Journaling for Photographers: 7 Day Challenge {Day 2: Favorites}

When you are feeling stressed, it can suck the creativity right from you. Stress and drama only creates more stress and drama. When your body feels stress, it goes into the “fight or flight” mode, creating an impossible place to let creative thoughts multiply and survive. But how do you make the choice to say “I will be stress free today” and then combat all the stress triggers set in motion from the day before? It isn’t easy, but becoming free from stress is the best way to let inspiration and creativity flow to you- so it is a must do for all creative people!

In addition to doing gratitude journal entries, listing your favorites creates a huge serge of positive energy. These types of surges can take you up and over anxiety and stress from work and clear the way for some of your best ideas.

With this prompt, you want to get as detailed as possible, add in all the feelings, thoughts and ideas that come along in your story. The goal is to feel the same feelings while writing your prompt, as you do/would feel in real life talking about your favorite! Let the great energy flow!


Write Your 5 Favorites:

  1. Favorite Session Story
  2. Favorite place to photograph (even if you haven’t been there yet!)
  3. Favorite Photographer (add in why you love them!)
  4. Favorite Type of Session
  5. Favorite Moment Photographing (can be from a session, life, travel or just random! Make it good 🙂 )

Journaling for Photographers: 7 Day Challenge {Day 1: Gratitude}

As a small business owner, you are responsible for everything. From supply orders, to design concepts, to business budgets, marketing and customer service. How do you find time to clear your mind to keep you on the path that feeds your creative soul- the reason you started off in photography in the first place? Do you remember the first time you picked up your camera and thought “this is what I want to do with my life.” I bet it doesn’t feel that way everyday now.

Running a business is a lot of work, and it is easy to push your feelings down to get the work done. Push past those dreams and goals to make room for your never ending “to-do” list.

But honestly, it doesn’t have to be that way- you can do better, feel better and be passionate with your art, stay on track with who you are and what you are doing.

That is why I want to challenge you to start your creative journal. I gave a taste of creative journal prompts to my Color Course students this past month, and the feedback I received was astounding- many had never dove into their fears and passions revolving around their own creative talents.

Journaling benefits everyone- and I truly believe that- but is it essential for creative personalities. Simply taking pen to paper helps organize thoughts, feelings and ideas- but more than that, it breeds them. Once you start writing, surges of inspiration can flow and instead of it bogging down your mind with all of your great ideas, there is a place where they are written. A place where you can come back to and visualize your ideas and build on them.

We are going to start off demolishing a few fears that stop artists from journaling:

  • I don’t know how to write : Well that is fine- you don’t have to know how to write, spell or use punctuation- you are the only one reading it.
  • I don’t have time: Journaling isn’t something that has to take long, you don’t have to sit and mediate and wait for inspiration to find you. You can literally write for 1-5 minutes while your coffee is brewing in the morning, or during school pick up in the car. Stick your journal in your purse and write between meetings and sessions.
  • I don’t know what to write about: Well that is perfect! I’ll be giving you prompts over the next couple days to really get your gears going, sometimes all you need to do is start writing anything and your thoughts will empty onto the page- freeing your mind from holding onto all of them!
  • I don’t have a fancy journal: That’s fine! I journal so much that I use a 5 star notebook (yes, for real.) I use the different sections for the different things I journal about.

Day #1 : Gratitude

When you are stressed or overwhelmed, the very best thing you can do is to be grateful for what is going wonderful in your life. It could be as simple as waking up on time, or being able to have a sit down dinner with your family. It could also be as big as when you bought a new car, or house! It doesn’t matter what you are grateful for- just as long as you are grateful!

I do daily grateful entries in my journal, 10 at the least, but the more you write down and feel them, the more positive your day starts. It is hard to have a bad day when you are taking the time to feel the gratitude for all the fantastic things you have/do/are.

