You guys! I had the sweetest little newbie visit me last weekend. He was just as excited to see me as I was to see him! How do I know you ask? Well, he didn’t sleep a wink during his session because he didn’t want to miss a moment of hanging out with me. Those sweet baby blues looking at me the entire time, GOSH melt my heart! I love new parents, and Jake & Sara were so cute during Grant’s session. That new love never gets old. Listening to the coos and watching them all look at each other. My heart was so full. The blanket that Grant is laying on with the deer was no surprise. Daddy’s little man is going to grow up just like him, I can tell already. Sara is going to have her hands full with those two! Grandma made him that blanket and it was just beautiful! Newborn sessions always go way to fast for me. I could photograph newborns and their families all day long. So sweet. Grant, even though he wouldn’t sleep for me was the best baby. Already he’s so curious and loves watching everything. I’m excited to watch this little one grow and hopefully get to document their journey as a family, I’m also hoping for a baby girl in the future! Seriously Sara is beautiful and definitely needs a baby girl some day. Sorry Jake but I guess you and Grant are just going to have to invest in more guns LOL! Below you will find a few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy this cutie as much as I enjoyed spending time with him. Thank you again to Mom and Dad for sharing with me and starting my day out in the most perfect way.
You guys! I am seriously melting over here right now. Tonight the most amazing moment happened. Phillip asked Audrey to share the rest of her life with him!? How romantic is that? I am so happy that she said YES. He was so cute and nervous, honestly so was I. It is always exciting when someone contacts you and asks you to capture a very special moment and milestone in their lives. My heart turns to mush when I hear the plans and stories of my couples. In this case it was even more melting because of WHO was being asked. This person is very special and dear to me. She is beautiful inside and out and no matter what I know that I can always count on her. The people that she meets and everyone in her life has always known or quickly learns how special and wonderful she is. This person has had a hard hand dealt to her and still has a smile on her face and a welcoming heart through any and everything. This person is so special to me and I trust her so much that I have even entrusted her with my business adventure. That’s right! This special and lucky lady that Phillip gets the pleasure of sharing the rest of his life with is Audrey! If you don’t know who Audrey is let me take a moment to let you know that she is the best assistant EVER! All of my couples love her and she brings so much joy and help to my clients as if they were her own!
Phillip contacted me and wanted to surprise Audrey and plan something out of this world for her when he asked her to spend her life with him. Instantly we started racking our brains and went straight to pinterest. We quickly learned and reminded ourselves how appreciative and simple Audrey is, she loves the small details and thought put into simplicity. So that is what we planned. A beautiful location that she loved and the handsome fella that she loved. Not to mention that sparkly beauty of a ring… THE RING! My goodness is it amazing! The plan took a little fibbing to her and sneakyness but it was worth every single one. The look on her face was priceless and I’ve never seen her that happy before. I actually got to take a glimpse of Phillip as well and let me tell you, love looks great on him as well. I didn’t get to hear what he said but I do know that she was surprised and taken back. I also knew she said YES… that part wasn’t so quiet LOL. I am so blessed to have been included in this moment with Phillip and Audrey. I am also so blessed to have been given this gift and eye of photography. There is no greater gift that I could give to the ones that I love other than the loving memories we create and share to look back on and fall in love over and over again.
This location is dear to me. The people who own the property are very dear to me. I was so honored that they allowed us to plan this and to share this beautiful life they have built. Thank you to the Vickstroms (and I love you all very much!). This is where Jon Alan and I were married and I am over the moon that Phillip and Audrey will also marry there. I was a little jealous that I didn’t get to take photos of my own wedding there so this makes my heart very happy! I couldn’t ask for a better life or a better family. I love you all with all of my heart. Phillip, welcome to the family. I am so excited for you to grow and create memories with us. I also apologize in advance for stealing your soon to be wife away almost every Saturday evening for our weddings. We are a package deal though LOL.
Thank you both again for including me and loving me. I hope you all enjoy their moment as much as we all did. How beautiful is this place and this couple?
