The Cantrell Family l Tulsa Family Photographer

Want in on a little secret? I'm barely 5'2"...so not really a secret; but if you don't know me in real life yet, then news to you. Because I'm on the shorter side, I carry a small step stool with me to all my shoots. I almost feel lost without it.

On the day of the Cantrell's session I completely forgot to grab it. I was already at our location and there was no time to get it. I hoped Dad wasn't over 6 foot... NOPE. He definitely was at least a foot taller than me. lol! I may or may not had to ask him to stand in a ditch while I was standing on a rock to get a few shots. ;) Other than my height mishap, I had a great time with this sweet family. Lots of love, hugs, and one TALL dad. <3 <3 <3

 

Viola Davis, "Who are you wearing?" l Tulsa Family Photographer

I was watching the SAG Red Carpet Sunday night...bahaha! Just kidding, I was wiping snot from kids noses and making sure my husband didn’t die from “the cancer” aka his man cold. I watched clips of the red carpet on Snapchat and got sucked in by my boyfriend, Ryan Gosling. Le sigh....Sorry, daydreaming. 

Watching seven second Snapchat clips I got to see beautiful people, gorgeous gowns, grand hair, make up and all the pretty things I don’t wear on a regular basis. Seeing those gowns I was obviously curious who made them. I watched (read: clicked through the stars I didn’t know lol) a red carpet video and after watching Viola Davis, I was left wondering...“Who are you wearing?”

I was a little surprised the interviewers didn’t ask every interviewee that question. Shows you how many awards shows I’ve watched lately. But after a quick google, I was vaguely reminded about #askhermore. Where stars and the public were tired of the red carpet reporters only asking “Who are you wearing?” Which I agree...I mean remember the mani-cam from E! ? A camera with the only purpose of showing off manicures. Insert my eye roll here. We all love to have beautiful nails, but the world has MUCH bigger and better things to talk about than celeb nails.

My first thought after reading about #askhermore was, heck YEAH! Ask her more. These people are in front of millions daily. That’s influence. That’s eye opening. That’s a really big responsibility of doing good in the world.  

But I went back to my original reason I was there. Who made Voila Davis’ dress? In the video I watched, the interviewers didn’t ask who she was wearing, and I felt a little pang in my heart; because I know how it feels it be uncredited.

What if she was wearing a dress by some brand new, no one knows their name from Adam, designer. Imagine the how life changing it would be it for that designer to be mentioned even for just a moment. It could launch a career. To have a celebrity endorse you to millions of people! That’s marketing--that’s sales--that’s money. That’s why every one of us works, because you need to make money to live. That’s why giving credit is important. 

Actually, giving credit for any creative is more than just important, it’s needed and it’s the right thing to do. Hair stylists, chefs, designers, make up artists, writers, photographers, artists, the list of creatives goes on and on. But I’m gonna focus from a photographers stand point.

I LOVE when clients share their images--I am thrilled and it makes me so happy. I love it more when they give me credit. It gives me exposure and I am able to get more work. I’m able to stay in business to keep doing what I love and help make my family’s ends meet.  I am always excited when clients share images of their family on social media. When they tag me or even just give me a shout out--I feel valued. That the time I am away from my family is worth it. The way we all feel when we are given credit--no matter what our profession--for the work we have done.

When you share an image of your family that I took, for me (and I’d venture to say most photographers) it’s more than just clicking a shutter. It’s my work, my art, my creative heart, mind and eyes behind that photo. As much of that photo is you and your beautiful family, I put everything of me into making more than a photo--making magic stand still. 

Some creatives don’t need the work or the exposure. But giving credit is still needed and very considerate. You wouldn’t take lyrics or music from a song, and use it as yours to make your own song. People have before...and it’s a big big deal, that hardly ever ends well. 

