I started this blog about a year and a half ago because I wanted to inspire other stay-at-home moms to not give in to the “mom-rut”. As moms, we are unanimously tired. There’s barely enough time to drink a cup of coffee and scarf down a piece of toast in the mornings, let alone time to shower, get dressed, do your hair and put on make-up. Well, I’m here to tell you, MAKE TIME. And this is why….
I’ve been waiting almost a year to be able to share photos of the time that my son and I spent on set, filming AMC’s Hell On Wheels. So with the final few episodes now airing and Cooper’s big debut revealed, I’m excited to finally share some stories and photos from our amazing experience.
Let me first say that there is nothing like being a part of the magic of show business…
As a fifth grade teacher, bullying is something that I come into contact with on a regular basis. The statistics are downright alarming: The Canadian Safe Schools Network reported that “70% of reported bullying is because they either look or act differently – race, weight, height, clothing, and any physical, religious and sexual differences – can all play a part. Over half of all teens have had at least one negative social networking experience, while an alarming 33% of students who are bullied online, report symptoms of depression.”
Being a part of a junior high school, I can believe it.
My heart goes out to all the families affected by the wild fires in Fort McMurray. On special days like Mother’s Day, a time for love and family, so many people are experiencing absolute devastation. Their homes and neighbourhoods destroyed and they have lost everything. I know that safety is always the number one priority and obviously lives are way more important than tangible items. But I don’t think we should disregard how important some things are to us too. How do you put a value on those sentimental objects?
It got me thinking about the contents of my home. If my home was on fire, and I could save one thing, what would it be? What’s something that no amount of money could replace? After only a moment’s thought I decided it would be a letter from my mother…
My acting and modelling agents have given me some great opportunities over the past couple years. In the past, I got to some neat stuff on my own but now that my family dynamic has changed with little ones in tow, it’s opened up more opportunities. I’ve had the pleasure of spending a month on set filming Hell on Wheels with my youngest and a day with my oldest shooting Pottery Barn Kids (don’t worry, I’ll be sharing all about these experiences once I’m able to). It’s great quality time together doing something exciting and different. It’s even better when you get a call, telling you that your whole family is wanted for a photo shoot!
A month ago we got to work with a Calgary based stock photography company called Hero Images. Stock photos are done by professional photographers based on different themes and can then be purchased by anyone to use for commercial purposes. Hero Images holds local casting calls a couple times a year and offer some fun opportunities for the public to get some modelling jobs. I adore working with their team and have made a couple great connections.
I thought it would be fun to show a few photos from our “Modern Families” shoot on this blog post. Although the photos weren’t done in our home, it was still fun to lounge around in our pyjamas with the kids. That’s totally a typical weekend for us! This was the first time for my husband doing something like this and he was a pretty good sport. It was totally unscripted and as you can see, Harper just loved the attention!
Learn more about Hero Images and their bi-annual casting calls:
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Tips and Tricks for making the most of your family photos this season
I absolutely love family photos. Every fall, I round up the gang and despite complaining, arrange to have our family life captured in a moment. It’s always a bit of a race against time here in Calgary. The leaves change colour quickly with the cooler weather, giving you a small window of two to three weeks before they fall to the ground. This year I chose Kaley Hayward Photography: an awesome local Calgarian photographer that I will definitely use again next year! I love how bright and natural our photos turned out. She also caught some beautiful candid moments.
I love yearly photos for a few reasons:
1. If you do this in the same season, you will have a great snapshot of how everyone has grown in a year’s time.
2. It makes for beautiful photos to use to decorate your home.
3. Use these photos for your Holiday cards and photo gifts to family members. Check out Shutterfly for great options!
1. If you have young kids, do a mini-session! This was our first time doing an official mini-session this year and it was perfect! These sessions usually have a 20-30 minute time frame and it’s just enough time to get some great shots before your children run out of patience. It is also much cheaper than a full photography session.
2. Choose 3 colours for your colour scheme. For our photos this year, I chose navy blue, forest green and cream. Whatever you choose, try and get at least one neutral colour in there as it is easier to match. One bright colour is great too (think red!). I ALWAYS go to Joe Fresh for family photo coordination. This time of year, their stores are filled with cozy sweaters, plaid flannels and cute jeans… in my opinion the perfect combinations. It’s easy to coordinate and everyone will look casual without looking too dressed up. Jeans are always a great option for everyone!
3. Get your photos outside. The natural lighting and beautiful backgrounds are exactly what you want. A cloudy day is actually better than a sunny one for outdoor photos! No shadowed faces or squinty eyes to worry about.
4. Pick a prop! I wanted to have a few fun, matchy-matchy toque photos for our Christmas card. I went with Cooper Toques in cream, blue and sky blue for my boys and a Ryan Beanie in charcoal for my hubby. I love how cute it turned out! Check out my Etsy Shop to order some for your family or email me: email@example.com
5. A couple little tricks for the mommas: wavy hair looks better than straight, make your smile stand-out with a darker shade of lipstick, and a little extra make-up will still look quite natural on camera.
If you’re looking for my outfit details, shop them on my previous post.
Now say cheese!
Love, Kiki www.harpers-hats.com