"Daddy, you're my backdrop man," she says to Crum. "You stand on that side. I'll get her into place and happy." The photographer/baby whisperer cradles the newborn to calm her as she gets her into a good spot at the foot of mama's bed, ready to start snapping photos. Daddy holds a clean, white sheet up behind Alayna to block out the hospital atmosphere.
"OK Daddy, she's got her eyes open -- get that background ready," she urges. Little Alayna sighed as she settled back into sleep, napping through a peek-a-boo pose from under a special blanket.
Harless takes about 30 shots, and picks eight that she inserts into a pre-programmed slide show on her computer. Her cart, complete with large monitor and storage for the camera equipment, allows her flexibility to get to each room before baby leaves the hospital.
"It's my office on wheels," Harless quipped.
One of the couple's favorite pictures features tiny Alayna cradled in Crum's muscular, tattooed arms. Another shows Alayna cuddled in Brittany's arms as she places a gentle kiss on her daughter's head.
Once the couple has selected their favorite photos, there are many ways to share them -- a password-protected website allows visitors to see the photos and order prints. The photo sessions are free, with no obligation, and portrait products start at $17.95.
The slide show brought tears to Brittany's eyes as gentle music played in the background while beautifully composed photos of the family passed by.
"That was just awesome," Crum said, emotionally.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.