Tic Toc Tic Toc featuring Always Matilda Photography



“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” — Douglas Adams

Why did you set out on your photography journey?  I can almost guarantee that many of our stories start the same. We have babies.  We want pictures.  This is as true for me as it is for anyone else, plus my parents also loved taking photographs.  I have always had a camera, even as a little girl and I have always been artistic, creative, crafty.  I have always dreamed of being a mother and a teacher.  I bailed on the teaching dream half way through college and found my way down a few career paths and ended up in the very convenient, very flexible, not so rewarding waitressing world.  Then I became pregnant with Alex.

End of 2006
We were babies having a baby.


…and now I’m going to get really brutally honest and candid with you for a moment…
I was not a photographer.  I was not a momtog, either.  I was a mom with a camera who knew how to push a button.  I even learned how to run some filters or whatever the heck I did to the photo from Rockefeller Center at Christmas.   Up the nose shots, red eyes, and Christmas lights! *gasp*  {do not let your kids play with Christmas lights, they contain lead}.


Summer 2007


These silly toes.  They take my breath away.  Every single one of my kids has them and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

End of 2007


These photos were good enough to document my baby, sure, but they weren’t good ENOUGH.  I wanted to remember my baby as he was, as I saw him and these photos just weren’t getting the job done.  Yes, sure, I love looking back at them and remembering these times.  Remembering the time when I had the flash and the red eye reduction on so the poor kid would get bug eyes in every photo because of the double flash. Hey, at least they weren’t red bug eyes, right?!

Up until this point, I had gradually started taking more and more photos of this little nugget.  I was getting more and more excited about it but was limited by equipment and knowledge. Time was passing and life was changing and I was getting desperate to hold on to memories.

Mid 2008


August 25, 2008
We were still babies… well, my husband was.  I was nearly 30 haha! and we had another baby.  My mom gifted me her Canon Rebel.  YAY!  All of a sudden, with the birth of our second baby, it felt like things started moving in warp speed.  My babies aged months in just moments, right before my eyes.  I couldn’t grasp the fleeting moments fast enough to hold on to them before they were gone, left behind on the freeway of life as we continued zooming forward.


I was still just a mom with a camera who knew how to push a button, but I was slowly learning and I began to shoot in AV at some point in the months to follow.


OMG… this happened… seriously…. what was I thinking?  I’ll warn you now, it doesn’t get better over time😉


Crooked photos.. why was that ever a thing?!


In the spirit of coming clean, here are a few more photos from random times in 2008.  Tell me again about why selective color was a thing… anyone?

I was improving… I guess… but I wasn’t there yet.  I continued practicing and improving for the next couple of years.


Then a series of unfortunate events halted my life.  Literally stopped me in my tracks and I didn’t take my camera out for years.   I have 2011 and 2012 folders on my hard drive that are empty except for 2 photos in each.  I did have phone pics but when my hard drive got damaged, I lost all of those.  I only just realized this right now.  *sob*

As life started to come together again and we conceived our third child, I slowly started using my camera again.  I have since committed so much time and energy, I even upgraded to a 6D and a 35mm art.  The only thing that hasn’t changed is time.  In the years between 2008 and 2013, seemingly overnight, something happened.

This :


Became this:


And by 2016 all of this:

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And so… maybe I’m at the point where I can call myself a photographer, maybe I have years and years of learning ahead.  Maybe both.  My goal of making photos that really capture who these little people are has been reached and will continue to improve for as long as I’m able.   So, I’m holding tight to these memories, because one day they will be all I have left of these exhausted days and I will yearn to be crawling through the sand on Long Beach Island, begging my kids to cooperate for just one more second.   Not everyone can be a photographer, but everyone can be a memory keeper.  My kids are my inspiration in helping others keep their memories, too.  I know what it’s like to have photos and to not have photos and no one should look back on nothing.

mama, memory keeper, photographer


Website. Facebook. Instagram.

To Document featuring Momma Got Soul Photography


What is a documentary photographer? How do they differ from a lifestyle or portrait photographer? Are they hard and fast rules? Can the two be blended?

According to Wikipedia documentary photography is used to chronicle events or the environment, relevant to history and everyday life. To me Documentary Photography is stopping time forever, it is recording what makes up your life today to allow you to revisit this point in time when these moments have passed. It honestly chronicles life. To me this differs from lifestyle. With lifestyle photography, the connections are shown. The love between a family, but generally they are more directed and unrepresentative of real life. Portrait photography is just that, a portrait. Generally it includes directions such as sit here, look there, smile. I believe that there are no hard and fast rules. I try to blend all three styles together in my sessions to capture the best of all three.

