Throwing rocks at sunset

Here is one of my favorite memories from this past summer and sort of a moody (because I have been) portrait... out on the rocks up in Acadia National Park visiting with family + friends... I caught Ethan in a world of his own, throwing rocks at sunset.



Oh life, it's been flying by this summer, between our travels from Buffalo to Acadia to Vermont to Cape Cod... all the while being pregnant with baby #3, I'm pleasantly exhausted to say the least! Through most of my travels I of course brought my camera... sometimes I'd bring it along if I was feeling particularly brave, but most of the time it would stay back at the ranch... and then my "photographer guilt" kicks in... some women suffer from "mom guilt", I suffer from "photographer guilt" aka "why didn't I bring my camera with me!?!".

I feel like, along the way of becoming a mom of (almost) 3, trying to balance family life and photography life, something had to give. Of course, since photography isn't a living breathing thing I need to keep alive and make thrive, it has taken a backseat to these, very needy, early years of my babies childhoods. It's ok though, I knew it would happen, which is why being a photographer was always one of my career goals, because of the lifelong flexibility it offers.

I am taking this time to really play around with photography, lighting and various editing techniques... I've also been printing a TON of my work in hopes of really learning from what I'm doing instead of just shooting and shooting and shooting and not really improving. I've decided that I need to stop shooting so much and really focus on an individual image as art... learning more about the post processing phase to get the look I have in my mind for the final product. In the end, clients want artwork on their walls, am I right? So I need to figure out what looks best, alone and together in a series.

Stay tuned!

 

Putting down my camera...

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

Personal | The First 2 Years...

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.

xo,

April

The First Snowstorm of 2017

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!

Me, on my 33rd Birthday {back in July!}

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!



2015 | Personal project - recap of the year

This year for me has just been... absolute chaos... I can't even believe I survived! Since I lived, I'll tell the story...

In a nutshell, we had a baby, moved a few times {were homeless for a few months}, settled into a new home, took a few trips, shot a few weddings, newborns and families.... It was nothing short of chaotic, emotional, painful, taxing, extraordinary, rewarding, joyful, and tiring!

I am proud to say I really stepped up my game with bringing my camera places... it's always a question for me "do I bring my camera with me?"... I've really learned that when I don't have it, I always want it... when I do have it, I will use it at least once. For me it's finding a balance between documenting my life and actually living it!

As my sisters used to call me "Media Arts Girl"... I've always had a camera, either video or still, and documenting every moment... I earned dual degree's in  Broadcast Journalism + Studio Art and learned more about how to document.... and.... I guess, I'm coming to realize that it really is my one true passion! 

My mom always told me as I went through college "April, if you don't do art, you'll flunk out"... I always thought she was crazy but this year I really understand what she means. Being creative and making things is what I've done since I was like... idk, 2 years old... and so for me, being able to have photography as an outlet has been so beneficial for my mental health! Through all the stress and agony of figuring out... our life together, juggling a business, moving etc... I was able to jump behind my camera and get my zen on...

Life is moving at a pace I cannot even comprehend right now... and I'm so glad to be able to look back at it all! #photographyrules

here are a few of my favs 

 

...just thinking...

my sweet babies

...life as a stay/work at home mom is often times lonely and I rarely have a chance to even sit and catch my breath...

...but when I get really lucky... once in a while... like catching a falling star, she's a complete angel who says super loving things that make my heart melt, and squeeeeezes me and snuggles me so tight saying "I wuv you mommy" and during this special moment... they play together and make each other laugh... and I get to witness it all. 

it's these times that I hold onto the tightest!

Personal | Happy Birthday Kyleigh

This is my niece, Kyleigh. She was the first niece I ever had and was born the year I graduated from college, I was 21. She was the first baby in the family and the first little model I ever had... This girl has been shot with every model of Nikon since the D200 (as you can see from the earlier photos). Anyone who knows me personally knows all about Kyleigh and how special she is to me. I'm not only her aunt, but her god mother and we also share the same middle name!

When I lived closer to home, we used to see each other often and she would run to the door in such excitement whenever I came to see her... we would spend every waking hour together on the weekends I stayed with her,  when it was time to say goodbye we would both cry. The bond we share is so special and that is why I'm sharing, a little piece of my heart. 

Today Kyleigh is 11 years old, say what? She has grown to be such a thoughtful, strong, beautiful inside and out, brave, flexible, empathetic, and lovable young girl. 

Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Here are some of my favorite memories together

Hanging Around {my life}

Some of my favorites from Ethan's first month. He finished the month weighing in at 12 lbs and 22 inches... eating like a champion, sleeping like a baby {literally... hit or miss if we get any sleep around here} and blowing out diapers like, woah! Already in size 2 diapers and 6-12 month clothes. This lil whopper is a cuddly one with a sweet personality... he also often resembles an old man, sometimes. hehehe

A special welcome to my baby boy, Ethan

Whew…

I know I know, I have been MIA for the last 3 weeks or as my gal pal told me “you went dark”

… well, honestly, I haven’t had time (or have really cared to make it a priority) to blog because girlfriend... I’ve been covered in blood, sweat, tears and milk… have been knee deep in poopy diapers all day and quite frankly, why would I want to do "work" when I have this perfect little angel in my arms? I call the first 3 months of having a baby, Survival Mode. You do what you can when you can and do whatever works! With this being my second, it puts a whole new meaning to survival mode!

For my favorite mama's out there, this ones for you! 

The second time around for me has been so much different in so many ways. Most importantly I know how fast this first year is going to go by, which is awesome on one hand and also really scary! The first year is the hardest, I’d say… but it’s also the time when they grow the fastest and change so much so I’m really trying to take it in this time. In addition, I have Sienna now competing for my attention. And when I do have a few moments when they're sleeping, that's when Justin is home and I’m not one to let my marriage take a back seat… so my time is pretty much spent!

But It’s been wonderful. and scary. and hectic. and emotional (oh the random tears)… I’ve gotten a lot of flack for not announcing Ethan’s birth on social media and my response is… sorry, I’m not sorry! Facebook & Instagram, I’m not your bitch! haha.

So what’s up? Well… let me just start by reassuring all of you mama’s out there that the rumor is true… the second child comes SO MUCH FASTER than the first. Holy cats! Sienna took me from start to finish about 18 hours… so I said to myself… what is fast? 10 hours? 8 hours? no… My contractions this time around started at 9:30pm and Ethan was born at 12:18am… less than 3 hours from start to finish! BOOM "you're now a mother of 2"

... say what?!

After it was all said and done I was laying on the delivery room table (very happy) saying to myself “what in the hell just happened?” hahaha

As I stared down at this BEAUTIFUL little creature I was in love. Ethan Justin Obey was born on Friday the 13th at 12:18 am. He is a big boy, weighing in at 9.8 lbs and 22 inches long! He came just before yet another blizzard hit Boston.

Now, at 3 weeks old, as I write this he is 11lbs 11oz and busting out of clothes for a 3 month old baby! (Onto 6 month clothes already?) So you can just imagine how much he's been eating!

Naturally as a newborn photographer I bought all sorts of really cute hats and other newborn goodies I anticipated using on Ethan… Unfortunately I didn’t know I was giving birth to a giant and he does not fit into anything I bought. In fact, he was almost too long to even fit on my posing beanbag!  His pediatrician took one look at him and said (in his adorable South African accent) "woah, this fella is a Moose!"

Like I stated in my goals, I had high hopes of having several newborn shoots but the reality of my life is that I barely had time for 1. It's said you should get newborn photos in the first 14 days but as the mother and the photographer, I did not have the energy to muster up to take photos until the 14th day. So Here are a few of Ethan on his 14th day (though when you hold him it seems like it's his 3rd month) that I did have time to snag during Sienna’s (very quick) nap time!


P.S. to my loyal mama followers, I resurrected my old THE RUNNIN MAMA blog to keep you posted on how it's going... because I know as a mama it's nice to know what others are going through while you are too! xoxo 




Juno the snowman

This past week we New Englanders got to enjoy the calm, fresh + relaxing winter treat called "snow days". All cozied up at home together with a fire burning and hot cocoa in hand. I have always been a long time fan of snowstorms... to me they're so romantic. 

It's always so much fun to take Sienna out into the snow to build a snowman... since she's a huge fan of Olaf and Frosty... she always talks to the snowman after we put the hat on him, she truly believes he's going to come to life... it's priceless. 

Christal's Bridal Portraits | A Wedding in the Finger Lakes, NY

The air was beautifully crisp and a fresh blanket of sparkly white snow lay on the ground. It was a special feeling day for a very special gal. Christal had a vision for her day and she executed what she envisioned, perfectly in her own way. For Christal, this day was about celebrating the love she shared with danny, with the people she loved most... which happened to be about 400 guests! 

As a bridesmaid, I wanted to make sure my attention was on Christal for the day... so I only had my camera with me in the morning.... here's how it went down.

xo,

April 



There's me... 32 weeks pregnant, gettin' my shoot on!

