McPherson In-Home Newborn Session

 
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-15.jpg

There's always something wonderful when your client welcomes you into their home and let's you be apart of their crazy. Jenny is a mama now to four beautiful children...the youngest was only 8-days old when she opened her door up to me. Her three oldest were obsessed with their new little brother and it was so adorable to watch.

This newest member to the family was, however, less than thrilled to have me bugging him with a camera and cried the majority of the time.

Both the parents just giggled and as they shrugged their shoulders looked at each other lovingly and said "well, it's memories".

Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-2.jpg
 
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-48.jpg
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-9.jpg
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-10.jpg
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-19.jpg
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-32.jpg
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-5.jpg
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-40.jpg
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-17.jpg
Jenny_Inhomebaby_session-37.jpg

A Snowy Dunes Afternoon

 

Every photographer has some dream locations that they'd love to shoot at. For me, one of them is the Alvord Desert in Eastern, Oregon. I was going to be only 3-hours away during the Christmas break and took it as my chance.

This was also the most perfect time to work with some local businesses I'd been swooning over. I reached out to GreyJays, Rust+Thistle and Bully For You and they all were all so sweet and enthusiastic.

I had everything set up ready to go, and at 10:45 pm the night before my couple backed out. I tried everything...I reached out to every Idaho based photographer I knew, Facebook and Instagram. I was sort of pathetic but desperate.

Somewhere along the lines I got connected to a couple and we moved the shoot to later down the week. We weren't able to all go out to Alvord but we drove 2 hours out of town to the Bruneau Dunes State Park. The dunes were covered in snow and though it was cold and no where near the warm desert, about 5-minutes into the session I realized I had the most amazing couple. A couple who will be celebrating their 11-year anniversary this month, but were so stinking adorable you wouldn't think they had an adorable family with kids celebrating 11-years of marriage.

Last year I went to a workshop and something one of the leaders said was "the location never should matter..." and it was out on this shoot that that really sunk in for me.  It was the best way to end 2017.

Here's just a few of my favorites from our time on the snowy dunes.

Rust+Thistle_edited-2.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-4.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-8.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-16.jpg
GreyJays_edited-21.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-19.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-20.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-27.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-34.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-41.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-47.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-52.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-65.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-69.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-70.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-76.jpg
Botkin_dec272017_edited-77.jpg

Happy anniversary Botkins and thank you GreyJays, Rust+Thistle and Bully For You for being such amazing creatives to collaborate with.

-H

Jewelry: GreyJays (Boise, ID)
Florals: Rust+Thistle (Boise, ID)
Rug: Bully For You (Colfax, WA)
Edited: Heather Woolery Presets

 

hello 2018!

 
Dec 23 2017_heather-1.jpg

Well, in less then 24-hours, the clock will stroke midnight and instead of a magical spell being broken, we will be in the New Year. 2018.

As I say good-bye to 2017, I'm pondering the year (as I am sure we all do.) I start to remember the good, the bad, and the in-between. I can see change and reflect on what I'd like to do more of and change in the upcoming 12-months.

Being reminded of time fleeting has a way of doing this to us.

Last December, I graduated from college and thought I had everything planned out...the "big man upstairs" of course decided to completely derail every idea and hope I had. Where 2016 brought several beloved actors/singers/icons their last breath, 2017 brought me challenges at every corner.

But I also challenged myself, challenged myself to to live more for what I wanted versus what society expected of me. This is a much harder challenge then one might think. Especially being a woman and a mother.

Never the less, I picked up my camera more, I illustrated more, I laughed more, I ate more, I carved out more time for my kids, and in turn I found myself amidst all the struggles and hardships that 2017 had to offer. 

So, as the ball drops and I ring in 2018, I ring in my new list of challenges, I ring in a new website + business, I also ring in some of the familiar and same...still single-moming it while the hubs works out of state, still in the same place I was last New Years...but I'm where I need to be and thats something I'm learning to be okay with.

So Happy New Year Everyone!
Happy 2018.

And with that...

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.

On old long syne my Jo,
On old long syne,
That thou canst never once reflect,
On old long syne.

With Grace+Guts,

-H


•2018•

• Travel More (like a lot more)
• Laugh More
• Take Dance Lessons (with the hubs, shhhh!)
• Summit a Mountain
• Continue to Try New Coffee Shops
• Make More Friendships
• Work on My Book
• Be More Gentle/Yet Still A Force
• Shop More Markets, Local, Sensible
• Make Chocolate Soufflè
• Continue German/Italian Lessons
• More Reading/Less Screens

(If you've got a list, I'd love to see your lists, share in the comments)

 

Season of Reflection

"Chase the light whatever and wherever it may be for you; chase it"
-  Tyler Knott Gregson

 

IMG_6568.JPG

I’ve heard people call the early winter before the New Year rings in “the season of reflection” … I normally just call it my season of denial as I try to push Chaco's, light cardigans and my straw fedora’s. However, there is always a first for everything. This year I’ve witnessed my first solar eclipse, tried plain sour cream alone (so gross), and I guess we can consider this my first “season of reflection” …a season of reflection that has lasted 11-months.

