Pregnancy, Newborn and Family Photography: Bear and Dragon

The excitement of finding out that your family will grow and getting this momentous occasion captured in timeless pictures. Documenting the arrival of your very own miracle with a newborn photo shoot showcasing the awe & wonder of this new chapter. Seize the (family) day with memories of apple blossoms, bluebells or autumn leaves as you enjoy a family photo-shoot.

I am a firm believer in taking photographs and printing them out regularly! I used to make an annual photo album printed book for each year that I had lived in Europe and the adventures that I had experienced. My walls have always been covered with photo frames of memories and the photos inside these would change every couple of years.

One of the difficulties of being a parent is that you are rarely able to capture every single wonderful moment and rarely do you find yourself on the front side of the lens. If you do, it is probably unplanned, selfie or on your smart phone. (Please note – this is not me complaining, it is called “setting the scene/explaining”)

But, when I was pregnant in 2015 – I had the absolute pleasure of finding Nicole of Bear & Dragon Photography (via the website called The Village for pregnancy, birth & beyond in Belgium). Not only is she an absolutely wonderful, warm, fun & caring person but she takes such amazing photographs and makes you feel so relaxed and at home during the entire process! She is based just outside of Brussels (at the time, she was based IN Brussels) and offers indoor/outdoor sessions.

We signed up for the Seeds & Buds photoshoot => which allows for a 1hr pregnancy photo shoot followed up with a 3hr newborn photoshoot within 1-2weeks of their birth. 400€ & 30 images in total – but of course, you can select more images from the portfolio that you would like to have re-touched as well (at a cost of 10€ per image).

Our pregnancy session was full of love and Nicole would ask us to explain why we loved each other (helping to make our eyes shine with happiness) and also helped to relax us both. Considering that I had seriously swollen feet (and my fingers more so than usual) – I loved every image and it was difficult to only choose a few! It also allowed for us to get to know Nicole and for her to get to know us – meaning that it was essentially an ice-breaker for the newborn shoot.

The newborn shoot provided a very warm environment (to help monkey sleep and be comfortable half naked) and was more than long enough to allow for feeding, nappy changes, etc. She slept through most of it and Nicole had a tickle trunk of blankets, baskets, nappy covers, flowers, headbands etc – we didn’t need to worry about props at all! When the proofs were available for us to view – we struggled to choose – so we didn’t limit ourselves and purchased all the ones that we loved!

But the fun definitely doesn’t end there! With mini sessions offered during the course of the year – we knew that we would definitely be signing up for (at least) one each year. From Apple Blossoms to Bluebells to Harvest time to Sunflowers or Christmas trees – there is a season and an offering for everyone! 150€ for 30min and 10 images.

We signed up for the Bluebell session in the Hallerbos Forest, something that I had never yet been to see and I was in awe of the spectacular field of blue flowers. It was surreal… And 30minutes was a perfect amount of time to get a good selection of images. Monkey did not want to be held – she wanted to run & explore which is why some of these images are the perfect reflection of the independent, confident and outgoing gal that she is!

It might sound like a pricey investment but trust me, when I look back on these images (and the experiences along with it) – I am overwhelmed by the fact that these moments were captured!! And smile each time I open our front door as I have some of the newborn & bluebell images in photo frames right there! It has also made it easier to share beautiful printed images (gifts) with family abroad.

I highly recommend checking out the rest of the 2017 mini-sessions that Nicole is offering here or check out her website http://www.bearanddragonphotography.com

PS – I use the online photo service http://www.smartphoto.be to have the images printed out.

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