Because I fail at blogging regularly

To say this post has been a long time coming would be a total understatement. Life has been totally crazy, with Justin working at an internship every single weekend and working his normal job during the week. And you know, me being pregnant and Jonah becoming more and more of a little boy who wants to play, learn and explore. To cap it all off, we also had a month of renovations being done in our main bathroom that literally finished the same day I reached 37 weeks in my pregnancy. If they hadn’t been totally necessary repairs, we would’ve waited for a more convenient time, but plumbing leaks in older homes are no joke, guys.

So much has happened, and so much is still yet to come, I can barely wrap my mind around it. Baby 2 is due in 10 days! It feels like I’ve been pregnant FOREVER, and at this point, I can’t tell you how ready I am for this sweet little one to make his or her debut earthside. Slowly but surely, everything on the to-do list is getting checked off. The nursery is complete. The car seats are installed. We have a functional bathroom. Jonah’s room has been rearranged to include all his toys, and my office has taken a new place in the back of the house with the dogs. It looks cute, but man, it smells like dog back there. Side note, if I can interest anyone in a smelly dog or in grooming my dogs…

But before baby arrives, Justin graduates from UNF on Friday! Seriously, this has been such a long journey. He has literally been in classes part-time since a year or so after we got married, and this December is our 10-year anniversary. You do the math. I am so proud of him for sticking to his goal and getting his bachelor’s degree. It’s definitely been a team effort, but I am so happy to have this time in our lives almost officially past us.

Somewhere along the way of doing life every day, I definitely realized that this time of our lives while our children are so young and need so much of us, it only made sense to say no to a lot of other things. Originally, we were just taking off 2016 from weddings, and I’m seriously so glad we made that choice. There is absolutely no way we could have gotten through the past four months of Justin working literally every single day AND done weddings. Fortunately, it’s been a really healthy and uneventful pregnancy for me this time around with only a few of the usual symptoms, but guys, I am tired. And Justin is too. We’ve both been going pretty nonstop, and have really only had the past two weekends of actually spending time together as a family.

I was telling a good friend just yesterday that it’s been a real struggle trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done. Anxiety is something I’ve had to work through often, and while I think it’s important to have a positive attitude, it’s almost just as important to be real, especially in a world with everyone posting happy Instagram and Facebook photos that often make us feel like we must be doing something wrong. All of our close friends in the industry know that we’ve taken a step back from weddings, and I just want to express that taking a step away from something that stands between us and our time with our growing family is a good thing. There is so much freedom in choosing who you are going to spend your time with and making them a priority. This time in our lives just wasn’t meant to be spent photoshopping the ever-present double chin that we ALL have from time to time. Seriously, guys. If I have to come to terms with it, so do you. 😉

So yeah, that’s my clever way of telling you all that we aren’t doing weddings anymore. Period. It’s just too much trying to balance everything, and in the words of George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life…”

“I want to live, Clarence!”

I’m still planning on doing smaller sessions after baby is no longer a newbie, but honestly, we’re just going to take it one day at a time. I’m not going to pretend to know what the future holds and give you my five-year plan, because I don’t even know my five-day plan. I’m not even sure what I’m making for dinner tonight. I’m just grateful that God has blessed us with a great job for Justin and ALMOST two little people to love and take care of. And that’s my focus right now.

Amazing photo by 8.08 Photography.

Hope Noles Hodges - So proud and excited for your perfect and precious little family!! I will keep ya’ll in my prayers for a smooth birth and transition into life with 2 littles. What you are doing is something so many people forget to do in life and I admire you so much for putting your family first!!

Back to top|Contact me

Megan, Kellen & Baby Elise! – Fox Fotography – Jacksonville Family Photographer

Earlier this week, I had the joy of meeting Megan, Kellen and their brand new baby girl Elise! These three were referred to me by another sweet client, Jessica, so I was really excited to meet them. Sweet baby Elise was an absolute angel during the session, letting us put her in so many outfits and sleeping at just the right times, and I’m going to credit Megan and Kellen for that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen first-time parents who knew just what to do anytime their new baby fussed, but these two were on point. I’ve been a mom for 16 months now, and I learned some tips for baby 2 from them, like slightly jiggling the baby while shushing instead of trying to rock quite so much. I’m tucking that one away for a few months from now!

