QUIET

noise, sound off, quiet, silence, unplug, live life, stop, choose, prioritize

 

Have you ever just wanted to turn off all the noise and unplug for a while? I feel like these days it’s becoming more and more difficult for anyone to unplug.  Social media, text messages and emails, photo and video recording all right at our fingertips.  It’s no wonder we think there aren’t enough hours in the day… have you ever really stopped to consider all of the distractions?

I’m a stay at home mom… and with that comes an entire list of other job titles that follow.  But, for me, it doesn’t stop there.  I’m also a photographer… and with that comes an entire list of other job titles that follow.

A couple weeks ago I was sitting at my desk, going over all of our taxes: my business taxes, my husbands business taxes and our personal taxes.  But, because we recently moved, our tax binder, receipts, and other important documents (which were of course safely filed away somewhere we wouldn’t lose them) were somehow lost!  We missed our tax appointment and somehow managed to find the tax binder four days before our deadline… in that box… you know, the one important box we wouldn’t lose – that was conveniently tucked into the darkest corner of our storage closet under loads of props and other items.

Now, I know how great that may sound but this meant that I now only had to prepare our taxes for eight months instead of twelve, since our move started around April of last year.  I frantically began crunching numbers and getting spreadsheets together.  I searched the house up and down, inside and out for receipts and other important tax documents that had been filed away all around the house and in that box.  I spent day and night preparing everything for our accountant.  And. It. Was. Exhausting!

I looked at everything I had on my to-do list for my business and all the new things I had learned about owning a business.  I looked around my house at the mess of dishes and piles of laundry.  I looked at the stacks of mail and the bills that needed to be paid.  I looked at the dirty floors and my untidy studio that had just welcomed two beautiful baby girls.  The tasks were piling high and my list of jobs was beginning to seem impossible…  I needed a break.

Now, the weekend of Easter Sunday could not have come at a more perfect time, and I decided to head out to my parents house a few days early to get away from it all.  Their house is always perfectly clean and tidy and tends to seem a bit less chaotic – maybe ’cause my Momma lives there, haha.  Lord knows she’s had her fair share of chaos while my brother and I were growing up.

But, it was great.  I got to forget about all of the crazy going on at my house and just walk away from it all for a bit.  I took the kids to the park to grab a few shots of them in their Easter outfits – so that I wouldn’t have to do it on Easter Sunday.  I left the kids with my Mom and went and had coffee with a close friend I hadn’t seen in a while.  My Mom and I dyed Easter eggs with the kids.  We laughed and spent quality time together in the backyard and watched movies in the family room.  It was relaxing.

Easter came and I took some cellphone photos of my kids hunting for eggs in the backyard.  I wished everyone on social media a Happy Easter.  I came home the next day and made a post about my son with one of the images I captured that day in the park… but once that was done, I realized just how badly I needed a REAL break.

So, although I didn’t fully unplug, I put my phone down for a while.  I spent some time with friends… in person!  I spent quality time with my family and watched my kids laugh and play while we fished and had lunch.  I spent some time reading and participating in Bible study.  I went to the movies.  I sat on my back porch.  I went on a couple dates with my husband.  I made our pantry healthy again.  I began to eat healthy again… I lived.

For the first time in a long time, I stopped worrying about everything I thought I HAD to do now.  All of these things in life, social media, text messages, emails and everything else in-between, right there at our fingertips… it’s not necessary.  We can slow down for a moment and enjoy life. We can choose what we do with our time and we can choose what’s important and what’s not… I guess in the end, all I’m saying is to put your phone down for a bit and really take in all of the moments and the memories that are passing by faster than you know it. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Expecting Kaia

Waiting on sweet Kaia to make her way into the world… She’s certainly taking her time, but we all know she will be well worth the wait! I had such an amazing time with Gabriela and Logan during their maternity session at Chandler Oaks Barn back in January. In fact, I loved it so much, that I decided to book this venue for Spring Mini Sessions on April 15th! These minis are already booking so fast, and I’m excited to meet some new families and see some old familiar faces! Be sure to contact me if you are interested in booking, I have a couple spots left!

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Megan Gonzalez, of Little Tin Hen, is a St. Augustine, FL family photographer specializing in newborn photography and baby’s first year. My style is modern, rustic, and emotive. Currently serving Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville, and surrounding North Florida locations, travel is limited to Central Florida and South Georgia at this time.

