Tips for Getting the Best Results at Your Mini Session

After working with bloggers and their husbands and children on a weekly basis for over a year, I’ve learned quite a few things about how to make the experience enjoyable for everyone involved. And lucky you, I’m sharing my tips with you because I have some Mini Sessions coming up in the next week and there are a few slots left. (There’s more information about the Mini Sessions at the end of this post!)

Tips for Having Your Husband and Children in Photos (And Have Them Actually Enjoy Them!)

Be VERY specific. Like VERY specific. Give them a specific time frame. “We will be taking photos for X minutes/hours. I need you for X,Y, & Z. Once those photos have been taken, you can be done.” And STICK TO THIS PROMISE. I can promise you everyone will be happier in the end!


Tell them beforehand that you need them for pictures. and make sure they are paying attention. I like to leave sticky notes around the house and text my husband every few days to remind him we have a shoot coming up that he needs to be a part of & be ready for.


Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good! sometimes the best shots get taken quickly. Don’t continue to try to get twenty more of the exact same shot. Smiles and patience will fade quickly.


With husbands and children that don’t enjoy having their photos taken— the less time they have to be in photos, the better. Mini sessions (20 minute sessions) are PERFECT for family photos because they are so quick and painless!


The more prepared you are, the better. If you want them to change their clothes, have the outfits laid out and ready to go. If you want them to show of products X, Y and Z, have those products ready. 


For kids especially, do not feed them sugar before a shoot. They. Will. Crash. during the shoot. Do not bring sticky candies (fruit snacks, m&ms, skittles, starbursts) to the shoot as tools for bribery. They won’t forget and you’ll spend half of the shoot with whiny kids wanting their treat and the other half of the shoot will be spent waiting for the kid to finish the starburst and get cleaned up again. 


Let them be themselves. Laugh and enjoy one another. Hug and smother them with kisses. I promise these moments will create the best photos. I also promise to take at least one picture where everyone is smiling and looking at the camera! (Scout’s honor!)


As a reminder, we’re doing Mini Sessions to help raise money for our IVF fund! If you’re in Northern Utah, we’d LOVE to have you sign up for a slot!


friday, january 25, 2019
20 minutes
30-40 edited images
Location: Saratoga Springs, UT*

saturday, january 26, 2019
20 minutes
30-40 edited images
Location: Saratoga Springs, UT*

All of the profits from these mini sessions will go straight to our IVF Fund.
*Address will be given after booking your session

"It Just Feels So Unfair"

Yesterday, on Instagram, I posted this:
“infertility can be such a lonely journey. there’s so much that happens behind-the-scenes that nobody talks about.

financial hardships

people don’t talk about it because these things are heavy. they’re awkward. they’re uncomfortable. they’re uncharted waters. and it leaves the infertile lonely & feeling like they’re the only one. i’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. you’re not the only one. i’ve been there & i get it. i’m in your corner & i’m cheering you on. i’m here to listen & here to help. please don’t feel like you are the only one going through this.”

I mean every word of that. Infertility is SO hard.

I didn’t think much of it until I received a comment that said, “It just feels so unfair.” And then I received another message from a girl who talked about how we need to share the good, the bad and the ugly of infertility because people just don’t get it.


But today. Today, I say NO to all of that. And here’s why:

Infertility IS hard. Infertility CAN cause financial strain. Infertility CAN feel unfair. Infertility CAN cause you to feel bitter, angry, depressed and anxious.

But it doesn’t have to.

I understand ALL of those feelings. I really do. I have felt them all. (Even at the same time sometimes!! It happens.) But just because you are feeling something or something is happening doesn’t mean that it is everybody’s business OR that everyone needs to be educated on every little thing that may be happening.

Some days, it DOES feel unfair. That’s just honest to goodness truth. But I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: everyone has hard things. Life is FULL of unfair circumstances and situations. Nobody is immune to trials. We all have them and we all have to learn how to overcome them or learn how to continue in our daily lives with them. I’m reminded every single day that I do not have babies. That’s just a fact of my life. I wake up every morning around 7:00am with a full night’s sleep. To a mom THAT may feel unfair. (Because honestly, when was the last time they had a full night’s sleep?) I also wake up next to Parker every morning. To someone who is unmarried but wanting to get married THAT may feel unfair. What I’m getting at here is that frankly, life just isn’t fair for anyone.

Sometimes our struggles are internal because they are supposed to help US grow. They are supposed to help US be more compassionate. They are supposed to help US become better humans. And then once we know better, we need to do better.

At some point in the last three years (I honestly don’t remember when), I realized that I was a bitter, angry, tiny little human. I didn’t pray. I hated going to church. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I cried daily. I couldn’t remember when the last time I didn’t have a headache was. I would get SO upset when ANYONE posted ANYTHING about pregnancy or motherhood. All of the Facebook Groups and people I followed on Instagram about Infertility only magnified, encouraged and validated my behaviors and feelings. I would get so offended any time Parker would try to help me be happy. As you can tell, I was real joy to be around. And then one day, after snapping at Parker and going to our bedroom to sit in my bitterness, it was brought to my attention that I really did not like the person I was becoming. I realized that I needed to change my tune from “you’re a terrible person because you just don’t get it,” to “hey, you’ve probably never experienced this before, let me help you.”

