photographer

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! 

Loving Pink Bokeh!

I do NOT know much about trees, and plants so I can't tell you what kind, but there is a line of really pretty trees out front that are usually red leafed.  In the Spring they have the most beautiful pink blossoms! It SERIOUSLY makes me want to visit DC and the Cherry Blossoms everywhere! I've noticed a few times how amazingly the sun sets behind the row of these trees and told myself - I really need to get some pictures before they're all gone! They are definitely transitioning to their red-state. So a few evenings ago... in the best impromptu type of unplanned way (as you can tell by my daughter's super coordinated outfit) I popped out there to just snap a couple of shots. 
One thing I really am drawn to in these, is the Bokeh!! So often that beautiful bokeh when I get it, is filled, and lush with greens, yellows with maybe a few spots of color here and there... This is just so different! I love it! 

Pink Blossoms
Pink Blossomed Tree

Of course this girl had to get in on the action and bring her style ;)
 

Girl with Blossoms

Surprise! It's a...

I had the privilege of photographing a pregnancy/gender reveal! I really love this stuff! We had to create something do-able indoors though because the weather was terrible! I arrived to lots of balloons and Mamma, Daddy and Auntie already had everything ready! 

GenderReveal

Up until 2013, I had worked with Shannon for almost 2 years. Toward the end of that time together, I stood with her in a barren break room as she uttered words that she never wanted to think might be true. She experienced one of the hardest losses anyone could endure. She has battled deep pain, and a long ride on an emotional rollercoaster since then, navigated and forged a new life with her 3 mostly-grown amazing kids.  While the grieving process never really ends, I'm so happy for this woman. She has strength beyond measure and doesn't hide her true self. A heart of gold, and without a doubt will stand fiercely to defend or fight for those she loves. 

It is pretty special to see her at this new phase of life that includes so much joy and happiness.  Love you Shannon! I feel like you've had baby fever since I met you! Happy for you and Jonathan and the whole family! Thank you for allowing me to capture this for you, and can't wait for more of this little one's journey!!

GenderRevealBlackandWhite

And the moment you've all been waiting for... Well unless you know these two! Because they've already shared these ;) 

Gender Reveal

This little boy is going to be very loved! 

Couple Gender Reveal

This morning I woke up and reached for my phone. Why is it SO instinctual to just grab it? I began cruising the details and reviews of a marketing set I want to purchase. WORK! It is hard to remember that all that research and study time is work... and I just need to chill! It was 4:45 in the morning!! Relax!! Think! Wakeup! Eesh!!!! I find that it is that way when going to bed before going sleep too... Or When I'm standing in the kitchen trying to do dishes but get distracted by an idea, or remember something I wanted to look for.... Or notice a corner of the dining room that could be a nice little office space... and start looking at Pinterest! Ha!! Tell me I'm not the only one! Now that I'm back to full time photography, I've found that is very difficult to leave work at work... because its right there. All. The. Time. I've been working hard at developing the behind the scenes, restructuring, researching, fine tuning, tweaking, creating spreadsheets, studying, researching, tweaking some more. I read the other day a statement along the lines of, Creative Entrepreneurs: The only people willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40. lol! Isn't that the truth!

When I had that "It's 4:45 in the morning! Relax, Think, Take time to wake up" moment this morning... I decided today would be different. Its a good day to make it different, kids are home, house needs tending to, and I've forsaken my beloved outlet of Bible Journaling Lately... So after putting my phone down... letting myself enjoy the peace while the kids were still sleeping, I had some prayer time, dozed in and out... and when the kids got up... grabbed my coffee, the kiddos got books, and I left my phone in my room, and came to my cozy window chair, with a blanket, no technology, and dove in for a little bit to start my day off right! I need to go back here more often. Its a safe place, a happy place... a place to recharge.

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Dare to Dream

Reading this Blog from Jasmine Star (...the oh so successful, inspirational, entrepreneur-photographer-turned-mentor business woman...) I found a striking similarity. Growing up - I too had copy-cat dreams. Often voiced just the typical answers to the question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Some how, at some point, I began believing that I DIDN'T have a dream, I didn't have a passion, that Photography was just a glorified hobby, or even at a successful state - a means to an end/result. In Jasmine's blog she mentions a time at the beginning of her business when her dream became, "of working from home and being a photographer." She goes on to say: "...I didn't have the audacity to dream of working with my husband in a home we own, traveling together, being one of the top photographers in the world, and consulting creative entrepreneurs. I couldn't dare to dream that big."  That struck a chord with me, because I've been pretty vague lately with my own dreams. And my literal words, in prayers and journaling, have been "To be working from home around the kids' schedule, and doing photography full time"  HA! Not word for word, but pretty dang close, wouldn't you say?

