Sunday, January 30, 2011

No really, It doesn't matter! | Michigan Photographer | Michigan Child Photographer | Michigan Family Photographer

I get asked a lot about where to do photos in the winter. When i respond that i can do them in your home i get quite the look or long pause on the phone. I see something in your home that you can't. I see beautiful light or even a perfect backdrop. I also get told quite a bit "My house is too small" or "My house is a disaster". I am here to tell you that no one cares. Because no one will know. I have my way of photographing so that only what we want seen or to be believed is shown.

And for the record my own house is a disaster 24/7 ask any one of my family members. I am a terrible house keeper some times and we have 3 kids. If i spent the entire day making sure my home was perfect, my children will have been neglected the entire day.

Today was a perfect example of this. I bet you cannot tell in the pictures below that my husband was in this room painting and remodeling while we are in there shooting at the same time. True Story!!!

Beds make great photo spots. Go ahead throw all the laundry in the closet or on the floor. No one will know but you and me and the floor boards. Bedrooms usually have the best light any ways, because that is where all the windows are.

Living rooms with big windows are great too. Especially Bay Windows!

Even dining rooms. We move the table out of the way (sweep up the dust bunnies) and TADA a beautiful back drop. Dining rooms sometimes have wainscoding around them as well which is also beautiful in pictures. Or trim which looks great too!

Old claw foot bathtubs can be be really fun too!!!

The family home is just that HOME. The true moments of your family happen there. The most intimate moments of you life happen there. Its the place your child took their first steps, Where you rock them every night, Where you spend countless hours cooking, cleaning, caring, reading, loving and just being. Why NOT photograph yourselves there. Your home is your safe place, you protection, the place you go to be with the ones you adore. The place where full bellies and warm beds wait.

Your couch has held your entire family for a movie, rested your feverish child, cushioned you after a hard day, gave you a place to sort laundry, the place where cars and dry cereal hides, the magical place of coins and the fort blanket holder-upper. Why not photograph you being where you are comfortable and with what you know?

Your bed is the morning crawl in spot, where snuggles of bed head inner twine with giggles from tiny faces. Little toes peeking from beneath the blankets. Its where you curl up each night with the one you love and where you land after a long day of living life.

Are you now seeing the beauty of your home that i see?

It doesn't matter that last weeks dishes are there because last nights homework is done.

It doesn't matter that laundry has piled up because those clothes show days of grass stains and sandy hand wipes from moments of play. Moments that actually happened because you were NOT doing laundry.

It doesn't matter. I promise.


Friday, January 28, 2011

F.A.Q.'s of Newborn Sessions | Michigan Newborn Photographer

It is no secret that i absolutely love love LOVE photographing newborns. I love photographing children in general. I get many questions a week about how i do it, where i do it, when i do it. So i thought a F.A.Q. post might be just the answer. So here goes!

Q: When should i schedule my newborn session?

    A: We prefer you schedule it at about 8 months along or before. We schedule it by your due date. We book up so fast, usually about 2 months ahead of time. We want to make sure you for sure get into the schedule.

Q: How old should the baby be?

    A: We love it when we get them around 6 days old. They are SO much more sleepy and willing to participate. They change so much in the first even just days. And they will only be that small for so long. We want to capture that!

Q: Where do you do them?

    A: Right now we do them right in your home. I find it works out great when you have everything you and baby need right there. We just need a window or sliding glass door that lets in some good light. And a little space to set up our gear. There may be a place like a studio in the future but right now in home works best.

Q: What do i have to do during the session?

    A: NOTHING! In fact its better for you to not be too involved. Babies can smell mommy. Especially breastfed babies. I know it sounds crazy but its true. They tend to wake up more and be fussier. So grab a cup of tea and a book and head to the couch or take a long hot shower. Daddy, grandma or auntie can hang out with us while you get some YOU time (maybe even a little cat nap). Or maybe you can spend some one on one time with the big brother or sister.

Q: How long is the session?

    A: Newborn sessions are all unique. Just like every little person is unique. We tell parents to plan on between 2-4 hours. There is a lot of Shhsh-ing, Rocking, bouncing, feeding and cuddling. Usually more of that than actual photographing.

Q: Do we need to have anything for the session?

    A: Nope, but i do recommend that we use any items that you love. This personalizes it. We have hats, headbands and other items. And sell some items here . But if you have a hat or something that you love, we almost always can incorporate it. Believe me, we are creative so whatever you have we can use it! Do you know something you want but don't know where to find it? Let us know, we are pretty crafty.

Q: How long does it take to get my proofs?

