Traverse City Newborn Photoshoot Links FIVE Generations

A few weeks ago, I was given the gift of photographing one of 2016’s last little gifts to the world. I love all the children’s photography that I have the honor to shoot, but newborn photography will always have a special place in my heart. And this story is exactly why. This baby boy, born in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, shared a special connection to the five generations of his family who came before him. Accompanying this little man on his first ever photo shoot, was his grandmother who brought with her a family heirloom.

This baby boy’s grandmother lovingly unfolded a quilt that had been in her family for almost 150 years. Although it showed small signs of love and use, the quilt was in remarkable condition, still held strongly together with stitches that were made by the baby boy’s great-great-grandmother in 1871. At that time, at only eight-years-old, the great-great-grandmother was given a small gift from her mother when she was leaving for a wedding. It was a simple piece of tan fabric. With that small token, the little girl went to work stitching it together with any other pieces of fabric she could find. She then took to decorating the quilt with her own embroidery, stitching into it her own symbols of love and fond memories.

And now, in 2017, I had the gift of laying out this blanket filled with love, memories, and over a century’s worth of history, and placing on it the newest addition to that story, this newborn baby boy. If, one day, this quilt becomes too tattered to pass on, this family will still have these photographs to continue to share and use to tell the stories of their ancestors. With this newborn photography shoot, in little Traverse City, Michigan, I was given the gift of connecting the past with the future.

This story struck a chord with me, as I am so blessed that my children have had the opportunity to build a relationship my grandparents, their great-grandparents. They knew my grandfather before he passed and still get to spend time with my grandmother. I know this is not an opportunity that everyone gets, so I am very thankful that my children have. There is something completely pure about the connection between age and youth, between those who have the wisdom of the ages and those who have fresh, carefree minds. Especially within a family. Every day, every moment, that we have with the loved ones who came before us is so precious. Because it can be so fleeting.

In this newborn photoshoot, I hoped to show some of that connection. I hoped to strengthen a bond that already covers six generations, from the mother handing that scrap of fabric to her daughter down to the mother wrapping her new baby boy in a blanket consisting of that same tan scrap of fabric. It was the perfect backdrop for this new baby’s photos, and it was my pleasure to capture this family’s touching story.


If you have a family heirloom that you’d like preserved for the future generations to come, please visit me at or email me at to book a family photography session in Northern Michigan or around the country on one of my travel photography sessions. This year I will be traveling to New York City, Colorado Springs Colorado, and Dallas Texas. Thanks for stopping by, and for more of my work you can follow me on Facebook at or on Instagram at annelisenicolephotography.