Fitness · Motherhood · Postpartum · Wellness

My Branding Photography Session Experience

After struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety, I knew that I wanted to use my skills and knowledge to support women during this very trying time of life. I started reading everything I could about safe postpartum fitness, diastasis recti, and body image during the fourth trimester and beyond. Thus was born: Strong Mama Fitness.

My classes were going well, but I wasn’t having much luck getting any new clients. When a very respected photographer in the birth community was having a giveaway on her page for branding photography, I entered. I was beyond thrilled when I won a branding photography package from Tavia Redburn Photography!

We had our consultation and I felt like Tavia was an old friend. She understood my style, my passions, and my insecurities.

As the date approached, I got more and more nervous though. Who did I think I was getting branding photos when I have less than 100 followers on my page? Who did I think I was posing as some sort of fitness expert when I haven’t lost the baby weight? I almost cancelled and told Tavia to award the prize to someone more deserving.

Thank goodness I didn’t listen to fear.

The photo shoot was a surprisingly comforting experience. Tavia gave me expert pointers to look my best. I told her I was self-conscious about my glasses and my chin; she made sure every shot was flattering. Tavia has great ideas and allows you to feel natural (even when the poses feel silly – just trust her!)

Fast forward to yesterday when I got the final pictures. Oh. My. Gosh. Y’all. To see myself in these photos affirmed for me that I have so much to offer my sisters, my friends, my clients. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t “lost the baby weight.” It doesn’t matter that I’m not the skinniest, the prettiest, the whateverest. I am passionate about motherhood, fitness, breastfeeding, supporting other women, redefining postpartum, nutrition, raising a healthy family, and being REAL. These photos are real. They are me.

Strong Mama Outdoor Workout With Baby

The experience of the photo shoot and the pictures I received will support me in building my brand through the new year. The photos inspired me with ideas for challenges, blog posts, groups, and more. The photos allowed me to see myself and what  reflect to my customers and followers – confidence, happiness, health, commitment.

To see a few more of my branding photos and check out what Tavia has to offer, click here!
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Fitness · Motherhood · Wellness

What I Learned Hiking 30 Miles With My Newborn

This April, my son and I completed the Hike It Baby 30 Challenge! Hike It Baby is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families get outside and get moving! There are local groups all over the country! The challenge consisted of logging 30 miles within the month of April. Before having a baby, 30 miles could have easily been logged over the course of 3-4 days. This April, I barely scraped by, hitting 30.17 miles on the last day, but I loved the challenge and I’m looking forward to the next one in September!

Here’s what I learned hiking 30 miles with my newborn:

1. Babies LOVE to be outdoors!! My son is happiest outside. This is a huge motivator for me to get outside every day, even in the rain.

2. Every mile counts. Some days, I would just strap him on and walk to the stop sign and back, logging just under a mile. I rarely was able to log more than 2 miles in one day. This was good though, because it required me to be consistent and get outside every single day.

3. The right carrier matters! I wish I had done more research about baby carriers before I had my little guy. I probably would have purchased a LilleBaby All Seasons carrier, but my Boba 4G worked out just fine and I’m looking forward to using my Onya Pure when he gets a bit bigger.

4. Motherhood doesn’t mean the end to your hobbies and adventures. Sure, it’s a little harder to squeeze in a hike and I worry much more about the heat and I have to pack three bags just to go to the local park for an hour, but it’s worth it to share the outdoors with my son. I hope he continues to love it as he grows older!