What I am grateful for today:

  1. My coffee didn’t have granules when I made it this morning (yes- this is a recurring issue in my life- lol)
  2. Cozy time with my daughter, summer is out and balancing work/home is tough – but every night this summer we have curled up and read a book together.
  3. Starting the Journaling Challenge- Yes- this is on there. Even though I journal almost every day, I’m not always 100% present. I am taking this 7 day challenge myself and am ready to get back in alignment with who I am and how I am feeling.
  4. Netflix- for real. June has been full of my favorite season’s updates and it has been awesome!
  5. Being invited back to the Belly Baby and Beyond Conference as a vendor- this year was an amazing experience!
  6. The Photography Studio- I LOVE being a part of the newborn photography industry, and having a studio has been such an incredible part of my life for the past two years. We have 2 of our newborn session babies coming back for cake smashes next week and I love seeing how much they have grown!
  7. My Happy Planner- Each week, I print off my favorite stickers, cut them up and plan my next week, after living for years with post-it notes everywhere, having something organized and beautiful has been fantastic!
  8. Gardening time with my family- We plant a garden every year, and last year I was so busy, I didn’t even get to enjoy it. It was another responsibility that I wasn’t able to keep up with. This year, it has been relaxing and such a way to spend evenings with my family.
  9. My family portraits- We had our first family photography session last year (after 7 years) and I was surprised with a huge canvas of my favorite image for Mother’s Day- I finally got it hung up last week!
  10. ReiLynn Designs- I have had my prop shop for almost 9 years now, and summers are always a little bit scary. They are slower and my daughter is home from school, so less work hours. I decided that this summer, the shop would be all ready to ship and I couldn’t be more happy with that choice! I have gone from stressful and over worked, to excited about each shop update!


Grandma Lo Lo Felted Props


I would love to introduce to you my mom, Lora (also known as Grandma Lo Lo 🙂 )

Grandma Lo Lo making a brand new surprise for the shop! I can not wait to debut it in our studio next month, and she is so excited to be able to share her amazing felting skills with all of you!

My mom has been crocheting for over 40 years and felting for nearly 10 years and has been a published Leisure Arts Pattern Designer. Now that most of my brothers and sisters are out of the house, she is ready to start following her passion in the fiber arts!

We are so excited to bring new prop designs to the ReiLynn Designs shop, and after many rounds of testing, we are heading into our final round this week!

Make sure to check in for updates, because we will be updating in the ReiLynn Designs VIP group with sneak peaks, but also offering a special pre-launch sale through the newsletter! You are going to love this new prop!

*Color Course*

Be Unique

Earlier last month I opened up pre-registration for my newsletter subscribers and Facebook VIP group to the most creative course I teach, the Color Course! And let me tell you, the emails, messages and comments I have received about how much this color theory course is needed, just astounded me.

While I was shocked at how many people struggle with planning their sessions, and really digging deep into the style they love, but I really shouldn’t have been. Four years ago, I was were you are now. I had so many creative ideas rushing through my head, colors, props, babies, backdrops- I could barely contain myself, and to make me sound even more crazy, I didn’t even have a studio! That is what happens when true artists get inspired. It is an all or nothing game- because as soon as the inspiration ends – so does the fun. It is like trudging through mud uphill, and it can be easy to give up (just like I did.)

I remember putting together a newborn session for a friend. I thought up the cutest color combinations and styled the whole session with the new props I was launching. I took 2 online workshops and really thought I had my act together. The session went completely as planned, baby was perfect, props fit great- everything was coming together. That was, until I uploaded the images onto my computer.

It is like all of my newly found photography skills push my deep seeded artistic knowledge out the window. I had taken years of color theory and composition courses, but you would never know it by looking at those images. The baby was precious, perfect skin and hair. Great natural lighting (especially for a newbie photographer.) But those colors – my favorite part of creating props and session designing with my photography friends – had failed me. Instead of the colors and textures pulling and pushing your focus to my friends precious baby girl, they took your glance away, in a mess of color. The worst part, was that I didn’t even realize that was the problem.

