Basic Invite | Product Review

Can we talk about paper goods for a bit? I love, love, LOVE the idea of sending out party invitations, birth announcements, and holiday cards by snail mail. It just feels like such a grown up thing to do. However, I am so incredibly particular about quality and deign, that always come up short trying to find a card template that fits my style and the image I want to use.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some beautifully designed templates out there. But it seems that every time I find one I love, there is something that doesn't fit. Usually it's that the colors in the template don't go with the colors in my photo, or the text is in the wrong place for my photo, or I don't love the font. The worst is when I finally find my unicorn template and place an order, only to have the cards come in and leave me disappointed by the print quality.

The lack of template customization and poor print quality is so frustrating. I've wasted days of my life scouring the internet for card template. Only to give up and design something myself to have printed by a professional lab...or planning to. Then never actually finding the time to sit down and do it. I've sent out holiday cards exactly ONCE...ever.

So when a representative from Basic Invite contacted me about reviewing their product, I was pretty skeptical. I told her that I could never recommend a product that didn't meet my (ridiculously high) standards, and that I would first need to order samples with my images on them to ensure the quality was up to snuff. 

My ordering experience was pretty smooth. The site is easy to use and there are so many options for EVERYTHING. And I am a girl that loves endless options. I got my sample order placed and waited on pins and needles hoping the print and paper quality would be all I hoped for. When my package arrived, I could hardly wait to rip it opened and see...

And the cards were BEAUTIFUL! The colors, contrast, and brightness of my images were on par with what I would expect from the pro print labs I use. The ink colors of the other design elements printed true to the color swatches on the website. The details and texture of the paper are perfect. Suffice it to say, I am in love! There is really too much to say and show, so I decided to do a video review of the products I ordered. This first video is a quick overview of the customization process for one of the birth announcements I ordered.

Next up is an in-depth review and a look at all of the different card samples I ordered. I went with two birth announcements, a first birthday invite and it's matching thank you card, and two Christmas Cards

I really hope that this review has been helpful to those of you searching endlessly for the perfect paper goods. Basic Invite really has something special and the quality to back it up. In addition to the card samples I ordered, they offer wedding invitations and save-the-dates, other birthday invitations, party invitations, stationary, and printable products. All completely customizable with gorgeous, lux paper options. I'll just leave you with a quick overview few of my favorite features. 

Almost Unlimited Colors - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what really sets Basic Invite apart from almost any other online stationery company and is for me was the biggest draw. Fonts can also be changed and text moved around to ensure perfect placement!

Custom Samples - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order. Add on additional samples in different paper options to see what you like best.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes - Basic Invite is just as colorful with envelopes as they are with invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. Custom envelope liners add another layer of luxury detail. All envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed. No licking!

Free Address Collection Service - Use the free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing. WHAT?!??!! I don't have to hand address 100 envelopes? SIGN. ME. UP!

How do you feel about ordering announcements and invites online? Are you as picky as I am? Share your previous experiences with me and let me know if you're planning to try Basic Invite this year. I'd sure love to see what you order too! Slap a picture in the comments.


Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Cafe Beignet | New Orleans Family Photographer

In New Orleans, at least for a non-local, it just isn't possible to start the day without beignets. And as many times as I have been over the years, I've never considered going anywhere other than Cafe du Monde. But this time, after a late night at my sister's rehearsal dinner, we weren't keen on the idea of the crowds that Cafe du Monde draws. I happened to see that Cafe Beignet was just around the corner from our hotel, on Royal Street. The reviews touted it as far better than Cafe du Monde, so we decided to give it a shot. 

And I'm never going anywhere else for beignets ever again! Not only were the beignets awesome, but the real food breakfast menu (eggs, meats, fruit) was a hit with my husband. AND THEY HAVE COFFEE! Actual, strong, life giving, drip coffee. Not the watery chicory swill du Monde slings. 