    A: I say about 2 weeks. I then upload them to an online gallery for your viewing pleasure. We can then do the order after you view and fall in love.

Q: What is the best way to display my images?

    A: Honestly? Ok well our area is a bit behind the trends. People really no longer hang up the 8x10 that they switch every 3 months. Big canvas gorgeous prints above the babies crib are huge right now. Digital albums are a great way to show off you images. Think Story Book/Coffee Table book. These are images you don't have to take down. They can stay up for always. They tell a story.

Q: Are there any specials on Newborn Photography if i do it with another service like Maternity or Birth?
A: YES! We offer a couple packages that include a variety of options. Birth packages are new right now so i am working out the details. But i can tell you that a newborn session will be included in one of the birth packages. And there will be a "Bump to Bundle of Love" package that includes Maternity, Birth and Newborn all in one.

And now the BIG question!  

Q: Why should i photograph my Newborn?

A: Your child is special. They are amazing. They are tiny only for a moment. You can never go back to this time. We hold them for such a short time, and then they are off and independent. You can have their 6 day old self whenever you want by looking at the Beautiful Canvas on their wall or in your living room. Most often than not we regret the things we didn't do, not the things we did. You will never regret these.

I so look forward to meeting you and your sweet bundle of love. My heart sings with joy every time i get the news that we have another sweet face to photograph.

I hope this post was able to answer some of your questions. If you still have more please email me at

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Permissions and Wife-ing is not a word | Michigan Photographer

New years resolutions should have already been made and broken by now. I am a little behind the game. But that's nothing new to a constant creative. I am always creating something. Just probably not in the order i should be. Like for instance right now i am here, blogging. But i started out cleaning off the couch to create a clean room. And then somehow ended up sitting on it with my laptop on my lap. How does this happen?! I don't even realize it.

2011 just feels like my year. I feel myself completely morphed. I have passed that young 20's mom and wife trying to find her way, to a Mom and wife who is on her way. I am feeling more confident in my mothering and wife-ing(totally NOT a word by the way) skills. I have made the decision to be a better home maker this year and all around better mother and wife. I have given myself permission to just be. And i like just being. It feels good to be me. So i made a list of permissions and goals for myself.

1. Take better care of myself
2. Be a better homemaker
3. Listen more and talk less
4. Learn to hoop
5. Read more
6. Rid my life of negative influences
7. Try harder to understand those i don't understand
8. Give more
9. Write more handwritten letters
10. Over use the words I. Love. You.
11. Grasp the concept of being organized
12. Learn about true forgiveness
13. Read my bible for real this time.
14. Use the computer less
15. Play on the floor more
16. Take the kids to do....anything!
17. Grow my own garden without relying on others to take care of it
18. Learn to Sew, Can, Crochet and Bake.
19. Find patience.
20. Think before i speak.

I feel like there is more. There probably is. But this is enough for now. I should probably get back to cleaning that room.

Happy Wednesday to you! May you pick up a pen and send a hand written letter to your aunt in another state. She will love it. I promise.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A bit of life | Michigan Photographer

 Many things about life bring me joy. Waking up each day and thanking the lord that i actually woke up is on the top of my list. Life has been going and going lately and i have given myself permission to slow down and enjoy moments. Its the moments in between that i love to photograph. Yet i forget to enjoy MY moments in between. 

 Jer and i took off for an adventure last week. We had high hopes for the day. It didn't end up working out quite like we had hoped. It ended with me in tears that my favorite restaurant was closed and i was overly hungry (hence the tears). I am no fun to around when i am hungry. Ask jer. He will tell ya! So instead of sushi we had pizza. 

BUT i did get to go to my favorite store and buy my baby girl her big girl bed. I did get to spend alone time with my husband. I knitted on the way. It was a good day. I of course took the camera along just in case hehe.

On our way!
"Hello favorite store"
Just hanging in a Bathtub 

My Favorite Boots (In the bathtub)

My peace offering to the birds. 
We cut down a tree and i felt bad. I hope they can use these scraps to rebuild.

I knit my first Newborn hat.

 It didn't quite turn out right. So i thought. 
Jeremiah loved it and so did his beloved snowman

"May the little things and unexpected moments bring you some smiles and perspective this next week" ~Me

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The creation, growth and understanding of an Artist | Michigan Photographer

I started my photographic journey because i just loved the way taking photos made me feel. The feeling you get when you get that breath taking shot is something unknown to many people. I know that feeling. I love that feeling. And for lack of a better analogy i will say its like a drug for me. I am constantly seeking out that feeling and the high i get from it. I love when i see something in my head and can produce it to a hard copy image. I feel i am first a dreamer artist and second a photographer.