Addababy Eetsa-boy

remember that old Geico commercial?! haha 

Yup, you read that right! Baby Obey #2 is on his way. I honestly can't even believe it... I'm still in shock, I thought for sure it was a girl. I always imagined myself with all girls or should I say, I never thought of myself as a boy's mom! Although pretty normal for most, it's just mind blowing for me, hahaha. 

I guess I shouldn't be so shocked that it's a boy, this pregnancy has been so different from my first. With Sienna I think I had morning sickness once and felt great most of the time. With my second pregnancy it's been a whole new world. I suffered from severe nausea the first trimester as well as an extra dose of extreme drowsiness (probably due in part to having a toddler to care for). 

Time has been flying by... I remember with Sienna I was just watching the clock, counting the days down, every minute seemed like an hour... now i'm naturally more busy and haven't had much time to think of names or nursery ideas, {more on nesting later}.

The due date of baby boy is just one day different than Sienna's (Feb 11 - his due date, Feb 10 - her due date). Hopefully he comes a little earlier than expected though :)

We have been eating EXTREMELY healthy over here too... Justin bought a Vitamix so he's been going to town on fruit and veggie smoothies. Sienna loves them and I suck them down as if they're milkshakes (which has surprisingly cut down on my ice cream intake). But don't worry... I'm still supplementing my pregnancy cravings with appropriate sweets like waffles, cookies and peanut butter cups... omg I can't get enough waffles in my belly!

Stay tuned for more!

on turning 31... and finally learning to "stop and smell the roses"

Have you ever just sat and thought to yourself... wow, this is my life. Actually, I just stopped to reflect what is happening {"stop and smell the roses", as my mom always tells me}... I've been doing that a lot lately, probably because I just celebrated my 31st birthday. I feel like the past 5 years have served to give me everything I'd ever hoped for in my life... and I kinda can't believe it. 

My advice {to you... and myself} after turning 31:

LIFE: ...this is a time in life where I'm starting to really appreciate the little things and realizing they are what make up this big picture we call "life". It all started with getting a dream job with one of my besties which has lead me on this crazy journey the past 5 years has given me. From moving to Boston and meeting my one true love, to the tight tight hugs from a tiny body that only a mother knows {who knew?!} my life has been flipped turned upside down {as the fresh prince would say} and moving so quickly... I've grown to understand that life is actually comprised 80% with 'the little things'... and then there are a few (20%) game changers sprinkled in... and that is what has really shaped my life thus far. Take the time... to listen, to talk, to help others... slow down and take time to stop and smell the roses.  

LOVE: everyone asks as soon as you get married "has anything changed?"... well not immediately, but with every revolution comes the slow adjustment period... where you adjust into an even stronger bond than you had before. You grow into each other and with each other... mostly because that's the person you love to be around the most. If you decide to become a parent, well, god bless ya & know that this will (seemingly) strengthen any healthy relationship... You will have a new found respect for one another that you never knew could exist...

TIME: time is more valuable than money... something I always sorta knew but is constantly being reinforced. Time with family and friends, time alone to reflect, time spent doing what you love or time spent growing (which is sometimes painful)... With the addition of a child in my life, I've learned that my time is more valuable now than ever before!

MOTHERHOOD: Listen. Nobodies the "perfect" mother... what does that mean anyway? Just do the best you can and listen to your own heart and not what people tell you. You know more than you think you do! Babies don't need all the toys in the store and every marketed product for "learning". What they need is love (& guidance) from mom and dad.

PHOTOGRAPHY: I started calling it "a job" and I am now refraining myself to have that mindset. I do photography because it's what I'm passionate about. I've realized that too much equipment will weigh you down, keep it manageable and be resourceful.  Most importantly, in the age of digital don't get carried away with too many images or photoshop! Get it right 'in camera' above all else and GET IT PRINTED!

SOCIAL LIFE: It kinda dies down after you have a little one... lets face it. That's ok though because it makes "going out" that much sweeter and you appreciate going out to eat so much more! It's important to stay off your phone when you're with your friends and family... just put it away, spend the time with the people who are in front of your face! catch up with people online/ social media when you're just sitting around "bored"... If you don't have time for it, so be it. Throw parties with your friends, actually book the plane ticket to fly & see a friend, that 20% of game changer gets juiced from doing something for yourself once in a while. My point is, take the time to strengthen relationships OUTSIDE of social media. And last but not least, IT IS OK TO TALK TO STRANGERS... at this point in your life I think you know people are (for the most part) nice to you when you're nice to them.

