When Toby and I started our business back in 2007, we quickly got caught up in our love for photography. We wanted to photograph anything and everything – weddings, babies, seniors, drama, sports… the list goes on and on… and on. Not that we don’t love every minute of it. We do! But with our growing family, we wanted to concentrate our attention and skill set on doing something specific.
For Toby, that really isn’t a problem. From the moment we began our business, his real passion has been photographing weddings. He loves it all – the pressure to capture each moment, the rawness of people’s emotions, the changes of scenery, the mix of portraits and photojournalism, the lighting, the way we use our cameras as an extension of ourselves, the way we relive our wedding with each one we photograph. And I 100% agree. I love all of that, too…
Weddings are amazing and I’ll always love shooting them with Toby, but deep down I know that I want something more. And so I’ve been constantly searching my soul and praying that I would find some focus when it comes to portraits – that I would find that thing that I’m the best at and love to do more than anything else. The problem for me is that when it comes right down to it, what I love the most… is love and the raw, real moments it creates in our everyday lives. And you can really find that in lots of places! So I’ve stretched myself thin trying to do all kinds of portraits and events… And then I got sick.
I know it sounds dramatic, but after a brush with cancer you evaluate things. (Yes, my cancer was curable and I’ve been in remission for months, but for a few weeks I didn’t know that and it really gets you thinking!) Toby and I decided that we were going to say “no”. Sound simple? It definitely isn’t!!! But way back in 2006 when we decided to start our own photography business, we had agreed that eventually Toby and I were going to actively pursue specializing in weddings together and that I would specialize in photographing children on my own. Getting sick just moved up when “eventually” would be. So we started saying “no”… but not nearly enough. I’ve always known deep down that babies would be the focus of my portrait work, but I just wasn’t sure it was the time.
And then it all changed.
In the summer of 2010, my good friend, Amanda, asked me to photograph the birth of her twin boys. I was completely flattered that she asked and I (nervously) agreed. When the boys were born in early December, I was there… and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I felt like a sponge – savoring the rawness, emotion, and intensity of every moment. I can’t even express to you how strongly I knew in those hours that babies – beautifully fresh babies – had always been the true focus of my heart. I came home feeling energized, refreshed, decisive, and ready. That morning I knew that it was time to do what I’ve always known was coming. I was going to create my own brand for baby photography and devote Varland Photography completely to weddings and couples.
It’s taken me about 4 solid months of planning, dreaming, and working to bring this to fruition. And today I am so excited to launch my own website:
I’m specializing in birth, baby, and toddler photography and I couldn’t be more happy. I’ll always love photographing weddings with Toby, but I have such an strong feeling of inner peace about this being the path that God has set for me as an individual.
Along with all of my excitement, I should also say thank you…
Thank you to Toby for being my constant supporter and confidant. Knowing I can share my dreams with you makes them even more amazing.
Thank you to my beautiful children who were my first models. Emma and Noah, I am always your mama first… From the first picture I took of you, you forever connected my heart to my camera. There is a piece of my love for you in every photograph I take. You make me a better photographer and a better person.
Thank you to Amanda. My dear friend, you have been a godsend to me. Your friendship and support are invaluable and I will never be able to thank you enough for asking me to document the birth of Max and Roman.
Thank you to Cincinnati Magazine for featuring my work at the perfect time. Being listed in their Best of the City 2010 issue as Cincinnati’s best baby photographer was definitely a push in the right direction!
And last, but not least, thank you to my blog readers. The response I’ve gotten to my work with babies and toddlers has been phenomenal. I’ve heard for years that I have a knack for bringing out the best in little kids… I especially remember several people that telling me that birth photography was my calling when I posted the birth of Max and Roman back in December. Your encouragement has helped me follow my gut and pursue the path that God has made for me.
Much love to you all,
Along with creating the new baby site, I updated our Varland Photography blogsite, too! Be sure to check it out here!!!