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Cake smash with Barley the Bunny! Mill Creek family photographer

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I did something fun today, and I am so glad I did! My daughter Riley has an adventurous spirit like her mom, and she asked if we could do a cake smash for our bunny’s first birthday. I LOVED the idea, and we had so much fun planning the cake, decorations, etc.

First, we made the cake. I use the term cake a bit loosely here. It was actually a bunch of celery sticks tied together with ribbon. We also sliced an apple (Barley’s favorite!) to put on the bottom of the celery cake.

I should probably note that Barley is a male rabbit. But, Riley assured me that he wouldn’t mind the pink flowery decorations, because she’s “pretty sure rabbits are colorblind”. I added that I was pretty sure rabbits had no concept of cake smashes, and he’d just be thrilled to get a treat. Just like cake smashes with tiny humans, “cake” (treats, or in our case, celery and apples) are to be given sparingly…Barley does not live off a diet of celery and apples, but he does get a treat every once and a while.

I brought along a blanket from home, and my daughter donated one of her headbands to her sweet bunny. I didn’t want to use anything from the studio on the bunny, just to avoid potential allergy issue with clients. My hubby is VERY allergic to bunnies (sorry bub, you’re stuck with him) so Barley the bunny lives in our fenced backyard.

Barley (and my kids and I) had so much fun during his cake smash! He was hamming it up for the camera, doing his little happy jumps and munching on his apple slices. He kept knocking down the celery to get to the tasty apple underneath (I’d do the same, buddy. Especially without ranch!) Pet photography is a total blast, but has its own set of challenges…for example, I realized while shooting that it is VERY difficult to get a picture of a bunny looking at the camera. First of all, they don’t respond to my silly noises…and then when they finally are facing the camera..I can’t see their eyes because they are on the SIDE OF HIS HEAD!

Want to book a cake smash for your little one? Human, animal, or otherwise? Reach out to me! We can come up with a fun idea and make it happen!

Hope you get a chuckle out of these, we had so much fun with it!

June Bug photography specialized in maternity photography, newborn photography, baby photography, cake smash photography, and family photography. We have a beautiful studio in the heart of Mill Creek, WA full of the most beautiful props, wraps, gowns, and more!

9 Month Milestone Session, Mill Creek baby photographer June Bug Photography

Mill Creek baby photographer, June Bug Photography.

This little beauty and I had so much fun in studio before the holidays! I just adore photographing little ones, and capturing these huge milestones like sitting up, standing, starting to crawl and scoot, SMILES. Oh, the smiles! For my newborn clients, I recommend having them schedule at least one milestone session before coming back for their one year / cake smash session. There are such changes that happen between the newborn session, where baby is sleepy, snuggly, and so very tiny. At 6 months, many babies are sitting unassisted, curious, and fully of smiles and fun faces. I love getting babies in once they are sitting on their own but BEFORE they are crawling (or right as they are learning). This way, they stay where we put them for photos! Ha! This gives a great contrast in baby’s growth, and then we capture the craziness of one year during their cake smash session. Many babies are crawling at 12 months, and some are even running. Cake smash and birthday sessions are insane, full of energy, and SO MUCH FUN. This little lady is not yet a year old, and is just starting to stand on her own. I just love how much pride you can see in her eyes as she starts to master these huge milestones.

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Mom is a ballerina, and looks absolutely stunning snuggling with her tiny dancer. I just love how sweet, soft, and loving these images are.

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During sessions, we capture both posed images as well as those tender “in between” candid moments. This is one of my very favorite images from their session. Baby was starting to feel tired, and went to her safe place. Snuggled up to mom, with a handful of mamas hair in her hand. It brings me back to many years ago when my daughter would do the same. Moments like these are so easily forgotten, but hold such a tender spot in our hearts. Having such a beautiful image of such a sweet moment lasts a lifetime.

