Happy Little Tree: Blog http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog en-us (C) Happy Little Tree tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:56:00 GMT Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:56:00 GMT http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/img/s/v-5/u290770645-o552895990-50.jpg Happy Little Tree: Blog http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog 80 120 Proof Is In The Pudding...... http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/11/proof-is-in-the-pudding I met the Johnson Family last year.

Our first meeting was in a hospital room.

Melissa had just given birth and had hired me to do a Fresh 48 Session.

For those of you that do not know what a Fresh 48 Session is I come up to the hospital and photograph the older siblings and grandparents meeting the baby for the first time.

Melissa and Luke had come prepared.

As their three older children bounced into the room they had presents from the new baby for them.

Each child received a bag with clothes, toys and books.

As the new baby needed tests I got to do the best part of my job. 

Sit on the floor and read to the kids.

I told them all about my son and his favorite book at the time, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.

The book was funny for kids and had enough adult sarcasm to keep me entertained as well.

In it instead of porridge Goldilocks eats three gigantic bowls of pudding.

Fast forward a year.

The Johnson Family shows up at my studio for family photos.

Not only do the kids remember me, they scour my book selection looking for the Goldilocks book I told them about!

What kind of an Aunt am I!!! It was not there!

After the session I went home and through the magic of Amazon I ordered not only the book to be delivered to their house but a package of chocolate pudding to make with it!

I then went about my day.

A week later I see a strange post on Melissa's Facebook feed.

"Did someone send me pudding?"

"Is this a thing now?"

Amazon had sent the pudding on ahead of the book which would arrive a week later.

I was about to explain but when I looked at Melissa's feed it was hilarious.

Her friends were having too much fun running with it.

I am sure after the book came she figured out the pudding was from me as well.

I now want to send random pudding to my clients to see what Three Stooges antics ensue. LOL

Family 2017-2Family 2017-2


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) and dinosaurs goldilocks omaha photographer pudding the three http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/11/proof-is-in-the-pudding Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:56:12 GMT
Book It! Part Four- Website http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/11/book-it-part-four--website I bought my domain name off of GoDaddy for a decade for $80. I was going to keep Captured By Tree forever!

I used the website builder that came with Go Daddy.

It was crude, amateur and boring.


I went on to try Wordpress, Big Black Bag, SquareSpace and several others to varying degrees of success.

When my business rebranded to TreeSnap I had a custom site designed and built for me.

Yes I did love it but anytime a problem arose I had to pay someone to fix it and I had to add on the shopping cart feature and order prints.

When my business changed again several years later I shut down the site and moved to Zenfolio.

Easy to design a simple site and photos could easily be ordered through several professional labs without me having to do the extra step of ordering.  


Make sure that the website you choose is easily navigable.

Have friends try it out and try out test markets like Peek by UserTesting which will send you a 5 minute narrated clip of someone going through your site and what they think. I believe you get three free uses. 

Peek Link: http://peek.usertesting.com


Do not add music.

It makes it load slower and you probably don’t have the copyright permission to use it.

Lots of people do it but if someone was using your images for free without your permission you would be p***ed off.

Don’t do that to another artist that worked hard to make that song.

Plus quite a few of my brides check me out when they are bored at work. Don’t make them get caught by the startup of cheesy music.


Don’t overdo how many photos you have in your portfolio galleries, more is not better! Just keep the stunning ones. 

Don’t have enough to fill a portfolio?

Borrow a friend and her dress. Take her out to shoot. Shoot your own wedding ring. Put your kid in their Easter clothes and go to town. 

If you love church weddings show photos with churches.

Love the serious romantic couple shots? Post that and those are the clients you will attract. 

People see your photos as a love story. They want to look at your photos and be the person in it.

So you want vintage tattooed brides? Post that. You are going to get the kind of bride that you show case.

I post a lot of funny outtakes and reception shots so I don’t get as many serious brides. I get ones that want a fun night to remember!


Make sure it has links to your blog, Facebook, Instagram and all of your other informative links.

About You Tab, Portfolio, Pricing, What to Expect, etc etc etc.

Do your homework! Emulate the sites you love!


Last but not least is it your brand style? Remember your brand is everywhere from website boarder to business cards!