When my husband moved out of state for his dream job, I’ve already expressed on here the bag of mixed emotions that came with the first 8-weeks of the adjustment. Being a military wife, and survived a deployment, I wasn’t a stranger to my husband’s absence. I was a stranger though to the feeling of isolation.

I grew up as an only child. I played 80% of the time by myself in the backyard pretending I was Jungle Jane scot naked with a stick in my hand and weeping willow branches braided around my head. But 5-feet away was the most adoring parents I could have ever dreamed of. I always had friends that on a rainy day I could call. I was a part of 4-H, homeschool groups, church groups, and we explored nooks and crannies of our town and the world all the time. I never felt alone. I never felt stuck.

All through High School I was surrounded by a solid group of friends, though they weren’t the best sort, I once again never faced the feeling of completely alone. Through a horrible abusive relationship and then divorce, through moving away from my home town, and college I never truly felt alone. There was always someone who would pick up the phone and listen. Always someone who would be up for coffee, going for a drive, coming over, going out. Yet there is always a first for everything.

In the last 11-months friends have moved or faded, jobs have come to a close, babysitters have moved away, pets have moved on and the town I’ve resided in for almost 7-years found a way to start closing me out. I found myself without a church again and spending too many showers letting the tears go. Our most amazing neighbors either moved or passed away and then new neighbors moved in who have caused horrible anxiety. And then finally finding out people I’d been confiding in had been talking behind my back. All to come crashing to this exact point.

The exact point of isolation.

It is a terrifying feeling.

Finding myself isolated and caught in the hum drum of the motions of the days of the weeks of the months left me feeling desperate. But when your truly alone, being desperate does you no good, it only leads you to darker places. I started questioning my faith, my relationships with everyone, including my husband, and the worst of it all…myself. I was slipping. I found myself grasping in desperation onto bloggers and social media that I was enamored with only to find that pretending I was living a life like theirs wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight I have been carting around like a darn bag of rocks.

It wasn’t though, till I went to a 5-day workshop where I was surrounded by 12+ amazing women did I fully grasp how alone I truly had been. You can be surrounded by a million people and yet at the end of the day be alone, I am surrounded by people I know every day and I smile and say hello to…but not one of them know any of this about me, how I’ve been doing. Because when you’ve spent 11-months slowly loosing people, it’s hard to find trust and honesty again.

I’ve spent 11-months cursing this and that, sobbing in hot showers and running on too much coffee and way too little of sleep. I’ve spent 11-months lying to everyone that everything is okay. When at the end of the day and another thing hit the fan, I’d be holding the phone without a single person I could think of to call. And it’s in that moment, the most hallow of moments that you find the bottom. Where your hands can run through the cold damp earth and there’s no air in between. Every credit card, every phone call, every excuse is used up. And I laid there in the soil for a while, because falling is exhausting.

But one morning I got an email from a magazine that stated they wanted to share my photography, then another evening another magazine contacted me. Then I got contacted by a handful of other people inquiring about my work. My daughter started telling me that I would always be her best friend and my son started coming and checking on me every night at least a dozen times…each time telling me “mama I love you.” So I sat up. I sat up because that was all I could muster. But I sat up and I emailed those people back, I gave my daughter a hug and I told my son I loved him too.

I drank a strong cup of coffee and just stood outside one morning before the light came up. It was so cold I was shivering like I was having convulsions. But I stood there, enamored by the stars. I rekindled my love for orchestra and music. I started listening to less news, less Facebook. More work. Not 9-5 work. But WORK. The kind that puts the chisel in your hand and your standing in front of that block of marble and you know there’s something marvelous inside kind of work.

I kept emailing people back, I keep inching my way upwards. I keep hugging my daughter and listening to her. I keep telling my son I love him. I keep also getting shoved back down with two grandma’s who have cancer, and other life scares. But I’m not afraid of the bottom anymore. I’ve been fighting it for so long that once I got there, and just laid there for a moment. I explored that little corner of my world, and seriously debated about staying there. But the thing about me that’s probably the most honest thing…I do not hold still well at all.

Hence the website being limited currently, my lack of blog posts, and some changes to my social media (oh baby there is more to come!) I’m not holding still.

I may still be drinking too much coffee, not getting the greatest sleep and still feeling pretty solo, but there’s something about losing so much that makes your fire burn just that much hotter (as my mama always says…if you poke someone’s fire too much they’ll out shine you) and life has just taken that metal prod to me a bit too much the last 11-months.

And I know this post at the point is now rambling…but I’m a rambler and a chatty Cathy and if you’ve read this far you get 50-points to your Hogwarts house of choice…but also have probably caught onto this “rambling issue” I’ve got.

To anyone who’s felt isolation, know that you are the bravest souls on God’s green earth. For you have known the worst sort of feeling and have persevered. To those who are still here, I don’t know when it will end, but find something and hang onto that. I don’t know when I’ll be back up off the ground, but I do know that this world is currently facing some of the worst horrors and I may not end cancer or hunger, but I will not be put back 6-feet in the ground having done nothing but be depressed and hurt.

So. Next week will be my last post until the New Year, when the new website drops and if you follow me on social media you’ll see a lot of stuff changing. And if it’s not your jam, I won’t be hurt if you unfollow me. Because in this season of reflection, it took my face down in the dirt fully pulled away from everyone to finally catch on that what I do matters. 100K followers or not.

And what you do matters. Who you are matters.
Even if you’re up to your neck at the bottom. Who you are and what you do matters.

With Grace+Guts,

-H
 

 

holiday's with ThredUP

 
ThredUPNovember-16.jpg

Thanksgiving is now behind us *wait what?* and Christmas is in full-swing. 
I remember as a little girl there was two time's a year I got to go dress shopping...I mean like DRESS shopping (you know what kind of dresses I'm talking about!) 

Easter, and Christmas.

My eight-year old is the same way...though she prefers skirts over dresses. However, now being a parent I realize why I only got the fancy dresses with glitter or the full pleated skirt and bedazzles twice a year. Those beautiful little things do not come without a spendy penny.

Recently, I found out that ThredUP has kids clothes as well and I was super stoked! For the price of one dress I was able to buy my daughters Christmas outfit plus a bunch of other cute pieces that she can wear throughout her week.
I found brands like Zara, Gap, Gymboree and Hannah Anderson (just to name a few of our favorites!)

Of course, ThredUP has crazy deals for us ma'ma's too and I was able to find some fun and festive holiday pieces as well, without breaking the bank. Now I feel prepared for the upcoming Christmas season, events, parties and I found it all on one website.

This winter season I've really been into layering knits and textures. I purchased a couple staple pieces and then have been pulling things out from last winters closet to make a more snugglier version. And let's face it, once it gets cold all you want is your favorite hoodie and leggings. Just sometimes this isn't the best attire to sport to work. By layering knits and fun textures, I feel snuggly and comfy while still looking put together and polished. I guess we can call this a Win/Win.

So to start your Cyber Monday off on the right foot, use the code GRACEANDGUTS and the first 50 first-time orders get's 50% off their whole order!!!

Grab your holiday attire, maybe even find that fashion forward sister-in-law of yours the most perfect gift!  Here's all that I scored at ThredUP recently.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

D0C5CAA3-8AE9-4F9D-B424-15EAB7864DC8.jpg
8DE84697-AED9-4161-8E29-6C0C8FBF615E.jpg
C7F140FB-8951-4C69-A5EF-EB5BFE381E88.jpg
 

week 46, 47: coming to an end

 
nov10.11.2017-4.jpg

It's been just a little over 47-weeks since I crossed the stage, moved my tassel from one side to the other and the state of Idaho declared I had graduated in a bachelors of Fine Art and Creative Writing. Roughly 329 days since I graduated and I started this 365-day challenge, something I've achieved and failed at both intrinsically. On December 9th it'll officially be 365 and the calendar will just keep on rolling, as a symbol to keep moving forward.

I never got to go to Iceland and well I never got to pick up a cello.
But this year has been such a year of growth.
So much has changed, and yet I am still me, just a stronger (still 100% unsure of what I'm doing) but never the less "This is Me" kind of me.

In a couple weeks I'll be releasing my list "Did's and Didn't's", and "What the heck is next" along with the project I've mentioned a couple times that I've been working on.

Right now I'm feeling super unstable and full throttle humble.
Thank you to everyone who's stuck around, to give love, support and late night midnight rants. And even thank you to those who didn't stick around, who left me behind, you've shown me so much and strengthened me in this crazy life of trying to leave the world a better place and finding happiness.

Keep Moving Forward Bebes.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

hello november

 
october extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and november arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and face.
— j.k. rowling, harry potter and the order of the phoenix
November 2017 Moode Board.jpg

yesterday was autumn, yet frost bit fading jack-o-lanterns adorn each doorway reminding us this morning that november is in fact hear and winter is on the cusp and right around the corner.

being a sun driven individual, the return of winter is always a hard one to accept and is reluctantly accepted. however, there isn't anything that my tantrum will affect other then my mood so i am determined this winter to at least try my best to at least find warmth, comfort and joy in the darker, colder season on winter.

this includes cozy knits in neutral colors and various sizes, snuggly oversized scarfs with fun and playful patterns, stocking up on "man i want to read" books and magazines, sending more letters, spending more time in the slow and finding peace and joy in the quiet and still.

earlier this year i really purged my closet (and home) in hopes of living a more minimalistic life (but not being a devout minimalist, being a mama has caused complications in being 100% minimalist.) the beauty in this is it's allowing me room to start collecting more quality items slowly that i can build and play with throughout the colder months. i've started scouring some of my favorite sites such as ModCloth and thredUP as well as stocking up on "pin that on the fridge" worthy cards from Artifact Uprising to encourage myself to write more and e-mail/text less.

it was at the end of last winter when i was introduced to the concept of "hygge", that highlights the exact concept of what i'm striving for this winter. it encourages slowing down, getting cozy, and taking pleasure in people and the simple things in life. so this will be the theme for the next couple of months, and i've collected and put together a few of my favorite things i've found to help with the snuggle and to cozy.

summer lovers hang in there, and winter lovers be gentle to us.
and novemeber, welcome.

with grace+guts,
-H

 

Halloween (last minute)

 

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Oh Shoot! Did you forget? Or thought you were gonna just curl up with Pj's and watch Hocus Pocus versus going out? Now it's the 31st and you don't have a costume? I've compiled some of my favorites I've come across on Google and Pinterest. And to help along I've added a ghoulish playlist (kid friendly but NO Kids Bop....your welcome) to get you into the Hallow's spirit.

Already have your costume? Tell me what you are going as! I'd love to hear (or even see!!!)

Happy Halloween Everyone! Stay safe and eat all the candy <3

With Grace + Guts,
-Heather

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.38.57 AM.png

Robber

Cut a mask out of felt and TaDa!

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.39.40 AM.png

Starbucks

Yes, White after Labor Day is okay!

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.41.26 AM.png

Pineapple

Green card stock and get fruity!

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.41.52 AM.png

Waldo

I promise you won't blend in with this costume!

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.42.32 AM.png

Medusa

Glue dollar store snakes to bobby pins and make random braids.

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 10.43.34 AM.png

Wednesday Adams

Go buy some black lipstick and layer your LBD with a white button up and your good to go!

 

Puppy love/ couple session with Kellyn and Nathan

 
K+N_October2017-1.jpg

I love it when my clients message me about a shoot where their personality just fills the message, the room, the space.
This is exactly what happened when Kellyn first messaged me, it went along the lines of "I'm looking for couple photos with my boyfriend of X-years and our three dogs"...need I say more I was so in from the first second.

Once we finally met up for the shoot, I was so jazzed, and their three furr babies were so adorable I'll admit there were times it was hard to focus because, I mean, common, LOOK AT THEM!

I absolutely loved this shoot, it was one of those where as a photographer your looking at the shots and your crying inside with happiness screaming "this is SOOOO good!" having the hardest time trying to choose which ones!

Thank you Kellyn and Nathan (and your three adorable fur babies)! I hope you all have a blast with the upcoming snow! It was a blast working with you!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

K+N_October2017-5.jpg
 
K+N_October2017-10.jpg
K+N_October2017-11.jpg
K+N_October2017-21.jpg
K+N_October2017-20.jpg
K+N_October2017-48.jpg
K+N_October2017-43.jpg
K+N_October2017-29.jpg
K+N_October2017-54.jpg
K+N_October2017-70.jpg
K+N_October2017-59.jpg
K+N_October2017-31.jpg

365/week forty-six

 
048627A5-81F3-434B-B74F-D2CC203D07B2.jpg
B97AAAC3-C24E-4970-8C61-DB384E7BCDC0.jpg
 

 

Last night I stayed up past midnight to work on a crossword puzzle. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I did this. I also organized and booked three photoshoots that I'm so jazzed about I wish I could tell you about all the goodness about to happen. Yesterday I felt accomplished in the simple, not over the top, but still really proud of myself sort of way.

This week has been a little bit different, with my daughter's 8th birthday on Tuesday, and then my kids out of school since Wednesday, my whole work schedule has gone a little off kilter, and it also has given me a whole heap of time to be at home and update my Facebook for my photography business, continue to recenter and ground myself in all that I will be doing in pursit of my lady power dreams, and not to mention...oodles of time hanging with my babies (which I mean, one of those "babies" turned 8 this week so I guess I should start saying "kids" now instead?!?)

Each day is a small victory. Each day is a confirmation that though life is hard, it is an absolute blessing. It has taken me till this week to FINALLY get into the autumn/Halloween spirit (never too late I guess?) but I've been pouting about the fact that summer is over, that I was dwelling too much in memories of sun kissed cheeks, and little sun dresses that I was failing to see the joy in my son's face as he ran through the leaves, or that comforting smell of neighbors fireplaces and morning fog. Recently, I was brought onto the Masterpiece series (on Amazon Prime) The Collection. I binged all 8-episodes in a week, but besides loving the history and drama, I was really captured by the viewpoint through a character's camera. I've been looking to get back into film for a while, but this show sort of nudged me. I looked into all of my vintage film cameras, finding I could re-spool my own film and start using them. 

As a creative I find inspiration, narrative and possibility in a lot of things that others, like my loving adorable hubby, don't see. I think it's the fact my right side of the brain overtook the left side too lol. But as the year is coming to an end, I'm starting to think of new endeavors and projects.  I've got my eye on a couple shows, and some new challenges for myself, because if I'm being honest with myself, I will never stop giving myself projects...which as we get close to 2018 I'll start sharing with you <3

But for now I'm going to go back into the studio and finish working on the last touches to my families Halloween costumes...anyone want to guess what our family theme is this year?

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

Ben + Dara: A Portland Backyard Wedding

 

Back in September, Oregon's beautiful Gorge broke into the horrible thousand's of acres burning Eagle Creek Fire. This fire broke out simply one week before Ben + Dara were scheduled to get married, just a hop, skip and a jump from where the fire was burning.

Two day's before the wedding I got an SOS e-mail from the bride and groom telling me of a last minute decision to move locations. From a however many acre farm full of llamas and chickens and mountainous views, to a friends Portland backyard. 

As a photographer, it's my job to make sure the bride and groom have a beautiful day, and photos to capture all the memories...no matter what the backdrop is, no matter what last minute changes need to happen.

I showed up on the wedding day, and was instantly blown away from all the love, community and magic that had occurred in this little Portland backyard. This became the theme of the evening. I was constantly reminded and shown by all their closest friends, neighbors and family members how wonderful and pure of souls both Ben and Dara are. How much love everyone shows them because of how much love they show everyone else.

I couldn't have been more humbled to share this amazing day with Ben + Dara and I could only with them the best, all the whiskey and mountain tops possible.

Congratulations again Ben + Dara!

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 
dbwedding_edit-9.jpg
dbwedding_edit-18.jpg
dbwedding_edit-180.jpg
dbwedding_edit-55.jpg
dbwedding_edit-31.jpg
dbwedding_edit-234.jpg
dbwedding_edit-232.jpg
dbwedding_edit-248.jpg
dbwedding_edit-91.jpg
dbwedding_edit-96.jpg
dbwedding_edit-195.jpg
dbwedding_edit-348.jpg
dbwedding_edit-125.jpg
dbwedding_edit-371.jpg
dbwedding_edit-133.jpg
dbwedding_edit-149.jpg
dbwedding_edit-246.jpg
dbwedding_edit-266.jpg
dbwedding_edit-268.jpg
dbwedding_edit-267.jpg
dbwedding_edit-403.jpg
dbwedding_edit-397.jpg
dbwedding_edit-405.jpg
dbwedding_edit-336.jpg
dbwedding_edit-381.jpg
dbwedding_edit-438.jpg
dbwedding_edit-451.jpg
dbwedding_edit-474.jpg
dbwedding_edit-466.jpg

365/ week forty-four: here's to beating my drum

 
HugPoint_PDX_092017-21.jpg

Here's a PSA to all of my followers, friends, haters, judgers, supporters, family and every other person in between:

+ Never grow up! I mean it, society wants you to believe that conforming and holding back is being well behaved and it'll pay off in the end. Honesty...it won't. It will only fill you with regret.

+ Stand up for yourself! If you don't who will? Instead what will happen is you get run over and taken advantage of and it's like rape of the soul and you are too amazing to let that happen.

+ Just do it! Jump darling! The cliff is "safe" but eventually it will crumble, so just jump, pray and believe in yourself.

+ Status isn't life! Be honest with yourself, even if you loose people, and your not the cool kid anymore. Status is so artificial, it holds not strength or value. Its hard as hell, but when you realize that status, a million followers, friends in "high" places, and fame in what ever form is nothing but a vapor in the wind when it comes to judgment day, you'll feel stronger then ever before.

+ Follow your heart! You know what I'm talking about here. The thing that weighs on your chest at night when your trying to sleep. When you feel so empty and your day dreaming about something totally different. Your so scared, how will you pay your bills, feed yourself (Even take care of other lives in your life?) Tell me this though, how will you live with yourself if you never follow your heart but instead follow another's dream working 9-5 slaving for nothing?

If I had a megaphone I'd be on my roof yelling this on top of my lungs. If I could give you a hug and tell you its all going to work out I would. But take the day, seize it, sleep like a baby for the first time in months (or years!) knowing your fulfilling yourself and doing what you were put on Gods good green earth to do.

I'm week forty-four into this, creeping closer and closer to a year of graduation and man there has been peeks and valley's.

I've lost so much, so many in my life. But the most painful lost was fully realizing this week that I hadn't just lost my best friend, family, art shows, writing competitions but I had in fact lost myself in the plastic facade of the world.

And I'm about to change that all.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

OH...and here's a playlist I put together this morning for all of ya'll! Now lets go get some @$$, scream with joy from our gut, and run into the unknown smiling!

 

365/ week forty-three

 
8A24EAAA-98C3-4AE6-B07F-BD8DCE32F08D.jpg

No matter which way you spun it, this past week was a heavy week.
Another mass shooting, the largest in recent history. Tom Petty left us only with his music to remember him by. Politics around the globe, America, Germany, Spain...etc...all seem to be in turmoil over huge issues at hand. And all of this is piled on top of us and our already stress filled lives.

Peace. Happiness. Joy.

Things you may be more familiar with being on a Christmas card then actually being things that you have in your consistent life, but are so drastically craved by each and every one of us.

I found this week to be a blur. I was where I needed to be when I said I'd be there, got my kids to and from their activities, cleaned the house, ordered a multi-regional DVD player (that I just hooked up and am ready to go!), and drank copious amounts of coffee. I even made a trip down to a favorite paper store and got supplies for this new creative adventure I'm on which all I'll say right now is it includes loads of illustrations.

But back to my point, I went down to Boise, Idaho this weekend with the intention of some major mom and me time as well as a couple photoshoots.  Last minute both shoots canceled and I was left with frustration and the feeling of failing again. I mean what am I doing wrong that nothing seems to be working lately?

But two canceled shoots gave me instead two full days with my mom, someone whom I've always looked up to and have always been gracious for her insight and opinions. And I got two full days of it. I can't tell you the last time I've gotten two full days with my mom with no husband or child to contend with. It was glorious, wonderful, special, we ate more in two days then we normally would in a week and we talked. Well, I talked, and she listened. She listened for the majority of the two-days we were hanging out at the book store, and at the coffee shops, and at Anthropology, and at the pet supply store, and at Target (you get my point) she listened. She only gave me a nod here, or asked a small question there, all to accumulate to some hard core advice.

This was only yesterday, and the two-day's of mom time is why this post comes late, so I'm not fully sure how to short hand and capsulate my mom's advice, but it was enough to be like "Fine Heather! You want those things? Then be assertive, go get them and for heavens sakes only be authentically you otherwise your failing yourself."

I have been failing myself all to make everyone else around me happy.
The heaviness of the week only came harder because all while trying to digest the heaviness of the current events, I have also been trying to digest a diet of how to dress, what to eat, what to say, who to smile too, a diet that wasn't made for me.

I don't know how to end this because, like I said earlier, this all just happened this weekend, but I'm taking this and running with it.

No more lean green salads for Heather, she's going for the baby back ribs.

Stay true to yourselves this week all! And be the good in your corner of the world, goodness knows we could use a little more of that now-a-days.

With Grace+Guts,

-H

 

365/ week forty-two

 
858FC2F1-58DB-46C7-9C7B-46C1B6BA50C7.jpg

Last weeks post was a bit heavy, I'll admit. And when I started this challenge I didn't expect it to get so emotional. I expected it to be difficult, but not challenging in every other which way.

This week I tried to keep it more mellow. I hooked up an old DVD player to the fancy new TV so that I could reprogram it and start watching German DVD's to practice, however, I've lost the remote to this OLD DVD player along the years and now can't reprogram it. So I guess it's off to Amazon to buy a multi-regional DVD player. Anyone have suggestion on which one to buy?

We FINALLY got our new dinning table, so the kids and I have been cherishing dinners together again (versus them on the tiny patio table and me on the couch for the last three weeks.)

I also came to a conclusion. If all you ever do is work to pay off debt, your life will be miserable.  No matter what.  Even if you pay off all you bills, you will still be miserable. So, with this in mind I made a mini list of all the places I want to travel in 2018, then a game plan of how many extra hours I have to work to save for all of those trips. This week at work was better simply because of that. I'm not saying you all have to put in an extra five-hours every week and go on vacation, but if all you ever do is work work work and pay bills and never live your life the way you want to be living it...then what is the point of living?

If you want to take cooking classes, go take cooking classes, if you want to go travel Europe, well start planning! It is as simple as that.  Because, I haven't booked any flights yet or hotels or Air BnB's but I'm putting pen to paper, making a game plan and by doing this, working has become a little less miserable and a little more purposeful.

But I'm gonna leave here today, the week was quiet, I'm still in my pajama's and I've got a coffee date with some ladies so I need to hustle.

Go live your lives loves!

With Grace+Guts,

-H

 

365/ week forty + forty-one: in all honesty

 
AC3D3700-78CB-4872-B808-A5493A0025A0.jpg

Life is hard.
Being honest about one's imperfect life is harder.
Honesty in general is something we learn that is valuable and vital as a child, yet, when we're taught the importance of honesty, no one shows compassion or understanding on the difficulty of honesty. Its just something we're supposed to do.
Well, for me, honesty, even being honest with myself, is something I've had to work on my whole life.

This isn't because I'm a liar, and I want to avoid getting in trouble for breaking my mom's flower vase, or my daughter whipping open the car door too fast and dinging the car parked next to us. It is because I simply do not want to be thought of as a failure.

Mothers, women, people in general are put on such high pedestals, when we don't reach the expectations we feel, it's hard to admit it. It feels like defeat. It feels like failure. "I shouldn't have broken that vase, I should have been a better daughter and listen to my mom when she said no baseball in the house" "I should have raised my daughter better to know not to whip open her door when we're parked in a tight parking garage"

... i've failed.

Backup forty one weeks ago I graduated from college, and I made this list of 27 things to keep me from falling into to society realm all in hopes of continuing finding myself, all while being a better mother, wife and daughter.

The pedestal.

I've checked off 13 of those 27 things.
14 things remain.
And in the theme of honesty, I don't believe I'll be getting all of those things checked off.

Failure.
Defeat,

Then last week, I was sick with a triple consecutive combo of food poisoning, sinus infection then cold. I spent the majority of the week working from home. I spent a lot of time, in the hot steamy shower to relive some of the miserableness and in turn spent a lot of time thinking.
Contemplating.
Wishing.
Hopeing.
Dwelling.

I knew only a few things to be more true then anything else:

- when I returned from Germany last year, I had never felt more like myself in my own skin then I had in a long time. Germany was home. Like home home. There was no denying that.

- when I picked up a camera, or a pen, everything else in the world melted away.

- being a young mom is hard as hell, but that the only things I wanted my children to learn was to love + live. Nothing more.

- I will always be in debt.

- My family needs to be under the same roof again. The hubs and I working in separate states is crumbling our relationship.

- I cannot sit still. I cannot keep my opinions to myself. 

and finally...

- I hate heels with an undying passion.

-------
I couldn't write last week.
I didn't even try.
I didn't even open up Squarespace. I didn't even feel that guilty about it. Because writing week forty would be admitting defeat. It would be admitting I wasn't traveling to Iceland or had even attempted Polish. It would be admitting that my relationship with my husband was crumbling because of us living in other states. It would be admitting that I was working harder then ever before, but not achieving what I wanted to achieve. But worst of all it would be admitting that I've never felt more unlike myself then I do at this exact moment.

This list of 27 things was to help me accomplish things I'd desired for so long and never had the time because of school. And instead it became a mockery of how far away from myself I had gone. It became the green light across the water in the Great Gatsby. It made me bitter.

-----------

So here I am, forcing myself to write week forty-one.
Forcing the honesty out of me.
As I stated at the beginning, being honest with oneself is not an easy task. Its something thats expected, and its something thats reviving and good. Nevertheless, does it make being honest any easier.

------------

The funny thing is this:

In three months my term with this list will come to an end.
In three months I will be trying to move to be with my husband again.
In three months I will be having to buy my plane tickets for Europe to visit family again.

I have three months. Three.
12-weeks to change everything around.

---------------

In these last forty-one weeks I've only asked you guys' for opinions, for likes and shares. Asking for help, for love, for words of compassion, is something that makes me uneasy. But here I go: 

* I am booking photoshoots from October 2017 - 2018
   - While in Germany + Norway I'll be looking to book           shoots there as well, so if you know of anyone, let me know. You can contact me at:
           heatherwoolerycontact@gmail.com

• I have posted prints for sale in my shop, along with                   illustrations, and the option to order commission pieces.
SHOP HERE

• And finally I've put up a GoFund me page that I will not share
   on Facebook as I hate asking for money or help. But its there
   for those who don't wish to book photoshoots or buy
   something.

That's it.
Me in all honesty.
If you've made it this far with me, all I can say is thank you. Thank you for the love, or at least thank you for hearing me out. Next week I'll give you an update at my attempt on hooking up the DVD player so I can practice my German, and we'll laugh together about how much I despise all this super cold weather. But until then, remember, even if you can't be honest with anyone else, be honest with yourself. You owe it to yourself.

With Grace+Guts,
-H

 

taylor / haunting autumn maternity shoot

 
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-48.jpg
 
 

When there's a request for a maternity shoot and the words 'Halloween', 'Nightmare Before Christmas', and 'autumn' are used in a single sentence...I was having a hard time breathing.
If you know me, you'll know that these were magical words, and all things that I L O V E!!!

We met up in Lewiston, ID which is a valley...which means its a bowl...which means all the smoke from Oregon, Idaho and Montana have somehow all congregated there.  And where there are times I wish the smoke would just clear out as I miss fresh air like coffee in the morning after just waking up...the smoke translated in to hazy fog, washed out my golden light completely and we rolled with the punches. And what came out was some gypsy autumn photos that are so hauntingly gorgous I keep swooning over them!  

