Awaiting Meegan: Bump and Beyond

So, you may remember Laurel from my Country Chic Maternity blog post. I’m pretty sure this is my favorite maternity photo. Everything came together perfectly: a beautiful mother to be, sun flare, a little haze and the gentle sway of a weeping willow tree. Can I get a woot woot?? Go ahead, you can say it aloud.
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So fast forward 2.5 months and Laurel finally found out she was carrying a girl! Meegan Autumn was a fiesty little thing but she also rewarded me with more smiles than any other baby in Evie Claire history (I counted 5 in her final gallery). I love how she rocked the amazing reindeer hat from Unravel Me, looking like the little country girl she is. And that giant beautiful basket…That was made by her great grandfather who was the official basket maker of South Georgia. What an unique and sentimental prop to use!

I can’t even properly explain how much joy it brings me to see my maternity clients in their new role as mothers. Doesn’t Laurel look positively serene? She once again made me feel like I was in the presence of Mother Earth. Pretty darn cool.
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Enough is Enough: Overbooking October

Shortly after starting my business last October, things BLEW UP for me.  I was so excited to have interested people that I said yes…to EVERYTHING.  That meant me doing 21 sessions in a little over a month.   Several sessions each weekend, with no free days left for family time.  Night spent in front of my computer instead of with my family.  Editing during every spare minute: when Evie napped, when Evie watched Disney movies, when Evie played in her room.   I spent my 31st birthday in front of my computer after I sent Evie to spend the day with my Mom.  My whole birthday.   I swear, Evie saw more of the back of my head that month than she saw of my face.  I am ashamed to admit that but it’s the truth.  See…while I was busy making all of these families happy, I was making my own family unhappy.
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At my core, I am a people pleaser.   I phrase things diplomatically and strive to be positive.   I like happy clients.   I LIVE for happy clients.  But there must be balance.   I understand that October is peak family season.  I understand that we almost force families to wait by refusing to do sessions during hot, gross summer months or especially green (yuck color casts) spring months.  But….we must balance.   And, quite honestly, there are lots of photographers and we do not need to say yes to everyone.   Work to schedule your loyal clients first and then offer limited sessions for new families.  Think about mini sessions as a way to accommodate lots of families in one day while working around the inevitable short child (and sometimes parent) attention span.  Get creative in an effort to maintain your sanity!

I challenge you to pick a set number of family sessions for your fall and STICK TO IT.  Schedule family time for yourself and DON’T negotiate that time.   It’s kind of pathetic that I penciled in the Weber’s Apple Festival and the Clark Farm Teddy Bear Picnic on my October schedule but it ensures that I have time for my family.  At the end of the day the time I spend with Evie trumps any session, trumps any pay check.  And she keeps me grounded and sane.  It’s impossible not to find joy in watching her partake in all that fall has to offer.

Remember…enough is enough. If you aren’t serving your family first, you aren’t truly serving your clients to the best of your potential. Here’s to a fruitful, fun, SANE fall season!

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Leah – BeYOUtiful

Leah and I go way back…back to days before kids when I did things like workout for FUN. Seriously. The girl writing this who has done nothing remotely physical in 3 years used to run half marathons. I blame Evie. Ok, ok. I blame laziness.
So once upon a time Leah was my workout buddy. She has stayed active, even during pregnancy (Go LEAH!) and we’ve maintained a good ole facebook friendship over the years. I was so excited when she chose me to capture this amazing time in her life. I was even more excited when she said she’d be willing to wear her husband’s fire gear.
Leah looked so beautiful and I think I made a true believer out of her. When I say I will make you feel glamorous, at 30+ weeks pregnant, I MEAN IT. Don’t doubt me because I will prove you wrong. You’re gorgeous. 30+ weeks pregnant, dare I say it, you’re the most gorgeous you’ve ever been.



Charlotte: Sweet smiles and glorious hair

Where do I begin with Charlotte’s story? Well…I guess it all started when I was explaining to her parents that they shouldn’t worry about if she pees, poops or spits up on anything. Part of the job I say. Gonna happen, I say. And then it happens…all down the Dad’s leg. And then it happens again, all over Mom’s shirt. All the while, Charlotte smiles like she won the baby lottery. I finished the session free from all bodily fluids. HA! Poor parents took the brunt of it 🙂
It’s rare to see a blond haired baby with a full head of hair but Charlotte was my little rare baby unicorn. So absolutely gorgeous. And she smiled even when she wasn’t peeing on her parents. Now that’s a dream baby!

Awaiting Hudson: Bump and Beyond

Meet Austin. Mother to a lovely little girl named Willow, Austin was due to welcome a little boy this go round. So was so beautiful and I kept thinking she looked like someone famous. While editing, it hit me. Megan Fox. Right??? Dark hair and full lips and a killer smile. I’m only a smidgey jealous 🙂
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Hudson was another little one who was good and comfy in utero and not to eager to enter the real world. Austin and I probably checked in with one another more than any other client I’ve ever had. I LOVE when I have clients who keep me posted about their progress. And one morning the text came, “Hey I’m in labor !! I’ll have a baby today!”. Hudson arrived weighing in at just under 9 lbs. You all know I love those little squishy chunky babies so he was a dream to photograph!
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Little Zara: Smiles for miles

Three months ago I photographed a little baby named Zara. She had the darkest eyes and best head of hair I’ve seen in a long time. She slept so well during her session that her Momma fell asleep too, mid conversation! I like to think my newborn sessions are relaxing for parents but this was a first!
Yesterday Zara came back and let me say, she’s even more beautiful if that’s even possible. I loved capturing her tummy time and watching all the expressions she made while relaxing on my flokati rug. I have a confession: I have always been afraid of 3 month sessions because the babies can’t sit yet (like a 6 month old) but they’re not sleepy like a newborn. Well Zara eradicated any fear I had and I will now gladly offer 3 month mini sessions to any parent who wants to capture this precious time.
Keep growing, always.

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