And Baby Makes Three | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

There's a sweetness and an awe surrounding a new baby.

Bringing him home. 

Staring at her face. 

Counting eyelashes and memorizing every inch of those perfect cheeks. 

It's a time that passes quickly... and years later, those memories can feel a bit misty. Maybe from exhaustion or just the marching on of time - but I cling to the early memories I have of my own babies. 

Pictures help me process how tiny they once were. Especially now that they seem to be growing at total warp speed! All elbows and knees. Hold me. #sob

Lifestyle newborn sessions present an opportunity to capture those early days. I loved meeting this new family of three last week. Well, 3 1/2 if you include Tank the big bro pup! ;)

You guys, this sweet boy was such.a.dream. I love when newborns are contently awake for most of the session because I can capture all those unique facial expressions. 

Welcome home little one, you are cherished...

A baby is an inestimable blessing.
— Mark Twain

If you are expecting, I am taking on lifestyle newborn sessions through 2018! Drop me a note below with your due date and let's chat. :)

Best,

Erin

 

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5 Year Biz Anniversary + A Treat! | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

I blinked and it's August. How does this keep happening?!

You guys, it's one of my faaaavorite weeks!

TWO exciting reasons: 

1. It's my birthday week, yay! 

2. It's my business anniversary!

That's right, it's officially been five years since I launched EAP and I'm pretty stinkin' excited, humbled and honestly.. kinda shocked. If you had told me ten years ago this is what my career would look like, I would NOT have believed you.

Do you ever wish you had a time machine so you could pop back to the beginning and tell/teach/lecture your younger self? This is certainly how my brain works and I have frequent conversations with future Erin too. #soundscrazyIknow

If you are an EAP Family, be sure to check your email this week! I'll be sending out a special 'thank you' treat and if you know me well... it has to do with caffeinated beverages. #basic

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If you are NOT on the EAP Newsletter - then let's fix that! You'll get seasonal updates from me about mini sessions, availability and special offers. So, maybe like 3 or 4 emails a year? Nothing spammy, promise. ;)

Sign up here!

 

On another note, can I get sappy for a moment? 

Truthfully, I am phenomenally humbled by the families I serve. Your trust in me and the grace you extend is WHY I have been doing this for five years. The flexibility and blessings this offers my family are endless.

Thank you for being here. I'll never take your trust for granted, friends. Big hugs! 

xo

Erin

Brock Environmental Center Sunset Session | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Many of you will recognize this sweet family, but if you're new around here...you should know this is session number FIVE. I have watched them grow, have babies and chase toddlers. And now they are preparing to send their oldest daughter to Kindergarten this year. *sob*

Chris and Lacey are dear friends and it gives me so.much.joy to know my images are hanging in their house. It's been a year of change for them and I'm grateful these happy memories have been captured!

If you haven't had a chance to explore Brock Environmental Center, I highly recommend checking it out. The endless trails, wildlife and amazing sunset was the perfect setting for us!

 

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.
— Michael J. Fox

These girls have the sweetest and silliest personalities! A perfect combination.

Just a reminder, weekend Fall dates are booking through November. Soon, I will email out details about Fall mini sessions to newsletter subscribers first. If you want to get on that list, sign up by clicking the link below! :)

Sunrise and Sandcastles | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

I photographed this sweet family last Fall and when Mom, Karen, reached out for a beach session, I was over the moon! Their son is a.dor.able and FULL of personality.

Little guy just turned two, and with an early bedtime, a sunset session felt like a reach. The solution? Sunrise! I mean, if we're all up early with little kids anyway - why not make it happen!? Some kids are just better in the early morning.. and honestly, I love it too.

Watching the sunrise and getting home before most of the world has even cracked their eyelids open is a pretty fantastic feeling. I know my non-morning friends are rolling their eyes, ha! But seriously, I'm an early morning convert in my mid-thirties. In fact, it's the ONLY way I'm getting 80% of my work done this Summer with both girls home. 

The sun chased us this morning and it was windy, but I am in smitten with the effect. Email me for a sunrise session if you've got the babes and toddlers who go to bed before the sun. Let me assure you... it's worth the extra cup of coffee. Look at this cutie!

