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Why Do my Sessions Last 1.5-2 Hours? ; Laura Duggleby Photography; Lifestyle and Documentary

So Why ARE your sessions 1.5-2 hrs? 

I get asked this so often?  Why do you allow for such a long period of time for your sessions?  Why not just have them at an hour like most of the other photographers out there?  The reason is pretty simple for me, it all goes back to why I do photography. My entire goal is to instill value and hope into my clients.  I want my work to represent something far greater than smiles and poses.  I want it to represent and reflect the emotions, the joys and all the extraordinary pieces in between.  I want my work to reflect the full story within that season of life, and to do so takes time.  I shared more about my entire style of photography in my previous post, so if you missed it, be sure to check that out here: 

 

But generally, I long to be fully present with you and your family.  I want to be able to adventure with you, to give you the time to relax in front of me and truly come into your natural selves.  I want to expectantly create time to rest in the moment, not rushed, but rather to experience it for that which it is.  I want to have time for a mother to cradle her young one through a struggle, or for the children to actually enjoy some time with their family, together, unordered and beautiful.  What this extra time does is simply create more space for you and your family.  It allows me to step into your story for a longer period of time and in this capture more of the little in between moments.  

 

Now, with that being said I do still offer occasional mini sessions.  So, why do I do this?  Honestly, I also understand what it is like financially to have pictures taken.  I understand that it is an investment.  And although I wish that every family could have GORGEOUS professional images taken every six months, I also realize that is just not possible for everyone.  For this reason, I have about 2-3 dates per year that I open up for mini session time slots to love those families as best I can as well.  But, full length sessions will always be where my heart lies, for here is where I have the time to capture so much more within the moment.  And also, just as a side note, I do offer payment plans if that is something that is holding you back from getting family pictures done.  I know, for myself, I have NEVER regretted any amount spent on images, not in the least.  The images I take of our family, or that we have taken by someone else are truly one of the most treasured possessions in our home.  They hold pieces to our story that no one else can write.  They are incredibly unique, personal, and they bring me back countless times over.  

How are you remembering this season of your life? 

My next mini session date is Saturday March 10th in Dallas/Ft. Worth.  Spacing is limited.  Check out all the details here:

 https://www.lauradugglebyphotography.com/session-details/

Would you like to chat about setting up a session with your family this year?  Contact Laura Duggleby Photography here:

 https://www.lauradugglebyphotography.com/contact-1/

And finally, don't forget to also check out this free resource we are offering on goal setting this month!  

 

~Sitting right here with you, soaking in the most important moments, 

Laura 

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Waking up and Going to Bed with Intention

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Waking up and Going to Bed with Intention

Intention 

Intention.  Our determination to act a certain way.  Resolve.  Significance.  What one intends to bring about.  - Merriam Webster.  

I love this word intention.  Not only does it talk about having a determination or a drive, but it also addresses our own significance.  Do you ever find your significance lacking through the comparison game, or the feeling of never measuring up?  Me too.  I totally creep down that path some days.  But, something that I have begun to implement this year are a few things that I have started doing as I wake up and as I go to sleep that I do with a heart of intention to help me focus on the right things in life. 

 
Father and daughter enjoying time together outside by a stream
 

Waking up with Intention

Every morning, before my feet hit the floor, I have started trying to do these 5 things.  4 of which I heard from Jenna Kutcher and her amazing podcast.  But here they are: 

1. Think of 3 things that I am grateful for. 

2. Pray.  I pray for have a heart of service, a heart of freedom, and that I would enjoy the day, that I would fight for joy, and be able to notice the small places of joy He brings before me. 

3. List out the top 3 things I need to accomplish today.  (I actually list these out the night before, so I simply think upon them so that I bring them to my attention). 

4. Drink a glass of water.  I always have water beside my bed, but Jenna reminded me of the importance of drinking a large amount of water in the morning so as to jump start your metabolism and help with brain function, and I would have to say that I have noticed a difference in my drowsiness in the morning with drinking a large amount first thing in the morning. 

5. Finally, stretching.  If I am able I try to also do a couple of stretches in the morning.  Typically I will do some hamstring stretches right in my bed, or I will stand up beside my bed.  

All of this together takes me less than 5 minutes.  Typically closer to 2-3 minutes, and it really has been changing the way I feel in the morning. 

 
mother with daughter moody black and white portrait
 

Why Living Intentionally Matters 

Why is this so important to me?  Why does it matter?  For me, a couple of reasons.  First, I want my life to be the best picture of the gospel that I am able.  And because I am incredibly selfish, (which now shows up more than I could have ever imagined being a mother), I need practical steps to help me focus my attention and desires off of myself and to that of my creator.  I want my life to be reflective of fresh water pouring out, and this is only slightly possible if I first reflect on the goodness of the Lord.  And secondly, I have to remember to take steps to take care of myself physically and mentally as well.  I am so bad about putting everyone and everything else about myself and my own needs.  And while this can be good in some aspects, such as care taking for my children, I have to also remember that I cannot run or pour out from a dry cup.  I have to make sure that I take care of myself so that I can be equipped to take care of others.  I have to remember how to enjoy the Father and this body He created if I am to teach that to others as well.  I have to come first sometimes.  And that is where these steps to waking up with intention come into play. 

 
Detail shot of girl- highlighting her eyelashes
 

Going to Bed with Intention

Here is where I confess my true struggle.  The social media scroll.  Goodness, why is this so incredibly hard for me?  So many of my evenings are wasted away from scrolling for far too long.  But something I have started to implement at bedtime are these 3 things: 

1. Write out my list of what I need to get accomplished the next day.  This helps me prepare what I need to the night before to be ready to actually accomplish what needs to happen the next day.  This eliminates so much stress and helps my brain to turn off at night. 

2. Every night I put on my coconut oil with lavender moisturizer.  I LOVE this! It is a simple way that I can pamper myself, and not only does it help my skin, but it also helps me to relax and helps me to sleep better! 

3. Read.  I have gotten into the habit, instead of scrolling on social media (not that I don't still do it at all, but I set a limit of about 10 minutes), I make sure to end my evening with a couple of pages in a book.  It literally is only 5 minutes some nights.  But, someone once told me that whatever you intake right before going to bed, will also be what your mind thinks of first thing in the morning.  Which I think could be true. When I scroll, thats the first thing I also want to run to in the morning.  But, when I read and activate my mind, it seems that is the first thing I also want to do in the morning.  And not only that, it brings my heart more peace and clarity as I think on things that are true and enlightening right before bed, versus comparing myself right before bed. It leaves me on a positive note rather than negative.  

 
(The moisturizer I use each night before going to bed.) Can be found in our shop here:    https://www.lauradugglebyphotography.com/the-advocate-hope-shop/

(The moisturizer I use each night before going to bed.) Can be found in our shop here: 

https://www.lauradugglebyphotography.com/the-advocate-hope-shop/

 

How will you live with Intention this week? 

So, are you on board with me?  Do you feel like there are some areas you could adjust and tweak to live your life with more intention?  What I truly believe happens in this process is that we are able to have more joy.  We are filing our hearts and our minds with more truth, and less compassion and doubt, and I truly think that is such a beautiful thing.  If you want to take it one step further, I also created an amazing guide: 5 Steps to Reducing Stress that you can get here if you would like.  

Let's choose more intention this week, so that we can lean more fully into the spaces the Lord has for us.  I can guarantee our lives will be more full experience His goodness over our selfishness. The intentional life is the fruitful life. 

~Rooting for you, from my home to yours this week, 

Laura 

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How a Simple Life is the Good Life

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How a Simple Life is the Good Life

Simple and Free 

As we have launched into this new year, something that has really been laid upon my heart has been to simplify our home.  And, I know a lot of people start cleaning out and reorganizing in the new year, but this year has been different for me.  The heart behind it has been different.  Instead of just wanting more organization, less clutter, all of those things, this year for me, it has come from a heart of simplification, so that we can have more time to be intentional where it matters.  For, in the past, honestly my heart was mostly more in it for me to have a more organized house, but this year we have been able to give away more, and simplify more out of an intentional heart that as we have less, 1. we have less to distract us, and 2. we can have more focus on what matters.  

Little Boy Hugging Father's Leg

 

For me, this means getting back into reading scripture every morning. It sounds silly, but when I do not have everything set out and ready to go for the mornings, I simply will not take the time to open and read scripture.  It just doesn't happen.  So, this year I spray painted a beautiful tray from my mother in law, set it in the kitchen, and placed my Bible Study materials on top, using the bottom for organization of all the kids crafting supplies.  This has done 2 things for us.  First, it allows me to see my Bible each morning as I am making breakfast.  It's on my mind.  Secondly, everything I need to entertain the children so that I can do a Bible Study is right there as well. It makes it doable and easy.  And this is how simplification has gone in my house this year.  It has gone beyond, how can I freshen up this space and make it looker  cleaner to the eye, to how can I make this space more intentional for how I want our family to live this year?  And its working.  

gold tray with bible study essentials

 

Another big reason we have been simplifying is due to our adoption process.  We went through some online training as we prepare to bring a child from an environment of lacking to an environment of plenty when it comes to material things.  We were educated that even the aspect of a bath, fresh, clean running water in our home might be a lot for our child to take in at first.  They suggest that we simplify the amount of "things" we have in our home when we first bring our child home and that we gradually introduce things as our child adjusts to culture.  But, as I have been working on simplifying our home, I am also reminded of how much we do not need so many of the things we hold onto. Really, when we are stripped down,  I can fix my eyes back on the creator and remind myself of all the blessings we truly do have.  Thinking over the blessing of running water, clothes to fill our closets, food in the pantry, electricity, heat, the list goes on.  And, not that possesions are bad at all, but the heart behind WHY we need things at times can be.  I want to constantly live in a state where if everything materially was stripped from me, I could still know joy, because my emotions were not completely tied to them.

Bible and flowers

 

Materials Becoming Idols 

I was recently listening to a blog where she was talking about things becoming idols in our lives.  She then went on to say that anything that causes complete devastation for our lives in whatever facet has taken the throne of God in our lives.  This is not to say that we should not have grief, pain or hard seasons, for surely those will all be present in our lives, but I was able to think back over areas where I became completely devastated over something that should not have been.  The answer, I was putting too much trust in that thing and not trusting that God is sovereign and good and His plan is best for me.  He is above all the things. And I think that our view of God honestly begins in our homes, how we live our lives and the importance that we place on things that no one else sees. How we design and structure our home is becoming more and more important to me.  And not in the aspect that it needs to be "magazine staged", but rather that it is set up and intentional to make treasures of the gospel important.  For example, its important to me not only that I have an easier way to get into the Word each morning, but also that our home is easily designed to have people over, to be able to extend hospitality.  That we have a way to set up more than enough seats at our table, or a space to have friends over for a play date.  For none of this is truly ours, we are simply using what the Lord has given us, so I want to do my best to make sure I am investing it well.  

Image of simplified space in room

 

Simple and Less Stress

What I have found as I have simplified our home is that it has reduced the amount of stress in our home.  There are less toys to pick up and a better rhythm within our home.  I am certainly a person that tends to get stressed out.  As a type A driven, introverted mother it happens a lot.  BUT, I have started to try out 5 different things to help me reduce stress in my life, and over all it has been helping.  I even created a little PDF all about it if you too are someone struggling with simplicity and stress in your life.  You can find that resource here: 

I hope this week you are able to simplify your home, your life and your heart so that you can fully launch into the calling God has for you, His magnificent purpose filled with full satisfaction and joy.

Because truly that is what this is all about.  This is why simplicity matters, because it draws us back to our need of Jesus and allows us less distractions to be able to see Him more clearly.  I recently heard a person talking about how we may not be in a season of answered prayers right now, but instead, we may be in a season where the Lord is building grit in us.  This way, down the road we too can be of encouragement to someone else in our current season of life now.  So, to all my momma friends with littles, and really to all my friends, I so deeply believe that if we can start simplifying and finding ways to reduce stress in our lives, our faith and our callings will have more space to grow.  And this is what matters.   

~Rooting for you dear friends! I would love to know how simplicity and reducing stress is going in your life this week.  Tag me or chat with me over on your favorite platform!  Grateful for you! 

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~Laura 

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