Declarations: The Hidden Stories of Printed Photos (Teresa)

This portrait of my son was taken when I was 21. Life was pretty messy back then (literally and figuratively), I wouldn’t find out until years later that I was dealing with a long-term illness and had undiagnosed Postpartum Depression. In general when I think back to this time frame, my chest still gets uncomfortably tight. But when I look at this image, still displayed in my home, I smile.

Anne Arundel County Photographer & Print Artist, Teresa Robertson, with her son. (self portrait)

Anne Arundel County Photographer & Print Artist, Teresa Robertson, with her son. (self portrait)

When we document our children, we often think how one day we are going to look back and reminisce as to how they got so big, so fast. We often look back on newborn photos and think, ‘They were so tiny!’ For all of you that are ‘newish’ moms, I will tell you – that feeling never really goes away. Not when they are a newborn. Not when they are 8. Not when they are 17. You will always look back and be amazed that you didn’t realize they would go through so much more growing.

The beautiful secret is, it doesn’t end there. Behind whatever stage your child was in that you are looking back on in photos, you will reflect on yourself. You felt so old but you were so young! You had no idea the incredible twists and turns life still had in store for you and your family, the gifts that awaited you all. Moments so precious that had you just known back then, you may have documented even more of them.

This portrait was taken of my son when life was messy – and we conquered it. It wasn’t always pretty but I’m constantly reminded of how beautiful it was. This isn’t just a cute image of him as a fun toddler; it’s a declaration of where we’ve been and how far we can still go.

Photography as a Healing Art: How Volunteering with NILMDTS Changed my Life

It’s interesting how sometimes the things we are called to do appear almost ‘out of nowhere’. It was several years ago that I knew I wanted to dedicate a portion of my time and services to a specific cause – I just wasn’t sure what.

As much as I enjoy taking the reigns to research things (sometimes a little too much), I am equally just as interested in reaching out to others for new ideas. When I presented my desire to volunteer to others, I received an immediate response back: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

Co-founder Cheryl Haggard and her baby boy Maddux. Photo Credit: Sandy Puc Photography

Co-founder Cheryl Haggard and her baby boy Maddux. Photo Credit: Sandy Puc Photography

I had never heard of the organization before and – as mentioned above – quickly put on my detective hat. When I read their mission statement, “To introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture”, I knew this was the type of powerful gift I was looking to give.

It’s been just over a year that I’ve been with NILMDTS. I am a volunteer photographer and also serve on the Member Application Committee where I have the honor of reviewing the portfolios of photographer applicants (yes, there is an application process simply to serve with the organization due to the quality of work we are expected to give and the sensitivity of our work).

I am incredibly proud of the work I do for the families requesting our services. To know that I am a bringing a small gift of comfort and am given the honor to meet their sweet child is absolutely life changing. As a Photographer, I can’t imagine a greater way to give back to families by using my gift.

Not a Photographer but still interested in making a difference? Additional volunteer opportunities with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep can be found here. 

I'm Going Back to My Roots

Each summer I am thrown off by the same question:

"Where are you all going on your family vacation this summer?"

Oh. Right. People do that. 

A portrait of my daughter at the beach. Fine Art Photography for Newborns, Children, and Family based near Annapolis, MD

Don't get me wrong - we do things. But unless we are visiting one of four states we have family in, there's not much 'vacationing' outside of that. 

This summer was different. An entire 3 weeks would be dedicated to travel. I would be taking my 3 children on a 3,000 mile road trip and cap it off with my husband, eldest child, and I spending 10 days in Haiti. 

It. Was. Incredible. I totally see why people do this. 

In the midst of the road trip, I spent a good chunk of time at my grandparents. I hadn't been in years and it felt incredible to be surrounded by so many familiar things again, generations and heirlooms cuddled together in a cozy Florida bungalow. 

Portrait by Hans Nagel - Post written by Robertson & co. Photography, Annapolis Photographer of Newborn, Children, Family, and Fine Art Portraits. 

My grandparents are pretty incredible for many reasons, one being that any time I go out with them they are mistaken for my parents due to their youthful looks. Another is that they have dealt early American antiques for 50+ years. Mike from American Pickers actually reached out to my grandfather once regarding a bike he had.

As I walked around their home after having been gone for so long, what has always been so familiar and comforting to me was suddenly seen in a new light. I don't often walk into homes like my grandparents: original wood items dating over a hundred years, iron lamps, hand sewn blankets, leather bound books. 

I paused by one of the deep, dark oil portraits one day when it hit me: This is where I come from. 

Artist Unknown; Please contact for further information. - Post written by Robertson & co. Photography, Annapolis Photographer of Newborn, Children, Family, and Fine Art Portraits. 

I've always been cautioned: "That seems a little dark, don't you think?" But dark never quite registered as something negative to me (unless the subject matter was appropriate, of course). Rather than slipping into the shadows, I often feel that light is emerging. A warm, rich brown has a way of comforting a subject, like your favorite blanket. Darkness puts the light on display, as though it's allowing only the most important of details to be shown. Somehow, it always just seemed to have a little bit of a better story behind it. 

