“Mother” Added to My Resume

I’ve been a mother to fur babies for 17 years and now I’ve recently added “mother to human baby” to my resume. Koda Joy Levine is brand new to our pack! She is strong, beautiful and full of fire. I loved her the moment I knew she existed and was so happy to meet her when she entered the outside world.

I am one lucky mama.


To say that having a newborn baby has been an adjustment is a huge understatement. I’ve always respected mamas and now that I am experiencing this journey firsthand I have even more admiration for them. I am slowly adjusting to this new “normal” and will continue to do so with each passing day. I am learning and growing almost as much as my little one.

Motherhood is expanding my heart and building up my life’s resume. It will no doubt contribute to my creativity in a positive way (once I get just a littttttllleee more sleep!). I am looking forward to very soon getting back into some creative time with my photography and painting.

I feel it’s important to be honest about both sides of this gig. Motherhood for me is beautiful and incredibly difficult! (Full disclosure: I felt the same way about pregnancy!) There is so much contrast in my life right now. Within 5 minutes- or really even within 5 seconds- I can experience a large handful of very different emotions– tears of exhaustion or stress in one moment can turn to tears of joy in another.

It’s like everything is out on the table, for both this baby and myself.

I am more vulnerable now than I have ever been in my life. The experience is both beautiful and terrifying. Having a newborn has already reminded me of the preciousness of life and how quickly time passes. It has reminded me of how important it is to pay attention to who and what matters and to what fills your heart. This experience has further validated how important my job has been as a photographer. Capturing the love and connection that exists in family (fur or otherwise) has always been an honor for me, but now, I think it will be even more so as I know first hand this level of vulnerability and connection. The time really does go by quickly in many ways… I even get nostalgic over photographs I took yesterday of this little one. I am looking forward to getting back into being there for my clients and their beloved families soon with this new perspective. I do my best to be in the present moment as much as possible. Having said that, I’ve already taken a thousand photographs of this baby girl and I am sure to take a hundred million more.

We had professional portraits created by Pinkle Toes Photography when she was just 12 days old and I am so grateful to have them to cherish. I will continue to have portraits created of us as a family– primarily because I want to be part of them!
We have so many memories to create and capture and I am incredibly honored to have added this new role of mother to my life’s resume.

Thank you to my dear friend Michele at Pinkle Toes Photography for this gorgeous portrait of Koda and me.

Thank you to my dear friend Michele at Pinkle Toes Photography for this gorgeous portrait of Koda and me.

Feels fresh like a newborn baby, Austin, Texas.

I'm pleased to present Nicolette, a delicate newborn baby here in Austin,  just 18 days old in these photographs. Looking at these images puts me right back to the moment I captured them. Tiny figures, tiny toes, wispy eyelashes and the fresh scent of a baby just gives me goose bumps. Photographing Nicolette was such a pure joy.  Just 18 days old! Normally I recommend photographing newborns no older than 10 days, but circumstances didn't allow for that to happen with Nicolette. The reason for photographing newborns earlier than 10 days is that they are able to fall into a very deep sleep, allowing me to photograph them and pose them without waking them. In the very first days, babies still have a strong tendency to curl their legs in, which is really sweet for photographs. Like all the photographing I love to do, patience is a key element to success and I was very pleased with the way the results of the session. It is an honor to be able to work with families during this exciting time in their lives. We had to wait for the baby to fall deep enough asleep for me to be able to photograph her. This took some time, but eventually she fell into in a deep slumber and allowed me to work with her in a few adorable poses. Nicolette's mother had purchased some precious newborn hats that she wanted her new little girl to wear for her session. (Etsy.com) For this session I used studio lighting equipment, which I set up in their home as mom was finishing the baby's feeding. Sometimes I use natural light, but for this session I chose studio lighting as my tool.  I photographed Nicolette in her home. It was convenient and comforting for the parents to not have to worry about packing up the baby and bringing her to a studio. We spent time in the comfort of their home amongst all of the things they needed for the baby and I think this was of tremendous value to the parents.

There is something extremely peaceful about photographing newborns. Sure, there are not so peaceful moments– like when the baby is unsettled, or when they have an accident (hey-that's par for the course and it doesn't bother me at ALL!) As a photographer, a peaceful demeanor is a must in this situation especially, despite the possible hic-ups. In order to soothe the baby I have to be calm and have a relaxed energy. The more calm I am, the more the baby can feel that energy during these session. And since the mother is always associated with food, it usually works best if I handle the baby for the posing as mom watches from a short distance as she keeps an eye on her new baby. It is important to me that everyone is comfortable, safe, and happy during these sessions. Nicolette's parents are delighted to have these high quality images to artfully treasure this important stage in their baby's life.

Thank you, Erin and Kyle for allowing me to create and share these images of  your amazing baby girl. Here's to an incredible first year!


Norah Levine is an Austin children portrait photographer and pet photographer. She photographs in homes and on location. She also travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico frequently for sessions. Please view her website for more details www.norahlevinephotography.com