Let them be little | Mason & Weston

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my precious boy’s with you all so I thought I would give you a session of cuteness. My how time seems to rush by before your eyes. I can remember like it was yesterday when I was laying in that hospital bed meeting each of them for the first time. I never thought I would be able to love them more than I did at those moments. I was so wrong. Both of these little boy’s will never even come close to knowing how much I love them and how grateful I am that I was chosen to be their Mommy. They both teach me so much on a daily basis and I can’t help but to think back on so many prayers where I asked for direction and answers in my life and so much uncertainty that I had, and here are my answered prayers that give me more direction and answers than I could have ever prayed for. I’m a very proud mom and all things that I do are done for them.
We were lucky enough to catch a break in the weather and get some outside time. This truck was the best investment that Santa could have ever made! They love it so much and they feel so independent on the explorations they go on.

Mason is my llittle leader. So sure of everything and willing to learn it all. He shows me how patient I really am lol! Each morning when we start our day he always makes sure that he tells me he loves me and that I am the best Mommy in the world. It’s something that I can’t live without anymore. He understands my heart and although I am the parent and the adult he provides so much for me. To his future wife (thank god this moment is so far away!), be kind and patient with my sweet boy. He will stay true to you and take care of you in more ways than you know you need. His heart will speak directly to yours and he will know what comfort and love you need before you even realize. This boy is strong in every way and when God made him I know that he made Mason to do great things, his purpose here is important. Far more important that any of us could ever understand.
Weston, the baby. He is just that. My sweet sweet kind soul that is sensitive to the core. His honesty and tenderheart are so pure. He teaches me to slow down and think things through. To enjoy each moment we have together, and each moment that I have in life. He’s a goofball and always makes me laugh. He is always putting others first and making sure that everyone is taken care of. He can be a bit of an ol’ goat sometimes but I know that it’s to remind me that he is his own person and he has his own purpose here, one that is not for me to decide or direct. It’s hard with the baby. You want to keep them little as long as you can but the baby… that’s the one that you hold on to with dear life because you know that this is or might be your last chance at a baby. Weston’s future wife will be spoiled to no end. I pray that she doesn’t take advantage of my tender hearted giving boy and appreciates every ounce of him. His heart is so kind and loving it will be hard for her to ever feel like she doesn’t have the world. This little boy saved me. From before he was brought into this world, he saved me.
What I thought was the most difficult time in my life and that I couldn’t and wouldn’t survive, I did. Both of my boy’s (and Jon Alan) kept me strong and pushing forward. When I thought I wasn’t needed or wanted they reminded me every second of every day that I was their Mommy and they not only needed me but they wanted me. Each day they filled my heart up until it ran over and then kept pouring. It’s funny how your taught that you have to teach your kids about life and when they are born it’s the opposite. They are teaching me about life. I am so glad they will have each other to grow old with. I am an only child and live my sibling life through my husband and his 6 brothers and sisters. I’m so glad my boy’s won’t grow up alone and will always have someone by their side, right or wrong! Enjoy my silly, sweet, amazing creations.

PS. We thank god everyday for Jon Alan. Without him our sparkle would be dim. The man that leads by example and teaches them more than I or anyone ever could. Thank you for showing these beautiful boy’s what love and happiness is by treating this momma like a Queen and making sure they see it. For loving them and being the best father they could ever imagine. I love you to the ends of earth, they do to. My prayers are that when they become father’s themselves, they are exactly like you!

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Newborn Session | My Heart

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!).

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The most beautiful bride | The Arli Quinn bride

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.

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Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day to all of the dads! I hope that you get to enjoy your day spending time with those little ones (or big ones) that gave you that amazing title. I’d like to tell my father Happy Fathers Day also. I am a daddy’s girl to the core, always have been. My mom never understood it but that’s the way it is. In my book he’s the best dad and I’m thankful for him every day. By the way, he just celebrated a birthday! Another man I am over the moon about is my husband Jon Alan. Anyone that knows him knows that he is such a great dad to Mason and Weston and is a big softie when it comes to those littles. The boy’s adore him so much and I love seeing them following in Jon Alan’s footsteps and growing to be great just as he is. Their favorite thing to do right now is visit Kings Dominion and go “castin”. They love to do just about anything together and I love watching them. Every day Jon Alan picks them up first thing after work and I love hearing about them talking about their day’s. Asking a million questions as littles do. They take all information in that they can get and it amazes me how smart they are and how much they really do take in and use already in their young little lives. So, here is to all of the dads! Thank you for being great role models, best friends, and our biggest super heros. Let’s not forget my Grandfather Frank who from the time I was very small has had my heart and my father in law Jon Sr., each of these men mean so much to the boys & I.

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”

Hebrews 10:24

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Our wedding day images courtesy of Hartleigh Jane Photography & Audrey Lea Photography