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Happy New Year | Utah Senior Portraits

Happy New Year | Utah Senior Portraits

Happy New Year! Can you believe it?! Its’ 2016 and it’s going to be awesome.

If you know me well, you might know that I’m a strict enforcer of the 7:30 bedtime routine at our house. Bath/Shower, Read, Snuggles, Sleep. It’s what keeps us (read me) sane in our busy lives. Plenty of sleep (for the kids) and a dependable routine at night (so mommy can edit and catch up on business until all hours of the night). Well, last night we were so excited about ringing in the New Year that we all stayed up until 2:30 AM. Yep, you read that correctly. 2:30 AM! We learned that our kids can hang!

We filled the night playing minute to win it games, Pandemic (my new board game addiction), eating yummy Persian food, enjoying close friends who are more like family, watching our neighbor’s fireworks show that rivals any I’ve seen, and closed the evening with champagne toasts. It was one for the books. We may or may not have slept until 11 AM this morning.

On the business side of things, I have so much to be grateful for. 2015 was my best (and favorite) year in business yet. Not only was it the most profitable (which is important when you’re running a business), but it was filled with clients who shared my vision. Clients who hired me because they see the value of the Amanda Nelson Photography experience and wanted to be part of it.

2016 brings some exciting things on the horizon.

CONTINUING EDUCATION: I’m a huge believer in keeping up on market trends and expanding my photography education. This year I’m looking forward to attending two of the industry’s most sought after conferences. I’ll be learning from and strategizing with national leaders in the senior portrait industry. I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn and applying it to my business.

NEW COLLECTIONS: 2016 will bring new Graduate Collections to your experience.

NEW PRODUCTS: I’m so excited about new products that will be added to the lineup. I have several studio samples on order and can’t wait to show them off.

HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTISTS: To make sure you feel like a million bucks when you step in front of my camera, hair and make-up artists will be a staple of the ANP Senior Portrait experience.

Here’s a huge shout out to the greatest clients ever. Here’s a taste of some gorgeous images we created together

Utah Senior Portaits

 

Now it’s your turn!

BOOKING YOUR SENIOR PORTRAITS: You can see and reserve on of my remaining 2016 dates HERE. Or, you can always call [801-870-4132] or email me.

SENIOR PORTRAIT CATALOG: Get your exclusive Senior Portrait Catalog! It has everything you’ll need for the perfect senior portrait experience. Get tips on hair and makeup, what to wear, and much more! Get yours when you book your session with me.

IMAGE BOXES: I have some AMAZING new products! You and I will custom design your box during your ordering session. It includes a mounted 5×7 of each image from your session. This is truly an heirloom piece.

FUSION ALBUMS: I have a new album supplier and these albums are to die for. Featuring your favorite image on the cover with a complimentary leather or fabric wrap.

SOCIAL: To keep up with the latest announcements and deals, come hang with me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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Easter Egg Hunt | Amanda Nelson Photography

Easter Egg Hunt | Amanda Nelson Photography

Spring is busy. Like really, really, crazy busy. But I had to take a minute and squeeze some blog time in because these littles are just too cute.

We host an annual Easter Egg Hunt for the grandchildren on my side of the family. It’s a good time with amazing food, laughter and cousin time.

Cousin Portrait

Each year, we force them to change into their Sunday best for a grandchildren portrait. They absolutely loathe the whole idea, but have come to accept it. We finally learned to feed them before the pictures and then bribe them with the egg hunt for after. I have 5 (FIVE!) brothers and sisters, so watching this little crew grow in numbers each year is so fun.

jcrew gymboree

Easter dress

toddler cousins

Toddlers are hilarious. One made an escape during the group shot and Grandpa (who is a master photographer and can work miracles with children) had to wrangle him in.

toddler on the loose

The other one was completely and totally done with this business.

crying toddlers

purple tie, gymboree dress, jcrew pants

Fruity Pebble Easter Egg

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Aulani, A Disney Spring Break | Ko Olina Vacation Photography

Aulani, A Disney Spring Break | Ko Olina Vacation Photography

Disney Aulani in Ko Olina. I’m still pinching myself four months later. How were we so lucky to spend a glorious week at this paradise?

