Outdoors Army Deployment Photo Session in Harker Heights -- Killeen/Fort Hood Texas Family Photographer

 

Michelle of All Your Heart Photography is a family, maternity, and newborn lifestyle photographer based in Killeen, Texas and serves Fort Hood, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Belton, and surrounding areas in Central Texas . She uses natural light to capture meaningful memories of your family with sincerity and authenticity. To contact Michelle or schedule a session, click here.

This pre-deployment session was so much fun! When I received a session inquiry from this family, I was overjoyed to discover that we all went to the same university! Small world, huh? Not only that, but they were a dual military couple as well! The term "dual military" is used to describe a married couple who both serve in the military at the same time. It's super stressful and tiring, and requires a lot of patience and grace. At any time, one – or both – person(s) can be deployed, in addition to the regular expectations of early morning physical training, late night work, irregular hours, and field training exercises.

A large unit is scheduled to deploy out of Fort Hood and this family wanted to capture photos of their family beforehand. This soldier will go on his fifth (5th!) deployment, but the first one since their children have been born. And to boot, they just moved here a few months prior! If army life teaches you anything, it's to be adaptable!

The two little girls were at such precious ages: 3 years and 7 months. Sometimes the three-year-old wasn't in the mood to smile much, but that's okay. It’s something I want parents to know: it's okay for your children to be themselves! As a mother, I adore those cheesy baby smiles and love the way their eyes crinkle, genuinely amusemed. At the same time, I like it when kids are having fun and being kids! As a photographer, I cherish moments of genuine connection, like when a child rests her head on her father’s shoulders, simply taking a moment to be still and appreciate one another. <3  

Thanks for reading! Also, if you would, please take a moment to pray for this family, all the deployed soldiers and their families at home, for those in service toward our nation and to peace, and for our leaders in government. 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 4: 6-7

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September 4 on 4 -- Killeen Texas Family Photographer

Michelle of All Your Heart Photography is a family, maternity, and newborn lifestyle photographer based in Killeen, Texas and serves Fort Hood, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Belton, and surrounding areas in Central Texas . She uses natural light to capture meaningful memories of your family with sincerity and authenticity. To contact Michelle or schedule a session, click here.

I almost started the monthly summary again with the words: This month has been busy! Well, in reality, I just feel busy and tired. My work schedule switched to early morning shifts for a few weeks, so I wake up at 4 a.m. even on my off days so my body and mind aren’t adjusting to drastic time differences. I prefer staying up late opposed to waking up very early. And to think, when I was in college, I woke up super early all the time!)

The desire to improve my life feels never-ending – eat healthier, exercise more, photograph meaningfully, manage and market my business better, parent more attentively, master new nursing skills, mindfully spend time with the Lord. The List goes on. Sometimes, in the moment, I have a strong sense of dissatisfaction, that I’m not where I want to be . . . but really, it’s where I need to be – right now – for my family. I can’t be expert status at ALL those things right now. So I have to cut down and prioritize what IS important. Am I spending my time and energy well? That can definitely be improved. Keep it simple, Michelle!!

Looking back on this past month from August, I can see that it wasn’t for nothing. To be honest, I’m so tired from work and eagerly focused on the upcoming fall and holiday season for photography, that August feels like one big blur! But then again, that’s yet another reason why I’m thankful for photography and that I intentionally took my “big camera” out on expeditions in the rain, to Killeen’s local ComiCon, and captured our everyday adventures. Time sure does fly! 

Just a little reminder: “Be patient with yourself.”

Some background on these photos:

#1 – Playing in Puddles – Finally, we have some rain and splashing fun! This is a childhood bucket list activity that I have wanted to do for some time now, inspired by Diana Gabaldon’s prologue in Voyager. Love these bright, cheerful colors!

#2 – Not a Morning Person – This one is just funny. When she wakes up in the morning, her hair is all askew and she does NOT like it when I open up the window to bring in some natural light! Bahahaha. I’m sorry, my sweet child… but mama needs the extra light for decent camera exposure.

#3 – Rembrandt Portrait – I actually had a different project in mind. I love her perky, Dr. Seuss hair and wanted to do a side-by-side portrait with a pineapple. Hmm, need to do a collaboration with my assistant. A.k.a. daddy.  

#4 – Interpretive Dance – Part of our bedtime routine, I guess. I often catch our toddler babbling to herself and playing in the mirror when it’s time to brush her teeth. Find fun where you can! #lifelessonsfromatoddler

Thanks for reading! Please check out Jo's blog post at "Life as I Know It" next in our blog circle!

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Motherhood Mondays - A Curious Toddler - Central Texas Photographer

Michelle of All Your Heart Photography is a family, maternity, and newborn lifestyle photographer. She uses natural light to capture meaningful memories of your family with sincerity and authenticity. To contact Michelle or schedule a session, click here.

What are Motherhood Mondays? It's a personal blog series using short prompts from a daily journal. I'll share a photograph from last week and an update about our everyday. 

 

When was the last time you used a babysitter for the evening?

I think it was January 2016 when we were in between PCS from Fort Huachuca, Arizona to Fort Hood, Texas. That’s four months ago! But, I suppose it’s understandable. When we first moved to Killeen and Fort Hood, Texas, one of the hardest transitions was the ominous feeling of starting all over again. I had to find a new routine, new friends, new moms I could trust. It’s hard when you’re a military family and your support system is nearly depleted when you have a PCS (permanent change of station). It can be lonely and challenging for the whole family.

But I knew where we should start: God, prayer, and patience. We started looking for a church community. I’m somewhat impatient and I remember thinking, “We’ve been here for a few months now and I’m no further along in finding friends than before!” I tried a few things here and there… But slowly things have come together.

Back to the original question: our last date consisted of buying an Outlander adult coloring book and going to watch a Marvel superhero movie! 

 

What does the word "motherhood" mean to you?

Motherhood is sacrifice, humility, unfathomable love, tiring, trust, and rejoicing all things. Maybe "keeping a child alive" is a little thing – but sometimes it feels like a huge accomplishment! Especially when you have a toddler who likes to test safety boundaries, haha… But motherhood also ties in with other facets of life: being a wife and military spouse, a leader within the household… It’s incredibly humbling too. Motherhood makes me reflect upon my childhood and the difficult attitude I gave my own mother! (Sorry, mom.) Most mothers try their best, but we all have flaws. I hope I can be humble and honest with my daughter and help guide her in life. I do not desire perfection.

 

What adjective do you use most often to describe your child?

Curious When our daughter was a newborn, people would comment on how alert she seemed. It’s neat to see her grow physically and mentally; her curious nature adapts and grows as well. Recently, she has gotten adept at using her tippy toes to reach something on a high shelf.

As a photographer, I often squat down to her eye level to get an alternate point of view. From this angle, things can seem boring – but I notice that our daughter is very keen on observing adult behavior and actions. If I mindlessly put an exotic object on a shelf, she reaches up on her toes to see if she can grab it. She copies me when I’m cleaning and wants to taste everything I eat or drink. Honestly, I’ve had to buy extra photography equipment like SD cards and batteries because she will put them in random locations! . . . Let’s not discuss the numerous times my cell phone has gone missing. 

Feel free to share your own answers in the comments section!