Boston Baby Photos Blog » photos by Jessica McDaniel

Completely off topic…

OK, I know this is my work blog, and I use it to show you adorable babies and their chubby wrist rolls and holiday card recommendations and announce minishoots (yes, that’s a link for you enterprising types who are ready to think about my April Public Garden minis – I just announced the date this morning and haven’t sent the email out yet…) But normally this blog is all biz, all the time…

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 2.22.04 PMBut I just need to take a break from all that work stuff (it is a snow day, after all) and tell you what we did this year to our living room. Because I’m bursting about it. It’s so super duper insanely fabulous now that I just want to shout it from the rooftops and tell anyone and everyone they must MUST hire Meghann Van Dorn to help them with their interior design.

I love beautiful spaces, I really do. I see my clients’ gorgeous homes all the time and I salivate, loving all the beautiful design choices they make. And when we did our kitchen renovation a couple of years ago, the incredible Dennis and Matthew DeMello of D. J. DeMello Custom Building and Woodworking did incredible work and I somehow managed to get through that process only asking Meghann for help a handful of times with some critical decisions along the way (quartz surface for the counters, TYVM). Somehow hard surfaces and kitchen/bathroom design decisions felt manageable. But once we decided our living room needed help last year, I felt completely overwhelmed. For some reason matching fabrics and thinking about upholstery and curtains made my palms sweat. I just didn’t feel like I could trust myself with it.

See, we live in Milton, in a cozy little house on an incredible street, but it’s tiny. We’re only four people, though, and though my smaller people get bigger every day, we really don’t need any more house than we have. We know we’re not moving because we love our street and our neighbors so much, but we are always looking for ways to make our small house even more right for us.

For me, I needed to bring more light into the living room. We had these IKEA shelving units along one wall that were super dark:

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And we needed good seating options for the living room space, so we crowded it a bit with a loveseat that totally didn’t fit and a long rectangular coffee table that I thought fit the space because we loved to play mexican train on it… (even though it made for a good game surface, that didn’t mean it fit the space). The couch was also dark purple from Jordan’s (to hide the inevitable small child mess) and I was reluctant to upgrade it even though Meghann told me it would change everything. Again with the failed before photos, but this should give you a sense of what it looked like:

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Basically it was crowded and had big comfortable pieces of furniture in it that worked for our lives but didn’t look great.

So when we were able to go ahead with the built-ins Dennis and Matt had proposed (insanely talented amazing contractors/builders, amazing workmanship all around), we also got in touch with Meghann and said – OK, let’s do this thing. Let’s take this space seriously.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 12.15.11 PMShe started by coming in and taking measurements. We knew we had to keep the piano where it is, and we knew where our built-ins/TV would be, but the rest of the space was up for grabs. We knew we needed the seating to double as a conversation area but also function as TV watching spots.

So she came back to us with a layout – which was amazing because I’d never thought of a circle coffee table in the space, and the idea of adding another chair blew me away. If they were swivels, we realized, they could work in either direction – pointed at the coffee table and couch to talk, or swiveling to watch TV. Brilliant!

Where Meghann excels is this next stage of things. I’ll admit I guffawed at the idea of buying all this new furniture – it seemed crazy, especially after I put some numbers in an excel spreadsheet and thought about what the entire room’s redo would mean. But Meghann took this project on and became what I felt like was my personal Craigslist savant. She convinced me we didn’t need to buy everything new. We just needed to be patient. She was sending me links at all times of the day and night. “How about these light fixtures?” “OK, hop in your car RIGHT NOW and go get this coffee table for $40, it is perfect!” (note: I do love it – it’s great. Might someday upgrade it but for now it’s fabulous.) “If you recover this chair it will be amazing. Look at the lines!” (note: it is, and after her incredible upholsterer guy recovered it with fabric Meghann helped me choose at an insanely cool fabric store, it is one of my favorite pieces of furniture ever) And I’d get texts with photos from her as she wandered TJ Maxx – “Jess, this rug is $100, and it’s soft and thick like you said you wanted. I think you should get over here and feel it in person. I think it might be perfect.” (note: it was) “What about this side table?” (nope) “This one?” (nope) “OK, how about these four I found online?” (YES!!!)

She just took on the project with such zeal – and it was such fun to work with her. I loved that she had strong opinions for me and told me why – I’m easy to convince if someone has good reasons. (For example, we knew we needed more light, and the Grey Owl paint Meghann had recommended for the rest of the space downstairs seemed like a good starting point for brightening things up in there. It’s so much brighter now.)

