Is this session personal work or client work?

This session is client work. The mama wanted to secure one of my intimate motherhood sessions so we took a nice little trip out to Boerne to capture the love between her and her son.

Tell us a bit about the magic of summer + the connection to your lens?

Shannon reached out to me to secure one of my intimate motherhood sessions. She wanted to capture the raw beauty of breastfeeding her son, Laiken and their relationship. Her concern was that he was nearing 2 years old, and these beautiful moments between them would soon pass. We went out to a local nature center and headed to the creek. He was scared of the water at first, but to loosen him up Shannon carried him and loved on him. Once he was ready to nurse Shannon and Laiken stripped and I stood back and captured the connection between this mama and her son.

What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

This is an epic summer session because it captures the wild, raw, vulnerable and powerful moments of motherhood and nature. This mother and her son were so in love, and their love shines through these images.

What else is on your summer bucket list to photograph this summer?

I am dying to capture an expecting mama in the nude!

What gear was used to achieve these?

Canon 6D, Canon 35mm 1.4

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

My only tips are not to pose, possibly direct, but look to capture those little moments – the ones that people forget after a while. The brush of their hair, that quick squeeze or snuggle, the way mama looks at her babies. Capture the memories that matter



Hi, my name is Vanessa Mendez. I got started in photography at the end of 2015 and was immersed in birth photography. Through 2016 I worked to find my style, speciality, and love. It took me all year to really figure myself out as a photographer and I am still learning and working hard every single day. I found that I have a passion for capturing raw and emotion filled moments between families and especially mothers. My inspiration comes from my own heart as a mama of two. I have been married to my amazing, wonderful, handsome and sweet husband for 5 years in October. We have two beautiful and talented kids, Ava who is 6 and Ezra who is almost 3. I also work as a Mortgage Loan Officer for a Bank, so I am balancing a lot, but photography is worth it!

W E B S I T E | F A C E B O O K | I N S T A G R A M  1 +

P I N T E R E S T | E M A I L 

#p52radness Monthly Epic Share

#p52radness Monthly Epic Share

“The trouble is, you think you have time.”

Jack Kornfiel

I’ll start with that, and share that I totally butchered that quote as I thought it was problem and not trouble. I am not someone who is afraid to admit her mistakes. So there you go. This quote speaks on so many multiple levels currently.

The project continues to fill the hearts of all of us. Being present is hard, getting in the frame is even harder. Take a little time in the week, commit to one hr of trying to take a self portrait, join our group. The encouragement never ends there.

Here’s a super small May collection, because life.


ABBY KENNAN@abbykennan

ANGELA DORAN @angela.doran

JESSICA EHLEN @jessica_ehlen

LEAH MOORE@leahmoorephoto

MONICA HART @monicaannhart

COURTNEY WILSON Courtney_Wilson_self_Portrait







BE INSPIRED Session featuring Meysenburg Photography


Is this personal work or client work?

This was kind of both. This mother is a friend who wanted me to do a motherhood session so very much.  We ended up trading artwork her husband painted for this session.  So it really allowed me the freedom I was craving.

What about this session was most memorable?

I think what was most memorable about this session, is how much this mother loves her children!  I had her fill out a questionnaire prior to the session, which is the best preparation I can have as a photographer and with my own process.  Through her answers, I realized that her love is not a one size fits all kind of love.  And she has five children. It would be easy for that to be the case. I realized very quickly her bond with each child was profoundly different from one another. Beautifully so.  And inspirationally so.  That right there was instant inspiration.  I realized I wanted to document her with each child, and for it to be deeply authentic to their own connection.  I absolutely wanted there to be movement. Constant movement to allow for authentic gesture and to allow for true quiet moments of catching their breath and breathing together. There were quiet moments.  There were loud and chaotic moments.  There was endless laughter.  It was a messy, lets do this on your lunch break with all five kiddos and see what we come up with kind of session.  That turned out to be the most meaningful work I’ve ever shot.

Where there any hurdles?

The greatest hurdles were finding the sweetest lighting scenarios quickly and getting five kiddos in order and in the vicinity of the best light possible.  Thank goodness they had plenty of options for good light.  I finally focused on the master bedroom window light.  I asked that their mattress be pushed up next to the window prior to the shoot dressed with white sheets.  I love the connections created throwing pillows on the bed, nursing, and snuggling with mama.

Give us your best photographer/session advice.

