Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We Moved!.... AGAIN!

Yes, you read correctly. We moved. Again. But this time, about two hours away from Oklahoma City to Tulsa. That's right! We're officially reppin' the 918.

I've had a lot of questions about why we've decided to move, and the honest truth is that we feel like that's where the Lord is leading our family. See, about a year ago, we left our church, and ever since then, we've felt a bit adrift. After moving into our current home last November, we began discussing the fact that we'd eventually like to head back to Tulsa. You know, maybe in the next couple of years. Well, the Lord went straight to work, and things began to fall into place a lot more quickly than we anticipated. Through a series of events, we felt the Lord leading us to begin our search for a job in the Tulsa area and three weeks from the day that Ryan began applying, he was offered a wonderful position!

Here are a few questions we've received:
1. Where will you live? We are living with my Grandmother ("Nana" as you may know her!) while we search for a house. (Another thing that fell into place during this process: my cousin had been living with my Nana for a couple of years, but he moved out about a month ago, leaving three bedrooms available for us and our two kiddos!) So you know what that means? That means we will be moving AGAAAAIIINNNN once we find a house. But at least we'll already be packed, right?

2. Where are you looking for a house? We haven't really ruled anything out yet as long as it's fairly close to our family and Ryan's job. If the Lord's past provision is any indication (and it always is), then we're just expecting to trust Him, and find the right house in the right area. I think we're secretly hoping for a nice older home that needs some love in a quiet town in one of the surrounding areas like Sapulpa.

3. Will you still be doing photography? Ohhh yes. In fact, I have some things coming up that I'm extremely excited about and I hope you'll LOVE them! I will just have fewer dates available in Oklahoma City, and more available in Tulsa.

If you are a Tulsa-area resident, check out my "Moving Sale" on Facebook!

4. What about my shoot that's scheduled in the Oklahoma City area? If you have a shoot scheduled with me in OKC, never fear. Your shoot will go on as planned!

5. Are you selling your house? Yes. It went on the market yesterday, in exactly the same condition we bought it in. Although we were disappointed that we didn't get to make our desired updates to that house, we know we're heading in the right direction.

6. Are you selling your first house? No. You might remember that we kept our first home as a rental property, and for now, we will continue to do that.

7. Don't you have a website launch coming up? What's that? Why yes, I do! Stay tuned THIS FRIDAY to see the reveal of the new Chelsea Ahlgrim Photography web page!

Thank you everyone for continued prayers and support during this big transition. We're so excited for our new adventure!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

10 Ways to Make Your Family Photographer LOVE You!

10. Be on time. Be on time. Be on time. Your session time has been very specifically selected to coordinate with the lighting in your location. Being late might mean you lose that perfect lighting. Plan to be at least ten minutes early, and you'll be all good!

9. Bring your A Game. Bring all those tricks that you KNOW will make your kids smile. A favorite toy? A silly game? The tickle monster? Bring 'em. Encourage them to sing or tell a story or talk about their fun weekend or trip to see Gramma- anything to get them talking and smiling!

Tickles always get the smiles! 

8. Let your child run the show. Now, there are certainly limits here, but stay with me. An hour is an extremely long time for a young child or toddler to sit and follow directions while her parents and some stranger with a camera act ridiculous in order to get her to smile. If she wants to get down out of your arms and pick flowers or dig for clams in the sand, or hunt for bugs, let her. Your photographer will follow her, and it could result in some beautiful images. This is where their imaginations come to life- when they're wild and free. I guarantee, after they've had a few minutes to pretend you're all on a pirate ship, they'll be more relaxed and willing to listen to follow posing direction from your photographer.

Let them be explore!

7. Let your child interact with your photographer. I know a lot of parents come to sessions feeling like they already know how their child is going to act. You're worried about tantrums and inattentiveness, but humor me here. Give the photographer a shot to get to know your child. Let him decide if he trusts her. Let them talk and play and be silly, even if it means taking a break from shooting, and you'll have a much better chance of getting smiles out of him.

 Let them make a new friend!

6. Take a break. Sessions usually last anywhere from an hour, to two hours depending on the lighting present, and how everyone is feeling. If you need to take a break to just sit and chill or let kiddos stretch their legs, or grab a drink of water, or let the baby nurse, you can. Most photographers plan for these types of breaks because it makes a world of difference! Plus, those breaks can sometimes turn into the sweetest moments...


Can you tell I love these candid moments?

5. Bring snacks and bribes! Shoots are often scheduled around dinner time or after, plus, these shoots can really take a lot of energy! So bring some healthy snacks and some water and everyone will stay satisfied. I also encourage bribes... I know, I know... but just for ONE hour, your kids will do anything for candy or the promise of ice cream or a toy at the end of the session. It works!

Special treats are always a winner!

4. Do. Not. Match. Please? Although it's easy to put everyone in white polos and khakis, please... help me help you! If everyone comes dressed in the same outfit, the resulting images will have very little visual interest. The intent is to coordinate rather than match exactly!

Coordination- not matching- is key!

3. Remember that it's just an hour. You can do anything for an hour. Give all the energy you can muster. Make the kids laugh. Be silly. Be completely ridiculous! And your family will follow suit! The smiles will be genuine and the fun will be too!

You can do anything for an hour!

2. Trust me. Your photographer wants you to look good. She wouldn't make you do anything or pose anywhere that is unflattering or looks silly. Let go of your preconceived notion of the "perfect" family photo- everyone posed, looking at the camera, and smiling. You'll probably get some of those, but those candid images will be the ones you look back on and swoon over! So don't worry if your photographer tells you not to look at the camera. Focus on what's right in front of you- your beautiful family- and your images will be perfect!
"I promise, it'll be great!"

1. If you love your session, let us know! We love hearing your feedback and certainly thrive on any sort of love you show! You could even do one better, and share with your friends how much you loved your session!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hostetler Family | Oklahoma City Family and Children's Photographer

This is the Hostetler Family. Believe me when I say they're a pretty cool bunch. Brian is a fantastic graphic designer, Amy did a 5k at 30 weeks pregnant the same day as their shoot, and Kyrie is full of sass and super smarts. They also love the Lord and put all their faith in Him. Basically, I couldn't have asked for more awesome people to hang out with this past weekend!

They had warned me previously that Miss Kyrie (a GORGEOUS name, by the way. It was actually on my list of favorites when I was pregnant with Vesper!) could be a bit shy and was prone to the typical toddler antics- tantrums and the like.

But we didn't find that to be the case at this particular session (much to Amy and Brian's relief, I'm sure!) We talked and played in the grass, and ran away from mommy and daddy, and went hunting for rocks, and just had a good ol' time! And when she started getting sleepy, she just laid that sweet little head into Daddy...

She just turned the big 0-2- a major life event, as you know- and is getting ready to have another major life event: she's going to be a big sister!

Congratulations, Kyrie and the rest of the Hostetler clan! What a blessing! I can't wait to meet Baby H and watch your family grow!