I consider myself a real life photographer. Sometimes real life includes a mom and daughter in a tutu out in a field, looking regal and gorgeous. Some days, it includes 2 kids picking peaches in the hot summer sun.

As a photographer where do you lay on the spectrum? As a client what do you prefer?

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6 Tips for Photographing Kids featuring Rachel K Photo


I have a unique experience when it comes to photographing kids. Prior to dedicating myself full time to photography, I was a nanny for 6 years. My extensive childcare experience has given me an incredible insight into kids. Here are a few tips and tricks I picked up along the way that have helped me with photographing kids and families.


1. Be careful of bribes, they can backfire.

Young children have no concept of time, so delayed gratification usually doesn’t work. Instead, all you get is a hyper-focused child who will ask you every 30 seconds if they can have their treat now.

Bribe gone “wrong.”

2. Pre-session questionnaire.

If you’re not sending out a pre-session questionnaire, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity! I have standard questions, like names and phone number, but a couple that I have added recently that has really paid off are asking the kids’ birthdays. Not just their ages, but actual dates of birth. There is a big difference between a just turned two year old, and a two year old that is almost 3. Knowing that information helps me plan and set realistic expectations for the child(ren). I also recently added to my questionnaire a section for parents to describe the personalities of their child(ren). “Tell me about some of your kid’s favorite things, or least favorite things.” This question helps me to relate to the kids once we’re at the session. This brings me to my next tip…


3. Get on the kids’ level!

You have all this information, now use it! For instance, say you learned in your questionnaire that big sis just started 2nd grade. Great! Ask her about it! What’s her favorite subject? Where is the coolest place at the school? What’s her favorite game to play at recess or during P.E.? And maybe little brother is fascinated with dinosaurs, ask him about that! Does he have favorite one? Why? Maybe you pretend to be dinosaurs for a while. Asking kids questions and getting on their level helps them not only feel important, but also distracts them so they don’t feel as nervous. This is a great way for me to get genuine smiles and reactions from the kids. Cheese smiles aren’t something that anyone wants to see in their photos.

We were talking about his love for marshmallows!
This guy just celebrated his 4th birthday!

4. Be patient.

I usually have a list in my head of “must capture photos” but there is no particular order, and I live for the in-between moments. What I mean by this is if the toddler only wants to be held by mom, don’t force him to do solo shots first. Instead start with some sweet mom and kiddo shots. Maybe then move to family shots, and as the kid warms up, maybe he’ll go to dad or big sis. Those solo shots are much easier to get once the kiddo is more comfortable and secure. But whatever the kids needs are, be willing to meet him where he feels comfortable first. Don’t take away security blankets, or favorite toys. Start with those included, and then maybe try to distract and capture a few without.

Daddy snuggles.
Only wanted his momma at this point.

5. Have some tricks up your sleeves!

Don’t be afraid to be silly, or LOUD. The sillier, and sometimes louder you are, the sillier and more relaxed kids become. I mean who doesn’t feel relaxed when someone else is acting a fool and taking all the focus?! I also have a few games I sometimes play. Simple things like “Simon Says” and “Ring-around-the-rosy” usually get great reactions. Other fun things that kids react to are telling siblings to whisper funny things in each others ear, patty cake for younger kids, or just singing songs in general. I also do the “tell me if your mom/dad/whoever, is about to get to me.” Where someone pretends to sneak up behind me, and the kids have to warn me. That’s hilarious for younger kids! I’ve also had families give eskimo kisses, piggy back rides, parents tickle kids, or lift them into the air. Anything that evokes genuine giggles and emotions! It’s also not a bad idea to memorize a few kid jokes! (What do you call a pig that knows karate?- A pork chop!)

Playing patty-cake!
Being chased by momma!
Whispering in ear.
Giving hugs!
Daddy tickles!
Eskimo kisses

6. Let them be little.

Remember those in-between moments I mentioned earlier? There is nothing more beautiful or moving to me than to capture a kid just being a kid. And for me that usually doesn’t mean looking at the camera, or necessarily even smiling. We all know how quickly childhood passes, and how much kids change in such a short amount of time!Rachelkphoto-1-5Rachelkphoto-6-3Rachelkphoto-9-2Rachelkphoto-12Rachelkphoto-6Rachelkphoto-9Rachelkphoto-10Rachelkphoto-2-3Rachelkphoto-13Rachelkphoto-28

Have any great tips I didn’t mention? Leave them in the comment section!  I’m always looking for different ways to improve my shoots! And don’t forget to head over to my website to see more examples of my kid and family photography! You can also connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.


