Madison County Nature Trail Pictures

When I was growing up in Huntsville, my family would pick up a bucket of KFC after church and head up to the Madison County Nature Trail. (Back then we called it the Green Mountain Nature Trail.) We would have a picnic lunch and then play around on the trails, covered bridge, and feed the geese at the lake. While I was pregnant with my second baby I did my maternity pictures in front of the lake. Now, I take my children to the lake to turtle watch. This place holds a very special place in my heart, so, I was thrilled when this family wanted to document their special time in their lives with family pictures at the Madison County Nature Trail!

Picture of family holding hands while walking at the Green Mountain Nature Trail.

I am honored that I did their first photo shoot as a family of four. Their youngest recently turned one and was ready to do some walking!

Little girl looking out of a window in a covered bridge.

I helped them pick out the perfect collection of portraits during their complimentary design consultation at their ordering appointment. They told me that they have files from every photo shoot they have done since their engagement, but they have few prints and wanted to start a gallery wall in their bedroom.

Madison County Nature Trail Pictures from a family session by Ellen Adams Photography.

Galleries can be added onto each time you do a session, building the story of your family as you grow.

They chose the picture on the left because it embodies their oldest daughter’s sweet personality and the picture on the right because it captures their youngest daughter’s bold and lively personality. It’s common to put a family picture in the middle of a gallery wall, but I thought it was fitting that they chose a picture of just the two of them for the middle. It focuses on the beginning of their family’s story- when it was just the two of them.

Family photo shoot in Huntsville, AL.

My mission is to help you create something not only tangible for your home, but also deeply moving for you and for your children to love and adore as the years pass.

 I plan to ensure that your printed portrait art does nothing but grow in sentimental value as your children grow, and as time rapidly rushes by.

Madison County Nature Trail picture of family on a bench.

I adore taking formal portraits, as well as photos of tender moments that capture the feeling of this moment in your life.

If you would regret not having photos to capture the stage your family is in right now, schedule your session today!

Monte Sano Family Pictures

As a Huntsville photographer who serves busy families, whether I am doing a newborn photo shoot or family pictures on top of Monte Sano, I always provide an in-home image premiere and ordering appointment. As a part of this experience, I provide all Ellen Adams Photography families with a complimentary design consultation.

Monte Sano family pictures of a mom and daughter by Ellen Adams Photography

After premiering your images from your session, you have the option to create your own collection to suit your needs, so you get exactly what you want.

Monte Sano anniversary photo shoot image of a couple celebrating 15 years of marriage together

(This sweet couple is celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary this year, so I made sure to include some portraits of just mom and dad together. )

Monte sano picture of child holding flowers on top of the mountain

It can be hard to pick just one portrait to hang in a special place in your home. That’s why I offer portrait collections for a ready-to-go gallery wall.

Monte Sano family portrait gallery wall

I bring a whole collection of frame samples, so you can see what the frame will look like against your paint. I am partnering with a local business to create custom built frames for each of your portraits. You can read why I stopped selling unframed prints here.

Also, I use software that allows you to view your images on your own walls at different sizes- to find just the right products for your house.

Monte Sano picture from a photo shoot of a family on top of the mountain

These three peas in a pod have a new home and they were ready for new family portraits.

What better way to make a house a home?

You can have family pictures on top of Monte Sano, in the woods, or by a peaceful lake. There are so many beautiful locations in Huntsville to choose from! If you are ready to book your family photo shoot click here.

Downtown Huntsville Photoshoot

As a Huntsville newborn photographer, I feel privileged every time a mom asks me to capture their family’s joyful, fleeting moments to preserve their legacy. I took maternity pictures for this sweet mama almost two years ago and then did a newborn photoshoot.

Pregnancy picture of mom with heart shaped hands and her newborn, captured by Ellen Adams Photography.

This little girl is about to turn two, so it was time for her family session! I usually do family pictures out in nature, but this family had a need to do a session elsewhere, so we took to Huntsville’s beautiful downtown.

Portrait of a child in downtown Huntsville from a family photoshoot by Ellen Adams Photography

This adorable little girl absolutely stole my heart during her family session. She kept running up to me and giving me hugs!