So hide your phone away right now and go call a friend or snuggle up with your love!

xo,

April 

My Toxic Facebook

About 2 years ago, before Sienna was born, I decided to take facebook off of my phone. It was annoying and I was sick of being "that person" who, while standing around waiting in public, would turn to my phone for amusement. Those people have always gotten on my nerves, why not smile or strike up a convo with a real live person right in front of you? I felt it was almost ruining my creativity because I was no longer observing or looking around me... I simply had my face in my phone 24/7. I also did not want to be "that mom" who's baby was screaming as I said "hold on honey, i'll change your diaper after I update my facebook status". To me, a lot of things in my life needed to go back to the good old fashion way. 

So I removed facebook from my phone and that was that. I called it "the cell phone cleanse" I felt great. I no longer cared much about my phone and even lost it from time to time... i know, i'm such a daredevil. 

My next "i hate facebook" moment was a few months later when I would find myself, needing to get work done, but instead would find myself sitting at my desktop computer looking at other photographers work via facebook {you cheeky social media addict, you}. Boy did this send me into a downward spiral of depression!!! Talk about creativity killer! I immediately recognized what was happening and de-friended all the photographers I hadn't met in person. In addition, I blocked all of their status updates from showing up on my feed. If you are a photographer reading this, I highly recommend doing this. Nothing is more distracting than looking at others work! Focus on your own. 

Well about a month ago I re-lapsed into hating facebook and decided that I wanted to "get off facebook"  all together... {geesh, I sound like some sort of addict} so I did... I shut down my personal facebook page and felt... a sigh of relief. It actually felt like a medium size weight was off my shoulders. Well, that only lasted for about... 3-4 days. Something about it made me feel like I was missing out on the rest of the world. What a skewed perception, huh?

So after reading this very spot on article by David duChemin and watching this incredibly scary documentary called Terms & Conditions May Apply on Netflix, and coming across this amazing rant all in the same week... I realized that I need to follow my gutz and just go for it. {What better time did this come than after July 4th... the day that we honor our country and those who fought for our rights that we so take for granted, especially when it comes to privacy.}

So if you want to stay up to date on what's going on in the world of April K Photography or even a few personal stories from little old me, you can do so by visiting this blog on the regular! This is where I'll be hanging out ;)

Peace, Love & Freedom!

 

p.s. - mom, you were right.... again

 

 

The Handmade Nursery

I know I've been going on a lot of rants about my personal life lately, so I appologize if you're sick of me by now. Don't worry, we have some awesome shoots coming up real soon… but in the meantime I'm going to share the other half of my office space, Sienna's nursery. I'm very proud of this nursery, hence why I feel the need to share it. I dreamt of a space that's dazzling with color and bursting with creativity for our little girl to grow in. Who better to fill the space with love but our very own friends and family!? They say it takes a village to raise a child, and "they" are absolutley right! In the midst of Sienna's daily development I want to teach her to have a very LARGE imagination. I feel that creativity and imagination are vital in raising a child who possesses great character, so here's to trying!

As a gift from our gal pal, Gaby, we received 5 commissioned artworks from Sienna's cousins who range in age 8 to 2. The young artists were given the task {before Sienna's world debut} to draw what they think Sienna will look like. These are truly gems and so much fun to look at. Sienna's Crayola Portraits were placed in bright and bold frames which really set the tone for the vibe we were going for.

Our friend Kate, who is not only a very talented snowboarder, but also a skilled water color artist, painted the most beautifully vibrant and colorful peacock. She can shake that paint brush like it's no bodies business! I would someday like to transfer that beauty onto a snowboard for Sienna! How awesome would that be.

Our girl Lauren who is a crafty little crafter sent us the letters that live above the crib. Spelling out SIENNA in an artsy yet fashionable way, we love these colorful pieces. My long time friend, Megan {who the heck knew she even had this skill? Not me!} made the pink elephant who watches over the room. And our friends Lisa & Thahn commissioned Lisa's sister, Kristen {who is an awesome illustrator} the painting of bunnies in a hot air balloon floating through the fresh mtn air.

We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such creativity and love all day long.

Peace, Love & The Handmade Nursery,

April K

Nursery Artists:

Peacock watercolor by Kate Wynkoop Knit Elephant by Megan Bochette Sienna letters by Lauren Badger Bunnys in Balloon Painting by Kristen Cavallo -  http://kristenleecavallo.blogspot.com/ Drawings Of Sienna by: Kyleigh, Cohen, Addison, Lily & Quinn {My nieces & nephews}