Vera Davis Photography: Blog en-us (C) Vera Davis Photography [email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) Wed, 11 Aug 2021 20:42:00 GMT Wed, 11 Aug 2021 20:42:00 GMT Vera Davis Photography: Blog 30 120 10 Questions You Might Not Even Know You Have About Newborn Photography newborn side sleepingnewborn side sleeping 1.What is newborn photography? 

“Newborn photography” can mean different things to different people! What I do is studio posed newborn photography. I photograph your baby in my studio using a big beanbag, blankets, swaddles, and props. A session takes about three hours and the studio is heated to about 85 degrees for baby’s comfort. We create the images you may have seen of babies with their heads on their hands, or curled up in a bucket, or wrapped up in a parent’s arms. (see the newborn gallery on my website!)

2.How old should baby be for this session? 

For this type of session baby is ideally under two weeks old. This is because in order to get the types of images you see, baby must be sound asleep and content – once babies start to stretch out and wake up it is more difficult to keep them sleepy, content, and curled up. Of course they are still adorable and we can still create beautiful images at any age, but the types of images will be different and older babies might be wrapped in a swaddle for all of the session. We always have to follow baby’s lead – there is absolutely no way to force a baby to do anything! We slowly and gently guide them into poses as they sleep, and this becomes more difficult the older they are.

3.Do I need to bring clothes, swaddles, or props? 

Nope! We much prefer if you do not bring anything, unless you have something special to your family that you’d like to incorporate. If you do plan to bring something, please let me know ahead so that I can plan how to incorporate it. Baby clothes are super cute, but don’t really work for a newborn session. Save the outfits for the six month session when baby is sitting up and you can see what they are wearing! It is hard to see the cute message on a onesie when the newborn is curled up! In addition, dressing a baby makes them wake and become unsettled. We can usually get away with dressing baby in one outfit, but definitely no more than that. I do have some knit sleepers and similar outfits if you’d like some images with baby dressed. They are specifically designed for newborn photography so fit well and photograph beautifully.

4.What time will the session be?

All my newborn sessions are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. We can move that slightly, to 9:00 or 11:00 if it works better for your family, but I do only plan these sessions in the morning. Once you move into afternoon/evening, babies start to cluster feed, and be more awake and fussy. If you know you will need a weekend morning for the session, please let me know at the time of booking.

5.Is it safe?

This is the most important question you can ask! There is absolutely nothing more important than keeping your new baby safe! Sometimes new photographers don’t realize that many newborn images are Photoshop composites. A baby should never be in a position that risks a fall or other injury. Newborns are also very vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Some things you can ask a photographer about safety are: what training and/or certifications do you have? How long have you been doing this? Have you ever had an incident where a baby was at risk of injury? Are you up to date on vaccines? What is your cleaning protocol? I have taken many hundreds of hours of training specific to newborn photography and know how to do it properly and safely. I have been in business focused on newborns for five years and am up to date on all vaccines, including Covid now. Everything in my studio that is used for a session is immediately washed, surfaces in the studio are disinfected between sessions, and I wash and sanitize my hands frequently during the session.

6.Can we choose the poses and props we want?

If you know for sure that you want a particular pose, prop, or color to be used in your session, please let me know when you book. For the most part I follow a set workflow each time and set up all props and backdrops ahead of time. I choose setups based on your responses to a session questionnaire I send upon booking. My workflow gently guides baby into various poses in a particular sequence that maximizes variety but minimizes disturbance to the baby. However, often there are certain poses we end up skipping because not every baby will go into every pose. They have certain positions that are comfortable to them, often based on how they were in the womb, and if they seem uncomfortable or resist a position, I will skip it and move on. As I mentioned, there is no way to force a baby to do anything and our primary focus is baby’s comfort and safety.

7.Why does the studio need to be so hot?

I do heat the studio to about 85 degrees for a newborn session! The best way to think about it is to imagine the temperature you would need the room to be in order to sleep completely naked without even a sheet over you. Our goal is to keep baby asleep and content and this is done by recreating the environment baby has been used to up to birth! A very warm room, loud white noise, and a full belly make for a relaxed and sleepy baby.

8.What if we want awake shots?

I love awake shots too, but getting them is simply a matter of luck! There is just no way to predict whether a baby will have a time of being alert and content during the time of your session. If they are alert and content I will definitely take advantage of that, but they still may look cross-eyed or not look at the camera. Some people do not enjoy pictures of sleeping babies, and I do understand that, so if that is the case for you it is best to wait for baby to be at least three months old for their session.

9.When should we book?

Sooner rather than later! Sometime after the middle of your pregnancy is good. Every week I get calls from parents who just had their baby and It always breaks my heart to have to turn them away because I am already full! If you book ahead of time we will pencil in your due date on my calendar and then you will let me know once baby is born and we will schedule your session date!

10.What should we do with the images from our newborn session?

Oh I’m so glad you asked! I have three favorite things I love to help families create – hopefully one of them is perfect for your home! 1) an album – this is such a wonderful keepsake! It can incorporate all the finished images from the session and you and your child will love looking through it in years to come, and one day your grandchildren can look through it as well! My favorite is a linen cameo album, or a classic leather is a great choice and doesn’t get dirty if grubby fingers get to it! 2) a framed print for the nursery or other room – seeing pictures of themselves on the walls of their home increases self-esteem among children, and also reminds you of how amazing and endearing they are, making you smile every time you walk by. 3) create or start a wall gallery – there are many ways to style this to make it match your aesthetic, and you can make a full gallery from the newborn session, or start small and add to the wall as your child grows.