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.
— Maya Angelou

Friends, my Fall calendar is starting to fill up! With school-age kiddos of my own now, my weekend availability is very limited. If you've been wanting a Fall 2018 session, NOW is the time to book for the best availability! 

Want details about Fall mini sessions first? Sign up for the EAP Newsletter and get early bird access. :)

'Limitless Motherhood' Newsletter! | Free Guide: Finding Imperfect Balance

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I’ve always considered myself a multi passionate person. The things I loved as an 8-years-old, are mostly what I still hold dear. Thankfully though, I no longer collect those smelly Strawberry Shortcake dolls. #sostinky

I was the kid reading with a flashlight under the covers at night. As a moody teen, I was scribbling poems and singing along to show tunes on my Discman. I became an English major, and then a middle school teacher. 

Lately, I feel a deep calling to communicate and encourage.  I want to come alongside other Mothers on their journeys. Offer notes of encouragement and maybe a helpful tip or two I've gleaned over the years. 

Although nothing will change with the portrait side of my business, I DO have a way you can follow along on this writing journey with me.

I’ll be sending out two short newsletters a month where I share resources, encouragement and gentle insight for Moms who are feeling stuck or overwhelmed. It’s my hope these emails will be a light in your busy day as you try to do the next right thing. We’ll chat about balance, getting unstuck and thriving in our day-to-day lives. The newsletter is called Limitless Motherhood, because that is exactly what I want for us! 

lim·it·less

adjective

without end, limit, or boundary.

When you sign up, you’ll immediately get access to a special free gift I made just for you. It’s called, Finding Imperfect Balance: A Guide to Getting Unstuck, no Matter your Season. In this printable pdf, you’ll find a roadmap for getting unstuck this Summer. Whether you’re feeling lost in many areas of your life right now or just need a quick reboot, I hope this guide will help direct your next right step. 

We still have at least eight weeks of Summer to go. Whether you’re a stay-at-home Mom, running your side hustle or working a 9-5 schedule this Summer, there is still LOTS of time to thrive right where you are!

Moms, I hope you’ll grab the guide and join the conversation.

Let’s grow stronger together! 

- xo Erin

Summer Favorites! | #MomLife

Summer Favorites for Moms

Happy 4th of July, friends!

Today, I thought it would be fitting to share a short list of what I'm loving this Summer. :)

Maybe your list looks the same or you could add to it?

Here's what's making me smile lately: 

1. Sparkling Water - You guys, I'm becoming quite the sparkling water connoisseur. I've tried several different brands and here are my current favorites in no particular order:

  • La Croix - orange and tangerine are amaaaazing.
  • Bubbly - current fav!
  •  Polar - so yummy...
  • Trader Joe's - love the raspberry lime cans!

2. Coola Sunscreen - I've been using this brand of sunscreen on my face for a couple of years now. I love that the daily facial moisturizer has an SPF of 30 and smells like cucumbers. :)

3. Picnic Dinners - Not sure what to do for dinner tonight and loathe turning on the stove in the Summer? Picnic dinners are giving me LIFE right now. Pull out all the bite size foods from the fridge and make a hodgepodge on the table. Lunchmeat, cheese slices, olives, chopped nuts, veggie slices, dried fruit, hummus, pita chips and plenty of fresh fruits are just a few options. My kids LOVE this. They get to pick their favorites and I don't overthink it. 

4. Podcast marathons - While the kids are busy, I love to pop my earbuds in and listen to my favorite podcasts. Folding laundry is a great time to do this or during an early morning walk. My current favorites:

  • RISE podcast by Rachel Hollis
  • The Simple Show
  • The Alli Worthington Show
  • The Lazy Genius
  • The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman

5. Netflix - Remember when we had to watch commercials? The WORST. Send me your favorite Netflix suggestions, I need some new binge worthy choices. :)

6. Quiet Mornings - Working at home and balancing the kids is always a season of change for me. Every Summer I get a little bit better...a little more grace-filled...and a little more intentional with my planning. Five years in and I'm thriving by waking early most days to work before our day starts. It fills my soul and keeps me caught up on edits and all things EAP. 