What is more perfect than the most beautiful location you could hope for, your best friends, & a vacation? Having all of this happen AND doing their engagment session during, SAY WHAT!?! I promise you it totally happened. Tara and I knew for a while that eventually Lar’s was going to have to give in to our demands for a pretty shiny piece of jewelry and we had a plan for when he did (Thank’s Lar’s!). Tara is a Southern Belle to the core so going to where she feels at home and there was spanish moss was a MUST. So, we planned a mini gettaway to Charleston South Carolina. Let me tell you by the second day I was ready to move! It’s totally breathtaking there and there are so many beautiful places and people. My goodness I could have had a photo shoot all day every day and kept going. It doesn’t hurt to have one of the most beautiful couples you know in front of your camera now does it? I am beyond excited for their June 2016 wedding and even more excited to be apart of it as their photographer and Matron of Honor. PS to the photographers reading this I will be interviewing a second shooter/assistant for this wedding and you are going to kill to be apart of this wedding! Email me 🙂
Our trip was way to short but I was so thankful to have gotten to spend some time with these two and my main squeeze. We did the tourist thing, we went to the beach, we shopped, we ate (O boy did we eat!), and best of all we got some great fellowship and amazing photos to go along with our memories. Do you know how hard it is to pick final images when culling? It’s hard! It’s even harder when the people in the photos are perfect and dear to your heart. I bombarded Tara and Lars with photos and I am so happy I don’t have to narrow it down to which makes it on the save the date… WHEW!
Until June 2016 enjoy these images and make sure to follow the blog because I promise you will NOT want to miss the wedding photos. I’ll have another post for Jon and I’s photos and update for our trip to Charleston soon, I know you are all just dying to see my handsome hunky hubby!
I am so excited to share baby Gemma with you all. I was even more excited to see this family again! It’s been over a year since I last saw them for Marco’s newborn session and when I received the message from Christina that they had welcomed their daughter I was over the moon. How great is it for someone to trust you with their most precious baby? How great is it for someone to trust you with their most precious baby and then invite you back for baby two? That is the BEST compliment I could ever receive. This family is so special to me and I love that they trust me with their littles and their new moments.
I have photographer’s, parent’s, grandparent’s, and even people with no kids ask me all the time how and why I do newborn photography. With all of the weddings and couple portraits how in the world and why do you still do newborn photography? Simple. I love new love. It’s not about being too busy or not wanting to have one of my styles overpower the other. It’s all about the new love. From being first time parents to welcoming the second, third, fourth, or even fifth child. Every parent has that look when they see this blessing they have been chosen for. I absolutely love the moments between the families and their new babies. A mom that finally gets her baby girl, a dad that finally gets his baby boy, a couple that has been trying with no luck that FINALLY meets their miracle, a family that has been waiting months with moments of lost hope for their premature baby to come home, and siblings that aren’t sure what’s going on but they have this instinct of love and protection. All reasons of why I love new love. All reasons of WHY and HOW I make time for newborn sessions. It is not about filling a schedule or meeting an income goal. It’s so much more than that to me.
I adore taking the time with my newborns to make sure they are safe, loved, and snuggled. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love cute, squishy, new & lovable baby snuggles? That is the BEST part about working with my families with newborns (Thank you to all of you who share your blessing with me and also let me get my snuggle time in with them. You have all helped my baby fever tremendously). The first thing I say to a new mom and dad when I arrive and begin the newborn sessions is ” Do you trust me?”. Without gaining their trust neither they or I are comfortable during the session and that makes for an unenjoyable experience. I make sure that when I am contacted for a newborn session I answer all questions from the family and even give a little more information than they ask just to make sure that everyone is comfortable. I share with my families my personal experience in being a mom of two boys as well as my professional experience with newborn clients. I am happy to provide as many references that you need to feel comfortable, and trust me I have not had ONE complaint by my clients. I must be doing something right, right?