Pictures of a family in downtown Huntsville, AL during a family photo shoot by Ellen Adams Photography.

Of course, mom got even more hugs!

Big brother was such a delightfully energetic young man, and I enjoyed giving mom and dad a chance to be themselves for a moment, just the two of them. It’s important to remember that you were husband and wife first, before you became mom and dad.

Picture of a little girl twirling her dress in downtown Huntsville, AL during her family pictures by Ellen Adams Photography.

There was lots of running, twirling, and laughing.

The last session in a Baby Plan is a complimentary Family Photoshoot when your toddler is 12 – 24 months old. This little girl is turning two this weekend!

If you have a baby in the Huntsville area, join the Baby Plan Club today!

Huntsville Cake Smash

Image of a cake smash in Huntsville by Ellen Adams Photography

You made it!  We mark the first birthday with a celebration!  If you are planning a one-year cake smash in Huntsville, bring a birthday cake and get ready for a big mess!  

One year photoshoot in Huntsville by Ellen Adams Photography

At this stage, your baby is pulling himself up, standing, and perhaps even taking those first steps!  He’s on the go, crawling everywhere, and full of infectious energy. Bring a birthday cake to this session and let your growing toddler have a blast digging in with both hands!

One year photo shoot in Huntsville by Ellen Adams Photography

3 Tips for a Successful Cake Smash Session:

1. Schedule around Naps

Schedule your Cake Smash session around your baby’s nap time.  You want your baby feeling fresh and happy. Mornings are typically when babies are at their best.

2. What’s in the Cake

If your baby has any allergies, make sure the baker knows and adjusts accordingly!

Also, it’s best to stick to vanilla cake. Red velvet can look a little bloody, and chocolate can look like your baby had a diaper blowout.

Cake smash session in Huntsville by Ellen Adams Photography

3. What’s on the Cake

Avoid fondant because it’s hard to dig into and doesn’t tend to taste good.

Avoid hard sugar pearls/balls.  If you will be including anything non-edible or a potential choking hazard on the cake, make sure you sit Right next to your child during the cake smash to remove them from your baby’s hands the moment he grabs them!

I’m all for pretty pictures, but let’s do what we can to keep our babies safe!

Cake smash session in Huntsville, AL by Ellen Adams Photography

Bonus Tip:  If you want to capture your baby’s honest first reaction to cake, go for it!  All baby reactions to cake are priceless!  

However, if you want an enthusiastic cake-covered baby, it helps to feed your baby cake a time or two before your session so they know they’re about to have something super delicious!

Cake smash in Huntsville, AL image of baby eating cake for the first time, by Ellen Adams Photography.

Cake smashes are included as part of the one-year session in the Baby Plan Club. If you have a baby in Huntsville, AL join today for savings and exclusive products, such as the name collage (it’s the last picture in the link)!

One Year Photoshoot Tips | Huntsville, AL

4 Tips for your one year photoshoot by Ellen Adams Photography

As a Huntsville, AL newborn photographer, I love having the opportunity to document your baby from a maternity session all the way up into the transition to toddlerhood.  When it’s time for your baby’s one year photoshoot, there are a few things that will help your baby look their best (and for their first Baby Plan session too!).

One year old picture in Huntsville, AL captured by Ellen Adams Photography

1. Nap in a loose onesie

I always try to take pictures of babies when they are at their happiest, so that usually means in the morning, and past the newborn stage that means I am timing a session to be just after their morning nap.

Wearing a loose onesie will help prevent indentations on your baby’s skin from laying on a seam of their clothing during naptime.  Just before their session is the time to put their special outfit on.

2. Limit these foods for a few days

Flamingos turn pink from their diet, and we can turn a bit orange from our diet.

A lot of foods are carotenoids:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupes
  • Oranges
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash

These foods can contain beta-carotene, carotene, lycopene, or lutein.  All of which are good for you and should be included in your diet. However, when your baby eats them as the main part of their diet for an extended period of time, it can make their skin look a bit yellow or orange.  

Do what you can to limit these foods for a few days before your session.

