It's been some time since I've written a blog post, but seeing as we all have a lot more time on our hands, I figured...why not start back up again?
At the beginning of this wild, wild situation, none of us could have ever imagined a world where everyone, yes everyone, would be confined to their home for weeks on end because of a deadly COVID-19 virus. All this idle time is really giving us all some much needed time to slow down, reflect on things that matter, and focus a little more on what's in front of us. Me especially.
Since becoming a mother, I've found myself wishing for more time with my little boy. I'm a homebody already, but spending time watching a little human grow has fascinated me from the beginning. However, being someone who always wanted to continue my career, I knew I wouldn't be home with him during the day after my 12-week leave.
Fast forward to now. I'm getting all kinds of time with my boy, and pups and husband, and to be honest, I'm not mad about it. Not one bit. It's allowing me to slow my mind, focus on the now a bit more, and really do more of what I love; photography.
If you see me during this quarantine, you will likely see me with my camera strapped across my chest or up to my face. This unique time has energized me and reignited my creative fire. And one of the things I've started doing are family porch-traits.
Now this is not an Ebonn-original. I'm not sure the first photographer to coin the phrase, but whoever it was, kudos. So cute. When the idea of these porch sessions came across my Instagram, I was a little hesitant. Partly because I wasn't expecting this quarantine to last this long and partly because I wasn't sure how it would be accepted by the community. But the more and more photographers that I saw jumping on an opportunity to provide their community with a little sunshine in an otherwise dark time, I knew I wanted to do the same.
I've had such a wonderful response to my sessions and I'm so glad I decided to do it. Not only is it getting me out of the house for a few minutes, but I'm getting to meet new families from at least 6 feet away!
The families I've captured have been so appreciative of the small collection of images they receive and it gives me all the feels knowing that I've provided them with just a little happiness during this unprecedented time.
Each family is different and that's what makes this project so much fun! This is the time to capture life the way it is. This is history. We've never seen anything like this, and likely never will again in our lifetime, so capturing these families as they are is documenting a piece of history. And I love it.
Point of this story. If you live in an area where a photographer is offering these sessions, do them. What else do you have going on? At the very least it will give you a reason to take a shower, right?
Stay well, friends. ❤️
How many of you made a new year’s resolution to not procrastinate? Anyone?
I’m sure some of you did. If not, maybe you just vowed last year that you wouldn’t wait until the last minute this year to get prepared for the holidays…famous last words, right?
With life throwing curveballs at you left and right, and things just prioritizing themselves over other things, it’s easy to forget that Christmas is…well, it’s less than 150 days away! Right?! How is that possible?!
As we move into the last week of July, let’s be honest with ourselves. Once pumpkin-flavored everything hits the shelves (which it may have already), the days are going to start moving at warp speed and before we know it, it will be Christmas once again! Why do we do it to ourselves? We know it’s coming from December 26 of each year, yet we continue to put things off!
It’s time to make a change!
If you’ve decided that you want a new family portrait for your holiday card this year, why not go ahead and cross this “to-do” off your list?
Here’s why it’s a good idea to go ahead and schedule your holiday portrait session now.
You’ll Have a Spot
Every fall, I’m forced to turn families away because I’m booked solid for the holiday season. I absolutely hate having to do that! I know it’s disappointing to the family, but to be honest, I love taking pictures so much that I hate that I can’t take them of each and every family who comes my way! But alas, I only have so many free weekends once cool weather hits and they book up fast. By booking your session now, you can ensure you’ll have a session on the books and can be a worry-free momma (or daddy)!
You Can Budget Accordingly (& Save a Little, Too!)
Holiday portrait sessions are not necessarily expensive, but they still may come as a bit of a strain on your wallet when you’re having to shell out money for so many other things at that time. If you put a session on your calendar now, you can start saving a little between now and then so that when the day comes, you’ll not be worried where the extra cash is going to come from.
Also, when ordering holiday cards at the last minute, you may run into having to pay express or expedited processing and/or shipping. By scheduling your session early, you can avoid these extra costs and use that money for a spiced pumpkin latte (or a plain one if you’re like me and are totally over the pumpkin craze) after the session!
You’ll Be More Relaxed
Knowing that your portrait session is scheduled for a specific day will allow you to get all your ducks in a row. Not only financially, but also with coordinating outfits, scheduling haircuts, and not having to worry with finding a photographer last minute. If you take the time now to schedule your session, you’ll be a lot less stressed about one thing on your list, come the holiday crunch.
Cards Will Be Ordered. And Signed, Sealed and Delivered on Time
My goal each year is to have my holiday cards ordered, printed, signed, sealed and delivered before December 25th. It doesn’t always happen that way, but that’s the goal. If you have a similar goal, scheduling your session earlier in the holiday season will ensure that you will have your images in hand and ready to place on that adorable holiday card. Plus, remember the not having to pay for rush or expedited processing or shipping? It’s a win, win!
So, there you have it! 4 reasons to inspire you to go ahead and schedule your family’s holiday portrait session now. Why wait? No one needs additional stress during the holidays. Leave that to Santa and his elves.
