Welcome Earth side, Brielle- Oak Harbor Newborn Photographer

This little beauty gave me a run for my money trying to wrap her, but in the end we learned some things about each other...she learned that I will snuggle her as long as it takes for her to fall asleep, and I learned that she doesn't like to be unwrapped, and when she is wrapped, she likes her arms out. It's always so fascinating to me how different each baby is, but yet they are all so similar too. 

In most newborn sessions I like to include the adorable naked baby shots, but sometimes the baby is having none of it. In those cases I like to take the lead from the baby and go with the flow. I am not going to try and force a baby into a pose that she is clearly not liking. The baby's comfort and happiness is my number one concern during the session. That means taking lots of breaks, and adapting poses and props for babys comfort. 

Epic Love- Whidbey Island Photographer

Some people search their whole lives to find it...others are lucky enough to find it early. Ashley and Matt are two of these lucky people. And I was lucky enough to be able to capture it for them, so they can always look back and remember the early days. 

Jenn Do, Maternity Session- Oak Harbor, WA. Maternity Photographer

Oh my goodness it's been a long time since I've blogged! The baby inside the beautiful belly pictured below is now about 8 months old, so it's safe to say I'm a bit behind. Not without a very good reason, but I'll get to that in another post. Right now it's all about my dear friend Jenn and her glowing beauty in her maternity photos. 

This session will always be near and dear to my heart for two reasons: 1-Jenn was the first friend I made when we moved to Illinois, and my son and her first daughter spent the first three years of their lives together. 2-In this session, Jenn is carrying her Rainbow Baby, and we tried to pay tribute to that while also celebrating the life growing inside. 

I always revel in the beauty of my maternity clients while I have them in front of my lens, but this time the true amazement happened later when I uploaded the photos onto my computer to begin editing. I was scrolling through the hundreds of photos I had taken, trying to decide which to edit, when I noticed something I hadn't seen before in all my time behind the camera: A natural rainbow sun flare! On Jenns belly! Now I mentioned this is Jenns rainbow baby, right? I was immediately moved to tears. It was like God was there, blessing this mother and child, and letting her know that the baby they lost is safe with Him. 

Contest Winner!! - Island County, Washington Photographer

This year, for the first time, I ran a contest through my business Facebook page! The prize was a FREE Full Session, and the winner was Lauren Perry! It was so fun, and I was so touched by all the participation and love I received from everyone. It went so well, that I'll probably make it an annual thing! 

When Lauren found out she won, she was absolutely shocked. First of all, because she hadn't realized that she'd actually entered the contest! Secondly, because she said she was not very comfortable in front of the camera. But when I found out she was expecting her first child, and finding out the gender soon, I assured her that a gender reveal photoshoot was exactly what she needed. And she agreed :) 

The photoshoot, unfortunately, didn't go exactly as expected. The idea was that we would get some shots of them holding both blue and pink balloons, and then they would release the pink balloons to reveal that(YAY) they are having a boy! Well, there was a miscommunication somewhere along the line because when I said "Okay lets release the balloons in this next shot" her fianc√© said "Release the balloons? Okay!" And off they flew, into the sky... I didn't have them posed, or my camera ready so I completely missed it. 

They were good sports though, and were able to laugh about it for the rest of the session. And if you ask me, I think thats a fantastic sign that they will be great parents together :) After all, what else can you do but laugh at life sometimes?

Why my house is messy- Skagit County Family Photographer

It's so easy to get lost in the mundane routines that make up every day life when you're a stay at home mom. Take care of the children, clean the house, make the meals, do the dishes, do the laundry, schedule a playdate, get the groceries, chauffeur the children to and from this or that activity...the list is virtually endless. 

It's so easy to forget that these are the moments. Right now! This is our time with our kids, with our families. This is IT! Remembering to slow down, and take it all in is something I struggle with every day. So here I am to remind you. 

Slow down. Read just one more book(even though you've already read 3). Make a fort out of blankets and pillows. Notice how tiny and baby-like your child's hands still are when they hold their crayons. Notice the long lashes, and still baby-fat cheeks. Because one day you'll look up from whatever chore is so important, and they will be all grown up. 

This day wasn't altogether picture-worthy...my sons hair is a mess and I'm pretty sure he wasn't wearing pants. But we were hanging out, and having fun just being together. We watched a movie, and played with some beads, and I was inspired to pick up my camera and capture the moment. The little details that make up my toddler right now...because before I know it he will be bigger, older, and so different(yet the same). 

