Viewing entries tagged
Kalamazoo Michigan Childrens Photographer

a peek at my life | august 2017

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a peek at my life | august 2017

Hey friends! I'm finally editing my own photos from this past year. Partly because Blurb is offering 50% off their photo books through November 29th, but mostly because I miss summertime and just love re-living these moments. August was a crazy month for us as we prepared for a big move to our new home, and I was savoring each and every second in that old house... the place we brought out babies home, all the familiar little nooks & crannies... the gorgeous field behind our house, and those magnificent sunsets. 

These photos tell stories. They bring back moments I might otherwise forget. So I'll keep documenting the everyday, and in the coming months I hope to work with more mamas who want to do the same.

If you've been wanting to learn to use your DSLR and to capture these too-easily-missed moments, consider hosting an in-home workshop for your mama friends. I'd love to help you overcome any obstacles keeping you from gathering images like these.

 https://www.elyserowlandphotography.com/workshop

And if you're already using your DSLR and getting the hang of it, keep practicing! Keep experimenting & playing with light. Keep going, even if it feels like one of the hardest things you've ever done... it's worth it. I promise.

Blessings,
Elyse

 

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To see more of my work, please take a look around my portfolio and follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

For investment information, click here.

If you would like to book a session or want more info about me, please click here!

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Creek Session | Kalamazoo MI Family Photographer

I just had to share one photo from a creek session I did earlier this summer on our new property. There's something so relaxing and enchanting about photographing in or near a creek. I'll be introducing more opportunities to shoot at this location next summer... stay tuned!

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Remembering our Beautiful Boy's Birth | Kalamazoo Michigan Family Photographer

Today, our sweet middle boy is three, and he's by far my easiest child to photograph... always in a pretend world, or creating up some new character, and he just plays and plays. So today, I'm sharing a few favorite images of him. You can also read his birth story here. I woke up today thinking about the amazing four hours of labor, and smiled, because it was such a beautiful experience. Not easy, but certainly beautiful. 
 

silhouette of boy with sunset
boy on bike with grandfathers
boy sitting in sunlit kitchen
boy holding mom's hand
two young boys in tent
young boy kissing brother
little boy in garden full of tomatoes
young boy taking sink bath with spraying water
young boy with puppy
little boy sleeping in underwear
young boy climbing couch and hiding behind curtains
young boy in lion costume painting pumpkin at fall festival
young boy running in the fall color
young boy smelling flower

Happy Birthday, my sweet Riverbug! You are such a joy.

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Kalamazoo MI Family Photographer | The Harkers

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Kalamazoo MI Family Photographer | The Harkers

It's been about a thousand years since I blogged, but I couldn't resist sharing the highlights from last night's family session. My sweet friend Erica, the gorgeous mama in these photos, took our incredible newborn photos a couple of months ago, and last night I was able to repay the favor with a fun family session. We played and laughed, fed fish, picked mulberries, roasted marshmallows, and caught up on life. It did my heart good. And on the way home from her session, since I was kid free for the first time in a LONG time, I cranked the radio in my minivan, opened the sunroof, and let the wind blow through my hair. (Totally wild & crazy, right?!)

I love this life, and I love that I get to document other's lives along the way. Enjoy!

kalamazoo family photos

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40 Weeks Pregnant

Life is a little unpredictable, yes? Today I'm sharing a bit of my heart in words and photos. I'm 40 weeks pregnant + 2 days, and it feels like I'm riding a roller coaster right now, and yet finding a glimpse of peace in God's timing as we wait for our third little boy to arrive. My first two boys each came 4 days early, so I've never known what it's like to be 'overdue' (which I realize isn't technically a thing, since babies are ready when they're ready), but it's certainly been a test of patience & has felt a bit like a mental war. On one hand, I've been able to spend extra time with my little boys - hiking, baking, origami, homeschool, and lots of farm chores, while also keeping up the house (i.e. constant nesting). On the other hand, I'm feeling a little drained from the prodromal labor I'm experiencing and the fact that I never thought I'd face my due date without my baby in my arms. 