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7. Gratitude Lists - During some of these early mornings, I write down everything I'm feeling grateful for. It sets my mindset for the day and fills my emotional cup. I can remember that list when I'm feeling irritable or generally ungrateful. A few items on the top of my gratitude list:

  • Coffee with almond milk
  • The friendship my daughters share
  • My latest fiction read
  • Charcoal face masks (hello, oily Summer skin...)
  • Air Conditioning (praise...)
  • My husband's flexible schedule this Summer 
  • Colored pens and highlighters #nerdstatus

What are you loving this Summer?

What is currently blessing you in this season?

Drop me a note and lemme know! I always love hearing from you, friend. :)

xo Erin

The Power of Kind Words | 'Only Little Once' | Hampton Roads Photography Education

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I'm a big believer in letting the people in your life know what they mean to you. If you've learned from them, been inspired, or they have helped you in some way... shining a light on them helps you both shine brighter!

This might be why I love complimenting strangers. If you're out shopping with me, just know I'll stop someone at Target to compliment their hair or mention how patient they are being with their toddler. We ALL need words of affirmation, even if that's not our primary love language. ;)

There’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
— Scott Adams

This week, I got the sweetest email from a previous student of the Only Little Once workshop. Emily is an amazing Mom of four sweet kiddos. I have photographed her family, mentored her in photography and I'm so grateful for her heart and friendship!

Since she's had her hands full (four kids, remember?) I was so moved she took the time to send me this thoughtful review complete with before and after example pictures. Talk about blown AWAY! Emily has always had talent with her pictures, but she is next level now! The lifestyle images she takes of her own kids... are beautiful. 

Reading this email, I had just gotten home from a beach session and was covered in sand. Pretty soon, I was blubbering through tears and showing my husband the email. It made my week! This is what kind words can do, friends.

From Emily:

"For as long as I can remember, I have loved photography. I love capturing those magical moments that become memories. 

And once I had children, that love of capturing those memories grew even more. Since I couldn't slow or stop time, I had the desperate desire to at least preserve it through photographs. My photos weren't "bad," but they weren't incredible either. I longed to take beautiful "frame worthy" images of my family, but somewhere there was a disconnect between what I was envisioning in my mind and what I was actually able to produce. 

Then my husband gave me the gift of a seat in Erin's Only Little Once course. To say it was life changing is not an overstatement. It was less than an hour into the class when a lightbulb went off and all of those little pieces of knowledge I had about photography clicked into place. Thanks to Erin's gift of teaching, I FINALLY "got" the puzzle!

I used to rely on post processing software to "fix" my photos since I could never seem to get them just right in camera. Now I use it only to enhance the incredible images I am getting straight out of the camera. 

If you have a love of photography, if you long to take beautiful photographs of your family, friends, or other interests, if you feel like you're holding some of the pieces but just can't seem to get those images right in camera - this course is for you! Erin is incredibly talented, warm, knowledgable, and, above all, an excellent teacher. You will be so glad you invested in this course and in your photography. After all - they truly are Only Little Once!"

Yep. This was me reading the email... only with crazy hair and sandy feet. The BEST!! I'm so grateful. xoxo

Look at these adorable before and after images!

Before:

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After:

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Before:

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After:

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If you can connect with anything Emily said, then I want to personally invite you to this workshop! I created this for Moms, Foster Moms, Fur-Moms, Hobbyists, Grandmas, anyone who wants to learn their camera. If your DSLR is sitting in the closet collecting dust... let's change that! 

The Details:

Saturday, July 28th in Virginia Beach

2-4:30 PM

Cost: $120

Includes a learning manual, instructional time, an opportunity to practice AND membership to our private, VIP Facebook group!

* If you register by July 1st, use the coupon code 'EARLYBIRD' to save $10! Yay!*

Space for the workshop is limited and seats are filling! For more details:

If you know this workshop is for you, YAY! Let's do this!


I can't wait to see you next month! If you have questions or are wondering if this is for you - I totally get it. Please feel free to email me and let's chat. :)

xoxo

Erin

Relaxed, Lifestyle Newborn Session | Hampton Roads Newborn Photographer

There are a few things that really test our patience in life. Waiting for a baby must be #1, right?!