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Baby E, Mill Creek Newborn Photography Session

Baby E, Mill Creek Newborn Photography Session

Meet baby E. He is just perfection! I may have squealed when I saw his handsome head of hair. He is simply adorable, and he was WIDE awake during his session. He was super chill, and had the most gorgeous eyes, and just watched me the entire session. I met mom and dad during their maternity session, so I already knew he would be super cute…mom and dad are both stunners (a few of my favorites from their maternity session here)

For newborn sessions, I like to get an idea of what colors, textures, and poses mom and dad love. I send out a questionnaire in advance, and pull a variety of different set ups, props, blankets, wraps, etc before the family arrives. This allows me to plan out poses ahead of time, and get all the props stuffed and ready for baby. Doing this ahead of time saves me SO MUCH TIME during the session, and allows me to maximize on my “happy baby” time. Often newborns take some time to soothe and settle, and I like to move from setup to setup with the least amount of movement/disruption to baby. Mom and dad requested neutrals and some blues, which of course made my heart flutter. I love me some neutrals. This little man flew through every setup I had planned, and was such a little champ!

My studio is in Mill Creek, WA, and I literally have everything needed for your newborn photography session (well, except baby…of course). I have a huge collection of gorgeous, soft wraps, fluffy blankets, beautiful hand crafted props, dresses and outfits for baby, mama and siblings..and more! My studio is my happy place, and I hope my clients feel comfortable and relaxed while they are in my care! If you are looking to book a newborn session with June Bug Photography, drop me a line here I typically schedule newborn sessions so families come in before baby is 2 weeks old, as this is the idea timeframe for a relaxed, sleepy baby that will be cozy in the typical newborn poses. This is not to say that we won’t get gorgeous images of older babies! I have had babies in at one month that slept like a dream, and loved the squishy newborn poses as well. 

Winter ONE-derland First Birthday Cake Smash

Cake Smash sessions are good for my soul.

Not all babies love their cake. Some don’t want anything to do with it. But ALLLL babies love the bubble bath after cake time! This little guy was loving it all. His birthday theme was “Winter ONEderland”, so we went with blues, whites, and snowflakes. The beautiful wintry cake was made by Cakes and Poppery, who is simply amazing!

I met this birthday boy’s family before he was born, during mama’s maternity session. I got to watch him grow throughout the year between his newborn session, milestone mini sessions, and finally his cake smash! I just love getting to know my families, and watch them grow as a family. Cake Smash and first birthday sessions are just a joyous celebration of making it through baby’s first year (let’s be honest, between teething, sleepless nights, crawling, WALKING…surviving the first year is cause for celebration!)

Cake smash sessions typically start with family portraits, and photos of just the birthday boy / girl. I can customize your session to fit your birthday theme and color preferences, as we have a stockpile of different banners, balloon colors, and even have an industrial sized helium tank in studio.
After family photos, we bring out the cake and let baby smash! Some babies LOVE this part. Some don’t love the feeling of the frosting on their hands. Some love the taste of cake. Some are overwhelmed by their first taste of such sweetness. However your little one reacts to their first cake is PERFECTION, and priceless. The smash portion of the session lasts anywhere between 5 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on how much baby loves their cake!

Once baby has smashed to their hearts content, we do a quick clean up of baby, roll up the cake smeared backdrop…and move to the other half of the studio. I set up a nice warm bubble bath, and baby gets to splash, wiggle and enjoy bath time. This is often baby’s favorite part of the entire session, and I just love the little clawfoot baby sized bathtub (I also have several antique wash basins, if you prefer a different look).

Cake smash photo sessions are filled with giggles, smiles, squeals of delight and are simply so much fun. Interested in booking a first birthday photo session? Shoot me an email here
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Family photo session, Mill Creek family photographer.

I have started a tradition with my neighbor (who also happens to be my BFF), where I borrow her kids one afternoon after school. We take sibling photos, I feed them junk food..and then I return them with a sugar high. These two are so adorable, and are always a blast to hang out with.

This year, I wanted to try something different. I hauled the portable battery to the park with me, and we plugged in some Christmas globe lights in the middle of the woods. I just love the magic that the lights bring! I use a Paul Buff Vagabond battery pack, which is pretty small, light weight, and easy to use. I charged it up before our session, plugged the lights in once we got to our location, and the lights were perfection! These images were taken around 3pm in the Pacific Northwest.

I love comparing how much these kiddos have grown each year, and I hope our tradition continues until they are all grown up!

My studio is in Mill Creek, but I love photographing families both in studio and at some of our local gorgeous parks!
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Family photos with a newborn! Mill Creek family photographer June Bug Photography

I had such a great time meeting this adorable family just before thanksgiving. Baby is brand new, and big brother had taken to his new roll so well! Big brother had fun exploring the studio, and checking out all the fun noise makers / toys, and charmed it up for the camera. Isn’t he ADORABLE!? Baby brother was so calm during the entire session, and even let me turn him into a little snowman.

