Hey-oo, who’s ready for school to be back in session?! I’m over here raising my hand without shame, y’all. People, my children – my dear, sweet, beautiful, intelligent children-made-in-the-image-of-God – are driving me bananas. So in the interest of not screaming at them constantly (or having a total nervous breakdown), here are a few sanity-saving activities to keep the chaos to a dull roar. Surviving summer? You got this. xo

16 Things To Do With Your Kids (instead of losing your marbles)
(Or: Surviving the Last Days of Summer)

  1. Jump on the bed, Olympic-style. Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0184For this one, you’ll need two important things: 1) some paper or poster board to create Olympic judge score signs 2) A momentary lack of uptightness when it comes to things like jumping on the bed. THIS IS SURVIVAL, REMEMBER??
    And don’t forget that you’re engendering a love of the Olympics in them. Because the Olympics are coming up FAST and are an awesome family bonding experience. Also, grab your iphone for those fun suspended-in-the-air shots. Loosen up and have fun. You can probably even get away with reading a book while sitting in the room to make sure no one breaks a bone.
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  2. Pokemon Go

    Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0191I get that we modern mamas are supposed to be anti-screens and advocating unplugged lives for our offspring, but c’mon – this game gets them outside and moving around. Embrace the modern age (and your inner child) and go catch some sneaky little Pokemon (Pokemons? Pokemen? Who cares, they’re happy).Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0196

  3. Cool off in a kiddie pool.
    DUDE. It’s hot as Satan’s armpit over here in the Deep South. Like, so hot I’ve been known to be found on top of the AC vent, curled in the fetal position and murmuring comforting phrases like “Autumn leaves” and “65 degrees and zero humidity” and “ice bath.” So if you have to be outside, and you don’t have a grown-up style pool, there is no shame in breaking out the $5 Walmart special plastic pool. Embrace it. Sit in that sucker and put your feet up (and have a drink with a little umbrella in it if that floats your boat). Even if the kiddos aren’t interested in joining you, at least you can stay cool(er) while you supervise their outdoor adventures.
  4. LibraryChattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0192I don’t know about where you’re from, but our local library has a TON of summer programs for kids of all ages. There are Minecraft clubs, Lego clubs, movie nights, Baby Bounce, and toddler storytime; groups for music, art, technology, drama, reading and writing. Even when there’s no organized program happening, my kids LOVE to explore the kids’ level of the library while I sit and get work done. The library is an awesome wealth of experience for my kids. Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0194
  5. Paint outside. 10457752_678338805554740_2409619674415520672_oJust embrace the fact that a bath is happening directly after this activity. And then GO WITH IT. Encourage their creativity. Let them create epic body art. It washes off (unlike mine). 😉Slavovsky-14-6210448777_10154261711415580_2118197631541252372_n
  6. Turn on the sprinkler and get MUDDY.

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    No explanation needed. You can sit on the porch with a mojito (or inside at the windows) to supervise this one. Or you can run through the sprinkler alongside your offspring – either way, they have a blast. Making a little mud in your grass-bare yard (own it! mine is grass-bare. I blame the scalding summer and lack of rain)…? No problem. Embrace that, too.

  7. Build your own superhero.Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0193If your house is anything like ours, you probably have a wide variety of (very) random costume pieces from Halloweens past, costume parties, and character-obsession phases. Put that stuff to good use and tell the kids they have 5 minutes to come up with a new superhero persona with as many costume pieces as possible. And their character needs more than just a baller superhero name – let them know you expect a full origin story and synopsis of superpowers.lifestyle family photography_0062
  8. Let them make lunch.
    You just have to expect a mess with this one. But what’s a little peanut butter on the countertop? With a little practice, they will at the least be able to continue making their own lunches (can I get a hurrah?!), and at best they’ll discover that they love experimenting in the kitchen. Who knows, maybe they’ll soon be asking to make dinner. Yes please!
  9. Teach them new life skills.
    In the vein of making their own lunches, try teaching them a few skills that they’ll need when they’re on their own. This one is hard for me, because I kind of like things JUST SO, and my children just DO NOT GET THAT. Ahem. Deep breaths. So maybe take the delicates out of the laundry before you let them wash a load solo, and put away the crystal vase your grandmother handed down to you before you let them dust. But get them started in the rhythm of caring for their surroundings. Start them young, and they will thrive when it’s time to get out on their own.best fun family photographer in chattanooga_0020
  10. Dance party
    lifestyle family photography_0091This one has added benefits – there’s cardio involved, which burns fat and calories, AND boosts your mood. So use this liberally throughout your day. Crank the music and get moving!
  11. Write a story.
    Write a story together – line by line – without knowing what came before. Obviously, this one works best with older kids who can write – but you can adapt it for the littles in your life by having them team up with an adult. Directions: grab a blank sheet of paper. The first person (or team) writes the opening line (“Once upon a time, there lived_______” as an example), then folds the paper over their contribution to hide it. The next person writes the next sentence(s) without reading the opener. Keep going until the paper is full, then unfold and read your soon-to-be award-winning creation.
  12. Grow something. Lifestyle in home newborn session in Chattanooga TN_0022You’ll need a few pots or containers, a bag of soil, and something to grow (seeds or ready-to-plant flowers, depending on how patient you want to be to see results). Definitely do this outside in order to avoid some catastrophic messes. Bonus points if you show your kids how and let them do it themselves without intervening. Kids lose interest when they’re not actually experiencing the activity.
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  13. Family movie night with a series

    Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0183Depending on the ages and personalities of your children, you might be able to introduce them to movies that YOU actually enjoy too! This summer, we’ve been watching through the Bourne movies (Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, etc), and it’s been so fun. Popcorn, snuggles, and cliffhangers (also interesting to note: that series is so much better when watched back to back. McGee and I have been enjoying it way more this time around than we did by watching them as they were released). We’ve been having great discussions about good vs. evil, and how it’s rarely clearly dileneated. It’s been both fun and meaningful for us.

  14. Read together

    Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0186This one seems super obvious, and to parents of really young children, it comes naturally. But as your kids get older and start reading on their own, sometimes you (ME) forget the power of reading aloud together. In need of some quiet bonding time? Pick out a great series (Narnian Chronicles, Harry Potter – whatever you enjoy), and read a chapter or two aloud together every day. This one works great on car trips, too.
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  15. Angry Birds.
    This one is crazy-fun, emphasis on the crazy. Bear with me while I overshare about my own insanity, won’t you? So this one time, I was at my wits’ end and needing to get my kids off screens. I wanted to channel some of their energy and have some bonding time that everyone would enjoy, but it was way too hot to go outside. Hence was born the idea of real life Angry Birds. McGee and I sent the kids to their room for a few minutes while we set up, and in their absence turned the living room into a scene from their Angry Birds game. We were the pigs, wearing bicycle helmets and barricaded behind various couch cushions or furniture. We provided them each with a laundry basket full of small stuffed animals with which to toss at us. Each of us had a certain number of hits required to defeat us. OMG I cannot tell you how wild and fun this game is. It’s become a staple around here. (pro tip: remove all valuables and lamps from the play space before letting fly your ammo). Also I have no pictures of this particular activity, as I’m always involved in it. 🙂
  16. Cardboard box adventures. Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0182I’m sure you know this, whether you’re a parent or not. Most of us discover the magic of cardboard boxes early in life, but you may have forgotten along the way. Few things engender creativity and imagination like a giant, basic cardboard box. If you’re low on supplies, swing by a grocery store or big box store like Target or Best Buy and ask for a few. Each box contains HOURS of fun.

Guys, you can do this!! Only a few more weeks of summer! xoxoxoxo

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Emily Lapish

Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She likes long walks through Target while cradling a latte. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee. 

To book a free consultation or inquire about a session, click here. 

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I’m not big on formalities or beating around the bush. So let’s be blunt here. Why should you invest several hundred dollars in a professional portrait session? Honestly, it’s a lot of money. I don’t take that lightly. And I want you to be 1000% (yep, one thousand percent) satisfied with the outcome. So…

…why hire a professional photographer?

So you’re sold on the idea of a photo session. But let me explain what sets this experience apart.

Pre-session prep:

Your session experience begins with a session prep digital magazine, which is bursting with everything you need to know about your experience with me. It covers what to wear, what to expect, how to prepare kids for your session, and a lot more info (and maybe even a few surprises!).

why hire a professional photographer

Next up is your (fully optional – I get that sometimes your busy schedule doesn’t allow for this, and we can do this over the phone if necessary) pre-session consultation in my cozy studio, where we’ll probably drink some coffee while we chat about your family and plan your session together. My style is very personal – it’s about who you are as individuals and as a family unit – so it’s helpful for us to get to know each other beforehand in order to get natural, beautiful shots that celebrate you authentically. I want to hear your concerns, your expectations, and your ideas, and the pre-session consultation is the perfect way to do that. At this point, if you haven’t already, you can choose your session type (I have different options depending on your needs and budget).

