Mikayla- Class of 2019

I am going to be catching up on summer blog posts all fall and then I will be catching up on fall blog posts all winter. I am just accepting that being slightly behind is part of my life now, and if that means more Leland snuggles and lazy mornings as a family I am totally okay with that.

Since I have Leland home with me each day I have to set realistic expectations for myself. I have learned to pick out three things that must get done that day. I accomplish those three things first, and if there is time for anything else then great. If not, I still feel accomplished and on task. Typically my top three things are editing sessions and getting them back to clients, even if that means they get their pictures back before I get to posting a preview or a blog post.

So that brings us to Mikayla’s pictures! We snapped these at the beginning of the summer. Mikayla was so much fun to work with. We started the session with some family pictures, then her brother and dad headed out to get a table for dinner while Mikayla, her mom and I wondered around downtown Milford. It was clear that Mikayla enjoyed having her mom there, which made the time together even more special. For most seniors, senior pictures are the first of many big milestone events for the year. You could tell that Mikayla and her mom were going to have a whole lot of fun with all of the events to come.

I can almost feel that warm summer sunshine when I look back on these pictures! I hope you are having the most wonderful start to your senior year, Mikayla!

That Wellthy Life

I just love being able to support other entrepreneurs. It isn’t always the easiest career path, but I feel so strongly that it is worth it. Mary Beth is a certified holistic health coach and runs her own business, That Wellthy Life. Be sure to check out her website here. Her blog has so many great posts on living a healthy, balanced life. And she always interjects her website and posts with hilarious pictures of her pup and encouragement that just makes you stop, breath and smile throughout your day. Stop by her Instagram to say hi!

Mary Beth and I also went to Albion together, so that’s just another reason that I love being able to support her business. So many of my fellow Albion alumni have supported Caryn Ashley Photography. I love that through my business I get to connect with classmates that I would have lost touch with over the years. There are so many Albion alumni doing so many creative, impactful things and it just makes me really, really proud to be a part of such an incredible bunch of people.

Also, can we just take a moment to talk about how beautiful Mary Beth’s home is?! I could just sit in that bright, white kitchen and drink coffee all day long! And yes, we did get to snack on everything as Mary Beth finished making it for the pictures- and since I was outrageously pregnant at the time this had to be one of my favorite sessions! I am so excited to see all of the things that are in store for you, Mary Beth!

Miller Family

These are certainly 5 of my very favorite people- my brother Scott, his wife Katie and their outrageously adorable little ones. Ted and I are so lucky to live close to family, and over the past years we have spent so much time being an aunt and uncle before being a mom and dad.  These three cuties are some of the sweetest little ones, and we often say we hope Leland takes after them.

Photographing family can be tough.  These kiddos are use to seeing me and running around, being tickled, and cannonballing into the pool.  So asking them to have a little more subdue time together can be a challenge, but they did great!

Ted and I had taken them to see Incredibles 2 in the morning and after their photoshoot we joined the rest of our family for a pool party at Grandma's house.  Right before they left to go home for the night their oldest son looked at me and said, 'Aunt Caryn this was one really special day.  Movies, pictures at the park, and swimming.  I wish it didn't have to end.' And then my heart melted right there on the spot.  We love you, Miller family!

Combs Family

I know fall is here, but I just had to share this summer shoot! We had to reschedule this session a few times because of rain, and then on the morning of our session it was 90 degrees by 9:00am! Thankfully the Combs family had picked the perfect location for a hot, session- the lake! We explored the park, and then when everyone got too hot, we just hopped right in the lake.  

Having three little ones for family pictures can always be challenging, and my favorite thing about the Combs family is how mom and dad always take it in stride.  They never stress if someone is taking a little longer to warm up, or needs a break, or at this session- just wants to jump in the lake! It keeps our sessions lighthearted and fun, and allows us to really capture the personalities of their kiddos.

I am so thankful I have been able to capture so many memories with this family over the years.  These three little cuties each have big personalities, and it has been so much fun to watch them grow and develop.  I hope you got to spend many more days together at the lake this summer, Combs family! 

Meet Leland Theodore

This post is just a little late, but I think that is just how most of my life is going to go from here on out!  The past 4 weeks have been the most beautiful blur as we have adjusted to being a family of three!

