Kristen Swain Photography



new england families, COUPLEs, and landscapes

NYC Newborn Session


January 18, 2024


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I worked with Emily and her family for the first time last summer on Nantucket. They were referred to me by fellow Nantucket photographer Brian Sager — a college friend of Emily’s husband James — who was unavailable for their family session while they were on the island. (Thank you, Brian!) Weather & lighting concerns forced a last minute change in our shoot location, and we ended up at the picturesque Madequecham Beach, where we were able to capture some incredibly beautiful shots of James, Emily, who was about 6 months pregnant at the time, and their lively approaching-2-year old, Teddy. Photographing their newborn session a few months later in New York City was such an honor – getting to document families as they grow is the most special aspect of my job and one that I absolutely adore. 

You all know me as a Boston/Nantucket based photographer, though, so let me backtrack ever so slightly to expand on how I ended up back in New York for this shoot – my first home on the East Coast! 

Prior to our scheduled Nantucket family session, Emily reached out to me for a recommendation on a Boston newborn photographer to capture her sister Amanda’s newborn session. Amanda had recently given birth and was hoping for a summer session, and Emily assumed I would not be available to shoot it myself because I work on Nantucket for most of the summer. It turned out that Amanda’s preferred timing for her shoot coincided with the very brief 2-week period I would be back in Boston in August, so happily, I was able to take on Amanda’s newborn session. I ended up meeting Amanda and her sweet baby girl in Boston just a few days before I worked with Emily back on Nantucket.

Emily earned a $100 referral credit from sending her sister my way (through the KSP referral program, one of my favorite ways to thank happy clients for spreading the word about me and my work!). So after I delivered her Nantucket photos (which we both loved!), Emily and I started chatting about the best way to utilize her credit, got the wheels spinning, and decided I’d travel to their home in NYC to capture her newborn session in December. I don’t travel that far for sessions often, but Emily and I had a really great connection, and we decided we would make it happen!

Father in a blue shirt and light pants, with newborn baby in lap and toddler hanging on shoulders.

On December 7th (my sister’s birthday, to continue the sister theme here), I boarded an early morning flight from Logan to LaGuardia with anticipation, making my way down to Battery Park with palpable excitement as this location held a special place in my heart. Having lived in and around Battery Park City for a significant portion of the 14 years I spent in New York (2 years in Greenwich Village, 6 years in Tribeca, 3 years in the West Village, 1 year in Battery Park City, and 2 years on Wall Street, in case you’re curious!), it was a nostalgic return to familiar streets and memories….the light snowflakes that started to fall as I entered Manhattan making it all the more special!

Mom in neutral sweater in dress, resting on window seat with legs stretched out, and newborn baby in lap

For this session, we decided to use older brother Teddy’s room as well as a lounge area in Emily’s apartment building. The lounge looks out onto a courtyard with a large rock structure, which made for a nice background (you’d never guess we were in the City looking at the shots we took down there). We also used the U-shaped window seat in the lounge to our advantage, getting some nice soft light as well as room for Emily to stretch her legs out in a few of the images. Teddy was a real trooper during this session, and did a great job of tolerating all the attention being given to his new little brother. Toward the end of our session, Emily and I snuck in a few more moments with just her and the baby while Dad made lunch for Teddy. Once Teddy had filled his belly we brought him back in for the last few minutes of our session, and got some really fun shots of the whole family with Teddy running around in his diaper (lunch clothes had to come off first to avoid a tomato sauce disaster!). I’m thrilled with how this entire gallery came out, but I have to say, those diaper shots are so fun and a great depiction of real life. I’m glad we spent those last few minutes capturing that sweet, beautiful chaos — it was the perfect way to wrap up our morning together. 

I’ll spare you the very unglamorous details of my return back to Boston that afternoon. Suffice it to say I am forever indebted to the incredibly kind JetBlue gate agent who took pity on the sweaty lady loaded up with carryon luggage weighing more than her, and reopened the gate so I could actually board my flight, and make it home to my own family.

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