Emily Schultz : 2016

30 August 2016

Family Moment Sessions

Fall is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about family pictures. I know it seems really early, but there are only 17 Fridays left until Christmas. If you are anything like me, then you are probably living in denial that summer is soon coming to an end and haven’t even started thinking about such things as holidays and cold weather. In honor of everyone like me who procrastinates and is left scrambling to put together a decent looking Christmas card, I am announcing a new type of session and a special offer to help you out.

A Family Moments session is just what you need to get a fun Christmas card. It’s an hour long session that is designed around something your family love doing together. Do you love sipping hot cocoa and watching Christmas movies with a big bowl of popcorn or how about baking and decorating cookies together as a family? Maybe you just like hanging out together and that’s okay. This type of session goes a little deeper than your typical family session and gives you images of how your family spends time together and how your family builds lasting relationships.  

As a bonus, imagine the amazing Christmas card filled with these moments that your family cherishes. You’ll have a unique card that allows those you send it to a little glimpse into what makes your family special and amazing. A Family Moments session is also a great way to sneak in a little family time during the busy back to school days and before the crazy hustle and bustle of the holidays hit.

Family Moments sessions are 500 and include
A gallery of 15 images to choose from
8 gift prints
4 digital images
10% off any additional item
As an added perk if you book your session before September 29th you will get a set of holiday cards ready to send by Thanksgiving.

Click HERE to book your Family Moments Session today.

23 August 2016

4 Steps to Prepare for Your Documentary Session

Preparing for a documentary session is a little different than planning for a traditional family portrait session. There is no need to put together beautifully coordinated outfits, find the perfect location or stress about whether the baby will cooperate.  Here are 4 simple steps to help you prepare for and get the most out of your session.

Step 1: Pick your type of session

The kind of session you decide on influences the type of planning you’ll be doing.

If you pick A Day in the Family session planning is pretty straight forward. There isn’t a whole lot to plan for. You go about your life in a typical fashion. Seriously. Plan your day like it’s any other day, maybe throw in an extra special trip to the ice cream shop just for fun. You’ll be surprised by all the beautiful moments that happen

However, if you want a session that’s a little more focused around an activity that you family enjoys an Everyday Moments session may be the perfect fit and the following steps will help guide you in the process. They are also helpful for A Day in the Family sessions if you are really struggling to see the beauty in what you feel is the mundane.

Step 2: Do some soul searching

To get the most from your session you really need to dig deep into what makes your family special. Because the little things you do every day are incredibly important even if you feel they are mundane. How do you spend your time together is what forges your relationships.  Do you do Saturday morning breakfast together most weekends? What about those warm days of summer? Are they spent at the lake playing? Is your family really involved in a sport or activity? Get your family involved in this step. Ask them what they enjoy doing the most together. You may be surprised by their responses.

Step 3: Be prepared for an open and honest conversation.

If you want a session that gets to the heart of your family, you need to be willing to share what makes it tick. Sometimes it’s hard to open up, but sharing the moments you love gives me a better understanding of what is truly important to you and allows me to guide you in focusing your session on the moments that matter.

Step 4: Relax

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the need for perfection, but these session are real, they are honest, and they are beautiful. Don’t focus on what could go wrong or worry about what might happen. In the end, you’ll see things you never noticed before and you’ll gain a better understanding of how your family is made every day.

Does this post leave you wondering what a family documentary session is? THIS post will let you in on all the details.

16 August 2016

4 Reasons to Book a Family Documentary Session

Why should you book a family documentary session? I’m sure I could give you a list a mile long, but I know that the kids are probably begging for attention and your coffee break is almost over so I’ll keep it short. Here are the top 4 reasons you should book a documentary session for your family whether it be A Day in the Family session or an Everyday Moments session. 

