There is truly nothing I love more than watching my little clients grow up (okay....maybe that's tied with baby snuggles....) and these two have been with me since their newborn session. I cannot believe Jackie and Katie are 2 now! I feel like that first session was just the other day; time truly does get faster and faster every year.
To celebrate this momentous birthday, we had a baking party! Treats were courtesy of The Cake Crafter and the girls loved them all!
Happy 2nd birthday, Jackie and Katie!
Let's face it, 2 year olds are wild cards. Actually, all toddlers are. Those fickle creatures can be super sweet and loving one minute and throwing full blown tantrums the next. So, it goes without saying that I take a bunch of deep breaths a little bit before one comes into the studio. However, this beautiful little girl completely restored my faith (for now...) in toddlers! She was the most well-behaved, cooperative, sweet 2 year old I have ever met! Aria was eager to sit on my stool and look at the camera. Then, once the teddy bear came out, she immediately hugged and kissed it and gave the biggest smiles of the day. We had lots of smiley images, but I loved that mom choose a bunch of "serious" faces too because her sweet little eyes are so soulful!
Limited Edition Sunflower Sessions
Finally all wrapped up with my 2017 limited edition sunflower field sessions! We had amazing, although hot and humid, weather. Here are some more sneak peeks of all the beautiful families and adorable kiddos that came out. I already can't wait for next year!
And, a special thanks to the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance in West Chester, PA for allowing me to photograph at this gorgeous location. If you aren't already a member of the BRC, please please please consider joining. The BRC is committed to conserving our watersheds, protecting natural resources, and inspiring and teaching the next generation. They host many programs and events as well as summer camps too!
Today marks a milestone in Little Blooms, my official 2 years in business. What started as a side job to help contribute to our family, has blossomed into something much larger than I could have anticipated. We are thinking of moving so I can expand my studio/office or I'm looking into renting an outside space instead. So many things to consider. I'm also looking to hire an assistant or someone to help with editing, as I am feeling so guilty about having to turn down potential clients because I'm booked. All of these are AMAZING problems to have, especially after only 2 years, but it still weighs on me heavily. Then, I look at these 2 amazing humans and it reminds me why I do what I do. Blake is such an imaginative little boy, preparing to enter Kindergarten at the end of the month, and Lila, who is smart as a whip, will attend preschool starting in September. The years keep going by faster and faster and as much as I'd like it to slow down, it's just not going to happen. I need to make sure I keep capturing them, despite their protests, because soon enough they will be moody preteens/teenagers, then off to college, and then out of the house for good. I know these years are coming and I don't want to forget their innocence, their sweet smiles, Lila's beautiful curls, and Blake's gorgeous blue eyes. I want my clients to have these same memories in printed images. They are also my why I work. I want them to see that women really can do anything they put their mind to, as stressful as it is sometimes. We also need my income to help support their college funds, put them in sports and activities, put food on the table, and all the other expenses that come with having children.
A big THANK YOU to my husband, for his unwavering support and to EVERYONE who supported me from day 1. Especially those of you who took a chance on a "newbie" photographer. You'll never truly know how much all this is appreciated. Thanks for supporting a small business, and therefore a small family, who are my why.
The M family is doubly blessed - they are welcoming twin boys into their family this fall! Little Maddie is soon going to be a big sister, and what a fabulous one she will be. She's already giving them kisses and cannot wait to cuddle them. I only wish my (soon-to-be) 3 year old was as gentle as Maddie! We will miss this family as they move out-of-state, but I'm so glad I got a chance to capture these memories for them.
My last post wasn't as upbeat about taking my children's pictures, but this time was a different story. Gummy bears after every pose for the win! (Hey, I am totally not above bribery, especially when it works...) These are the images that make my heart melt as a mom - seeing my kids together and being nice to one another (ok ok, so there were some hitting and angry faces involve, but those don't get edited). They don't even need to be looking at the camera, as long as I can tell they are in the moment and enjoying themselves. These were also taken at my FAVORITE place to photograph in West Chester, such background diversity, and an overcast day, which made for the perfect, soft lighting. My schedule is filling up quickly (VERY limited spots left in June and July and October, like 1 or 2 spots each) so if you are planning on outdoor family sessions, please get in touch with me asap so we can starting making memories and creating beautiful art for your home!
Full of Honesty
I feel like there are few things in life more unpredictable than toddlers. And, I can say this because we've lived through toddlerhood once and are currently in the midst of it again. They are seriously fickle creatures, and you just never know what you're going to get, including when you photograph them! My beautiful, sweet 2.5year old daughter is no longer interested in being agreeable or smiling for pictures. She will sit for a second, but she wants a toy, or a flower, or a treat, or then is crying she doesn't want those but rather something else indecipherable, and her "cheese" face has now turned into a fake smile while looking the other direction. Then, she's up and running away as fast as she can. Being able to capture these couple of gems was a struggle and took a whole lot of patience. I think we are going to skip family pictures for a few more years, year 4 or 5 seems to be when they can at least follow directions better, well for most kids anyway. ;) These toddler years full of whining, tantrums, and wanting independence are tough, man!