Note: If diet is not the cause of your baby turning yellow, that is something your doctor needs to evaluate!

One year old looking at picture of himself as a one day old, by Ellen Adams Photography

3. Trim fingernails often

As a newborn and on, trimming fingernails is a challenging task, but very worthwhile to prevent your baby from scratching himself.

When your baby is a newborn, I love using outfits that have sleeves that fold over their hands to create a complete mitten-like enclosure to prevent fingernail scratches to your baby’s face.

As your baby gets older, mittens are impractical and your baby needs to be able to use their hands to play and learn new things!  So, clipping and/or filing their nails is a must-do weekly activity.

Distraction has been my key with both of my children.  If they are completely engaged with something or someone other than you across the room, you can sneak a finger or two in for trimming.  If you’re lucky you might even be able to get all of them done in one sitting. I know some parents use a special dessert as a distraction, and sometimes a special toy will do the trick.

Best of luck to you!  I know it can be very difficult, but you can do it!

4. Use rubbing alcohol

If you have a little boy, and he is getting his first haircut, go ahead and use some rubbing alcohol on his neck and the entire hairline that the barber uses his trimmer on.

It’s always a good idea to do what you can to prevent razor burn and infection.

First birthday portrait series collage to spell name, by Ellen Adams Photography

The series collage above is an exclusive product offered to my Baby Plan clients.  It captures the spirit of your child in multiple frames, but composited into one image!  

Charming and unique, the series collage is perfect at one year when your growing toddler proudly holds each letter of his name.

It makes for the perfect update for baby’s nursery, and a special first birthday present.

3 Ways to Prep Your Husband for Your Maternity Pictures

Maternity photography Huntsville image of pregnant couple on bridge in Hays Nature Preserve in Huntsville, AL by Ellen Adams Photography.

As a Huntsville Maternity photographer, I love to get gorgeous images of you as a new mama, but I also want to document the romance and excitement you have as a couple.  This is such a special time, and I want to help you prepare your husband so he has a great time, and so that your images will be even more amazing.

Maternity Photography Huntsville, AL image of pregnant mom with dad on a bridge by Ellen Adams Photography

3 Ways to Prep Your Husband for Your Maternity Pictures:

  1. Share some of your favorite images with your husband.

    Share from my blog, facebook, or instagram accounts, so he knows what to expect and why you are so excited.

  2. Explain that this is going to be fun.

    This will probably be different than any portrait session he has ever been a part of, and he is going to enjoy it. He simply gets to love on you, and I get to document it.

  3. Plan something fun afterwards.

    Most of my maternity sessions are outside, so as soon as the good lighting is gone, you get to go do something special together.

    If you are doing a sunset maternity photoshoot, you can go somewhere for dinner that you haven’t been to in a long time, or perhaps you have been wanting to go to but you just haven’t made the time to go to yet.

    Make a date out of it, and enjoy time together as a couple before that becomes a little bit more difficult when your baby arrives.

Huntsville maternity photographer image of pregnant couple on a bridge, captured by Ellen Adams Photography.

If you are expecting a baby, the best time to have a maternity session is at 30 weeks. It is also best to schedule your newborn session before your baby arrives. Please visit my Investment Page for pricing information, and to book your maternity and newborn photography sessions. I can’t wait to meet your family!

What to do with Your Kids During Your Maternity & Newborn Pictures

Bring them!  If your newborn will have loving older siblings they should absolutely be included in the maternity and newborn pictures!   I wouldn’t suggest that you have them stay for the entire session though. As a mama of two, I know that kids can get bored and antsy.   

If you are lucky enough to have family in town, have them come along to help take care of them during your session, and then take them somewhere fun after their part is done.  If your family isn’t in town, bring a friend.

Newborn picture with family in Huntsville, AL

We can take some pictures of you by yourself first, so your kids can see what I am doing and get to know me some, then we can get some pictures of you with your kids, and end with adding your husband in for some whole family pictures before sending your kids on their way.  

Sometimes it helps if the kids know that if they cooperate that there is a special treat (ice cream, a trip to the playground or a movie, etc.) waiting for them.  

