Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chase | Paragould, Arkansas Teen Photographer

I had a fantastic time shooting Miss Chase.  She and her parents are so warm and friendly, so it made the shoot sail flawlessly.  

Of course it didn't hurt that she is absolutely stunning in every way!  Enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Our Transient Weeks

Oh by golly, it's been a while since I've written.  Yes, yes...that is a gateway sentence to an explination, so if you don't care about my excuses, please skip down a paragraph :)  Kyndall was super sick nearly 3 weeks ago, and stayed home the first three days of the week.  Our closing date was moved UP a week [yes, up], from September 28th to September 21st.  We not only moved, but TRADED houses, which turned out to be quite an undertaking. We finished that up Monday, and Monday evening Kyndall's fever shot up.  She was sick Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, so of course Kamryn was sick Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

We all have months like the K. Richey bunch had this September, 2012.  I am not at all complaining about a single aspect of the last month, only explaining why I have not written, or posted from shoots much in the last three weeks.

[my should have skipped to the third fourth ;)]

The move we completed over the weekend is only a temporary move.  Anyone who knows us well, would surely quip, "Haven't all your moves been temporary?"  To many people, yes, but this move is temporary even to us!  About 8 weeks in this house, then our home will be finished.  Kyle has stated he plans to live out the rest of his days in this house....heh, ok :P  Don't get me wrong.  I do plan to live in this house for an unforeseen amount of years--not just months.  It is going to be just right for us.

I just...I just like love change.  I need a certain degree of perceived wiggle room in our future plans.

With this being the temporary home it is, we have vowed to only unpack necessities.  I am loving this vow.  It's like we turned into these efficient minimalists, who can easily locate items, quickly tidy up, and have enough storage space.  It's like I'm organized.  At least, I think this is how organized feels.  My creativity greatly inhibits organization skills :(

Even though I am no organizing pro, we have always had things a certain way.  Not perfect, but nice.  This includes having a bed frame on our bed from the time we were married.  Unfortunately, the bedrooms in this house are a little small, and our ginormous bed frame refused to fit.  Anywhere.  So, the boxes and mattress are on the floor... surrounded by boxes of clothes. Today, I was quickly throwing on something a bit more presentable than Kyle's giant T-shirt and yoga pants for our date night.  The window was half open, blinds angled up rather than straight, bed sloppy, and clothes hanging here and there on box lids, so I stepped onto the mattress for a better view.

Something about that moment grabbed me.  I felt like we were living in some tiny apartment somewhere in Europe.  Goofy, I know, but the scene around me was bad, haha.  Despite it's disheveled appearance, I fell in love with it for this short season in our life.  It's a break in consistency  a pause in our routine, and a vacation from stressing about every little thing being presentable.  The entire focus of this little rent house is our family, and the step we are in the process of taking; moving into a permanent house.  [I am so bringing that focus to the new house] I felt happier and freer soaking all these realizations in than any other time I remember.  Ever.

If anyone...If the Lord Himself told me in 2006 where our lives would be in 2012, I would have snarled in His face.  Kyle teaching?  He barely likes to talk!  Two--TWO children?  Photography?  Annnnd MARMADUKE?  Ohhhh, the ignorance of a 21 year old bride.  Ohhh, the places God took us to beat out our stupid.

And there I was, mindlessly swaying on a mattress in the floor, gazing out a rented window, thanking God for his wisdom, guidance and provision.  Kyle found his passion in teaching, I found  a creative outlet in photography, we were given the two most precious gifts of all time, and we found our home waiting for us in Marmaduke.  I'm sure I'll tell all about our moves, and dumb decisions, and God decisions, and things you don't care about later.  For now, I'm just soaking in each day.  I'm sitting still [for once] to soak in His grace...which is difficult for me to do :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hannah | Senior 2013 Paragould, Arkansas Senior Photographer

As I come closer to closing out my 20's, I have more and more moments that make me feel old.

