Picayune, MS | Newborn-Sawyer | Mommy Shamming...are you doing it?

Mommy shaming...Are you doing it?

We all want the perfect, super secret manual on how to raise our precious babies.  Guess what,  there's no such thing.  We may ask for advise or sometimes it's given when not asked.  As we become mothers I think something changes in all of us....we become a mother bear.  Which is a good thing as we are our children's advocate in life while they can't be their own. You know, that mommy instinct, trust THAT. But it can be a bad thing as well...we sometimes take advice or comments to heart when they're truly coming from a good place.  Or we force our opinions on others because it's something we strongly feel passionate about. 

Mommas around the country have gotten butt hurt or shamed over someones opinion on Breastmilk vs Formula, baby led weening, when to potty train, traditional school vs homeschool, vaccinate or non-vax, or just about anything you can conjure up. Social media and all these mommy groups can be super helpful but also detrimental.  Keyboard jockeys and internet trolls feed off of conflict. So when you add in this new "momma bear" part to your personality...it's like adding in dynamite!  

So while you're scrolling in these mommy groups or in your Facebook newsfeed...don't let the controversy suck you in!!!!  You are your baby's "momma bear"!  What you do for your baby the majority of the time won't be right for Rita's baby next door.  There are NO hard and fast rules on how to raise an incredible human.  It's up to you!  Ignore the people that want to bait you...keep scrolling....and do YOU!  

And remember...don't judge another mama and think it can NEVER happen to you...cause it can!!!!  Organic mom can have babies with issues as well as Pharma mom had babies without.  ***Not promoting drug use here!!!***  You never know someones path and sometimes we don't have control over outcomes. Not everything with Biology is cause and effect.  There's not always someone or something to blame.  Sometimes POOP just happens! Literally POOP happens everyday!

It's up to all of us to do our own research, take advice with a grain of salt, and make sure mama and baby are happy and loved.  Cause when they're older....you won't give two poots what others think. Regardless, they will be your perfect human and all we can do is try our best.  In all honesty...we'll be doing a lot of failing along the way...and thats OKAY.  Says, the OKAYest mom on the planet.  REMEMBER THE GOLDEN RULE: DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU!!!!  


Metairie LA | Baby-Julia | Are You Asking The Right Questions?

Are you asking the right questions or any questions at all of your photographer? Stay tuned and find out below!  

But first let me introduce you to the crazy Juju!!!  Isn't she awesome??!!! I love this little so much, her personality is just amazing!!!! The FACES y'all!!!!  Too much cuteness in that little body! I'm so glad her momma and dada are capturing these precious personality moments!  I mean come on....these are the moments that we forget!!!


So we just talked about "What Should You Expect In A Photographer" but what are some of the questions you should be asking and why? Most of you who've "shopped" around for sessions have contacted a few different photographers. Maybe your on a budget, maybe to get a feel for who they are as a person, or to see what their policies are about. Have you ever taken the info they've provide you and thought "I don't understand", "they're out of my budget", "how do we go about scheduling?", or "how do I know if this photographer is the right fit?"

First Contact:

You have now goggled, asked friends for recommendations, looked on Facebook, or Instagram to decide on a style of photography you like. And now it's time to start contacting your top few photographers. Are you afraid you will get spammed or caught up in a sales-ie pitch?  You shouldn't be...sending an email or making a phone call isn't committing to anything but open communication between you and your potential photographer. Personally I like phone calls...I'm much funnier over the phone! So you need to ask yourself a few questions first before contacting said photographer:

  • What kind of session do I want? (newborn, wedding, engagement, baby, family, maternity, etc)
  • Does this photographer do this type of session? ( you can always ask if it's not clear on their website...but it should be apparent)
  • Is this the style of photography I want?
  • What dates do I have in mind? (You may need evenings, weekends, etc...not all photographers work weekend or evenings and if they do they are limited and usually book way in advance)
  • Do I need a specific turnaround? (christmas cards, gift, etc.)
  • What is my budget?

