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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 info@junebugphotography.org
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!
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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.

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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..
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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 anyway..so, there’s that)

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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.

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

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

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

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

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Ok, so now that you know it all fits together, and you’re an expert at building this thing..you 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!

Fall Mini Sessions are LIVE! Booking NOW!

I sent out my VIP newsletter this morning, with fall mini session details (want to be on the list? Sign up to receive my monthly newsletter HERE ) and didn’t realize that I had set my scheduling program to automatically add a 45 minute buffer between each booked session…which means that sessions booked solid within about 5 minutes of sending out my newsletter. The good news is that I fixed the problem, and there are actually still spots left! YAY!

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Now Booking Fall Mini Sessions

I sat down to look at my calendar and realized that my weekends are nearly completely booked already! Time to schedule mini sessions before its too late. I currently still have weekday availability for full family sessions, but am booked for weekend family sessions through November.

Details:
Sunday, September 24th
15 minute sessions
Includes 3 digital files (with the option to purchase additional images for $20/high resolution file)
North Creek Park

Spaces are limited, and mini sessions tend to fill VERY quickly! Payment due upon booking to reserve your spot. BOOK HERE

I absolutely adore seeing my favorite families each year during my fall mini sessions! During the rest of the year, I primarily photograph newborns, babies, and maternity clients…but I LOVE the fact that so many of my clients return each year for their family photos. Watching these families grow is pretty awesome, and I just love getting to work with them when fall minis come around.

DIY Newborn Poser and Backdrop Stand, Mill Creek newborn photographer June bug PHotography

About a year ago, my friend Mary Kriss of Mary Kriss Photography shared that she had started using a dog bed for posing. I thought she was a genius, but had a posing beanbag that worked for my space so I didn’t jump on board.

I currently have a round beanbag, with a steel frame surrounding it. I really do love it, my dad built it for me and I have used it for about a year. What I have realized though, is that I HATE having my beanbag out in the studio ALL. THE. TIME. My current poser doesn’t fit in my closet, and has to stay out in my shooting space. I don’t like that. At all. I have also realized that the slope of the backdrop starts too far toward the front of the beanbag and tends to block some of the light from baby. So. Back to Mary’s idea. Dog bed to the rescue!

So, the dog bed is a pretty great solution. It’s cheap (about $30 on amazon). Lightweight, and doesn’t take up much space (aka: it fits in my prop closet). I also love the the backdrop fabric can be clamped at any edge of the dog bed to make a super seamless, smooth backdrop. BUT! I needed a raised backdrop. The dog bed is perfect for overhead shots (like the tucked in pose, or dream wrap) but I wanted to be able to clip my backdrop up for other typical bean bag shots like froggy, potato sack, bum up, etc. So…I hacked together a quick backdrop support that can move along with my dog bed. I use natural light, and I am constantly adjusting my beanbag into the light depending on my pose. Because I can’t just move my light, I have to be able to easily move the entire setup, including the backdrop…which means I can’t just have a bar attached to the wall to clip my backdrop to…or use backdrop stands, as that would be super annoying to try to all move together.

To build your own you will need:
10 foot length of 3/4″ PVC
Two 3/4″ PVC elbows
PVC cement
Adjustable PVC joint (comes in a pack of two)
Zip Ties
Elevated pet Bed

You will also want a drill, and a way to cut your PVC. You can have them cut your PVC to size at the hardware store, bring your cut list with you to the store!

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I love the push button adjustable joint! I can easily adjust the angle of my backdrop, and it locks safely in place. I am super excited that I can fold the backdrop stand all the way agains the dog bed when I’m done. This entire set up is so light weight and super slick.

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Use the diagram above to assemble all the PVC pieces. It should be the same length as the LONG edge of your dog bed. I used ZIP TIES to attach each end of the PVC backdrop stand to the dog bed. I then DRILLED through each leg at the top and bottom and tightened a zip tie through each hole. This keeps the legs nice and sturdy and keeps them from shifting. Bolts would have worked even better to secure the PVC to the dog bed leg…but I didn’t have any long enough, and didn’t want to go back to the hardware store… I then covered the legs with black duct tape to cover the zip ties, so they wouldn’t snag on my backdrop fabrics.

Once I had it all assembled, and made sure it all worked, I took it all apart (except the 8″ PVC sections attached to the dog bed). Use the PVC cement at each joint and reassemble, making sure to work in a well ventilated area. I placed the “BUTTONS” of the joints facing IN, so I could easily use my thumb to adjust the backdrop. Figure out what works best for you and your arm length…

 

Check out how awesome and easy this poser is to adjust on https://youtu.be/GNjJY6LDWyI

 

Sweet session with a rainbow baby, newborn photography

This family will always hold a special place in my heart. Big sister is honestly one of the sweetest little girls I have ever met (and I’ve met so many sweeties, so that’s saying a lot!) I am so thrilled I had the opportunity to meet their tiny rainbow baby!

