It's time to book your 2022 Christmas Mini Sessions!
Each session includes your choice of eight (8) high-resolution images via digital download with print release. Additional images, prints, and holiday cards will be available for purchase as well.
*The time frame listed next to the session date and location is the total time I will be photographing clients that day. Sessions will run back-to-back. You will receive your allotted time the week before your session. Please plan to be flexible (and available) during that entire interval until you receive your assignment. I'll do my best to help with specific time requests, but they cannot be guaranteed.
**Booking is non-refundable. In the event of inclement weather, the photographer will reschedule sessions.
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Continuing with our “Family Day” series…
Last week we loaded up the kiddos and headed to Morrison Springs in Ponce de Leon, FL. In the past we’d always gone to Ponce de Leon Springs which is part of the Florida State Park system, but this time we decided to check out something new.
"Morrison Spring discharges an average of 48 million gallons of crystal-clear water each day to create a 250-foot-diameter spring pool and a spring run that flows into the Choctawhatchee River. There are 3 cavities reported at the bottom of the spring pool, 1 of which is 300 feet deep. The spring is popular not only for scuba diving but also for swimming and snorkeling."
If you’ve never been to a spring in Florida, I feel I should warn you – they’re COLD! Between 68° & 70° year round! It’ll take your breath away if you’re not mentally prepared, but it felt fantastic on this HOT July afternoon. The springs are also super clear – like pool water clear.
One thing we loved about Morrison Springs was the small man-made beach. Something we’d felt Ponce de Leon Springs lacked was the option to work your way into the water. Morrison Springs is also MUCH larger spring, so although there were more people around, it didn’t feel as crowded.
Thanks to Walton county, Morrison Springs now has bathroom facilities with outdoor showers, a large pavilion with grills, a wheelchair accessible boardwalk overlooking the springs, a couple of floating, diving platforms, and a boat ramp.
The springs are great for swimming and jumping in the water as well as scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding.
If you’ve never checked out any of northwest Florida’s beautiful springs, you’re really missing out! “Florida is home to more springs than any other state due to its geology, weather, and subsurface water flow.
"Because limestone formations in Florida are more porous than in many other areas, they can hold and transport more water, making the regional Floridan aquifer system one of the most productive freshwater aquifer systems in the world.
Florida receives between 30 and 100 inches of rain per year. Joints and fractures left behind in the limestone can eventually enlarge into water-filled caverns and tunnels. Springs occur when subsurface pressures force water up through an opening to land surface. The combination of highly porous limestones that can hold vast quantities of water, combined with relatively high rainfall amounts and subsurface water flow, are responsible for the occurrence of so many springs in Florida."
More information about Florida’s Springs can be found here: http://www.floridasprings.org/
I am blessed to have so many great clients, but none more than my repeat clients! I cannot tell you how excited I was when this mama texted to let me know that they were expecting baby #2 and she wanted to go ahead and set up a Baby's First Year photography plan. The baby's first year plan includes a total of 6 sessions: Maternity portraits, Premium Newborn photography session, Milestone sessions at 3, 6, and 9 months, as well as a 12 month cake-smash photography session.
It was just under 4 years ago when I met this family when I photographed their first maternity session. Back then, I was given the privilege of then photographing their first child's first 2 years, and now I cannot wait to document his little sister as well!
For this session, mom wanted to invoke memories from her antebellum themed wedding. After some brainstorming, we decided to leave Pensacola and head over to Orange Beach, Alabama to the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. I think the white columns and Spanish moss overlooking Wolf Bay fit her vision perfectly!
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Here's to a new year and getting back to blogging my sessions again!
To kick things off, I thought I'd share my last newborn photography session of 2021 with you all. I photographed mom's maternity session at the Alabama Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores in early November.
I was tickled when mom called me to let me know that their baby boy had made his arrival. Due to the upcoming holidays, we originally scheduled baby's session for 5-days old, but ended up deciding to push the session back to give baby boy time to get on a happier feeding schedule and let mama get a bit of rest.
I ended up heading to Gulf Shores, Alabama for this little one's in-home newborn portrait session the day after Christmas.
As usual, I did several set-ups on my bean bag as well as a basket/prop set. Mom is a woman after my own heart and wanted the white drop only for all of the bean bag pictures. I always bring a good selection of wraps and outfits in different colors and textures with me. Even though my sessions take place in my client's homes, I want them to still feel like they get to pick and choose what I use.
