How I Combined Family And Business On Vacation - Katie Michelle Photography

How I Combined Family And Business On Vacation

Part I

Where to begin, well I am elated that this is my first ever blog post. (yay!) Why am I excited? Well it's the first one and I am sharing Part I of my adventure in Ohio. It's been a while since I shared images of Jared, Shawna, and the kids so I am very excited to talk about how I combined work with family time. 

I'll start by saying this, the last time I took photos of them was at least 4 years ago, Chloe is now a teenager and Gavin is a competitive nine year old that could totally whoop my butt in any sport (especially basketball), and they have two new additions to the family! I was looking forward to this trip for months after it was planned. So after much to much time holding on to these photos I am ready to share them. 

I'll start off by saying we visited in February so its been a little over a month since the sessions and my time with them, and although it was gloomy I loved every minute of being with everyone....Okay okay, every minuet except when my parents kept waking me up. A girl's gotta sleep ya know! Anyways, we even got lucky enough for 60 degree weather for a few hours... living Wisconsin and getting that kind of temperature spike in February was amazeballs. No seriously. 

The Milk Bath Session

The first full day spent there was a Friday. Chloe and Gavin were in school so this gave me time to spend with my sister-in-law, Shawna, my second older brother Jared, my parents, and sweet little Ivy. This particular day was very rainy, it literally dumped buckets of water all day long. So what better way to utilize this time than to do some indoor sessions? This brings me to Shawna's Milk Bath Maternity Session. 

Knowing that Kamryn would be the last baby they would have, this session felt even more meaningful. I felt like this was a special way to show one door closing and the opening of another with baby Kamryn 3 weeks away from joining us. I messaged Shawna weeks in advance to see if she was interested in doing this type of session (as it was MY first Milk Bath session) and she was totally game for it. I was pumped. And it turned out so was she! Shawna bought an elegant lavender lace maternity gown, floral head pieces and wild flowers to place throughout the tub. Thanks Hobby Lobby! 

We kicked off the day by stopping at their local grocery store to get the milk bath ingredients, it's really just one bag of powdered milk, who knew? With baby Ivy in tow, myself, Shawna, and my mom we picked up powdered milk and then snacks for after. Even though Ivy was a little shy, it was really nice to see what a wonderful commuter she is. She's SUCH a good baby in the car and out and about. Seeing her just go with the flow was sooo cute. After that we got down to business and I did Shawna's hair and make-up. Which I really enjoy doing as I am a big make-up lover myself! So we spent about an hour getting ready, getting the bath warm, and I got my camera and lighting equipment set up. 

We originally planned on doing some outdoor shots with Shawna and Ivy, but due to the rain we remained indoors and I found a small little corner of a hallway, yes a hallway, and got to shooting. (I will share another post with some behind the scenes shots in the future) Ivy LOVED the lights going off every time I snapped a picture, every click and flash combo she giggled. How awesome is that? She definitely wasn't scared about everyone going on around her so that made is so easy to photograph her.

After doing those hallway shots, we got right down to it. First, the tub was absolutely perfect for this session, it was HUGE. The water was warm enough to keep Shawna comfortable but not too hot that her make-up melted, and we also didn't need much of the powdered milk at all to create the white cloudy look. I was actually surprised by this, I want to say we only used about a cup? So we placed fake flowers around the tub, and I stood on either side of the surface and placed one light of to the left side to bounce my flash off the large mirror to reflect a softer light on to Shawna of the opposite white wall. 

Tips From KT: Opt for REAL flowers for milk bath sessions; fake flowers are too heavy and sink

I'd like to say that overall, I spent about 2-2.5 hours for the entire session, not too bad for my first try... I think?  But really it was just nice to spend time with Shawna and Ivy. it reminded me how much I miss seeing Jared, Shawna and the kids at family events.

It felt like I got to know them all over again, or well, be reminded of how awesome they are and how lucky I am to have them apart of my family at all. Hanging out with them showed me how important it is to keep in touch with the ones you love and make time to actually see them in person. You know we can all "like, comment, and share" with distant family, but the most important times are the ones where you get to actually hug them with wide open arms, laugh at things happening in the moment, and go on little adventures together.

The laughter you see with Shawna and Ivy is real, those baby giggles made US giggle, doing the hair and make-up brought Shawna and I together, and setting up the milk bath brought myself, my mom and Shawna closer. Together we all created something beautiful, tried something new, and had some quality girl time. These are all moments I will never forget and all because I wanted to set up some photoshoots. I learned that combining my work and family together can be so special at times, not only was I able to give back to people I love but I was able to practice my craft without having to feel dumb, or weird, or like I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Which by the way, I have definitely felt like I don't know what the hell I'm doing plenty of times in the past. Haha..Alas we are all human though so it only seems natural that one would feel such a way when attempting something new.

If there is one piece of advice for anyone who has a craft or skill, something they love to do, whether its photography like me, knitting, sports, crafting, anything really... Find a way to share that with your family. - Bonus points if you find a way to incorporate your work with your family too.

IF you've made it this far, WOW, and omg thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoy the photos from Part I of my Ohio Series and stay tuned for Part II! This one will be about my nephew Gavin, can't wait to share!



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