It is always the biggest complement when your clients immediately turn one of your photos as their profile photos and email you how much they love them. This session was defiantly up my alley and all I can say is THANK YOU Taylor for being one bomb BEAUTIFUL mama, being willing to hop on rocks, walk in the grasses, hide behind things, and even strip down into fabric I brought along!  And of course congratulations to you and your hubby!  You are such beautiful people, this baby boy is one lucky little guy!

Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-10.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-2.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-3.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-19.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-17.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-21.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-26.jpg
 
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-41.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-43.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-44.jpg
 
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-46.jpg
 
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-50.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-62.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-64.jpg
Taylor_Maternity_Sep17-65.jpg
 
 

you can see more family sessions below. i'm currently booking for 2017 holiday sessions now.

alyse / on top of CDA mini session

 
Alise_09032017-15.jpg
 
 

So being in the creative community circle, things and events and people start to over lap, and someone you know from somewhere knows someone else that you know from somewhere else or knows someone you'd just click with...it's sort of magical...sort of creepy lol.

This is what happened with Alyse, a friend of mine knew her and when I was asking if anyone wanted to meet up and do a mini session in Coeur d' Lane we got connected over instagram and once we met up it was non stop talking.  From odd things our husbands do, to surviving being an art student in college, we talked the whole way up Mineral Ridge.  Alyse is also a BOMB designer and typographer so if your in the market for some logo work she's your girl.

We made it to the top for the last of the glowy and hazy light which made the perfect light set up for this shoot. I'm so in love with each of these photos its sort of pathetic, but I ain't got shame!

Thank you lady for hiking in the pitch dark with me and meeting up with me for these!  

Alise_09032017-2.jpg
Alise_09032017-12.jpg
Alise_09032017-16.jpg
Alise_09032017-21.jpg
Alise_09032017-26.jpg
Alise_09032017-30.jpg
 
Alise_09032017-22.jpg
Alise_09032017-20.jpg
Alise_09032017-36.jpg
 
Alise_09032017-32.jpg
 

if your interested in Alyse's work, you can check her out on facebook + her website

365/ week 39

 

It's been a short week, and I've got zero complaints. At least a short week in the office.  The thing about being a creative is that I'm working on and off throughout any day.  So the long labor day weekend had me still doing a couple photoshoots, but I was blessed to have the whole family tribe and we went up to North Idaho to hike and play.  It was overly long over due for sure! This summer has been off, and we haven't had time as a family like we usually do.  So getting some camping time in made all of us happy little clams.

LaborDayWkn_17-13.jpg

Between this little getaway, and a couple hard ma'ma lesson's this week, I've really been contemplating the hustle of our day to day and how we teach our kids to move move move like their in army camp.  Hurry up and wait kids, that's just life.

I don't know, it just doesn't sit well with me.

I know deadlines need to be met...my clients wouldn't be thrilled with me otherwise.  But there's got to be a balance of embracing the chaos, of learning to roll with the punches.  To teach my kids the joy of life, not the drudgery of work.

This is just ramble's of thoughts of a ma'ma trying to figure out this motherhood thing.

When I was in school, the kids saw me doing projects, and studying hard for tests, and now with both of them in school...they both treat it like their in college.  And in a way I'm like "YAASSSS! They will be hard working students" but then I also feel bad.  Because let's be honest, no five-year old needs to treat Kindergarten like a Junior in college.

On that note, I'm in Portland to shoot an amazing wedding despite the horrible Eagle Creek Fire and I'm ready to keep finding the balance between creative, working, and being a mama.  

Any other parents out there have this struggle? Or mastered it? I'd love to hear what works for your little mini-humans!


With Grace and Guts,

-H

 

ray / hazy hike mini session

 
Rauy_09022017-1.jpg
 
 

Lately my drive to keep taking photos and work in the creative space has been on fire, I can't stop, won't stop!  When I found out we were headed to the mountains for labor day I put out a call for a couple mini-session slots and Ray was one of the people who responded.  

It was a brief hike, and I had him climbing moss covered hills, hanging out in the grass and brush and fallen trees, hand in pocket, out of pocket, smile, don't smile...let's be honest, when it's a mini session the hustle is on because even though its not a full shoot I still want my client/model to feel AMAZING!

Through the thick haze and smoke from all the wild fires, we hiked Mineral Point outside of Sandpoint, ID and met at "golden hour" which I mean as "golden" as one can get with all the smoke, lol.  Ray was a trooper, easy to work with and seriously ladies...if you want his digits...just leave a comment below and I'll help a lady out ;)

Rauy_09022017-5.jpg
Rauy_09022017-18.jpg
Rauy_09022017-20.jpg
Rauy_09022017-23.jpg
Rauy_09022017-26.jpg
Rauy_09022017-31.jpg
Rauy_09022017-22.jpg