How To: Take & Edit Bright, White Photos

Flatlays and white backdrop photos are one of the biggest trends on instagram right now. When posted regularity they create a great, bright aesthetic to your page that draws people in.

I’m too big on outdoor shots to stick exclusively to an exclusively indoor, white aesthetic. However, I still love the way the look as an addition to my page anytime!

I’m going to share my tips on one of my latest photo projects to help you achieve that look for yourself!

Items needed-

If you’ll be photographing a newborn, or flat laying products I’d recommend buying a photo backdrop online. Here’s an example of one from amazon.

If you’re into family lifestyle shots or have older kids, shooting still in front of a small backdrop won’t be best. We got a great fluffy white comforter that has been great for these types of photos.

I love to use my Nikon for these photos to ensure I get crisp photos. If you’re using an iPhone, turn up the sharpness when editing.

Run into Hobby Lobby or Michaels if you need some easy photo props to add. I love to buy the wreaths or anything floral whenever it’s on sale so that I always have some cute things on hand to throw into a photo!

Photo technique-

Make sure you are directly centered above or in front of your subject.

If shooting a sleeping newborn/child add all props quietly around them once they are asleep. If the child is awake, have your area ready and be prepared to take your photos quickly so as not to irritate them.

You’ll also want to (attempt to) remove unwanted distractions like lumpy blankets or binkies.

Editing-

The quickest, easiest tip to instantly improve your photos without an app is to make a few adjustments in your photos app.

First, adjust orientation and cropping so photo is straight, and centered.

Second, turn up the shadows! Instantly lifts your photos brightness without washing out the subjects.

If you need any blemishes removed or lumps/wrinkles blurred out, I would recommend editing with the (free) Airbrush app.

These type of photos don’t need any heavy filters, that will just distract from the white aesthetic you’re trying to create.

Instead focus on adding clarity with sharpness, brightness with shadows, and saturation if more color is needed.

BeforeAfter

I hope that this will help you all to create some great photos!

Ellie/15 months~Mama/18 weeks pregnant

Ellie- Everything about this age is my favorite thing yet. I can’t believe how much more personality she comes up with every single day.

Ever since we sleep trained her she does a solid 10-12 hours per night and a 2 hour nap during the day. The good sleep has helped her keep growing well, and to lower the amount of fits she was having a couple months ago. She eats NONSTOP! She decided she didn’t want to breastfeed anymore about two weeks ago, and hasn’t asked for it or noticed it was missing from her day at all.

At her 15 month well-check the doctor was blown away that the amount of words she says is at almost 30! He said the average is between 4-6. Not only is she so smart and talkative, but also extremely friendly. Strangers can’t help but smile and wave and say “hi” and “bye bye” back to her when she walks past them.

She’s an absolute dream. She becomes more of my best friend every day. She pretends bumping her sippy cup into my face while she drinks is an accident, and then laughs super hard when I say, “HEY!!” She lifts up my shirt whenever she’s on my lap and kisses the baby in my belly with a big, loud “MWAH!” Every night before I put her in the bath, I used to sit and breastfeed her for a couple minutes. But now, while we wait for the bath to fill up, she snuggles into my chest and lets me cuddle and rock her.

Mama- Physically, I am beginning to feel better. The morning sickness at the beginning of this pregnancy had me saying, “I literally don’t know how many more days like this I can take.” Now, I only get occasional sickness. But generally, I feel a strong fatigue that can be hard to ignore some days while wrangling a toddler.

Cravings this pregnancy- sausage, bacon, jerky, cheese-it’s, mint flavor, and extra SOUR sour candy!

My feelings have been a little bit overwhelming some days at this stage. The pregnancy hormones contribute a lot to the emotions I feel over Ellie quitting breastfeeding. I struggle with wrapping my mind around how I will do this all with two babies.

I also struggle with a guilt over getting pregnant again so soon. Pregnancy made the taste of my breastmilk change, which led to Ellie not wanting it anymore. But more than that, I just want to really be present for each stage she is in. Some days I feel like being sick/fatigued/pregnant hinders that now, and that it will only be worse once the next baby comes. I know that my hormones make me think too emotionally about this, but it still isn’t something I can change.

But still every day- Ellie never fails to bring a hundred of the most heartfelt smiles possible to my face, and to keep me trying to be my best instead of giving up.

