That moment when you've been counting down to bed time for hours, but the second they go to sleep you miss them like crazy....
These two ❤️
I've had a lot of really incredible opportunities since I started this little business of mine. I've met and held a lot of sweet little babies, connected with so many fellow mothers, and learned from some incredible artists. Yesterday, however, was easily a highlight of life and work, and has left me feeling grateful and affirmed that what I do is so much bigger than pretty pictures. When @makeawishamerica and @makeawishsc contacted me about the beautiful day that was planned for a special little girl, I knew I wanted to be a part. This sweet girl had a full princess experience yesterday, starting with having her hair and nails done, a lunch fit for a princess, a limo ride bringing her to her white horse which she rode to her tower to be rescued by Prince Charming. I am so honored and humbled to have documented this wish come true 💙
Five months in with this sweet girl and every day she is surprising us by learning something new. I'm 99.9% certain we have begun the fun process of teething (😅)which has allowed her to find her very impressive vocal range. We also learned this month that she is terrified of tin foil. More importantly, our hearts swell a little more each day with love and pride for our baby girl. Feeling like the luckiest girl in the world to be her mama. I love you, my sweet baby James.
Last Easter this little bunny was growing in my belly (and making it tough to keep Easter lunch down). This year she got to enjoy a beautiful Easter Sunday with her cousins. What a special day!
We are one week into this whole full time photographer and mommy gig and I have found it to be such a strange feeling going from side-hustle to full time photographer. I have had so many ideas and goals for my business over the last (nearly) two years but working 40 hours a week, going through a pregnancy loss, growing a tiny human, giving birth and raising said tiny human have made it really difficult to truly invest my time and energy into all that I want for my business. In the days following my last day of my corporate job, I have found myself so overwhelmed with ideas that I often find myself stuck and frozen. What do I even do next? That thought has crossed my mind about a million times in the last 7 days. But I keep coming back to the same thing over and over and that's that I really and truly want to connect with and invest in the mothers I work with. Motherhood - my desire for it over the last few years, and now my journey through its intensity are my motivation. On the days I connect with other mothers, I feel so much less alone. When I talk to moms in different stages of their journey, I get to celebrate the struggles, rather than feel overwhelmed by them. There is so much power in shared experiences, and when we come together with honesty and understanding, it is so incredible. I'm so grateful for all the families who have allowed me into a moment in their own stories. That invitation fuels me to be the very best photographer and friend I can possibly be ❤
With little ones, the best time of day for pictures is when they will be the happiest, but when we can swing for a late evening session when the sun is right where we want it to be, it's so worth it! So much dreaminess last night with this gorgeous crew ❤
Yesterday was a day I have been dreaming of for a really long time. It my was my last day at my full time day job. Today marks the start of this new life as a full time mom and business owner and I don't really think it's hit me yet that it's really happening. In so many ways I feel incredibly grateful and thankful that this is an option for us, but the truth is we have worked really really hard to MAKE it an option and have waited for God's perfect timing to take the leap. This dream that started as a hope in my late teens and early twenties, to a work in progress in the last few years is finally my reality and I am just overwhelmed with excitement, anticipation, nervousness and creative energy. For the past two years as I've worked to grow both of my businesses, I've also worked a full time 40+ hour a week job. I've stayed up late, sacrificed sleep and weekends, and saved as much as I could. The push to take the leap, however, was the 7 pound 13oz bundle that changed my world in the best way possible last November. I hope that this leap shows my daughter she can do anything she sets her mind to, that small sacrifices can lead to big rewards, and that you can pave a path for yourself that not only supports you, but fulfills you. I'm so excited for the start of this chapter in our family story, and to be able to share it with you along the way ❤
Happy second birthday to our boy boy ❤ This pup is the best and has been such a trooper since we brought home his little sister. Our family just wouldn't be as sweet if it weren't for our Eddie!
What I want to remember about 4 months old: her smiles after nap time when I go to get her, her constant babbles, the sweet smell of the back of her neck when I hold her close, the sound the jumperoo makes as she bounces up and down, and her obsession with holding her newly discovered foot. I love you, my sweet baby James.
The words less pictures, more stories have been running through my mind like wild this week as I've been pondering how I can make what I do more intentional, and more than just pretty photographs. In the process of becoming a mother and in meeting mothers in various stages with their children and families every week, I've come to discover just how unique and how beautiful every family story is. Stories filled with hope, grief, joy and most importantly love. I feel like anyone can take a nice picture of a smiling family. But discovering a family's story, the richness of their love for each other and their children and capturing that... that's what it's all about. That's what has me hooked. I don't just want the beautiful picture. I want the story, the tenderness, the fleeting days of motherhood to be captured. It is my hope that each of my clients truly see their family within their images, that they can look at an image ten years from now and know exactly how they felt as they stared into their newborns face in those first few days - the exhaustion, the joy, the all consuming love and that sweet newborn smell. It's so much more than pictures, friends.
This is why I love working with kids. They are who they are, and capturing that is just the best. This blooper says it all...Miss Emma is silly and spunky, but easily one of the sweetest big sisters I've ever met!
The four month sleep regression has invaded our home, so today I'm focusing on fluffy puppies and squishy smiling babies 😴😍😘😅
I don't think I will ever tire of teeny tiny feet. ❤
Spent the weekend with lots of little babes, including this little man. Now that I have a baby of my own, I cherish capturing this sweet newborn phase even more. They grow so darn fast, and when I hold these little babies at sessions, I realize how quickly I've forgotten just how tiny a brand new baby is. Even though my little girl is just 16 weeks old, it feels like forever ago she was this tiny. We are so grateful we have our own photos to treasure, and it makes me so happy being able to do the same for my families. ❤
I met this sweet family at my Spring mini sessions last year, and today I got to photograph their newest addition in their home. Among the many things I love about being a family photographer, watching families grow is at the very top! ❤
15 weeks old and already so much cooler than me! Let's get this baby in a Gap ad #amiright !?!? P.S. We are in the process of planning mini session dates for 2017. Our email list just received the first date, and always gets first dibs. You can sign up for emails on my website, which will give you access to dates and times before we announce anything on social media, as well as other events and special offers. Pretty cool huh!? Check out the link on my profile to be added to our list!
Getting ready to hit send on baby Campbell's gallery. Love this behind the scenes shot of his grandmother getting him nice and cozy for his close up. And the hat! So dang cute.
Our James turned three months old yesterday....I am learning new things about this sweet girl everyday, and even more so about myself as I try and navigate this new job of mother. I've learned that patience and grace do not come easily to me, especially in times of pure exhaustion. I've learned that I expect a lot, perhaps too much, of myself and the people I love the most. I've learned that I easily fall into the trap of comparison, and how detrimental that can be as a new mom. I have learned to judge less, and to listen and understand more. I've learned that I know very little about being a mom, despite how prepared I thought I would be. I've learned that nothing in my life has made me want my own mommy, as much as becoming a mommy myself. Three months in, and the lessons pour in every single day. Some rock me to my core, while others bring me joy on a level I've never experienced before. I am so grateful for each one of them that are shaping me into this new version of myself, constantly pushing me to grow, and making life so much richer than I could have imagined. Thank you my sweet girl, for changing me in all the ways I need it most. 💗
Each day is Valentine's Day 💗
I had the honor of photographing #itsbabyisabellagrace this morning, and my goodness is she just the tiniest little bundle of sweetness. Want to know something awesome? This little babe was actually present when my daughter was born! How can that be!? Because her mama is the incredibly talented @sabrina_fields and Isabella was nestled in her mamas belly as she photographed James' birth. The community of photographers in Greenville is truly incredible - so much talent and kindness in our little town and I'm so grateful that it brought our paths together. Thank you for a very sweet morning, Fields family!
It feels so good to see my calendar filling up with sessions again after my maternity leave. This past weekend I met a very sweet little girl who just turned one! Being a mommy myself gives me such a new perspective as a family photographer and makes documenting these milestones so much sweeter. Thank you, Evelyn, for making my first session back in the saddle so great!
5.79 days. That's the number of days (days!) I have spent tied to a machine pumping breast milk for my daughter. 138 hours I have spent NOT holding her, kissing her, and soaking in her newborn smell. 8,247 minutes I have spent depressed that breastfeeding hasn't been working for us, that I've felt like a failure, that I have ignored my husband and daughter for a few more drops of milk. I find myself wondering... is this really what is best for her? For our family? My daughter was allergic to my milk at first. On my now incredibly limited diet, she is doing a little better, but I am a shell of the woman I truly am deep down. We've battled cracks, bleeding, thrush, tongue tie and my own allergic reaction to the oxytocin release of breastfeeding every time I pump or feed my daughter. Every single time. My daughter wasn't gaining weight like she should, and I am so sore and uncomfortable I can hardly hold her to my chest without wincing. Yet, I hear it in my head every day that breast is best and the wave of guilt consumes me. What about when it isn't though? Is this really what is best for my daughter? Today I am making a really hard decision, but one I know deep down is the right one for us. And why am I sharing it so publicly? As a photographer working with so many mothers, I hope my sharing makes one less mama feel like they failed or that they aren't providing the best for their babies. In doing this math today, I realized that the best thing I can do for my daughter is to give her a mother. A mother who is not sad, stressed and resentful. A mother who is rocking her to sleep rather than praying for her to nap so she can pump. A mother fully present for her and attending to her needs, not tied to a machine. I am sad I won't get those 5.79 days back, and despite the challenges, I know I will be sad when it is truly over. But I cannot spend one more minute focusing on the wrong things. Today my little girl gets a mama, and isn't that the best thing we can do for our babies? ❤
Mamas, can we talk for real for a minute? This job is really hard. Loving someone so intensely is so incredible, but so very hard. I want her to have the very BEST of everything, and because there are so many ways to parent and so many choices to make, I often find myself paralyzed in decision making. Is this right? Is it the best? Should we be doing this differently? I am asking myself these questions constantly. My mom asked me a question the other day as I cried to her wondering if I was making good choices for my daughter... What is the story you want to tell her when she is older? What do you want to be able to say about her early months and infancy? And suddenly things made more sense. I want to tell her I gave her the best of ME. That I made choices that made me a better mother to her, that allowed me to be present and less stressed. That I enjoyed those hard, long days of her newness. That I gave her the very best version of myself that I could, and made every decision with that in mind. I pray that she will be so happy to hear that story, and that she will always know that mama wants the best for her.