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Pro Hints For Creating Artful Personalized Baby Photos

August 21, 2012 11:12

by our guest blogger: Heather Roth

Personalized Knit Baby Blanket

As a professional photographer I am fortunate enough to take photographs of really incredible people. They are families, couples, and individuals of all ages who all have amazing talents, unique interests and fascinating, one-of-a-kind stories. Understanding the individual is what inspires each shoot and ultimately makes the difference in turning a family photograph into a priceless piece of family history – a work of art.

To do this, I take great care in arranging every detail – like finding locations that offer interesting aesthetics and complement individual personalities, offering styling and wardrobe planning, and bringing personalized props to make sure that each shoot is perfect. Most importantly, I put the highest priority on working to make sure everyone feels comfortable enough in front of the camera to have fun, and just be themselves!

Here are my top 5 hints for creating unforgettable portrait photographs of babies and children:

1. What's the best time of day to capture good baby photos?
It’s best to leave this entirely up to Mom – or as is more likely the baby! The baby's best time is usually in the morning after their breakfast. I love working in natural beautiful light, so as long as I've got the best atmosphere, I can work anytime.

2. Where is the best place to photograph new babies?
I love going to a family's home. New moms are the most nervous, so I think capturing the baby in their own environment makes it easier on everyone. It also keeps things different for me, and if gives me entirely new inspiration each shoot. Each family's style is different and unique to them. I also love capturing the baby's room!

3. What are the best ages to photograph little ones?
I really like all ages – it is really important to document all the early years. Typically, families continue to work with me through the first few years starting with newborn, 3, 6, 9 months and so on. After the first year, it's typically each year after that.

4. What are the cutest props for a newborn shoot?
I love items that are really special to the parents. I do like to make suggestions and I love items with their name on it! I love sweet little hats and shirts that have a personalized touch. Framing the photograph or canvas looks great on display in their room. The trend towards personalization in photos is still going strong and has personalized baby gifts that are so cute! Little Walt's photos from our shoot have definitely made it to my favorite list, the personalized footie, knit hat and blanket are adorable.

5. What should parents consider when trying to find a professional photographer?
A family should choose a photographer based on their creative portfolio and on personality. Things to keep in mind while evaluating include: Does the photographer's style match what they are looking for? Review their portfolio, then sit back and allow the photographer to work creatively and to be the creative director. I personally love getting to know a family and appreciate the opportunity to work with a family throughout the baby’s first year and beyond! I love a family who is creative, has great ideas, and just allows me to be me.

Working with Cindy Teasdale McGowan, founder of Makaboo Personalized Baby and Children’s Gifts, on a photo shoot with her Chief Baby Officer Walt, was such fun! These photos are made even more special with the personal touches that Makaboo personalized clothing and blankets provide. Enjoy!

MJK Knit Hat & Baby Blanket

Kissy Kissy Footie & SwaddleDesigns Organic Mod Circles Blanket

Makaboo's Chief Baby Officer

Heather Roth of Heather Roth Fine Art Photography works by this simple philosophy – to capture moments and memories as works of art that are as unique and special as my clients. With a fine arts degree in photography+fashion and her work in NYC as a visual merchandiser for retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Heather is able to portray beautiful, everyday moments in an interesting and unforgettable way. Visit her website at:

STL Mag's Top Picks for Personalized Back-to-School Gear

August 17, 2012 13:12

We are so excited to be included as the top pick for personalized baby gifts and personalized back-to-school gear in St. Louis Magazine's round up of fall must-haves!

Our 3 Sprouts Personalized Storage Caddies were highlighted, as were our personalized Stephen Joseph Backpacks and our darling MJK Knits Letter Sweaters!


Thanks for the love, SLM!

Tips for Becoming a Kindergarten Mom

August 9, 2012 09:49

by our guest blogger: Susan Etter

It happened. My little baby girl has grown into a Kindergartner!! Since that makes me an official Kindergarten Mom I’ve been busy preparing for that all important day, the first day of big kid school. In these final days before school starts I’ve been filling out endless paperwork, scheduling a last minute physical, and gathering fab but functional school supplies. All the while that little voice inside my head keeps reminding me…this is a REALLY BIG DEAL!!