So, I've been reading, listening to homeschool podcasts and praise music, and trying to keep my face toward Jesus instead of pitying the fact that I'm 'still pregnant' when well-meaning friends & family ask. My camera has been out more in the past week than it has in the last 3 months. When my life feels out of my control, I turn to my creative outlets and that includes journaling God's word, writing his truths in my commonplace notebook, and pouring my heart out to Him every chance I get. It helps. I won't say that I'm in a perfect head-space, but He is certainly making this journey easier.

And he is such a good, good God. I woke up the past two mornings thinking "Please Lord let this baby come today..." but my heart said otherwise - I distinctly heard the words His will, not mine. More of Him, less of me. He already knows the moment that this baby will be born, and He goes before me, and that gives me the greatest peace.

I love that the spring weather is finally here. It's lifted all of our moods and we've been able to explore the new growth and actually *see* the things we've been learning about in our nature studies. (If you're wanting a book to encourage nature study, check out Julia Rothman's 3 book collection - it's amazing!)

Our homeschool days (which right now are sporadic & extremely relaxed since Remy isn't technically even eligible for Kindergarten until this fall) have become my favorite days of the week. We read good books, sing hymns, have Bible time, and learn letter sounds. Things are simple because I've purposely kept them that way, and both of the boys have thrived in this environment. We play card games & board games for math, and because we have the hobby farm and some land, the boys are always learning something new. I honestly don't think the boys even realize they're 'doing school' most of the time... it's just a natural part of life - being curious and putting "things worth observing" in front of them (Charlotte Mason). Kyle has really embraced nature study without even realizing it, and he teaches them (and me!) the most interesting facts about our natural world. It's been amazing seeing just what a wealth of knowledge he truly is, and watching him share with our children makes me see him in a completely new light. Marriage is incredible like that. You can be married for 10 years, and still learn something new about the other person. 

This morning we made origami jumping frogs, and the boys had a blast with them. I'm thankful for these moments. I know when the baby does make his grand arrival, things will likely feel off-kilter for a while...maybe chaotic at times. As any mom of three, I hope I do a good job of giving these boys the attention and love they need as we adjust. 

Isaiah 40:31 says "...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." I'm placing all my hope in Him and I'll keep praising Him, even if I'm feeling the weight of being 'overdue'. I'm so excited to meet this baby boy (and finally share his name!), but I also know that life happens in a blink, and all too soon, he'll be 5 years, 10 years , 20 years old... and I'll be holding back tears wondering where the time went. Thanks for letting me share my heart today. 

~Elyse

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Workshop for Moms: Documenting the Everyday

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Workshop for Moms: Documenting the Everyday

Black Friday is coming! And this year I have a special little something for moms....

I've had this passion burning in me for so long, and I'm so excited to share it with the world!

My hope is that this workshop for moms, Documenting the Everyday, will breath new life into the photos you take of your own children, and that months and years down the road, your children will have a splendor of images to look back on - ones that help them peek back into their past. Photos are a piece of our history, and tangible evidence of the lives we lived. 

Join me on Saturday, January 14th from 10 to 11:30 in a beautiful Downtown Kalamazoo location. To ensure you snag one of the 10 available spots AND save $25, use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY on 11/25 from 12:01 am to 11:59 pm. 

Here's the link (and remember, the coupon code won't work until 11/25!):

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Kalamazoo MI Family Photographer | The Austins at Home

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Kalamazoo MI Family Photographer | The Austins at Home

The Austin fam and I go back a little ways... their first session took place in golden autumn fields & I remember thinking after their session how great it felt to photograph a family that just enjoyed eachother & (for lack of a better term) ignored me & my camera. ;) I was starting to get the itch to move toward documentary photography. 

Their next session took place when the gorgeous baby girl shown below was born. I visited their hospital room for a Fresh48 (a documentary/lifestyle session that takes place within 48 hours of birth). I loved every second of that shoot. Despite tricky, low lighting, and an energetic toddler, I walked away from that session with pure joy in my heart. Capturing a family and the bliss they're feeling after the birth of a new child... there's just nothing like it. 