If you or someone you know is expecting, CONGRATULATIONS! I hope that you have a moment to contact me so that I can share my newborn website with you (it is not advertised but only shared with inquiries) and we can talk about your photography needs for your arriving or arrived little one. I pride myself in providing beyond amazing experiences for my clients along with beautiful memories they will fall in love with every time they look at them.
Thank you again to all of my families, you have all blessed me in ways I will never be able to thank you for. Here are a few images from this weekends newborn session, she’s beautiful isn’t she? I hope you all enjoy, and if you are wondering… yes I did get my baby girl snuggles in and loved every minute of it (Thank you Marco for sharing!).
Let me start this post by apologizing. If you are an AQP bride or previous AFP bride and you do not have an image listed below I am sorry. It is not because I don’t value or love you. It’s simply because your records are older and not in an online gallery but rather filed away in my super secret safe spot and not at my fingertips to access.
Something amazing happened me. Have you ever had one of those days or moments (I sure hope you have) where you were pulled in different directions and feeling kind of lost? Where your heart is saying something different than everything and everyone else? This was my day. As you all know I very recently have rebranded and relaunched. I am so exicted for this new chapter in my business and in myself. So many things come to play when you own a business but even more when you are in an industry growing every second and in a field where photographers seem to be around every corner. All I can say is educate yourself and make sure that you and your photographer are a great match for one(make sure there is a space here)another, but that is an entire different post that I am sure is bound to happen at some point. The thing that I have struggled with since day one in my business are in the categories of being too nice, wanting to please everyone, finding my comfort level, and standing firm in a business aspect while still staying true and being genuine to my beliefs. If that isn’t raw I don’t know what is. You now know my weakness, so please be kind.
I was faced with an opportunity and a decision. My mind, my business mentors, people that I look to for advice or a listening ear and all of those that I turn to when I just need an outside opinion or insight. All of those people and my mind were telling me different than my heart. INSTANTLY. MAN what a tough spot. Smart and successful business woman vs. Arli’s soft spot and need to please. I dislike when that happens. It doesn’t happen frequently, I am thankful for that. However, it does happen. I second guessed myself as I typed that email and hit send. I sat there and thought about how happy and complete my heart felt vs. how much I went against what I was “supposed” to do as a business woman and a wedding photographer. It felt good. It felt right. It was done and felt with love. It stood for everything I believe in. It may seem small to some people and others may not get it or will brush it off. It was a big deal to me. I am still tripping over my thoughts and emotional about it. I don’t need to tell you what exactly this is referring to because that part doesn’t matter. What matters is the action that I took when this opportunity and decision that I was faced with. I had no idea that in a few hours, my decision and following my heart by sending that email would present me with a gift of no physical value but more value to me then I could ever put into words and that I will be thankful for as long as I live. This is a moment in my business and in my experience that I needed and I will never forget.
For my clients and even photographers that have mentored with me generally the first thing out of my mouth is “know your worth”. I live by that, I stand by that, & I will help you see that in yourself. That is a strong and important statement that can go towards any aspect of someone’s life. It changed mine. The return email reply that I received instantly brought me to tears. Happy tears thankfully. A bride who was nothing but honest, real, and hopeful. I can only imagine how she was feeling all day as we corresponded. I sure like to think her heart was as happy as mine was. The words she shared with me touched my heart and made me feel appreciated. I am SO thankful for the brides that I have been so lucky to be able to stand beside through their journey and on their wedding day. I am even MORE thankful for the fact that many of my brides know my worth. As a person and as a business woman. This bride, who does not know me, has never met me, & has no idea my involvement with my brides in their planning process and wedding day says the words that EVERY photographer dreams to hear.
” Photography is something I definitely DO NOT want to skimp on. I have made the decision to go with your Elegance Collection. I am so excited to be able to make this decision!!! Yesterday I was so stressed thinking I just wasn’t going to be able to have anything I wanted, and man what a day can change! Today EVERYTHING is falling into place! Thank you so much for your help and patience already! You’ve been a blessing this far and I just can’t wait to work with you!”
