Welcoming a newborn in vintage charm with Shelly Goodman

There is a certain charm that old houses have; with their wonderful tall ceilings, creaky staircases and overflowing character. Where windows are made of wood and glass and layers of paint on walls are akin to tree rings on an old redwood, deep in the forest. Sweet little nooks and beautiful woodwork are the product of another era. Now imagine a house like that, with big windows where the sunshine streams in, illuminating colorful walls filled with unique artifacts and curated vintage finds. That was the setting for Shelly Goodman’s newborn session with this lovely, creative couple and their new baby girl, Ruby.

Many photographers shy away from photographing an older newborn, but Shelly eagerly embraced the challenge. In this session, baby Ruby was a few months old, and naturally she was more alert and squirmy than a days old baby. Instead of doing many sleepy swaddled photos, Shelly kept things natural and had the baby ‘sit up’ by propping her up against pillows on the bed, as well as photographing her interacting and snuggling with mom and dad.

Baby Ruby’s stylish mom, Courtney, is herself a photographer and also sells her sweet vintage finds in her etsy store. Shelly was thrilled to hear that Courtney was specifically requesting and loved the look of film for this special session. The two photographers have since become friends, and Shelly adores seeing her own images blown up into large prints that are hung all the way up the staircase in Courtney’s home. It’s a wonderful thing to see your art appreciated and cherished on a regular basis.

Shelly’s film gear of choice is her Contax 645 medium format camera, with Portra 800 and Ilford 3200 film stocks. She adores the way the Ilford 3200 renders such softness to medium format film, and the tones of the Portra 800 pair beautifully with the colors and light present in Courtney’s home. She tells us that she likes to take her time and think when using film, and she seeks out pretty light, colors, and simplistic artistic composition.

“I want to capture things naturally and emotionally without anything feeling forced.”

In this session she sought out the beautiful window light that is ever present in the images she captured, and let things take their time unfolding. Shelly resides in St. Louis with her husband Andy and two adorable dogs, Marley and Maxwell. She loves traveling, succulent plants, dark chocolate and old architecture.

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