Recently, Hannah's mom contacted me to do her senior pictures.  I was so excited, because our families go way back, and I've known her parents my entire life.  Once the excitement settled, I realized the last time I spoke to Hannah, she was sitting in a shopping cart...not being goofy.... but being about 7.  Am I really that old?  

Yup.  I am.  

I accepted over a decade had passed, and we scheduled the shoot :)  Love how they turned out!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hadlee | 9 Months Trumann, Arkansas Baby Photographer

Pretty girly, pretty day, of course the result was pretty pictures!  I've had so much fun watching Miss Hadlee grow up the last 6 months :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Riley | Newborn Photographer Paragould, Arkansas

This little guy was such a pro.  He slept, slept, snuggled to his big bro, slept, and let out one perfect cry.

Made my day easy!  So glad I got to meet Mr. Riley :)

Annnnd I have to share this one from Riley's maternity shoot :)  

Enjoy your evening!!

The New Leaf

Three years ago, I took this picture..

Just like Daddy.
I took it with an inexpensive point and shoot.  The lighting is wrong.  The shadows are wrong.  There is no bokeh, no flare, no haze.  It's just a moment that was adorable, and special, and entirely fleeting, and I caught it.  I had absolutely no idea where my life would be in 3 years.

Not quite one year ago, my little at home side business tripled.  It outgrew my home in May.  I added weddings this Summer.  The times I set aside for Fall shoots filled up three months in advance.  I was at a crossroad.

Do I follow the growth of my business, or do I slow it down?  I couldn't keep going like I was; kids at home 80% of the time, and working 30+ hours per week.  I couldn't give my customers the attention or service I wanted to.  Neither could I give my girls undivided attention, because I was SO behind.  After much back and forth I've made a decision....I'm letting my business grow.

With this decision comes some changes.  I'm listing them with a brief explanation, so that my customers can better understand the direction I am taking my business.

The order minimum is now $200.  I very rarely have orders under $200, so this won't affect many people.  I know most people unlikely realize how expensive it is to be a small business owner.  Taxes take 35% or more (not including sales tax), the studio costs plenty, along with its maintenance, the high quality portraits I sell are priced no where close to $0.19 a 4x6 [in my dreams!!], keeping props new and updated costs, laundering newborn fluids off props and drops costs, advertising, website get it :)  You factor in time for editing, ordering, accounting, customer service, marketing, blog posting, and you begin to understand how much goes into one shoot. I stress all this because I don't want anyone to feel like I am being unreasonable :)  What I do is a combination of skill, experience, and natural talent. I give a little of my heart to each shoot :)

I will book $100 mini's at all times.  These are not styled mini's, just coming into the studio like a standard session, but only for 20 minutes, and a limit of 2 outfits if one subject, or 1 outfit per subject if more than subject.  The mini's will have a small 10 picture album (5 color/5 black&white), the copyright to these images is included, and will be downloadable as soon as they are available.  No preview session with the mini's.  I feel this gives some who may not be able to spend $300+, to still get a few perfect pictures of their little ones :)

Online Albums will expire after 10 days.  Albums can be reopened or extended for $15/week.  They can be reopened at any time, and pictures will be kept for 2 years.  After 2 years, the images will no longer be available.  Images at 14 MB each, and 40+ per shoot take up a ton of space.  Space isn't cheap!  I will be offering DVD slideshows for $10 for all old sessions for the next ten days ONLY.  That's 60% off, and after these days pass, the late and archival fees will apply, so if you want memories of these old, old shoots, make sure you take care of that in the next days :)

I'm adding Preview/Order sessions as part of my service!  At no additional charge! These sessions will take 30 minutes to one hour, and be held in my studio.  We will book it when we have the portrait session.  At the preview session, you will see your pictures for the very first time, soak them in, touch and feel a ton of products I offer, ask questions, and place an order if you wish.  Ordering at this time is optional, but if you do place a minimum order at the preview session, you will receive 8% off your order.  Additional orders can be placed before the album expires :)  These sessions are more in line with the new leaf I'm customer service, and a custom experience for all!