Once you have asked yourself those questions now it's time to contact your prospective photographer? What questions do you ask at them:

  • I'm looking for "xxx" session, is this something you specialize in (if not apparent from their website)
  • Are you available "XXX" date or "XXX" mornings?
  • I would like to shoot at "xxx" location, is that possible for you?  or I'm looking for a "XXX" look, do you have a location you use to achieve this? or I like "xxx" photo on you Facebook page is it possible to shoot at that location?
  • I need to have my images back by "xxx" date for a gift for my mom, can you accommodate that or what would be a good date to have the session to get the images back in time?

Information Stage:

Going back to the previous post, we now know when you contact a photographer that they should send you a pricing guide (tells you their pricing) and welcome guide (tells you what to expect). So what do you do with that guide? Do you skim it for pricing only and stop when you "think" it's too expensive. I bet that happens more often than not. But this is where you should be asking some great questions!!!  I'm not saying to haggle pricing!!!!  Photographer prices are their for a reason...to pay their overhead, income tax, and hopefully get to pay themselves a little bit too (30% of your session may go to them). So here's what you need to look for and questions to ask after you received the welcome/price guide:

  • You've looked over the guide and hopefully see the process (sign contract, pay retainer, session now booked, how to prepare for session, what to expect at the session, when will I get a sneak peek if at all, when will I have my viewing appointment or gallery delivered, when will my order be read)y. If you don't understand some of the steps or not enough info is provided...ASK...what does it mean "consultation" do we have to meet or can we do it by phone?
  • Hey "xxx" I love your work however you might be out of my budget at this time.  Can you explain to me your pricing better? Is it possible that you offer payment plans? Do you offer baby registries? Or is there a way to purchase gift certificates for me for my birthday?
  • Here is where you also want to ask about specific requests you may have.  Hi "xxx" I would love to have my other children in a photo with my newborn baby, is that possible and is there any additional fee?
  • What precautions do you take for safety (newborns/babies if not evident in the guide)?

You have now hopefully asked all the questions you need to aid you in your decision on which photographer to go with.  Remember Photographers are creatives by nature and generally nurturing people and we want to help you, we want to create beautiful photos of you or your family, we want to help your vision come to life, we want to capture your history, we want you to ask questions. If you don't ask...you may have assumed they're too busy or too expensive.  If you don't feel like reading the guide...call and ask us!!!  Remember you are choosing to spend your hard earned money on your family's history...choose wisely!!!!  And don't pass up a photographer based on budget!!!!  I get that some may be extremely over your budget....ask what they offer that will fit within your budget, ask if they have payment plans, etc...worst thing they/we can say is no.  PSA: legitimate photography businesses can't do sessions for $50...it's not possible!!!! SO GO ASK SOME QUESTIONS Y'ALL!!!!

Slidell LA | Baby-Georgia | What should you expect in a photographer?

Oh sweet Georgia!!!!  My oh my, your personality has grown in such sweet ways!

What should you expect from your photographer?

When choosing a photographer there are some things you want to think about and NOT skimp on.  Here is a list of what you need to know and should be looking out for:

