WHY THE PHOTOS IN YOUR HOME MATTER

Do you have photos displayed in your home? I’m sure there are at least a few. A wedding photo in the silver frame that was a wedding gift. A picture from a photo booth that’s stuck to your fridge. By the way, I really enjoyed time spent at the photo booth, as it was completely new experience for me (contact Inside Out Booth if you are looking for a great booth). The craft your kiddo made with their school photo for mother’s day last year. All of them are important to you in some way, or you wouldn’t have them up.

But have you ever thought about why they are important? There are a lot of reasons, but one is because they help us remember. We want to remember our wedding day or what our child looked like when they were first born. We want to remember happy times and surround ourselves with them. I for example got breast implants in Johnson City, and we can see the difference in some of the pictures that we took, some that are displayed and some that are not. It’s very interesting noticing the difference in how clothing fits, and how I seem far more confident in my posture and posing for the camera after the procedure.

Another reason the photos in our home are important is because they show what or who is important to us. Only the people who are most important in our lives make it into the photo frame or onto the fridge. They also show everyone who steps across our threshold who are the most important people in your life.

What got me thinking about this? Well, a couple of months ago, our son, Cooper, found that he could reach the frames on our table tops. He left most of them alone, except for one. A photo of my dad.

Both my mom and dad have thought it was weird that I’ve had that photo framed for years. It’s one of my favorites. It’s actually from the very first roll of black and white film I ever took in my first photography class. I loved how it was just so my dad. 

Cooper carries that photo around all the time. I find it in his room, the hallway, the bathroom… and do you see those smudge marks? those are from the kisses he give it. He loooooooves his grandpa. And I’m thinking this photo helps him remember one of his most important people when he can’t see him. So cute, right? 

Another photo we love is this one of my husband’s grandma at our wedding. Don’t you just love her old school film camera? She was so excited that her grandson was getting married (finally!). That was actually the last time we saw her since she passed away a few months later. One day Cooper brought this photo to me and grunted at it, pointing. I told him, “That’s your great grandma. She would have been crazy about you.”

As our kids grow up, who or what is important to us will be communicated by what we surround ourselves with in our home. If a child sees their photo in a frame or on the wall, it says,you are important to me“.

So print your photos! Get them up on the wall!

Do you need some new portraits? I can help with that! Contact me for a consult today. Let’s fill your walls with the people you love most.

Have a great week!

~Jen

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11 Months with Cooper

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Unbelievable.

This little man has been with us for 11 months! Well longer than that really. For a time in my belly, but for many years as a dream in our hearts. We love this little boy oh so much. The one year mark is creeping up on us and we are enjoying watching him grow and learn.

Cooper’s preferred mode of movement is a swift army crawl. He loves to get into anything he shouldn’t. Loves to go on walks. Has mastered the art of the doorway bouncer/swing. Loves to wind himself up and spin, spin, spin! He goes crazy in the pool, trying to swim, so we decided to check for some swimming pools for sale from Harvest Pools to install one in our house. Laughs at funny dog videos. Eats pretty much anything we put in front of him, including steak and salmon. Gives “kisses”. Has two teeth nubbins. Imitaes daddy’s facial expressions. Has discovered his ability to scream (for fun). Cooper brings so much joy to all of his family.

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10 Months with Cooper

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I can’t believe my little guy is 10 months old! He’s getting so big and we’re quickly approaching one year! Unbelievable.
Cooper is 22 lbs. (78th percentile) and 2 ft 6 in tall (99th percentile!). He is most likely going to eat us out of house and home since he pretty much eats as much as I do. He will eat just about anything we put in front of him. Still no teeeth. We’re convinced he doesn’t need them since he eats chicken, asparagus, etc. with no teeth. He has mastered the army crawl and is into everything. He’s quick! We have epic games of peek-a-boo, loves long walks in his stroller, and has a blast splashing in the pool. Cooper says Mama and Dada and gave kisses when we asked him to yesterday. We love our little guy like crazy and are so proud of our friendly little dude.

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Cooper- 6 Months

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Half a year.
Really?
Seems impossible.
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This kid has filled our house with so much baby gear, and has filled our hearts with so much love.
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His smile charms his way into the hearts of everyone he meets. People comment about what a happy baby he is.

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He gets this talent from his mom.
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Cooper is rolling all over the place and still working on sitting up by himself.
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He is very curious and we love watching his eyes light up as he discovers something new. This week he met the neighbor dogs and couldn’t stop giggling!
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He loves his car walker, his exersaucer and jumping in his jumper.

