Alice Park Photography » Blog

Last year, Kyu and I were busy running around growing our businesses.  NAPCP had just hit the ground, and our heads were fixated on building it.   Alice Park Photography was in its 4th year, and I was thrilled to be occupied with non-stop shooting…  The 2 of us were insanely busy – they were both our babies.

Along the way, we kept asking ourselves if we were ready to start a family.  “No, we’re too busy right now with NAPCP.”  “Our finances are not where we want them to be.”  “I haven’t lost enough weight to begin gaining an extra 40 lbs.”  Ok, maybe the last wasn’t a concern for Kyu – but it was an important issue to me. 🙂

We realized after a dozen excuses that timing was never going to be right, so we decided to put it into God’s hands.  And the amazing God that He is, we got pregnant soon after…  It was time.

The nine months that followed became an incredible journey for us both.  Some highlights I managed to capture with my iphone along the way:

1.  Soon after we found out we were pregnant, I went on a girl’s beach trip in Rosemary.  There, they surprised me with a very lovely first baby shower.  I felt so loved.

2.  Working with my growing belly proved to be nothing short of amazing.  Finally, I could share my experiences with the experiences my clients had.  Reason #501 why I love my job.

3.  Around the 5 month mark, I started to experience a very rare, but evil pregnancy ailment called PUPPPs.  I was miserable, but hopeful for a remedy.  After a series of steroid treatments, visits to the dermatologist, trying every topical lotion and cream on the market, I found my answer in an online mommy chat room.  The women were undergoing what I was, and they all swore by these two natural herbs for relief.  Already at my wits end, I tried it and guess what?  One week later, it was gone.  Hallelujah.

4.  My sister-in-law advised me to swim when I could so that I could get off my feet as I got heavier.  I went once and I was hooked…  I started swimming 5x’s a week all the way to my 40th week and felt amazing.  It was like floating on air.

5.  Kyu and I took almost every single baby prep class offered at the hospital.  And we still felt unprepared.  Who knew?

6.  My amazing OB (who probably has *the* best bedside manners ever) and my favorite nurse, Rashita.  Rashita just delivered her 5th baby, but promised to come back from her maternity leave early just so she could see me during my last trimester.  Love that group.

7.  Close college friends who threw me the sweetest baby shower with the messiest but tastiest cupcakes ever.

8.  During my last month, we *finally* closed on our house.  To have made it before the baby came was nothing short of a miracle.  We have our agent to thank.

9.  The day we received the keys to our new home, we quickly drove over and celebrated with McDonald’s in the room where our dining room table would be.  It was a sweet moment.

10. Lion cupcakes at a very special baby shower.  We don’t know how they caught on to the name “Lyon” we had chosen, but it was a sweet gesture nonetheless.

11. I photographed one of my favorite client’s newborn session during my 39th week.  It was a bonding experience for us both, if anything, as I was about to go through exactly what she had gone through days before.  And I felt great squatting up and down, getting down low to the ground for those tight shots, and keeping up with big sister Harper, who was 2.

12. One last snap shot of Kyu and I before I was induced.  It was the last time it would be just he and I, and we were so excited…

During our trip to Rosemary Beach, my BFF Mandy Johnson surprised me by taking me out for some maternity photos.  These were taken during my 28th week – perfect timing as I was showing a bump then, but not feeling overwhelmingly uncomfortable.

Some favorites of ours:

And on April 21st at 6:23 pm – after being in labor for about 14 hours, our little bundle of joy arrived:

Christian “Lyon” Park.  He is our little angel.

So, after nine months of mentally preparing for one of the biggest days of our life, Kyu and I smile at one another with a big sigh as we look towards our life as a family ahead.  Because now, there are 3.


A question I’m often asked by first-time parents is when to professionally document their baby’s first year.

“Should I see you every three months? Once a year? Everyday?”