1. Time moves so quickly.

Your everyday moments change as your kids get older. The things you cherish so much today may be happening for the last time. One day you’ll pick your son up for the last time because soon he will be too big. The sippy cups that you find hidden between the couch cushions will one day no longer have a use. Little hands that hold yours so tightly will one day let go running ahead saying “I can do it on my own.” Documenting these moments gives you a tangible reminder for you to look back on and a visual story starter for years to come.

2. Unstructured moments.

Being free from the structure of traditional portrait photography allows little moments to unfold. Your kids are free to let all their personality shine through. There is no need to “cheese” for the camera. There is no bribing and begging your kids to look at the camera. You get to be in your home or a location that you love and you have the freedom to relax and slow down. There is no preplanned set of poses to get through. The moments that happen are the focus and a lot of times the moments that are documented are ones that you may not be fully aware are happening. Gentle touches, loving looks, the things you love but sometimes get buried among the chaos.

3. It’s easy like Sunday morning

Your family gets time to adjust to having someone new around. You have time to feel comfortable in front of the camera in a place you are used to.  You can stick to your daily routine and give your kids a sense of security in the face of something that might be new to them. You can also focus on doing something you love doing together instead of focusing on the camera in front of you. Slowing down and enjoying the moment gives your family time to bring your special connections and relationships to the surface and allows them the honor of being documented.

4. You

This is the most important reason. Giving your family the gift of you. You in the picture with your family doing what you love. Being part of the moment happening instead of stuck behind the camera. It's a gift that is sometimes hard to give. You wish you were ten pounds lighter, or your house was decorated nicer. Basically, you're waiting for the perfect timing. To be honest, that time may never come. Your kids will not notice those 10 pounds or the cluttered house. What they will notice is you in the picture with them. They will notice the love that radiates from you as you hold them in your arms. They will notice and remember how much time you poured into their lives.

Bonus Reason. 

Take a peek into what a Day in the Family session meant to a past client. How she came to it with a preconceived notion about her daily life and walked away with a newfound understanding of just how important her everyday moments really are to her.

You can check her family's session in this POST

09 August 2016

In Case You Were Wondering

What is documentary photography? Do you know or have some vague idea. Are you completely lost when I talk about being an “everyday photographer for down to earth families?” Type that question into google and you’ll most likely get the response,

Documentary photography usually refers to a popular form of photography used to chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history and historical events as well as everyday life.” 

That great, but what does that really mean for you and your family and how does that apply to a family photography session? It means that you get to see your favorite moments unfold. The moments you love, but are too busy enjoying to document. It means you come away from your session with a visual reminder of your every day and why you love it.

A documentary session is unposed.  It’s unforced. There is no bribing you kids to behave and smile at the camera. There is no grumpy husband forced to stand there while trying to get a postcard perfect photo. There is no frustrated you. There is just your family doing the things they love and being themselves. It’s the ebb and flow of your life as you move about your day. It’s the little moments that bring joy to your heart. It’s the early morning snuggles on the couch. The afternoon family adventure to the lake. It’s the evening bedtime routine. It’s the memories in the making. A documentary session is about the life you live, the things your family does, and the ones you love. This is what family documentary photography is.

If you are looking for ways to capture your own moments, HERE ARE TEN TIPS TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR OWN EVERY DAY

Are wanting to dig deeper into photographing your own everyday SIGN UP FOR THE EIGHT WEEK PHOTO CHALLENGE

29 July 2016

Focus on Your Moments

Family is made every day and moments we share are where strong relationships are made. In your daily life and in your adventures. Documenting the moments between the big events of life tells the story of how you become the family you are. It’s the story of a life well lived. 

Sometimes it’s hard to see the awesome through the chaos of everyday life. It gets buried beneath stress, sleepless nights and the not so great parts. When we are struggling with the heaviness of the not so amazing, it gets harder to genuinely appreciate moments that are wonderful. I always tell my kids (and even myself) on bad days that there is at least one thing to be thankful for. In the moments that are overwhelming or on days that go downhill fast, finding the moments that make your heart happy have a way of making the hard to handle just a bit easier. Those moments remind us how each day our family is made little by little. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day neither is your family. It is built in the moments that speak loudly to those we love the most. It is made in the moments where we find what we are most thankful for.  It’s made every day little by little.