I'd also brought one of my two favorite props - my hand carved, wooden heart bowl by Chicaboo and this sweet boy looked so perfect snuggled up in it.
After a second feeding, this little one took a nice hard nap allowing me to get these sweet pictures that daddy requested. After this, I wrapped baby up and we finished the session by capturing portraits of them as a new family of three.
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1. Pick out everyone's outfits sooner rather than later.
a. Wear something you're comfortable in, and make sure that your little(s) are comfortable in their outfit as well.
b. Think coordinating/ complimentary not matching.
c. Avoid busy patterns.
d. If you're concerned about your little ones getting messy or rumpled in the car on the way to your on-location session, just wait and dress them after you arrive. I always build a little cushion of time each session.
2. Make sure everyone is fed and rested (that includes you too).
3. Consider bringing the following with you:
a. non-messy, quick snacks (goldfish crackers, Puffs, apple slices), water, a bobby pin or barrette if you're worried about the wind, lipstick or gloss for touchups, and a hair brush
b. for beach sessions - a towel. It's FUN to finish your session splashing in the water!
c. PJs for your littles - If it's a mid-summer session, we won't be finishing up until close to 8pm. If there's a possibility your little one(s) might fall asleep in the car, bring their PJs with you so you can go ahead and change them before strapping them in for the ride home.
Well-rested and fed children are cooperative children!
happy children photographed in Orange Beach, AL, Perdido Key, FL, and Gulf Shores, AL
4. Prepare your children (and anyone else who may be a bit on the fence about the session). Talk up the session, let the kids pick a must-have shot, and feel free to pick a good bribe (ice cream and suckers are the most popular).
a. If you're concerned your child might be nervous, consider bringing a favorite book, small toy, bubbles, or something else that they enjoy or brings them comfort.
5. Ladies - Even if you don't usually wear much (or any) makeup, wearing a little for your session will do you nothing but favors! Even just a little foundation/powder, mascara, and a swipe of lipstick will look amazing!
6. Once the session has started, relax, play, smile, kiss, and hug. I'll get "the shot!" I don't expect anyone's kids to be angels. I'm a new person, my camera can be intimidating, and your children are probably wearing new clothes. I promise that I'll work with them and get some great photos, and your kids will be relaxed if YOU are.
a. Also, don't forget that you don't have to look at the camera for all of the pictures! I will still get a few more traditional, family portrait-type pictures, but I bet your favorites will end up being the ones where you're interacting as a family!
7. Let me take individual pictures of each child. Every person, every child has their own personality. Let's give them their minute in spotlight to shine!
8. And let me take a picture of just you and your partner! We need more than just a selfie with our significant other! I'm actually a master at holding an infant on my hip while grabbing a quick photo of the two who started it all!
Don't let your wedding photos be the most current professional pictures with your partner!
couples in Orange Beach, AL, Pensacola, FL, and Pensacola Beach, FL
And finally for the in-home family photography sessions...
9. Take a couple of minutes and de-clutter the space where I'll be photographing your family. I'm not saying your house needs to be magazine ready, just consider stuffing those magazines in a drawer, throwing the alarm clock under your bed, and putting a few toys away.
It's that time of year again...time to start planning for your Pensacola and Perdido Key Christmas Photography pictures!
This year's Christmas Mini Sessions will take place on 4 dates with your choice of 2 locations and morning and afternoon session times. Beach sessions will be the afternoons of November 16th, 23rd, and 24th and Woodsy sessions are available the afternoon of November 17th and the morning of November 23rd. Specific location addresses and times will be given after booking.
2019 Christmas Mini Sessions - $100
Each session is 10-15 minutes
Unlimited family members
Your choice of 3 high-resolution images via digital download with print release
NOTE: Date and time slots are notated Beach or Woods and have the time frame listed. Make sure you choose the location and time of day you want.
Custom designed holiday cards, prints, and additional digital image downloads will be available for purchase when you receive your viewing gallery. Viewing galleries will be up within 7 days of your session to ensure plenty of time for selection and any additional products you may decide to purchase.
Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography offers Family Christmas Photography in northwest Florida that captures your family’s connections, emotions, and moments in a fun, natural way. Located in Pensacola, service areas include but are not limited to Perdido Key, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach, Navarre, Pace, Milton, and Cantonment in Florida and Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Fairhope, and Daphne in south Alabama.
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A Rainbow baby is a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, or infant loss.
Did you know that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss?
Not 1 in 4 women - 1 in 4 pregnancies.