Simple Ways to Become More Productive featuring Tara Geldart Photography


Moncton family Photographer Tara Geldart-1

I don’t know about you but there are a lot of days when I feel like I worked my butt off and got absolutely nothing accomplished.  Sure, I fed the kids, folded some laundry and vacuumed the floors and maybe had a shower but in between all of that I was trying to give my little business some much needed love but in reality all I was doing was wasting precious time by not having a schedule.

I am big on “to do” lists.  Since having kids and entering my 30’s, my brain is a pile of mush.  I mean, I forget everything!  I don’t mean to, it just happens.  I need to write things down.  In a quest to become more productive and actually spend time on tasks that will eventually see a return for my business, I set out to write a daily schedule.I’ll share with you a few things that I have discovered along the way that have helped me to stay on task and be more productive as a work at home mom.

Write Out a Schedule

This one seems obvious but actually writing out the tasks that you need to get accomplished helps you to organize what needs to get done vs what is actually getting accomplished.

I like to organize my schedule one week at a time and then further break that down into specifically what I need to do each day.

For example: One week I might have a newborn session to shoot and edit, a couple blog posts to write, blogs to submit to, website to update, Facebook posts to put up, phone calls to return, emails to read etc.  This list goes on!  When I look at my week as a whole, I find it much easier to break it down into daily tasks.

If you just wing it (which I have done for years) you’ll feel like you are always working, always checking the notifications on your phone, always on your email and never accomplishing any of the big things on your list.

Know Your Most Productive Times

I recently read somewhere that successful people organize their days according to minutes instead of hours.  This makes so much sense to me!  An hour is a large chunk of time.  It is easy to get distracted and off track when sitting down to work for an hour but if you organize your “to do” list according to smaller increments you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish!

For example, I know that I typically have three different times of the day that I can sit down at my computer and try to devote time to my business:

  • First thing in the morning after the big kids go to school and  before the little kids get up for the day (I am  blessed with little ones who like to sleep in a lounge around all morning) I usually can squeeze a good hour of work time.
  • After lunch when the baby goes for a nap and before the big kids get home from school is also a good time for me to get some work done.  I have a pre-schooler at home who does not nap so I have implemented a quiet time during this hour!
  • After the kids go to bed at night.  My kids stay up late…it is usually after 9 p.m. before I get a chance to sit down by myself.  Since I am a night hawk, this time works for me!  Unless I am trying to meet a deadline, I usually save this time for editing personal images because I like to watch T.V. and have some down time after the kids are in bed.

Turn Off Your Notifications

This one was HUGE for me!  I removed Facebook off my phone’s home screen.  It’s still on there but I have to actually go searching for it in among my apps in order to access it.  I never realized how much  time I was wasting while I was just “checking” FB.  What’s the point in checking every few minutes?  It’s just a time suck and for me, it makes me burn out faster.  I don’t want to be attached to my phone and the computer all day.  The more time I spend on the doing mindless tasks, the more “blah” I feel about actually being online to be productive.

Instagram is another big time suck for me.  I have yet to remove that one but it is coming!  I’ll check in periodically but not all throughout the day.  Post what you need to and leave it for a while.  Set a specific time for browsing tags and other people you follow.  That is important too but I don’t suggest using the most productive times in you day for those things.

Create Templates

For the longest time, I had all of my notes and ideas in 3 coil notebooks.  I couldn’t find anything because it was all just smushed together.  I had to come up with a plan for how to run my business.  I now have a binder that contains the step-by-step information that I need to run my business smoothly.

Creating these systems that are tailored specifically for my business has been paramount in staying productive and organized.  I am not going to lie; these took a long time to put together…but totally worth it!  I have a FAQ page to send out to potential clients who are inquiring about a session, business policies, several email templates since a lot of the emails that I need to respond to are all pretty similar. I also made a Client Workflow Chart to help with making sure that my clients are taken care of at every stage of the game; this one is particularly helpful for me because I tend to forget things easily and this helps me to remember to send that follow up email, thank you card, order prints, schedule a meeting etc.  It basically just keeps me in line and able to take multiple clients through the process without compromising on customer service.

Enlist Help!

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Moncton family Photographer Tara Geldart-2


Take a Break!

If all else fails, just set what ever you are working on aside for a few minutes and get outside to play for a while!  Recharging your batteries and taking some well deserved family time can do wonders for your soul!  You’ll get a break from the pressures of your work load, the kids will get your attention so they’ll be more likely to play solo while you get some work done later and you’ll all feel a little more balanced.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in it all that we forget to just have fun!