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I think he might be getting bored of seeing me all day long. When he sees his friends in the nursery at church, or any little ones his size, he squeals and laughs, making evryone around giggle as well.

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We are eating solid food twice a day. So far he loves oatmeal, bananas, apples, carrots, squash, tolerates green beans and doesn’t seem to like peas. He makes a “nom nom nom” noise as he eats the ones he likes.
And he has definitely discovered his tongue. And found his voice. Mostly to scream just for fun!
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Cooper has always loved bath time, so we love bath time. Because of this we are starting swim lessons tomorrow!

I love the look in his eyes every time we pour water over his head.
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We love our little tiger. And it’s fun that we got one of the kids bath towels I designed. We love wrapping him up in it.
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Cooper- 5 Months

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Can you believe our little guy is 5 months old? Crazy right? He is such a happy baby and people are always commenting on that. Here are some fun facts about Cooper:

He is rolling all over the place.
When Grammy comes up to say hello to him, he always looks for grandpa.
Had his first exposure to balloons and a giggle fest ensued.
Thinks peek-a-boo is about the funnieest thing in the world.
Laughs at other kids when he sees them.
Still hasn’t liked any of the solid foods we’ve tried. Will try again soon.
Has only been waking up once at night. (Praise Jesus!)
Enjoys his books.
Had the best day of his little life when he got to play in his new exersaucer.

His photo shoot this month had a wardrobe change. First, I had to photograph him in his In-N-Out onesie cuz it’s awesome, and so we could see those little leg rolls!

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Had to include this outtake. Didn’t even know I caught it til I was editing them later.
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My little scholar.
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Introducing… Our Greatest Adventure Yet.

So, it’s been pretty quiet around this here blog. And rightfully so. We just had a baby! I’d love to introduce him to you…. but first, let’s get caught up on what life has been like the past several months.

Well… I was pregnant. (duh) Tony and I tried for over a year to get pregnant, even going to get tested for infertility issues the couple of months before we found out I was pregnant… the… er… “old-fashioned” way. 🙂

And I did not love being pregnant. I had a perfect pregnancy, with absolutely no complications. I was sick during the first trimester but never threw up (thank goodness!). But dude. Sleeping gets pretty uncomfortable that last trimester, as well as just simply moving.

Of course, I still had work to do. It was just a little harder to squat and get into precarious positions while shooting. But one thing about being pregnant and shooting a wedding is that people really look out for you. Everyone makes sure you’re drinking enough water and getting enough to eat and making sure you doont do dumb things like stand on chairs. Or at least they hold onto you when you do! That and they’re super impressed at your ability to do your job with a huge belly attached to you!2015-10-15_0005.jpg

I always looked at those girls that were “all-belly” and was completely convinced that I would never be one of them. I was sure I would be huge and that my behind would be as wide as Texas! Well I was huge, but to my surprise and delight, I ended up being one of those “all-belly” girls. People kept telling me I was an adorable pregnant gal, which of course made me feel good, that is, until the next time I saw myself getting out of the shower. Woah! So I had no intentions of having maternity photos done. Can you believe that?!? I do them for other people, but I just didn’t feel great, I didn’t know what to wear, nor did I have time to plan it out. But my dear friend Jess at FLY Photography talked me into doing them. And I’m really glad she did. I absolutely love the images she captured and am so grateful she talked this reluctant preggo into showing off that bump…uh… basketball.

These were taken a month before my due date. And after I saw these, I was feeling pretty good.

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But then I got to my due date.  And I was more than over it. Oh my gosh, those last two weeks… I. Was. MISERABLE. It was 100 degrees most days and we only have a couple of window AC’s in our house. We went to the movies one night and I may or may not have had a tearful altercation with the manager of the theater over a water cup. Yeah… not my finest moment. But, seriously… don’t mess with a pregnant lady!

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But alas, Cooper James Arneson was finally born! I was induced one week past my due date and ended up having a C-section since this not so little guy just didn’t seem to want to come out. Turned out the cord was wrapped around his neck twice so no wonder he wouldn’t drop.

He was 8 lbs. 14 oz and 21.5 inches long, with a full head of hair. Some say he looks like me and others say he looks like daddy. I can’t tell so I’m just going to ay he’s a perfect mix of the two of us. My dad says he just looks like Cooper.

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I love this photo our friend Ally took of us.

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And here are some I snapped with my big camera.2015-10-16_0023.jpg
I bought this shirt for Tony and insisted he wear it. He really is the best daddy.
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I can’t believe I’m posting this photo, but here we are! Just about to leave the hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s scary bringing a baby home! It’s like, here you go! You’re on your own! Good luck!

But if I didn’t know already that Tony would be a great dad, I was sure of it when I walked in the room to find him reading to Cooper. Love him!

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This was our first breakfast date as a family. Cooper was clearly enthused.
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And here are some of my Instagram pics from his first week home.

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And of course I had to do some newborn photos that first week. So I waited for him to be really sleepy so I could bend him and put him in a bucket or a basket, like I do, to get those sleepy naked baby photos.

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Clearly he did not understand that his mommy is a photographer and he was supposed to make me look good. This little guy would not cooperate and stay asleep. Oh well. At least I got to capture some of his personality.

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And those baby blues!

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Once I got him dressed again and promised I would leave him alone and stop torturing him, he fell asleep. I wasn’t about to try to undress him again, so here’s what we got in the way of sleepy Cooper photos.

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That’s our cutie! We feel blessed, loved and encouraged by our family and community… and tired. Oh so tired. 🙂

Should you purchase a wedding album?

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When I was a kid I looked through our family photo albums ALL. THE. TIME. So much so that if there were a photo my mom was looking for, she would ask me and I would quickly tell her, “Oh, that’s in the red album.” I knew them well. Cover to cover. And it wasn’t just at my own home, I would pull out photo albums at other family members homes. If they had a stack of albums, I would sit and flip through their family vacations, while the rest of the kids played outside.

But my favorite album to look through was one at my neighbor’s house. It was of their daughter’s wedding. I was 6 years old when she got married and was her flower girl. So I probably enjoyed it even more since I was in it, let’s be honest. Nonetheless, I loved looking through those photos of her getting married at the Langham in Pasadena. I loved all of those ladies in their lovely flower girl dresses. I loved all the photos of the bride and her gorgeous dress and old fashioned hat and parasol (hey, it was the 80’s). The bridesmaids wore vintage looking dresses as well and carried fans decorated with flowers. Again…. 80’s. But beautiful.

There were photos of me crying during the ceremony (yes, I did that even then), the bride being led down the flight of stairs so regally by her father, and the couple riding off to the reception in an antique car. I remember every detail. I even remember that the wallpaper in the room where we got ready was and green and white lattice print with flowers. Wow.

I remember ever detail because of that wedding album.

When I got married, I didn’t order an album from our photographer. I just wanted the digital files so that I could print them myself and, since I am a wedding photographer myself, I would design my own album. Yeah… I think you know where this is going. Two years later… still no album. At first I just didn’t have time. I was busy working on everyone else’s photos and getting used to being married. Then it was a money thing. Albums are expensive, plain and simple, and that expense was just not a priority. I made my mom an album for Christmas that year, and I’ve found myself opening that album and flipping through it to re-live my wedding day whenever I’m at their house. My mom has an album of my wedding and I don’t.

I’ve noticed that over the past several years, less and less of my wedding clients have, like me, opted not to purchase an album because it doesn’t fit into the budget. Most people just say that they want the disc of images. I hope that some of them have made albums for themselves. But I have a feeling that most of them, like me, have a couple of photos printed out and the rest of them sit on the disc I gave them. We all say that we are going to do it ourselves, but here’s exactly how many photos I have framed from my wedding.

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One. And I LOVE our wedding photos. ALL of them! It’s just a shame.

So, learn from my mistake! Here are a few reasons to consider ordering an album from your photographer (even if it’s not me!)

Should you get a wedding album?0031. Wedding albums telling the story of your day.

Flipping through all 800-1000 images on your ipad or on facebook is a little overwhelming. But one or two photos framed on your shelf don’t even begin to tell the story of one of the most important days of your life. An album is something you will flip through time and time again with friends and family. Looking at them on the ipad isn’t quite the same. And you probably wouldn’t frame a photo of your bouquet but I’m telling you what… I would definitely have it in my album! Mine was gorgeous!…… and now it’s dead. 🙂

Should you get a wedding album?0052. It’s an heirloom

I want my kids to be able to see the story of when mommy and daddy got married. Right now, that doesn’t exist. To be honest, since digital took over, I don’t have one album of a trip I’ve taken or my friends and I doing silly things. Pre-digital, I do. I hope to be able to sit with my little one and show him/her the story of our day, and to have them be able to pass it on to their kids one day. And laugh at how out of style everything looks, of course.

Should you get a wedding album?0093. Technology changes.

Up until now I’ve been providing clients their images on disc. Now Apple is designing many of their computers without disc drives. I’m switching to USB drives, but when are those going to be obsolete? An actual printed, archival album in timeless.

Should you get a wedding album?0064. You probably won’t do it yourself.

As much as we say we will, most people don’t ever get to it. It takes a lot of time and energy to look through all of those photos and pick which ones you want. Let your photographer do it. You hired a professional to photograph your day, why not have them professionally print and bind your story.

I will get an album, gosh darn it! It’s just a matter of time (isn’t it always). But since we’ve got a little one on the way, I’m feeling like it’s more important than ever. I want to have a keepsake from our day to help me remember one of the most important days of my life.

I want that for you too.

The Dress That Keeps Going… and Going…

Well I know I haven’t blogged a lot lately. Honestly, I’ve been spending a lot of time getting our new blog, All Things New, up and running and that’s been really fun. But a few weeks ago we celebrated our anniversary! Can you believe Tony and I have been married for a year! I sure can’t. It has flown by.

So for our anniversary we wanted a little getaway so we went up to Big Bear, where my parents have a little cabin. It was nice to get away to the mountains and just rest and connect. Knowing we would go out to dinner to celebrate, we had an idea.

Some of you remember the story of my wedding dress. Well part of that story involves the fact that my mom actually wore her dress out to dinner for their first three anniversaries, sans the veil and capey-train thing. The next year, she cut it off a little. And the next year…. mini skirts were in. I don’t know if that doll was a gift from my dad for their third anniversary or what… I hope not. 🙂

But can we please talk about that beehive? I believe my mom called that a “wiglet” or a “cascade”. Whatever. It’s tall.2014-05-20_0018

So why not carry on that tradition and wear that same dress, in its current state, out to dinner? I made sure I brought a tri-pod so we could at least attempt to take some photos.
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We went out for Indian food and had a great time. And other than one congratulations from the next table over, who of course thought we had just gotten married (we chose not to correct them), pretty much all we got were questioning glances. Not even a free dessert! Come on people!
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Come Learn with Me!

So for those of you that were hoping my announcement had something to do with me being pregnant… well… you might be pretty disappointed. I’m not. Pregnant, that is.

But for those of you who are wanting to start a photography business or are feeling stuck and wanting to take it to the next level… well, my announcement may just be great news for you!

I am so excited to offer, for the first time, one-on-one mentor sessions!

I have been running my photography business for almost nine years now (wow, has it really been that long?!?). I’ve done some things right and have fallen flat on my face at other times.

But through the trial and error of it all, I’ve learned A LOT! I’m an open book and I love sharing what I have learned with other photographers. I have created these one-on-one mentoring sessions to help you learn in the best way possible so I will be completely open on how I run my business, from client meetings, to pricing, to final product.

Everyone is at a different place, from dreaming of breaking into the photography biz to needing that extra push to grow your business. Let me help. Your one-on-one session will be customized to fit YOU and what YOU need most. Here are the details:

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Room for Two- a.k.a., how to turn a super girly room into something relatively suitable for a man.

A couple of years before I got married I painted my room pink. I was embracing my inner girly-girl and figured I’d better do it now, because if I were to ever get married, pink probably wouldn’t go over well. Well when I said it was time to paint, Tony, the sweet husband that he is said he didn’t mind the pink, as long as we mixed in other not so feminine colors. Like grey. So cute. But no. I would never do that to him.
And besides, pink definitely didn’t match our new bedding.
So here’s the before (s):
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… and the after!

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I love love love our bedding and the texture of it!

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Our headboard was made from an old door that Tony’s dad picked up somewhere. We had used it for the wedding for our escort cards.

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And then we stripped it down and voila!

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The Mr & Mrs were wedding gifts and we figured this was the perfect place for them. Don’t tell, but we don’t actually sleep under our respective signs. But “Mrs. & Mr.” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Since we decided to get a Cal King sized bed, and boy am I glad we did, we didn’t have any room for bedside tables. But you need somewhere to set a glass of water, or a book. So we came up with these.

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Tony built them and I finished them to match the headboard. They are just the right size and exactly what we needed! And man was it fun to take blowtorch to that wood!