BubbleWood Photography » Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in Manteca, CA

wedding rings canon 24-70mm

Image shot with Canon 24-70mm/2.8 at 70mm, f9.0, 1/30 sec., ISO 2000.

This post is purely personal and pretty deep.

2016 didn’t start off very well in the Woodruff household. We returned from Christmas holidays on a high. Seeing our friends and family and enjoying being back in Sweet Home Alabama was so wonderful. The whole trip made us extremely homesick and dreaming of the day when we can move back. There are things we like about living in California, don’t get me wrong, but having a child has completely changed everything. When we decided to make the move we weren’t pregnant and we thought moving out here would be this great adventure. Then we found out we were having a baby (and I wouldn’t change that for the world, I LOVE our little Lincoln and he is meant to be here) but it threw a bit of a wrench in our plans. We haven’t been able to enjoy California the way we thought and caring for a little one with no help from family has been very trying at times.

So here we are, back from the holidays and the whole month of January it seemed we were sick. Lincoln brought home some germies from the church nursery and made everyone sick. My poor hubby got the worst of it. Then I start to think about the year ahead of me in my business. One wedding was all I had marked on my calendar for photography work. Then the thoughts from the enemy started creeping in…”you’re a failure”, “you’re going to go out of business”, “you should hang it up”… After almost 7 years of photographing weddings, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. It’s hard not to look at social media and what many of my friends or others in the industry are doing and not be jealous. Why can’t I be busy like they are? Why am I not getting work? Have I lost my magic as a photographer?

God knows what’s best for us. He has gone before us and paved our way. He knew that I would have this lull in my business, He planned it. He ordered it. He has blessed me with it. Time to focus on my family, especially this adorable little guy that takes up most of my time anyway. Time for myself. Time to take a step back and educate and invest in myself so I can grow as a photographer and a business owner.

Mostly, God is trying to show me that I have to rely on Him…for everything. I can’t handle things on my own. Having a child has shown me that if nothing else. I need His divine help. Rest is good in every form. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t mean rest by simply being lazy. But rest from things that stress or busy up our lives and detract from the things that truly matter is good.

“ALL THINGS HAVE BEEN HANDED OVER TO ME by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. “COME TO ME, ALL WHO ARE WEARY and heavy-laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” ~Matthew 11:27-29

This year will be a year of rest, renewal and renovation for me. This year will be about finding peace and letting God show me what He wants for me.

The image above is of my wedding rings. I was inspired to get out the ole camera this morning and shoot. I am sad to say I don’t use my camera everyday like I should, but I’m going to work on that:-)

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This family is just the sweetest! I have never worked with more well-behaved kiddos. They love their parents and they love each other. It was just precious to watch and photograph. We shot their session in their neighborhood in Mountain House. It was a lovely fall day complete with the smell of cow manure, brought me back to my years in Alabama growing up across a dirt road from a cow pasture.mountain house ca family pictures mountain house ca family pictures mountain house ca family pictures mountain house ca family pictures mountain house ca family pictures mountain house ca family pictures

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Well, everyone said it. And it’s so true… TIME FLIES.2015-12-02_0002

Our little Lincoln is 4 months old already. Some days it feels like we just brought him home, but other days it feels like an eternity since I was pregnant with him. Mostly, I feel like everyday is a new adventure. Watching him take those little physical and cognitive leaps is so exciting. But there are a few things I’ve learned in these 4 months of being a parent:

