You’re not in any of the photos because of 2 reasons.

1. You’re taking all the photos.

2. You hate to see yourself in a photograph.

I completely understand but I think we need to change our mind. We are raising humans. We grow them, birth them, catch them when they fall, we loose sleep, we worry, we have every curve of their face and every expression they make memorized. We’re the first person they need when they are hurt and they’re the only ones who know what our heart sounds like from the inside. We are the real MVP’s. In all our imperfections and mistakes, we are the most valuable person to our children. We deserve to be remembered with photographs. Beautiful, authentic photographs. It’s part of our legacy.

This is what I do. I do it well. I do it fast. And I do it at a price that is worth your time and effort for the quality you’re getting. I’m a mother of 14 years. I have 4 children here on earth and 3 in heaven. I know so very well the ins and outs of motherhood. I’m a photographer of 10 years. I’ve been documenting families and children for over a decade. I know what I’m doing and I love what I do. I’d love for you to trust me with your littles.

Here’s a gallery of some precious families and children I’ve photographed. From the studio in downtown San Luis Obispo to the beautiful beaches and hills of the Central Coast. Motherhood photography is what I do.


9/22/22

Motherhood | You deserve to be remembered

I just want to share a bit about intimacy. I have so many thoughts on this and I think it’s because I’ve loved and lost so much in this area that I fully and painfully understand the value of it. 

If women are willing to get real and truly honest, we have to recognize the very specific and intentional way a man is created. By design, men need intimacy. Or, to be more specific, SEX! It’s true and it’s not a negative thing. In the same way women need to be adored and loved, Men need sex. 

For some reason, women often choose to withhold sex from our husbands. We prefer ourself and our disinterest over their innate needs. I understand that there are things that need to happen and circumstances that can make honoring intimacy difficult. I’m not assuming we all live in perfect relationships. But what I am saying is that when things are good in the bed room, everything outside the bedroom is so much better. There’s more grace for the stupid shit when you’re having fun in the sheets! Who cares about the trash piling up when you’ve just been “taken care of”. It’s absolutely worth the effort and intention. I think it’s a make or break kind of issue. And I believe very strongly that the residual affects of a healthy bedroom life have a direct and important affect on our children. They have to see us in love. They need to know that their parent’s relationship is secure and they learn how to love and be loved from what they seen in the home. 

Maybe this is too personal or taboo and you think I’m out of line. I’m ok with that. There’s at least one person on the other end of this email that needed to hear this. And yes, there’s a message just like this one for men. Men need to understand how a woman is made and what we need to be able to honor what they need in return. I’m just not the one to deliver that message. I’m simply talking to women. And, I have a feeling, that if you give first, the conversation about what you need and want will be well received and respected. But someone has to give first. 

I say, let it be you. You go first . Do it with a boudoir session full of incredible portraits. Do it with a boudoir experience that doesn’t just impress him with how beautiful you are but also reminds you of how beautiful you are. Boudoir sessions are liberating and inspiring. They make you feel lovely, sexy and lovable. You get your hair and makeup done, you sip champagne, you hang out with me and laugh… It’s really just as much for you as it is for him. 

So hear me out. Meet him at his need and watch what happens because of it. With one boudoir session everything could begin to change. I’ve never heard of anyone regretting it. 

You can schedule a limited amount of shortened sessions to celebrate the new studio using the link above. 

Or use the link below to schedule a full session.

If you need to chat and learn more, please call me or visit my website, I want you to feel informed and excited about booking your session. 

9/13/22

You should probably have sex with your husband…

If you’ve followed me for more than 5 minutes, you know how much I love photographing and championing women. Not that I don’t love men, I sure do, but as a women who’s struggled in all the ways women struggle, I want to shout from any pulpit or platform I can that women are incredible beings with many super powers and if we fully understood what we are capable of and made for, the world and more importantly, our families, would be better for it.

I don’t just photograph women as seniors and women as mothers, I photograph Boudoir because I believe in intimacy and self love. I love to see a women realize her unique beauty and how that can change her confidence and her relationship. Marriage is damn hard. Intimacy makes it easier. It’s literally the key.

