Warm Summer Maternity Session | Indiananpolis, Indiana Motherhood Photographer by Lynsey Mason

Shannon and Christian have been waiting what could be described as an eternity for their little miracle. To most waiting parents, that is probably what it feels like. Their little girl has made her way through this journey with them, and I know they are so happy she is soon to be in their loving arms.

I met with the lovely couple at Shannon's dad's house in a town far East of Indianapolis. There were lots of trees and grassy fields, which proved to be gorgeous paired with Shannon and her growing bump. I encourage you to leave a kind word below for their sweet trio.

The Alexander Family | Indianapolis, Indiana Family Photography by Lynsey Mason

I. Love. Family. Sessions. I don't get to do them often so when I do, it is a nice treat.

Finally getting to meet Maddie and her seriously adorable family was just a dream. It was overcast, and the sun would be leaving us soon. Right at the last minute, literally, the sun came out and gave us some gorgeous direct lighting. Their baby, Hudson, had the sweetest smiles for Grandma who tagged along to help keep his attention. This session had me swooning! Check out their images below. :)

Finley's Birth Story at Home | Indianapolis, Indiana Birth Photographer by Lynsey Mason

I had the pleasure of meeting Megan through Facebook shortly after I delivered my own son in the late summer of 2016. Since I had only photographed one other home birth, over a year ago at the time, I was excited to have the opportunity to document Megan's home birth. Finley decided it was time to arrive wee early in the night, on his mother's birthday! I remember her saying it was the best birthday present she'd ever received. I can't wait to document their next baby's birth later this year! Check out their story below, and leave a kind word for this family about the birth of their rainbow.

Killian's Birth Story Film | Indianapolis, Indiana Birth Photographer by Lynsey Mason

Last year, I was honored to document Kasi's birthing day, on the Summer Solstice of all days.. She had already been laboring for quite some time before I arrived. Days, even. It was tough, but she pushed through to the very end. It was amazing to watch her labor. She was still witty and as happy as ever throughout, which you know is a blessing, if you've ever given birth or watched someone go through days of labor. Even right before she was about to push Killian earthside, she was still joking around with her husband Chris. Her birth team was also just amazing to witness at work. She had originally planned an home birth with Sol Midwifery Services, but ended up transferring to Indiana University Methodist Hospital. It was amazing seeing both midwifery teams work together in the best interest of Kasi and her baby.

Even though Kasi and Chris had only hired me to photograph Killian's birth, I still snuck a few moments to film here and there. Although it is several months past his birth date, I have finally been able to take the time to learn how to piece the clips all together and make a beautiful slideshow to surprise them with. Take a look....but grab some tissues. Although Kasi is smiling in nearly every clip, it is still so touching to see a baby be born. And I cry every. single. time. Click below to play the video!

Lylah's Fast Arrival at a Local Birth Center | Indianapolis, Indiana Birth Photographer by Lynsey Mason

I first met Michelle a little over a year ago when she hired me to capture some moments of her breastfeeding her son, George. They had reached a year and she wanted those fleeting moments documented. We had a great time following her son around the house (toddlers!) and photographing she and him bonding together. It was almost Christmastime and their tree was just gorgeous.

I was thrilled when Michelle reached out about birth photography late last year. At first, she was very on the fence and not sure if she wanted anyone else to be in the birthing room with her and her husband, Ryan. After a few months and as time grew closer to her baby girl's due date, she decided it would be worth it to have me there. And I was so glad! I woke up one Saturday morning to see she had posted in her online Facebook Birthtube Group that they were leaving for the Birth Center at Sacred Roots Midwifery in Indianapolis. It was 2 days past her due date, and I immediately contacted Michelle asking if I needed to follow suit. It was time! 20 minutes after I arrived, Lylah was born. It was such a peaceful and intimate moment, and I am so honored to have been there to capture it.

The Birth of Ella | Indianapolis, Indiana Birth Photographer by Lynsey Mason

Brittany and her husband Brandon first reached out to me late summer of 2016 for birth photography with their little one due later that year in December. They were so excited to become parents. About a month went by when she received the news that their son had been diagnosed with IUGR, a condition in which baby doesn't grow to normal weight during pregnancy. The next couple of weeks for Brittany and her family were filled with hospital stays, many ultrasounds, and a billion prayers to God that he would keep their baby boy inside his mama until he could gain enough weight to sustain life earth-side on his own. I received news from her a few weeks later that on August 22, 2016 at 4:55am Beckett was born sleeping. Despite this very sad news, she and her husband were still very positive and looked forward to trying again. A little under a year later, Brittany contacted me to let me know that they were expecting again. After a second loss early 2017, they were hopeful for this pregnancy, and very meaningfully enough, the baby had the same due date as with Beckett!

In May, we met at Arbuckle Park in Brownsburg to photograph their announcement photo. Brittany mentioned to me that the image made this pregnancy feel real, as she had her reservations about sharing. I was happy to see that they did choose to share, and welcome all of the love and support that their family and friends had to offer. Later, in October, we met for a gorgeous sunrise maternity session that will forever be one of my most favorite sessions to ever have the honor of photographing. You can view those images here. You won't regret it, but I suggest grabbing a box of tissues first. Brittany made one of the most beautiful pregnant mama's I had ever seen!

Over the next several weeks, communication with Brittany was crucial. She was put on bed-rest and eventually diagnosed with preeclampsia about a week before she was to be induced to give birth to Ellowyn. A few days later, I received a text that Brittany was in early labor. About 20 hours later at 4am, I received the call from Brandon that Brittany had woken up to contractions and was suddenly at 9cm! I jumped out of bed, grabbed my gear, and rushed to the hospital.

When I arrived, Brittany was feeling pretty uncomfortable, but her husband was there by her side encouraging her every step of the way. They were getting ready to finally meet their baby girl, after all! After several good pushes, Brittany gave birth to Ellowyn. Dr. Mazdai handed Ella to her mama, as dad overlooked them both, and in that moment, all was right with the world.

Rainbow Baby | A Healing Maternity Session by Lynsey Mason

Brittany and Brandon are quite possibly the strongest couple of human beings I have ever met. After suffering loss more than once during their journey, they grow noticeably happier each day that they move closer to meeting their rainbow baby. (Only 8 more days!) For their maternity session, we met at her family's farm on an old county road one early Saturday morning. It was foggy, and our surroundings lit up with magic as the sun rose.

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The Birth of My Daughter - Emma May | Indiana Birth Photographer by Lynsey Mason

I remember the day I gave birth to my daughter, Emma May, like it was yesterday. I had been feeling cramp-y for a few days, so it was no surprise to everyone (except me) when there was a sign of labor one morning. I was 39 weeks pregnant, and still terrified to give birth to my baby girl. Being so young may have had a lot to do with that. I also chalk it up to lack of education. I didn't go to any birthing classes and I wasn't even sure how the "process" really even worked, at the time.

At 7:05am, March 24th, 2010, I woke some pretty strong contractions. In a panic, I woke my husband to tell him it was time to go to the hospital. He was so cute when we arrived. Because the contractions were still manageable, I wanted to walk to the Labor & Delivery, but he politely demanded that he roll me up in a wheel chair.

That day was long. I wasn't in actual labor, per the nurses, but they admitted me anyway and started me on a drug to induce my contractions called Pitocin. Once the contractions started up a few hours later, I decided to go ahead and get the epidural. A few hours after that, the doctor broke my water. Within 13 hours, we were holding our baby girl. When we first laid eyes on her, we knew she was worth every minute of waiting. She was born a healthy 8 pounds.

At the time, we were not able to afford the luxury of birth photography. I was going to become a teen mother, and hiring someone to capture professional images of that life changing day was the furthest thing from my mind. I am happy to have my family who took pictures throughout the day and during the birth.

 

Looking back, I know my birthing experience with Emma was less than positive. There was a slight complication that left me confused and unsure of how I felt about birth. I was scarred and undecided as to whether I'd want to have another baby. In 2015, I decided to learn more about the complication that arose during my daughter's birth, so I researched preventative alternatives. I had an empowering and healing birthing experience with my son, Henry, in 2016. You can read his birth story here.

 

 

* If you are a teenager expecting a baby, read this blog.

An Indianapolis Homebirth | Indiana Birth Photographer by Lynsey Mason

When I first arrived at Kristina's home to introduce myself, I was nervous. I had never photographed a homebirth before. As we sat down at her dining table, she expressed to me that they were waiting until she gave birth to find out whether they were having a boy or girl. This instantly warmed my heart. I knew that her reaction would be a wonderful sight to witness, as well as a beautiful moment to capture in time.

Check back for more of this birth story later!

Family Sessions | June, July, August by Lynsey Mason

Hey there! If you know me, you know I love all things birth. I love capturing a laboring mama and team's hard work, and moments thereafter, when a baby is embraced by his parents for the first time.

As I was taking a few snapshots of my husband and son sleeping tonight, I realized I also love something else, so, so much: family.

 

Sometimes I get so caught up in photographing birth for other families that it's hard to remember to capture my own life. My family.

To give me a fresh outlook on my portfolio of images, I'm opening up in-home documentary style family sessions for the months of June, July, and August this year. Mini sessions last 30 minutes, produce 5-7 images with print release and are $100. Full sessions last an hour, and you will get about 10-15 images with print release for $175.

Contact me now to set up your family session!

 

 

Faces Out of the Dark Project - Amanda by Lynsey Mason

Today I'm going to share with you a story about the part of having a new baby that is least discussed or acknowledged. It is a story about one mom's battle with postpartum depression.

It is not a sad story.

She came from the dark, found light, and wants you to know you too can do the same.

"At 4 months postpartum, I started feeling alone and so sad. Nursing my son made it worse. I didn't want anyone around me, yet I didn't want to be alone. I waited two weeks to get help, but some moms feel as though they can't seek help at all. I want you to know that you don't have to wait. You don't have to continue suffering or to be alone in your struggle." - Amanda

To help build awareness and shed light on maternal mood disorders, I am participating in the annual Climb Out of the Darkness in Indianapolis this year, along with many other wonderful people who have endured maternal mood disorders or want to support those who have, like husbands and fathers. If you're interested in joining us on June 24th for the Climb, register here!