I’m never going to call out a client for not giving credit--ain’t nobody got time for that! I probably won’t know or see unless I went and looked on every client’s page--again--ain’t nobody got time for that. I’d hope they’d love my images and service enough to tell their friends about me anyway. Or those friends would think to ask “who took your photos?” the next time they were looking for a photographer.

Giving credit is simple. Tag your creative. Ask them how they’d like to be credited. We live in a social media world--we are all self promoting. Giving credit by no means takes away from you. Your beauty, the genuine love in your family, the true emotions are never ever taken away by giving credit to the creative.  

Heck yeah, we are awesome regular people! Who have a lot more to give (#askhermore) than just pretty faces, dressed to the nines, as we walk hand in hand as a family, in a field or in front of a barn, like it’s the happiest we’ve ever been. #familyphotos

By the way, Viola Davis’ dress was by Vivienne Westwood. It was stunning--just like Viola Davis.

xoxo,

L.

So I did a thing...

So I did it. I hemmed and hawed and stressed over it. But I finally entered my photos in Shoot & Share contest. I went "all in" and submitted the maximum number of photos you could enter. It's pretty gut wrenching--for me at least--putting myself out there, and waiting to fail; but I've failed before. So what's another one? I could fly too. I don't expect to place--I mean there was something like 225,000 photos submitted last year. And EVERYTHING was beautiful. 

Here's the fun part--YOU can vote! Anyone can and it gets pretty addicting. And you MIGHT just happen to see a photo from your session too. Check it out!

Voting starts Feb 1st at http://shootandshare.com/photo-contest/

The Wheelus Family I Tulsa Family Photographer

Tis the season for cold & flu. I have been dealing with sick kids for the past couple weeks--amazingly I am the ONLY one in our house who hasn't got sick (cross your fingers)! Not the flu, or an ear infection, just a really (really) gross cold. I'm up waiting for the next kid to cough him or herself awake, I figured I might as well blog!

The Wheelus family were models for me a few weeks ago. They were awesome at getting their wardrobe all together with me--I don't know how many dress options Becky and I texted back & forth lol. The boys were adorable and Becky was gorgeous in the perfect dress!  They were awesome--their sweet expressions just speak for themselves. It was a warm and perfect day to go hang out at Turkey Mountain. Which by the way--I think looks it's beautiful now, I can't wait to see what it looks like in the spring! Enjoy!!

Baby S - Tulsa Fresh 48 Newborn Photographer

Stephanie and I were friends in middle school but hadn't really seen each other since moving/college; so I was elated when she called and asked me to take birth/fresh 48 photos of her second, Baby S. She ended up having a C-section so I wasn't able to photograph the birth, but you can bet I was that creeper in hallway outside of her postpartum room before Mom, Dad, & Baby even arrived! I adore shooting fresh 48 sessions--especially when mom & dad want me to be there before any other family or friends arrives.

Capturing the first time big brother sees baby sister, the first moments grandparents get to hold their granddaughter, ever. Debba holding/kissing Baby S on the forehead is still one of my all time favorites. To quote Ashley Crawford, when she photographed my youngest's fresh 48 session, "they will now know each other their whole lives and yet, this is the first time they've met." What a special time and memory to have and look back on together. <3

Truth tellers

Have you heard of The Blissful Maven? She is this INCREDIBLE fine art photographer. Her work is amazing, beautiful, emotional and down right inspirational. She inspired me to shoot this...

She inspired me to make this...

She taught me how to make this MAGIC happen from a Clickin' Moms breakout...

I mean hot damn, right? If you haven't looked her up yet you should. I'll wait... 

http://www.theblissfulmaven.com

PHENOMENAL, right? I remember when I first started following her work. I was blown away. And almost a little jealous. She must not have kids, I thought. There is no way she can create SUCH beautiful photographs and have kids running around her feet while she's editing. 

But I was wrong. She is a mama. Her self portraits with her children can move you to tears. Which made me feel even worse.  I had this feeling of I must really suck at this because she's basically the photographer version of Beyonce and I can hardly get all my kids teeth brushed in the morning. I.am.failing. 