I decided that I was going to try to make a big change and shift in my behaviors and emotions. I decided that I would congratulate people on their pregnancies-- like REALLY, truly and genuinely congratulate them. I decided that I would write out my negative feelings in my journal or on my phone and then leave them there. I decided that I would educate people on what is actually happening and what the processes are instead of acting like they should just know, when in reality, sometimes I don’t even know. I decided that I would post things that anybody could read (including the boys that I served my church mission with) and not feel weird (aka no needles, no shots, no talk of ALLLLLLL the happenings of my doctor appointments because, ew. gross.). And most importantly, I decided that I needed to enjoy my journey and make my journey enjoyable. For myself. For Parker. And for those around me.

Before I finish. I AM NOT PERFECT AT THIS. I don’t feel like an inspiration. I don’t feel adequate. But I do feel passionate about this. And because I feel passionate about this, I’ve chosen to act on my decisions. Every day, I have to recommit to being happy and choosing to be happy. Some days are better than others. But I’m trying. And that’s what counts. All I know is that I don’t want to look back on this phase of life and think, “Gosh, I was just too happy. I wish I would have been more sad.”

Why We Chose To Do IVF

Since announcing that we would be doing IVF in 2019, I’ve received a few questions about how we came to the decision to do IVF.  Before going too much further, our plan was always to do IVF at some point. our doctors recommended timed intercourse and IUI first, so we did those as more of checklist steps to get to IVF.

Read More

ijourn: chapter 3: IVF

At the end of 2018, we decided that in 2019 we would continue to try to grow our family. We were given a great opportunity from our Fertility Center to participate in a clinical trial in 2019 which would cover some of the costs of IVF. We are really, really excited to participate in this study and are hopeful that the IVF cycle will help us get closer to bringing Baby Banks earth-side!

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We are so excited about doing IVF, but if you remember from my Open Letter to Family Asking When We Will Have Kids, IVF is not cheap. Participating in the Clinical Trial will offset some of the costs, but we will still be required to pay for the remaining cost. We don’t feel comfortable asking for people to just donate money, we believe in working to earn our money. SO where I’m going with this— I’m excited to announce that we’re going to be doing a Fundraiser to raise the money necessary to be able to participate in the IVF clinical trial this year.



Here’s what’s gonna happen: remember those mini sessions I’ve been wanting to do for a while? Well, they’re going to happen & here are the details!

friday, january 25, 2019
20 minutes
30-40 edited images
Location: Saratoga Springs, UT*

saturday, january 26, 2019
20 minutes
30-40 edited images
Location: Saratoga Springs, UT*

All of the profits from these mini sessions will go straight to our Infertility Fund.
*Address will be given after booking your session

We are so, so, so grateful for all of your support and love over the last three years. We would not have made it this far without you. To book a Mini Session, email, send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, or send either of us a text message! We can’t wait to see you at your Mini Session!

If you are not able to help us financially by booking a Mini Session, we totally understand. (Obviously, we’re in the same sitch, so no worries!) But we would appreciate it if you would share this post or the mini session graphics below with your friends and family! Spreading the word and helping us find people who would be interested in booking a Mini Session is so helpful!

You are the very best. We can’t wait to update you on our IVF Journey!

2019 Word of the Year

It feels like January was forever ago, but it also feels like January was a month or so ago. 2018 flew by in a flash but was also drawn out for what seemed like 5 years. But I think that’s because a lot of things happened. There were (as always) lots of changes, fun things, hard times and exciting things. We loved 2018, but we are so, so excited to ring in 2019!

Last year was my first year having a word of the year and I loved it. My 2018 word of the year was Intentional. I like having a word of the year because instead of setting a bunch of goals that I won’t actually get done, I just have to remember my word and it helps me get back on track to my overall theme of the year.

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This year, the word I’ve chosen is LIVE. While I’ve been thinking about the word live, a few goals I want to keep in mind over the year are:

  • Be more alive in my photography & personal Instagram posts - I want to create images that help me feel alive

  • Create a healthier lifestyle - Eat out less & try yoga - obviously to live longer

  • Get out and LIVE. I want to explore more this year & do fun things that we’ve been putting off.

  • LIVE DEBT FREE. I can’t wait to live debt free. We’ve been working on our budget for the last few months and we’re excited to continue tackle our debts. We might not get to being completely debt free, but I hope we’ll get close!

I’ve been feeling so, so, so excited for the new year the last few weeks because for the first time in a long time, I’m very hopeful about the future! I’m so excited about what 2019 will bring. This is my year. I can feel it in my bones. I’m excited to create. I’m excited to build my business even more. I’m excited to continue in our Infertility Journey. I’m excited to get out and LIVE.

What is your word of the year for 2019? Are you making goals this year?