Marsha Pizarro Photography » Calgary, Alberta based professional newborn photographer with experience specializing in creating memories that focus on the beauty of your new baby.

I had the privilege of photographing so many Calgary families and babies last year! It was an especially busy summer not only because I was able to photograph some amazing newborn and outdoor sessions, we also welcomed our second child into the world! I honestly love what I do, and am so grateful for all of my wonderful clients. Last summer everyone was so accommodating, considering I was working up until I was 8.5 months pregnant. Adorable little newborn Lochlan was my last baby I photographed before having my own son. I photographed Dawn and Eric’s maternity session about a month prior, and we had so much fun for their session. They are such an amazing couple. The gender of their baby was supposed to be a surprise, but Eric accidentally saw during one of their ultrasounds. He kept it secret so that it would still be a surprise for everyone else. They had a little boy a few weeks after their session. I was so excited to meet him! Lochlan was so adorable. He was one of the most easy going babies I have ever photographed. For his Calgary baby photography session, we used some beautiful neutrals and soft teal/mint. He looked so cute in every setup we did and practically melted into each pose. One of my favourite images is of Lochlan posed with his parents. I love seeing their joy with the new addition to their family. Lochlan was such a joy to photograph! Here are some of my favourite images from his Calgary baby photography session back in June.

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Would you like more information on booking a Calgary baby photography session? Contact me HERE.

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  • April 4, 2018 - 1:36 pm

    Rachel - Such a stunning newborn session. Beautiful workReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2018 - 1:41 pm

    Michael Orzell - What a beautiful family, these are images they will cherish the rest of their lives!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2018 - 1:41 pm

    Dan M Lee - Great stuff, thanks.ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2018 - 1:44 pm

    Angela - Lovely session of a precious baby! I love the mint green setup, that one is my favorite!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2018 - 2:45 pm

    Polina Kuklina - Awww!!! This baby is so adorable! Beautiful work!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2018 - 3:42 pm

    Julia yeliseyeva - What a sweet baby! Beautiful gallery!!!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2018 - 4:08 pm

    Victoria Vasilyeva - These pictures are full of tenderness! You did a great job!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2018 - 6:53 pm

    Giselle - Wow that’ a beautiful couple and baby! These newborn photos are to die for. I’m sure they are so happy!ReplyCancel

  • April 4, 2018 - 7:09 pm

    Dan M Lee - Lovely family images I’m sure they will treasure.ReplyCancel

Photos are important. We may all know this, and that’s why our phones are filled with photos of our family (at least mine is). When you have kids, we want to hold on to as many of those amazing memories as we can! One of my favourite quotes is “the days are long but the years are short”. As moms we can get so busy that it can sometimes be hard to just stop and enjoy the moments with our kids. It goes by so fast, too fast.
A lot of people get yearly family portrait sessions done, but what about those day to day moments? I want to share some tips to taking simple and great photos of your kids at home.

 

Clearing the Space – You don’t have to clean the entire house, but make sure the area you plan to use is clutter free. Try and avoid having power chords plugged in on the walls, or unnecessary items on the floor or on tables. One of the main reasons I like to do this for photos is to keep the focus on the kids in the photo.

Here I forgot to move the mamaroo before taking the photo. Even though it’s ‘blurred’ in the background, I still find it distracting.

Calgary baby photos

Calgary baby photos

Outfits – I like to keep things very simple. Neutral colours without any big logos or patterns are my favourite. Even a simple white t-shirt and jeans can look very cute! I also like to avoid socks on kids. I think little toes are just the cutest and would hate to hide them!

Calgary Baby Photos

Calgary baby photos

Lighting – Avoid windows with direct sun unless you are using curtains to block some of the light. Using direct sun will create harsh shadows. Rather, find an area where there is ‘softer’ light where the sun isn’t hitting them directly. I like to side light kids in the photos which creates depth to their faces.

Calgary baby photos

Catchlights (a gleam of reflected light in the eye of a person or animal in a photograph) – This in my opinion is very important. Catchlights add life to your subjects eyes. Without them they look dull, flat and dark. In order to achieve catchlights, make sure your kids are facing more towards the light/window than into the room – even just slightly. If the light is behind your subject and there is no reflector or second light source in front, you won’t be able to achieve catchlights.

 

These are just some quick tips to help you take simple and great photos of your little ones at home. Remember all of these amazing moments as the time goes by way too fast.

