You might be running out of time!

Are you stuck on what to get a mom in your life for Mother's Day? While flowers, or breakfast in bed are sweet... it is always nice to add a little extra spoiling! Besides, it is always great to have an extra idea if you're wanting to spoil a sweet mamma in your life that isn't your mom, or yourself ;) Maybe you need a mother's day gift for a friend who has been extra special to you this year,  maybe you need to spoil a mamma in your church or mom's group that you admire, or maybe you have an aunt or sibling that needs an extra acknowledgement of what a great motherly influence she has been in your life! 

Mother's Day Gifts

A few days ago, over on Valisa Henderson Photography on Facebook, I asked moms to weigh in on what they want for Mother's Day, or to share a great idea they had that they might put to use! I figured I'd share them with you! Feel free to comment below if you have other ideas! Or share this post to your facebook to help out some people that might be scrambling! Feel free to use it if you're the "drop a hint" type of mom too!  There is one week left! Hop on these things if you need it here by Mother's Day!

  • Mantra Bands!  I recently received one of these as a gift from my photography business mentor. It is so very special, for many reasons I don't need to go into... but let's just say God works in mysterious ways! Mine says "What if you fly" From the Erin Hanson quote:

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?” 


  • Party Box from Wendy with Your Party Made Simple! Miss Wendy has a beautiful party planning service... she does party consulting and can help you plan a digital purchase, she can get you a box delivered all set to go, and quite a few other ways to help. She's also got monthly box features! I'm of course late to the game... and you can't get the Mother's Day box anymore... HOWEVER, the monthly party planning box is an EXCELLENT idea if you've got a busy PTA kind of mamma in your life! Each month's box is themed and makes an awesome go - to resource for any event that you've got coming up!
  • Pamper That Woman! Find a local day spa, massage therapist, or nail salon! One of the suggestions on that facebook post was from a high-school friend, Lacey. She suggested a gift certificate to Mountain Healing Spa in Etna, Ca. I have been here once... it. is. to. die. for! 
  • LipSense What Mom wants to spend money on expensive makeup, but rarely does because Kids come first? umm... most of us. haha! One of my "side hustles" is being a SeneGence Distributor... Have you heard of that lipsticl that doesn't transfer, doesn't smudge off onto your kiddo's face... it's seriously so amazing. So come talk to me if you want to spoil that mamma with some smudgeproof, kid kissin proof lip-pretties! 
  • Photo Gifts! What kind of photographer would I be if I didn't tell you - that you should collect some images, and get a photo gift put together! You can find awesome ideas with really great quality at Artifact Uprising or MPIX. Create a story board, order stand alone prints, maybe a photo book! Get those memories printed FOR her! <3 This is an especially great idea for grand-mammas! Print a favorite image and getting it framed is an excellent idea as well!
  • Photo Session Gift Certificate! Last but not least, give the gift of capturing a moment, or a life season. A photo shoot is another thing that so many moms WANT to splurge on - but push it away when they feel like it isn't as important to everyone else in the family. Show her that it is. Show her how capturing the memories that are being made in this season of life... is important to you, and that you know it is important to her! My Summer Sessions actually open the day after Mother's day... Photo Session Gift Certificates are available right now though... Simply shoot me an email!  This is a great one for grandparents to gift to their daughters! A big ole hint that you want more photos of those grandchildren! 

Developing some Wanderlust

Were you someone who grew up with a home base? Do you have somewhere that you go back to that is "home?"  I have an area... but not a structure. Scott Valley feels like "home." As does Northern California in general.   As a kid who mostly "traveled" just up and down I-5 (Medford to Mexico was my range...) I grew up wanting to do the whole road-trip-across-the-country" thing. Once I hit middle school age and was pretty stationary in one area, I never ached to get out of Siskiyou County for good though (like so many other classmates of mine did. Every other Etna High Senior seemed to be dying to get out of town asap!) because I had lived in the city already, and I enjoyed being settled in our safe little Scott Valley. Security... I guess that's all I ever really felt like I needed. HASHTAG:WOMEN lol right?  Thankfully, I find peace in knowing that God

But now - I've gone from one end of the country, and back again... a few times, Lived from California to Florida and a handful of places in between, and enjoyed all of the new places for sure. But have ALWAYS hated the leaving! Do you know the feeling of the slight social anxiety that comes with having to build a new network? Eeshk. Not my favorite.  Aside from the last 3 years... I think that most of my life I've moved every other year.  Whether it was same town and just from house to house or to a different town, different county or different state... packing up, unsettling, and re-settling has been a part of my life... For-Eevv-Eerrr.   And I have always loved that. And I have always not-loved that too... Forgive my awkwardness. Pardon my confusing tone. I'm an INFP and the struggle is real.  (Total side note here - but you know that saying, "I'm not a night-owl... I'm not an early-bird... I'm some sort of exhausted pigeon."?? HAHA! I feel like that is me with anything! - So the moving all over going from place to place, loving it, hating it, desiring being settled, but always having wanted to travel the country..? Yeah.. I'm an in-between sort of person. Don't ask me to pick a favorite. Ever. Of anything.) One of the biggest life lessons that God has used all of this for me is to be present. To soak life up here and now. 

