I had the pleasure of photographing the Guiney family over the summer when they had just found out they were expecting. So you can imagine my excitement to photograph their maternity/family photography session a few months later!
Kevin contacted me before Christmas asking for a gift card that he could give to his wife, Rebekah, as a very special Christmas gift. It was so much fun to take my normal gift card and add a little holiday touch. Check it out here: https://kelliannejordan.com/2019/11/24/new-gift-cards/
For their maternity session they chose to go to Tumalo State Park where they have enjoyed family dates together. It’s a special place in their hearts which made it perfect for their portrait session!
I always suggest taking photos at a place that is meaningful to you. When you hang your prints on your walls, it’s so amazing to see the scenery that brings back all the memories you’ve enjoyed at that special place. I can only hope that looking at these pictures brings back all the family memories that they have created over the last few years.
When it finally came time for their session, it started snowing. And not the pretty snow that is beautiful for photos, but that slick rain/snow stuff that isn’t pretty and just ruins your hair. So we made a plan to reschedule and it totally worked out. Just a few days later is was sunny and 60 degrees out which gave us this Spring look that completely matched Rebekah’s floral dress.
I just love the sunny glow that created the dreamy look. While we focused on the maternity portraits, I also wanted to make sure we captured all the family photos they were looking for too. In just 45 minutes we stopped time and gave them plenty of joyous and fun memories of this special time in their lives!
To the Guiney Family,
You guys are so much fun to photograph. Thank you so much trusting me with these memories. I can’t wait to meet your little one!
I am a working mom and I love my kids, but there is a reason why I’m not a stay at home mom. For all you ladies out there that do stay at home with your children, more power to you! I seriously don’t have the patience and I love that you do.
So if you are like me and you now have to work from home with your kids, I’ve created a few tools for survival that have greatly helped us and hopefully will help you too!
Let me start by saying, I already worked from home before the coronavirus broke out so making that transition was easy for me. The big change I made in my work environment was moving my office into the spare bedroom that is filled with sunshine. t might seem like a weird move, but since I have limited outdoor time now, I needed to maximize the light in my life. It’s been two days since the move and I already feel a new sense of inspiration.
Now let’s talk about the real changes we made. Before: my typical day started at 7:30a when my kids were off at school. I had quite time to read my bible, pray, journal and listen to God before I started my actual work. I had 4 hours of uninterrupted work time everyday before I picked Noah up from school at 12:30p. It was amazing.
Now, like you, I wake up to my kids and they are by my side the whole day. Day two of quarantine I knew I had to do a few things different to survive. As a creative, I have a hard time sticking to a schedule. I like the freedom of being able to do what I need to do, when I need to do it. But kids thrive with schedules. So I started to pray.
I needed to know what their schedule should look like and what we needed to do to be mentally and physically well to survive. Here’s what I came up with:
7:30a – Breakfast
8 – Yoga
8:30 – Get dressed
9 – Music time
10 – Snack
10:15 – Project time / free play / work
12 – 12:30- Lunch and 20 mins tv
12:30-1:30 – Home improvement project
1:30-2 – Outdoor time
2-3 – Indoor exercise
3-4 – Reading/art
4-4:30- Clean up time
4:30-5:30 – tv and work
5:30-6 – make dinner
6 – Dinner
Caleb helped me put this together and afterwards looked at it and said,” Mom, when are you going to get any work done?”. Well, I have about 2 hours while they work on a project to do my work. I also can work during their outdoor time, during reading time and during their tv time. This gives me pockets of time and breaks up the work for me. I still get about 4 hours of work time everyday and my kids don’t think I abandoned them throughout the day.
If you need to work full time from home, then you will need to double the amount of projects you give your kids and still break it up. They need constant direction. Your 8 hour work day may take all day to get through. If breaking up the day is not an option for you, then you will need to get day care or have someone come watch them. Please do not expect kids to stay away from you if you are home. They still need to care.