[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer maternity and newborn photography michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography newborn safety portrait studio Wed, 12 May 2021 20:03:34 GMT
May 1 vlog Miss you guys! As a non-essential business, I am not allowed to photograph clients at all right now, even from a distance. Eventually (maybe May 15, maybe later) restrictions may allow outdoor shooting from 6+ feet with me wearing a mask. No telling how long away that phase is, or how long it will last, but all we can do is be flexible and do our part during this crisis. Of course keep in touch if you are wanting a session and we will plan best we can! Meanwhile take all the pictures you can on your own! Let me know if you would like more info on that, or if there is any other way I might help you at all, please reach out! And a special thanks to all my clients who are doctors and nurses! We appreciate you so much!!

Coronavirus and newborn photographyMay 1 update about future sessions

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer family photographer maternity and newborn photography maternity photography michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography portrait studio Thu, 30 Apr 2020 23:01:05 GMT
What Age is Best for Baby Portraits? When should I have my baby’s picture taken?

Custom professional portraiture is an investment that can stretch the budget and/or take time from a busy family's schedule! Of course I think it one of the most important areas to spend money and time once the essentials are covered! 

My favorite way to memorialize Baby’s First Year would be at least four photo sessions: Maternity, Newborn, Six Months, and One Year. (Or even every three months if you’re as crazy as me about photos!) But maybe that sounds overwhelming or expensive or you just really want one great portrait of your baby to be cherished forever. What kind of portrait can you expect at each stage?* 

Newborn: Posed newborn photos like you see here are taken in studio when baby is about 7-10 days old. We create beautiful, artistic images with baby asleep and curled up, and it is such a beautiful way to capture the earliest, littlest, sweetest days.

professional_portrait_babyages and stages for portraituresamples of portraits at each baby stage from Vera Davis Photography


Three to four months: At three months, most babies are making eye contact and smiling and starting to laugh. They still can’t hold their head up well or for long and are still pretty little, but if you prefer images with Baby awake and smiling at camera, this is the earliest we are likely to get it. 

professional_portrait_babyages and stages for portraituresamples of portraits at each baby stage from Vera Davis Photography

Six Months: Around the middle of the first year, whenever Baby is sitting independently pretty well, we can get really classic baby photos – if you want to dress Baby in a special outfit, now is the time – although I do also have outfits here! With the ability to sit up and have head control, we get more variety in the gallery than at three or four months – and usually babies haven’t developed stranger anxiety yes so will still be happy to play with me and we often get great smiles. It’s also a great time for family portraits.

professional_portrait_babyages and stages for portraituresamples of portraits at each baby stage from Vera Davis Photography

Nine Months: Very similar to six months – if your baby is speeding toward his or her fist birthday and you realize babyhood is nearly over and you have only cell phone pictures, this is the perfect time to come! Baby may now have some stranger anxiety, but usually as long as Mom stays near, will warm up and be happy. My absolute favorite at this age is Mommy-and-Me – I love to create special mom and baby images.

professional_portrait_babyages and stages for portraituresamples of portraits at each baby stage from Vera Davis Photography

One Year: What an amazing milestone! You survived your first year of parenting and your baby is quickly losing that baby look and turning into a toddler! A one year session reflects this transition – some images look like baby pictures, and some look more like “kid” pictures! It’s a great time to bring a special outfit, have a family picture if you haven’t yet, and we can either keep things simple and classic, or go all out with a theme and a cake! One thing to be aware of is that it is possible to have an entire 12-month-old session and get not a single smile - so much is going on developmentally right now that often those babies who were all smiles and giggles a month ago are suddenly cautious and serious. We get the “One-Year-Old Stare” quite a lot! I love these images so much, but sometimes families are disappointed, so I like to warn ahead of time. We also have to work quickly because babies this age are sometimes over it after about 20 minutes – so know that we may only get to one outfit!

professional_portrait_babyages and stages for portraituresamples of portraits at each baby stage from Vera Davis Photography


Looking forward, development slows a bit after the first year, so annual sessions are a perfect way to record each stage. At two years old, children are possibly at their absolute cutest – and of *course* also the most difficult to photograph! Sometimes studio sessions don’t work at all – they are busy and curious and not interested in sitting where you want them to. I often suggest we take a two year old outside and I just run after them with a camera catching them at play. They really are still babies and we can’t really expect them to understand what we need them to do, and they are still too little to bribe! But I still think this is possibly the cutest human age!

At three years old, some children can start to understand directions, but sessions will likely still be quite short, or involve heading outside to play. At this point, and in subsequent years, how we approach the session depends a lot on the child’s personality, so I will want to know ahead if your child is energetic and outgoing and always on the move, or quiet and reserved and needing time to warm up to new situations.


Of course no matter the type of portrait session, the key to success is communication with your photographer! The more we talk beforehand, the better I understand just what you are hoping for from your session and will do everything in my power to make it happen! I can’t wait to create special images for your family!



*(Keeping in mind of course that babies are all different and development certainly varies! And if your baby is delayed or has special needs, we can of course tailor the session for their particular abilities.)



[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor child photographer ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer baby cake smash Family Photo family photographer Family Portrait maternity and newborn photography maternity photography Michigan Family Photography michigan newborn photography Michigan Photographer milestone newborn newborn photography one year old Portrait Photographer portrait studio Fri, 16 Aug 2019 17:30:00 GMT
Up North Sessions Hi all! 

Letting you know I will be up north in July in case you will be nearby and would like a portrait session! Family, extended family, maternity, children, seniors, pets - give me a call and we can set it up.

July 13-17 Mackinac City, so available on Mackinac Island and/or scenic beach spots this side of the bridge.

July 17-20 Petoskey - sunset/sunrise beach sessions, and potentially sessions at Lavender Hill Farm in Boyne - this will take a bit more pre-planning as I would need to get permission and pay them ahead of time.

$300 covers the session and includes 5 digital images! Hope to see you this summer in Pure Michigan! :)


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[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer Beach Session Family Photo Family Portrait Lavender Farm maternity and newborn photography maternity photography Michigan Family Photography Michigan Photographer Portrait Photographer portrait studio Pure Michigan Up North Sun, 03 Mar 2019 17:16:41 GMT
Ann Arbor's Amazing Peony Garden peonies maternitypeonies maternity Who is due with a summer baby??

