How I Share My Everyday Images | Privacy and Connection - Life Cake | Richmond, Va Photographer

today everything exists

to end in a photograph

- susan sontag -

Your privacy and the privacy of your children come first, and in this day of instant gratification and digital technology what we share online is seen by quite a lot of people. Yes, you can block people or change your settings, but in reality everything on Facebook is public! I was guilty of this my daughter's first year of life. I wanted to connect with family! Keep them updated with the milestones and to share her seriously cute face. 

I started scaling back after she turned one. I wasn't sure how public I wanted to make my daughter's life. You have to think children born within the past few years don't know a world without the internet or smart phones! That is crazy to think about!!! I see parents posting all sorts of things that involve their children. Some of this is great. I love being updated about everyone's family, show my support of their updates and story. Acquaintances, colleagues, clients even! Do not get me wrong! I am a selfish individual like the rest of you! I want likes and comments. I want to see other peoples pictures to compare and contrast where we are at as a family. Is Nora on par with other kids her age? Grateful that we are passed some seasons in life and a bit terrified of others. (Yes, I said that, I am human and I over think everything, I can't be the only one!!) With that said, Facebook, or even Instagram, isn't the only way to archive and share those precious moments.

Images in the end are meant to be shared, I am not telling you to stop documenting your story as a family! I am asking you to consider the privacy of your family and the privacy of your child. 

Preface: I am in no way linked via payroll or in contact with the following company. I am however an avid fan!!

Enter: 

This company's product is the bee's knees! The simple "mission is to help parents be storytellers - recording and sharing beautiful life stories." Want to know more?

This is an online and smartphone compatible app (yes, apple and android). A few things that I LOVE about it:

  1. You have a profile for each child, but can tag one image for multiple children
  2. You enter in their birthday, so when you upload images it will tell you exactly how old they were when the image was taken.
  3. You can caption the images, and others can comment.
  4. You can invite people to watching your child(ren) grow. (Family, Friends, Care Providers, etc.)
  5. Even better, if you have invited someone, say Grandma, and she watches your tiny human and takes some images; she can also upload and caption them. So you have the full story of their life happenings! EEK!!
  6. At the end of the year, or on birthdays, you can have a book printed through Lifecake. So seamless.

I feel like I can continue to list things but I'll stop! Here are a couple of short videos for more information:

Last but not least, I'm sure you are wondering about cost. The good news, it is free for the first 10GB of information. 10GB worth of images and videos!! Whether you take professional images or snap pictures with your phone, you can upload content to Lifecake. Check it out! Let me know what you think!!

With grit and grace,

Happy Birthday Miss Bits

I'm sure every parent feels this way, but seriously - WHERE HAS MY BABY GONE? As I write this, three years ago at this same time I was having contractions in my home wondering what sex our baby was going to be and if we should just go ahead and go to the hospital. I was an anxious mess!

Now that we are into this parenthood thing, for just a hair shy of three years, we live in a constant state of sass in our house. This girl is fiercely independent, crazy empathetic, and seriously in love with all things rocks, sticks, and pink. Oh and ice cream! I have only cut my foot on legos once so far, and REALLY hope that doesn't happen again! Enough about me!

August 20th is all about this crazy smart ball of sunshine that demands her boo-boos to be kissed (and will kiss yours if she knows your hurt), refuses to brush her hair, and insists on sleeping with the light on. She thoroughly enjoys dancing, mac and cheese, and ALL of the popsicles!

This year was another major year for growing and learning. From her colors and numbers to potty training and sleeping in a twin size bed! She rode her first roller coaster last month and is hooked! Today she told us her favorite candy is Swedish Fish and asked for her toe nails to be painted pink. A silly girl to fit in with the rest of the goofballs in our house for sure!

I can't get over how much this little human has changed my life and rocked my world for the better! Scroll down and look how much she has grown this year!! I'm equal parts excited for new adventures and sad because she has grown so much!!

Be sure to scroll all the way down to she a video of our adventures this past month!