Not every woman is ready for Boudoir. And Boudoir is not the only way to recognizing your beauty and significance. Sometimes, seeing yourself in a portrait through the eyes of someone else, can change how you see and understand yourself. As a mother, I’ve recognized that how I love myself, care for myself, see myself directly affects how my 14 year old daughter does. She’s learning from me simply by being near and watching. She’s absorbing whatever cutler I create in my home and it can have huge impact on who she grows into. For the good and for the not so good. So be careful with yourself. Be careful how you treat yourself. Be careful how you love yourself. Someone else’s heart my depend on it. Not to mention your own.

Last week, my sweet client and friend Cambria came to town with a blue dress and an excitement to shoot. The day was grey and gloomy but we decided to embrace the moody vibes and play in the dunes amongst the Eucalyptus. The black and whites are my favorites but holy damn, that dress is fire!!! Cambria wore it well, as she wears everything so well. It’s the smile for me. And the hair. And the incredible personality and heart. She’s an all ’round babe in every way. Check out her pretty Instagram and notice the Bohme link in her profile where you can snag that ridiculous blue dress!

If you love what I captured with Cambria, I’d love to photograph you as well. Maybe it’s not in a formal dress on the beach. Maybe it’s in my living room with a backdrop and good window light. Maybe it’s Boudoir, maybe it’s a formal headshot, maybe I come to you…. I’d love to photograph you.

8/08/22

Women

I’m alive and well. And so is she. But barely. Holy shit, jr. high is no joke!!!! And jr. high after covid in this backward senselese culture we live in, I just know it’s the reason God made the tough bitch I am! Excuse my language, that’s how I talk.

I first want to say that jr. high has always been a nightmare. For both the parents and the students. But throw the confusion of this liberal state I live in into the mix and you have a complete disaster and the only way to survive as the single parent taking the beatings is wine and Jesus. It’s been over 2 years of this crazy train. There’s been a lot of yelling, crying, long nights, long talks, and a whole lot of love. We had to work through the most difficult of subjects, experiences, feelings, friendships… I didn’t do it all right. I might have done most of it wrong. I don’t know. I actually haven’t asked her but I think I will. I do know that she’s back. I’m not sure where my baby girl went but she’s back. And I cry every time I think about how scared I was that she might not smile and laugh the way she did before.

Her jr. high was very liberal. The state and education system is very liberal. I happen to be conservative and believe in pretty simple concepts like, by design, men are men and women are women and there’s no other options. Crazy, I know. I happen to want full knowledge and responsibility in my daughter’s health and wellness. Considering I still do her laundry and cook her meals, I think that’s reasonable. I actually want health class to teach on health and not hot political topics including but not limited to encouraging secrecy from parents when seeking out abortions. That was actually taught to my daughter in sex ed. It’s more than mean girls and gross boys these days. Excuse my language but, fuck you California. As for me and my house…

I can thankfully say that my daughter graduated 8th grade with most of the values I taught her in tact. She’s still innocent, drug and alcohol free and happy. It was January of this year, halfway through 8th grade, when she started to come back to me. My sweet vivacious daughter was starting to talk to me again, she hung out and held conversation. She wanted to shop and get coffee. We became buddies. Slowly, but by the time school ended, I was so proud of the amazing and infectious smile on her face. Her heart is golden and I absolutely love her!

When we talk about those dark days of her hiding out in her room, hating everyone, feeling angry for no reason, looking on the outside as lost as she was on the inside, she explains that she felt confused. She had so many misunderstandings of who I was and how I felt about her, along with misunderstandings about herself. She thought I hated her. She despised our differences until she finally started to understand them. We still have differences. And we even have confrontation. But it never interrupts relationship and for that I’m so proud. As her heart is changing so are her looks. It’s like her spark is back and she’s more beautiful than ever.

I know it’s normal to go through tough seasons during jr. high. But I just want to encourage parents to hold strong to what you know is right and good. Stay soft toward them but boundaries and clear right and wrongs are so good for them. The world offers too many options and variations of reality. And, the State of California is not more entitled or more capable of parenting your child than you. That’s a fact and do not let them think otherwise. Every teacher, counselor and principal at that school knows my name and knows what I believe to be good and right for my daughter. And when they cross a line, they hear from me. It might not change policy but it definitely matters.

We’re now off to high school. Help me baby Jesus. She’s ready. She’s going to be amazing. She’s going to make mistakes but I’m confident we’ll talk through them and I’ll love her through it all. This job is tough and exhausting. It’s thankless and merciless. But I’m tough as a mother. We’re gonna be ok.

