10.28.2016

Vote for Baby Harry Potter!

Hey All! Happy Friday!

A while ago I submitted Lorelai's photo for a local photo competition dressed as Harry Potter and kind of sort of forgot about it until today. The prize is a $250 gift card to Toys R Us which may not seem like a lot, but for a single income family it will really help us give Lorelai a great 1st Christmas.



I've mentioned before that unfortunately, we aren't making any money going "viral" and while the exposure has been so wonderful and we are so appreciative, it would be so nice if we could ask everyone to visit this link, select her photo, and click on the heart above the photo's description. You can vote once a day and the contest ends October 31st.

VOTE HERE!

We continue to appreciate all of the support and positivity everyone has gone out of their way to share with us and thank you so much in advance for helping us out. Lorelai thanks you most of all :)

Have a great weekend!!

10.27.2016

That One Time We Went Viral

Well, it's been a crazy couple of weeks to say the least. I haven't blogged as much as I should because I've been googling my name nonstop fielding all of these press inquiries and enjoying the wonderful things everyone has said about Lorelai. Unexpected would be the second word I would use to describe our situation, badass would be the first.

It never crossed my mind when I took these pictures that this would be the end result. I just thought I would have some fun moments to share with our family and friends to remember her at 3 months old. I imaged showing them to her when she was older and laughing at how adorable she was and listening to her complain about me taking photos of her dressed as a boy. I never expected I would have articles from Huffington Post, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, AOL, Daily Mail, Babble, Hello Magazine, Women's Day, and so many more I can't think of off the top of my head, to accompany these images.

I'm still waiting for my call from The Today Show and Ellen. I'll continue tagging them in every post on my social media until they call me. Lorelai is interested in visiting both coasts to talk about her success ;)

Where you at KLG and Hoda?

Sadly there's no money in going viral (the question on everyone's mind!) so unless I get a surprise check from the press agency, the media has made all the money and I am still dreaming of the days when I shopped at Target once a week for fun.




It's been a slow week for me otherwise, I didn't schedule any sessions last weekend because we stayed at my sister-in-law Holly's house for her Halloween party. We dressed as The Flintstones and Lorelai was the most precious little Pebbles you ever did see (total Mom bias but whatevs).



I finished the night sober, yet still covered in jello shots all over my white shirt. Sometimes I can't tell if I'm winning or losing at life.

In somewhat exciting news, I've started a mentorship with a local photographer to gain more insight and knowledge into how to build a successful business, market appropriately, and attract new clients. I'm ready to really dive into these topics and work toward being successful and establishing myself in this industry. The viral thing will be over before we know it and I need to build a good foundation for long term success. More to come on that later!

Lastly, it's almost time to decorate for Christmas in the Glover house. Things have been delayed a couple of weeks due to our decision to redo our hardwood floors. I can't wait to photograph my house when it's finished and share on the blog what kind of crazy Christmas people we are!


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10.18.2016

Baby Cruella de Vil - A 101 Dalmatians shoot with Lorelai

I mentioned last week that Lorelai hit the five month mark on October 12th and it's crazy how every day she becomes more and more independent, mobile, and vocal. I take pictures of her every month to document her growth and personality, and I love doing themes. We've done Minnie Mouse, Harry Potter, Ash Ketchum from Pokemon, and now for October I chose 101 Dalmatians.

I joked when I was pregnant with her last October that for her first Halloween I would dress her as a puppy so she could be one of the dogs. In keeping with that theme I decided to elaborate on it and dress them all up. I love Disney, and I love 101 Dalmatians, so it seemed like the perfect choice for the month of Halloween.












I made her *my* version of Cruella de Vil for obvious reasons. Girlfriend loves doggies and would never wear real fur, or have crazy ass hair and green eye shadow.

When the Daily Mail and Metro articles came out with her Harry Potter pictures, a woman commented that, "Children are not toys!" I wanted to comment back to this woman and stoop to her level, but decided against being crazy, overprotective Mom. While I don't have to explain myself to her, I thought I would explain myself here just to give a little clarity on why I do it and what it means to me.