For indoor sessions, I like to plan them over the lunch hour.  Anywhere from 11am-2pm.  That gives me the most options for even light.  And I find that even though I’m drawn to the rooms where the sun is touching them the most, the softest light opposite the sun during the middle of the day, creates the most flattering images for my style.  Secondly, and most importantly, I completely relax when I shoot.  Up until the moment I walk in, I may have some anxious energy deciding how I want to shoot and the story I want to tell.  But as soon as I walk in that door, I let it go.  I almost completely go blank in my mind.  And feel the images that are to come.  I’ve already prepped and planned in my mind for days.  Now, I am completely present. No matter what happens, it’s fine.  No matter what doesn’t go as I’ve asked, it’s fine.  Is there a crying baby? It’s fine.  Snuggle up to mama and nurse.  By the way, there was no crying baby.  This one was happy as could be.  Is there a little that wants nothing to do with getting up on the bed, and only wants to throw pillows at the photographer? That’s perfect! 🙂 I won’t push. I just embrace each and every moment like they were meant to be. Truly present. That is my best advice.

What gear was used to achieve these?

I shot with my Nikon D4, 35mm f/1.4 Nikon lens.

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About the photographer:
Hi there, I’m Bethany. Kansas family and wedding photographer. I started my business 12 years ago but I have to say, every year it feels brand new and exciting. Most days you can find me in skinny jeans and a comfy oversized sweater, looking for my cold cup of coffee and doing the mama daily. I am mostly known for being a home body alongside my handsome hubby and two boys. I’m a lover of nature, comfort food, and my boys’ laughter.  I love serving the world by showing mothers they are making a difference in the lives of their tribe. That all of their loving is not in vain. The things I am most passionate about in life are my faith, my family, my work, and waking up slow.

REDEFINE | SELF PORTRAITS featuring Chelsea Marie Photography


“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it.”

Why are you passionate about this topic?

Us as photographers spend all of our time behind the camera, capturing memories for other families as well as our own. But how often are we in those pictures? Never. Unless we hand the camera off to someone else and half the time the pictures don’t turn out because not everyone knows their way around a DSLR and quick snapshots or selfies with a phone just don’t cut it. It’s important for everyone to get in the frame, but it’s extremely important for parents to get in the frame with their kids. Step out from your comfort zone behind the camera and get in front of it as often as you can. Show your kids that you existed and were present with them in the moment. Don’t worry about the things that you may not like about yourself. When your kids see photos of you, they aren’t going to be pointing out that spit-up stain on your shirt, your messy hair, the lack of makeup on your face, or that extra baby weight. They are going to remember the the moments; a trip to the beach, reading a bedtime story, snuggling on the couch, going for a walk, or baking cookies. We do so many things with our children, make sure they have pictures of you doing those things with them.

When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic?
I started experimenting with self portraits from the moment I got my first DSLR in 2011, after my first son was born. Since then, I’ve felt the desire to be in photos with my kids and I’m constantly practicing and perfecting different techniques.
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique?
1.) Practice, practice, practice! Self portraits involve a lot of trial and error, believe me. If your portraits aren’t turning out how you’d like, don’t get discouraged. I used to go through a whole memory card and end up with only a few usable ones.
2.) Use a stand-in. This helps me out big time because one of the hardest things to do when taking self portraits is nailing the focus. Use an inanimate object like a chair, vacuum, laundry basket, or use your kids. Focus where you want, then (this step is important) switch to manual focus, once your focus is where you want it and your settings are good, get in the frame and move the inanimate object if need be, but make sure you stand/sit in that same focal plane or the focus will be off.
3.) Invest in a tripod and wireless remote shutter release. When I first started I didn’t have either and utilized what I had. I propped my camera on top of tables, chairs, whatever was available, set the self timer and ran into place. Once I got a tripod, it made things a lot easier. And for five years I used the self timer setting on my camera to take ALL of my self portraits because I was constantly misplacing my wireless remote or never bothered to figure it out. The photos that are posted along with this blog are all photos from my ‘A Day in the Life’ project and that was the first day that I had ever used my wireless remote for self portraits. And let me tell you… TOTAL. GAME. CHANGER.
4.) Take your self portraits as if you were doing a session for a client. Visualize where you are going to be in the photo and set up your camera accordingly. Be creative with different angles and focal points, just like you would while taking photos of someone else. Experiment with different types of light as well.
5.) Commit to a project. Whether that’s a 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, or a Day in the Life project, that’s up to you! By committing to a project, you hold yourself accountable to get in the frame more often. It’s also a great way to practice.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

One of the challenges I had in the beginning was not having the right equipment. When I didn’t have a tripod or remote, I had to make due with what I had and it was really difficult to get the shots I wanted. But I feel like I proved to myself that all I need is a camera and a bit of creativity in order to get the job done. Just because you don’t have the right equipment, isn’t an excuse to avoid getting in the frame.