Mays Family- Whidbey Island Family Photographer

It was a very cold and windy day here in North Chicago for this family's session, but you'd never know it looking at the love emanating from their photos. Honestly, have you ever seen a more gorgeous family?! 

This first photo here was the very first shot I took, and it completely captures the relationship between a mother and her children. It wasn't even posed...I just looked over and there they were, beautiful, and real. Those are my absolute favorite shots to get. Yes, it's nice to have the posed photos too...but a good candid photo? There's nothing better. 

Elise, 8 days old- Oak Harbor, Washington, Newborn Photographer

This sweet girl came to visit me in my studio a couple of weeks ago, and she could not have been more perfect. I could tell that her mommy and daddy were already taking amazing care of her, because she was so happy the whole time. She didn't make a peep, slept through her entire session, and didn't poop on anything! That's a win in my book :) 

While they were in my studio, they were kind enough to catch some behind the scenes shots of me working with Elise. It was so cool for me to see it from this perspective, so I thought I would put together some side-by-side images so you can see what it looks like behind the scenes when I'm taking these photos. Enjoy! 

What do Photographers do when it's 60 degrees in February?

We will do just about anything to get out and shoot! Including arrange a "shootout". This is when a photographer will find a model, style the shoot, and invite other photographers in the area to join in the fun. The model gets photos from each photographer for her time, and the photographers get new work for their portfolio. Win win! 

Last night was my first time attending a shootout, and I really hope it won't be my last. It was so great to get together, collaborate, and learn.  There were photographers there with all different skill levels, and the atmosphere was one of camaraderie, and friendship. All in all a very lovely experience :) 

P.S. Check out our gorgeous model! This is baby number 5 for her, can you believe it!? 

The most wonderful time of the year...

This year my son was two and a half at Christmastime, which means he was finally able to really GET it! It was so magical sharing this time of year with him and seeing the look on his face as he experienced all the fun traditions that Christmas brings. Decorating the tree, our advent calendar, driving around on Christmas Eve and looking at all the "tismas tee yights" as my son calls them :) And of course, using him and his "girlfriend" as test models for my Christmas Mini set up.

Congratulations Shane and Brooke!

This time of year is the perfect time to make sure your loved ones know how you feel about them. I think that's why it's such a popular time to get engaged. You get in the Christmas spirit, and you just want to shout from the roof tops that you're in love!

Back in 2010 my husband and I were so caught up in the romance of the holidays, that we got engaged on December 12th...and married on the 31st! So my session with Brooke and Shane really took me back, and made me reminisce about my own engagement and wedding. 

I hope I was able to capture for them the love they share, just like my photographer on my wedding day was able to freeze our love forever in our photos(and I say that quite literally, because it was only 23 degrees out when we got married...outside!).

Maybe one of these days soon i'll post some of my favorite photos from my wedding day...but for now, lets bask in the love that shines through in these photos of Brooke and Shane. Congratulations!

The Do family are expecting!!!

One of my very favorite parts of my job is I get the pleasure of capturing treasured memories for my dear friends. It is an honor to see someone I hold so close to my heart evolve and change as life presents new and exciting adventures. 

The first time I met Jenn, she was glowing, pregnant, and beautiful, while I was deep in the throes of new motherhood. We were attending a 4th of July BBQ, my son was 1 month old, and had chosen this day to educate me on what a "Blowout" was.

A few days later, while attempting to be a good wife and cook dinner, my son was having none of it. Crying and screaming, and I was losing my mind. A quick text to Jenn and she was at my door. She held my baby, played with him, and sang him "Apples and Bananas" while I cooked dinner. And a true friendship was born...

We've been there for each other through new motherhood, the extremely demanding jobs of our husbands, date nights, and play dates. We've been each others workout buddy, drinking buddy, babysitter, and therapist. Even though the Navy will take us in separate directions, I know we will always be friends.

Now they are growing their family, and I couldn't be happier for them! 

My favorite time of year...

I know, I know...everyone says fall is their favorite time of year. Maybe it's the vibrant colors of the trees. Maybe it's the relief from the unrelenting heat of summer. Maybe its the knowledge that soon we will be barricaded in our homes by several feet of snow and -20 temperatures. Maybe it's the holidays. Maybe it's the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Everything littering the isles of every store. Whatever your reason, I think we can all agree that fall is the favorite. 

As much as I love taking photos for others, I think I love capturing my own little family on camera even more. My son loves to be outside and just play with nature. He doesn't even need a playground or toys. He's the happiest when he can find the perfect stick,  collect pinecones, or just run around. I love to watch him discover the world around him, and see the wonder and joy in his eyes.