Lulu Belle Photography Promo Video

Not long ago, Trish and I started talking about putting together a newborn promo video
to show clients what it’s like to work with her. By now, I’m sure you know I am all about storytelling, whether it is through pictures or video, so I was more than happy to jump at the chance to tell her brand’s story.

When I went to her studio a few weeks ago, I was able to video her in action with the
sweetest little girl. Trish was warm and tender. Watching her work, you could see why any baby would instantly feel safe with her. As I’m sure you could see from the video, she is apparently covered in sleepy dust and literally has a magic touch. (I just wish I could have stolen some magic sleepy dust to bring back home to my kids, but I digress ☹)

In case you haven’t seen her work, know that her newborn portraiture is incredible.
Her work has a very soft, simple, earthy feel which will transcend time. This video
was really a labor of love for the both of us and I am so excited for how it turned
out. You can view the finished video below.

Thank you, Trish. It was so fun to work with you ❤ 

You can check out some of Trish’s work here: www.lulubellephotography.net


Holiday Prep with the Family

These last two weekends for my family were all about gearing
up for the holidays. Since my daughter is three and my son is one, the holidays
are even more magical than ever. Here are a few pics from the last two weekends
of Holiday prep: Christmas Tree decorating, playing in the leaves (are we sure it’s
December?), and gingerbread house-decorating. 😊


Embrace Your Imperfections


I am no stranger to self-confidence issues and self-defeating comments—and I know it’s a struggle far too many of us deal with on a regular basis. I know I am not the only one who is guilty of chasing the illusion that is “perfection”. For a long time I thought perfect families (and by extension “perfect parenting”) looked like a perfectly kept house, tangle-free hair, and an always clean shirt. I know it’s unreasonable to think all these things, but I couldn’t help think there was something wrong with me. Why didn’t my house look like the ones on Pinterest? Why weren’t my kids the perfect angels that put their toys away without a meltdown? Why did every other mom seem to have time to put makeup on, shower and get dressed, when I was able to shower every couple days (if I was lucky)? Why did my toddler want to dress in mismatched and fading clothes (because she only wanted to wear the same 3 shirt/pant combinations daily), so she more closely resembled a homeless person rather than the GAP models other parent’s children looked like?

It didn’t help that the photos online showcased these inaccurate depictions of what daily life is like. Every picture I saw from one of my many Facebook friends included immaculately clean houses, perfectly coordinated outfits with a perfectly coordinated background, and their kids were eating only the healthiest of foods—no mac and cheese or hot dogs for them (which by the way, seems to be the only thing my toddler will eat nowadays).  There were no meltdowns, no dirty faces—only picture-perfect families with well-behaved, angelic children.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my fair share of “traditional” portraits adorning my walls. Sometimes it’s nice to have “nice” pictures. But these “nice” pictures don’t accurately represent my family (and all of our quirks). These pictures are just a “polished” version of what my family really is like. Throughout our lives, we’re taught to “smile for the camera” and the only images worth showing the world are the ones which depict us as close to “perfect” as possible.

I feel there is something fundamentally wrong with this method of thinking and way of sharing ourselves with others. The more we see this idealized version of reality the more we lose sight of the beauty right in front of us. We start to believe we NEED to obtain perfection to achieve happiness. In my eyes, my family is perfect (perfectly flawed, as we all are) and I wouldn’t change anything about us. Which then had me asking myself the question: “if I believe my family is perfect the way we are, why am I so afraid to share images that show us in our truest forms?”  

Thinking we can only share images that show perfectly polished versions of ourselves is not doing us any favors. We are selling ourselves (and our families) short. By trying to attain the unattainable, we are missing all the beauty, humor, and awkwardness that is a part of REAL family life. We need to show ourselves a little kindness and start embracing life (and all its imperfections) if not for us, then for our children. For this reason alone, images of real, everyday life deserve the same attention and consideration you would give “traditional” photos. Our children need to know it’s okay to not always have it together and that among the curve-balls life can throw at us it is still full of love, humor, and genuine happiness.

This is why I started photographing families the way I do—no posing, no forced smiles—just authentic, family life and all its perfect imperfections.

Our children already believe we are pretty darn incredible, yet we are still trying to be who society tells us we should be. We tell our children they are perfect just the way they are, but the only way we can really convince them of this is by our actions. The next time your child tells you you’re beautiful or that you are the best mom ever, don’t think about all the ways you fall short. Take the time to try and see what your children see—and just believe it.