One Year Old Family Photoshoot

The time has flown by- something you hear all moms say at virtually every single milestone. We become so engulfed in all the day-to-day nonsense that is motherhood, that before we even have time to notice, a year’s gone by. It makes me cry to think of all the milestones long past, and makes me cry tears of joy to think about all the ones still ahead. The only consolation I’ve found with this time is to take extra notice and appreciate all of the awe-inspiring ways she grows and changes and learns every single day. I aspire to slow down, and take in every piece of her and the things that encompass who she is at this age and every age moving forward. This is what makes me truly happy with living in the now.
To shop my gorgeous PinkBlush dress from the shoot click here


 

Cosleeping and Codependence: When does it become a problem?

I can honestly say that when it came to the thought of sleep training my sweet little girl, theres pretty much nothing on earth I would rather do less. 

From the first night she was born I have only allowed myself to close my eyes for the night after watching her chest moving up and down right next to me and listening to her steady inhales and exhales. Thus the comfort of cosleeping begins to go both ways. Not only does your baby grow dependent on you being that near, but you become dependent on them. 

Just the thought of sending her to her own crib in her own room was enough to send me spiraling. She’s not big enough for that yet! She’s my little baby girl! Not to mention, I genuinely enjoyed the time I spent nursing her to sleep every night. I know this is a bad habit when it comes to sleep but it never seemed to be a problem before. She went through stages where she actually slept extremely well in her early months. But gradually, things started to change. At first I chalked up the night wakings for feedings to a growth spurt, until it was a couple months later and it was still happening. Things had gotten so bad two weeks ago that I finally decided it was too much. I could barely function anymore. I had no idea what to do. Until I had the craziest thought, “What if co-sleeping is not better for her anymore, but it’s holding her back from getting the full night of sleep she needs?”

Well folks, it turns out I was the problem. I had not given her the environment or tools she needed to learn how to sleep better. •My next article is an in depth look at our sleep-training experience.• 

Neither of us were happy and I dreaded going to sleep every night. 

The problem with cosleeping is not just the codependence.  If you can check off any of the items on this list- then cosleeping has officially reached its problematic stage in your life and needs to be addressed. 

  1. Your baby is not getting the amount of sleep they need. Repeated night wakings from the noises or movements you make could be unnecessarily waking baby all night. 
  2. YOU aren’t getting the sleep you need. You can’t function correctly during the day because you’re missing the proper amount of sleep night after night.
  3. You worry about the safety of cosleeping. You spend night after night curled in an uncomfortable position while barely ever getting into a deep sleep so that you can be aware of whether the baby is moving in the bed. You have to field the pillows and blankets away from them!
  4. Nighttime feedings have become habit and not necessity. In the beginning, many moms cosleep for the convenience factor of the night feedings. But if your babe has outgrown the actual need for these feedings (most people say by 6 months old) they may only be eating because they wake up and see you. The only way to avoid this is to end the cosleeping.
  5. You begin to feel in any way unhappy with cosleeping. No one wants an unhappy, resentful mama around. If you are getting frustrated and miserable with the situation, don’t hesitate- things need to change.

    -Have you decided you need to make a change? My next article will chronicle the experience we had with sleep-training my codependent/breastfed/co-sleeper. 

      The Cutest Small Shop Mom Tees!

      There is certainly no shortage of insanely adorable mommy style picks from all over the internet. I could scroll through Etsy FOR-EVER. But another great way to find all these amazing clothes is through Instagram. I’ve scrolled through TONS of hashtags related to mommy fashion and styles to find all the best looks. But why should you have to spend all that time to shop these cute looks? As moms we need all the extra time we can get. So, I’m here to round up some of the cutest mom fashion finds from small shops all over Insta and Etsy.  Some of these shops were awesome enough to include a discount code for you readers so be sure to use it! Enjoy!

      @BeeyahLittlesCo 

      “Mamastay Tired”

      *Use the code FRIENDS for a discount!

      MKNApparel

      “Today’s goal: Keep the tiny humans alive”

      *Use the code MKN15 for a discount in the Etsy shop

      @ChatterboxxThreads 

      “This mom look is sponsored by: coffee and no sleep”

      *Use the code THANKYOU for a discount!




      @Littlechunkersltd

      “I am always tired”

      *Join their FB VIP group for exclusive access to discount codes when they are activated. 

