Monthly Archives: October 2016

Everyone has those traditions!  Maybe they aren’t even really “traditions” but memories we hold onto fondly in our hearts.  Things that we remember from childhood that just ,you know, stick!  Things and moments that we know we will continue on with our own children because whether they were big or small, they just meant so much to us!  I guess that’s really how traditions begin. One event or action was so beloved that it was created again and again until it just becomes something we can never live without!

My dad was a firefighter, something I will always be extremely proud of!  When he was on his shift work in the early days he worked 24 hours on and then had 48 hours off.  It was an amazing shift to raise children.  I was able to play with my dad for two whole days and then I also had my mom all the myself for an entire night!  You really honestly truly can’t get any better than that for a childhood!

On those nights that my brother and I had our mom just to ourselves, we always had our own little special traditions!  One of those we called our “romantic dinners”.  No dinner was ever truly the same and thats what made it really fun!  Some nights we would grab fancy cheese and crackers;  other nights (and this might seem so gross to some of you but I LOVE it) we would grab potted meat (devils delicious we would call it), crackers and maybe something else like chips and dip!  There were days that we would order pizza or grill hot dogs;  but no matter what we had to eat the drinks were always the same and they were the BEST!  My  mom always made us feel special by pouring 7-up or ginger-ale into champagne flutes (plastic ones probably) hence:  romantic dinners!

We would sit on the floor in picnic style and we would watch a special movie!  At least that’s the part that I remember!  Sometimes I think we would just talk about our day.  Later when I was older the romantic dinners would continue but they would be less of the romantic picnic style and more of the let’s go out to dinner or to a movie!  The most important part of these evenings was that it was always me and my mom together spending quality time one on one!  I knew that she was creating something special just for us and later, just for me!

The value of that for a child is incredible!  In fact, it’s indescribable!  It’s like a little heart glow!  Do you guys watch Jane the Virgin???  If you do, you know the heart glow!  (Guys if you aren’t watching Jane the Virgin… you must go to netflix now and start… it’s AMAZING!)

Anyway, these romantic dinners have stuck with me all these years.  I’ve never ever once forgotten the significance of them or forgotten how I felt when we would clink our 7-up glasses!

Now, I’m a mama myself and my little one is the same age as I was when my mom started the romantic dinner tradition!

The other night Tuck was at a work dinner.  His old job used to take him away for travel quite a bit and luckily I’m happy to announce we just found out he won’t be traveling anymore!  We were offered a new job and we are so thankful he has accepted!

Anyway… the other night we were a little bummed that Tuck had been traveling and missing a lot of family dinners.  But instead of letting it bum us out and ruin the evening, I remembered my fondness of my mom’s “romantic dinners”!  She took an opportunity to really make an evening with her one on one and make is special!

I immediately ran upstairs and got one of Linc’s favorite blankets.  I spread it on the floor and told him I was going to create something special for him!

I made his favorite Japanese noodles with soy sauce and extra butter and because my boy likes to eat, I also made him a plate of chicken, hummus and grapes.  Linc’s also a huge milk drinker so I had to switch out the romantic champagne flutes (because home girl wasn’t prepared for that either but hey such is life) for milk in his straw cup!

The two of us sat on the floor that night and ate our dinner picnic style!  We clinked our drinks and cheered the night away while watching a movie Linc picked out all on his own!

I also face timed my mama and sent her tons of pictures so she could participate with us!

It was a old tradition revived again and Linc absolutely adored it just like I did when I was his age… just like I do still when I go home and visit my mom!

The best part is that whenever Tuck is away for dinner now (or lunch for that matter) Linc runs to grab a blanket and sets up a picnic for us!  He begs for a “picnic” and it just melts my little heart!  I love how much he loves this little tradition that my mom began with us such a long time ago!  I love that he will have this with my mom too when they are together with each other!

What’s even better… the other night one of Linc’s favorite people came over, our neighbor James.  He came just for a bit and he had his own Chipotle dinner.  I’ve never seen Linc move so fast to grab that blanket!  James hadn’t even made it through the front door to the couch before Linc had set up the “romantic dinner” for his BFF.  I was shocked and had that Jane the Virgin heart glow again that Linc loves James so much to share our special little tradition with him!

As mamas sometimes it’s easy to forget that everything we do has the ability to impact the hearts and the long term traditions our children will carry through with them into the future!  Something as simple as a blanket on the floor and potted meat (haha) can warm a child’s heart so much that it carries over to the next generation and again into the next!

I know for me, sometimes I need to remind myself of this more often:  to take a step back and breathe!  To remember that it’s the little things in life that matter the most!  It’s the intentional,  from the heart,acts that often stick and last through the generations and mean the most!  That’s how traditions begin!

Life gets crazy… I need to slow it down sometimes and that means being purposeful!  Right?

BTW… we also have Donut Sunday’s thanks to our amazing neighbors!