Baby J is so loved by mom, dad, and big sister. Big sister brought along her little bear, and she whispered this to me while I was take her photo, “When I hold my bear, I can talk to my baby brother in heaven”. Absolutely heartbreaking that this family has experienced such tragic loss, but their rainbow baby is so surrounded by love and joy. Big sister is so gentle and protective of her new baby brother, and was so patient for the entire session.

I decided to use my bed set up in studio for this session, as I wanted a casual, sweet setting for the two siblings. I just love the way they turned out, and I definitely plan to use the bed set up again for a newborn session. I just love the neutral and white backdrop that lets baby be the center of attention.

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June bug photography specializes in newborn photography, maternity photography, and family photography. Our natural light photography studio is located in Mill Creek, WA and has absolutely everything needed for your session (except baby of course!). We have an extensive prop collection, including many hand crafted, natural, organic layers, blanket, wraps, headbands, outfits and more.

My path to becoming a professional photographer began with the loss of my own baby at 19 month pregnant. Soon after our loss, I learned of the organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS). The organization sends volunteer professional photographers to the hospital to capture images of angel babies. As soon as I learned of the organization, I knew that joining as a photographer would be a source of healing from my own loss. NILMDTS has an application process that requires photographers to submit a portfolio of work that demonstrates an understanding of light, angles, and photography in general. It became my mission to build a portfolio strong enough to be accepted as a volunteer photographer with the organization. Within a few months, I had built up a portfolio I was proud of, and I sent in my application. I was accepted as a volunteer, and providing these images for families has been such a monumental part of my own healing and grief process. More information about Now I lay Me Down To Sleep can be found at the website here.

Sweet baby girl. In studio newborn session, Mill Creek newborn photographer June Bug Photography.

By Mill Creek newborn photographer, Melissa Jenkins. June Bug Photography.june bug photography

I had the sweetest little muffin in the studio last week! I have had a string of adorable little boys in the studio, and I definitely pulled out all my girly props for her.

Mom and dad love bold colors, and it was so much fun to style different set ups based on some of their favorite colors. Big Brother and Big sister were AMAZING, and I had so much fun getting to know their little personalities. Both of them are so clearly smitten with their new baby sister, it’s pretty adorable.

I just love customizing each newborn session to my client’s tastes. I have an entire studio full of beautiful, quality props and more. I have wraps in every color, buckets, props, layering blankets, outfits, and anything you can imagine. My natural light studio, in the heart of Mill Creek, is a beautiful and relaxing space…in fact, I often go there just to hang out. No joke. I am passionate about sourcing gorgeous textures, colors, and unique props that make my heart sing. Most of the items in my studio are hand crafted by some of my favorite vendors. From felted wool layers, to hand knit blankets, gorgeous hand crafted headbands, and knit hats. I truly love providing quality, beautiful, heirloom items for clients to use. mill creek newborn photographernewborn photographynewborn photographymill creekmill creek

June bug photography specializes in newborn photography, maternity photography, family photography, baby photography, and cake smash photography.

Maternity Gowns, New in Studio! Mill Creek Maternity photography

I am so lucky I have amazing friends who will help me with my crazy ideas.

 

I had about 30 new gowns in studio that I wanted to photograph, but I knew that it would be way too much to ask an actual pregnant person to model them all. So, I bought a fake belly (meant for mannequins, I think) and recruited my beautiful friend Kara. She rocked all 30 gowns in about an hour, and now I can update the gowns I have in studio!

I love that potential maternity clients can browse the gowns I have in studio, and figure out which ones they might like to wear for their maternity session with June Bug Photography. All gowns are available for clients to use, and can be used for both maternity and non maternity mamas. I have a huge selections of different styles, sizes, and fits. Whether you are looking to bare your belly, or something a little more modest..I’ve got you covered! I have a collection of bandeau bras, bralettes, and slips as well. Come play dress up!

Here is an updated gallery of gowns I currently have available in studio. Most gowns are made with stretchy material, which photographs beautifully while also fitting a range of sizes. Not sure which style will work best for you? I’m happy to help you figure it out.

Most of my gowns are handmade by wonderful vendors, such as Chicaboo, Mii Estillo, Sew Trendy, and more. Some of my gowns are one of a kind vintage pieces.

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