Lessons Learned From An Unplanned Self Portrait

disney world, magic kingdom, self portrait, merry-go-round, disney rides, hoses, carousel, minnie ears

 

So, my husband bought me Disney passes last month for my 30th birthday.  He knew I’d been wanting to get some good photos of our little ones at Magic Kingdom before they weren’t so little anymore… I’ll warn you now, expectation WAY EXCEEDED reality on this one! Haha.

I had asked around in some professional photography forums and was given great advice from so many amazing women for how to capture these moments.

“Get there early,” they said.

“Pack light and just bring one lens,” they said.

“It’ll be great,” they said.

Remember, I’m a portrait photographer… I try my best to stay away from crowds for good photos, but who are we kidding? This is Disney! And better yet, these are my kids!!! HA! But, we went to the park with the plan of taking just a few photos that could tell a short and sweet story of our day. Popcorn on Main Street, a few in front of Cinderella’s Castle, a couple on the Merry-Go-Round, and a few near Dumbo’s Circus! Simple and easy, and then we would stow away the camera and enjoy the rest of our day with no pictures!

I had dressed the kids in coordinating outfits that would photograph well. We even woke up super early to get to the park as soon as it opened… along with everyone else!

We walked into The Confectionery on Main Street… swarming. Cut to: the voice in my head, “2018 is for getting out of your comfort zone… push through this! You can do this.” So I snapped a few photos of the kids – total creative block as I was zero inspired by the surroundings.

I thought maybe we could head to the Merry-Go-Round next… Wowzers! Holy long line man! I put my camera away and decided to try again later.

But later never really came… I saw the smiles on my kids faces, and the joy they were feeling, and it just made me so happy. At that moment I knew, there were no pictures in the world that could top the feeling of being present and in these moments with my kids!

I mean it’s tough… as a professional photographer, I am constantly taking pictures of other families and documenting those memories for them.  At times I feel guilty for not doing the same for my own family… but, this was when I realized just how valuable a photographer is.  And I told my husband that no matter how many pictures I took of my kids at the park, they just wouldn’t be the same if I wasn’t in the frame with them, enjoying that experience with them! Completely unplugged.

Our last ride before the firework show was the Merry-Go-Round. It was dark out, but I figured I’d give the camera one last shot… nada.  Crowds, distractions, and bad light; talk about stepping out of my comfort zone. When the ride ended I felt a bit defeated. It was as though the time had gotten away from me, and it kinda did.  I was behind the camera on that last ride of the night. I was thinking in shutter speeds, compositions and ISO settings rather than enjoying those moments to the fullest.

I got off the horse and looked up to see my reflection staring back at me. I saw the disappointment… “just put the camera away,” the voice said.

“One last shot.”

And that is how this unplanned self portrait happened.

Taking photos of your kids at Magic Kingdom is like trying to take a photo while standing in a stampede of wild horses! So next time you’re at Disney, unplug and choose JOY! Be present, and if you want those pictures of you and your kiddos, leave it to the park photographers or bring a photographer of your own. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Why One Year Olds Are My Favorite

 

 

Hey guys! I know it’s been quite some time since my first blog post, but as I said, this was going to be another big year! We recently sold our very first home (the home we brought all three babies home to) and relocated to St. Augustine, FL. Although we only moved about 25 minutes from our last house, moving with the littles has certainly been an adventure! As soon as we moved in we began unboxing our things and attempting to make this new place feel like home before we left for our Tennessee/Georgia vacation in the beginning of August. Of course… unpacking your things and finding a place for them in a new space can be quite the task when you’ve got three adorable minions running wild and being kids! Needless to say, we’re still working on getting situated.

The first day after we got back from vacation, our oldest started her very first day of VPK and made a brand new friend in the neighborhood, our son started taking Taekwon-do, and our little one decided that it was time to bring out a whole new level of sass. Woah! Can we say “SURPRISE!”? How on Earth did I expect for everything to go so smoothly and still manage to run my business without any sort of struggle? I guess that’s just what us moms do! We set those expectations super high and then we do everything in our power to make it all happen and crush those goals… but realistically we know that things almost never go according to plan. Haha, I know, kinda like this post right?