PS- As I write this post my website is in serious need of an update, but that is what the winter is for!

AC Pg34AC Pg34




tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) omaha photographer website wedding http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/11/book-it-part-four--website Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:15:44 GMT
Holy Haberdashy! http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/10/holy-haberdashy New Client.

Wanted Session in their backyard.

New people.

Always that awkward Jr. High feeling.

I pull up and park.

Beautiful lawn, landscaping, tree swing.

Oh they must be those people on the other side, the "normal" ones.

Beautiful mom, handsome dad, little girl, bouncing golden hair.

Happy puppies running around.

Yup normal.

We start shooting.

Which is awkward enough when you have a stranger like me posing you around.

Mom is not afraid to get down in the wet, muddy grass with the puppies.

Dad is not too proud to climb up in the treehouse with his daughter.

And the daughter?


In the span of twenty minutes she jumped, climbed and leapt off of every surface and tree she could.

As I was saying my goodbyes in the front yard the little girl stopped me.

"Hold on a minute Tree."

She ran inside.

I waited, and waited. I made small talk as the minutes ticked by. 

After ten minutes Mom and I looked at each other and proclaimed that I had probably been forgotten about and forsaken for a toy or game.

As I walked slowly to my car just in case I hear the front door slam.

I look up and a vision in all black is running towards me with hydrangeas.

She had gone inside and transformed into Cat Woman.

Who then proceeded to hand me a bouquet of light blue hydrangeas that the villain had picked just for me.

It was one of the most perfect ways I've ever had a session end.

I might have misjudged them as one of the "normals".

Moral of the story- Don't judge a book by it's nicely manicured front lawn.

Double Moral- Always bring Tree flowers.

Family 2017-109Family 2017-109


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) cat new omaha photographer woman http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/10/holy-haberdashy Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:48:08 GMT
Book It! Part Three- Logos http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/9/book-it-part-three--logos  

Your logo can just be your business name, or it can have artwork with it, vines, graphics etc.

Very big right now is watercolor flowers and gradient gold letters or geometric prisms.

I've never been fond of using a camera or an aperture wheel instead of an O for logos.

This is where mood boards are great.

Back in the day I would look through magazines and cut out the ads I loved and glue them to poster board. Now we have Pinterest!

I make a secret board and Pin fonts and other logos I love.

I had a mind set with my portrait business that I was just going to do a font in teal and orange.

I was pretty broke so I posted on Facebook to see what acquaintances would come up.

A friend said she would design one for $20.

I bought it from her but everyone told me it kind of looked like the logo for a nursing home.

I then tried Fivver. Twice.

It is where you pick a graphic designer to make you a logo for anywhere from 5 to 50 bucks.

I spent $10 and hated it so much I didn’t even want to ask the artist for a revision.

I tried it again and spend $15 and I liked it but when I posted it for feedback everyone else hated it IMMENSELY.

What now?

Another photographer suggested an artist to me. I filed out her online questionnaire.

She said it was going to be $200 and six weeks.

I really do hate waiting but I completely get it!. DO NOT RUSH ART.

The one thing that I did not see coming was the questionnaire. I told her everything I wanted teal, orange, just my name, but she had me make a PinBoard of logos and fonts I liked.

It was at that moment I discovered everything I Pinned and was drawn to was the opposite of what I thought I wanted.

I had become what I always complain about. The customer who doesn't really know what they want.

The other graphic designers didn't fail. I could not really explain what I wanted. Which is why you go to a Pro to be able to interpret for you LOL.

Going online and looking at other business logos and styles was really an important step to actually realizing what I wanted. I had been saying the wrong things!

She got excited over the Pins and six hours later brought me back my new logo that I love.

Your logo designer will give you a palette of colors and two to three fonts to use that are your brand for website, business cards, welcome packets, thank you cards etc.

Remember to watch out for hard to read fonts!!!!

If on a budget there are lots of design shops online with premade logos where you just change the name to yours!

You can do it yourself but graphic design is a completely different beast from photography.

I find a lot of photogs who design their logo themselves end up with something that is just ok and not as polished as if a pro had done it.

I've seen it with myself in the past. You have on "Mommy Goggles" for how good it is because you put so much work into it.

