Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kyndall's Tears, Mommy's Fears

One of my favorite set of moments each day occur around 7:45 PM.  I lay down with Kyndall, every night, talk for a bit, pray for a bit, and listen to our Sleepy Time playlist.  Often, I fall asleep with her {I am consistently exhausted}.

Three nights ago, she was telling me where she would live when she was 'growned up'.  In her ideal grown up life, we all lived together, along with grandparents.  She explained where everyone slept, but left out Kamryn.  I asked where she thought Kam could sleep....

"She will just be in her crib by your bed!"
"Kyndall, she will be grown too if you are grown up!  She won't fit in her little crib anymore."
"What??!  Kamryn will grow up??  Mommy, no!  I love Kamryn just the way she is! I love my baby Kami sissy!"

Ohhh, the tears that followed.  Sobs full of dread and despair at the prospect of her baby Kami turning into a little girl, and unclear sentences muffled by the pillow her face was buried in were about to grow into an all out meltdown.

My first reaction was to tell her all the fun things Kamryn could do as she got older.  I tried a few times, and had no luck.  I was stuck.  Stuck with this precious, 4 year old lady, whose tender heart was shattered.  All the love, joy, and fun she gleans from her sister, she felt would be gone too quickly.

That's when I realized I couldn't comfort her adequately because I have the exact same feelings.  Just the night before I fell into Kyle's bear hug, begging him to find a way to freeze time.  Life is so wonderful right now even with the occasional sleepless night, and constant need for cleaning bodily waste, spilled milk, and toys {can I please, please, please, just give away 95% of these toys??}. We don't have to deal with the drama that will inevitably arrive with two girls.  We don't hear "You're ruining my life", or "I hate you", or "You'll never understand!".  We hear beautiful, angelic voices saying mommy and daddy.  We hear giggles, and squeals.  We hear love.

So.  I wrapped my arms around my beautiful, compassionate Kyndall, and told her the truth.  I told her my heart hurts sometimes when I realize she won't be a baby again.  I told her she would feel this way from time to time.  I told her it was ok, because it came from her love for Kamryn.  I closed with telling her that if she had remained a baby, I wouldn't be able to talk to her every night, and that would be much more upsetting.

I doubt she understood all of what I meant, but enough made sense that she calmed down, snuggled up, and fell asleep.  Of course, I was up questioning whether or not I'm making the right decisions as a mom.  Questioning my career, the way I spend my time, and the way I invest in my family.  I don't think I'll ever feel like I'm doing enough....I love them too much to feel like I've given enough.

But I wake up everyday, and try again :)

Brayden | Paragould, Arkansas Toddler Child Photographer

Brayden was SO. much. fun!  He grinned, laughed, jumped, ran in circles, grinned some more, and let me take a picture here and there :)  Here are a few of my favorites from his 3 year old session...
Thanks for coming, Stephanie!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thomas | Jonesboro, Arkansas Baby Photographer

Mr. Thomas...could he be any cuter?  Long blonde hair, big blue eyes, and super photogenic.  I had such a good morning with him, and his sweet momma :) So glad to be able to capture his first birthday session!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Pillow Case Tutorial

I'm big on changing.  It's exciting to me...something new to look at makes me smile :), and one super cheap update to make is to recover pillows. This is {for me} the easiest pillow case to make.  Seriously, you can do it in 10 minutes if you have a smidge of sewing know-how, or if you are a beginner, it's a great project to start with!  

Annnnd please realize I am NO sewing expert!  My terms are not technical, and my measuring methods unconventional.

Don't let the pictures overwhelm you.  I'm a very visual person, and love a ton of images...but I know for some it may seem that if there are too many pictures, it must be too difficult.  Not the case here, I promise!  These are the only steps:
1.  Wrap the pillow, cut the fabric
2.  Hem top and bottom edges
3.  With fabric wrong side out, overlap the hemmed edges about two inches in the center
4.  Sew the edges together, creating a giant inside-out envelope

That's it!  So, here it goes with the pictures and can do this!

Grab any pillow, or buy a new pillow insert, and about half a yard (for a 16x16 pillow) of awesome fabric.  The fabric pictured was purchased here
Lay the fabric, print side down, and the pillow in the center, 

Then fold the edges over your pillow, meeting in the center of the pillow.  You need about 4-6 of overlap here to be safe.  Cut away any excess.

 Next you'll need to cut the long sides.  I give at least 2 inches here...again to be safe!  So, measure out two inches from each side of the pillow and cut away the excess.  If you are covering a 16x16 pillow, you should have a rectangular piece of fabric approximately 38 inches long, and 20 inches wide.  

Now it's time for a simple hem!  Hem the short sides (20" for the 16x16) to have nice finished edges.  These edges will be where the envelope closure meets.  Fold over the fabric about 1/2", and sew a straight light next to the raw edge. 

 You can pin here, but it's a short hem, and isn't necessary.  I just hold it at either end and guide it through.  Like this :)

Your hemmed edges will look like this.  Remember..ONLY hem the short sides!  We will take care of the long sides next :)  {Aren't my 4 year old's hands adorable??}

We're almost done!  Already :):)  Lay the fabric down print up, and fold each hemmed edge over to come together in the center...

Make sure to let the edges overlap at least 2 inches...

