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I am an introvert. When life gets overwhelming, my natural instinct is to retreat into my shell. Social media used to be easier even when I felt retreated into my introvert shell, but these days it seems the lines are blurred. When I am stressed or in too much pain, I usually turn off my phone or set it to do not disturb for a little while.
I am having more work done on my spine this week, so I will be mostly retreating into my introvert shell while I recover (I know from the last round that I was in excruciating pain for a while after while I recovered). I will have posts coming through while I rest, but please don’t judge me too harshly if I don’t always respond right away. 😉
Every year in late December/early January, I struggle with feeling absolutely overwhelmed. I’m exhausted from the busiest season for editing always dragging on longer than I anticipate, which happens to usually coincide with my husband’s busiest time of year for his own job, and the time of year when my garden maintenance to-do list becomes the longest.
The past two years I have worn myself down literally to a breaking point (I actually injured my knee two years in a row now while working on my roses…not good!). Two of my biggest new year’s resolutions are to start learning how to keep a better balance, especially when things get busy. I need to remember to force myself to take time to rest, other than when forced by a doctor (this past year, the only days I seemed to rest were when I was recovering from one of my several surgeries I had last year).
I also want to start sharing more about myself through my photos. I feel like so much of the photographer goes into a photo session, so I want my clients to really get to know me before even meeting me.
I tend to be a very quiet, introverted person, and early morning is my favorite time of day. I love the quiet of the morning hours, and it is the time of day when I am at my best. By the end of the day, my problems with my spine tend to wear me down but in the morning I have a bit of a reprieve from the searing pain that I deal with each night.
I am a perfectionist, and large quantities of coffee keep me going. I love to read but lately haven’t made that a priority…definitely something I want to work on this year. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my pursuit of perceived perfection in my work, and I am going to force myself to start actively seeking the beauty in the imperfections of daily life. I forgot how much I love using my more creative lenses, like this particular #lensbaby. It is not perfectly sharp, and I kind of love that. Normally I am strict with myself about every photo being perfectly sharp but the intentional softness of this lens is a refreshing change of pace for me. I definitely need to start playing with it more often.
One of the things I love most about maternity sessions in my studio is that it allows me to pay closer attention to how my client is feeling. A lot of times lately, maternity photography has become about the location, and over the past several years I have started enjoying studio maternity more than maternity sessions out somewhere in a forest or field, or even at the beach (although I do love my favorite little beach spot!).
When one of my clients is having a challenging pregnancy, my studio and my studio garden provide the perfect location. I designed them around my own very challenging pregnancy experiences. So if one of my mamas is not up for a ton of walking, or even needs to stay on modified bed rest for the session, I am still able to provide plenty of options that will be easy on my clients. Because honestly, many times pregnancy is challenging enough, and while you don’t feel great, you still want to document the journey in a beautiful way! I sure know with my first son, I definitely was not up to going on some hike or going to the beach for my photos.
I went through the ringer with my own pregnancies, so I feel like those very challenging experiences have led to me to be more attuned to what my clients are going through. From feeling sick from hormone supplements, to frequent fainting, HG, bed rest, heart problems, blood sugar problems, SPD, and on and on…you name it, I am unfortunately all too familiar. The silver lining of going through all that…I realized I can now very easily spot when a client isn’t feeling well during a session. This sweet mama suddenly started feeling faint during her session and we took breaks so she could rest. I immediately recognized that look on her face…I remember passing out several times when I was pregnant and wanted to make sure we took the session at her pace.
I absolutely love the photos of her next to my flower wall in my studio! Can’t wait to share more. <3
Want more information on our maternity and newborn session options? Please email us here for more info.
I have had a somewhat challenging year in terms of the problems with my spine progressing further. I had several serious injuries in the past and have dealt with chronic pain for many years. Unfortunately, the problems seem to have rapidly accelerated over the past year. Making some changes over the past few months have helped a lot, along with a minor procedure to better manage the pain. However, I need to start being more mindful of the fact that while I may feel younger than my actual age, my spine seems to think I’m about 90 years old. Fun times lol.
So I am making a few changes for bookings going forward. Evening and weekend sessions are particularly grueling for me since those are when my back is the most sore. I rely on that time to recover from the strain of the work day or my “days off” when I am with my two wild little boys all day. My husband’s travel schedule is also set to increase again in 2018, which means even less down time for me to rest my back.
So to plan accordingly, I will be scaling back on the number of openings I have for evening and weekend sessions, which affects family session bookings and offsite maternity sessions. These will not affect sessions that take place during normal business hours, namely newborn and studio maternity. I am not in a race to become the most frequently used photographer in our area, and I am okay with that (now…lol in the past I have been hard on myself and often compared myself to how many sessions other photographers were able to shoot). I actually feel like my problems with my chronic pain force me to focus on more individualized attention for each client without getting too overwhelmed or cramming in too much.