Faces Out of the Dark Model Call (A COTD Ramp Up Session) by Lynsey Mason

I'm excited to announce this year's Climb Out of the Darkness® in Indianapolis. It is one of the world’s largest event raising awareness of maternal mental illnesses such as postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety & OCD, postpartum PTSD, postpartum psychosis, bipolar/peripartum onset, and pregnancy depression and anxiety.

Indy's Climb will be held on one of the longest days of the year, June 24th, 2017. It is held on the longest day annually to literally "shine" the most light on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The event features mothers and others across the globe joining together to climb mountains and hike trails to represent their symbolic rise out of the darkness of maternal mental illness and into the light of hope and recovery.

To ramp up for this year's Climb, Indy's Team Leaders and Members have decided to feature "Faces Out of The Dark", an image series of the many faces of women and men who have overcome their darkness. We will be at Arbuckle Acres Park in Brownsburg, Indiana on this coming Saturday, May 6th at 10 AM shooting these beautiful faces. If you're interested in being one of our models in the image series, please contact me for details!

Interested in sponsoring Indy's Climb this year? Find our fundraising information here.

Spring Motherhood Sessions by Lynsey Mason

Join Renée Mason for Motherhood Mini Sessions this Spring. (1).png

In celebration of Mother's Day 2017, I am offering Spring Motherhood Sessions on April 22 & 23 at Arbuckle Acres Park in Brownsburg, Indiana.

Sessions begin as early as 10 am until sundown - reserve your time slot by putting in a $125 deposit. The remaining $100 will be due at the session. In the event it pours rain, back up dates will be April 29 & 30.

*Canvases will be delivered in time to be gifted for Mother's Day!

Teething and Breastfeeding, Project 365 | Personal Journey from your Brownsburg, Indiana Birth Photographer by Lynsey Mason

It has been clear for almost a week now that my six-month-old, Henry, is cutting in his top teeth. He's been cranky, sticking out his tongue, "gumming" down on his bottom two teeth, and sleeping more than usual. I admit, I have no complaints about the sleeping part. The latest sign of teething that we (and by "we", I mean "me") discovered recently is biting! My first child never bit down while eating, so this is something new, and quite painful, to experience.

Did or do you breastfeed? If so, did your baby bite during the teething stages?

 I had to give him his pretty pink pacifier to prevent him latching on and biting!

I had to give him his pretty pink pacifier to prevent him latching on and biting!

 Finally he latches and doesn't bite his poor mama.

Finally he latches and doesn't bite his poor mama.

Project 365 | GiGi by Lynsey Mason

So, around here the word "GiGi" is a big deal.

 

Upon finding out that my sister would give birth to my niece back in 1997, we all brainstormed about what my mom's first grandchild would call her. Becoming a first time grandparent was exciting, and she wanted to be called something less traditional than "Granny", like my own grandmother. Many nicknames were tossed around before she finally decided on the cutesy name. It was easy to say and made sense.

 
 

9 grandchildren, 20 years later,

she is still

"GiGi",

even to all of her

grandchildren's friends.

 

Darby's Newborn Lifestyle Session in Mississippi | Indiana Birth Photographer by Lynsey Mason

I remember feeling so warm-hearted after Karlee told me that she and her husband Luke were expecting their first baby. This was big news, mostly because, well, my best friend would become a parent.

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Working as a nurse right up until the end of her pregnancy, you can imagine her exhaustion and readiness to finally welcome their little girl into the world. What they didn't expect late one evening when settling in for the night was for her water to break at 37.5 weeks!

I woke up the next morning on a Saturday in May to a Snapchat image of Karlee's feet tucked under a hospital blanket captioned, "Well that escalated quickly". Several hours later, I received the news that Darby Joann was born earthside at 4:27PM! Oh, happy day! She was a sweet little 6 pounds and 10 ounces, with a head full of dark brown hair.

During the next week, I made plans to travel a good distance to visit my sweet friend and her new family in Mississippi that very next weekend. I held Darby as she slept on my chest, while Karlee and I spent time catching up. Time seemed to have quickly gone and never passed, all the same. We ate dinner in their new home together and had a wonderful visit.

Here are some images from Darby's Newborn Lifestyle Photography session! She was 8 days old.

Project 365 | Feet and Blue Eyes by Lynsey Mason

I've been slacking a lot on this Project 365 thing, but I'm not sure what else to call it, so I'll keep the theme, I suppose. Emma has taken interest in my camera lately, so I helped her capture a few "self-portraits" of her and Henry. I can't wait til she sees them finished when she gets home from school today.

I've recently taken advantage of a new app called "Free Prints". The first 6 prints I received with free shipping, too! I love ordering images for Emma so that she has something tangible to keep for herself. Sometimes she switches out the pictures on her nightstand, rearranging them in the order of which she likes best and which she wants to see the most when she first wakes up. Not only is she a fan of pictures, she absolutely adores her baby brother! Can't you tell?