I had a great time capturing some sweet moments of this new family, and I could hardly wait to post a few favorites. Megan and Kellen, congratulations on your new little family, and thank you for trusting me with capturing such a special time!

Much love,
Rachel

Cole Smith - She is so precious! Beautiful family!

Fran Mishler - Dear Megan, These photos of you the baby and Kellen are so amazing. There is so much love in each photo it makes me want to laugh or cry. i’m so happy that you had a girl to keep the strong McKibben line going. My mother’s mom was a McKibben and she raised 2 little girls all alone during the depression after her husband died. It was a time when women didnt’ work, but she managed and kept her family together. We are all so much stronger than we realize. I’m sure Elise will have that strength as well. I can’t wait to see her. You guys are welcome anytime,especially if Kellen has business in the area. Again, these photos are amazing and you will cherish them forever. Love, Aunt Fran

Back to top|Contact me

St. Augustine Nights of Lights Mini-Sessions! – Fox Fotography – Florida Family Photographers


I told you new things were coming! 

If you’ve followed us for any time at all, you know how much we love nighttime photography. It’s no secret that one of our favorite times of the year for nighttime photography is December, when the city of St. Augustine puts up its annual Nights of Lights display. So to celebrate, we’re offering four exclusive mini-sessions on one night only – Tuesday, December 1. That gives us plenty of time to get your photos ready for holiday cards and gifts.

The session includes $100 worth of photography swag, plus quite possibly the coolest setting for photos in North Florida. We have only four slots available between 6PM and 9PM, so contact us today (rachel@foxfotostudios.com) to reserve your mini-session!

Can’t wait to have a blast with all of you!:-)

Rachel

Back to top|Contact me

BIG news. Seriously, it’s big.

I’m going to spare you the paragraph about how I always keep meaning to update this blog, because mom life. (Side note, if you ever want to see the daily goings on and amusing anecdotes and hashtags, feel free to follow me on Instagram at @foxfotography.)

Now that we’ve moved past that, we have some pretty big news, folks! It may come as a surprise, or you may have already heard through the grapevine, as reliable as that is sometimes. We’ve decided to take 2016 off from photographing weddings, so we can focus on our expanding family! Yep, that’s right.

There’s a new little baby Fox on the way, and we’re all very excited!

Well, most of us are excited. 😉

 

We’d always talked about having our children close together in age, if it worked out. And while it will definitely be interesting to have two little ones under the age of 2, even for a few months, it’s also definitely going to keep this work-from-home mom very busy! It’s challenging enough trying to work through editing our weddings as it is, and we both remember how incredibly stressed out I was literally all the time for the first four months of Jonah’s life. It’s hard enough figuring out how to be a mom, and I never really gave myself the time off from work to recuperate both physically and emotionally. It’s probably my biggest regret, and you never get that time back. I thought post-pregnancy Rachel would be just as much of a go-getter as pre-pregnancy Rachel, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. There just wasn’t enough time in the day, and I just kept pushing myself to the brink of sanity by working every single time Jonah fell asleep – even if it meant not getting sleep myself. Moms, don’t follow my example. I sucked at postpartum recovery.

So when we started talking about trying for baby number 2, we both knew from the start that if I was that much of a wreck the first time around with just one baby, there was no way on God’s green earth that I could handle a toddler and a newborn and the demands of a wedding business. There’s just too much involved in all of those for one person to handle without having a nanny or someone to manage your business. So we decided we would stop booking weddings beyond December of this year before we started even trying for number 2.

