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Today was FINALLY a sunny spring afternoon which brought me back to my Spring session at Brookside Gardens with The McGeeney Family. These faces might seem familiar to you and if so, I will refresh your memory – we did a Fall session together and I named them the best dressed clients of the year (click here for a refresher). Well, they have done it again with their Spring wear! I mean, look at these outfits! DRL_2327

When I met Eva in October, she was very shy and wouldn’t smile for me. Times have certainly changed and she was all smiles this time around. I attribute the change to being a little bit older, knowing me instead of classifying me as a stranger and a little candy bribery. That my friends, can always work. DRL_2401DRL_2407DRL_2403_W

Jack just turned one and is so adorable! The morning of our photo shoot I received an email from Kylie (Mom) with a picture of Jack and his little face all broken out from an allergic reaction to something. Fortunately by late afternoon, it had subsided and I didn’t even need to photoshop his redness. DRL_2576DRL_2585

The love these two kiddos have for their parents is a joy to photograph! DRL_2295DRL_2306DRL_2287_WDRL_2380DRL_2390_WDRL_2422DRL_2418_WDRL_2430DRL_2454DRL_2458

This shot is my favorite! Eva LOVES giving her Dad huge hugs around the neck, typically squeezing him so hard that his glasses become skewed. Check out her leg up with her pink shoe! DRL_2471DRL_2548

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Happy family of 4! DRL_2488DRL_2523DRL_2526

Our brother/sister shots didn’t quite go as planned. Jack is a little too heavy for Eva to hold up. I had about a nano second to capture them sitting together and that was rather difficult. However, it still makes for some adorable pictures. DRL_2448DRL_2557DRL_2568

Eva has already told her Mom that she wants to take pictures again with me so I hope I will get the chance to do so!

Dana Rose Lee Photography

It is no surprise that I love my oils and I have found an Essential Oil clothing company that I love too. I did a search on Instagram to find oil apparel and the shop that kept coming up was Bekai. I wanted to collaborate with them on a photo shoot, so I messaged them to see if they wanted to be involved and they said yes! A week later, I was sent adult tees and tanks, children’s tees and a sweatshirt and then the cutest onesies. Since I needed models to showcase these adorable clothes, I asked in one of my large oil groups if anyone with young kiddos was local and wanted to take part in a photo shoot. I immediately got comments and realized that a Facebook friend had recently moved to Virginia and had two children so we started discussing details and she said that she had a friend with three children and all would be happy to model for me! What made me really happy was the fact that I was going to finally meet a virtual friend and her kiddos. A few weeks later, I ventured to Warrenton, Virginia for our photo shoot. We shot at Airlie Farm, which is a gorgeous property!

I want to tell you a little bit about the kids tees. They are supposedly the softest organic t-shirts out there and I do believe that to be the truth. They are made with 100% organic fine jersey cotton and come in sizes 2 yrs, 4 yrs and 6 yrs. They have a variety of different sayings on them and are all adorable!Essential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle Photographer

They also make a raglan sweatshirt which is made of 100% cotton and comes in sizes 2 years, 4 years and 6 years. Essential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle Photographer

The onesies are absolutely adorable and are made of 100% fine ringspun cotton with a 1 x 1 rib knit. These come in 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months and 18-24 months. Essential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle Photographer

Their line of adult t-shirts includes women’s v-necks, round collar unisex tees and tanks. The v-neck and round collar tees are available in x-small through extra large. The tanks are 50/25/25 polyester/combined ringspun cotton/rayon and are the most comfortable tanks ever (I wear mine all.the.time). The Tees are 60% polyester and 40% ringspun cotton. Essential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle PhotographerEssential Oil Clothing Company | Bekai | Bethesda Lifestyle Photographer

I loved working with Bekai on this photo shoot! To order your essential oil tees, click here and use the code DANA15 for 15% off of your order!

Dana Rose Lee Photography

T – 4 days until Mother’s Day and if you are still searching for the perfect gift for the Mom in your life, all you need to do is head to Whole Foods Nova for a one stop shopping experience! Want to hear the best part of your gift buying excursion? You will already be getting brownie points by saying you are going to Whole Foods. Because really, going grocery shopping for the Mom in your life is already a win! So, I am about to make this whole gift buying super easy for you – all you will need to do is bring a handheld device with you so you can re-read this blog post and follow along as I lead you with the help of Whole Foods Nova straight through the aisles to Mama’s heart.