I’ve been shooting using only natural light in the studio for the last year and a half…but I finally broke out my strobe (my giant flash) because it has been SO dreary, and I have fallen in love with studio lights all over again! I just love the consistency and control I have over the light using a strobe. I don’t know if I’ll go back to natural light for family sessions, and I just love how I can freeze the action of a moving toddler with the flash.

Interested in booking a family photo session? Wanting to book your newborn photos? Shoot me an email at
The ideal timeframe to come in for newborn photos is before baby is two weeks old, as they tend to be sleepiest, snuggliest, and most able to do the cozy newborn poses I love. I have a complete collection of wraps, props, backdrops, outfits, headbands, and more! We can customize your session to best suit your family’s style!

As I am getting caught up from my Winter Mini Sessions, I am trying to post recent sessions to my blog! Keep your eyes peeled for more adorable posts from my recent sessions!

June Bug Photography is located in Mill Creek, WA. Most newborn sessions, milestone sessions, family sessions, and maternity sessions are held in my Mill Creek Studio, although I do shoot on location as well!

Winter Mini Sessions, Mill Creek Family mini session with June Bug photography

I only hold mini sessions a few times each year, primarily because the are CRAZY (in a good way, but crazy nonetheless). This year’s Christmas mini session day Sunday, November 19th (last weekend) and they were a total blast!

Typically, I primarily photograph newborns, babies up to one year, and maternity mamas….but I love being able to see my amazing families a few times each year during mini sessions. Mini sessions are such a fun way to capture some adorable family photos quickly (and at a lower price point from a normal full session). Mini sessions are high energy, fast, and so much fun!

This year, we had a simple white bed set up to capture photos of the whole family. The bed was perfect for family snuggles, jumping on the bed, and reading “The Night Before Christmas”. My families brought their A game, when it comes to outfits..we had so many adorable coordinated families!!

My absolute FAVORITE set up of all time though? I got a bit crazy this year, and mounted a swing on our 20 foot ceilings. No joke. I have three different sizes and colors of swings, and my swing set up holds up to 800 lbs. I am so excited to use this swing all the time in studio. It was a HUGE hit, and so much fun.

Mini sessions tend to book VERY fast, and typically sell out to my mailing list subscribers before I can even go public with booking information. Sign up to receive first notice of mini sessions here:

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Winter Mini Sessions, Mill Creek Christmas Minis

Mini sessions are such a fun way to update your family portraits! Winter Mini Sessions are BOOKING NOW, and will be held on November 19th in my gorgeous Mill Creek Studio.

We will have two different sets for minis this year. One side will have a swing, wrapped with greenery and red berry floral garlands. The swing side of the set will be ideal for kiddos, and beautiful individual images of each kid. We will be placing blocks under the swings for tiny clients, so it won’t swing out from under them, but the bigger kiddos will be able to swing away.

The other side of the studio will have a beautiful white queen sized bed nestled into the giant studio window. The white headboard wil be wrapped with beautiful white magnolia and greenery garlands. The entire family will be able to snuggle up on the bed. This set will look adorable with winter pjs, or dressed in your best, both will be adorable!

Sessions will be 15 minutes long, and include your choice of 3 digital files from your online gallery. You will also recieve THREE accordion mini albums, which make great gifts! The accordion mini albums have a soft leather cover, and the images will be selected by Melissa to best fit the sizes/layout of the album. Keep one for yourself, and gift the other two to grandparents! Mini sessions are $175, plus tax. Sign up for your mini session HERE These spots tend to fill SUPER fast, so snag your spot now.

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Gorgeous Mill Creek Maternity Session, Fall photography session

Gorgeous Mill Creek Maternity session, at Northcreek Park. This beautiful mama was simply stunning in literally every gown she tried on. Mama is due any day now, and I just know baby will be perfect.

I love that mom brought along her bridal veil, and it matched perfectly with the pink gown she wore. This sunset session was one of the last warm evenings we will have for a while, and we absolutely lucked out with the weather.

I brought along my pop up changing tent, and mom was such a good sport about changing gowns in a tiny tent. I imagine its not easy to change/keep your balance in the middle of a busy park! Add a 10 foot train to the gown, and it’s near impossible.