So let’s talk about why we made the schedule the way it is. My kids do Cosmic Yoga best when in pajamas so it seemed like a great idea to start the day with it. It also helps to calm their minds and sets the tone of focus for the day. When we have had to skip it because of webinars or other interruptions, the day has been tough. Today was one of those days 🙂
We go straight into getting dressed after yoga because it is important to start each day with getting dressed. I also want to make sure we minimize germs and changing clothing each day helps with that goal. We also all make our beds before breakfast to again, start each day on the right foot.
After everyone has gotten dressed and brushed their teeth we go into music time. Their minds are able to focus on the music now that they have done their yoga and officially started their day. It also helps to reinforce the calmness I’d like to see throughout the day. I teach them bits of how to play the piano and the Ukuele. I am learning right along with them so we do it together. We each have one assignment to accomplish each day.
Which brings me into my main chunk of work time. The kids are given a fun project that they can do after they work on a school assignment. This gives them a goal and a prize and keeps them busy for a chunk of time. -Oh and a snack to get their minds and bodies ready for the work. Typically they won’t complain about hunger again until it’s lunch time. All these things combined give me uninterrupted work time. I give them a special treat at lunch too. They get it taken away if they do interrupt me at all. My mind resets if they interrupt for any reason. I need total focus when I work so they lose out when they break the rule.
During lunch my kids get to watch one TV show. Honestly, this keeps the food at the table while I get another ounce of work done. I eat while I work 🙂
Then we tackle a home improvement project. This gives us a physical project to work on as a team, reminding them that we are in this together. It gives us something easy to do together that gives us a win for the day keeping spirits positive. It also helps get done all those weird little projects around the house. These projects range from putting together a desk for Josh, to painting the laundry room, to organizing their toys to cleaning baseboards. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you all do it together and can get the goal done in one day (make sure they know what the task is and what it looks like to be finished for the day).
After focusing for so long, the kids need to get outside. One reason why I do this later in the day is because I’m waiting for the temperature outside to go up. I’m typically forcing my kids outside. Sometimes they go on a walk with me or my mom and her dog, sometimes they play in the sandbox. I just want them in the sun and fresh air as much as possible. If was more than 50 degrees out on average then I would keep them out longer.
Indoor exercise is a rotation of each kid on the elliptical, then bouncing their legs on the ball while counting my PT exercises. They just have a little fun while I actually try to exercise.
They then go into reading time while I stay on the elliptical. Noah usually finishes his project from earlier since he can’t read.
We spend some time cleaning up toys and sweeping the house to make it look nice each day. This keeps me sane. Also, the faster they clean up, the more TV time they have next.
TV time and work wrap up time is after clean up. Then we move into dinner time. The boys switch off who helps with dinner. We make dinner together, eat and get them ready for bed.
Everyday can change, but the more we stick to this schedule, the more everyone knows what is happening, stays calm and the more work I get done.
I really hope this will help you as much as it’s helped us. We are accomplishing more goals than ever before (like learning instruments and doing home projects). Adjust it to fit your needs! And celebrate the little wins each day!
If you’ve been following me then you may recognize Stephanie from a commercial photography shoot last Spring where she played Caleb’s mom. It may seem weird to have someone else play your kid’s mom in a photoshoot, but it wasn’t weird for me at all. I think it helps that I adore Stephanie!
When Stephanie called asking for info on maternity sessions, I was thrilled! I really am so excited for her and husband to start a new adventure and with twins!! Seriously, so excited!
The main thing they wanted out of the session was to not only have beautiful photos of the two of them and of Stephanie, but also of the gender reveal. These photos are to be the gender announcement to all their friends and family! And with everyone totally online these days as we quarantine together, there really could be no better way to announce the gender of their sweet little babies.
