June 2010

Senior Session by Sarah Lane Studios

What a wonderful treat to be able to publish this senior session by Sarah Lane Studios. Sarah actually has some amazing senior sessions (check out her most recent senior session) but I love the feel of these photographs below. Sarah is not only able to nail down the vintage feel with the styling, location, and processing but also able to capture this senior’s personality, which I think is the most important element of a senior session.

Best of all, we can watch Sarah in action photographing this high school senior in the Youtube video below.

Giveaway!!! Sweet Lila Collection by Etsy Designer Gradybug Designs! ends 7/5

How amazing is this week’s giveaway? Combine the things we love most: Etsy + cute things for babies + matching stuff = yes please! We’ve teamed up with Gradybug Designs to offer you a chance to win their Sweet Lila Collection template (value $99):


Gradybug has been up and running since January of 2009.  The name was inspired by my 2 year old son, Grady.  We (Ashlee and Melissa) are sister-in-laws that share the same passion for photography and design.  Everywhere we go we see things that inspire our unique designs, whether it’s the color palette on the magazine ad, or the grafitti on the wall!  Gradybug offers a variety of photography templates from birth announcements, albums, holiday cards and everything in between.  We have learned so much in the process of starting a business together through all the bumps and bruises.  We both feel so lucky to work together, although we live over 1,300 miles away!   We love being on etsy and enjoy meeting so many wonderful people!

The Lila Collection is one my (Ashlee) favorites!  I have two little boys, so there is not much “girly” stuff going on at my house!  I wanted to create something sweet and simple and get out all of my girl vibes!  There is nothing sweeter than a baby!!

Follow Gradybug on Facebook!


  • Set of Lila Birth Announcements
    {12} PSD files of each square measuring 5″ x 7″ & 5″ x 5″ (WHCC specs)
  • Set of Lila Image Box Templates
    {4} PSD files, each measuring 14.563″ x 9.377″  for a 5×7 vertical image box (WHCC specs)
  • Set of CD/DVD Case Templates
    {12} PSD files measuring 6.25″ x 12.75″ (WHCC specs)
  • Set of CD/DVD Label Templates
    {12} PSD files measuring 940px x 940px (Mpixpro specs)
  • Lila Accordion Wallet Book Template.
    {2} PSD files of each square measuring 15.25″ x 3.75″ (WHCC specs)
  • Lila 6×6 Mini Hinged Album
    {11} PSD files (WHCC specs)


  1. Become a fan of Gradybug Designs on Facebook
  2. Post on Facebook about our giveaway! (Example: Inspiremebaby.com is giving away a fabulous template collection for photographers! Be sure to enter to win!) You must include a link to our giveaway. :)
  3. Tweet about our giveaway with a link!
  4. Blog about our giveaway with a link!
  5. Post on a (photography related) forum about our giveaway with a link!


Spread the giveaway love and come back here and leave a separate comment for each thing you do! Each comment is an entry!


We will choose one winner via Random Number Generator on Monday, July 5 at 12:01 a.m. PST. Comments are numbered the order they were received.

Cake Smash Fit by Kimberlin Gray Photography

When I first saw this submission by Kimberlin Gray Photography, I started cracking up. I haven’t seen a cake smash yet where there isn’t a meltdown by the end of the session – but to have a meltdown in the beginning is epic. Also loving the matching purple tutu, backdrop, and cake.

Be sure to check our post for tips for a successful cake smash! and Kimberlin Gray’s awesome tips at the end of this post.

One last thing! – I also found this flooring from Amazon if you’re looking for “wood flooring” that’s portable.

From Kimberlin Gray Photography: Sometimes, the best images come from sessions that are not “perfect.”  I adore the Baby’s 1st Birthday “cake smash” session.  There are so many priceless moments captured.  I especially love the details – chubby fingers covered in icing, toes embedded in cake, and the grin of a baby who gets her first taste of yummy, sugary birthday cake.

This session, however, did not go as planned.  But, what it did was capture the true personality of this spunky, dramatic baby girl!  Her mother absolutely LOVED that we were able to freeze this stage in time with our session together.  It began with a mini-tantrum (the first image shows how she flopped down on my studio floor as if to say, “You want me to do WHAT?” and ended in a complete all-out tantrum…until she got some wipes and decided that it was okay as long as she could get the cake OFF!

Definitely not a “typical” cake smash, but absolutely my favorite images!

Tips from Kimberlin Gray Photography: The key to a successful cake smash is preparation.  Be sure parents know that they can bring a special first birthday outfit to take a few photos in first, but cake smash wardrobe is best if it’s just a plain colored diaper cover or tutu!  Accessories are always great – a birthday hat or headband/bow for girls often completes the picture.  Parents should know that they need to be ready to put baby back in front of the cake if she starts to crawl away.  The last thing you want is to have to worry about getting cake and icing on your camera by re-positioning a cake-covered baby!  But, keep a roll of paper towels and wipes handy just in case.  Lastly, after a few minutes of letting the baby explore and taste, ask mom to dig in to get some cake for baby.  Sometimes, the baby doesn’t get past all that icing.  I often have moms dig out some cake from the middle so that the baby can see that there is more to it than just the sweet stuff.  Often times things get really messy after that!  Above all, just go with it.  You never know how a baby is going to react to a cake smash session, but your job is to capture it and have fun!

// Photography by Kimberlin Gray Photography // Follow Kimberlin Gray Photography on Facebook //

What to Wear: Family Sessions

Two new What to Wear guides! The Vintage Rose Inspired Guide is for families who want to do something a little different! Please feel free to use them on your blog/website. Download the ones without our logo here (Casual) and here (Vintage Rose).

Teething Baby Fun :) by Tammy Staley Photography

When babies are cranky, it certainly makes our job as a photographer a little more difficult. This little 7 month old was right in the middle of teething so Tammy Staley Photography incorporated not only “chewing” breaks but also some play time in order to distract him. As a result, she was able to get some natural and fun photographs. I think this session shows that we don’t always need to go all out with props, outfit changes, etc. for a successful family session.

Oh okay, let’s be real, I really just love the crying photos!

Also check out The Maternal Lens’ interview with Tammy Staley!

From Tammy Staley Photography: This is one of my favorite clients.  I did their maternity session, newborn session, 4 month session and then this one at 7 months.  Poor little Hayden was right in the middle of teething and really just wanted to chew on something instead of smile for the camera.  I could tell his gums were hurting but through play and letting him have “chewing” breaks we were able to get some great shots of him.  I love incorporating play in my sessions and this time it was just what was needed.

Tips from Tammy Staley Photography: Be flexible.  What works for one baby will not work for another baby so you have to be ready to change things up.  I think that it might help to approach the session like a babysitting job.  You don’t really know this baby but you want to keep him happy so you try all your tricks and go with the one that works.  The other tip I have is be ready.  Babies are quick with their smiles and expressions so you need to have your camera ready to catch it.  You should try all sorts of different angles and remember to play with the baby.

// Photography by Tammy Staley Photography // Follow Tammy Staley Photography on Facebook //