To hone in on these moments I've created a weekly focus email challenge. Each week for 8
weeks, I will send you an email with a prompt to get you thinking about and documenting the moments in which your family is made. It’s nothing crazy, I promise. It’s not intense or super in depth. Just a quick email once a week with two choices. One that gets you thinking about and documenting the daily and weekly moments that you cherish and a simpler version where I suggest moments to document.  I know some weeks, there isn’t enough coffee in the world to keep the brain functioning let alone thinking. For these weeks it’s just easier to know exactly what to do.  You can do one or the other. Combine them and do both. It’s really up to you how far you take this.  I want you to see your moments. I want you to have them as part of your visual history.

If you post on Instagram use #familyismadeeveryday or #seeyourmoments. I'll be checking in on these tags every week. I'll be following along and can't wait to see the moments that matter most to you. Sign up now to join the fun.

If you are wondering where to even begin, check out my Ten Tips to Photograph Your Everyday

21 July 2016

Let the Moment Unfold

Have you ever wondered how those great moments are documented? You know the ones that call your emotions to the surface and either make you smile or bring a tear to your eye. Those great images that document the moment in a way that captures the feelings. All the feelings. You know those pictures of a moment that show something special unfolding.

They are not always easy to get, but it gets easier the more you practice. Sometimes those moments are hard to see in the business of your everyday life, but if you look for them you will see them. When you see a moment document it, but don’t stop it. Let it unfold, let it happen without interference.

What that means is don’t call attention to the fact you have a camera. Don’t stop what is happening to get a picture. Just let it unfold while you practice your sneaky ninja skills. Don’t do the “say cheese” thing that always ends up with your kids giving the weirdest smiles.

Sometimes it’s hard at first because kids, and really most people, are trained to stop and look at the camera. It may take some time, but tell them to ignore you. If my kids look at me I say “just pretend I’m not here.” It usually works to get them re-focused on what they were doing before they noticed the camera. Now they pretty much just ignore me when I have the camera pointed at them.

If you have any questions just drop them in the comments. I’d love to help you out.

Looking for more tips and tricks to photograph your day just enter your name  and email in the form below and I’ll email you my 10 tips to photograph your everyday.

12 July 2016

Summer Time Slow Down

Summer is rolling on by at an alarming rate of speed. How is your family creating those great summer memories that are the start of all the best stories? You know the stories that start with remember that one time we… and end something like it was just a great weekend. Even though the wind was insane and blew the tent down on top of us and we sat around a nonexistent fire and roasted marshmallows over the camp stove.  Those aren’t big moments, but they are important. Full of laughter and smiles that make them stick in your mind.

I always want to make summer as magical for my kids as it was for me when I was growing up. But when I think back the parts that stuck with me are the things my parents probably didn’t spend a lot of time (if any) planning. It’s being pushed in the tire swing my dad hung in the biggest poplar tree. Feeling the warm summer air rush past. Going higher and higher, until I could see over the roof of our house. Giggling with the happiness of time spent with my dad. It’s watching the sun sink lower and lower behind the hills, while standing on our heads. Holding my breath as the last sliver of sun disappeared for the night. It’s nights spent sleeping outside watching the stars going by, talking and laughing as we counted shooting stars and satellites.  Those are the memories that stuck and made my connection to my family strong. It’s how my parents built our family.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of summer and I don’t want that for you or for me. This summer I’m going to try and slow down a little. Worry a little less about cramming everything I can into these warm months and focus more on building relationships with my family.

I thought I’d share a few of my ideas for this summer. This isn’t my bucket list of things to accomplish this summer. I don't want to feel like I'm crossing items off a list. It’s finding ways to connect with my family, so that when my kids are grown they still want to hang out with me. It’s creating a space in which real conversation can happen. It’s about slowing down enough to listen to what they have to say. Really listen. Because the relationship you’ll have with your kids when they are grown begins now. In the moments that create memories that stick.

