story telling

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 bedtime routine

You may remember Kelly and Andy from their sound story that we shared recently. When we were planning their photo story we asked them what we often ask our clients: to think about moments that they'd like to remember 10 or 20 years down the road and have those captured as their story. Their typical day is packed full as they both work from home and take care of two little ones. But in the craziness of their busy lives they wanted to remember the ordinary of their everyday evening routine. What this looked like for them—coming together as a family for dinner, wiping down two tiny pizza-stained faces, running upstairs to take a bath, putting on jammies, reading bedtime stories, singing songs together and praying before the lights go out. Mix in the energy of two kids, the giggles and playfulness of winding down and the sweetness of hearing prayers being lifted up made for a very special story. It was really an honor for us to be able to take photos of their everyday, because we know that they will be able to hold on to these little years a little bit longer through both the still images and the sound bites. No scripting from us, just their real life. Check out their story below, and if you haven't done so head over to hear their sound story as well. Thank you to this family for letting us briefly step into your lives!

my portrait challenge

Today is March the first. The first day of this month brings a new challenge for me (Carrie). While the art of storytelling through photos is something I am passionate about, simple portraiture is also an area that I love shooting.

Back when I was a teenager one of the first cameras I learned to shoot with was a very old Minolta film camera that my dad passed down to me. Something about photography just clicked (no pun intended) with me and a new passion was birthed. Even then I loved shooting a simple portrait of my friends, my family and my pets (yes, I do have some cat photos).

Since those teenage days I have continued to grow as a photographer. I have learned what I love to shoot, and what I did not love to shoot!

As I continue to grow older I still find my passion behind the camera. Telling a story in a few frames is challenging and exciting and I love to do this for others, as well as in my own personal photos.

But even more challenging to me, is telling a story in a single frame. A simple, beautiful portrait that speaks out is a challenge. How can I do this? How can I keep a story within one frame?

So for the month of March I am challenging myself to create one portrait each day that offers me a creative outlet as a portrait photographer, but also the challenge of storytelling in one frame.

For my first portrait I shot this mid afternoon frame of our son.

It was nap time and the light streaming in was beautiful. "I'm not sleepy Mommy. I'm all done with my nap," he had said while holding his stuffed monkey friend. A few moments later he was asleep. I know the stuffed animal days will end quickly as he grows older, so I'll savor them while they are still here.


salts {personal}

I love creating things, teaching and playing with our two boys. What a blessing it is to be a mom! Our oldest son, Oliver, is 3 years old and he loves to learn. He also loves to do special projects with me, and it's fun to come up with new ideas for different things to do together. I thought it'd be fun to share a few photos from this salt project! Maybe it will inspire you to try it!
I was looking to make something textural with numbers and letters and I didn't have any sand. So I improvised and used what I had on hand. Here's my list of supplies:

food coloring
elmer's glue
card stock paper

Okay, so here we go:
I poured the salt into four different containers, squeezed a few drops of food coloring into each one and THEN reached for some gloves.
I just reached in and mixed each color with the salts using my hands. Yup, once I was done and had my lovely colored salts, I also had some lovely colored hands. So NEXT time I think I'll go for some gloves instead of rainbow hands for days. :)
I trimmed out some squares of cardstock and drew circles dots (for counting) and letters and numbers. Then I used glue to fill in the shapes of each. Now comes the fun part for, for Oliver. PIck your salt color and pinch out what color you want. Drop the salt over the glue. Make sure you grab a lot (which would equal small fistfuls for little hands) and don't stop at one color. Once your glue is thoroughly covered with salts, gently tap it into the glue, pick up the card and shake (dump, pour, whatever works) the excess back into the container. Or if you're three, dump it into all the containers, onto the table and into your lap. Floor too. Don't forget the floor. 
Now set the pretty colored salt card over to the side to dry. 
Let it dry overnight. Once they are dry you'll need to shake off the excess salt again, but you should be left with a nice textured number or letter on the card. 
The whole thing was a lot of fun, a big mess, and worth it all for the time with our son! He loved dipping his hands into the salts and mixing it all together. And we'll use the cards to review counting and letters too! 
The only downside to this was that the sharpie ink seemed to bleed once the glue was on it, but really, does it even matter? Perhaps you can find a way to make them without having the bleeding ink. Share if so! Really though, just have fun with your kiddos, don't be shy about getting in there and getting your hands dirty (or very colorful), grab your camera to document their joy, and remember that the salt is pretty easy to sweep up ;) 
(did you see the last picture here?? can you contain the joy?!)