During Spring Break this year, we totally splurged and stayed at the Disney Aulani Resort. Springtime at the Nelson house is a crazy rat race- we’re knee deep in school work, volunteering, music lessons, photography and winter blues. Our minds dream of seeing a blue sky and feeling the sun shine down on our faces.

So when we walked through the doors to this gorgeous view, my shoulders fell, my breath released and peace filled my heart. It was more than I could have imagined.

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If you know Disney, you know they don’t do anything half way. Every detail is meticulously thought out and executed. Down to continuous ice water dispensers placed exactly where you need them throughout the resort.

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Stitch was drawing funny things on her Boogie Board and spending extra time with my kids means that four months later, and this girl still sleeps with a Stitch stuffy. He completely won her over.

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Just in case you need a break from one of the many pools or the beach, they have a magical treasure hunt that takes you around the resort. You simply check out a tablet from the Ohana room and prepare to be amazed and completely entertained.

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The Aulani is amazing enough on it’s own, but add these two girls to the mix and life is complete. They have both been our regular sitters here in Utah and have had an enormous impact on our children. We felt so lucky to spend some time in paradise with them.

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Check out Maddie’s mad skills on the paddle board.

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And just to continue on the theme of paradise, we ran into friends from home who were staying just a few doors down! So we got to spend a few glorious days with them.

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The Ohana room has a variety of family activities to do from stargazing at night and canoeing to game tables and ukulele lessons. Seriously, there is not one reason to leave this resort once you’re there. We had to force ourselves to go see the other side of the island. And then we could only bear to leave for one day.

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You can always tell how many days any particular child had been at the resort. They all wear their wrist bands like trophies, which makes for a funny tan line.

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Thank you, Alauni. Someday, somehow we will make it back to you!

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When she laughs

When she laughs

When she laughs, she has my heart.

I took Jos out for a little birthday shoot. There was a lovely patch of purple wildflowers on the side of the road near our home. We have been admiring them for a days.

What you see here aren’t the perfectly posed pictures we captured.  Instead, here is Joclyn’s heart and soul. She is happiness, laughter, silliness and love.

Can you hear it?

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What would I do without this precious soul in my life? And yes, she absolutely fell off of that rock in a fit of laughter.

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Horseback Riding Lessons

Horseback Riding Lessons

Fair warning, it’s about to get personal up in here with WAY too many pictures. We just started horseback riding lessons and are over-the-moon-in-love with these amazing animals. These images were taken over a course of a few different lessons.

Saddles and Bridals in the tack shed.

Horses in the stables

Helmets in the tack shed and carrying the lead lines.

Brushing the horse before horseback riding lessons

Petting the horse and bridals hanging on the fence.

Meet Pumpkin. He’s the most patient pony I’ve ever met and these two kids adore him. There’s a 10 minute love fest before riding lessons start.

Jumper Horseback Riding Lessons

Petting the horse and horseback riding lessons with Pumpkin.

Learning to post during horseback riding lessons

Untacking after horseback riding lessons

Brushing Pumpkin after horseback riding lessons

Barn Cat

Between the horses, the barn cat and most recently a baby sheep, these two would live at the barn if we let them.

I know exactly how they feel.  All of the sudden, I’m on the look out for horse property that isn’t too far away from the city, much to the shagrin of my husband. It also takes me back to my childhood. One year for Christmas, Santa brought the family a horse. Charlie was his name, and he was the best horse in the world. My dad trained him while in college, and he was the most gentle, patient horse that ever lived. Growing up in a small town, we had the freedom to run across the street, saddle him up, and ride around the neighborhood with all of our friends. What I wouldn’t give to let my children have that kind of life.

Horseback riding lessons

Would you like portraits with your horse? I’m your girl! You can see Samantha’s session with her gorgeous horse HERE.

BOOKING YOUR SENIOR PORTRAITS: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but April and May are almost booked solid. So, for those of you who are wanting 2014 portraits, let’s get you booked quickly! Give me a call [801-870-4132] or email me

PRINTED PRODUCTS: I have a lot of great printed products for you to order from wall prints and albums to graduation announcements. You can see them here.