  • Are they registered with theIRS and the state? You can do a business search HERE.  Why is this so important? You want to make sure you are doing business with a legitimate business and paying appropriate taxes, both income and sales tax.
  • Does your photographer have their occupational license? You have every right to ask. Why is this so important? In order for business to be established in a city or parish they have to be approved in order to do so.
  • Is you photographer insured? Again you have the right to ask! Why is this so important? Just like any other business...things can happen! God forbid if someone were to get hurt or equipment gets damaged...those types of things are covered by an insurance policy.
  • Do they require contracts?  Why is this so important?  Contracts cover you and the photographer.  They protect the photographer from such things as copyright infringement and it also sets their rules for cancellations (loss of income) and out lines expectations for both parties. It also protects the client in having a legal document to hold the photographer accountable for the agreed upon services. And you should THOROUGHLY read the contract and know what is kosher for you and your photographer. If you don't understand something ASK!  Questions will cause less confusion on the front end vs learning a hard lesson on the back end!
  • A great pricing guide or welcome guide outlining what you should expect along the way. Why is this so important?  You are hiring someones services and lets assume you've seen their work and that's why you are hiring said photographer. You want to know...what should I expect in terms of session time, turnaround time of images and delivery expectations as well as detailed pricing so you're not blind sighted on the back end.
  • A consultation! Why is this so important?  Lets say you want a family session and in the past you've booked a certain location and want to avoid that location this go around. And you have a child that is "spirited" and a husband that's less than thrilled to take pictures.  These are all things that a photographer should know.  So it's good to either speak to your photographer via phone or maybe they send you an online questionnaire. I personally like questionnaires prior to a phone call since I may ask some questions my clients didn't think about.  This is also the time to share what you want from the session...lifestyle, posed, color choices etc. And it's also a good time to get to know your photographer!
  • What Products do they carry? Why is this so important? Well you certainly don't want to book a photographer that only offers prints when you want some prints and digitals too. And maybe you were wanting an album or canvas but they only offer digitals.  
  • What is their turnaround time? For portrait sessions a clients gallery should be ready in 2-3 weeks.  Let me stress PORTRAIT session...weddings take much longer at least 6 weeks! Why is this so important?  Well first the time frame should be addressed in the contract. Secondly, you certainly don't want to be waiting on newborn picture while your baby is ready to schedule their next milestone pictures. Or say you are wanting to send out christmas cards and it's now mid December and you're still waiting!!!  
  • STYLE!!! Photography is an INVESTMENT and should be treated like one. You should choose your photographer based on style over budget.  You can't expect one photographer to emulate another photographers style.  That's the equivalent to plagiarism in the writing world. If the type of style you are interested in is out of your budget consider saving or asking if that photographer has a payment plan. Portraits are heirloom memories of your family so by all means book your dream photographer! 

These are all things that I would want in a photographer!  Clients do have rights to protect themselves as well as the photographer.  Contracts are agreements between 2 parties. They're not something to be scared of but more so rejoiced that you both are protected in the event something crazy were to happen. Licensed and insured are huge too!!!  You are the one that is trusting someone to handle your memories and more importantly your newborn babies!!!  And make sure you have a clear understanding on who, what, when and where the session will take place and that you express your needs and are on the same page as your photographer in regards to expectations. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS...if you don't ask you're hurting both yourself and your photographer!



Slidell LA | Newborn-Jackson | Labor day

This sweet little boy is so sweet, he's so handsome, has an awesome name (my son is a JAXson), and his parents ROCK!  Everyone knows newborns are my favorite! How could it not...sweet sleepy snuggles?! I mean hello!!!!  

Labor Day

Labor day is coming up next month! Labor Day is a day to recognize the contributions of American workers of all industries to the U.S. economy. To many, Labor Day marks the end of summer. Hooray...the kids are back in school...but I'm crying that summer is coming to an end.  I LOVE SUMMER! Boats, water, beach, green, blue, sun, sunscreen, long lazy days!!!!

Most of us are looking forward to a nice 3 day weekend, bar-b-que's and family and friends. Here's a way to make memories with your kids and maybe start a tradition.  

Kid Crafts:

Party Decor:

Fun Food Ideas:

Fun Activities:



Slidell LA | Children-Dupree Ladies | Summer Activities

LOVE LOVE LOVE this session with these three stunning ladies!  Motherhood, Sisterhood, BEST FRIENDS!!!! Check out below for local summer activities!  

Looking for fun things to do with your children this summer? Here's a great list of cool places to check out:

  1. Audubon Zoo: check out the Cool Zoo as well as the newly remodeled elephant exhibit.
  2. New Orleans Children's Museum: check out their calendar HERE to see what fun activities they have planned.
  3. Audubon Insectarium
  4. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
  5. Audubon Park
  6. The Fly at Audubon Park
  7. Lynn Meadows Children's Museum
  8. Infinity Space Center
  9. Institute for Marine Mammal Studies
  10. Louisiana Children's Discovery Center
  11. City Park:  
    1. Story Land
    2. Wander the Sculpture Garden
    3. City Putt
    4. Picnic
    5. Snack on beignets at Morning Call
    6. Botanical Gardens
    7. Trek around Big Lake (paddle boats and Bikes)
    8. New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA)
    9. Hit the playgrounds
    10. Carousel Gardens Amusement Park 
    11. Scavenger Hunt for ages 2-4 HERE
    12. Scavenger Hunt for ages 5-10 HERE
  12. Elevation Station
  13. Global Wildlife
  14. St Tammany Parish Library:  HERE is the link to the calendar. 
  15. Historic sites and museums around St. Tammany click HERE
  16. Outsider Art in Abita HERE
  17. Parks in St. Tammany: HERE
  18. Honey Island Swamp Tour
  19. St Tammany Natural Attractions (trails, nature and more): HERE
  20. St Tammany Pedals and Paddles: HERE

