Happy Birthday, Caleb!

21st April 2014

He turns 4 today.  I don’t have enough words for this kid.  He is amazing and I honestly love spending my days with him.

I took him on a photoshoot where we climbed hills, ran around in a field, and talked about our friends.  Yeah, he wanted to hear all about my friends, too.  He is really the greatest.  We ended the session holding hands watching the sun set.  I gave him a huge hug and told him how much I loved him and he told me I was “very cool awesome”.

Kid, you’ve had a weird big brother roller coaster ride this year (losing one then gaining one) and you’ve embraced it like you do everything else.  I love your brain (you’re learning to read!) and the way you see and question everything (you tear everything apart just to put it back together).  You are a faithful friend with a sensitive heart. You are a delight and I kind of can’t believe you’re mine.  Happy Birthday, sweet boy.  I’m excited to see what this year holds for you.
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Witt’s End Design Shoot

15th April 2014

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Some of my friends were gracious enough to model some headbands for a collaboration with Witt’s End Design.  She has hip, modern, and unique baby gifts in her Etsy shop.

Why I love these headbands–

1.  Great quality – the fabric is soft and thick and are perfectly sewn.

2. Comfortable – I will wear one all day and not even notice!  The elastic is soft and meshes well in your hair.

3.  Sweet and cute – Amie offers a variety of modern fabrics to suit every style.

They are a great addition to almost any outfit.  Run, don’t walk people!  Grab you some!

P.S. – I’ll be doing a giveaway later this week so keep your eyes peeled!

5 tips for finding the right family photographer

10th April 2014

It’s time for your annual family photos or you’re planning to have a baby soon and have started the process of looking for a photographer.  So you turn to Google, Facebook, and friends to find your perfect match.  There are hundreds of photographers out there now.  It can be overwhelming choosing the ‘right’ one. Here are some helpful tips when conducting your search.

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1. Quality – I’m a photographer so this will always be my number one point.  Look through their portfolio. Do they have several great photos from each session?  This is where you might find the separation between beginner and seasoned photographers.  Is their style cohesive? Are they creating sharp, in focus, and timeless photos?

2. Your Style – Your friends will have a list of photographers to check out but it comes down to who is the right fit for you and your family. One question you can answer is: Could you substitute your family members into one of their photographs and still love that photo?  Are you interested in more formal photos with everyone smiling at the camera or do you love the candid photos where everyone is in stitches?  Do you like a mix of both?  Is there a certain ‘mood’ to the photos you enjoy looking through? You will most likely have these photos forever so you definitely want them to be some of the most loved items you have.

3. Price Range – It’s best to know what your TOTAL budget will be for your photos.  If you hire a photographer that you love but is outside of your range you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  You wouldn’t take a job that didn’t cover your expenses.  If you did you would end up hating that job even if it was something you enjoyed.  In this case, know what you can afford so you don’t end up disappointed with only a few 5x7s from your amazing session.  Ask your photographer to lay out all the costs up front for you (session fee, print prices, albums, disc of images, etc).  If you’re budget is unlimited then you’re good to go.  Also, call me ASAP. :)

4. Customer Service – I want to be treated like a real human being.  It’s no fun walking into a retail store and ask a question only to be brushed off or made to feel like you were in their way.  It’s a bit different in the photography industry since you are the one choosing here.  My advice is to find someone who will take care of you. Find someone who will treat you like the most important client because YOU ARE.  Respect, honesty, and professionalism should be top priorities (and will be recognizable within minutes of talking with them).

Extra tip–Talk to them on the phone!  I know it’s scary and our world is moving more and more online but it’s so important in this process.  Which brings me to my next piece of advice…

5. Personality – This person will be handling your newborn, talking with your kids, and capturing natural moments between you and your significant other.  You want someone who connects with you on your level.  They may have beautiful photos but you need someone whom you feel comfortable with.  Ultimately, they need to be like a friend.  Someone you can trust and talk to.  Someone who just GETS YOU.

The process can be intimidating.  I hope these are helpful in your search.

the jacksons – fort worth family photographer

3rd April 2014

As I’m trying to catch up on my blogging I came across a folder from 2012 that I never blogged!  Thought I was actually getting somewhere. Ha!

Meet the Jacksons!  Sarah and I graduated high school together and have stayed in contact over the years.  I just adore this little family (Grayson is much, much bigger now).  This was from their mini session in the fall of 2012.  They genuinely enjoy each other.  And Grayson’s joy is so contagious.  I mean, look at him!  A baby doll!

Thanks again, guys, for allowing me to be a part of your family photos.

P.S. – happy birthday, Sarah!
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Why taking photos ALL THE TIME is important to me

31st March 2014

In this age of smart phones, tablets, and DSLRs we probably have more photos of our kids from one year than from my entire childhood.

It’s just…easy.

And some believe it’s too easy.  That we’ve lost the art of photography and the interwebs is cluttered with selfies, poor quality phone snaps, and Instagram photos of our food.  That we’re spending too much time on our phones or behind our camera taking photos than actually living the moment and maybe that’s true for some people.

So let me tell you what happened to me this week and why taking photos ALL THE TIME is important to me.

You may know that in June of 2012 we welcomed a foster son into our home.  He had a chronic illness and had a strict regimen of medications and feedings.  He was in our home about 9 months.  At that time, our oldest was 2 and I felt pretty crazy most of the time.  We had 2-3 doctor visits each week on top of his scheduled CPS visits.  Then, the last 4 months of his stay he was throwing up 2-3 times a week for reasons we still need answers to.  Oh, did I mention I was pregnant with killer morning sickness, too?  There was no fun being had in this house.  I didn’t pick up my camera for an entire month and when I did it was only for a few snaps.  It sat on a shelf in our bedroom closet.

There was no beauty.  There was no art.

It’s been a year since we said goodbye to our son and the truth is I forget what he looks like.  That’s just our reality.  When you don’t have them walking and talking around you everyday it’s easy to forget some of the details.  There is only small percentage of people in this world that know he even existed as a part of our family.  It’s still hard to introduce my two boys and not our middle son.  It’s still hard that I am not currently the one he calls mom.

This week my husband finished putting together all the video footage we have of him.  It’s almost too much to take.  Tears are welling up now and I’m not even watching it.  Sometimes I forget we were foster parents.  Time is funny like that.  You start wondering if your reality was actually just a dream.  For me, the random photos I took (on all of my devices) remind me that he was real.  The grainy photos of us snuggled in bed remind me that he loved it there the most.  When I took a selfie his crazy hair didn’t fit in the frame.  The blurry ones remind me he never ever never sat still.  And the naked tummies, one milky and one chocolate, remind me of the wonderful bond of brotherhood no matter the circumstances.  I know he’s grown and changed so much since being in our home but those photos reflect the best things about our time with him.

And they remind me that he will forever be ours.

Your great life is really happening.  Take photos to remember it.

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