Here are some of my slow down moments. Moments that aren’t rushed and where the conversation can come easy.

Watch the sunset from the back porch
Roast marshmallows in the backyard fire pit
Picnic in the yard
Sleep on the trampoline
Family game night

Don’t forget to photograph some of your slow down moments, but please don’t stop the moment for the picture. Be sneaky about it, like a ninja.

If you post your moments to Instagram use #seeyourmoments or #familyismadeeveryday. I’d love to see how you are building your family and creating deep roots.

Here’s to creating sticky memories.

09 July 2016

Just a Few Questions

I could really use some help. Will you take a few seconds and answer a couple questions for me. I'd love your feedback. Thank you!

Create your own user feedback survey

05 July 2016

Finding Grace

Summer is here and to say I am relieved is an understatement. These last few months have been trying. I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted. I feel disconnected from my family. It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. I see them every day, but I’m not present. It’s been like I’m on the outside looking in. I was trying, but I couldn’t quite get that connection that I long for.

It’s been hard to see those moments that matter because I’ve been focused on just surviving. On putting one foot in front of the other and just getting through the day. Get the kids dressed, make sure they eat breakfast, gather up our stuff and head out the door, only to get in the car and think wait did we brush hair and teeth… whatever we don’t have time, and off we go to another day. Coming home isn’t much different. Homework, dinner, bath and bed. Followed by the endless stream of them coming out of their rooms for various reasons when I really just want quiet.  

That’s been hard for me, knowing they crave my attention and lacking the energy to give them 100%. Life isn’t always easy and giving ourselves grace while we navigate our valleys does not come naturally. We judge ourselves harshly and expect to be on top all the time. Or at least I do.
So how do we handle the low places in our everyday life? How are we supposed to see past our chaos and embrace the beauty and connection of each day (let alone document it) when we can hardly see our way to the next cup of coffee?

Step one: breath.

Seems like a simple thing to do, but the valleys of life are often times places of suffocation. Not physically, but emotionally, mentally, and creatively. In the middle of your overwhelm stop, literally, stop, and take three deep breaths. Brains don’t function without oxygen.

Step two: Take a timeout.   

It’s okay to take time for yourself. If you feel like it’s not, I’m giving you permission right now to take a timeout. The world won’t fall off its axis if you take an hour for yourself. I’m not sure what your perfect time-out looks like. Mine looks like a warm beach and a margarita, but that isn’t always possible. So I’ll settle for a good book, an iced mocha, and quiet.

Step three: Be easy on yourself

You know that grace I mentioned? Give yourself some. Let go of the need for perfection. Let go of the need to do all the things. Do the best you can with the energy you have and save the rest for another day.

In the end the valleys turn into peaks and the moments in between will turn into memories. Even if it’s a struggle, hold on to the time you get with those you love. Even when you feel like you don’t want to. Do it anyway. Snuggle on the couch. Make that hot chocolate on a rainy day. Sing like crazy in the car. Find the grace to be easy on yourself. Those feelings of connection will slowly start to creep back in. I promise. I’m starting to feel them already. 

24 May 2016

These Moments

It's these moments that turn into the best memories. The ordinary happenings that sometimes get lost in the hustle life.  These everyday moments that are important because family is made every day.

25 April 2016

A Carefully Curated Life

These days everywhere you look there is this image of curated perfection. Perfectly decorated houses. Perfectly clothed children. Perfect relationships. Perfect motherhood. We live in an age of visual comparison. We see these perfect images of all the perfect things we wish we could have or be. It’s hard not to fall into the trap of self-judgement and feeling less than enough when we are inundated on a daily basis with the image of perfect.