The thing I have learned most from my time documenting families is this: your children idolize you and you are perfect in their eyes. They don’t care about how clean your kitchen is, if your hair is perfect, or if your shirt is wrinkled—they just want to spend time being loved by you. It’s time we stop pretending to be perfect, be a little vulnerable by showcasing our flaws, and see ourselves through the eyes of our children. We need to be kinder to ourselves and start showing (and believing) that despite all its imperfections, real life is perfect.  


You Never Realize How Much You Forget

I love Timehop. I am a sucker for nostalgia and Timehop provides me with daily doses of it. If you don’t know what it is, it is an app that gathers all your photos/social media statuses, etc. for that exact day, years in the past. Most of my updates and messages are from about 2-3 years ago (when my kids were born and I started photographing them incessantly), but I have had Timehop days have gone as far back as 10 years. It’s something I look forward to each day—its gives me the opportunity to reminisce on the past, see exactly how much my kids have grown, and how my life has changed over the years. 

Today’s Timehop has also taught me a valuable lesson: as the years go on, you have no clue just how much you forget. 

For the last couple of weeks, I have noticed my son has started to hold his hands behind his back whenever he watches TV. It is so adorable and endearing—he looks like a very serious, little man watching the news. Up until today, I thought this was something unique to him—one of his own little quirks I love. Today Timehop showed me this was not the case. Exactly two years ago today, I took a picture of his big sister watching TV with her hands in the exact same position. Apparently, it’s a family trait.

I CANNOT believe I forgot that, but I am so grateful to have this picture (even though it’s a just a quick cell pic) to remind me of this. Knowing this, makes it even more important for me to make sure I get a photograph of my son doing the exact same thing. 

Timehop reinforced my belief of how important it is to document the little things no matter how insignificant you may think they are—even though you think there is no possible way you could forget something, the fact is that as time goes on memories fade. Having a tangible memory in the form of a photo ensures you won’t forget even the smallest of details in yours, or your children’s, lives.  


Holiday Tradition Mini Sessions


Growing up, one of my favorite traditions during the holidays was baking with my mom. I remember us staying up late making DOZENS of cookies to the point where we were almost delirious by the end. It was so much fun and I looked forward to it every holiday season. One year, we were up so late (thus ridiculously tired) my mom kept messing up a pie crust she had been making for years. I remember her scratching her head as she made the crust about 4 or 5 times, each time it still wound up wrong. It wasn’t until I tasted the “flour” she was using that we realized she was actually using powdered sugar instead! We laughed so hard about it and we still laugh about it to this day. It’s one of my favorite memories. 

Even though this was our yearly tradition until I moved away from home, it’s a memory I don’t have any pictures of and I really wish I did—to see see us gathered around the kitchen laughing, baking, and decorating again would mean so much to me. 

The thought of having pictures of these memories gave me an aha moment: with all the talk of mini sessions from portrait photographers, maybe I could offer some with a documentary spin? So I started brainstorming and I am so excited to announce that I will be offering Family Holiday Tradition Minis this year! These sessions will focus on your family’s holiday traditions—no dressing up required! They are documentary in style and are focused on preserving cherished traditions and capturing your family doing what they do best, being themselves and making memories. 

FAQs: 

What kinds of activities would work well for these mini sessions? Any holiday tradition your family wants to document would work great! Want to enjoy making cookies with your kids and be in the photos this year?  How nice would it be to enjoy decorating your tree with your kids without having to stop every few minutes to pick up your camera? Do you cut down a Christmas Tree together every year? Wouldn’t it be great to have some photographs to look back on? Pick a holiday tradition or activity your family loves and be present in the moment by letting me document the memories for you! 

How much does it cost? The cost for one of these mini sessions is $225. The full mini session fee must be paid up front to secure your date and time and is non-refundable. The cost includes the following: 

  • Brief phone pre-consultation prior to your mini session 
  • Approximately 45-minute documentary mini photo session 
  • An online slideshow* to music of 12 images to share with family and friends. 
  • 6 digital images delivered via download 

Dates: 

  • Sunday, November 12th
  • Saturday, November 18th
  • Sunday, December 3rd
  • Saturday, December 9th  

Times: Since these sessions take place either in your home or on location, please contact me for availability. Please keep in mind that I will have extremely limited openings for these mini sessions. I can’t wait to document one of your family’s holiday traditions this season <3


*Slideshow file is available for purchase at an additional cost.

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