Yearly Archives: 2015

Hi Friends!  I’m so excited to share with you another installment of the Authentic and Real Video Blog sessions!!

I asked and you all answered with some amazing responses to my blog and instagram question of What Do YOU really want to know!  I am overwhelmed with such amazing and honest feedback and I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart!

It seems like most of you really want to know more about how to work with children and families!  🙂  Families are wonderful to work with and there is such a joy in working with the same family year after year and seeing them grow!

Today, I’m so delighted to share with you my 5 most treasured tips that I can offer anyone who wants to work with their children and family clients to make them not only feel more comfortable in front of the camera but also achieve those REAL and NATURAL images that feel exactly like the family should feel!  I’m talking about images that are more about how the family would act just around one another rather than the traditional posed style!

Stay with me as the video IS kind of long but I not only talk about the 5 tips, I explain WHY they are so important!

Have a wonderful day friends and I hope you enjoy!!! (P.S. you can totally catch my lazy assistant on the couch in the background!)  She’s fired!

 

Miss the first installment of the Authentic and Real video sessions?! It’s OK check it out right here!!!

 

I was soo super excited a few weeks back to share our experience (and a few tips too) at Disney with you guys!  We adore Disney and to say adore is actually kind of an understatement!  We are a Disney family 100%!  I actually describe what a Disney family is in our post here, so if you want to check it out and learn about the whole experience we had on our trip (and some first hand tips) this is our first post!

How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey

The whole reason we decided to go to Disney in the first place was because I LOVE Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!

I was blessed to go last year with a few girlfriends of mine.  I was visiting with my great friend Emily right after Tuck came home from deployment;  it was my mini vacation and thank you trip from Tuck!  We took her daughter along with another of our friends and her two little girls!  I was there to help and ya’ll… I had more fun than any of the three girls under the age of 4!

I swore I would come back the following year and take my family!

What could better than everyone single person dressing up, the whole castle decked out for such a fun affair, trick or treating STATIONS, and the entire park to yourself!!!  Plus ya’ll the villains come out to play and I love the villains!  There is an amazing parade that sparks the imagination and the fireworks… as always they are to die for!

So this is exactly what Tuck and I did this year:  we planned an entire year in advance to be there for Mickey’s Not so Scary!

How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey

Since we knew this was the main event, we planned to splurge mainly for this one big night!  The tickets alone are separate from the hopper passes we purchased!  They are a special ticket and anyone that doesn’t have the special band for this halloween party will be asked to come back another time to play!

The park is yours!!!

Everyone comes dressed and since I knew this up front I want to make sure had some costume options for Linc!

I invested in his costume!  I went ahead early to the Disney store here at home and bought two costumes for him knowing that he would want to wear one for the halloween party at “Mickey’s house” and one for trick or treating at home!

*Having been down to Disney before, I also knew they don’t have many costumes for boys (which is one small detail that makes me a little upset with Disney).  There are tons and tons of princess dresses and outfits for the girls but absolutely nothing for the little boys!  So, if you are planning to go with a little man in tow like us, make sure you head to your local Disney store or party city prior to getting down there!

I picked out Peter Pan for Linc and also Captain Jake!

One funny little incident that happened was that Linc was super upset that mommy and daddy had costumes as well!  He loved Miss Emily and Mr Ross in costume, but when mommy and daddy put theirs on a few days before he flipped his lid!  I mean tears and tantrums and throwing himself on the floor complete with wailing!

It wasn’t until we arrived at the park that he started to become OK with our outfits of choice!  You can see that he was a little overwhelmed at first! We all were… hoardes and hoardes of people flocking in all dressed up is enough to shock anyone!

How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey

There are so many activities and fun events to participate in on Mickey’s not so scary night!  We had a hard time choosing what to do with all of our friends that we split up into groups and just kept in touch with our cell phones until meeting back up when the fire works started!

  • There are designated areas for trick or treating!  As you enter each person (adults included) are given a bag to trick or treat!  You will find pumpkins all around to denote which stations (areas that are usually rides during the day) have been turned into spots for trick or treating and candy receiving!
  • Some rides are still open and they are incredibly amazing at night!  Linc loved Dumbo at night and Sadie adored the barnstormer!!!
  • Some areas have been set up for super fun dance parties!  We tore up the dance floor with all the monsters from Monster’s Inc!  Mommy danced with Sully and also with Boo!  Mike Wazoski was there and even the guy with the orange fur that was all shaved off… he even had the sock still stuck on!
  • Linc found the photo op station for Buzz and Lotso the hugging bear!

*One tip I have for anyone that is a parent of a little one that is a villain lover like Linc, make sure to download that Disney app and check out where the characters are stationed!

Linc LOVES and I mean loves Jack Skellington and so Tuck and I knew we had to locate him and Sally and no matter what the line looked like, we were going to meet him!

Our friends headed off to see the Hocus Pocus show and the parade while we stood in the 2.5 hour line to meet Jack!

How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey

Someone fell asleep right as we hit the last leg of the line!