I was listening to a group of moms talk the other day and almost every single one said that she felt not enough. That she felt she wasn’t doing enough, being enough, or giving enough. That stopped in my tracks. Why? Why were these kind, generous, loving women feeling like this? It hurt my heart and kind of made me want to shake them. That’s not to say I never feel like this. It’s just when someone else voices these feelings, it’s easier to see the error in this way of thought. I think as women and moms this has been a struggle from the beginning of time, but in a world of Pinterest-perfect posts it is becoming a rampant epidemic.

Life isn’t perfect. We make mistakes, we lose our tempers, the house is messy, the kids are dirty, and perfectly healthy snacks are nowhere be seen. This doesn’t mean we fail. It means we are living a real life. It’s not always perfect. It’s not always tidy, but in the midst of the crazy there is this beauty all its own.

My everyday life may not make the most gorgeous Instagram feed but guess what? I don't live a carefully curated life. It’s more like a random assortment of great moments that connect us to each other. It’s the daily act of being a family and finding joy in the everyday. That’s really what I want for my family. To curate these moments that matter. To focus less on the perfection and more on the living well.

How do I do that? There isn’t a one answer fits all, but I do know that when I take the focus off of doing everything right and work more on the relationships within my family things seem to fall into place. It’s not all the doing that makes relationships great. It’s the being. Being truly present. In these moments, I care a little less of the perfect state of my house and a little more about the moments that are truly important in this life. 

17 April 2016

The Power of Saying No

Do you ever have those parenting moments where there are words just falling out of your mouth and you’re thinking to yourself “I rock at this whole family/parenting thing?” That happened to me a couple months ago. It was right after Christmas, my kids and I were in the car coming home. There was a lot of snotty attitude coming from the back seat. My son was pretty angry over the fact that my husband and I had decided that we were not going to allow him to have the tablet that was sent as a present. I was wavering between losing my cool and using it as a teaching moment.

As a little background to this story we, as parents, decided that our kids would not have electronics of this kind. We have been fairly vocal about our decision to friends and family. When asked if they could have a tablet we have always said no, but we have never really had a reason to explain our decision to the kids. 

(Please know that if your kids have tablets I am totally not judging you or trying to shame you. This is just a decision that we have made and it works for our family)

Tablets were sent to us to give to our kids as a present, we had them in a box in our room, and the kids knew they were there. He really wanted it and I understand why. They are the norm these days and most kids have one. I was left trying to give a better answer to his “why can’t I have it, my friends do” question than “because your dad and I said so.” As much as I love that answer as a parent, it really wasn’t working here. Besides, I was trying really hard to have that teachable moment.

As I was giving him my answer and the words just kept coming, part of my brain was saying “are you listening to this? You need to hear this too.”

I was telling him that by saying no to the tablets, we are saying yes to something else. We are saying yes to you playing outside, we are saying yes to you having a horse, we are saying yes to junior rodeo, we are saying yes to a son who isn’t moody and grouchy when we say it’s time to turn it off (on the rare occasion he has had the opportunity to use one, he is a completely different kid when it is taken away). Every no is a bigger yes to something else…

Every no is a yes to something else. That hit me and got me thinking. What, as a family, are our no’s really saying? What yes is on the other side? We say no all the time, but do we ever stop to think about what we are really saying yes too? There is a power is saying no. That power is the ultimate yes on the other side of the no.

That yes is how we make our family strong. That yes shapes us and molds us into who we are. That yes is where our connections to each other are formed. That yes is how our family is made every day.  

What is your no saying a bigger yes too?

08 April 2016

A Walk in an Orchard

This family lights up any place with love and laughter. It was such a joy to spend an afternoon with them walking around this orchard and seeing the way they connect with one another. They have so many big and amazing plans for their family's future. I am excited to see where their everyday journey takes them, because I know it will be somewhere very awesome. They focus on creating lasting memories with their children and building relationships that make their family strong. Two things that make my heart very happy. We were so lucky that we planned this session when we did because their new little man made his appearance 18 days early. I can't wait to photograph their family with their newest addition and get a peek into their daily life.