But the best part was the courtyard. A sweet little Parisian bistro style courtyard, right on the street, with the most glorious morning light. I would have been happy to photograph my way thru breakfast rather than eat, but my husband gets totally embarrassed and annoyed by my obsession with photographing. He was convinced that everyone else in front of my lens was outrageously irritated by my giant camera pointed in their general direction. To which I told him (loudly, in case anyone actually was irritated) that everyone in the background is blurred out. It's called bokeh and my iPhone, while far less conspicuous, would capture innocent bystanders in FAR greater detail. 

This race track, disguised as a semi truck, was Jack-Jack's ring bearer gift. He refused to go anywhere without it for the remainder of the weekend.

This race track, disguised as a semi truck, was Jack-Jack's ring bearer gift. He refused to go anywhere without it for the remainder of the weekend.

Because good parents make their kids eat fruit before pastries. 

Because good parents make their kids eat fruit before pastries. 

What do you think? Is that guy in the background looking at me incredulously for continuing to point my camera his way? Or maybe he's chatting with his breakfast companion or picking up a phone call? Do I care? Nope.

What do you think? Is that guy in the background looking at me incredulously for continuing to point my camera his way? Or maybe he's chatting with his breakfast companion or picking up a phone call? Do I care?

Nope.

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This face! 

This face! 

Isla can't eat anything without getting it ALL OVER her face. Look how far up her cheek those strawberry stains go!

Isla can't eat anything without getting it ALL OVER her face. Look how far up her cheek those strawberry stains go!

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Note to self: No more black shirts in NOLA.

Note to self: No more black shirts in NOLA.

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It took some convincing to get this one to eat his beignet. 

It took some convincing to get this one to eat his beignet. 

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Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Schwarz Family Farewell | Pensacola Family Photographer

It feels pretty bittersweet to be blogging my last session with the Schwarz family before the Navy takes them back to San Diego.  Katie and Steven really wanted to plan a session to celebrate their time in Pensacola and capture some of the activities they enjoy here. Ultimately, we identified the Naval Aviation Museum and Fort Barrancas as favorite spots for family outings. 

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We knew we'd want to get to the museum as soon as they opened for the best chance of avoiding crowds. So, with Fort Barrancas not being open early enough to explore before the sun is too high and harsh, we settled on exploring the Advanced Redoubt. Katie also mentioned that Steven has started a little Saturday morning tradition of bringing home donuts for breakfast and we decided to incorporate a little breakfast picnic into our time at the Redoubt. 

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Seriously guys. I can't even express how much I love working with the Schwarz family. They are unfailingly relaxed and genuinely happy to be exactly who they are in front of the camera. They never look to me for directions or ask 'what should we do next'. No one worries if the Declan throws dirt or Rylee carries a stuffed puppy around for the whole session. They just set off on whatever adventure we've planned, roll with whatever happens, engage with each other, and treat our time together just like any other fun family day. 

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Life changes so rapidly and traditions shift and change as kids get older. Who knows how long it will be before Rylee is saying to them, "Remember how Dad used to go and get donuts for us every Saturday?" 

These little things you do together, that you can't imagine not going on forever, will eventually be phased out. Lazy Saturday breakfasts will give way to the mad rush and a pop tart in the car on the way to soccer games. Time spent playing and exploring as a family will one day be eclipsed by part-time jobs and hanging out with friends.

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This time that you have to capture your family really and truly enjoying everyday life together is short. One day they will be way too cool for dance parties on a museum catwalk...too cool for you parents.

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So take a page from the Schwarz family book. Embrace the imperfection and make it a point to have your everyday moments documented. Eat donuts. Get dirty. Dance in public. Just plan to celebrate and showcase whomever your family is right in THIS moment. 

Speaking of moments, take one now to leave a comment for Katie and Steven so they can earn a print from this adorable session. Once 50 people have commented, the Schwarz family will receive a FREE mounted 8x12 print. Whoo hoo!