Did you go through a season, maybe early college years, where you loved what you were doing, your life season, the excitement of your future, but at the same time... struggled because you didn't feel like you had a home base? *Emoji girl hand raise* Yes!! Me too!  and that was soo un-nerving. All of the THINGS that couldn't fit with me were in storage in various states (Arizona, Tennessee, Florida and California), and the things that I wanted with me fit into a couple of suitcases. MAN, that was a lot of work toting and loading those all over! lol. But those years where you're not a care-free high school kid anymore, and you don't totally feel like you're capable of adulting completely yet... are confusing, and emotional, while mixed with so much reward and fun memories.  *see what I mean?*

Through ALL of that... I've always and forever, wanted to have a beautiful place to land. I've dreamt of having a "homestead" that my kids grow up in and never have to leave until it's time. One that they can come home to through their awkward exhausted pigeon stages and feel secure, like they know where they belong. Where they can look at a certain hallway or doorstep and be flooded with memories from most any time in their life.   So that is ultimate goal number one. A forever home. 

VHP prov 16-9.png

BUUUTTT are you still wondering if we're going to get to the wanderlust part? Here we go. Hi, I'm Valisa, I'm a photographer and I'm super settled and don't want to leave but I am addicted to the idea of traveling the country in an RV and homeschooling my kids on the road for a year or two. Bouncing the country from state parks, to towns our friends and family live in that we rarely get to see. 

See what I mean about the confusing thing? I'm a big ole walking contradiction.  I guess it comes with the desire to connect to those I'm close with... And after having lived in a few different states... I've got loved ones all over the place that I do NOT get to see nearly enough. AND... I want my kids to get to know some fun things about this beautiful country we live in. To really explore and learn... to enjoy the company, and glean from the wisdom of godly people we love that SHOULD be big influences in their lives but that live too far away. 

So there you have it. Ultimate Goal Number 2 - Eventually... I want to travel. I want to *safely* throw my kids in an RV. And for a year or two live in state parks, giving my kids an enriching start to life... and I want to do it while they're still young enough to WANT to be with me in close quarters for long periods of time... so that it's me that has to battle the going crazy part... instead of them. lol.... Maybe at some point I'll be able to take my photography business on the road, and come be able to photograph all of you sweet friends that aren't local to Nor Cal and Southern Oregon areas, and that I haven't seen in ... FAR too long. 

Do you relate to this... ooooorrrrr do you think I'm crazy? Haha you're free to tell me either! Start the conversation below: Comment below with your thoughts! And if you're someone not-local to me... how cool would it be? You'd have to get your friends on board to booking shoots and then I could pretty much plan to come to you right? Check out Knorpp and South! They do it, and do it WELL (with 9 children mind you). 

Lifestyle Session - From the client's perspective...

My dear friend Brittany, over at the Muddled Mommy, has been writing more lately. A few days ago while I was immersed in her natural raw expression of parenting and pregnancy... I realized.. "OH MY WORD! I need to have her guest blog about her own photo session!" 
Keep in mind, I've already blogged this in home, Lifestyle session myself (You can find that here). But you, my dear client or potential client, don't see these experiences from my side! You see them from the same side as she does... So here is to perspective! Can you put yourself in this position and dream up your own lifestyle family shoot?

Let me introduce you to the queen of mom fails, yes..that’s right, it’s me. There are those moms who have newborn photo sessions done with the birth of each baby (you know, Anne Geddy calendar worthy ones), well my baby got Instagram with a few milestones and some scrunch pooping face ones, (I’m for hire!) sorry kid.
The walls of my home are decorated with hardly any family photos (some from my wedding 7 years ago), I am not a picture person but firmly believe that there should be documentation of the family that dwells within your home. I had been meaning to do a family photo shoot, considering my daughter is 3 1/2, it’s about time. Now the tricky part, my husband feels awkward being told to kiss by a photographer and my daughter rarely smiles for photos, insisting on hiding her face in my chest or shouting a defiant NO! Hmm..Pinterest being my best friend and all, I began a search. After a few scrolls I was introduced to lifestyle shoots. A lifestyle shoot represented what a family was really like, photos ranging from screaming babies to wrestling brothers and you guessed it, a few pooping babies. I was hooked and knew this was going to be the best option for my family.