After this couple's gorgeous maternity session in Virginia Beach, I was so excited to meet their baby girl. I knew they were counting down the days, and that anticipation was infectious. 

On the morning of their session, this sweet baby girl was wide eyed and alert most of the time, which I loved. She did not want to miss anything, and arched her head back to take it all in. Her favorite thing to observe were her parents' faces and the ceiling fan! ;) 

Sharing a few from our very relaxed, in-home lifestyle newborn session. These are just a handful of favorites from our morning together! 

No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only one who knows the sound of my heart from the inside.
— Kristen Proby

Are you expecting this Summer or Fall? I would love to capture your family's story! 

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Golden Oceanfront Sunset | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Oh, this family. Where do I even start? 

Such sweet friends that are moving -again- because that military life, ya'll. I could write about a zillion words on this fabulous crew, but instead - how about some fun, quick facts? ;)

1. Abigail and I are both ENFPs married to ISTJs. We laugh about this and swap hysterical stories all. the. time. These men are so very patient, ha!

2. I met her when we were both young, newly married English teachers back in 2006. :)

3. Watching our kids play together is probably one of the sweetest gifts of our friendship.

Aaaaand I'll stop here, because #feelings! 

We chased some gorgeous light this night in Virginia Beach and I am so in love with all of these images. They love these sweet kiddos so well, and it's always such a joy to watch each of their unique personalities shine. 

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.
— Robert Browning

When was the last time you were photographed with your kids? Even if they have outgrown your lap, can I encourage you to get in front of the camera with them?

They deserve to see images of their Mom. They deserve to see your love for them pour out of a picture.

Friends, my Summer schedule is just about full! A handful of weeknight slots are available. 

EAP is booking into mid-October and I'm so thankful! If weekends are ideal for your family's schedule, please contact me soon and we'll get you on the calendar!

xoxo

Erin

My Spring Book List! | #EAPReads | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

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With Summer right around the corner, I am so excited to start working on my Summer Reading List! I keep a digital bookshelf on my GoodReads app of what I want to read, so whenever I have a moment, I put a title on hold at the library or drop it in my Amazon cart. This really helps me manage what I'm reading next and there is -always- something in the lineup!

I made real progress towards my goal of 30 Books in 2018 this Spring! I'm just finishing book 20 this week. #happydance 

Here's what I read:

  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - A fun, who-dunnit mystery. I'm not a fan of any real horror writing, and this was certainly more my speed.
  • Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight out of this Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker - I devour everything this lady writes. She's such an uplifting voice! I was either giggling or sobbing throughout the chapters of the book - so you know it hits right in the feels. ;)
  • Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne - This was a quick, light read that affirmed much of what I think in regards to living a simple life. Also, when can we all move to Sweden and wear matching sweaters and drink all. the. coffee.?!
  • Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin - This book was less research and more personal narrative than I expected, but I still gleaned lots of helpful insight into why certain habits don't work for me. And why others stick like glue! 
  • Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David - I had listened to Susan speak on Lewis Howe's podcast, The School of Greatness, and I knew I had to read her book. Lots of depth in this book, but plenty of actionable tips and insights into why we get stuck in our feelings. 
  • Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis - This book has been everywhere lately and for good reason! After about four friends said, " You MUST read this Erin, it's so YOU!" I quickly added it to my library holds list. But when I discovered I was still #14 on the list, I snagged it on Amazon instead, haha! #soimpatient I'm glad I have my own copy to keep though, because I need a second reading to highlight and absorb more of Rachel's teachings. Loved it!
  • Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff - I haven't read "Love Does" yet (his prequel to this book in a way) but I can see why Bob Goff is such a prolific storyteller. He shares so many different stories, with each one pointing back to loving like Jesus. So inspiring and soul-filling!

Your turn! Leave a comment and let me know what you're reading. I think I'll aim to add a few more fiction reads to my list this Summer since those are always perfect for beach days. 

 

Need more recommendations? Check out my February post with my list of Winter Reads!

 

Are we connected on IG? I share over there almost daily and would love to 'meet' you!

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Happy Reading,

friends!

 

~ Erin