Mom Hacks

As moms, I don't think we give ourselves enough credit. We are always thinking of things we can do better, things that still need to get done, and things we wish we could do. BUT every once in awhile we need to stop and acknowledge the things that are done well, things that did get done, and things we accomplished. If not for ourselves for each other! So, for a moment, I'm going to stop and share some things I do/use that help us everyday!

Storage

Living in England with the unpredictable weather, it seems we need to have tons of different weather gear readily available. With children, that gets ugly and anxiety producing quickly! ;) We purchased a CLEAR shoe hanger and use it for the children's accessories. They can put away their own shoes, rain, and winter gear at ages 2 and 4! It's magical! Doesn't always stay tidy (as you can see), but it is clear so we can still see everything AND it's behind a closed door so all is well! 

mom hacks, closet storage, shoe storage, winter gear storage, stay organized with children
mom hacks, closet storage, winter gear storage, stay organized with children

 

Dinner Time

Please tell me I'm not the only one that dreads this time of night? Many times the kids are wonderful, but if I don't have a plan it's like they can smell blood in the water! I try to plan out relatively easy meals for the week, but, as you all know, sometimes life gets in the way of the best laid plans. Sooo...we make back up plans! I try to always have options of shelf stable or freezer meals. This doesn't have to mean it is full of awful preservatives. One of my favorite things is cooking large meals or doubling a recipe and sticking the extras in the freezer ready to be warmed up for when life gets in the way. 

mom hacks, dinner time, meal planning, weekly meals, dinner organization

 

Time Blocking

I can get distracted right along with the best of them. Time blocking has been making a HUGE difference with this for me! I create my to do list (work+personal) and then write down WHEN and HOW LONG I will work on each task. The Life Styled Luxury Day Planner has been my saving grace in making this dream of organization a reality.

weekly planner, time blocking, to do list, being productive, staying organized

 

Silence your Phone Notifications

Yeah, I know we like our mom breaks. The ARE necessary for our sanity, but I was finding my phone was distracting me during family time. Time I wanted to be engaging with my kids and husband - not with the outside world and not with work. Without the constant dinging I can look at my phone on my terms and not be bothered in the mean time! Now the only things that make noise are phone calls and texts. Back to the simple things in life. ;)

silence your cell phone, stay focused, stay present, notifications off

 

Treat for Mum 

Do something for yourself. Not something against yourself. Take time to workout, treat yourself to a healthy drink or snack you love, take care of your skin/hair/nails. Mine is my skincare. I love my Rodan + Fields and using it makes me feel like a normal person. It takes away my acne (that often gets worse with stress) and relieves my puffy and dark eyes from those nights waking up with my toddlers. It helps me look like a put together normal human being! ;) If you are interested on how you get your hands on this amazingness feel free to reach out or post in the comments!

Rodan + Fields, mum treat, skin care, longer eye lashes, under eye cream,

 

I hope some of these mum hacks help make your life a little easier and a little happier! I'd love to hear tricks you have up your sleeve!

Love exists here.

Aimee

 

Northamptonshire Family Maternity Photographer in the Rape Seed

There's something so beautiful and peaceful about being surrounded by Rape Seed. It's such a delicate flower and easily follows where the wind leads it. Reminds me a bit about life! This family is definitely along for a new journey as they prepare to welcome baby number 2! Taking time out of their busy schedules to document this time of change through a family film and photography. It's one of those gems that makes me smile every time I see it! Can you imagine the little voices and movements of your own family? This age is ever changing and so special to capture!

Can you tell we had fun? If you are interested in scheduling your own family or maternity session please reach out here! 

 

Love exists here.

Aimee

A Glimpse Into How I Work

Just pinch me. I still can't believe this is my job. This is it. I get to step into a family's life and document their love for one another. There aren't many people in this world that can say the genuinely love what they do. This video will show you a mix of digital images and video to give you a feel for how I will document your family's beautiful everyday love.

IAPBP 2017 Image of the Year Competition

It's that time of year again! Every year in January us birth photographers sift and sort through all of our births from the year to find the best of the best. Images that tell a story in that tiny 1/200th of a second in our client's life. Images that regardless of the light, unpredictable movement, and the objects (or people) in our way are in focus with beautiful composition. You'd think with all of these obstacles it would be a competition that had some beautiful images and some cool images, but the images this year are. AMAZING. The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers' judging panel has their work cut out for them this year! I wanted to take a moment and share the images I have submitted this year and the stories behind these precious moments.

 

Labor

This father was there every minute of labor waiting to be needed. He sat quietly and somehow just knew what his wife needed and when. His intuition proved indespensible during this moment. Suzanna was coming back into the room after using a bath to help with her contractions. As she began walking, another strong contraction came over and she collapsed into Brain's arms. It was a beautiful moment showing the true meaning of trust fall!

 

Delivery

This mommy has a beautiful petite body, and her baby from the beginning of her pregnancy just settled low and far out. Through our many conversations during her pregnancy this baby belly always came up. She received endless comments about 'how large' her belly was and that she 'must be carrying twins.' All of those dreaded comments any pregnant woman wants to punch someone for. She handled it with grace, but it became a common theme throughout her pregnancy! As Christine found this position for her final pushes, I couldn't resist bringing humor to the situation in illustrating her final moments with this infamous baby belly. 

 

Post Partum

There's just nothing better than baby snuggles and baby wrinkles. You combine the two of them together and it's magic! Mom laid captivated while watching her little girl latch and nurse successfully for the first time. While she nursed mom started stroking her and commenting on details like her hair, her wrinkles, and her head shape. It was a really sweet time of bonding for this family. 

 

Details

AimeeDurrancePhotographyPostpartum2016WM.jpg

So often in America, after delivery the room is buzzing with movement from nurses and doctors. That wasn't the case with this delivery. It was quiet. This mommy just laid there to snuggle and nurse her brand new baby. Tummy to tummy they laid there just getting to know one another. This image shows the details of what was happening under the blanket keeping both of them warm. Tiny wiggly newborn toes resting on mommy's leg while this sweet little one just melted into the now empty baby belly it used to live in. 

If you've enjoyed these, just wait until you see the other images that have been entered!!! WARNING: You may be lost for a couple of hours looking at all of this amazingness. Just don't say I didn't warn you! ;)

Baby S' Birth Story

When this sweet mamma first inquired I could immediately tell she had done her research and knew exactly what to expect and exactly what she wanted. Normally this is a photographer's dream. This time, it was more like heaven. This family quickly became my muse for the next step for my entire business. I've been wanting to find the time to bring this little business of mine to the next level, but finding the time to properly educate myself just wasn't happening. With her trusting in me to bring her dream to life, it gave me a deadline, which this procrastinator needs in her life! ;) 

Photography is my passion, but there are certain things it just can't capture. Things like the sweet tune of our little one's voice, your baby's first cry, the clumsy movements of a toddler who is just growing up all too quickly. Perhaps this lays so heavy on my heart because I myself am in the middle of all of these transitions in life. I feel their growth every second of the day with every ounce of my being. I think a great deal of my postpartum anxiety comes from the fact that I can't SLOW IT DOWN! Films have the ability to capture all of this and it is so powerful. You can't print a film and display it in your home, which is a huge passion of mine. I'll never stop delivering photography because of this, but having the ability to accentuate it with videography is so exciting for me! 

I feel this family needs no introduction. Through the mixture of film and photography you will quickly understand their beauty, love, and strength. 

Baby E's Birth Story | Inova Natural Birth Center | Leesburg, VA | Birth Photography

48 hours

That's normally something we say to describe a count down until something we are looking forward to. It's NOT a figure a woman ever wants to describe her labor! This mama has the privileged of never looking at that number in the same way-and some pretty amazing bragging rights! I'm pretty sure I'd stick that one in my pocket to use anytime I was needing a break from chores! ;)

In all seriousness she was an amazingly graceful laborer. All you could do was sit back in amazement that a woman could endure so much, with such little sleep, and still have it in her to laugh and smile while she's at it! As this mom and dad got closer and closer to meeting their sweet little girl they sank into each other and relied on prayer to keep Christine going. They were such a beautiful testament of love and strength.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

 

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Why Sheep?

Developing a true brand identity is hard work! It required since soul searching and so much time! I decided to use Nicoleinbold for my branding because I knew she would hold my hand and guide me through the processes with patience and honesty all while pushing me to create the best content possible. After our first consult she put together my brand board and I was blown away with all of the warm, cozy, and relaxing textures and colors. Now that I had some amazing inspiration, it was time for the hard part. Turning those feelings into a reality on my new site through my logo, overall brand, words, and images.

Aimee Durrance Photography lifestyle branding board for maternity, birth, fresh 48, newborn, and family photography in Leesburg, VA Northern Virginia

Why a sheep? If you have ever met me, you know I am a huge proponent for supportive, loving, and judgement free community. We are all healthier and happier if we have our people, our community. When working to develop my brand I wanted that feeling somehow at the forefront of what you see when you come to ADP. The more we chatted the more Nicole led me to animals and specifically sheep. They are herd animals. They need their community, and without it become anxious. And well...they are adorable. We had many late night laughter fits looking at funny sheep pictures and videos!

Once we discovered the concept together it was time to make it come to life... This is where I just feel awful for Nicole. You see, I have the ability to be really indecisive and picky at the same time. It's definitely one of my worst and most frustrating characteristics for me and anyone else involved. Just ask my husband! Nicole hand drew countless ideas. There were probably 25 sheep dancing around on her poster board. I had opinions on all of them, but none were just right and I couldn't tell her why. I'm pretty sure anyone else would have wanted to murder me at this point. But Nicole didn't. She said "Ok, I've got it," took it all home and started water coloring. Yes. By hand. Not on a computer. She's amazing.  After a little more tweaking she created what I didn't even know I was looking for, and I am in heaven! I am beyond thankful for Nicole of Nicoleinbold Identity Branding. Without all of her knowledge and insight ADP would not be where it is today! <3

 

Baby S is ONE! | Leesburg, VA Family |

I met this sweet mommy in our Inova Hospital Postpartum group. Most of us mommies who go to this group are beyond exhausted and still hazy from the shock of welcoming a newborn into the world. Heather-she wasn't. She was joyful, full of confidence, and always seemed ready to tackle the world. I loved it. She has one of those contagious personalities you just love to be around. Fast forward almost a year and her daughter is the. same. way. This child has so much personality!!! I hope you have time to grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and smile as you feel the warmth and love exuding from this sweet family.  

T Family is Expecting! | Ashburn, VA | Maternity Photography

So many of us ladies become self conscious of our growing baby bumps. It saddens me that society's need for us to be skinny affects us so deeply. Let's throw that to the wind and instead celebrate our baby bellies! We deserve it - right? Yes. That baby bump is telling the world you are a bad ass. You are making life in there. It's pretty amazing. <3

This beautiful mamma had such a perfect baby bump. It was like someone stuffed a bowling ball in her tummy and called it a day. Perfectly round, until her little one started moving around! The T family decided to wait to find out the gender of their little one. Any predictions for them? 

Documenting Our Days | Getting Ready

It's time for a personal post. It's time for a personal moment. Here I am falling in love with photography over and over again every time I have a moment to photograph other families. I've found my passion and I LOVE IT. But then there is my own family. I am falling SO SHORT. I want so badly to document our ever changing lives. My little ones are growing up way too quickly. Lately I've become pretty emotional about it, but I'm still having a hard time picking up my camera and documenting our days. Why? It's for the best reason possible: I like to live in the moment. The camera removes me from my family for that moment. I'm quickly realizing it is a small price to pay to have memories to look back on and scrapbooks to flip through. Around the time I realized this I found a group of women striving to do the same thing. Stop. Pick up the camera. And document our days. I'm so thankful for this group of inspiring photographers! They are keeping me on my toes and holding me accountable.  Our goal is to capture the same time of our day from all around the world, allowing us a tiny glimpse into each other's lives. We've created a blog circle where we each link to one person (you'll see the link at the bottom of the blog post). I hope you take the opportunity to click and follow along as we document our days! This month's theme is "Getting Ready." Well...needless to say it is a hard theme to capture with two kids under two, so bear with me! My goal was to capture those small details I see when we are getting ready that my sweet littles are growing up. Some of the highlights: Ava has found her feet and Ryan is still learning how to pull those pants all the way up! There are plenty of other details I wish I had been able to capture, so I may go back and try again. But for now, I'm going to pat myself on the back for the fact that I actually did it! ;) I'm hopeful you'll find a story here that has a mix of chaos, serenity, and most importantly, love. Eclectic mixture right? Welcome to my world!

Documenting Our Days-Leesburg, VA-Birth Photography-Fresh 48-Family-Aimee Durrance Photography

Documenting Our Days-Leesburg, VA-Birth Photography-Fresh 48-Family-Aimee Durrance Photography

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Documenting Our Days-Leesburg, VA-Birth Photography-Fresh 48-Family-Aimee Durrance Photography (9)

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Documenting Our Days-Leesburg, VA-Birth Photography-Fresh 48-Family-Aimee Durrance Photography (6)

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Documenting Our Days-Leesburg, VA-Birth Photography-Fresh 48-Family-Aimee Durrance Photography (7)

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Documenting Our Days-Leesburg, VA-Birth Photography-Fresh 48-Family-Aimee Durrance Photography (8)

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Documenting Our Days-Leesburg, VA-Birth Photography-Fresh 48-Aimee Durrance Photography

Keep clicking to see Hannah Cross's post on "Getting Ready!"

Angela, Eric, & Olivia | Leesburg, VA | Family Lifestyle Photographer | Aimee Durrance Photography

I SO enjoyed working with this family! They were at ease in front of the camera and not afraid to just play and let their love shine. Little Miss Olivia has some stranger anxiety, so we were all wondering how she would do with a stranger AND a camera close by. She was a champ, warmed up quickly, and even gave us some smiles! I feel so blessed to be delivering these memorable images to this precious family!

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