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Kayla & Dan's Maternity Session | Bethlehem, PA

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best part of photography for me is the connections I make with other people.  You might recall that back in June, we shot a gorgeous wedding for our friends Dan and Kayla at the Glasbern Inn.  At the end of the summer, Kayla announced she and Dan were expecting and, coincidentally enough, she and I share a due date!  Pregnancy has been a fun, sometimes difficult, and mostly surreal experience.  To have someone to share it with (I'm talking like fifty texts a day) has been a total blast.  To say I've appreciated having this girl to bounce things off of, to laugh with, to whine with, and to celebrate with is a huge understatement.  

When it came time for shower gifts, I asked Kayla if she'd want to do some maternity photos in lieu of something off the registry. Admittedly, I'm a bit shy about bump shots of myself, but I enjoy photographing couples for just about any reason, and maternity shoots are no exception.  They really are a special thing to look back on when this fleeting time in your life is over.  They document your pregnancy, sure, but also your love as a couple, which I can say with full confidence really blossoms when you know your family is about to grow.  Without further ado or sappy commentary, here are some shots of this lovely soon-to-be family of three.

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Nesting & Our Nursery

My last few posts on this little blog have all been weddings and work I've done with clients.  I thought I'd take minute to blog something personal.  As many of you know, my husband Dave and I are expecting our first baby at the end of March.  I feel both surprised at how quickly these past 35 weeks of pregnancy have gone, yet I also feel like I've been pregnant forever!  Needless to say, we're getting antsy to meet our son if not a little nervous for how much life is going to change.

Anyone who knows us well knows that this baby was a big miracle of science and faith on our part.  I've been hesitant to talk too much about my pregnancy on the internet because sometimes, it still feels too good to be true.  Like I'll jinx it, or I'll get too confident.  I also have a funny hangup about over-posting when it comes to pregnancy.  I realize that while the news of someone's pregnancy is joyful for the someone who's pregnant, it can be hard for others who are struggling.  I've weighed my pregnancy posts carefully and tried to stay away from saturating my social media with bump shots and all the hoards of cute clothes I've been buying.  That said, though, this is a happy time for us, and we have experienced only love and support from our friends and family throughout this pregnancy, so it's high time I did a little sharing of our joy. 

My favorite part of being pregnant (besides eating peanut butter like four times a day) has easily been the nesting.  I have loved preparing for this baby with all my heart.  The nursery was extra fun, since it started out as a terribly crowded "guest room" which was more like a closet with a bed in it.  I had a lot of different visions for this space, but I knew I wanted to keep it boyish without an overwhelming amount of blue.  I also wanted it to be playful without an overwhelming amount of baby animals, namely monkeys which I have an inexplicable issue with.  Not every single detail is finished, but I wanted to photograph the room itself with simplicity.  That said, we started with a gray room and now have a nursery we adore.  Here's a little tour!

As with everything in our house, the furniture is mix-and-matchy.  I'm not a fan of furniture sets and I'm really not a fan of spending a zillion dollars on furniture sets so the furniture is from just about everywhere.  The white bookshelf was trashpicked and painted.   The dresser/changer was a thrift store find.   I painted the knobs gold to go with the other gold accents in the room.

I'm just in love with this whole view.  The walls in this room were already gray (when we moved in they were the most purply purple) and I despise painting so we had no plans to change the color of the room.  Plus, who doesn't love gray?  It's such a good neutral.  I ordered the hand-drawn dot decals from The Lovely Wall on Etsy.  They came quickly, one order covered the whole wall, and they were super-reasonable in price.  The mountain and moon paintings above the crib were a joint effort by Dave and me.  We kept seeing prints we liked but not in sets of two, so we painted these ourselves.  The crib is Olivia by Babymod.

This little corner came together so nicely.  I'd registered for some lamps for the nursery (but no one really wants to buy you lamps when they know you need diapers) so I ended up getting the gold floor lamp as well as the other lamp in our nursery at Goodwill.  The ugly, gold "old-man-chair" was a find from a dealer on Craigslist, and I adore its midcentury-ness.  The side table was also a Goodwill find that we honestly have probably had in every room in our house at one point or another.  The lamb print is from Etsy and the paper garland on top was a decoration from my baby shower made by my friend Katie. 

