I’m not going to make this long and I’ll be straight to the point. Those who I’m hoping are reading this won’t have time or patience for anything more. I just wanted to extend some truth and observations about this job of motherhood we do. There’s so much to be said but I’ll leave it at this:

Motherhood is thankless, sacrificial, life changing, emotionally challenging, physically challenging and truly the most important job in the world. I think I can speak for us all when I say that it doesn’t feel any kind of beautiful or graceful most days. Or even any day at all. There’s nothing beautiful about me when I’m cleaning pee of toilets. There’s nothing graceful about loads of laundry and screaming children wondering where lunch is while I answer emails. I definitely do not feel beautiful after a night of terrible sleep with multiple children in my bed trying to get breakfast cooked, kids dressed and to school on time and I’m still in my robe with yesterday’s mascara down my face….

But the thing is, the beauty isn’t in what it looks like through our worldly standards and eyes. The beauty is in how we care for our kids at any cost to our selves. It’s in the late nights and early mornings that no one sees or thanks us for. It’s in the security they feel with out even knowing that we provided that for them with every crust cut pb&j, every tuck in, every I love you, every owie tended to, every question answered, every “what!” when they say our name. The beauty lies in those moments. And the grace, it’s in the hugs they still give us even though we yelled 17 times today over God knows what because we’re tired and stressed. It’s in the songs they sing while playing around the house carelessly because they are so grounded from our love that they can sing with joy freely! It’s in the flowers picked, pictures drawn, and hands held. If there was no grace for our imperfections and mess-ups, those sweet little moments wouldn’t happen. But they do and we need to stop and receive it, believe it, and rest.

There is beauty and grace in what we do. It doesn’t fit into an instagram square but it’s true and it’s ours. Motherhood is beautiful in a way that is literally out of this world. Don’t try to make it of this world, it’s too great to fit into our sometimes shallow culture. Motherhood is the stuff of superheros. If you forget this, just pull out your kid’s elementary school Mother’s Day gifts from the archives. The things they wrote about you and cute little hand print hearts they made. Pay attention to how necessary you are in the day to day, minute to minute. You’re the life source and no one can replace you.

Motherhood is beautiful and full of grace. That’s just the truth.

7/03/21

Motherhood

My sweet friends became parents and I’m sooooo happy for them! Per usual, these two giggled their way through our session adoring that sweet baby who just arrived. Snuggling baby Drake was everything my ovaries needed 😉 Here’s some of my favorites from my time with Lance, Kayla & Baby Drake…”God’s Plan”

6/15/21

Lance + Kayla + Baby Drake | Newborn Home Session

The Long Family is welcoming a son! We enjoyed a little adventure on the beach at sunset to celebrate and capture the bump before he comes. We barely made it out as the tide rose, trapping us in this pretty little cove. It really was an adventure and well worth it as you can see…

6/15/21

Long Family | Central Coast Maternity Session

Some say don’t pose, just let it all happen organically. Well actually, there’s nothing organic about a camera and a stranger in your face so, I say, both! 

When I’m with clients photographing families, children, seniors, couples.. I’m shooting for more than just the client. The client likely has a grandma, a mom, an auntie, a future self… While wind blown hair and big laughs are full of life and natural, Your grandma doesn’t always want that on her wall and your yearbook requirements are likely a bit different. So I’ve made it a priority to pose some and direct organic moments all at the same time. 

A timeless portrait with eye contact and smiles is a unicorn photo when you have small kiddos but it’s not impossible. It’s what I start with and then I let moments unfold. When your toddler waddles away and begins to explore, I’m tagging along, capturing chubby hands in the grass and little feet in the sand. When your sweet baby girl reaches up to be held, I’m capturing daddy lifting her up and giving her a little toss in the air to cheer her up. Dads are good for that. When you bend down to discipline your 5 yearly for not listening during family photos, I’m shooting your hands on his face and your eyes locked on each other. You have no idea but I’m grabbing all the moments in between the ones I set up. I’m also setting scenes with easy instruction. Kiddos, do what you do, run as fast as you can to daddy and then tickle him! Or 12 year old, hug your mom and hold her for a minute. While you’re there, tell her thank you for being awesome and promise you’ll never get a girl friend;) If a sweet moment + laughs unfold,I’m high speed shooting all of it!

So If I tell you to stand in a way and look at the camera but then it all falls apart, that is ok! I’m there for it. The moments you think are wasted and no good, I’m finding the memories.

5/11/21

Posing vs Directing

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photography mentor, mama and guac lover.

Hey, I'm Kelli Avila.

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