Hydrangea’s: I absolutely love these flowers and don’t buy them nearly as much. The hydrangea’s from Whole Foods Nova are Whole Trade, which guarantees “commitment to ethical trade, the environment and quality products sourced from developing nations. Every purchase of Whole Trade products helps fund projects such as new community centers, schools and homes for real people.” So…buying these hydrangea’s from your local Whole Foods is not only positive for the receiver of these beautiful flowers, but is also giving back to improve real people’s lives. 110% heck yes to supporting this business! Each bunch is $5.99 and I purchased 2. You could even do 3 bunches to fill up a vase and if you don’t have one or are worried about arranging the flowers yourself, they sell vases and can help you there too! Remember, it is a one stop shopping experience! These flowers will make Mom think of summer, which is always a good thing. One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer Chocolate: You can’t go wrong with buying chocolate. I love the Theo brand. These chocolates are organic, non GMO and fair of life meaning they use cocoa farmers from around the world. The chocolate bars come in a variety of flavors, but my two favorites are mint and orange and both are 70% dark chocolate. Each bar is $4.19. One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer Whole Foods Dry Skin Hand Cream – Peony, Mint + Blackberry: This cream is perfect for dry hands (hello winter) and smells amazing! What I love even more is that it has no parabens, no artificial fragrance and no animal testing. It has 20% shea butter and is enriched with argan and olive oil. Trust me, Mom will be happy. One tube is $9.99 and will last a while. One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer

Weleda Jardin de vie rose: Oh this perfume smells like heaven and the bottle is beyond cool looking. Rose is a symbol of love and beauty so it is perfect for Mother’s Day. With the essence of rose, this perfume is complemented with fresh-scented rose geranium and exotic ylang ylang. Like I mentioned, heaven in a bottle for $24.99. One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer Whole Foods Fizzing Bath Bombs: these are so fun and once you release it into a warm water bath, thousands of tiny bubbles release the skin softening mixture of salt, sugar, coconut oil and natural fragrance from the most enjoyable of essential oils. Let Mom take a nice long interrupted free bath. Soak, breathe deeply and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy with a bathing experience that soothes and renews. Each bath bomb is $2.99. One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer One Stop Shopping Experience | Whole Foods Nova | Lifestyle Photographer This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Nova and we hope you enjoyed it! Now go and pamper Mom.

Dana Rose Lee Photography

Last week, a sweet friend said to me: “if anyone ever tells me they are too busy to hustle, I am using you as an example: wedding planning, traveling to New York City for work, running an essential oil and photography business…really, I am going to say you think you’re busy? Let me tell you about this girl.” Hearing this made me really think about the phrase: “I am too busy” and the need for making time for the things that matter in life, outside of work. I am a lover of quotes and have been known to see something and google image it immediately. One of my favorite ones is this: Making Time for the Things That Matter | Dana Rose Lee Photography
How we choose to be busy is a choice. I think this was instilled in me at a very young age. My Dad’s father died at 53 years old of a sudden heart attack. Losing a parent so young (my Dad was 17) made my Dad feel the need to fill every minute of every day, the go-go-go mentality. He wanted to accomplish as much as possible, especially enjoying life outside of work. Naturally, I think I have that mentality too, but oftentimes the busyness of work takes over. I feel anxious and guilty when I am not working, knowing I have a page full of everything I need to get done and if it doesn’t get done, somehow I have failed. I don’t leave the office and my work at 5pm. There is always something that I could be doing for my photography and oil business and I am constantly at odds with working too much.

