• Hi there, and welcome to my blog. Feel free to take a look around. Check out the galleries or just scroll down to see some of my recent sessions. If you like what you see, shoot me an email or give me a call. I'd LOVE to meet you and photograph your belly, your baby, or your adorable family!

Outdoor Maternity Portraits in Durham, NC

When this sweet expectant mama called me to inquire about my Belly to Baby plan and mentioned that she wanted both indoor and outdoor maternity portraits, I was super excited. I absolutely love outdoor maternity sessions – there’s just something magical about warm, golden evening light and the way it enhances a mother-to-be’s natural glow.

I truly enjoyed meeting this gorgeous couple, and I love the clothing she chose for their maternity session in Durham, right down to the shoes and accessories. Those little extra touches can make such a difference in your portraits.

Maternity Portrait Print Dress
Husband kissing wife's forehead
Maternity Clothing Purple and Teal
Dad listening to baby in mom's belly
Maternity Couple Black and White
Outdoor Maternity Portrait Dad's hand on mom's belly
Maternity portrait in a field of wildflowers
 If you are looking for a Durham, NC maternity photographer or a newborn photographer in Cary, NC please visit Shadeleaf Studios at www.shadeleafstudios.com for more information about scheduling a portrait session. Shallyse Gastelum is a professional photographer with over 9 years of experience. Shallyse has two conveniently-located studio spaces – one in Durham, NC and the other located inside Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique in Cary, NC. In addition to standard sessions, Shadeleaf Studios also offers a Belly to Baby (maternity and newborn) collection, as well as a Milestones (Baby’s First Year) portrait collection. Shallyse’s portrait specialties include maternity photography, newborn photography, baby photography, child photography, family photography, and high school senior photography both in studio and on location. Shadeleaf Studios offers portrait sessions in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Apex, Cary, Morrisville, Wake Forest, and surrounding areas.

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Sweet Alaina – Apex, NC Newborn Photographer

I first met Alaina’s family at Misha’s maternity session. They’re such a cute, fun-loving family, and I was so excited for them to welcome a baby girl to the mix. Ryan is so full of life and boyish energy, and I know he’s going to be the best big brother a girl could ask for.

We met at their lovely home in Apex, and with a bit of couch-moving, we created plenty of space for a makeshift studio in their living room. Ryan kept himself busy watching movies about monster trucks and airplanes while Alaina played the role of newborn supermodel. She was bright-eyed and alert at the beginning of the session, but with a little bit of snuggling she settled down for some sleepy poses as well.

We started with some traditional portraits using my black backdrop to coordinate with some similar images from Ryan’s newborn session. The living room in their home has absolutely gorgeous floors, and I fell in love with their pretty green walls, so I was super excited to implement them into the session. I also love the pretty pink and flower blanket that Misha showed me, and made sure to feature it prominently in the session – it’s just so soft, girlie, and perfect for newborn portraits!

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Beautiful MacKenzie | Newborn Photography in Durham, NC

I first met Michelle when we got together for her maternity session. We immediately clicked, and I was so grateful that she booked my Belly to Baby collection – I couldn’t wait to meet her newborn. MacKenzie made her debut into the world a few weeks after our maternity session, and I met them at their home in Durham for an in-home newborn session.

It was truly one of those sessions that newborn photographers dream about. There was a perfect room in the back of the house with 2 walls of floor-to-ceiling windows – I wish I could rent the room and use it as a permanent natural light studio.;)And MacKenzie is just gorgeous – I could have just sat there and looked at her and held her for hours. It took her a little while to settle down and sleep, but once she had a full tummy she was perfectly content for the rest of the session. She was also nice and “squishy” and so much fun to pose.

One of Michelle’s main goals for the two sessions was to have a duo of images (one maternity pose and one “matching” mama & baby pose) to display on the wall. I was instantly drawn to the idea, and I LOVE the final two images – especially when they’re shown side-by-side.