Cue the entry of my amazing friend, Valisa Henderson, if anyone was willing to step out of their comfort zone with my request it would be her. All it took was a text, “hey what do you think about this?!”, without hesitation she was onboard and we were planning as many details as we could over the phone. I’ve never met a person more willing to serve her friends and clients, this girl drove miles to visit with friends (yes, yes, I’m one of them) and made time for my family shoot before leaving back home. Now this is no easy task, it is exhausting to drive 5 hours..why do I say this? Because she sacrificed sleep the day she was leaving, to be able to provide me with what I had hoped for, first thing in the morning.

We adorned ourselves in normal attire, a blue tee and backwards hat for dad, Z in a mint green top with her hair all nicely done and I in my floral striped top in the most fashionable pair of jeans. The idea of this was to capture the heart of my family and what makes us, US. We had chosen to make pancakes, a favorite in our house, and with Valisa behind the camera, our “lifestyle shoot” began. Now don’t get me wrong, there is still some awkward feelings when anyone is taking a photo of you but, the freedom of being in your own home is unlike any photo shoot I’ve experienced. My daughter was allowed to splash water, break eggs, and get powder on her face. We as a family blew bubbles, read favorite books and played with toys. My husband got to wear a t-shirt and didn’t have to do his hair, total win. What did mom get you ask? Photos that captured the joy and pizazz that make up my daughters personality, you can see that spark of life in her, the one that spreads like wildfire. We laughed, we joked, we splashed, we lived and guess what? None of us had grass stains on our butt or sun in our eyes and best of all, no fits! Life was captured in the sweetest way. From here on out, I’ll choose lifestyle shoots. Pictures will hang upon my wall showing life and joy (maybe a little chaos too) that resonates in our home. You’ll see it, you’ll feel it and be welcomed into it through an image.

Thank you to Valisa for your sacrifice of sleep and time, for your willingness to try and work with the lighting in my home, for capturing the heart of my family and sitting and sharing that same meal with us. You’re not just an amazing photographer but also an amazing soul that has a heart for people. Continue looking at life through the lens, capturing the hearts of families and the start of new beginnings.
— Brittany - the Muddled Mommy

The calendar opens for new bookings again on February 15th! Drop your email here to learn more!  What do you think about Lifestyle Sessions? I'd love to hear your thoughts below in the comments. They're becoming a favorite of mine! There is just something so special about documenting real life! <3  Thank you dear Brittany for sharing your view <3 We'll have to do another one once baby #2 and the new house are part of the experience! <3

Scott Valley Family - Fall Photos on the Ranch

Once you've got a little one in the picture, the pressure to make sure you capture your family as close to yearly as possible is pretty high! Can anyone else relate? But oh my word, when you have an active toddler... there is always that concern that you're not going to get anything good! 

Do you fall into that fear sometimes? The pressure of needing everyone to look at the camera and make sure your toddlers behave during pictures can be enough to deter you from doing any formal family portraits! That is one thing that I love about the style I've made my own. Sure I'll work you into a posed picture here and there when I can to make sure we can get some "money shots" as I like to call them, but honestly - rolling with the kids and working with them, engaging, playing and having a good time with your family... catches moments you wouldn't otherwise be able to curate. 

Koon Family - 2016 - VHP (7 of 36).jpg

And that is exactly what we did on the Koon's property for our Fall photoshoot! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!!  We had a fun time throwing leaves around and exploring! What do you think? Have you hesitated on a family photo shoot because your little one won't slow down? Maybe this will encourage you to follow up on capturing this season of your life!

Yreka High School - Jake's Senior Pictures!

Parenting is hard. Those of us that have little kids can only hope that our kids will keep loving us, keep wanting us around. We work hard at training them up only to send them off into the world and cross our fingers, hoping they stay kind and true to themselves, and do good things in the world, and want to come spend time with us when we grow old right? 

Jake is a good kid, an athlete, and kind to top it off. He is sweet to his mom and they (whoever they are... but I've heard it too) say, that's an excellent testament to how a man will turn out.

Leora has done an awesome job raising her kiddos, and she's got two girls coming up behind Jake. He is big into basketball and we focused a portion of his shoot around that. 

Mom wanted to make sure that his session captured who he is... and that is what we aimed for. We started with the tried and true Greenhorn Park for pictures and then explored a couple of other unique locations through our little town of Yreka to get a good variety in this Senior Boy's session so that it turned out to be individual to him. 

