The Big Latch On at Nemours

Yesterday was incredible. The weather was beautiful and I got to spend the whole morning outside surrounded by LOVE. Mamas nourishing their babies, papas supporting their families, babies running around having a blast with new friends… Pure bliss.

I’m busy working through all of the images I took yesterday, but I had to take a break to share a few with you! So here’s a quick sneak peek.. and if you’re waiting to see your mini session photos, don’t worry! I’ll have the rest of these done soon! I’ll be sending out emails tomorrow with instructions for you to select your favorites!

OBX 2015

Things you may not know about me:

  1. I love the beach. Although I typically don’t go in the ocean deeper than my knees, I absolutely love the feeling of sand between my toes, sun on my skin & the sound of waves crashing on the beach. Few places on Earth top that on my personal list of faves. 😉
  2. I love my family. I’ve posted before about losing my mom over 11 years ago, and my brother over 3 years ago… So I absolutely cherish every moment with my dad & sister.
  3. My dad remarried in 2010, and my stepmom & her family are awesome. I know not everyone can utter those words, so I wanted to make sure I made note of how grateful I am for that. “Blended” families can be challenging, as we sometimes have YEARS as one family unit, only to have things change (sometimes suddenly, sometimes it’s a gradual change over many years). And change is hard. But sometimes change can lead to really positive things, so it’s important not to fear it.
  4. I haven’t been on a vacation with my family since I was a child (MAYBE when I was about 12). Until a few weeks ago.

I originally wanted this blog post to be a bit of a “vacation diary” (I even started it two days before I left!) But I decided to try to step away from technology for the majority of vacation (aside from my camera, of course 😉) So I’ll just let the pictures be the “visual diary” for my vacation… Enjoy!

⛅️🚘🌻🚦🌾🌊🏠💤

Sephira Anaiś

Hurry up and wait. That’s what birth photography feels like. 😛 I get the text “contractions 5 min apart” and I jump for joy! Check my bag, make sure everything is in there and batteries are charged. Make some calls to get my affairs in order for the day… Now what? I’m so excited that the coffee I’m drinking is already making me jittery, and I can barely eat because I’m so excited! And then I’m just left to wait for another update!

The birth of Sephira Anaiś was so very special. Momma (my incredible cousin, Melissa) was so focused when I arrived, she looked at me and mustered up a tiny smile in the middle of a contraction, then closed her eyes and continued breathing. I knew right away that it wouldn’t be too long. Melissa’s concentration was unbelievable.

I’ll admit, I don’t know Harlan that well. We met briefly at the baby shower, and I’ve heard great things about him from family members… but I got to see his true essence the day Sephira was born. Dads are typically really funny to watch during labor & delivery. You could tell Harlan was nervous (who wouldn’t be!) but it seemed he was more nervous for Melissa’s pain than anything else. He was so attentive to Melissa’s needs, keeping a close eye on her during each contraction, giving her ice when she wanted it, even rubbing ice along her forehead and cheeks between contractions as they grew closer together and more intense. When Melissa started to appear exhausted and started to lose focus of her breath, Harlan gently reminded her to breathe through the pain. He held her hand and stroked her arm. I could see in his eyes how hard it was for him to watch Melissa in so much pain, but he did all he could to help her through it. I am so happy to see my cousin with such a genuinely kind and supportive man. It was so beautiful to watch their love fill up that room…

And the moment their sweet baby girl finally made her grand debut was simply incredible. Dad & auntie’s smiles were from ear to ear, and the moment momma saw her baby girl, she was suddenly so calm and overjoyed. She whispered “hi, baby!” as the nurses placed Sephira Anaiś on her chest. A few moments later she kissed her baby on the forehead and turned to Harlan & Deja with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. The wait was finally over. 😍

Happy Birthday, Sephira Anaiś! 07.03.15

You are seven days old today! 💗

Still Shining.

So, today’s blog post is going to be a bit emotional.

