My first newborn of 2020! He's been all over my page because I just can't get enough of him. Finley's mama informed me that her husband was a Marine as we were discussing prop setups. I knew I had to make that the focal setup of his session.
With my father-in-law also being a Marine veteran, I happened to have a Marine flag in my studio from photos I had taken of my kids a couple years ago. It was such an honor to be able to pull that out to be used. New parents with their babies always give me the feels, but this was a whole new level.
At Finley's ordering appointment, I learned that his dad has done multiple voluntary deployments. Voluntary. Now that's a hero and we all owe him a thank you.
Finley decided he just wanted to eat for the majority of his session and didn't have an interest in closing his eyes. From what I've heard, he has run the show since day 1. :) . I worked my magic and managed to get quite a few sleepy shots as well.
When Finley's mom and dad came back for their reveal wall, mama said she wasn't expecting such a large gallery since he was a little fussy for his session. Parents' reactions to the reveal wall are one of my favorite parts of the newborn session experience.
After they picked out their prints from the wall, Finley's dad noticed a military trunk I have in the studio which used to belong to my husband's grandpa. I could tell he wished we had used it for their session, so I offered to have them come back for another setup. When Finley came back, they also brought some of Brandon's old military hats for my kids. They haven't taken them off since and I am incredibly grateful that I have the most thoughtful clients in the Cedar Valley. When my clients come in as strangers and leave as family, I know I've successfully done my job.
Last year, we took our kids on their first plane ride to Florida to see the ocean. In usual photographer style, I made sure the most important thing to pack, other than my kids and earplugs, was my camera. I made several shopping trips to find the perfect outfits for them, because we all knew there would be nightly photo shoots. If you know my kids at all, you probably know why it took all 5 nights to get a few shots to put on my walls back home. We spent the first day soaking in the beach and salt water, burning off their ridiculous amounts of energy, and enjoying paradise. I'll never forget watching their sweet little toes touch the ocean for the first time.
When you take a family vacation, does the thought ever cross your mind to hire a family photographer to help document some of the best moments of your getaway? The kids are probably tired, you're tired, the last thing you want to do is get fancy for pictures, but I can guarantee you will be glad you did it.
My dream is to travel to places on my bucket list and take as many pictures as I can, including booking clients where I'm going. My cousin and his wife are straight out of a magazine and there was no way I was leaving without an impromptu sunset shoot with them.
These two are simply stunning, and I'm thinking I might have to book a flight to do a family session this year!
My kids negotiated about 543 toys, 34 ice cream cones, and staying up late to get the shots below, but it was so worth it.
When these two stepped out of their car for their maternity session, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Hallie's dress was absolutely stunning, as was she. This was the first shot I took. Sometimes I swear I get more excited about shots like this than my actual client does. I ordered updated product samples for the studio and I knew this gallery just had to be plastered all over my new line of albums I'm obsessed with. I'll do a separate blog on that when the samples arrive because they're absolutely stunning.
These two are so laid back and made it such a fun session. I love when clients put their full trust in me when it comes to posing. Posing for a camera can feel awkward and uncomfortable, but I love to give silly prompts to get those natural giggles. This sweet image below I told Trae to put his hands on Hallie's belly and try to guess which part of the baby he was touching. From the smile on Hallie's face, I have a feeling he guessed "butt"!
Flash forward a couple weeks and this gorgeous, dark haired beauty arrives. She wanted to make sure we all knew she was in charge for the first half of her session, but after that, she slept like a dream.
I am a sucker for sentimental items. I offered to make a bonnet for Rowyn out of Hallie's maternity dress to do a mommy and me shot.
I had to get a shot of her with Trae too, because she is basically his clone. Then comes the most epic newborn event of 2019. We take the diaper off, get her posed, and I'm sure you can guess what happened next. Let's just say Dad was gagging, on the verge of losing his breakfast, and Hallie and I are laughing hysterically, telling him to push through it for the shot. The last session of 2019 went out with a bang.....or a bomb if you ask Trae!
First ever blog post. It's a long one, but worth the read...
As the new year approaches and we say goodbye to the last 365 days, I look back on the highs and lows. My kids growing like weeds, family vacations, house updates and remodels, another loss in my family, continued late night edits, and two booming businesses.
I received the most unique Christmas card this year from my 90+ year old great-great aunt, who still types every letter on a typewriter. Included in her letter was a black and white photo of one of her siblings....in 1919. That's a 100 year old photo. It really made me think.
Even as a photographer, I couldn't tell you where I have every single professional image of my kids stored. I can tell you, though, that my favorites are printed on high quality wall art and proudly displayed all over my home. Just last night, my almost 7 year old stumbled out of his room to snuggle with me as I worked (at 1:30 a.m.). He fell asleep in my arms like he did when he was a baby and I started crying, realizing how much he is growing up and how I want to just freeze time, even though he drives me crazy 70% of the day.
I didn't get his newborn photos taken because I didn't even know it was a big thing at the time. If I had a time machine, I would go back and make that one of the biggest investments of his first year. His long fingers, fuzzy ears, sweet little piggies, long eyelashes, his two cowlicks on his hairline that are impossible to lay down. What I would give to have a collage of his little features in a collage on my wall or an album to peek at whenever he wakes up 2" taller, which seems like every day.
We all know the first month of your new baby's life is a blur. Let me capture those "little moments" in beautiful art and take the work out of displaying products in your home. This year, each session will include premium prints, customized artwork, luxury albums, and all you have to do is bring the baby. I have everything else covered. Hand crafted outfits, headbands, props, wraps, everything. As a prop vendor (click link below), I can customize any session in any color palate to match your home. There is nothing more satisfying than clients proudly displaying beautiful images I pour my heart and soul into.
Prints of your baby are invaluable, but so are family photos. Eventually photos will be the only thing you have left of someone. Over the last three years, I've become far too accustomed to grief and loss. My aunt passed away from pancreatic cancer the day after Christmas, 2016. We were blessed to be able to spend her remaining weeks at her side, something not everyone gets to do. I snapped photos of her surrounded by her family and friends, the last minute baptism of her youngest grandbaby, and shared tears and laughs.
Fast forward to 2018....and here we are again with my cousin, passing away 10 months after his mom, also of cancer. I'd be lying if I said the loss of him didn't bother me to this day. I think about him all the time, and whenever I'm frustrated or feeling down, I just glance over and his smiling picture and try to remember that the little hiccups in life aren't worth the bother.
I can promise you his funeral was one of the most emotional things you would ever witness. His widow, 4 young kids he left behind, his fire gear, the sight of pews full of firemen there to offer support, and the dreaded final call over the radio.
If you have made it all the way to the end, thank you, and I hope you take something away from this. Print your pictures, hug your loved ones, and don't sweat the small things.
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