Place the raw edge 1/2" from the needle on the sewing machine, and run it back through the machine :)  This will close the open edges, making it a complete case.  Here's a look at the case after all sewing is done.  If you have too much fabric between the seam and the raw edge, cut a little off.  
 Reach in through the envelope closure, pinch the corners and pull them through the opening. Best thing about this case--NO hand seaming!

 Stuff the case with the chosen pillow, and you're done!  Here's the back:

 And the front..

  Easy breezy!    I finished this in 10 minutes, and as previously stated, am no sewing expert.  Oh, and around minute 7, this happened
{"Mahhhhh-meeee!  I speeelled it allll!!" she wailed.}
  You can completely change the look of your living room in about an hour using this method!  Go on, try it, and share some pictures :)  

What are some sewing questions you have?  Anything you're hung up on?  I'll help with any knowledge I have!  
Thanks for stopping by :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dexter Blog View | Jonesboro, Arkansas Baby Photographer

Look at those baby's blues ;)  Enjoyed meeting this little man and his sweet momma!  Mr. Dexter is 1!  Thanks again for coming by :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

So Nice of You to Stop By!

Hello, hello!

Welcome to my newest iron in my bondfire!  I have a manic mind, and will unleash it all over this blog whenever necessary.  If you would like to know the direction of my blog, check out the 'About' section.  If you want to see some blog-views of recent sessions, click 'Photography'.

I'm just starting out on this blog, but please go ahead and follow by email to take each little step with me :)  Check out the box to the says 'Follow by Email'...easy enough, eh?

Again, read through the 'About' section to understand what will be on this blog as time progresses.  Thank you for stopping by!

Sydnye 2013 | GCT Paragould Senior Photographer

What a fun girl Miss Sydnye is!  I actually held this young lady when she was brand new...I was about 9 :)  A year ago, she was my waitress at Larry's Pizza in Paragould (Holy cow, you should eat there sometime!), and told me who she was.  Couldn't believe it!  

Carson Senior 2013 | Paragould Senior Photographer

Oh lawdy, I feel old!  This young lady is as sweet as her smile, and as hard working as the truck in the background of the first photo.  So thrilled I was able to capture this special time in her life :)  Beautiful Carson...
In fact, the above photos were from session TWO...Carson and I had so much fun the first time, she decided to come back :)  Here are a few more from both sessions...

Maverick Blog-View | Paragould Jonesboro Newborn Photographer

Sweet little Maverick was an angel.  His momma was so excited to contribute ideas for his shoot, and I think it turned out fantastically!  Thanks, Natalie, for sharing your sweet little man :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Procedure & Policies

Sooo, you're interested in booking, eh?  Yay!  Here are a few things you need to know :)

I pour a little bit of my heart into every session I do.  This isn't only a job, or simply a means to make money to's my art.  It's my way of capturing God's beauty.  His beautiful creation of nature, and His beautiful creations of babies, kiddos and families are my mediums :)  Yet, it is also my job, so I must have rules, and be compensated for time and talent.

Each standard session will receive between 6-8 hours of time.  Each newborn, senior, and bridal session 7-10 hours, and weddings take a good 10 days of my life.  I don't just show up and click a camera.  I do my best to offer top notch customer service, I prep for each shoot, I launder after many, I do final edits on orders, package orders, even deliver or mail them when needed.  I also do my own accounting, marketing, and janitorial services at the studio ;)  Every book, album, and DVD are custom laid out and designed.  This isn't a big box store picture shop.  I do my best to offer a true boutique-style experience, with custom details and one-on-one service.  Oh--and absolutely beautiful pictures {I hope you agree!}

I am a natural light photographer, both indoors and on location.  This means if it is raining, or crazy cloudy, I cannot perform my skill.  It's frustrating when reschedules must occur, so I try my best to avoid them!

I encourage people to bring a few favorite outfits to shoots (this excludes family shoots, I am referring to children, seniors, engagement, babies, newborns).  If I can look through some of your favorite things, I can better coordinate them to the location and my props.  We won't use everything you bring, but we will do 2-4 outfits depending on time.

I shoot in Paragould and Marmaduke, but can travel anywhere.  There are such interesting places in these rural downtowns, and beautiful landscapes hidden down dirt roads.  If you'd like me to come to you, I charge $0.70 per mile after 10 miles from my home.

Please realize I book 2-4 months in advance.  The process is as follows:

  • Book by paying session fee via PayPal or debit/credit card
  • Talk details 1-2 weeks before the shoot
  • Your Shoot :):) {and a $100 deposit that is fully applied to your order}
  • 2-3 weeks after shoot, you will have a Preview Session with me.  At this time you will see your images for the first time, touch and feel all my products, ask questions, and get 8% off a minimum order if you place it at that time!  You can order more later if you'd like :)
  • Edited photos will be up in an online album for 10 days.  You can extend your album's time, or re-open it for $15 per week.  
  • If you do not place an order at the preview session, your minimum order and payment will be due in these 10 days. 
  • Portraits arrive 2-3 weeks after cleared payment

Minimum order is $200.  If you have a shoot, and do not place an order, you will not be able to book a second shoot without putting the session fee and $200 order minimum down at booking.  Sorry guys, but I have to be paid for my work :)  Refunds are not available, as each shoot and each print is a custom product. I will do additional edits to photos (personal preference edits), for $5 per edit.  Braces can e removed for $25 per image.

Let me know what other questions you come up with!!  Looking forward to meeting you!