Shoot us mom!

Never let children pose… let them be themselves!

From the moment Miley was born until she was 4,5 years old we had a big photo studio. She grew up surrounded by camera’s, lights, makeup, fashion, and set styling… She occasionally watched the models getting ready and saw me shooting them in our photo studio. She saw them “pose” naturally and make subtle changes in their pose with fluid movements. changing expressions, taking directions from me and all of that without looking forced or unnatural. And she loved it.

As it comes to photo shooting kids, I like them to be interactive. give them something to do, something to engage with, something to play with. Anything but posing! I don’t like kids posing, because most kids (Really, I mean 99%) look forced and unnatural. That kind of photo’s with kids smiling those fake (almost creepy) smiles makes my hairs stand up. Not cool. Just fake.

So whenever I’m shooting kids (my one or any kids for that matter)… I let them play.
I have a strict NO POSING rule.

But… Tiny baby girls turn in to big baby girls! And then that day came, the day when Miley (8yrs) Came up to me dressed a bit much over the top and  Asked me “Mom? Can you shoot me? I’ve made everything ready!”
I looked over and there was my living room turned in to a complete styled set. With 3 different concepts, she wanted to work on!  I was like “What the….!?!? uuuh… Ok!? I guess?”

So we could proceed in peace. After every Klik, Miley made a tiny adjustment in pose, expression or looking direction. I didn’t have to give her any directions. She was totally in control.  Like she understood exactly what it was she wanted to reflect, express and what story she wanted to tell. I felt a warm proud glow in my heart for her. What a great way to express yourself.  There goes my “NO posing rule” for her… She has got this down.

 

Turned out she had a school project where they had to take their favorite piece of clothing, make a photo of it, and write a little poem about it. She wanted to create a photo she had pictured in her mind. (Creative little creature) So who am I to refuse such a brilliant initiative from my 8-year-old.

I grabbed my camera gear and as she stepped in front of the camera. Wow! She is actually doing a really good job posing! Not one Photo where she looked unnatural or overly posed. I guess she intensively studied the professional models in our studio! My little baby copy-cat. Loving this…

After a few minutes, her little baby sisters decided they wanted attention too, and started to jump on top of Miley… So I had to promise them that I would shoot them too tf they waited their turn. And If they would go and play a bit more I would call them and take their picture.


As for her sisters… The rule still stands. No posing! PLAY! Once I called them for their turn to shoot, I gave them something to keep busy! Singing a song,  playing peekaboo, giving them a ukelele or a watering can to play with. And as usual, that way I had a fun and playful shoot with my two babies. And my no posing strategy still worked out worked perfectly fine with them! Scroll all the way down to see the rest of all the photo’s we took!


How do you take pictures of your kids? I’m thinking of making a series of DIY video’s in photography toppics like “kids photography” .
Would you think that’s something you would like to see? Anny requests on specivic photography toppics!?


Love,

  Jolanda, Michiel,
Miley Haley & Quinn

VIDEO – Getting My MOM Tatoo

Baby name MOMMY Tattoo

I got my first tattoo a while back and I wrote a BLOGPOST about it!
Now I’ve also made a video of my experience. Check it out and don’t forget to subscribe on my YT channel!

So in this video, you will see me getting my first tattoo! 7 Years ago I came up with the idea of putting all my baby’s names on my forearm in one long stretched line. I’m not someone who gets a tattoo in an impulse, and Maybe we would get more kids in the future, and I wanted to include all of my baby’s names in it… I spend a long time designing a tattoo that was minimalistic and had exactly the look that I had in mind. Like practicing an autograph, The name tattoo design had to have the perfect flow and casual hand-drawn feel to it. 

So now 7 years later with 3 kids in total, I have my mom tattoo with all the names of my kids! It only took 20 minutes and didn’t hurt at all!
—-Miley—Haley—Quinn—  Just Perfect!
And The end result is exactly how I hoped it would be!

I really really love my first tattoo! Happy as can be, with my hand-drawn tattoo line design perfected over the past 7 years. Perfectly put on my arm by Manon from Le Nou Tattoo. 

