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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!

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How our kids have impacted our business…

girlsmp-1 Disclaimer: Sadie Bug was a little sleepy in her carseat when I took this photo, so she didn’t make it in the picture… next time!

 

We didn’t have kids when we started our business almost 9 years ago. So to say our business has changed since we became parents is an understatement.

For those of you who don’t already know part of our story… Andrew and I found out we were expecting our first baby in January of 2009. Sadly, I miscarried that baby in the first trimester. Going through a miscarriage is heartbreaking, you have to go through the process of grieving a child you never got to meet. To help me work through my emotions, I focused all of my time and efforts on our business. This is actually how we made the big leap in signing out first studio space lease.

Scary, that’s all I can say about deciding to pay for a studio space that was essentially another mortgage payment. Then only two weeks after we opened our studio, in June of 2009, we found out we were pregnant again! And that my friends, is even more scary!

But God is so good, and he grew our business. It was able to support the studio space itself, plus provide income for us when we were no longer working at other jobs.

But we knew that having a studio space wasn’t going to be in the plans for us always. I think some people wonder why we aren’t in downtown Zeeland anymore, and the truth is as much as I enjoy looking at studio-type photos, they aren’t my favorite to take (unless it’s a wee little baby!) So our goal was to find a home with a large dedicated space for me to work, and also be with my girls.

Thankfully we have been in this home for over 2 years now. Being in a non-commercial space doesn’t mean too much difference for my clients – except the occasional 5 or 6 year old coming in to say hello to them! And my older girls are getting big enough to be a big help at special events we may be photographing. It’s been a joy to see our business grow and evolve just as much as our girls have.

It’s been a hard week

This week has been hard.

Scratch that, this week has been very hard.

My precious little baby, who I used to hold for hours at a time suddenly stopped sleeping. On all accounts that would be considered sleep. No naps, waking 6+ times per night. Sadie = 4 … 6am Bootcamp = 0.

If you see a woman walking around aimlessly in Vriesland, resembling someone from The Walking Dead, (and no, I’m not talking about Maggie) it’s me.

Next to me you’ll see a 6 year old with so many tangles in her hair from swimming we gave up brushing it days ago, a 4 year old who’s just drawn all over herself with a red ink pen, and I’ll be holding a beyond-tired, squirmy 8 month old with cheerios stuck to her harms, crusty banana puree dried to her cheek all while she’s scratching at my face because she wants to get down and crawl.

And that last statement right there my friends is why it’s been a hard week… My baby is crawling. :'(

I’m sure you all are a bit over my “my baby this, and my baby that”. I’m a bit over it too… but why does each new thing just completely have to break your heart when it’s your last child?

And the nerve of this girl. Thinking she can go and start crawling around, leaving me. Scratching at me because I am OLD NEWS. She aint got time to be held by her momma or to even sleep for that matter. Girl is simply on the move.

So yes, it’s been a hard week indeed. But I’m praying it gets easier, and that my sweet little Sadie has mercy on me soon and decides to sleep again.

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Don’t mind my crummy photo, it’s a video still from my phone. Look at how happy she is though.

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Pillar Church Wedding in Holland MI | Julie & Jared

 

Julie & Jared’s Pillar Church Wedding in downtown Holland was the most perfect day in July. I was so happy to be a part of their special day!

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About The Bride and Groom

We first met Julia and her son a few years ago while doing their family photos at the Holland State Park. Fast forward a couple of years and I met her again, only this time with her fiancee, Jared. These two actually met while they were both working at Gentex, in Zeeland. I knew right away at their consultation that their wedding day would be a great one to photograph! You might remember their engagement photos I posted earlier this year… you can view them here! 

About Their Wedding

July 1st not only marked the start of a new month, but also the start of a new chapter in Julie and Jared’s lives. They were married at Pillar Church in downtown Holland on the most perfect July day ever. There are so many details from this wedding that I just love! From Julie’s super cute nails, to the wooden center pieces that my brother-in-law cut, to the mother of the groom’s shimmery dress that matched so perfect. If I ever got to do my wedding all over again, I’d be sure to copy every aspect from this wedding!

