February 27, 2012

Mama Mondays: Sock Puppet Time with Miles

I am really enjoying the ability to spend more time with my little man before baby girl arrives in a few weeks.  Life is still a juggling act, but it is so rewarding when you get to have more time with your baby.

Talk about a little boy with personality.  I love this little dude. ;)  Snapped a few cute pics of him today while we were making a sock puppet together.

February 22, 2012

Austin Maternity Photographer {Mama-To-Be Meleah}

There is something so beautiful to me about maternity sessions.  I love making a mama-to-be feel comfortable in her own skin, especially since she's near the end of pregnancy - which is no easy 9 month task.  And it is such a cool time to remember through photographs, because pregnancy is such a miracle in and of itself.

It is like the start of a love story to me... A love story whose next chapter begins the first time a mother holds her baby.  There are no words to describe that feeling.

I enjoyed doing Meleah's maternity shoot last week in my studio space and capturing many beautiful images for her family to enjoy for many years to come.  Pregnancy is such a miracle, and it is so much fun for me to capture and freeze those "baby bump" moments in time for my maternity clients.  Because after the baby comes and grows so quickly into a little person, it is easy to forget about the pregnancy part.  And how magical it is having a life perfected by God growing inside your body - and falling in love with that life before that baby even takes its first breath here on this earth.

I know that I am in that "amazement" phase right now, as I am pregnant and this pregnancy might be my last (?).  Trying to savor every sweet moment (and powerful kick/punch) of my little miracle finishing her growth in my belly before coming into this world in a little over a month.

Enjoy the sneak peeks from our maternity session.  Meleah is such a beautiful soul, and is going to be such a wonderful mama to her little babe.  I can't wait to find out what she's having!  It's a surprise for even her.  And funny story... she and I are due on the exact same day!

The baby's nursery colors are brown and yellow, so I created this set up to work perfectly for big portraits hung on those nursery walls!

I am just loving the simplicity and cleanliness of a silhouette portrait.  There is something so powerful about it...  I feel like silhouettes really tell a story without even having to say a single word. 

February 20, 2012

Mama Mondays: Remember These Times...

If there is one piece of advice I have heard over and over as a mother, it is to "Remember and cherish these times, because each stage goes by so quickly, and little ones are only little for such a short time."  And I have to say, that is so true.  I feel like (in some ways) just yesterday, I was sitting here with my baby boy in my belly.  And here he is... a big boy already!

I was reminded of that piece of advice on a little outing Miles and I recently had.  A "Mama moment" that I will never forget...

So last Friday was the day of my own maternity shoot.  (Thanks so much to my sweet friend Jessica for bringing my ideas and set ups to life!)  The countdown to baby girl is on!

A few hours before my maternity shoot, Miles and I made a quick trip to Target to see if I could find anything pink / girlie to wear.  You see, I grew up on a little farm in the Midwest with two older brothers, and would not say I was a "girlie-girl."  At all.  Pink was never in my wardrobe.  Dresses were a rarity (sorry mom!).  I was usually either in athletic clothes playing sports, or farm clothes caring for my animals.  But as I have grown up, I enjoy adding a little color into my wardrobe, and thought since I'm having a baby girl (and have definitely become a lot more girlie over the years), I thought a pink dress might be on my list.

I grabbed a few things off the rack and put them in my cart.  (Mamas - you know that shopping with a 2 year old means you literally GRAB them quickly like a drive-by grab off the rack!)  We headed into the dressing room, and I tried a few things on.  When I put the pink dress on, you would have thought I put on a glamourous wedding gown by Miles' reaction.  He literally stopped whatever he was busy with and had this look of "awe" (bless his little heart) on his face and said, "WHOA, Mama... That dress is beeeeeautiful!"  I said, "You like it?"  And still with his little "awe look" he goes, "Yaaa... I don't want you to take it off."  Then he put his arms out and said, "Can you hold me?  You look so pretty.  Can you buy that?"

His reaction, the look on his face, the sweetness in his voice, and the sincerity of what he said (which by the way was SO appreciated when I'm feeling big as a house with pregnancy) are things I will never forget.  Ever.

