even before my own family was created, it just kind of resonated with me. Being a newborn photographer I am super blessed to meet and photograph many families of all different compositions…you know the common running theme, the most important thing? Love…that’s it. It’s not how many parents or the gender of those parents or if they are raised by multiple family members. Each and every baby that enters my studio is surrounded by love and it radiates from every session.

Some of you may know, my story is a little different and my family didn’t come about in the traditional way. I was raised by a phenomenal single Mumma and I have two younger brothers. I’ve wanted to be a Mumma for as long as I can remember. Neither of my brother’s were in that big of a hurry and were younger, which of course meant they both beat me to it and I have six amazing nephews and a niece that have filled my life with so much joy over the years. But anyone who has ever yearned to be a Mumma will know…there is nothing that will fill that void. Also my work as a NICU nurse exposed me to the harsh reality that sometimes the journey to mummahood can be fraught with danger. I try not to have a skewed perspective but pregnancy and childbirth can be scary y’all and the reassurance that it will ‘just happen’ is not a guarantee. In my NICU work I saw Mumma’s fight for years and years to realize their dreams and sometimes to have it shattered and taken away from them anyway. I didn’t want to wait for too long…the ever biological clock looming over my shoulder.

In my early 30’s I promised myself that if I hadn’t met the right person by the time I was 35 I would go it alone. I met with a fertility specialist ‘just in case’ and they asked me what I was waiting for. When I said ‘Prince Charming’ they all giggled and assured me he probably didn’t exist, or certainly that I didn’t need to wait for him to be a Mumma. And I thought…you know what?….they’re right! And I guess the rest is history?

Anyone who has had IVF knows it’s challenging, and probably wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy. It was definitely a challenging few years….financially, physically, emotionally…it takes all you have left. But luckily, most are rewarded and those rewards are insanely worth it! I remember after those first few appointments being sent home with a handful of ‘profiles’, told to stop and grab a bottle of wine…and ‘date’. Not the most romantic or traditional way to think about who will help create your family but it definitely made me giggle and made an otherwise fairly intense experience a little light hearted. I remember getting together with a few different sets of friend, a pack of post it notes and a few more bottles of wine. In the beginning I thought all that was important was finding a healthy donor but it was so much more complicated than that. And now that I sit on the other side of this journey with two healthy boys, I am glad we pondered those profiles so thoughtfully in the beginning. I chose an amazing donor, someone who didn’t want children himself, but was married and wanted other families to have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Both boys were created during the same cycle with the same donor, my first little guy put straight back into my tummy during a fresh cycle and my second little guy and some  buddies popped in the freezer for the future.

In the beginning, despite being raised my an amazing single Mumma, I worried that my children would be judged from coming from a non-traditional family…I certainly got some disappointing opinions from strangers and friends alike but graciously as I’ve grown as a Mumma I’ve realized that other’s opinions don’t matter. And that families come in many different ways. I have always been honest with my boys as they’ve grown about how they were created. How they were chosen, rather than a given. I told my biggest boy as he grew, and we have continued the story on, that some families have two mums, some families have two dads, some kids are raised by their grandparents….every family is different, all you need is each other to make a family.

When we first started the story I told him he didn’t have a ‘daddy’ so we needed help from a Dr to get him in my belly and he came from an egg. As he grew he always accepted that story and would tell anyone, bus driver included, that he came from an egg! As he got older and we started working on getting him a sibling his understanding had grown immensely. We learned that men have seed and ladies have egg’s and they are mixed together to make a baby (thank heavens we haven’t got to the S.E.X talk yet cause I’m not sure I’m prepared for that lol!!!) I told him we didn’t have any seed so we had to get the seed from the Dr who put him in my belly and that that seed came from a man called a donor. We looked at photo’s of him and my big boy mentioned the similarities in he and the donor. He learned that if he wanted he could meet the donor when he was older (18) and from then on he’s just been added to our story. Last year we had the awesome excitement of virtually meeting some of the boys ‘diblings’ (donor siblings….so mumma’s who have used the same donor as us and have had gorgeous kiddo’s too!) across the world…and that’s added another chapter to our learning.  I love that our ‘family’ is so big, that my boys have so many opportunities for relationships, for learning about themselves, where they have come from and who they are.

embryo

‘Easton…created and transferred on 11.04.11’

I always look back on these images with such awe…can you believe these amazing cells are now a gorgeous seven year old boy?photograph of embryo

‘Emery…created on 11.04.11 and transferred on 20.10.16’

And a cheeky almost three year old?

pregnant woman with dark short hair in field wearing apricot dress holding belly

I don’t have the greatest of pregnancies but I do adore these beautiful bumps…Easton captured by Leanne Brischetto Photography

Preganant woman wearing white lace dress amongst pink flowers

And Emery captured so stunningly by Rana at Breathe Birth Photography

Now here is where I would insert the most gorgeous updated family photo of the three of us but sadly there isn’t one. I haven’t practiced what I preached and our last family photo’s were over a year and a half ago. I have all your same excuses, no money, no time, too flabby….life just gets in the way. I hear you all. But…I’m working on it and watch this space. I hope you are working on booking photo’s too. Especially after the past few scary months with this dreaded virus, being away from your loved ones, some losing family, missing special moments with those that are dear to you. Don’t wait.