Three years ago, today, my brother lost his battle against cancer. He married the love of his life (a truly amazing woman that I will forever call my sister) in September 2009, and was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer four months later. His attitude was incredible throughout all of the surgeries and treatments, but his body took a serious beating with all the chemotherapy. Three years later his body gave. It was a really hard time for our family and all of Matt’s friends.

For those of you who never met Matt, he was the kind of guy who could make you laugh even when you felt like crap. Even when he got out of his first surgery, heavily sedated (and we were all super anxious and emotional), Matt decides to start quoting Napoleon Dynamite: “But my lips hurt real bad!”, “Just borrow some from the school nurse. I know she has like five sticks in her drawer”. It took us about five minutes to figure out WHAT he was saying, and then make sense of it (when I say he was heavily sedated, I mean SERIOUSLY. Slur city and sometimes he fell asleep mid-sentence. )

Growing up with him (5 & 1/2 years older than me), we didn’t always get along. He “beat me up” a lot… (a punch in the arm here or there.. Normal sibling stuff) I was that “annoying younger sister”. And he would even make be be the goalie for hockey practice (and he wouldn’t give me padding to protect myself). But once we both got a little older, he started being nice to me, and then he moved to Maine. That was hard for me… My sister already moved to North Carolina years before, and I was left in Delaware without my siblings. But we actually grew closer then. I remember one particular late night phone conversation.. Where I had to sneak down in the basement because I didn’t want to wake up my dad. It was the best conversation ever. Somehow, we really opened up with each other, then learned that we actually thought really similarly about a lot of things. I joked and said “OMG, you’re like the male version of me!”

I love hearing stories about how he made other people laugh… Or feel good about themselves. He was really good at that.
The one thing I regret.. Is I wish we had more pictures together before he got sick. As a photographer, that’s the kind of thing I hear all the time from people who have gone through similar situations. We are never guaranteed tomorrow… But we often make excuses about why we don’t want to be in a picture today (hair, weight, etc). I wish that we had gotten professional pictures done as a family (both before our mom passed, and even after, too). I love the snapshots that I do have of him, but we were really little in most, and I took a lot of them when we were older so I’m not in most of those!

Anyway, I wanted to take this blog post as an opportunity to open up conversation… I don’t want you to feel sorry for my loss.. Loss is something that we all (unfortunately) have to deal with at some point in life. I know you feel for me, so instead of condolences (I, of course, appreciate them, but I don’t feel they need to be put into words.) I’d much rather hear happy things. If you knew Matt, tell me one of your favorite memories of him. If you didn’t know my brother, tell me a favorite memory of your sibling or someone close to you (whether they passed or are still alive)! I just want to hear some happy memories.. Something that makes YOU smile & laugh, since that was the kind of spirit that shined so brightly in my brother. Let’s keep his flame shining with stories of love and laughter.

New Client Mother’s Day Contest

new client contest

What?! A SECOND Mother’s Day Contest?! I must be going crazy! 😉
I think it’s spring fever, but I want to share the love with all the beautiful mommas that I haven’t had the pleasure of photographing yet.

So here we are: Enter to win a Deluxe Mother’s Day Mini Session ($228 value) Includes a 30 minute on-location session within 30 miles of Wilmington, DE as well as 1-11×14, 1-8×10, 2 5×7 and 4 wallet sized prints.

All you have to do is sign-up for my newsletter HERE, then in the comments below, share a blurb about you and your little one(s) and why you would like to win a photo session with me (feel free to include a cute picture of you and your baby(or babies!)! Want to win this session to give as a gift? Tell me about the person you want to win it for!
Last day to enter is March 31st! A randomly selected winner will be announced on April 1st! Make sure you check your inbox for the announcement! 😀

*Please note this contest has ended! I’m transferring all of my my old blog posts over to my new blog – so I apologize if you are getting notifications about these old posts!*

Mother’s Day Contest

I love mothers (I mean, who doesn’t). They spend their days putting their little ones’ needs before their own… often exhausted but still smiling. Well, I decided that this year I’m going to give one special momma a gift.. but I need YOUR help on deciding who the lucky (and deserving) momma will be.