With grit and grace,

Big Announcement | Richmond, Va Birth Photographer | Richmond Virginia Fresh 48 Photographer

A Big Announcement, but not a big surprise. I have decided to hone my business offerings and to publicly share that I will only be offering birth and fresh 48 sessions. This allows me to be present and available to my birth clients as well as my family. I am excited about this new journey, in a new city. If you haven't heard, we have relocated to Richmond, Va as my incredibly smart husband got into VCU (read more about this here). 

Nicoleinbold Richmond, Va Birth Photographer

Two years ago, after the first birthday of my daughter, I realized I wanted to be a birth photographer. I wasn't sure where to start, or what it entailed but I felt, in my core, that supporting parents with visual evidence of their love, support, and connection during the earliest season of parenthood was going to be my jam.
Now I was not a girl who grew up playing with babies, or really playing house, wanting to babysit, or anything super nurturing. Naturally, this realization came as a bit of a shock as it all unraveled and I started sharing my dream with the world. I had been behind the camera for about 8 years at this point, but was never sure quite what to do with this passion and expensive equipment.

My daughter gave me this clarity. My journey to motherhood was intense, with a steep learning curve in the beginning (I'm sure it is like this for everyone). While I did all the research, watched all the videos, and spoke with everyone about labor and delivery. It was my cousin who told me the biggest piece of advice that I now share with everyone I can. She told me, I'm paraphrasing: it was good to have a plan, but things change. Don't worry so much about the labor and delivery because it is the first couple of weeks with your new baby that are truly the hardest part. SHE WAS SO RIGHT. The first few weeks were the hardest for us a family of three, but I am so thankful I had my birth documented to remind me of our birth journey.

I had a generally fast and easy labor (my birth story here). With that said, I was left a bit traumatized. I had my birth photographed and am beyond grateful for this! It has helped me process my birth in a very tangible way. I can see how everything progressed, how supportive my husband was (which can be easy to forget, with a mind of her own toddler running around these days)! I want every parent to have this; this tool, tangible evidence, to celebrate or heal the connection of the birth day of parenthood and their child.

Two years later, I have decided to only offer Birth and Fresh 48 sessions. Nothing excites my spirit more than to watch the literal concept of parenthood unfold in front me. These sessions are close to my heart, this time is beyond precious! Time moves at a break neck speed with your mini human's age counted by hours, days, and weeks. With so many firsts: that cry, the welcoming gaze of recognition, all the tears, emotions, happiness, sadness, and love, I want to be there for your silently cheering you on.

Starting today, I am declaring this my new journey to unfold as it may, in a new city, Richmond, Va. A new day is always a great day, a perfect day, to state the intentions of my heart and to share with others.

With grit and grace,

On the Move | Meet Nicole Series

In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.

Abraham Maslow

Life has been moving so fast lately, and changing at a breakneck speed. I have done less than a stellar job keeping all you lovely supporters of my work in the loop. So hear goes:

Two months ago we received a letter in the mail that was going to change our life and create a sense of adventure we haven't yet quite met as a family. For me, change is exciting, but ever so terrifying! All the suspense, but I promise it is all good news.

My wonderfully handsome and incredibly smart husband got accepted into the Medical Lab Tech program at VCU (Go Rams!), in Richmond, Va. Since receiving his acceptance letter, we have been in a flurry of purging, cleaning, packing, staging, and selling our house. Which also means the adventure continued with more purging and packing, then a long distance search for a place to live in a new city, the actual move, and then the unpacking. Phew!

We are still unpacking, but I wanted to say how grateful we are for all of my family and friends who have been ever present and wonderful helping us each step of the way! We would not have gotten through without our tribe!

What I am most excited about: I will officially be a work from home mommy. This means more time for me, family, and my business!!! I love that I will be able to be more present for my daughter. She already blows my mind; I can't wait to teach her, and her teach me. Seriously stoked! I am also thrilled that I will be able to better support my husband to pursue his dream. Last, this transition also means that I will be a full time small business entrepreneur, birth photographer and identity brand designer. Again stoked! I love serving and empowering children, parents, and parentrepeneurs! My heart is full, thank you.

