This past September, my sister Lindsay and I had the honor of photographing Amanda and Michael's wedding. Amanda was the sister of Garrett (whose wedding I photographed the year before and will be blogged soon too!), and I was so excited to reunite with this amazing family for another celebration! I met the crew at a gorgeous lake house where both parties were separated into various sections of the expansive estate. Lindsay and I teamed up to capture the girls and the guys simultaneously, leaving time for lots of detail shots of Amanda's beautiful dress and rings. We followed the wedding party to the ceremony and reception site at Monadnock Berries in Troy, New Hampshire for Amanda and Michael's beautiful early-evening wedding. They recited their vows under pink skies, and soon were pronounced husband and wife! Lindsay and I ran around the orchard finding the perfect spots to capture some formal pictures of their friends and families, but perhaps my favorite moments of the day were the few minutes we had capturing some intimate, quiet moments with the gorgeous newlyweds. We had a blast with this crew at the reception - their DJs were amazing and kept the dance floor hopping all night long (which clearly leads to some great photo ops for these lucky photographers)! Thank you Amanda and Michael, for including us in your absolutely gorgeous day - your love was a blessing for us to witness and capture.
2. Mash the bananas into a thick blob of slime. My kids love this step, but I equally love getting out a little aggression at the end "just to make sure they're totally mushed" of course.
Want something quick and easy to make that a) you can do with your kids without losing your mind, b) uses up those brown bananas on the counter that you swore you were going to use for your healthy smoothie resolution, and c) are prepped and cooked in under 20 minutes? Boom. You're ready for a Smith-family favorite: 2-ingredient cookies featuring ripe bananas and oats. And if you're really brave and feel a little Rachel Ray-ish, you can even add some of your own "extras" to give these healthy snacks a little more zip.
2 ripe bananas
1 cup of oats (rolled or quick-cook); we love these Bob's Red Mill extra thick rolled oats because they taste more "oatsy" if you will. They're a little trickier to use to hold everything together, but I'm magical and I make it work.
*Optional extras of your choice: chocolate chips, dried fruit, cinnamon, etc.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Peel the two bananas, and scoop out a cup of oats. Throw 'em in the bowl.
3. *Optional: Add the extras of your choice. I LOVE adding a handful (*cough, or two, cough*) of chocolate morsels and some dried cranberries. Who doesn't like chocolate, and I like how the cranberries cut the sweetness of the bananas.
4. Ball up 12 gooey chunks of banana goodness. This can be a bit tricky with the thicker oats, but you really just have to get it onto a greased cookie sheet in a general lump. As you can see, the Smith family does not suffer from OCD. Just throw 'em on there.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will not really change much, but the bananas will get toasty and the oats may brown up a bit.
6. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. They are ready to eat now if you have people like Mr. Smith in your family who just can NOT wait. Personally, I like to leave them in the fridge for awhile to stiffen up a bit. Or save them (if you can!) to eat with your morning coffee. Believe me. It's so worth it.
What do you think? Do you have any good additions we should try? Try them and let us know what you think!
Welcome to our first edition of Monday's Moment! Also the first time blogging from my phone - so advanced, right? In the future MM won't have text. This is a chance to share a real-life glimpse into our everyday life. Monday is a day of routine for so many people, and often Monday is not the most photogenic day of the week. But sometimes those everyday moments are the most truthful moments of our lives - no fancy outfits or backdrops. So we've dedicated a blog each week to encourage you to capture the "everyday" beauty in your life. Here's ours... it's so hard not to type a story but we're holding true to the concept that "a pictures worth a thousand words." Share yours with us on our facebook page!
What is it about the New Year that gives us the motivation for a fresh start? Christmas comes and goes and we feel a deep desire to clean things up and get a fresh focus and a clean slate for the upcoming year. Whatever it is that causes that intrinsic restart, I'm running with it.
I've had a wonderful start of my photography career. I've photographed so many newborn babies, growing families, beautiful marriages (complete with typhoons and rainbows!), and special moments in such a short time. Recently, while my son was on Christmas break from school, I was able to take a break from photography and really focus on my business - my goals, my vision and the brand for the future. I asked myself: what is it that I want to specialize in? What is my love? Where is my passion? If I focus on newborns, won't I miss the relationships I build with my sweet engaged couples? If I focus on studio photography, won't I miss the comfort of shooting at the ocean? In the woods? In a baby's nursery?
And I realized that there is no need to change my niche - because the niche, as corny as it sounds, is plainly and simply love. Love is what brought me here in the first place - missing the time I had with my two babies, brought me closer with photography. I took a leave from my full-time, benefits-included job to have time with my kids and to follow this passion. Love is all there is.
That being said, I want this blog to show you all that love. My goal for 2015 is to blog on a consistent basis to show you all this love that's all around us: a sweet new family, a beautiful sunset wedding, and even some personal moments as well - more of my crazy kiddos in action, some ramblings from my brain, and some fun projects for you to try at home. I'll even be posting some free downloadable prints to inspire some more love in your life as well.
Here's the basic schedule… tune in on your favorite day, or just come back daily so you don't miss anything good ;) I can't wait to start writing next week - I'm a Wildcat English major at heart, and I can't believe how much I miss it!
Monday's Moment: A quick, wordless snapshot of what's happening right now in our lives. Warning: it's not always photogenic.
Tutorial Tuesday: Projects, diy, photo tips, recipes. We'll talk you through it step-by-step!
Wedding Wednesday: A review of my favorite couples and their big days!
Thoughtful Thursday: Ramblings from a wordy mama with free downloadable prints for you as a reward for amusing them.
Friday's Family: A review of my favorite families - and a look into what really goes on in a family photo shoot.
Smith Family Saturday: Personal pictures and antidotes from our little home.
