12/52 Welcome Éowyn Olivia

2015-04-07_0007So I missed last week’s and this week’s 52 post because we were a little bit busy… HAVING A BABY!

She came fast and furious March 30 and we are so grateful despite the fact we were a bit surprised 🙂

We are home and adjusting well and Lalo is doing great being an awesome big brother!!! 🙂 2015-04-07_0002 2015-04-07_0003Lalo loving his new easter undies 🙂 2015-04-07_0004 2015-04-07_0005We have the best light in our house 🙂 2015-04-07_0006



11/52 Window Light: Seen Differently

Any photographer worth their weight in beans will of course tell you their love and passion for natural light.  Adding light is definitely a skill that is necessary to call oneself a professional but there is something so lovely and simple about natural light.

Personally I always look to use natural light and window light first when shooting indoors because frankly adding light takes physical effort (i.e. setting up light stands and putting my lights together 😉 ) but I also find most of my clients are much more *comfortable* with natural light.

But alas not all natural light is ‘perfect’ for an entire session.  For instance this photo is lit very naturally with the windows behind me (in front of Andrea and Chris) so that they are lit evenly with beautifully diffused light.  We really enjoyed recreating this fun shot from one of their past vacations.  2015-03-23_0004But this image in front of the fireplace  doesn’t lend itself to anything artistic.  Not a bad photo, not poorly lit… just not super interesting lighting wise and not something I would want to give my clients as a ‘finished’ project.  But instead of setting up my light stands yesterday I decided to try to use available light just differently! 2015-03-23_0005So I had Andrea and Chris move to the couch and took these images with windows in front of them at a 45 degree angle to give it a more interesting look and dimension.  2015-03-23_0002 2015-03-23_0003And then when I walked around in front of them I was able to capture this image

2015-03-23_0006 A nice bright image with more beautifully diffused light.  🙂

You can also use window light to take some detail shots to give a nice bright look and make diamonds look super sparkly 🙂 (or baby toes… or toddler smiles… 🙂 )

2015-03-23_0001So if you are ever feeling like your images are looking lit the same way over and over and over maybe try looking from a different angle.  Moving the subject closer to the window, further away or simply placing the light source in a different location! 🙂  It’s worth a shot! 🙂 😉 (pun intended! haha!


run often, smile more!
Amanda 🙂

10/52 Spring Light

So today’s 52 post is brought to you by SPRING!!!

You guys, it is REALLY here! (For now!)  And not only have I been enjoying it thoroughly with Lalo and the pups out walking and soaking up some much missed Vitamin D and fresh air but I have been SO blessed to have shoots planned for these GORGEOUS days!

This past weekend I had a gender reveal shoot (going to hit the blog this week!) AND an engagement session that thankfully we rescheduled due to sickness.  You see on the day we were supposed to do Anna and Mike’s session we had this beautifully softly falling snow and a ‘warm’ 32 degrees.  On that day I was bummed because for our winter that WAS a nice day!  But then, this happened.   2015-03-16_0001Seriously.  Not only was it a BALMY 55 degrees it was sunny.  And the angle of the sun in the spring here in Michigan is To.Die.For.  It is like the fall light.  But something about this amazing spring light is just so much more rewarding after our hard winter!  2015-03-16_0002So while I had an amazing couple! (Which I will do a more indepth blog with more images from this shoot soon!!)  I hope you can drool over this beautiful light with me.   2015-03-16_0004Because I can just not get enough! 🙂   2015-03-16_0006Soft light, warm air, a great couple… beautiful location!  I could have died and went to photographer heaven! 2015-03-16_0007 2015-03-16_0008 Hope you enjoyed this set as much as I did!! I couldn’t choose just one to show off the beautiful light we had yesterday!  More beautiful images from this shoot will be coming soon on Anna and Mike’s own blog post 🙂

Hope you all have a GREAT day and enjoy this 70 degrees we were promised today! EEK!

run often, smile more!
Amanda 🙂

9/52 Snow and Ice


So I am not a huge fan of winter and this one has been of little exception.  However, recently we have had some pretty exceptional weather that has made much of EVERYTHING appear to be like a frozen lake.  It was one of those unique situations that despite my feelings towards winter I could appreciate the beauty.  2015-03-09_0001My parents graciously agreed to watch Lalo overnight for us to celebrate Rico’s birthday and we decided to go out photo hunting together Saturday morning in some rural areas to capture the snowy ice.  The weather was mostly cooperative but we wish we could have gone out earlier or at sunset.  But we loved the time spent together and hopefully we can do it again!  2015-03-09_0002When we were shooting I was envisioning sharing the images in Black and White but I do love the colors in the photo above too!

Hope you love them and cannot wait to get some more images as SPRING comes! 🙂

8/52 February Lighting Challenge

So Part of the 52 challenge is the monthly ‘Lighting Challenge’ where I try out a new lighting technique.

