“A Day in the Life” lifestyle photos- San Antonio, TX

This past summer, I took some time off of working, blogging, social media- and all that other business stuff- to go home to Michigan.  (I haven’t lived there in nearly 14 years, but I still call it “home”!)   Our family had a pretty rough past year.  My sweet cousin Lorie, only 3 years younger than me, lost her hard-fought battle with a rare form of cancer.  My Grandma actually passed away that very same night, preceeded by my Nana only 3 weeks prior.  Even my Dad had a hospital scare during that time.  It’s always a little hard to be so far from my family, but at times like that, it’s especially difficult.

So, after school was out, I was determined to let my business have a little hiatus, and go spend some quality time with our loved ones! Unfortunately, Chris couldn’t take work off, so we missed him the whole time, but we had so much family to make up for it!  We got some Grandma and Grandmpa time.  Some Cousin time!  Some time to talk, play, camp, fish- or just spend time together doing absolutely nothing.  We laughed a lot. Cried a lot. Ate a lot.  Cousins fought one minute, and were best friends again the next. And all of the normally mundane things we do from day to day were especially sweet because we were with family.

Documenting the everyday…

I finally got around to going through some of the hundreds of photos I took of our Michigan summer.  They weren’t traditional portraits- but instead just showed us all and what we do everyday- and how we are together.  And I just adore them.  I love making pictures with a more candid, documentary vibe.  A “Day in the life” of our family. My nephews and nieces- on both my husband’s side and my side- seem to grow almost as fast as our own kiddos.  I’m so thankful I’ll have these photos to remember these kids long after they’ve grown to cool to want to hang out with me anymore.  (Well, perhaps that’s happening already!)

My plan is to one day offer “Day in the Life” or Candid Family Photography sessions for my clients.  But it’s still a work in progress! Anyway, I thought I would share a bit of our “Day in the Life” from this summer in Michigan!

boy with uncle playing checkers
cousins acting silly in the water
girl fishing off a dock and bating a hook
blonde girl doing gymnastics
boy and girl petting a foal
kids hammering things
teen boy plowing fields
proud dad talking to son, three generations
teen boy driving tractor
B&W photos of kids smiling
little boy laughing
kids playing Othello
young boy driving red tractor
boy in old garage
kids splashing in the lake
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San Antonio Photography Studio, San Antonio newborn photographer

A while back, I got to spend the morning with a couple of awesome ladies – a friend I met while playing at the park with my kiddos after first moving to AZ, who graciously agreed to let me photograph her second baby when I was portfolio building!  (…and whose family I photographed on various other occasions!)  She brought along her sweet mother-in-law- whom I also adore- and most importantly…. her THIRD gorgeous baby girl!  What. FUN.  I love these two!  It was so fun to chat with them and to snuggle gorgeous baby Alice and make beautiful pictures!  She was a big girl, and after squeezing her into some dainty little newborn pretties, we were able to make a ton of other beautiful shots with new fabrics, props, and accessories.

An added bonus for me was that I finally got to see myself working!  These great ladies snapped a ton of photos of me working- everything from posing baby, shooting, fixing outfits, props, overheating in front of the space heater (phew!) and snuggling that beautiful girl.  So, a huge thanks to Marissa and Kathy for capturing these for me and letting me share them!

Enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at a Newborn Portrait Session at Sarah Lake Photography!

Behind the scenes at a newborn photo shoot…

This set-up used one of my favorite props- my Great-Grandma’s butter bowl.  It’s the perfect size to hold a baby snug and securely while they sleep.  It also has a beautiful decades-old patina that complements the fresh, soft colors so beautifully.  (Notice the space heater… the reason I dress in leggings and loose, cool clothes!)  😛

sierra vista newborn photography studio
newborn baby in bowl

Babies sometimes sleep nearly the entire session through, and other babies are more “touchy” and wake or wriggle more often.  During most sessions, a lot of shushing, patting, and soothing is needed to settle baby into a beautiful, comfy little snooze…


For this next set of images, we put a lovely lavender outfit on a very sleepy baby and posed her on the beanbag.  Alice sure was a smiley girl!  Bonnet is from one of my newborn prop vendors (I can’t remember which!), headband by Dear Felicity, and the little bibs were handmade by me.  🙂

Part of the fun of custom newborn portraiture is coordinating fabrics, textures, colors, and accessories to create  beautifully composed image that keeps baby as the focus.

baby girl in lavender
baby girl in purple bonnet
smiling sleepy baby
chunky baby
sleeping baby girl with headband

And here is another series of beanbag images…   Bonnet made by me.  🙂

baby girl in pink
baby girl sleeping on pink fur
baby girl in bonnet

   Another down shot with a sweet little newborn “bed” and lovely deep purples…  She fell asleep again and gave us another set of beautiful shots!

