With 4 kids at home sometimes it's a complete disaster! Dirty dishes, clothing needing to be folded, shoes all over the place. But here is the deal....I'm tired. I'm tired of trying to keep everything clean, of trying to make my life appear to be something it's not. I'm a hot mess! My kids are their own people, they make their own decisions about what they do. While I try my best to influence them to do what I think would be the best, sometimes they decide that they are going to chose something else. I don't want to live my life trying to impress other people. I love my kids, my family, my life. I want to remember it as it is right now. When my daughter calls me 20 years from now complaining about her life, and kids I can tell her that she's not crazy. It's hard to be a parent, but it is also so rewarding. I have beautiful kids, and I have the ability to make crazy gorgeous portraits of them. Which I love. But I also love capturing moments of my life that really mean something to me. Moments that remind me what an awesome mom I am because we went to the airshow this year. I want my kids to know that I value them and love to spend time with them. I want them to know that I love the way they are right now, that we don't have to pretend to be perfect.
Early one morning my mother decided that she was going to take me to go get my photo done at the local JCPenny's. She had 6 kids at the time, and obviously wanted to show the world her youngest little beauty! I'm surprised that I can even remember this event seeing as I was so young, but I do. The photographer sat me up on the bench, stood behind the camera and told me to smile. Now just in case you don't know me well, sometimes right off the bat I don't like people. I did not like this photographer. Looking back on it, I felt like he was talking down to me. So, I did what every little sassy pants toddler does...I REFUSED to smile. He then proceeded to try everything he could do to make me smile, and nothing worked. Out of desperation my mother bribed me with an ice-cream shake if I would just give her one smile. I can still remember the desperation in her voice! At that point I knew I had won! I gave my mother what she wanted, this sassy little smile, and we were out the door to get that shake. What is interesting is that this last Christmas this picture came up, and we didn't talk about how cute I was. We laughed about what a stinker I was that day! So, what can you do to have a stress free photo-shoot with your toddler....
LET GO OF PERFECTION
There I said it! Just let it go. Perfect images are boring anyway. Are stale images of your kid looking at a camera really what you want? Or do you want images that tell a story, take you back in time, and make you feel something.
I suggest a documentary family photo session. What does that mean? It means that the photographer hangs out with you for an entire day documenting your life. It might seem like a weird concept at first, but these types of sessions produce images that are so awesome.
These sessions take all the stress off of your shoulders because you get to be you. No need to buy matching clothing, no need to clean your home, and dads love these sessions.
LET ME TELL YOU ANOTHER STORY
I hired a mentor a couple of years ago to help me with my photography. I just wasn't happy with where I was going. I can produce beautiful perfect family portraits, and I was bored and frustrated out of my mind. Families would nit pick how they looked in each image trying to find the perfect image for their wall. It made me sad. These images where technically perfect in every way. So why wasn't I happy! Then my mentor told me a story about Picasso. She said he was a master at the human form. He could paint it perfectly, with perfect dimensions. But obviously at some point he became interested in finding his "style" what he loved to create. I have always loved documentary images, but was worried to let go of my other technically perfect work. It pays the bills, but it hasn't been where my heart is at. I love images of kids being kids. I love to see mom cry when she looks at her images because they made her feel emotion. I dare you to give documentary family photos a try and see what you think. I promise that at some point your toddler with throw a tantrum during the day, but you will cherish the images that come from it.
When people think of professional photography they often think of wedding photos. But, not long after weddings come children...and family photos are often neglected. If they are not neglected they are often thought of as portraits with everyone looking at the camera. While I still photograph families in that way, I much prefer what I call moment photography or documentary family sessions. In order to get wonderful, emotion filled images on a wedding day the photographer often spends anywhere from 4 hour to a whole day with the couple and their family. So, I like to take the same approach with families when possible. I like to spend anywhere from 4 hours to a day with you documenting the little moments that you don't take notice of. I photograph you in an artistic, unique way that will provide you with images like no other family has. I also offer a short portrait session with everyone looking at the camera for families that book storytelling sessions, if that is something you are interested in. I suggest that if you haven't thought of family photography in this way, you really think about how you want to remember your family and the life you are living. Here are some images of two of my children to give you an idea of how I photograph families. Take a look! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a storytelling, vacation, or day in the life session.
