Last Mother's Day I treated myself to a "Motherhood Story" shoot with Victoria Gloria... I have worked with a few photographers over the years, but this shoot was different. Victoria came into our home, a very personal space, for 3 whole hours! Maybe If you aspired to be a model this might sound appealing... I however, am behind the camera because it's where I feel comfortable... and if I'm being completely honest, I have a hard time looking at photos of myself. It's true, I was terrified to even set a date (which was changed about 3 times, by me, because I'd freak out and cancel)... So if you're reading this, never have had a professional take your photo before, I'm with you on being freaked out about it... but hear me out!
As the one always behind the camera I knew I needed some photos of just me and the kids. I loved the thought of a "Motherhood Story" because as a stay at home mom, this is my daily life and has been for about 4 years now. I knew that I would regret not getting any "real" photos with me in them during this time in our lives. My husband offered several times to take a snapshot of us... but c'mon, it's so not the same. I wanted her to capture us, playing, emotions etc... Daddy can't do that because they'd be wanting to play with him.
So, after much correspondence with Victoria (who is one of the nicest and most understanding photographers I've ever met) we settled on a date and I stuck with it. My skin crawled just thinking her camera was going to be one me for that long, in my own (messy) home nonetheless, but I trusted in the "process" and went along with it.
In hindsight, I think a major fear was not looking like all the other polished moms...you know, those long gorgeous lashed, beautiful haired, pouty lipped super pretty moms I envy and see sprinkled all over Insty and Pinterest, (and don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about, I see polished moms everywhere I turn on the internet...) It sounds silly, now that I'm actually typing this out... but idk, the nerves came from fear of not looking good enough... but I forced myself to get over it and decided I'm me and these are my babies and I just love them so much...
So... after giving it much thought, I decided to go with "real"... no professional hair and make up, no fancy new outfits... because my heart has always been guided by authenticity. It's what makes me happy. The real, it's what I'm all about.
So here I am, with my babies, hair up, hands dirty... camera FINALLY down.
Victoria, thank you so much for these photos and these memories. You've inspired me to want to do this for mothers, to give someone this gift is astronomical. I cherish these photos more than you'll ever know! xoxo
Hey Mama's... I don't really post a lot of personal stories on my blog... and I really don't know why. Sometimes I feel that maybe it should be just for recent work... but then I realized that my personal posts were some of the most liked. Sweet! I do enjoy sharing my personal thoughts, especially on motherhood, because it's all so crazy and we're all working through, slowly *but surely, being good mama's in our own ways.
I used to "write" more, when it was just Sienna and I at home together, When Ethan came on the scene... forget about it. He's always been the easier of the two, but when you go from 1 to 2... look the f out. Obviously these thoughts are my own from my own experience... but girlfriend, just prepare yourself, mmmk? It's one thing if your children will be more than 2.5 years apart, but when if they are close in age, like E+S (now age 2 +4), 24mos exactly, nearly TO.THE.DAY... just know, you're going into the war zone of life... but YOU WILL come out alive. I assure you.
I would always describe the first 2 years of each of my children's lives, like being on a wooden raft out in the ocean, and you're going through treacherous waters, the waves are crashing and the rain is falling hard, but I'm making progress so I'm satisfied, of course I had some spectacular days that were a little more calm... but overall it is just chaotic. And bravely I pressed on towards a brand new land...
For me, right around 2 years old, the rain lets up a little and through the waves you can see... (what seems to be) the warm, soft, golden shores of more calm times. And one day it hit me, this is all going to end, very shortly... this crazy, chaotic, exhausting world of babies that has been my life for years now. I saw that beautiful golden shoreline... and shockingly, it made me a little bit sad. I was just getting the hang of this rickety wooden raft.
For me, becoming a full time mother has been a huge shifting/growing/learning/realizing period in my life. Loooooooots of time to think....Most people's response to me being a full time/SAHM is "omg, I don't know how you do it"...for me, it's all I ever saw and really, all I ever wanted... (well, that and to be a famous talk show host). I should also share that I thought it was going to be much easier than it is! haha, I'm not gonna lie, motherhood is H-A-R-D... wtf? did you think it was going to be like this? haha I guess what it shakes out to is the rewards are my world, It's all I truly care about when I look at the "big picture" of my life and what really matters to me in the end.
So, there you have it, my random "mother" thoughts of the day.
This is probably one of my most favorite shoots and here is why... it's so real. Everything about it, we didn't fluff and we didn't get fancy... why? Because there was a 2 year old involved, that means, we had quite the job on our hands to get him to want to be photographed! If you know anything about me and my kids (who never want to be photographed) then you'll know that Melissa and Jay were in good company. Mom and Dad handled the situation beautifully by just remaining calm and trying to make fun of the situation. We put on some Thomas the Tank Engine tunes and had a little dance party to break the ice. Eventually big brother relaxed and started to have fun... I mention this, not to take away from the sweetness and newness of the new baby arriving home, but because I feel like so many parents would start feeling flustered and overwhelmed. If this ever happens to you, remain calm and just go with the flow... it will all be ok.
It was a wonderful time welcoming Fletcher home, he is so calm, cool and collected. I'm so excited for this new family of 4 to start on their journey with Fletcher by their side.
This very talented little mama came into my life around 2011 (ish) when she started dating one of my husbands bff's (still with me?)... Justin and Jake made our worlds collide and here we are, 6 years later, married and grown up! MOTHERS!!!!
Kathryn is a very talented designer who recently, took her show on the road and started her own company, The Everyday Co. She has done a beautiful job creating + growing it and continues to wow the home decor community. Her success certainly didn't come from luck, she's the true definition of a hussla' . She's working her tail off and it is paying off in big ways.
KAY - I wish you luck on your own personal journey of figuring out how you're going to balance it all! If anyone can do it, it's you.
This was such a beautiful, warm + sunny, love filled day that I was so glad to be a part of. Gina and Ian are not only fantastic people on their own, but i was so happily delighted to quickly learn they both derive from such love filled and exuberant families... so you can imagine the good time that was had celebrating all of the love!
At this wedding I witnessed, thee BEST mother-son dance - which was to "always look on the bright side of life" and thee BEST father serenade to his daughter "Gina Beena" (which included the 4 piece family band). It was one of those weddings that leaves a smile on your face for days after.
Gina and Ian, thank you for letting me be part of such a beautiful moment... xoxo
For me, there is something so energizing about a snowstorm... candles lit, firing burning, sipping warm tea and hot cocoa watching mother nature gently sprinkle her icy fairy dust upon us...
The next morning, the sun rose slowly as it filled the bright blue sky, making the snow sparkle.
Still calm, still quiet...
... as we walk across the powdery champaign sparkle, kicking and throwing it up with delight, I think to myself, what a magical moment!
As much as I love to be a photographer and write, I don't know that blogging is for me! I curated this post of photos back in July, after my 33rd birthday and then abondon it... like the 20 other blog posts I have queued up, and never posted...
I've done this for YEARS!
Why do I do this?
I think I'm afraid to share my personal life... what I hold most near and dear to me, I hold so close that I'm afraid to share. I've recently realized this about myself and after coaching myself through it (I'm such an internal thinker) I decided, well I'm not going to get much of anywhere if I don't share my work, my art.... my story!
So... here is me, turning 33 years old!
It turns out that a lot of magic can come from 10 minutes! It was a dreamy lit, mid morning photography relay for me as my assistants Megan + Kristen greeted families with a smile when they arrived... oogling over the beautiful babies and adorable children.... excitement filled the air. I really really really enjoyed my first experience with Holiday Mini sessions and I think they all did too, here's what some had to say...
"I am quickly realizing that 10 min with a fabulous photographer is usually better than hours with another." ~B.W.
"Do people tell you often enough that you're so talented and gifted at what you do?! You're amazing. Thank you" ~A.W.
"There are no words for how much I adore these!!! You are so amazing, April- thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. And I'm so appreciative of the bonus shots- you spoiled us! And I can't believe how quickly you got these wrapped up and sent to us. You are such a pro, sister. Looks like it's time for me to get cracking on the holiday cards." ~ E.G.
"Omg April! You are amazing!!! How did you capture such great photos in such short time? I LOVE these. Thank you so much! I'm definitely hanging one on the wall, I'm thinking the one in front of the blue door. You are so talented girl." ~K.P.
"Omg!!! I absolutely love!!! You are such an amazing incredible genius!!! Ahhhhh!!" ~K.C.
"10 minutes is what sold my Husband and I'm so glad, I absolutely adore these, thank you thank you thank you!!!!" ~K.H.
Thank you to my handy helpers Kristen and Meghan!
I love babies... I always have, ever since I was a baby! I carried baby dolls with me everywhere and when my first niece was born it was the most amazing experience, to become an Aunt. Being an Aunt has come to be one of my favorite titles because you have such a fierce love for this child that isn't even yours... but they're your siblings so you love them as if they're your own. There is an unwritten magical and special bond as an aunt... and I'm lucky to be one, now, 6 times over!