Bradley and I went on our honeymoon to Cabo San Lucas in July of last year. I just knew, and I don't know why or how, but I knew I was going to be pregnant by the time I got home. Part of our trip included staying in Houston with my SIL, and after we went horseback riding one afternoon I came back and had some spotting which, according to my calculations, was implantation bleeding. I didn't need a test to know I had a little souvenir from our honeymoon already growing inside me.

When we got back home I waited two days and took a pregnancy test that I could barely read at 5:30 in the morning. I woke up Bradley and had him look to be sure. There was a tiny, faint line. We were so ecstatic. I made him go to Walgreens and buy the digital tests just to be sure we weren't seeing things and they were both positive. Now, these tests and my hospital wristband are all I have left of this baby that never got to be.

After my miscarriage I was both devastated and determined. I was going to be a mom and I was going to give my husband a child. 5 weeks later, I took a cheap dollar store test at 10:08pm right before bed (defying all conventional wisdom that says you should do it first thing in the morning) and there was my 2nd BFP (big fat positive in pregnancy forum talk).

It's hard to rationalize my grief over my miscarriage and my love and adoration for Lorelai at the same time. I could never have had both children, and only one was meant to make it earth-side. God had plans for us that we didn't understand at the time and we could only place our faith in him and wait to see what he had in store. I will never forget about the baby I never got to hold in my arms, and I'll live my life always wondering who they would have been. But with Lorelai, I can hold her, kiss her and hug her. I can show her the world and teach her the importance of love and compassion. I can share her beauty, silly personality, and contagious smile with people, and when they look at her pictures, for a moment they are taken to another place. A happy place where the beauty and innocence of a child in cute costumes and funny poses makes you forget about your problems and how ugly the world can be.

Because that's what she did for me. Her existence helped me get back to my happy place after our loss. She doesn't fill that void or replace that child, but she put me back together and continues to shape me into a better person each and every day. I want other people to experience her inner light and magic. The themes, the costumes, the props and set ups, it's all secondary to her beauty and perfection. Those things capture your attention, but her spirit captures your heart.

So this is why I take so many pictures of my daughter and over-share these images any chance I get. Because I believe she makes the world a better place just by being in it. When I was pregnant, I would pray for her every night and ask God to help her grow and become someone who could change the world in whatever capacity he saw fit. Maybe this is it. Maybe her ability to captivate and connect in photos is her God given way to spread happiness and hope. I am amazed by how many people go out of their way to tell me how beautiful she is and how happy seeing her pictures makes them on a daily basis. It's nice sometimes to get on social media to see a pretty picture and read a cute story instead of always being consumed by all the negativity and destruction the world has become plagued with.

I am just a mom like most of you, who loves her daughter more than life itself. I am so proud of her, so amazed by her, and so in love with her. She is perfect to me in every way.




10.17.2016

Weekend Recap and Some More Amazing Fall Family Photos

This weekend I originally had 3 sessions scheduled, which I was so excited for. I enjoy being busy :) However, one family ended up cancelling last minute, which freed up some time for me to stay and enjoy my friend Kristi's baby shower on Saturday. I haven't seen Kristi since her wedding last December, as she's relocated to Germany due to her husband being deployed. She's due in February with their first son and I am so happy for her and the new addition to their already adorable family!


I never get to see my friends since we're all busy being grown ups and moms, so it was nice to spend some time with them, sip a mimosa, and enjoy celebrating Kristi and baby Conner with some of my favorite people!

The first shoot I had this weekend was with the Dowds and Scott families. Megan and Bryan are my next door neighbors, they put up with my dogs making themselves at home in their garage and yard and get to listen to my glowing personality when my windows are open. Bless their hearts. Together with Megan's sister Lynette and her family, along with their Father Will, we met up in the drizzle and wind for their session. Despite being subject to these elements, the pictures turned out beautifully and the colors were amazing. Something about the mood and color scheme of this session definitely makes it one of my favorites!