So I guess I’ll end this and feed my kids some lunch – it’s time for the big reveal. First, I’ll start with Dennis & Matt’s gorgeous perfect built-ins:

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Don’t you just die? So in love with them.

And then here’s the full picture of the whole room. Thank you thank you thank you, Meghann.
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It’s perfect, it’s finished, and I couldn’t have done it with you guys. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And now to finish today’s edit!! #yayforsnowdays

Zooming and giggling

Went back to see this guy for his six month photos, and oh my goodness the cuteness! I’m so excited they’re doing the Baby’s First Year package because it means I get to come back for more giggles and fun this year.

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We did have a few moments of calm, not giggly time. I love that kind of photo too…

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Gnawing on a toe can actually hurt, guys…

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So fun to see you guys! Thanks for having me out :)

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Reading and playing with a wonderful boy

I loved seeing this sweet boy again this year back on an unseasonably warm day in October. He spent some time at the beginning of the photoshoot reading a fabulous bug book aloud to his mom – I’ll admit I learned quite a lot ;)

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Wonderful to see you guys, as always!

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Audrey Paek - December 8, 2015 - 5:18 pm

Touching photos of a beautiful family! :)

Toni - December 8, 2015 - 5:19 pm

Love these photos. They definitely show this family’s personality.

Ann Goodwin - December 8, 2015 - 5:24 pm

Great pictures! Love the one standing on one foot.

Kate H - December 8, 2015 - 5:36 pm

Love these pictures!!

Zoe - December 8, 2015 - 5:36 pm

I love the one of Ren!

Tim Fitzgibbons - December 8, 2015 - 6:12 pm

Beautiful pics!

Curt - December 8, 2015 - 6:56 pm

Awesome shots – you guys look great!

Natalie - December 8, 2015 - 7:47 pm

Beautiful photos!! And beautiful subjects!

Jamie - December 8, 2015 - 7:55 pm

Wonderful pics that capture the joys of parenting.

Janet - December 8, 2015 - 8:11 pm

Naomi, I have known this wonderful boy since before he was born. (More intermittently since I moved away.) But I have loved to see him grow up. These photos are exceptional. They capture a rapport between you two that is undescribable…magical.

Mia Shopis - December 8, 2015 - 8:21 pm

Fantastic photos! Wish we were in JP to see you more.

Diane - December 8, 2015 - 9:18 pm

Though I haven’t seen Naomi in over two decades, her warmth and intelligence is ever present. And I sure do miss our hanging out days. No one deserves this more

Matt - December 8, 2015 - 9:31 pm

I’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of this cute kid grow, but these fantastic photos truly capture the family love that has made him so clearly happy.

Valerie Worthington - December 8, 2015 - 10:19 pm

What a precious pumpkin and a lovely mommy! I’m fortunate to count both of them among my friends, and creating more pictures of them will just make the world a more beautiful place.

Lynn Ryan - December 9, 2015 - 12:26 am

Love and miss you! Ren is so grown up! Beautiful photos.

Anne-Marie Aigner - December 9, 2015 - 7:38 am

Fabulous photos.

nicole holt - December 10, 2015 - 5:51 am

What a sweet and loving series of photos!

Fall Public Garden Minishoot #19

You know, I take pictures of a lot of teenagers because I’ve been doing what I do for twelve years now, which means tons of the original “babies” of Boston Baby Photos are heading into their teens now. I love seeing all those kids every year as they grow. But you know what else is really fun? Meeting new families who have teenagers! I love the fun of meeting new people, and we can relax and have fun right away with older kids.

That was the case with these guys – their elder daughter is thirteen and their younger is ten, and the most important thing for these guys was making sure we got great photos with their parents.

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That we can do! But first we needed to grab a photo of these cute parents.

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Thanks so much for coming to meet me for a minishoot in the Public Garden. I loved getting to know you guys.

Chris Kempner - November 27, 2015 - 8:53 am

What beautiful pictures of the Weiss family! They are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Live every smile and every kiss!!

Laura - November 27, 2015 - 8:54 am

Such great photos!

Paul Gleason - November 27, 2015 - 9:00 am

Great photos of a great family!
When did the girls get so big?
Paul

Deb Reyore - November 27, 2015 - 9:09 am

Awesome photo’s of an awesome family!

