wasilla

Joshua and Aubrey - Hatcher Pass Engagement and Wedding Portraits

Megan + Peter Wedding - Anchorage, Wasilla, Palmer Wedding Photographer

Here are the images of their wedding that took place in Wasilla, Alaska! It was a rainy day, but it created some absolutely gorgeous images. I love couples that aren’t afraid to get out in the rain!

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Spring Senior Portraits - Palmer, Anchorage, Wasilla Senior Photography

Time is coming up to schedule your spring senior portraits! If you love flowers like I do, you don’t want to let this chance go. Every year I get seniors in December or January who are scrambling to get their pictures done before the due date. Let me tell you what I want every parent and senior out there to know….don’t put it off for winter. I kid you not when I say I shot a session at 4 degrees! It’s too cold. The photos were still beautiful, but it is hard for the senior, and for me to take the photos. The clothing they can wear is so much cuter in the spring, summer, or fall.

Here is one of my favorite senior sessions! Look at those flowers, they don’t last long in Alaska.

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Moms Rock! - Palmer, Wasilla, Anchorage Lifestyle Photographer

Mothers do so much for their families! It needs to be celebrated and documented for them. Mothers day is coming up, so don’t put off putting mom first and scheduling a session for her. The longer I take photos, the more I realize that having images and prints of your family is priceless. We’re only getting older, so don’t let this time get away! These sessions can take place in your home, on location with a beautiful Alaska backdrop, and for smaller families in my home studio.

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Summer in Alaska - Palmer + Anchorage Family Photography

I live for summer in Alaska! Minus the mosquitoes! It’s warm, but not so warm that you don’t want to go outside. I love how temperamental the weather here in Palmer is. One minute it’s sunny and beautiful, the next you are having a rain shower. The clouds here have to be one of my favorite things ever. I wouldn’t change living here in the summer for anything, the winters are a different story!

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Why I Love This Photo | Anchorage Family Photography

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When you stand on the glacier the blue extends for miles. As you walk you feel the crackling of the ice under your feet, and the cold air brush against your face. Suddenly you’re hit with a sense of how small you really are. But even though you realize how small you are, you also realize the love that this mother and daughter have for each other is more than words can describe.

Why I Adore this Documentary Image | Anchorage, Alaska Baby Photography

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As soon as Steven sat down at the piano, Ada speed-crawled over to him. I love how she smooshes down the piano keys just like her dad. She takes piano seriously. Just look at that face.

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

Why I Love This Storytelling Image | Palmer, Alaska Family Photographer

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Parenting can be exhausting. We can spend the whole day thinking we didn’t experience anything but mundane everyday activities. What you don’t see is that they are really beautiful twinkles of love that are sprinkled throughout your day.

L. and her Mother - Palmer, Anchorage, Alaska Family Photographer

Being a mother is a beautiful thing. We love these little human beings so much that our hearts could explode, but at the same time they also have the ability to drive us crazy. Being a mother needs to be photographed, and I don't think it happens as often as it should be. I challenge you, that if you haven't been photographed with your children professionally in the past 2 years, to do it. You will never regret it, the regret comes from not doing it. 

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Lilacs in Bloom - Anchorage, Alaska Child Photographer

Lilac season in Anchorage and Alaska doesn't last long! So I try to take advantage of them when they are blooming. I offer portrait sessions for children, tweens, senior portraits, and women of all ages. I provide my clients with high quality, fine art prints, albums, and wall art. Don't miss out! Email me at info@christalhoughtelling.com or call 907-982-5409 to set up a session. 

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Sophia - Palmer and Anchorage, Alaska Fine Art Child Photographer

As a fine art child photographer in Anchorage and Palmer I have a lot of options to include flowers in the summer time. I have wildflowers, Lilacs, Lupine, Fireweed, Dandilions, Wild Roses. Including floral crowns into a portrait really makes my heart sing. They bring a touch of femininity to an image that I really love. So if you love flowers as well, please contact me about a floral portrait session. I photograph women of all ages, you are never too young or too old! 

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Selena Hatchers Pass Senior Portraits - Palmer, Anchorage, Senior Photography

I love photographing and creating senior portraits in Hatchers Pass. Every summer when it warms up, and opens I take my family up there to explore. The raw, natural beauty takes my breath away. I love combining the natural beauty around my subjects along with the natural beauty of my clients. Being able to photograph children, tweens, and senior girls in a natural beautiful way that isn't too posed is something that I love to do. When I get to hand my clients the actual prints printed on fine art, archival paper, I know my job is done. They have a fine art piece that they can hang on their wall and show their children years from now. 

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With teens and social media, they are often craving the "likes". But I remind them that this images isn't just for "likes" it's an heirloom. So 30 years from now they will see their image and realize what a beautiful person they were, and are. I strongly believe that women should have professional images done their whole life. Take a look at Selena's images, and feel free to contact me at info@christalhoughtelling.com to schedule a session.

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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 to do if your toddler wont co-operate for photos? Tips from a photographer who was that toddler!

       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....

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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. 

Activities for Natural Family Photos - Palmer, Anchorage, Alaska Family Photographer

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

  • Fishing together

  • 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 info@christalhoughtelling.com. 

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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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