 My journey has taken many twists and turns. I have learned SO many aspects of life as a photographer. Some were very unknown in the beginning. Like how attached you get to your clients, or exactly how much actual work goes in to a single 8x10 photo.

I have shed so many tears, spent hours frustrated and days elated over a single image. I have shared in such precious moments of other human lives and danced and cried with them in many ways. I cannot truly translate to words the photographer i want to be. I feel like i am getting there. There is always something to learn and things that can be tweaked.

 I have made some big changes in my business this year and it is not going unnoticed by my clients. For one the big thing being prices. I was feeling so sheepish and shy about announcing my new pricing. Not because i was procrastinating but because i was a little scared of people sounding off about it. I didn't want to "Upset" anyone. I have spent the last two years tiptoeing around making my business what i want it to be. Why?  To appease others and to not lose clients.

 I have been doing some real soul searching lately. Some business soul and personal soul.

I spend hours on end editing photos or planning sessions. I spend days returning emails and answering questions, researching new techniques for improving my photos, marketing, blogging and many other business related tasks. These are all "Work".  All these tasks take me away from the ones i love. And i like you need to be making sure i am getting paid for the hours i work.

I always hope that when my clients receive their products that they know in their heart, that their investment was totally worth it. That is the whole goal. I don't want to give you photos that you plan to change in 3 months. I am not walmart's portrait studio. I don't just want to be there to capture what your child looks like at age 3. I want you to be able to see their 3 year old soul, the love in their face, the silly and the curiosity of a child's mind. I want you to invest in a true piece of art not just a picture. I strive to produce images that can absolutely melt you. Even if you look at them 10 years from now.

I have spent quite a while improving my craft. I have invested countless hours and dollars. Not because i just want to be a photographer and make money, but because i want to melt hearts, create art and be able to do it without being hindered by a 9-5 job.  

"I do not want to be hired for my prices, i want to be hired because you love my work and absolutely have to have it"

The birth of a child,  a newborn session, a wedding and so many other special moments will never be able to be recreated. You get one chance, one shot to capture those moments. There is no redo.

 I find myself heart broken for people when i see someone skimp on their childs first photos because they wanted to save $50+ or they let a family member with a point and shoot do their wedding photos to save money in the budget. No one will remember that you had chair coverings at your wedding or that it was at the most expensive place in the state. The only memories of that day that will last 100 years from now,  are the ones the images captured.

Nobody, not even you, will remember exactly what your child looked like at 5 days old. But the beautiful images on canvas that hang in his room, will forever tell you of his chubby face and whispy little hairs on the top of his head. Only those images will show the fine little hairs on his shoulder and his pouty pink lips pursed just so.

These are YOUR moments. These images are all you get for those moments, for the rest of your life. Like any other long term investment there is a price. But there is one thing that is different from other large investments. The love you will feel for these images will not fade with the style. The style fades with the newest washer and dryer, or the fanciest pair of shoes, or the sportiest car. The same love for a photo is always there. Even a hundred years from now. It may not even be you loving the photo. A hundred years from now it may be your great great grandchild loving the photo.

And that is what i strive for. I want people to love my work the way i do. Not love my price more than the work. I want people to say "Amanda Marie Photography does the BEST work" not "She has the cheapest prices in town". I was cheaper than Sears. That, is a problem. Sears says sit here and smile just so. Anyone can do that. Like i have said before it takes a true artist to capture your soul. I truly feel i am a true artist. And i hope you feel the same. I understand if i lose clients over pricing. It saddens me but i understand.

Here is a wonderfully written article about custom photography. I urge you to check it out. This article really gives great insight into the world of pricing for custom photographers.

I am so thankful for the clients who have stayed and supported me as i have grown into the photographer i am and am still becoming. I am so thankful for the past clients who gave me a chance to practice on their families. Without them i would have never been able to learn my craft.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fluff Originals | Charlotte Michigan Photographer

I have neglected my blog lately and i apologize. My grandfather passed away last sunday and i was busy missing him so much. I feel a little closer to peace as the days go by. I am so thankful for his quick and painless passing, rather than a long suffering. That brings me much peace. Thank you to all the wonderful folks who sent condolences. Your kind words really made the week bearable.

 Ok no more sad talk! I have exciting stuff going on here. I announced about "Fluff Couture" or "The Fluff" a while back. You can read that post here. I have changed the name just a little as the product has changed a little bit too. So it is now...Wait for it, wait for it "Fluff Originals" POW hahaha.....Why? Well heres what has come to me. See i love recycling and also upcycling....What is upcycling? Check out the Wiki here.