Our son, Leland Theodore Beatty, joined our family on Friday, July 20 at 5:55 p.m.  He came into the world at 8 lbs 7 oz, 21 inches, and we just can't get enough of him! He has a full head of hair, a nose just like his Daddy, and so far he is as social as his Momma. 

We cannot thank you enough for all of the messages, texts, gifts, cards and prayers.  We are feeling so loved and supported as we adjust into parenthood.  This little guy has stolen our hearts and we are just feeling so thankful to God for blessing us with this precious gift! 

David + Marissa

I had so much fun spending the evening in Detroit with David and Marissa for their engagement session.  We met for coffee a few months back and hit it off immediately.  They are fun loving, caring and totally in love- my kind of couple! I loved spending more time with them and getting to heat more about their story.  We started their session on Belle Isle and finished at the Z Parking lot at sunset- it doesn't get more epically Detroit than that!

These two love their pups, so of course we had to include them in the pictures.  It can always be a little comical wrangling dogs during sessions, especially when there is more than one- but these two cooperated (and I think even enjoyed all of the attention) even in the summer heat.  It was so sweet to see how much these two love and care for their pup children!

Towards the end of their shoot I was chatting with Marissa and David about the photo session.  I asked them if it was what they expected, if they felt more comfortable in front of the camera, and more prepared for their wedding day portraits.  They both shared a resounding yes for all of those things.  Then Marissa also shared that this was really the kick off to their wedding celebrations.  They had done lots of the big planning, but none of the fun celebrations had started yet.  She was excited to have something tangible to say okay it's here, we get to start celebrating! I thought that was such a fun way to look at engagement pictures.  The first time to say- wow, look at us, we are REALLY getting married!  I am already looking forward to celebrating that day with you this spring, David and Marissa! 

Our Maternity Photos + Taking a Break

I know I keep saying it, but can someone please pinch me! After all of the maternity pictures I have captured over the past 5 years, I cannot believe that I am sharing our own bump photo shoot! We captured these pictures in Birmingham at Quarton Lake, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to photograph.  No, we did not secretly find out we are having a boy and decide to announce it with these pictures :) Blue just seems a whole lot more gender neutral than pink, and for all of you ladies who have tried to find a maternity dress that you love you know that when you find one, the color is the last thing you are worried about!

These pictures mean so much to us, and I get a little giddy just looking at them.  My favorite part is how they capture the way Ted looks at me and my bump every single day.  It still surprises me each day when he wants to spend time with the baby, just talking to him or her and having his hands on my stomach.  I take for granted all of the time the baby and I spend together, and then I remember that Ted misses us during the day! He doesn't get to spend every single moment with this growing babe.  I am just so glad I have these photos to remember the way he looks at us.

This past week was my last week of scheduled photo shoots.  I am taking this week to get caught up on editing and sending out galleries and then I will be off on maternity leave.  I have spent a lot of time preparing my business and my heart for this leave.  I am really looking forward to taking 2 months to step away from photographing and diving completely into mamahood.  I plan to check e-mail very sparingly, and to do my best to fully unplug during this time.  I also decided to take a break from work on my social media channels.  Instead I will be sharing what is going on in the moment with our family.  So I will just go ahead and apologize nowfor the baby spam!  

If you are interested in scheduling a fall shoot please e-mail me your availability.  I will get back to e-mails once a week, and would love to see your family once I am back to work!  As always, we cannot thank you enough for your constant support of my business and our growing family.  We feel so loved and encouraged by each of you, and are so excited to share this next season of life with you!

Baby Wyatt

I have been so blessed to photograph this family since the beginning of their story.  Engagement pictures, their wedding, their first little lady and now a baby boy! As a photographer there isn't anything more rewarding than to walk through all of these seasons of life with clients. It is incredible to see how much Andy and Emilee have grown and to see how beautiful their family is! 

I met Emilee at Albion College where we spent lots of time together- from playing on the volleyball team to being members of the same sorority.  Emilee is one of the most kind hearted individuals I have ever met and I consider myself so lucky to call her a friend for all of these years.  She and Andy also met at Albion, and that has made capturing their story even more special. 

