It’s okay to say “No”

There was a day not all that long ago where I came home and I was literally crying. I was in a job where I was told to choose between my family and my job. Tears were streaming down my face, I simply couldn’t take it any more. I thought to myself that every time I say ‘yes’ to more work, I’m saying ‘no’ to my family.

Oh, friends. I’m a workaholic and had gotten into the terrible habit of saying yes to everything. Yes to every request, every opportunity. My desire to please people turned into an unhealthy inability to say no. This escalated and made me a trap for those to walk all over me.

“No” is an incredibly empowering word if you allow it to be. Saying no allows you to say yes to the things that truly matter in your life. We don’t need more hours in the day. We need to be more dedicated to prioritizing, more diligent in protecting those hours that we reserve for our friends and family. When overwhelm begins to weigh on you… I want you to remember that you are not alone. As a creative entrepreneur myself, I know how hard it is.

So I’m here to remind you of the word “no” so you can have “yes” to life. I’m not here to tell you to quit your job but remind you to prioritize and seek what matters most.


Photo by my friend Amanda over at Willow Photo and Design

Summer Bucket List : 2017

The start of a new season gets me excited. I’m most excited for summer. This will be my first summer where I get to explore and spend as much time with my kids as possible. I could not wait to plan out some of the things we’ll be doing. If your kids are anything like mine, all they want to do is stay inside and play on devices. Well this is going to change. I remember as a kid spending so much time outside that the rule was to be home by dark. Well, Today I’m sharing with you our family’s summer bucket list. I’m hoping this will inspire you on some ideas. I’d also love to hear from you, what are your favorite bucket list items?


Grand Rapids Airplane Viewing Center – Free

Air Zoo

Amusement Park: Michigan Adventures

Barbecue with friends

Baseball Game: West Michigan White Caps

Beach: Millennium Park, Grand Haven, Holland, Tunnel Park to name a few.

Bounce: Rebounderz, Sky Zone, Playworld, Jesters Court

Blandord Nature Center

Cooking class Host or attend one: West Michigan Kids Cooking Classes

Coopersville Railroad July 2017 “Train Robbery”

Day Camp: Spring Hill July 17-21 in Hudsonville, Hogwarts Academy June 15-16 Engine House 5 in Allendale

Fair: Hudsonville Fair August 21-26

Frederick Meijer Gardens

Hike- Free

Lazer Tag: The Lost City

Library: Allendale Library EventsKent District Library

Mini Golf: Craigs Cruiser, Locehners, Pirates Landing

Movie Theater:, Grand Haven 9 Free movies for frequent movie goers, Rivertown Crossings $5 movies all day Tuesdays, Free Kid Flicks at Celebration Woodland.

Movies in the Park: Allendale– Free, Grand Rapids– Free, Getty Drive In

Museum:  Children Museum, Gerald R Ford Presidential Library & Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum

Picnic at a park: Highly recommended West, MI parks Ada ParkSeidman Park, Garfield ParkManhattan Park, and Rosewood Park, 

Race: Berlin Raceway  US 131 Motorsports Park

Splash Pad:  Local Splash Pads

Sleep Over- Free

Slip n’ slide: June 17th 12-5pm

Star Gazing- Free

Vacation Bible School: See Full List Here– Free life stream kids camp. June 12-14 6-8:30pm

Zoo John Ball Zoo, Boulder Ridge, Binder Park


Print out your summer bucket list worksheet here

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I’d love to hear what plans you have that I did not list. Feel free to comment below.

Planner by http://www.heidiswappstore.com Sold in most local Meijer stores.


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Festerling Family

Meet Dennis, Chriss, Noah, Eli, and Bella. I had the pleasure of hanging out with them last week. This family was the silent auction winner for the fundraiser called “Blessings for Bekah”. Dennis was introduced to the fundraiser through Bekah’s brother’s boy scout troop. It’s such an honor to have been able to contribute to two very deserving families. Untitled-1

Are you interested in scheduling a family session? I’d love to hear from you and tell you about the Kara Hanes Photography experience Inquire Here. Not ready for photos? Would you be interested in following what’s going on with Kara Hanes Photography? Join my newsletter. 

DeBlaay Family

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I met Lindsey and her husband Matt when her and I were both pregnant with our girls and teaching preschool. Needless to say we have been great friends ever since. Not only friends but I’ve come to know her extended family and they remind me a lot of my own. Meet the DeBlaays, Mary (also known as Beppe to her grandkids), her sons Chris, Jake, Matt and Mike and their families. I think it’s fair to say that Mary has quite the beautiful family. During this session we continuously laughed, danced and said the magic word *FART* over and over to make those kiddos giggle and bring out their natural smiles (well, mostly the dads). Would you believe me if I told you that prior to this session it was 60 degrees and raining? We lucked out with beautiful mid day sunshine and a little bit of shade at Aquinas college. If you’d like to check out more from this session you can do so at Kara Hanes Photography

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Mommy&Me Sessions

I’m excited to announce my Mommy&Me Sessions. Today is the day that I have opened up the contact form to plan for yours. You might be wondering. What is involved in this session and how is it different from other mini sessions? Well I’m here to tell you that these sessions are special. It’s an opportunity for that Mom in your life to have her story told. Maybe you’re a mom and you have just been waiting for the opportunity to get photos with your kids. You’re a mom to be and you want to document that beautiful belly. Or maybe you’re a son or daughter and you want to give your mom memories with Grandkids to hold on to. Whatever it may be keep reading to see if this is something for you.