P.S. Katie is also the talent behind my gorgeous logo and brand visuals. She was nothing less than amazing to work with and just totally got my vision. If you need an awesome graphic designer, check her out at Katie Schwarz Design


Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Hello, Alice! | Pensacola Birth Photographer

Baby Alice's due date was a day like any other. I got up early that Sunday morning to squeeze in a little work before church. I didn't think much of it being a client's due date...because honestly, it's pretty uncommon for babies to be born on their due date. Then, a little after 5AM, I heard a crash of thunder. I checked the weather and, sure enough, thunderstorms...Not that I was surprised. My weather app hasn't seen the sun icon more than a few days all summer.

But, as anyone that spends time in Labor & Delivery can attest, thunderstorms (and full moons) bring on the babies. Maybe today would be the day after all. 

Around 8am I stopped working to start getting ready for church, when my phone went off. A text from Marin! She was in labor! Later John mentioned that her water had broken at 5:25AM...right about the time I was sitting in my office, listening to the sky rumble and betting I would be attending a birth soon.

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Marin is also a photographer, so she's familiar with the impact that light has on an image. It's essential in any form, but the most coveted form of light for a photographer is natural light. Natural light yields the most beautiful skin tones and range of shadows, and Marin and I had been crossing our fingers for months that baby Alice would decide to come while the sun was still in the sky. Now, this doesn't tend to matter much in a hospital. Doctors like to be able see everything and light up the room like Christmas, effectively drowning out any window light that happens to be available. However, baby Alice was set to be delivered at home. In a kitchen with enormous windows. And with labor starting at 5:25AM I was pretty hopeful that she'd make it before the sun went down. 

Despite the midwives' initial estimation of a delivery after dark, Marin just powered thru labor. I arrived, as requested, a little before 3PM and Alice made her way into the still beautifully lit world a little under 2 hours later! 

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Her timing couldn't have been more perfect. We even still had time to capture snuggles (and pizza) in the bed with the last little bit of window light for the day. And everyone made it home in time for the Game of Thrones season premier. I like to think that Alice must have know that her mommy is Sansa Stark's doppelgänger and didn't want to miss the show.

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Be sure to grab a box of tissues before you settle in to watch the story of baby Alice's home birth. Seriously, get the tissues. I guarantee you won't make it thru the next 6 minutes without needing at least one. Marin said that even John cried (more than she did) when they previewed the slideshow last night.

Incredible right? I think my favorite part was when the pizza delivery guys showed up, just as Marin was getting ready to push, with pizza boxes that said "JOIN THE FAMILY". Those perfectly unplanned (and slightly comical) moments add so much depth to a story. OH! And Marin's adorable mama, Coral. I can't even type her name without tearing up over her obvious excitement and awe over watching her daughter become a mother and meeting her first grandchild.

Now that you're all bleary eyed and sniffling, please take a minute to tell Marin & John what an amazing job they did bringing Alice into the world and how beautiful their new family is. After 50 people have commented, I will gift them with a mounted 8x12 print from their session.

Special thanks to Stand & Deliver Midwifery for their top notch work caring for this family and working with me to ensure every moment was captured. 


Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

New Orleans Rehearsal Dinner | Napoleon House

Here is the next installment in our New Orleans Wedding Weekend extravaganza, the rehearsal dinner at Napoleon House. My brother-in-law's family threw a rocking' party. The tiny courtyard was crammed with family and friends, a jazz band, good food, and the most incredible cupcakes i've ever tasted. It was LOUD, babies stayed up late, we danced and second lined, and my camera was passed around so much that I'm not sure who took half of these pictures. Honestly, this was the most fun night of the entire trip. Click any square to see the whole image.


Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Liam's Lifestyle Mini | Pensacola Newborn Photographer

I'm not going to lie. I had some big expectations for Liam's newborn session. Big sister Emma set the bar high, being practically comatose thru her entire newborn session (see that here). She was hands down the easiest baby I have ever worked with.

Liam wasn't so keen to sleep for us (unless he was being held) and only begrudgingly tolerated being wrapped. But in the end, we were able to get a few adorable snaps that only mildly look like he's trying to bust his way out. 

