September 24th, 2014 |

TIPS for PHOTOGRAPHING A NEWBORN

tips for photographing a newborn

WE ASKED CHICAGO-PHOTOGRAPHER, KATIE GIERKE, OF KATHRYN HASTINGS PHOTOGRAPHY TO GIVE US HER BEST TIPS FOR STYLING AND CAPTURING YOUR LITTLE ONE. READ ON FROM THIS EXCERPT OF OUR BABY by WH HOSTESS DIGITAL MAGAZINE, TO LEARN HOW TO CAPTURE YOUR FAMILY’S PERFECT LITTLE MOMENTS.  THIS LIST WILL HELP YOU TAKE THE PERFECT PHOTO FOR YOUR BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT.

TIP 1

photographing newborns

Light, light, light! It is so important to have really great natural light. Babies are so naturally beautiful you want to make sure that the lighting in your pictures is as natural as possible. I love shooting early in the morning in a room with lots of windows and if possible on a bright overcast day. The soft natural lighting will eliminate your little one.

Tip 2

tips for photographing newborns

Simplicity. I love simple, beautiful and natural pictures. The baby should be the main subject in your picture. While backdrops are cute, real life backdrops are more natural and classic. Your pictures will never be dated and will never go out of style. Get rid of all the extra stuff (stuffed animals, signs and props). You want your back ground to be clean. I think a great location for a newborn shoot is a bed. Clear the extra clutter off your nightstands, dressers ect. You can’t go wrong with simple!

Tip 3

ideas for newborn photography

Dressing your baby. Wraps are timeless. Babies seem to sleep deeper if they are swaddled and you will be able to play with them more for pictures while they are in a deep sleep. I love the beautiful Aden & Anais wraps and they are easy to find on Amazon, target or a baby store. Make sure you get the blankets that are plain colors. Once your swaddle them tightly you can add a cute hat, bow or just leave them as they are.

Tip 4

photographing a baby

Preparing your Baby for the Shoot. When you shoot a newborn you want to make sure the heat in the house is turned up. Make sure it is warmer then normal. This will help them sleep and stay asleep. Make sure the baby is fully fed and their diaper is clean. It takes patients and time to photograph a newborn.

Tip 5

tips for photographing babies

P.S. That is Kelly’s son Daniel!

Your Camera. This amazing instrument can feel like a very daunting task to figure out. I would recommend you read the manual. I know that sounds like a silly tip to give, but honestly so many people have these great cameras and never pick up the manual. Auto is a great tool that all these cameras have, but there is so so so much more to them then just the auto click and capture. If you are getting adventurous Throw your camera in M (manual) and keep the lens in AF(auto focus) play with your ISO settings. If you want to keep it simple for now then keep it in auto and play with your angels. Don’t be scared to off center your picture or to take your picture from farther away. An inch one direction or another can change a picture.

“Photography is so much fun and can be so rewarding. It take a lot of patients and practice. Keep playing with that camera and you will be so happy with the images you create all on your own. If you have any questions or would like me to photograph your newborn, please reach out to me, katie@kathrynhastings.com. Now grab that camera and get to work!”

~ Katie Gierke of Kathryn Hastings Photography

For more tips, follow Katie on Facebook.  If you are interested in a shoot in the Chicagoland area, please contact her thru her website, kathrynhastings.com.

 

September 23rd, 2014 |

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS by WH HOSTESS | KELLY’S TIPS

After waiting nine long months for your little bundle of joy to arrive, you are naturally eager to share the news with your friends and family. Birth announcements are a wonderful way to introduce your precious baby to the world, yet proper birth announcement etiquette can leave new parents with questions. We’re hoping to answer those today and also introduce you to the new birth announcement collection from WH Hostess (featured in the new digital magazine BABY by WH HOSTESS).

birth announcements intro

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT SELECTION

While it’s wise to have a short list of announcements selected prior to your baby’s birth, we encourage you to select a design that compliments the photo of your newborn.  (see tips from Kathryn Hastings Photography tomorrow on the blog!)

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT TIMELINE

With social media so available these days, chances are the arrival of your baby was news minutes after it happened. A classic birth announcement should be sent out within the first 6 months of life. We like to encourage clients to aim for sometime within the first 3 months!

CREATING A RECIPIENT LIST

Clients often ask us how many cards they should order, and that is a very personal question. The simple answer is: send them to whoever you think would want to celebrate your big news. This may include you family, best friends, neighbors, coworkers, workout buddies, old college friends. Bottom line, who wouldn’t want to celebrate the arrival of your brand new baby?

WHAT YOU SHOULD & SHOULDN’T INCLUDE

You should absolutely include your baby’s full name, birth date, and height and weight. Make sure to include “welcomed with love” followed by the parents’ names or “Daniel has a little sister” to include the whole family in the joy. Don’t include any registry information on your birth announcement. If recipients wish to send your little one a gift, they will seek out the information. If you do receive gifts for your baby, don’t forget to send a thank you note as soon as possible, though it is acceptable to take up to three months.

UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Can you send a birth announcement for an adoption? Absolutely! What if your baby was a premie in the NICU for 2 months? We suggest sending announcements once the baby comes home. Bottom line, there are no rules and you can make up your own guidelines for your specific situation.

Printed on a luxe, smooth cardstock with classic, yet updated designs that ooze that fresh baby look, here are a few of our favorite new birth announcements from WH Hostess:

birth announcements by wh hostess

And if you can’t find the perfect card to suit your image, or are looking for a more unique design, please contact Kelly to inquire about a custom design.

custom birth announcements by wh hostess

September 17th, 2014 |

TPD MAGAZINE | BABY by WH HOSTESS

digital magazine about baby showersThe birth of a new baby (or a brand new stationery collection!) is an exciting time that deserves to be celebrated in style.  The Party Dress Magazine is pleased to launch a special issue full of gorgeous inspiration for all things baby.  From planning baby showers, sip & see’s, and baptisms, to gift ideas, recipes, advice for photographing your newborn, etiquette for selecting birth announcements and writing thank you notes, to ideas from your favorite bloggers on how to create traditions and modern heirlooms with your family, this issue is gorgeous and full of very happy occasions.

It also showcases the products from the new BABY by WH HOSTESS collection of birth announcements, stationery and baby shower party goods.

Join us in celebrating our new “baby!”

collection magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This issue features contributions from some special ladies.  Katie Gierke of Kathryn Hastings Photography shares her tips for photographing your newborn, Melisa Fluhr and Pam Ginnochio of Project Nursery share ideas for the perfect baby shower gift, Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio shares a unique idea for creating a modern heirloom, and some of your favorite bloggers share their family traditions in hopes to inspire new ones for your family! (thank you to The TomKat Studio, Project Nursery, Pizzazzerie, Kate Landers Events and Swanky Chic Fete)

This issue and collection of paper goods was inspired by the birth of my first child in late 2013. This little love has brought so many happy occasions into my life this last year, many of them documented in the issue.  Each event, milestone or happy occasion brought about a need for stylish paper goods….thus the BABY by WH HOSTESS collection was born.  It will continue to grow, but for now – I hope you enjoy this new collection that oozes that fresh baby look and feel. Classic gingham checks, soft stripes, sweet baby monograms – all done in my signature style offered on birth announcements, stationery, baptism invitations and the most gorgeous collection of baby shower invitations and party decor around.

August 18th, 2014 |

NEW! FOIL-EMBOSSED NAPKINS

personalized foil-embossed napkins from wh hostess

We’re downright swooning over our new foil-embossed beverage napkins! New to the shop, we offer 30 fresh, modern designs for both everyday entertaining and the holidays.  Here’s where it gets exciting….

personalized foil stamped napkins from wh hostessYou choose the design, the napkin color, and the ink color.  The possibilities are endless for you to create a custom napkin perfect for your style.  It’s the perfect way to add a touch of luxe to your everyday and holiday entertaining.

Adding a personalized napkin to your bar cart, birthday party or baby shower is a great way to carry out your theme or color palette.  Thenapkins are sold in sets of 50 for $40, making them a lovely hostess gift or holiday gift!

Here are a sampling of designs available:

foil stamped napkin design optionspersonalized napkins from wh hostess

 

July 10th, 2014 |

CELEBRATE! ENJOY 20% OFF at WH HOSTESS

BIRTHDAY DISCOUNT 2014As Kelly celebrates the big 3-5 this weekend (yikes!  is that considered middle-aged?!) we invite you to enjoy 20% off your order at WH Hostess.  It’s the perfect time to stock up on stationery, get started on that fall birthday party, expand your wardrobe of Cake Plate Clings, order a set of our fabulous new foil-embossed gift tags, or even get a jump start on your holiday cards and gifts!

CATEGORIES

Restrictions: this discount is not valid on previous purchases, custom designs or party plans.  The offer is valid from Thursday, July 10, 2014 – Sunday, July 13, 2014.  CODE: CELEBRATE.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And Happy Shopping!

June 24th, 2014 |

NEW! FOIL-EMBOSSED GIFT TAGS

preppy personalized foil embossed gift tags by wh hostessWe’re downright swooning over our new foil-embossed gift tags! New to the shop, we offer over 48 fresh, modern designs in two different shapes: luggage and square.  Here’s where it gets exciting….

