Aylward | Family

I was fortunate enough to get to spend some time with this sweet family at their beautiful home.

Becca is one of the talented gals behind Hayward Design here in town and if you were to walk around her home — you would see exactly how amazing she is with design. I joked that I could’ve spent all morning there photographing their home and their lovely family, however, it was no joke to me. They are truly so kind and so photogenic — it made my job pretty easy.

While editing these images, I got overwhelmed with happiness at the thought that one day those beautiful girls will be able to look back at this session and see each other with their mom and dad in this beautiful home, together. How amazing is that!? I hope every child gets to have memories of them in their home with their family to look back on just like these sweet girls will.

Here are a few favorites. Hope you all enjoy!

xoxo

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Rasmussen | First 48

“On the day you were born — the angels clapped their hands and the moon danced with the stars.”

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Schleusner | Motherhood session

This is exactly what I want to capture.
You and your baby. Snuggling. Laughing. Playing together. Nursing.
Whatever it is that makes your heart skip a beat.
That’s what I want to capture.

Soon you’re going to wake up and all of those sweet little details that make up this perfect, sweet baby… they will slowly fade away.
Get in those pictures, mama! You will be so grateful you did.

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It's kind of about more than just toast.

I put a piece of bread in the toaster. 

I walk to the highchair and grab the toy off the floor to give to my upset baby.
He loves to throw all of his toys down but then immediately regrets it after it’s done. 

I sit down at the kitchen table, open my computer and try to respond to one quick e-mail. Just one. It’ll be fast. 

The toaster pops and the toast is burnt to a crisp. 

I put a new piece of bread in the toaster, grab a different toy to give to my baby who’s still playing roulette with his emotions in his highchair. I sit down at the kitchen table again, refresh my dark computer screen and try yet again to respond to that same, quick e-mail. 

The toaster pops up. The toast is yet again burnt to a crisp. 

So now we’re on the third piece of bread… I do everything the same except this time I pick up my baby and hold him, I close my computer and I stay by the toaster waiting for the toast to pop. 

There was absolutely no way I was going to burn a third piece of toast. 

I’m telling myself — Why didn’t you turn the dial down? Why aren’t you paying attention? Why can’t you make your baby happy right now? Why can’t you answer that e-mail? It’ll take two seconds. Why can’t you do ALL of it at the same time? 

The guilt takes over and I feel this immense disappointment in myself.
I know plenty of moms who can do all of this and it looks so easy.
What is going on with me?
Why do I feel like this?
It’s just a couple pieces of bread for crying out loud.

The third piece of toast pops up. 

It’s not burnt. It’s the perfect temperature. I did it! I finally did it. How silly am I?
To celebrate the fact that I did not burn this piece of toast.
I mean, I’ve gone through childbirth three times but here I am — so proud of myself for something as little as cooking a piece of toast in a toaster.
Oh, what a time to be alive you guys.  


Now, I hear something in the living room.
The sweetest footsteps coming up the stairs — my middle babe is awake.

He comes into the kitchen, takes a deep breath in… a smile comes across his face.

In the softest voice, he says: 
“Good morning, mama. Can I please have a piece of toast?”

I grab the toast out of the toaster.
The piece of toast I was so proud I finally cooked right. 
The piece of toast I’ve been trying to make for the last 10 minutes.
The piece of toast I was giving myself the absolute hardest time over. 

I butter it up and hand it to him. 


And that my friends… is motherhood.

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Emily + Levi

"And should this be
the last thing I see - 
I want you to know
it's enough for me, 
cause all that you are
is all that I'll ever need."

My heart was so happy and refreshed to spend the evening photographing these two. 
Too many favorites from this collection.

Hope you all enjoy these cute little love birds! xx

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Ridge + Rhett

I loved spending time with these sweet boys and their mom and dad!  They did AMAZING during their session and how stinking cute are they?! 

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Kylah

This little lady celebrated her fourth birthday yesterday!  I just can't believe how fast the years have flown by.  I've photographed her since she was teeny tiny!  She's grown into such a sweet little girl and I'm so grateful to watch her grow :) 

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Mommy & Me featuring a few special family members

Rosie and her mama are the absolute best and they're basically models -- I mean, just look how cute they are together!

So grateful our paths crossed and can't wait to see them again this summer :)

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Loeffen Family

This little lady's mama is super super special to me!  

She's my massage therapist turned friend and I'm so absolutely grateful to know her and her sweet family. 

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Zautke Family

I had a pretty special newborn in my studio this week.  The amazing and talented gal behind Westward Wandering and her wonderful husband brought me their beautiful new bundle of joy. And let me tell you... he was a dream.  I made a silly comment at the end that I don't know if I actually seen his eyes one time during our session -- but truly, I don't think I did!  haha!  He was in a total milk coma and so relaxed. Newborns are my absolutely favorite. I love watching their little faces and hearing their sweet little grunts. So absolutely lucky to call this my job. 

Congratulations, Katie and Marc! He is absolutely beautiful and you two are blessed beyond measure.  

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Bethke Family

" If you want to change the world -
  go home and love your family. "

Lifestyle sessions are my favorite. They're so raw and candid. We literally capture day to day life - how much sweeter can you get?! 

