Heather Woolery is a wedding and elopement photographer for the adventurous and whimsical at heart. She is based out of North Idaho but is available nationally and world wild.
If you've been following me for the last year or so, you'll know I've mentioned my soon-to-be move to Portland, OR as this is where my husbabe has been working since last January. I've quit my pt-time jobs, pulled my kids out of activities, even packed half of the house in boxes TWICE then to back pedal and re-set everything.
To keep a long drawn on story short and sweet, for the last 7-years I've been in a custody battle for my daughter whom I had with my ex-husband. Keeping my daughter out of his care is pivital for her saftey, and so to ensure her case is handled appropriatly and to avoid to emotional tolling yo-yo of "yes we're moving" "no, we're not", "yes we are", we have recently decided to keep our roots based here in North Idaho for the time being (however, So Cal and Portland, OR are still on our "we will live there" lists) so Idaho isn't a forever deal.
That being said, for the first while I was super upset, because I thought I was finally getting to do something on my terms, as our lives have revolved around this case for 7-years. However, something that came to my attention this last week...it has never been on my terms...or the custody's terms. It's been on God's terms and I, someone who deeply struggles with the need to control and lacks patience, is just going to have to get over it.
So, this Wednesday, my husband and I decided we're going to have the additude of "We're starting new, this is the start of a new chapter as something is deffinatly making a point that we stay in Idaho" versus "Poor us, boo hoo us, we can't move, we're the victums".
SOOOO...that being said to all my clients: If you've already booked with me for Oregon this year...or anywhere...do not fret...our sessions are still on and I'm so jazzed that I get to come photograph you in one of my most belovid states. Annnd, if you hadn't booked with me because you knew I was moving...well...please message me! I just released my full travel schedule and I'm so thrilled to be capturing all these Idaho love stories but also travel all over the PNW and California (and hey take me anywhere you want cause this girl has always got the travel bug!)
I want to extend my deepest graditude for all of the love and support I've gotten over the last almost 18-months as my family went through this very tough season. And thank you to everyone who despite it all has shown me love and grace, and has been so so supportive. I love you all! You allow me to follow my passion and my dream and for that I can never say thank you enough!
So thats that. Idaho, we're here to stay for the time. So keep showing me those epic sunsets, filling my lungs with sage brush and pine and washing my soul with your many rivers.
Happy Friday loves.
Do you remember that dreamy snow covered sand dunes shoot I did at the end of last year? Well this morning you get to re-live all of the goodness as it's featured on Wandering Weddings (formerly Wandering Photographers) today!
Go give it some love and send all the good vibes to this amazing couple as they get reunited soon!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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:
• I have posted prints for sale in my shop, along with illustrations, and the option to order commission pieces.
• 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
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.
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!
you can see more family sessions below. i'm currently booking for 2017 holiday sessions now.
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!
if your interested in Alyse's work, you can check her out on facebook + her website
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.
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,
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 ;)
I am absolutely loving these best lady photo sessions! There is nothing better then awesome ladies building each other up, and celebrating friendship with photos and laughter.
We met out at Stratton's U-Pick Flower's between Moscow, ID and Pullman, WA and spent a fire season hazing evening taking photos, laughing, picking flowers and me making them dance...like a lot lol. But the photos only show a small spark for the joy and fire these ladies posses.
So thank you ladies for joining me for the evening!!!
Here's to the end of the summer! Oh! And me catching up officially on my blog =)
Slow, warm summer nights, where the cicada's sing, and flittering sun rays dance off of your eyelashes making your skin glow and dewy. These are just some of the things that make summer so blissful and wonderful. These are also just some of the things that made this particular session such a wonderful thing. I was so full of creative joy on the way home that I couldn't contain it. I instead busted out a quick little video of the session because I was so jazzed.
I've photographed Emily a couple other times, and she's always such a ball of fireworks that ignites in front of the camera. But this was the first time I got a chance to photograph her best lady, Paige, and putting these two amazing women out at sunset to one of my favorite spots was a match made in summer heaven.
Thank you ladies for dealing with the crazy requests, you both are beautiful inside and out, igniting the world with those wonderful souls!
You know those people that come into your life with such a blazing fire that it doesn't matter if their right next to you, across the world, you stay in touch or you haven't heard from them since you don't know when? That would be this lady. And I'm lucky to say I hear from her consistently as she's taken over as honorary sister, best friend, aunt to my kids and so much!
Recently, life decided it be fun to once again try to knock this incredible woman down. And with life shattering events, this woman drank a heck load of coffee, brushed off and got back up stronger than ever, with a smile still radiating.
I couldn't help but take advantage of when she came for a quick 24-hr stay to document this woman and all of her fierceness. It's been over a month since this shoot, and I'm slowly trying to regain my blogging momentum...let's just say I'm so not ready for school for my kids to start next week, for warm days and long nights and I've put off every other aspect in my life to try to soak up as much of it as possible.
I love you Cait <3 You are the wine to my tea cup!
You are a force and rediculously fierce! Never forget!
And so it continues ( ; )
I'm sorry, I couldn't help the title, it was just called for!!!
And from the title I guess you can tell what the majority of this weeks post is going to be about! But I think I'm allowed to seeing how I'm not sure if I'll ever get to see an eclipse at 100% totality again, let alone in my home state, Idaho <3
To make the day that much sweeter, it was my hub's birthday (I won't enter his age as he might murder me, but he is getting really close to that 3-0 and he's not happy about it, thats all I can say here lol)
Though he's been living & working in Oregon, we chose to meet in Idaho for the eclipse simply because we could also visit with family, as well as the unforeseen bonus by being in Idaho versus Oregon...we managed to surpass a lot of the cray cray crowds that we were seeing on the news. We never found a gas station out of gas, and my cell phone worked just fine the whole day...so WAY TO GO USA for being prepared!
It was absolutely an out of this world experience. The quick drop in temperature, the whoops and cheers from our fellow eclipse watchers, people getting hitched around us, and stars at 11:00 am with crickets chirping brought tears to my eyes and goosebumps on every inch of my skin.
To keep the birthday/eclipse day goodness going, I attempted making an eclipse espresso cheese cake for the hubs. All I can say is it tasted better than it looked, lol. I'm really not talented in the baking department, which is the main reason I've been putting off attempting to make chocolate souffle which is on the 365 list. A little terrified I'm going to burn my house down.
And though the traffic was INTENSE trying to get back home between construction and eclipser's it was an honest good ending to a perfect day that I wouldn't trade for nothing.
But being back home, I've been working late nights in my studio for some upcoming shows, art competitions and a challenge. As well as some personal stuff..though I'd much rather still be on the road. But, that's the dream, and I'll just keep working towards it.
I hope you all had an amazing eclipse day this week!
Hallelujah it's Friday ya'll.
today, i woke up one year older, with a cat named waffles glued to my side and tears on my pillow.
i am an only child, meaning, i have perfected being able to function on my own. i don't mind sleeping by myself, and even going to the movies by myself isn't the end of the world. when i was younger i played outdoors vigorous games full of imagination: cave men, jungle jane, farmer, little mermaid on the swing set slide as the hose poured water down it's two-foot decent.
now as an adult, whose husband is gone most of the time between being a forester and an army man, i play vigorous rounds of ring-a-round-the-rosy as i get one child to swimming, another to dance, both to school, sneak in dinner, make it to work on time, and sometime's i'm badass enough i'll get a shower, shave my legs (well to the knee but, hey, husband's gone so what's it matter?) and possibly i'll remember deodorant.
but sometimes, being alone, isn't all the glory that some people have made it out to be. sometimes, you wake up on your birthday and realize no one is going to take your picture so you can remember in 10-years turning 1-year older. no one is going to make you cake, or let you take a nap. being a mom means, i'll still cook all of the meals, wash and fold the laundry and will prep the meals for my kids activities this week. and because of this, its really easy to fall into the "poor me" rut. i know this, because i was there all day yesterday, and even the majority of the morning.
but pitty just doesn't get you much further then smothered in a heap of pillows, soaked in tears and snot, and a bed head. this past year has been a really tough one. it has. and ever so often, i give into the pitty and i wallow for a moment. but there was also moment's this past year that brought me that much closer to knowing who i am as a human, what i am supposed to do with my time here on earth, what makes me happy, what goals are more pertinent then the rest. i had to go through all that personal "hell" to get me one step, one year closer to knowing all of these things. and i still have no full-life plan. i still haven't bought a house, and i have no idea half the time what the heck i'm doing. and maybe, one of these birthday's i'll wake up and know what the heck i'm supposed to be doing, in a house i own, but for right now, waking up to 26, all i know is i want to make myself a cake for breakfast, and refuse to wash the dishes, while i plan trips to get me out of this rut that has sucked me in over the past year.
year 26 is yes, starting out horrifically rocky.
but in the end, year 26 is going to be the best one yet.
It's probably pretty evident at this point that I get idea's for sessions and when those idea's spur I have a hard time getting the idea out of my head. Instead I usually make a call out for a free photo session to anyone willing to play along.
This is one of those sessions.
But it turned out to be with some very special people.
My husband and I have been blessed repeatedly with over the top amazing babysitter's for our children - people who genuinely love our kids and people our kids genuinely love back. Which as a mom is EVERYTHING.
This session, I got to give light and love on one of those amazing humans in my children's life and her new fiancé. Let me be clear - THIS WAS NOT THEIR ENGAGEMENT SESSION. These two played along with this crazy notion I had to walk around the adorable residential area of our town and just take in the spring joy and goodness.
Their goofiness was clear the whole time as they joked, licked each other, tickled and laughed profusely at one another. I couldn't stop laughing myself at their laughter. It was over the top contagious.
We ran into an old VW bus, hovered in front of peoples yards to get photos with their flowers and stood in the middle of the road to get these memories and moments in this sweet couples life. This adventure of a session was worth every little piculiar and crazy thing. And I only wish the absolute best that there is in this world to this couple.
I feel sort of silly admitting this, but I always refer to clients as "mine"..."My bride..." or "My graduate..." but theres a connection that comes from spending an hour to a whole afternoon with someone you may have never met before and opening up - being openly vulnerable - trusting you so that you can get the desired outcome. I guess it's this connection that causes the sort of hoggish behavior when it comes to my amazing clients.
and this is ever so true for mckenzie.
i hadn't even met her before our session, other then the few
e-mails and the 2-second facebook stalk so I could put face to name. mckenzie is such a sweetheart and gorgeous as all get out, and we instantly just clicked.
We started out at a local coffee shop, she talked about her dreams after graduation, about growing up in a small north NORTH type town by the border of Canada, all while I took photos. We ended up venturing to the ally behind the coffee shop for some more photos and (no lie!) to soak up some of the amazing sunshine that we were getting that day (sunroof weather anyone?)
We ended over on the University's campus. It being my alma mater, I felt like I talked mckenzie's ear off...but if I did she never once brought it to my attention. she was just that chill about everything. Honestly, if someone who's never met you, trusts you when you ask them to lay down on the library floor and let's you touch their hair...you've got some magic about to happen.
Ugh! I've just been so jazzed about this whole session, here's some shots (though choosing has been overtly difficult).
Congratulations Lady! I'm so excited for all that you have ahead of you!!!
what a concept.
for the last month i've been everywhere but home, and the past 7-days have been finally me back in my little dwelling, refilling the refrigerator with food, catching up on laundry, watering plants, giving our cat waffle's her demanded attention...etc etc.
after my little art rendezvous, i hoped back into the photographer saddles this week and did two heart warmer and fun photo sessions. even though the weather was hit and miss, man it felt so stinking good to be back out there with a camera in my hand.
i've seriously had the worst diet this week, which i guess chalk it up to "eating what i want" off the list, but pesto pasta for breakfast and 2-cheese burgers later...I'm a happy camper. Sometimes, you've just gotta. Or at least, I just gotta.
work has been insane so my time in the studio this week was nothing but i actually spent time to read two magazines two nights in a row...one was from February and the other from march...I'm catching up.
i'm so grateful for all the goodness...and even all the crazy. sometimes it's hard juggling all that i'm juggling and i drop the ball here and there (like Monday when i took the kids through the drive through because i just wasn't gonna cook that night - - or last night when every thing i asked my mini's to do went in one ear and out the other and i threw a total 2-year old tantrum because of it...wow i'm an example this week)...but i love those two mini's with all my heart, i love being a creative even though it doesn't pay what i'd like so i could buy all the shoes...this is life. it's an adventure.
my 365-challenge wasn't ever meant to be law or a stresser...though i'll admit i beat myself up from time to time for not perfecting Italian yet or not even picking up a cello yet...but it was meant to keep me moving and moving in a way that encouraged who i am versus the 9-5 drone that society seems to gravitate to. My life is making snack for my kids day at 6:30 am when I'd rather be drinking coffee hiding in bed - - but at least i get paid in snuggles.
i hope you all have a fabulous weekend, enjoy those in your life and all the moments.
when a mom reaches out to capture photos celebrating the adorable age of her daughter and it's just the beginning of spring with the weather being a guessing game...it can be a little nerve wracking.
but never-the-less, saturday we met up (after a location swap 15-minutes before the session was supposed to start because of some unforeseen reservations,) and braved the teasing rain and wind to be gifted the last 15-minutes with some sunshine and a peak of blue sky.
there was never a doubt for the love and adoration these two parent's had for sweet little 7-month old avery and her refusal to smile was adorable and sassy. but i finally caught smiles when mom and dad snuggled her or threw her into the air. there was so much love and joy between those three, I couldn't stop taking pictures...which ended up biting me in the rear because picking and choosing was overtly difficult.
but here are just a few highlights of our afternoon together roaming dried out marshes and hiking up mudded hills.
Patched up jean jackets, Portland and an elephant funeral. Treefort and art art art. Taking over the house and dancing to lots of Whitney Huston with waaaay too much coffee intake. But what else is life?Read More
In the past 7-days, I got to spend some time with my darling <3, which really just filled me up and all the feels and love just gave me the UMPH! I've been missing in my 365-challenge, being a mother, and in my art as well.
With me back in the game I was able to plot out my freelance photography and made a (big!) personal change and feel so confidant now in my work (its all about being yourself for sure!), spent some time in my studio which included nylons, embroidery thread and embroidery hoops and once again drank copious amounts of coffee.
I also finally sat down and I'm almost finished with my next book (which is sooo good ya'll) and started the editing process on my book.
Oh my heart.
Today is the first day in i'm not sure in how long where there is a slice of blue sky and sunshine and I can feel that vitamin D filling me up like a cup of coffee. I'm so solar powered its really not funny. With that being said, the hubs and I have been starting to plot out places to go on our next adventure...this whole winter ordeal and being stuck at home is killing my wandering soul.
So here's to week nine being more productive then I have in the past few weeks. Thanks darling for being the extra shot of whiskey in my coffee that I need <3
If your in Boise, ID or Portland, OR (or know of some rad individuals that are) I'm looking too book a couple photo sessions in March! Hit a gurlll up if you want some rad photos and some good times!!
Week Seven has been brought to you by coffee, tears, and lot's of laughter. Oh, in honesty, this move has caused so much up and downs and all overs. I spent most of the week voiceless and did a lot of jamming out to 80's favorites to keep the spirits high...or at least attempting.
But I also did two beautiful and wonderful photo sessions that warmed by heart and gave me all the feels and strength to know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
I worked on my book, and rocked out to ABBA while doing so. I also opened the link to my book here on my website (which you can see HERE) which ended up causing me to get distracted and spending a late night updating and organizing my website. (sorry that things may look different.)
And was reminded that there is truly healing powers in water as I look a long shower and all the troubles I was having in my studio with my art work were solved because finally that missing link came to me 15-minutes into being surround by steam. Seriously, all my good ideas come from when I was swimming, showering etc. Always. I just need to learn to hop in the shower or go swimming when I have troubles in the studio or writers block.
But it's been a week. And I've tried putting that best foot forward. I made a second instagram account just for my photography and ordered beautiful business cards to go along with it. I submitted work to two different art shows and booked another amazing photo session. I've taken moments to read, moments to just sleep and moments to eat waay too much hummus while wallowing on Pinterest.
And isn't that beautiful.
Isn't it beautiful that in a world full of chaos and crazy, we are always reminded our human we all are. That we are all filled with such a rainbow of emotions. This week was full of them for me, and made wonderful by the loving hearts that surround me. The strength I find in myself and in God. The furry I find from all that surrounds me and the ability to instead morph it into something beautiful through art and words.
I'm sure week 8 isn't about to get easier. But this challenge is keeping me honest. In all my wonders and flaws.
And thats okay.