motherhood portraits this summer (looking for a few mama's)

When I was younger I developed an interest in photography. I remember shooting portraits of my sisters, my best friend, my dogs. I didn't know a lot of the technicalities of photography but I managed to figure out how to shoot portraits in the best light, and kept my eyes open for good color and composition. I was probably around 13 or 14 when I took pictures using film, not even knowing if my exposure was correct. 

Cameras have certainly changed since I used my Dad's old minolta, with film. I do love the mechanics of old cameras, the loud noises of winding and clicking that tell you another frame has been taken. And the waiting. Waiting for my finished roll of film to be developed and mailed back to me was always exhilarating. 

Now I use a digital camera, and we've been able to upgrade over the years since Jonah and I have started doing photography together. I'm thankful for this tool that we can use. But I'm still learning. I'm still figuring out the best lighting, the best exposure, the best composition. But I know more of what I like to shoot, the direction I'd like to just stay with right now. The sweet spot that creatives always work towards, I feel like I'm beginning to be in. 

at home photography, motherhood, its the everyday photography, childhood

I mentioned it a couple posts back but my direction is for now going to be on motherhood. 

I was praying this morning about my photography. Always something I give to the Lord because I want to trust that anything I do will be with His leading. I want to bring Him glory in the work of my hands, in the talents He's given me. 

How can I tell more stories? How can I reach out to mama's and encourage them by taking their story? Why is this important?

motherhood, at home, lifestyle photography, its the everyday photography

The other day I had a revelation. At least to my own way of thinking. 

There is a lot of guilt that I can carry in my role. A lot of expectations and assumptions that I have conjured up in my own mind of what a "perfect mom" is supposed to look like. No one has ever said any of these things (my internal checklist) to me. No one has said that if I failed in these areas I was a bad mom, and I didn't have value. It's my own thoughts that have led me to believe I needed to do all the "things" before I was deemed a good mom, or even a valuable woman. 


When I take these thoughts to God I KNOW that my thinking has not been focusing on what is true (Philippians 4:8). God has created each of us in His image, and we ARE valuable, not because of all the things we do, but because of our worth in Him. He alone is the reason I have value, because of my worth in Christ. I am so thankful I serve Him first. I am thankful He helps me discern what I should and shouldn't do. And He has given me a heart for our children and a heart to encourage mothers. My revelation was that I am valued by God. Just that. No amount of work on my part will earn my way to His heart, He already loves me. And just like that I can walk in that freedom, fully invested in the everyday of raising boys, being a wife,  and loving people. Clear away all the other clutter in my head and my focus becomes clear. 

I love being a mom. I love all the things that make up our days. Like rock gathering, bike riding, lego building, exploring, fort building, car racing and every little thing that they delight in, I have found I can delight in too. Childhood goes fast. I don't want to miss it for fear of not getting my house cleaned the right way, my meals perfected or whatever I've made up on my list. Those things will get done, and I'll continue to seek the Lord for help in becoming a better manager of the home. But the play, the building of their imaginations, the questioning minds of our boys are growing and changing quickly. And I don't want to miss these days. 

imagination, childhood, its the everyday photography,
childhood, imagination, outdoors, its the everyday photography

And I know that other mama's are in the same place. Of growing, of learning what it means to be a mom to their children. 

You, mama, are so valuable. God created you to be a mama to the ones He's given you. And He is going to grow you in ways you never knew, as you love and teach and guide your children.

And He's growing me. As a mom, a wife, a daughter of God. I'm learning each day and I'm trusting Him to prune and nourish me so that there will be fruit that is beautiful and sweet. 

at home, photography, childhood, outdoors

This summer I'd like to grow in a few areas in my own photography and I'm seeking a few mama's to help me in this. Some areas I'm specifically focusing on will be portraits and lighting. 

Here are the details for portrait sessions:

Between June-August I'll be offering 3 sessions for mama's as listed below. 
An at home session. I'll come to your home for these portraits. 
The time frame will be limited up to one hour.
You will receive up to 15 final edited images in high resolution. 
The focus will be on you as a mother, and can include your kiddos. 
The pricing will be at a discount from my regular full sessions and will be $130. (limited the session to 3, after that pricing will change)   
To schedule your session you can reach me here. 

I'd also like to say one last thing, the work you do at home is valuable! Training hearts, growing the next generation is important. They are going to lead one day and we need to do our part in pouring into them the best we know how (with the grace of God). Let's encourage each other in the *good* work we've been given. 