So i have decided to make my products out of second hand items or items that would normally just be tossed out (to end up filling our landfills). Scrap left over fabric, mismatched buttons, and any other cool items i may find along the way. Looks to me that about 90% of my supplies will NOT have been purchased brand new. I will be scouring the towns for cool fabric and funky buttons. I have even called on family and friends for their left overs and scraps. 

The "Originals" part came about as i realized most items may be original creations where only 1 will be sold. I might be able to make more than one of an item if the supplies allow for it. Right now i am working on building the headband line as i have TONS of newborns on their way and i want to have them ready for those sessions. But future plans include knit hats, cocoons for photogs and other such items. My Etsy store will open next week with  few items. I will be posting on my Twitter and my Fanpage when i add new items so keep your eyes there as well. Below are a few items that will be listed next week. 

1. An Infant headband. Made of a revamped fabric flower (its bigger than a newborn but not quite a toddler) 
2. An Newborn headband. Made from a scrap of torn fabric
3. An Adult/Teen headband made from a scrap of tweed and some ripped satin fabric.

These are just a simple preview of more items to come. I am so excited to be able to offer these to my clients and other photogs.

**I am also in need of some models for these and others in the future. If you are interested in the model program please email me at for more details.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baby "K" | 9 Days Old | Laingsburg Michigan Newborn Photographer |

Amanda Marie Photography has been loving all these newborn sessions we are booking. Baby "K" was the winner of our recent Baby Love giveaway.

 "K" is 9 days old. She is such a doll. She put up a fight but we (Mommy i should say) were able to get her nice and sleepy for some great shots. She was quite strong and was giving Carli a run for her money in the posing department. We tell everyone that there is lots of bouncing, shooshing and snuggling that takes place. More so than actual photographing. And that is ok. That is how it goes. The babies lead the way and "K" told us lots of stuff. For instance she doesn't like be on her belly. Many babies don't. Totally normal. So we just adjusted her and moved on. She really enjoyed the beanbag. Mama and Daddy might want one of those for her to snuggle in! HAHA.

Introducing Baby "K".....

All images are ©2011 Amanda Marie Photography of Charlotte Michigan please do not copy or use images in any way without my permission.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BABY LOVE Winner Announced | Michigan Newborn Photographer

           THANK YOU!!!!

   The Baby Love giveaway was more amazing than i had ever thought. We had 18 entrants and over 600 (YES 600!!!!!) supporters come to the Amanda Marie Photography Fan page

I am hoping those new fans hang around and enjoy the art that they see shared there.

Ok, no more messing around and no more mushy stuff. On to the prizes!!

      WINNER is....
Melissa Torres with 189 votes
Melissa wins a Newborn Session with Amanda Marie Photography($150 value)and a Brag book to show it off to all her friends and family

In a very VERY close second was

MIRIAM CHASE ROGERS with 170 votes i am still in shock of the amazing support for this event, so i have decided to give Miriam a FREE Newborn session with Amanda Marie Photography($150 value)as well. 

Again i am still in shock and overcome with excitement over this Give Away. Thank you again ladies for participating! To show my thanks i would like to offer a $50 print collection credit towards a Newborn Session print collection with Amanda Marie Photography to all of the other Mama's!

Thanks Again!! And Congrats to all you Mama's on those baby bumps and soon to be little bundles of joy! I look forward to creating art for your walls of their adorable little faces!

***Give away sessions are only valid on Newborn Sessions and are not transferable.
***Collection credits are only valid on print collection orders placed from a Newborn Session
***Amanda Marie Photography of Charlotte Michigan usually books about two months out. Be sure to contact me ahead of time to be sure to secure a spot in my schedule. For newborns a tentative date is set based on your due date.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hello 2011, so nice to see you | Michigan Family Photographer | Michigan Child Photographer

I opened my business officially in January of 2010. At that time i was still totally scared out of my wits. With this last year there have been so many changes. LOTS of learning took place, huge equipment upgrades and one gigantic confidence boost. Along with so many great moments shared with fabulous new friends and clients.

When i started out i knew i wanted this to be my career. I wanted this to be my lively hood. I just did not know how to get from opening my new Nikon camera box, to getting paid to actually use it. I have finally made it across that bridge. Of course not without the help of many many people...Teachers, fellow photogs, youtube etc HAHA. The learning is never done, i will always be learning. But i come into 2011 knowing that this IS what i am meant to do. Creating art for the walls and hearts of wonderful families.