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pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer

Readers, please take a moment to leave a comment for this sweet family. When 50 people have commented, I will gift them with a mounted 8x10 image from their session (a $40.00 value).


Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Workman Family Vacation | Pensacola Beach Photographer

The Workman family has a sweet Father's Day tradition. Sadly, almost 2 years ago they lost Dad. As you can imagine, after such a loss, Father's Day might be a pretty difficult holiday. However, Mom (Dana) decided they would continue to celebrate him fiercely, and instituted and annual Father's Day vacation and photoshoot to honor his memory. 

This year, they chose Pensacola Beach and me to capture the essence of their vacation and a beautiful memorial to Dad. Check out a few of the highlights and then click play on the slideshow below for even more of their family fun.

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pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer

The kids wrote messages in the sand to Daddy.

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And they remember Daddy by choosing a photograph to be photographed with, Last year they chose their favorite picture with Dad. This year, they chose pictured that captured a moment they thought Daddy would be incredibly proud of them for. 

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I am so in awe of this amazing woman. It must take a truckload of courage and strength of will to put on that happy face every day, parenting a son and twin girls, and never letting them forget how much they were (and are still) loved by their Daddy. And for fixing an ice maker ALL BY HERSELF (that was her picture). And she does it all with such a gentle grace and genuinely joyful heart.

Go on and click play.

Readers, please take a moment to celebrate with us and leave a comment for supermom Dana and these three amazing kids. When 50 people have commented, I will gift them with a mounted 8x10 image from their session (a $40.00 value).


Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

New Orleans Wedding Rehearsal | New Orleans Pharmacy Museum

In April, my only sister got married and asked me to be her Maid of Honor. (Yes, MAID. So what if I'm married...I'm not labeling myself a 'matron'.)

Then, to my profound horror, she advised me that she did not want to hire a wedding photographer or spend any time posing for any pictures. That the candid shots everyone took on their phones would be sufficient. All I can say to that is: #$#%@&!@!*!!!!! ?????

The dreamer in me that wanted to try and pull double duty MOH/Photographer (triple duty if you count wrangling my kids...the ring bearer and flower girl). I mean, a bohemian New Orleans courtyard wedding? Exclusively documentary style? Hello dream! But the realist in me knew I would never be able to divide my attention so many ways. Ultimately, I convinced her to hire the best wedding photographer I know, Melissa Wilson, and contented myself with covering the rest of the weekend.

Check out the rehearsal in the courtyard of the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. Images in the grid can be clicked to expand.

Next up is the wildly fun rehearsal dinner at Napoleon House.


Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Happy Birthday Liam | Pensacola Birth Photographer

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to be back with the Herman family for the birth of baby Liam at Pensacola's Sacred Heart Hospital. I first met Shannon and Joe when I photographed their daughter Emma's birth 2 years ago. (If you missed that, be sure to check it out here.) Meeting them, the kids, and Shannon's parents in L&D triage again was like a fun family reunion.

Labor & Delivery was quiet. We had triage all to ourselves, the kids had the run of the place, the nurses had time to chat, and even Dr. Medlock hung out with us for a while. The waiting room and recovery were also ghost towns and the morning just seemed to fly by. Once Liam was born, vitals done, and the siblings and grandparents met, we were quickly swept into a postpartum room! I was so surprised by how fast everything went that I didn't even realize we were leaving L&D. It was very cool to be able to capture the family moving down the halls and into their room. 

AND! I had a chance to hold baby Liam while mom and dad got settled.

And if you know me, you know that I LIVE to hold newborns.

Anyway, here are a few highlight, but don't forget to scroll down, watch the slideshow for the full story. Also take a moment to leave a comment at the end of the post.

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Click play on the slideshow below to see so much more. Please also take just a moment to click "comment" at the end of this post, and leave Shannon & Joe a sweet word. Once 50 people have commented, they will have their choice of images for an FREE 8x10 mounted print!

A special thanks to my hero labor and delivery nurse, Angie, for (once again) saving the day and manning my back-up camera in the OR. One day we'll get Sacred Heart to start letting photographers into the operating theater again. Until then, I am so blessed to have talented nurses willing to be my wing women.


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Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Arden's Newborn Lifestyle | Pensacola Photographer

The McDonalds are back, with their third baby girl...Arden Grace.

Everything about this family is just gorgeous. Gorgeous faces, gorgeous home, gorgeous style, and gorgeous hearts for each other and for the Lord. They are so lively, connected, and put together. I could seriously photograph them all. day. long. 

With two rambunctious girls and a newborn, you would probably expect a family/newborn session to be rather chaotic. Most mamas anticipate toddlers being uncooperative and ask me how we will ever manage to get any good pictures. Honestly though, the lifestyle approach is the solution too all of that, and this family always nails it. Here's why.

1. They plan activities that will engage the kids in something special, important, or fun. Bathing the baby, strumming on Daddy's heirloom guitar, reading favorite books together.

2. They go with the flow. I know it is hard to know that your kids will likely be uncooperative during the short time that you have to get in the pictures you are hoping for. But nothing derails that faster than trying to force a toddler to do something they don't want to do. So give them time to warm up to me. Feed them if they are hungry. Let them make their own choices and jump on the bed. And ignore them when they want to be left alone. 

3. Daddy keeps a pocket full of Jelly Beans. Keeping a small (not-messy or crumbly) treat in a pocket is an excellent distraction that entices little ones to slow down and stick close to the action. 

4. Bonus style tip: Wear simple, comfortable clothing that coordinates with your house and any special items you want to incorporate in your session. Don't try too hard and have back-up shirts for Mom and Dad ready, just in case baby spits up on you. Audrey is a pro at selecting wardrobe. I'm thinking maybe I should hire her as a freelance pre-session style consultant. 

Play the slideshow below to check out the rest of this gorgeous session. Then please take a moment to scroll down and leave a comment. Because once 50 people have commented on the blog post, I will gift Audrey & John with an 8x10 mounted print from their session. Who doesn't love a print?!


Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Fitness Maternity Lifestyle | Fort Walton Beach Photographer

Could there be anything more satisfying to a lifestyle photographer than a client that says, "I just want you to capture everything that's real"? Of course, incorporating the places you frequent and activities you love is the whole point of this lifestyle trend, but it is so rare to find a client that is on board for a purely documentary style session...that isn't a birth.

Jenny was so excited to just have fun with her maternity session and to capture all of the effort and sweat she has put into maintaining a strong body throughout her pregnancy. She and her husband Sean planed for me to document their pre-planned workout at an open air fit pad on Hurlburt Field, FL. 

She told me that she didn't want to try and hide the fact that lifting, especially while pregnant, is freaking hard work. (Even if she did make it look easy enough that I feel like a wimpy loser baby!)

In the end, I was able to rope them into a few more directed images. And Sean really rallied, after a grueling workout, to climb a rope and hang upside down for an impressive amount of time...as I directed Jenny to swing him toward the best light for an adorable Spiderman kiss. 

Check out the highlights from this fitness maternity session in the slideshow below. And don't forget to leave a quick comment to help Jenny & Sean earn a print from their session. They need 50 people to comment to earn a free mounted 8x10 image. 


Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Shoot & Share 2017

After I posted on social media about my excitement over being a finalist in the 2017 Shoot & Share contest, several of my amazing clients and supporters expressed an interest in seeing the images that ranked. Now that all of the results have finally been announced, I thought I would share a quick little blog post with all of the images that received recognition...for anyone interested...and because I am ridiculously proud to have my work stand next to all of the incredible photographers that entered. Some of whom I have learned from and followed for years. See the slideshow for all of my ranking images (in the order of how well they did), and keep reading for a rundown on how the contest works if you like.

Here's how it works. Entrants are allowed to enter up to 50 images total, across 25 different image categories. The categories are things like Family, Maternity, Lifestyle, Emotion & Excitement, various ages of children (Newborn, Babies & Toddlers), various wedding related subjects (Bride, Goom, Wedding Couple, Reception), and etc. (Sadly, Birth is not a category and no one is allowed to enter anything that may be perceived as too graphic.) This year over 330,000 images were entered from all over the world. 

