A Perfect Way to Celebrate

I am still on such a high from getting to capture this time in this family’s life. It felt special for a hundred and one reasons. This was a celebration of a baby boy about to turn 1, Mom’s birthday also approaching, and during the session we found out it was also international women’s day. But most of all this was a celebration of one of the biggest Mom milestones I know of so far - the last maternity leave coming to an end…

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Shirley Sullivan
Full Day Documentary Family Photo Session

You could tell this family was embracing the phase of life they were in, soaking in the little joys like chasing each other around the house and adding so many laughs into the bedtime routine. It doesn’t sound easy having a professional photographer follow you around all day, especially when you have no idea what the day will bring, but people find it surprisingly easy in the end to go with the flow and do their usual thing. And through that comfort, I am able to capture what a genuine Day in the Life was like for this family in the phase of life they are in.

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Shirley Sullivan
Being a Mompreneur

Part of my mission with Day in the Life of a Mom, is to help Moms see their own beauty within the messy reality of parenting through heartstring-tugging family films and photos. Through asking others to be real, and feel all the feels, I am constantly reminding myself to do the same. So let me share a bit about my journey, the challenges, and some of the lessons I’m learning along the way…

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Shirley Sullivan
A Cold Wintery Day Inside

Focusing on creating a film today, felt like self-care. And to be honest, it was one of those days that felt a bit hard (my husband and I never do well with feeling stuck inside). Without a family film packed full of beautiful sweet funny candid moments, I might have only remembered the temper tantrums, the runny noses, the nap battle, the supper time battle, and the flat out exhaustion I feel at the end of a long day. And yet, here I am, smiling from ear to ear, watching this film over and over again as I tear up over the beauty within this one simple, “boring” day inside…

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Shirley Sullivan
Self-care is Not Selfish

And just like that, 2019 is here. I think I have said this every year since having kids - how does a year fly by so fast. This year was even full of LOTS of long, long days. The kind filled with piles of parenting challenges like I’d never faced before (and piles of laundry too of course). I would say 2018 was my year of being immersed in motherhood, and sometimes feeling like I was drowning it in. I am starting to learn that parenting might not ever feel like something I can 100% succeed at, but at the same time I know that I truly gave it my all this year. Sometimes though (ok almost always) this was at the sacrifice of self-care. So that is where I’m starting 2019 - from a place of wanting to put self-care first again. I know SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.

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Shirley Sullivan
It's About the Journey, Not the Destination

There is no doubt in my mind that little CJ will grow up with a thirst for adventure and an appreciation for the journey, as opposed to just the destination. Her four biggest role models in life so far, her parents and her godparents, are nothing short of amazing. It isn’t just about taking time out of their busy lives to explore, life itself is an adventure to them…

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Maternity Leave Reflections

Because, here’s the thing, being home full-time with young kids is the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life. But, as crazy as my kids make me sometimes, I love them more than anything else in this world. In the end I know I was right where I needed to be, loving my two little girls and giving them all of me. I think these films will always remind me that I should have no regrets!

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My Own Day in the Life

For 2 years, of the last 2.5, I’d been on maternity leave from my nursing job, pouring my heart and soul into raising these two little girls. And sometimes, it felt like there was little to show for it, other than keeping us all alive at the end of every day. This phase of life came with a lot of challenges, having two toddlers in the house at once is definitely exhausting, and I was rarely feeling my best (at anything, but particularly parenting). But, I was absolutely trying my best all day every day.

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Beauty in the Chaos

It was beyond rewarding for me to hear this Mom’s words after viewing her film - especially around feeling my patience and understanding. I am always so aware of the fact that I am entering into people’s personal home life and that it can be feel VERY vulnerable. I ask you to be just as you are and embrace the chaos - and that sounds scary, but it is also completely satisfying and liberating. By just being real and trusting me to enter your world, I promise to show you the beauty in the chaos within your own family…

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3 hour Session - Day in the Life of a Mom

This documentary family session had a strange sense of calm considering there was a 1 year and a 3 year old involved! A 3 hour documentary session can be quite different than a full day or even half day session. It still portrays real life, the personalities of each family member and the interactions between them, but sometimes the chaos is a bit less….

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Little Explorers and Adventure Mamas

Can any other mamas out there relate to the feeling of losing their identity after having kids?! I'll be honest, I sure did struggle with this, and I think it's pretty common. After almost 3 years since my daughter was born, I can definitely say that being a Mom is now the favourite thing about myself. But that is not to say there wasn't some rocky roads and resistance along the way to making room in my identity for this overwhelmingly big part of who I now am. Pre-kids, "adventurous" was one of the top words I would use to describe myself…

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Moms are Super Heroes

How can we all start being real with each other and sharing the hardships and heartaches instead of just the "picture-perfect" part of our lives. I would love to be part of a movement to re-define "picture-perfect". There are so many beautiful moments to be captured in the day to day that involve tantrums, tears, and other turmoil. But I completely understand that it feels very vulnerable to let a stranger (even if I promise we'll feel like friends very quickly) into your own home to capture real life and often intimate moments as a family.

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Day in the Life of a Mom - The Beginning

As I gear up to launch my new website, a branch of Shirley Lynne Photography that focuses on the beauty and chaos of Motherhood, it is fun reflecting back to where it all started. Soon after becoming a mother myself, in October 2015, I had this idea of capturing Mom's in action in a typical "Day in the Life". At the time of this first 3 hour Day in the Life of a Mom session, I wasn't quite sure where the idea would take me, but I did know I had fallen in love with it.  

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Documentary Family Session - Half Day

Because the genre of documentary family photography is still newer, I often find it hard to sell the idea to people. Asking someone for you to show up at their doorstep at 6:30 in the morning before kids are even up for the day and for them to still be in their pyjamas is not super comfortable for most, and I get this.  And usually, getting the husband/dad on board is even harder. This session was no exception. But...

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