A Woodland Animals Themed Birthday Party

A Woodland Animals Themed Birthday Party

I’ll admit, when it comes to fall birthdays, using a woodland theme for a party is pretty easy. Stores have forest colored party supplies in abundance for Thanksgiving. And if you don’t want to buy decor, you can easily make it from your backyard. Sticks, pinecones, and leaves are everywhere. With my trusty friend, Pinterest, and some of my own DIY creativity, I was able to throw a rustic, woodland animals themed party on a dime. It was pretty fun! Now I kind of wish I could just use this theme every year.

These little owl cupcakes were delicious and easy to make.

My favorite part of the setup was naming all of the food items woodland themed things.

That cheese ball is so adorable!

The spread!

I made this number 1 cake topper from twigs, thin gauge wire, and hot glue.

A fox tail for baby is the perfect addition.

Cake and presents are great, but man, parties can be exhausting.

Have fun planning your very own woodland themed party!

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Surviving a Photo Session With a Toddler

Surviving a Photo Session With a Toddler

Anyone who’s ever had a toddler knows that they are a pretty opinionated demographic. These little people rule their kingdoms with authoritarian precision. We are but serfs in their quest for independence and knowledge. Understanding how toddlers behave and react to situations can be a lifesaver when taking their portraits. Bribery only goes so far, but does have its merits. 😉 I’m looking at you, promised ice cream cone. Here are my humble and sometimes successful tips (I’m really selling this, right?) as a mom and photographer of toddlers.

Schedule around naps and meals.

I know what hangry looks like in my house. Hunger + Angry = Hangry for those of you wondering what I’m talking about. Hangry looks like a little girl who’s melting down over multiple things per minute, and an impatient and grumpy mama who’s having a hard time coping with said meltdowns. Don’t schedule a photo shoot for a time when you know your child will be in dire need of food or sleep. It won’t be good for anyone.

Make it Fun!

Blarghhh getting your photos taken can be such a bore, am I right? Nope! Not with a toddler. They can either be fun or they can be terrible. Obviously, we aim for the first option. Try to frame the photo session as an exciting adventure that’s going to happen. Sometimes in an effort to get their children to behave, parents begin a photo session with angry threats. This sets a tone for the session that is negative. Try to find something to occupy kids with. Let them run around for a minute to get some energy out, or let them jump up and down or give them a piggy back ride. Every session is different, as is every family. Finding a way to get children excited creates an atmosphere that lends itself for more natural and honest photos.

Know When the Session is Over

With kids, it’s usually pretty easy to tell when they’re over something. Meltdowns ensue. Once you’ve reached this point, it’s pretty hard to make a come back. Quickly move through the five stages of grief and accept that the time for photos has come to an end.

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A Scenic Mother’s Day Session // Great Shiplock Park, Richmond, Virginia

A Scenic Mother’s Day Session // Great Shiplock Park, Richmond, Virginia

I had the opportunity to take Gideon’s newborn photos last summer. He was the tiniest babe I’d ever taken photos of, and he was so so precious. You can see my blog post on that session here. So, when his dad, Chuck, booked a Mother’s Day session as a gift for his wife, Rachel, I was pretty excited to see this sweet family again. The session was at Great Shiplock Park in downtown Richmond, a location that never disappoints. It provides a variety of backdrops, from train trestles and city landscape to scenic river and shady, draping trees. From the moment I turned the camera on, Gideon was all smiles. He’s a charmer! I couldn’t resist taking a few photos with both mom and dad. These are a few of my favorites of this lovely family.

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Refreshing Our Branding: Exciting Times for Turtle & Hare Photography // Virginia Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Refreshing Our Branding: Exciting Times for Turtle & Hare Photography // Virginia Wedding & Portrait Photographer

I was probably way too excited yesterday when I ripped open the beat up bubble packaging holding our brand new business cards, but I had been waiting way longer than expected for these little pains in my rear to arrive. In keeping with the disappointment of their delayed shipping, I half expected them to be bent, scratched, or the wrong color. Thankfully, none of those things were accurate.

The cards looked pretty much exactly how I expected them to. Simple, clean, and iridescent.

I had no complaints, and I still don’t. The title of this post might be misleading. We are by no means rebranding ourselves. Much of what comprises Turtle & Hare’s look and feel is sticking around for the forseeable future. We are just cleaning house a bit. Refreshing ourselves in preparation for all things wonderful. What does that mean exactly? All things wonderful include sunny days, rainy days, wedding days, portrait days, lazy days, and bake-a-bunch-of-sweets days. That pretty much covers everything.

We’re proud and pumped for these changes. In addition to the new business cards, we’ve updated some of our other graphics for seamless cohesion, we’re adding new print materials to give to each of our wedding couples, some pretty new advertising materials, brand new sample albums (I’ll be going into detail about these GORGEOUS heirlooms in my next blog post) for clients to peruse and find inspiration in, and some overall subtle changes to our website. Whew, that’s alot!

We’re so thrilled with what Turtle & Hare is about, what it’s become, and where it’s going. Thanks for all future things wonderful!

To see more of our work, please visit our website.

The Loneliness of Motherhood // Turtle & Hare Photography // Virginia Wedding & Portrait Photography & Videography

The Loneliness of Motherhood // Turtle & Hare Photography // Virginia Wedding & Portrait Photography & Videography

I’ve talked about being authentic on here before; how my goal as a photographer and person is to be open, honest, and loving with those around me. So, today I’m talking about the isolation life can bring. Maybe you’re not a mom, but you work or study from home. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home-mom and you quite literally feel like that is all you do- stay.at.home. Wherever you’re at, the isolation and loneliness is real. #thestruggleisreal

I have to say, it’s not all bad. Working in sweats sans makeup or brushed hair is what I do best. I have mastered the “natural” look. On days I know we aren’t going anywhere, I shamelessly dress my child in clothing that makes her look like a clashy living, breathing patchwork quilt. Today is actually one of those days. We are not exactly “instagram ready,” but we are fine. She’s taking a much needed nap while I’m writing this post and getting some other work out of the way. Even though it’s freezing, it’s sunny outside and we have enjoyed some pleasant play time together.

And then there are other days when I’m struggling to even get my teeth brushed and my angelic darling is thrashing on the floor in a rage over a broken crayon that won’t fix itself. There’s no Help Desk to call up and fix the obvious Trojan Virus that’s overrun my child’s harddrive. Days are hard; nights are hard. Cold weather leads to many days stuck inside. Home is our lifeline that we are frequently tethered to. It can be easy to forget that other people are also experiencing their own kind of isolation. We’re all tethered to our own homes and routines, making it difficult to connect with one another.

Here’s the truth though. I am not alone. You are not alone. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but we are all in this together. So, call a friend that you think needs some encouragement, text someone you miss. And try to find the humor when your angelic darling is throwing a fit over a broken crayon.

to view our work, please visit our website at turtleharephotography.com.

Cora // Richmond, Virginia Newborn Session // Turtle & Hare Photography

Cora // Richmond, Virginia Newborn Session // Turtle & Hare Photography

One hundred percent sweetness, that’s what this little one is made of. Cora looked so peaceful as the light gently streaked in her older sister’s bedroom. Her big sister was ready with open arms to hold and snuggle her. These two are going to have so many wonderful adventures together! And I couldn’t get over their adorable coordinating shirts!

See more photos from this newborn session on our website here.

A Golden, Lakeside Family Session // Midlothian, VA // Turtle & Hare Photography

A Golden, Lakeside Family Session // Midlothian, VA // Turtle & Hare Photography

Todd and Erin are good friends of ours. Their youngest son is the same age as our daughter, which provides tons of entertaining visits and conversations! They also have a charming, smart older son, who is great to be around. Taking photos of this family is always fun since they have so much fun together. I don’t have to work very hard to get smiles and laughter from them. I enjoyed seeing the bond between these brothers during this session at Sunday Park in Midlothian.

To see more from this session, view the gallery here!