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My Livie. A Blessed Mother and Photographer. Midlothian, VA.

I promise you there are NO books or classes of any sort that could have prepared me for motherhood. Being a MOM is the hardest job in the world. From birth to even the young age of 9 has it’s challenges. Some days I want to throw my hands up in the air and just scream. And there are the times I want to cry after my kids get on the bus in the morning because we had a tough morning or after I put them in bed at night because they know how to push my buttons.

Trying is an understatement when I tell you how hard it is to keep my patience from wearing thin and I swear I pray for patience almost on a daily basis.  My little gal, beautiful as can be, witty, spunky, smart, and downright hard headed teaches me a few daily lessons about my own self. I do have a lot to be thankful for. My children are different in so many ways. My oldest is a pleaser and the sweetest, with a hint of sneakiness. My youngest is like I said hard headed and will nag you until you want to pull all your hair out. However, my little gal is a snuggle queen and will lay on my lap with her sucky fingers and look up at me with the sweetest face and tell me I’m the best mommy in the world and my heart just melts for this little gal who struggles with the inside and out mood swings. I guess you can say she’s a typical 6 year old testing boundaries and being a kid.

My road to patience has been long but I do have a lot more than I’ve ever had. And I swear it has taken me going through some really tough times to get to where I am today and to know that my girls are in deed my life, my world. And it’s not that I didn’t think they were my world before but being a single mom has really given me some perspective on life. Life it just way too short. So, today when I was busy editing a session that desperately needed to get to a client I stopped and thought about my little gal who needed some love and attention and we played Old Maid. One of our favorite games in the house and was one of my favs growing up. My dad always used to place the Old Maid card a little higher than the rest so it was easier to draw from his hand. Now, my kids do the same thing. I often wonder if any other families laugh their butts off playing Old Maid and do the same thing we do?

I grew up feeling super independent and it’s what I’ve wanted for my girls. To be strong, sweet and well mannered young ladies. Especially when I drop them off at friend’s houses or at school. I can tell you that they are not always independent because I hear a lot of “mommy….come here”…like all day long! And they are only this little once but I will walk in to a room where they have called my name only to tell them to go get their own drink of water or string cheese. Yes, if looks could kill, I get them alright but you know what…you have two legs…so use them. I’ve been using mine since I was young.

It’s now morning time and I got too tired to finish my blog post last night. Imagine that, a tired mom. Yep…we too need “time out” and “rest time”, to refuel and do it all over again the next day. But you know what…I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. There is nothing more important than having two little girls who are dependent on their mother and a mother who wants the world for them. I just want them to learn the life lessons along the way. The ones I am writing my very first book about. Although I’m still in the wee hours of my story, it’s one dedicated to my girls and other young gals and mom’s who feel the same struggles I have felt but have been unwilling to face them or admit to them head on. I have very rarely worried about what people think of me. I gave up on being “Super Woman” several years ago.

There is nothing more than I want for my girls is to have the security and happiness they deserve. I want them to feel beautiful in their own little ways and be independent young ladies who have the drive to be and do whatever they want in life. They deserve it. We ALL deserve it as woman to feel empowered. Here’s a quote of mine from a chapter in my book called “Empowering Our Daughters.” As I look into my little girls eyes I see a young soul who is eager to feel loved and the desire to be big. As her mother, I want nothing more than to make her feel loved and want her to stand tall. She needs to feel empowered to ALWAYS love herself and her Faith in God will take care of the rest. Being Brave is Scary, but a stunning quality in the youngest of girls. Sorry for the teaser, it just really went with my story about My Livie! Absolutely one of my favorite and most precious chapters thus far.

Well, I’m headed into this little gal’s room and saying a little prayer before I walk in that when I sneak into her bed to snuggle for a few minutes, she will wake up on the “right side of the bed.” I could write a chapter about this little gal waking up on the “wrong side of the bed” but I will spare you those battles.

Smiles, Ainsley

P.S. Beware!!! Don’t let these cute pictures of this gal fool you. She’s a real Stinker and I LOVE her to pieces!

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Four Generations of Beauty. Midlothian, VA Portrait and Lifestyle Family Photography.

What a blessing and miracle newborn babies are in the lives or many. I can say when my first daughter was born she was such a blessing to one very special person in my life. My grandmother who was one of the most amazing women and role models in my life. To this day I can still see the smile on her face every time she had the opportunity to spend time and hold her first granddaughter. She was so proud. Shortly before my second daughter was born my grandmother passed away from a long battle with cancer. My youngest was born in 2008 and never had the opportunity to meet my grandmother. In one respect it broke my heart that they never got to meet each other face to face. However, my Olivia Anne was named after her great grandmother, so her name lives on in one special little gal who knows all about this special woman who I have always aspired to be.

 I was hired by a client of mine who wanted to document four generations of complete LOVE! I was so honored to take a few beautiful photographs of all these beautiful women. Behind the camera lens I was brought to tears thinking how lucky these ladies were to have such wonderful memories I was helping to create. It made me wish so much I had thought to do something like this with my own grandmother, mother and first born child. The adoration on their faces made me smile and warmed my heart. EVERYONE should take advantage of these special memories when you have the chance. I only wish I had thought to do this myself.

Before we know it, we will truly experience the Spring and Summer weather we have all longed for after a long Winter. I am extending a $50 discount with the mention of my Generations post. This session is absolutely priceless. Thank you to my wonderful client Katie for all your trust in me with all your memories and especially this session with all the amazing women in your life!