Again, despite the muted greens of the 1950's and the throat clutching oranges of the 1970's, what was handed down to my parents were the subtle, neutral tones of a time well before that. What this realization would have done for me back in high school; Rather than feed off of the assumption that 'dark' was the fad of a disgruntled teen, a little knowledge of chiaroscuro could have probably done us all a bit of good. 

I certainly have a love for light as well but that will be left for a different post. I have to assume that there will be a better understanding of the appeal in that, however. For now, I'm happy to have another piece of the puzzle that makes me. Allows me to provide history for others. A reminder that my love for an unconventional beauty might just be what makes me the light. 

Teresa specializes in fine-art, heirloom portraits, allowing her clients to reflect on those they love during the rush of everyday life. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Teresa has been displayed in 20+ publications and is passionate about serving others through organizations such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and traveling to Haiti. 

How Printing Photos Can Raise Your Child’s Self Worth

I talk a lot about the importance of printing photographs but what’s even more convicting to me is what I am personally witnessing with my 16 year old.

When he was born, I was still a film photographer. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of photos of him as a newborn up until a young child. Then 2 things happened: 1) digital took over and 2) he didn’t grow up thinking social media was ‘the place to be’. At least not Facebook – where so many of his photos were stored.

Fine Art Photography for Newborns, Children, and Family based near Annapolis, MD

“Is that me?”

“Yes! Don’t you remember this day? I look at this photo all the time!”

It dawns on me how I almost feel as though I’m holding these sweet memories of his life captive. Now, granted, he has the power to login and look himself. But to his ‘anti-facebook’ mind, he has no concept of how many people have viewed this, loved this, and commented on how amazing he is.

There was an excellent article written the Baltimore Sun ran discussing how printed images of our children, displayed in the home, can actually enhance a child’s self esteem and help them get to know themselves. I encourage you to read it and share your thoughts. Did you have photos displayed in your home growing up? Do you now? Are they in ‘common areas’ or more ‘private’ rooms?

This is just one of the reasons I am more and more adamant in my business to make sure that your photographs are printed and printed to last. Yes, I am a photographer and specialize in capturing you and those you most love. I also have such an attachment to the families, children, and newborns I photograph that it is my sincere desire that my photographs truly lend a positive impact for years to come.  - Teresa

Teresa specializes in fine-art, heirloom portraits, allowing her clients to reflect on those they love during the rush of everyday life. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Teresa has been displayed in 20+ publications and is passionate about serving others through organizations such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and traveling to Haiti. 

& co.

I loved the process of naming my children. So much, in fact, that I made it last as long as possible. None were named until after they were birthed and one was getting loaded into her car seat to leave the hospital when we finally settled on one. When I meet my newborns, I love to also hear what middle name was selected and if there are any stories or family legacies that are involved in the names chosen.

When it came time to name my Maryland business, it was just as joyful – and lengthy. I wanted to make sure whatever I chose represented my business well but also paid tribute to everyone who was responsible for making it come to life. That involved my family, children, friends, and clients.

I am often asked how many people work for my “ and company”. Up until the amazing Brittany (my assistant) came to help, it was just me.

So why ‘& co.’?

In my mind, it takes a village. There is no way I could take 100% credit for what I do. This journey began very long ago, taking my parents support through getting my degree, my son for driving me to receive it with honors, my husband for letting me spread my wings, my friends and family who have supported me, and my clients who believed in me so much to allow me to keep my business open throughout the years.

 & co. is there to recognize you. Thank YOU. You are just as much a part of this and I wouldn’t be here without you.  - Teresa

Teresa specializes in fine-art, heirloom portraits, allowing her clients to reflect on those they love during the rush of everyday life. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Teresa has been displayed in 20+ publications and is passionate about serving others through organizations such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and traveling to Haiti. 

Why Product Quality Matters

ANNAPOLIS NEWBORN, CHILD, FAMILY, & FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER

Have you ever wondered what the difference is when it comes to what materials Photographers print their images on and how they choose who to go with? 

Fine Art Photography for Newborns, Children, and Family based near Annapolis, MD

I wrote a post quite some time ago that deserves mention again, how what you see isn't always what you get. There truly is a big difference in printing companies, materials, how that affects pricing, and how long your photos will actually last. Here is an example of the same child's photograph printed from 'popular' printing companies, often used when clients order only digital negatives:

Sometimes digital negatives aren't the investment you intended them to be. 

Photographers often base their printing loyalties based on three big factors: quality, price, and/or material. When you look for a Photographer, are you searching for traditional prints? Something no one else has? Are you concerned with loving it now...and  passing it along for your children to love later?

Given my education and love for 'traditional' art mediums, much of 2015 was spent researching companies that would provide exceptional materials for my clients to display their art from our session. To combine images that I am proud of on materials worthy of family heirlooms, makes me know without a shadow of a doubt that I am truly providing the best service and lasting products to you. That's why in 2016 I will no longer be offering 'gift prints' and instead supply my clients with images you'll want to display in your home for years to come.

