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5 things that I do to recharge!

I think it’s safe to say (at least in my part of the world) that we are getting a bit tired of winter. We are above average for snow for this season. I read that the ‘average’ snowfall for March was something like 5 inches, and by March 3rd, we had 4.3 inches already. The temperatures have been colder for longer periods of time. While this is a normal winter as remembered by some older friends, it’s been a while since we’ve had a real winter and it is really wearing on me and those I know.

Staying inside until May isn’t possible, no matter how great it sounds. I’m keeping sane and taking comfort in a few of my favorite things and routines. I can’t list all of them, of course, but here are my top 5 favorites.

1. Fuzzy socks!

I love my fuzzy sock collection. When my feet are chilly, my entire body gets chilly and I’m a miserable woman. My sock collection has definitely increased this winter – and I have no complains about that! 

2. Tea.

Watching the snow fall from my favorite chair, while wearing my fuzzy socks and drinking a cup of tea is a great thing. We treated ourselves to a Keurig for Christmas 2013. It makes tea creation easy as pie and is getting a lot of use.

3. Special projects with a personal meaning. 

It’s not realistic to hibernate from December until May, unfortunately. I have work to accomplish, friends and family to visit with and places to go. Photography is a love of mine, and why I started my photography business. As you may guess, I take a lot of pictures for my business. Being busy is great and I have no complaints, but I make time to pursue ‘fun’ photography, for myself, like my skeleton series. You can check out the pictures I’ve taken so far here: . To keep it fun and spontaneous, I am only using my cell phone for pictures.

4. Naps. 

Isn’t it funny, while we are young, we fight taking naps, we argue to stay up later, we don’t take opportunities to rest and recharge even if they are abundant. We go go go. And the years pass, and we grow up. Then, oftentimes, we want nothing more than to take a nap, go to bed early and truly see the benefit of a full nights sleep. I don’t always have time for a nap but when the opportunity to take one presents itself, I am not as likely to turn it down as I was in my 20s.

5. Laugh.

Laughter truly energizes us. It lowers our blood pressure and gives us a workout for various parts of our body and muscles in addition to a bunch of other benefits. Take time each day to find something laugh worthy. It improves my outlook, energizes me and keeps me motivated. Even better is laughing with friends and family. 


Is the winter dragging for you? What do you do to recharge?


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my child hates photographers

Over the years of taking pictures, I’ve encountered many many questions about what I do, how I do it and why. I will try to do a few blog posts answering a few of the questions.

Our children will not smile for photographers, and in fact, they are either hiding between our legs or crying and wanting to leave. We’ve tried several different photographers, men and women. We’ve almost given up on getting ‘good’ family pictures because they are just antisocial. Is this normal!? What should we do?

This question made me smile, because I have been there myself, with my children – and I dare say that more parents than not have been there also. It’s not antisocial behavior at this point. Sometimes, kids just do not like people they do not know or environments they do not know.

How do you make a nervous child comfortable?

There is no blanket answer to this question, because every situation is different. That being said, Nygren-Kearns Photography is kid friendly overall.

  • We prefer to do sessions in client’s homes, especially when the kids are younger. Why? Kids naturally feel safe in their home. It’s what they know and they expect that they will be safe there, even if ‘safe’ isn’t a concept they grasp yet. Home feels good to us, and it’s the same with children.
  • We encourage families to incorporate their child’s favorite things in their sitting. Favorite blanket, favorite book, favorite toys. No matter the shoot location, for younger kids, your child’s familiar items bring more comfort than one of our studio toys they’ve never seen before. Of course, at a certain age, a new unfamiliar toy is great at keeping a child’s attention and holding their interest.
  • We do not keep strict time frames on our shoots. We do not rush. If your child is upset or needs a break, we can take one and wait. The clock is not running down; there is no pressure to perform. Kids and animals work on their own schedules, and there is no point in trying to rush them. We understand sometimes that “magic” shot just isn’t going to happen — and that’s okay. Even if we want big huge grins, it may not happen.They will not always do what you want. Heck, sometimes they never do what you want.
  • We will schedule your session at a time that makes sense to your baby. Some babies are happiest when they first wake up in the morning. Some are happiest after they’ve been up for a while. Some kids, after snack time. Some, after dad comes home from work. Every child is different. We’ve set up for shoots at 6:30a so that we could be ready when the munchkin woke up. We’ve set up at 9:30p to get sleeping shots of the baby who absolutely refused to nap any other time we were around.
  • We are relaxed and calm. It’s been my experience that young children, babies and animals all pick up on emotions and tension. We make an effort to remain on an even keel, even if things aren’t going the way Mom or we wanted.
  • We are hands off. If a child is uncertain of a stranger, they are not going to be happy at all if the stranger pats them on the head or tries to make them pose a certain way. Mom and dad are our natural helpers when it comes to this.
  • The more you use the same photographer, the more a child can feel comfortable with that photographer. If you find a professional that you click with, you like their style and the way the portraits turn out, then frequent that photographer. The ‘stranger’ will become a familiar face as your child grows.


Keep in mind, sometimes the first session can be painful. Not all photography shoots produce magazine worthy images. There are plenty of pouty lips and teary eyes at times. We just don’t see those because nobody displays those. Your child is not abnormal just because he or she is cautious and needs time to warm up to new faces. A good photographer will work with you and your child, making you both feel comfortable in the long term.

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Miss E and Family



Last year at this time, we spent time with this gorgeous young lady and her family. I was a bit worried that Miss E would be nervous by our presence but she handled it smashingly, and we had SO many huge toothy grins it was impossible to choose a favorite.