And why? Why do we do this to ourselves? We are all trying really, really, really hard just to make it through the day. And some of us try even harder to make our lives look more beautiful on Instagram when the reality tells a much different story. That we have it all. That I can work--and being killing it at work; that I have children--and I'm raising them far better than the neighbors; that I can volunteer and donate money to things I am passionate about--but still give my children all the presents they want for their birthday.

It's exhausting. The struggle is real.

Then The Blissful Maven comes back and shines a light on what exactly I'm feeling with a Instagram post: a quote from Annabel Crabb's book, The Wife Drought.

"The obligation for working mothers is a very precise one: the feeling that one ought to work as if one did not have children, while raising one's children as if one did not have a job."

Stings a bit. That's the way I feel; and I think many mother's feel. You want to give your children the world; but also follow your own dreams. Am I away from them too much by working? Am I not showing them the possibilities that are out there by staying home? Not to mention provide for your children, which can feel crushing on a one income family. I think about the teachers at my kids school with their own young children. While they want to see their own kids on their special days, you have a classroom of 22+ kids waiting to see you because it's a special day.

I'll be honest. I don't know how to do it all...I fail everyday. I spread myself too thin and I/we loose. I don't know how to make my work/life/family balance better. I don't know if there is an easy answer or an answer at all. But until I figure it out, I'm gonna put my phone down and cuddle with my kids. When they are asleep, I'm going to hustle my tail off, editing, marketing, blogging, and making pretty photographs. And in between I'll look for the truth tellers, the inspiring people I look up to, and listen to those who need to be heard. Because ultimately, the mom life is a hard one, and while I may not be perfect; my perfect is in front of me right now, and that's all that really matters anyway. 

#wereallinthistogether

#justkeepswimming

xo

L.

The Blevins Family l Tulsa Family Photographer

The Blevins Family! These kids are so full of personality! I love them for it because it makes my job so much easier and I can edit with a smile on my face. We had a blast at their mini session and even had an eagle...?...maybe it was a hawk? heading straight for us. Dad thought it was cool...I was like, "I'm not a nature photographer." Birds are frightening for a reason. So are a small herd of deer close up...or wild turkeys! I mean all the animal life I come across on locations...but I digress.

Thanks Blevins' family for letting me switch up locations last minute and squeeze your sweet littles for a bit! <3

Baby it's cold outside

A little glimpse into our holiday shenanigans. Saying goodbye to our elf, Dash, and a bit of new year's eve. Much love from our family to yours. 

xo,

L.

The Resendiz Family l Tulsa Family Photographer

The first time I met Ms.R I was a mess...like my babysitter didn't show up, I need to bring my kids to our meeting, mess. It was crazy embarrassing. But somehow she pushed that awful first impression aside and decided to let me meet her family. <3

I adore this gal and her family--I mean only the coolest kids share their old Pokemon cards to help brighten a friend's day. ;) Thanks for all you do--we are so lucky to have you in our world.

 

The Riggins Family l Tulsa Family Photographer

I'm gonna pretend like this was no big deal...but y'all...they TRAVELED to me...from a DIFFERENT STATE. Ahh, so awesome. This family is awesome. It was cold and rainy; but they knocked it out of the park! I loved spending time with this bunch, they were all so fun and way cooler than me. Amazingly, the sun came out right as we finished and it was gorgeous! I shooed all the kids away and said, "Sorry guys, this sunset is for mom & dad only!" 

I loved every minute with them! Come back!!

Family photos are about as stress-free as getting to the airport with children

Recently, I've had more clients who haven't had their family portrait taken in years...like six+ years. Talk about pressure. The pause is always for a range of reasons: I wanted to lose some weight, the last pictures were so bad that I don't want to experience that again, CLOTHES, but the one I hear most, is worrying the kids will act up. Of course putting a camera near some kids is like is the equivalent of trapping them in a zombie movie. I know picture day is STRESSFUL, I feel you momma. But I think of picture day like trying to get to the airport on time…and the madness that can ensue.