 

Get your hands on products from the following vendors:

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Allison Jasperse at Yellow Door Salon

Wild tree with Katie Schepers

Baby Bijou Designs with Caitlyn Dykehouse

Calligraphy from Poppy seed signs

Agnes&Dora with Stephanie Haralson

Lemongrass Spa Products from Linnaea Kemp

and Joy Sparks Designs


Mommy & Me Sessions include: 30 Minutes in the studio (Allendale, MI), up to 5 individuals, 10-15 digital images, social media posts, free digital download, Release to print at your own lab. All for $130. Hurry now, this will book fast. Only May 2017. (Sorry coupons and/or discounts are not accepted with this offer)

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Grandma, Kathy and her younger grandkids.

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 Life isn’t always easy being a mom, show her how much you appreciate her by giving her an heirloom she’ll treasure!

Click Here: Contact Form, select Mommy&Me session and I’d be happy to help you start your planning process.

See more from this session (CLICK HERE)


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This isn’t the type of session you’re looking for? Maybe a gift certificate would be a better option for you. Go ahead and inquire a Gift Card by filling out the contact form here. What to expect from there : Receiving a Gift Certificate Brochure


 

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Want to stay in the loop and see what else is coming up in Kara Hanes Photography? Join me in e-mail list. Here you’ll receive updates, coupons and special offers that are exclusive. Can’t wait to see you on the inside! Click here to sign up.

Emily Jo Mascarenas : Newborn Session

Newborns are some of my favorite sessions. They are so little, fragile and snuggly. This little gal was probably one of my best sessions yet (don’t get me wrong, all of my sessions this year have been amazing). I don’t think she made a peep the entire time. We also made a KHP record for the quickest newborn session. Some may not know but a newborn session can last anywhere between 1-2 hours. Most of this time is spent feeding, consoling and then getting them comfortable in a new position. With Emily we were done in as little as 40 minutes!


Meet Emily! Only 8 days old. Born at Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming on March 23rd at 9:36 pm weighing 6 lbs 12 oz 19-1/2 inches long. This little one is loved by so many but mostly by her parents David and Dianna and big brothers Nathan and Daniel. Mom’s favorite thing to do is watch her eyes explore the world and take it all in. I’d love for you to play the slideshow and take a look at some of the beautiful photos of little miss Emily. Enjoy!


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Want to book a newborn session or know more about pricing. Feel free to fill out the contact form and a lovely little e-mail from me will arrive in your inbox with all my pricing guides. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Click Here to find out pricing and other information.

Organizing Your Photos

When I graduated high school my Grandma gave me an album full of childhood photographs she had kept. These were photos I hadn’t seen and she had hidden away until that moment. We all take for granted (myself included) the fact that we don’t have to print our photos anymore because for a lot of us, it’s right at our finger tips. The biggest thing I’m guilty of these days is taking photos but never printing them.

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(photos from the album my Grandmother gave me)

Yesterday I spent 20 minutes deleting 500 photos off of my phone that were duplicates, blurry, photos and selfies others did when I wasn’t looking. I had already uploaded my favorites to places like Facebook and Instagram. I had over 500 photos stored on my phone. That was just from the past 2 months. Crazy right? I’m pretty sure with social media outlets being a place to put photos it’s a huge reason why we never ever do anything with the photos on our phone. It’s just plain overwhelming. Can I just tell you something?

Less is more.

So if you are overwhelmed with all of your photos – remember that simple truth: less is more. You don’t have to document every tiny moment or every tiny thing. Just the highlights will do. Your kids, your spouse, and YOU will appreciate the gift of quality over quantity if you embrace this!

Here’s my sad truth

4 Years ago we had pushed our computer to it’s limits and it stopped working. You know, that computer that contained the PAST TWO YEARS OF OUR FAMILY PHOTOS saved on the hard drive. As any panicking person would do, I asked around if the hard drive could be recovered. My husband and I decided that we would try putting it in his parent’s computer to see if it would work for recovery. Well this didn’t happen quickly and we waited on it. During this time my In-laws sadly experienced a flood in their basement and the hard drive was destroyed. Now I don’t know what was on the hard drive entirely but I’m thankful that I had printed photos and kept them in albums for a while (until it got costly). Sadly I missed a couple months in there.

I’ve learned my lesson and it’s taught me one thing. BACK UP EVERYTHING!


Learn from me, I’m telling you my new secret

 How I organize our photos.

Step 1. Put a Computer File Folder System in Place (see images below)
Step 2. Gather ALL of your digital images and put them onto that external hard drive, in order by date and folder (I recommend storage with 2 Terabytes).
Step 4. Back them up

Take a peek at my File Folder Organization System

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As you can see, everything is organized by Year, then Month, My favorites, and raw (all the rest).

A few KEY tips for you to remember as you organize your digital photos:

  • Gather all images from all over the place (laptops, phones, computers, CD’s, USB’s, etc) and put them onto ONE harddrive: your new most prized possession!
  • It’s helpful to create the entire file folder system on the Harddrive first, then drag your images into the properly organized folders
  • You have to remember to also back those images up! I use SmugMug to back up my Favorite Images but you can use other platforms like Dropbox and google photos (plus they are free).

Happy Organizing My Friend!

Kara