7/19/22

Raising a Daughter in Jr. High | 2021

To the mothers living with loss and holes in their hearts. The mothers who’ve loved and lost so briefly but so significantly. To the mothers who have grieved and still grieve. I too know the pain and the love. I see you. You matter. Your baby matters.

Right now the world is questioning the value of human life. They say that a “fetus” can be murdered and call it health care. I obviously disagree. You might not. But, maybe you too had a mother’s heart upon that first plus sign on a stick or maybe you knew, before you really knew, that you were growing life in your body and that little life mattered. A mother’s love is absolute, It’s undeniable, it’s everything. A mother’s love lives on, even after loss. 

I wrote about my miscarriages a long time ago and I still get emails from women who read it . I love this. I love that there’s this precious club that we are apart of and only we can relate to the pain, the love, the loss. I feel honored that my words and my experience count for more than just the pain I felt. It’s amazing how the most vulnerable story I carry, is significant to other people. 

I’m completely confident and happy to claim my Pro-Life stance. Even with the legitimate grey areas and the exceptions. Over all, I will always lean on the side of life. I know the difference between a miscarriage and an abortion and how each are treated and cared for, or not. I know that our foster care system is terrible and needs a major overhaul. I would never wish that life on anyone. I think our culture also needs a major overhaul and with that might come some conviction and some responsibility for caring for the “widows and the orphans”. There’s a lot to fix. A lot to reconcile. But the answers are not in abortion. I’m sure of that. 

But I digress…

I really just want to acknowledge the mothers out there who have lost. Mother’s who have their rainbow babies and mothers who don’t. Any loss at any time in your pregnancy, is worth how you feel. I know that there’s this weird guilt for feeling sad because your pregnancy was only at 6 weeks, 8 weeks… if you loved that baby at first signs of life and then lost, you are entitled to grieve. Your feelings are valid. You are not being dramatic and you are not insignificant. It’s very real to feel angry, confused, sad, fearful… Even if your feelings aren’t mirrored by your husband. He didn’t lose in the same way you did. Men process it all different because it happens to them different. Let that go. Let yourself heal. Keep your relationship with him priority. Take care of yourself and find ways to create joy. Life keeps moving, you should too. When you’re ready, keep moving, keep laughing, keep working, keep showing up. 

I remember a time many years after my last miscarriage. This specific miscarriage was an ectopic pregnancy, the last of 3, and it was very traumatic. I was getting out of the shower and I couldn’t see my scars from the surgery anymore. I instantly panicked. I didn’t want to forget and I didn’t want to lose the signs of life (and death). For some maternal reason, those scars were precious and I never wanted them to fade. They did though. I can barely see the marks where my fallopian tube thathoused my baby was removed from my body so that I didn’t die. The scar faded, the memory and significance did not. 

I don’t cry or even have the same sting for my losses anymore. I have a sweet vision of this family in heaven that I’ll meet one day. There’s 3 people in heaven that I created. It’s an honor to bring life into the world and into heaven. But, I do cry for others often. I remember how it felt and I can’t help but share in that sadness. I feel it deeply. I am with you.

I hope you’re reading this and you’re finding some resolve or peace. I hope that you feel seen and significant. If you need an ear, I have time. I would love to hear your story. 

Don’t forget that your experience is important. It’s a part of your story. It’s not the only part or the end. It’s a part of your story and it’s precious. Keep that beautiful story going with more experiences and more love.

7/18/22

Mother’s of Miscarriage

She said she’s been waiting for this shoot in this place for years! Her name is Cambria and this is the only place her Senior Portraits should be taken; Cambria CA! I love how well we worked together. She let me do my thing and she brought all her style and incredible energy… My approach to senior portraits is a bit untraditional. I want it to feel like a photoshoot for a magazine. I want you to fee like you’re the influencer and this is your campaign. I want you to see how lovely and lovable you are. You’re in the most exciting time of your life, one that will leave a permanent mark on who you are. I am so glad to have a moment in time with you that you’ll always remember. If you’re interested in booking your own session, here’s a page with info and link to view availability!

5/13/22

Cambria | Class of ’22 Senior Portrait Session

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Hey, I'm Kelli Avila.

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I’ve been at this business for 10 years. It’s the very thing that lets me provide for my 4 children as a single mom. I know what it’s like to feel inadequate and overwhelmed. Your business should be a boost to your income and your confidence level and yet, at the beginning, that idea can feel like a far-fetched dream. Let me show you the ropes with real talk, perspective and discerning advice. You’ll leave inspired and informed.

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