From delicate newborn lashes to generations together in a family portrait - your art is meant to imitate your life and all of it's loveliness. Learn more about my gorgeous, unique products here.  - Teresa

Teresa specializes in fine-art, heirloom portraits, allowing her clients to reflect on those they love during the rush of everyday life. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Teresa has been displayed in 20+ publications and is passionate about serving others through organizations such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and traveling to Haiti. 

 

What's Up Magazine Best of 2016!

ANNAPOLIS NEWBORN, CHILD, FAMILY, & FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER

I'm still taking time to savor the moment and process the news. I am incredibly grateful to all of you who made this happen! Knowing that this came from people that appreciate my work, trust how I conduct business, and are willing to share that they view me as a business others should know and experience is just an incredible feeling. 

Usually I'm quite the talker but for now all I can say is: Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am using this honor to push even harder in 2016 to give you more than I even know the boundaries of. I hope to make you proud! - Teresa


Teresa specializes in fine-art, heirloom portraits, allowing her clients to reflect on those they love during the rush of everyday life. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Teresa has been displayed in 20+ publications and is passionate about serving others through organizations such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and traveling to Haiti. 

Partnering with Local Women through Anne Arundel Medical Center

I am so excited to have partnered with Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) in 2016 to assist them in their efforts to encourage local support in breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact through articles and newborn photography, both locally sourced. Being able to love on and contribute to other women throughout the community - especially with my art - is something I love taking the opportunity to provide (please take a moment to see another organization I volunteer for called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep). 

'Breastfeeding Encouragement for Moms, From Moms' - Anne Arundel Medical Center Article, Photo Credit: Robertson & co. Photography

Bonding with babies is something that I am certainly passionate about, given my specialty in newborn photography. I will also share that of my three children, born in different states and even decades – none were encouraged to participate in skin-to-skin or breastfeeding.

I’ve been known to say that while I have no regrets, should I be presented with the opportunity to birth and care for my children as newborns differently, I would. It is truly an honor for me to be working in the community and showing support/love for mothers in Anne Arundel County.

NO MATTER how you choose to mother your newborn, you are doing an AMAZING job, mom. Breastfeeding or not, adoption or not, single mothers or not…you all are incredible, beautiful women that I am proud to have in my community. - Teresa

Teresa specializes in fine-art, heirloom portraits, allowing her clients to reflect on those they love during the rush of everyday life. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Teresa has been displayed in 20+ publications and is passionate about serving others through organizations such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and traveling to Haiti. 

Thinking Beyond the Search

ANNAPOLIS NEWBORN, CHILD, FAMILY, & FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER

This year presented itself as a great opportunity to bring some big changes to Robertson & co. Photography and I couldn’t be more proud of the direction it’s headed.

From the moment you submit your inquiry, you will recognize a difference in the way I approach our time together. The first item we discuss is not only whom you would like photographed but also what do you want to do with your images?

Fine Art Photography for Newborns, Children, and Family based near Annapolis, MD

 Let me guess: Digital Negatives?

Here is what I found: my clients were paying me a lot of money to get their hands on digital negatives only to never actually print a majority of them or have them printed by a company that did not use trusted materials. Let me also stress that as a mother – and a Photographer – I have made both of these mistakes. Do you know where the images of my son are at 6 months old? A floppy disk. Are you even old enough to know what that is?

To summarize: We thankfully have the prints of the great Photographers of all time to reflect on their amazing art from 100+ years. The photos of my son from 16 years ago? Probably gone forever.

This is why before we discuss a session date, concept, or what to wear, I encourage my clients to think about what they ultimately want in the way of product from their session (don’t worry, I’m here to help with that as well). This also makes deciding so much easier on everyone when it comes time to order. While I love that you have trusted me with my own creative vision, it's also important that we work together on your final purchase from the very beginning. There can be a time and place for digital negatives, which I certainly understand and use; however, I have to assume that if you are spending your time searching for a professional Photographer, for your newborn, children, family, or even pet, you are wanting to invest in something more permanent and higher in quality than a social media file. 

I hope you’ve had the chance to look at my work and the products I have to offer (which you may view here). If you think we may be a good fit, I encourage you to reach out so we may begin the conversation and I can answer all of your questions (I love questions - it gives me a chance to talk about my craft)! - Teresa

Teresa specializes in fine-art, heirloom portraits, allowing her clients to reflect on those they love during the rush of everyday life. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Teresa has been displayed in 20+ publications and is passionate about serving others through organizations such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and traveling to Haiti. 

WHERE I'VE BEEN (WHERE YOU'VE SEEN ME)

ANNAPOLIS NEWBORN, CHILD, FAMILY, & FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER

2016 has been blessing after blessing – all because of people like you. I apologize for my absence but promise I have good reason.

And while I’ve been keeping extremely busy, we may have crossed paths without knowing.

Fine Art Photography for Newborns, Children, and Family based near Annapolis, MD

In four short months, I have been involved, planning, and/or acknowledged in:

I am beyond thankful for all the love and support you all have shown. I'm looking forward to represent and support our community/families much more throughout the year! - Teresa

Teresa specializes in fine-art, heirloom portraits, allowing her clients to reflect on those they love during the rush of everyday life. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Teresa has been displayed in 20+ publications and is passionate about serving others through organizations such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and traveling to Haiti.