04 April 2016

The Visible Mom Sessions

There is this thing that has been weighing heavy on my heart and mind for the last couple of weeks. I was looking through my images for pictures of me and my kids. Guess what I found. Not much. There are a few selfies on my phone and maybe a handful of images on my computer. In most pictures I’m hidden behind the camera or just out of the frame. I’m there, but I’m not visible. It makes me sad that I am missing from my children’s visual heritage and it is something I am making a conscious effort to change.

What got me looking for these pictures are the conversations I’ve been having with other moms about photography and life in general. Almost every one of these women said she wished she had more pictures with her mom or of her mom doing the things that made their relationship special and unique. I am guilty of creating this scenario for my children. If I don’t change this, they will grow up to say these things about me.  

You know what none of these women said? None of them said, I wish I had less pictures with my mom, I wish my mom had lost 10 pounds before we took that picture, I wish we all matched and had a perfect looking house. No one said those things about their moms. Our kids view us in much the same way as we view our moms. They love us just the way we are. They see what is special about us even when we can’t. Why are we hiding from the picture when the ones who will cherish these pictures the most want us in them?

Today I’m inviting you to step out from your hiding place and be part of your children’s pictures. Join me for a limited edition Visual Mom Session.
There are four sessions available, two on April 23 and two on May 14

The Visible Mom Session              $372
A quick phone call to get to the heart of the moments you love the most
A 20 minute session
An online gallery of 10 images
3 4x6 prints including a copy of the digital negative

Book your Visible Mom Session today, because your children deserve to have you in the picture.

Email me at info@emilyschultzphotography.com to reserve your session.

If you would like to gift this session to someone let me know in your email that it’s a gift and I’ll send you a gift certificate.

Because of the nature of the Visible Mom Sessions, they must take place in the greater Moses Lake area. However, if you do not live here and would like to have one of these sessions email me and I will send you the details of how to book me in your area. 

28 March 2016

Family Time {Washington Family Photographer}

It's the day to day life that is important. The small moments that make up the big picture and create beautiful memories. I feel so lucky that I was available to experience part of this family's day. Even though it meant missing a much looked forward to trip and being very sick (not contagious, thank goodness). While it wasn't a full day in the life session, we were able to document one of their favorite things to do, just hang out and be together. This guy was deployed to Japan with the Marines just days after I spent time with them. He will be gone for the next seven months and I know his family already misses him terribly.  

Make sure you are documenting your days. It's important to have these little moments saved. If you aren't in the place to hire a photographer grab my list of tips in the side bar and get started on your own.

11 March 2016

Ten Tips to Document Your Every Day

ten tips to document your every day

Are you struggling to document your every day moments in a way that is meaningful? Do you wish you had some simple tips to help you? You're in luck. I'll let you in on a little secret, there are things that I think about when I'm documenting my every day. I try not to wander around my house just snapping random images. They're little reminders that run through my mind and help keep me focused on what is important. Want to know what they are? I'd love to share them with you. Sign up below to get my free list of tips to help get you started. 

05 March 2016

A Laid Back Saturday Morning { Moses Lake Family Photographer}

What are your everyday moments that you just love? Those moments that make all the crazy worth it. Let’s be honest, being a family isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and sometimes life just sucks. As parents, we are tired. We are stretched a little too thin at times and forget all the beauty that comes with being a family. Sometimes, while we are in the middle of life running away like a freight train, it’s easy to forget the little moments that really matter. Those everyday day moments, where we slow down just a little and really focus on connecting with those closest to us. Families are made in those everyday moments. Those moments are what make us strong.

It is my purpose to document the everyday and to help you do the same. To give you a way to see that life is full beauty, even on the days when all our perfect plans fall apart. To help you tell the story of how your family is made every day and why those seemingly little moments are the most important to you.  

When I sat down with this beautiful mama I wanted to know the parts of her day that meant the most to her and to get a glimpse into her family life and her every day. I had the privilege of joining her family for a laid back Saturday morning. Even though their girls are still very young, she and her husband are laying the foundations for strong relationships in the years to come. They are passionate about family and it shows.