Most of you already know I am a little obsessed with our yearly family photo albums and videos. They are one of my most favorite things to put together, and I post the videos in here so they can be easily found (mostly by our girls!). Sophia loves to pull up the old ones and watch them over and over (all of them can be found HERE once you scroll down).
That said, I do these for my family, and I don't really expect everyone to sit and watch this. I post enough pictures all year, that you could very well be sick of seeing these faces already! Ha. But, whether you watch it or not, I hope that this can inspire you all to do the same. Take the pictures. Print them! Put them in albums for your kids. Do SOMETHING with them. Don't let them live on social media. I know I say this a lot, but it is so important to me to be able to give our kids a way to go back and relive the memories, and these videos and the albums are my gift to my family.
It is so crazy to watch a year's worth of photos. ONE year. We made all these memories in just one year. It flew by, as the years seem to do. I am glad we have these to go back and watch, because you don't realize just how fleeting a moment is until it is gone.
The big ones for us this year:
Jack was born, much earlier than expected! The day the girls got to see him for the first time was definitely one of the high points of the year.
Paul graduated from UC Davis!
We vacationed to Colorado and Utah. Our family reunion in Utah was a vacation we will never forget.
The Cubs won the World Series! Make sure to watch the video to the end to see that one. A moment we waited for as long as I can remember!
Happy New Year, and may 2017 be filled with joy & laughter.
*disclaimer. A lot of these are iPhone pics, like every year.
I hope everyone has been enjoying the last few days. We had a wonderful Christmas with our family, and yesterday was spent unburying ourselves from the mess of presents. I have successfully organized the girl's rooms and our playroom/office, and seven trash bags later, there is still so much left to be done! Why does putting away their new things lead to SO many other projects?
I pulled myself away from it all to take a minute to say THANK YOU. Another great year has passed, and I sit here reflecting once more on just where this business has grown and the endless possibilities in the future. Every year I promise myself to blog more, and then the end of the year comes and I find myself playing catch up, but being able to see it all together on one blog post is one of my favorite things to do.
I worked hard this year, and I am proud of that. 140 sessions, 2 weddings and one amazing birth. I mentored other photographers, taught several of my beginner's workshops and am in the process of a very exciting new journey to continue my goal of educating other photographers.
So, here it is! 2016 in one blog post.
Thank you ALL. There aren't words to express how grateful I am that you have come along on this journey with me. It means so much to have your support, and I look forward to the memories we will make together in 2017!
I am still in pajamas, letting the ac blast, listening to the kids play in the other room as I cross a few things off my to do list and start to mentally prepare for the next few weeks. I have mixed feelings about summer ending. I will miss the late nights, sleeping in and lack of schedule. I will also welcome back the routine that keeps us all running smooth around here.
If you ask the girls how their summer was, they will tell you it was awesome. We took a trip to see Paul graduate from college, celebrated lots of birthdays, flew to Colorado for our own family pictures (BEST experience ever!) and finished it out with the best family reunion in Bear Lake, Utah we could have ever imagined. Our family of 15 piled into a 5,000 sq foot house and spent a week with extended family from all over the US. We got to see our cousins, aunts and uncles. We played games outside, late night poker games, rented boats (the kids got to fly across the lake on inter tubes for the first time ever. Pretty sure that was the highlight of their week!) and had coffee (and wine!) on the deck overlooking the gorgeous scenery. We don't get to visit often, but as soon as we are together again it is like no time has passed. The kids became best friends with cousins they have never even met, and the end of the week came way too fast. We came home with a few new freckles and a lot of great memories.
Since a blog post isn't complete without pretty pictures, here are just some of my favorites from our summer.
I love when I get to photograph families that mean a lot to me! We had been planning this session for months, and had to keep postponing due to weather and other things that got in the way. We finally made it out to Bolsa Chica, a spot that is special to the Tibbetts family, and the skies were gorgeous (although a little windy!).
There are several I love from this session, but the last image is my favorite. Even the bird cooperated!
I am a very organized person. I pride myself on my to do lists that get methodically checked off, my daily routine that seems to keep our house in order, and the fact that I rarely forget something. I like structure. In fact, I tend to meltdown without it. But when it comes to planning out photo sessions and being purposeful with what I am shooting, I am like a completely different person. I am terrible about planning anything farther than a month out. I have ideas swimming in my head, but, so often, I lack the discipline to sit down and actually do something about them. I often don't decide on a location to shoot at until the day before a session. I recognize this, and I chalk it up to my creative juices flowing best under pressure. But this year, it was a goal of mine to be more purposeful in my shooting. So, I planned out these All Dressed Up sessions months in advance. I pulled together a team to help me, because I like to try to take on too much at once by myself, and I knew this time I wouldn't be able to. I even scheduled a rehearsal a few days before the event to make sure we had timed it all right, checked the lighting and tied up the loose ends. Of course, since I put all this time into planning the "perfect" sessions, it would only make sense to get to the actual day of and have a forecast of wind. And by wind, I mean gusts so strong it took two of us to hold the swing in place, countless hair and makeup touch ups, and one person running around after everything that was literally blowing away. Thank goodness I had planned to have so much help there. I couldn't have done it without a hair and makeup team, flower designers & an amazing assistant (thank you Nikki!!).