You choose the design, the paper color, and the ink color.  The possibilities are endless for you to create a custom tag perfect for your style.  It’s the perfect way to add a touch of luxe to your everyday and holiday gifting.

preppy personalized foil embossed gift tags by wh hostess

preppy personalized foil embossed gift tags by wh hostessFoil-embossed paper goods has long been a staple in the luxe stationery category, and we’re so excited to add a fresh, modern look with our preppy designs.  The gold and silver foil offers a sophisticated look on any paper color, and we LOVE the look of matte white ink stamped on colored tags.  Perfect for tying on a hostess gift, birthday presents and for holiday gifting – we hope you have fun with this new product!

preppy personalized foil embossed gift tags by wh hostess

 

June 19th, 2014 |

INTRODUCING….. PLACECARD CLINGS!

personalized placecard clings by wh hostessDress up your next event with our new, personalized placecard clings. Our new “Celebration Clings” are an addition to our Cake Plate Clings line, and allows you to add a fashionable element to centerpieces or glassware at any event, by clinging to your glasses without adhesive.

Care is simple: peel the cling off your glasses after use, hand-wash with warm water (if needed) and store flat for future use.

These darling placecard clings are 2″ round in size, already available in a variety of colors and designs (many more coming to the shop soon!) and can be personalized with your guests names. They fit perfectly on a water glass or wine glass!

See them used at our Preppy Animals Baby Shower here.

June 9th, 2014 |

4th OF JULY CAKE PLATE CLINGS | ORDER NOW!

patriotic cluster 900

Summer brings a whole new collection of red, white and blue Cake Plate Clings to WH Hostess.  Dress up your 4th of July BBQs, summer picnics and clambakes with these festive decorative liners.  Cake Plate Clings {patent-pending} are reusable, non-adhesive, slide-free and printed with environmentally-friendly ink and materials.  They are the perfect accessory to your dessert table or buffet, and also make a fabulous gift!
Order your patriotic Cake Plate Clings this week in order to guarantee delivery for the 4th of July! And don’t forget about summer parties….it’s time to start planning your summer soirees!  We have a fabulous assortment of party invitations and paper goods for kids partiesbaby showers and summer bbqs!
May 28th, 2014 |

NEW PRODUCT: CENTERPIECE CLINGS

boy puppy party centerpiece clingWhen a new product hits the shop, I get excited!  This product – well, it was one of those hit-yourself-on-the-forehead-and-say “Duh!  Why didn’t we do these before!?” products.  Centerpiece Clings.  Yup, a smaller version of our popular Cake Plate Clings that can be used on your basic, everyday vases, glasses and hurricanes to create a custom-looking centerpiece that is party-ready.

navy monogram centerpiece cling verticalCenterpiece Clings have been added to each of our popular party collections.  Everything from our sweet little monkey, to our classic puppy party doghouse, to our princess silhouette, and crisp monograms (in SO MANY different color combinations) – each one offers a unique accent for our boy and girl theme parties, baby showers and more.girl monkey centerpiece clingpastel princess centerpiece clingturq sunrise monogram centerpiece cling

Just like our Cake Plate Clings, a patent-pending product from WH Hostess, Centerpiece Clings are a novel series of decorative linings/accessories designed for cake stands, pedestals and serving dishes, and now we can add vases to the list!  Centerpiece Clings are washable, reusable, non-adhesive, slide-free, residue-free and printed with environmentally friendly ink and material.

peeling off cling horizontalCenterpiece Clings add a fashionable element to party decorations by clinging to your centerpiece vessels without adhesive. Clings can be customized for individual needs, by including initials, monograms or sayings. Care is simple: peel the cling off your serving piece after use, hand-wash with warm water and store flat for future use.

April 29th, 2014 |

DANIEL’S BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT by WH HOSTESS

ba side angleWhen it came time to announce my first son’s birth, I had to do it in a stylish way!  I wanted to create a classic birth announcement that had my signature touch of preppy pizzazz – but would still look current when Daniel looks back on it 20 years from now.  His birth inspired our latest collection, “BABY by WH HOSTESS“, a series of perfectly preppy birth announcements, baby stationery and baby shower party collections that will make every mama drool.  And his birth announcement is just a peek of our new collection, which is getting added to the shop weekly….

front and backI wanted to showcase more than one photo of my sweet boy, although didn’t want it to look too busy.  So I created an announcement with a gate fold, and a simple blue and white greek key front, and a collage back featuring 9 photos of Daniel with our family.  Inside opened up to a large picture of my little angle, flanked by lattice patterned sides that shared all of his birth stats.

birth announcementDaniel’s announcements were mailed the week of Christmas, and since I didn’t want to send out a separate Christmas card, I tied each announcement with striped ribbon and a small card featuring a photo of the three of us with the words “we believe”.  These two, powerful words meant a lot to us after our 5 year mission to start a family, and then Daniel’s early arrival and 6 week stay in the NICU.

One of my personal favorite things we do for clients is full-color envelope printing.  For these, I framed out the addresses with the coordinating greek key border and absolutely LOVED how they turned out!

birth announcement envelopes (web)I hope you enjoyed this peek into Daniel’s birth announcements and would love for you to take a peek at our new baby birth announcement collection.  We’ll be featuring some of the new designs tomorrow on the blog….so check back soon!

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