Since it’s time to step up my mommying game, I’ve gathered lots of wisdom from those who have gone before me. Here are some of my favorite ideas, straight from Twitter:

  • “Give a big confident smile when your child steps away to his/her 1st day of “real” school (i.e. Don’t cry!)” @mymomtweets
  • “Do a school day morning before the actual first day of school! Practice getting dressed, backpacks, etc.” @myselfbelts
  • “Yes, bring a box of Kleenex! It’s a bittersweet moment.” @HappilyDomestic
  • “If kindergartner rides the bus, I always put them on for 1st day by followed bus & met it at school to walk child to their room.” And “Make a plan to meet with other moms with kids in the class after dropoff. Share your feelings. Very emotional day.” @RobynsWorld
  • “Take pictures, of course! Read The Kissing Hand if your child is nervous.” Kristen from @mastermombrain (btw, our founder Cindy will love that features raccoons!)

I’m not quite sure how moms made it before the Web, but I’ve been having a lot of fun finding ways to preserve this moment:

  • I love using Animoto to create lasting video memories in a flash. Check out their tips for “Creating a First Day of School Video”.
  • Pinterest is my new best friend for finding creative back to school ideas. Check out these smarty pants kids Pins.
  • It goes without saying that Makaboo Personalized Gifts has been my best source for fab back to school preparations. From practically impossible to find personalized nap mats to uniform friendly monogrammed polo shirts, adorable organizers and more, Makaboo makes back to school prep easy!

Makaboo personalized Large Stephen Joseph Backpack and lunchbox
My little one designed her very own Makaboo backpack and
lunch box online! She loved being included in the school prep.

Makaboo personalized Bella Bliss boys tie
For little ones wearing a school uniform this fall, help them stand
out from the crowd with a personalized kids belt or
a personalized children's tie!

Stephen Joseph Nap Mats personalized at Makaboo
Finally! Cute personalized nap mats with a handle perfect for little
ones to carry! The removable plush pillow makes
Makaboo nap mats extra cozy.

Now let’s hear from you! Share your first day of kindergarten adventures with comments here, Pins, Tweets and Facebook posts with us!!


Susan Etter is Director of Marketing at Makaboo Personalized Gifts and proud mom to an official Kindergartner.

Bringing Home Baby In Style with Pickles & Ice Cream Baby Planning

August 6, 2012 13:06

By our guest blogger: Erin Meckfessel

If you live or ever have lived in St. Louis, you know that many of your friends may swear by the philosophy, “if it doesn’t move, monogram it!” As an IBPA certified baby planner and owner of Pickles & Ice Cream Baby Planning, I believe that one of the best ways to make this motto come to life is to personalize your baby’s coming-home outfit! When packing their hospital bags, moms can’t help but imagine that special day when they finally get to take their little one home for the very first time. It’s that very first outfit that you choose for your baby that will be something you come to always cherish! It’s the outfit that you will pull out of the bottom drawer or attic one day and look at in disbelief that your little baby once fit into such a tiny newborn outfit. So make sure this coming-home outfit is special – you don’t want to be stuck looking at something and thinking “I put my child in that!?!” Make it cute with some personalization, and when baby gets too big you can frame it for some precious nursery décor.

Personalized Baby Gifts, baby hat and converter gown

After months of waiting (seven-and-a-half, to be exact), my sister-in-law announced my baby nephew’s name via text message with a picture of him wearing a monogrammed beanie that read “Felix Calhoun.” While this is one way to do it, I have also seen a client announce her new arrival on Facebook with a sweet picture of her little girl in an adorable onesie reading, “It’s a Girl!” If you aren’t sold on a name before your baby arrives you can always personalize with a last name on the outfit, too. Then the item can double as a family keepsake that gets passed down to siblings as well – how cute! Personalization is also a must for twins! Not only are look-alikes sporting their names on their clothes helpful to parents (it’s ok to admit it mom and dad – differentiating can be tough!), but it’s also great for your friends with whom you share photos of your newborns via text, email, and Facebook. Call it cute distinguishability!