 I also had a session with the King Family. Mom Melissa had wanted me to shoot their family photos last year, but we ended up canceling due to snow. I was glad we finally had the opportunity to meet up, and her family did not disappoint. This weekend was the first time I've had back to back sessions with no small children and it was such a change! I'm so used to having to talk in funny voices and fake sneezes that it was a little out of my element to deal with teenagers for a change! Despite it being 80+ degrees and humid, you could never tell in these beautiful portraits!














10.12.2016

Things I've Learned At 29 (Photography and Life Related)

Lorelai turns 5 months old today, and for some reason this has made me both incredibly emotional and at the same time nostalgic. It feels like we just brought her home, and now she's sitting up all by herself, testing out baby foods, reaching for us, and giving kisses. She has changed our lives in a way that I have observed happening to other people, but not until I experienced it for myself did I ever truly understand. My life in general has changed so much in the last year, and as I approach my 30th birthday in January I've found myself reflecting quite a bit on my journey thus far in terms of where I've come from and where I'm going.

I like lists. Like a lot. I probably mention that on my blog more times than necessary but it's worth repeating. In light of my reminiscence and list-lovingness, I've decided to comprise a list of a couple things I've learned at 29, and then share a little bit about what I'm looking forward to at 30. Let's go!

1. Confidence. It didn't occur to me until recently that I have lived so much of my life with low self-esteem. It's crazy because right now, I feel the most confident I've ever felt. I still haven't lost my pregnancy weight, and while I admit I do complain about it, I'm not torn up about it either. I conceived, created, nourished, and delivered a human being. I am breastfeeding her too. My body has/is doing some pretty amazing things. Sorry I'm not sorry right now for being overweight and still confident in myself and proud of all that my body continues to do! I also finally found the confidence to pursue work in Photography and to put myself out there, sink or swim. It was a decision I mulled over for years, and one day decided to jump. My fingers are still crossed :)

She loves the camera I promise.
2. I can do anything I set my mind to. When I got my first DSLR camera four years ago it just felt right in my hands. I was determined to learn everything I could about how to use it, and hoped someday I would get the chance to use it full time. When Lorelai was born, I had the perfect opportunity to do so, and with her as my favorite subject and inspiration, I'm here now booking sessions and working to make this happen! If I really want to do something, the only person holding me back is me. I have to say, it's funny for me to look back at the pictures I used to take in the beginning and how they compare to now because you can see the contrast between my very entry level skills and my present intermediate level skills.. I decided I wanted to take myself to the next level and I worked at it, and will continue to do so as well.

3. I feel more authentic because of the two points above, both in work and at home. When I worked in an office I devoted so much energy and attention to that place, when I came home I had nothing left to give. Now I can honestly say I am happy and at peace with my life. I am confident in my choices and my future, and I can follow my dreams and do amazing shit. Life is so good.

4. My style. In the beginning, I made all the noob mistakes someone could make with their photos. I edited images using selective color, I added way too heavy vignettes, and I used filters that were so unnecessary and distracting. The biggest thing was not always nailing my focus. Thinking "soft" pictures were cute and "dreamy" instead of amateur. Style is such an important factor in Photography, and once I got the basics down, I was able to really give it the attention it deserves to get to the next level. I spend a lot of time looking at other Photographer's work. I feel like I learn so much about how they compose images, the way they use lighting, the focus and presence of their subjects, etc. This in turn helps me look at my images with a new set of eyes to evaluate what I need to work on and how I can continue to nail down the look and feel of my images that is entirely my own. In my actual life, my style has evolved and matured as well. I feel like I've gone from Khloe Kardashian (when she was a thicky-thick girl) to Kris Jenner.

This picture is the first time I wore a bra in approximately 4 months.
5. I am a damn good Mom. I always kind of knew I would be, I have had a lot of experience with children. But the difference between my prior experience and real life is, I don't get to go home at the end of the day. I'm a Mom 24/7 now. I had fears while I was pregnant that I was too selfish to be a "good mom" because I loved laying in bed all day on a Sunday binge watching Netflix and spending $200 a week at Target just for fun. Now that both of those things are not realistic for me, I find that I don't really miss them, and what they've been replaced with is so, so much sweeter. I can still spend $200 at Target though, so don't get it twisted. I am still "me" but just a way better version than I was before I had Lorelai. She brings out the best in me and I truly feel she is what has helped me to come so far in so many ways.