As I write this, it is 20 degrees in January in Michigan! But I am dreaming of spring...

Anyone who knows me knows that I am fairly obsessed with the peony garden at Nichols Arboretum. Every year in June the peonies bloom and they are so beautiful. My favorite thing is to be there at sunrise, capturing the dew on the petals and the gorgeous light rays. Sunset is also spectacular, but busy with people - in the morning hardly anyone is there! I just love shooting portraits there at the height of the bloom. Families, seniors, children - but of course my favorite is maternity portraits in the garden! A gorgeous gown in one of spring's best settings...aaaaaahhhhhhh....!!

So if you will be showing this June think about planning to capture your pregnancy in the garden! I anticipate we will end up fully booked by May, sooner if you need a Saturday session - although on a weekday we can always go at sunrise before you head to work! 

I also have a few peonies here at the home studio - the weather has to be pretty warm, but if it is, we can do an outdoor newborn session with peonies as well!

Okay, back to huddling under a blanket for now...

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer family photographer maternity and newborn photography maternity photography michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography portrait studio Sun, 13 Jan 2019 14:11:37 GMT
Senior Photos It's not *always* only babies around here! Once in awhile we get the big kids too. :)


fall senior sessionfall senior session

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer class of 2019 dog portrait studio senior senior girl senior session Sat, 27 Oct 2018 18:51:10 GMT
Maternity Portraits IMG_4041IMG_4041

This is one of the only pictures I have of me pregnant - just a quick snapshot, but I love it so much - it takes me back to that oh-so-brief moment in time. It was 12 years ago today - my due date was July 3 but the Fourth of July came and went with no sign of labor! She ended up being almost a week late, which we joke about now because she it's so difficult to get her to do something on time - her constant refrain is, "Just a sec!" So we figure that's what she was saying in utero when we said it was time to come out!

Another thing I think when I look at this picture twelve years later is - dang, I was skinny and cute! (even with messy hair and no makeup and terrible maternity clothes!) You might feel weird and not yourself when pregnant, but I promise you are actually glowing and beautiful! Pregnancy glow is real! I know not everyone enjoys pregnancy, but it is still a significant milestone in life and of course I believe it deserves to be celebrated and recorded - it is a special and fleeting time! And I bet in twelve years you'll realize how cute you were! :) 

So I may not have beautiful portraits like these, but at least I get to create them for others now! And I love love love it! 

maternity sun flarematernity sun flare maternity black and whitematernity black and white

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer Maternity gowns Maternity photographer Maternity photography Maternity session portrait studio Wed, 04 Jul 2018 13:20:57 GMT
Spring Mini Sessions April 16! spring FRONTspring FRONT

Capture this moment in your little one's childhood! This is a fun and easy way to create a lovely gift for Mother's Day, or simply to have a beautiful image to remember just how your child was this spring. We will be at The Little Seedling for one day with limited spots available - click this link or call to book now, and we will see you Monday, April 16! This mini session includes five images, and we will have custom photo gifts available for additional purchase. We will also include an image or collage sized just right for a facebook cover photo. The background will be as pictured, so we recommend having your child(ren) wear coordinating clothing - solid, non-patterned tops are best, and dusty pink, muted yellow, gray, or white would be great color choices. If you have questions, just call us at 

Spring _BACKSpring _BACK


[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor child photographer ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer baby gift mini session mothers day portrait studio portraits spring the little seedling Sat, 17 Mar 2018 17:09:18 GMT
Peek into a maternity and newborn session Here is a sample of what sessions with us are like! The Branhams were so lovely to let us film a bit of their sweet family when they came for their maternity session - and then just days later for the newborn session! Baby Girl decided to arrive just a couple of days after we shot the first images and video. :) (Please try to ignore the excessive view of my bum in the latter part...!)


veradavisphotography from Vera Davis on Vimeo.




[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer maternity and newborn photography maternity photography michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography portrait studio video Sat, 03 Feb 2018 00:27:37 GMT
"authentic kids" authentic kidsauthentic kids

This shot was set up by Pete Rezac in a class I took at Imaging USA - he creates these wonderful black and white images of kids and shared his process with us. Then I attended another program by Kay Eskridge, who does special sessions for tween girls. It's funny, because Julia and I have talked about creating something that would focus on kids about ages 6 to 11 - we wanted to capture the missing teeth, skinned knees, and their individual personality. Kids that age don't often get more than the annual school portrait, but along with babyhood, that is the age I most want to remember as a parent - the classic "kid" years. They are old enough to hold great conversations, they are hilarious and often wise, they are affectionate and still look up to mom and dad. Soon we will blink and the soccer balls, stuffed animals, and American Girl dolls will all be gone. How wonderful it would be to have an image on the wall that perfectly captured who our kids were at this time. Hopefully later this year I will decide just how I'd like to do this and have a page on the web site. Of course, if you can't wait and would like to talk about creating something special for your child sooner, give me a call! Maybe you can help me figure out what families would love most.

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor child photographer ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer authentic children kids portrait portrait studio tweens Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:45:40 GMT
Love Actually is All Around Like many of us, I can start to feel overwhelmed with despair at the condition of the planet and the suffering of the life upon it. Of course we cannot succumb to fatalism, we must keep doing what needs doing. We may never feel that it’s enough, but we must just keep doing what is in front of us, helping in whatever way we are called to help.