So many of you asked if you could go an vote for me (I LOVE YOU GUYS!), but the beauty of this contest is that it isn't that simple. There is no way to quickly go in and cast your vote for any certain image. Voting is done completely anonymously and at random, which makes this contest the most fair and authentic one out there. It isn't about a photographer's popularity and there is no way for anyone to flood the voting pool with votes for their own images. Each image stands 100% on it's own merits.

When the month long voting process begins, the voter is shown a random group of 4 images from one category and asked to click on their favorite image to vote. The algorithm will continue to show you groups of 4 images for as long as you want to continue voting. Voting is done in 12 rounds. At the end of each round, a percentage of the images with the lowest number of times picked are eliminated. While anyone CAN go in and vote, it is entirely possible that you may never even see. Voting literally overtook my entire February...I had the contest up on my computer, my iPad, and my iPhone pretty much constantly and I would vote every second I got. And in all that time only only ONE of the images above came up for me to vote on. Crazy right? It is both frustrating to not be able to vote for your own images, and seriously validating when you finally get to see how so many other people (mostly photographers...because who else is going to endure that voting process) responded to your images. 

So that's it in a nutshell. Thanks for reading and supporting my work. And a HUGE thanks to each of the beautiful faces (or feet, as the case may be) in these images for even making this possible.


Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Willa's First Night Out | Los Angeles Newborn Photographer

In January, I hauled myself and a backpack full of camera gear across the country to Los Angeles, CA to visit my sister, her hubs, and (mostly) my brand new baby niece, Willa. 

I kept hearing all about how LA weather is amazing and it never rains, and so naturally, I was prepared to be in non-stop photographer mode. I was lied to. It rained the first three days of my 5-day trip. Womp-womp. I can't complain too much, as that left ample time for baby snuggles, and I still came home with a ton of images of Willa (and her parents). Finally the rain stopped and we were able to get out on my last night in town. The images from this night are my favorite. 

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Katie and Gavin took Willa on her first walk around the neighborhood, while I stalked them like paparazzi. Afterwards, we went out for dinner and a little shopping. Highlights include new parents struggling to figure out the stroller for the first time, baby wearing, an impromptu stop in a record store, and Willa sleeping in every single shot. What a beautiful representation of real life with your first baby, when things are still easy enough that your life can pretty much continue on as you've known it...plus a tiny sidekick and a car full of newfound necessities.

Los_Angeles_Newborn_Photographer

This is a can't miss video, so go ahead and press play.

Leave a comment below to let Katie and Gavin, know how much you've enjoyed being a part of their first family adventure. Then click BOOK A SESSION and take me along to capture YOUR next family adventure.


Pensacola_Family_Photographer

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Michael | Mommy & Me

Michael should be a baby model. He is just so sweet and expressive...and he's perpetually happy. His mama may have other stories to tell, but as far as I'm concerned, he is the happiest baby I've ever met. The happiest baby, whose big bright shiny eyes totally light up with smiles for me...and send my ovaries into over drive). Every time I see him, I think: Yep. I need just ONE more. So, maybe stop right here if you don't want baby fever. Otherwise, check out his Mommy & Me mini shesh!

pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer
pensacola mommy & me, lifestyle mini studio mini, photography pensacola, pensacola photographer

Readers, please take a moment to leave a comment for this sweet little chunk and his beautiful mama. When 50 people have commented, I will gift them with a mounted 8x10 image from their session (a $40.00 value).


Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

The Reutters | Pensacola Family Lifestyle

Today I am blogging a session that I have been holding close to the vest. A rad videography company, called Flomobooth, is working on something pretty special for me. They are putting together a video profile of my little photography business. As part of the process, Flomobooth asked me to identify a client that would be open to having our session filmed for "behind the scenes" footage. I am on pins and needles to see what kind of magic they are working, and how this video will highlight exactly what lifestyle photography is all about. And initially, I thought I would keep this session under wraps until the video debuted...But I am just too excited to share it. So here's what's up!