Something she has done so well, is enjoying her kids and helping them enjoy life. On more than one occasion I've talked to her about her memories as her kids have gone through their phases of childhood and seems to have pulled off what I as a mom am always trying to remind myself to do: Soak it up. She has taken in every stage: the good with the bad, and appreciated it for what it is. She has very happy and fond memories, but never seems sad that the old days are gone. She has figured out how to enjoy the here and now with her kids. As a parent, I urge anyone reading this to remember to do the same with those around you. Kids or no kids.. 

And Seniors - there is no exception for you here: In fact this is especially important for you. You're entering into a world full of millennials searching to make an impact and keep moving - We live being constantly pressed to keep going and focused on expecting the next great event. But we've got to remember to take in where we are at in life right now, and remember, that you'll never see the world as you do right now... and one day - you'll miss (at least parts of) this phase. 

Thanks Jake for making your session enjoyable, not stiff, and rolling with the ideas that we came up with :) I'm glad you ended up with great images to share with your friends and commemorate your Senior year with! 

Yreka Newborn - Ollie get's the spotlight

So the other day, I shared Mr. Oliver's Fresh 48 session in the hospital. A few days later he got his chance to pose it baby pictures style. Oliver was settling in great at home! Mom and dad were adjusting well. It was as if he has always been there! He is just a perfect little fit. 
He did really great for our session too. I brought my gear and set up right in the dining room. I've quite enjoyed just soaking up those newborn cuddles during these sessions. And Oliver's was no different! He was a sweet adorable cuddly little guy! Posed Newborn shoots are an art form and it's impossible not to love their sweet little features! But sometimes getting them to sleep for those adorable sleepy baby pictures... is tricky.

What are your secret weapons to get your babies to sleep? You don't have to be a newborn photographer to need to get a baby to sleep from time to time! During a newborn session I use an app called the baby shusher (I've got the app, but they also have a physical little noise machine too: Seriously moms: If you're looking for the perfect white noise.. you've got to check out the Baby Shusher) And then there is the swaddling. Swaddling a baby is a tried and true method.. They like that cozy womb replication... Maybe we should do a swaddling tutorial eventually for those of you who want to master ways to keep those newborns happy!  I have a little secret weapon called the Simple Swaddler. It stays under the beautiful wraps, and keeps them swaddled, so that when I change colors or wraps... they can keep their peaceful swaddled deep sleep, and I just change the outside.  And then there is that magic space to softly trace between the nose and eyebrows that nearly every baby gives into eventually... Ollie cooperated wonderfully; his sweet little sleep provided for a great set of baby pictures that they will faun over for years to come.  In fact their album contains images from the whole belly to baby collection. Mom chose her favorites from the gender reveal, the maternity session and proposal, as well as the Fresh 48 and Newborn sessions. I'm sure they'll cherish that album for a long time! 

Yreka, Ca - Fresh 48 Session Welcoming Oliver!

My sweet friend booked a Belly to Baby Package to cover all of her pregnancy picture needs with the awaiting of baby boy Oliver starting with their gender reveal through their Maternity session that (turned surprise proposal, which you can see here) to his newborn session. 
One of the sweetest moments to capture are within those first few hours of life. I love Fresh 48 sessions for the lifestyle photo look as well as the natural environment. I was able to snag some interactive moments with family members as this sweet boy met special family members and got to just enjoy his moments. 

Getting Inspired to Set Some Goals

We're stepping outside of the normal photo session, outdoor photo shoot, storytelling blogging, to talk about something that lots of people have on their minds already:  New Year's Resolutions! January brings a time where so many around us are focused on a fresh start! Right? I want you to tell me one thing, right down below in the comment section of this blog: Did you set a 2017 resolution? More than one? Or are you NOT a resolutions type of person? 

Balancing those resolutions still?


I've always balanced somewhere between the "Nope, not doing a resolution thing" stance and "Okay, I guess I wanna try now that it's January 2" stance. Haha!  



I am though, a big fan of Fresh Starts. I'm someone who is constantly trying new systems, or coming up with new plans. I guess that is where my hesitancy has always been with announcing or committing to a resolution. I have new plans that fail all year long! Why tell everyone all about it when they're all working on doing great on their own changes? haha! I'm only-half kidding. It is all about the accountability. And that has some beauty to it for sure.
But really - I love new systems. Trying new plans. I love the chance for a fresh start. Throughout the course of a year I think I'm just one who makes small adjustments all along the way.