Makaboo Personalized Gifts is the ideal online boutique to get your baby’s monogramed coming-home outfit. Makaboo has compiled the best selection of onesies, converter gowns, hats and blankets that are oh-so-perfect for personalization! The best part about Makaboo is that you get to make the process extra personal by choosing your own icons, fonts, and thread colors on their website and see what it will look like before you purchase. Overall, it’s simply a fun way to show off your bundle of joy’s new name that you’re so proud of! When bringing home baby, why not put them in a personalized newborn outfit that is not only cute, but will become a keepsake that will be warmly regarded for many years.

Personalized Baby Gifts, peter-pan collard onesie

Erin Meckfessel is an IBPA Certified baby planner and the owner of Pickles & Ice Cream Baby Planning – a company offering baby planning services in the St. Louis Metro and surrounding area. Pickles & Ice Cream’s services are designed to help take away some of the stress and confusion of preparing for the arrival of a baby. That way, expecting parents can relax and focus on enjoying one of the most remarkable and life-changing experiences of their lives. Erin is also an FSI Certified Child Sleep Consultant. Visit her website at, on or follow her on Twitter @PicklesSTL.

The Art of Custom Birth Announcements with Cheree Berry Paper

August 1, 2012 07:12

By our guest blogger: Cheree Berry

Your baby has just arrived and you want the world to know! Spread the news with charming and chic birth announcements that you can send – gasp – via snail mail. Yes, Mr. & Mrs. Facebook, paper announcements still exist.

Wondering how to choose a birth announcement design that's just as perfect as baby? You've come to the right place. First, determine your budget. Naturally, custom designs are going to be more expensive than collection designs. Most stationers have a menu of designs that you can buy "as is" but change the colors and fonts. This is a great option that doesn't break the piggy bank yet still allows for a special design.

However, if you decide you want a highly personalized custom birth announcement, send us photos of your nursery and let us be inspired!! From the theme of your nursery to the baby's bedding or wallpaper, we can design an announcement that coordinates with baby! See a few of our favorite birth announcement project photos included in this post.

Design inspiration can also come from the baby's name. For example, Baby Sol = a sun graphic; Baby Elle = elephant!

Lastly, you can do something truly conceptual if it fits with your personal circumstances. We had a client who traveled all over the world for work when she was pregnant. A "passport" baby announcement was fun and appropriate. We called out all the places baby had already been before birth!

Pre-planning your custom birth announcements prior to baby’s arrival is ideal and will allow you to immediately share the joyful news. Let's face it, when baby arrives you're sleep deprived - Let us do the work!

Custom birth announcement design by Cheree Berry
It doesn't get much prettier than this nursery. We were inspired by the periwinkle and bright orange color palette and the butterfly print on the wall. The oversized script name on the birth announcement mimicked the graphic nature of the wallpaper. As for the grapefruit print liner? The mom ate grapefruits every day during her pregnancy!

Creative envelope design for birth announcement
The "envelope within an envelope" birth announcement is like opening a mini package. The first envelope print was inspired by the curtains in the baby nursery. The remaining envelopes were made of solid bright colors that revealed the story of baby.

NYC Theme birth announcement
We were inspired by this baby's awesome nursery mural! Teddy, a NYC newborn, had a birth announcement that visually represented her hometown. The stork was carrying the stamp on the outer envelope and a little circular photo of Teddy was tied to the "y" in gold thread.

Cheree Berry is the CEO and Creative Director of Cheree Berry Paper, a graphic design company that specializes in creating beautiful, unforgettable stationery. Their bold yet whimsical and sophisticated custom designs are a must for your wedding invitations, baby announcements, or simply your personal stationery. Although the company’s focus is custom designs, CBP’s boxed collection is available at Look out for a new website to launch this fall:

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