Now, my friend loved her images, but I put my camera away for 2 more years after that session, thinking that newborn photography just wasn’t my thing. It wasn’t until months later that I looked at those images again, and understood my creative error. Instantly I thought back to so many photographers who I had talked to, that said “well color just isn’t something I’m good at.” I hadn’t understood until now- how could someone have trouble with color? It’s awesome!

Then the light bulb went off- color theory in regards to newborn photography is different than just regular ol’ color theory. There is a baby factor there- you aren’t wanting every piece of your artwork to hold the same weight, like you may want in fine art, you want the focus to be on your precious little model. We build our sessions to bring focus toward your subject, and a color contrast in the wrong spot can destroy that.

That is why I am bringing you the Color Course. It is specially designed to help you create unique color combinations and implement them in your sessions- for the perfect artwork!

In this course you are going to learn, and master:

 Color Theory and how to apply it to your newborn sessions
 Session planning guides on working with parents favorite colors
 Creative use of colors and props
 Layering colors during sessions to bring focus to baby
 Studio organization tips we use to make session planning and prop buying easy and seamless
 My personal list of over 100 unique color combinations that make session planning a breze
 A live chat to answer questions on color use and session design

You can sign up here!

Coral, Pink, Sage, Yellow and Bone Color Inspiration

You know how sometimes creativity grabs you and won’t let you go? Well that just happened. I have been creating newborn headbands for years, but was on the fence on whether I was going to open up my Headband of the Month Club for new members this year, or if I was going to add them to my inventory for the Belly Baby and Beyond Conference (yes, this was after I ordered around 15lbs of fabric flowers – they are taking over my life.) But at about 3AM last week- I decided I was going to do it all. Which also included staying up all night making headbands because I just couldn’t stop.

So this set is this month’s Headband of the Month Club headband set- which is being shipped out at the end of the month to all members (so yes- there is time to sign up) and to sweeten your first month, each member will be getting a $10.00 Shop Credit code for May! How awesome is that! (If $10.00 isn’t enough- I’m having a flash sale today on all the bigger shop credits for re-opening day! Here’s the shop credit link.)

Prop Feature {Outfits}


Isn’t this the cutest little outfit? The adorable beanie with little button- and the pants with the little working bum flap is so precious! And the texture is completely unique- made from a special stretchy stitch, to ensure it fits just right. It is hard to say “good-bye” to- but I am sad to say, when the shop re-opens in May, this outfit will no longer be available.

But you know what they say, “Sometimes you have to let something good go, to make room for something great.” and that is exactly what I am doing. All of my unique outfits will be leaving the shop for good- and while I am so sad about it, I am looking toward the horizon to the new, creative things in store for ReiLynn Designs.

Along with this super cute Peek-A-Boo Outfit, all other hat and pants sets will be taken out of the shop Friday. Make sure that if you don’t have them in your prop stash, that you add them before the shop closes for April updates!

Spring Showers Tassel Hat and Pants SetSage, Gray and YellowPink Bone IvoryGray Coral and AquaCoral Lavender and PinkOcean, Aqua, Lime

DSC_7665 web ready 960px wide FACEBOOK11248691_10153443236974583_4066028472526672418_n10552542_10204770287240843_975719729715334589_n

Felted Curly Layer Debut!

Stand In Baby-14-2

Last year, I started doing felted layers for our studio and fell in love with the textures and colors of them! I really didn’t realized how soft and sweet they were until I started using them in every session we had! They are now our “go-to” prop layer, so it was only fitting that I added them to the shop during our Spring Line Launch!

Each one is approx 18-20 inches and has piles of angelic curls, center felted for a beautiful round layer. The colors naturally ombre, and show stunning depth of color and layer in a one of a kind look.

You can purchase your own Curly Felted Layers here: Felted Layers 


Stand In Baby-18-2Stand In Baby-35Stand In Baby-48Stand In Baby-58Stand In Baby-64