Zantalalia deter - November 27, 2015 - 9:23 am

What amazingly beautiful photos!. Captures how lovely my cousin really is. What beautiful family memories you have captured for them .

Roxann Kidd - November 27, 2015 - 9:24 am

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family!

Michele Corkery - November 27, 2015 - 9:44 am

Gorgeous family. Placeful, lovely photographs. Well done all!

Kandi Bux - November 27, 2015 - 9:46 am

The pictures are so good!! You all look great!!

Laurie DeMarco - November 27, 2015 - 9:51 am

Beautiful photos! Looks like you had so much fun!

Ginger DeShaney - November 27, 2015 - 10:03 am

Gorgeous photos!! Just stunning!

Anne Snyder - November 27, 2015 - 10:06 am

Beautiful family!!!

Cindy O'Donnell - November 27, 2015 - 10:18 am

Such beautiful photos!!! You can see the Love! :-)

Kathryn Guthrie - November 27, 2015 - 10:21 am

Love all the shoot BBP really captured the loving spirit of this special family! My favorite is the one with all three girls.

Anna lyn - November 27, 2015 - 10:38 am

Love this sweet family! What great pics!

Marvin Pratt - November 27, 2015 - 10:40 am

Great shots you guys. Looks like you had a lot of fun doing the photo shoot too.

Allen - November 27, 2015 - 11:04 am

Great family shots!!!!

Dorrie Fleischer - November 27, 2015 - 11:28 am

Beautiful pictures of a very special family!

Suzanne - November 27, 2015 - 11:40 am

What a fun shoot! Great angles and a whole lot of different expressions captured too. Love the B&W.

Nola Odens - November 27, 2015 - 1:50 pm

You captured their sweet silliness! A terrific shoot of four seriously special people. Love you, Weiss family!

Susan Hanscom - November 27, 2015 - 6:00 pm

I LOVE these pictures – all of them!

Dawn reed - November 27, 2015 - 7:31 pm

Love these!!!! So beautiful!!! The smiles are contagious.

Barbara Renze - November 27, 2015 - 11:33 pm

Lovely photos of a truly beautiful family!

Candy Wright - November 28, 2015 - 4:42 pm

Mom and the girls are cute but not so sure about the dad! Lol! Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family.

Julie Ferguson - November 30, 2015 - 2:22 pm

Beautiful morning photos and beautiful family. Love these!

Julie ferguson - November 30, 2015 - 2:24 pm

^^^ don’t know why spell check popped “morning” in there ;-), but beautiful photos morning, noon or night !!!! ;-)

Mary Delgado - November 30, 2015 - 6:10 pm

The photos came out beautiful. May God continue to bless this amazing family

Why always a sleeping baby?

Why do so many baby photographers like to photograph a sleeping baby? They’re sweet, and of COURSE I will happily take photos of your sleeping baby for you. I loved watching my own babies sleep – there’s nothing like listening to them breathe, watching how relaxed they are — I get it. (Posing a sleeping baby – hmmm, that’s probably another blog post for another time. Nothing against it, just not really my thing. Cute, very Anne Geddes, I get it… but I feel like it’s a different art form, honestly. I think of those photos as more of a still life than a way of documenting a new person who just arrived into the world… but I digress…)

So we can do sleeping shots if you’re into it, but I do think once you have those handful of photos of them sleeping, it’s great to move on and show the world who this little person is becoming!

There’s just so much more to document when babies are awake. I mean, just LOOK at this sweet girl. She was snoozing when I arrived, but she eventually woke up and had the best time for her photos.

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Wait, are you sure you’re only 4 weeks old? What’s with all the gorgeous smiles?9116

And even when the fuss happened it was adorable.9124

So wonderful to meet you guys! Welcome to the world, little T. Can’t wait to see you for more photos in a few months!

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How many babies are in there?

How many babies, Jo? How many?

I love her left hand here – seems like she’s expressing some additional thoughts about the upcoming changes in her life (even if only subconsciously?). It’s gonna be pretty fabulous, kiddo.

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Big sister took a minute to tell the babies a little secret here:

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And look out, kid, or someone might tickle you…

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And we know you know how to tickle right back:

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Love this crew of five more than I can explain.

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Tossing the leaves in the yard

I’ve been taking pictures of big brother D and his sister G since they were each teenie tiny newborns, and this year they invited their big cousin to come do photos in their gorgeous yard with them – what a fun idea!

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Everybody loves tossing leaves.

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It was great having big kid energy there too…

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They had so much fun playing!