A few months ago I was approached to capture some images for a friend’s album she is prepping to release.  Both her and her husband are super talented and creative so we stuck our brains together and took the afternoon in Detroit at the Russell Industrial Center and had some fun!  These are a few of my favorites!  I can’t reveal all of them as of yet as they need to keep them for their campaign but I am stoked to be a part of such an awesome project with amazing people!  THANK YOU! 🙂  2015-02-24_0001 2015-02-24_0002 2015-02-24_0003 2015-02-24_0004

7/52 Dust & Discipline.

The last several weeks I have been trying to practice the skill of discipline.  Discipline can be defined many ways and while most often I feel like it has negative connotations it is actually a necessary life skill.  Since becoming a mom I feel like I’ve learned a lot about discipline.  Both in attempting to discipline myself (they say imitation is best form of flattery… until it is your toddler imitating your worst practices you never knew you had!!!) as well as learning what it means to discipline our son.

Recently I have been attempting to foster some equilibrium between living with discipline and living present in the moment.  As someone who longs for a balanced life AND checked-off to do lists being a self employed photographer and mama has certainly thrown me some curve balls.

For starters, it doesn’t always seem like I’m making any headway… in anything.  I feel like some days I want to celebrate that we are all clothed in clean(ish) clothes and that we ate (reasonably) healthy food for the day.  I am sure we all have (many) days like that but thanks to the glories of social media we often wind up hunkered over the counter playing the social media comparison game by 3pm wondering what time is reasonable to begin the bed time (torture) routine and crack open some wine and just give up.

I stumbled upon this awesome article on Ann Voskamp’s blog a little bit ago that has been really on my heart and motivating me to look at life a bit differently.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you take a moment to check it out.  The quote that jumped out at me the most was this:

“The pattern in everything is this: the greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain—things you must force yourself to do when you don’t feel like it—while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are as inviting as couch cushions.”

Sometimes you just have to put your big girl panties on and do it.  Even when you don’t want to.  Even when it’s hard.  And always when there is something to do that seems easier or more enticing.

Another awesome quote from a similar post on her blog is “Fire your perfectionism and your procrastination will quit too.”

Last week I had a professional photographers worst nightmare happen.  My hard drive died and we found out much of the information was corrupted on that drive.  Through amazing people at the Learning Center Ann Arbor (if you have a MAC I would *HIGHLY* recommend them!!!!!!) I found out that all of my information will be saved (YAY! *deep sigh of relief*) thanks to their awesomeness, my obsessive backing up… and God’s grace!! But I haven’t had a machine for more than a week now and that has made me even more hyper aware of how I am spending my time.

What I have learned in this past week is just how much we rely on things that yes, are important but are absolutely not the cornerstone of existence.  Despite not having a computer I have been able to take some time to work with a dear friend over the weekend on getting our businesses in order, making goals for the coming year and learn about living intentionally.  Has it been convenient, not exactly.  But we put on our big girl panties, did the hard work anyways and now through discipline (I really like that word this post… 😉 ) I will have to implement what we have talked about at a later time when it is (most likely) not convenient.  And that is ok.  That is *real* life.

I wasn’t really planning on ‘giving’ something up for Lent because I prefer to try to do something for lent instead.  But after thinking about where I spend my time and seeing how different life is when I have to make conscious choices of how (and where to work).  I have decided I am going to be making some huge adjustments in my social media time.  I will be practicing the discipline  of time management and instead of being on facebook or instagram for passing of time I will have specific goals and time limits.  So for the next few weeks it may seem like I am gone but I am still here (and no we did not have the baby 😉 ) I am just choosing more carefully what I allow to influence my time.

They say comparison is the thief of joy and if I am trying to model for our son a more disciplined and intentional life than constantly comparing myself to what others are up to is not giving he nor I the best foundation for success.

So for the next forty days and beyond I am going to try to do one thing a day that I am dreading (yay adult life!!!) as well as fire my perfectionism.  Because through discipline we allow ourselves to live a life more intentionally.  And really, a perfect life really is no life at all.

There may always be crumbs on the table and dust on the mantle but if I am living a life led in love and grace then the people closest to me won’t be seeing the dust and crumbs.  They will be too busy laughing, feeling the love and hopefully feeling inspired to live their life as well.

You only get one life, so let’s use it well.

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This has been a week of snow storms, fevers and a little bit of sunshine.  As a dessert creature I am trying to enjoy the beauty of winter but often it takes a bit of coercion.  One method that was worked really well recently is this little man petitioning snuggles to get warm.   2015-02-08_0002We still find him in our bed many (most… ok ALL) nights but he starts off in his room.  When he asks me to lay down with him to snuggle him I can’t help but say yes.  Some night in the future he won’t need me anymore to get warm but for now I will enjoy our snuggles.  And these toes.  I suppose they aren’t baby toes any more.  But they’ll always be baby toes in my heart 🙂   2015-02-08_0001