(And on Sunday, God said… catch up on the blogs that you forgot about because Bachelor was on).
We are SO excited to unveil a selection of holiday cards for the 2014 season! I don't know about you, but at the Smith House, we love collecting and showcasing your photos and sentiments. Below is a sampling of our own designs with front and back printing options, but we can customize the photos, text, and many of the design elements, to match your needs.
All designs are sold in sets of 25 and due to the nature of such customizable designs, finalized printing price will be quoted upon completion of design.
Have your own printer? We can email you our designs to print yourself! Digital files are just $9.99!
Interested in folded greeting cards? Tri-fold designs? Custom embellish cuts? Photo paper? Linen paper? The options are endless… if you don't see what you like, let us know! We'll make it into something you love!
Sorry for the blog silence, but I want you to know I'm still alive!
I have survived the September and October wedding and family portrait busy season and continue to be overwhelmed with thankfulness for my amazing new clients who have become part of the RHP family, and the returning clients who have allowed me honor of capturing their sweet families yet again. I am so excited to get ready for the holiday season with some styled mini sessions at the end of November. Once things settle down a bit, I'll be sure to inundate the blog with some of the gorgeousness that this fall has bestowed upon my little Canon camera!
In the meantime, the Smith family has some really exciting news! As most of you know, I have been teaching and photographing together for many years. It was a bit overwhelming (to say the least) to wear the teacher, photographer, mom and wife hat during that time. This year I decided to take a short leave to be able to focus on my family and also to spend more time with this creative little passion of mine. The plan was to return to the classroom after the holidays. Well, after some serious discussions with Mr. RHP, and some awesome bookings for the remainder of the year and into 2015, we have decided to extend that leave from through the remainder of the school year.
I can't really put into words how thrilled I am to continue to be able to have the "mom" time I so desperately needed, to be able to volunteer at my son's school and play Barbies with my two-year old on the playroom rug. I can't put into words how it feels to unlock the studio in the mornings and walk into a creative space that belongs to me. I can't put into words how grateful I am everyday, to meet new families like mine, working hard and trying to capture every single sweet moment of each stage of childhood. I can't put into words how amazing it is to get emails from complete strangers asking if I could capture the single most important day of the lives. It's all so dream-like.
Sorry for the sap overload (but you guys know me, and you know I live for this stuff, so #sorrynotsorry) but finally, I can't put into words how thankful I am to the family and friends in my life who have supported this wild little journey.
Mr. RHP, you the man.
Last week, I had the honor of photographing the New To You Fashion Show/Makeover Competition during Market Days in downtown Concord. Five lucky women won a Facebook competition posted on the New To You store page, earning makeovers which included wardrobe advice from Mehrmann Style Co., two complete outfits from New To You, and hair and makeup consultations and applications from The Beauty Lounge in Concord. It was amazing to witness the transformation of these five women over the course of the week!
I had such a wonderful morning photographing the Hodgkins family in Laconia, NH. I grew up with Pete and Sue's kids but, as happens with the day-to-day hustle, it had been a long time since I had seen them. The family was preparing for a large reunion but took an hour of our their preparation for an immediate family photo session before their guests arrived (brave!). Robyn and Kevin have two adorable little kids, who were willing to work for ice cream (bribery ALWAYS works with the minis). They were such laid-back kids who made family pictures effortless. We started by their neighborhood beach, took a walk around the neighborhood, and ended our session at their gorgeous lake house. Summer is the time when families reunite! Book your family session today!
Spent the morning editing some family sessions this morning, and per usual, had my girl Ella serenading me in the background. (Sidenote: How cool would it be to ACTUALLY be serenaded by the crooner of your choice? Oh her? That's just Ella Fitzgerald dimly lit with a smoke machine singing behind my kitchen counter. Carry on.)
I still remember this time, when I was a little girl, and the doctor telling my mom that "Danielle is going to be the type of girl who needs to spend some time watching the clouds go by." I must have had "high-strung" written across my forehead.
I've had so many fabulous family sessions that I can't wait to show you (soon, I promise), but until then, my favorite song and some photo inspiration.
Blue skies / Smiling at me / Nothing but blue skies / Do I see
I never saw the sun shining so bright /Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by /When you're in love, my how they fly
Blue days /All of them gone /Nothing but blue skies / From now on
I had a BLAST last weekend opening up the studio for all my friends and family! Although the studio has been open for limited sessions for several months, this was its grand coming out party.
I am a "presentation" girl - in that sometimes I spend WAY too much time making sure my table cloth is perfectly straight, than remembering to bring the plates. You know. My fabulous sisters assembled the gift bags as if they were fresh off the Model T assembly line, and Kierin of Dubs Cupcakery made these amazing strawberry shortcake cupcakes complete with golden sprinkles. AMAZING!
Once the details were deemed presentable, we were ready to open! Baby Leah donned her Rosy Hue tee shirt (and yes, she does have pants on!) and was thrilled to see one of her besties, Eva the Diva!
It was such a gorgeous day, and I was so honored that so many awesome friends chose to spend some time with me! I love my location in downtown Concord - so close to everything: great restaurants, ice cream shops, coffee shops, bars, clothing stores, and unique gift shops!
My sister Lindsay manned the kids' craft table - the kiddos LOVED painting their own picture frames! Can you tell she's a teacher too?
Despite the photo booth and frame painting, Hou and his girl Mya seemed to find their way to a quiet corner to play on mama's phone. I mean, kids are kids, right?
I was THRILLED to see Cooper and his beautiful family. He LOVED my juice boxes almost as much as the grownups loved the champagne and wine. Adorable.
All in all, it was a very successful day! I know I say it WAY too much, but I continuously feel so blessed to be following this dream. Thank you for being along for the ride.
The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters. ~Audrey Hepburn