Although motherhood is certainly the most challenging job, it is also the most rewarding one.  "Remember and cherish these times, because each stage goes by so quickly, and little ones are only little for such a short time."

I wanted to make sure to get a picture of he and I (wearing "the pink dress") to help me remember that sweet, sweet day.  :) 

February 18, 2012

Whitney & Spencer: The Video

I love love.  I love watching a couple meet, fall in love, go through times to make them stronger as a unit, get engaged, and begin their marriage and journey in life together.  It has been so much fun watching Whitney and Spencer do all of those things... and I feel honored to have been able to capture some of their love on camera for them to enjoy.  More to come this coming week from their session.  Stay tuned!

Here is a video slideshow of our time together a few weeks ago.  Enjoy!

February 16, 2012

Baby L: 9 Days New {Austin Baby Photographer}

When I found out I would be doing this sweet couple's session for their sweet baby boy,  I could hardly wait.  You see, I did their maternity shoot in October, and couldn't wait to meet the little man that made up that beautiful baby bump.  (Click here to see just how cute that bump was.)

I had everything ready... the posing bag, the blankets, the props, decaf coffee for his mama... You name it - we were ready to go.  Only thing was that Mr. L really preferred socializing and hanging out rather than getting sleepy.  But I have to say, I love awake shots, too!  And once we got him sleeping, we got some super sweet shots of the little guy.

Enjoy a few sneak peeks...

To the family: It has been such a joy working with you two (and now you three)!  Your love for one another and for your baby boy is so apparent.  Give L a little hug from me.  

February 14, 2012

Backdrops, a Cute Bowl & Lots of Love

Here is another sample of my new product coming online... video slideshows.  This one is just in time for Valentine's Day.  Happy viewing!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, ya'll!

To be honest, I have never really been a huge fan of Valentine's Day.  Because when you're single, it just isn't the most fun day in the world, and when you're married with a kid (and very pregnant with another), it's more about cutting out and glueing hearts on a card for daddy than it is about romance.   Plus, I've always been the kind of gal that believes in showing your loved ones you care all throughout the year... vs. just on one designated day. (But don't get me wrong... it is nice to have a reminder-day to really show our loved ones how much they mean to us!)

The photographer in me was yearning for some creativity, so I partnered up with little Miles to get some cute shots with some of my new in-studio backdrops.  (I won't tell you what it took for me to get a 2-year old to sit in a bowl and pose like this.  :)  What happens in-studio stays in-studio...)  Enjoy!

February 13, 2012

Mama Mondays: HUGE Baby/Child Good Sale!

So I know I mentioned last week that this week's "Mama Monday" post was going to be about "Simplification."  But I have changed my mind for a few reasons.
  1. My life the last few weeks has been nothing resembling that topic, so I don't feel that it is the ideal time to post on it.  Those of you who are mamas understand how some weeks are just about surviving and getting everyone fed, to the right place, all work done, and maybe a little sleep in there somewhere. 
  2. There is a HUGE sale coming up that I wanted to inform you about!!
It's the ABC: A BIG Consignment Sale coming up on Friday, February 24th in South Austin.  If you need any baby or child equipment, supplies, toys, etc. - this sale is for you!  A few things to note: The best things go quickly, so get there early if you want a full selection.  CASH only.  That is a biggie, so make sure you stop at the ATM on your way.

Last year, I got Miles a kitchen, Elmo chair, several educational DVDs, books, and other goodies - all for under $50!  I will be hitting up the sale this year to get a bunch of things for my baby girl coming in a few weeks. Maybe I should try to find him some more "manly" shades?!  ;)  (Gigi gave him these to play with.)

 Here are the details.  Visit http://www.fefcmops.com

Friday, February 24th 
9:30 am - 1:00 pm AND night owl shopping 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Saturday, February 25th
9:00 am - 12:00pm
Amazing deals on high chairs, strollers, baby furniture, kids furniture, maternity clothes, kid clothing sizes 0-14, toys, books, games, athletic equipment and much, much more!