These changes take affect for all shoots after today.  All albums on the site that have already placed an order, or are more than 1 month old expire September 22, 2012.

I feel these steps will take me closer to where I want to be.  I want to make each customer feel special, while making a living, and making it worth my while to be away from my baby girls :)  I'm so excited to see where we will be a year from now, and appreciate every customer who has given me the opportunity to work with them, capturing fleeting moments in their lives!

Thank you for your support!!

Khloe | Baby Toddler Photographer Trumann, Arkansas

The last year went by much too fast :(  It was a great year, but when time gets away from you, things like this happen...

Khloe is only a couple weeks younger than my baby girl, so her mommy (my childhood friend) and I consoled each other about our grown babies.  Ohh...and she tore into her cake and cookie!!

Thanks for coming again, Brandy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One of Two Kinds

What a day.

I don't think you understand....

What. UHH.  Day!

Sparing all important details, Kyndall was incredibly ill this morning.  For a couple hours, I was thinking the worst about whatever was going on inside that tiny little body.  Ok...I usually do think the worst...but it was actually justified for a couple hours.  We spent three hours, probably around $300, three outfits (puke. ew.), and three million tears at the doctor's office.  I am so thankful I was able to move my shoots and hold my sick little lady when she needed me.

Other excitement, accidents, trips to Marmaduke (can we puh-leeez move already??), and even some laughs occurred through this hectic day.  I could barely keep my eyes open for a while...but now...I can't sleep due to a giant nagging question I'm trying to sort out.

Will I ever feel like I'm giving love to my kiddos in equal doses?

Kyndall went to daycare about 10 times from birth to 3.  Kamryn has gone 10 times in the last month.

Kamryn is a breast-fed baby, and is super healthy.  Kyndall was not (3.5 week hospitalizations tend to end breastfeeding), and gets every cold and virus that comes her way.

Kyndall is compliant, gentle, and compassionate.  Kamryn is strong willed, rough, and hot tempered.

I could continue the comparisons for days.  They are SO different.  How can the same two reproductive factories create two completely opposing models?  Especially when they look nearly identical??

Honestly, these images don't do the similarities justice.
Then I hear the Voice.  "Kathryn, you cannot...CANNOT compare them!"  It's not fair to either of them, it's not conducive to their love for one another, and it surely isn't helpful to your ridiculously manic mind.

Kamryn adores and idolizes her big sister.  Kyndall didn't have any kids to play with until she was 3.

Kyndall stayed the night away easily because of my health problems.  Kamryn has no idea how to function through the night without me or Kyle.

Kyndall may have struggles with leading and standing up for herself.  Kamryn will unlikely let anyone--she's not worried about size OR species (ask our friend's dog)--push her around.

They are their own people. It feels to me like they should be the same.  I understand that doesn't really make sense when I write it out, but I have to stop myself from falling into the assumption they should be alike since I gave both of them life.  But they're not.  They have positive and negative attributes that will cause them trouble, and lead them to successes throughout their lives.

I have to teach Kyndall it is ok to tell on Kamryn when Kam pulls out a chunk of Kyn's hair.  Yes, Kamryn may be in trouble, but sister, it's your hair!!  I have to help Kamryn mold that little temper (one guess where that came from ;)) into patience and self control.  I have to love them where they are, for who they are, and quit complicating the process.  Sooo, I feel if I love them in this manner...if I cater my love to them, and quit trying to make every action and comment even or fair, if my love is coming from the depths of my heart out of genuine desire for them to grow into God's will, my love will be equal.  