“Don’t be discouraged by your inability to dispel darkness from the world. Light your little candle and step forward.” – Mata Amritanandamayi

Focusing on beauty and truth and love can help us to do that. This is what photography does for me. Often people are surprised that I volunteer to do remembrance photography – I photograph stillborn babies as a volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. People think it must be very emotionally difficult. It is quite sad, of course – but the thing I focus on when I enter the hospital room is the love that fills the space. Sometimes it is just the parents and the baby they do not get to bring home, sometimes their whole extended family is there to support them. But always the room is full of love. Loss is the thing that really shows us the depth of our love – it really is boundless, and the love of a mother for her child is such a pure expression of it.

Portraits of people expressing love fill me with joy. Looking at them reminds me that there is good in the world, and if we nurture it and spread peace, there is hope yet. Images like these are one way that I recharge with hope and purpose – so thank you for letting me bear witness to your love. Wishing you love and blessings for 2018.

new year 2018love makes the world go round

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer family photographer love love actually maternity and newborn photography maternity photography michigan newborn photography new year newborn newborn photography portrait studio Mon, 01 Jan 2018 05:01:00 GMT
5 Steps to Gorgeous iPhone Pictures of Your Baby Your baby is the CUTEST, am I right??? And changing every day! Ideally you are investing in professional portraits every four to six months, but in between, how to best capture the everyday adorableness? Here are 5 things to think about!

    1. Find the best spot in your home
    A good picture needs good light! Look for a nice big window - you want lots of light, but not direct sun. If the sun is coming directly in, look for a window on the opposite side of the house, pull a sheer curtain across, or place baby just outside of the beam of light. On a super gloomy day, you just want the brightest window in the house. Turn off any interior lights - they can cast odd colors and shadows. The image below shows a good spot - the sun is shining on the opposite side of the house - placing baby on the bed close to the window will give lovely light for your picture. (Remember to never ever step away from a baby on a bed or other surface! Babies of all ages can launch themselves off in seconds!)

using window light for picturesWindow light for baby picturesOn the bed near the window is a perfect spot to capture sweet pics of your baby
2. Position Baby with the top of her head toward the window
    Think of shining a flashlight under your chin in the dark - spooky and funny, but not super flattering! The sun shines from above, so we expect to see light shining down from above people’s heads. Think of this when you lay Baby down for a picture - place Baby so the top of the head faces the window to avoid “ghoul lighting” that comes from below the face. Here is my "assistant" demonstrating - pic 1: no! pic 2: yes!

ghoul lighting"ghoul lighting"Here the subject's feet are toward the window so the light comes from below the chin - not flattering!

using window lightbetter lightingHere the light comes from above in a much more flattering way because the top of her head is toward the window.
3. Hold your phone at the right angle!
    Now we have beautiful light shining just the way we want it - time to think about where to hold the camera. An easy rule to remember is: No Nostrils! Hold your camera in such a way that you are looking down Baby’s nose. Experiment with different angles to find what you like, but try to always think of angling to see down baby’s nose, not up the nostrils. (So - NOT like either picture above...see? No one wants to see up someone's nose!)
 4. Use Portrait Mode
    Not going to lie, I love portrait mode on the iPhone! Have you played with it yet? So fun!! Try it if Baby is asleep or fairly calm- it doesn’t work so well with a squiggly subject! Here, Bouncer demonstrates how fun portrait mode is:

portrait modeiPhone portrait modeBouncer demonstrates the awesomeness of portrait mode
    5. Use an app to edit!
        there are a lot of great photo editing apps. My favorite is Snapseed- check it out! You can do a lot, from minor adjustments to major effects. Here is a cell phone picture of Puck before and after Snapseed:

cat hot air balloonSnapseed FilterThis is a cell phone picture of Puck with and without use of the Snapseed app to edit.
And then of course, share your sweet baby with friends and family! There can never be enough baby or cat or puppy pictures on the internet!



[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer diy baby pics family photographer iphone baby pics maternity photography michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography portrait studio Tue, 19 Dec 2017 12:45:17 GMT
Newborn Baby Girl Session Meet Isabella, who has the most heart-melting, one-sided smile you ever did see, it was soooooo adorable. It can be difficult to catch those newborn smiles, which makes it all the more sweet when we do. 

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[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography portrait studio Mon, 30 Oct 2017 15:09:40 GMT
Studio Mascot? catcat This is the look Trixie gives me when I apologize to clients about her interrupting our outdoor sessions. She feels her presence is an honor and we should be grateful. 

If you have done an outdoor session with me here, you have met Trixie. She came to us five years ago when someone dumped her in the country and a plea went out to find her a home. We brought her home only to discover she was pregnant! She had five kittens and was the very best mother - she even tried repeatedly to bring mice into the house to teach her babies how to hunt. She was so annoyed that I wouldn't let her. 

Nowadays, she enjoys patrolling *her* estate. When we have shoots, she invariably shows up and photobombs. Often she will climb a tree in the frame to show off. She knows she is beautiful and can't imagine why I'd want to take pictures of anything but her! So I end up having to try to shoo her out of the shot and apologizing for my embarrassing cat. So then she sits on my quilt and gives me this face. Don't get her wrong though - as annoyed as she looks here, she is the sweetest cat I've ever had! She is so sociable and friendly and will go up to anyone. And if you sit down, she'll hop into your lap and curl up, whether she's ever met you before or not.

So apologies in advance if you have a shoot coming up! Just tell her she's a pretty kitty; she likes that. 

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor photographer cats maternity photography outdoor portrait session pets portrait studio Mon, 09 Oct 2017 16:28:19 GMT
Photo Backups And Lemonade Stands IMG_0491IMG_0491 IMG_0493IMG_0493 Gotta take a moment to brag on my husband - I've always known I got lucky when he married me, and he seems to prove it more every day. He's so supportive of my every endeavor, including my photography business. Today he is setting up a RAID drive for me to help ensure I never lose any client's precious memories. Look at this monstrosity! It's massive and should hold me for quite some time!