We've all seen pictures of ourselves and thought, "Oh, no! That's terrible!"
If you've taken many pictures and had that same reaction each time, you likely shy away from ALL pictures.
Ladies (and men, but usually more so ladies), we're too hard on ourselves. We know this, but yet we continue to rake ourselves over the coals for the way we look, dress, eat, feel, mother, wife...heck, even sleep!
So, it's no surprise that many of us run away from having pictures taken.
I'm here to convince you that you should take the picture anyway.
Very few times in our lives do we feel 100% comfortable. If you're married, it might have been your wedding day when you felt like the prettiest girl in the world (my pictures were taken by Landon Jacob).
If you've just recently lost a bunch of weight, it might be now. But for the majority of our lives, we don't run around thinking, "Ooh, guurrll! You are rocking this look today." Most of the time we put ourselves down or wonder, "why?" about this, that or the other.
It's nothing new, ladies. And I'm not sure if we will every stop with the self-deprecation, but we need to at least try, right? One of the best ways to overcome our voices is to take the picture anyway. Say, "yes" to the next camera that's pushed in your face. Snap a selfie. Whatever it is, capture your now moment.
Capture the now t0 have a past
How many of you have seen old pictures of family members and thought, "Gosh! I look just like him/her at that age!" Or maybe you thought, "I just love this picture of him/her!"
What if those hims and hers had not taken those images? Or better yet, thrown them away when they saw them? Without images from the past, you wouldn't be able to appreciate the beauty of what their "look" was all those years ago!
Think about it. If you avoid the camera or pitch those unflattering pictures of yourself, what will your children and grandchildren have as memories? You as a shriveled, old raisin? (Let's face it, those days in the sun will catch up to us soon enough.)
Look, don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with remembering grandma and grandpa as the loving, over-affectionate beings that they are/were, but wouldn't you love to have documentation that at one point in their lives, they were vibrant and adventurous just like you? What about pictures of your parents? Don't you want to capture them at every moment so that you may look back on their pictures and remember the times they were with you? I do.
If the past doesn't interest you, then I don't blame you for tossing this blog post aside. But for those who may long for images of their loved ones from years ago (moms who take pictures of their babies, I'm looking at you), I think you should take a step back and ignore those inside voices telling you that your hair isn't right or that you could stand to lose a few extra pounds. Take the picture anyway.
Case in point. 👇
Ugh! 3+ months ago I took this picture.
A friend of mine forwarded me an invitation to a portrait party, and being in the market for a new headshot, I thought, "Sure! This could be fun!"
My friend wasn't able to go that night, but I went anyway. I wasn't feeling all that great, but I needed that headshot and even though I was probably 10+lbs heavier than I wanted to be, I figured it wouldn't hurt to at least have one taken. How bad could it be?? 😳
The night was a lot of fun. Fern Studio, one of Columbia's most talented florists, opened their doors to host the event, and hair/make-up stylists from Pout were busy doing their magic.
After getting my hair and makeup freshened up, I was ready for my closeup. Meredith Jamison (she took the images above, too), a local wedding photographer, posed each of us in front of an adorable background and snapped a couple of shots of each gal. For the most part I was relaxed, but when you don't feel 100% comfortable, what is relaxed?
A few short weeks later.... EMAIL: "Portrait Party Pictures Are Ready!"
I was excited to see that our headshots were ready, but I braced myself.
When I opened the gallery and scrolled down to my image....BAM! There I was in all my not-so-confident glory.
I thought, "What in the heck? Why did I look like a whale? Oh, that's right. Because I'd been sitting on my butt for the last year. Yep, that will make your face look like a chipmunk's for sure!"
Anywho, that was April; the month I decided I better shape up if I ever wanted to feel comfortable in a picture again.
It's taken me this long to post it because, well...I just really don't like the picture! But, if I'm going to talk the talk, I better walk the walk.
Please understand, the fact that I don't like the picture has nothing to do with the photographer, the photography or the style. It has to do with my own insecurities.
But the more I thought about it, the more I thought, "You know what? Who cares? So I wasn't at my target weight. So my hair was probably too long and dark (it's so much hair!). So, the shirt I chose probably wasn't the best pick for a side shot. And my eyes...was I drunk or just about to fall asleep standing up?" Blah...
How do you want to be remembered?
In the end, that's was me. As of April 2017, that was what I looked like. And in 2, 5, 10, or 50+ years, I'll look back on that picture and be grateful that I took it (and probably be wishing I looked that way again!).
To be morbid for a minute, if you were to die right this second, what would your family have to remember you by? Sure they have memories, but aren't memories made even more vivid by pictures? What about those who hadn't met you? Pictures help to tell your story. Isn't that why people spend so much money on wedding photography? Exactly.
We can't slow time down, folks. Things aren't going to look how they did when we were 18, 21, or 25. We all just need to embrace the us of the moment and take the picture anyway. If not for our sake, then for our children and children's children.