This has been a year of transition.
As you might remember, I have officially left the classroom and am now serving as our school district's Director of Special Services.
This new position comes with some new responsibilities and of course much excitement!
Since working on some of my new duties and trying to be very prepared to go into the new school year, I have realized that if I'm going to continue to be the best wife, mom, Christian, and educator that I can be, there will need to be some more changes taking place over the next year.
And so...here is my second big announcement for 2018.
Besides leaving my classroom, I'm also going to put the camera down in the near future.
I have been able to be a part of so many new marriages and family events.
I have spent time with people at the very beginning of their lives and with family members nearing the end of life.
I have captured photos for friends and family members who are preparing for deployment or getting ready to announce a pregnancy.
It has been such an honor for me to be included in these experiences.
But now...it's time to slow down a bit on the home-front as I learn my new position at school.
Of course, I still have some sessions and weddings scheduled for this fall and I still have some friends out there with gift cards waiting to be used, so the camera won't be put away for good...but I won't be scheduling anymore full sessions at this time.
I will still have a fall mini-session to kind of close out the year and I might still do some sports' photos or other mini-sessions here and there, but I need to take a step back and focus on the family, the farmhouse, and my new responsibilities.
I am beyond thankful to all of those clients who have chosen me to capture their memories through the years.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Feeling bittersweet at the farmhouse,
That was the last date that I wrote a blog post.
I was going through life, keeping up with this fun Farmhouse journal and then BOOM..off-track.
Survival-mode at home, at school, at Newkirk Photography.
I had things I wanted to share.
Inspiration I wanted to give.
Encouragement I wanted to pass along.
And instead...I just stopped.
However, a lot has happened since November 12th.
Deer season (I got two!).
Our first Thanksgiving family dinners at the farmhouse (can't wait to share about that someday!).
And we've almost made it halfway through the school year...WHAT!?!
So anyway...I'm back.
I'm feeling refreshed and looking forward to sharing some Farmhouse654 updates with you sooner than later.
Happy Friday Eve, friends.
Gabe & Allison Davis.
It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
When Gabe texted me a few months before his wedding to ask if I would be available to photograph his wedding to his love, Allison, I said "absolutely" and put it on my calendar.
I have known Gabe for basically my whole life.
We share a hometown, a lot of the same friends, and a love for all things black and gold.
I hadn't met Allison until we visited at the wedding venue a few weeks before the ceremony, but I was immediately drawn to her kind smile, and her and Gabe's respect for each other and partnership in making decisions during our conversation that day.
I was excited to meet Allison's sweet son, Hudson, the day of the wedding and capture their wedding day memories alongside them!
Gabe is a talented woodworker and the vision he and Allison had for the ceremony location was just perfect.
From the sign welcoming guests to their "beginning" to the beautiful arbor he built for them to get married under.
Two of my favorite moments in every wedding are when the bride's father walks her down the aisle and "the kiss". Gabe & Allison's wedding was no different.
This moment where Allison's dad said something and they both smiled before they started their journey to Gabe was just precious.
And equally precious was when Hudson had to get a closer look at the kiss! Simply adorable!
I was so thankful to be a part of this beautiful day and pray for God's blessing on you as you continue to serve each other in marriage, Mr. & Mrs. Davis.
Congratulations to you both...and Hudson, too! ❤️
About a year ago, I received a text message from Logan's mom.
She wanted to know about doing a six-month session for their sweet boy.
Of course, I gave her the information and we set up a time to meet.
Since that meeting, this boy has stolen my heart!
I can't even believe that we are now to the point where we have completed his 18-month session!
Isn't he handsome? 💙
I am always blessed to see young people following through with the commitment of marriage and pray nothing but joy and contentment for this couple, as they grow together and serve one another.
Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Dodds. ❤️
We had another "first" here at the farmhouse today.
I did my first photography session in the living room.
You might remember that I moved out of my studio in June.
We were planning to be all closed and moved by now, but that didn't exactly happen.
Instead, I am still unpacking boxes (getting closer!) each day and trying to get our lives put back together.