The party starts at 7 pm so make sure your little one tries for a nap!  Linc stopped napping at 13 months and we tried as hard as we could but little man just wasn’t going down at all during the afternoon!  So… this is what happened!  He hung on strong for most of the night but fell asleep at 2 minutes from meeting the ONE person he was dying to meet our whole trip!

Now most parents probably would have let their little one sleep… not us!  We waited in a line that was incredibly long (and smelly) and we knew Linc was be extremely upset if he missed his opportunity.  So we woke him up just as he was the next person in line.  It wasn’t pretty!  In fact, it was ugly.  He was grumpy and rude and all kinds of mean!  The people behind us and all around were so kind and so wonderful!  They helped us perk him up and Sally was AMAZING!  She really helped bring him out of his snarkiness.  Once he saw her… it was all the heart eyes!!!

How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey

From there we headed over to the fireworks!

  • Make sure if you have a little one that doesn’t like loud noises, you bring headphones!  We forgot ours at home (you know the ones we bought especially for the fireworks).  Linc cried the whole time until just the last two bursts, then of course he said he loved them!

How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey

We decided to head out after the Fireworks because we knew traffic would be crazy! Plus Linc was soo tired! He was almost all the way asleep in Tuck’s arms when we jokingly asked our little Peter Pan if he wanted to go see Tinkerbell again!
We were shocked because he perked right up and found a new energy!
So… off we went into pixie hollow!!!

How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey How to Rock out a Disney Trip with your Toddler, Mickey

Mickey’s Not So Scary is one of the best times we had as a whole family in Disney!  I love Disney and I could go every single day!  Tuck however, has a hard time with all the magic and can only take the Magic Kingdom in small doses! I know a lot of people that feel the same way!

Mickey’s Not So Scary is one of the best ways to spend time at the Magic Kingdom with the entire family and really enjoy it…everyone!  There is absolutely something for every single person!  There is so much to do and so much to see and it offers such a variety for all ages toddler to adult!  If you love shows, it has a ton of them and they are so creative and so unique!  It you want to avoid the shows (like we did) there are dance parties and characters to meet all night long!  If you just want to ride the rides, the BEST rides are open to you and you can experience them in an entirely different way than you can on a normal day when the park closes at it’s regular time!  There’s also CANDY… if you just want to take your time and trick or treat and experience a safe and fun halloween, why not at Disney!

Some of the best tips that I have learned now going without my family and then this year with my family:

  • Bring your cell phones!  This is honestly the BEST way to connect and talk to one another!  Designate one single meet up spot in case someone gets lost and also so you have a point of contact and reference!  We DID find it easier to split up so we could each enjoy the things we wanted to enjoy.  When it was time to meet back up it was super easy because we chose to meet back up at the Barnstormer where the kids could ride!
  • Bring water!!! This is great because you will get thirsty, especially if you are eating candy!  This is also a good idea if you want to try the second water bottle technique explained in the first post from Disney!
  • TAKE YOUR CAMERA!!!  Whether you are a photographer or not, capture these memories!  It was such an incredible time and a unique time and no matter if the pictures are great or technically correct WHO CARES!  Just capture the feeling and the moment!  I brought along my 85 mm 1.2 lens because I can shoot wide open with that an allow for the most light to come through!  I did not bring a flash so I wanted to be able to really push my camera and lens in the low light!
  • Bring the STROLLER!  Or rent one please!  Trust me, we had to carry Linc out through all the foot traffic and walk him over to where we parked and had dinner which wasn’t far but still!  Homeslice gets heavy when they go completely limp!  Save yourself the trouble and the backache and bring the stroller!

Where We Splurged!!!

  • This is honestly where we spent the majority of our money!  The tickets aren’t cheap but they are soo incredibly worth it!
  • I purchased TWO costumes for Linc!  Yep I did!  I wanted him to choose which one he wanted to wear and the other one I thought maybe he could wear all through his visits to the park!  I wanted it to be Disney because there is nothing like seeing your child IN character with other characters that fit in along with him!  Watching Linc as Peter Pan WITH Peter Pan and Tinkerbell will always be something that I will cherish until the day that I die!
  • Make dinner reservations somewhere near by the park at one of the hotels!  This is sooo smart!  We made dinner reservations at The Wave which is in the Contemporary!  This allowed us to park at the hotel and walk over to Magic Kingdom instead of having to take the tram!  Dinner was expensive but also delicious!!!  Sadie and Linc had a great time playing and going underneath the table but it never bothered a soul, so please don’t worry about dining with your little ones!  We went in costume too and let me tell you, guests were so convinced that Ross was THE actual Jack Sparrow for Disney that he was asked to take several pictures!!!
  • Toys:  thankfully Linc wasn’t sucked in to any of the sparkling wands or light up toys that they sell on the carts, but we were prepared to purchase if one caught his eye!  This was our night to splurge and that’s what we told ourselves!

I really feel like October is one of the best times of year to experience Disney but it wouldn’t be complete without this magical night!

It truly is awesome and I hope you are able to experience it as well!!!