Historically, the fall is the busiest time of year with work for both my husband and myself, so I am often left frantic and stressed out and with two little boys whining nonstop about daddy being out of town. So I am planning now that next year in November and December, when it is peak time for family photos, I will only be offering sessions here in our studio garden and studio. If you are interested in booking a beach, in home, Disneyland, or other offsite family session for 2018, please be sure to book prior to November. The past few years I have found myself spread way too thin and rushing from appointment to appointment, knowing that my kids are already way too stressed out because my husband is missing for a week or two.
I also have recently added an “availability” page on the main site, listing how many openings I have remaining for each type of photo session. You can find this page here. Since I am only booking a limited number of family sessions each month, please note that I am already nearly full through February.
If you are interested in a wildflower session like the one I did with my own boys below, peak time for wildflowers is usually March-April.
Also, I absolutely depend on my pint sized assistant for sitter milestone sessions (my 4.5 year old son), so milestone sessions will now only be offered when he is available to assist me. He is amazing at getting babies to smile and crack up laughing!
I am going to be focusing less on mini sessions for 2018, and focusing more on just my standard workload. I may offer something special and seasonal if all goes as planned in November though! I also have something special planned for Mother’s Day!
Thanks for reading through all of that, and I hope to see you in 2018! If you would like more information on my family session options, please email us here: http://aliciainwonderlandphotography.com/contact-us
It has been a beautiful year! I feel so incredibly lucky to get to work with such adorable little clients. Here is a video I made of some of my favorites from newborn sessions this year, along with a couple of older favorites too.
This sweet family is very dear to my heart! This in home family session was planned to celebrate their new home, after they had gone through some extensive remodeling projects to both the inside and the yard. I love how much their home reflects the personality of their family unit, and it was incredibly special to be able to capture that. Their beautiful home may have even inspired me to order a new couch lol. Don’t tell my husband that was the reason…he may not like the idea of more in home sessions if I come back and start ordering new furniture every time I go to a client’s house. 😉
I absolutely love being able to document young kids in their own little world. It documents these early years in such an incredibly special way.
We finished up the night by turning on a movie on their amazing outdoor projector screen! So much fun.
Want more information on my family session options? Please email us through our website here for more information.
I am always at least a few months or more behind on blogging sessions, and now when I look at little Holden’s photos, it doesn’t even reflect how my studio looks anymore! I have updated and changed all of my backdrops in the past few months, so I left out a lot of the photos from his session. Here are a few of my favorites though from his session!
His garden picture in the little chair is one of my favorite garden newborn pictures…he was such a mellow little guy and didn’t mind lounging in my little chair! This photo and the photo above are a composite photos for safety reasons.
Want more information on our newborn session options? Please email us through our website here for full details.
Alethea and her sweet family met me at my favorite beach spot a few months ago and we had so much fun with their session! Their little guy was a trooper even though the sunset was so late that day.
I normally only offer beach sessions on weekday evenings, timed around sunset (for reasons such as lighting and crowds), which can get tricky for toddlers when the sunset time is late, like in the summer. I love this time of year when the sunset time gets earlier, but it has been tricky lately for me to schedule many since I had a window of time in the early evening that we were without an available babysitter for a bit. Thankfully, my favorite afternoon/evening babysitter is available again during the time when I offer fall evening family sessions, so I have opened up a few more spots for family sessions through the end of November! I also have one weekend spot currently available!
If you would like more information on my family session options, you can email us here for more info.
Jessica met me a couple months ago for her maternity session, and we went to one of my favorite spots down the street from here for part of her session, and then came back to the studio for the rest of her maternity session with her sweet boys!
Other than my garden, this trail is one of my favorite outdoor spots, and I love how it is just a few minutes away from us.
I love getting a variety of looks all in the same spot, just varying use of natural light.
Doesn’t this mama look gorgeous?
I absolutely love my pretty swing chair in the studio for maternity sessions!
Sweet little baby A came in for a 7 month milestone session in our studio garden! Garden milestone sessions are my favorite option for sitting babies…so many options! If a baby is bored in one spot, there are plenty more areas to go check out! Also, my warm and cozy greenhouse is even available for use year round…rain or shine, even in the cooler winter months. Babies will be warm and cozy in there for winter milestone sessions.
I know that babies at this stage put everything in their mouths, so I intentionally plant only edible flowers and grow everything organically for baby’s safety. I know most gardens or outdoor spaces aren’t grown specifically with baby safety in mind!
She pulled herself to a standing position for the first time in my little antique crib! She was so proud of herself! Such great timing to be able to capture an actual milestone for baby during the session.
Baby A wore a mix of clothes her parents brought and options from our studio wardrobe. Want more information on our baby milestone session options? Contact us here through our website for more information.