When You Need It the Most | Mechanicsburg PA Family Photographer

Last year I started a project where I took a self portrait of me and my three kids together once a month. I will admit I didn’t finish out the year with my goal, but that’s not the point! The reason I share is that in the time I was doing those self portraits I learned something important.

The days I was struggling.
The days I didn’t want to be in a photo.
The days I felt like a bad mom…

those were the days I needed to be in photos with my kids the most. When I took the time to be creative (for me creative time is always soul-filling!), to be happy (forced or not!) and to focus on the kiddos (without any distractions), I almost instantly felt better.

But that’s not where the goodness ends, because later I actually SAW the photos.

I saw their little arms around me.
I saw their smiles.
I saw MY smile.

I saw how much they love me, imperfections and all. Not every individual moment of motherhood feels amazing, it just can’t! So, having tangible proof that I can look at and SEE THE LOVE… It’s priceless!

Often times we think the best times for photos is when the kids are perfectly happy and we’re in a great place feeling good about our weight and our hair and our home. But I don’t know. I think the best time for photos doesn’t actually exist. Every time is a good time for photos. It’s easy to agree to them and sign up for them when you’re rockin at life. But don’t count out the magical healing powers love-filled images to have on an open heart that could use a little TLC. Just sayin!

If you’re thinking your heart could use a little photo-magic-TLC, reach out HERE and/or check out my other family work HERE!

summer capsule | Carlisle PA family photographer

It was a gooooood summer. So many fun memories with friends and family fill my mind when I think about. But also, so many fun memories working lots of amazing people too. I know everyone’s always saying how lucky they are to have this job, but ya know what? It’s because we really are so lucky as photographers. Our job has plenty of hard parts, but it has so many perks. The people we meet, where we get to work (hello gorgeous summer sun!) and the service we get to provide to families - what more could we ask for?!?

This summer I tried out some Magic Hour Mini Sessions for the first time and couldn’t be more thrilled with the results if I tried. It was the best decision of the summer, without a doubt. And that’s saying something because my family did an ice-cream tour of Carlisle where we taste-tested ice cream from all the local creameries…

A few of my summer favorites are below. Thank you Summer of 2018, for all the goldeny delicious memories.

Just Relax | Carlisle PA Family Photographer

So here's the thing about getting family photos taken - it's a big deal! As a photographer it's easy for me to forget that YOU, my families, don't do this every single day. That having to figure out what to wear is hard and that because you haven't done this a zillion times already, you are stressed. You worry that the kids won't cooperate and that the pictures will be ruined and if they're ruined... well too bad because it's not like you'll be doing this again in a week or two. Family photos are an investment which means you really need to make each session count! 

Now, as the photographer I know that the really good photogs can get beautiful images no matter what kids are throwing at them. I know that outfits matter, but not THAT THAT much... it's not essential that everyone be in the same 3 colors in order to look good together. But you don't know those things like I know those things. 

So when we got our family photos taken recently, there was a little of this, a little of that. I waited til the last minute to figure out our outfits and wasn't 100% in love, but also didn't have the time/energy to rearrange them over and over. The kids were very tired and had had a busy day. I was worried about whether or not they'd cooperate. I was hungry. Let's just say it's not like I perfectly set myself up for success. 

Except I did. 

Because I chose a photographer to document our family that I knew could handle anything. I trusted her and her vision and her talent. Before the session it was my job to be in charge of the kids clothes, behavior, etc... but once we got there, I was practically off duty! Rather than micromanage them, I let go and decided I was going to be delighted by those little rascals no matter what. Photo sessions really truly can be fun for kids, but not if their parents are telling them no repeatedly while the photographer is telling them to do something fun. 

It's not hard to work with a happy kid even if they're not technically following all the directions perfectly. The photos of them will still look amazing. Stressed out, anxious, annoyed parents though? Ain't nothing making them look good!!

This mini session is a perfect example of parents who enjoyed their kiddo and each other rather than letting the stress take over. And it's the reason nearly every single shot from their session was a keeper!! 

Afterward | Carlisle PA Family Photographer

What do you do with your photos after your session? Let me guess... 

1. you get the gallery and look at it 100 times the first day. 
2. you share it with your friends and family
3. you change your profile picture
4. you talk about, maybe even obsess about, the ones you like the most
5. you say you're going to order prints
6. you get too busy and don't order prints right away
7. you kinda forget about the photos... 
8. a year later they come up in your timehop or FB memories and you start the process alllll over again

I know how it happens. I get it. I've done it. I actually do it all the time... but I'm working on getting better! So, can I make a suggestion?

Order 1 or 2 (or 3!) prints right away. Like same day! You can always order more, but don't feel like you have to wait to place one huge big order. I bet you can find a free shipping code somewhere so it really truly isn't worth it to hold off. Give yourself the gift of seeing your beautiful family every time you walk into the dining room, living room, hallway whatever. 

Then make a quick little coffee table style book of all the photos from the session. Yes, I know you want to make an album for each year and so really you should wait til the end of the year and put these photos in with the rest of them... except no you shouldn't. I mean, you can do BOTH. But it's really quick to just drop all the photos from one session into a book and have it over and done with. 

Printed pictures are enjoyed 10 million gajillion times more than photos on a device. In 2 quick steps you can have printed photos around your house right away. Maybe you'll get around to more ambitious photo projects later, but there's no sense in hiding the pics away on the cloud while you're waiting for that to happen. 

Now take a look at this gorgeous family's mini session and just try to tell me you wouldn't look at a book of these pics with a big ol smile on your face!!!  

Magic up on the hill | Carlisle PA Family Photographer

Getting to spend time with and spy on moms and their kiddos - count it as one of my favorite things to do. I love seeing what other moms do when their kids pile on top of them or run away or ask the same question 100 times. I love seeing that I'm not alone. I love reassuring another mom that she's not alone either.

AND I love getting messages like these after I send over a gallery of golden images of a mama and her babes. Thank you, Shelby, for letting me know how much your loved your pics! 

"Oh my word! Thank you so much! I love them all and you made me feel so beautiful. And you captured my kids perfectly! I'm not sure how you captured so many wonderful photos! They're amazing! I HATE photos of myself because I never feel pretty in them. You made me feel beautiful! 😍  I love these!" 

"If I could have one photo that would showcase who he is, this would be it."

"Thank you for capturing my beautiful, adventurous, wonderful girl ❤️ I don't know how you did it, but this photo captures her personality so perfectly! I hope she never loses her adventurous, curious, free spirit."

This was such a fun session and the best part? We did it right up on the hill behind my house. It's one of my favorite places to photograph my own kids and I was so happy to share the magical spot with a friend! I'll share with you too. Or, better yet, I'll photograph you in your favorite, magical spot! CONTACT ME to start chatting about your own session and check out some other family work HERE