Maegan Dougherty Photography – Northern NJ Photographer » Northern NJ Birth and Family Photographer

Today I’m sharing a beautiful NJ birth from a few years back. This blog post has been in my drafts for a long time. I can’t let it stay there for a minute longer! Birth doesn’t always turn out like we hope it will. When it doesn’t, it’s even more important that we’ve chosen providers who will help guide us through the options, support us in making empowered decisions, advocate for us, and protect the wishes that are important to us during such a vulnerable time.

Pictured here are midwives Roxie Mitchell of Midwives of New Jersey and Judith Hagan of Babycatcher Midwifery, and doula and placenta encapsulation specialist Thalla-Marie Choxi.

birthbirthbirthbirthbirthbirthbirthbirth

Interested in birth photography?

I hope you’ll visit this page, and then I’d love to hear from you!

I started a list of things I want to do with my family in 2018, because I wanted a place to put “fly a kite at Liberty State Park.” Maybe in the spring!

I’ve photographed this family in their Jersey City home and neighborhood for the past few years. I LOVE our family photo sessions. We decided on a change of scenery for this year. I suggested noticing where they were going on the weekends and also thinking about if there were places they’d been wanting to check out. They went to a Birthday party at Liberty State Park and thought it would be fun to go back. So we did. It was awesome. And this is how we spent the hour. So fun, right?!

nj family photographernj family photographernj family photographer

Want to see more?

Here is this family’s photo shoot from a previous year, around their Jersey City neighborhood.

I love these pictures so much!  This is my family! I admit, I don’t have my own family photographed as often as I recommend other people do. It’s for some of the same reasons other people don’t schedule family photo shoots. If only knowing something would be a good idea would get us to do it, right? So this day was long overdue, and very special. We went with my friend Emily Wilson and her family to a Sussex County, NJ tree farm with plans to have a good time, pick our Christmas trees, and get some Dougherty family photos.

I’ve been photographing families in New Jersey and NYC for over a decade. My tips for how to have a successful family photo shoot have evolved quite a bit over time. My clients receive a page about what to expect and how to prepare, and as I’ve changed it over time, I show up to a lot more messy houses and kids in pajamas. And that’s perfect. My “what to wear” has become less about fashion and more about humanity. Our emotions and how we process them…that’s what matters most when we’re being photographed. So if you’re thinking about hiring a family photographer, here are four tips for you.

Four Family Photography Tips:

  1. Hire a photographer you connect with. I’m lucky to have a very close friend who is a photographer, but it’s okay if you don’t. Find a photographer you feel like you want to be friends with. One whose work you look at and feel a connection to. One you feel like you can be yourself around. Sometimes an e-mail exchange and a look at her website is all you need. Maybe you’re in a Facebook group together, live in the same town, or follow her on social media, and feel like you have a lot in common, or you like what she says, or you just get a good vibe.
  2. Do some emotional work beforehand. My kids are crazy about Daddy. They love me, too, and we have great relationships, and I know this, but sometimes I do feel a little left out. I knew they wouldn’t be by my side or hugging me the whole time Emily was photographing us. I had done some emotional work about this, and talked to Emily about it. So I was able to comfortably watch my kids run ahead with Daddy sometimes and enjoy the natural interactions we had, without repeatedly asking them for hugs. If you have concerns about the way you are going to be feeling during your shoot, or about the way the pictures will make you feel, talk to your photographer about them. Sometimes speaking your concerns and having them validated is all you need.
  3. Do something you know your family will enjoy. I love photographing families at home and encourage all families to be photographed at home at least once (if not annually)! Our last shoot with Emily was at home, and I treasure those photos. I don’t usually pick locations for my clients, but Emily happens to be great at that, and since she knows what my family enjoys, I was happy to go with her recommendation. If you’re going to be at home, think of a couple activities you like to do together. If you want outdoor photos not at your home, consider somewhere special to you. Often, the more simple, the better. Park down the street? Perfect.
  4. Do it! If you’re waiting to lose weight or get new clothes or until spring or whatever, stop waiting. Kids grow and change so fast, and adults don’t change as fast as we sometimes want to. Even if you have trouble embracing who you are right now, don’t let that stop you from documenting it. This is me, at my weight and with my minimalist wardrobe. The way my kids know me. The way I’ve been living my life.

I’m glad I followed my own advice, because I LOVE these photos of my family!!! Thank you, Emily!!!

NJ Family Photo ShootNJ Family Photo ShootNJ Family Photo ShootNJ Family Photo Shoot

If you’re considering having your family photographed, go back and read the text of this post if you skipped it, and then let’s talk about it! Contact me your favorite way. Can’t wait to connect with you!

Facebook

Instagram

Text to 2019945610

E-mail using the contact link above

Want to see more of my family?

Camping in the Poconos

Hiking at Teaneck Creek Conservancy

Big sister greeted me at the door when I arrived at this family’s Westchester, NY home. I had met her at the hospital soon after the birth of her baby sister. We chatted about wearing glasses, and that mine are always dirty. She showed me the cleaning wipes she uses for hers. Grandma and Grandpa and a cousin were visiting. Mom changed the baby. Brother woke up. Dad set the table. A big beautiful breakfast was prepared. Big sister sat at the table and waited for the rest of the family to join before she started eating. I learned about life in Brazil and Florida and now New York. It was such a lovely weekend morning at home.

nj and nyc newborn photographynj and nyc newborn photographywestchester ny newborn photographernj and nyc newborn photographynj and nyc newborn photography

This couple booked me for birth photography pretty early into the pregnancy, without even a phone conversation. So I didn’t know much about them, other than that I got a good vibe from her e-mail.

In February I drove to their home for a pregnancy photo shoot. When I saw a cozy house surrounded by trees, and a stack of firewood by the garage, it felt like I was arriving at my own childhood home. It was an immediate feeling of comfort and simplicity and warmth, that continued when I met them, and photographed what their life was like as they awaited the birth of their first baby. Getting her room ready. Drinking coffee. Walking in the woods and by the river with their dog. Normal, beautiful stuff. They told me about their life together, their careers, fixing up their house, their feelings about having a baby. And I thought they were wonderful, and couldn’t wait to see them again at the birth of their baby girl.

A New Jersey couple expecting their first baby has a documentary maternity photo session in their home and a park near their house, with their cat and dog, while they get their daughterA New Jersey couple expecting their first baby has a documentary maternity photo session in their home and a park near their house, with their cat and dog, while they get their daughterA New Jersey couple expecting their first baby has a documentary maternity photo session in their home and a park near their house, with their cat and dog, while they get their daughter

If you are expecting a baby, I hope you will consider pregnancy, birth, and newborn photography. The diaper bag and stroller will too quickly be outgrown, you may never use the crib, but these photos will always be treasured. Contact me for more information!