The session:

Next on the calendar comes your actual session. It will most likely take place either at your home, but we may decide on an outdoor location instead. Sessions typically take from 60 – 90 minutes depending on the ages and personalities and needs of those involved. I have a great deal of experience in gauging the needs of my clients during a session, and it’s vitally important to me not to push people past the line between “this is so fun!!” and “are we done yet?!”

why pay a professional photographer

After your session, you will get to see a “sneak peek” photograph from your session. I post these on Facebook or Instagram within a few days of your session.

Your full gallery of photographs from your session will be finished and ready for viewing within 10-14 days of your session, and you’ll get access to an online gallery of your photographs that you can share with friends, family and Facebook (the three F’s).

why i hired a professional photographer

Your photographs:

If you’ve chosen Option 2 (session + all digital negatives), our journey together ends here (or does it?! Let’s be friends, for reals). If you’ve chosen Option 1 or 3, we get to prolong the magic a bit and take your photographs all the way to your walls (don’t let them just sit on Facebook and never see the light of actual day!).

So for you Option 1 or 3 folks, next up is your ordering session. Typically this is scheduled a day or two after you receive your gallery so that everything is fresh in your mind. During your ordering session, you will make your portrait selections from our menu of gallery-grade heirloom product collections. I love heirloom products because I believe in the tangible. No one ever said they wanted to leave digital files for the generations to come; they want to leave beautiful framed prints and albums for their children and grandchildren. The tangible seems to be disappearing from our world today, and I do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Your order will arrive to you ready to be enjoyed for years to come. Delivery is the last stop on your portrait session journey, but it’s not the end. I like to stay friends with my clients on social media and keep up with the ups and downs of life. Because you’re not just a number or a customer to me – my clients are my friends.

why should you hire a professional photographer

So why pay a professional photographer to document your family? Because it’s your life – your only one – and you’re writing your family’s history. Leave evidence of a life well loved.

Interested in why you should hire a birth photographer? Click here to read one of my client’s personal experience. 

Ready to book your session? Head over here and drop me a line

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Emily Lapish

Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She likes long walks through Target while cradling a latte. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee. 

To book a free consultation or inquire about a session, click here. 

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I’m going to take a shot in the dark (something that, by the way, photographers don’t do often*) and say that if you’re here, I think I might know you. Before you get creeped out, hear me out. Mom life.

You’re a parent, or soon to be one. You love your family, and you also sometimes want to run away from home (no judgment – same here). You’re baffled sometimes by how much you can love someone (so much it hurts) and be SO annoyed by them at the same time (have I ever told you about the time my 3rd grader took up playing the recorder? Or how my husband’s dirty clothes always seem to be in a pile on the floor right NEXT to the clothes hamper?). You feel frustrated that there’s never enough time in a day to do the Pinterest hacks/cooking/cleaning/work/playing board games with the kids/reading books/showering and actually dressing like a grown up. You know, all the things you plan to accomplish in a day. You probably haven’t had a girls’ night out in awhile. You probably look in the mirror and make a mental list of all the things you’d like to change.

Am I onto something here? If I’m right about this, then you are the reason I do what I do. It’s your family I want to photograph interacting and loving on each other in the beautiful chaos of your life. For two reasons: One, because that kind of emotion-filled, personality-rich photography is what makes my heart sing. Two, because I want you to see those photographs on your wall when your day is hard and you feel like a failure. There is so much value in the visual reminders of who you love, how you love them, and WHY you love them.

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So set aside some time, slow down life, and have fun together – you may even forget I’m there with a camera. And keep those memories on your walls for your children and grandchildren.

*little joke there. you’re welcome.

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To schedule your free consultation, or book your birth, beauty, newborn, or family session, click here

relaxed candid photography

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Families of all shapes and sizes are my favorite. But there’s a special place in my heart for families with three boys; that’s my life, and I get it (do I ever). I’m so honored and blessed to be photographing this first year of the Hendon family as a family of 5. There is so much joy to be found in watching a family grow and strengthen their connections and love.

Enjoy this first session! xoChattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0115Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0116Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0118Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0119Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0120Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0121Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0122Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0123Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0124Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0125Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0126Chattanooga documentary style family photography; Emily Lapish_0127

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Emily Lapish

Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She likes long walks through Target while cradling a latte. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee. 

To book a free consultation or inquire about a session, click here. 

 

 

 

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I love watching babies grow! It’s so good for my soul (even if it’s not great for my baby fever). Scarlett is just the most scrumptious, smiley baby. Her 6 month session was a blast, and just look how much she’s grown from her newborn session!

To see her birth story and maternity session, click the links. Enjoy!! xo

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Emily Lapish

Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She likes long walks through Target while cradling a latte. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee. 

To book a free consultation or inquire about a session, click here. 

 

 

 

 

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