Their two little ones are simply the sweetest.  Addy has grown into quite the big sister. As you can tell from the pictures of her and baby Wyatt together, she is gentle and kind with her baby brother- something that is hard to come by in most 3 year olds!  She was so anxious to get in pictures with Wyatt and was the very best listener as she cuddled up to her baby brother.  

Wyatt was also so great for his pictures.  He cuddled right up for his session, and decided to stay asleep for the majority of our time together- exactly what we hope for at a newborn photo shoot!  From all of those smiles in their family pictures it is clear to see, you are most certainly loved, Baby Wyatt!

Jessica + Anthony

I have known these two for a very long time, and now they are expecting their first little one!  l met Jessica and Anthony during our years at Farmington High School.  These two have been dating ever since and it has been fun to run into them in the years since graduating and hear their story.  They actually sit near my parents at church every Sunday, so my mom is regularly filling me in on what is going on their lives if I go awhile without seeing them!

Soon after we told my parents we were expecting my mom said that Jessica was due just a week or so after me!  It was so fun to capture these memories with her as we both grow our baby bumps.  It is always funny to me to look back at where I have been in different stages of my life and think, did I ever imagine I would end up in this exact moment? Like when we were 16 at Farmington High did I ever think I would have these two in front of my camera, celebrating their first little one while I am doing the same behind the camera? I didn't expect it, but I am beyond thankful for these moments! 

Jessica and Anthony are going to be the best parents.  They are so joyful as they await their little one's arrival, and I know they are surrounded by family and friends who are equally as excited for their addition! I cannot wait to hear if that little bump is a boy or a girl, and to see your little one grow up!  Congratulations, Anthony and Jessica! 

Greece

Okay, okay I know- this blog post is so picture heavy, but I would never say editing down my favorite images is my strong suit.  And when you travel to somewhere like Greece, it makes editing images even more difficult.  So out of the 600 pictures I currently have from the trip, I would say I am doing pretty good by only sharing 60!  

When we found out we were expecting a little one Ted and I decided we wanted to take one more big vacation before baby's arrival.  We called it a joint 5 year anniversary trip and babymoon.  Greece has always been high on both of our lists, and when we started to look into  the timing and the details it sounded like the perfect getaway for a mix of exploring and relaxing.  Yes I know, for some people that sounds absolutely crazy.  I was 33 weeks pregnant on our 11 hour flight home, and I know that doesn't make sense for every family.  But our doctor okayed it, and since I have been feeling great I had no problem traveling so late in my pregnancy. And with lots of prayer, everything went great! We are keeping our fingers crossed that baby is always this great of a traveler :)

We flew direct from Toronto to Athens.  We only spent one night in Athens, but felt like that was plenty to see the major sites.  From there we island hopped between 3 islands- Milos, Santorini and Crete.  Each island was completely different and I think that is what made the trip so amazing.  It felt like we were in a totally different part of the world after each ferry ride- the food, people, and landscape changed so much from island to island. 

Milos had very few tourists.  We stayed at a beautiful hotel where they completely pampered us.  We spent time at the beach and explored at a very leisurely pace.  Santorini is a must see, it is the perfect picture postcard image of Greece.  The rest of the world also thinks so, so there were more crowds to deal with here than in Milos.  Crete was a lush, endless island.  We rented a car and saw a big chunk of the island, and moved from mountains and gorges to beaches and historic cities within a few miles.  

The trip was exactly what we hoped it would be.  We moved at a slightly slower pace than usual, which made for slow mornings and afternoon chats over lemonade and Greek salad.  The memories from our 2 weeks in Greece are some of my very favorite we have ever made.  The people were kind, and I loved that everyone wanted to chat about our bump.  Always exclaiming- it's a boy! We will find out if all the Greeks were right soon enough!  If you are thinking about a trip to Greece I would say, go!  The blue water, fresh food, and endless opportunities to explore quickly made it one of our favorite travel destinations.

I will highlight a few things in the pictures below, but if you have any questions about where we went or what we did I would love to chat details with you!

We are already day dreaming about another trip to Greece in our future.  But for now I am looking forward to printing some of these pictures to hang in the nursery and telling the baby the story of his or her first European adventure!