Since most women become pregnant more than once in their lives, that drastically increases the chances that she'll suffer a loss. That means that this loss affects a lot more than just 1 in 4 women!
In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”
Each of these amazing women below has experienced the loss of a pregnancy (or pregnancies). Some of them are pregnant with their rainbow baby. Some of them are holding their rainbow baby. Some of them are both.
Their stories matter.
Your story matters.
These amazing mamas were strangers when they arrived for our photography session that evening in Perdido Key, FL.
Each of the pregnant mamas are due within a month of each other, and by the end of our sunset session, they were all friends. In fact, they're still in touch with on another on their journey!
Have you or someone you know suffered a loss?
Whether you realize it or not, the answer is yes.
Here's a link to a great website with information on how you can support a friend or family member who's going through or has gone through a loss.
A rainbow is a promise of sunshine after rain, of calm after storms, of joy after sadness, of peace after pain, and of love after loss.
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again - it's so important to take yearly family photos! Babies grow into toddlers in the blink of an eye. In the next blink, that toddler is a sassy 5-year-old. Faster than you can even imagine, that sassy 5-year-old is telling you that a boy (with a car) asked her to the Homecoming dance!
The triptychs of the girls only cover a 3.5 year span.
Harrison's (at the top) covers a 4.5 year span.
Each of them, though, has changed in only a few short years!
I try to take pictures of the kids each spring, family pictures each fall, and a Christmas pajama photo each holiday season. I'll admit that I've missed a couple of springs over the years, and my husband and I don't always make it into the fall family photos. But I make sure to update the kid's portraits at least once a year, and we never miss the annual Christmas pj portrait.
These photos were taken in the springs of 2015, 2016, and 2018 respectively.
I try to vary our locations, and now that the kids are getting older, I let them have a say as well. On the left, the kids were 11-months, 8, and almost 10. On the right, they were 5, 11, and 13!
As I said, we don't miss our annual fall family photos! The top photo was taken in 2015 and the bottom is from last fall, 2018. We haven't taken this year's photos yet, but a color palette was picked, outfits are being chosen, and the girls have decided on this year's location. As soon as my husband is home for a couple of days, we'll go take them.
Now that the kids are older, between marching band, chorus, and soccer finding time to have our photos made as a family requires more planning to schedule but is just as important. Last year's photos were spontaneous - we were all home at the same time, the sun was getting lower in the sky, and everyone was in a good mood - so I threw outfits at everyone and off we went to Tarklin Bayou State Park.
If you decide to roll with spontaneity like we do, having a handful of good Pensacola area photography locations in mind helps a lot! We've had sessions at Tarklin Bayou, Johnsons Beach and Naval Live Oaks (both part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore), The photo in front of the gorgeous azalea bushes was taken at the home of Leila's violin instructor. We've also utilized pretty green spaces in our neighborhood as well as local parks.
An annual Christmas pajama photo is also a requirement around here! I prefer to have them just include the kids (and the dog when he's willing), but last year the girls really wanted my husband and myself in the picture too.
If you can't tell, I have one kid who marches to the beat of her own drum and prefers to "coordinate but not match."
Looking back over these photos also reminds me of the drama, threats, and bribes that often occurred to get some of those smiles. (I'm looking at you Christmas 2016 and spring 2016.) But that's the other thing, allowing the kids to have input into outfits and locations nowadays has helped with the attitudes as well. If you take nothing else away from my trip down memory lane, I hope you remember that - let the kids help plan something (even something as small as what necklace or hair bow they wear - if they have a stake in the game, they're much more likely to be willingly cooperative!
Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography offers Family Photography in northwest Florida that captures your family’s connections, emotions, and moments in a fun, natural way. Located in Pensacola and also offering maternity, newborn, and birth photography, service areas include but are not limited to Perdido Key, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach, Navarre, Pace, Milton, and Cantonment in Florida and Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Fairhope, and Daphne in south Alabama. Family portrait sessions tend to book up to one month in advance, while maternity, birth, and newborn sessions should be booked early in the second trimester to ensure availability at the time of delivery. Amanda offers a full service experience including a pre-session consultation, exclusive access to her Maternity and Newborn wardrobe, an online proofing gallery to share and download your included high-resolution digital images, and an array of professional print, canvas, and album options. I can’t wait to hear from you and help create your own beautiful heirloom memories!
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Mom, Jennifer, had a plan.
She wanted her second baby, a girl, to be born vaginally.