I can't wait to meet more mamas in this photography journey!




the best day (mother's day)

I can't say that this year Mother's Day was something I was excited about. 

Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for our two boys. SO thankful! What a great privilege and honor it is to be given children to raise up. God has given us two little gifts that we treasure. But this Mother's Day we were also remembering the two babies that God gave us for a short time. The two that are now in heaven, perfect and whole with Him. They are having the best Mother's Day and I can't wait to see their faces one day. What a great hope it is to think of the day we see our Savior and loved ones!

But there is a sadness that comes with the loss of those little babies. And it hangs onto our hearts, like a tiny little pinecone that is rooted to it's tree. 

cloudland canyon, national park, outdoors, mothers day,, story photography

It's hard to rejoice on this day as we also remember the two that are not here. I know that it's getting easier for us as each day passes. Healing is like that. And perhaps next Mother's Day will be a little easier than this one. But for this day, Jonah asked what I'd like to do. Anything special? 

Honestly I wanted to avoid the recognition and ceremony that is the norm for the day. I wanted to be as far from crowds and cheerful wishes from those that meant well, because I wanted to just quietly remember and feel what the day meant. It meant thankfulness for our children. The ones here, the ones in heaven. Thankfulness for this role as a mom. What a heavy, joyful gift it is. And to reflect back on the One that sees our hearts. To spend a little time in worship to Him, our Maker, our Giver of good and perfect gifts. To praise Him for His faithfulness, His relentless pursuit of us, His heart that is for us and with us. I wanted to go somewhere peaceful, and see beauty. 

And so our adventure began. Jonah was thrilled to learn that I wanted to go visit a state park near us (well, within a few hours). A place where we could hike, picnic, and see waterfalls. Going on an adventure felt like the perfect way to spend this day. 

So on Mother's Day, after I was woken up to be led on a search for cards the boys had made and "hidden" for me, I was treated to breakfast and then we packed up and headed out to Cloudland Canyon. Jonah packed us a picnic lunch that we took along with us. It was a great start!

cloudland canyon, north georgia, its the everyday, photography, motherhood, mothers day
mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography

After a couple hours we arrived, and the gorgeous weather kept it nice and cool as we hiked. It was beautiful up there in the mountains and our hike took us to one of the first waterfalls. The boys were so great the whole time, hiking right along with us, exploring all the trees, sticks, rocks, caverns and weird bugs along the way. 

mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography
beauty. there is always something beautiful that God has made right in front of us!

beauty. there is always something beautiful that God has made right in front of us!

mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography

We stopped at the first waterfall and dipped our hands in the water, rested on the rocks and admired the vastness, the sound, and the isolated beauty of it. 

mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography, waterfalls
so thankful for these men!

so thankful for these men!

After a break we continued on to the next waterfall. A little more crowded, and set away from us thanks to a bridge. But thanks to my adventurous husband we found another waterfall not far from it that we could literally put our feet in and sit by for lunch. It was something to sit by the roar of water, dip your toes in the frigid cold and eat your lunch, with the sun shining down on you. What a wonderful memory together. 

mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography
mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography
mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography, waterfall, hiking
mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography, waterfall
eating lunch with our toes in the water. what a wonderful memory with the boys!

eating lunch with our toes in the water. what a wonderful memory with the boys!



After lunch we waded a bit in the water, watched a dog nearby slip and fall from a small overhang into the water (yikes! he was fine!), and hiked a bit around the fall, under a cavern, and as close as we could to the falls. It was neat to explore the rocks, see some weird crustaceans (crawfish maybe?), and feel the dripping water above us from the rocks. We took some shots, and allowed our five year old to man the camera to take one of us. To our surprise he did great! 

mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography, waterfall, adventure
mothers day, cloudland canyon, its the everyday photography, waterfall

We were blessed with a peaceful, adventurous, amazing afternoon. And on the way home we stopped by a local strawberry farm to pick several pounds of warm, sun-ripened berries and enjoy homemade ice-cream. It was a perfect ending to our day! I am so grateful for the family God has given me. For this role as a mother. For the pain of the past year that has made me appreciate the gifts we have even more. For what God has been speaking into my heart, for how He's made me mother a little different, a little more intentionally, and a little more focused. My heart is changed even more with each child, and I pray it's being shaped and molded to be more like His. We needed a day like this, and I am so very grateful for this, the very best day. Which as it turns out, was Mother's Day after all. 

this life, this adventure together. is there anything greater?

this life, this adventure together. is there anything greater?