What are some of your traditions friends?  Do you have fun, simple ones like this?  I would love the hear them!!!  Really… I want to hear them!

Creating Family Traditions Blog Brooke Tucker Photography

 

  • October 29, 2016 - 6:05 pm

    Tammy - I love traditions!!! One that I started when my three kids were small was “mom and me days”. Having more than one child means splitting your time and energy between them and that gets hard. So when they were younger and started school I decided to make special days with them where they could actually MISS a day of school (gasp and I was a school teacher! 😊) and just me and that one child of mine would spend the entire day together. It could be something elaborate like a day at a theme park or something as simple as a McDonalds lunch and a couple hours at different play grounds. They grew to love these days and although it was only a few times a year for each of them (outside of the regular days when it was me and all three of them doing things while their dad worked etc) they all really loved these days. My oldest is now 21 and my youngest is 15 and they STILL love days with just me and them….and still will refer to them as Mom and Me days. 😌ReplyCancel

    • November 3, 2016 - 5:41 pm

      brooketuckerphoto@gmail.com - OH I LOVE this!!!! This is such a great idea! My mom would do the same thing, wake me up and let me know I would miss school to do something special with her… BUT to have a teacher as a mom and to be able to miss school… that’s even MORE special!!! Oh my gosh and especially to get one on one time with your mom without your siblings AND miss school, that’s like a triple treat!!! I love the way you create that time and make it special whether they are going to the theme parks and really going all out OR making it special by “park hopping” and McDonalds! Some days those days are even more special because the focus is totally on the time they get to spend with you!! I’m going to write this down so I can remember this for when my little one is older!!!
      Thanks for sharing this Tammy!!!ReplyCancel

Monday… something happened!  Something happened that changed my heart and impacted me in a way that many amazing individuals (some that I really look up to and are pretty influential in this industry) haven’t been able to do in all these years of my owning my business!

My camera broke!

I actually can’t even say that because I don’t quite understand what happened.

Let me set this up for you…

Linc was exhausted.  We had just come back from taking him to the doctor’s for his awful cough (which turned out was nothing and he’s as healthy as can be) and he had fallen asleep on the couch.  If you know me and you know Linc, this never happens… like ever!  My kiddo stopped napping at one!  I love when spontaneously falls asleep.  He looks like an angel!  All little ones look like angels when they sleep and oh my goodness he just looked so peaceful laying there right on top of his little bowl of mutli-colored goldfish!!  So, I did what any mother photographer does, I grabbed my camera and started to capture this moment exactly as it was!  Tuck was bugging me to just leave him be when it happened… my camera went haywire!  The manual mode started to revolt against me:  the ISO was not obeying my commands and the exposure started working backwards!  All that was up was down and all that was light became dark!  The best way to explain this to you is to have you imagine a clock and the hands of the clock going every which way!

Thank goodness Linc was napping because Tuck and I started to do all we could do.  We took the battery out and popped it back in, we updated the firmware, we googled, we made calls… we tried it all!  I still don’t know what happened and to this day, right now, it’s still acting crazy!

Monday afternoon was awful.  I was in tears.  You see… this is the problem:  I don’t have a back up camera!  I have back back up lenses, but not a back up camera.  I also have scheduled sessions not only this week, but this weekend and the following!  I’m also starting my business from scratch in a brand new town in a brand new state.

So.. Monday afternoon with all these thoughts and realizations in my head, I went upstairs and I cried!  I cried hard!

You see and this is where I’m going to lay it all down for you for the first time ever because I want you to understand in hopes that if you are like me maybe you won’t have to take all the years that I have to really get it!

Up until now this “business” of mine hasn’t truly been a business, at least not a successful one and that’s been because of me!  I have been a success in terms of accomplishing what I have wanted to be:  a lifetime photographer!  But on the business side, a productive business.. wahn wahn.

I have always held myself back because I’ve had a hard time running a successful business and by that I mean sticking to business plan, charging people for services and making sure all the t’s are crossed!  There is something about it that for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to follow through and honestly I think it’s been the charging for services part.  I love people and it has nothing to do with my worth or self confidence.  I know what I’m worth and I understand that my photography images and my skills are worth charging for!  I just truly have believed so much in family photography and the legacy behind them that if I could, I would give everyone a family session!  I think a lot of it comes down to my story and my why!

I think I’m soo rooted into how photography helped me see the world and this philosophy of real is better than perfect that I feel so much for mother’s and families!  You can read more about my story here and part two here and I promise you will understand where I am coming from!

There have been times when I have been “woken up”to reality and then I’ve gotten a kick in the pants and I’ve been great about my business!  In fact it’s lasted a while for me and those days are great!  One of those times was at the Creative at Heart conference when Mary Marantz mentioned “Who are you sacrificing for?!”  I will never forget that quote.  I immediately thought of my family and that really did wake me up!