I do not consider what i do just taking a photo or just capturing a memory. I consider it an Art. I expect to see it hanging on walls not locked in a shoe box somewhere. I take my work very seriously. When you invest into your session i know you are investing into your future. How? These are memories for a lifetime. These are images that will bring back a time in your life, a feeling or even a song. Anyone can take a photo. And anyone can charge you to take a photo. It takes a real true artist to capture your soul, your love, the little things that you remember. Anyone can tell your child to say "Cheese" and snap the shutter. But it takes a true artist to capture the right moment where your heart skips a beat because of that deep look in their eye or that silly face that always makes you laugh. I want to be a true artist. Not just a "Photographer". These days everyone is a photographer. Just ask anyone with a Dslr they will tell you so.

2011 is my year to really set myself apart from others. I don't want to just be that girl who takes photos anymore. The changes that are coming are exciting. New branding, New products and packaging and with that new pricing and policies. You can view some of the new pricing on my website here.

I am just so thankful for all the folks who have stood behind me these last few years pushing me and supporting my dream. I really could not have gotten here with out all of them who let me practice on their families time and time again. I hope you will join me this year and let me create the art that is your family.  Happy 2011 to you all!!!!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Love for New Life + Details of a Newborn Session | Michigan Newborn Photographer | Michigan Baby Photographer | Michigan Child Photographer

In the last few months i have had the opportunity to photograph a couple Newborns. I have been wanting to do this for a while. I had only had a couple experiences with them and really wanted to have a chance to do more. I fell head over heals in love with the few sessions i have had. I am still learning the ins and outs of getting those fabulous sleepy shots. But i always have my own spin on things anyway. I wanted to make a blog post dedicated to the few newborns i have shot. To show what i love and also maybe to spark some interest in those wondering what its all about.

Why have your Newborn Photographed in the first 10 days? First of all they are only that small for the length of a blink, i promise you that. Also they are so squishy and adorable i mean why not? The art of new life is beautiful art. It never goes out of style and it will always be the most meaningful art on your walls. Well until the hand drawn images the new life then produces later in life and posts on your refrigerator. Also in the first 10 days they are their sleepiest and they tend to be more willing to do whatever your mind can dream up. I prefer my newborns between 6-10 days.

 What to expect at a typical Newborn Session? Lots of silence. A very slow paced gentle session. Some burping, feeding and accidents. Yes accidents will happen. I am prepared for them. I have a washing machine so i am not concerned and neither should the parents be. The heat is cranked so we will be uncomfortably warm. Its ok sweat away for the art of it all. There is also feeding rocking cooing and singing. A typical newborn session takes about 2-4 hours. Babies need us to be patient and once we are they tend to be fabulous posers for us. 

 When should you schedule your Newborn Session with Amanda Marie Photography? I am usually booked about 2 months out. The sooner the better. However i would not turn someone away with a last minute request if i have the room. 

Where does the session take place? Right now i am currently doing them in your home. Don't worry about what your house looks like! I have 3 children i KNOW how it goes. All i need is a window with some good light and a small amount of space to put my equipment up and an outlet to plug in my heater.

I look forward to all the New Life coming in 2011!!! I also look forward to creating the art of your child for your walls!!

                          All Images ©Amanda Marie Photography of Charlotte Michigan
                             Please do not copy or use any images without my permission.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Bye 2010, Hello 2011" | Michigan Family Photographer | Michigan Child Photographer | Michigan Newborn Photographer | Michigan Wedding Photographer | Michigan Senior Picture Photographer

2010 was the year for my business. It was the year i decided to say "Yes i am a Business". I was no longer that girl who was practicing on people for pennies. I decided that i could do this for real and maybe even pay my bills. I finally felt comfortable with the quality of images i was producing and felt i really had something to offer. 

My confidence was completely boosted my all of my FABULOUS clients. They kept me going with all their kind words and referrals galore. I am so thankful to live in a community of great people who just get me. And even if they don't "get" me they still appreciate my art.

I have also had the Honor of joining forces with two wonderful women and fellow photogs to create the group M.A.D. Love Photography with
Denise Hummel and Michelle Weisenberg

These two women are as much as family to me and its so great to have someone who not only shares in your passion but is so willing to help you get there too.

2011 has snuck right up on me. I was feeling really prepared until i awoke this morning. I haven't finished the 2011 pricing completely but i am almost there. There will be a separate Blog about all the new things in 2011. There are lots of big and exciting announcements coming in 2011 for Amanda Marie Photography and for my clients.

THANK YOU for supporting my dream in 2010 and making it a reality for me. I don't even feel like Thank You is enough.