I chose 20 of my favorite images from 2014 (featuring adorable moments between a momma & her child(ren) or just super cute babies that have an ever-loving momma just beyond the camera’s view..)

Winner will choose between:
an 11×14 Print Wrap ($195 value) of their chosen image (from past session or they can schedule a complimentary mini session for an updated photo selection)OR_a Deluxe Mother’s Day Mini Session ($228 value)_ Includes a 30 minute on-location session within 30 miles of Wilmington, DE as well as 1-11×14, 1-8×10, 2 5×7 and 4 wallet sized prints.Here is how the contest works: Cast your vote by simply commenting on this blog post (below) with which image is your favorite and WHY.

Mommas, make sure you share this link with your friends and family (and have them share too!) The image with the most votes by 11:59pm March 31st wins! Winner will be announced on April 1st!

Sorry, dads, this one is just for the mommas, so you won’t find any papas in this contest.

*Please note this contest has ended! I’m transferring all of my old blog posts over to my new blog, so I’m sorry if you’re getting notifications every time I post!*

Now, get your vote on! Don’t forget: Cast your vote by commenting on this blog post (below) with which image is your favorite and WHY! You can only vote once, but you can share the link with your family & friends so they can vote too!

*Haven’t had a session with Katy Rose Photography yet? Hop on over to the New Client Contest for your chance to win your first session (plus prints!) for free!I*

Balance.

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a New Year’s Resolution person. But for some reason this year, January 1st seemed to spark some sort of ignition in my life. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but it’s now March 1st and the fire is still going (a good fire. Like a really powerful candle that lights darkness and leads the way. A really good fire).

Maybe it was the closing of a chapter in my life (college) that caused me to look forward and lay out some new plans and start taking action. I don’t know what it was but I’m loving the energy I have.

Anyway, on to my “word of the year”: BALANCE. Anyone who has had a conversation with me has PROBABLY heard me say “the key to anything is balance”. I’m finding it comes up in every aspect of my life, and as I move forward in various (somewhat similar) ventures in my life, I see it more and more.

A few examples:
I must find balance between work time and personal time. Everyone needs this, but entrepreneurs especially do. When you can work from home, at any time of day or night: you will. Self discipline is the only way to keep yourself straight (as I type this blog post on a Sunday night at 8:30… Hmm )

I must find balance between healthy eating and comfort foods. I went to a really awesome “kick sugar cravings” workshop on Wednesday and it was SO helpful as I’ve been trying to eat healthier for years but I’ve been failing pretty miserably and I know my body deserves better and more nutritious food (my body is, after all, working pretty darn hard to keep me alive every second of the day..)
At the workshop I learned a ton of valuable information, and some really crazy facts about sugar. And it spurred me to take REAL action and get going on my health food journey (but also be realistic and not feel guilty if I treat myself to ice cream here & there ) If you’re interested in learning more about the workshop, or need some personal guidance, I highly recommend True Food Wellness with Cosmia. She’s super sweet and very knowledgeable.

I must remember balance when I speak with someone with varying viewpoints of my own. Saturday night I helped my doTERRA team host an essential oil workshop to six magnificent ladies. Afterwards, I was chatting with a really sweet woman who I have a lot in common with. She has been eating healthy and living very naturally (minimal toxins in her household) for years. I LOVED talking with her. But my heart broke a little when she told me that she frequently encounters people who ostracize her for not feeding her children junk food. (I’m going to let you reread that again)… I’m sorry, but WHAT?? She said that people act as if she thinks she is better than them.. For feeding her children healthy, nutritious foods. She doesn’t restrict them from trying junk foods (although they’ve eaten so well their entire life, that they don’t like the taste of junk food)… She doesn’t force her way of life down anyone’s throats, or tell anyone that they’re poisoning their child… She simply wants her children to be healthy, and she helps in any way she knows how!!! This honestly upset me that she experiences such adversity over such a simple thing. And then I started thinking.. My recent lifestyle changes have been the result of over 5 years of self-education (in my free time). Not everyone makes the time to educate themselves about things like I have… Nor are they interested in doing so (that also makes me sad- but I have to remember that I can’t control anyone else’s interests, nor should I try.) When I talk to people, it’s very easy for me to get over-excited and emotional when I discuss things I’m passionate about. It happens more often when I’m talking to like-minded individuals, but when I’m talking to someone with a different viewpoint (on any topic), I have to remember that just because I’m passionate about what I believe in, doesn’t mean that my stance is any better or worse than theirs (I think I’m pretty good at respecting others’ opinions, but I still like to remind myself every so often to keep balance in mind). They may have been through their own circumstances that have led them to where they are today, but we both have ideas that may be valid and wonderful… And most importantly: we can learn from one another.

