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Taking a break + 2018 Session Availability || Wasilla Newborn Photographer || Moss and Myrrh Photography

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A Year of No.

Every year I sit down and really try to figure out what's serving me, what isn't serving me, and what I can do to change that. Last year was a HUGE year of change for me (new business name + model) and this year has been absolutely amazing. Perseverance really does pay off in the small business world and all the years I've been pushing, hoping things would take off, have finally paid off. This year though I feel another shift coming. I think if you aren't growing and changing as a business + person at all times, you're going to get burnt out OR your business isn't going to thrive. So, every year I sit down and try to figure it all out. I've quickly learned to always go with my gut, even if I don't want to listen to it. I really didn't want to listen to it this time, but it's hard to ignore and I just have to hope it's the right decision. While I absolutely LOVE my work, I'm also becoming exhausted by it all and I'm afraid I'm losing focus of what I'm really wanting to do. I let summer sessions really dominate me this year, only focusing on families because that's what everyone wanted, but in the end I did feel that burn out and that's not how I want to feel. I do this because I love it, I love being my own employer, and I love the sweet souls I get to meet through out the year. In order to continue feeling that though, I'm going to have to learn to say no. So, 2018 is the year of NO. 

Slowing Down.

If you follow me on social media, you probably have already caught onto how I've been feeling lately. I'm tired and I am ready to slow down. I'm ready to be able to step back from my computer more and I am SO ready to be able to disconnect. I stare at a computer screen or phone screen probably 85% of my time and I've been feeling a serious need to walk away for days at a time. I've been fighting that because what business just disappears for days at a time? I'm not a corporation though, I'm not a robot, I'm a real person sitting behind this screen editing day in and out, answer emails obsessively, letting the anxiety of running this business drive me a bit mad. So, for my own sanity I really have to find a way to coexist with Moss and Myrrh Photography. I feel like it's becoming it's own being and I'm ready to let it go a bit. If this is meant to be, I will continue getting the business I need to thrive. I will continue to get the clients that understand and accept that I need to live a slower paced life in every way. 

Taking a Break.

In order to do everything said above, I have to take a break from SOMETHING. I have to set boundaries and I have to stick to them. When sitting down to decide what needs to go, births instantly came to mind. I sat on that for weeks hoping I'd have a change of heart or I'd find a way around it. There isn't a way around it though. I absolutely need a break from births, which is heart breaking. I love my birth work. I love documenting a new little life coming into this world. I'm not afraid to say though, I am NOT in love with being on call. I am NOT in love with obsessively checking for texts and phone calls because I'm so afraid of missing a birth. I want to chuck this phone out the window and forget it for weeks at a time, literally. I can't do that though, not being on call. So, I've made the decision to not take anymore births on after my last May births. I have no clue how long this "break" will last. Maybe it'll be forever, maybe it'll last until the end of the year. I have no clue! It's really going to depend on how I'm feeling physically, mentally, and of course, financially. Births are huge source of income for me (I'm transparent, folks), so to walk away from that is also making me insanely anxious. I'm doing my best to modify my life though so I can still live comfortably and become debt free. If it's meant to be, it'll be. I know people hate hearing it, but everything really does happen for a reason, whether we like it or not. If things go horribly wrong, well I'm not on the right path, am I?

There's Always an Exception to the Rule.

Without a doubt though, there will be exceptions, and I just have to learn how to work with them. If any of my repeat clients or clients that I am head over heels in love with become pregnant around the time frame I'm in break mode, PLEASE STILL CONTACT ME. We're hitting a point where I'm documenting baby #2's and I really don't want to miss that. I feel like I have such a connection with my birth families and it would be devastating to not be there for the second babies. While I can't promise I can 100% take you on, I will do everything I can to try and make it work. So, not all is lost. <3 

Fresh 48's + Newborns Take Priority.