Pillar Church Wedding

Pillar Church is by far one of my favorite wedding ceremony locations. The church itself offers so many background options for photos, but there are literally endless spots in downtown Holland, which is Pillar Church is located. Julie & Jared’s pre-ceremony photos didn’t disappoint at Pillar Church!

Recption

After their ceremony, we finished up a few family photos outside, then headed to Baker Lofts, which is where their reception was located. I’ll have a full post on their reception soon! Mp< Congratulations Julie & Jared!

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I loved this dress by…

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This floral bouquet was stunning by…

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Pillar Church Wedding party photo

Holland MI Bridal Party holding flowers photo

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Finding Beauty

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One of the things that makes a great photo is beauty in the unexpected. To capture this, you have to be open to photographing things that others might scrunch their noses up to. Although my area of expertise in photography is photographing people and not objects, I am still constantly searching for unique things that I can use to create an interesting background. Every time we drive somewhere, the photographer in me can’t help but point out different locations that would be great for photo sessions.

<strong>And it makes me wonder, why can’t finding the beauty in everything come as easily?</strong>

How can we reprogram ourselves to look on the bright side of things?

What will become of our children if we continue to knock everything down?

When will we see the beauty in all of God’s creation?

To the Father

fatherTo the father who gave this neighborhood kid a ride to church on Sunday and an extra long ride in the country after, taught me the value of looking someone in the eye when you’re speaking to them, and the importance of volunteering… even when it means putting your life in danger by being a fireman.

To the father who welcomed me into the family with just the wave of his hand, worked so hard to provide for his family, went out of his way to help anyone, always thought my projects looked “darn nice”, and left such an impact on my life.

To the father who cried and held me during my miscarriages, took care of me through all of my HG pregnancies, and take care of our girls. You are the greatest father I could have ever asked for for our children. Whether it’s making breakfast, playing soccer in the front yard, washing their hair, changing diapers, working every day to provide for us, reading the girls stories, taking them fishing, or playing games in the pool, you do it all. You set a high standard for the type of husbands our girls should marry. To me, no other can compare. And I thank you.

To the Father… our Heavenly Father. I have felt your arms wrap around me tighter and tighter every year since becoming a mother. I thank you for the fathers you have introduced into my life. I have no words to express how much you have blessed me… even with growing up without a dad, you have placed men in my life that have shown me the meaning of a truly great father. And with that, Father’s Day has a completely different meaning for me.

So this Father’s day, I want to wish say thank you to the father’s who do without asking, the ones who show up and care, would rather be with their family than anywhere else, and show the glory of God through their actions. Thank you for all that you do, Happy Father’s Day.

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If you’ve ever contemplated having more children… don’t.

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If you’ve ever contemplated having more children… don’t.

If you’ve ever thought that having one child is enough… it is.

If you’ve ever wondered if you would like having a few kids… you won’t.
You know the thoughts that run through your mind after you have your first child… “There’s no way I could love another baby as much as I love this one!”. Or the feelings of guilt, that by having another child you would be taking time away from your precious toddler.

But let me tell you… and I tell everybody this… One of the best gifts that you could ever give your child is a sibling. And I’m not just saying this because my girls are best friends and get along so well.

I’m saying it because it’s true.

Our oldest two are 18 months apart. They literally don’t know what life is like without each other. The first 4.5 years of parenthood was a blast, literally so much fun… hard, but fun! But the last 6 months, since Sadie came into our lives, has been even better. It’s better because you can see just how much little Sadie affects the personalities of my bigger girls. You can see just how much she is teaching them about love, patience, gentleness, kindness, and so much more. And when they do something that makes her giggle, they light up like the sun. Or when they help me to take care of her, they grow proud and feel rewarded for a job that they do so well.

And it’s so, so good for my heart to see my big girls take care of their baby sister. Like when they hold her close, and snuggle her cheeks. Or when they sing her the song that I made up for Kenlie when she was just a couple of weeks old.