So once more:  Thanks, Michiel for making the reservation and tanks mom for sponsoring half of it for my B-day! To my three baby girls, Miley, Haley & Quinn, I love you forever, just like this tattoo will be on my arm! 

Would you ever get a dad/  mommy tattoo, name tattoo or do you already have one!? What do you think of mine!? Let me know what you think in the comment section of the video here or on Youtube!

 

Love,
  Jolanda, Michiel,
Miley Haley & Quinn

Music in this video is by:
Meydän – https://soundcloud.com/meydansound/

Getting my first tattoo

Yes!!! Finally! I Did it!

 

At first, it was a rather simple idea… a thin straight line from my elbow to my wrist within the middle the letters that spelled the name of my one and only baby girl. ____Miley____
But. I was still breastfeeding. And everyone strongly advised against it back then. (this was 7 years ago) Fair enough I thought So after 3 years of breastfeeding It became clear there would be another baby sooner or later. Might as well wait a bit and make it a line with two names.

Patience.

My second baby girl was born and I remember doodling on every piece of paper their names in one long connected line.  ____Miley____&___Haley____  Trying to get the shape and caligraphy just right.

Like practicing an autograph, The line had to have the perfect flow and casual hand-drawn feel to it, styled and still be straight and readable. Not too curly not to dull, but just interesting enough. And certainly not some standard existing Font. Besides that, I still had to wait. Because…still breastfeeding.

Haley became 1,5 and I started searching for the right Tatoo artist. I was prepared to travel If I’d found one further away. As long as the artist could make clean thin lines and I felt “right” about the person behind the needle. As I would wair his or her “mark” for the rest of my days, I was making sure It would be a positive experience.

And then I became pregnant with baby nr.3 The most beautiful little-unexpected surprise of our lives.  And by now, you must know, I had been waiting for 5 years to get this thing on my arm…  So back to the drawing board to add one more name.  ___Miley___Haley___Quinn___   Sometimes I even took a pen and drew it on my arm and took a selfie to see how it would look! Now I’m typing this I realize that this may sound a bit obsessed. Well, maybe I was.

When Quinn was still a newborn we were in a nearby town when we passed by this awesome looking tattoo shop. It wasn’t like any tattoo shop I’d ever seen. It was light, fresh, with a gorgeous mandala-logo on the window. Inside there were plants and beautiful artwork. The whole shop looked welcoming, soft, friendly and creative. So we walked in and we met Manon from Le Nou Tattoo. Her artwork is just amazingly full of feminine shapes and figures, detailed mandalas, Botanics, and subtle shades and razor-sharp fine lines Check out her Instagram here.  She was so friendly, relaxed with a calm confidence that just made me trust her instantly! But Quinn was still a Tiny baby. So I waited just a bit longer.

“The line had to have the perfect flow and casual hand-drawn feel to it.”

When Quinn got one-year-old I became impatient. A few years back my eldest daughter still breastfed occasionally until she was 5 years old. That would mean that it would take another whole four years before I could have my ultimate “mommy Tattoo”.

 

Breastfeeding and getting a Tattoo?

But why isn’t it a good Idea to get a Tattoo while breastfeeding? Mainly, If your tattoo would get infected you maybe would need Antibiotics that don’t go well together with breastfeeding. Some say there is a slightly bigger chance of infection because of a lower immune system and a bit thinner blood. But let’s be honest, I think those last two reasons have as much to do with delivering a baby and recovering from that than breastfeeding. I guess having a tattoo within the first 9 months after having a baby/pregnancy maybe isn’t a good idea either. Anyway, This is What the breastfeeding experts at La Leche League had to say about it. 

 

“I’m Hearing myself say “Michiel, I really think you have to hold my hand””

“Shurley the pain is going to get so much worse. But it wasn’t…

“this is it!?” I asked.”

“I suddenly became really nervous!
There was something I didn’t think of beforehand…
Would this hurt much!?”