Make sure you arrive to the location in the outfit you want to wear during your family portion of the session so your kids don’t have to wait on you to change.  Once they head off for fun with family or friends, then there will be plenty of time to focus on you and your husband (and your baby if it’s a newborn session)!

Click here for 10 Tips for Amazing Outfits for your Maternity Pictures

Huntsville Newborn Photography | Baby Seraphina

Huntsville newborn photography image of newborn with siblings by Ellen Adams Photography

I feel so blessed every time a family chooses me to be their newborn photographer. This time, I got to travel to a home in the Huntsville area to meet 11 day old Baby Seraphina. She really is as sweet as her name, and so are her three older siblings. Four children four and under, and precious as can be!

In August of 2013, their mama took a leap of faith and went shopping with a friend. Each bought a pair of maternity pants and a onesie. Each of them had been struggling to conceive. They told each other, “We will need these things in the next few months in Jesus’s name.” The next month, they both found out that they were expecting, and their first girls were born just 3 days apart! As she puts it, “That little seed of faith grew, and we believed for more.” And now, here is her fourth child, Seraphina Esmè. “God has gifted me the most beautiful family, and I love every single one of my children. It’s a testimony.”

I loved getting to see the older girls fawn over their little baby sister. All dads are heroes, and their dad has the super power to make his kids laugh. I am finding more and more often that it dads bring out the best giggles in their children! It was such a memorable morning. I am so glad I got to help this family preserve their legacy, all while staying in the comfort of their home.

Their portrait of all four children is only going to grow in sentimental value over time, and I am glad they are planning to hang it in their main family room where everyone will see it every day. Children get a self-esteem boost when they see themselves in a portrait in their home, and as a mama myself, I can tell you it’s helpful to have a visual reminder of the beauty of motherhood for those moments when parenting gets difficult. Thankfully for this mama, her life truly is blessed and she has her faith to give her strength.

Months before Baby Seraphina arrived, her mama scheduled her newborn session with me and told me that her nursery has a mermaid theme. One of her dear friends made a mermaid outfit for Seraphina, and this is the special portrait that I created especially for her mermaid nursery:

Huntsville newborn photography picture of 11 day old baby dressed as a mermaid in the sea, captured by Ellen Adams Photography.

If you are looking for a Huntsville Newborn Photographer contact me today. I can’t wait to meet your family!

Why I Stopped Selling Unframed Prints

Huntsville newborn photography displayed above a fireplace

As a Huntsville Newborn Photographer, I love getting to serve new moms with newborn photography in their home, but I also love serving new moms with a complimentary design consultation, as a part of their ordering appointment.  It can be so hard to visualize what your portraits will look like on your wall, and that’s why I use software to let you see what the final product will look like on your very own walls. To finish it off, I am partnered with a Huntsville family-owned framing business to offer quality and custom frames for your portraits.

Here’s why I won’t sell you a print anymore without one of their frames around it:

When I was a newlywed I went to Yosemite, and at the end of my trip I bought some of my favorite Ansel Adams prints from the gift shop.  I made sure they were safe on the plane ride home, so they wouldn’t get any dents or scratches. Then, I framed them; I framed by beautiful, classic prints in cheap frames.

Five years after my trip we had our first son.  One day, when our bouncing baby boy was old enough to crawl around, the frame broke.  It fell off of the wall and the glass shattered all over the floor right where my baby played.  I was horrified! I didn’t want my baby to crawl through broken glass, and babies are so curious- I knew I needed to act quickly.  I successfully cleaned it up, and my baby was safe. However, I knew this could have been prevented, and I wasn’t about to let this happen again.  I had my Ansel Adams prints reframed by a local frame company who specializes in high quality, custom frames.

Not long after that, I was home alone with my baby when a rather strong looking man tried to break into my home.  Thankfully, we had a security system, and when he realized he was on camera, he ran away. He never got inside my home.  The security system did its job; my family was safe. That picture frame had not done its job. My baby was put at risk.  Perhaps oddly enough, years after the fact, the broken glass incident haunts me more than the attempted break-in.

