Storytelling Sessions | Anchorage Family Photographer | Moss and Myrrh Photography

It's been awhile since I shared my joy of storytelling/documentary/photojournalism sessions and how they work. I LOVE storytelling sessions, love, but when I have to explain what I "do" for a living to others, I usually get a lot of blank stares and head nods. It is hard to explain, especially when we live in a world that's mostly used to posed portraits aside from what they see on the news. I want to make sure I'm bridging that gap because if you don't even understand WHAT a storytelling/documentary/photojournalism session is, why would you ever book one? 

Simply put, family storytelling is how I tell the story that is you + your family. You can call it whatever you like, but I think it's easier for people to grasp if I say storytelling, so we're going with that for this blog post. Family storytelling sessions have no script, no posing, no forced smiles. This is just your family doing their everyday or activities you enjoy most. We seem to think that the mundane/everyday with our loved ones are the most unworthy of being documented and that couldn't be further from the truth. The truth is, those everyday in-betweens, they're the most important moments in your life and they're the ones you'll most easily forget. We seem to go into auto when we do the same thing over and over, not taking many moments to be present and appreciate this season we're in. When we're old and gray we don't cling to the posed smiling pictures (unless that's all we have) because there is no story behind those photographs. They're simply there to remember what you looked like, not to remember what you felt, what was actually happening in that time in your life. No, the photographs we cling to are the ones that show us LIVING, genuinely happy photographs, happy because we're with the ones we love doing the things we love. Posed photographs do not have that emotion behind them and that's why I can't stress enough how important family storytelling is. Documenting what is "real", that's what is important right now in this season. 

I think one thing that really stops people from wanting this type of session for themselves is that they think their family is boring, what could they possibly have photographed in their day to day? Well, first of all, my job is to HELP you decide, I won't leave you hanging! I usually have my clients write down some of their favorite memories from their childhood or even pull out old pictures they have to look back on. It's easy to quickly be flooded with those little bits and pieces of our childhoods, some good, some bad. The good though, that's what you need to focus on. If you could go back and have ANYTHING photographed from your childhood, what would it be? If you are lucky and have pictures of those favorite memories, what makes them so special? Now, think of your children, what is their favorite thing right now? What little bits and pieces will they remember from this season? What will they not remember? Those are all things you need to focus on when choosing what to have documented. While these are for you to hold onto, they're really for your children and their children. These are heirlooms, a legacy, something many of us don't have the pleasure of having. 

Some ideas..

Gardening, water play, lake swimming, fishing, berry picking, art, legos, cooking/meals, nature walk, sandbox, reading, ice skating, ice fishing, snowman building, hot cocoa, and of course, every holiday tradition you can think of. Don't let these ideas put you in a box, simply use them to play off things that are happening in your life right now. 

It hasn't been until recently that we've had the technology to document whatever/whenever we want, and while your cell phone can take great pictures, it will never be what a professional can do in your home. A photographer searches for the perfect light, the perfect (perfectly imperfect) moments, and most importantly, YOU get to be documented with your children. Constantly I am told by moms that the main reason they hire me is because they are never in the picture. Their children will (hopefully) have all of these phone pictures of them doing activities growing up, but the only pictures they'll have with their mom is the occasional selfie or a quick snap of her smiling at the phone between the chaos that is raising children. You have no idea how valuable you are to your children, how badly they'll want you in those photographs when they're your age. 

Another perk to these sessions? Dads don't hate them. There's no awkward posing or forced smiles, this is purely them being themselves. Kids also don't hate them because they're encouraged to play and interact how they normally would. After a few minutes of me being in your home everyone seem to settle right in and when it's time for me to leave they usually say, "Already? That's it?". ;) 

When is the right time to book these? Anytime, really, but if RIGHT NOW is a season you're loving, do it. You will never regret it. If you're feeling all the feels about your chubby baby becoming mobile, now is the time to document it. If you're enjoying this season of independence with your not so little littles, document it. Time goes fast, I don't need to tell you that, make this a priority. 

I'm going to be running a winter special for storytelling sessions this coming Thursday! This is your chance to grab a discounted session, have A LOT of time to save up for it, and have your most favorite holiday memories documented. We can stay cozy inside, play a little outside, bake, decorate, whatever is your usual routine during the coldest season. If you'd like to get the link to book one on Thursday, please subscribe to my newsletter below. I'll be sharing more details on pricing + what's included soon.

Check out a sweet family storytelling session I shot last winter below! 

Mother's Day in the Cabin | Anchorage Family Photographer

I've been meaning to blog these for weeks now, so here we areeeee. Let's just say these sessions set my anxiety through the roof. Not because I didn't WANT to do them, but this was a whole new thing for me. I have never rented a location and had sessions back to back like this. Without seeing the location in person + not knowing all of the clients coming to see me, well that alone had me hyperventilating a bit. Haha! I also imagined everything that could go wrong in my head over and over, that's normal, right? ;) I will openly tell the world, I am a spazz, but I love my job so I hope that makes up for it. In the end, this evening could not have gone more perfectly. Every single mama + the kiddos brought in some magic. The second the walked into the door they were instantly loving on each other and playing. I got insanely emotional after because again, SPAZZ. I am so grateful to each and every one of these beautiful mamas that booked these sessions. They filled up within 24 hours and it blew my mind, I was so scared I'd book a cabin and would be sitting in it alone. I should probably stop doubting myself so much, eh? Putting yourself out there is HARD but the reward is so worth it. 

I know I've mentioned it a few times but I'm considering renting a location for the fall (September) to do family (dad included, though he doesn't have to be) sessions both indoor + outdoor (weather permitting). I've kiiiind of gotten a response but it hasn't been enough for me to jump the gun and put the deposit down. If you're interested in some sweet photographs like below, but a little longer session, please shoot me an email at hello@mossandmyrrh.com so I can get you on a list! Once I've had enough people interested then I'll put myself out there again and do it all over. 

Again, thank you to everyone that showed up for these. You made my heart explode just a bit. ♥

P.S. - These are happening again next year!

Baby M | In Home Newborn Photographer | Anchorage, Alaska

Ahh, this session..my heart. This was originally supposed to be a Fresh 48 but the weather prevented me from getting there on time and in the end, we opted to do an in home newborn session. I'm not going to lie, I'm SO glad we went this route. Their home was a neutral heaven and as you've heard me say about 10,000x, shooting in home makes my heart explode every single time. This doesn't even begin to show how many pictures were in this gallery, but I HAD to narrow it down. Ha!

This session is all neutrals, sweet cuddles, a cute dog, and an adorable big brother..a few of my favorite things. <3 

Have your own little due and want to book a session? I've got room for a few more summer sessions!

A Piece of You | A Mini Newborn Collection | Anchorage Newborn Photographer

DSC00173.jpg

A Piece of You | A Mini Newborn Collection

I've been playing with the idea of bringing in a smaller collection for awhile now. I love being all inclusive. I LOVE sending home huge galleries, but also know that not everyone can afford packages that include those huge galleries. I know that I'm restricting others (that love my work) from being able to get a few of their own gorgeous pictures by only offering two big packages. So, I'm throwing in a new collection just for the newborns!

apieceofyou.png

 

This collection includes a 30 minute session in your home within 3 weeks of baby being born. Normally my sessions last around 1.5 to 2 hours, so this is REALLY cutting it down. I expect these sessions to be a lot more raw and mostly just cuddling in bed shots. Simple, yet a beautiful way to capture your new bond. We are WINGING it with this collection. If baby is cranky and wants to nurse, you're getting pictures of a baby on your boob or chugging bottles. Honestly? Those are my favorite. Ha! I know some people don't want that though, so I'm just trying to be transparent. My work isn't very posed as is, but you get the idea. 

Each client that books will be sent an online gallery to choose 5 digital images (with print release) out of a minimum of 15. Let's be real, there will probably be 30+ because I have an issue with deleting pictures. You've been warned! If you absolutely cannot choose which 5 you're wanting, you will have the option of purchasing the entire gallery, but that's not required. 

investment.png

As always, I like to be transparent with my pricing, so there's no need to have to email me to get all the details. 

A Piece of You will be $325 and that includes the session + 5 digital images of your choice. If you see your gallery and absolutely CANNOT let those images go, you can purchase the entire set for $150.

The $325 session fee is due at the time of booking because these are such a steal. They're half of the regular fee, so this is a dang good deal! << Look at me rhyming! 

wasillainalaskahomenewbornphotographer130.jpg
newbornphotographeranchoragemossandmyrrh2018289.jpg
DSC01790.jpg
DSC07998.jpg
DSC09966.jpg
DSC01875.jpg

I'm still booking a few more summer newborns (and booking into fall), so if this is a session you're interested in, let's get your due date booked! 

P.S.- I'm also GIVING AWAY one of these sessions to a local Facebook follower! The giveaway goes live at 6 pm tonight, so be sure to go and enter if you're expecting! 

First 72 | In Home Newborn Session | Anchorage Newborn Photographer

Here's a little something new I'm starting, First 72's! Instead of Fresh 48's, where I come to you (usually the hospital) within 48 hours of baby's arrival, I'm now pushing that to 72 hours. I've had a lot of Fresh 48's booked in the last few months and almost all of them got changed to 72 hours. Going into their homes and working with them in that time frame vs. 48 hours, I realized things were MUCH smoother and less stressful for parents. We also get to shoot in home, which is what I love most. Hospitals have their purpose, but they can be so limiting with what I can do since we're stuck with one window (that's usually throwing harsh light) + a whole lot of equipment shoved in a small room. First 72's IN home? That's where it's at, guys! By going this route I'm also able to give a lot more in galleries (see below) because everyone just seems more comfortable. I can't explain it, but being in your home is such an awesome option when photographing your fresh baby.

These sessions are simple. Once baby arrives you contact me asap so we can get a date + time scheduled. These are not like newborn sessions where we can wait for weeks, these are shot within 72 hours of birth, so it's crucial we schedule immediately. Unlike newborn sessions, we won't be changing outfits or going room to room. This session is a little more raw and we basically just hang out in bed the whole time. If there are siblings, they're more than welcome to jump in too! 

We'll hang out for a little over an hour just soaking in your fresh babe and all their newness. Those first few days are nothing but pure bliss + exhaustion. It's beautiful and I think it's because society + reality haven't made their way in yet. It's like a little bubble that can never be brought back. Baby is so tired, so hungry, and still hasn't changed ENOUGH to make you want to bawl your eyes out.

I would love to work with you if you're due this summer! Please check out the details on investment OR drive right in and contact me! But first, check out this sweet baby, please. I'm so, so, in love with this session and all the simplicity.