I will say that I’m so happy we were able to take these photos. It was the first session with true social distancing in place and was actually a bit easier than I thought it would be. Typically I stand 6-30 feet away from my clients in order to use longer lenses and get more of that amazing compression and bokeh. Social distancing during a photography session simply meant that I needed to use my words more, rather than moving hands and touching my clients to let them know how to pose. It also meant that I couldn’t help carry their props or pick them up for them. I did feel a little helpless at the session, but for good reason – I needed to keep my couple (and babies) safe, just in case.
Social distancing really didn’t dampen the mood or change much and we were able to keep that minimum 6 feet apart the whole time while having fun and capturing these beautiful winter maternity portraits! I’m really so glad we didn’t cancel. Even in 20 degree weather we pushed through and spent 40 minutes quickly capturing 100 perfect images.
Don’t let the coronavirus ruin your life. You can still have joy and find beauty in the world. You can still celebrate gender reveals. Just look at this amazing couple!
To Stephanie and Will,
Thank you for trusting me to capture these beautiful memories for you! And thank you for coming out in 20 degree freezing winter weather. I hope you guys can cherish these photos for years!!
For all you guys who have followed along, you may know how important this trip was to me. I’ve been waiting 16 years to do a fossil dig. Ever since I read about one in Idaho in the in-flight magazine. I’ve been waiting until my kids hit that perfect age of being able to listen, but still having a love for digging and dinosaurs. We finally hit that stage!
As a reward to myself for working hard over the summer and reaching all my goals, I took the family out to Fossil, Oregon for a real fossil dig. It was a fairly short trip and ended up being absolutely perfect.
It started with a long 2.5 hours drive to Fossil, Oregon. When we got to Fossil we headed straight to the visitors center where we took photos with fossils, dinosaurs and got some amazing tips on how to find our own fossils.
We hopped back in the car to our dig site full of excitement! We finally make it to this place that we’ve been planning on going to for years and it’s super sketchy. If you’ve ever been out to Fossil you know that you park at the tiny high school and dig next to the football field – super weird. But that didn’t stop us from having a blast.
After collecting our tools we went in search for the perfect dig area. We spent 2 hours digging up old rocks and breaking them open to find our special fossils inside. It was very special and so much fun! My boys ended up getting tired before I did (I really could have stayed all day). So we went in search of cold lemon-aid in town.
After our lemon-aid break we headed to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center in John Day. We side tracked a bit and went on random hike to learn more about fossils. Apparently there are a bunch of hikes where you can learn more about the land and they post images and real fossils along the trail. We didn’t get any photos because we had to stop in the middle and hurry back to the bathroom for our little Noah. The museum was fun though!
Our last stop was the painted hills. We’ve seen them before, but how could we not stop there again? My cell phone did a pretty good job this trip to capture our fun! The drive home was filled with old school 80’s and 90’s pop to bug our kids. All in all, an awesome trip that I recommend to anyone!
This week was our pack blue and gold banquet. I always feel honored to be asked to take a few photos at events. Of course I was happy to be there for the kids. It’s a big night for those Cub Scouts moving up to be Boy Scouts and for those that received the Arrow Of Light. I don’t even know all the kids but I still feel so proud of what they’ve achieved. Caleb has only been part of the pack for 2 years and has done so much. I can’t imagine how it feels to be the parents of the kid who has completed the tasks to get to where these kids are. I hope the kids are as proud of themselves as I bet their parents are.
The night went so well and actually finished pretty much on time – a huge accomplishment for those who planned it! There were funny skits, amazing awards and most importantly to the boys, cake and ice cream to celebrate.
Here’s my mom in action! We are fully a Cub Scout family now that my. mom works for the organiztion.
My helpful little Caleb passing out nut order forms.
Oh, the skits! All the kids that did skits were great! I knew what was coming with a few of them and they still managed to make me laugh. So much fun! And if you’ve ever tried to build a pyramid with boys, you know that this was a big win!
Special awards were handed out all night long. I even got a badge (although I’m not sure what it was for – I’m still new around Cub Scouts).