I simply adore photographing maternity sessions, and I love getting to know my clients during their maternity session so we can be old friends by the time they are back for their newborn session. Interested in a maternity session? My studio is in Mill Creek, and I have a huge collection of 30+ gowns in a range of styles, colors, & sizes. I also have floral crowns, fun mix and match bodysuits, and skirts and more! Come play dress up! I work closely with an amazing hair and makeup artist, and she can come meet us at the studio before your session to get you camera ready. I shoot maternity both in studio in Mill Creek or on location. I have some local favorite outdoor locations for sessions throughout Snohomish County.


DIY newborn posing stand, full tutorial Dog bed newborn poser

I’ve become obsessed with this dog bed stand, and have taken it to a new level. Here is my updated tutorial to build your own dog bed newborn poser!

My last post described how I added an adjustable backdrop to the dog bed…but it wasn’t good enough for me. I decided I needed to raiser the posing surface up about 6-8″ so I could easily sit at the poser and comfortable pose baby. My current poser is way to to tall, and I have to do this creepy squat/hunch while posing, which isn’t great for my back (and I’m sure it doesn’t look amazing either). The first dog bed hack I created was good, but a little bit too low. I could BARELY squeeze my legs under while sitting “criss cross applesauce” and I worried that I would have to lean too far forward to pose baby. This new version raises the dog bed up about 6 inches, which is the perfect amount of additional space for me to sit comfortably under the bed while posing. I can also sit up straight (while sitting on my rear) and be right at the posing surface.

The backdrop part is still adjustable (rad!), and it isn’t attached to the dog bed with duct tape (I know, we all loved the duct tape…but this way is super legit!). Basically, I built a frame for the dog bed to sit on, and the backdrop hinge is attached to the frame. The dog bed can be removed if needed (maybe to replace the fabric on the bed, if it gets stretched out?). The casters (wheels) are totally optional, but I think they look pretty slick. I got casters that can lock, so it will stay put when I need it to. I ended up spending about $100 (including shipping) for all components for this thing. If you decide you don’t need casters, you can probably cut that cost in half.

What to call it… dog bed newborn poser with adjustable backdrop just doesn’t sell it…

I am excited to ditch my huge round newborn poser and backdrop frame, and now I need to find something to do with my first dog bed version! Maybe I’ll let the dog have it!

I’m a super visual person, so instead of writing out all the steps, I tried to make some visuals for you.

I bought some of the more obscure fittings online at FORMUFIT (the 2-way adjustable elbows, 1 1/4″ PVC caster fitting inserts, 5 way cross PVC fittings, 3″ no skid swivel casters with brakes, and 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ PVC fitting reducer all came from FORMUFIT the other parts can be easily found at a local hardware store).

You’ll also need the COOLAROO dog bed, which I bought from AMAZON (I used the LARGE size)

Here is a list of the different parts you’ll need. Don’t mind the part where I forgot some parts and had to draw them in photoshop..

And a handy cut list. I recommend wearing safety glasses when cutting. Trust me on this one. I used three 10 foot lengths of 3/4″ schedule 40 PVC. You can get away with two 10 foot lenghts, and a 5 foot length…but I didn’t want to risk having to go back to the hardware store if I messed up. (spoiler alert. i messed up. i also had to go back to the hardware store, there’s that)


I recommend starting with the legs. They’re the trickiest part, so lets get them out of the way! The front legs and back legs are different, because we need an extra attachment point for the backdrop/hinge off the back.




Now, lets put together the adjustable backdrop stand. This will attach in the BACK.

The sides are two peice of PVC with a TEE in the middle. This allows the bar across the front to be stepped back a little bit, so you can slide under the dog bed without hitting your knees on the bar.


Now, attach the front and back feet to the side sections, and add the 49 1/4″ front and back cross bars


Now, pop the backdrop stand you built earlier to the back corners of the frame.


Aaaaaannnnd, pop the dog bed into the four corners (the tops of the legs)



Ok, so now that you know it all fits together, and you’re an expert at building this get to take it apart and use PVC cement on all joints. I put a bit of cement on each junction where a PVC pipe attached to a fitting. This will make your set up super secure.


I’ll post my in use, some behind the scenes, and an updated review of the new poser and backdrop stand! I have a newborn on Thursday, and I’m super excited to use this new set up.

My studio is in Mill Creek WA, and I’d love to help anyone local out with building one of your own! I’m pretty close to Seattle, Everett, Edmonds, Snohomish, Bothell, etc so hit me up if you want to check it out!