Mother-Baby: seeing the connection through a camera lens

Mother and Baby delighting in each other
Delight in me …

Elijah’s first birthday is coming up soon and his mom, Shayla, wanted some photos to celebrate and mark the occasion. We went down to Reeder’s Alley and played around on the brick alley and in the grass to get these cute photos. Elijah obliged me by being super cute — and totally not shy of the camera. May he always be this way, even when he’s in his teen years! Here are a handful from our photo shoot last week.

Shayla gained a great foundation in attachment parenting through the Florence Crittenton’s Parenting Classes. I have used concepts from the Circle of Security to caption these photos. If you want to know more about attachment parenting and the Circle of Security, check out the handouts at Circle of Security International or sign up for a parenting class through the community outreach center at Florence Crittenton. 

toddler with finger in mouth
Enjoy with me …
Mother and Baby
Protect me
toddler crawling
Help me explore …
Toddler with cupcake
Support my exploration
baby with stuffed duck
Watch over me …
Welcome my coming to you ...
Welcome my coming to you …
Protect me ..
Protect me ..
Help me organize my feelings ...
Help me organize my feelings …

If you live in the Helena area and would like to have a child or family photo shoot, or photos of yourself, please get in touch with me through email. You can find my email on my contact page. I would love to play, explore, delight and enjoy an hour or two with you, your children and my camera.


From September 2nd through October 20th, I am offering discounts to former residents of Florence Crittenton, single moms with kids living at home, and teen parents. Here is a link to my sitting and photo processing fees.

An Open Letter to the Teens in My Life

girl leaning on window

girl leaning on windowDear beautiful young woman:
It is true.
You are beautiful.
You are strong. You are solid
with a will like an arrow
and eyes like the sun.
Your heart will attract love.
You will be cherished
and protected like you
have always wished you had been.

Do you believe what I am saying?

 girl's hands with sea urchin
You have a gift.
Plant that knowledge in your heart.
Water it with understanding and strength and
with the same tenderness you have
when you care for your child.
Someday you will blossom
because you cared and because someone else
loved that little girl in you – the best you.
I want you to get that – really get it deep and strong.

Do you believe you have a gift?

Girl looking out the window
Maybe you have been passed
from one place to another, unwanted.
Or … made bad choices and had to learn the hard way.
You were hard when I met you. Angry. Hurt.
Have you ever felt wanted? Have you
ever felt what’s like to be safe
in the presence of another human being?
Have you ever known what it’s like
to be someone’s priority?

Do you believe that right now you are someone’s priority?

girl brushing hair back
I am saying only what’s true: you are important.
You are worth it. You deserve it. And it’s true that
today – this very moment – you have a chance
to grab on to your beautiful future. Never let it go.
Do something amazing!
There are folks right here who, even when
you are in trouble, never give up on you.
They give you some love and they give you room
to be the beauty they know you are.

Do you believe you deserve that kind of regard?

Girl with serious look
Yes, beautiful young woman.  You are beautiful.
You are smart and strong and capable.
Figure out how to be comfortable being you.
Open your eyes
believe in yourself.
You know what’s right and what’s wrong.
You can see what you want.
Let your best self be in charge.

Do you believe you have a best self? Do you know how to find her?

portrait of a teen
So … you fell back today. That’s the old you.
At least you care – when I first met you, you didn’t care.
Now you care that you let someone down:
your child. your family. the people who love you and believe in you.
You care that you let your best self down. Well,
I say this:  “Old you, meet the new you, the best you.” It’s an experience,
and all the experiences you have had in your life –
you can turn those into something amazing.

Do you believe you are amazing? You are! 

girl looking at her baby
You have a spark of goodness in you that the rest of the world needs to see.
You are raising your child the best way you know.
You are determined to be a better parent than the ones you were given.
You will do things in new ways. You will do good things
for yourself and your child.
Your bravery inspires me. You have inspired me to take a leap I was afraid to take.
You have inspired me to create something new in my life.
Thank you for just being so totally and perfectly yourself.
You helped me see my own best self.


Photos Copyright by Maureen Shaughnessy, Raymond LaRose, Mark Sebastian and Sam Agnew.