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About the photographer:

Chelsea is a stay-at-home-mom and Lifestyle Photographer located in the Houston, Texas area. She’s lived there for the past 3 years with her husband, their two boys, and two cats. She finds the beauty in the everyday moments, while documenting the lives of her two littles. She’s recently taken a hiatus from client work, to refine her focus and once again find the reason she fell in love with photography.

WebsiteFacebookInstagram (1).  Instagram (2).

Motherhood Top Honor and Features | Chosen by Facebook Guest Judge Making Beautiful Memories Photography


This has been an amazing week for me at Dear Photographer. I have absolutely enjoyed this week being the guest judge and looking at all the incredible submissions that came through for the theme {MOTHERHOOD}.

Thank you again to everyone who took time and submitted for this week’s theme. The talent in this community is beyond amazing and every submission was so fitting and meaningful. I also hope you enjoyed some my work and discussions to go along with it. You can follow me and stay in touch at my Facebook page here Making beautiful memories Photography.


This image reminds me of how my mind is racing to do a million things at the same time, if you are like me.. I might be sick one day and resting, but my mind would be thinking about laundry, clothes that need to be folded, my cup of morning coffee and my two minute break if the kids aren’t in the house and…ahh the TV remote to catch up on some Netflix – LOVE this image!

Thank you for sharing this very realistic representation of motherhood Katy Vetter Photography!



Cannot get enough of this! So beautiful and so real  While the kids are in a line busy enjoying their drinks, mom is taking care of her youngest. That little cutie at the end has a perfect content smile on as well  Such an awesome image by Rubylee Photography!



Oh my….what a beautiful representation of what motherhood is truly all about! When I saw this image, I loved the connection, the emotions, the black and white conversion – in love with everything about this image.

Thank you for sharing this moment and this lovely image with us Rural Life Photography!



This image is so raw and powerful in my opinion. I can see myself in there while my 4 year old toddler hugging me asking for something, wanting to be breastfed or the need to be listened to and I am positive every mother can relate to this. Thank you for sharing this image with us Wilhelmina Photography


This series of self portraits from Becci Ravera Photography blew me away! Photography indeed can be a therapy for some. For those who have done self-portraits before probably also understand how difficult it is to come in front of the camera and express your own emotions through images. This is amazing and powerful from Becci Ravera Photography and a beautiful representation of motherhood and to add especially the last image – touched my heart!



And the winner for this week’s theme {MOTHERHOOD} is from – Virginia Simons Photography

This image speaks to me. The emotional connection between these two, the way the little girl is looking at her mom, the semi-silhouette – This is just perfection! Thank you Virginia Simons Photography for sharing this amazing image with us!




I had an amazing time this week at Dear Photographer. Please stay in touch! – Thank you, Jyo

Making beautiful memories Photography

10 Facts with Facebook Guest Judge 10/3-10/9 | Making Beautiful Memories Photography


Hi! I am Jyo (short for Jyotsna), the person behind the lens at Making beautiful memories Photography in Sacramento, California.I am an Electrical Engineer during the weekdays, a mom, wife and a part-time photographer on weekends – all in one! I  am super thrilled to be the guest judge at Dear Photographer Facebook page this week!!

My love for photography goes way back since high school and film days. I was always the one who volunteered to take pictures and videos of the family and making collages. There was something about capturing these family moments that I absolutely treasured – our vacations, picnics anything that we could print and look back at those moments sometime in the future. Photography helps me have this creative outlet while my daily job as an engineer helps me explore my technical side.

After taking a couple of photography classes in 2014/15 and a few editing classes in 2016 to enhance my skills further, I established my own photography venture in March 2016. Since then, I haven’t looked back and have many plans and goals for the upcoming year 2017. Someday, I dream of teaching the importance of photography to kids, pre-teens and especially new moms who really want to document those first moments when their baby is born. Being a Mom has helped me appreciate the everyday being of life. Documenting the beauty in the ordinary is something I have started to embrace more since the start of my photography career in 2016.

In my camera bag is a Canon 6D, a 50mm 1.8, a 50mm macro, 12-24 sigma, 75-300mm and cannot wait to get my own 35 sigma art in the next month!