In the past week, I have learned even more to make time for what is truly important, because work can wait. I have chosen to step aside from my work 3 times this week and honestly I feel so much more fulfilled because of it. This wasn’t an easy thing to do though, as I love what I do and to me it doesn’t always feel like work. But at some point, there needs to be a balance. This past weekend I was in New York City for work and one of my best friends was visiting her mother-in-law in upstate New York. We were trying to figure out how we could see each other. We had a very small window before I had to get back to Bethesda for a photo shoot on Sunday. She couldn’t drive to the city but could meet in Poughkeepsie, which is an hour and a half from the city. I knew the day was going to involve lots of traveling but I made it a priority. I changed my train ticket, drove up to Poughkeepsie with my other best friend, we spent two hours together and then drove back to the city and got dropped off at Penn Station to take the train back home. Travel time all together was probably 7 hours but I hadn’t seen my friend or her baby in almost 10 months so it was 110% worth it. I made the time. Yesterday, I was editing away and had so much more to do, but I called Josh and asked him if he wanted to go to the driving range. For those that don’t know, I am a big golfer and have been sidelined for almost 3 years due to a golf injury which led to 5 surgeries on my groin and hip. I just got the go-ahead from my physical therapist that I could try hitting golf balls. So, I left my computer and went to the driving range. Before we went, I had every excuse not to go but then remembered that it is all about making time and I clearly struggle with the work/life balance. We had so much fun together and it felt so good to be back with Josh swinging a golf club. And guess what? The world didn’t come crashing down because I left my office. Last but not least happened today. I met one of my Tuesday’s Together (Bethesda chapter all the way) friends today for lunch and coffee. We both had a long list of to-do’s in life but sat and talked for two hours. While we did plan our photo shoot (so technically this counts as a business lunch haha), we shared bits and pieces of our lives that we would have never shared had we not made the effort. We learned that we have a lot in common and that the world is much smaller than we think. This creative life can be rather lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. I left with phone notifications, emails and my to-do list still sitting where it was this morning, but the relationship we formed is so worth it. Make time. I saw what happened when my Mom was diagnosed with a non-smokers lung cancer. She was running life on a time-ticking bomb because there was a finality of life that came with her diagnosis. If you were given only 11 months to live, would you be sitting at a computer doing work 24/7 or would you be making time for the things that matter? What would you want to do? Life is too short to be too busy for life outside of work.

Note: image from Pinterest

Dana Rose Lee Photography

I believe 100% that “the greatest compliment a client can give us is the referral of a loved one or friend” and 110% in the fact that the other best compliment you can give a photographer is rehiring him/her. I am extremely lucky and incredibly thankful for The Kannry Family. Over the past few months, I have gotten to spend some time with Lauren (Mom) and her adorable daughter Aubrie. One of the things I love about this business and pride myself on too, is the fact that I am able to build lasting relationships with my clients. As Natalie Franke said at The Creative at Heart Conference: “be relational before you are transactional” and I will carry this with me every day. I did not go into this business to have my client relationship revolve around a transaction and solely a transaction. Instead, I fully believe in providing a full service experience, which begins from the moment I receive an inquiry and does not end until I deliver a final product. However, I have been blessed with clients who have become friends and as their families grow and expand, I get to be on that journey with them. I become emotionally invested in my clients lives and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love love love my comeback clients, those that fall in love with my work and invest in me for me.

Lauren and I had been talking for weeks about setting up a photo shoot for Aubrie. In case you don’t remember this adorable little girl, click here for our session a few months ago. In August, Aubrie is going to become a big sister, so the focus of this shoot was all eyes on her. I loved the premise of this, as it can be hard as an only child welcoming in a new sibling. The attention and focus shifts and sometimes it isn’t an easy transition. Our timeline was mid-late April, as I was still recovering from groin surgery. We decided for a Spring backdrop and chose Kenwood as a perfect place to see the cherry blossoms, as we were not going to go to the overcrowded tidal basin when Kenwood is very close to the both of us. Well…a warmer winter than normal made the cherry blossoms bloom on their own timetable – 3 weeks ahead of schedule, but we made it work and I even managed to get down on the ground with Aubrie and had to chase her around for a little bit (yes, both of these truths were accomplishments). It was a chilly evening, Aubrie was most likely coming down with a cold and it was semi-crowded, but I don’t think any of this actually mattered because she is the cutest little one. From her curls to her outfit to her smile to her little voice to her run to her wanting candy the entire time, she is a joy to photograph and I can’t wait to watch her become a big sister and of course photograph those milestones too.

This girl has her posing down! Am I right?!The Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland Children

Those curls. Her dress. Her sandals. The Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland ChildrenThe Greatest Compliment | Maryland Children

So thank you Lauren for believing in my work and spreading the word and continuing to hire me as your photographer. I can’t wait for August and baby girls arrival!

Dana Rose Lee Photography