I am ready to get back to my babies (as you've probably read 50x now). As said above, families ended up dominating my year, and while I do love them, babies will always be priority to me. I'm going to be only offering family sessions to returning clients. So, if we worked together over this year, you're in luck! I'll see how 2018 goes, but this used to be a hard rule for me a couple of years ago and I loved it. I was able to continue building relationships with the same clients and that's what it's really all about for me.

Limited Sessions.

Some of you may already know, but my husband is leaving for a big chunk of 2018. We've made some huge lifestyle changes in 2017 and that leaves a lot of work around our property and the animals we care for (and continue adding). It's a lot of work as just a couple, so I'm pretty anxious about taking it all on by myself. The spring is the craziest time for us with gardening, meat chickens, and just keeping up with the land in general, so it's going to be a bit crazy. If you're catching my drift, I cannot do as much work as I've been doing (in business). I'm hoping to stick to 5 sessions a month. Yes, just 5! That's cutting my work in less than half and it scares me to death. Once I find a new normal I think I'll have a better idea of what I can handle work wise, so maybe that number will go up, but I'm not 100% sure. 

Booking.

Because of all those decisions above, I need you to know that I am SERIOUS about booking as soon as you possibly can. If you're expecting in 2018 and want a Fresh 48 and/or Newborn Session, please don't wait to book. I am going to say no once I hit 5 due dates per month. In the summer it'll be especially full because I know a few of you are going to want your annual summer family sessions. Do. Not. Wait. Pleeeeeeease. If you'd like to get in touch and see if I have availability for a specific month next year, please use that button below to get in touch!

 

Thank you.

Once again, I just want to let everyone know that keeps supporting me, I adore your face! Seriously. You're amazing and it means so much that you guys continue to send me work and book me year after year. 2017 was amazing and I can't wait to see where 2018 takes me!

Love Letters || Newborn Photographer Anchorage, Alaska || Moss and Myrrh

I'm a big believer that if an idea comes to you, you best use it because it'll move to someone else if not. Ever read Big Magic? Yeah..Elizabeth Gilbert knows what she's talking about! Earlier this summer I was out on a hike alone (when I do my best thinking) feeling a little creatively lost. It seems the summer does that to me every year so it's best to just sit down and listen. I had a brilliant idea come to mind and was SO excited to start working on it. Then life happened and summer sessions took over, there wasn't enough time. I also didn't know how exactly I wanted to go about putting it all together, so I just pushed it aside for a bit. I actually saw another photographer/videographer (not in America, thank goodness), use a tiny bit of that idea in a project recently and it FREAKED me out! I had that idea tucked away for another day..how did they have a part of it? So, that was the kick in the butt I needed to get this started. I'm about to explain a bit about this project I'm dreaming of, but really I don't know exactly how it'll flow or how far it'll go. I have no clue what the end will be and I really need the PERFECT model(s) for this. I'm hoping the Universe will serve up some awesomeness and the stars will align, because this can/will be magic if I can find the perfect family. 

The Details - PLEASE READ: 

I'm looking for a FIRST time pregnant mama due around Dec/Jan timeframe. This project will be covering pregnancy through the first YEAR of baby's life, so this is a pretty serious project to take on for myself and for the model. I am not 100% sure how often we'll be shooting, but I'll for sure be doing a Maternity Session (in home), Fresh 48 (48 hours after baby arrives), and a Newborn session a couple of weeks after baby is here. From then on I believe we'll be doing every 3 month updates. This is a film + photo project. You have to be 100% okay with being filmed, with your voice being used, and with being photographed in your most vulnerable/exhausted state. Please, please, please, consider these things when answering the model call. If this isn't your jam, don't contact me just because it's possibly free. I'm about to pour my soul into this, I want YOU to pour your soul into this as well..so only serious clients, please. 

You must be okay with being styled. I have a vision in mind for this and I'll be picking out clothes for every session with you (you're responsible for that purchase if necessary). If you aren't familiar with my style, please have a look around my website, it says it all! 

My hopes for this project are to document the mental, physical, and emotional change that comes with Motherhood. I want to document your excitement, your worries, your exhaustion, and everything in-between. My hope is that when your baby is an adult they can open this treasure chest of their first year and actually SEE their mother. How she felt, looked, the person she was before giving birth to them. 

This will be emotional, exhausting, and absolutely beautiful. If this sounds like something you'd love to be a part of, let's chat!

Fill out the form below, once sent send me an email with your picture + some shots of your home (so I can see light and style). IN THE SUBJECT AREA PLEASE PUT YOUR NAME. No need to say anything else in the email. ;) 

Name *
Name
Due Date *
Due Date
Are you okay with.. *
Check those you're okay with.

 

Please know I'll probably get a big response from this and won't have time to answer everyone, so don't get upset if you never hear from me. ;)

Thank you, guys! So excited to get this started!

xoxo,

Ashton

 

Time to Slow Down || Wasilla Newborn Photographer

What a crazy couple of months it has been! For those of you that have kept up with my life, we're finally moved into our new home and getting settled. We are so in love with this little house and these woods that surround us. I can without a doubt say, I've never been more content than I am right now.

Finally being at a place where we're really happy has made me contemplate quite a few things. It's put everything into a new perspective and I can feel a new push in a new direction, though I never know where the push will take me. I know the push is telling me to slow down though, I do know that. It's telling me to stop working 24/7, day and night. It's telling me to step away from the computer and to allow myself to enjoy the little things in life that make me happy. In order to do that though I have to make changes with how I run Moss and Myrrh. I'm exhausted, guys. Running a business isn't easy. Depending on others to want to hire you so you can pay your bills, it's exhausting. It's starting to feel like I'm in a rat race again and that's a life I really don't want. I want to LOVE what I'm doing, not feel like I'm running in circles going nowhere. 

Our move has also brought us to a location that's leaving me pretty far from my clients. What was once a 30-45 minute drive now takes 1.5 hours, one way. Truth be told, that drive is draining. Sure, we chose to move out this far, but that also means that I have to make changes in choosing how far I'm willing to go for work now too. I get stuck between wanting to please everyone, wanting to give what I have to everyone, but then in turn leaving myself drained and empty. In the end, it's not worth it anymore. 

So, with all the rambles you read up there ^ I'm here to tell you that things are going to change. I'm not sure how just yet, but I know it's coming. I'm pretty sure I'll be restricting just how many Anchorage clients I take. I know I'll be making tough decisions and having to say no to births further out in Anchorage. It's going to be hard, I know that. This business is my baby. I already feel horrible because I can't offer birth work to every mama that contacts me, so saying no just because they're in Anchorage is going to hurt even more. I have to do this for myself though and for my sanity. 

Don't fret though! I'll be sporadically announcing dates I'll be available for sessions in Anchorage through out the month. If you're pregnant and want me for a newborn session, please, please, please, do not wait when booking me. At this point I'm looking at only taking one Anchorage session per month. That narrows down my availability A LOT. Also, I will still be working in Eagle River as normal. That drive is manageable, haha. If you're already booked for an Anchorage session, you're still good to go, your session isn't changing. 

I'm also excited to announce that Wasilla/Palmer clients will be getting a $50 discount when they book now! Yeah, yeah, it's to encourage Valley clients to book. There's no shame in my game! I want to stay closer to the valley, so clients out here will be getting a discount. Also, Wasilla/Palmer births will now receive a $100 discount! Soooo, if you know any pregnant mamas, send em' my way! 

As always, thank you to everyone that continues to choose me as their photographer. I appreciate you guys so, so, much. <3 

xoxo,

Ashton 

A New Season || Wasilla Lifestyle Photographer || Moss and Myrrh Photography

A New Season.

It seems this last year (starting in 2016) has been all about change and growth. My business is growing with the HUGE changes I made last summer. My ideals for living have been evolving so quickly I can't keep up. All in all, life is good. 