February 09, 2012

NEW PRODUCT: Online Slideshows

I am excited to be unveiling a new product coming online soon to Miles of Smiles Photography.

Online photo slideshows that you can share on Facebook, by email, on your blog, and more! 
Details will be coming soon.  Here is a sample from the 3 sessions I have enjoyed doing with Miss Gia and her family.

Gia Turns 1! {Austin Children Photographer}

Oh what a fun morning I spent in downtown Austin with Miss Gia for her 1st birthday photo session!  I was excited to work in a more urban location with such a warm, colorful, city-scape background. 

I have had the pleasure of getting to work with Gia and her parents at her 6, 9, and 12 month milestones, and every shoot is more fun than the next.  They are one of my favorite families, because her parents always come up with the cutest songs and dances to perform behind me as I work.  Needless to say, it's entertaining, and we get great smiles from Miss G! 

My little boy, Miles, has a major crush on her.  Every time he's sitting with me at my computer, he always says, "I want to see Miss Gia."  ;)

Here is the blog post about her 6-month shoot.
And here is the post from her 9-month holiday shoot.

Happy 1st Birthday, Gia!

February 06, 2012

Mama Monday: Playing Around with New Backdrops

Since returning from the Imaging USA photography convention in New Orleans in mid-January I haven't had much of a spare moment to blog about it.  That will come soon... but to put it plainly, I learned so much about creativity, business structure, pricing, and customer service.  And I can't wait to implement some really exciting things into Miles of Smiles Photography in 2012 and beyond.

One of the best parts of the convention was the (HUGE!) Expo that they had there every day in the convention center.  As photographers, it is so helpful to be able to see, touch, and feel the products that we've had our eyes on for awhile now.  I splurged and came away with several new things for my business to use and enjoy this year.

I was testing out a few of my new fabric backdrops and my new floor the other day, and had the cutest little model to work with.  I had to convince him that we were taking surprise pictures for Daddy, but for the most part (as much as a 2-year old is on board for this type of thing) he did great!  Love my little Miles.

Enjoy the pics!

Some fun and colorful backdrop/flooring combos!

February 03, 2012

Miss S {Austin Family Photographer}

Oh what a sweet day I had working with this family again!  I have to say, for a girl that grew up in the Midwest where January usually meant single-digit days and lots of snow, I do love some 70 degree afternoons filled with green, flowers, and sunshine. 

We met up for their family session at my favorite park here in Austin, and had such a fun time together.  I did "Miss S's" newborn shots what seems like not so long ago... but wow do babies grow quickly!  She will be turning one the same day that my baby girl is due this spring, which is just around the corner.  She is such a beautiful little girl and is so loved by her mommy and daddy.  It is so rewarding to watch families grow, and to see the love they feel toward one another.

Here are a few pics from when she was just a tiny little thing...

And sneak peeks from our January session.  Enjoy!

February 02, 2012

Suri's 5th Birthday Party {Austin Event Photographer}

I love doing event photography.  People put so much planning, love, and thought (not to mention time and money) into planning events for those they love, and I so enjoy capturing those memories on my camera for them to enjoy for many years to come.  

Recently, I had the pleasure of doing Miss Suri's 5th birthday party.  And oh, what a party it was!  I met Suri and her mom and little sister at the 4th of July Parade that I photographed in South Austin last year.  They were dressed to perfection that day in their red, white, and blue... and cutest of all?  Little red cowboy boots too!  (I used to have a pair of those growing up.)

Suri's mama put so much planning and thought into the party, and made it such a fun and memorable event for everyone who came.  The party included dressing up in princess clothes and shoes, choosing a hairstyle and getting their hair done, nails painted, makeup done, and it concluded with rolling out the red carpet (literally!) for a fashion show.  Is that cute or what?!

It made me want to be a 5-year old girl so I could play dress-up, too!  (My favorite dress-up game growing up was playing "Little House on the Prairie" on our farm when my friends came over.  I always had to be Laura.  Complete with lunch pail, braids, bonnet, and gappy teeth.)  :)

Here are some pictures from the evening.  The party was held at Snip Its in South Austin.  Cool place to have a party!