Do you identify with the strong urge to declutter, or get something working smarter for you so you don't have to work harder? That's where my draw is! Trust me.. I'm certainly NOT great at keeping the closets organized and toys in their proper places, I've found some methods that have worked, and some that haven't, and some that have worked well that are just hard to keep up with. So January rolls around and I'm like... ya know... I mean everyone else is in the same mindset... it IS a really great time to start some new ideas ;) Knowing so many people are also working toward something, helps inspire you! 

So here is what I have for you! I created a printable to try and make some goal setting a bit easier, more visual and to break down the things I'm working on. Usually there is something to get organized, something to be better about planning, and something to get started doing more regularly.  I wanted to share it with you! In hopes that it can maybe help you get inspired to move forward with your goals! Maybe it will help you to write out the things that you really want to make new habits. I know that I can get overwhelmed with the idea of a new habit, or something that I have to develop.

There is a section in the printable to break down your goal into more attainable steps, and then a box next to each step - to brainstorm some baby-steps to get accomplished. 

Take a minute and click here to subscribe to the Friend's of VHP newsletter to download your Free Printable to get inspired to break down those goals! 

I hope we can connect on some of these plans! I'll be going Live on Facebook later this week to share my own thoughts towards my goals, and walk you through how I'm using this printable myself.  So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for my live video notifications in your Newsfeed!  And as always, let me know if you have any questions at all! 

Milo Adventist Academy Senior - Miss Kristi

Senior Pictures

There isn't much to make you realize how fast your kids are really going to grow up than watching someone get ready to graduate high school that you remember as a kid. 
Kristi is such a great person... as great as it gets! She is crazy smart, super involved and talented, really kind, and amazing with kids. She is certainly one of those people that makes you just want to be a better person and more kind to those you interact with on any level. 

I asked Kristi to brainstorm and let me know if there was anything we could add in to make sure her session was very much "her." She immediately mentioned that she had highly considered doing her shoot at Greenhorn Park. She has lots of memories growing up there; spending warm days, going on walks and hikes.. etc. And it happens to be a super versatile place to shoot so I was all for it!  We ended up with balloons, talk of travel, and even juggling! 

Senior with Balloons and a Globe

I am seriously intrigued to see what Kristi does in the future and where God leads this girl. She is super talented, involved, has college aspirations, is amaaaaaaazing with kids, wants to travel, and is genuinely a kind and thoughtful person to her core. 

Senior Girl Globe

And did I mention juggling!? Kristi can juggle... and really well too!! <3  It's pretty safe to say we had a great time ;) 

Traditional Senior Portrait




Kristi, my dear... I can't wait to see what your future holds! I know God has big plans for you, and remember to embrace the awesome that He created deep within you! 

Lodi Lifestyle Maternity Session | Sweet In-Home Belly Captures with the Bestie

Maternity Dark Black and White Lifestyle Image on Bed

Giana and I have been friends since we were first introduced on the phone. We hit it off immediately and back in the day, before we had our first cell-phones, spent hours on the land-line at a time. We are nearing the point where we've known each other for half of our lives... we have seen each other through a lot... and this pregnancy has been no different! I certainly loved watching her grow into a mommy in every way.

It is pretty exciting to watch your best friend begin a family... finally. I say that with all love and kindness... but it is about dang time huh? If you know these two - you probably think the hashtag coined back at their engagement and used at their wedding was pretty fitting: #cgfinally
Expanded to mean: Casey and Giana are FINALLY engaged, Casey and Giana are FINALLY getting married... and I was so amused when they kept it running: #cgfinallyhoneymoon #cgfinallydecorate  haha! It works so perfectly. 

Now... #cgfinallyhaveababy.. and its about time that #CGFINALLYgetfeaturedontheVHPblogforthematernitysessionthathappened3monthsago haha! 

They have put so much love into their first home, so when they suggested doing the maternity shoot as a lifestyle session - I was game! We worked to capture a bit of their life pre-baby and a little small glimpse of the prep that went into getting their home ready for their new addition. And plus, this meant we got to include the gloriousness that IS their bullmastif Parker. The official first child of this family.  <3

They live quite a distance from me in Lodi but that doesn't stop me from traveling all the way there for a session from lil ole Siskiyou County because... well. I wouldn't miss this! If you're a Lodi local feel free to hop on my email list to be ready to schedule a shoot next time I open up for bookings. I will always accept another reason to travel to visit these peeps!  

Closing down the books!

Say What?

Say What?

So..... Surprise! I'm closing down my schedule. 

Are you freaking out? Did you want a session? REST AT EASE... Every little thing... is gonna be alright.  Did you just start singing in your head? I did. Don't mind me: I digress.