I'm sure there is more I'm missing.  Please comment if you know of any that I've missed!


Covington LA | Newborn–Jase | Baby Skin Care

Sweet Jase was such a sweet baby boy!!!  I absolutely LOVED that his Daddy is a hunter and fisherman!  Made for a great session that reminded me of my Daddy!

A newborn baby's skin is delicate and needs a careful approach to skin care.  Chemicals, perfumes, and dyes in clothing, detergents and baby products can cause newborn skin irritation, dryness, chafing and rashes.  The good thing about baby's skin sensitivity? Your touch on your newborn's skin has a soothing.

  1. Don’t go too crazy with the baths
  2. Choose gentle products
  3. Forget the baby powder
  4. Lotion is your friend
  5. Go easy on sun exposure
  6. Clean those folds
  7. Wash baby's clothing before it's worn

Newborn dry skin: Eczema

Most newborn skin problems, such as eczema don't develop for the first month or two. Eczema appears as a red, itchy rash mostly on face and scalp, at the elbows, and behind the knees.

A few tips on preventing dry, irritated skin and eczema:

  1. Try bathing once a week to allow skin to retain natural oils.
  2. Limit your use of baby skin products. If necessary, use only a small amount of lotion on dry skin areas.
  3. Make sure baby wears only soft clothing.

What are some of your favorite baby skin care products?

Ponchatoula LA | Newborn Kendall | Choosing The Best Birth Plan

Birth plans are a very personal decision between you and your doctor.   See below to read up on some of the different options you have for both first time moms and veteran moms.  

Let me introduce you to sweet Miss Kendall!  Such a beauty and may have faked us out a little bit but she ultimately slept like a dream!  I don't know about you but this lil lady looks like her Daddy! 

Birth Options

Midwife, OB/GYN: 

What pulls at you heart strings: Having a coach type atmosphere? Having someone with a more natural approach? Anyway you choose it's important to ask questions about their methods and planning for your pregnancy.  You also want to mesh well with their beliefs and personality to yours.  Mostly everyone LOVES their Doctor or Midwife and think they are the best...but what's important to you may not be to them and vice versa! Read up on Midwife vs Doctor HERE


Is a doula right for you? That's something for you to determine. If you are wanting a more natural approach with out an epidural or if you have specific birth plan you are wanting to adhere to I would say a doula may be right for you. If you are wanting a more hands off approach then you may not want a doula.  HERE's a great article on why and how you should choose a doula.

Hospital, Birthing Center or Home Birth

Are you wanting the comfort of your own home?  What about the "safety net" that a hospital provides? What about somewhere in between? These options are something to think about especially in regards to who you choose to assist you in your birth. Check out all of your options HERE

Epidural vs Natural

Here's another option to this about before choosing a midwife or doctor.  Do you want to try natural and have the option for an epidural? Do you absolutely want an epidural? Or are you an all natural girl? Read up on the benefits and risks to both HERE.

Inducing Labor?

Will you be induced? That is a great topic to discuss with your doctor!  I remember that feeling of wanting to evict my babies!!!!  You're beyond uncomfortable and just beyond excited to meet your precious little bundle!!! But is it the right decision for you?  Click HERE to find out the advantages and disadvantage to inducing labor. 

Cesarean sections & VBAC's

Will you have a cesarean?  Who knows! But it is something I think every mother regardless of your "ideal" birth plan needs to be aware of and prepare for.  There are many factors during delivery or health of mom or baby that can lead to a cesarean.  Are there times when they are "rushed" into...yes.  So it's important to at least educate yourself on the idea of one.  Click HERE for more info on some reasons for a C-Section.

Already had a C-Section? Is a VBAC in the cards for you? There are certainly benefits and risks to both a repeat C-Section and having a VBAC.  Read up on your options HERE.

What Else?

Relax!!!  You have a long time to make a decision.  And make the decision for you!  Everyone will have an opinion but ultimately it's what YOU need to feel comfortable with!  You are already getting that "mommy instinct" go with YOUR gut!!!! 


Pearl River LA | Children–Lane & Liam | Homemade Baby Food

Are you looking into making your own baby food from scratch? If so stay tuned to the end to get some tips I used when I made my youngest son's baby food.  

Oh Lane and Liam!!!  These two couldn't be any more different! Liam (top left), so laid back, content and happy! Lane (bottom right), curious, mommas boy, and so sensitive.  This 8 months session has by far been my favorite so far in their journey of their first year! Twins will make ya work for it...but in the end it's more than worth it!!!

Pearl River LA child photographer


Disclaimer: I'm sure some of my momma friends and follower are better schooled in this than me. Organic vs non GMO or both, fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables? So please leave your suggestions/recipes, links in the comments!!! 

So with my first son I did all store bought. I was working full time and then adding this new little person to my life made for a time management failure!  So roll around to baby boy #2...I tried to go the store bought route cause ya know adding another little doesn't exactly give you more time! Well, little dude has a Cleft Lip and Palate (maybe I'll post about that soon) and the thinness of the store bought just wasn't gonna work...we needed a thicker consistency.  So I HAD no choice but to make the time to make our own.  Now did I use all Organic and non GMO or even Fresh...no!  At the time that was less Important to me...I just needed to feed my baby.  Could I have waited till after 12 months to bother with feeding him...nope...it was part of his therapy to learn tongue placement. So homemade baby food it was.

I used can, fresh and frozen fruits and veggies. And fast forward three years...GMO's are kinda important to me now...but I also don't need to make baby food anymore. So if Organic and GMO's are important to you and that's your reason for wanting to make your baby food from scratch and you aren't familiar with what to look for check these out:

1. The Dirty Dozen List 

2. About GMO's 

3.  About Organic  

Tips on what I did to help with time Management and to help hacks that helped me:

1. At first I bought the "special containers" for baby food...only to discover they take up too much room...so lesson 1...get ice cube trays!!!

2. I bought the fancy blender (this broke within 3 months) only to end up with a 2 cheap ones (I'm still using them) so I could blend different "meals" instead of only doing small batches.

3. Set a prep day!!!  I could literally make 3 weeks of food in 2 hours...I had all burners going as well as the microwave and oven..LOL! If you met me....I like to maximize my time and spend less time doing it!!!

4. So once you are in the clear of allergies...is when it gets a bit easier.  Now you can start blending what you cook for yourselves! Or mixing up multiple fruits and veggies! Yum!  Once they are finger ready...a corse blend will give tiny size finger chunks!!!  Yea for working on fine motor skills!!!!  

These are just some tips but those were my biggest helpers to me!  Happy feeding!!!

Slidell LA | Maternity–Amanda | What to Bring to The Hospital?

These two here...or should I say THREE?!  Baby Jackson is gonna have some fun loving parents!!!  And can you just look at them...aren't they so cute together??!!!  I can NOT wait to meet this sweet little boy!

Slidell LA Maternity Photographer


1. Birth Plan (if you have one)

2. Extra Undies and Extra-Absorbent Pads

3. iPod or Other Device for Playing Music

4. Camera (fresh batteries, your phone and phone charger)

5. Nursing Bra

6. Warm Socks

7. Nightgown and something for you to go home in

8. Toiletries—Including Lip Balm

9. Going-Home Outfit for Your Baby (don't pack too much...but don't forget a hat or socks)

10. A Tube Sock and Three Tennis Balls (back massage)

11. Pacifier (some hospitals are not carrying these anymore)

Diapers, wipes, receiving blankets, formula and bottles are generally provided at the hospital.  If you haven't toured your hospital yet go ahead and make an appointment.  You can ask tons of questions on their procedures and what they provide their new moms and babies.  




Mandeville, LA | Newborn Seth | Capturing Moments

Are you wanting to better capture your littles day to day life? Are you looking for some tips?  Stay tuned to the end of the post!  First, check out Seth!!!  He was such a sweet boy and loved to eat and sleep!  Setting up for a newborn boy shoot can be a challenge.  If you are a boy mom you know the struggle of going clothes shopping only to find the boys section is a quarter of what the girls section is.  Well the photography prop world is the same way...sometimes worse.  So how do we overcome this...we get CREATIVE!!!  I'm a boy mom and know the struggle and make it a personal challenge to give other boy moms awesome VARIETY with super CREATIVE setups!  Girls can't have all the fun!!!!

mandeville La newborn photographer

Capturing your littles

We all see pictures that document kids and babies day to day lives like a story.  You can too!  Here are some tips:

1. Capture the beginning.  Are they taking out the bag of bristle blocks? Capture them dumping them out!!!

2. Forget about getting that perfect smile or having them play and dress perfectly.  Instead, let them play as they are and do.  Don't let them know what you are doing and hide around the sofa or piece of furniture and capturing them PLAYING.  These are the memories you want to remember.  You want to remember their personalities as they were.  How when they think they scrunch their nose or stick out their tongue.  

3. Pay attention to how they are playing.  Are the lining up their toys?  Great capture those toys lined up alone without your child.

4. Capture the end result of their creation or milestone accomplishment!

As you can see you have now captured the beginning, middle, details, and the end....A STORY! It's hard enough for us to remember exactly what our kids looked like as they grew up but remembering their quirks, how they learned a new skill, or even their reactions to accomplishments and failures are the hardest to remember!  DOCUMENT those memories while you can!!!  Time is fleeting! 

Slidell, LA | February 17, 2016 | Beckham

Sweet, Sweet, Sweet, Beckham!!!!  This beautiful baby boy was such a cute little snuggler for his session!  Let me just say that I'm so in awe of his Mommy!!!  She managed to stay 100% fit throughout her pregnancy and looked amazing all the way through!  She also had a great delivery!!!  Goals I wish I would have aspired to with both of my pregnancies...cause I certainly was the opposite!!!

So what are your pregnancy goals?  Are you looking to stay fit throughout? Or are you just looking to have a relaxing pregnancy with out worrying about all that mess (that was me BTW)?Disclaimer: I am not a doctor...but I hear that you should not start a workout routine while pregnant if that hasn't been part of your routine...so consult a doctor first.  

Here are some articles if you are looking to start a fitness routine prior to getting pregnant or perhaps to mix up your current routine if you are a practicing fit mama:

10 Top Pregnancy Diet & Exercise Tips: Click Here

5 Yoga Moves That Strengthen Your Body for Birth:  Click Here

What Is The Best Workout For Pregnant Women: Click Here

Exercising and Pregnancy: How to Plan Your Strength Training Workouts: Click Here

Healthy Eating During Your Pregnancy: Click Here

Clearly these aren't the end all be all and ultimately it is all personal preference.  This momma here just inspired me to ALMOST want to be pregnant again just to do it in a FIT way.  But seriously I'll just dream about that instead!

Metairie, LA | February 10, 2016 | Newborn ~ Julia

Pure, blissful, serene, amazing, sweet...just some of the "feels" that are had after every single baby that comes into our studio.  

Miss Julia was no exception!!!  Those cheeks, pursing lips, tiny nose, and stunning hair!!!  Just gorgeous!!! She was an absolute joy to work with and yep she loved to eat.  That must be a trend as of lately. 

Linda Lea Photography will be rolling out a few new and exciting things in February for 2016.  We've created a way to give back to our loyal clients and started a referral program.  You, our client, will receive a gift as well as your referral.  Our packages have changed a little.  We've restructured them so our clients can customize them more to your wants and needs.

March 19, 2016 from 10-4 Linda Lea Photography will be at the Northshore Baby and Child Fest!!!  Come out and show us some love!!!