Hello, Spring

So, I may have worked really hard at embracing Winter..... but my heart is about to burst at the thought of Spring. You guys, it's supposed to be 65 on Saturday.  I'll probably lay out. 

It's around this time of year that I dream up all kinds of outdoorsy plans.  I'll suddenly have a green thumb, and will grow all of our summer food.  I will plant beautiful flowers that the deer won't eat.  I will weed daily.  

Chances are none of those things will happen. But something I can look forward to this year- with confidence that I'll actually follow through?  Stunning Spring photos.  

Longer hours in the day.... golden hour sunsets... warm enough temps to get some kiddos outside. I need this, for so many reasons. 

Spring Mini Sessions have been announced:

April 29, 2017.  Brecksville, OH.  20 minute session, 5 edited digital images.  $100.

And because I'm so giddy about Spring, I'm adding a free printable.  Time to add some color. 

It's almost here, friends. 

Lifestyle Session- WP

How do you celebrate a 1 year old who loves to read?  At the library, of course!! Little W let his personality shine while we played in the children's area of the Parma Library last weekend.  He is about the cutest thing ever- and makes his parents super happy.  So thankful that I was able to spend some time with them!

 

Lifestyle Session- RFV

After <impatiently> waiting 3 months, I was finally able to meet my dear friend's daughter.  They came and stayed with us while on their way to visit family in Toledo.  We didn't have nearly enough time together, but were able to manage to fit an adorable session in.  Can't wait to get my hands on this precious girl again!!

 

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Embracing Hygge... and other methods of staying sane

February is hard.

Honestly, I could stop right there.

I enjoy the first 2 weeks of February.  We decorate the house in all of the pink and the sparkles and the hearts.  But once February 15th hits, the attitude of my house takes a shift.  2/15-2/28 are hands down the longest 2 weeks of the year. Between the cold temps (which we are all over)  and the germs, the Lewis family just kind of shuts down during these long 14 days. 

Knowing it was coming, I tried to be a little proactive this year.  I have been reading a lot about Hygge, which is the Danish concept of creating cozy atmospheres that promote wellbeing. I've tried my stay at home mom hardest to create a comfortable environment in our home, since we are pretty much in these 4 walls every. single. day.  Lots of soft blankets, books, and lavender diffusing in each corner. I've gotta say- it's pretty nice.  There are few times during the the year that I promote laziness, but these 14 days are well deserving of curling up together and trying our hardest to enjoy cabin fever. 

 Hygge Faves: &nbsp;A cozy sweater, a pretty mug, yummy treats, a good read, and a snuggly blanket.

Hygge Faves:  A cozy sweater, a pretty mug, yummy treats, a good read, and a snuggly blanket.

That said.... my kids are 5 and 2, so there is only so much cuddling they can handle.  In those cases, I've turned to Pinterest to find some (low maintenance) indoor activities that won't drive us all nuts. And miraculously, most of them turned out successful. 

Wishing you all good luck as we march through these last days of the month.  

Lifestyle Session- C Family

I had the chance to hang out with this local family, after many months of trying to schedule a date.... gotta love Cleveland weather!

I was so inspired by how each member of this family has a unique personality, and yet they all meshed together perfectly.  It was really cool to watch. 

Smiles and snowflakes. 

 

 

Lifestyle Session- JD

I had the chance to work with jumping Josie this week, in anticipation of her 2nd birthday.  Josie welcomed a little brother into her family this past Fall, so it was good for her to have some special time.  We got to jump, sing, and have pink cake pops!  

Lifestyle Newborn- LRK

I met Elisa several years ago through a mutual friend.  She and her beautiful family welcomed little brother Louis to their family last week.  I am so happy I was able to go out and take some photos of this precious peanut. During the session momma bear got pretty creative in keeping her baby happy- and I think I found my new dream assistant :)

Welcome to the world, little one. 

Valentine's Mini Sessions

My husband teases me about the pink explosion that happens in our house, usually around mid January.  He reminds me that Valentine's Day isn't for another month, and isn't really even a holiday people decorate for.  

He apparently hasn't been to Target lately.  

In the spirit of love and treats, I decided to have some Vday Mini sessions for my clients.  I was able to take some pics of adorable kids, decorate, and eat heart cookies.  Brilliant.

Styling Details:  

 

Still Fierce About 2017

It's officially late January, and I am still feeling motivated about my goals for the year.  That must be some kind of record. 

Juggling who I am: wife, mom, friend, business owner...it can get a little hectic at times.  Anyone else agree? I hear you and see you, any woman reading this. You can carry all of the titles mentioned above, or zero.... if you are a girl, you juggle. 

So my goal for this year? Do everything with passion, not on autopilot.  I figure that will help weed out the stuff I really don't need to be doing as much of. Weed out the worry.  The comparing.  Remove. Discard. Simplify.

I was surprised at how much prep work simplifying can take.  A dear friend recommended the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets.  This happy notebook is all about intentional goal planning.  It cuts to the core, makes you think about what you value, and gives you realistic approaches to achieving your goals.  After some serious thinking, I am on my way for a powerful 2017.... or January, at least :)  

What are some of your goals? 

2016 Fall Mini Sessions

A few of my clients have asked for clothing suggestions for our upcoming Fall Mini Sessions.  I put together some tips for dressing your family for photos.  

*** Disclaimer: I am the girl who considers gray and beige "colors" in her wardrobe. My pop of color is usually a red lip.  If you show up in a white tee shirt and jeans, I'll still think you look great. 

1.) Choose a color theme. Keep it simple!  I suggest picking 1 or 2 colors that you like from  Pantone's fashion color report for fall 2016 and incorporating it into a couple of pieces for your family to wear.  (The rest of the pieces should be neutral).

2. ) Mix prints!  Don't feel like you need stick to one print... plaids, stripes, polka dots, florals- all are welcome.

3.) Be comfortable. Since we are shooting outdoors at the end of October, dressing for the weather is best.  Choose outfits that can have layers. Be sure to choose outfits that are comfortable.  Kids will not care if they look cute- they want to be able to move!

4.) Most importantly, be true to yourself.  My passion is capturing the hearts of my clients, even in more traditionally posed sessions.  If you are daring- you can even let your kids pick out their own clothes. We are preserving who they are today.... and sometimes that involves a princess crown or a cape.

I have put together a Pinterest board with some other ideas/looks to help.  

Can't wait to see all of your smiling faces soon!

Ava's 1st Birthday

Something I've learned over the past few years is the importance of being present.  Living in the moment, especially when little eyes are watching you.  Being a photographer makes it hard to be present in special occasions.... I am tempted to usually pick up my camera, instead of really focusing on the memories that are being made. 

I've found that I'm not alone in this struggle.  Parents want to document milestones, but actually want to be part of those moments as well.  Hiring a photographer at special events is a great way to be able to enjoy your day, and have your memories captured as well.  

I had the chance to do a lifestyle session with little Miss Ava last week.  It gave her parents the chance to soak in all of the love that surrounded their precious girl as they celebrated her 1st birthday.  I was honored to be part of their day.  

 

Peters Family Lifestyle Session

I had the chance to have breakfast at the Peters' house last week.  Becky and I have known each other since we were 12.   We've gone through school years together, relationships, good memories, and bad.  Now we have the chance to go through motherhood together (as neighbors!) 

I very specifically told Becky to not do anything out of the ordinary when I came over.  PJ's, messy hair, chaotic kids... all were welcome.  She and Scott recently brought baby #3 home, so she didn't fight me on my request :)  

After warming up, the kids were pretty unfazed at me just following them around with the camera.  It gave me the chance to take some pretty cool photos in their comfort zone.  

After editing and sending some of the photos to Becky, she sent me a text that meant the world to me. 

"This one is making me cry. You captured Charlie to a T."

My first lifestyle session was a success. 

My Adventure

You guys, this is happening. In real life. Real life- the inspiration for me starting this photography adventure.  That's really what it is, right? Adventure. Nothing to be scared of here. 

Anyways, back to real life.  I've noticed in the past 5 years (the same amount of time that I've been a momma) that some really cool stuff happens in life that I love to catch with my camera.  Little moments that make me giggle, and keep me going through the otherwise tedious days of motherhood.  These are precious nuggets...a candid smile, a sweet gesture, my kids playing in the midst of their ponies and dinosaurs.  Capturing the memories they are creating, right there in the middle of this mess that we are currently calling life. 

Through some motivation of dear friends and family, I have decided to offer these photography services to others.  To the people who want to capture their lives in organic, imperfect moments.  Sure, I'll throw in the occasional pose here and there... but my goal is to really catch my clients being themselves.  

My deepest gratitude to those are willing to share this adventure with me.  To those who are willing to let me capture their joy.  

Away we go...