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High-five :)

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Loved seeing you guys as always! Thanks so much for having me.

Public Garden Fall Minishoot #5

These fall minishoots are flying by! I’ve shot 13 families so far in the Public Garden, and there’s about that many more left to shoot – so much family fun to document :)

Wonderful to see these guys again, especially because I hadn’t yet meet their newest addition. Fabulous, fun sisters!

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Kayla Skillin - October 20, 2015 - 1:56 pm

great photos!

Carolynn mackay - October 20, 2015 - 2:38 pm

Beautiful!

Robyn Mabel - October 20, 2015 - 5:43 pm

Your pictures are great, Jessica. I love the way everyone always looks so natural and not like they are posing.

Jennifer Reardon - October 20, 2015 - 9:08 pm

Gorgeous, I love your style! You captured so many fun moments.

Tricia McKenna - October 21, 2015 - 4:42 pm

so many fantastic shots!

Two under two, and everything’s fine

Big brother M wasn’t yet two, and his new baby brother J was five weeks old when we did these photos about two weeks ago, so they’re proud members of the two under two club! And hate to break it to you, but they sure do seem to have things under control. Either that, or they put on a pretty good show for photos. ;) I think this first one is my favorite, though. I just love mom and dad’s expressions as they look at each other.

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Wonderful to see you guys as always!

Loving the sprinkler in September

We did these photos in the middle of September, (it was big brother C’s 5 year old birthday that very day), and what a September we had! Remember it? It was only a little bit ago, but remember how warm it was? We even got to play in the sprinkler — can’t beat it. And little bro, 9 month old N — he is completely into playing his dad’s guitar. He was almost inconsolable when they put it away. But some sprinkler time got his mind off it, luckily.

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So much fun to see you guys as always!

The boys at six month old

We did these photos back in the end of June! It’s the beginning of October! How did I get so behind?? So sorry – and this is crazy because these two boys have the best bellies, the cutest grins – look at these little six month old cutie pies! How could anybody leave them to be unblogged all summer?

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Tom Partridge - October 8, 2015 - 2:10 pm

Hide your daughters people of Boston suburbia.

Acacia - October 8, 2015 - 2:13 pm

Amazing photos! I wish we had gotten some of these same angles (especially of their feet!) when we did a three-month old photo shoot last year. Maybe we can get some good 1.5 year old photos? (not sure they’ll sit still haha)

Jen Partridge - October 8, 2015 - 2:29 pm

Beautiful boys. Beautiful family. Gorgeous photos.

Ellie Laramee-Byers - October 8, 2015 - 2:33 pm

I love this set. Your family looks so happy!! Such handsome little critters!

Samantha Adams - October 8, 2015 - 3:36 pm

Gorgeous photos! Handsome little studs, amazing family.

Meg Paine - October 8, 2015 - 4:23 pm

These photos are so great! The boys are gorgeous…ahhhhh I can hardly stand the cuteness!

Ross - October 8, 2015 - 5:23 pm

Beautiful pictures!

Joanna - October 8, 2015 - 7:57 pm

two handsome, happy boys! Great pictures!

Miguel - October 8, 2015 - 8:13 pm

Their dad must be one handsome guy :)

lisa - October 8, 2015 - 8:57 pm

Friggin cute babies! And dog of course :-)

Jess Zeba - October 8, 2015 - 9:20 pm

Adorable, and love the thighs :)

Stephanie - October 8, 2015 - 9:27 pm

Aaaahhh!!! They’re so cute!!! I can’t believe they’re already 9 months old!!! Congrats to the 4 of you!!! Those boys have ridiculously cool parents, their childhood is going to rock!!!

Whitney - October 8, 2015 - 11:30 pm

Love these little buddies!

The twins at their dol

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I have too many photos for you again, I’m sorry to say! I got to attend a truly gorgeous dol jahbi a week or so ago for two fantastic little ladies, and I’m having such a hard time editing the photos down into a nice small gallery to show you. So I guess I’ll just show you TONS. A dol jahbi is a Korean first birthday celebration, and this was only the second one I’ve ever photographed! They did it at Shelburne Farm in Stow, so the cake was a gorgeous pile of cider donuts, and the guests got to pick apples in addition to all the party fun.

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I’m going to let the photos of the amazing decor and great times speak for themselves from here on out. So much fun to be had!

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All the cousins! It was wonderful to share in your celebration, thank you so much for having me.

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