This family is so sweet! Chelsea won a gift certificate from The Penguin Project fundraiser and we really hit it off. Meeting her in person was great. She is funny, friendly and honest and we laughed a lot. Luke was a ball of energy and we did lots of playing and being silly to get just the right smiles.
She had a hard time selecting her final portraits because Austin and Luke did so great! We ended up also creating a collage with a few of the best ones.
Last week Arianna had Girl Scout camp. It was a day camp Monday and Tuesday and then we dropped her off Wednesday and picked her up Friday.
We took some time those 2 evenings she was gone to spend some quality time with Nola Sue. It was really fun to hang out with just her away from the shadow of big sis. We swam Thursday night and her Aunt and Uncle came over for a bit. After they left, Ryan went in the house to change and get dinner. Nola Sue has had a funny summer with swimming. The day after we filled the pool she was too terrified to swim and it took a lot of coaxing. She forgot she loves to swim! She took swimming lessons this summer and learned a lot, but still refuses to swim without her floatie. I have begged her to try and use the little board and she has refused. I gave up a while ago.
Once it was just her and me in the pool she told me to take off her floaties. I assumed she wanted to go in and she said she wanted to use the board. I was shocked. She had this wild and crazy look in her eyes like something big was going to happen. The kind of look you usually see in people after a few glasses of 'liquid courage'
Shen ended up swimming across the pool unassisted several times as well as using the board and barking at me to let go. She also loved throwing stuff in and diving to the bottom to get them. I am so proud of her! I can't believe she did it. I made Ryan take a video since I was in such shock and I took this picture from the video to share. Not a good photo really, but wanted to remember.
That night I laid in bed and couldn't sleep. What if all of us could dig really deep and find our courage? The courage to do stuff that scares the heck out of us. What amazing rewards would we reap. I am going to try in my own life to be more like Nola Sue was that evening. Lets all throw off the floaties and do something scary! Please let me know if you try this and what happens!
The Daniels family came into the studio for their session while grandma was in town visiting. Turns out they are my neighbors and only live 1 street away! What a small world. The kids were all such a treat and I loved working with them to get just the perfect smiles! Ahsley told me how they never had professional portraits growing up so she ordered an album and a canvas collection for the walls of their beautiful home. She especially likes black and white so we did the ones for the wall that way (or rather, I didn't and so I re-ordered them and now have a beautiful canvas collection of her family as a studio display!)
I had the privilege of photographing the Robertson family recently. Zylo is such an amazing big sister to Fox. She is just smitten with him! Jessica is a photographer too and so it's always exciting to be able to photograph a photographers family! Jessica and Hilary did awesome with clothing and everything just flowed. The whole family was helping to coax smiles out of Fox. I especially love this portrait of their adorable family and hope they enjoy it on the wall for years to come!
This week has been a rough one for me. I had an amazing boudoir session last Saturday and was looking forward to a great family session Sunday. Then, Saturday overnight I got a sore throat. By the time I woke up I was convinced it was strep. My kids get strep all the time. Arianna complains of a headache and stomach ache and Nola Sue acts perfectly fine. This is exactly how the earlier week had played out.
We went to prompt care and all tested negative. Wait, what?
They determined Arianna and I had upper respiratory infections. I tried to rest most of Sunday and in hindsight I should have gone right to bed and not gotten up until I was well.
Monday I was feeling terrible and got up to take Arianna to girl scout camp. She was excited for her day camp that by Wednesday hybrids into overnights. I was excited to go home and go back to sleep. I don't usually work Mondays so I tried to take it easy. Tuesday I had rescheduled my morning boudoir session since I was sneezing and coughing and yucky and I tried to work for a little bit in the afternoon since the girls have dance class right next to the studio in the evening but I was still feeling miserable.
Finally, yesterday I took the whole day and slept and finally today I feel better. Rest is always the cure when I am sick! Stop for a day and sleep and I get better fast. Someday I will learn not to try to power through anyway LOL
Today is catch up day for me! Trying to get all my calls and emails returned.
Hoping the rain predicted for this weekend holds off and we have some beautiful weather to enjoy!