Who knows...I could be 100% wrong, but parenting is a journey.  I learn a little bit more each day, and I have so many days ahead :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Non-Pageant Mom

Before you get any ideas...I won't be spouting off my opinions in this post.  I'm actually sharing Kyndall's first little pageant from Independence Day..
Photo by Daddy...Mommy was her escort :)
I honestly just don't get pageants.  I mean, from the mom perspective.  I think it's the same way I don't get hockey, or others don't get The Office or basketball.  Make sense?  Public figures like this don't help...
(Photo: Twitter/Sydney Long)
However, as a little girl I did a few pageants, and had a blast.  It was so much fun to wear a pretty dress, have all eyes on me {something I now haaaate}, and go to celebrate my loss after.  I never won :P  I'm a super competitive person, so when I accepted looks were not my strongest attribute, I never did another pageant.
So. Fast forward a million years, and another million "Ohhh, she's so pretty! Does she do pageants?" comments later to the annual Marmaduke 4th of July Picnic, and Miss Liberty Bell pageants.

Adorably quaint, right?
This pageant is what the pro's call "Natural", and the dress was Sunday attire.  No flippers, or flappers, or whatever those false teeth things are.  No spray tans.  No jeweled dresses.  Kyndall really wanted to participate {for the first time ever}, so we signed up.  I put her in a cute little twirly dress, pulled her hair back, slapped in a borrowed bow, and never mentioned a crown, winning, trophies or judges.  I told her we were going to go on stage and let everyone see her pretty dress.

And she was pumped.  Super pumped to show off how it twirled...

She was so precious out there.  She smiled, waved, twirled, and said "HI, (insert name)!" to each familiar face she saw in the audience.  She beamed.  We went out on stage four separate times, and she wanted to stay out longer each time!  After the last time, we were waiting for The Results.  I'm not going to get into details, but I was so saddened by the reactions of some of the mothers in the back.  Hateful remarks about girls who didn't know not to wear make-up, demands on their babies to "shut-up and be still", just rotten behavior.  It saddened me because I felt like I understood their reactions.

We each felt 100% confident our daughter was far and away the most beautiful girl in the competition.  We wanted to win.  I had played down the competition aspect completely to Kyndall because of my own crazy competitive nature.  I have to handicap it or it consumes me.  I feel the grumpy moms were just consumed with that desire to win, to prove to...I don't really know, the audeince?...that their baby girl was beautiful.  The truth is, every girl in the pageant was beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.  I began to regret the decision to let her do the pageant, fearing she would take a loss as a, "You aren't pretty enough."  Instead, she was upset by the few mean spirits in the room, climbed in my lap, and asked, "Mommy, when can we leave?"  

Then, they opened the door and called out the winners, "1st Alternate, Contestant number one, Kyndall".  She turned and looked at me with a furrowed brow, which obviously asked, "What were all those words they just said before my name??!"  I told her she got to go out on stage one more time...again, she beamed as she {for real} sprinted to the end of the catwalk.
Oh, me?  I'm juss Kyndall :)
When they gave her the tiny little trophy she had one question...

"Why did they give me a cup?"

She was just as excited about the gold sticker on the bottom as she was about 'winning'.  Annnnd no...I did not correct my [then] three year old when she began telling family she "won at her pageant".  I did, however, make sure to mention that we had fun.  Her competitive side will grow and show it's head soon.  I have no desire to rush it.

Eli | Kennett, Missouri Baby Toddler Photographer

Ohhh, the rain.  All Summer I was blessed with never even checking the weather.  Then, late August, the rain came.  Eli's sweet momma was super flexible and drove 30 miles South on a sunny Sunday to prevent a sour cake ;)  Eli is a doll!  I'm am SO glad I got to capture those amazing little eyes!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wrigley | Paragould, Arkansas Newborn Photographer

A couple months ago, I was able to reconnect with a sweet couple I've known since high school.  We had such a great maternity's a peek..

This beautiful baby is oh-so-much cuter in real life, eh?  Mr. Wrigley Jett was a great subject, and his momma and daddy brought so many fun props!  Enjoy!