Sunday, December 1, 2013

a zoo and engagement pictures

Do you ever have one of those moments and wonder did this really just happen and was it really that embarrassing?  Yep, today was one of those days. Being that I work out of my home, I have the pleasure of meeting clients at my home (while kids are being watched by a babysitter, or if it's a quick stop by a client, I send my kids upstairs to watch a movie quietly). Today however was one of those days where I had a friend come over for a chat in the afternoon and let our kids play and hopefully wear themselves out for an amazing nap.

Also having a good friend over for a visit doesn't require getting out of your sweats, hair combed or makeup on. They accept you as you are. :) Yes, I looked a mess but I was happy and it was an amazing visit.

Pretty soon it's time for my friend to go home and me to get my kid from school. At this point I went to locate my phone. I have a missed calls, and several text messages. One of which is a client that I just did an engagement session for, seeing if they can come drop off payment for pictures, another from my husband who is coming back home from a business trip. I quickly call him back to see if he is able to pick up our kid from school, he can't, so I'm scrambling to get my other kids ready to go, I'm trying to get out of my sweats, my hair at this point is a lost cause, makeup, forget it.  My friend is packing up her kids getting them ready to go, I'm scrambling to find even my shoes, And for those of you who don't have kids. This can be an extremely crazy time getting kids out the door saying goodbye to their friends and finding all they're outerwear to go outside.

About 2 minutes later my clients show up at my door. These clients are amazing, they are great to work with and such a pleasure plus I get to do their wedding next summer!  I open the door with my baby on my hip, he's in a dirty shirt with a messy face, in a diaper without pants on, a dog barking at my clients, and then begging for attention, (I wish I kicked the dog outside) and a 4 year old deciding it will be fun to show off and gain some attention by laying on the floor in front of my clients, eating an apple, staring at them. I'm sure all the kids were making noise by this time,  because my mom ears were trying to tune out everything but intelligent adult conversation with my clients, and I was lacking in the intelligent conversation part.

They paid in cash, and I owed them a dollar in change, by this point my kids were acting like they lived in a zoo, (I'm not really sure what my friend or my friends kids were doing, but all I could think about was "Oh my goodness!"  It's a zoo in here!"

So I'm like let me get you your change, they are like, "no it's no big deal." I'm like "no I got it." (At this point I should have just given up and put it towards their credit) I run to get my cash. I cannot find any one dollar bills. (I always have $1 bills) At this point I'm leaving my crazy, animal like, dirty kids in the same room as my clients. (I'm really not thinking at this point, mom brain has kicked in and its in complete survival mode) I'm like where are my $1 bills? I guess they'll get change. I dump my purse out on the counter praying "Lord please let me just have 4 quarters!" I really don't want to have to resort to nickels and dimes, or even locating the kids piggy bank.... 1 quarter, 2 quarters, 3 quarters......... Aaahhhhh!!! a 4th! Got it! I rush back to my clients give them they're change. Smile, and wonder what they are really thinking..... After exchanging a few small words we say goodbye. And I wonder to myself was that just as crazy as I thought it was.

I told my husband about it when he got home and he said, "no, it was probably worse then you imagined."

So my wonderful clients, when I come to the door for you to pick up prints or drop off payments, and I come out into the porch and don't invite you in. It's really not that I don't want you in my house, it's that well, you may encounter a pack of wild animals surrounding you, talking in a language that you may not understand, begging for attention in a bizarre sort of way that you may wonder if that really is a child down there on the floor or if you have just entered a new form of petting zoo....

Friday, September 20, 2013


1. The door bell rings. Its UPS with a delivery of a canvas for a client. I go to the door with my  youngest on my hip, Aaron. He is yelling something at the top of his lungs, screaming something undistinguishable but he is repeating it over and over and over and over and over again.  He wants what is in that box. All of the sudden the words start to become clear. DOUGHNUT. Yes doughnut, those magical, crispy, sugary pastries that melt in your mouth, make a mess in your car and create monsters out of my children. 

The box is brown, slightly smaller than a typical doughnut box, but it's a box that to an almost 2 year old holds a striking resemblance to a doughnut box.

Me, "Aaron, it's not doughnuts, it's a canvas."


Me, "No."

Aaron, "Doughnuts?"

Me, "No, ok fine I'll open it and show you."

I now have a super exited toddler anticipating the opening of those beloved doughnuts that he knows are in that box. I open the box to see his baby face look a little less excited and finally gave in to the fact that, no there really wasn't a doughnut in the box.

Even though there wasn't anything in that box that Aaron was anticipating, it was something that I was looking forward too. A canvas ordered for one of my clients. It's almost like Christmas opening the boxes that come in for my clients. It's pictures of them, it's my perspective, it's who they are, it's unique, it's beautiful, it's them.

Friday, September 6, 2013

There has never been a more beautiful you…. Nominate Them

It’s time to show those in our lives how beautiful they really are.
I have always thought of photography as one of those talents and desires that God has put on my heart. I feel the need to capture those special moments as they are little time treasures that will pass so quickly that you will soon forget about them unless there is a visual reminder that it happened. I have felt blessed with the opportunities to photograph my friends, family and my clients. When I say it has been a pleasure to work with you, I mean it. It has been an honor. Every person is created so unique and each person holds their own beauty. I feel so honored to be chosen to photograph them, their beauty and who they are as a person.
After every session when I sit down and go through the images for proofs, I think “Wow, they are beautiful!” Everyone has their own unique look and a beauty that is all theirs. It could be a smile, their eyes, the soft look they give their children, their pregnant belly and with hundreds of stretch marks carrying that precious life. Everyone has their own insecurities coming into a session. Some even refuse to be photographed because of the clothes they think they need to wear and don’t have or weight they think they need to lose or gain or that they are aging and have a few wrinkles, or gray hair. In the end it doesn’t really matter how you dressed, if you have a few extra pounds that you’d like to shed, it is who you are at the moment, and its special, it’s you, it’s beautiful, truly beautiful.
We all know someone who is so much more beautiful than they ever give themselves credit for. Outside or in, it’s beautiful, the actions towards others, always giving of themselves to others, that person that is so beautiful physically but doesn’t think they are, the military families that give of themselves and their families and where they are separated for months on end, the single mom who works, goes to school and raises her kids by herself. There is beauty in all of this, beauty in each person. What about the person who is sick, and needs a healing touch? The parents that want the best for their kids but can barely afford to feed them 3 full meals a day? We all know someone that needs a little extra blessing in their live to show them how beautiful they really are, regardless of how they dress, what they look like or the circumstances surrounding their lives.
So with this I give you the honor of showing them how truly beautiful they really are. I want to take my gift of photography and give back to others. I want to bless someone with a photography session, I want to bless them with memories, I want to bless them with prints they will cherish, I want to bless them by showing them how beautiful they really are, I want you to tell me who you want it to be.
I want you to tell me a bit about that person, their story, their name, their age, what is so beautiful about that person. What inspires you about that person. What are their life circumstances. Why you think they would like the photography session.
To nominate that special, beautiful person/persons/family in your life
Email your stories to

We will have a panel review the stories and select the person/persons/family for the session!
Nominations will close October 20th 2013 We will be giving the nominee selected a complimentary session, (1) 11×14 canvas gallery wrap (10) 5×7 prints and (25) 4×6 prints from the session.
By emailing the stories to Guardipee Photography you are giving Guardipee Photography the rights to publish the stories on the Guardipee Photography website, blog and facebook page. Please indicate if you’d like the names changed or omitted before they are published.
Guardipee Photography will take the photos in or around the Great Falls, MT area.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Me as Mom vs. Kids and Photography Equiptment

With my office being at home, and photography my passion,  I tend to get a bit wrapped up in it. Dinner can be late some nights, things may not get picked up around the house. Laundry...... I won't even go there... Life is always an adventure with 2 busy boys and a little girl that is quietly mischievous and just a bit sneaky.
Props and Imaginations -It can be interesting having your business in your home... where you live... all the time... with your kids... My kids LOVE to play with my props. I will go into my studio and my kids will have the props all drug out, happily bouncing on the chairs and baskets, with blankets and baby wraps strew around in "placed" chaos, having created the most magnificent "moon truck"
they have ever seen. Their imaginations go wild! And then it is left for me to clean, fold and organize them all again. Did you know, I have this wonderful little tin tub that when you flip it over and jump on it, it makes the best popping noises, they like to "dive" off of it into their imaginary swim pool! 
Memory Cards & Babies - Thankfully I've yet to have a major mishap with a memory card. Although my 1yr old (I'm sure it was him) got into my office and grabbed a couple off my desk and I found them strewn about the house) Thankfully I did not find any food stuck in them or bite marks to the outside.
Kids and Studio Equipment- Where do I begin? Whatever the reason all three of my kids at one point or another have been fascinated with my lights, light stands and umbrellas. My lights have multiple times been pushed over, pulled over, buttons pushed, settings changed, dented, bent and broke. The light stands have been tipped over in attempt to ride them as horses. They have been set up to be used as a jungle gym. I'm surprised they have not been placed between 2 chairs to use in a tightrope act. (maybe I've just never caught them at that act!?) My umbrellas are on their last leg from the spills suffered at the hands of my children.  (I would use electrical tape and duct tape to fix them, but I'm afraid of what my clients would think. Does Duck Tape come in white?) As one of the cheapest pieces of photography equipment that you can buy, the new ones are in the shopping cart on-line and have been sitting there for several months, but I've been debating on getting some soft boxes and scrapping the umbrellas all together, hence the lack of hitting the purchase button! :) Thankfully no kids were hurt in their creative disobedience in attempt at using my studio equipment in forming their own little world. 
Backdrops- They are used almost weekly in games of hide and go seek. Sneaking behind them just to run out screaming when they think you are close enough to see them.
Pettiskirts, hair flowers and everything girly or even remotely interesting. (Which to my 4year old little girl is everything) If I can't first find a certain prop, it's usually stuffed under Isabella's bed in attempt to hide her playing during nap time.
Camera Equipment- It's a little nerve racking to see your 1 year old holding several thousand dollars of camera equipment in their hands, after they have pulled it off the counter by its strap. I'm sure he was wondering what this toy can really do. Do you throw it? Drop it? Chew on it? Thankfully mom to the rescue again!
At the end of the day the photography equipment is not nearly as important as my kids, they are much more valuable than any piece of equipment or all of it combined. I will happily give up every bit of it for them if I ever need too. But in the end the memories that they create for me are worth the broken umbrellas, bent and dented studio lights. Their heightened imaginations and creative adventures that they have all while laughing and trying to whisper at each other so "mom" doesn't hear them, are worth it to me, because as one of the things I want most in life out of my children, right after learning to love God, is that my kids are friends with each other.