Drawing of woman holding two childrenIn the mean time how gorgeous is this drawing of us that my sister in law had made for me for my birthday….

And if you are working on your story…creating your own unique family…get in touch, because I’d love to be the one to tell your story. I’d love to capture your new little love as they are welcomed earthside. I’d love to celebrate your little one throughout their first year.

 

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Time cannot steal the treasures…

that we carry in our hearts…

Nor ever dim the shining thoughts…

our cherished past imparts…

For the memories of the ones we loved…

still cast a gentle glow…

To grace our days and light our paths…

wherever we may go.

 

When I prepare for a session and welcome a new family into my home I am thinking of many things. I send a questionnaire to families when they first book, that in a few simple questions gives me an insight into how to plan their session, simple things like what colours they like, what the nursery looks like, gender etc but I also want to know their story, I want to know where they have come from and how their little love came to be. What brought them to me, have they known hurt or loss. I want to weave these memories into their session so that while we create images that will become memories for the generations to follow, we also intertwine their past into today’s story.

I ask families to bring something along that has sentimental value to their family, to their story. Something that was given to their baby, something handmade, the first soft toy their bought in the years they were trying to create new life. Something a relative lovingly made for their little love. Something that belonged to them as a child or that was passed down from the generations. A memory of a loved one that once was or someone who came before them that shaped their story. An heirloom item that will become part of this new little loves history along with the memories that we will create on the day.

Over the years I have had the most beautiful and heartfelt items been brought and included in our sessions, so today I thought I’d share with you some stories through imagery and hope that it helps you tell your story.

Set of two images top one newborn sleeping in pink doll pram wearing pink knitted bonnet on pink flokati and bottom same image with 10 month oldThis is adorable pink pram belonged to Isabella’s Mumma when she was a little girl. We included it in both her newborn and her one year session. Can you imagine this pram, along with these images being handed down to Isabella’s children? The stories we write today are not just for ourselves.

Newborn girl sleeping on red suitcase with brown lace wrap and bow tiebackThis red suitcase belonged to Daisy’s Great Grandmother who sadly passed away just days before Daisy was born…it was such an honour to include this in their session.

Newborn baby boy sleeping on brown blanket with brown bonnet and shaggy old brown dog toyNewborn baby girl on brown blanket with brown bow tieback holding shaggy old dog toyThis shaggy dog called ‘Dusty’ belonged to Nate & Evelyn’s Papa…these session’s of these sweet siblings were two years apart but we included the worn dog in both sessions as precious keepsakes for their family.Newborn baby boy sleeping in little white bed with blue fluff and old blue balnketNewborn baby boy sleeping in little white bed with blue fluff and old blue balnketThis adorable blue blanket was the blanket that Elijah’s Papa was brought home from hospital in…imagine still having that to hand down to Elijah and then to his children.Newborn baby boy laying in cane basket with brown wrap and brown fur holding angel pictureThis very special picture that belonged to Henry’s Nanna and was given to Henry and his Mumma as a guardian angel for their journey through the NICU….always watching over them.Newborn baby boy sleeping in cane baslet on brown blanket wrapped in cream wrap with knitted bonnet holding old toy dogThis loved and well worn monkey belonged to Benjamin’s Mumma when she was a baby….Newborn baby girl wrapped in mint wrap with mint tieback laying in white felt nest with pink felt wrap on pink, mint and white quiltI may have squealed a little when Quinn’s mumma sent me the photo of this stunning quilt in our session prep. I love it when families want to include something special in their session and this quilt is all that and more….made especially for Quinn by her Great God-Mother (is that even a thing? Her God-Mother’s mumma made it anyway!) You could absolutely tell how much love went into every little stitch. Just.Love.It.

