Wednesday, September 30, 2015

May the Force be with You | Model | Fayetteville NC Photographer

So ... For this session. My battery was dead. Yeah. Like what?! How does that happen? Well, mommy brain happened. I rushed out for the model concept shoot with fellow photog friends and when we finally got moving and shooting ... my camera wouldn't turn on. To make things worse, I left the camera bag in the car five blocks down. So needless to say, I was just going to be the cheerleader for the shoot.

But Will (Darkroom Portraits) lemme borrow his Sony camera to shoot. LOL So yay! I got to shoot and I forced him to go back to his roots and shoot film only! ;)

Anyone else's family super stoked about December's opening for the new Star Wars movie? My son, who's eight mind you, wants to go opening day! WHAT the WHAT?! LOL I explained to him that Star Wars is a phenomenon that many adults are crazy about and to be mixed up in that crowd would be chaos and probably a little creepy. (I'm just thinking of all the 44 year old men who still live with mom and are dressed as Obi Won or Luke sleeping in tents till the doors open and have every single memorabilia with them just in the off chance that Harrison Ford stops by our sleepy little town's movie theater ...) <---- too much? LOL It made me giggle.

Either way, we are excited and will be hitting it up in theaters ... just not sure WHEN. LOL 

Check out Aoife HERE -- this was after she had her baby! Safe to say, momma got her groove back! 

*** Please remember that all images are copyrighted to Sharilyn Wells Photography, LLC. Please do not copy or alter any images without SWP, LLC consent. ***

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Freckles & Rain | Tween | Fayetteville, NC Photographer

This young lady is beautiful on the outside and the inside. She's super quiet in person ... or at least around me. ;) But she is your typical tween. Spirited and loves to laugh. She's a natural in front of the camera and I love being able to photograph her. You might remember her in my Celtic shoot in March.

She was a trooper! I wanted to capture her personality in this shoot. I wanted her to wear HER clothes and do her hair and makeup like she would. This was a session all about her. Only stipulation? I wanted it to be "Fall like." LOL It was like 89 degrees this day that we shot and like 70% humidity .... And I wanted her in a sweater. LOL But she rocked it, just like I knew she would!

Can you believe she just turned 13?! Crazy right? She holds her own, but I did love that I was able to capture a smile that her momma helped get while we were shooting. ;)

Girls. Remember this. There are going to be haters out there. Girls are mean. They get jealous and they can get down right dirty. But as long as you remember who YOU are and how YOU feel when said haters get to you, you won't let them win. You won't pass on their hate and you will stop the circle of mean girls. Trust me, I've been there. And when I went through it, social media was JUST starting out. We didn't have access to cell phones and instant messaging on AOL was just starting. We had hateful note passing and three way calling but the other person didn't know someone else was listening. I've been on the side of hate and I've dished out hate in my own hurting. It's not good and it's not healthy. You are your own worst enemy and you are your own best friend. Remember who you are and treat other with love and respect. True beauty is within. Don't judge others because you don't know what kind of demons they're fighting.

Don't let other's bring you down. You know how much you're worth. You don't need someone else telling you your worth. You are loved and you matter. Don't spread the hate, pass on respect and love.

*** Please remember that all images are copyrighted to Sharilyn Wells Photography, LLC. Please do not copy or alter any images without SWP, LLC consent. ***

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Little Man's Birthday Party | Personal | Fayetteville, NC Photographer

As I prepare for my littlest's SECOND birthday, I am remembering all that we did for him on his first birthday party and realizing I never BLOGGED it! GASP! Haha! (where does the time go?! I mean I was JUST giving BIRTH to him ...LOL)

My baby's theme was "Little Man's Mustache Bash!" And boy did we have fun with the theme! And get this? I didn't spend more than $350 on this shindig! You wanna know how? Thrifting, bargaining, borrowing and reusing! Man! I was so proud of myself AND we even rented a place out for the kiddies. So no mess at my place! (that's the best part!)

First things first, I want to give a HUGE shoutout to another local small business in the Fayetteville area, Steve's Sweet Treats. We rented out his cafe/bakery for all the fun! We decided on a cookie decorating party and they did all the work. They baked the cookies, laid out all the sprinkles and frosting and let us to it! 

For decor, it was fairly simple finding mustache things since that appears to be the "thing" in 2014. LOL BUT I also did my own thing. For the water bottles, I used mustache duct tape! ;) SUPER easy and SUPER cheap! For napkins, I had a ton of orange napkins left over from another party (?) ... I accumulate things. LOL So I bunched up the napkins to white, plastic forks that I had laying around to look like a bow tie and wrapped them with mustache ribbon. The favors were simple, mustache clear bag with gold fish and pretzels and a few M&Ms inside tied with teal ribbon. I also made thank you cards from my computer and printed on photo paper which then I attached black heart lollie pops I got at Walmart in the wedding clearance isle for $5 (for 50 of them!). No, they weren't expired! ;) I couldn't believe the deal! (I guess no one wants BLACK lollies at their WEDDING!) And of course ... I did get a little inspiration over at my Pinterest Board ... You should check it out!)

Again, using felt I had laying around, I made bow ties that the kids could wear to "class it up" a tad! I had orange cups from that one party? LOL And I found an awesome mustache banner that I glued teal flags that I found at Joann's on the clearance rack for $3. I also had old Polaroid film laying around that I had each guest take a pic of them with their silly mustache favors. We hung them up with my littlest's one year old pics I took. (Oh, I also borrowed some old cameras from a photog friend and wrapped plain boxes in left over gift wrap to add to the table. Since my colors were teal and orange, I also added a few cute little pumpkins...after all, it IS October! OH! And I borrowed an antique high chair from another photog friend as well so that the littlest looked fantastic when he bit into his cake!) <---- so you get it? I borrowed and bargained a lot! ;)

 The kids totally enjoyed the cookie decorating .... SUGAR every where! Can you see the chaos?!

By now you're looking at these pics and saying, "aw, what a fun time and great memories captured. But what is up with Shari's photo skills?!" Haha. These aren't horrible pics, but they aren't mine. I wanted to enjoy myself at the party and not get stuck behind the camera, so I left it on the table and let people take pics as they pleased. I think this was an awesome way to see different perspectives. But I think this year, I'll hire one of my pros to take pics! ;)

I also saved money by making my own cake. I used pumpkin flavored cake and fondant to make the boo-boo's first cake. Then I made a mixture of vanilla and pumpkin cupcakes for the kiddies. I printed off cake toppers that I designed and taped to toothpicks.

My littlest was a little unsure about the cake at first. I mean, fondant doesn't taste the best ... lol

He inspected it and then ....

"Oh wow mom! this is delicious! You want some?!"

My littlest doesn't have many friends his age, but all the big boys showed their love during the party AND helped him open his presents! <3 Now that's love! ;)

Till next year ... when I blog THIS year's party ... LOL I kid. I kid .... but am I> ;)

*** Please remember that all images are copyrighted to Sharilyn Wells Photography, LLC. Please do not copy or alter any images without SWP, LLC consent. ***

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Momma's Lesson of Love | Family | Fayetteville, NC Photographer

Lemme tell ya, the second I saw a recent model's son and those locks of curls ... I HAD to get a session of them together. Not only is he simply adorable but this momma is a rock star!

Being a momma of a boy isn't easy. Lemme tell ya, I'm talking from experience. My two boys have me running around like a maniac. "Don't touch that!" "Don't hit your brother." "No, you may not put your brother in a head lock." "I don't care how long you THINK it's been in the car, you're not eating it!" "Get your finger outta your nose!" "No you may not tie your brother up in your lasso." "Don't climb the bookshelf!" "Yes, you have to wash your hands after using the bathroom. I don't care if you didn't touch it. You will still wash your hands."

I'm telling ya, you will say some pretty amazing things. I don't think I have ever asked my mother or attempted to do during my childhood some of the things I've had to stop my boys from doing. Boys.

As a mom of a boy, you are responsible of not only raising him up to be a proper, intelligent, clean, well spoken, clever, and honest gentleman that any woman would want to marry ... you are also responsible to learn every superheroes' name and background. Know the Star War trilogies like the back of your hand. Know the ins and outs of every "manly" sport out there. Know how to properly throw a football, baseball or boomerang ... yes, you read that right. You also have to teach them how to respect women, know bathroom humor - but teach them when it's okay to joke about it. When you're a single mother or, like us, has a daddy that deploys often, you also have to teach them how to change the tire, change the oil, and wax the car. You also have to know when to let the boys gets dirty and run naked through the sprinklers. You need to remember that mother's of just girls will never understand the energy that boys always have and the anger that they release when you turn off the Xbox.

But did you know that the bond between mother and son is something that can't be replicated? The love and laughter that is shared between mother and son is precious and cherished. Even when he yells that you're mean because he can't have dessert due to not eating all his dinner, when he's older he will appreciate the drive and passion you have for him to succeed and work for satisfaction in the the reward.

Yes. The love between mother and son isn't always perfect but it's perfection. No matter how many ups and downs you have as a mother, your son will always have a special place for you in his heart. I know I'm not the perfect mother, and yet I so try to be. I know that every "disappointment" that is given, there is a like "satisfaction" just around the corner.

Why is it that mothers tend to judge one another on how they raise their boys (and girls...but this blog is about boys)? "Why does she let him run a-mock all the time?" "Why doesn't she give him more freedom? She's so tough on him." "Why is he so loud?" "Why won't he just sit still?" "Why is he still wetting his pants?" "Why can't he stay up later?" Blah blah blah. Well, I have a question for you mothers of boys, why can't we support each other and give a shoulder to cry on when days go rough? Not every day as a mother of a son is going to go well ... and face it, pretty much every day with a boy will not be picture perfect. But isn't that life? Life is challenging and I believe boys are given to the strongest of strongest women. ;)

Yes. Mothers of daughters are fantastic too. I know many moms of daughters that go through the same issues I go through with my boys, but I'm not talking about girls. I'm talking about boys. We all know that society labels girls and boys from the beginning and though I don't want to fall into the "gendering" of society ... face it. There are differences in raising boys and girls. It's not all about pink and blues and dolls and trucks. Each child is different and yes, that would also include what gendered child you are raising.

Before I had my son, I thought superheroes were ridiculous. I mean.... who wants a leotard wearing man jumping through your window to "save" you from an octopus looking machine scientist?? I mean ... come on! But because my son is sorta the Rain Man when it comes to superheroes ... I've adapted ... and shhhhhh .... don't tell anyone. I thoroughly get excited when a new Marvel movie comes out.

Mommas. Be strong. You are strong enough. You do have enough energy (even if it comes in a fruity can or a Venti sized beverage). You can raise a funny, strong, CLEAN man who will follow his dreams .... even if it takes a few years after college or military or .... traveling around the world living from hostel to hostel. Your love for them will allow them to be whatever they want to be. The strength you have to be firm and patient at the same time will allow them to succeed in life. The tickles and fart jokes will allow them to live life to the fullest with a smile on his face. The ability to forgive and admit when mommy lost her cool will give him the patience to work for what he desires, even through failure. The hugs and kisses you give him (that he wipes off as he walks away) will allow him to love someone in his life and pass on that love to his own children.

You are his role model. You will always hold a special part in his heart. He will always look to you for support and love when needed. He will also be there to hug you and tell you that the bowl full of spaghetti that fell from your hands and is now all over the kitchen will still make for a good dinner since you just mopped the floor today .... lol.

Enjoy your little boys, because soon they will be grown men. Soon they will be too cool to hang with mom. Soon another woman will have a piece of their heart. Soon they will have a family of their own. Soon, they'll be taking care of you. And soon, they'll visit you at your gave site. They will remember the good times. Laugh at the mistakes. And remember the courage you had to raise them.

Let them be boys momma. You are doing a great job. Support other mommas. Laugh with your whole belly.  Love unconditionally. Mothers of boys are a special breed and for that, FIST PUMP!

Mommy and me sessions are awesome! Email me today to book yours!
*** Please remember that all images are copyrighted to Sharilyn Wells Photography, LLC. Please do not copy or alter any images without SWP, LLC consent. ***