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Seasons

Seasons of Life

Andrew and I were chatting with a friend at church a few weeks ago and mentioned how we don’t currently attend Wednesday nights. We explained how it just doesn’t work for us right now. Our oldest, Kenlie is a super-active 7-year-old, who needs her sleep… and well, we have a 1-year-old. Being out until 8:30 at night just doesn’t work. It was then that she said something that will forever stick with me.

“It’s just the season of life you are in, and that’s okay.”

As we drove home that morning, Andrew mentioned how that one sentence made everything seem so much more clear. We don’t have to explain or feel guilty. It’s just the season of life we are in, and it’s okay.

In life, you go through seasons. What works for you now, might not in 2 years. Or what you love to do, might not be best at this time. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t pick it up later. It doesn’t even mean that you shouldn’t feel sad over a small change. You are entitled to your feelings. Do not feel that you have to explain.

Seasons of Self

There have been times where I’ve felt ridiculed by others, for having too much to say, voicing my opinion, or simply sharing my beliefs.

And I can honestly say, I’ve struggled with how others view me. I work hard in my family, in my home, and in my businesses. I love to create and share. “What could they possibly think I am doing wrong?”

Years past, I would concentrate on how others viewed me. However, I try to now be intentional on moving my season of self to one of only acceptance. Acceptance through knowing that I am a child of God, and he made me perfectly imperfect. A forever optimist who stands for what I believe in, and has a voice to use.

And over time, I’ve realized that just as in life there are seasons, there are also seasons in self. Sometimes the season you are in, effects the seasons those closest to you are in. Your ways of doing things, mood, confidence, speech, and mannerisms can hinder the growth of others. Or, it can hinder yuor own growth.

My season of self is to just be me… without apology.

It’s important to remember that whatever season you are in, it can change. It will change. How will you embrace it?

Follow more from Tiffany at TK & Co.

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Newborn Photos | Grand Rapids Photographer

Newborn Photos | Grand Rapids Photographer

I got to meet handsome little Keegan for his newborn photos! Being a Grand Rapids wedding photographer, we get to photograph not only weddings but newborns of our past wedding couples. This is by far one of my favorite things about being a photographer.

Little Keegan was one of my easiest newborns yet! He was zonked for his entire session, which definitely makes my job a lot easier.

Less is More

Capturing newborn photos used to be a bit intimidating to me, after all, newborns don’t really care what angle you want to photograph them in. And everything is done on their time. But after years of practice and trying different techniques, I’ve learned that less is more. SO much more. Keeping background changes to a minimum and outfit changes to the least amount possible (I generally prefer bare buns!) is that best way to achieve sweet photos of your babe.

Another tip I tell clients is to bring swaddling blankets or other fabrics that are from you home. This makes your photos more personalized to YOU.

If you are expecting a little one soon, I would love to capture those sweet rolls and tiny fingers. I offer in studio and lifestyle newborn sessions that can be pencilled in before your litle one arrives. View more of my work here.

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Removing Busy

Removing “Busy”

I used to say that I “liked to be busy”.

But as I navigate through life, I’ve realized that isn’t exactly the correct term to use. I’ve also been feeling some negative vibes over what I’m up to with Marc Photography, TK & Co, adopting, home renovations, etc. And to me, there’s nothing more toxic than negativity. So in conversation with a friend I hadn’t seen in over 5 years… FIVE years… she helped me turn around my way of thinking.

I tell ya, God puts people in your life when you need them.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt the need to have projects to focus on. I do my best when I am doing. One thing I’ve realized, with the help of that friend, is that I don’t like the act of “being busy.” But, the act of being productive. To accomplish things. And that doesn’t mean they have to be BIG things. Just setting a goal in mind, starting, and finishing through.

It’s not that I like to be busy. It’s that I like to be productive. I love to think of an idea and complete it. To see it out, make it tangible. And really, this is probably why our business has made it nearly 10 years, and that I’m an artist (which is basically the act of envisioning something, and making it tangible).

I fully believe that God calls us to be “doers”, to be the hands and feet, to be movers, to create, to accomplish THINGS. And that can be anything. From keeping a home, to sharing the gospel through greeting cards, to adopting a child, to encouraging other women, to going to work every day to provide for your family, to volunteering at church, everything. My calling just happens to be all of those things, and that’s okay. It’s more than okay! And I find peace in knowing this is where God wants me to be.

Remove “busy” from your vocabulary. Remove negativity from your mood.

And when something is placed upon your heart, don’t be afraid to do.

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Be Renewed | Grand Rapids Photographer

Be Renewed | Grand Rapids Photographer

It’s been a quiet time for Marc Photography. This time of year is so strange for me… May-December I hustle, hustle, hustle photographing weddings and families. Being a Grand Rapids wedding photographer means we travel a bit around West Michigan and after awhile I really look forward to my slow season. To be renewed. To think of new goals to work towards for the upcoming year. To rest. And I only need a couple of quiet weeks around Marc Photography to feel renewed.

