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My Style Of Photography for Weddings and Engagement Sessions - Alaska Wedding Photographer

Every photographer has a unique style. It takes years to develop. But when you place two photographers in the same location, it is amazing how unique and different their work can be. So, I like to believe my that style of photography has it’s own unique and creative edge to it. I love to combine commercial feel of images that would look amazing on a cover of an Alaska wedding magazine with an documentary feel of those images that capture the emotion and moments of the day. It’s the real moments shots that stop you in your tracks, and that really matter. I know how important images of you smiling at the camera can be, but at the end of the day I aim to capture more of the moments that how you connecting with the ones you love. Usually these images do not have you staring into the camera.

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In Home Newborn Photographer - Palmer, Wasilla Newborn Photographer

Once upon a time I wanted to a a photographer that photographed babies. Babies on a beanbag and perfectly posed. Then I realized I was not comfortable with that. What I was really drawn towards was images of the parents holding and snuggling their new baby and not looking at the camera. That’s really where they belong. So, I decided to change my approach. I now do lifestyle newborn sessions.

First, I guess I should explain what lifestyle means. A lifestyle session is really a storytelling session. The goal is to get a series of images that tell the story of what feels and looks like to care and love your newborn. During the sessions I usually wont ask you to look into the camera. I do give direction to get the best images possible, but I won’t put you in any stiff poses.

When it comes to being a newborn photographer in Palmer, Anchorage, and Wasilla, Alaska lighting is very important. Not all homes have amazing light, and during the winter months the light isn’t always ideal. So I do ask my clients to pay attention to the light in their homes, and when I arrive I will ask you to show me around so that we can use the best light possible. If additional light is needed, I am equipped to bring additional lighting equipment.

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Here are a couple of questions that I am often asked.

First, why are lifestyle sessions better than posed portrait sessions?

I’m not against a posed family portrait. The problem I have with that is when a client thinks that that one image is all they want or need. That might be the case, but if so, then I am not the photographer for them. I want images that show a variety of moments, emotions, and compositions. With one or two posed portraits you can’t really see how much they are loved by their parents, or capture their little features.

The second question is why don’t I offer mini sessions?

Again, I am all about telling the story of the newborn and the family. I can get a good posed portrait in a few minutes. Looking at the camera posed portraits is really about how they look and not how it feels. I cannot get a collection of images that show the special connection between family members, a variety of emotions, and moments within 10 minutes. It generally takes a while for clients to get comfortable and relax during the session. What is special about how I photograph is that I take my time, I work the scenes, and I let my clients be who they are. I have had clients come to me in the past because they had a mini session, they felt rushed, and didn’t love their images. I really don’t recommend mini sessions for photographers or clients.

Wasilla Newborn Photographer

Joshua and Aubrey - Hatcher Pass Engagement and Wedding Portraits

In Home Lifestyle Photography - Anchorage, Palmer, Newborn Photographer

I loved photographing this family and their beautiful little daughters! An in home session is perfect for families with small children, they are more comfortable in their own surroundings. If they get hungry, there is food right there, and they never get bored. Next time you are considering a session, consider your home!

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Choose Your Own Adventure...Palmer, Anchorage, Alaska Family Photography

When you were a child did you ever read those “Choose your own Adventure” books? I did, and I loved them. I would even read the books a couple of times, just because I wanted to see what different endings, or stories I would get. I love to relate these books to my photography. I offer two types of sessions for families. Portrait sessions, and In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions. Let me break down the differences for you, so that you can choose your own adventure.

First off, let me be clear that I enjoy both types of sessions. I find them both equally important, but they both serve different purposes for families.

Portrait Sessions: are you and your family at your best. This is an opportunity to capture emotions you feel for your family. Such as joy, affection, connection. You are proud to show off your family, and the images. They are beautiful, and are often something you hang on your wall, have printed in an album, and send out as Christmas cards. During portrait sessions you are directed to the best light, and given direction on posing for the most beautiful images. If you have more questions about my portrait sessions visit my F.A.Q.

