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Naming Your Baby | How the Name You Pick Can Shape Your Newborn Baby’s Future

Baby name expert Laura Wattenberg says choosing your newborn baby’s name is so important because of what people really hear when they hear someone’s name.  “We all read a lot of information into a name.  You hear a name, it’s not just the sound.  It’s age, religion, ethnicity and gender and a whole world of culture packed into those few letters.”

What’s in a name?  If you believe the experts, the answer is everything from behavior, to success in the job market and more!

Wattenberg wrote the book “The Baby Name Wizard” which is now in its fourth edition.  She also started the website Namerology.comwhich is all about the art and science of baby naming.

Wattenberg says when couples argue over their newborn’s name, there’s usually a bigger issue lurking.  “Big name conflicts usually are deep down relationship conflicts.  If you find yourself in a big conflict over baby naming, it’s worth thinking about what’s really going on because it’s one of the first of a million decisions you’re going to have to make together as parents.”

Katy Queen is the mother of five children, so she’s been through the process five times.  Some choices were easy, others not so much.  “We disagreed a lot with some of the kids,” said Queen.  “Our first we didn’t know the sex. We easily came up with a boy’s name. Girls were harder, we actually never agreed, so it was good he was a boy. Our second we went until 32 weeks, not agreeing or liking anything then one night we were joking around and the name came to us. Our third was very similar. Our fourth, pretty early on my husband came home with the perfect name. I don’t love his name but it was the right name. Our most recent baby is named after a very important person in my family. When my husband learned about her and how much she meant to my dad, he said we had to use it! We had her name picked out for 3 years!”

Sometimes couples settle on a name that’s not either partner’s favorite, just to have peace and be done with the task.  “My husband and I have totally different tastes in names,” said Ashley Taylor.  “I like more unique names like Oakley, Arlo, and Sebastian. He likes traditional, like Tom or Thomas for example. So imagine our surprise when the same name made it on BOTH of our lists of baby boy names: Harrison. It wasn’t my number one favorite and it wasn’t his either but it was within the top five on both lists, so we now have a newborn baby Harrison!”

Sometimes disagreements over baby’s name selection can linger.  “It’s been two years and my husband is still upset we didn’t name our youngest son Archer,” says Haley Helms.

To add to the pressure of picking a name, researchers now say the right – or wrong – name can affect how well your child does in school, what subjects she’ll be interested in studying, and how successful he or she will be in the job market.

Consider the results of multiple studies on the impact of names:

  • Boys who have names that are typically associated with females, like Courtney or Ashley, are more likely to have behavioral problems in school.
  • Girls with names that have masculine associations – like Jordan – are more likely to study science.
  • Job seekers with resumes that list a white-sounding name are rated as more employable than those with names that sound “black.”

What trends are coming up in names for 2020?  Wattenberg sees a couple of patterns developing. 

“Today’s name sound is very smooth and liquid.  Lots of vowels, lots of smooth sounds.  No hard edges to anything.  We are pushing that style to its limit.  We have drummed the hard sounds out of our names to an extent,” says Wattenberg.

And what about the trendiness of unisex names?  Wattenberg says that’s a bit of an illusion.  “What’s happening is there is such a movement towards creativity, parents want names that sound fresh and interesting, so they’re creating new names, inventing something new or turning a word or surname into a first name.  Those new names don’t have any traditional gender association.  What’s really happening is that we’re no longer naming kids John and Mary so inevitably a lot of names are used for both boys and girls.  I don’t see evidence that parents are more eager for unisex names than they were in the past.”

What were the top names of 2019?  For the girls, here are the names that topped BabyCenter.com’s baby name report.

  1. Sophia
  2. Olivia
  3. Emma
  4. Ava
  5. Aria
  6. Isabella
  7. Amelia
  8. Mia
  9. Riley
  10. Aliyah

And for the boys…

  1.  Liam
  2. Jackson
  3. Noah
  4. Aiden
  5. Grayson
  6. Caden
  7. Lucas
  8. Elijah
  9. Oliver
  10. Muhammad

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Just another day in Paradise on Clearwater Beach

What a fun family to photograph on Clearwater Beach! This little guy is going to grow up in a house full of love, fun and laughter! XOXO

Tampa_Newborn_Photographer_0047.jpg

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Adorable Reece was in my Clearwater Newborn Studio

Reece and his mommy and daddy came all the way from Lakeland for his rockstar photoshoot. These images will be cherished for many generations!

Newborn Boy ClearwaterNewborn Boy ClearwaterNewborn Boy ClearwaterNewborn Boy ClearwaterNewborn Boy ClearwaterNewborn Boy Clearwater

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Fine Art or just a photograph?

Tampa | Clearwater Fine Art Photography ~
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Fine Art photography and just a good old photograph? I wondered this too, even after becoming a professional photographer. For a while I thought it was because I had a really expensive camera, some pretty dresses and knew some nice locations. I even knew how to remove blemishes and make someone look 10 pounds lighter in Photoshop. But it didn’t feel like “Fine Art”. So I took more classes…in photography, in Photoshop, in “seeing light”. I bought more dresses, more props and more education. And then, finally, after shooting 1000s of photographs, and studying 1000s more, I understood. First you must start with an overall decent photograph: good light, nicely styled wardrobe, correct composition, the right white balance and exposure, framing and posing. And then you transform it. You don’t just randomly play in Photoshop (although I’ve learned lots by doing just that!). You create something new from your original canvas – you take your image to the next level by bringing your vision to life with your digital paintbrush. You “add value” and create art. Since a picture paints a 1000 words let me show you a few Before/After images to illustrate my point.

Girl on mossy tree stumpLittle girl on mossy stumpBoy holding flowersBoy holding flowersWoman in flowing gown on beachPregnant woman on beach in flowing gown

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Fine art children’s photography | Clearwater

I am avid about continuing my photography education and it never hurts when adorable children and lush forests are involved! I was blessed to attend a children’s fine art photography workshop held by renowned child photographer, Cass Vanhorn (Noelle Mirabella Photography) in beautiful Victoria, BC last weekend. I can’t wait to put my new skills to the test and translate them to our colorful tropical environment here in Tampa and Clearwater! XO

Little girl in green moss

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Tampa Artistic Newborn Photography | DNA Photography | Avaleigh

I love being a newborn photographer in Tampa and Clearwater Florida! Miss Avaleigh was one of the sweetest, sleepiest little babies and was just a delight to work with. Here are some images from her session.Tampa Newborn Photography AvaleighTampa Newborn Photography AvaleighTampa Newborn Photography AvaleighTampa Newborn Photography AvaleighTampa Newborn Photography

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