And as if IT expertise (and good looks) was not enough, he's also a fairly handy woodworker.  I asked for a lemonade stand prop, and he (with my daughter's help) knocked it bout in a day! I can't wait to make adorable styled photo sessions with it! I've done one that I'm hoping to use for competition, but I now have it available for client shoots as well. And once I download those images, they'll be backed up to a zillion different drives! 


Thank you Honey!!!

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer newborn photography portrait studio Thu, 31 Aug 2017 20:27:33 GMT
Cooper's First Birthday! This kid. SO FREAKING CUTE!!

first birthday

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer baby photography bubble bath cake smash child photographer family photographer first birthday milestone portrait studio Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:55:22 GMT
What You See vs What a Photographer Sees I always enjoy comparisons like this, so I did a quick one of my own. This was an area of shrubbery off the freeway! This is the view from my iPhone:

iPhone viewiPhone view And this is a portrait made with my camera:

backlit portrait775A4769

Sometimes clients are surprised by my choice of outdoor location, but photographers are always looking first for beautiful light, and then at the background.

(That said, we are also always working on adding pretty areas to our 10 acres for outdoor sessions!)

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor photographer outdoor photography locations outdoor portrait Mon, 10 Jul 2017 17:19:58 GMT
One Year Old Milestone Session and Cake Smash! Baby Charlotte was sooooo much fun!!

cake smash cake smash cake smash cake smash cake smash cake smash cake smash cake smash cake smash

one year

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer baby cake smash cute milestone session one one year old portrait studio Fri, 02 Jun 2017 13:14:21 GMT
"When you photograph a photograph the soul behind it." I am sometimes asked, “Do you ONLY do newborns?” and the answer is no – I love portraits of all kinds! Faces are endlessly fascinating to me. (Human or animal faces – just ask my family and friends who are tired of seeing endless pictures of my pets. Although in my defense my pets are the cutest. And I have a lot of them...)

Because I am getting more non-newborn/maternity inquiries lately, I’ve added a family and a senior gallery to my website – check them out!

I am also sometimes asked about weddings, and those I do not do! At least not big, formal ones. I LOVE weddings. They make me cry, I love bridal portraits and flowers and love and families gathered in celebration – once I did aspire to be a wedding photographer. But I quickly realized that the ability to capture beautiful images is only a fraction of what makes a good wedding photographer. You have to be able to keep an unwieldy (possibly intoxicated) group to a tight time schedule, you have to be able to make large groups of people do what you need them to do quickly, without coming across rude, you have to deal with family dynamics, and be cool under immense pressure. None of those are my strengths, by a long shot! I love a casual, backyard wedding though! And I follow a ton of wedding photographers because I love their images. But my personality is better suited to a lower stakes situation for sure.

At any rate, check out the galleries and give me a call if you need senior photos or a family session!

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer family photographer family photography maternity maternity and newborn photography maternity photography michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography portrait studio Wed, 24 May 2017 15:19:19 GMT
The Luke Project 52 Clinic Once a month I volunteer at Luke Clinic Detroit. It is a free prenatal clinic that brings prenatal care to a severely underserved population in an area with an infant mortality rate nearly double the national average. A group of truly amazing people brought this to life to help women and babies.


I can’t draw blood, do ultrasounds, or deliver babies, but I take portraits of the women and children, and bring them back prints the following month.


It is an honor and privilege to meet these women and witness their strength, beauty, and dignity in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

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If you are so moved, you can donate to the Luke Clinic here: and/or to Family of God here

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) Detroit ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer infant mortality Detroit maternity maternity and newborn photography maternity photography michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography service Mon, 15 May 2017 11:34:56 GMT
Award Winning! I am so excited! I entered into PPA's image competition for the first time - it was super scary! But I did it, and two of my images earned a "merit" - meaning they met the 12 elements of a merit image, and will go on to the International Print Competition next year. Such an honor, and it was so fun to watch the judging, which happened in Detroit this year for the Northeastern District. These are the images:

"Sugar and Spice"

image 1image 1


image 2image 2

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor photographer merit Image print competition Fri, 21 Apr 2017 23:37:04 GMT
Just Digital Files? Of course we aim to please, so if you would like only digital files from your session, we can do that! But I do feel that a big part of my job as a professional photographer is to deliver your images in a format that you can actually use and enjoy. I know, I know - you're moving soon, you're renovating, you have no wall space... or maybe it's just overwhelming to try to decide how to decorate with your images or to find the time to design a book! 


go book insidego book inside

Let us do the work for you and create a beautiful piece of art. We have software that can show how wall art will look in your home (just send me a cell pic of your wall).

canvas wall artcanvas wall art

I will design an album for you, and it will be an heirloom-quality album with a gorgeous cover and thick photo pages. I love the "Go Book," made in Italy - it is an album in a box with a clear cover that can be displayed on a shelf like a framed print. It can be customized in pretty much any color you can think of.

go bookgo book

And I also love the made-in-the-USA 12 x 8 album with a linen cover - gorgeous!

baby album linenbaby album linen

Our gallery-wrapped canvas is archival quality - accurate, deep color, coated to withstand fading, and won't fall apart like the cheaper consumer canvas options. We also work with a local framer to offer framed fine art prints.

Coming soon (not pictured here) we also offer folio boxes with matted prints - you can look through your images like an album, and also display them.

There are so many products available to make you swoon, it would be a shame to choose a USB alone, as lovely as my USBs are! ;)



[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) album ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer canvas digital files digitals frame michigan newborn photography newborn photography portrait studio print Thu, 13 Apr 2017 20:42:31 GMT
All Because Two People Fell in Love ann arbor family photographerann arbor family photographer

Of course I love babies, and most of my focus is on newborns, but I really love portraiture in general. I will photograph most any human (or pet) that will let me! And I realized that I have recently been fortunate to have a series of beautiful couples, and I love it!