It is my greatest pleasure to help welcome my oh so cuddly, smells so newborn fresh and is the tiniest (but strong) lil baby ever born into my family... Knightlee Michael Krueger, welcome to the world and into our family! You're in good hands with your mommy + daddy.
Aba loves you!
a beautiful sun filled love celebration
To me, the best part about being a professional photographer, is being able to freeze a second in time of a sweet stretch or a little yawn and turn it into a photograph that will be cherished for a lifetime. Making a piece of artwork that is so... emotionally charged and the ability to take any parent back to that very moment in time... that is why I do what I do.
Here is baby Teddy... his long awaited arrival happened on May 6th and we couldn't be more excited for the Vozzella Family. He's tiny and sweet and a spitting image of his older bro, Owen.
I am so looking forward to documenting their friendship as they grow up together! We love you, Teddy!
Hi Mama's, time to come up for air and get some personal thoughts out on the blog today.
I have to start out by saying... I am in the THICK of this whole motherhood journey... and by thick I mean: piles upon piles of laundry, poopy diapers, dirty dishes and if you came over after any meal you would think we re-did our hardwood floors with tiny chopped up pieces of food... if I'm being honest with you, my day to day is pretty f'n intense... and it all starts out around 5:30am with either one of them awakening with a solid scream cry.... they don't wake up slowly, taking their sweet time to snuggle, stretch and greet the day with ease (like so many instagram moms like to post about)... no... they come at it HOT and screaming!
If you're new here, I have a 1 year old son and a 3 year old daughter and they don't go easy on me. My wardrobe these days consists mostly of soccer shorts, sneakers and tank tops... I do so much running and heavy toddler lifting that it just makes sense... however, I do look like I'm about to step out onto a sports field at any given time. Whatever, at this point in my life fashion has been long gone...
I am probably the only mother in town to be excited that my daughter is about to start pre-school this fall... She SO needs it and so do I! I imagine myself to be the only mom at the drop off on the very first day, totally pumped! Don't get me wrong, Sienna is a riot to hang out with, uses her manners, is patient etc etc... but mama could use a 3 hour break from entertaining her 2 days a week. Lately, after a horrible night of sleep, the last thing I have energy for is to mold and build the mind of a (very intelligent - so far) 3 year old little girl. But alas, I must... and I do the best I possibly can each day. But I'm telling you... I would sometimes give my left arm to sit quietly behind a desk in corporate america just to get a little alone time and some peace and quiet... like an hour would do me some good.
Anywho, so that's what's been going on with me.
Oh and so fun, I hosted my very first play date (yeah, 3 years later) with some great friends, Lisa & Becky. Here are a few photos I was able to snap in between making sure Ethan didn't fall out of his tree house! The kid is a beast.
April aka #therunninmama
As soon as I opened the door to greet the Tilden Family, I could feel the love for their new baby girl practically pouring out the door. Baby Marlowe made her debut on April 14 and boy is she a beauty... but that's not surprising because look at her parents! I loved meeting and hanging with the Tilden's and their cool pup Maui (best dog name ever).
I look forward to watching that little nugget grow into a beautiful little girl!
This girl... I've known her since the early days of elementary school and somehow, after all these years, we've kept in touch simply by making each other laugh! I was so happy and honored and lucky enough to have her and her family fly into Boston so that I could capture this very special time in her life. Kristina, or as most people know her on social media as @lifeaskristinab, struggled with infertility for years and finally was blessed with twin boys... as luck would have it, she is now expecting (the unexpected) third child who happens to be a little girl! We shared soooo many laughs together in the short time we spent together and I'm so excited to fly home in June to capture the Welcoming Home of her little girl.
Spring is in the air and the sweet aroma of flowers and new little bitty babies fill the air...
Creating this post to share is pretty bitter sweet for me... on one hand I love the Cavanagh Fam so seeing Alyss and Chris is always fun and I couldn't be happier for them and the life they've created for themselves... but on the other hand, I cannot believe how fast babies grow up. Little baby Catherine is now 2 years old!!! Say what?!
When did that happen?! After living these very moments in my own life and then living them again, in a much broader sense, through lives of those who have me document them, it's mind blowing how fast it all happens. As a child yourself I'm sure the time went very slow, for me it did. But as the years go on, the time seems to fly... and these moments pass so so so quickly.
I was so honored to be called back to the Cavanagh's to document baby Caroline's "welcome home". She was so teeny tiny and angelic. Catherine was a total ham and I loved playing with her, she's such a good girl. I look forward to watching them grow!
Kiss + cuddle your little ones extra long tonight ;)