Hello everyone and Happy New Year! It has been amazing year for our little studio in Medford, NJ- we shot over 400+ sessions and 138 newborns! What an honor and a blessing it is to photograph such important moments for my clients turned friends. I love watching families grow- children becoming older siblings, couples becoming mommies and daddies and moms and dads becoming grandparents truly gives me all the feels. I can’t wait to see all of you in 2018- I have a feeling this year is going to be better than ever!
As usually I am slacking with blog posts. But I am (for once) a bit ahead in the editing department so I figured I would squeeze in a little blog entry.
Aside from doing photography in most of my time, I spend a lot of time with my husband Vince and my bestie, Cooper. We hike and cook and go on boating trips. But recently, I’ve been doing yoga and it has really awakened a humbling and grateful part of my soul. I’ve always been grateful for my career; however, I’ve been thinking so much about how and why I do what I do and I truly believe it is what I am meant to be doing.
A lot of my clients ask me “so how did you get into photography?”
The direct answer: my mom bought me a camera when I was nine. I took pictures of my dog and clouds and waves at the beach (they’re still hanging in my childhood bathroom at my parents house!) but I never thought of photography as a career. I went to college for English and education (I’ve always loved kids) because I literally couldn’t think of anything else to do with my life. I graduated and started long-term subbing quite a bit and while I absolutely loved all of my students, I couldn’t land a full time job for the life of me. I came home crying daily and my husband finally sat me down and said “enough is enough… what do you want to do for the rest of your life?” I just stared at him and cried and he said, “how about photography? You clearly love it.” And that was literally that. Vince went on Craigslist and bought me $300 worth of photography related items and we never looked back. I did maybe 10 sessions my first year and continued teaching full time. I interviewed a million times at the school that I was long-term subbing at and I finally decided that I was going to push my photography business and go full time in the summer of 2015 when I was turned down for yet another job. Literally the next day, I was offered a full time (52k/year salary) and I turned it down. No promise of income whatsoever. People called me stupid. People doubted me and I really can’t blame them. I had 10 clients.
The real answer: I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. My soul was purposely lead here. When I was unhappy at my teaching job, my grandmother used to say “My mother always said, if they wanted it to be fun, they would have called it play.” That absolutely crushed me. I couldn’t imagine working a job every day that I didn’t love. And now, I don’t. I love every second of every day with my clients. I work around the clock capturing memories for my clients and nothing makes me happier. I am truly blessed to be in this business and I feel like I’m “playing” every single day.
I often wonder what life would be like if I continued my teaching career. I think about who would have captured my client’s memories if I didn’t. All I know, is that I’m glad that I was lead here. All of the hardships, late nights and long days are so incredibly worth it. I am so grateful for my clients who trust me, my family and friends who believe in me and the world that forever inspires me. I promise, I don’t take any of your moments for granted.
“By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.”
Just a quick, fun little blog post for you this evening. As you know, I see tons and tons of mamas in my studio. I absolutely LOVE seeing all of the little gadgets and gizmos they bring in for their sweet newborn babies since I am always looking for convenient, new necessities for me to use in my studio/recommend to my mommas. So without further adieu… here are some must have items for new mommies and daddies:
1. If you’ve had a newborn session with me… you know that this item is my absolute (without a doubt) favorite newborn necessity. If you have yet to buy a baby shusher- what on earth are you waiting for?!?! I’ve used a ton of different noise makers… fan apps, heartbeats, waves, music… you name it.. if it makes a sound then I’ve used it during a newborn session. The baby shusher is the most effective noise maker that I’ve found as it works best for my newborns overall. I am going to start carrying this product in my studio very soon because nine times out of ten, parents order this amazing thing on amazon before leaving my studio. You can purchase your own baby shusher HERE
2. Sick of carrying an entire jar of powdered formula? This powder dispenser is amazing and allows you to pre-measure the servings! Super convenient. Why didn’t I think of this?! & it is only $6 on Amazon!
3. I absolutely LOVE everything from The Honest Company. Their Organic Nipple Cream seems to be the most widely used amongst the mamas that I work with and they cannot say enough positive things about it. The best part is that it is USDA Organic and you only need to use a teeny tiny bit so it doesn’t break the bank.
4. I LOVE Gripe Water! Before I rant and rave, this is a product that you should absolutely check with your pediatrician about before using. I’m certainly not a doctor, so I am solely speaking from experience and basing my opinions on what has worked for me in my studio with my mommas and their little babies. It is super tough when little ones are gassy and uncomfortable more often than not. Gripe Water is a great supplement for tummy aches, general discomfort and even hiccups! I especially love Wellements Baby because this product is USDA Certified Organic, free of chemical preservatives, free of gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol and artificial ingredients and it is pediatrician recommended! This stuff is magic! I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
5. Last but not least… my last favorite is a special treat for mom… and dad! I’ve heard a lot of my prenatal and post partum mamas say, “Don’t mind my ugly bra” or “UGH the only underwear that fit are granny panties!” You! Lingerie is an incredible company that manufactures stunning nursing bras that literally look like they came off of the shelves at Victoria’s Secret. They come in super sexy colors and styles but the best part is… they’re super comfortable and convenient for nursing your little one. Even if you’re not nursing, they are great while you’re still early in your postpartum recovery. New mommies deserve to feel beautiful!
My husband and I are both business owners so, naturally, our lives are pretty much centered around work. Not in a bad way- we both just love what we do so much that when we’re not actually working, we’re talking about work. As usual, I came home from a Nicki and John’s maternity session talking (bragging) about what an amazing couple they were and how much fun we had. When I showed him a few of their photos he realized that he actually knew them- the world is so small!
Nicki and John were so sweet and easy going at their session. Nicki wore (rocked) several of my maternity dresses and looked completely stunning in each one. John was an amazing dress-throwing assistant to the point where I may need to hire him in the future! Aside from their sweet interactions with each other, there were two big things that made me realize that they were an extra special couple:
1. They brought a special photo in remembrance of their family dog. I am always so drawn to people who treat their animals like children. Most of my clients have seen photos of my puppy Cooper. He is SO spoiled so if you are a fellow dog parent, you’re good in my book.
2. If you are a female and have done any type of session with me, you know that I am a hair dresser 60% of your session and a photographer during the other 40% of the session. I shouted to Nicki from about 10 feet away, “Just tuck your hair behind your ear a bit.” And with no prompting at all, John reached up and gently tucked her hair behind her ear. My heart just melted away.
Congratulations, Nicki and John! It was such a pleasure working with both of you! I can’t wait to meet your sweet baby Lucy Ariel in a few short weeks!