When did you last drag your parents in front of a camera? Most of us are pretty good about pictures of our kids because we are aware that they are changing fast. But sometimes we let years (decades?) go by without other family pictures because we figure we are staying the same every year and have all the time in the world.

Ann Arbor family photographerann arbor family photographerstill the one

But maybe plan ahead this summer and try to get a professional portrait of the whole extended family when you are together, or at least one of your parents or grandparents. The pictures of our extended family on the wall make us smile and keep them close to us because we happen to be all alone here in Michigan. (Shout out California/Florida/Texas/Georgia/Pennsylvania/Washington/Illinois family!) If you’re lucky enough to be going up north to the lake with grandparents and cousins this summer, record it! There are great photographers up north! (And a photo session with grandkids would make a great gift for people who have no room in their lives for more STUFF.) 

ann arbor family photographerann arbor family photographerlove IMG_5134copyIMG_5134copy ann arbor family photographerann arbor family photographerlove


ann arbor family photographerann arbor family photographerlove

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer pictures of grandparents portrait studio Sun, 09 Apr 2017 15:42:24 GMT
Newborn Session Behind the Scenes! This sweet family let us film a bit of their session so you can see what a newborn photography session is like at our Ann Arbor portrait studio.

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer michigan newborn photography newborn photography newborn safety portrait studio Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT
Newborn Twins Not gonna lie, being a newborn photographer is kind of awesome. Sometimes you get to cuddle not one, but two babies! And just look at them – soooooo sweet!!

Although I will also admit to being a bit relieved that it is not me who has to get up with them in the middle of the night! :) 

twin newborn sessiontwin newborn session

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer classic cream gray michigan newborn photography newborn newborn photography portrait studio twins Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:28:29 GMT
Happy First Birthday!

One-year olds are the best! This cake smash was SO FUN. She was hilarious and LOVED her cake. (Confession: I may or may not have tried a was delicious!) Babies aren't always thrilled with cake, but she thought it was awesome. She just kept smiling and being adorable and making me laugh. And those eyes!! I had the very great honor of photographing her as a newborn as well, and it's always amazing to me how much babies grow and change in just a year. Many happy returns, baby!

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer birthday bubble bath cake smash milestone one year old portrait studio Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:51:14 GMT
Like Sands Through the Hourglass.... “We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.” – Katie Thurmes

Time is such a funny thing. Honestly, my inability to cope with the passing of time is why I am a photographer. Moments like this last a mere heartbeat, and at the same time, stretch forever. Those last days of being pregnant truly feel as though they will never end, and yet somehow you blink, and your baby is a year old! Photography for me is an attempt to hang on to moments forever. I’ve always said that I don’t want to live things over again (least of all seventh grade) but if I could just go back and visit my babies for a few moments…just to hold the two-year old version of my daughter for another moment... But, as that is impossible, I try to capture moments in images.

“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” – Andy Warhol

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer maternity photography newborn photography portrait studio time Thu, 09 Feb 2017 14:16:13 GMT
FAQ about Newborn Photography Why should we get newborn portraits?

Good question! See this blog post all about this!

What should we expect at a newborn photo session?

A newborn session lasts about two hours and the room is nearly 80 degrees – so many parents take a nap! We have drinks and snacks and a comfy couch. Vera will pose your baby on a beanbag designed especially for newborn photography, and will also pose baby in your arms, in a prop of your choosing, and with any siblings. We average 20 to 40 finished images in the end, depending upon whether there are siblings, and how content and sleepy baby is.

Why does baby have to be 5-12 days old?

We do posed newborn images with the goal of creating fine art for you and your home. Many of these poses only work safely when baby is sound asleep. For the first couple of weeks, babies sleep most of the time and like to curl into the same positions as when they were in the womb, which is pretty dang adorable! We are happy to photograph your baby at any age – they are always cute! But the style of images will be very different for babies from about 3 to 12 weeks. Babies this age are usually awake and flinging their little limbs about, and it is very difficult to get eye contact with the camera, so with this age we generally do more of a “lifestyle” shoot, with baby in parents arms. You might actually prefer this style – this is one reason we like to talk beforehand about what your goals are for the images so we can help determine what style you would prefer.

What should we bring?

  1. Baby
  2. Lactating breasts or formula (we are a good place to practice breastfeeding away from home for the first time!)
  3. Pacifier if you don’t mind us using one during the shoot

That is pretty much it! We have many blankets, hats, headbands, and props to choose from (okay, too many, we can admit we have a problem!). If there is something of sentimental value that is important to your family, we can incorporate that, but please do not buy things for your session. So many things that are adorable do not actually work well in photos for various reasons. Styling the session is another of the things we like to go over in person or by phone ahead of time. We have diapers, wipes, snacks, and drinks here, so not to worry if you forget something.

What should we wear?

Solid neutral colors are best! In particular, no logos, loud patterns or bright colors. We are happy to consult on this as well, you can send photos of options if you are undecided. If possible, shirts without buttons are nice, as sometimes buttons can catch delicate baby skin. We can also dress mom and sisters in sleeveless wraps, which photograph beautifully. Big brothers look adorable in jeans and no shirt or socks.

Is it safe?

That is an important question to ask any newborn photographer! Safety is not something to take lightly with such precious new little people. You can see some of the ways we ensure your baby’s safety here:

How much does it cost?

We have a $150 session fee which includes a pre-consultation in person or by phone (to go over your needs, style, and determine an overall plan for the session), the session itself, post-processing, and an ordering session. At the ordering session (usually about two weeks after the shoot) you will view your images and select your products. We offer albums, wall art, prints, and digital files – our goal being to create something for you that your family can enjoy for years to come. We always feel there’s not much use in hiring a professional photographer to create a USB to sit in a drawer, and we are here to do the work for you and guide you through the process. It’s hard to say just what your cost will be without knowing what you are looking for, but we have albums starting at $400, gallery-wrapped canvas starting at $375, and we also have packages that bundle our most popular items starting at $800.


