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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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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. 

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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!)

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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!

MINI PHOTO SESSION INFORMATION

MOMMY & ME MINI SESSIONS - $125
friday, january 25, 2019
20 minutes
30-40 edited images
Location: Saratoga Springs, UT*

STUDIO FAMILY MINI SESSIONS - $125
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.

depression
anxiety
fear
sadness
financial hardships
failure

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.

Two years ago, I would have been like YEAH!!!! BURN THEIR HOUSE DOWN. TELL THEM THEY’RE DUMB AND INSENSITIVE FOR ASKING QUESTIONS. SHOW THEM YOUR MEDICAL BILLS AND BANK ACCOUNTS. SHOW THEM THE NEEDLES WE HAVE TO INJECT OURSELVES WITH. SHOW THEM THE TEARS. BRING OUT THE PITCHFORKS!!!! (okay, that’s a slight over exaggeration, but I was definitely all about being bitter and angry)

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: God is in the details of our lives

hey friends, i’ve been pretty silent around here for the last few weeks. simply because i was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to finish things up at my day job. but i’ve officially had my FIRST WEEK of working for myself full-time and IT FEELS GOOD.

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my stress levels have been a little all over the place. with a few frantic what have i done moments and then some moments where i had to be VERY adult-ish and then the rest of the moments have just been GOOD. it is so freeing to work for yourself. i still have a pretty strict schedule that i have to abide by to get everything done on time (deadlines, man. they are intense sometimes) but i’m so grateful to do what i love and have the freedom to enjoy myself while doing it! i’m VERY excited for 2019 because i get to work with a lot more new bloggers and i will be truly in the thick of my dream job. this is the coolest feeling ever.

as for our infertility journey, we don’t have any new updates to share as of right now. i’ve been doing a 30-day PCOS challenge with my mom and sisters and if i’m being candid: i feel like i’m failing at it. however, the more i think about it, the more i realize i’m doing a pretty good job. i haven’t followed the meal plan (basically at all) because the food it recommends just looks so unappetizing to me, but we’ve followed the diet restrictions pretty well and i’m pretty proud of myself for that. however, i’d like to eat bread again soon.

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christmas (aka my FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR) is coming up quickly and i’ve shared some thoughts on instagram about it. you can read my recent posts here, here, here and here. holidays can be hard, but i’ve made the decision to make a serious effort to enjoy them because, like my friend the grinch says, “there will be no sad faces on christmas!”

we have high hopes for 2019 and know that God is in the details of our lives— helping us and guiding us every day. we are grateful for your love, thoughts and prayers.

hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll have more of an “update” on our journey, but for now, we’ll just enjoy the holiday season.

merry christmas, friends!

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