However, I had scheduled this session a while back, fully expecting to be moved in and ready to roll!
So this morning, I went to find my backdrops and equipment where we had stored them in town.
I found them and came home to start setting up.
My plan is to have the closet at the bottom of the stairs be where I store all of my photography equipment in the future.
It will be organized and easily accessible for sessions, yet stored away and hidden for every day living.
But I think it worked.
We had fun.
We got the inside half of a senior session done.
And the first Newkirk Photography session has now been completed in the farmhouse.
During the process of searching for a home, finding a home, and planning to move into a different home, I have been thinking about several projects that I would like to do at the farmhouse.
A few of these could be completed here at our current home, while we wait to get moved in!
I started today with a project for the top of the stairwell.
When you walk down the stairs, there is a big wall at the farmhouse that you will see. I thought about doing a gallery wall there, but decided instead to do one big canvas print.
Canvas images are expensive, in case you didn't know...so I decided to create my own!
I decided I wanted the girls to have a reminder of the house they have spent the last several years in as they walked down the stairs every morning.
So one night, I had them put on some matchy-match clothes and run out to the corral to try and snap a photo...with my iPhone.
I should really use my big, fancy camera more often when photographing my own children, but the phone is just so convenient.
With Mr. Farmhouse's help, we got a photograph of the girls all three looking at me, with our cows in the background.
I only had to do a little Photoshop work because in the original picture, Mattie's arm was at a really unnatural angle. I just grabbed her arm from another photo and put it on her body.
Here is the image we ended up with from the hundreds we took that night.
And then...I put the gift-wrapping skills that I learned from Grandma Stephens when I was little to good use.
I stapled the two sides up over the frame to start and then did the top and bottom, pulling it tight as I put in each staple.
Admittedly, the iPhone picture was a tiny bit pixelated as a 36" x 48" print (which is to be expected, I suppose).
However, a photo wall-hanging for $37.50, as opposed to the $150-200 that could easily be spent on large canvas wall art is okay with me!
Several years ago, I embarked on a new adventure.
I opened my own photography business.
Our daughter was just turning a year old and I was sharing some photos I had taken of her with some friends. A few of them asked me to take some pictures of their children and told me that I had an eye for photography. They suggested that I could make a little extra income in this way.
I truly never thought it would turn into a full-fledged job, but lo' and behold...here we are.
This year, Newkirk Photography is turning ten.
My mission for Newkirk Photography is really two-fold:
Through the years, I've had many opportunities to capture important moments in life for friends and family members and eventually for people I had never met before.
A few teachers in my hometown asked me to do some senior photos for a senior girl who would never have the opportunity to have them done otherwise. It was the end of April before her graduation in mid-May.
A few sessions have been with families who had a family member on the brink of losing his or her battle with some sort of chronic illness. We captured memories that they can now relive over and over.
I've photographed families with foster-babies, adopted kiddos, five generations, and deployed family members.
My business has changed over the last ten years.
I started shooting in our spare bedroom before Baby #2 came along.
Then we built a wall in our detached garage and called one side of it a studio.
I eventually moved into a studio space in town and then another space and finally a third.
Last week, I moved out of the third studio space because in the farmhouse, I'll be able to shoot right in the living room, until we are able to pay off the rest of our small debt.
And then, if all goes as planned, I'll spend my time making memories and capturing my family's journey, with no need for a small business to make ends meet.
The studio started in our home and things have come full-circle as I downsize and move it back home.
P.S. I love how you can also see the transformation of my logo through the years.
At first, I didn't even have a logo, as I thought I would just be photographing for a few friends and family members. When I realized this venture would become a business and I got my first studio, I would just throw some text over the image to post them on Facebook, with no rhyme or reason.
I finally started using a cute little watermark with that pink scrolly design behind it, but eventually I realized that I wanted my logo to have more meaning. You can read more about that here.
When I created my own logo and included the two hearts to represent our two daughters, I knew that it would stick. In 2014, when we had Mattie, I added the third heart to my logo and that's how it is today.