Justin’s also been full time finishing his Bachelor’s degree all of this year, which is amazing but has also proven to be very hard on all of us with his every waking moment pretty much spent working, going to night class, and doing homework. To say it’s been tough would be an understatement. He has one semester left, and he will literally graduate the week before baby 2 is due. Hahaha, yep! We cut things very close. I’ve already told him if I go into labor, I’m making that baby wait through his graduation ceremony. We’ve worked too hard for this, and I’m not about to miss it!:-)

On the business front, I’ve pretty much taken over all of the business, so Justin can focus on work and school and being a great Daddy when he’s home. I’ll be revamping our website more, after we get through our last two weddings of the year, and we’ll begin focusing on (1) families, (2) high school seniors, and (3) whatever fun creative photography endeavors I choose to pursue. It’s a lot easier for this momma to stay on top of editing smaller shoots than shoots with 4,000+ photos, and I’m excited to get a little more creative freedom that doesn’t have to fit within the constraints of a wedding day schedule. It’s time to re-energize and share my love of photography and people in a new way, and I am looking forward to it!

Does it mean we’ll never do weddings again? Absolutely not. We’re just taking more time for us, because babies grow up fast, and I don’t want to blink and have spent most of my children’s younger years editing photos instead of capturing our own memories.

So there you have it! That’s what’s going on, and I hope it makes more sense to everyone, but really, it just has to make sense to our family. And it absolutely does.:-)

Thank you guys for all your love and support!!!! <3 <3 <3

Rachel

Vanja Cajic Vesce - Aw that nearly made me tear up. Mommy hood is the hardest job and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all your pre baby lifestyle responsibilities. You did great but I’m glad you are redirecting your work a little in order to cherish these little ppl years more. You will never regret that decision.

Jessica Marshall - You are such an inspiration as a mama and business owner! Enjoying your family is without a doubt, #1. Congratulations to an incredible family ❤️ Jess, Dan, and Baby Maddie Marshall

Deanna L. Jacobson - Congratulations you two!! No question one of those two rainbows at Tiffany n Stevens wedfing was for you and your two little ones. And this mom agrees with everything you said – those first few years go by faster than lightening. Enjoy!!!

Bobbie Brock Pennywitt - Well said Rachel. So happy for you all!

Cristina Costa - OMG!! Congratulations!!!!!! So happy for you (and your beautiful little family). :)

Back to top|Contact me

Welcome to the world, Baby Gavin! – Fox Fotography – Jacksonville Family Lifestyle Photographer

It is a beautiful thing to see a couple you’ve been photographing since their engagement welcome their first child. I can’t believe I’ve known Britney and Joe for four years now! It feels like just yesterday, we were meeting them at the Starbucks at the Town Center and talking about their wedding. And now they have an absolutely adorable little baby boy. These two seriously light up when they have him in their arms. It was beautiful to capture, and I’m so honored to share in this moment of their lives.

As all new parents know, it can be incredibly tricky to convince a newborn (or any baby, really) to sleep any time that you actually want them to sleep. Some photographers are very particular about trying to get a baby to sleep, but I feel like it can be so incredibly stressful on brand new parents to try and force a baby to sleep. It’s honestly easier on everyone to just go with the flow and capture babies however they want to be captured, even if that means no sleeping baby photos. And let’s be real people – how often are babies actually sleeping anyway? It is a myth, I tell you! 😉

I can honestly say some of my favorite photos of ours are the ones that just capture what’s really happening, be it a late-night rocking session (and I don’t mean rock & roll), the fourth feeding in a matter of a couple hours, or the moment you set your head on the pillow and your child just wakes up ready to play. Babies have a funny sense of humor, and I can’t tell you how many moms have texted me right after our sessions and sent me a photo of the baby completely asleep 30 minutes after I’m gone.

Here are some of my favorites of the bright-eyed and handsome baby Gavin. He just wanted to take in everything and not miss a beat.:-)

Enjoy! <3
Rachel

Back to top|Contact me
F a c e b o o k
T w i t t e r