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So, there you have it!  Super simple tips to become a more productive photographer.  I am always looking for more ways to be able to be more productive while working at home with little ones running around all day, so feel free to leave your tips and tricks that you use to be become more productive in the comments!


Website. Facebook. Instagram.

Livin’ the Dream featuring Always Matilda Photography

monthlycontributorALWAYSMATILDA“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
-Langston Hughes

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a mother.  I was sure that there was no way I would ever be able to have children because I wanted them so badly.   I would later learn that becoming pregnant, carrying babies and birthing babies was just something that came easily to me.  I was good at it and, call me crazy, I actually enjoyed laboring and delivering my babies.  So much so, that I birthed #2 and #3 at home to preserve the natural process of bringing babies earthside.


After I had my second baby, my first homebirth, I knew that birth was what I needed to do.  One way or another, I needed to be a birth worker.  There is nothing greater in the world than to witness the miracle that is a woman utilizing the power inside of herself to bring her baby into this world and to be a part of the very first moments of someone’s life.   The first time they open their eyes, the first breath they take, the first time they meet the voice they’ve been listening to for nine months… these moments will stop you in your tracks if you pause to realize the magnitude of what this all means!!


This is the first moment on their forever.  They know nothing but this very second.



Here’s the thing, though.  Nearly 8 years ago I had a brand new baby girl and a nearly 2 year old boy.  My husband was working insane over time so that I could be home with our kids as much as possible.  When I really sat down and began to think about being a doula it wasn’t practical at all.  What would I do with my kids when I was at a birth and my husband was working?    I put my dream in the closet and focused on nursing babies and diapers and park playdates and waitressing part time.  It was at this point that my mom downsized cameras and gave me her Canon Rebel.  I didn’t do any learning about anything aside from shooting in AV mode.  I didn’t invest much time, I just did what I  could.

(It wasn’t much haha. SOOC – August 2008)

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Fast forward five years.  It had been about two years since I had even taken a photo with my big camera.  I had been surviving solely on whatever low quality cell phone camera I had because it was taking everything I had not to drown in life.  We found out we were expecting our third baby, we moved into a different house, one of my very best friends, Meghan, started getting into photography at the same time that life seemed like it was turning around.  When I’m happy, I am creative and so I started using my camera again.  I had another amazing homebirth, upgraded to the 6D and decided that a photography business would be my end game goal.   I knew at this point that I wanted to photograph birth.  There is no greater emotive photography than birth photography.




In July 2015, I attended one of my best friend’s births.  It was amazing to be there for her as her friend, support and photographer.  Helping someone birth their baby with one hand, meanwhile trying to capture her child’s first breath with the other hand wasn’t as challenging as I expected it to be.  It was actually just incredible.  My fire was growing stronger, but, at the same time, it was getting shoved in that closet I spoke about earlier.  How could I possibly photograph births?  Especially now, with a toddler, a first grader and a second grader and a husband still working a gazillion hours a week to keep me home as much as possible?


My solution to this issue was fresh 48 sessions and authentic organic newborn sessions.



Skip ahead again to February 2016.   I lost our fourth baby.  (I know, I say it a lot, but Sawyer is literally changing my life, I think… I hope).   Everything that I believe defined me as a woman was ripped away from me in one single day.  I was forced to turn inward and decipher who I was, what defined me as a woman, as a mother, as an artist.  At this point, I had already committed to photographing Meghan’s birth.  We were due about 3 weeks apart and had planned for her to do my photos and me to do her photos.  I also begged another friend who was due in between the two of us to let me photograph her birth.   I put a giant ad on my Facebook page to gain portfolio for my fresh 48 & newborn sessions.  I basically decided to offer whatever it would take to ease my aching heart and build a portfolio for a solid future.



“…the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that
would never otherwise have occurred…
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Begin it now.”
-William Hutchison Murray


I have this giant plan… it’s almost desperation… to be at as many births as possible and photograph the beginning of life for as many babies as I possibly can.   I am pretty sure that I am going to begin my doula training as well.  I know this isn’t photography related, but this post is about dreaming and that’s what I’m doing!!   I don’t know what kind of demand there is for birth photographers in my area, but I’m hoping that by word of mouth with professionals that I work with, it will pick up.  I figure that, at the very least, if I can offer two different birth services, I broaden my chances of being able to be where I love, in the birthing room, as much as possible.