Having had her first baby, a boy, a little over a year and a half before via cesarean, this meant she needed to find a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) friendly obstetrician and that she'd need to deliver at Sacred Heart Hospital. Finding a truly VBAC supportive provider isn't always an easy task, but Jennifer found a wonderful, supportive doctor AND she made the decision to hire a doula to offer additional support for herself and her husband.
The evening before Lilly's grand entrance into the world, Jennifer texted to let me know that she'd been having strong, but inconsistent contractions all day. Just under 3 hours later, they were headed to the hospital to get checked.
By midnight I was on my way to the Maternity and Women's Center at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, FL.
Jennifer was amazing. She was so calm as she tried out just about every position in the book to labor her baby down. Her husband was so involved and sweet to watch as he did everything he could to be a helper and part of their baby's birth.
And, much to mom's surprise, dad was right there with me when I was capturing our first glimpse of baby's crowning head!
Baby girl, Lily, made her grand entrance earth-side just before 5am 6 days before her "official-due-date."
Other than the VBAC, mom's main desire was for a lotus birth. She wanted for the placenta to be delivered while baby was still attached to it via the un-clamped umbilical cord.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, studies are finding that delayed cord clamping can benefit both preterm and full-term babies by increasing placental transfusion, a 60% increase in red blood cells and a 30% increase in neonatal blood volume. Another advantage of DCC is the decreased risk of deficiency anemia due to an additional 40 - 50 mg/kg of iron transferring to the newborn.
Did you know that dads can do skin-to-skin?
They totally can! And it's SO precious!
This dad had his shirt off within a couple minutes of his baby girl's delivery and was more than ready for his one-on-one time.
After photographing this big, beautiful girl's stats, doula, Lindsey, with Belly to Cradle, LLC and I headed out so this family could get a bit of rest of snuggles.
Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography offers Birth Photography in northwest Florida that is timeless and unforgettable. Located in Pensacola and also offering maternity, family, and newborn photography, service areas include but are not limited to Perdido Key, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach, Navarre, Pace, Milton, Cantonment, and Crestview in Florida and Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Fairhope, and Daphne in Alabama. Maternity, birth, and newborn photography sessions should be booked early in the second trimester to ensure availability at the time of delivery. Amanda offers a high-end, full service experience including a pre-session consultation, exclusive access to her Maternity and Newborn wardrobe, an online proofing gallery to share and download your included high-resolution digital images, and an array of professional print, canvas, and album options. I can’t wait to hear from you and help create your own beautiful heirloom memories!
One of my lesser utilized photography session options is my Petite Newborn Portrait Session. This is a 1-hour, in-home newborn photography session that is perfect for the family who's maybe on a budget but still wants to make sure their new baby's details are captured.
These sessions are awesome because, since baby is wrapped for all or most of the session, baby will be happy and content and doesn't have to fall asleep. In fact, this little girl didn't sleep a wink until the last 10-minutes I was there. But her her pictures turned out fabulously!
If you're looking for a newborn portrait session without all of the bells and whistles that still captures all of baby's perfect new-ness, give our Petite Newborn Portrait Session a try.
Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography offers Newborn Photography in northwest Florida that is timeless. Located in Pensacola and also offering maternity, family, and birth photography, service areas include but are not limited to Perdido Key, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach, Navarre, Pace, Milton, and Cantonment in Florida and Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, Fairhope, and Daphne in south Alabama. Portrait sessions tend to book up to one month in advance, while maternity, birth, and newborn sessions should be booked early in the second trimester to ensure availability at the time of delivery. Amanda offers a high-end, full service experience including a pre-session consultation, exclusive access to her Maternity and Newborn wardrobe, an online proofing gallery to share and download your included high-resolution digital images, and an array of professional print, canvas, and album options. I can’t wait to hear from you and help create your own beautiful heirloom memories!
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Amanda is the prop buying, location scouting, mom-bun rocking, flip flop wearing, owner/ operator/ and woman behind the camera for Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography.
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Family Photography, Newborn Photography, Maternity photography, Fresh 48 photography, High school Senior Portrait Photography, and Milestone Photography in Pensacola, FL, Cantonment, FL, Perdido Key, FL, Pace, FL, Gulf Breeze, FL, Navarre, FL, and Pensacola Beach, Florida and Orange Beach, AL, Gulf Shores, AL, Foley, AL,, Fairhope, AL, Daphne, AL and Spanish Fort, Alabama..