Also, I thought it would be fun to share with you some painfully honest before pictures and the afters. Normally I only shoot outdoors during the golden hour (the dreamy light is unbeatable!), but when you have a cranky toddler and are trying to scope out locations, you learn to make lemonade from the lemons you get (hello neon grass - yuck!).
It's been a while since I've done a session in a client's home. Ever since I ended up with a herniated disk in my neck, I decide I would no longer be lugging so many props around for newborn sessions. Luckily this momma was totally okay with that and wanted a more lifestyle approach anyway. I never know what to except when I travel, and this was a pleasant surprise! Mom has decorated their house beautifully and all the natural light coming in was AMAZING! A photographer's dream! Not only that, but the girls were ADORABLE and WONDERFUL, mom is stunningly beautiful, and a 1 year old that cooperates, - more dreams come true! I'm pretty sure that had it not been for my daughter's doctor appointment, I probably could have stayed all day and photographed these cuties. Welcome to the world baby Camryn! You are SO loved already!
I am so happy to call this family, friends! I love everything about them and am so thankful they drove hours to come see me this morning for a shoot. They are all beautiful, inside and out, and tons of fun! I hope our kids can grow up close despite the distance between us. I'm also glad both sets of grandparents were involved because when Eli and Owen are older, they will cherish each and every picture they have with their family members.
Amelia - Lancaster, PA
Amelia is off to new adventures! She is celebrating her official adoption, moving to Maine, and becoming a teenager shortly. She is smart, kind, beautiful both inside and out, and will do amazing things in her life - I just know it. I wish you all the best Amelia and I hope to see you and your wonderful family again in the future!
The day I was headed down for vacation with my family, I got a call from a local photog/friend in distraught. The mommy-and-me mini session she was supposed to have that evening got cancelled due to the overcast weather. So, after loading up the car, we booked it to the beach in torrential downpours, and got there before any rain made it. Although it was still overcast and no pretty sunset, I was greeted by these happy, smiling faces and knew it was going to be an awesome session. Just look how beautiful Megan is with her two adorable boys!! And their coordinating, not matchy-matchy, outfits were perfect!
Being in landlocked PA, I have never done a shoot at the beach, but boy am I glad I did. The sand brings out the best in skin tones as there's no green color cast to content with. Hallelujah!! The beach has always been my happy place, and maybe we'll have to start taking extra long vacations just so I can book sessions down there. Anyone up for it next year?! ;)
Photographers don't like to shoot mid-day unless it's overcast because the light is so harsh. Instead, we prefer what is known as the golden hour (an hour before sunset or an hour after sunrise). This time, however, is not always ideal when you have children that have early bedtimes or need help getting ready in the morning. So, I try to tweak it a bit and pretend that golden hour stretches for about 2-3 hours ;) On Sunday morning though, I couldn't have asked for a better "golden hour." My session with this sweet family started at 8am at a local nature preserve and converted barn. The sun provided us with enough light, without being too harsh. Combine that with 3 adorable kiddos and their parents and we ended up with a fabulous family session! Little Emily just turned a year old and has officially "graduated" from my baby plan. I've so enjoyed watching her grow and I hope to see her again in the future. Happy first birthday, Emily, and thank you to her parents for allowing me to capture all these special memories!
Although Mr. Ethan really only wanted to be in mom's arms the day of his first birthday cake smash, he did loosen up enough to get some great pictures. Which, isn't too hard to do when you're this cute! That bright blonde hair, blue eyes, and happy smile are just so adorable!
I had the pleasure of meeting this sweet family at a new (for me) outdoor location in Glenmoore, PA yesterday evening. The weathermen couldn't make up their mind, first it was 40% chance of rain, then 0%, then 70%, then back to zero, so I was a bit worried we would get there and it would start raining, but boy am I glad that was not the case! Their little girl, Delaney, has the absolute best head of red hair and is beyond adorable! I would be happy to take this wonderful family's photographs any day and I will definitely be returning back to this location. Red barn doors, stone walls, tree lined paths, and goats - yes please!
Parenting is hard. I don't think anything can prepare you for the sleepless nights or how hard it is to watch your child be sick and can't do anything to help except give Tylenol. Disciplining a child is tough, as is sending your child to daycare or school for the first time. Being completely responsible for a tiny human, making sure they stay alive, and thrive, and grow up to be a kind, smart, responsible adult is a big task! It is by far the hardest job in the world!! However, it is also the most rewarding. Watching that tiny human grow, learn at an astonishing rate, and have their own personality, there's just nothing like it. My children are my world and even though I love watching them thrive, I really do want to freeze time. We are done having kids, and I will miss seeing a smile for the first time, hearing my baby's first laugh, being excited over their first words and steps. Today, Lila turned 19 months old, which means she is closer to 2 years than 1, and it makes me so sad to realize that I really don't have a "baby" anymore. That's hard. Blake is now 4, and he has learned how to ride a big bike, write his name, count to 30, identify all his letters, zip, unzip, and unbutton his clothes, and so many other wonderful things! But, before I know it, he will be in school full time, then a moody teenager, and he won't want me to read him stories before bed, or cuddle on the couch. Hard. Parenting is amazing, and rewarding, and gives you all those warm and fuzzies, but it's tough too. Tough to watch them grow so quickly, and the years go by faster and faster every year. So for now, I'll try to capture all these wonderful memories so I can remember my babies as they are. Fun. Sweet. Curious. Energetic. Smart. Perfect.