SOCIAL: Come hang with me on Instagram and Facebook.

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Samantha, Horses and Snow | Utah Senior Portrait Photography

Samantha, Horses and Snow | Utah Senior Portrait Photography

Snow and Horses. I have been dying to photograph a senior in the snow with a horse. So, I did what any photographer would do, and put out a plea to the Insta-world for someone to help make my winter dreams come true. It’s a tall order, I thought to myself. How many girls with horses who are willing to freeze their tooshies off are even following me on Instagram? Crazy enough, within 5 minutes I had around 20 responses! Who knew there were so many awesome people ready to hang out with their horse and my camera?

Samantha was the first to email, so we met 2 days later during a light snowstorm to photograph her and her beautiful horse. I couldn’t have hoped for a better model. Thank you, Samantha!!

Senior Portrait Horses Snow

Senior Portrait Horses Snow

Senior Portrait Horses Snow

Senior Portrait Horses Snow

Senior Portrait Horses Snow

Senior Portrait Horses Snow

Senior Portrait Horses Snow

I am in love with senior portrait sessions in the snow. When I was a senior, I begged my father (also a photographer) to take my senior portraits in the snow. It was a hard sell. It’s cold…..and it’s cold. He begrudgingly obliged and I quickly dragged him out of the house before he could change his mind. I was wearing a bright red sweater, borrowed from a friend, and cute mittens. They are my very favorite pictures of me yet.

So, I guess what I’m saying is – let’s take your senior portraits in the snow, people!

BOOKING YOUR SENIOR PORTRAITS: So, for those of you who are awesome enough to read all the way down here, guess what? It’s your lucky day. Tell me you saw this and get 50% off your booking fee for a senior portrait session in the snow. It just paid off, didn’t it? Give me a call [801-870-4132] or email me.

PRINTED PRODUCTS: I have a lot of great printed products for you to order from wall prints and albums to graduation announcements. You can see them here.

2015 SENIOR MODELS: Are you interested in being a Senior Rep for 2015? If you’re hardworking, responsible, well connected and want to fun way to earn cash, I’d love you to apply! I’ll be accepting applications until January 31.

SOCIAL: Come hang with me on Instagram and Facebook.

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Samantha, the Autumn Goddess | Utah Senior Portraits

Samantha, the Autumn Goddess | Utah Senior Portraits

Autumn has been ridiculously beautiful this year here in Utah. So in celebration of today, the day of Thanks, I wanted to share a little personal project. This is my ode to Autumn, if you will. I worked on it with my dear assistant, Samantha as the model. Yesterday, I posted the images from outside. Here are the images from the studio:

Fall Headpiece

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Fall Headpiece

Fall Headpiece

 

Can you even stand her gracefulness? A HUGE shout-out to my friend, Kate Giddings who is the makeup master of all masters.

MUA: Kate Giddings

Hair: Amanda Nelson (all the practice on my little sisters growing up paid off!)

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BOOKING YOUR SESSION: I’d love to get you in front of my camera.  The snow is going to be falling soon, and you know how much I love Senior Portraits in the snow!! To book yours, give me a call [801-870-4132] or email me.

PRODUCTS: To see a sampling of some amazing products you can order, including graduate announcements, visit my products page.

I’d love you to come hang with me on Instagram and Facebook.

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CALL FOR 2015 SENIOR REPS: My Senior Rep Program is going to be sick this year. I’m currently revising and restructuring it and I think it’s going to blow your mind. If you are a current Sophomore (yes!) or Junior and are hardworking, responsible, well connected and want to work with me, I’d love you to apply!

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Autumn Goddess

Autumn Goddess

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah  Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

Senior Portrait Photographer in Utah

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica

I feel like we won the lottery, because we got to spend a lovely week in Dominical, Costa Rica with 12 of our closest friends. It was one of the most fabulous weeks we’ve ever had. Four of them had turned or will turn 40 this year, so a birthday trip was in order and we couldn’t have chosen a more fabulous place.