So, if you’ve ever wondered if you would like having a few kids, or if one is enough. My advice to you is this: Don’t contemplate it, do it. One child is technically enough, but more than one is so much more. And having a couple of kids is something you won’t like, but you’ll love.

Trust me.

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Simplified Sessions

I’ll be honest… juggling 2 kids, a complicated pregnancy, and being self-employed last summer was pretty difficult. It was hard enough just getting the day-to-day things done… you know, cooking… cleaning… that my business really suffered. I found myself way behind on editing, sneak peeks, and writing on my blog, it was overwhelming.

But God is faithful, he knew I needed sweet Sadie in my life. And although I was struggling most of last year, in the past 4-6 months, I’ve realized just how much I love photography. For the past several years God has blessed me with the opportunity to be at home with my girls through creating memories for other people. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that. Sadly though, my business suffered and I saw a decrease in the amazing clients I’m used to photographing each spring. This momma needs to get out of the house for a few hours a day and talk to adults – or at least photograph them! That’s some real honesty for you right there!

So, now that I have found a schedule that works for my family I’ve returned to photography full-time(ish). I’ve created our new Simplified Sessions that take all of the planning and hassle of scheduling your family pictures, and gives you a pretty spectacular deal. Simplified Sessions, in a nut shell, are photo sessions only available twice a month, at a set location. You’ll receive the session for families up to 6 people, 5 digital images with printing opportunities, and a $15 print credit all for $100. I’ve never offered digital images with printing rights in a portrait session EVER.

It’s a crazy good deal!

It’s super easy to snag your spot… just visit our booking page find the date or location you like, and pick a time. You’ll receive loads of information from me that will make your session a breeze.

Our classic Lifestyle Sessions are still available… these are completely customize-able for what fits YOU! These sessions can also be scheduled on our booking page. 🙂

Don’t need your kiddos photographed or aren’t ready to get in front of the camera for your family photos? No problem – I would love it if you would share this with someone who may be interested. A friendly reminder that we have always offered a $20 print credit for new referrals. 🙂

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My time left is limited

helpers-21My time left is limited. I know this because every time I lay her in her too-small bassinet, I have a visual reminder for how big she is getting. I hear her sleeping peacefully near my desk as I plug away at my work, with her sweet breathing and a slight whistley nose. I’m convinced I have kissed those cheeks at least a million times now, as I did with my other girls. But they are big kids now, and I’m lucky if I can get a few kisses in a day. So I know my time with her is limited.

In just a few days (or weeks if I can push it that long) she won’t fit in her bassinet anymore. She’ll nap upstairs in her crib, too far away. I’ll ask her big sister, Audyn to play barbies upstairs in her room, so that I can work on my laptop in the rocking chair in the nursery and get my sweet baby sleeping fix then. There is something so bittersweet about knowing they are your last baby. While we are still pursuing plans to do foster-to-adopt, I have no idea how old the child God will entrust in us to care for will be. I know I’ll be guarding my heart with that little one when the time comes- Protecting it, in case the placement doesn’t work out, or the biological family is reunited.

So now, when I know that this baby is all mine, and last I’ll carry in my tummy… I think of her as my last. And I know my time is limited.

In a few weeks or months, she’ll start crawling. She probably won’t want to snuggle as much anymore. She’ll want to explore and move. I pray when this happens, she’ll still come to momma and bury her face in my neck, that my cheek on hers will still calm her and put her to sleep.

And the cycle will continue, as it did with my older girls… I’ll be playing the count down in my head for how much time I have left with them. How many years until I have to share them with friends, boyfriends, husbands. Eventually, they’ll have children. And I pray that the time I had left will restart. Instead of counting down, it will be counting up. I’ll have years to watch my daughters be mothers, new cheeks to snuggle, and little hands to hold.

I know that my daughters can’t be little forever, as much as I want them to. The feeling of limited time with them is overwhelming, but looking ahead to the adults that they will be, and the mothers they will be gives me a little sense of excitement.