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  • March 29, 2018 - 4:41 am

    Angela - These are wonderful tips and beautiful images!!ReplyCancel

  • March 29, 2018 - 2:49 pm

    Camilla Felicjancik - Love these!! so beautiful and I love the lifestyle feel of theseReplyCancel

  • March 29, 2018 - 7:14 pm

    Gonzalo Verdeja - Thanks for sharing your tips. Very beautiful colors in your photos!!ReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2018 - 3:41 am

    seraphine - what a great article and awesome tips to share with parents. the little one is so adorable.ReplyCancel

Recently I was asked to review a set of workflow actions from Sleeklens. There is a lot of work that goes into every photo, as each one is edited separately to achieve that perfect look. For my personal style I love beautiful shadows that give depth to each image. I was excited to use something new so I gave Sleeklens a try. Since every photographers shooting and editing style are different, there will be certain actions that will work better than others. I thought the best way to give my honest review was to share an image that I edited, along with the steps I used.
I selected one of my recent favourite images of a beautiful baby girl in pink. This image is the base that I started with after doing some minor tweaks to the original. I first started with the “All In One” group which did not quite work for my editing style. If you are using these actions, make sure you save a copy of your image before you try them because there is no going back as far as I know. I like being able to change the opacity of the layers to soften the effect, which was not an option with these particular ones.

newborn editing
Next I moved onto the “Base” group. I went through all of the actions within this group and loved the one titled “base – from scratch” once I tweaked it a little. I also used “base – from cloudy days”, again with my own tweaks. I love having an action for colour temperature changes, and I really liked the ‘cooler’ action; however I found the warming action too red for my work because I am usually editing babies that have red tones in their skin.

In the portrait retouching group there was a few actions that work great for newborn editing. The portrait brighten eyes action was actually perfect for adding highlights to baby’s skin. Normally when editing a newborn session, the baby’s eyes are closed so I don’t have eyes to “brighten”. Out of this group my absolute favourite was ‘glossy lips’. I have never used an action before to do this, and it was just perfect to accentuate babies beautiful lips.

Moving on to the enhanced tones set, I really liked the effect of ‘magic garden’. I brought the opacity way down for a more subtle tone, but I really loved the slight glow it gave to the image. I also liked ‘star trails’ because it gave the image a cooler tone – again I brought the opacity down very low to suit my style. ‘Mountain Hike’ was another action that had a very pretty glow at a low opacity. 

In the last set ‘From a Candy Store’ I used the ‘dodge and burn’ action to darken the shadows. The sharpening actions also found in this group are really nice and I will definitely be adding them to my workflow. 

Here is a before and after comparison when using only the actions from Sleeklens. If you prefer heavier editing, the great thing about these actions is that most of the actions in the set are customizable, so you are able to tweak them to fit your own style.

newborn editing

After giving these actions a fair try on a few different images, I have found that there are a few really nice ones in the set once I got past the heavy layers and made my own changes. I also found that some of the tone actions did not work for every image of mine. Every baby has different skin tones, and a few of the actions added too much red. As with any action set, there were some that did not suit my style – mainly the ones that were destructive and I was not able to customize. This is just based on my personal preferences and editing style. With my own little tweaks there are some that I will definitely add to my workflow.

 

If you want to check these workflow actions for yourself, you can find them here: 

https://sleeklens.com/product/portrait-perfection-photoshop-actions/

https://sleeklens.com/product/professional-photo-editing-service/

https://sleeklens.com/product-category/photoshop-actions/

https://www.pinterest.com/sleeklens/lightroom-presets/

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The most amazing time in a couples life is when they are welcoming a new baby into the world; which is why I absolutely love maternity photography. When a couple is expecting their second child – this time in my opinion is especially important. The whole dynamic of a family changes with a new addition, and it is special to be able to capture these last moments as a family of three. I know personally I really enjoyed the time with my daughter before we welcome our son into the world and I am glad to have those memories of us before Jacob joined our family.
This maternity photography session is with one of the most incredible families. I began photographing Mailin and Carl about six years ago when I first started my photography journey; they were actually my first clients! I feel truly honoured that they have stayed with me all of these years. We hit it off right away and each session with them has been so much fun and lots of laughs. Their connection has always been one that I have been in awe of. Being able to capture their engagement, maternity, and newborn photos over the years has been truly an honor. For their maternity session this past fall, we did their photos outdoors. I find with little kids, outdoor sessions allow for more natural moments between the whole family. For maternity photography sessions, moms always have the option of wearing one of my studio gowns I have available. Mailin picked a gorgeous dark blue gown (Myrtle and Moss Props) that looked absolutely incredible on her, and highlighted her perfect baby bump. The beautiful glow of the sun with the amazing fall colors helped create these images that I hope will be always treasured.