Although there is no right answer to these questions, and I believe you can never choose to photograph too many stages during your baby’s first year, my absolute *favorite* stages to document are the maternity, newborn, 7 month and 1 year milestones. Over the course of the years, we’ve fine tuned our One Year Plan to what we feel best illustrates the biggest milestones of your baby’s first year of life. I see an average of 50 One Year Clients a year, and I’d have to say without a doubt that watching them grow is one of the highlights of my job.

Today, we’re focusing on baby’s first year, my recommended ages to photography & why:

1) Maternity: I love focusing on the belly at this stage. We typically like to schedule around the 32-36 week period when mom is still comfortable, but she’s showing quite a bump. Although this stage is not commonly included as part of the One Year Plan (rather, it’s an add-on), I do love documenting the love & anticipation of mom and dad while they’re expecting. It’s such a magical stage….

2) Newborn: Scheduled within the first 14 days of life (ideally around 5-7 days old). Never again will your baby be able to curl up in mom and dad’s hands, look blissfully at peace asleep, or be so content posing in a tiny basket or swaddled up…

3) 6/7 Months Old: Or when they are starting to sit up comfortably on their own…and not quite mobile. The timing of this phase is critical. This my absolute favorite age (ever) to photograph because it is, I believe, the quintessential baby age. I love the chubby legs, the rolls on his arms, his big buddha belly… And I love being able to document this without the the fear of him running away from me!

4) 1 Year Old: Finally, he’s a year old. And what a reason to celebrate! I love finishing with this milestone, as it’s quite incredible to watch this little peanut grow into a little boy.

In the end, we will put together a custom designed story of your child’s first year based on your 50 or so favorite images. Your child’s first year will be finished in one of our signature folio books and will include the details you want just as much to remember: his favorite toys, blankets, bedtime stories, a photo of his nursery, favorite bible passages or quotes, his first words, his weight & height at each milestone, and for many – a journal entry or dedication from the parents to their beloved child.

These albums tell the story of your baby’s first year and becomes an important heirloom piece that your child will eventually pass down from one generation to the next. As we put together the finishing touches of baby William’s (pictured above) One Year Album, a glimpse of a finished folio book.

Because of the amount of time we invest in each of our One Year clients, we do limit the number we accept each month. If you are expecting, be sure to call today to get on our list!

One of my (and often times, my child-client’s) FAVORITE spreads to design in their folios book is the Show & Tell spread. I receive a lot of emails from parents asking how they can really personalize their child’s book, and I can’t think of a better way than through a collective collage of their favorite toys, blankets, books, can’t-sleep-a-night-without lovies, and of course – a wide angle shot of their bedroom.

“How do we illustrate in words the significance of each item in their Show & Tell?”

Here’s one great example how. Below is Hill’s Show & Tell spread at age 1. His mom wrote this series to describe his favorites:

From left to right/top to bottom: Toy car – Hill loves anything that moves, so he loves to crawl pushing this car along with him. Colorful Ball – One of Hill’s first words was ball, and he ADORES them. This one was one of the first he could hold because of the holes in it. Drum set – Hill is all boy and likes to bang on anything, so of course drums are one of his favorite toys. Giraffe Blanket – Hill cannot sleep without his green, silky, Little Giraffe blanket. We have 2 . . . just in case! Race Car – This was one of his Christmas gifts from his Grandma and Grandaddy Hill, and he thinks it’s so much fun to ride up and down the street in this motorized car. Tonka Truck – This was one of his Christmas gifts from his Grandma and Grandaddy Kelso, and this walker/ride-on truck helped him learn to walk. Favorite Bedtime Books – We’ve read to Hill from an early age, and it’s one of the only times now that he’ll sit still is when we read to him! Activity Cube – This activity cube has so many things to play with that it entertains him for long periods of time. Piano – Hill has always loved and responded to music, so this piano is of course a favorite of his.

I’ve documented everything from family pets, favorite snacks, family members (she was daddy’s little girl), pacifiers, and the ever-popular Baby Einstein videos. Use you & your child’s imagination on this spread. I promise it will be a favorite for years to come!

I receive a lot of client inquiries regarding how to purchase a digital camera, so I thought I’d post this topic here.