You want a session? Don't worry. You can still have one. 

2016 was my first year of going full time with photography. I've learned a lot on the business side and have really been working to develop a photography business to last. Taking workshops, undergoing some mentoring, soaking up sparkly goodness from profitable business savvy photographers...

The average photographer that doesn't work to develop a strong business foundation will be out of business in just a few short years. I've been a "photographer" for 6 almost 7 years now but this year I really studied the business side in a way I've never done before. I've studied, researched, crafted, spent hours and hours behind the scenes working and learning on the best way to improve my business. 

2017 is going to be awesome. I am excited to be doing things a little differently. We are moving to an exclusive scheduling system.

Exclusive Photographer Booking

Essentially here is how it is going to work:
>My schedule will open up 3 times in 2017<

At this point the plan is to open up

  • Spring: February 1st for bookings through the end of April.
  • Summer: May 1st for bookings through the end of July. and the big one...
  • Fall: August 1st for bookings through the end of October

There will be limited spaces available. The deal is this:  I'll send out an email that says something along the lines of: "Spaces are available - here are your options"  (Hopefully crafted a little more fun.. but that's the basic idea) And you will be quick to respond with your date and time choices. Because you will have been watching for the whole week prior on social media, in your email, etc - that my schedule was about to open... and you'll have been waiting on the edge of your seat!  Right? Right!
Then invoices will go out to pay for your session fee... and then you're on the books. and my schedule will be once again closed until the next opening date! 

I will be sure to keep all of you hopefuls aware and reminded about when my schedule is opening up so you can set an alarm, get your friends on my email list, remember to watch your email, or however you get there.  
But here is the kicker... You have to be ON my email list to get this invitation to book! 


SO the moment you've all been waiting for: Click here to sign up for my email list so you can be ready when the time comes! Dont worry. I will not be spamming you. You'll get info once in awhile when things are happening. At some point soon - an email series will go out with lots of details about how working with me goes (Booking process, preparation ideas, print prices, product details and what to expect... etc). Other than that you'll only get emails from me when specials come up, booking is opening soon, or anything else exciting that I dig up. My goal is value only though! So don't you worry. 

Keep in mind, getting on this email list is the only way to get a session with me once 2017 hits!
(I do still have a few spots for 2016 if you need to hop in before the end of the year.)

  • If I ever release mini session events - it'll be through the email list.
  • If I ever offer Holiday Specials, it'll be through the email list.
  • If I ever plan an event,
  • have a sale,
  • or book sessions...

it will be through this email list


And just so you know - in case you're planner-self isn't ready for the commitment... don't worry! Being on the list does not mean you're locked into a session. You'll just be ready for the process and know what to expect.

Oh - and guess what? Right now I'm offering a free downloadable guide when you sign up for the list - it's called:      "Make Getting 'Camera Ready' Easy" 

Head over and get on the list now! 



Siskiyou County Family Photographer - Tessah is Two!

    The Brownells are very dear to my heart. Personal friends who have become family to me, I was honored to shoot images of their youngest daughter, Tessah, for her second birthday!

Tee Pee Photo Fur rugs


  Tessah’s momma centered the shoot on the adorable kid’s teepee she found, and it went perfectly with the backdrop of the barn behind her sweet munchkins (Don’t you just love the star on the top of the barn?!). Their property is filled with nature and animals; goats, chickens, of course dogs and cats, and at one point even featured a miniature horse on loan. :)  We had considered shooting in the field, but fell in love with the monochromatic color scheme of the barn and teepee. The added layering and texture from the fur rug (swoon!) brought everything together. It was the ideal place for a little bit of rustic photography, and perfect for them… not only because of the beauty of the location, but because this place is special for their family. It’s where their children are getting to run free and explore their childhood.


  Tessah is independent and determined for such a small person. She loves books and reading, even at a young age. She’s a very happy girl, but she needs to size you up before she lets you see her precious personality. Thankfully she knows me well enough to liven up right away…although she may or may not have been coaxed with candies to continue smiling for the camera, haha!


  Included in the mix of birthday fun, were Tessah’s two older siblings, Titus, and Taliah. They are so loving and doting on their little sister, who is very much the baby to them all. It’s clear that she rules the roost. When mothered by Taliah, and asked to “Be cute! Be cute!” Tessah retorted with a whack to her brother and sister, which made us laugh. She is two of course!. Titus and Taliah are both so good with her, and Titus was so admirable to wear his “spencers” to appease mom for the shoot. :)  


  It was such a sweet session with moments of wondering how our babies are getting so big, so fast. Some of my favorite shoots are getting to capture kids I watch grow up from a young age, and these special people are included in that circle. I can’t wait for more pictures with them!


   Do you have a little one with a birthday coming up? Sometimes if it’s not a milestone year, we can overlook the years in between… the growing years. These are the times where our kids are forming memories of their childhood, and ones we want to hold on to forever. If you are looking for a Siskiyou County Photographer to capture a kid’s birthday, or even lifestyle photography, I can help you in that area! Drop me a line or two.


Siskiyou County Newborn Photographer - Meet Finnley!

   This newborn photography session happened over the summer, and I can’t believe this one slipped by me without writing a post, because this loveable little guy was such a pleasure to photograph! His debut to the lens happened at his family’s home in beautiful Siskiyou County.


   Meet Finnley. Laid back, easy going, and sweet…he seems to get it naturally from his parents, who were equally as calm and cool. That’s perfect because newborn photography can sometimes be unpredictable and dependent on the adorable star of the show!


   Our session took place in the living room of their family home. There was just enough natural light to feature all the soft edges of this darling boy. He was freshly fed, changed, and swaddled, in hopes that he’d fall into a peaceful sleep. He had no intentions of that happening, haha! He was wide-eyed and alert, hanging out like, “Hey guys…what are we doing?” As I mentioned, mom and dad were super flexible, and we quickly turned this newborn session into a lifestyle photography shoot. He did doze off for 10 minutes or so, after we laid him on a blanket, which allowed just enough time for a few serene sleeping shots.  


   The love these two parents have for their son is very tangible. It was evident how much their hearts are swollen with joy and tenderness towards their little Finnley. One of my favorite moments was when they were sitting on the couch; mom holding him in her arms, and dad was cradling Finnley’s head with his hand, very connected as a family. You could see the love, and just know…these two are going to be awesome parents.


medford newborn photographer



   Finnley turned four months old on the 22nd of last month, and he’s just as cute as ever.  He is definitely one I’d love to have back in front of my camera again!


  Are you expecting your bundle of joy in the coming months? If you’re looking for a Siskiyou County, Ashland, or Medford newborn photographer (maternity is always fun too!), I’d love to help you capture this precious and fleeting time! Click here to send a message my way, and let’s talk!  

Missing Out

Are there days you forget to look at your kids? I mean... really look at them. Take a minute and soak up the size of their hands, the way they hug you, how they tell you they love you...

This is an area that I have tried to be so purposeful with with my little ones. Yet I often fail.. because being a parent is hard. And often I get focused on having a minute to myself, getting things done, or getting to the next day, or teaching them responsibility and respect... and how to act... *sigh*  I have to kick myself sometimes into remembering... "Let them be little" 
 I forget so often with my 7 year old. She is getting bigger... her 7 going on 17 tendencies are often something that grate on my nerves. Don't get me wrong. I love her. Deeper than I know what to do with. But sometimes. I tell ya! How do we change that focus? By remembering how we want to be loved, noticing how they love us, Seeing her, listening to her... and truly trying to reciprocate that selfless love she gives me. My goal this week is to love my girl, who seems big... but is certainly still little, the way she wants to be loved. 
My little guy's sweetness is easy to soak up! But man I'm so afraid I will forget some of the ways he does or says things. He's 3.. and that can be trying at times.. His will is getting stronger and his attitude more purposeful sometimes. BUT... with all that 3 year old tude, comes 3 year old sweetness. This kid... He would melt your heart in an instant if you could see him in all the moments I do! 

I think it's time for a shoot for myself and my kids. They are at ages that in just a few short months and years I'll look BACK thinking - "Oh my gosh - look how little they were!" While right now in my eyes they're big.  I keep thinking "SOAK IT UP! Soak it up!"  but our memories get more and more feeble. 

I'm so thankful for how easy documentation is now... as much as I LOVE taking really great portraits... I love that I have more snapshots of my kids than most of us probably have of our childhoods put together. I know the things I remember most - are things I've seen printed pictures of my growing up.  maybe my next shoot for myself and kiddos will be lifestyle. Such a great way to capture what life looks like right now. 

Anyway - the way she still relies on me and seeks me out, the way he smiles and says "iiii wuv yoooou"... might not last forever and I refuse to let it go without documenting it somehow.  So thankful for my little blessings! And for this little soapbox I just created! haha Thanks for joining me on this totally non-business related post! 

