What is it like to be a family photographer? In one word? Beautiful. In another? Chaotic.

Let's start with this morning...

...never say you woke up. That's a waste of your time. That's how every day is begun for everyone since the dawn of man.

Robert California, The Office

My husband walked into our room and kissed me on the forehead...

Nick works nights as a semi driver. This morning, I needed to be awake as soon as he got home so I would know whether or not to leave immediately to photograph a birth today. The answer was no...at least not yet! So, he went to go take a shower and then we got to lay in bed together for a full four minutes before our one year old woke up. After getting out of bed, I always start my day by doing normal mom-type things... Emptying the dishwasher, getting breakfast ready, yelling at my son to get off the table and to stop trying to breastfeed the cat, getting everyone a drink, etc. You know, the normal stuff...

After getting my household squared away, I sent the rugrats outside to burn off some energy.

While we live in town, we have a spectacular back yard for kids. Our grass has dead spots worn out from the kids playing as hard as they do, dirt under the swings and the monkey bars, and I think they brought their empty blow up pool into their jungle gym. But, apparently all that we have wasn't enough for them today, we had to break out the bouncy house. While they played outside, I worked on getting my life together. My brain has been so wonky lately. So, I decided to create a checklist of all of the things I do for each client to ensure I wasn't forgetting anything with any of my recent sessions..

My Handy-Dandy Checklist

SO much more happens behind the scenes with a photoshoot than people realize. In all reality, maybe 10-20% of the time put into your family photos actually takes place with YOU present!

"Practice What You Preach..." -The Black Eyed Peas (I think?)

After making my list, I decided to go through the last ten sessions I have had to ensure it was all done and done right. I decided to start sending proof books out. These will be 8x10 books with all of your proofs (lightly edited images) from your session! I thought it might be easier to decide your favorite images by looking at them in person rather than just on a screen! Then when you are all done deciding your favorites, I finalize them and add that WOW factor. So, I ordered a proof book to send out and I am very excited about this new addition!

I finished editing and sent out a few new galleries to families and I officially got caught up on my paid sessions. While I wait for these families to decide their favorite images, my next step is to edit my advertisement photos for my back-to-school photos taking place at the end of next month.

It was time for a break.

After being on the computer for what felt like forever...

I decided to get up and like I tell my kids, get some wiggles out. The kids decided it was a snacks-for-lunch kind of day. The kids were playing SO good for me outside that I decided to have a picnic outside in the backyard. (Is backyard one or two words? backyard...back yard....)

When I went in to get some water for everyone, I learned that the kids were putting snacks into their noses and started a food fight...

There is NEVER a dull day when you have four kids!!

After getting all four monsters kids down to take a nap, I decided it was time to get back to work.

It still amazes me how many hours go into photography. Between editing, blogging, emails, researching, online classes, etc. I spend all day "working". I use the quotation marks because I LOVE what I do and I LOVE learning new things. It doesn't feel like work at this point. I love that my kids play photographer and one day two of them want to be photographers when they grow up. It makes my heart happy that I can be home with them every single day and still go out in the world and feel like I am making a difference in and out of my home.

Next on the agenda is planning my fall minis. I have so many cool photo ideas and props that I am just WAY too excited about. Look below for my inspiration ideas! NONE of these are my photos.

Monday, September 5th, is my first day to run through my fall minis and I am very excited to see how things turn out!

After spending a good part of the day "working", I get to prepare for my kids to start school next week.

We homeschool and are starting school next week! My oldest two are six and ALMOST-five (this Saturday). So, we will officially have a kindergartener and a first grader! It seems crazy to me... So, I spent part of today prepping for the first day of school! I had to create a schedule after looking at their curriculums and organizing their supplies. It is safe to say, we are READY!

Back to work!

I learned how to create proof books and I sent out my very first one! I did headshots last week for the first time for this BEAUTIFUL woman who just got her realtor's license. So, she get's to be my test subject on whether or not they helped her make a decision on which she wants me to finish! Seriously, I love my job. I worked on emails, editing, my website, and my blog.

Then, I made dinner for my family, said goodbye to my amazing husband, scolded my son for jumping a fence... again... Gave the kids baths, did dishes, laundry, ran the vacuum, and we watched bluey for the millionth time... and sent my babies to bed!

Afterwards, I sat down on my computer one more time.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

This is a nonprofit I work with. If you haven't heard of them, look it up. 10/10 highly recommend. We work with the hospital and photograph babies born incompatible with life. I recently received a call from a family requesting my services. While I do not know the family, my heart hurts for them and I cannot get the family off my mind. It's been a while since I prayed this hard. I spent a little bit of time working on some computer training and asking questions to ensure I do the best that I can do. While these sessions are heartbreaking, I know that they are incredibly important.

Finally, I went to bed with a heavy heart knowing that tomorrow I can make a difference in a families life.