  • NOTHING AND NO ONE CAN TRULY PREPARE YOU FOR WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A PARENT. Prior to becoming parents, you will receive lots of advice and information, some wanted, some not, some very helpful, and some not. You think to yourself, when I have a kid, I’m going to be “this” way and I’m NOT, under any circumstances, going to be “that” way. In the end, you do what you feel in your heart is best for your kid and that’s it. Your aunt’s cousin’s girlfriend may think she has the end-all, be-all knowledge and wants to clue you in, but what may have worked for her kid doesn’t work for your kid.  I’m finding that what works one day may not work the next. There is no particular method or trick that works all the time, every time. Each day is different from the day before and I have had to roll with the punches. And people tell you how great it is to be a parent, but you can’t fully grasp it until you have a child of your own. Holding this little guy in my arms and looking into those big blue eyes (yes, we are both still shocked he has blue eyes) and knowing that he is yours is something you can’t describe. Thinking to yourself about how much you love this little person, the joy is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
  • IT’S AMAZING WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH ON 3 HOURS OF SLEEP. I was stoked when one night our little angel slept 9.5 hrs without waking. But that was only a tease (he’s taking after his father already). Because the very next week, our little devil began what it called the “4 month sleep regression” (that I’d never heard of until my sister told me about it maybe a month prior, seriously, Google it.). Holy mother of all this is good in the world, it SUCKS! I mean you go from thinking you have the best baby in the world to thinking your child is out to kill you. I did read that not all babies will go through this or to the same extent so if you were or are lucky enough to not experience this, be thankful. And believe me, we have tried EVERYTHING we know or have read works during this phase and have only made slight progress. I know it can’t last forever but it sure doesn’t feel that way right now. The only thing that makes it bearable is seeing that cute little face look up at you through tear covered eyes and smile, and grab hold of your finger and squeeze it so tight you can’t pull it away. Knowing that I’m responsible for loving and caring for this little person is what keeps me going.
  • BEING A MOM HAS GIVEN ME NEW RESPECT AND CONFIDENCE IN MYSELF. When I think back on my younger years when I cared entirely too much about how every single hair on my head looked and that I fit the “standard” I thought I had to, I realize it was all so petty. I mean, I literally got up every day before high school and hot-rolled my hair so it would look perfect and worried over every outfit choice wanting to look stylish and attractive. During that time, I was also the most insecure about myself I would ever be. Now fast forward to today…I’m 20 lbs heavier, flabbier and with quite a few gray hairs (all lovingly colored with dye) YET, I’m more secure and confident in myself and my body than I’ve ever been. Funny how having a baby changes things. I have greater respect for myself because I have endured a pregnancy, given birth (and man it ain’t easy!) and now raising a child. God created women to do all of this, and there is something so empowering in that. I have stopped giving myself a hard time and started celebrating the fact that I have been able to do what some women cannot.

Christmas will be here like tomorrow and Lincoln will be 5 months old, then 6 months and before we know it, we’ll have a 1 year old. I try to remind myself everyday that he will not be this little and young forever and that I need to cherish all the little moments I have with him. Praise God for a healthy child and for entrusting him to us. Praise God for the most amazing husband I could ever ask for. All I have to do is ask and he will roll himself out of bed and go deal with Lincoln to give me a break, and on weekend mornings he will get up with him and let me sleep in a little while also cooking me breakfast. He changes diapers (and we’re cloth diapering) and he offers to watch him so I can have some alone time, he does it ALL. My husband is truly spoiling me. I’m so thankful that Lincoln has such a great example to look up to as he grows.2015-12-02_0001We are fairly certain he’s teething already. I mean, look at him trying to get both sets of fingers in there. Silly boy!2015-12-02_00032015-12-02_00042015-12-02_00052015-12-02_00062015-12-02_00072015-12-02_00082015-12-02_00092015-12-02_00102015-12-02_00112015-12-02_00122015-12-02_0013And this face means, “I’m done”.2015-12-02_0014

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It’s a small world after all….fall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographer

That statement seems so fitting when I think about this family. Over a year ago, I took pictures at Chandler’s 1 yr birthday back in Alabama. Now as fate would have it, the Turners live here in California. Chandler is now 2 yrs old and awaiting the arrival of her baby brother, who is due in April. I just adore this family and was so glad I could catch up with them and capture these images for them. We shot the session at Round Valley Regional Preserve in Brentwood. It was super cold and windy that day but we braved it anyway. I can’t wait to get some photos of little boy Turner when he arrives this spring! If he is anything like his sister, he will be absolutely adorable!fall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographerfall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographerfall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographerfall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographerfall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographerfall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographerfall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographerfall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographerfall family pictures round valley regional preserve brentwood ca photographer

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In October, Amandeep and AJ welcomed little Sewak into the world and their lives. He is a handsome little fella and was such a good baby during our session. It was such an honor to capture these images for them. Babies grow and change so much in their first year, as I’m witnessing firsthand with my little guy, so having photos made during this time is so important. Congratulations guys! He’s perfect!lifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographerlifestyle newborn pictures manteca ca photographer

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