Facebook | Instagram | Website | Pinterest

10 Fun Facts About Me 

  1. I was born in India, lived in New Zealand, Australia and now live in the US. In fact globe trotting is probably my third profession.
  2. I went to Penn State at the State college campus for grad school in Architectural engineering. Any Nittany lion fans out there?
  3. I make the yummiest tacos on a Friday night. At least that’s what my kids say. Thank you 🙂
  4. I love California and everything about it, but still miss living in the east coast. Probably for the distinct seasonal changes?
  5.  I LOVE seeing photographs in print and especially when my friends and clients show me the images I have taken for them, it makes my heart full! Digital may be the age, but I would give anything for a beautiful photo album sitting at my coffee table.
  6. I will be studying for my licensing exam to be a registered/licensed electrical engineer for the state of California by 2017. Yes, that will happen.
  7. I spend a LOT of time browsing for interesting recipes on Pinterest which I may never cook.
  8. I am traveler if you haven’t guessed yet. My husband and me picked out our next travel destination already. We each got to choose one. Any guesses?
  9. Apart from photography, I paint and draw a bit as well. I go on painting workshops whenever I find time.
  10. I used to be quite an introvert at school growing up. These days, I sometimes have to be told to stop talking.



Motherhood has been a special journey for me so far. Being a Mom inspired me to pick up my camera more often than just shooting for others to document memories of my kids. For this week, I want to see all those fabulous images depicting motherhood. Posed, unposed, documentary, self portraits all goes. I just want to see all the fabulous moms out there in the pictures! Cannot wait to see all the GORGEOUS submissions this week 🙂

REDEFINE | BATH TUB SESSIONS featuring Baby Rose Photography


“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it.”

Why are you passionate about photographing bath tub sessions?

After I became a mother, I became really invested in making images that really reflect mothering in deep and real ways. I felt drawn to help record mothering as a complicated, beautiful and difficult thing; an intertwined and love filled heart ache. Mothering is glorious and exhausting, it is joyful and frustrating. I wanted to make portraits of mothers deep into their mothering that they can hold onto as their children grow and become more independent.

When did you first realize you liked bath tub sessions?

When I made the first bath tub session, it happened organically and as a natural offshoot of our maternity session. I walked into Shea’s house and doing my normal, pre-session walk through I came into their master bath and saw a dream come true. I basically begged her to consider a bubble bath with her toddler. She was wonderfully open to the idea and as it happened, the serenity and intimacy of mother and child bathing really sparked my inspiration.  I have always been deeply moved by Mary Cassatt’s paintings of mothers and children, especially the bathing ones so I felt like the time was right to pursue this concept creatively.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to break into offering bathtub sessions?

1. When picking mamas to work with be sure you are super open about the process; there will be nudity, there will be lots of nudity  (it won’t ever be on film but it sure will be in your eyes).
2. Keep a very loose structure around actual posing with young kiddos involved, mamas will naturally be hugging and holding in the tub, so let the session just free form.
3. Do plan ahead mentally, know your plan for lighting, for editing, for feel and emotion before you walk in the (bath)room. Once things get going they are loose but that just means your artistic game plan has to be pretty tight.
4.  Try and embrace the variety of light, looks, colors and emotions within this genre. This type of work is so specific that it could easily become stale and uniform but instead I’m finding myself inspired with each new mother, new tub, new window light. Enjoy the chaos of creating this special memories for moms.
5. Be really, really open hearted. This images are very intimate, very raw and real. there is lots of crying, lots of connection and at least for myself, I fall a little in love with each family because of the closeness of making these portraits. Mamas open up their hearts and reveal their vulnerability because I am also standing there with them in this season of life. I also am willing to share myself with them. To make something like this work, you have to be just as vulnerable ( but not as naked) as the mama your are making a portrait of.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

Initially, that first session was so natural and spontaneous that it just happened like a dream. When I actually started to do tub sessions with purpose and intent, I was super worried that there wouldn’t be a lot of interest. I also discovered that a LOT of bathrooms don’t have amazing light or are VERY cluttered up. I had to learn to create a flow in which i set moms and babies at ease while i worked into a lighting plan and cleared up all the bits of things I wasn’t going to want in the shot ( i.e. that pile of loofahs and washcloths).



About the photographer:

Becoming a mother changed my heart, my mind, (yes, my body, too) and my whole world. Before my son tipped over my universe, I made photographs of families. Now, my eyes look for the strings of love that connect families and I make portraits of your hearts.