Stress Free Family Photos

We’ve been very lucky this year to have had 2 family sessions taken by 2 equally talented photographers. Tonight we will have number 3! I may be the odd one here, but I LOVE having photos taken of us. This one in particular has been the most stress-free to prep for. Hopefully I’m not shooting myself in the foot when I say, I don’t even have an outfit picked out yet… and I’m totally ok with that! True story. Here’s why:

In my own experience, trying to coordinate outfits has been a pain in the arse. So, we’re not coordinating this time. The boys are wearing outfits that I picked out based on their personalities and, frankly, what I want them to wear. G hates, hates, hates button down shirts… but look! A bow tie and a jacket to go over it, and poof! The buttons disappear and suddenly he can’t wait to wear his bow tie. Know your kids, if the button down is non-negotiable (like in my case) spruce it up with fun shoes or cool accessories.

A little secret, photographers hate matchy matchy outfits. Maybe I took it a little too far, I should explain, we aren’t coordinating on COLORS. No, plum and mustard, or jeans and burnt orange… because what looks good on me doesn’t look good on Rus, and up and down and all around. So, just like the boys, we’ve chosen outfits that look good for each of us. Again, hopefully I’m not regretting this decision tonight when I pull all of our pieces together and it looks straight up awful, but truthfully, even if it did I wouldn’t worry about it. Having photos taken is about capturing a time in our lives. Not the clothing. If you focus on the clothing before the shoot you will focus on the clothing after the shoot when the photos are on the wall. As much as I’d love to have a magazine spread, we’re not models. Capturing us simply as we are now, is much more valuable to me than stressing over clothing. This is our first set of family photos since the hospital photos and I’d rather have a good time in front of the camera than worrying about what we look like and keeping it all clean. Secretly, I was kinda hoping for rain. :)

On that note, I’m not too worried about getting an “everyone looking and smiling photo”, I’ve kinda always felt this way. Capturing beautiful moments and interactions are more important to me than everyone facing front in a weird pose and smiling. Frankly, G would scowl even more if he was forced to sit still and smile, he already hates having his picture taken with my camera phone. So, nope. That’s not a battle I’m taking on. Plus, I already know what we look like and I’d rather frame photos that make me FEEL happy or make me giggle. In the Spring, Haley gave one to us of G straight up scowling… I’m having that picture framed. I LOVE it, it makes me laugh every time I see it. It makes me feel happy. On the flip side, photographers stress over the everyone facing front and getting everyone to smile. Swapping heads takes so much time. Wanna make your photographer love you and beg to photograph your family again? Tell them to just capture candids and moments. :)

Rustin shopped on his own. What what?? Yep. He is grown and can handle it. On my end, one less thing to worry about.

I’m getting ready super early, no rushing before we leave (fingers crossed). No angry screaming kids (fingers crossed). No arguing (fingers crossed). Just lots of deep breathing and focusing on what matters most.

I think I covered it. If you’re having family photos taken this Fall focus on what’s most important to you and let the rest fall away. I can almost guarantee that when you look at the final product on your wall you won’t be wishing you’d had gone with the rider boots over the booties. It ain’t that serious. :)

Haley Nord Photography-Janey Family (32)

Shine on, beautiful people. Xoxo


Photography by Haley Nord

Style In Little Squares

Because sometimes you literally have to add a little sparkle to your day. ✨✨ #MAC Coil electric eyeshadow #MAC Gold Deposit highlighter ✨✨

Style In Little Squares

Something different, a black and purple dramatic eye using @anastasiabeverlyhills #amrezypalette. Wore this for a night at the circus. ☺️ Eyebrows: @anastasiabeverlyhills
Eyeshadow: Iridescent purple on lid, Deep Plum and Lbd in crease , Lbd outer corner, Lbd and Iridescent Purple on the lower lash line and Vanilla on the brow bone.

Life In Little Squares

I hope in this moment a tiny seed was planted. I hope he was inspired. I hope he never forgets that magic is real. I hope he learns that nothing is more important than following his dreams. I hope… I hope that somewhere deep inside a spark has sparked… and I hope it never blows out.

Life In Little Squares

Chasing the day: When you haven’t finished your first cup of coffee and everything seems to prevent you from getting a handle on the day. Also, when the baby poops everywhere just after he (and you) were dressed and when you make the decision to change him but wipey it off of you because it takes way too much energy… And he’s just gonna throw up on you in a bit anyway.

Love You From Inside Out

Rainbow baby: A baby born after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

After two devastating miscarriages, I didn’t know what to expect when I saw that pink line on the pregnancy test. I was so overjoyed. I laughed and I knew… I knew… that I had no control over your future. I surrendered. I vowed to enjoy you as long as I had you, and I did every step of the way. When I was too uncomfortable to sleep, I was ecstatic to buy pregnancy pillows. When I was so sick I could barely eat, I was giddy. When my absentmindedness took over, I gave up and gave in to the experience.

I was scared, but I was over the moon. I was careful, but I understood it wasn’t in my hands. We adored you from the start. You, a delightful surprise, the best kind of surprise life has to offer. I spent more money on pregnancy tests than I ever expected. I compared the pictures every day and I panicked when I saw the line change even in the slightest. I didn’t want to lose you. I knew you would be my miracle, if I would ever experience one in my life. A survivor from the start. At 20 weeks the sonogram showed you had a cyst in your brain that knocked the air out of my insides, but it was gone by the next appointment. I took a few late night trips to the emergency room when things weren’t feeling just right. Even, trips in between my prenatal appointments just to check on you. “Nervous Nelly”, as my midwife called me. But you didn’t need it. You grew and you grew, and came into this world a screaming pink and warm beautiful bundle of love and joy.


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You showed me the true meaning of joy. Throw your haed back and laugh kind of joy. Dance in the rain kind of joy. The kind of joy that comes from deep inside. It was you. The feeling of you was intoxicating. You stirred parts of me to feel things I’d never felt before. The kind of happiness I thought I was too broken to feel. I felt your strong but gentle presence everyday. I fell into step with you. Feeling so blessed when my waistband expanded and my figure changed. You were the best kind of accessory. I decorated my growing belly every day. I was proud of you.

Now you color my world in the most beautiful hues of blues and reds and greens and everything in between… in prisma, metallics, sparkles and stars. The most joyful baby I could have ever asked for. My beautiful colorful miracle. My rainbow after the storms. Even after I had accepted the idea of a family of three, you came in to teach us that life is, well, unpredictable… and beautiful.

You sit with me as I type with one hand and caress your little leg rolls with the other. Your cute little sounds conjure up that joy from deep inside despite my ugly tears and runny mascara. From deep in my belly, I love you. My miracle. My rainbow. My best smile.