Fast forward to a couple months ago when I received a sweet email asking if I'd be interested in documenting their typical evening routine, and my heart started beating a bit faster... ;) 

I met the Austin family at their house just before dinner on a normal Tuesday night. They were all relaxed, playing in the yard while homemade pizza cooked on the outdoor fireplace. It felt just like the night when we were in the field, except this time, we were in their most sacred, comfortable environment. I photographed their every giggle, every shared smile. I captured details, like big brother's first time using the strawberry cutting tool, or dad stirring the fire while mom prepared the rest of the meal. After dinner, the family played one of their favorite games, t-ball, and I laughed until I cried (my stomach muscles were literally sore after the next day...), and then we headed inside for some more play before bedtime routine. Bathtime, giggling while putting on pajamas, a couple of great books, some more laughs, and then hugs and lights out. It felt so familiar to me... it's what I do with my own children, and that makes me appreciate it even more.

My job is to capture the mundane, ordinary, everyday moments. You know -- the ones that change suddenly, or stop happening before you even realize things are changing, and then all you have left are memories that fade over time. Knowing that I created tangible evidence of those memories is the very best part of my job... because now you'll never forget the look on your little boy's face as daddy read him his very favorite book in his tiny toddler bed, or the way your baby girl tucked her feet up close to you as you rocked her to sleep. It's documented happiness, even in the everyday, typical moments.

If you've been considering a documentary (aka Storytelling session), can I just encourage you to take the leap and do it? It's the least scary session of them all. There are no outfits to be shopped for, because you wear whatever you would normally wear. There is no location to be chosen, because I come to you, and let me tell you... the size of your house, the amount of light, and whether or not your house is *exactly* as you want it to look does.not.matter. Every person feels this way about their house, whether they live in a fixer upper or a mansion.... and my eyes? They only see the love you wear on your face as you scoop up your child up in a moment of raw emotion.  

So, contact me. I'd love to chat, no pressure. I promise you won't regret it!

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Kalamazoo Michigan Family Photography | Rypma Family

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Kalamazoo Michigan Family Photography | Rypma Family

"Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary." -Brene Brown

There's so much truth to what Brene said -- these ordinary nights you spend with your family, the walks you take in the sunshine, the laughs and tantrums and snuggling and talking -- these moments are where joy is found.

Sarah, there are no words to express how much I love you and your family. The chats we've had over coffee, the weddings we've photographed together, and the many, many times you've given me amazing business & life advice... I just appreciate you more than you'll ever possibly know. You're an absolute gem. <3

Enjoy!

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Kalamazoo Michigan Family Photographer | The Schultz Family

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Kalamazoo Michigan Family Photographer | The Schultz Family

Every session begins the same way - an email, a questionnaire, some back and forth emails or phone calls and then this beautiful creative process that envelops me. I literally have to slow down for a while, close my eyes, and visualize the location we'll be shooting in. I envision the light, the amount of direction I'll provide, the flow of poses or the way I'll ask them to move to get natural interaction and exchange. I know now that if I just show up at a session without a plan, I walk away feeling defeated, like I missed out on who the family really is - and that's not fair to my clients, my friends. 

And this session was no different. Audrey is a fantastic Kalamazoo wedding photographer. Was that intimidating? Maybe just a little bit. I'd be lying if I said no. But I absolutely love shooting for other creatives. We have that common thread and know exactly how much heart goes into every session or project. (By the way, you can check out Audrey's beautiful work here.) 

Audrey's family has this warm, relaxed, go anywhere, do anything sort of vibe. They're country folks like us and I was immediately at ease with them. We spent the evening playing in the field and picking wildflowers, and all the while they were snuggling and laughing and bear hugging and soaking eachother up. Enough of me telling you... here's just a sampling of the 142 photos they'll be receiving in their gallery. Enjoy!

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