What a dream she is. It is so refreshing to hear the appreciation for me and for my photography as well as know that she could have chosen anyone, but chose me. I felt like she fought for me. I felt like all of the hard work and love that I put into this business and my clients, WOW someone SEES that! Someone appreciates, respects, and KNOWS my worth. I can’t tell you what perfect timing this was. God surely does provide. It’s not always when we want it or THINK that we need it but when he KNOWS that we need it. That was just the love, appreciation, and boost that I needed. It was so much more, who am I kidding. To my bride in shining gown, thank you. You may have called me a blessing but it is you who I am grateful for. I am so excited to be a part of your journey and honored that you chose me.
To you future brides or to those of you who know a bride planning. Advice for you. When you find your one (Yes I mean your photographer). You will know. Not only should their work speak wonders to you but your photographer is such an important role for your wedding you should feel connected to them above all. Photographers will be with you from the beginning of your planning and even at your side on your wedding day. I proudly fluff a gown, fix a veil, carry lip gloss, repin hair, & anything else that you will need me to do. I am happy to do that for you. I cry at every wedding, I’m not bashful. I love new love. I love moments. I love that I have been given this gift, my photography talent that I can bless others with images of moments people years down the road will be admiring and loving. How incredible is that!? If you or someone you know is getting married I would LOVE to speak with you/them about your/their wedding to see if we are a great fit! Being given that opportunity means the world to me.
To my fellow photographers, starting out or seasoned. Know your worth and educate your clients or followers of that, show them. Don’t give up. I promise you ARE somebody and you are somebody GREAT. Remember to follow your heart and to not forget your values and beliefs. In our industry today it is so easy to get swept up and forget why we started our businesses and the dream that we had that started it all.
Below are images of my brides. Not all of them (as I mentioned above, sorry!). Each one of these women believed in me from start to finish. They have all touched my life and I hope in a small way I have also touched theirs.
GAH! You guys! Have you seen the new website, blog, & social media sites? I still can’t believe my eyes. I am so excited that I finally have a “HOME” that actually feels like ME. Seriously, I look at my new branding and it finally showcases how I feel in my business and my style. My clients and my work are finally displayed as they should be. I could not have done any of this without Brandilynn Aines of Brandilynn Aines Creations. This girl is seriously amazing. Not only did she completly gut and totally change EVERYTHING, but she did it in TWO days. Crazy insane, and I love it.
I want to share my experience with those business owners out there who are wanting or needing to rebrand or even just start. Don’t be like me and skimp like I did the first time. That is a huge mistake and I promise the money you invest up front is going to be a lot less than what you lose in the end. This started when I wanted to add beautiful wedding images to update the old site, I sat there. I think I may have cried. My website was so far away from what my images deserved. It may have fit 5 years ago but that quickly changed. I thought, this is it. We are rebranding and investing and we are going to do it soon. I posted in a few groups and most of the people commented with similar designers. I won’t lie, I did inquire with a few. Many were way out of my budget, too busy, or just seemed to think getting back to me in a timely matter wasn’t important, BUT… yes there is a but. I didn’t let that stop me or hinder my excitement. I finally sent that final email to Brandilynn who was referred by several other people and when the response email came back I literally jumped and squealed. It wasn’t long after that we began the schedule of the rebrand and the launch. It seemed so far away but really it snuck up on me quick. This process with Brandilynn was actually fun. She explained everything to me, she took into consideration that things that I did and did not like. She respected me and my ideas, which I am so thankful for. She even took a few headshots of me for the new brand, how sweet was that!? Without anymore rambling below are a few of the new brand insprirations, photo as I mentioned is courtesy of Brandilynn Aines Photography (Thank you!). If you are looking to rebrand you may want to email her soon, she is crazy swamped. I can’t say thank you enough and please share every last piece of this new brand with everyone you know, I am so proud of it!