I have been photographing my children since the day they were born. Nearly every single day! In fact, my oldest daughter, Tenley, is the reason I started photographing regularly. When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, we were not in a good place, financially. I always dreamed of those beautiful newborn photos that everyone around me seemed to get. Unfortunately, we could not afford to have them done. I had always done photoshoots with my sister and my cousin. I posed them while we were playing with the Nerf Ball with my disposable camera. I used to pose my cats, rabbits, dogs, on my Polaroid camera. In high school, my sister and I used to do photoshoots with each other. I have always had a love of photography, so I thought, "why not? I can do my own newborn photos!" I borrowed my mom's Canon Rebel and went to work. Now mind you - they were awful. But, I did my best with what I could. I am happy that I have them, but they are definitely not print worthy! Photographing Tenley's newborn photos sparked a joy in me that I really needed at the time. I was able to photograph my child nearly every single day of her life.
***Note - excuse the quality of these images you are about to see. Not only have I improved immensely over the last 8.5 years, but I also had to save most of these from Facebook.
Eventually, I was able to upgrade to a used Canon 5D (original). It did such a better job capturing my little Cheeseball, as I called Tenley. She loved the camera so much. It's almost as if she was made for the camera.
We moved from Raleigh, North Carolina to Salt Lake City, Utah. When we moved, I had no friends and we were poorer than we ever had been. My husband worked full time and also went to school full time. Because he was gone so much, he had our one car most of the time. To make things interesting, I got pregnant three months after moving. My time with my camera took a break, as I had a rough pregnancy. When Margaux was born, I picked my camera right back up. In fact, I taught my husband how to use my camera in the delivery room. Him and my anesthesiologist took photos of my birth. They are some of my most treasured photos.
I fell back in love with photography and I was back to photographing my babies almost every day. Tenley had signed on to an agency for acting and modeling. She was always wanting me to photograph her. I focused on more lifestyle, everyday life stuff. It made her happy, and it made me happy.
When we got our second car, that's when I was able to start exploring with my girls. That's when photography got really fun. We would take drives and see the beautiful state of Utah. Allllll the heart eyes for Utah, seriously! It was so nice to finally not feel like a prisoner in my home, with two young babies... going crazy! We loved getting out and being in nature. It's therapeutic for us.
Since my daughter was in the industry, I decided to try out Instagram modeling (aka brand repping). My daughter was cute and I was quickly becoming a shopaholic, so why not? It would help her be prepared for her "real" jobs, it would help me get better at photography, and we could spend time together doing what we both loved. At one point, Tenley was all over social media. We were doing multiple photoshoots for multiple companies every single day. I'd have companies send their products to me while I was on vacations even. It was insane. Margaux had not liked the camera for what felt like forever. It was devastating to me, because the child looks like a real life doll. That's not just my Mommy Goggles talking! Brand repping brought that girl to love the camera. She was jealous of the presents Tenley would get in the mail every day. I told her she had to take pictures for me if she wanted presents too. It completely changed the game for us. My girl finally loved to be in front of the camera!
Photography has always been a way for us to connect to each other. When the girls are feeling a certain way, they want to do a photoshoot. It's how we express ourselves. We don't brand rep anymore. That was hard for the girls to accept. They still ask if packages are for them or when we are going to go out and shoot. There are days where they nag for a photoshoot. I secretly love it. They plan everything. Their hair, their outfits, their props, where we will go, their poses. It makes my heart so happy to see these two put together photoshoots.
I hope they always look to art to express themselves. I hope they always stay creative. I hope they always feel that photography can bring them together and use it as their love language.
Thank you so much for choosing TNMKphoto - Serving Utah County, Utah and the Central Valley, California.