Our summer has been so fun! This past weekend we had our daughter's 6th birthday swimming party. Her kindergarten teacher came with her boys and Arianna was SO happy! She had a blast. After the swim party we let her have 3 friends stay over and we had a 'spa' themed sleepover. Oatmeal facials with cucumbers, pedicures and made our own lip gloss and bath bombs. And slime...not so spa-like but so cool! They also wanted a dance party and to dress up and put on a play for my husband and me.
The girls had a blast. I told them to play a silly game and whoever fell asleep first, they put stickers on their face. All of them giggled over this. Arianna didn't quite understand (or maybe she did!) and she and her friend Analeigh, put stickers on every one who fell asleep before they did. The next day, Arianna was last up so Analeigh put stickers all over Arianna's face. Then, at 8am they all wanted to swim. Hope we created some fun memories for them! I took lots of snapshots of the event for us to remember it.
I believe so many of my childhood memories are preserved not in my mind, but in the photos I see from the events. It's not about the camera you use, but it's so important to actually take these everyday photos and then to PRINT them.
If you want to learn more about getting great photos, check out the free guide I wrote, '10 Tips for GREAT Summer Pictures'
Enjoy your summer
I photographed the Stroup family a few years ago and we got some great portraits, so when Dana asked me to photograph the triplet's senior portraits, I was so excited! Matt, Jacob and Zachary were so much fun the day of their session. All 3 were happy to go along with what I suggested and gave me so many great smiles! What a fun session! After portraits at the studio, we went to a nearby park to photograph them outdoors and with cars. I am fascinated by the fact that all 3 of them are involved in the automotive industry. How cool! Here are a couple of my favorite ones from that day.
I had the honor of being the Graduate Assistant in a recent Dale Carnegie course. I originally took the course several years ago and have been invited back to help out several times now. I love the training and believe so highly in the work they do that I am looking into getting my bachelors degree so I can become an instructor of these courses a few times a year. I feel I grow every time I go through the Dale Carnegie Training! So happy they let me bring my camera and take a class portrait at graduation each session!
Doesn't it seem like the older we get, the faster time moves? I remember being a kid and a school year would drag on for a decade, or so it seemed. As an adult I found time to be moving faster and faster with each year and then I had kids! The rate seemed to multiply. Days turn into weeks and weeks to years. I find myself looking back on portraits of my kids and choking up. The cliche 'they grow up too fast' is exactly how I feel. I wish for those days of them as itty bitties, full of wonder. I have so many portraits of them and day to day snapshots, but a few sessions I wanted to do and never did...and time I will never get back.
Today I was chatting with a client about my membership program. It's still fairly new, but the handful of clients who have become members are really loving it! My client mentioned she was too busy and that's what got me thinking about this whole topic.
Why can't we all slow down more? Do you think our older generations felt the same or is the feeling of being 'too busy' made more prevalent by the onset of social media?
If you are thinking of getting portraits done to commemorate your child's birthday and want a family portrait sometime over the course of the year, the membership program might be a great fit for you! It includes several petite portrait sessions over the course of the year (family, each child's birthday and your anniversary) as well as all your prints and products. You can even add digitals for only $25 a month! The best thing is it's easy to build into your family budget as you pay monthly and not in one lump sum. Please contact me if you would like more information! I would love to chat with you about how we can freeze time for you-at least in your portraits.
Photo credit goes to Tracy Copelen Photography.
I recently posted on my personal FB page (shoot me a friend request if you like!) about how I almost quit being a photographer this past summer. 15 years of being self-employed and I was burned out and ready to quit. Then I had a boudoir session with a woman in August, and that day, everything changed. Melissa and I really hit it off and by the end of her session she asked me to hang out for a bit and told me she was a business coach. I told her my challenges and before I knew it, she had solutions for my top 3. I was astounded. I asked her to be my coach and she has made a tremendous impact in my life since.
Here is one of my favorite portraits from her family session. Her schedule is pretty crazy and so it took awhile to be able to get together and look at them but I know they all loved them. The kids even all cozied around my laptop to ohh and ahh and laugh at what fun we had that day.
The weather was great, the location and colors were on point. She had everyone styled perfectly! It was a beautiful experience.
In the time since the session, Melissa has become one of my closest friends and I love her so much! She has a heart of gold and I am a better person for having her in my life. I am SO blessed to have met her and re-ignited my love for being a portrait artist!
Blissful Images is a Certified Professional Family Portrait Photographer in Peoria, Illinois specializing in preserving your family's memories in photographic prints and wall art.