I was six months pregnant with my youngest when my husband and I were flying with our boys (they were 11 months and almost 4) to visit friends in Florida. I had everything packed, we would be ready to go by 5:20 am. My husband's ONE job was getting both of the boys birth certificates or SOMETHING like that because all airlines are different and require some child identification and traveling with kids and being pregnant is soooo fun. We got up, got ready, just about out the door. Hubs has the tickets, doesn't have one of the boys birth certificates. We are SEARCHING. Frantically. Basement. Lockbox. Junk drawer. Baby books. Nothing, can not find it. If we don't leave now, we will miss our flight. We take the chance and go. BOTH sets of our parents go our house and search at 6 AM, if they find the certificate, they can text us a picture. I'm searching online what the rules are, and calling insurance companies from the road. We're praying the airline just doesn't ask for his birth certificate. All in all, it turned out fine, it wasn't a big deal, we got on the plane. But it was so stressful. 

The night before we were to fly back home, I made some changes. I had the friends we were staying with help give the kids baths, while we got packed up. I knew where all the insurance cards, plane tickets, and birth certificates were--and my husband had a new job: kids travel snacks. It was such a better travel day.

I know kids moods can turn on a dime. But come picture day, plan your day like the airport. Give your child a job or activity that they respond well too. Have a friend/grandparent come help get the kids ready. Have dad be home an hour early so you can get ready in peace or spend some extra down time with the kids if the day isn't going as well as everyone hoped. If you're relaxed, the kids will be relaxed. And your pictures are nothing to worry about because, I got you boo.

Kids being impulsive or uncooperative doesn't bother me one bit. You'd never guess which of these families had someone grumbling before we started their session. I got you momma. <3

Christmas Mini Sessions

Oh.my.goodness. I am not a prop person. I tried to be a long time ago when I first started out--but I did not have it in me to drag a couch out to the middle of a corn field or ask my husband to build a kid sized lemonade stand. :/

But getting out ALL of my holiday decorations I figured out two very important things.

1. This would look real cute in between some pine trees.

2. I have a real problem shopping at Target. EVERYTHING in this set up except 3 things came from the past 2-3 seasons at Target. Want to know what? Good. I'm gonna tell ya! 1-the tiny little sign on the right side; 2. the sled, 3. the classic Caddy (lol). The Cadillac is a whole other story and pretty fan-stinking-tastic about getting it to the location and its ability to randomly honk.

So without further ado here is my set up for my 2016 Christmas minis. I loved creating this set and already have a few more ideas to dress it up even more next Saturday, December 3rd in Owasso, Ok! Shoot me an email if you're interested in a spot.

PS turn around time for christmas minis is just THREE days! I got you covered to get those holiday cards out. ;)

And shout out to my models--they were so awesome!

Real Love At Its Core - Tulsa Family Photographer

Hi! I’m so happy you’re here. My first real blog--I’m honored to have you.

Let’s be honest. Blogs are scary. I mean, you’re putting yourself out in front of the INTERNET. You know, that thing that everyone has access to...yay. I love opening myself up to the world for trolls and criticism--Sounds like fun!

I can’t promise I’ll blog daily (lol--we all know that won’t happen) or my posts will be funny or clever or even spelled well. But this is my work and I’m pretty proud of it. I am enough.

“I am less concerned with doing things correctly than I once was and more concerned with showing up and loving hard.”
-Molly Mahar via Team StrateJoy

Personally, I’m less worried about making perfect pretty pictures; I want to cultivate the love I see in front of me.

So, get some coffee in your favorite mug, your softest blanket, curl up and look at pictures of real love at its core. Here’s some of my wonderful friend Christin and her sweet family. #boymom ;)

xo L.