It’s pretty common to have portraits done when your children are infants, toddlers, and in elementary school. And of course when they are high school seniors. But what about those in between years?   All too often those years get forgotten.  Not because we don’t want portraits of our children at this time of their lives (braces cute AND endearing!), but because the pace of life with teenagers, even young teenagers, picks up at a rapid pace.  It’s hard to find time to go to the grocery store let alone schedule a portrait session.

I feel the logistical pain of having teenagers,  and I am definitely negligent in not photographing my children enough these days.    But I can tell you they are incredibly interesting years and they absolutely should be documented.  They question everything around them…they are figuring out their personalities, friendships, interests…and they are redefining themselves on  almost daily basis.   So when I have an opportunity to photograph kids at this tender age,  it’s really such a treat.

_MG_1862color5x7Heidi Lynne Photography - Teen PhotographerHeidi Lynne Photography - Teen PhotographerHeidi Lynne Photography - Teen PhotographerHeidi Lynne Photography - Teen PhotographerHeidi Lynne Photography - Teen PhotographerHeidi Lynne Photography - Teen Photographer

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So in case you don’t know…owning your own business is hard.  Really, really hard.  Finances (is there enough cash flow to pay the bills *and* my salary?), logistics (how many balls can I possibly juggle at one time?), time management (what is that bright shiny object over there?), marketing (a delicate balance of selling yourself in an authentic way), etc.  I have a good handle on all of those things…it’s the natural flow of my life now…I can do this all in my sleep.  But one thing I struggle with continually is confidence.  And I know I’m not alone.  Research shows that this problem of self doubt is much more prevalent in women than in men…WHY oh WHY is this?!  Just this morning the fabulous Marie Forleo posted about this problem – – How To Believe In Your Business When You Don’t Always Believe In Yourself.  The simple key is that as a businesswomen and artists, we need to shine our light on our clients…not on ourselves.  Sometimes this is easier said than done, but it really is so simple.

Yesterday was kind of tough for me.  I usually keep my self doubt in the back of my mind, but the nature of living in a small town causes grocery store conversations and social media mingling to force self doubt to swirl angrily around my head.  It ain’t pretty, and it’s just not a cool way to feel.  But as I was sitting on my couch last night with my 15 year old watching the caucus results come in, I asked her about her new semester pottery class.  She told me that they had to tell the class who inspired them…and guess what she said?  Me.  Her mom.  I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about it.  Could I want anything more as a mother and business owner.  No…I really couldn’t.  That’s all it right there in front of me.

So I woke up this morning with a new outlook…and knowing that my light will continue to shine on my clients.  I will continue to work for them…I will continue to gain inspiration through them…and I will continue to serve them in the best way that I know how.

Shine on my friends…


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  • Becky S

    I struggle with this constantly, but honestly, you seem to have your stuff together so well from where I stand. What a blessing for your daughter to be able to recognize how awesome you are!

    You rock, girlfriend! Stop in for some chocolate sometime.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Oh I will! I’m trying to undo my gluttony and sloth from 2015 but I’ll be getting some Vday chocolates soon 😉ReplyCancel

So yesterday was not one of my most stellar days as a mom.  It was a typical hectic afternoon…picking up, dropping off, picking up, dropping off.  This is a cadence that I’ve grown used to but yesterday there was a business trip thrown into the mix…for which I needed to finish packing…and of course the various household tasks that need to be tended to before heading out of town.  So there was some stress…there was some yelling…and as I drove out of town and I felt my sore throat (from the aforementioned yelling) my eyes filled with tears.  I’ve got a spirited kind of personality so I tend to be reactive to everything in my life, the good the bad and the ugly.  I realize this is not helpful in any way shape or form when it comes to family stress, and I think I’ve gotten better at handling it…but sometimes I fail miserably.  And yesterday was one of those days.

So last night after a stressful drive to my hotel I sat down to relax in front of a fire to wind down.  And precisely at that moment I received a text from my daughter, apologizing to me for the way the afternoon went down.  She acknowledged her part and expressed her desire to make things better…and ultimately for us to understand one another better.  And at that moment I realized that despite my failings as a mother, I might not be doing as bad of a job as I thought.  It’s the long game…not the short game.

After reading a blog post from We Are That Family this morning about a very similar moment, it occurred to me that this is common..I’m not the only one.  We are all in this together.

I’m so proud of these girls…inside and out.  They aren’t perfect…I’m not perfect…our relationships aren’t perfect.  And that’s totally ok.

P.S.  Thanks to Kelly V Photography for this (and many other images) from last month…she’s kinda awesome.  I mean she’s got mad photography skills but to take on three photographer kid female teenagers…that’s bravery.


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Wait.  Ahem…{cough…cough}…and the winner(s) are…

Without getting into what I unknowingly did to turn the tide of the voting, I’m happy to announce that there are two winners of the HLP Best Image of 2015!  I could not be happier with the winners…and I’m pretty stoked that I will be getting to see these two families again in 2016…it’s a win*win situation!  I will be showcasing each of the sessions from which the winning images came in the coming days…so stay tuned!

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Yes, yes. We all love the outdoors.  You and me both…nothing better than an outdoor location for a photography session.

Just imagine it…the perfect sunkissed late summer day an hour before sunset.   The sun is trickling through the trees creating the most perfectly beautiful backlight, the sky is gradually turning shades of pink, crickets are chirping, a gentle breeze is blowing your hair ever so gently, your children are skipping gleefully and playing ring around the Rosie.

Or, it could be like this. It is  95° and humid (or 45 degrees and frigid…your pick), the sun is glaring in your eyes causing your family to squint, the gnats are in everyone’s faces, your children are running in opposite directions because there are so many distractions,  the thunder storm that is coming in 20 minutes has kicked up gale force winds causing everyone to look like they are in a windtunnel, and despite your best efforts to create that organic “barefoot in the grass” look, your baby refuses to put his feet down because the grass is just *too* textural and your 8 year old stepped on a stinging nettle. Good times.

Yes, I’m being fairly dramatic. But what can I say, that’s my tendency. Ask my mom.  But the truth is that as long as I have been photographing families, children, babies, and high school seniors I have had a fully functioning studio and I can certainly attest to the upside of choosing a studio photography session for your family.

1…The Weather…I always joke that I am a part-time weather forecaster. During my busy outdoor shooting season, I am constantly checking the weather. I have learned how far in advance to panic, and when to make the call to cancel.   I’ve gotten used to it, it’s part of my job.  But it tends to add stress for my clients. Obviously a shoot in the studio takes away the weather worry._MG_1071-bw7x5

2…Time of Day…you may have heard about the ‘golden hour’; that’s the hour before sunset (or the hour after sunrise…but between you and me…that’s kinda early).   During the golden hour sunlight is beautiful, soft and dynamic.  Generally speaking, it is the ideal for outdoor lighting.   But let’s face it, as a photographer I can’t schedule all of my shoots during this time. And even if I could,  we seemingly have more overcast days than not here in central Pennsylvania.   And during the late fall and winter, sunset is in the late afternoon so that combined with work, school, naps and mealtimes…scheduling a photo shoot can be a logistical nightmare.  When my children were young, early evening was generally a nightmare…the ‘witching’ hour.  They were cranky, tired, hungry and generally miserable…so having success from a photography session at that time would be challenging at best.sullivan card back2

3…Control…ok, I admit it.  I’m a bit of a control freak.  I’ve been in denial for a while, but I’m finding that my family deals with me better now that I admit the fact that I’m high maintenance.  So yes, I like being able to shoot in the studio where I can control the lighting, the temperature, the backgrounds and the four walls beyond which toddlers cannot escape._MG_4427xbw8x10

4…Out of the ordinary…December brought about an influx of holiday cards.  Lots of bright and sunny faces frolicking in the fields with cheerful Christmas sentiments to match.  But now that we are in January, there’s nothing.  Nothing but bills.  So how awesome would it be to open up a Valentine’s Day card from your aunt’s family?  Or a funny Groundhog’s Day card from your neighbor?  Think out of the box…never let them know what to expect.  So if you meant to get out holiday cards but couldn’t find a single spare minute to do so (ummm…this may or may not be me?)…try something new for your annual card this year…_MG_4484xcolor

5…Simple…I tend to shoot very simplistically in the studio.  Clean and classic…pure and simple.  What perfect conditions to capture authentic expressions and connections…ss10x20frame

At the end of this month I am hosting Valentine’s Day Limited Edition studio sessions.  Treat yourself…I promise it will be fun…

Dates: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, January 26, 27 and 28

Investment: $300

Includes: One framed triptych with three 5×5 or 5×7 images…OR…one 16×20 canvas

AND…three gift portraits (8×10, 8×8, 5×5, 5×7 or 4×6) for gift giving or 814-777-0473 to schedule…

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