Friday, we are heading back to visit with our cameras in tow. I cannot wait to see her and her older sister again, and see what magic we capture on camera this year.


Time flies past – and I say that both as a mother and a photographer. 

Have you had your family portraits taken this year? It’s always a great time to update. 


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what a great weekend!


What did you do this weekend?

Bike? Fish? Swim? Garden? Read books and nap?



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Baby R and her family


The first time I met this little girl was at her newborn photo shoot.

I was surprised to find, she had -very- definite facial expressions.

Now, at three months, that is even MORE true.

I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with this little one and her family at an open house/3 month milestone recently.

I had a great time. The entire group, family and friends, smiled and laughed and had such great  camaraderie. It was a fun afternoon.

I’m looking forward to her 6 month milestone and all the amazing facial expressions she will show me then.

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Beginnings …

ImageNygren-Kearns Photography began with my interest in scenic and nature photography.

Now, we shoot senior portraits, capture newborn moments, weddings and events, offer an extensive array of corporate photography options and more. Still …

Whenever possible, I take time out to take pictures of things that interest me, from old trees to old buildings to the season’s flowers.

We offer a variety of items with our images on them, including prints (print only, matted print, framed print), notecards, post cards and more.

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Happy New Year! 

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A pulse!

Time is a funny thing. What’s new at Nygren-Kearns Photography since the last time I posted? Well. Lots. We purchased a commercial building in downtown Beloit. We will have an actual studio instead of being only “on location” photographers. The building is a great space and coming together with lots of sweat and paint and elbow grease.

I’ve been continuing my photography, of course. That’s the reason I do all this. I still enjoy it just as much as I did 9+ years ago. We are taking more portraits and shooting more weddings and birthdays. Senior portraits, bump-to-baby, corporate headshots, website images, events and car photography. Whew! Busy busy.

Some life changes are upcoming which are bittersweet but also allow me to focus on my photography business like never before. I hesitate to say it’s “sink or swim” because that sounds rather negative and painful, and I’m approaching these changes as a GOOD thing. There’s enough negativity.

More time means I can corral all my online presences into a newly revamped website. Slow and steady. It’s been a while since I’ve done more than post a picture here or there and surf social media.

These are fun times. Glad to have you reading along!





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a small shop update

lily postcards - set of 4tulips postcards - set of 3

I have had an Etsy shop for quite some time now, since 2006. It’s a sporadic thing for me; I tend to let it sit dormant while I’m participating in other venues during the summer & fall months. With a little time on my hands, I tend to put a few things in it every now and again.

Tonight I took photos of photo postcards and made a few new listings. There are more to come, of course, but right now, with the workroom in a bit of disarray, the studio a work in progress and feeling a bit under the weather the past 24+ hours, slow is a good pace.

Chickens, tulips & lilies seemed a good starting point. All are favorites of mine.

chicken postcards - set of 3

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memories and baggage


Today, the tree ornaments came off our Christmas tree. I spent a bit of time sorting and re-boxing things, tossing out the bits and baubles and broken parts that always seem to reside in the bottom of the seasonal totes. We are much more organized for next year and will maybe have a handle on which boxes contain what.

Lots of memories in the ornaments. The majority of them came from my parent’s home; a collection started while I was a child. My favorite ornament is a blown glass mouse with orange ears and a pink tail. Was that a sign? I don’t recall when I got it but I do know that I haven’t put it on our tree in years because my cats took great delight in scaling the tree and batting anything dangling off of it.

tarnished, I think

Today is not only New Year’s Day, which in itself is a pretty neat thing but also my husband and I’s one year wedding anniversary. Not a long time, no, but when you consider how much we’ve surmounted to get to this sweet day? Seems like ages. We’ve had an excellent day together, lazing about, watching movies and talking. I picked up some things for the studio in progress. Tomorrow we’ll do some work on that.

Life is good. I don’t make resolutions, particularly, but I am working on a 101 in 1001 list. On that list are things such as “visit Australia” and “visit 25 states” as well as the more mundane “remember to think before opening your mouth.” Thankfully, I don’t have anything on the list about being prompt, because I wanted to have it done and written out by New Year’s Day – and I’ve missed that a bit.

I would like to settle on a set way to display photos. I change my border style quite often – a quick flip through my flickr stream will demonstrate that. I vacillate between watermark or no, digital signature or no …. So far, a distinct way has not made my 101 list. I’m certainly a work in progress.

I hope you had a wonderful day, filled with memories and family. I know sometimes things are rough, sometimes they just flat out suck – but now that I’m not in my teens or early 20s – I can also appreciate that 1.) it will eventually get better given time and 2.) it can likely always get worse.

Sometimes, I wish I had a magic rule book to get me (and especially loved ones) through tough situations. I mean, it’s common sense. Listen. If you hit your thumb with a hammer, it hurts. Then, you do it again – and it hurts, and 10 times later, guess what? It hurts! At what point do you STOP doing it because it hurts? At some point you HAVE to realize that the same action will cause the same pain – and you stop! Amusingly, that logical action/reaction does not seem logical to everyone. I would do just about anything to save my kids some of the stupidity and foolishness of my teens & early 20s.

I appreciate that to an extent you have to live it to learn from it, and I know some are slow learners (hello, I was). I know that my HS boyfriend and I had our disagreements and our falling outs, but goodness. Kids seem to take the drama & game playing to an entirely greater level now. I appreciate that some of it is “natural” as they learn their way but part of me is wondering how much this behavior/emotional baggage is going to affect their future lives and how it will impact their chances at a healthy adult relationship much farther down the line.

Maybe I’ve lost touch with what it was to be 14, 15, 18, 20 and in love … but I don’t think so.

Some things, you just don’t forget.

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