Any time a family contacts me they ask for ideas of activities that would be good to do for natural family photos. As a documentary Anchorage family photographer I tell them that family photos should be a real representation of how your family likes to spend time together. My sessions are relaxed, and natural because I work hard to make good photos of you spending time with your family. Summer is upon us in Alaska and it is short! So here are some ideas of activities that would be great for you to do as a family for your photo session.
Play at the Lake or on boat
Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows
Play in the sprinkler at home
Go to the icecream shop and get icecream
Bake something as a family
Play in your yard and your home together
Go to your favorite little town on "vacation"
Go to the reindeer farm
Visit a glacier or take a glacier helicopter tour
Visit a local farm and pick out produce or flowers
Go berry picking
Go on a short hike and have a picnic
If extended family or friends are in town this is the best time for a family session and take them around to all the local tourist spots and spend time together at home.
You don't have to limit yourself to this list! Whatever you want to do as a family I can tag along. My documentary sessions last anywhere from 4 hours to a whole day. When clients hear that I spend the day with them sometimes they are surprised. But the fact is that I am not taking any of your time, you get to spend your time doing whatever you want and I am just along for the ride. If you have any questions or want to schedule your family session contact me at email@example.com.
WHERE DID THE TIME GO?!
My youngest just graduated from preschool and is on his way to kindergarten next year! I'm obviously excited about this, but I'm also a little sad. He's the one that keeps me company in the morning. So this morning I decided I want to capture some of our time together. Usually I'm busy cleaning while he is doing his thing. But, this morning I decided to help him make an apple pie. He LOVES to make pie. If he could, he would make one every day. So check out the photos below to see him making his pie.
DON'T WAIT TO GET PHOTOS LIKE THESE!
In my business I offer beautiful portraits, and storytelling adventure sessions because I realize as a mother both of them are important. In the long run it's the little moments that matter, they can take you back in time. So don't put off having photos done of your family. before you know if they will be grown up!
THANKS FOR CHECKING OUT MY BLOG!
It never gets easier. There are always new challenges.
It's not easy being a slope wife. I always get asked if I get "used" to my husband being gone. Ummmm, no. I miss him like crazy. There are lots of times where it is just not fun. So I just wanted to pass on some tips that I've learned over my years of being a slope wife.
Tip #1. Let go of perfection.
I have been a slope wife for going on 10 years this year, I have 4 kids ages 13, 11, 9, and 5. My husband left for his job on the slope the week after my 3rd child was born. So, I had a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a baby. They all have their unique challenges, and they are their own personalities. But, raising your kids alone for long periods of time is hard. My hat goes off to parents living the single life.
We live in a society today that is showing you and telling you to be perfect.
Let it go, life is too short to be living your life to someone else’s standards. Let me tell you a story. One time when my husband was on the slope, I was trying desperately to get my kitchen clean. I had some friends that were going to come over to visit, and we lived in one of those homes where it was an open floor plans. You could see the kitchen, living room, and the entry area all at the same time. I kind of hate these floor plans, because anyone who comes into the house sees your dirty dishes!
I actually spent a lot of time cleaning up the kitchen, plopped the kids in front of the TV, and ran upstairs to take a quick shower. Upon coming back downstairs nothing looked out of the ordinary. As I turned the corner to walk into the kitchen I knew something was wrong.
I was sliding across the floor like a rollerskating, disco dancing queen.
My arms swung wildly in desperation trying to grasp onto anything for balance. But to no avail. The kitchen counter was as slick as a used car salesman. Finally, I came to a stop when I slid all the way across the kitchen, and fell to the ground unable to grab onto anything.
I was upset!
One of my children had felt the need to spray the floor, fridge handle, and the kitchen counter with cooking spray. The next thing I remember is them jumping up on the couch laughing at me from the living room. I tried to get up, but wasn't going anywhere fast.
What in the world were they thinking!
All within a few minutes they managed to create a rollerskating rink for their mom and shattered my idea of having a clean house for the company. I think kids must have some sort of radar that goes off when they know you are trying to accomplish something. Eventually I pinned down who did it and asked him why. His response was that he just wanted to know what would happen. Now, we do our best to keep the house clean, but I’m not putting on a front of perfection anymore. I don't run around like a mad man trying to clean up when someone is stopping by.
Ain't nobody got time for that!
Just relax, let go of perfection. Kids grow up fast, and then who will be around to make your life interesting.
You are a rock star mom!
It's hard being home alone with the kids. Take them out for dinner when you've had a hard day, relax in a bubble bath. The kitchen can wait until morning.