Check out the detail on the Arrow of Light award. One of the dads, Patrick, blessed these kids with these hand made beautifully detailed awards. He couldn’t make it to the event to see them accept them so I tried to take a bunch of photos for him. They really are amazing and he even went out of his way to make sure they had the right colors on them for each of the achievements that boys did (again, I’m not sure I’ve got the technical words down, so forgive me. Hopefully you get what I’m saying and can see the awesome effort Patrick put into these).
These Cub Scouts walked over the bridge to become Boy Scouts. They signed their names to the bridge after to officially be Boy Scouts!
Congrats again to all the scouts who got awards and moved up!
Carrie and I met through a mutual friends at a Bunco night and instantly got along. After learning that she hadn’t had time to find a photographer and take family photo with Hank, I knew we had to change things! Months later (but at least we did it!) we were able to schedule this awesome winter family session at Shelvin Park in Bend, Oregon.
It turned out to be a touch cold with a few flurries of snow here and there, but we still had a good time! We spent most of the session trying to get sweet little Hank to smile for 1 good family photo. Thank goodness Eric and Carrie trusted me enough to keep smiling and not worry about their boy. We kept going and got Hank to play and even had fun looking for fish at the end.
I love seeing families come together to capture this special time in their lives. Even if everyone isn’t in a perfect mood, we can still get some really beautiful moments.
Eric and Carrie,
Thank you so much for keeping those smiles on your faces and trusting me with your family photos. I love how they came out and hope you can enjoy looking back at this time! Todd, thank you for listening, having fun and being a great big bro, even when Hank kept kicking you away. Your attitude was awesome and totally helped things go smoothly. Thank you!!
Alex came home from Germany a couple weeks before the due date to see Ashley one more time as they prepare for the birth of their first born. Sweet little Palmer knew dad was home as couldn’t wait to meet him. Within 24 hours of Alex arriving, she was born.
My favorite thing about being a photographer is being allowed into the lives of strangers to document the most important moments in their lives. I met Ashley and Alex on their wedding day and have enjoyed every minute of getting to know them sine then!
Last year they came out to Oregon for their maternity session. It was totally epic and amazing. Here’s a link: https://kelliannejordan.com/2019/10/24/sparks-lake-maternity/
With Ashley living on the East Coast, that meant I couldn’t be there for the birth or newborn photos of Palmer, but they decided to visit the West Coast so Grandma and Grandpa could meet her.
Of course we had to capture this special time since they won’t be together very often. Ashley and Palmer live on the East Coast while Alex works in Germany so this photo session really was special. Not only is it documenting Grandma and Grandpa with Palmer, but also Ashley, Alex and Palmer together as a whole family!
Ashley and Alex,
You two are an amazing couple! I know Palmer is going to have an incredible life, where ever you take her. I hope this time doesn’t go too quickly for you and I hope you can cherish every moment. Thank you for letting me capture these images for you. I can’t wait to photograph your family again!
Meet the AdvenChair.
What an amazing wheelchair for off-roading adventures! There is no reason to be held back anymore! No longer do people need to miss out on adventures in this beautiful area we live in. This chair is the solution. It’s easy to use and opens up new opportunities like never before.
I got see first hand how this chair works during a family photography session. We took it off roading for photos. We couldn’t have gone to these beautiful places without it!
You can read the fully story behind the AdvenChair here: https://www.advenchair.com/
What a fun family! When your whole family comes to visit and you know it won’t happen again for a long time, that is when you book a photo session. Callie knew that when her niece and nephew came to town that she just had to get adorable photos with the little ones (and of course her parents, brother and sister in law), but we all know the kids steal the show 🙂
These kiddos are so cute! I wish they lived closer so I could photograph those beautiful little faces every year.
Callie and her brother grew up in Bend and even ran into some friends from high school in the middle of our shoot. They are really a great family. With Callie’s dad getting more unable to move around, these family photos are more valuable than ever before. What was so great was that Callie was able to borrow an amazing off-road wheel chair for the session to get dad around. Click here to learn more about the AdvenChair.