As many of you know, we've been wanting to move for quite some time. Looking back 3 years ago, I was so in love with this home, but slowly it's just been swallowing me up. It's huge, too much home for just 2 people. We literally live in half of this house, rarely using the other half. "More" is no longer making me happy. I want less so I can explore more, so this move is very exciting for us. We went into home searching with a very tight budget and knew it would be hard to find exactly what we wanted. A little over an acre of land, 2 bed, 1 bath, under 1000 sq ft. We were more than willing to upgrade the home, in fact I was excited about making it "ours". We fell in LOVE with a home that was right at the top of our budget, but sat on a "pond" and was completely updated. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, it was more than we wanted but it was adorable. We lost it though and that was pretty crushing. I just kept imagining warm summer days with my crazy dogs jumping in the water. Then we fell in love with the land of another house..3.3 acres, top of our budget, but it was gorgeous. Again, we lost it. The valley is being eaten up fast! There's no time to think. Honestly, I'd started to lose all hope. We're on a time limit and can't seem to get to a house fast enough before it's gone. Then something CRAZY happened. Another house on that same "pond" opened up. It was 2 bed, 1 bath, and $56,000 under our budget. $56,000, guys. WHAT. After looking at it, it wasn't anything what we imagined. Seriously, we imagined a HOT MESS for that cheap..but it wasn't. We immediately put in an offer and after less than 24 hours on the market it was pending..it's "ours" unofficially (knock on wood).  Woo!

So, now we can finally move forward and plan for the future. With that I have to sit down and figure out what changes need to happen with Moss and Myrrh to continue to make it viable. We're moving further from Anchorage (much further) and driving 50 miles one way for every client is really becoming exhausting (I'm all for transparency, guys). Not only do I see my clients for their session (and sometimes a pre consult), but I also have my Viewing Appointments two weeks later. So, on average I'm going anywhere from 100 miles per client all the way up to 200 miles per client. It's just not sustainable economically or mentally. So, with that, Viewing Appointments will no longer be offered. Instead, you'll be sent an online gallery to choose the package you're wanting. I am STILL 100% here to help you choose. We can phone chat, text, Facetimes, whatever..I'm here.  Depending on what package you choose, I'll be mailing you all of your pretties. Oh, I'm going to miss my one on ones and getting so see your faces when you see your pictures. I'm so sad I have to make this change, but I know it's the right choice if I'm going to stay sane (and out of the red). 

Our current home is still on the market for anyone that might be looking or knows someone that is! You can check it out here:

Now, for some fun news! I've got a new supplier for Keepsake Boxes and I am SO excited. Check out these beauties below. The Keepsake Box is included in one of the 3 packages offered now. This box will have all of the images from your gallery on the USB + 10 Fine Art 4x6 Prints of your choice. SO in love. 

If you're interested in finding out new pricing information, please get in touch so I can send you the new guide! 

xoxo,

Ashton 

Eagle River Small Business Giveaway | Moss and Myrrh Photography | Key Coffee Company

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Key Coffee + Moss and Myrrh Giveaway

Key Coffee Company and Moss and Myrrh Photography are teaming up to give back to our amazing clients this holiday season! 

Enter to win :

 $25 gift card to Key Coffee Company (who doesn't love FREE coffee?!) + a $200 gift card with Moss and Myrrh!

Sounds amazing, right?

How do you enter? Follow the instructions below. 

ALL steps are REQUIRED to be entered to win! 

1.) Go "Like" Key Coffee Company on Facebook

2.) Go "Like" Moss and Myrrh Photography on Facebook

3.) Subscribe to Our Newsletter Below

*I'm not going to bombard your inbox, promise. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Want an extra entry? Grab a coffee at Key Coffee Co. in Eagle River, take a picture with it, and tag Key Coffee (FB or IG)! Make sure it's public so we can see! ;) 

(Only 1 additional entry will be applied per person)