This family was so wonderful.  I absolutely loved getting to know them :)

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Cote Family

I absolutely loved meeting this sweet family.
Too many favorites from this session!
Baby girl was the perfect and sweetest little model. :)

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Mommy & Me plus a sweet little family.

Last weekend I hosted a Mommy & Me session event at Hay Camp Brewing Company. It was such a beautiful day! I absolutely loved meeting a few new mama's (and a dad!) and their babies and also getting to see some of my favorite returning mama's and babies. 

Hope you all enjoy!

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All that you are is all that I'll ever need.

When I get the e-mail for a July session from Julie's sweet mom ever year, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I get. Not only to just see these two but also because I know what we create will just be perfect. They're so natural together especially in front of the camera and they make it so easy to capture beautiful, real moments. Some of my favorite images from the year always comes from their sessions. These two are the real deal and I hope these moments captured will put as big of a smile on your face as it does on mine.

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Scully Wedding

Now, we all know I'm not a wedding photographer.... but for some of my favorite clients ever, you bet I am. I absolutely adore this bunch and I was so honored to be apart of their amazing day! 

Congratulations to the Scully family! Wishing you years and years of happiness together. 

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Photographs taken by Alyssa Crawford & Chris Yushta 

Baby Bria & Family

This family is just perfect. I absolutely LOVE their whole gallery so I had to share a few favorites before I send it out! So excited to watch the bond between those sweet sisters grow. 

"If I am thinking correctly," said Pooh, "A new baby is probably, undoubtedly the grandest gift that could ever be."

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Welcome home

I photographed this sweet family as they were reunited today.

It was absolutely amazing to watch. Pure happiness! 

Thank you H family. For all that you do for our country. 

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2016

I only have 1 more session to go and that will be a wrap for 2016!

It's been such a great year, however, I'm SO excited for 2017.

Here are a few favorites from 2016. Hope you enjoy!

      I want my kids to know that they can have bad days.    They're allowed to be upset, they're allowed to cry for no reason, they're allowed to hide under the covers for a little bit.    We're all so concerned about our kids growing up to be awful, spoiled people that we forget the way we directly speak to them will have the most influence.  They're still learning.  They're allowed to make mistakes. How else will they grow?   Our job is to cheer for them when they do something wonderful and to help them grow when they don't. 

I want my kids to know that they can have bad days.  

They're allowed to be upset, they're allowed to cry for no reason, they're allowed to hide under the covers for a little bit.  

We're all so concerned about our kids growing up to be awful, spoiled people that we forget the way we directly speak to them will have the most influence.

They're still learning.

They're allowed to make mistakes. How else will they grow? 

Our job is to cheer for them when they do something wonderful and to help them grow when they don't. 

Talkin' bout those expensive, selfish photographers.

Talkin' bout those expensive, selfish photographers.

So, here's the thing... you've all seen the Facebook posts about how expensive photographers are and how all we do is take advantage of people with our prices - so I just wanted to share a little insight from a photographer's prespective. 

If a photographer charges $250 for an hour shoot - you probably think they actually make $250 an hour right?  Wrong.  The work which you see as a 1 hour assignment, is stretched far beyond that.  You have to calculate the time spent on all the e-mails to get you prepared for your session, the time to get to the location, the time shooting your session and the time it takes to edit your full gallery and deliver the images.  On average, post processing alone can easily take up a full day.

But there's more that goes into a photography business than just time.....

In order to provide the best images possible, they have to use the best gear possible.  I think if anyone knew how much money professional photographers spend on gear alone - it would probably blow their mind.  

Photography is constantly changing.  Photographers spend a lot of time and money on education to stay up to date and provide the best images possible for you. 

Apart from being the photographer, they have to be the CEO, production worker, marketing manager, driver, organizer, buyer and financial manager as well.  

Let's not forget about business insurance, gear insurance, taxes, daycare expenses, studio overhead, props or all other expenses such as website, e-mail, gallery sites, software, computers, back up hard drives, memory cards, etc. 

"They invest thousands of dollars in equipment, software, and props and spend countless hours learning how to produce beautiful images.  They don't get paid vacations or sick days. They don't get bonuses for outstanding performances or for holidays. They don't have insurance plans or any benefits and 35% of their profit goes straight to taxes."

Please understand we are not taking advantage of you.  Photographers are people who have a family and bills to pay just like you with a job that can be incredibly demanding as well.  Honestly, it's very rare a full time photographer works 40 hours per week. 

We love what we do and we love that we're able to make a living doing what we love, but also - time spent doing what we love is also time spent away from the people that we love.  My husband + children and their time with me is worth way more than a quick buck.  If I'm doing my job correctly - as a wife, mother and a photographer - then financially speaking, it has to be worth it as well. 

I hope this gave a little insight on why photographers charge what they charge.  In the end, it's all worth it - over and over again.  I'm grateful every. single. day that I get to do what I love as a living.  I've made connections with people that go beyond a business relationship and that means so much to me. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling!

P.S. I'd like to apologize for all grammatical errors in this blog post... writing is not my strong point. :)