Jakeman Family During their Portrait Session

Jakeman Family During their Portrait Session

But that is really half of the picture. It’s a small slide of who you are as a family. That is why I also offer and recommend In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions.

In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions: show a wide range of emotions. Everything from happiness when your toddler runs through the sprinkler, tenderness when you touch your baby’s face. Sadness when your child is throwing a tantrum, humor and what your toddler is doing, and exhaustion from parenting all day. During these sessions I document rather than direct. I capture the activities that your family enjoys doing together. Little things such as making breakfast, washing the baby, going for a walk, spending the day at the fair. The little things that families do every day to grow closer together. 30 years down the road it is these images and moments that you will want to remember…because they are real, natural, organic, unposed moments. They are who you really are as a family. When you are a parent it is important to have images of you with your children. It’s impossible to photograph these moments yourself. Your job is to be in the moment. My job is to make sure you remember every breath. If you want to learn more about these sessions visit my F.A.Q.

Jakeman Family During their Home Sweet Chaos Session

Jakeman Family During their Home Sweet Chaos Session

Natural Family Photos - Palmer, Anchorage, Alaska Family Photographer

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. 

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What Is The Best Way To Have Your Family Photographed?

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 info@christalhoughtelling.com to schedule a storytelling, vacation, or day in the life session. 

On Nancy Lake - Anchorage, Palmer, Alaska Family Photographer

As a documentary family photographer in Palmer, Wasilla and Anchorage I have some of the funnest things to photograph! Playing around in the mountains, on the lakes, and at family homes makes me so happy. This family was going to play on Nancy Lake at their cabin and had me come photograph it. 

Documentary sessions are fabulous for extended family sessions. It's so much more interesting to see moments where family are interacting verses just staring at a camera, that is why I always recommend these sessions. I also offer my documentary clients a mini portrait session while at these shoots as well because I understand that both are important. If you have any questions, or would like to book a session give me a call at 907-982-5409, or email me at info@christalhoughtelling.com 

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5 Tips To Being a Support For Your Postpartum Partner

As a mom of 4 kids I can tell you that it is exhausting to give birth. I jokingly tell my husband that I have been sleep deprived since my oldest was born 13 years ago. It is emotionally and physically exhausting to raise children, but it's worth it! I always heard people tell me while I was pregnant to get sleep now because once the baby was born, I wouldn’t get any sleep. It didn’t really hit me that that was true until I was so sleep deprived that I couldn’t even think straight. So, here are some tips to be a support for your postpartum partner to help her get sleep, and feel great. 

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#1: Take time off work to be home.

New moms have just had their bodies work harder than ever, and go through changes that are really dramatic in a short amount of time. They need sleep, which is hard to get when you have a newborn that needs to eat every few hours, and poops just as often. She will need help. Stay home, take the baby so that she can rest, shower, and eat.

#2: Accept meals and help from friends and family.

These people know how hard it can be to add a new little baby to the family and they want to help. Graciously accept their meals, it’s one less thing that you will have to worry about doing. I’ve learned over time that having a community around you that will help is essential to raising children. Just don't forget to do the same when your friends have babies! 

#3: Hold the space for her.

What does that mean? Don’t assume that you know how she is feeling. Not everyone has the same emotional reactions to things, and while we might have a good idea of how she feels, you could be completely wrong. If she shares something with you, ask her how she is feeling about it. You might be surprised about what she says. We need to allow others to feel what they are feeling, and acknowledge it. I really believe that most women just want a listening ear. Instead of immediately giving advice, listen to her, and then ask if she wants advice or if she would just want you to listen to her. This is so important and something that I believe a lot of people struggle with.  

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#4: Surprise her!

Take the time to bring her something that you know she loves and enjoys. That could be anything from flowers, to a specific food, to a gift. She deserves to know that she is appreciated for all that she does. It's amazing how the little things in life can really affect how we feel. 

#5: Enjoy this time!

I know that everyone says to enjoy the time when your kids are little. But it is so true! They grown up so fast, and before you know it they are to big to hold in your arms. Enjoy this new little one and the wonder that they are. 

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