The ugly chair again.  The faux-sheepskin is from Hobby Lobby.  I'm not sure I'm feeling that pillow, but I'm also not sure what else to put on the chair so... there it is.  In the bottom of the side table is a quilt that was given to Dave's mom when Dave was a baby, as well as our baby book.  I'm hoping the close proximity of the book to the chair will remind me to fill it out!

Here are some pillows in the crib, not that they'll get to stay there!  I made the cloud and raindrop one (and thank GOD you can't see them any more closely because I cannot sew to save my life and they're terribly misshapen).  The shaggy one in the back is from Target.   The blue striped afghan hanging over the crib was a gift.

The pic on the left is just another view of the far wall of the nursery.  The rug is from Overstock.  The right is a closeup of baby's toy basket, which is shaping up to be a good mix of new and old.  I'm obsessed with those old Zoo-it-Yourself Tupperware elephant/dog/giraffe toys, which I thrifted. 

These little wall pockets were from Hobby Lobby, which is dangerous if you're feeling creative.  I painted them gold (they were kind of a brownish color when I bought them) and filled them with cute little goodies from friends and family.  A client sent me that little bear blankie and the wooden sunshine is from my favorite baby consignment shop.  

I was returning some rented photography equipment a few blocks from work and saw this adorable bookshelf on the curb so naturally I jammed it in my car and then it sat in my garage for a while.  I painted it white a few months ago and I think it's just perfect for the nursery.  Some taller books don't fit into it, hence the basket off to the side.  The little boots are from Target and if you don't remember that toy record player from your own childhood, sorry, but you didn't have a childhood.  Or you're really young and I hate you.  The lamp is from Target via Goodwill.

A closeup of the shelf above the book corner.  The previous owners had these Ikea shelves ev-er-y-where in the house and we took them all down.  When Dave and his dad painted, they filled in all the anchor holes but for some reason, there were still anchors in the wall in this exact spot so we just hung one of the shelves we'd kept in the garage.  I painted the brackets and shelf itself to make it blend with the room.  The print on the left is from Etsy.  The print on the right is a note Dave wrote as a kid that we think is funny, so it got a frame of its very own.

Thanks so much for taking a little look at our nursery!  We really enjoyed putting it together, and I'm sure we'll enjoy adding to it (namely adding a baby to it) in the months and years to come. 

 

Photograper Crushes, Personal Style, and Katie in the City

Something you may or may not realize about being more-than-a-little obsessed with photography is that it comes with "photographer crushes."  Ask anyone who takes themselves even remotely seriously when it comes to creating photos and they'll likely be able to rattle off about five photographers whose work or business prowess inspires them.  Some of mine?  Jordan Voth, Lauren Scotti, and Grant Daniels.  Recently, though, I've been in love with the words and philosophies of Lissa Chandler, who writes amazing tutorials and is an avid blogger in addition to being a wildly good photographer.  Lissa recently compiled a series of tutorials on one the forums I'm a member of.  The tutorials focused on communicating your style as a photographer.  One of my favorite lines Lissa wrote was "show what you want to shoot" and I really took it to heart.  

This year, I've done a lot of "free" work, or work for product trade.  While I (of course) need money, taking it out of the equation in some instances has allowed me to slow down, hone my style, and take control of sessions where I sometimes might have felt obligated to follow a vision that wasn't my own.  The funny thing?  I've gotten so much positive feedback on my pro bono work!  To me, it speaks volumes.  It means that my voice is coming through in the photos I create and I'm producing honest, organic, heartfelt work.  The love I'm pouring into each photo is communicated back out to the viewer, and that's the biggest goal I could ever have when I raise a camera to my eye.  When I share anything with anyone, it's because I want the people I photograph in the future to choose me because they love what they've seen coming from me all along.  

That said, in the spirit of "showing what you want to shoot" I'm adding a few personal photos to the end of this blog.  These photos are of yesterday's adventures in the city with my best girl Katie.  Each year on spring break, we have a girl date, and yesterday we just had brunch and wandered the streets of Philly.  I took a series of portraits and I'm just in love with them.  They're exactly the kind of shots I love to do -- quirky, filmy, and authentic.  They make me excited about spring and summer, excited about photography, and excited about life in general.  As always, a big thanks to Katie, who is forever patient with being my model and never complains when I saturate the internet with her photos!