Behind the Scene Newborn Photo Shoot

As a parent, you always receive the words of advice from onlookers to cherish the moments when they are little because they grow up so fast. Being a mother of two older children I can totally attest to that truth. That is part of the reason why I couldn’t resist Jayla taking professional newborn pictures. Sadly, neither of the boys took professional newborn photos, causing me to search high and low on Facebook for whatever newborn memories I could find. Since she is our last child and the only girl I couldn’t resist. My husband played photo assistant, holding up light reflectors, staging props and being the second eye. Gotta love a good man xoxo

After scouring Pinterest for hours, I finally settled on three backdrops and looks I wanted to go for Jayla’s newborn photo shoot. Check out my Pinterest board for the full inspiration. I discovered this popular cloth used for newborn photography called cheese cloth. It’s super stretchy and sheer so it gives a soft look that goes well with newborns’ pliable bodies.

While everyone will swear my favorite color is pink when it’s actually green 🙂

I opted for another feminine color purple that I also thought would compliment Jayla’s skin tone. We used a gray shag rug as the backdrop (thanks Shuana 😉 that went well with the purple. I think these shots are some of my favorite. Jayla was snug as a bug in the wrap and slept through the first portion of the photo shoot. Although I did get peed on twice!

Since leaders are readers and from birth reading to your children is encouraged, I wanted to try to pull off this pose I saw on Pinterest. Using her own growing library of books, we stacked titles like, “When God Made You“, “Feminist Baby” and some of Dr. Seuss favorites to do the trick. It didn’t come out exactly how I wanted because she doesn’t have much neck control at this age, but it was still cute though.


The photo above with the reef was very tricky. Try balancing a 6-pound baby on a reef without her getting poked, and the reef remaining upright? Thank God for photoshop, because the final shot was incredibly cute and one I will cherish for every!!

Lastly, it was an ode to the first and finest, the pretty girls wearing 20 pearls, my beloved sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Draped in pearls and ironically Jayla had two identical pink plush blankets that we were able to use as the backdrop. Let’s just say the legacy will continue…Skee-Wee!

In it all, we were happy we made the choice for Jayla to take photos. A major shout out to our photographer Leyla who was ultra patient, super creative, and timely with returning the finished products.

It’s still kinda surreal, I am a momma to two brilliant boys and one beautiful daughter! When I tell you that Jaylen and Darius are in love with their sister…if I had a dollar for every time I tell them to “get out her face!” I would be a millionaire. Darius calls her “Pookie mamma” and Jaylen “Jayla-Bayla”.

I shared in one of my prior post how special having a daughter this final go round is. Jayla, the world is your oyster baby girl!

Meaning Behind @jaylatheheiress

In the age of social media where photo snapping and life sharing is the norm, I said what the heck and decided to start Jayla an Instagram account. What mother doesn’t believe their child is the cutest, sweetest, most adorable, and talented in the world. Add a few trending hashtags and she may just land a modeling contract…right? With our first born Jaylen, my husband and I decided to get him involved in modeling. And guess who landed their very first casting with children’s clothing line Carter’s? That’s right, Jaylen did.

So will Jayla enter the modeling world, maybe…maybe not. But most importantly when I was considering a profile name for Instagram I wanted something unique, catchy, but also prophetic in the sense that whenever it was spoken or typed purpose was being released over her life. I landed with @jaylatheheiress for two reasons:

  1. It puts a demand on both my husband and me to leave something for her to inherit.

The dictionary defines “heiress” in the following ways:

  • a woman who is legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person’s death.
  • a woman inheriting and continuing the legacy of a predecessor.

Considering both of these definitions it starts with both my husband and I. As a parent and now being a mother of a daughter I feel a greater burden to be a Godly example for my daughter, provide a leg up for her, and make priceless deposits throughout my life span into her life that yields something beyond what I could wish or pray for her. It always rubbed me the wrong way when I hear parents wishing for their children to be rich so they can buy them a house when they “make it.” The bible says that “a good man/woman leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” Meaning, it’s the responsibility of the parent to leave something, not the other way around. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about money and houses, but please believe I’m working hard to make it easier for the generations coming behind me and not depending on them to help me.

As Jayla’s mother I want to leave her financial wealth so when she comes up with an idea to start a business, she has the funds to do so. I want to leave her a legacy of wisdom so she can make wise decisions herself. If we are honest, there are many people in places of power strictly because of their last name. We can’t hate on that but aim to position ourselves for that same privilege for our children.

2. As children of God, we are His heirs.
God promises that if His children love Him they become heirs of the kingdom of God (James 2:5). More clearly highlighted in Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…”

As believers, we automatically become Christ’s heirs. It is my prayer and heart desire that Jayla will one day come to know Christ as her Savior and be adopted into the family of faith. With this adoption, she has the same wonder working power of Christ working inside of her.

So when I call Jayla, “Jayla the heiress” I am speaking her salvation into existence. I am speaking her rightful royal place with the Lord over her life. Jayla will live out every promise God has for her as a child of God. No living below one’s potential, no fearful life, no identity confusion, and no lack.

While an inheritance is what you receive, an heiress is who you are. Jayla’s title as “the heiress” is not to add greater pressure to her life, but a standard to live up to.

The legacy we want to leave behind for Jayla is one of faith, perseverance, integrity, compassion, prosperity, and love. Welcome to the world Jayla Simone Hammock, aka @jaylatheheiress