updated 05/29/2012 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/30/2012 AT 3:10 PM ET
As an entertainment writer for PEOPLE magazine, my job often affords me the unique opportunity to meet high-profile people in private situations. However, not many of these experiences have been as intimate as PEOPLE’s latest photo shoot at the L.A. home of Jessica Simpson and her fiancé Eric Johnson, with their newborn daughter, Maxwell Drew.
Jessica and Eric’s house is warm and homey, and the new parents couldn’t have been more gracious hosts. After the shoot was well underway, and a few friends had gathered to celebrate Maxwell’s big magazine debut, Eric surprised everyone with glasses of champagne, and Jessica led a toast: “To baby Max!”
But, there was still work to do. An hour or two later, as we gathered by the pool, Jessica cradled Maxwell for the camera, as Eric distracted their 6-year-old Airedale terrier, Bentley. But, of course, when Maxwell began to stir, Dad turned his attention to the baby, pulling a pacifier out of his pocket to give to her. When that failed to quiet the newborn, Jessica gave her a bottle of milk that she’d pumped earlier in the day. Looking at his new family, Eric smiled. “We’re team Max,” he explained, simply.
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
For all the behind-the-scenes details, check out the video, and don’t forget to pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE for exclusive photos and an in-depth interview with the proud new parents, on newsstands Friday