So why are one year olds my absolute FAVORITE subjects to photograph? Well, I can give you one really good reason… They’re stinking’ cute!

I recently had someone ask me why I enjoy photographing this age so much more than others; after all “they’re so difficult at that age” aren’t they? Well, to be honest, that’s what I love so much about one year old babies… they’re completely and 100% unpredictable! Almost anything I try to get a sweet expression out of them is reciprocated with a fresh new look I’ve never seen before.  Some babies make me laugh, some make me swoon… not gonna lie, some make me wanna look in a mirror and figure out what is making them look at me that way, haha! But really, they keep things fresh and interesting!

I love the one year milestone so much because (hopefully) by this time I’ve been able to see these babies grow from a newborn, to a crawler, to a sitter, and then sometimes I get to see them take some of their very first steps right there at our session! My heart floods with so many emotions as I’m capturing these moments and memories for my clients; and it makes everything I’ve set my career around that much more rewarding!

The image above was actually captured during an extended family session at St. Augustine Beach.  This sweet girl was not at all about smiling for the camera, but when I told her she could sit on my little wooden crate, she took full advantage and did so with no issue at all… No problem lady, I’ll sit on your crate – with my back to you. Oh you adorable little thing, those curls are everything I wanted to capture!

 

Little Tin Hen is based out of St. Augustine, FL // serving Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, Orlando, and other North and Central Florida locations.

Lifestyle Photographer Specializing in Newborn Photography & Baby’s First Year

Phone: (904) 345-9329 | Email: info@littletinhen.com

Hello

 

Hey guys! So the blog is here and I finally have this little space in the world to fill you in on all the fun and exciting things that are happening with Little Tin Hen!

Actually, 2016 was a big year for me. I lost my status of being a mommy with “three under three”, I took on a job as a real estate photographer for an awesome local realty group and I became a legitimate business and began working as a full time photographer… I have to admit, I wasn’t prepared for the time and investment this business would demand of me. Sure, starting a photography business sounds fun and exciting, but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes! Managing a business with three fairly new little ones is certainly tougher than I thought; but, stick with me guys, I’m still trying to figure this mom life out!

Oh, for those of you who don’t know me; Hi, I’m Megan. Proud (artificial) southern girl, mommy to three adorable babies and wife to the most amazing man I’ve ever met. I’m a 29 year old Mamapreneur with a passion for photography and storytelling. You’d think that by the time someone owns a business they probably have their whole life figured out… or at least they want you to think so. Well, that’s not exactly the case for me. I’m on a journey and I’m embracing the adventure. Meanwhile capturing your family’s most precious moments and sharing a few of my own special moments with you.

Life is messy! Life with kids is extra messy and that’s part of the reason I love working with my clients so much.  I love hearing their story and I love being able to tell that story with images that are truly emotive. I started my journey as a photographer thinking that every image had to be perfectly composed, that everyone had to be looking directly into my lens, all smiling at the same time… While all of that is great, I learned through my own endeavors that I prefer images that tell a story, images that are led by emotion, not posing. If there is one thing I want my clients to take with them when they leave a session it’s the memories I was able to capture, because years from now that’s what they’ll want to remember.  It’s not just about what you or your children look like, what you were wearing, or where you’re standing. It’s about the smell of the air, the texture of Baby’s hair or that blanket they’d been swaddled in five million times, it’s about the innocence in your child’s eyes, the love in your hearts and the connections between you!

I can say from experience that kids grow up FAST. They certainly don’t stay the same for long and they are constantly changing! Be sure to check back on the blog from time to time for tips on getting great shots of your children as they speed through childhood, as well as other topics such as dressing right for an upcoming session, bringing home a new baby, finding motivation, and more!

2017 is going to be another big year, and I’m ready for it. Here goes nothin’ y’all (I don’t ever say that, I’m not really southern, I just like to pretend I am… I couldn’t live without Target or Starbucks and I’m deathly afraid of spiders).

 

Little Tin Hen is based out of St. Augustine, FL // serving Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, Orlando, and other North and Central Florida locations.

Lifestyle Photographer Specializing in Newborn Photography & Baby’s First Year

Phone: (904) 345-9329 | Email: info@littletinhen.com

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