Ask other photogs and clients for there opinion! Ask people who are your core demographic, "How does this make you feel?" "Remind you of anything?" "Easy to read and identify?" "Do you feel it represents my style well?"

When the new year starts and our busy season has ended is when most photogs redo their branding. 

Can't wait to see what new looks my friends come up with this year!

Logo MistakesLogo Mistakes




tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) branding logo omaha photographer http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/9/book-it-part-three--logos Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:20:03 GMT
With The Fall Comes Family http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/9/with-the-fall-comes-family It's that time of year.

The weather is starting to cool.

Back to school.

Crazy holidays are about to start. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and so on.

With this comes the craziness in my schedule.

My 20 side projects that are never finished.

Cleaning the house, studio and my car which has an embarrassing number of Ding Dong wrappers hidden in it.

Speaking of cars you know that school started and neither of my kids drive? The 21 year old or the 4 year old.

Can't blame them.

It does mean an extra 2 hours of driving around a each weekday at crazy times.

All of this craziness now means I only have time to shoot on Wednesdays and Weekends.

Even then I have a few full day weddings booked out even though I don't shoot weddings anymore.

Why am I babbling?

To put that little worm in your ear now so that I don't have you upset that you can't get your family photos done!

I have had clients on the books ready for this since last February. (Crazy huh! I myself am never that prepared)

Last week Franklin came to see me.

His mom had the session booked out for months.

"Tree what time would you like us? What to wear and where?"

Franklin is 9mths old. He goes to bed at 8am. 

So I was a little nervous about asking my clients to come out and shoot at golden hour at 7am.

Oh and drive an extra half hour out of their way to an apple orchard on a dirt road they have never been to just because their photographer wants it.

15 minutes.

15 minutes was all it took to capture one of my favorite sessions of the year.

We wandered among the apple tree, haystacks and the cool vintage truck on the property.

I am always nervous when you book, when we shoot and when I edit.

Will they love their photos?

As I am editing through them on my computer I start to smile. Why?

Because as I scroll through my brain starts to say, "Yes this is a photo I want of me with my own kids."

Then I know they will love them.

Then I get a little jealous that I haven't done my family photos yet.

Franklin reaching for apples in the grass. Dad nuzzling his neck. Mom kissing the top of his head, her fingers playing with the tiny curls by his ears.

Yes these are photos capturing one small moment of love in a great big world.....and my heart is so happy for it.


Franklin 9mth-92Franklin 9mth-92

tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) family omaha photographer http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/9/with-the-fall-comes-family Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:09:38 GMT
Cross The T's and DOT the I's http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/9/cross-the-ts-and-dot-the-i-s So Dorothy or Dottie if you will, has a lot to live up to.

I mean come on. Her older sister is Deborah.

Or Little Debbie if you prefer. Which I do for the obvious reasons.

Little Debbie is a pistol. Keeps me laughing, on my toes and is a big personality in a small package.

They are opposites.

Little Debbie with her dance movies and command of a room at such a small age ran away with my heart.

I tell my clients all the time, "Yes it is trying but trust me this is what you want. No one will steam roll over her. She will rule the world with a moose by her side."

Well you get the idea.

Along comes Dottie.

How on earth can you compare the two?

You can't I've come to find.

Yes Debbie will rule the world but Dottie will be the one to master it.

She glows.

Quieter, dare I say meeker?

She is only one but you see her paying attention to the small details before she reacts.

So how does the quieter little sister do when it comes to smashing a cake?

It does not go how most parents hope with cake flung to the high heavens.

No not even close.

Happy, smiling Dottie is set in front of the cake, looks up with a grin and then precedes to push every polka dot on her smash cake like it is a button.

She does not miss one!

Each and every polka dot is pressed slowly and precisely deep into the cake until they have all disappeared.

I have to say for a cake smash it is a first for me LOL.

Dottie BlogDottie Blog

tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) cake debbie dorothy dot dottie omaha photographer polka smash http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/9/cross-the-ts-and-dot-the-i-s Tue, 05 Sep 2017 17:28:20 GMT
Book It! Part Two- Business Name http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/8/book-it-part-two--business-name What’s In A Name?


Business Name

Your business name says it all.

Lots of photographers use their names for their business and just add photography onto the end.

It does make it easy to figure out.

If your name is really long or difficult for people to spell, it will also make it tough on the design aspect of things.

I’ve tried to Goggle some of my favorite photographers and it is impossible to find them because I am a bad speller.

I see female photographers who are not married yet but know they will be in the future and will be changing their last name. They will use their first name and their middle name instead. 

I started off as Captured By Tree.

I had it for several years and then noticed that almost every beginning photographer does that. It was not original and it was boring and amateur. 

One of my brides was a graphic designer.

I hired her and her coworker for $1000 to make me a logo and a new website.

She talked to me, had me make a mood board, asked questions and brought me three drafts of new logos.

First she pitched me the new name “Tree Snap”.  I loved it.

She showed me the logos. I liked them, they were all well done but I looked over at her sketch pad and she had doodled the new business name in a font that remind me of one of my favorite Shel Silverstein books. I said, “That! That is it!” and my new logo was born. 

Test market your new name.

More then likely your family will will hate it, your friends will all love it, but in this day and age you can post to Facebook and ask a populace.
Not everyone will love it, but try to run it by people that are you are in the demographic you are trying to reach. For weddings that is usually couples that are between the ages of 21 to 35 and see if it appeals to them. 

Is the font hard to read? Is the logo tough to fit on a business card? Will it age well or is it too trendy?

On that note, in a few years you may need to rebrand.

Your business changes, you change, the way you shoot changes, so why not throw a party and rebrand yourself!

Google the name. Make sure it is not in use already.

When Googled see what it is associated with, is it possible inappropriate subjects may turn up when Googled?

I had some friends go into business and open a studio space.

They were hip, young photographers with excellent work.

They named their studio Stables.

When we tried to Google their studio to get the address for their "house" warming you can guess what we came up with instead.

That being said you will have to register your business name. Are you going to copyright it? here is a link to help:


Choose wisely!

Some helpful sites:



PS- Below is one of my favorite wedding shots! It is so rare when you get to shoot the first kiss from the opposite side with the guests behind them!

KM Wedding-971KM Wedding-971


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) business name omaha photographer wedding http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/8/book-it-part-two--business-name Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:32:08 GMT
Book It! Part One- Getting Started http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/8/book-it-part-one--getting-started After dropping out of the wedding business I had started to write an ebook on all of my experiences in weddings.

It wrote itself very quickly.


Shooting the video tutorials and all of the images and editing to go with it never happened.

A year went by and it is just sitting on my laptop.

So I have decided to break it down by pages and post to my blog.

So here is the first installment at my failed attempt to be an author!

::Getting Started

I just went to a lighting class.

This was an advanced off camera lighting class. There were only eight of us in the room.

Three of the fellow photographers had never even turned on a flash.

They all said they were in the class to learn since they had several weddings coming up.

My heart stopped. 90% of weddings are shot in pitch black dark churches and reception halls. They cannot be reshot and are fast paced.

So what are you suppose to do? Not what I did.

Like the girls in class I just jumped in. Looking back at my first weddings makes me want to cringe. Yes someone actually paid me for them.

There are so many thing I should have been in command of and known that I did not in the beginning because I jumped in.

Shots I did not get. Moments I missed. 

Second and even third shoot for someone whose work you admire. Offer to carry gear, do it for little or no money.

Look at how they do everything from lighting to talking to the flower girl. 

The other thing you need to do. Practice, Practice, Practice!

I can’t tell you how many times I would learn something in a class or online and then not try it out until the day of a wedding and completely fail at it!

I would say you need at least a year of apprenticing with someone else.

How many jobs do you know of don’t require training before you go it alone. Wedding photography should not be any different.

Go online and message someone you admire offering to carry their gear in exchange for watching them do their thing!

There are many photography and wedding Facebook Forums geared to finding second shooters.

I will say that until your shooting skills are up to snuff do not market yourself as a second shooter. You are an assistant.

A second shooter can get the exposure right and does not need to be directed as much!

And may the Force Be With You!

Cool Links:


The Modern Tog


MK Wedding-902MK Wedding-902


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) getting omaha photographer started wedding http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/8/book-it-part-one--getting-started Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:48:21 GMT
Go Wide! http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/go-wide I do not do generational photos.

Let's face it they are not easy to do.

Trying to get everyone in a family in the same place and time, in color coordinated clothes and there are always one or two sick or ticked off members of the family.

But hey that's family right? LOL

Every once in a blue moon I get roped into shooting one.

No one wants to look at me.

As I am making a fool of myself to try to get the baby to smile everyone is looking at her and not me.

Numerous head swaps.

Yes everyone coordinated in grey and blue except for that one Uncle that showed up in a Metallica shirt.

Your child just got vaccinations and is running a temperature but you can't reschedule because it is a big group shot and the rest of your family would kill you.

The teenagers looked pi**ed and bored beyond believe.

I placed everyone perfectly and the second I raise the camera to my face your one Aunt ducks behind someone so all we see is her eyeball poking out from behind someone's head like a creeper.

Yup you feeling the love too?

But the ones you love get older and it becomes tougher and tougher to find a photo of them.

I do try to take the standard full length -let-me-see-your-pasty-white-knees group shot.

And I DETEST them.

What I do love more is a wide panoramic shot of the family.

It takes a little more time editing but I love the result so much more.

I take the individual family shots and merge them photoshop.

The photos of just the small family grouping are easier to control and often look so much better. 

More comfortable and intimate.

I take those shots and layer them next to each other in Photoshop. 

The photo below is 8 siblings with their families and Mom and Dad. The usual big group shot is just that...usual.

But the layered shot I adore.

Yes I had to take nine separate family groupings and merge them but it was worth it!

You see all of your loved ones face so much clearer. They look happier and more relaxed. 

It is not a normal print size but I am a photographer.

I can tell you exactly where to print it and how to frame it.

That's my job.

So the moral of the store is that for your loved ones photos don't be afraid to step outside the usual 8x10 print size.

Go WIDE or Go home!

Bayer Family 2017Bayer Family 2017 Bayer Family Edit 2017Bayer Family Edit 2017

tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) generational omaha panoramic photographer http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/go-wide Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:58:46 GMT
Safety Net http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/safety-net I try not to post too many negative thoughts in my social media feed.

It does no one any good. I am a business and have to keep a lot of my opinions neutral.

Every time I have been mean or negative it has come back to bite me. Superstitious old bat that I am.

That being said last week broke that rule.

My driver's license and debit card were taken out of my purse and my accounts were drained.

It is a week later and I still have no answers or help, especially not from the Bank.

I do understand that these things take time though.

In the mean time I had zero money in my account with a household, studio and life to get on with.

Pay my rent? groceries? gas?

I did start to panic a little.

I was frustrated enough that I posted to my Facebook page about how the bank was a driving me crazy.

I went to bed that night and when I woke in the morning and logged into my studio manager my I had several accounting emails.

Without being asked several of my clients in the night went and paid in advance on their invoices even though they were not due for several months.

Several had also emailed to see if I was ok.

I held my head in my hands and teared up with relief looking at the screen.

It lifted that much more weight off my shoulders to not have to worry about another thing this week.

It wasn't a handout. I am too proud of a person for that as many people know. 

It was payment for services to be received in the future, but it was also a great show of love and support when I needed it!

I just wanted to say once again. How grateful I am to capture so many wonderful peoples memories and thank you for all of the love and support!

PS. Below is a photo from one of my trampoline sessions. Done without a safety net which seemed appropriate for this blog and all the crazy people who trust me!

Summer 2017-161Summer 2017-161

tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) account bank omaha photographer support http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/safety-net Mon, 17 Jul 2017 18:50:33 GMT
Where The Wild Things Are! http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/where-the-wild-things-are I have been doing very simple live bunny sessions for a few years now.

EVERY time I do these sessions all of the older kids and adults comment that they are jealous.

They want to play with the bunnies and get their photo taken.

I always tell them they are welcome to, but they feel too old.

With that in mind I came up my Wild Things Sessions!

These are for older kids and adults!

Animals ranging from tarantulas and alligators to porcupines and boa constrictors!

Here is what a session is like.

It is a one hour long group session of 6 to 7 people.

We take one animal out at a time a photograph with them!

Everyone gets a turn. 

You do not have to photograph with every animal!

If you don't want a tarantula on your head that is just fine!

We use continuous lights with no flash for the animals comfort.

We have an expert on hand that shows you how to handle the animals and is wonderful to work with.

You will get to pet and feed the animals and make some wonderful memories which make amazing photos!

As far as what to wear anything goes!

I do try to say no logos since it is distracting.

Want to go all out in vibrant makeup and feather cape? Let's do it!

Want to just wear your jeans and a T shirt and be comfortable that is awesome too!

If you wish to change clothes you may do so while another member of the group is being photographed.

You receive all images in an online gallery edited and ready to download!

I will say this it was amazing to see who gravitated to which animal.

As the session went on and people got bolder I was able to get people cuddling with alligators and letting snakes kiss them!

It is definitely a one of a kind photo shoot!

Message me for details and days!

Wildlie 2017-26Wildlie 2017-26


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Omaha alligators animals photographer snakes wildlife http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/where-the-wild-things-are Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:54:20 GMT
It Takes 7 Years!!! http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/it-takes-7-years For those of you that love the Harrison Ford version of Sabrina as much as I do the blog title was said in the Maid's voice.

For quite a few years now I post a bucket list for sessions I have been dying to do. 

I have been wanting to shoot a session in the Arts Center. 

No one has taken me up on it.

In the form of bellydancing, couples, headshots etc.

You name it I have been trying to talk someone into it.

I posted earlier this year about wanting to do a yoga belly bump session.

No takers.

Then through the Facebook grapevine I saw that Alyssa was pregnant.

I had so much fun shooting Alyssa and Jon's wedding I reached out to the couple to fulfill two long time bucket list wishes at once!

I would finally get to shoot in the Arts Center and do a Yoga belly bump session!

The light streaming in from the skylights was just as gorgeous as my glowing couple!

I was running late to the session. Not sure of my gear, the clothes, the poses but the second they showed up none of that mattered.

It was easy. Just move. Just talk. 

I can't not wait for their little one to arrive!

There is so much love for this baby already that I feel she will be truly blessed!

Thank you Alyssa and Jon! I will be seeing you again soon!

Link to image HERE!

Alyssa Belly Bump-127Alyssa Belly Bump-127


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Omaha belly bump photographer yoga http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/it-takes-7-years Mon, 03 Jul 2017 05:33:57 GMT
Nobody Gets Outta Hear Without Singin The Blues http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/nobody-gets-outta-hear-without-singin-the-blues I am not the person one calls when they need a babysitter.

Everything that makes me good at my job makes me a horrible babysitter.

The candy coated, jet fueled, mud covered, flying off the furniture with a goose egg on their forehead does not inspire comfort in parents.

So no one asks me.....ever.

It was a first and kind of scary proposition I put to my client.

"So Liz why don't you just drop Toby off at my house and I will shoot his two year photos and you and Tom can go have dinner and come back and get him?"

I should say I have known them awhile. This is not common studio practice.

It was all inspired by damn Pinterest.

I ran across this photo of a little boy with a sword playing in a clothesline with the shadow of a dragon on one of the sheets.

That was it! Use my laundry and give him a sword in my backyard.

Walk across the street to Walnut Grove and lay in the clover.  

Then bubbles because come on BUBBLES!

Then watermelon because his mother loves Fourth of July.

Then finish with a ship on the pond at the park!

It was planned out, simple, easy and entirely NOT what happened.

Tom and Liz dropped off their first born child to me.

I was lucky Toby trusts me and didn't run screaming down the street after his parents.

He wasn't quite sure at first.

He didn't want to go to the park. He wanted to stay in my yard.

OK! I'll just make the background blurry with my lens. No one has to see my yard!

I brought out the bubbles.

The beautiful light with bubbles swirling around him and ..... skunk face.

He didn't want bubbles.

Ok! Give him watermelon! All kids love watermelon!

I cut up the triangles and sat them in the grass. Picture perfect.

Toby took one look at them and actually turned to me and said, "I got this."

He then proceeded to pick up each triangle delicately so as not to get messy and stack then neatly and perfectly back in to the Tupperware container.

Soooooo hmmmmm. Not quite what I had in mind.

We were no where near the water but he loved dragging the ship back and forth across my grass so C'est la vie. 

What he did find was a frisbee.

His face lit up. He was a natural.

Then I remembered several years ago taking his parents' engagement photos and playing frisbee golf! 

Ok then! Tom and Liz won't think frisbee photos are weird let's do this!

By the time Toby's parents came back he was literally rolling in the grass laughing.

If you have kept score so far you would have seen that I actually got none of the shots I intended to, except for the laundry shot.

When I showed him he could run through the clothes line like a matador cape he LOVED it!

One catch. He didn't want a sword. He found my son's Harry Potter wand.

We went with it. 

Instead of a knight slaying a dragon we now have a wizard slaying a basilisk.

And we all lived Happily Ever After.

The End

PS. Since half my clients are young pups the title is a reference to Adventures In Babysitting which you need to go find and watch immediately!

Toby BasiliskToby Basilisk




tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) babysitting bubbles wizard http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/7/nobody-gets-outta-hear-without-singin-the-blues Sun, 02 Jul 2017 17:12:29 GMT
You Look Better Naked http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/6/you-look-better-naked My curtains are always drawn.

It is not to keep the heat out. 

You know the guy across the street from the Friends apartment on TV?

Yup That's me. Naked Guy.

My kids are use to. They think it is completely normal.

My hatred of clothing has had a few positive impacts on my kids. 

They are not embarrassed of their bodies.

Changing in lockers rooms is no big deal.

Seeing the human form in art is not giggled at or made fun of. It is just part of life.

So I walk around naked. That is until my husband gets home.

I run for the closest robe, blanket, mumu dress on hand.

After a decade and a half together a lot has changed.

When we started dating I was a size 0. I am now a well rounded size 16.

I want him to remember the old me. 

I walk around and still feel skinny until I catch my reflection in a store window.

Then I freeze for a second. Trying to figure out if I really look like that or if the glass is just distorted.

Nope I really look like that.

My husband came home last week and I dashed over and grabbed a blanket.

He laughed.

He came over and sat next to me.

"Why do you do that?"

"You don't do that with the kids?"

"I would love if you walked around the house naked."

He kissed me on top of the head and went back down the hall.

I'm a photographer. I shoot naked women who want photos for their significant others every week.

These shoots usually have endless hours of questioning and outfits. Women who are afraid to show off their bodies but want to.

It inspired me to create Birthday Suit Sessions.

No fancy corsets, crazy heels you can't walk in, and hours sifting through Victoria's Secret or Fredrick's of Hollywood.

Just you. 

Bed head tousled, rolled up in sheets.

That sexy thought your lover couldn't get of of their head when you were first dating was not of you in a black nightie but of you tangled up in the sheet in the morning light on the pillow next to them.

These sessions are simple. Effortless. And HOT as hell.

Do I now walk around naked in front of my husband now?


I do let my towel slip a little more though when he is around lol.



tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Omaha birthday boudoir naked photographer suit http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/6/you-look-better-naked Wed, 07 Jun 2017 15:13:03 GMT
PEEP SHOW http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/6/peep-show When I was off in the woods with my family I had a special run everyday on different kinds of sessions I wanted to do.

Most of them sold except for the Milk Baths.

So the day after I got back I grabbed our left over box of evaporated milk and decided to do it anyway.

It didn't quite go as planned.

First you never shoot your own kid. They don't listen.

I now have enough shots of him mooning the camera to last a lifetime.

I had to make sure the water level was high enough to cover naughty bits but not his face, but how to get him to stop drinking the bath water?

I ran to the cupboard to grab the big box of Fruit Loops and a giant spoon I had planned to use for the shoot.

They were gone.

Too late to turn back what else did I have in the cupboard?

Organic chocolate bunny cereal I thought might work but the water turning brown might be a little off putting.

Would Teddy Grahams float?

In the very back tucked away hidden because the only one who eats them is my Mother was a bright yellow box of Peeps.

The over sugary gelatinous hunks of yellow might work.

Flynn was over joyed to bathe with them.

I unfortunately did not get many shots as he quickly went about decapitating them all.

It was fun. 

It was silly and messy.

And I definitely can't wait until I can do it again.