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2013 Ainsley Marie Photography Holiday Card Giveaway! Midlothian, VA Family Photographer.

I have been burning the midnight oil over here editing away so all my wonderful clients can have their sessions back in time to order the infamous Holiday Cards to share with all of their Friends and Family! As I edit each photograph I am blown away with the kindness from each client I’ve worked with this year and for trusting me with your special memories! Photography is an investment and I always want my clients to feel they have received every pennies worth from their experience while working with me. I value each and every one of you, and my overall hope is to make  lifetime friends and clients!

Last year after Thanksgiving I loved going to my mailbox to find Holiday cards from my new friends I worked with and seeing my work on these cards brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. I was so honored to receive a card from our session, and knowing so many others around the US or around the world might be receiving the same card I received with a photograph I so carefully chose and shared with my clients!

So… I woke up this morning in the “Giving” spirit since Thanksgiving is next week and wanted to have a 2013 Holiday Card Giveaway! I would love all my 2013 clients who are using one of my images from their 2013 session as your Holiday Card this year to please send me a card as well. I’d love to be on your List this year! All cards must be received by December 31, 2013 to be entered in a random drawing. If your card is drawn you will receive a $100 credit toward ANY of my sessions for 2014. Drawing will occur Sunday, January 5, 2014 upon my return from Holiday Travel!

Please add my contact information to your Holiday Card List today. My address is Ainsley Marie Photography, PO Box 594, Midlothian, VA 23113.

Looking forward to seeing all your fun Holiday Cards this year! Much Love and Happiness to all my amazing friends and clients! I wouldn’t be where I am without your inspiration and sharing your special time with me. Safe travels and warm wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Smiles, Ainsley

My Life…My Girls…My Photography.

As I started typing out my very own personal blog post last night I was sitting on the couch between my dog and 9 year old watching my 5 year old sit on the kitchen table eating a bowl of cereal. I’m not sure why she decided to sit in the middle of our kitchen table but it was pretty darn cute and she was so sweet during our photo session today and I honestly don’t feel like raining on her parade! Olivia has a mind of her own and I love that about her but she has given me a few extra wrinkles…but hey…all part of motherhood!

Where to begin with such raw feelings I have from time to time about my life and how it’s far from perfect other than the fact I have the most amazing healthy daughters and a career that any woman could dream of. Personally, and I’m just going to say it…it’s been a pretty tough year. No other way to put it. However, there have been many other great things that have been such a big part of my life so I have to personally let these “Great” things shine through which totally outweigh the bad. My business has been amazing and I’ve built a career from the ground up, and have made some great friends and lifetime clients and I am forever grateful for this life I have not even chosen. It has chosen me and I, myself have contributed to it. I can honestly say, I have NOT been this Happy in a long time. I have everything I could possibly ever want right now. My beautiful gals (I’m about to share some images from our photo session yesterday), my gorgeous Chocolate Lab who keeps me company all of the time, and a career which I am so passionate about and allows me to be at home with my girls when they are out of school. This is my life. We live in a cozy little condo here in Midlothian and life is simple! Simple is great for me these days!

I moved to Midlothian about a year and a half ago to really focus on my career as a photographer. I lived out in a rural part of Powhatan and I felt a little isolated and wanted to move in closer to every day life. My kids switched schools and we all settled in just nicely. It was the perfect move for us. Shortly after I moved to Midlo I met some really great girlfriends, one of them a new neighbor who I adore! And our kids would stalk each others houses waiting for their pals to get home. And another girlfriend who for the life of me, reminds me so much of my best friend from home. They are so much alike it’s crazy and I know this is why I was so drawn to her because she reminds me of home, my roots…where I come from. So, my move to Midlo could not have come at a more perfect time in my life for many reasons and I’m so thankful for the many other friends I have met and become super close to since my move.

This is my Life…right here…in these very images that my girl Tess caught yesterday. I can’t thank her enough for these special memories that will soon be plastered on canvas all over my wall above my bed. I have envisioned these very images in my mind the past few months and they are very special to me. I am typically on the other side of the lens and being in front of a camera is not something that comes natural to me but yesterday it didn’t matter because it was all about MY LIFE and creating some special memories for myself and taking the time to do something for myself for a change. Something I have not been accustomed to for some time now. For those 10 short minutes during our session I just wanted to squeeze these beautiful girls and kiss their little cheeks off. I am such a lucky gal and blessed with their presence every single day! These pictures just bring tears to my eyes! Happy tears of course!

Smiles, Ainsley

Flower Girl…Elegant and Sweet! Child Portrait Photographer. Midlothian, VA.

When my family moved to the Midlothian area almost two years ago this little gal is one of the first little friends we met. Living a couple of houses down, our families quickly became great friends! This sweetheart and my youngest daughter Olivia are BFF’s and I must admit are two peas in a pod. Her mother  and I laugh quite often about our two gals and the fun times they will experience together as they grow into their teen years. For now, we will soak in all the cuteness and giggly goofy personalities!

I had the opportunity to take a few photographs of our super sweet BFF in a flower girl dress she will be wearing in a wedding she is attending! I just want to squeeze her with big hugs and kisses with how precious she is. Can’t get enough of her sweet face. Here are a few images from our mini session!

Smiles, Ainsley