[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer michigan newborn photography newborn photography newborn safety Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:15:00 GMT
Why Invest in Newborn Portraits? Is Newborn Photography new on your radar? Or do you know all about it, but wonder if it’s worth it? Here are five reasons we think you should book a session before you give birth:

1.They are this little for about a second

There is no way to say it without sounding trite, but they really do grow SO FAST. They will gain 5-7 ounces per week, and grow ½ to one inch a month! The rate of growth and development really is shocking. Having a record of them when they are brand new is priceless – and it’s so important to have beautiful images of them that capture their little features beautifully (and in high resolution) rather than just camera phone images that will not last.

2.Life’s most important milestone

For me, this is the moment to splurge on professional photography. Most of us do it for our weddings, but the birth of a baby is arguably more momentous. How precious to have a beautiful portrait of this new little human in your arms. I always think this baby as it grows will love looking through her baby album even more than she will enjoy pictures of your wedding bouquet. And no arguments about how you don’t want to be in pictures so soon after birth! You are beautiful and glowing even if you feel yucky or not at all yourself. I promise to make you look good, and your child deserves to know how much you loved him from the very first moments.

3.You won’t remember this time

I have a pet theory that mothers have amnesia about the first three months of a baby’s life, as surely as we have birth amnesia. The first several weeks of a baby’s life are hard. Even if everything goes absolutely perfectly and you have all the support in the world, these weeks pass in a blur. Realistically, most of us deal with depression, lack of sleep, breastfeeding trouble, and hormonal adjustment. You will feel human again by about 12 weeks, and won’t it be lovely to have a beautiful record of the love of those first weeks.

4.Babies make the best art

What is more pleasing to see on the wall than a baby? They are so delicious! And we are a full service studio, so you can pick up your beautiful, finished art ready to hang and not have “get pictures printed” on your to-do list for months (years?). Albums are also wonderful as they allow you to see all your images in print. We have some truly gorgeous albums to choose from.

5.Photos last forever

We are told to buy an infinite number of items to be “ready for baby.” Wipe warmers, bottle warmers, breast pumps, diaper genies. Most things will be trash before too long. (There are so many baby items you can’t even donate because of safety concerns!) But professional photography gives you something that could be cherished by this baby’s grandbabies! It is not money thrown away on gadgets, but something you will never regret.

And lucky you if you are in the Ann Arbor area, we are right in town and have a homey, comfy studio just waiting for you and your new little one!

Vera Davis Photography, CPP


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[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer michigan newborn photography newborn photography newborn safety Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:09:13 GMT
Spring Maternity Sessions Are you expecting a 2017 baby? Congratulations!! Have you been thinking about having a maternity portrait session? If the timing is such that you will be showing during the spring, you have the opportunity for some gorgeous images – our studio is in our house in Ann Arbor, which is set on ten lovely acres with some ideal portrait locations. In early May, we have a number of flowering trees just begging to be part of a maternity session.

Wear your favorite maternity outfit or select from our flowing gowns.

Winter is beautiful, but I'm already excited for the flowers of spring! Of course there are beautiful locations here year-round:

So whatever the season, a maternity session can be magical!


[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor photographer maternity gown maternity photography snow portrait spring portrait Thu, 12 Jan 2017 01:57:35 GMT
La Leche League of Ann Arbor 2016 portrait fundraiser nursing babymom pov!

La Leche League is an organization that is very near and dear to my heart. I attribute my success nursing my babies to my having attended meetings, and I loved it so much I became a Leader myself for several years. The mothers I met at meetings are still among my dearest friends. So I love that I am able to help the group that helped me so much, while photographing my favorite subject, moms and babies!


The past couple of years we have been doing a photography fundraiser for the group by offering a mini photo session in exchange for a donation. It has been so much fun, and the resulting images are some of my favorite I’ve taken.

baby picturecaption this!

If you missed it this year, look for it next year, and meanwhile - go check out a meeting! Fewer mothers attend in-person meetings these days, preferring to get information online, but there is just no substitute for connecting in person, hearing directly from other mothers, and seeing other women breastfeeding.

Didiour wonderful local La Leche League Leader, Didi!

Also on the topic of breastfeeding, I love breastfeeding portraits! If you have wanted a beautiful portrait of you nursing, I would love to provide that for you. :)

nursing baby portraitsweet baby nursing <3


[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) La Leche League ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer breastfeeding michigan newborn photography mommy and me portrait session portrait studio Fri, 04 Nov 2016 17:22:01 GMT
The Baby Summit USA It’s great timing if you happen to be pregnant in Ann Arbor! I just got back from the most amazing event – three whole days of a conference especially for baby photographers. It was wonderful in so many ways – inspiring classes, wonderful people, and – here’s where it’s good for you – a TRADE SHOW.

Newborn photographers love to use things like hand-knitted rompers, vintage baby quilts, and yummy fabrics in their images, and these things are often provided by mommy-run small businesses. The opportunity to see many of these supremely talented women in one room and see their gorgeous wares in person was a highlight. All of we newborn photographers rushed into the trade show at 8:00 a.m. sharp, screaming, “TAKE MY MONEY!” We must have been truly frightening to behold. But ohhhhh, the beautiful things! The lovely headbands! The adorable outfits! The flowy maternity gowns! It’s hard enough to show restraint when shopping on Etsy, but getting to touch the things made by these creatives makes it completely impossible to resist buying ALL THE PROPS.

Gimme all the things!But now what to use first...?!

As fun as that was, the best part of the experience was the people. Everyone I met was warm, kind, generous, and open. So many of us bonded and will be friends for life. I was marveling at this at home, and my daughter said, “Well duh. You’re newborn photographers. You’re obviously nice people.” I hadn’t thought of that, but I suppose it’s true that people who love babies tend to be warm and fuzzy. :)

Ann Arbor Newborn Photographerwarm and fuzzy but also Super Fun!