I believe one of the best investments you can make on your children, besides their education of course, is documenting their childhood. I am a little biased, no doubt… 🙂 When I’m not there to capture their first step, their first smiles, their first tooth or their first day of school, I want my clients to be well-equipped – both in knowledge and equipment – to capture it in the best way possible. I have, therefore, put together a few notes I’ve shared with clients who’ve emailed me asking various questions on digital cameras and equipment. I hope this can shed some light on those who read my blog, meaning moms, not photographers. 🙂

It is tough for me to stay current with the regular all-in-one point-and-shoot digital cameras since they honestly come and go every six months. I purchased mine a while ago:

The above is the Canon PowerShot SD750 Digital Elph. Not the best camera out there, but when I’m not lugging around all of my SLR bodies & gear, it works quite well for me. The camera fits perfectly in my pocket and has a LCD screen on the back that will allow even my grandmother to frame the subjects correctly.

All of the mumbo jumbo terminology above – Optical Zoom, Digital Zoom, ISO, Megapixel, etc. explained here.

Everybody’s needs in a camera differs. Consider the following:

1. Match megapixels to your use: Most point-and-shoot cameras offer at least 5 megapixels, which is plenty for producing 11-by-14-inch prints. Cameras with more megapixels will yield even larger prints and allow you to blow up a part of an image with less likelihood that the print will be blurry. If you plan to make only 4-by-6-inch prints, you don’t have to shoot at the camera’s highest resolution–and as a result, you can fit more shots on your memory card.

2. Look for rechargeable batteries and a charger: The cost of disposable batteries adds up over the long run. Some cameras can use AA batteries of any type–disposable or rechargeable. That capability can be helpful if your rechargeable batteries run out of juice and you don’t want to wait while they replenish.

3. Disregard digital zoom: Most cameras offer at least 3X optical zoom–and some boast an optical zoom as high as 20X. But sometimes vendors tout a high total zoom that includes digital zoom, which you should disregard: Digital zoom produces photos that are inferior to those produced with an optical zoom.

4. Look for a low-light focusing aid: Some cameras have auxiliary lights that help them focus in dim settings. That’s important for many indoor shots.

5. Try the camera before you buy: Some cameras have commands and menus that are easier to use than others, a comparison you can make only with a hands-on trial. Also evaluate the lag time between when you press the shutter button and when the camera actually takes the picture. Try the zoom lens–does it operate quickly and smoothly? Find out how long you must wait between taking pictures. And try the LCD viewfinder–in the sun if possible–to determine how easy it is to read.

6. Give extra consideration to a camera with a good selection of software: Look for useful packages such as Adobe Photoshop and Elements, as well as applications for organizing and sharing them.

* There are a lot retailers out hoping to sell whatever camera is in stock, so be sure to do your research. Some of my favorite review sites and

Lastly, remember that your ability to get good images out of them does not depend on price. Photo quality has much more to do with who is using the camera than the camera itself. We will discuss the elements of capturing that perfect shot at a later time, AS WELL as discussing all of the amazing digital SLR’s and lenses available:

Excuse me if I’m a Canon User!

Hope this info helps my blog readers a tad bit. Happy Monday, everyone!

People often ask me what our folio books are all about. Aside from the quality and the craftsmanship of each folio book we deliver to our clients, I put a lot of effort into custom designing each book as the child’s own little story. I have a little notepad in my head during sessions, and when I’m capturing moments with my camera, I’m also recording the things they say and the emotions that are surrounding us.

Overtime, I want my families to cherish our books more and more. We want their children to pass down their books to their children, so it’s very important that I accurately capture and illustrate in my designs who this child is.

Here are some favorite spreads of a recent design I created for the Patrick family. I combined photos taken from her 2nd year and 3rd year, and designed a story of Ansley growing, and maturing, and turning into the sweet and very loved, little girl that she is. My layouts are simple and clean. I love white space and making the photos pop. I also love incorporating just the right words to complete their story.