Most of my clients in the target filming window were (in hospital) birth and newborn clients. Since filming a birth would not be permitted by the hospital, and newborn sessions are a little hectic in their own rite, I decided I would take the opportunity to call for "models". I had an amazing response from so many beautiful families, and I am so very appreciative of each and every one of you who took the time to share your family life with me. Gosh was it tough to make a decision!

In the end, Jon and Mallory's family stood out with a story that I was really excited to tell. Jon is a pilot. Naturally, family life is heavily impacted by the time that he is gone and homecomings are regularly celebrated. In our home interview, I could see that it is genuinely important to them to make the most of every moment he is home. This story of homecoming and squeezing as much quality time as possible into the in between times, is the narrative I wanted to highlight with our session.

Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle

A quick word on this next image. I didn't take it, Auden did! Toddlers so often start out pretty reserved around me. It's usually a safe bet that, they are curious about my camera and love to push buttons on expensive things that they are not normally allowed to touch. As a way to break the ice, get them involved, and show them that I am just here to have fun with them, I let them take pictures. Now, 99.5% of the time, these snaps won't result in anything even remotely useable. Really, 98% of the time, these shots capture the either the floor or the ceiling. But once in a blue moon, a toddler just nails it with something like this:

Pensacola Family Lifestyle

Maybe it's not the most incredible shot, or even the most flattering angle (Sorry-not-sorry Mallory! You're gorgeous!), but I still think it's a sweet moment and pretty special that it was captured by their daughter.

Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle
Pensacola Family Lifestyle

We had a blast, welcoming daddy home from work, playing like crazy, and making Mickey Mouse pancakes while baby Rollins napped. Click play below to see the full story of life at home with the Reutters.

And be sure to stay tuned to see how Flomobooth works the behind the scenes footage from this session into a video all about my process and passion for lifestyle imagery. Here's Christine filming me shooting from inside Auden's tipi. Because sometimes, you have to cram yourself into crazy places to get the shot. That's life...style.

Flomobooth, Pensacola videography

Thanks so much to Flomobooth for your incredible work and passion, and to Jon and Mallory for welcoming the three of us (and AAAALLLLL of our gear) into your home to capture your life. Readers, please take a moment to leave a comment for Jon and Mallory. When 50 people have commented, I will gift them with a mounted 8x10 image from their session (a $40.00 value).


Natalie Zepp Photography, Pensacola Birth Photographer, Pensacola Family Photographer, Pensacola boudoir Photographer, Pensacola maternity photographer, pensacola newborn photographer

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo Credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Josephine Peak | Los Angeles Maternity Photographer

Last week I visited my sister and brand new baby niece in Los Angeles. Being the relentless photographer that I am, I naturally have hundreds of images of that sweet baby face. Those will take some time to weed thru and edit. 

But it just so happens that my oldest friend in the world, Hannah, lives not 20 minutes from my sister. She is quite actually my oldest friend. In the whole wide world. Since we were nothing but blips in our own mothers' wombs. We've fallen in and out of touch over the years, but that kind of history and friendship, thru the most formative years, is a solid rock. And so I knew we had to catch up while I was in town. As soon as I let her know I was coming, she asked for a maternity session. I couldn't have been more psyched to capture this special time for her little family. Unfortunately, plans fell thru...when that perfect California weather I keep hearing about turned into a weekend of monsoons, and her hubby got tied up at work on the sunnier days. A total bummer, but we made the best of it and found some time to trek up her favorite trail in the San Gabriel mountains (in the snow and rapidly falling light) for a few shots and lots of great conversation.

Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains
Los Angeles Maternity Photographer, josephine peak, pasadena, california, snow, mountains

Such a gorgeous lady and incredible scenery really made up for the rain that dampened half of my trip. If you look closely in the last image, you can see the lights of the city. If it weren't for the horrendous traffic  and ridiculous cost of living, I'd probably be moving here tomorrow.

