From Ninja Turtles to Aladdin! This Newborn Photographer's Elaborate Shoots Are Going Viral
"Awwwwww, I love ALL of these amazing photos," Viola Davis wrote of photographer Nikki Cee's creations
Nikki Cee never imagined she’d become a photographer. Now, the 33-year-old sensation is the talk of the internet thanks to her elaborate newborn photoshoots.
Cee, of Bowie, Maryland, has a studio in Crofton where parents from all over come to have their little ones photographed in themed settings inspired by everything from Disney’s Aladdin to The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. One of her most recent shoots featured a sleeping infant wearing glasses and snoozing on a stack of books.
“Seeing my vision come to life and seeing the parents get excited for the final product, that’s literally the best thing. Cuddling with the babies too, of course! But seeing it all come to life is the best part [of every photo shoot],” Cee tells PEOPLE.
“When I tell parents the idea I have, they’re very trusting,” she adds. “Once I send [the finished photos] to them they’re just as elated as my followers online! They’re just through-the-roof excited.”
Some of Cee’s most beloved creations include a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air-themed shoot, babies snuggled into ice-cream cones and a beauty salon shoot featuring a little one sitting under a dryer with rollers in her hair. Cee’s creations have even caught the attention of Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis, who tweeted on Wednesday “Awwwwww, I love ALL of these amazing photos by http://nceephotography.com !!! Which ones are your favorites?”
“I never expected any of this! She posted and it blew me away because she actually scrolled [through my Instagram],” Cee says of Davis, adding that she never imagined she’d have over 23,000 followers on the photo-sharing platform. “They love the babies. That’s what brings people, it’s their baby fever.”
Cee tells PEOPLE that she took up photography while embracing her creative side “on a whim” six years ago.
“I’ve always loved creating things … once I started finding props that I could put babies in, it opened up a new level of creativity,” Cee says. “I started finding little buckets, and little couches, and little chairs, beach chairs, all kinds of different things that no one would typically think to put a baby in.”
She adds: “I was just like, ‘Okay, let me just try it out and see what happens.’ And people just started falling in love! It just took off from there. Every time I find something that a baby can fit in, I’ll buy it and figure it out later.”
Although she specializes in newborn shoots, Cee does all types of photography, except sporting events and weddings. She has done more than 100 newborn shoots and calls all the little ones her babies.
Cee admits she initially didn’t like doing newborn photography because the “babies didn’t cooperate,” but that quickly changed as she became more experienced and let her creative flag fly.
“Once I started seeing how happy people were based on putting a baby on a couch,” she tells PEOPLE, “I was like, ‘Okay, let me put the baby in a desk!’ ”
Her first photo to go viral featured a baby wearing a backpack and sleeping on a tiny desk. The image amassed more than 6,000 likes on Instagram, becoming so popular that several parents have asked Cee to recreate the scene for their babies.
She says her most elaborate display shows a sleeping baby wearing a swimsuit in a beach setting.
Cee has no plans to slow down her baby creations, and she says she’s glad that her photography “took over.”
“In six years I never expected to have my own studio and have all these followers,” Cee says. “It’s the most amazing thing that could have happened to me. To be here is honestly surreal. When I pull up to my studio and I come in, I have people that are excited to work with me. It makes it worth it that I’m affecting so many people.”