And just to throw a wrench in the mix, we just took the first step of our journey to (hopefully) having our fifth baby.



“Surrender to what is.
Let go of what was.
Have faith in what will be.”
-Sonia Ricotti


For now, I’m opening that closet door, I’m unpacking my dreams and I’m doing what it takes to live them.  I’m letting go of the fear of failure, I’m letting go of sadness and regret.  I’m having faith that everything will fall into place.


Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.
-Hebrews 11 : 1


Don’t leave your dreams in the closet.  Live them!



xoxo Katie
Website. Facebook.

Homecoming featuring Momma Got Soul Photography


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This spring I had the pleasure of photographing a special type of homecoming, the day this little one got to go home after spending 5 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit.

At 30 weeks into your pregnancy, you are just beginning to think about things like a car seat and putting the crib together. You have started to read birth books, but haven’t gotten to the end yet. Delivering your little one is still at the back of your mind knowing you have over 2 months of pregnancy left. That is how little Abbie’s mom felt. Then she went to her routine appointment. They informed her she had high blood pressure and shipped her over to the hospital to be monitored. Things quickly progressed to an emergency C-Section and just like that Abbie was born, and her parents, well they became parents all in a rush.

Being a preemie means going straight to the NICU where she stayed for the next 5 weeks overcoming each new obstacle that came up. As she continued to put on weight and grow stronger, the day she was able to come home started quickly approaching. Mom and Dad had spent hours upon hours at that hospital with their little girl. Scrubbing in, dressing in a gown, spending the first days of their little girls life with others all around. Now it will just be mom, dad, baby, in a quiet house, with lots of love.

Being able to document this homecoming brought tears to my eyes. Knowing how this family struggled not only to conceive but to keep their little one made this a very special homecoming.

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To see more of little Abbie from her portrait session, check it out here.



Finding My Passion featuring Rachel K Photo


As a new contributor for Dear Photographer, I thought it only fitting that my first blog be a little about how I came to find my passion, and become a professional photographer.

There are moments in life that can stop you in your tracks. Several years ago, during a difficult season of life, I had one of these moments. All my brother-in-law did was ask a simple question. I can still vividly remember sitting in his big blue truck, chatting, while my sister ran into the store. He asked me what I was passionate about. The question threw me for a loop. I didn’t know how to answer it. I couldn’t answer it, because I didn’t know what my passion was. At the time, I was in school for interior design at the time, but that wasn’t it. In fact, I couldn’t think of a single thing that I genuinely got excited about.

Fast forward a little to the next season of life… That question still stuck in the back of my head. During this time, I discovered a lot about myself. I discovered I really love to travel- this from a girl who had barely left her home state of Tennessee, and when she did it was just to the closest beach. But I fell in love with traveling, and road trips, and visiting national parks, and seeing all the unique and beautiful landscapes that God has created. I discovered yoga and how much I love to cook and bake. I even at one point took some cake decorating lessons and toyed with the idea of culinary school or possibly becoming a yoga instructor. But most important to my story is when I started borrowing my friend’s DSLR to take pictures. She let me take it on a road trip out west and after that I was hooked! I wanted to learn to capture all of these stunning places I was visiting better.  So I decided I needed my own camera!


The following Christmas I asked for my first camera, a Canon T3i, and promptly enroll into an intro to photography night class. My teacher was hard. He pushed us and expected us to learn quickly. The only way to do well in the class was to show understanding and growth each week. I worked my butt off and at the end of the class I just wanted to learn more! What started off as a desire to take travel and landscape photos quickly shifted with the birth of my nephew, Ev. I took photos when he was born, and then every month after for about a year.


Soon, other people were noticing and asking me about shoots for their family. I was working as a full time nanny then and as a kind of natural extension of my love for kids, I quickly discovered how much I love capturing children and families! Not long after this I met my future husband, Josh, whose own passion inspired me so much. With his and other’s encouragement, I decided to officially start my own photography business, Rachel K Photo! It is beautiful, and it is hard, but I have finally found what I’m passionate about!

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We moved to Virginia in August last year for Josh’s job, and got married in January earlier this year. I am now in a place where I am starting my business afresh in a new city and state. It is again hard, but it is wonderful and it is worth the struggle. Why? Because it’s truly what I am passionate about. I specialize in maternity, newborn and families, because that’s where my heart is. I believe that every family has a unique and beautiful story to share, a story that can be passed down for generations. And it’s my honor to capture these stories.



Website. https://www.facebook.com/RachelKPhotoKnox. https://www.instagram.com/rachelkphoto/.