I am so happy with the results! These gorgeous girls all rocked their sessions. We had so much fun! I know there are several of you that did not sign up for these that have emailed and messaged me. I am working on another plan, so keep checking for information on that.
This beach session made me happy. It doesn't really need a lot of words, so I will just leave you with these pictures.
I should have blogged this a long time ago, but I am just trying to stay above water between the kids crazy schedules, Bob on the road for work more than he ever has been and the demands of running my own business- which has honestly never been this busy before. It's a great problem to have for sure, but when I put something off this long I feel so bad. Regardless, it is still months before these two wed, so I guess I am not too late. Ha.
Elyse & Addison. These two. Oh my gosh, I just love their chemistry, the fun they have together, their kind hearts. They make a great couple, and I am so excited and honored to have been asked to photograph their wedding this fall. Their engagement session was relaxed and easy, just like they are. They even brought their dog, Toby, who kinda loved the camera.
Going back and pulling pictures for this post made me even more excited for their big day. Congratulations again, Elyse & Addison. I am so happy to be a part of such a special time in your lives.
I was hoping I would have this post up yesterday, on my birthday, but I spent the day as everyone should- relaxing and enjoying time with my family. Owning your own business can be a tricky thing. It has taken me a long time to find balance. Balance between sessions, my priorities as a mom and my own personal me time. Most weeks my balance really sucks, and I am either behind on work or the kids are watching way too much TV while I catch up on editing. Then there are days that make me proud, that one short period of time where my to do lists are short, the kids are happy and I feel rested. I wish I could bottle those days up just to remember what they are like when I am sinking.
I am not the only small business owner that struggles with this. My friends at Balanced Box, Janelle & Drea, are pretty much rockstars, and if you follow them on social media you will feel empowered & motivated.
In their words,
"Balanced Box is committed to creating a movement towards a BALANCED and healthy lifestyle. Often times people take things TOO seriously….Although your health is a serious thing, we believe fitness and food should be fun. Our mission is to highlight the joy, and humor around health, fitness and overall balance. We offer a fun perspective on healthy eating, and we try to make living a BALANCED lifestyle a real option, for real people, one healthy meal, or fun shirt at a time!"
When Janelle & Drea introduced their new apparel line, I fell in love with it immediately. It hit me that the photography industry struggles with balance just as much as any other, and I approached them about collaborating on a line specific for us. What we came up with is so fun, and they are now available for presale here. All orders placed in the next 10 days will be sent out May 14th. Make sure to get your order in now so you are included on the preorder! Also, shipping is free if you order 3 or more, so stock up!
My favorite shirt is the Shoot, Edit, Coffee Repeat because I really feel like this is my life some weeks- especially during the fall and spring rush!
I photograph a LOT of kids, and there are sessions I leave feeling completely wiped out. I like to think I can count this as my workout for the day. This shirt says it best!
I workout. Just kidding I photograph kids.
Another way I find my own balance is by working when my kids are in bed. This usually works for me. I shoot while they are in school, spend time with them after school, and once they are in bed I am back to editing. It's as if they don't even know I work, right? Well....not always. I love this shirt! It is SO soft and comfy!
Shoot all day. Edit all night. And last, but most important, I had to design something for my clients. I have been crazy lucky to have a mini session following that is so loyal, enthusiastic and supportive, and I thought it would be fun to create something for just YOU. These are adorable! Mini Session Addicts. Available in adult and kid sizes.
I want to thank Janelle & Drea. Your friendship and support means so much to me, and I am excited for this and for future collaborations! xoxo
I am excited to announce something I have never done before. Well, at least not this big!
On May 14th, I will be offering styled sessions for girls.
All dressed up!
Hair and light makeup will be included on location, and the set is going to be amazing. There are some very creative minds behind this and I can't wait to see it come together.
This is my first session of this kind. You will have to trust my vision. I will not be showing a set or sample picture. Just trust me, you don't want to miss out on these. I might not offer them again, at least for a long time.
Sessions will be 15 minutes and you will get three final images. These will be portraits you will want hung on your walls, made into large canvases. Pieces of art.
Once you are signed up, I will contact you to start the planning process, so hurry and sign up here.