And then there was what we all came for – three days’ worth of classes, demos, and talks by the best in the industry. OMG. My brain is overflowing with all the input. Just when you think you know all about photographing babies, you realize there is still so much you can learn. I am feeling so inspired and creative, and I can’t wait to share that with you all.

Amy McDaniel's classso many adorable babies!!! My heart!!

It is humbling and truly a privilege when a family invites you to participate in what is likely the most important and vulnerable time of their lives. Providing a lasting record of these days means so much to me and I never take it for granted. I am thrilled to have even more knowledge, motivation and inspiration to share with you now. Not to mention many many more newborn headbands…


a recap of the awesomeness a recap of the awesomeness a recap of the awesomeness a recap of the awesomeness a recap of the awesomeness

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor maternity photography ann arbor newborn photographer ann arbor photographer maternity photography michigan newborn photography newborn photography newborn safety portrait studio tbsusa Wed, 05 Oct 2016 19:24:43 GMT
Newborn portrait studio tour! Welcome to our studio! I have been wanting to post photos of our space for ages, and I finally decided that "perfect is the enemy of done" and I am putting these up even though the space is not perfectly tidy and I'm still working on decorating and hanging studio samples.

This way you can get an idea what to expect when you visit. Here is our area for ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE NEWBORN PROPS! Baskets, buckets, and tubs, oh my! Clearly I am out of room so I shall be getting no more props. HA HA HA HA! My husband probably wishes that was true! Thank goodness for basements and closets! ;)

Our sweet little shelf from the Dixboro General Store (Love that place!)

New parent napping/snacking/coffee corner:


And then here is a view of the half of the room that holds the newborn posing beanbag and lovely big windows that are great for natural light portraits of babies. If you turn around at this spot you face the wall that holds backdrops and studio lights, but that view wasn't as pretty. :) I tend to photograph newborns in natural light in this spot, and families against the backdrop with studio lighting. Of course, in addition to our lovely bright studio, we have ten wooded acres outside for gorgeous outdoor portraits. And you are welcome to come for a free consultation and have a look in person! Just give us a call, we absolutely love in-person pre-consultations. The more we communicate beforehand, the more satisfied you will be with your final product!

Thanks for touring and hope to see you soon!

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor photographer newborn photography portrait studio Tue, 28 Jun 2016 00:05:45 GMT
Happy Father's Day!

This is me with each of my grandfathers.  

These pictures are all I really have of them. They both died very young, when I was little. I have dim, shadowy memories of my maternal grandfather, and I’m not sure if I have real memories of my paternal grandfather, or only think I do because of these pictures.

I know now that they both wrestled some pretty strong demons, but of course I knew nothing of that then – I knew them as gentle, compassionate men who loved deeply. I thought them perfect and I adored them. (I think they adored me too, I mean – look at my adorable face! ;) )

On Father’s Day, I wanted to express my admiration for the men in our lives who take care of us and our children, the men who teach us what men should be. And I’ll use pictures like these to help keep alive the stories of the men in our family who are gone. I’ll show these to my girls and tell them all about how my Grandpa W. used to let me put curlers in his hair, and how my Grandpa B. called me Doodlebug.


[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) family photos father's day love memories Sun, 19 Jun 2016 13:49:22 GMT
5 ways we ensure your newborn’s safety in our studio There is nothing like the fear and worry that grips you once you become a parent! And then immediately following that is the sinking realization that you will get to live with this worry for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. So I’d like to do my part to help ease your mind! Here are five reasons that you can feel comfortable bringing your newborn to our studio for a portrait session:


1.        We are obsessive about safety. The safety and comfort of your newborn is absolutely our primary focus. No image is worth risk. We are also obsessive about laundry and cleaning! Everything that touches a baby is laundered or wiped down before it is used with another baby.


2.        We are trained in newborn behavior, safety, and posing. Vera was a breastfeeding counselor for over five years, which involved learning about newborn needs and behavior. She has done many classes and workshops specific to newborn photography and knows how to create images safely. Many newborn images are created in part through the magic of Photoshop. (Babies should never be suspended above ground or placed in a pose that could cause injury.) We always have a spotter with hands ready in case baby startles, and we never leave baby unattended in any setup, even for a moment.


3.        We follow baby’s lead. Every baby is unique in terms of flexibility and sensitivity. Not every baby will go into every pose. If you have seen an image that you love, we can definitely try for it, but we will never push it if it becomes obvious that baby is not comfortable.


4.        We are up to date on pertussis and flu vaccines. If we do become ill, we will reschedule your session. And the hand sanitizer is always nearby!


5.        We keep the studio warm. Because we do many images with baby undressed or lightly wrapped, the studio is kept at about 80 degrees for the session, as newborns cannot yet regulate their body temperature. We only try for outdoor shots when weather conditions are ideal.


If you have any questions or concerns about a newborn photography session, please give us a call. We are parents and we worry too! Even if we are not the right fit for you, we want to help you choose a photographer who knows what they are doing and prioritizes safety. We are happy to help you do that whether or not we end up as your photographer.




* Photo by Vera Davis, styling and posing by Julia Kelleher

[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) ann arbor newborn photographer newborn photography newborn safety Fri, 18 Mar 2016 15:27:14 GMT
Michigan fall family sessions I've been busy photographing some beautiful families this fall. How lucky we are in Michigan - we have such a gorgeous autumn! The colors! The light! The orchards!

It can be a very brief window that we get the gorgeous color, which makes it that much more exciting when you get the chance to capture images at just the right moment.


The leaves are gone now, but the beauty lives on in pictures! 

Happy fall to everyone, and may you have the good fortune to snuggle up with your loved ones during the cold months to come!


[email protected] (Vera Davis Photography) fall color Fri, 13 Nov 2015 13:28:44 GMT