Newborn baby girl sleeping in vintage cane white pram with cream wrap and blue bonnetAva brought this very special pram to her session and it was such a privilege to include it in her session…it’s over 90 years old…so much special tradition.Newborn baby boy sleeping in round wooden bowl with brown blanket and brown wrap holding photo in frame on deceased grandfatherTwo special guys who will sadly never meet but will have a beautiful connection despite this…it is such an honour to capture memories that otherwise may have never happened.Newborn baby girl sleeping in white wooden bed with crochet cream blanket on fur and knit bonnet with same set up in sitterThis shawl was no exception…Cailin’s mumma made this especially for her before she was born and we included in both her newborn and sitter sessions.Newborn baby girl on brown vintage suitcase with lace doily and bow tiebackWhen Myra’s mumma said she wanted to bring her grandfathers vintage suitcase, I knew it would be extra special.

Newborn baby girl sleeping in white basket on white wooden floor in white romper with teal tieback cuddling vintage knit pandasHow adorable are these two sweet panda’s Layla is snuggling, they were made for Layla’s mumma by Layla’s great grandma before she passed away and they look well loved because they have been around for such a long time.Newborn baby girl in wooden log bowl with orange wrap and blanket and curly felt with gumnit tieback holding photo of deceased grandmotherSarah with a very special photo of her grandmother who is watching down on her from heaven.This divine blanket, passed down through the generations of Elsie’s family and now snuggling her. Such a special tradition.Newborn baby girl sleeping in round wooden bowl with apricot blanket and wrao laying on purple floral shirt with purple wrap on white wooden floorAnd these last two images…all kinds of special. The first is sweet Elianna with her Nanna Joy. When we took this special image, we knew how important it would be as Joy was in the midst of the most heroic fight with cancer and then before their next addition Arabella arrived Joy tragically lost that battle. We created the second image using Joy’s gorgeous shirt she wore on the day of Elianna’s session and there was not a dry eye.

Find your story…let me tell your story…your history and your future. I can’t wait to work with you.x.

 

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“You’ll never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”

 

Following on from my post on Sunday about how a session flow’s…..I thought I’d show you a session from start to finish. Today I’m going to share gorgeous CeCe’s session in the exact order that we went through on the day and the collection of images that her family received. Cecilia’s Mumma and Papa asked for a simple soft pink and white gallery, very girly with flowers. I had loads of fun (as a boy Mumma!) setting up all things girly for their day and they absolutely adored their images!Newborn baby girl sleeping on pink blanket with pink knit wrap and flower tieback and bonnetFirst we started on the bean bag with a beautiful soft pink drop and some simple knits…CeCe had the most divine lashes and these simple shots show all of her in her simple beauty.

Newborn baby girl sleeping on white blanket with white wrap and tieback and bonnet with owlAnd then some stunning simple white…look at those smoochie lips and cute little bootie!

Newborn baby girl wearing pink romper in pink and green floral nest on wooden floorThen we moved on to this gorgeous flower nest, I love that one prop can give you so many different angles and allow you to show all those tiny details, little piggies and dainty long fingers.

Newborn baby girl wearing cream romper sleeping on cream iron bedThis is one of my favourite props and I use it in almost all of my sessions. I was given this vintage cream iron bed and it works with every session. Today we stuck with a neutral look with these stunning blankets made by my mum.Newborn baby girl sleeping in pink crochet bowl with cream felt layer and pink knit outfit and tieback and bonnetThis set up was everything that Mumma wanted…pinks, white’s, soft and simple….this divine knitted romper has the most intricate details and went perfectly with her absolutely perfect features.Newborn baby girl sleeping wrapped in pink wrap on patchwork quiltHow stunning is this patchwork quilt….

*In true honour of how the session went….we paused here for a brief interlude of feeding and pooping….then back onto it*

Newborn baby girl sleeping in round wooden bowl wearing cream lace romper with cream fur and bonnet and bear on wooden floorThis lace romper is one of my very favourite’s and of course the vendor is no longer operating so I treat it like gold but again, another simple set up that allows to show for CeCe’s gorgeous little details….those lashes, and those long fingers that will be pudgy and picking things up before you know it.Newborn baby girl wrapped in pink wrap with pink curly felt in wooden log bowl on wooden floorThis is the foetal position that I always try and mimic…take a quiet moment to pause and think about the amazing fact that just day’s earlier Cecilia was curled up exactly like this under her Mumma’s heart.x.Newborn baby girl sleeping in farmers basket wearing cream romper with cream felt on wooden floorJust plain and simple baby girl….

Newborn baby girl wearing pink romper being held by parents in both colour and black and white imagesAnd finally CeCe with her beautiful family….how snug does she look with her Mumma and Papa…these moments I hope will be treasured forever and passed down through the generations. She will never be this small and snuggly again. And hopefully…when you’re laying awake on those sleepless nights Mumma…look at these beautiful images and remember she is your why.

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