      @themommytribe

      “I’m the mama that’s why”



      @lavenderandlaceco

      “Why are you so obsessed with me?”


      @littlehooligansco

      “Mama vibes”



      @dreambiglittleco

      “Eat. Sleep. Breastfeed. Repeat”


      @blndesignskc

      “Human Jungle Gym”

      @mamabirdandco

      “Mama🖤”



      @spillthebeansetcco

      “Just winging it: motherhood, eyeliner, everything”

      Long Road-Trips with a Baby


      I took my 9-10 month old on an all summer long road trip accross 8 states. And guess what? It was actually fun! Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I can’t count how many people looked at me like I was certifiably insane after telling them I was taking her on this road trip. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I have always been a roadtripper. I enjoy jumping in the car and heading out on a good old fashioned road trip talking, laughing and eating junk food with my hubby. Before we had Ellie we drove from Arizona to New York, DisneyWorld, and New Orleans! 

      Obviously, our lives have changed a bit since then. But we’ve always been strong believers in the fact that having a baby doesn’t have to run our lives. Of course things are a little different, but we don’t let Ellie hold us back from anything we really want to do, especially when it comes to trip taking! 

      If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and road tripping with your little here’s what you’ll need to consider!

      This one tip made absolutely a world of difference in our road trip experience- take one fun/extended break in the middle of the day. We would map out our day and decide what city we would want to stop in for lunch. I ran the city through my TripAdvisor app, and found a list of things to do in the area. One day we found a great aquarium/ botanical gardens/ zoo. One day we didn’t have many choices, so we just stopped at a local park and ate some lunch while letting the baby get much needed out of the car time! By the time we put her back in after those 2 hour breaks she was ready to relax and nap in the car until we stopped driving in the evening. 


      Mentally prepare yourself for a slow and steady pace. We were road trip warriors before- we would make quick, efficient stops spaced out really far apart. Not even the most well planned out road trip with a baby will make that happen. You can still make stops as efficient as possible by matching stopping points on your map to the times your baby will need to eat. But remember, your baby will still decide how this goes down! So if you go into the day with a relaxed attitude, you won’t be constantly disappointed or overwhelmed if things don’t go according to your plan.


      Pack a big bag of various toys. Having different toys to interchange makes a big difference, my little one gets tired of a toy after about half an hour. Being able to switch them out can put off the inevitable “I’m bored” cry. 


      When on a multiple day trip- don’t buy your hotel until the day of. If you’re a big planner, you may think this is crazy but hear me out. Whip out your handy-dandy TripAdvisor app and search for hotel deals later in the day when you have a realistic amount of distance to travel ahead of you. If you make hotel plans that are 3 more hours away and your baby has reached their absolute limit of car seat time for the day, you’ll wish you would have waited to buy the hotel. You can search plenty of hotel deals through the app that are not unreasonably priced, or search airbnb’s instant book options! 


      And as always, dont forget an insanely well stocked diaper bag. Road trip musts for the diaper bag include baby snacks/pouches, plenty of diapers/wipes, pacifiers/ pacifier wipes, hand sanitizer, poop bags, and baby laundry stain pen. 

      Ellie having a great time chewing on a straw after a giant diaper blowout😒


      Do all these things, and you can have fun on the road with your baby too! Happy road-tripping!

      Your Babies’ Safe Space

      I’m laying in my familiar, comfy bed. My body feels weightless atop comforters, blankets, and pillows. My favorite music plays gently in the background. The cool breeze from the fan next to me hits my face while I listen to it’s monotonous hum. 

      A safe space.

      Visualization is the act of imagining yourself in a peaceful and safe environment. It means taking your mind to a place that makes you relaxed and happy. Anxiety takes these feelings from you, and visualization can be helpful in bringing them back. It has always been one of my go to coping mechanisms to visualize my most relaxed state.

      Since becoming a mother, I’ve seen a beauty I never knew before. I’ve become a human safe space. To her the most peaceful and safe environment is not a place, but a person. And that person is me. I am that place I always search for in my mind when anxiety tears at me. There aren’t enough words to describe the contentment that results from supplying the feeling of safety to my little girl. 

      I won’t be able to protect her from everything in this life. But for now, I’ll hold her to my chest a little longer, wipe away the tears, protect her from getting hurt, and make her smile every day. Because in her mind right now, I can solve any problem the world has to offer her. Through her eyes I am everything she needs, which makes me strive to be that every day.