Spring Mini-Session Sneak Peeks
I am so excited to share with you some images from all the absolutely adorable and well-dressed kids I had in the studio last weekend for spring mini-sessions. I know the parents are anxiously awaiting their images, so I plan on getting galleries out tomorrow or Friday. But, for now, enjoy all the sneak peeks!
In 2016, one of my resolutions is to take more quality pictures of my own children, not just iPhone photos. The other is to get a fabulous wall display for those pictures, which I can update as the years go on. One advantage of being a professional photographer is that I can order from certain places that the general public can't, and this year I cannot wait to get the display I've always dreamed of!
Normally my studio is off limits to my kids because I don't want them ruining anything, but yesterday evening as I was getting ready to clean up from sweet Emily's 6 month sitter session, Lila, my 16 month old, wandered into the studio. She decided to plop herself right down in the bucket I had out and I thought to myself, "Okay, here's my chance to sneak in a couple of quick pictures." Because she is such a peanut, I put her in the same outfit that I had had the 6 month old in and started snapping away. The result is something I am incredibly surprised, excited, and overjoyed with! I think little miss Lila let me take pictures for a good half an hour and gave me such great expressions that truly capture her personality. She is growing up SO fast, and these pictures helped me to freeze time and remember her like this forever! From the tiny toes, to the curly hair in the back, from the chipped tooth and innocent smile, to the hazel eyes with long gorgeous lashes, she will forever be my baby.
Last weekend I traveled to Collegeville for this little lady's first birthday party. Mom had picked out 2 adorable outfits for her to wear and had a beautiful dessert table on display. The decorations and cake even coordinated with Marin's outfits. While I was there, I was able to photograph Marin with her relatives and was a first hand witness to the love that surrounds her and the entire family. It made me wish I had hired someone else to take pictures at my own kids' parties!
'Tis the Season for LOVE!
The rate at which my business grew this year is beyond my comprehension. When I started in July/August I assumed I would get maybe 1 or 2 clients a month, doing this more as a hobby. I don't think there is any way I could have imagined having 30 full-session clients and 18 mini-session clients in a matter of 5 months. My January 2016 also has 4 newborns and a sitter milestone session booked. I also have clients already booked in April, APRIL!
These last two months have been extremely hard for my family with me going from a full-time mom to a busy business-owner, 2 unexpected deaths of close relatives (my grandfather and aunt), and illness after illness for my kids, BUT, I still seriously feel extremely blessed and fortunate! I LOVE what I do and I LOVE all my wonderful clients who are supporting me in this journey.
Something else I LOVE is when I finally get a chance to take pictures of my own children. This is my daughter, 15 months old, and her first time at the indoor children's water area at Longwood Gardens. We were there for breakfast with Santa (which did not go well - she only screamed and did not want to go near him, much to our disappointment, oh well...), so thankfully I had my camera with me when we decided to quickly stop over at the Conservatory. The excitement and pure joy on her face made all the stress of the last couple of months just disappear. And, once I finally got these images on my computer, I was able to relive that moment all over again.
This is what photographs do - they freeze a moment in time, a moment you can look back on year after year, and they make you smile. I wish I could say we will all live forever, but we won't, so make as many memories as you can today. Take pictures, have your picture taken, capture those memories, and get those pictures printed - BIG and ON YOUR WALL! Life can change in a blink of an eye, book your session today and let your memories live on in beautiful photographs! Thank you to all my past, present, and future clients. I LOVE you all and I LOVE your support!
The Sunday before Thanksgiving I had a session with this wonderful family. Little Henry and big sister Sawyer are absolutely adorable! Henry was a tough cookie to crack, but I did get a couple of half smiles from him and I'm pretty sure Sawyer would have let me take her picture all day as long as I had enough gummies. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I feel so lucky to have a place like Longwood Gardens right down the street. Even on as cold of days as this, we had a nice, warm, beautiful place to take pictures at. I also feel so lucky that I get to work with so many incredibly nice families, such as this one, who are trusting me enough to capture memories and freeze time in photographs they can look back on for years to come.
I am Kristen Yeager, a portrait photographer specializing in maternity, newborns, babies, and children. I am based in Chadds Ford, PA (Chester County, right on the Delco border) but also serve West Chester, Unionville, Kennett Square, Glen Mills, Malvern, Downingtown, Exton, West Grove, Oxford, Media, King of Prussia, the Mainline, parts of Lancaster County, Wilmington and Newark, Delaware, northeast Maryland, and surrounding areas.