 

Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker

Sometimes there are just people that come into your lives at just the right time and although they may start out as a client or someone who at first might only believe they are coming into your life for a brief moment;  they actually are truly meant to BE in your life!  They are just kindred spirits meant to be a solid foundation growing with you, laughing with you and sharing the wonderful adventure of life!

Ashley and her family are just these people for me!  I met them a few years ago for a quick mini session (or so we thought)~!  That mini session turned into a long walk and afternoon spent together bonding over motherhood, growing up in this town which is actually pretty big but can often times feel so incredibly small, and also dreaming big dreams!

She is an amazing encourager and inspiring woman!  She is my rock when it comes to motherhood!  There are many nights when I have thought about her with her two girls while I have been home with Linc and Tuck has been away!  If she can do it with two, I can do it with one!!!

Our play dates are the most fun with two super strong willed littles who LOVE to play together but are often more like husband and wife than two little toddlers playing…”NO LINC, it’s a DUCK DONUT…”  “It’s a DOOONNNUTTTTT”  Talk about the difference between men and women, women are specific and men don’t care about the details… they just want to eat the donut!  It was like watching tiny versions of Tuck and myself! 😉

Ashley has always shared her heart and her story openly!  She is kind and generous and her love for her family is incredible!  Joe and Ashley have a marriage that is unconditionally strong and beautifully comfortable in the best way!  They are beyond best friends and true high school sweethearts!  They know each other to the moon and back and because of this, they parent with such real love and relaxed ease it’s mesmerizing to watch!

Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker

Joe and Ashley allow their littles ones the freedom to grow and be who they are: wild and free and imaginative!  It’s a joy to watch and it’s something I hope I have learned to do with my own little Linc since having known them!

Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker

Knowing this family has been such a gift for me and my family and being able to be with them to help document all their memories and their family moments and milestones is such an honor that I could never describe!

I write and pride myself on The Lifetime Experience!  This is exactly what I mean by that!  Meeting a family for the first time as clients and then walking away that same day as friends only to realize years later that they have become a part of your family!  Where the e mails and texts are never more than a week in between and usually the conversation can span anything from hey, let’s get together for our yearly photo session to hey I dealt with a poop smear today sooo bad you wouldn’t believe or GIRL I need a mom date ASAP because life is happening!!! 

These images that we capture aren’t just REAL images, they are true to this family 100% and I can say that because I have built a strong relationship and foundation with them!  I know them and I know what drives and fuels them heart, mind and soul!  They also know what inspires me!

This is the beauty of having a photographer you love and trust!  I not only get to capture moments for some of my favorite people but I also get to hug and squeeze and play with some of my favorite friends!

I hope everyone is a blessed as I am with all my wonderful clients!

Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker

For this year’s holiday session, we decided to meet at the same location we shot Ashley’s snowy session! It’s one of my favorite little spots because not only does it offers a beautiful landscape; but it also allows for all our littles ones to run free, explore and be adventurous without parents having to worry!

Waverly couldn’t wait as you could see by the images above with her jumping in and exploring all the dirt and the holes and the water!

She was ready to jump right in, literally, and didn’t want to waste any of the warm weather we were having that day!  Daddy was ready to fly her high and her dress (OMG) was amazing for flying… am I right?!!!

We explored and roamed around for a while while I snapped away!  I chatted with Ashley and sang songs with Waverly!

We ended up wandering to a nice little patch of clean white sand and so we settled down and made ourselves a little cozy picnic place of sorts!  Avalon is just now sitting up (she’s such a big girl!!!) and so we caught a few of mom and baby just chatting together quietly while big sister and daddy were playing tag around the corner!

Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker

^ SHHHHHH Waverly’s hunting a bear!!!!

Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker

One of my most favorite moments in any session is when the “in-between” moments happen! When real life just takes place and everyone forgets that the camera is there!  Parenting never stops!  It doesn’t stop for special holidays, it doesn’t stop for date nights and it absolutely doesn’t stop just because your all dressed up and there is a camera in front of you waiting to capture “THE” family portrait!  This is exactly why I love family lifestyle and photographing children!  It’s the beauty of those moments in the land of the “and” and the “in-between” that show us how life truly is that will one day become sacred!

Those are the images that years and years from now your children are going to want in a big way!

This moment below is that perfect moment for me!  That moment when you are having a blast because you are running free but you run into daddy’s arms because your shoe needs fixing!  The light is amazing here and although most photographers would toss it out because it’s not a canvas style family portrait of everyone perfectly being perfect… I think it’s amazing!  It’s Joe doing exactly what a daddy is supposed to do!

Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker
Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker

Joe and Ashley had thought we were all finished with the session so they started to pack it up and head back!  Joe decided to let Waverly have a little bit of last minute fun and I was lucky enough to capture it through the trees!

There is something magical about tossing rocks into the water at this age!  I think anything that makes a splash or a goosh or a mess at the age of 3 is just plain awesome!  I adore the look on both of their faces and I am so happy that I always keep my camera ready!  One day I hope Waverly will look back and see how giddy Joe was and realize how cool her dad was!  I also wonder who might have had more fun throwing rocks… Joe or Waverly!!!

Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker Gorgeous yellow and blue Lifestyle Family Photography by Brooke Tucker

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