Sweet & Simple Session - Explained!

What is a Sweet & Simple Session? I am so glad you asked! In these sessions, I set out to capture a set of meaningful images of family. The beautiful connections between mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, siblings, spouses. At the end of the day, that connection is just sweet & simple - no fluff, fanfare, or crazy props. It is the love that we carry with us throughout each day, that keeps us going during the tough times and what we rejoice in during the happy times.

Whether you are choosing a Sweet & Simple Session to highlight your family, your children, or your journey into motherhood, the outcome is the same. You will have a series of beautiful, cohesive images to select from. These images can then be shared in a beautiful heirloom album, a keepsake box to highlight your favorite memories, or a stunning piece of statement wall art to highlight the awesome memories made during your session. Remember that with Seen & Hurd Photography, you only purchase the images that you want, you aren’t stuck picking 10 because that it what you pre-paid for. Our full service studio doesn’t end with an email link to a gallery. Each session experience ends will hand-delivered, custom art that will be cherished for years to come.

I had no idea what I was doing when I met with Sarah to order prints. She had amazing suggestions on what prints to do, and how to format them. After ordering them I was beyond thrilled with the results. The images were stunning and on a good quality paper but the metal prints and ornaments are complimented on every time we have a guest in our home. Worth every penny!
— Brittany (client)

Some details to consider. These sessions are usually a bit shorter than an average session, about 35-45 minutes, but if we need to shoot longer that is fine as well. Since we are trying to capture the connections and love in your family, the session is spent laughing, playing, and snuggling with those you hold dear. My client closet is also available during these sessions. This option can help to reduce stress about finding that perfect outfit or provide an opportunity to wear something unique and out of the ordinary. Usually clients will choose 1 gown or outfit but change the look with a variety of accessories.

It was so wonderful to have her bring us dresses and outfits so that we didn’t have to try and find/coordinate outfits. I felt like a queen wearing my gown, while my daughter felt like a princess.
— Megan (client)

A Sweet & Simple Session fee is $250 and includes a $50 keepsake credit to apply to your art/ print order. And remember if you book your session before the end of May 2019, you will receive a complimentary gift with your print order.

I am so excited to see what we create together! Click the button below to get started with your session!

Partner Spotlight: Miss Madison Photo Props

Hello friends!  As I mentioned in a previous post, I am excited to highlight some of the fabulous people I have met along this photography journey.  This week I am thrilled to introduce you to Sunny Wells of Miss Madison Photo Props.

I honestly can’t remember where I originally came across Miss Madison Photo Props other than it was on Facebook.  I was able to join her preferred photographers group and just stalked at the beginning. I loved her beautiful gowns and was in awe of the talented photographers who were sharing just stunning images of their maternity sessions using her gowns.  I knew I wanted to offer that experience to my clients. I do remember the first gown I ordered however! Sunny sometimes does fun games in her groups where the winner gets an additional percentage off their purchase. As many of you know, I am a competitor so I was determined to win!  My persistence paid off and I was able to snag a discount code which was awesome for a photographer who was just starting out and didn’t have a huge client base yet! I decided to use my code to purchase a gown for a fundraising opportunity I was planning. My husband’s cousin had recently invited us to be a part of the Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s event.  We had agreed to be photographers the day of the walk but I also wanted to raise awareness for the event, disease, and caregivers in honor of my grandmother who battled dementia at the end of her life. I was offering photo sessions where a portion of the session proceeds would be donated as long as anyone in the photos wore the color purple to honor those fighting the disease.  So I ordered my first Miss Madison gown - her Anna design in lilac so I could offer a beautiful purple option to my clients and honor my grandmother (Violet Weller) at the same time.

Anna gown in Lilac

Anna gown in Lilac

I was thrilled with the gown and the outcome.  My client asked at the session where it was from as she had a black tie event coming up and the gown was so comfortable and it made her feel so pretty.  Combined with the high quality and wonderful customer service, that was enough for me to continue ordering from Sunny.

Sunny Wells grew up with 9 siblings and learned to sew from her mother, much like her mother had done before her (I love a good generational connection!).  Her father purchased her mother a Bernina sewing machine after opening up his own dental practice and her mother began teaching her sew at just 5 years old.  She found it boring and often left the sewing room to bake or climb trees with her brothers. Her mother eventually suggested that Sunny design her own dress for her 8th grade graduation and after that experience she was hooked on designing and sewing her own creations - even the bridesmaids gowns for her own wedding.  Life happened and she didn’t get back into sewing for 20 years until her own husband presented her with her own Bernina sewing machine. Then one day her oldest daughter called and asked her to make a gown for an upcoming maternity client she would be photographing soon. The idea of Miss Madison was born when her daughter asked her for 5 more gowns a week later.  Now 5 years after that phone call she has sourced her own textile companies to find the perfect laces, threads, and fabric. Her main fabric doesn’t wrinkle, it retains its shape even when it’s stretched to capacity. It has amazing recovery! You can wash AND dry it! Stickers and burrs don’t cling to it... it resists stains, but most of all, it hugs a woman's curves like magic!  She says it hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows but that she loves what she does and is looking forward to the next 30 years!

I have been able to add several other gowns from Miss Madison to my studio closet since that first Anna gown purchase.  I consistently go back to her shop for several reasons. One is the amazing customer service she and her employees provide.  When you order a Miss Madison gown they provide an estimated timeline for your purchase to arrive. I love getting updates from them when my order is assigned to a seamstress, and then when it is finished and ready to be shipped.  I also get tracking information with every order. I love that I am able to know these details. It makes it much more personal and easier to connect with the women who are helping me to make beautiful images and memories for my clients.

Piper Gown in Moss Green

Piper Gown in Moss Green

Another reason I continue to order from Sunny is the quality of her gowns and the attention to detail she provides.  I fell in love with her Piper gown (yes, partly because it is the name of my daughter!) and ordered one in moss green.  Once I had it on a client, I was even more enamored with it. I feel asleep one evening thinking about a couple of ideas I had for my next gown.  I messaged Sunny and was able to express my ideas about using a mesh fabric on my next gown. She responded just as excited as I was and created a gown that far exceeded my expectations.  Not only did she replace the lace in her original design with mesh, she custom dyed the chiffon to be a match to the new color that was created when the two fabrics were layered over one another.  I was blown away by her attention to detail that she demonstrated when creating this gown. (Be sure to follow me on Instagram @seenandhurdphotography to see images of the gown!)

Her designs and colors are also varied and meet the needs of so many of my clients.  One way this is evident is in her line of girls gowns. The versatility that this option adds to my sessions is so appreciated.  I have had several young girls wear my Charlie gown and they love how it makes them feel like a princess. The colors she offers are also beautiful - deep, rich, and luxurious.  But her women’s gowns are just amazing. I have her Everly design in Denim Blue. I love this gown and the mix of fabrics it offers. I think the sleeves are my favorite. I also recently acquired one of her newer designs - the Scarlett gown.  I selected her Mauve color for this purchase. I was also able to customize my purchase by adjusting the length of the sleeves. One of my favorite aspects of this gown is the full skirt - it adds so much drama to images and yet the gown is still comfortable to wear.  As I have already mentioned, Sunny makes customizing her gowns so easy. I ordered her Mia gown and it was so quick and easy to add sleeves to my order. The options are endless! Each gown that arrives from Miss Madison is just as well made and gorgeous as the last. And a little bonus is how good the box smells when you open it!  She adds a little extra touch when she finishes your order and I love how good her gowns smell and look fresh out of the box!

From left to right: Charlie in Berry, Everly in Denim Blue, Scarlett in Mauve, Mia in Charcoal

From left to right: Charlie in Berry, Everly in Denim Blue, Scarlett in Mauve, Mia in Charcoal

I am so excited to see what new designs she has in the works and am so looking forward to continuing building my client closet with Miss Madison.  If you are in the market for a gown for a special occasion, look her up! I cannot recommend her enough. And I love that I am also supporting a strong #bossbabe to boot!

If these gowns shared here strike your fancy and you would like to add them to your session with Seen & Hurd Photography, add them to your preferences when you book your session with me.

Partner Spotlight: Picture Perfect Bowtique

As I grow and expand my photography network, I have had the pleasure of meeting some pretty fabulous people. I thought I would take some time and introduce you to a few of them over the next couple of weeks.

First up is Picture Perfect Bowtique. I came across her shop in a few Facebook groups I belong to. I began collecting gowns as a part of my client experience a little over year ago. For the most part, the designers and shops I work with are women-owned and operated. Picture Perfect Bowtique is no different! Katie Conway is the owner and designer behind the magic of this little wonder. She is also a photographer and operates out of Ohio. Katie is an entrepreneur who is also a stay at home mom of two boys and two girls. She started this journey by just making things here and there for her children and props for her photography clients. She continues to design and hand make all of her gowns herself, a true #bossbabe! I love supporting small businesses like hers where I know my dollars are helping a hard working woman! She specializes in maternity gowns, although her gowns are so comfortable that several non-maternity clients have chosen to wear her gowns as well.

I placed my first order with Katie when I was looking for a gown that was for a very special rainbow maternity session. Rainbow sessions are for mamas who have experienced a miscarriage or infant loss so I wanted to be sure that my client felt beautiful and special. After much deliberation and who knows how many messages back and forth, I ordered her Kelly gown in red. This is where Katie really shines, she is patient and provides excellent recommendations and really helped me make sure the gown I selected was what I wanted. She also recently added a beautiful rainbow skirt to her shop for rainbow sessions. It is definitely something I have on my client closet wish list.

Kelly in red

Kelly in red

I love the final result of this gown. The red was perfect! And according to my client, it was comfortable and easy to put on. Always a bonus!

During my first order I also was also able to create a custom gown in velvet. Katie had some gorgeous raspberry velvet that she sent a picture of as we were talking about the red gown I was ordering. I loved it! And she was so easy to work with when I asked about customizing a gown. She was able to mix and match a top from one to the bottom of another. The Lucia gown was created - I even got to pick the name! I chose “Lucia” because my sister did a report on Saint Lucia once and I remembered that she is often remembered as the bearer of light in the darkness of winter; which I thought was appropriate for a winter-inspired gown. I was so excited for both of my made-to-order gowns to arrive! She communicated with me during the whole process, sent me pictures of my completed gowns before she shipped them and also let me know that her area had just experienced a major ice storm! She made sure her hubby dropped them off at the post office once the roads were safe. Once I had it on my client, I knew I had to have another one. I ordered a second velvet Lucia in a beautiful blue color. Every client has commented how warm and comfortable these are. Which is great to have in Colorado during those beautiful winter sessions!

Lucia in raspberry velvet

Lucia in raspberry velvet

Lucia in blue velvet

Lucia in blue velvet

I am so excited to see what this partnership produces in the future. We are already talking about some custom reversible skirts that I can use for my maternity and senior sessions. If you are in the market for a gown for a special occasion, look her up! I cannot recommend her enough. And I love that I am also supporting a strong #bossbabe to boot!

If these gowns struck your fancy and you would like to add them to your selection for a session with Seen & Hurd Photography, add them to your preferences when you book a session with me.

Comment with any questions!

Why Maternity?

I have been thinking about this question a lot over the last several weeks and continue to find more questions then answers honestly.

I truly didn’t understand pregnancy until I was in that phase of my life. When my twin sister was pregnant, I was completely creeped out by it. I don’t know if it was because it was kinda like watching myself be pregnant, because you know - identical twins. It was weird. But my poor sister had to endure me calling my nephew a parasite for most of her pregnancy. I watched several friends and colleagues experience that part of their lives as well and just didn’t get it. I loved babies but the belly was just plain ol’ strange to me.

Then fast forward to my husband and I making the decision to start a family. We thought this was going to be easy as pie… how wrong we were. After a couple months of trying we got a positive result on a pregnancy test and were over the moon. However within a couple of days, our hopes were dashed. I had a miscarriage and it was devastating. And scary. And worrisome. I decided to become much more proactive because I had just felt so helpless the month before. We sought out a fertility acupuncturist and started treatments. Things still didn't progress quickly and it was 8 months before we got another positive result. We found out in Vegas no less! But it was such a process to conceive. And thankfully I had an easy pregnancy but the whole time I was just on this roller coaster of emotions. Was she ok, was I going to be a good mom, what would she look like, was I still pretty, I was a mess!!! Towards the end of my pregnancy I was fortunate to connect with an amazing photographer and had my own maternity session. That experience was amazing, I got to wear pretty dresses, talk about my daughter arriving, feel pampered. It was great. And started something that I wanted to duplicate for other moms.

Image by Aubrey Lynn Photography

Image by Aubrey Lynn Photography

Other events have also impacted my why. In this country of ours, with all of our progress and technology, infant mortality is still not zero. Pregnancy is still a vey dangerous time of life. This year alone I have experience the unexpected death of a colleague who experienced complications in her pregnancy. I am also familiar with others who have not been able to come home with a beautiful miracle but instead have had to plan a funeral.

A baby is a miracle and moms are miracle creators. I want to honor and celebrate motherhood and all of the joys and trials that come with it. That has translated to creating my own vision and experience for my clients. I have invested in gowns, accessories, and props to make mama’s feel beautiful, adored, stunning, and important. I partner with several hair and make-up artists to allow for some pampering and quiet time in the crazy and busy world we live in. And I strive to create images that when you look back on them, you will remember what it was like to be just you and baby - those swirls, hiccups, and private conversations that no one else will get to experience. I want your pregnancy to be truly and deeply seen and honored.