What do you notice when you look at your littles? What sticks out to you as things you don't want to forget? Comment below with your thoughts! Sometimes just taking time to point them out helps them last in your memories a little bit longer! <3

Yreka Senior Photography - Alexia

Alexia was visiting Etna from Idaho earlier this summer before school started! Great time for Senior Photos right? Of course. :) So over to Yreka she came so that I could photograph her!
We met at Greenhorn Park and headed up the trails. 
She's a beautiful soul with a heart for adventure and for others! Our short time together during her shoot she shared a bit of her personality with me and what a gem of a girl she is! 

Alexia! I can't wait to see what your future holds! 


Wall Art for the Win! With a Special Offer!

Organic Bloom Vendor Yreka California and Medford Oregon

If you remember a few weeks ago I posted this photo on social media: 
I'm so very excited to be a vendor for Organic Bloom Frames.  They are hand made, hand painted and SO customizeable you can't even believe it. 

I simply love seeing photos on the wall. Do you remember a grandparent, or mom and dad, or an aunt maybe, that had their hallways just lined with photos?  It really takes you somewhere mentally to stare at collections of photos on the wall or flipping through a box of polaroids or prints. I just love it! That is a huge loss that our culture has began to suffer from the digital age. Trust me. I love digital. I really do. I'm among the first to admit I've been terrible about keeping up on prints for myself. I have done a few books and albums that I just LOVE. Nothing replaces a photograph in physical form. And now that a beautiful wall display is coming back into popularity. These Organic Bloom frames really give wall art photo collections an awesome pop. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I had the privilege of designing a wall for my sister in law! She has a single canvas collage up on her wall that I did for her a few years ago. She sent a photo of it to me one day and said "This looks so lonely" and let me know she was wanting to get some canvases or prints for the wall from a later Anniversary session that we did. 

I began designing! 

We had a lot of options flowing through the conversations: One of my favorites was this: 


Midnight Blue and Sunkist Organic Bloom Frame

Aubrey sent me a variety of photos she thought to use, there were a few candids of she and her hubby with their Husky Pup Baxter - And I still had the anniversary photos she wanted on my external hard drive.  

I designed a few options that make it appear right on her wall and we discussed what works and what doesn't work.  Ultimately I think we both really loved the blue and yellow and how well it worked - but she wanted to make sure it was more of a neutral color palette. And this is what we ended up with: 

Final Design Organic Bloom

I literally just placed the order today. The mix of canvas/framed prints I love... and I think it'll grow nicely up the stairs if they decide to add on and should re-organize nicely should they ever move to Yreka. ;) haha. Or ya know. Wherever.

Do you want to get in on this action? Read on - and Congratulations on making it through my chatty-mcchatterson-blog.
You tell me your interested by leaving a comment here in this blog with your email address! I will send you an email with details and requirements on how we go about this process. Should you decide to take the leap - I will take a design deposit from you of $100 which will be non refundable but applied to the total cost of your order (Frames begin at $295). Then I will begin designing - we will come up with something that you just. LOVE. I guarantee it!  Be an early adopter and get in on this awesomeness. I am going to give away 3 SPACES to the first people that decide to have me design an Organic Bloom collection for them. These spots will be highly coveted I'm sure - as there will be some great Specials that will be marvelous and quite generous. Mostly because I want you to experience these frames. Seriously. Like Seriously. 

This is a decent investment on your part, oh customer. but These frames. I'm tellin you. And pair them with a special memory - bring out the color of the binky that your baby never used to be able to live without but is a trigger style reminder of how little and innocent she was then now that she is hitting kindergarten? Swoohoooon-worthy.  I can work in whatever photos you want, You can do a grow with me collection of all your kiddos years... we can create a generation wall so that your kids can hold onto actual photos of you guys on your wedding day along with grandma and grandpas? These photos ... they don't have to be mine. (But if they aren't, and they're professional i'll need a print release OR You're welcome to simply order just frames if you want to kinda DIY) You will be blown-a-way by the color and style options seriously. We can compeltely customize this whole thing AND They use Benjamin Moore Paint - You can request anything that they don't have listed! ANYTHING that they offer at  SO You could match an accent wall! You could take a double frame and make the inside frame match your wall and the outside color be the color you wished you would have painted but you weren't brave enough to go that bold! (*raised hand*)  hahaha!  The options are endless... and I know that could get overwhelming.. BUT Thats why you order from a vendor, like myself.... I'll ask questions - see what you're hoping for/looking for and I'LL put together a few things that you can tweak and choose from. 

If you're interested in one of the 3 special design spots I'm offering - Comment below with your email and I'll send you the 3 Space Special pricing info, requirements and everything you'd need to know to get started with a Design-Special Space! 
Frames begin at $235 - and your design deposit will be $100 to get moving (Non refundable but applicable to your frame costs!) 

Can't wait to work with you!!