I could go on and on about other times “balance” has come up in my life.. But I’m pretty sure you get the idea.

Love, Family & Relationships

I have a large family… My mom was one of five children, and my dad was one of TEN. I have over 30 cousins (and second cousins)… So keeping in touch with everyone is really hard. A couple years ago I was able to reconnect with a couple of my cousins that I hadn’t seen in over eight years! (The powers of social media!!)

Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing my one cousin and her family several times a year.. But this month I’ve gotten to see them THREE times! In ONE month!! It’s been awesome, since they live down by the beach I don’t usually get to see them this much!

On one of the coldest days of the year so far, we ventured out to Longwood Gardens and headed straight for the conservatory (because seriously, that windchill was ridiculous, even with my three layers of clothing…). While we were there, my little (second) cousin, Madison, made a friend. This little boy was so entranced by Maddie’s princess dress, I think that’s how the whole thing started.

I absolutely love watching children interact with one another because I find it incredible and fascinating how kind and loving they are to one another immediately. I mean seriously, how cool is it that a four year old can go up and hug another kid just because she wants to share some love? Haha.. It makes me a little sad that it’s not socially acceptable for adults to do this! Why do we lose that as we grow older??

Anyway, Madison had such a good time playing with this little boy who was probably about two. I grabbed these pictures of her smiling and laughing after each time she tried to give him a hug (it was a fun little game they were playing). Our faces all hurt from smiling and laughing at these two, and so many people paused as they passed by, simply to smile, laugh, or comment on how adorable they were.

Check out some of the other photos from that session too… We had a blast in that warm & cozy conservatory!

What’s Next?

Well, we’re only four weeks into my blog challenge and this week I’m a few days late… Better late than never, though… RIGHT?! I swear it’s with good reason that I’m so late with posting this week.

I graduated!! WOO HOO!!! And then I promptly went over to Stratosphere in Wilmington, and jumped on trampolines… got stuck to a velcro wall.. etc. It was a blast. But.. it was also VERY exhausting (who knew a graduation ceremony was so stressful? 😛 ) plus the acting like a child for a couple hours.. yea.. My legs are sore. Hah!

Anyway, since graduation, I’ve been asked a few times “What’s next?”. Well, what a loaded question!! If you had asked my 18 year-old self what I planned to do after college, I would have probably responded with a generic “well I’ll find a good job (if I don’t have one already), then probably get married and start a family.” My college degree has always been on my “bucket list” of things I want to achieve. I always hoped that I would be able to do so before settling down to start a family so that I would be able to find a job that would allow me to contribute to my family and do so while staying (mostly) at home raising my children.

Well, fast forward 10 years and here we are. I finally have my fancy Bachelor of Science in Photography, and my OWN business where I can work from home! So next is marriage and babies, right?? Hah! Clearly I didn’t read the manual on what it takes to run a business when I started this five years ago. I probably have another year or two of growing my business to where it will be able to adequately contribute to a family. However, if I’ve learned anything over the last ten years, it’s this: LIFE is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. (isn’t that a John Lennon quote?) So I can’t tell you what’s next, because I simply have no way of knowing!

I do, however, have another big “dream” that I’ve been contemplating for some time.. but I’m not quite ready to share that one with the world just yet. I still need to do some research to see if my dream is feasible, and analyze what steps I need to take to reach it. When I am ready to announce that one, you’ll be the first to know. 😉

So what big dreams do you have? Tweet one! @katyrosephoto #dreams