The house we rented had an amazing infinity pool overlooking the ocean. I took no less than 50 pictures of this view because every time I found myself staring out, I just could not believe that was my view.Infinity Pool

The sunset from one of the sun loungers on the patio. WOW.Dominical View

Domincal Sunset

Rain Drop in Pool

My friend, Amber, always makes group trips complete with amazing gift bags. This year, we had beach balls to fill the pool (of course), a Sun Bum lip balm, sunscreen, aloe, and the best guide to Spanish and Costa Rica ever. But the shining centerpiece of the gift bags was our very own Vino2Go wine glass / sippy cup.  She has massive amounts of talent, that girl.Gift bags

Beach Balls in Pool

For the kids, she surprised us with these to-die-for shark goggles and fins. I mean, these things are ridiculously cute. Shark goggles

We also splurged and hired a chef for the week. If I’m being honest, it was one of the most blissful parts of the trip. We woke up really early in the morning (sun rises as 5:30 on the equator!) and went on amazing adventures. By the time we got home at 1 or 2, we were ready for pool time and happy hour. At 4:30, these amazing folks showed up and started serving appetizers. From fresh guacamole and pico de gallo to shrimp ceviche. Always freshly fried tortilla chips. My mouth is watering right now remembering. I’m still salivating over the first night’s red cabbage slaw.  Costa Rican Chefs

Here is part of our group. We all have one, the family we choose.  Being a mother, I want to surround my children with people who are kind, caring, open minded, full of life, know how to work hard and have massive hearts. I was so happy to spend a week with some of the finest people I know and let my children get to know them better and learn from their examples.Group Shot

Manual Antonio was one of our first stops and it is not to be missed. We saw so many amazing animals and lets face it, the rain forest is just cool.Friends in Manuel Antonio

Here are some toucans in the tree. Kind of hard to spot.Birds in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio

Moth

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Snake

This photo below on the left? Favorite picture I took in Costa Rica, hands down.Jungle Photographers

Leaf cutter ants are simply amazing.Ants in the jungle

Sloths!!!! We saw lots of sloths and I could just hug each and every one of them. They’re probably the cutest animal on earth.  Besides baby kittens…and dolphins…and King Charles Spaniels.  Let’s just say they’re up there on the cuteness scale. Three toed sloth

The thing that delighted me the most about Manual Antonio is that in the middle of the rain forest, there’s a fabulous beach. Gorgeous aqua water with perfect sand. It took my breath away.Costa Rica Beach

Beach Cliffs

Beach

Iguanas. There are iguanas all over Costa Rica and they just look mad all the time. Lizard

The funniest thing that happened at Manuel Antonio was when these crazy white faced monkeys stole someone’s lunch off of the beach and at it.  Full on opened the packaging and ate the food! Look at this little guy scoping it out.Monkey

Monkey stealing lunch

Amazing view of some little islands formed by volcanoes. Manuel Antonio Islands

And then we came across these two cuties.  I fell in love and wanted to take them with me.  So I did. Row Boat

Plane Restaurant

This is the beach directly under our house. We went at low tide to collect sand dollars and check out the tide pools. Playa Dominical Family

Mat & Clint looking dapper on the beach. Our house is the one on the left hand side. Playa Dominical

Amber & Steve!Sawaya

Derik!Beach

Mathew & Mathew.  🙂 Shell Hunting

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Jos playing with the hermit crabs that were ALL OVER.Hermit Crabs

Tide pool corals. Such beautiful colors. Tide Pools

Playa Dominical

Mussels

Sand Crab on the beach

Look how massive the sand dollars were on that beach. They are the size of a hand. Wooden Bridge

I was kind of a chicken taking my camera places. We did so many other fun things, but I left my camera home. Which was actually kind of nice to live in the moment. But I wish so badly I had good pictures of our zipline adventures, the animal rescue and our whale watching excursion.

Another shout out to all of our amazing friends and my hubby, who planned an amazing trip for us.

Pure Vida!!

 

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Spring Break: St. George

Spring Break: St. George

The second week of Spring Break, we met up with two other awesome mama’s (see preface HERE) in St. George, Utah. Water guns were clearly the theme here. These six kids played all day in the sun while us three mama’s hung out in the shade laughing, bleaching our teeth and sipping cold drinks.

Water fight

Spring break hula hoop

spring break water guns

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