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Would you like more information on booking a maternity photography session? Contact me HERE.

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  • March 14, 2018 - 9:33 am

    Jay Handzlik - Stunning session with so many wonderful emotions captured! And location!!! Love these fieldsReplyCancel

  • March 14, 2018 - 11:31 am

    Rachel - This maternity session is absolutely amazing! I am in love with that blue dress! Amazing work.ReplyCancel

  • March 14, 2018 - 12:16 pm

    Christina - These are stunning! That light is so perfect, and you captured so much love in this family!ReplyCancel

  • March 14, 2018 - 1:37 pm

    Catherine - What an adorable family. You did an amazing job at capturing their love.ReplyCancel

  • March 14, 2018 - 1:45 pm

    Gonzalo Verdeja - These photos are beyond amazing, love them!!!! keep up the good workReplyCancel

  • March 14, 2018 - 2:50 pm

    Andrea - I love the maternity images that you have captured. So fresh and tender! Love that location!ReplyCancel

  • March 14, 2018 - 8:50 pm

    Alyson - These are beautiful portraits. I LOVE, love, love that maternity dress! What a perfect shade of blue for her and the location.ReplyCancel

  • March 14, 2018 - 9:13 pm

    melissa - gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • March 15, 2018 - 6:54 am

    Angela Beransky - Love all the special moments that you captured! Amazing work!ReplyCancel

Baby photography is an absolutely amazing job. I not only get to snuggle with adorable little newborns, but I also get to create lasting memories for families of the most incredible time in their life. I started photographing exclusively babies about 4 years ago. There was a lot more to it than I originally thought and the learning is endless. The biggest challenge to photographing babies is the posing. You not only want to be able to get beautiful poses, you also want to be able to do them safely; no pose or image is worth risking the safety of a newborn. Each pose in baby photography actually has a name (which I am sure most of my clients have heard me using and most likely thought I was crazy). Here are some of the newborn poses that I do along with a couple of tips and tricks.

1. TACO (also known as the womb pose)
This pose is one that I do not do very often unless it is requested by the parents. Getting the toes peaking out makes this pose absolutely adorable!

taco pose baby photography Calgary

2. TUSHIE-UP
The tushie-up pose is one of my favorites to do. Babies tend to curl easier into this pose and it’s very cute to see the little back rolls on your baby. To get those adorable little baby rolls, you need to have the elbow and knee closest to the camera touching. In order to get the elbow and knee touching, you need to slightly curl baby towards you. You also need to put a poser or stuffer (the “beans” from photoblocks props are my favorite) under baby’s head and bum so that baby isn’t laying flat.

tushie up pose newborn baby photography

3. SIDE LYING

The side lying pose is usually a favourite of parent’s. It is one of the easier poses to do with babies; the main challenge is getting their hands stacked with fingers flat. This pose can be done with either one hand together or both. I have even seen side lying done with baby holding a cute little “lovey”.

newborn baby photography Calgary

 

4. FORWARD FACING / HEAD ON HANDS

Forward facing pose is my personal favourite beanbag pose. I love the way baby is posed on their arms because it perfectly frames their beautiful face. For this pose I like to have their whole body in the photograph rather than just their arms and face. I also like to have their little foot pointed out which makes this pose very cute.

baby photography

5. WRAPPED ON BACK

Babies love being wrapped up – making this pose a baby favourite. The key to this pose is getting their hands to frame their face and their toes poking out of the wrap in the background. I love how curly a baby is in this pose.

baby photography

6. FROGGY

I love this pose because it focuses on baby’s beautiful face – framed by their little hands, and then their tiny toes are peeking out the sides. This pose should be done as a composite (meaning two images put together to create one image) with hands on baby at all times.

newborn baby photography Calgary Alberta

7. POTATO SACK

In the past year, this pose has become my most requested. It also happens to be my personal favourite in baby photography. Getting the potato sack pose perfect is all in how baby is wrapped. I travelled to Ontario a couple of years ago specifically to learn how to do this pose correctly and safely (read about my trip to Sandra Hill here). I love this pose because every single baby loves it since they are wrapped so snuggly, and you can get a lot of variety without having to disturb baby. I try and save this pose for last because once you unwrap baby they tend to wake right up and are harder to settle.

potato sack newborn baby photography

 

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