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Growing by Another Two Feet | Chapel Hill Maternity Photographer

I always love it when a client suggests a new location for their portrait session. This little park in Chapel Hill was such a great find. Lots of pretty greenery, and a lovely little rose garden right in the middle of everything. I can’t wait to go back in the spring when everything is in bloom.

I truly enjoyed meeting and photographing this sweet family, and documenting mom’s adorable baby bump. I was a little nervous when Lynelle contacted me about reserving my Belly to Baby Collection and mentioned that she was expecting baby number 6. Large families with toddlers can sometimes lead to chaotic sessions. I shouldn’t have worried. Aside from me getting lost on the way to the session (let’s just say my GPS is almost always accurate), the session ran so smoothly, and we all had a lot of fun. Maybe it was the promise of frozen yogurt after having their portrait taken, but the kiddos were all smiles and really made my job easy.

I always like to try to fit a few individual portraits in during a family portrait session, and Lynelle also wanted a few pictures of her belly. She has the cutest baby bump, and there was even a hill at the park which gave me the opportunity to create a silhouette – I LOVE maternity silhouettes, but with so many trees in North Carolina, it’s a rare occasion when I find a location with a big enough patch of sky to create a silhouette outdoors. Let’s just say I was a little bit giddy when I discovered there was a hill and a sunset and I probably made a slight fool of myself.;)

Lynelle did such a great job coordinating her family’s clothing – the red and blue photograph so well with all the greenery, and I love the pop of color provided by her cute shoes.

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Valentine’s Day Mini Sessions in Cary, NC

We have SUCH a fun theme for this Year’s Valentine’s Day mini sessions!! There’s a cute li’l chalkboard backdrop, which means the sky’s the limit when it comes to props, because we can “draw” them in after the session! Here are all the details:

WHO: These mini sessions are for babies and children ages 6 months of age and older (babies must be sitting up on their own without assistance). Siblings are welcome, but due to the nature of the setting, individual poses are recommended.

WHEN: Our chalkboard themed mini sessions will take place on Saturday, January 28th from 10AM until 4PM. Sessions are offered on a first come, first serve basis, and mornings fill up quickly. Contact us early to reserve your preferred session time. Session fee must be received within 24 hours of scheduling your session in order to reserve your session time.

WHERE: Our Valentine’s Day mini sessions will take place at our studio space inside Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique located at 2855 Jones Franklin Rd, in Raleigh.

HOW MUCH: The session fee is $75 and includes a 30-minute portrait session, one 8X10 print of your favorite image, and 24 custom designed Valentine’s Day wallets (perfect for handing out to friends at school Valentine’s Day parties).

HOW DO I BOOK: You may book your session by emailing me (click the contact link at the top of the blog), or by calling me at 919-321-2120.

SHOULD I BRING PROPS? I’m taking care of the chalkboard backdrop as well as the chalk “drawings” and Valentine sayings that will be added in Photoshop after the session. I’ll also provide a few fun props such as mustaches on sticks, hearts, etc.

WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR? Pink and red are fun choices for Valentine’s Day, but they’re not a requirement. Yellow photographs very well on the chalkboard backdrop, as do many other bright punchy colors. Since the backdrop is black/greyish, I’d probably avoid anything black or grey, because it might blend into the backdrop a bit. I also recommend avoiding clothing with characters or logos, because you don’t want your child’s portraits looking too dated a few years from now.:)

WHEN CAN I SEE MY IMAGES? You will receive an email with a link to your password protected gallery on or before January 31st, 2012. All orders must be placed by February 2nd, 2012 in order for the Valentine’s Day wallets to be received back from the lab before February 14th. Orders will be available for pickup at Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique.

Here are some samples of the custom Valentine wallets – there will be 12 choices in all, and I promise you, they’re all adorable! There will also be special print collections available as well as custom designed collages. And all you moms of boys out there, don’t worry. The colors of the Valentine’s Day wallets can be changed – your little men won’t be forced to hand out pink cards!;)

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