I realized that I am not the only person to use cheap frames.  Also, after sitting in several generations of my family’s homes, and seeing portraits of my baby propped up on their bookcase shelves unframed, I knew I needed to stop selling unframed prints.

It is one less thing for you to do in your busy life, and it keeps you from the temptation of buying cheap frames.  I work with the best labs in the country to give you archival-quality prints that your grandchildren will fight over someday, and I now partner with a local framing business to give you high-end frames that are both beautiful and functional, with archival glass to protect your prints.  In fact, it’s the same company that local interior designers use to frame artwork for their clients’ homes.

I can’t imagine it any other way.  You hire me to create coveted artwork for your family, I print using the best labs in the country, and then a local framing specialist frames your fine art with the best frames possible.  So in the end, you get the best possible fine art for your home, and it is of your family!

10 Tips for Amazing Outfits for your Maternity Pictures

This post is for my current and future mamas.  Here are some tips and tricks to prepare you for your maternity picture photoshoot!

(I have pages of more style tips that I give every mama who books a session with me, but this should get you started.)

This is a maternity picture of a pregnant mama in Huntsville, AL to give maternity picture outfit inspiration and tips for amazing outfits for your maternity photoshoot, captured by Ellen Adams Photography.

1. For a romantic look, wear a long flowy dress that will move with the wind.  Floor-length gowns create the best silhouette to flatter your figure and really highlight your bump.  Also, light and neutral colors will add to the light and airy effect.

2. Plan for 1-2 outfits.  You may have as many as you would like, but experience has shown me that 2 is about all that the setting sun gives us time for.  If you choose to have more than one outfit, I recommend one dress that is long and flowy to be romantic, and one dress that is more fitted.

3. Coordinating does not mean matching.  Wearing the same color in a different shade is more flattering than having two pinks that are Slightly different.

4. Heels elongate a woman’s legs, but while pregnant, and especially while pregnant and outside, please choose your footwear so that you will be safe! If you want, you can bring comfy shoes to walk in, and then put your heels on for the pictures.

This is a maternity picture of a pregnant mom and new dad in Huntsville, AL demonstrating tips for amazing outfits for your maternity photoshoot, captured by Ellen Adams Photography.

5. Guys look most masculine in well-fitted long pants and closed toe shoes.  Also, wearing a suit jacket accentuates the shoulders and slims the waist.

6. Make sure you are equal when it comes to how formal your attire is.  A beautiful lady in a formal dress looks best next to a man who is equally dressed to impress.

7. Solid dress shirts photograph better than dress shirts with tiny checkered patterns or thin stripes.

8. Accessorize with necklaces, bracelets, or floral crowns.  If you want it to show in your pictures, make sure your accessories aren’t too delicate.  Fresh florals in a floral crown can be a really romantic touch. Call your favorite local florist to order one for you, and one for each of your daughters.  Matching floral crowns for mamas and their little girls are adorable!

Huntsville, AL maternity photographer Ellen Adams created a maternity picture in Huntsville of a pregnant mom on a bridge at Hays Nature Preserve.

9. If there is something you are self-conscious about, go ahead and cover it up.  I am okay wearing a leotard to ballet class, but if I’m being honest with you, I don’t like the way my arms look.  Needless to say, I don’t tend to like pictures of myself where I am wearing a sleeveless top. It may look great on someone else, it may even look great on me, but if I don’t realize that I look great in it, I’m not going to like the picture.

10. Make sure you wear something that makes you feel confident.  There are some colors that will make your skin tone pop. Usually, your favorite color is one that looks great with your eye color.  Stick to colors that tend to fill your closet. Lighter shades of those colors, and neutral colors, will help bring all the attention to your face.  Also, softer color palettes fit beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments.

Bonus Tip!!!

If you have booked your maternity photoshoot with me, I have maternity dresses designed specifically for portrait sessions you may borrow.  Also, I can share with you one of my favorite sites to rent maternity photoshoot dresses from, or you can send me pictures of the outfits you are considering, so that I can give you advice.  I want you to feel amazing in whatever you decide to wear!


If you are looking for someone to capture your fleeting moments in Huntsville, AL- contact me today !

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newborn | baby | family photography