I am sacrificing for my family.  They are the reason why I pick up my camera and why I find so much joy in shooting for other families. They are the reason I am good at shooting other families!  It’s because I’m a mom that I can search out those moments between parents and child and capture them with love and magic!

BUT… it wasn’t until Monday that those words that Mary spoke hit me hard!  The sacrifice piece.  Up until Monday, I hadn’t really been sacrificing.  Time, of course but (and this is hard for me to admit) sometimes it was nice for me to take a little break away from Linc.  As a stay at home mom, that little bit of time at a session to spend with another family always brought me home with more joy in my heart and more patience for my own family.  It brought me a sense of appreciation for my own family and our own style!

But Monday… I learned a hard lesson.

Tuck came upstairs to find me laying on my granny heating pad.  We had a seriously long chat about our family and my business and how our family has been funding my “business” for a very long time now.  At that moment, I needed to decide to become a real and legit business woman and move forward; or whether this was just going to be something that I did on the side kind of sort of like I had been doing.  Honestly that was the reality of the situation.  At that moment that was when I realized that Mary’s word never rang more true in my heart.  Who are you sacrificing for?  

I hadn’t been sacrificing for anyone!

My family had been sacrificing for me, and this was going to be the last time.  Together (while Linc was still napping… Hallelujah) we made one last purchase.. a big one!

I made up my mind at that moment, after we hit that purchase button, that my family would no longer sacrifice one more penny for my “business” again.

I spent the rest of the night surrounded by notebooks running numbers.  This is something that is kind of comical because I’m horrid at math!  I ran the numbers well into midnight and I came up with a well organized plan!

I wanted to share this story with you today in hopes that if you are like me, and I know there are those of you out there, you will take a moment and consider this!

Ask yourself this question: Not just who are you sacrificing for but who is sacrificing for you and for how long will you let them! 

What is it that you want for your business?!  Do you want it to cover just your expenses?  Do you want it to contribute to your house and family?  Do you want to use it for vacation money?  Do you need it to cover a certain amount?

Do you know your business?!  Do you understand what your costs are?  Do you know where your money is going?  Do you understand the ins and outs of it?!

I ask these questions because guess what… I didn’t!!!  Not until Monday night and although I’m embarrassed to admit that… I know it now and I can tell you surprisingly I was doing an OK job!  Ok isn’t great though and now I’m going to be managing things and working towards GREAT!

I wanted to share this story with you because I know there are some of you out there that are just like me and I want you to know, you aren’t alone!  This is a real struggle and business is hard!  But we can do this together and we can rock it out!

Monday was an awful day…. but in the same respect it was probably one of the best days for my business!  Some times we have to learn the hard way and we need moments like these to really wake us up!

 

Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker

Ok seriously, isn’t this just the most gorgeous family?!  And those faces that both those boys are making… I die!  I mean I want to just smother them with love and tickles!!!

When I first heard from Julie I was super excited!  She’s a Virginia girl like an actual Virginia girl!  She and her family moved to Florida from Newport News which is so close to Virginia Beach!  You can’t imagine my reaction when I read that!  It was like finding out I had a sister!  Ok maybe not that dramatic but it was so exciting and comforting!  She’s also a boy mom which is also incredible because boy moms are bonded together for life!  I mean… no matter how girlie we once were, we now are kindred spirits over things like “look mom, here hold this cool snake skin that I just found and has bugs crawling all in it!”  “Look mom.. here hold this dead snake I just found” and now am flinging it’s lifeless body over to you!  Boy mom equals (usually) all the creepy crawly, germ infested, gross bugs, snakes, pretty cool though, dirty circle of life things the earth has to offer!

I met Julie, Patrick and their incredibly handsome boys at their new house over in Lakeland on a Monday evening!  It was a gorgeous evening that was perfect for family photos!  We decided that we wanted to capture their family as they are right now which is just the way I like it!  They have the most amazing set up… a play set in the back yard, pool, and a bunch of places to explore and go on adventures!  The boys were extremely welcoming and before I knew it we were having the best conversations!

Here are a few of my favorites from our evening together!

Silly faces before anything else!

Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker

These boys are as thick as thieves and I hope they always stay this way!

Oh my gosh friends… this field!  I had a love affair with this field!  It was amazing… but the fire ants!!!  Those little devils are wicked.  I’ve never experienced them in Virginia but here they are everywhere!  We were able to snap a few shots but oh man we had to get out of there quickly!  It was so sad because all I wanted to do was stay in this stunning little area!  I had so many beautiful ideas in my mind but nope… kicked out by the fire ants!

Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker Family Photography, Orlando Florida, Brooke Tucker

We headed back to the house to nurse our wounds and just play for a bit!  This is one of the many reasons I just adore sessions at home.  You have the freedom and flexibility to just relax and know that anything you need is right there.  You can be comfortable!

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Who doesn’t love a great game of red light/ green light?!

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