Something that happened in this slow season, though, is my middle daughter has been having some scary health scares. I’ll update about this in another post. But every day, I find myself sitting on the floor while Sadie plays, listening to worship music, and just breathing. Thinking about what’s next for me, trying not to worry about her.

In the Quiet Time

This year, in the quiet time, God has placed upon my heart yet again a project started back in 2015 before my Sadie was born. You probably remember, I started Take Heart encouragement cards. Well, I decided to open an online Market called TK & Co. to sell my Take Heart cards that I design, LipSense, and Fine Art Photography.

First of all, it has really renewed my passion for photography and given me something to focus on! I’m not one to sit, rather I really love to be doing something. I brought back all of the designs I had before, however, I’m adding new hand-drawn designs that I am even more excited about. I hope to make a video soon showing the process of how each card is created.

What This Means For You

Because I am currently working on new designs, I would love to get some feedback from you on the old Take Heart designs. Hop on over to TK & Co. Market and request to join the group to view them and let me know what you think.

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Community of West Michigan

 

Restoring the Sense of Community in West Michigan

Community of West Michigan

I’m lucky to live in a Community of West Michigan, which is often voted “Best place to…”. It’s full of artistic, athletic, Christian people. But over the 10 years that I’ve lived here, I feel more and more that the sense of community is dwindling.

This past Christmas, my family and I visited the program at Central Wesleyan Church . The message for the evening was on building the sense of community. The Pastor, Craig Rees, asked the congregation how many of them knew their neighbors. Like, really knew them.

I have to tell you… in that moment I shrunk down in my seat a bit. We’ve lived in our house for 2.5 years and have really only met two of our neighbors. TWO.

So on the drive home from the program, I made it my goal to work towards creating a sense of community. I’m not really one for creating New Year’s resolutions. But I am one to work towards a goal. So one of my goals for 2017 is to get to know more people around me, invite families into my home, and really make the word “Community” evident in our lives.

Building a Sense of Community

All bundled up, two days before Christmas, my big girls and I headed out, with Christmas cards in hand to knock on doors and introduce ourselves to our neighbors. Nobody answered at the very first door, so we wrote a little note on the card and left it for them to find. We visited 9 houses in all and were able to meet 4 of our neighbors in person. We left a card and a note for everyone else.

Here’s what I learned in the process:
Although with each knock on the door, I felt awkward, my children did not. They were SO excited. They brought along a clipboard and paper to write down information about each neighbor. Later that day, they prayed for each person they met. So although I felt awkward, it was painless.

Another thing I learned was how inviting a home feels if the walkway is shoveled… *cough* Andrew *cough*. So I’ve made it a point to always keep our walkway to our front door shoveled.

Achieving a Sense of Community

Some of you might recall last year, a man rang our doorbell to tell me “I live about a mile down the road, and wanted to stop to tell you your Christmas lights on your house are so pretty. It gives me something to look forward to every morning on my way to work. ”

At the time, I was so caught off guard and elated with gratitude that I didn’t think to ask for his name. I do think about him often, and his drive into work. This year the lights on our bushes got eaten by rabbits, and on of my first thoughts were that our lights weren’t as good anymore for that man.

So if you do work towards building a community, be prepared. My daughters armed with their clipboards helped us to remember each neighbors name. We have plans to head back in the spring to follow up with our neighbors.

I have a few other ways we are working towards building a community that I’ll share later. For now, comment on our facebook page post how you can work towards building a greater sense of community.

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She’s the third

When you’re a new parent, you get all kinds of advice. A lot of times, unwanted advice, but nevertheless advice. Looking back, we were always quick to have a reason for why we chose formula feed our oldest, not allow her to have juice until after the age of 2 (or longer), limit television, use time-outs as the first line of discipline… I could go on and on. We were always on the defense.

For our second daughter, we received a little less advice and questions about why we decided to parent a certain way or rules we had established. But, we were still on the defense.

Now, when we had our third daughter, it’s like the advice and questioning miraculously stopped. I suppose the third time really is the charm, and people start to realize that maybe you do actually know what you’re doing.

Either that or they know you are now outnumbered and have no time for receiving advice.

Parenting has brought Andrew and I much closer in our marriage. It could be that out of our nearly 10 years of marriage, we have been parents for almost 7 years. And with each addition to our family, we had to band together, even more, to keep each other sane in the craziness of raising small children.

So when we do happen to get the very rare occurrence of advice or questioning certain decisions we have made as parents for our youngest, our standard response is “She’s the third.”

She’s the third. Which doesn’t mean we care less or are more strict because we’ve learned, lazier because we’ve been-there-done-that, or even that she’s our last, so we want to spoil her.

No, it means she’s simply the third baby. There are 2 older siblings to love on her, share goodies with her. We know how quickly the time goes, and if letting my 1-year-old walk around with a chocolate cookie makes all of my girls giggle, I’ll give her another cookie for the other hand. Messy chocolate face and all.

And quite honestly, I think this is that case for most third, fourth, & fifth children.


Tiffany, 1989 // 1 year old, THIRD BABY
grand rapids lifestyle photographer

Sadie, 2016 // 1 year old, THIRD BABY
grand rapids lifestyle photographer

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Baker Lofts Wedding in Holland MI

 

Baker Lofts, Wedding Reception Venue – Holland, Michigan

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About Baker Lofts

Baker Lofts is a Wedding Ceremony and Reception venue located near Downtown Holland. If you’re looking for exposed brick, wooden floors, with a touch of industrial design for your wedding venue, this is your place! We have photographed weddings here over our 10 years of providing wedding photography services in West Michigan, and are always blown away at wedding receptions at Baker Lofts. In case you aren’t familiar with this venue, check out their website here!

Why We Love this Venue

It’s openness, exposed brick, and updated design add so much to wedding photos. It’s full of windows, letting so much natural light flow in. As a result, this venue is an excellent choice if you are having a winter wedding, as there are many options for photo locations inside. The exterior of the building works excellent as a photo background, and a park just across the street is perfect for outdoor photos as well. Furthermore, the house caterer, The Gilmore Collection, offers exceptional food and service. They are probably one of my most favorite caterers.

Venue Photos

The photos below are from Julie & Jared’s reception which was located at this location. They were married July 1st, 2016, on one of the most gorgeous July days I can remember. The weather was absolutely beautiful. Julie picked out and planned so many wonderful details for her wedding, most of which I seriously LOVE. You can read more about their wedding ceremony here, which was also located at a downtown Holland venue. If you have been hunting for ceremony venue locations as well, be sure to check out Pillar Church! It’s classic, traditional design, are sure to blow you away, especially because of the pillars!

Juliae & Jared did an excellent job planning their day, we had a pleasure documenting it and can’t wait until the next time we’ll be photographing at Pillar Church or the Lofts again!

Baker Loft Photos

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baker lofts grand rapids wedding photographers

baker lofts grand rapids wedding photographer

baker lofts grand rapids wedding photographer

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baker lofts

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Maternity Session Holland MI | Kern

Maternity Session Holland MI

Maternity Session  Holland MI

The Kern Family and I spent some time together last week to capture Christine’s Maternity Session in Holland MI.

We had a little hiccup during their maternity session. Sometimes, the right lighting for an outdoor photo session happens at the end of a long day for a 4-year-old. I usually have a few tricks in my bag to coach tired kiddos along during their session, but this little guy just wasn’t having it. His momma, Christine took him aside and the love and patience she had with him are characteristics of a great mother. I’ve been in her shoes before when your child isn’t cooperating, you have a goal in mind, and the behavior puts things at a stand still.

As an outsider to their family, it was a precious moment. The time taken to console her child was beautiful to me, and she shined so brightly while mothering her children.

Number 3

Maybe it’s because we had our third child less than a year ago, but spending time with them during their Maternity session really took me back to the weeks leading up to having baby number 3. The only difference is that we have all girls and they have all boys.

I can’t pinpoint the moment of when I finally felt like a had a handle on “mom-ing”. I was five years in with 2 kids and always second guessed myself.

Then my number 3 came along and I didn’t have time to second guess. Not that I really had much time for it with 2 kids, but with 3 kids you’re just forced to “do”. Not think, just do. My 5-year-old started calling “mom” more than “mommy” or “momma”. My middle child, who had been used to being the baby for four years, grew in her new “big sister” status. And I realized, that everything I had ever worried about with having 3 kids wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

In many ways, life is so much better than I could have imagined.

And I’m honored to be able to capture these moments for families.

 

Maternity Session Holland MI

Maternity Session Holland MI Maternity Session Holland MI
Maternity Session Holland MI

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dykhuis family

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I called Kari at 6pm (an hour before their session) because the radar wasn’t looking so good. We decided to keep their session at 7pm and hope for the best. It was down pouring at 6:15, but thankfully we had a window in between storms right at 7pm! This is why I don’t watch the weather earlier in the day or reschedule sessions until the last minute!

The Dykhuis’ are a family in our life group at church, and I have to say… I really am so excited when friends ask me to take their photos! It’s a good time and it’s special for me to be able to give my friends great photographs. 🙂


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Lindsey :: Senior 2017

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We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening for Lindsey’s photo session. It’s been so hot, rainy, and humid here in Michigan that most of my photo sessions end up having miserable weather. But not this night!

I met up with Lindsey and her mom in downtown Saugatuck. When Kim, Lindsey’s mom sent me a message that they wanted downtown and a marina, I knew Saugatuck was the perfect place for them!

It still amazes me how many options for backgrounds there are in such unthinkable places.

We definitely could have spent more time in downtown Saugatuck, but we decided to head back to Holland to Van Raalte Farm. There’s these purple wild flowers that I just adore in photographs. I was able to capture these a couple of years ago, and again this time. So fun!

hollandphotographer

hollandphotographer

saugatuckphotographer

saugatuckphotographer

saugatuckphotographer

saugatuckphotographer

saugatuckphotographer