Change scene for a second - I've been helping at our church-school a lot lately - and there have been a few times during some writing exercises where the 3-5th grade kiddos have needed to work on paragraph writing. Extracting the details from the younger kids can be paaaaainful. They went in to this one particular writing assignment a week or so ago with instructions of giving lots of detail about their weekend, even if they had the slowest weekend ever, they could give plenty of detail about how many hours they laid in bed, or what they ate, and where they ate it... There are certainly enough details to write 3-5 sentences right?! Yet the resounding "I don't know what else to wriiiiiiiite" came often. "I had a boring weekend. I did nothing. I did not do anything fun." Okaaaaaay. But there just HAS to be more to that! You HAD to eat, multiple times even! You prrrrooooobably watched some TV? Slept?  There is more. It goes deeper... *prompting and prodding continued* but do you see the connection I just made and smacked myself in the face with?

IMG_8648-6As Jasmine realized she didn't dream as big as she could have... I realize now.. my Dreams ARE bigger... They do go deeper. I have yet to craft them specifically and be intentional (I'll leave you hanging for a bit because they are journal worthy)... but I challenge those of you reading.. Dream bigger. And if you need a bit of inspiration - go Take a peak at Jasmine Star's early years.... to the woman who literally just decided one day that she'd try her hand at being a wedding photographer... and has created such a deep, meaningful, and rich (I'm not referring to financially) business and life for herself.

 

Creative Collaboration

Southern Oregon Creative Collaboration Styled Shoot

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the Value Factor

I've lately really been faced with looking at my value as a small business owner and in my craft. This running a business thing for a full time income is not for the weary! Its hard work you guys! Seriously... Who would've thought? ;) haha..... But seriously - What do I value about my work and my business... What do I want clients and potential clients to value about my work and business? Pretty Images....? I'm not so sold. While I have spent a good 6-ish years developing and honing in my craft as a photographer, and in editing... (And plan to continue doing so.... ) I've come to realize that I value my work because it is something that I put my heart and soul into. I want to get to know my clients, not just pop some photos in a gallery and send them on their way, never to be heard of again until next Fall for family photos or the next stage of life. I want to be excited about editing and post processing, because I know how perfect a certain expression matches a person, how I KNOW I grabbed a good shot of the toddler who won't sit still... ever. lol! How I caught that daddy daughter relationship that you value or the history in something as simple as a funny face phase that will probably pass in a few short months... or Might be the beginning of something that will stick around and give a good laugh a few years down the road.

I haven't always been successful in developing a proper relationship prior to my photoshoots, but the types that it has worked out in that way have honorably turned out to be some of my best work.Website (149 of 472) It can be hard to develop a relationship with my client at times... especially when you know me enough to know....that I'm not the best conversation starter with people I don't know well! (unless there is just something driving me to randomly ask you to be my friend... lol... I've never done such a thing! *that sounds desperate....moving on*) but it's not difficult to do if that is what YOU, as my potential client expect. If you KNOW that I care to see a glimpse of your family values, the dynamics in the relationships you wish to capture, or the phase you're dying to freeze in time... You will be more apt to share those things with me if going in, you know that I care to know them! If you know that knowing you, and your "WHY" for wanting my work, makes my work BETTER.... it is likely that we will develop a bit of an understanding and rapport with each other before our session.... a connection. You won't be one to freeze or get quiet when I ask about when you two met, or who the funny one in the family is.....Right? Are you following or am smacking a nail with a crayon?

My work is valuable to me. I want it to be valuable to YOU but... I can't make that happen without first valuing it myself. Which is why I've been reflecting on what puts the Valisa in Valisa Henderson Photography?... and allowing more of myself to infiltrate my brand.

It IS valuable to many of my clients, and to those who have valued my work before I saw it's value - I am truly thankful!  When I asked myself, "What is it about a client who values my work?" The answer landed me back to ... relationships. Those that ask and ask and ask when I'm planning to come visit and make sure I'm planning on scheduling shoots while I'm there - shows me that My work is VALUABLE to them. Granted I know I have clients HERE in Northern California and Southern Oregon that value my work, for sure! But I feel my point is made clear with Arizona; There are TONS of photographers in Phoenix, Arizona; seriously. REALLY great ones... but when I visit that city... I have clients ready in waiting... because I have formed relationships with those that value my work. I have grown with them, or they have grown with me... one or the other, or both I guess ;).... It is NOT because I'm the best photographer (Because I do not possess that horn to toot!)...  My work is something that I want to promote... yes, but also protect. Because it's valuable. Why have I transitioned to selling prints and not just passing around digital files like they're candy? Because the color calibration matters, the way I crop something matters, the time I spend working on my business, the time I spend with you, and FOR you behind the scenes, the care and diligence I spend crafting your images... because of the relationship I like having with my clients... is worth far more than the changes and manipulations that non-professional, corner-store printing options do to *ahem* ENHANCE *???* your photos... i.e. my art, that I value.  Can you see how without that connection and relationship... it could be hard to value my work? I do know that that does not allow for just anyone to pop in and value my work in the way that I pray my past, present and future clients will. And I have to accept that. Not everyone will agree with how I do things... and  in finding VALUE in my business lately - I've learned that THAT IS OKAY. There will be others out there, and how they do business is valued by a different niche of clients. I want to attract those that find value in and appreciate my work, value in my one-woman-show business, and value in the ME inside my brand.

First Name

Coming to Visit!!!

I have had a lot of interest, and I plan to contact those that have asked... BUT.... Surprise! VHP is coming to Phoenix! I will only be there for a few days so I've set aside March 23rd (It's a Sunday) for a day of Shoots, i will do a couple in the morning and a couple in the evening... so scheduling is pretty limited! Contact me for more information! Can't wait! Love and miss my Phoenix trips! 
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Guess What?!

My good friend Mindy told me they are expecting their second baby on August 18! I haven't gotten to spend much time with her as of late! So when we finally had a chance to get together yesterday, the day after her latest ultrasound... I set up a fun little spot to get Big Brother in on the action of announcing his new baby sister (fingers crossed!)  ;) or brother (I could totally see them ending up with all boys)!This little man doesn't know just how much his life is about to change! haha! We were looking for 1 picture, with a shock or a oh no, or a gasp face... and what we got - turned out perfect! I just LOVED the progression of his expressions in how these worked out!! Congratulations John, Mindy and Robby!!

Robby: Guess what?!

{B} Family Photos!

Ooooh my last FL shoot! A few previews for them! Isabella - Ooooh Isabella!! She is SUCH a little ham! I was wondering if she was going to cooperate well because that girl! haha She thinks its funny to ignore some people on purpose... luckily she thought I was pretty fun popping out from behind my camera so she did great! Natasha and Miguel are old friends and I LOVED capturing them yet again! <3 Miss these dear friends already! Image

Pinterest Inspired!

Finally a good preview of this amazing shoot! Thanks SO much to Sharla for helping with the additions to her shoot! I'm so happy with this shoot! 
All the little additions meshed so well together! We were hoping for "hodge podge" and nothing too matchy-matchy :) I just love how it turned out! 
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{A&Z} - A closer look!

Yay! A bit better of a preview for Aubrey and Zach! Loved this shoot so much! it fell together perfectly!  And if you know Zach... you'll love the detail additions Aubrey decided to through into the shoot! <3
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Little bit of Love!

2 Things: 1- A new look will be rolling out soon for VHP!  and 2 - I love Pinterest. lolI suppose its thanks to Pinterest that people are constantly "overthinking" photo shoots, and doing up styles and themes! I still often and mostly shoot the standard, but once in a while a client... usually a friend - will join with me in making sure we have lots of good, or a few of the perfect, props and setting pieces and we create something spectacular! Over the last couple of weeks I've had 2 shoots like this that just turned out so beautifully with just a few accents!

A&Z K Family

Maybe its the whole blanket theme that makes it work? I don't know.. its just perfect! - I will say these are probably two of my favorite shoots ever! And they just fell into place perfectly!

I need to learn to blog...

I think if this blog is going to actually go anywhere I need to remember to use it! haha! The website is a great resource to find for potential clients to find pricing.. But I want so much for potential clients, and current or regular clients to feel like they know me when we get to a session. The sessions that I have with people I am at least a little familiar with... go so much smoother. Everyone is more comfortable - which creates such a great tone in a photograph! <3 So - I'll be working at doing more on here! Would love any feedback you have to give! As always - thanks for your loyalty - your following - your love and your support!

Back in action!

Wow, I haven't officially been working my photography business for almost a year - but as I'm compiling some photos to show you what I've been up to in the mean time, I realized I certainly stayed busy enough for being "out."  I seemed to take shoots on ANYWAY - despite not promoting at all. I kiiinda have a little problem with saying no ;) Life is going going going as always! We've moved (yes again, this time locally), we're expecting baby number 2 in June! And we've both been working full time! I recently went back down to working only 3 days a week at my "real job"  - to save on daycare and gas costs! And am now I'm using that time to take care of our home and coming back to my business!

Being in this profession can be rough in a small town, There are a lot of photographers out there... But! It'll be just fine :) I take pride in doing my best to create something with an extra "umph" and a bit of "something different." And those looking for what I offer, will be happy with that!

I believe it was last summer that I posted any full preview sets... (A couple weddings, and some senior portraits) So the photos to follow are a bit of everything since that time.

Don't forget to check out what I offer and what to expect for investment in the "Prices" tab. And enjoy staying up to date with me on by liking Valisa Henderson Photography on Facebook!

Harris Fam! {Phoenix Family Photography}

AGH! More loyal clients :) A family close to my heart for sure! <3 Carrie quickly grew to become my "Arizona bestie" after meeting ;)! Brayden and her were hang out buddies for Brooke and me throughout our time in Phoenix, always up for crafting... having extra kids in the house, or help keeping each other OUT of the house! She helped a lot too when I had an extra toddler in tow :) (Quinny <3 )! Many days at the mall play place, the zoo... splash pad... never ending searches for new boba places... etc...  then add the many frustrations and scares through Carrie's pregnancy with Jamison... And being able to capture like 5 different maternity "shoots" ;) and his first moments of life.. *sigh* Lots of ties into these people for sure!  OH - and lets not forget that Brooke made a real impression on Brayden's life apparently! We've been gone for 11 months now - and Brayden has an imaginary Brookie that he plays with all the time from what I hear! :)Anyway - on with the show! I just love these pictures! Even though I'm a bit biased :) Enjoy!!

Twins! With London's Lens

I met London of London's Lens nearly a year ago through a photogs group on Facebook she came to a shoot of mine when I traveled back to Phoenix in September. This trip she asked if I'd like to come a long on a twins newborn shoot! Um Yes please! I love newborns, and have yet to get my camera on a set of multiples - Quite the timing for my trip right!? Enter Derek and Delaney :)  Sweet little twins! I think they were 1 week old at the time? And teeny Tiny!WELL, Babies slept okay on their own to start with, so we figured we'd get shots of them individually... We started with Delaney, then when we went to add Derek in - Derek didn't want to sleep or rest while having his pictures taken... and then neither of them wanted to sleep, and then Derek fell asleep slightly - and Delaney didn't want to sleep...  I didn't have all the time that I usually would for a shoot so I couldn't stick around until it happened because I headed off to another shoot... But Apparently they slept perfectly together to get those adorable cutsey twinsy set up shots after I left :) I told London and Ashley (the mamma) that it would happen that way :) And it sure did! Anyway - I got a few shots of the twins by themselves and took some of London shooting ;) A perk of having an additional photographer with you. Its always nice to have some shots of you in action - so my "previews" consist of a couple of each twin (but not squishily together of course) and a couple of London: one soothing and one shooting :) Enjoy!

I love this one of Derek *below* - "Don't you dare try to sneak this away from me!"

Mr. Crosley! {Phoenix Child Photographer}

The much anticipated Crosley! Tarah worked with my husband, and introduced us to the apartments we lived in our second year in Phoenix (Utilities included is the way to go in Phoenix let me tell you! AC on ALL the time!...)  so we lived in the same building for a while! I was bummed to find out that Tarah and Jared were expecting their first little one so close to us moving away!! But timing has lined up okay :) My first or second visit back to Phoenix after the move when she was pregnant was just in time for their gender reveal photos... :) We got a little time in for some pictures of him while I was there :) Its too bad that I dont know Crosley a little better... He was a fun little guy to spend a time with!! Miss you guys!Such a cutie :) Enjoy the few previews!

Don't forget to like Valisa Henderson Photography As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc… These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc – Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc