Yellow Ribbon Baby is Going Live!!

I introduced my idea for a personal project providing free and discounted photography to deployed dads who are missing out on the birth of their children back in October (Yellow Ribbon Baby). This is something that is very close to my heart after serving in the US Marines for 8 years, deploying to Iraq, and witnessing many homecomings, including first meetings between Dads and their babies.

logo-on-white-circleI will be launching my Kickstarter campaign in about one week to start raising funds to complete this project. I would greatly appreciate any support that you can give me whether it be $1 or $1000 let’s help these Dads get the pictures of the precious moments that they are missing in order to serve us and our country. Even if all you can do right now is share the link with your friends please sign up for the updates and share this project with everyone you know! http://signup.emilyjphoto.com

If you’d like to share on your own page grab this code for the badge and paste it on your own site:

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Halfway There!

I had my 20 week ultrasound today. 20 more weeks to go till we get to meet in person!

This has got to be the creepiest ultrasound picture I have ever received! I’ve gotten lots of skeleton faced baby pictures, but never one with such a clear eye in it! I love how they labeled it “Face”, as if it might be mistaken for something else.

 

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And of course the one thing we really wanted to know was if daddy was going to get the boy he was really hoping for…

 

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Looks like the boys are in the lead…for now. Best quote of the day from my husband “I’m so happy we made a boy…Now I want another baby girl.” Come on babe can I at least finish cooking this one before you start dreaming about the next one?

Wood boxes, prints, and blocks oh my!

I’m super excited about some new products that I will be offering. Thank you to WPPI 2014 I was able to visit hundreds of vendors and see thousands of products. there were a few products and companies that I just fell in love with, and can’t wait to start offering.

First up is the wood picture box from White House Custom Color. I am already a huge fan of WHCC for their prints and albums, and was blown away by how much I loved this new product.  These boxes can hold up to 300 4×6 or 5×7 photographs. With a custom photo printed lid it is a beautiful display item you can keep right in your living room for easy photo sharing. I will now be including these boxes with a few selected prints as part of the fee for every session I offer.

Sliding lid with custom photo printing. Image from WHCC.

Sliding lid with custom photo printing. Image from WHCC.

4x6 or 5x7 sizes, can hold up to 300 unmounted prints or 30 mounted. Image from  WHCC.

4×6 or 5×7 sizes, can hold up to 300 unmounted prints or 30 mounted. Image from WHCC.

I then discovered a new company called Photo Barn. They specialize in printing on wood and Burlap. I will be adding wood prints, wood photoboards and wood blocks to my products list thanks to them. The wood prints are 1/8″ thick and meant to be displayed on a desk or framed.

5x7 Wood Photo Print form Photo Barn

5×7 Wood Photo Print form Photo Barn

The photoboards are 3/4″ thick and have keyholes drilled in the back for easy wall display.

5x7 Wood Photo Block from Photo Barn

5×7 Wood Photo Block from Photo Barn

The blocks are my absolute favorite! These sweet 2″ blocks can be printed with a custom image on two sides so you can spell out a name on one side and photos on the other or just have a collection of photos on each side. They also have fun 9 block or 16 block puzzes where they print one photo over the surface of the blocks and you can assemble them together.

2" photo blocks from Photo Barn

2″ photo blocks from Photo Barn

Which new product is your favorite? Any other great products you think I should check out?

I Choose Joy

In August of last year I posted a blog entitled 3 little words. It was the post that started this blog. It is amazing how much personal growth I have achieved in that time. When I wrote that post I had just listened to Jeff Jochum speak on Creative Live about Specialism.  What he said touched something deep in my soul, but I didn’t know at the time just how much it was going to change my life. Shortly after that I joined his Facebook group and was continuously amazed by the support, engagement, and most of all the hard questions that everyone asked of themselves and others.

I have been lost for a long time. I have had no real identity that I could own and offer to others. I didn’t have any real connections with friends or even my own family. I wasn’t enjoying my role as wife and mother, but it was the only identity I had. I’m not sure exactly where I lost my way. In fact I can’t even say for sure that I wasn’t always lost. I’ve always been a bit of a chameleon. Worrying more about what others wanted from me than what I wanted from myself. I thought that making others happy would make me happy. It didn’t work.

When I heard Jeff speak about specialism and the power of defining your YOUniqueness it was like a ray of light shining it’s way into the dark pit that I had dug myself into. It was hope that there was a better way to do things. A message that I could be happy. A belief that I could help others and still help myself. When I wrote that first post I was still focused on what I could do for others. Over the past few months I think I have really learned to focus on what I can do for myself.

At the beginning of March I attended WPPI 2014. I had the opportunity to listen to Jeff Speak in person as well as speak briefly with him and a few of his coaches and mentors. I was struck by just how happy they all were. This was genuine happiness, not fake smiles and social acting. They genuinely loved and enjoyed each other. They are all so different and yet they are a cohesive group of friends because they each have learned how to embrace who they are and love others for their genuine selves. This is what I want in my life. This is what I want in my business. This was the kick in the pants I needed to really do the work of digging into myself. I’m afraid that I won’t like what I find. I’m afraid that I won’t live up to what I want to find, but I know that whatever the outcome at the end of this road I can be one of that happy group of people. I too can Work Happily Ever After!

My business is me, I am not my business.

And this is why my 3 words have changed and why I have chosen to rebrand. The three words I chose in August of 2013 were chosen from the perspective of what I thought others wanted me to be. I was putting on a show. I think now I am closer to embracing who I am and who I want me to be. I am simple, I am maternal, and I am joyful. I don’t know what the road holds in the future for me. I don’t know if I will choose to refine those words or throw them away entirely as I continue to discover myself. What I do know is that today I choose JOY. I choose to rejoice in me. I choose to embrace my imperfections, celebrate my strengths, and love myself completely.

I am excitedly looking forward to the day when I can start my coaching with team-X and dive even deeper into who I am, what I believe, and how I am going to change the world around me!

Show me the bump!

I’ve decided to start doing a monthly baby bump photo contest on Facebook. These contests will be based on due date. First up is Mommy’s Due in April, May, or June. Next month’s contest will be due dates in May, June, and July, so every mom should have three chances to enter. If you would like to enter the contest please send a picture of your belly bump to emily@emilyj.photography. I will create the album on Friday March 21st and sharing, commenting, and liking will run through Friday March 28th. Winner will be determined by the total number of likes, comments, and shares on your photo.

1st prize is a free posed newborn session including 10 watermarked digital images for FB sharing, and a 20% discount on a birth session and all product orders. 2nd and 3rd prizes are a free Fresh 48 session including 5 watermarked digital images for FB sharing, and a 15% discount on birth photography and all product orders. These discounts CAN be stacked with my already offered 10% military, firefighter, Police, and teacher discount and my 25% Yellow Ribbon Baby discount (for babies who are born while daddy is deployed).

Contest is for mom’s within the greater Las Vegas, NV and Boulder City, NV areas only. Please share this post with anyone who may be interested. The more participants there are the more fun it will be!

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Something Bigger

Every now and then you get an opportunity in life to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself. When you step into these situations you find that you are truly blessed and uplifted. You are made more than you have been before. This is what being a part of the Pinkpeas community has done for me.

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Taken from their website “Pinkpeas Pregnancy and Parenting Care Center is a family-centered, community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit pregnancy and parenting care group located in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are a group of midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, lactation educators, and other facilitators who provide complete pregnancy, birth, and parenting care to families who are “healthy and low risk.” Our website is our place to introduce ourselves to our future clients, and to participate in the global conversation about reproduction and parenting. Thank you for visiting!”

A place for parents to come with their little ones and receive love and support.

A place for parents to come with their little ones and receive love and support.

Pinkpeas is far more than just a place for midwives to find clients. Pinkpeas is about community. It is about support. It is about guiding and educating the next generation of mothers. It is about loving the next generation of children. From childbirth classes to playgroups, and midwifery to mini-movers classes this community of women loves and supports one another in the most difficult job in the world, parenthood.

A place for little ones to learn about love, community, and caring for each other.

A place for little ones to learn about love, community, and caring for each other.

People, Pinkpeas needs our help. Pinkpeas has been run for years by the generous donations of its founders. In 60 days it is time for them to renew their lease. It is time for us to pull together as a community and give back to these volunteers who have given so much to our community. Even if you have never benefitted from Pinkpeas directly the blessings they bring to our community and the example they set for other communities to do the same is a cause worth supporting!

A place for happiness and fun!

A place for happiness and fun!

On February 11th from 10am-2pm There will be a Valentines themed mashup, which means anyone who is interested is welcome to come socialize. I will be set up to take spring themed pictures. Cost to you is simply a donation to Pinkpeas of your choice at time of shooting. You will get 1-2 digital files of each person/group I take a picture of. Prints can be ordered (great Easter gift for the grandparents!) with 100% of all profits for this event going to Pinkpeas. Please help me do my part in making sure that this wonderful resource is available long into the future.

Sample set-up, different backgrounds will be available.

Sample set-up, different backgrounds will be available.

If you can’t make it and are still interested in supporting this wonderful resource please consider making a donation at their website.

Yellow Ribbon Baby

I have had the desire to begin my first personal project running through my mind for months now. I’m not sure what has held me back, probably fear. I have decided to take the plunge and officially launch my personal project entitled “Yellow Ribbon Baby”.

A few weeks after graduating boot camp

A few weeks after graduating boot camp

I served in the US Marine Corps for 8 years. I was in boot camp during the Sep 11 bombings in 2001. My first duty assignment was with the band in 29 Palms, CA. Every time a unit departed from or arrived home to the base we were there to play for them. One of the first homecomings we did there was a sweet mother there with her baby twins who were only a few months old. I watched her as the Marines got off the bus. I couldn’t help but cry was when I watched that daddy wrap his  arms around all three of them as tears ran down his face. I can not even begin to imagine the emotions he felt at that moment. During my time in the service I witnessed several more such reunions as well as the just as heartrending goodbyes.

First selfie of me and my boy after I came home from deployment

First selfie of me and my boy after I came home from deployment

I was sent on one deployment to Iraq during my time in the military. I had to leave behind my 3 year old son. That was hard, really hard. I missed him dreadfully while I was gone. Imagining just how much more a father feels when he misses his child’s birth nearly causes my heart to break.

These experiences are what has driven the direction for my personal project. Yellow Ribbon Baby will be a book of photographs documenting the challenges of mothers who are experiencing pregnancy and childbirth while dad is deployed. The photographs taken during the making of this project will be shared with the fathers via digital delivery as soon as possible after they are taken. I plan to start out photographing fresh 48 lifestyle sessions and posed newborn session. As the project progresses I would like to add in birth photography, homecomings and first meetings between daddy and baby. I believe that these hero dads should be given every available opportunity to support, and connect with their wives and children while they are deployed. I believe that having photography documenting the experience can be healing for a mother who does not have the father of her baby at her side as she struggles to bring that precious being into the world. I believe that those mothers are every bit the hero that the dads are and deserve to tell their stories so they can be celebrated for their bravery.

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If you want to join me in this project please share your email address at http://signup.somniophoto.com. Everyone who signs up will receive updates about the progress of the project. Also every person who signs up will receive a free digital preview of my book before it is published. If I have 1000+ sign-ups then I will give a free digital download of the entire book to each person on the list before it is published.

Also if you want to take a more active part in this project I would welcome donations. Each photo session costs me between roughly $200-500 in travel, babysitting, time, and other expenses. Unfortunately I am not in a financial position to do this on my own. If you are willing to be a financial supporter of this project please click here.

Will you support me? What personal projects are you wanting to tackle and why?

A Boy and His Dog

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Chassi.

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Chassi was adopted by my younger brother a few years ago. When he went away to collge she couldn’t come with him. She’s been living with my parents, but the last time we went to visit we decided she needed to come home with us.

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The kids are totally in love. She is such a sweet dog and incredibly patient with the kids. Jack is especially enamored with her. I hope he gets to keep her for a good long time. There’s nothing quite like the love between a boy and his dog!

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