Welcome Baby Zan: Newborn Sneak Peek
This past weekend, after Hurricane Irene blew through, I met up with Baby Zan. At only eight days old, he’s already experienced an earthquake and a hurricane, so we know he’s going to be a strong young man one day.

Zan’s mother and I went to high school together. I was thrilled when she contacted me several months ago to ask if I’d be interested in doing a newborn session. It didn’t take me very long to respond.
Body Parts Collage
We actually planned for this session to be done at the family farm. Unfortunately, we did not plan for Irene. No worries – after going back and forth for a few days, we decided it was best to stay close to home and photograph Baby Zan in his nursery.
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I love the above shot of Zan with his mother. The backlighting may be a little heavy, but I love the look on her face as she gazes at her newborn son. Pure love.
Crib Collage
Can you tell that Zan’s father is a huge North Carolina State fan? Okay, maybe not…but there was red everywhere. And based on Zan’s birth size (9 lbs, 7 ounces, 23 inches – all muscle), I think we have a future football star on our hands.
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Because Zan was so long, he didn’t exactly fit in some of the props his mother prepared…he also didn’t like being on his belly. I gotta give it to those photographers who specialize in newborn photography – it is an art! I just tried to focus on what I love about photography…telling the story.
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Don’t get me wrong, I love those adorable squishy face newborn photos…but I equally love the shot above. Seriously – I can’t stop staring at it. You see, we attempted a baby in the basket photo with Zan. He absolutely did not like being on his belly. I flipped him over. He wailed. I snapped.
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Finally, we went outside for a few family portraits on the swing. Almost as soon as we stepped out the front door, Zan went right to sleep. Sleeping or crying, this baby could not have been sweeter. I can’t wait to see him again in October!

PS: Thank you Christy for creating those awesome storyboards earlier in the week (my first storyboard was from her most recent collection). Click HERE to see her other designs.
Mosaic Muse
PSS: Every other Friday, to wrap up the theme from the prior two weeks, the Mortal Muses will be featuring a mosaic of some favorite shots from the flickr pool. It’s also our turn to share our interpretations of the current theme – “negative space.” So, link up your blog posts or flickr photos HERE between now and Sunday night. This is a great opportunity to become part of our community…and maybe even meet a few new photographers.

    You did a great job – I love the details of the first collection!

    these are awesome!! you’re so lucky, i’ve always wanted to try a newborn session! i love the one with the baby lying on his back crying!!!

    These are absolutely beautiful!!!!!

    Beautiful job! These are my favorite kind of newborn shots. I love props but they are so overdone. I’m thinking of selling most of the ones I have because it just isn’t my style anymore :-)

    I love the one of him crying and it draws me in too! Gorgeous editing too. Not surprised :-)

    Hugs and blessings,
    PS Newborn photography is an art and anyone who thinks they can just go out and duplicate what they see is kidding themselves and the parents. Most photos you see in props are composite and cloning things like hands out. Glad you kept this sweet baby safe right where he belongs in their arms :-)

    Ashley, you’ve done a beautiful job with these photos. I love the crying baby shot too! Gorgeous.

    I adore that crying shot!

    Lovely set Ashley. You do tell a great story with your lens. I always imagined sessions with babies would be a challenge.

    The whole baby in a basket thing seems so odd to me. I just don’t get it. I’m glad you went with real life. Years from now that’s what is going to bring back emotions for mom and dad. Awesome job Ashley. I love how you captured all his perfect little details.

    Amazing job ashley! while I do enjoy the posed shots with props, I’m more drawn to the real life shots like what you captured. and yes, its tough to do. I’ve not been super successful when it came to doing my nieces and nephews newborn shots… Unless I did it real and natural. :) amazing job capturing the brief moments of his tinyness!

    AWWWWW, sooo adorable!!!!! love me some baby!!! :)

    Awww! These are precious! Adorable. Great job!

    I love that shot of him screaming! :)


    great yob and cute baby!!!

    Nice weekend.

    Lovely just lovely Ash! My boyfriend’s sister had a baby 2 months ago and I have been having a blast photographing him. Makes me want a baby…so far from that point though :) xo

    These are so great Ashley! And I freakin’ love that houndstooth crib lining. Not so NC State there. That’s definitely some Alabama Houndstooth. ;) LOL

    These are so cute…you did a really great job!

    Very cute and sweet! That’s a very nice collage!

    They are gorgeous photos of a very cute baby. Well done.

    Ha ha I love the wailing shot! Welcome to reality!

    Welcome to the world baby Zan! You did such a great job with the photos – the first set is definitely my favorite; are they using it for their birth announcement perhaps?

    As I scrolled down to each following picture, the smile on my face only got bigger. My, my! I LOVED the shots you got of them!

    I can almost smell that new baby smell, lol! He is so precious!!

    I can totally hear that little baby squeal in the last B&W. So, so sweet!

    So precious! Love the collage with his name and birth stats! Such a cutie-pie!

    Ashley these look great! I hope business for you is going well!

    Fab job Ashley…. I think props are overdone…. and i cringe when people want some of the7 days.. even more overdone ones.. i like what you captured..the love the promise and the dreams..

    an sleepy babies do the best in baskets, IMO. I try to get most of my newborns within the first 7 days.. they are more flexible and mor sleepy.. plus the AC is off..
    and I am soaked in sweat…

    Opinion…when I scrolled down to the backlit Momma picture I immediately thought…ohhh Ashley Sisk took that photo, it just looks like you, if I may be so familiar as to say so. hee hee.
    It is perfect from the perspective of a mom; those little ones grow so fast and this memory of gazing at him so tiny will be a treasure to her.
    So nice!

    Oh, my heart melts with babies and you captured this little one amazingly…. just gorgeous!!!

    You did a fantastic job! And I agree with you, there’s just something about a crying baby photo.

    Great job
    Newborns are such tender beautiful little people
    And I love the crying capture too

    Amazing pictures! The family is going to be so happy!

    beautiful shots! Zan is so cute. Love the fmaily shots, they are so sweet. and go WOLFPACK!!

    You did a great job! I always love those pics of tiny feet and hands. . adorable!
    My favorite, though, by far is the shot of him when he’s telling you off! I wish I had more shots like that of my kids. LOVE!

    Newborns are HARD! You did a splendid job, as usual!

    My favorite are the crying pictures. Every single baby session I’ve done has included one fully edited wail shot. It’s my thang…and the babies never let me down! ;P

    That is one big boy. I love the shot if her holding him and looking down adoringly. I love how you captured the entire experience. You are good, ma’am.

    So precious!! I love his little fingers…adorable.

    What fun to do a newborn session. You captured some very nice shots of the little guy.

    So precious, great job Ashley. He is just too cute!

    Great job!

    Those pics are not good birth control for a Momma who doesnt want anymore babies……maybe!

    I love the photograph of the mother holding the baby. She will cherish that one.

    Oh my gosh! these photos are so incredibly precious! It brings back memories of baby J’s first photo shoot…Amazing!


    Oh these are so wonderful!!! I love the crying shot!

    I was surprised to learn that many of the cute basket shots often have hands or other props that have to be edited out later. Too much hassle if you ask me! I’d rather focus on the baby. Great job!

    aw, these are just too precious. i actually love those cry shots . . . that’s newborn life fo’ real ;)

    Well Done Ashley! What a little cutie- I hope one day I will get the opportunity to do a new born shoot.

    Adorable! Doesn’t help my baby fever lol

    Oh these are simply precious!!! LOVE the storytelling… I can almost imagine the whole session as you explained it in pictures. LOVE the crying shot! Back when Collin was a baby (and Drew for that matter) I would have never thought to get a shot like that. Thought that was “wrong.” Now I wish I had captured those beautiful and real moments. What a sweet sweet baby. Your processing is so soft and lovely. LR or PS or both? Beautiful job!

    I like the fact you kept the photos real — to be honest, I don’t like the new style baby photos (baby wrapped up tight in a cocoon of some sort, in a sling hung from the ceiling, etc…) Creeps me out. ;)

    What precious newborn pics!! I love that they are not posed…just *life*.

    ashley, these are amazing! i have never taken any newborn shots. you are great at it.

    Aw, what a sweet little guy! I love all of these shots. While I find the use of props to be great, sometimes it gets overdone. I love it when the baby is the main focus of a shot, not the cool textured blanket, wicker basket or sling hanging from the ceiling. As for keeping baby comfortable, I’m not sure if you tried using a heating pad under the blanket baby Zan was laying on, but it might be worth a try during future shoots. Newborn photographers rave about it! I’m definitely going to give a try when I shoot my best friend’s twins next year. Twins!!!

    So sweet! I love how you kept the shots simple and not too foofy. ;) VERY wonderful.

    Great shots Ashley! I love the crying one, I got one like that with the 9 week old i did. I’m sure mom and dad were so happy with these!!

    Ashley…these are just absolutely beautiful and stunning. I love all the details you captured and the emotion!! I LOVE the emotion, these are just stunning!!

    These shots are just so natural Ashley and a great story without words.

    What a beautiful little angel.

    I agree…Newborns are hard! You did a wonderful job capturing him as he is! No doubt these will be treasures for the mom and dad!

    Yep, newborns are hard, but you did a great job! I love the crying shot too. Andrew stayed awake through his whole newborn shoot and my favorite shot is of him scowling at us, which was a face he made all the time for months! Little Zan may in fact have football in his future! That is one big (darling!) baby! :)

    Awwwwww I love these shots – so beautiful! My sister will be having a baby in January and these photos are an inspiration!!

    These are beautiful Ashley, you’ve done a fantastic job!

    Beautiful! Ashley, you did an amazing job telling this story.

    Beautiful! He’s precious, and my he is long! Congrats to the family – and what gorgeous photos to have. Lovely.

    Wonderful shots, I’m sure they will be happy to have such great memories.

    Great work and beautiful baby!

    Gorgeous session Ashley, I love the close ups but also the “real” shots of him crying, love the focus on the 4th shot, under his weight. I think it so depends on the child if you can do those “pretty & posed” shots, I don’t think even the most experienced newborn photographer could have managed my son, even the midwives couldn’t get him to sleep. Wonderful work!

    AMAZING PHOTOS! Though I’m always impressed with your work :)

    So precious! Just beautiful!

    such a cute squishy! great job!

    Awe! Those close-ups are precious!

    these are exquisite! Been so excited to see them all week, and ooooh are they gorgeous!

    The 2nd to the last picture is my favorite. Such depth of emotion, fantastic processing… I just love it!


    I really love your pictures Ashley. The more strongly backlit picture is my favourite. I love the emotional aspect of it and the composition is great too!

    These are incredible. They are filled with so much emotion and meaning…. it’s like they’re just saturated with it! beautiful to say the least.

    Oh what a beautiful “big” boy!!

    Congrats to your friend. I am sure she loved these pictures…

    I love baby photograhy, and the little one is so sweet, I am sure the parents were very happy with the photos, they are great,

    you did such a great job Ashley! hes precious :)

    These are beautiful and he is so perfect looking! My favorite photo is actually the last one :) I love how both mom and dad are looking at their newborn son and how he is cuddled in between them!

    Great job, Ashley! I think newborn photos look difficult to do and you did great. I especially love the black and white shots.

    What a sweetie!

    love them Ashley