The time is now

After 1,5 years of breastfeeding my babies aren’t that dependent on breastfeeding anymore, Its just a nice bonus for all the antibodies and such. But if I would have to skip one week for what reason so ever. She would survive just fine! Besides that, I wasn’t going to let a Tiny little tattoo get infected. A good licensed tattoo shop,  healthy lifestyle, Hygiene and common sense are your friends.

So I decided it was time. I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait until I am 38 to do this thing!
It already had waited for ages (7 years). And then last Oktober Michiel and my Mom surprised me for my 34th birthday with a booked appointment at “Le Nou“. The earliest date available was February the 7th. Wich says something about how good she is I guess.

 

February 7th, 2019

Happy as can be, with my hand-drawn line design perfected over the past 7 years. (being a bit of a neurotic perfectionist about it, but it was done.)  I’d never been more ready for this than for anything in my life!  Even a pregnancy takes less freaking time than it takes me to get a tiny little tattoo! I mean really!?

Only until the very last moment when a sat down and with the sight of the surprisingly friendly looking tattoo machine I suddenly became really nervous! There was something I didn’t think of beforehand…  Would this hurt much!? I had been so busy thinking of the design, artist, timing… and now only seconds to go and my heard was pounding like crazy. I’m Hearing myself say “Michiel, I really think you have to hold my hand”

 

The sound of the buzzing needle and 3..2..1… 

I remember thinking the first 10 seconds, this isn’t IT yet, It can’t be. Shurley the pain is going to get so much worse. But it wasn’t… “this is it!?” I asked.  “Yes, that’s it! Its actually get easier as I move towards your wrist!” WOW, What a relief! Feels a bit like sharp scratching. This didn’t hurt at all! It took no more than 20 minutes and than it was all done. Not a drop of blood or wound fluid had spilled. It looked sharp and dry. Even the redness wasn’t so bad. And I never was happier with a birthday gift!

Now 2 days later I still find myself looking at it and being so completely content with it. So happy I had to wait because now I have all 3 names in it. If I hadn’t had to wait until my breastfeeding days where over I would probably have done just the first name and later two separate tattoos with every new baby name. What I like about this one now is that what I thought would be just a cool design turned out to be a timeline. One continuous line, their names all connected. It’s perfect! Everything came together and I’m loving it!

LOVE it!

Thanks, Michiel for making the reservation and tanks mom for sponsoring half of it for my B-day, and last but not least thanks to Manon from LeNou Tattoo for doing an awesome job!

And to my three baby girls, Miley, Haley & Quinn, I love you forever, just like this tattoo.
Want to see the end result!? scroll down to see the rest of the photo series.

Love,  Jolanda

 

About this Curveball…

Uncertainties are scary yet exciting…

Normally we like to share our highs, but we do hit some low’s along the way, just like everybody else. So let’s get real. So here is one huge bump in the road we are dealing with right now.

The beginning of 2018 brought us stability… Something we haven’t had in quite a while. I didn’t have any pregnancies or newborns this year in our family of 5 (we think our little family is complete now) and we had a stable income through our Wedding photography (If you were wondering… this is what we do). No crazy sh*t happening around us. Just a nice day to day routine and all was good. We finally got into the flow of balancing work and family.

On top of that my Instagram and this blog started to generate some income too! We had some pretty awesome collaborations amazing brands. It’s still not enough to stop doing weddings (not that want to stop doing weddings, weddings are awesome). But it was enough to let all the photo and video editing after we shot the wedding days over to Michiel, so I could focus on investing my time on creating content for this blog, the vlog, and my Instagram!

-“And then came Oktober… Oh my. What a curve ball!”-


The curveball

Things were pretty amazing!

And then came Oktober… Oh my. What a curve ball!
Our stable income was not so stable anymore.
The short version: We don’t have enough weddings in 2019 to keep ourselves afloat! So we need to make some adjustments. We need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone once again.

To fully understand what happened I need to explain it a bit more:
It takes us 2,5 week to process all the photo and video images of just one wedding. We do a maximum of 18 weddings every year. We don’t have room for more. 
The summer month we survive with the income of the weddings, the winter months we survive on the down payments for the upcoming weddings and the orders of wedding albums of the past wedding season.

We reach 90% of our clients through the biggest wedding fair in Holland. We participate two times a year, and then we are fully booked.
No need for online ads, campaigns or another form of advertising.
But this year, the wedding fair of October was a complete fail. Where normally there are on average 5000 visitors, now there were only 1000. We got ZERO bookings from that fair this year. Something that has never happened before in the last 5 years. And on top of that, the fair of March 2019 is canceled. The whole fair stopped. Forever!

-“looking back afterward it always has been exactly the way it should have been. We just didn’t know it yet at the time.”-

So now we have 4 weddings booked for 2019, Wich generates not enough to get us through this winter, or the next summer for that matter. so we need to get familiar with online advertising. But oh’my… its all sooo complicated and time-consuming learning process. And we don’t have the time, we need bookings like yesterday.

 

So Now what!?

I’m positive that we get this online advertising thing down soon, and we’ll get enough bookings for the upcoming summer. But until then, we have a bit of a financial problem. So one of us needs a job somewhere for the upcoming 4 months. On “project base” or for a longer period of time if we like it enough. And with “we”, I mean preferably Michiel. I want to stay focused on creating our content and keep the inspiring Wild&BOHO collabs going! I’m only selectively applying to jobs that I would LOVE to do so much, that I would maybe ditch all other stuff and stay working there forever! And there are not so many vacancies out there that will get my attention. I’ve written 3 so far. Michiel 5 and counting. We’ll see…

-“It’s not a curveball… its a Pusch in the right direction by the universe.”-

I’m stressing a lot about the What If’s.
Our reserves are running dry and something needs to happen soon! The uncertainties are taking its toll. Images of every imaginable scenario are going through my monkey mind. The never-ending chatter of my internal dialogue who sometimes gets stuck in a carousel… Going round and round in circles. Pointless and exhausting. We are doing our best here, there really is nothing more we can do.

One of my goals for 2019 is to just let the universe do its thing.
I’m going to do the best job I can, work my but off, and then I’m going to let it go. No stress. Trusting everything will be fine. Because looking back afterward it always has been exactly the way it should have been. We just didn’t know it yet at the time. This is a chance to grow, evolve, move forward instead of getting stuck in the same pattern over and over again. It’s not a curveball… its a Pusch in the right direction by the universe.

Our glass is half full. We have love, we have each other, we have our creativity, we have a nice home. We’ll pull through. 

-“Because of you this blog and our Instagram has started to become a way to support our family”-

So if you reached all the way to this point in the blog, I want to thank you for reading!
You are here not only for our best moments but apparently also here for our struggles.
Thank you for being there for us, for following our blogs, watching our video’s, checking out our Instagram posts and by leaving a comment now and then. Because of you this blog and our Instagram has started to become a way to support our family a bit! Maybe one day we can fully focus on creating art and cool content full time! We appreciate your support so much. So Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Have a Wonderful New year’s eve! We love you guys!

Love,
Jolanda, Michiel
Miley, Haley & Quinn

 

Blog post: Jolanda Marti
Photography: Michiel Fook

Searching for fairies

When the sun goes down and al the “good well behaved kids” go to bed so all the “good and responsible parents” can go and tidy up the house (and then Netflix) But let’s be honest… that’s just boring! So just once in a while, we just get our lanterns and put on our exploring boots! There is nothing more magical than searching for fairies in the dark! Magic. It’s real if you believe in it. We saw it with our own eyes! Fairies shooting over the fields and grazing the water. Twinkling little lights and fairy bells if you look and listen hard enough. You can spot them especially from the corner of your eyes! And if you get scared for what reason what so ever… just SING a happy song as loud as you can. The fear will melt away guaranteed. Because we all know that singing creates a magical positivity protection bubble all around you. That’s just common sense. And cuddles. Lots of cuddles. These girls are the bravest and strongest explorers I know! Oh, how we love to explore the fields in the dark. Magical things happen in the dark. Especially if you have a wild imagination and truly open mind. We create our own reality. Who needs to sleep when we can dream out loud…
Photography: Wild & Boho

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