If you haven’t been out to Dillon Falls in Bend, Oregon, I’d highly suggest heading out and checking out the trail along the river. It goes right by the falls. My favorite spot for photos is the field. It’s only accessibly for part of the year, and you can’t go too far into it, but it sure is pretty!
We had perfect fall weather for this Dillon Falls family photography session. I love the fall colors they chose for their session too! It screams fall, and yet still can work all year long when they hang these photos in their homes.
Moms always ask, what if my kid cries the whole time? I do have a ton of tips I give to families on how to prepare your kiddo for a session so this doesn’t happen. It includes keeping your schedule the same as always and making sure they get a lot of rest. So, when you drive into town at midnight the night before your session and truly have no control over emotions of your kids, what do we do at the shoot? We shoot anyway. We play, we bribe (yes, bring the candy), we say yes, we make them happy and we shoot a little longer if we need to.
Sweet little Barrett had a rough go at this session, but he totally rallied at the end. Even throughout the session you can’t totally tell that he was crying. The rest of the family helped with him and kept the atmosphere joyful, which can be the key to success. I’m so happy with their family photos and extra glad that Barrett loves M&Ms 🙂
To the Pfister Family,
Thank you for trusting me to take these amazing family photos of your crew. I hope you love them as much as I do! I know you will cherish these for years to come.
When Jenny contacted me, she said she was looking for a simple family session with a lot of candids. She did’t want to to go too far from home with little ones, but was hoping for something beautiful. As soon as she mentioned that they live in Tumalo, I knew the perfect spot for their family session!
The Tumalo Reservoir is an amazing spot to hang out at. My kids love to ride their bikes through the dirt and just take in the beautiful sites. They even came with me and went riding with Josh during the photo session.
In fall, the beach hides as the water drains away. Rather than diminishing the environment, it simply changes to something stunning in a different way. We were able to walk down into the reservoir for big meadow photos.
We started their photos on the beach under the huge Juniper tree. I love how the light filters through the tree branches to give just a kiss of sun to the Bottorff family. After that, we ventured out into the big meadow, and then back into the trails for the more traditional Central Oregon landscape. One of my favorite things about full family sessions is the number of different backgrounds we can play in to make sure we have a ton of variety in the photos. We only photographed for 45 minutes and still got all these fun shots and more!
I also love having special moments with each parent and each child. At this young age, the bond between parent and child is so strong and a just love documenting that sweet silliness!
These kiddos loved being outside and being able to explore. we could barely keep them still! It was so much fun to capture their pure joy.
To the Bottorff family,
I just love your photos! I hope these precious memories always remind you of this time in your life. Kids grow up so fast. I hope you always enjoy these photos! Thank you for letting me capture these special images for your family. I can’t wait to photograph your family again in the years to come!
The Waters’s family connected with me for a family mini session at the field near by. I’m so glad they were referred by neighbors and friends because they were truly a delight to work with! They hadn’t had family photos taken in over 3 years, so it was the perfect time to capture new memories for their crew. We wandered around the field, got chased down by a cat, and relaxed and had fun. I just love these family photos and I know they are going to look amazing in their home!
To the Waters Family,
Thank you so much for letting me capture these memories for you! You guys feel like family and I had so much fun with you guys. I hope you can cherish these special moments for a life time! Thank you!
Are these girls not just the cutest? I seriously can’t handle how adorable these girls are! I’m so happy we made this shoot happen. It was almost scrapped due to unforeseen events but mom, Karla, rallied last minute and came with 15 minutes of sunlight left in the day. We totally made it happen and captured an awesome session of these sweet kiddos and mom!
I just love their white outfits with the white winter Aspen trees at Shevlin Park in Bend, Oregon. Karla asked for a white look and that’s what we created for her! It almost has a spring vibe with the darling strawberry dusted summer dresses.
I’m so glad you made it out the park for this darling mini session! I think it was totally worth it and I know you are going to love these photos for many years. Thanks for letting me capture these memories for you!