baby in wooden bowl
B&W baby
baby in purple

Our last set-up… we got to play with so many cool props and colors!  (PLEASE NOTE:  Basket was weighted in the bottom to prevent tipping, and mom was sitting off to the side to spot baby as she slept.)

baby in yellow bonnet
baby asleep in basket

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Lackland AFB Newborn Photographer, Military newborn photo shoot

Although I have ALWAYS loved photographing faces and am passionate about capturing children and families, I make no secret about the fact that my MOST favorite subjects are newborns!  Believe it or not, photographing newborns is really hard work.  And I’ve dedicated the last 3 years to refining my skills and perfecting my craft in newborn photography and continue to do so every day.  The fact that parents- many brand new- trust me to capture their brand new baby in a way that gives them beautiful memories and also ensures the safety and well-being of the most precious person in their lives is such a humbling honor for me.  I am so blessed to do what I love!!

A military family’s newborn photo shoot…

This brand-new military family of 3 came to my studio with their ADORABLE little guy (who happens to share my nephew’s name- Vincent!)  He was perfection.  He slept like a champ for me (and no, not all babies sleep that way!) and was so much fun to photograph.  Adorable little grunts, precious big smiles!  Mom and Dad were awesome, too- game for just about anything!  Even Vincent’s doting Grandma came to have a portrait with Momma (her “baby girl”) as well.  This session turned out to be something really special.  I’ve seen Vincent a couple of times since his session, and he is getting huge!  It’s amazing to see how much a tiny person changes in just a handful of weeks.  It makes having heirlooms like these even more special and priceless.

baby boy wrapped in blue, baby in cap, 3 generations
new parents with baby
Army soldier holding smiling newborn baby
holding baby skin to skin
smiling sleepy baby

Enjoy this little soldier’s photo shoot debut!

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Sarah Lake Photography: San Antonio, TX Custom Family Portrait Photographer

I don’t think I’ve realized how much time has passed since I last shared a session…  I’ve had an incredibly busy last few months, and what a blessing it’s been!  But it’s also left me a few steps behind on the SLP blog!  So, I first want to share one of the funnest (and yes, I say it’s a word!) 😉 sessions I’ve had the pleasure to photograph!

Timeless (and FUN) family portraits…

This family.  –sigh–   They were an absolute joy to photograph!  They love being outdoors together, their adorable girls LOVE playing in water, Mom was incredibly sweet, Dad was hilariously funny… even their dog was amazing!  This is the kind of session that doesn’t feel like work at all.  Everything just fell into place, and their connection shone through so beautifully in all of these images.  I even shot a bit differently- using my 85mm portrait lens (that I typically use with my seniors)- and I absolutely loved it.

If you happen to know this sweet family, you’ll know how special they are!  I’m so honored I could capture them with their sweet girls at such a tender and amazing age!

family in nature
family playing outside with dog
daddy holding daughter
little girls with mom and pet
little girls and mom
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San Antonio Baby Photographer, San Antonio photography studio

The tradition of smashing cake!

I’ve sometimes wondered where and when “Cakesmash” sessions for children originated.  And then, of course, I realize… Every parent since the dawn of time– ok, since the invention of cameras, I suppose–  has taken pictures of their baby digging into their very first celebratory birthday cake!  The expression on their face when they first taste the life-changing combination that is butter and sugar…. It. Is. Priceless!  Babies certainly don’t understand why we make cake or what it’s for.  But that’s part of what makes it special– they inherently know that it’s something AMAZING.  🙂  Being able to capture this moment in a professional photography session is the perfect way to commemorate such a momentous day!

nautical theme baby's birthday

First birthday cake smash session

I LOVE these first birthday “cakesmash” sessions!  They are just. plain. FUN.  Sweet little Lochlan visited the studio with his mom, dad, and big brother Liam to celebrate turning a year old!  His Momma knew he would be all about that cake.  And she wasn’t kidding!  From diving face-first into his treat, (beautifully homemade by his talented mom!) to squishing it repeatedly in his chubby little hands- this boy knew something awesome was happening and he loved it!

messy baby eating cake
baby smashing into birthday cake

This adorable little guy was an absolute delight, and his handsome and very serious big brother was the most wonderful yin to his yang!  Seeing how different these two were was fascinating!  I LOVED seeing Lochlan covered in messy frosting, while his big brother Liam carefully and meticulously used one finger to partake in the sweet stuff.

brothers that are complete opposites

We ended Lochlan’s sticky celebration with a bubble bath!  And this boy LOVED to splash!  I first shot this set-up after an idea suggested by another sweet one-year-old’s Momma… and it was perfection!  Sweet baby.  Bubbles.  What could be cuter?!  It’s seriously one of my favorite set-ups.

1 year old baby in a bubble bath bucket

Thank you to these awesome boys and their wonderful parents- what a fun time we had!!!

What’s included with your SLP cakesmash session? Check it out here!

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