Richmond Va Birth Photographer

my birth story

It has been two and a half years, and I'm finally getting to write a bit about my own birth story. In a lot of ways it was my catalyst to begin and truly enjoy the art of birth photography today! To start, I was speaking with a friend about a non-profit trying to gain more volunteers when I had the craziest dizzy spell. As in, I had to sit or I would have fallen. At that moment I knew something was up, but tried to put it out of mind. An easy task believe it or not, because not less than a week later a pipe burst in our home while we were working. A pipe on the second floor, in the bathroom. Water everywhere, it was raining in our living room just barely into our 7th month of home ownership. Seriously, I could not make this up. So we ended up in a hotel for about two weeks, where I still just didn't feel right. My husband and I are very open with each other, so of course we went to the store and bought one of each type of pregnancy test. I'm not kidding. We got back to our room and I took one. I know I should have waited until the morning, but whatever. We were there and anxious!

First test was a positive.

I didn't believe. I was pregnant. This state that you go through your adolescence being told is not great. Abstain, don't have babies. Naturally, I grabbed the test box and read the statistics about a possible false positive. Apparently that wasn't a thing, so I took all the rest of the pregnancy test over the course of 2 weeks. Finally, I reconciled the fact that I was growing a tiny parasite inside me and went to see the doctor to confirm and all that jazz. By jazz, I mean light blues. By this time we had moved into long term temporary housing, and I was sicker than a dog. I had to get IV fluids twice and was pretty much non-functioning!

For the expecting mamas reading this, always keep bags without holes and paper towels in the car. Also to be safe, travel in the right lane in case you need to pull over for what ever reason!!

Other than being super sick and quite tired I plugged along until one day, at 20 weeks, I walked into to work and had a crazy stitch in my side. I tried ignoring it, do you see a pattern (haha), until I couldn't breathe without concentrating. I was scared. Called the husband and said I'm coming home, we need to go to the doctor. Mind you, I worked an hour from our temporary home. I got in my car and called my mom. I could barely talk. I was in so much pain, she was trying to give me directions to the nearest hospital when I gave up and got on route 66 to just get home. Things went down hill and I had to pull over to call an ambulance. Scariest day of my life! I was passing a kidney stone, but at the time I could have sworn my baby and I were dying! Being a first time mom, it was the only conclusion!

After that eventful first and second trimester things were pretty smooth sailing. I picked up energy, felt much better, and we finally got to move back into our house at the beginning of my third trimester. I do not recommend moving at this time of your pregnancy, unless you have movers and un-packers! My husband was a saint!!

With all of that said, I was fairly type A throughout my pregnancy. Researched everything, watched, and read even more. I practiced how I would labor, hired a doula, and made sure I was with a practice that had a midwife. I wanted a natural labor. I did not want to find out the sex. We thought it was one of the last ways in life to truly surprise ourselves. Little did we know, now having a toddler! I also wanted a birth photographer. However given our crazy life circumstances at the time could not afford one. I was super grateful that my best friend, Anna Gibson, was willing to be on call and come document my journey to motherhood.

So on we went. Approached our due date, with family in town, and passed our due date. Our child decided to wait until she was good and ready to make her appearance! After nine days of waiting through prodromal labor, Miss Bit decided it was time, but still took her time. I woke up Monday morning with strong contractions. I had to call my early to work husband back home, and started walking to keep the contractions going. I was nervous, not sure about timing, my husband wasn't home, but I knew in my heart that baby would't come until the world was right. August 19th was such an amazing day. We walked a lot! We went to a nearby park and walked even more, found a four leaf clover and was congratulated by people passing us as I grimaced through yet another contraction. By late that night I had called my doula and photographer to come, I felt I was getting close. After the party arrived at my house we made our way to the hospital. The REAL party!

I feel like life has been a blur since this part. Yes, still 2.5 years later, it is still a blur. I greatly appreciated my midwife explaining every step of the process and answering all of my questions. I received the tiniest bit of pitocin which was enough to kick my laboring body into high gear. I labored in the bath tub until I felt like pushing then I got out and started pushing. I'm sure much more happened during this time, but like I said it was a blur of anticipation, contractions, and the drive to meet this stubborn human!

Looking back through my images I still get emotional! I love that my husband was with me 100% of the time. He held my hand and supported me through the entire process! I very surprisingly didn't curse throughout the entire event. Oh and I was a blubbering mess when Miss Bit joined us earth side. My husband told me her sex and we just wept. She was finally with us, in our arms!

with grit and grace,

Nicole