Once 50 people have commented on this post, Hannah will receive a FREE 8x10 mounted print. Take a moment to leave a little love below.


Natalie Zepp Photography, Pensacola Birth Photographer, Pensacola Family Photographer, Pensacola boudoir Photographer, Pensacola maternity photographer, pensacola newborn photographer

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Erin & Lily | Mommy & Me

When it comes to being in the picture, all too often, mommies just get totally shafted. We are always the person behind the camera. We are the ones who research tips on how to take better photos. We capture everyone else making memories with our babies. But ourselves? We're relegated to awkward selfies. Or we hand the camera over to someone else and beg for a couple of sub-par snaps. No one just thinks of us. Thinks to capture us candidly while we are focused on our children and not the camera.

So when longtime friends bring their new babies to visit me, I send them cryptic text messages in advance..."wear make-up and neutral colors". Then somewhere in the middle of all the chatting, coffee drinking, and baby snuggling, I herd them into some nice light and pull out my gear. Because I'm a mom too, and nothing would make me happier than if someone would do that for me.

So word to the husbands, parents, siblings, and friends of new mothers...heck, all mothers! Be observant. Look for the moments you can pick up a camera and capture a few memories for her. Don't tell her. Don't ask her to look or smile. Chances are, she will tell you not to take her picture. So just do it. There is no time in our lives more precious than this, and no time more fleeting.

Here are Erin and baby Lily:

Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session
Pensacola, Mommy & Me Photography, mini session

Natalie Zepp Photography, Pensacola Birth Photographer, Pensacola Family Photographer, Pensacola boudoir Photographer, Pensacola maternity photographer, pensacola newborn photographer

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography

Grayson | Pensacola Newborn Photography

Grayson's newborn session has been buried in my blogging backlog from earlier this year. With the session having a decidedly Holiday feeling, it made more sense to me to wait and share it closer to Christmas...rather June when I wrote it. It's a favorite, so I am excited that it is finally time! (Happy belated 1st birthday G!) 

Pensacola Newborn Photographer, Christmas newborn session

Back when I worked a 9-5, I met this super sweet writer who was also named Natalie. We would cross paths at the office every now and then. I even spotted her in my OB's office once when we were both pregnant (I was feeling awfully nauseated that day Natalie, so I hope you'll understand why I didn't make the effort to say 'Hi'). It is awfully nerve wracking being a non-writer and writing for a writer, but I have put off this blog post far too long. So, here it goes. No proofing in your head while you read this, okay Natalie? 😉

I was so excited when Natalie contacted me for a newborn/family session for baby number 2. With Natalie due close to Christmas, we scheduled for January. Baby Grayson however, had other plans. He showed up almost a full month early. Luckily, another baby on my schedule was very late in arriving and swapping their scheduled dates worked out perfectly!

This session was dreamy. Natalie and Brandon's home had ample natural light and the perfect mix of comfortable, stylish decor. It felt put together, but lived in. And they were so CHILL thru the whole shoot. Sessions with infants and young children can unravel pretty quickly if mom and dad get upset about baby crying or big brothers and sisters acting out. So major props to N & B for keeping their cool, and going with the flow when baby Grayson wouldn't stop crying and big brother Baylen wanted nothing to do with me.

Baylen did eventually come around. He and I happen to share a birthday. He must have sensed that I was a kindred spirit, because we became best friends. And I fed him candy. Lots of candy. Every time he held out his hand like this and asked me for it:

Pensacola Newborn Photographer, Christmas newborn session

Click play below to see the sweet slideshow, and don't forget to leave Natalie and Brandon a little comment below. They just need 50 to earn a free 8x10 mounted print (a $40 value).

Thank you for reading and watching! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Natalie Zepp Photography, Pensacola Birth Photographer, Pensacola Family Photographer, Pensacola boudoir Photographer, Pensacola maternity photographer, pensacola newborn photographer

Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design. 

Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography