Monthly Archives: August 2013

From the Heart- Chunky Monkey Photography- Fort Worth and Saginaw Newborn and Family Photographer

I have wanted to sit and type from my heart for a long time.  And I mean, ALONG time.  Since the beginning of Chunky Monkey Photography.  Some of that need comes from hard lessons learned, negative interactions, frustrating moments but then so many more come from the good moments and happy times in my photography career.  Most people think they “know” how running a photography business goes.  How “easy” it must be to do what you want, when you want to.  I just wanted to lay it all out there and give alittle insight to my wonderful crazy life!

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When starting a business, so much goes into it.  Its not all a bed of roses.  I struggled ALOT.  Jumped a lot of hurdles. Swam though a lot of critiques and some photographer drama.  But, I had told myself that this is what I loved, I thought I was good at it and that I wanted to make a difference in peoples lives…including my kiddos lives.  (Well, at that point, I only had one!) So, I kept my head up and just did what I loved.  I learned a lot.  Some was by the way of my own mistakes and lessons.  And then others, by teaching of some amazing photographers that shared their expertise and own ways of life with others.

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After taking a moment (or maybe a few than just one), I took a look back on my work from the beginning.  Lets just say, I can’t thank everyone enough for standing by me.  WOW.  I was bad! But, Chunky Monkey Photography was growing and my CMP families were hanging in there with me while I learned my craft.  I was working all day and all night.  Shooting like a crazy woman and editing into the wee hours into the night (or morning I should say).  I was never home.  I was 110% into the photography world.  I breathed it, I smelt like it, I lived it.  I missed my daughters first crawl, first steps and first words.  But, I told myself it would be worth it because in short time, I would have more time with her and could be the mom that I wanted to be.  My husband was an awesome father and took care of her and me like a champ.

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Chunky Monkey continued to grow.  I got the chance to meet so many families and have a ton of fun with each of them.  Many of them I hold dear to my heart today.  Once I started to step up my level of photography, I raised my prices up off the bottom of the floor.  I fiqured, I knew what I was doing, I was worth it.  Little did I know at that point.  I still worked crazy hours and was still never home.  Still missing out on so much.  Then came my pregnancy with Mr. Kaden.  As many know, my pregnancies were not a cake walk.  I had pregnancy induced seizures.  I was not allowed to drive throughout the 9 months.  My husband, friends and mother had to drive me to all my sessions on top of their own jobs.  It was CRAZY.  I am surprised everyone came out alive.  But, they both knew how much I loved what I did and they believed in me.  So…we pressed on.

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Once Kaden was born, I had learned a lot about the photography world and had much more control over my business.  Still busy (and loving it) but able to be home and be a part of what was going on.  I continued to learn, train with others, practiced and tried new things.  Then…I took a look at who I was, what I had become and what I was worth (in my own opinion, oh and my husbands!).  So, I raised my prices again.  Knowing how much time I put into every single session; how much photography gear is (and forever changing and upgrading), the best props, insurance, taxes (yuck!), gas, hours of shooting, hours of editing, and so on and so on.

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Then one day, I looked up and things had changed.  There were TONS of photographers that were where I was just years ago.  I was “too expensive” or not worth it anymore to so many people.  That is a hard pill to swallow.  Nothing changed with the people…they still wanted pictures of their kiddos.  So, I saw them going to others.  Cheaper others.  The one I was years ago.  Yikes!  I didn’t understand.

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Today, I sit on the couch, watching Bubble Guppies ONE more time with my son as my first grader is fast asleep and excited about the next day of school.  I look at what all I have overcome, learned and accomplished over the past 6+ years.  Then I go, what can I do to reach people?  What can I do to attract people?  What am I doing wrong?  Its not that I am not busy, because I am.  Its not because I am not booking, because I am.  Its not because I suck..because I don’t.  I am aware of all that.  So, my first thought was to drop my prices down.  But, what does that say about myself?  What does that teach my kiddos.  To work your hardest to get to the top of the mountain and then step down a bit because your scared? NO! You stand tall and continue to prove yourself.  Let those that want to invest in their memories pick you.  I am here and ready.  Ready to commit to your family and give you the memories that are really priceless and will be treasured for forever!

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So, please know as you finish up reading this (much longer than I thought it would be) blog about the trials and tribulations that CMP has endured over the years…that when you pick a photographer, you are picking someone that is a part of your life.  Not just in front of you with the camera.  Someone that is invested in you and your family.  Someone that works hard to give you the best memories possible.  Someone that you are trusting with your memories.  Someone that cares.  I love holding my camera but I love being invested in your family and your memories.  Being a part of your family and watching your kiddos grow means so much to me.  I love snuggling your newborn, chasing after your toddler, and crying with you when they head to Kindergarten.  From the beginning, being your photographer means more to me than you will ever know.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my “from the heart” and a bigger thank you for adopting Chunky Monkey Photography into your family.

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Sweet Baby Girl- Chunky Monkey Photography- Fort Worth and Saginaw Newborn Photographer

This sweet baby girl showed off at her session!! She did amazing and was most adorable.  To top it off, she had the most amazing hair.  I had a hard time covering it up at all!! That sweet face is just perfect.  I am so excited about her 1st year to come! And…to top it off- she got to wear the first CHUNKY MONKEY HALO from Just Hatched Designs that was named after me! 🙂  She did it perfectly! 27logo 22logo 11logo 7logo 3logo

Amazing Baby- Chunky Monkey Photography- Fort Worth and Saginaw Newborn Photographer

This little man was amazing and so was his hair!!! He was amazing and I captured some fun memories! Gotta love a boy and his airplanes! I look forward to watching him grow up! 32logo 25logo 12logo 11logo 4logo 3logo

Sweet Newborn- Chunky Monkey Photography- Saginaw Newborn Photographer

The past few weeks have been amazing! Have met so many new newborns and their amazing families.  I have known this sweet boy’s mom since before we could drive so its very special to get to capture his first photoshoot for them.  Can’t wait to watch him grow!

Backdrops by: Roses and Ruffles AND Li’l Sprouts Boutique

Hats by: Goodnight Mouse and Cream of the Prop

Tote by: TJF

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White Sandy Beaches- Chunky Monkey Photography- Destin Beach Photographer

Beautiful skies, soft white sand and amazing families.  That is how I got to spend the first week of my vacation in Destin, FL.  It was amazing to play and laugh and truly enjoy the beach with everyone.  Lots of amazing families to edit over the next week but starting off the beach previews with these three families is a perfect start.  And of course…I am waiting on next summer…CMP will be back!! 113 44 43 24 22 17logo 11 9 7bwlogo 3

And baby makes 4- Chunky Monkey Photography- Saginaw Maternity and Newborn Photography

This sweet mama is soon to be a mama of 2! I am excited to have them in studio in a few weeks for their daughters newborn photography shoot.  We got to meet up for some maternity pictures and big sisters 3 year old photography shoot.  We had a blast and shared lots of laughs.  I can’t wait to see them again soon.  132 41 29 20 17 7 4

I’m already 3 months old-Chunky Monkey Photography- Saginaw Newborn and Child Photographer

Mr. Anthony came to see me for his newborn pictures a while back.  Unfort, he was not as excited as we were so we ended up meeting back up right before I went on vacation and he was amazing to work with.  He was close to 3 months old but at the end of our session, he let me have some fun as if he was a brand new baby! To top it off, he is one of my oldest friends little boys….makes it even more special! Welcome to the world sweet boy!!! 35 33 24 22 13 12 5

Under the Sea Birthday- Chunky Monkey Photography- Child Photographer

I was invited to the birthday party celebration of the year! Its an exciting time when you turn ONE!!! We got to go under the sea and swim with the fishes.  The best part of having Chunky Monkey Photography there to document the day is that no one else has to worry about pictures.  You get to enjoy the party and be a part of the memories!

The birthday girl was super excited to sing happy birthday until she went for the candle…luckily mom caught her..but then we got tears.  Nevertheless….the birthday party was full of excitement, laugher, friends and family and yummy food and CAKE!!! Happy Birthday Sweet girl!

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