Link to Slideshow.


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/6/peep-show Fri, 02 Jun 2017 14:22:09 GMT
Thick As Pea Soup! http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/thick-as-pea-soup Every time I am at work I walk past them sitting on my shelves.

One of those three-am-do-I-really-need-this purchases.

Smoke Bombs

I have not had a single client request a smoke session.

So why did I purchase them?

Just In case.

Maybe someone just doesn't know that is what they want and I have to be ready right?

Funky Senior Sessions

Dramatic Day After Bridal Gown Shots

Foggy Ethereal Engagement Love Session

Just sitting there on my shelf.

Of course I picked up plenty of orange and purple because those are my favorite colors!

With that in mind the next type of session I am offering while away are called Through The Fog.

Want a little drama in your life?

Link to my Mood Board!

Link to purchase at my Online Store!


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Omaha bomb fog photographer smoke http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/thick-as-pea-soup Mon, 15 May 2017 03:36:06 GMT
Tea For Two http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/tea-for-two Little cookies and sandwiches.

Pots and saucers.

Elegant victorian lace and gloves.

A field of flowers and your Dad.

Your playroom with your favorite dinosaur as you guest.

The last special session I am offering is Tea for Two!

Do you have the perfect dress to have tea with your teddy bear?

Or are you a little older and want a Mad Hatter Party with your friends?

Message me your ideas and lets start planning!

Take a peek at my Mood Board!

Link to purchase at my Online Store!

Mia 2yr-85Mia 2yr-85

tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Omaha party photographer session tea http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/tea-for-two Mon, 15 May 2017 01:43:08 GMT
Light Up The Sky http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/light-up-the-sky Another First!

I have never done a firefly session!

or is it lightening bug?

Fireflies are in some of my happiest memories.

The first time I took my son camping.

Dusk started to settle.

We were sitting outside our tent and the whole glen around us lit up like a Christmas Tree. 

It turns out that the fireflies were just born.

There were thousands of them but they were too tiny to catch!

It was something truly magical like a Miyazaki film.

Boys in jeans and suspenders, girls in big tutus!

Take a peek at my Mood Board!

Link to purchase at my Online Store!

Family 2016-88Family 2016-88

tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Omaha bug firefly lightening photographer session http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/light-up-the-sky Mon, 15 May 2017 01:21:34 GMT
Judge A Book..... http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/judge-a-book I remember the first time I realized that a headshot did not have to be squared off shoulders on a mottled grey background.

I was reading to my daughter Emily.

It was Where The Sidewalk Ends.

On the back cover was a photo of Shel Silverstein. 

Lounging back on a chair, dark shadow, foot up and in your face.

I felt like I knew the Author.

This picture seemed personal.

That photo made me want to create something more then just look at the camera and smile.

Last year I had the honor of photographing several photographers.

I tried to look at their personalities, their style of shooting and come up with photos that I hoped would portray their personality to the world.

Google is king and people do judge a book by it's cover.

With that in mind I want to offer First Impression Sessions.

Something a little more then just a mottled grey background headshot.

Photos that are seen on Link In, Facebook, Blogs, Websites, Tinder, Instagram.

Photos that make people go, "Oh that's who they are."

Message me with your ideas or let me dream up one for you!

Link to Mood Board!

Link to purchase at my Online Store!


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Omaha first headshot impression photographer stylized http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/judge-a-book Sat, 13 May 2017 16:06:06 GMT
If I Had Wings I Would http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/if-i-had-wings-i-would Yet another birthday party at Defy Gravity.

You know the adults look more excited then the kids.

I had so much fun why not spread the joy?

I think it might be the coolest way to celebrate most anything.

Turned four? Let's grab a ton of balloons and go jump.

Got an insane prom dress? Lets rock the frock on the trampoline.

Your family doesn't do studio portraits? Let go jump until your sides are sore from laughing!

Jump For Joy Sessions!

Link to my Mood Board!

Link to purchase at my Online Store!


tree@happylittletreephotography.com (Happy Little Tree) Omaha for joy jump photographer trampoline http://www.happylittletreephotography.com/blog/2017/5/if-i-had-wings-i-would Sat, 13 May 2017 06:08:41 GMT