My child is perfect!
Like A Boss
In these last three months of my 20's I'm going to focus on my plans for the coming year:

  • Deciding how I can share the world with my daughter and give her positive learning experiences and more love that her little heart can take
  • Being a better, more patient wife to my husband who works so hard for us
  • Building my business, attracting more clients, continuing to develop my skills and style

But most importantly, I want to continue to focus on the things I discussed above. I want to remain confident, focused, authentic, and at the same time continue to better myself as a wife and mother. I really do believe anything is possible, and it's never too late. My 20's were a time where I learned a lot, both good and bad, and found myself. My 30's are going to be a time where I begin polishing up my positive characteristics, and little by little working to absolve the negative. I'm excited for what life will bring me next, and I'm very grateful for where it's already taken me.

Whew! Sometimes it's so nice to reflect and sort of take inventory of your life. It's therapeutic to give yourself credit every now and then instead of being your own biggest critic. As women, so much is expected of us in so many ways. I've decided not to accept those expectations, and instead to create my own.

I still can't believe my baby is 5 months old today. And as she sits in her Minnie Mouse walker and complains about having pushed all of her toys on the floor for the 20th time since I started writing this post, I love her more than ever before and I thank God and 29 for the gifts I have been given.

10.10.2016

The Daily Mail and An Apple Orchard Family Photo Session

A while ago I had posted about my daughter's 3 month pictures I took of her dressed as a Baby Harry Potter. They are some of my favorite images and they ended up attracting a lot of positive attention on my Facebook and Instagram pages. I received an email from a press agency in the U.K. wanting to do a story about them and of course I obliged.

The story got picked up and published online by The Daily Mail and Metro, two very popular publications in England.





Despite them saying I was from Chicago (I never said I was, but they along with the rest of the world think if you're from Illinois you must be from Chicago), and at one point they referred to me as Layla (I ain't even mad, ya'll), both articles are still something I am very, very proud of. Obviously I am not the best photographer in the world, yet. I don't have a large following and my calendar isn't entirely booked. But they reinforce to me that I am doing something right to gain this type of recognition. I have unique and creative ways of displaying my subjects, I am fully aware of how to use my camera (and desperately have outgrown it and need a new one *hint hint Bradley*), I understand the concepts of lighting, composition, and focus, and I am getting better and better with every session at telling my subject's story in a beautiful and compelling manner.

This entire experience for me was essentially a confidence booster. It is another of a long list of things I am grateful for in my life, and it reaffirms for me that I am going in the right direction and the choices I have made thus far are helping me to grow and prosper in this career. I loved being able to tell my friends and family about it, and was overwhelmed by the response I received from both Facebook and Instagram as well. I can only hope these are the first of many times my work will be published in the mainstream media :)

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I had the opportunity to do a shoot over the weekend at an apple orchard, and (I know I say this a lot) but it's probably my most favorite I've ever done. Amy is my sister from another mister. She and her husband Paul and their daughter Olivia were my first paying clients many years ago when I first started out, and have loyally stuck with me through all these years. They are some of my favorite people and they are always open to whatever crazy ideas I might have.

I've been focusing more and more on the business side of Photography and how I can better myself and my services in terms of the overall experience. I have a lot of things going on in the background right now, trying to create my own personal style guide to share with my clients and also a Q&A to help me get to know them better before we actually meet up to shoot. Amy had asked me for advice on what to wear and I took advantage of the opportunity to put together style boards of the three of them. While they were intended as suggestions, Amy literally went out and bought everything on them and they looked amazing. We also initially planned to shoot in another location, but I have been tossing around the idea of using an orchard in my head for a while now and they were all for it! Their entire session was so much fun and I'm sharing more images than I normally do because I can't get over how incredible they all are :)