My Journey

secrets to photographing your love filled life free download | central ky photographer {priscilla baierlein photography}

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top five secrets to photographing your family


How has my baby grown up so much? This is something I’ve said since he was 6 months old and will continue to think and say for the rest of his life. But, really, how has it all gone by so fast? It’s such a bitter sweet thing. On the one hand I want so badly to hold him forever. On the other hand I am so thankful that he is able to breathe and grow and learn and dance and…well…all the things. We laugh and cry and laugh some more every single time we sit and go through pictures of days past. Gosh…I just want to hold onto all of it. I’m so desperate to recall every move, every word, every tear, every laugh, every snuggle…the way it all felt. That day we went on a beach adventure in the rain and he stopped to give me a kiss. That day he held my face and told me I was the best momma ever. The day he patted my leg and said “MY momma”. Those blonde curls. That fat little belly and chubby legs. The way it feels when he wants to get just a little closer to me so he puts his face on top of mine.

Over the last seven years I’ve learned that for me, the best way to hold onto as much as I can, is to capture it on some sort of camera. Sometimes it’s my phone and sometimes it’s my big camera. Mostly, it’s my phone. I know that this is one of the greatest gifts I can give to every single person in my family. He loves sitting and looking through pictures and videos as much as we do. He loves hearing stories and remembers most of them.

I’ve always been desperate to hold onto life, even when it wasn’t so kind. I was the queen of the disposable camera and spent all my extra money in college on those little film camera and one hour photo labs. Nothing brought me more joy.

As a momma I don’t want to walk around with the camera in front of my face at all times and Steff sure doesn’t either…and…poor Bret…he’s just use to it. So I’ve learned little tricks to allow me to be in the moment and to capture it. I think you’ll be surprised by my number one secret for getting great images of our sweet little life.

First, you have to see it. What? Yes…that’s right. Before you can capture all that love and beauty that is soaking up your life, you have to clear the clutter in your heart and mind…you know…the clutter from every day life…all the million to do’s and the bills and the worries…and actually see the beauty in it all. The beauty of the chaos. The beauty of the wild. The beauty of the snack time and bath time and, yes, even screen time. The beauty in your kiddos covered in mud and grass and sweat and tears. Parenting little ones is hard work. This too shall pass. We may not be able to celebrate all of it in the moment and choose joy in all of it, but we can choose to breathe. We can choose love. We can choose to go ahead and document it, all of it, because one day we may just miss the chaos of it all. And you know what, if today isn’t a day that you can see the beauty, give yourself grace in that too. But just don’t let too many days go by before you can see that beauty that is right in front of you. It’s messy AND it’s beautiful!

Want to know my top five secrets how you can capture your love filled life, with any camera? I’ve created a free pdf download that’s short and sweet and gives you a glimpse into how I go about capturing my one wild and beautiful life. Click on the link below to get your copy.

So much love,

Cilla

PS…Have you booked your love filled spring or summer session yet? Now’s the time! Not later when everything is just so. Your love story is one worth documenting every single day. Click HERE to book your session today! xo

2019 goals | kentucky photographer and dreamer {Priscilla Baierlein Photography}

Hi, friend! I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I am a bit of a dreamer. I love to make big plans and to get organized with all the things related to those big plans. For the last three or so years I have taken the end of a year and the beginning of the next to really think about what it is I feel in my bones I’m called to. Where do I want to be when I’m 80? What do I want to say I have done? What goals can I set right now to help me get there one day? I love this time of year. I get out my Powersheets, my journals, my calendar, my favorite pen, my colorful markers and highlighters. I mean…it looks like an office supply store in my living room floor. I write down all the things and see how all the things can and will happen.

The problem? While I felt these things in my heart and knew they were what I felt pulled to, I don’t know if I ever really worked on my belief in myself. Instead, I would make all these plans and then, I was like Dory, I would just keep swimming…just keep going…but for me…it was just barely. Through the depression. Through the anxiety. Through the fears. I was swimming, but I was also fighting against the current.

Last year something big happened. I started to make a mind shift. I started to learn how and see how the “magic” combination for success is an unbreakable faith…a belief…a knowing paired with hard work and determination. Not only that, I found something that really truly helped with my depression and anxiety, which allows me to believe. When I visualize the end of this year, I know in my heart what can and will be when I pair together that faith and that determination.

My ultimate goal is to live a long and healthy life filled with moments where I have chosen love…where I am constantly connected to the one who created me and that still small voice…that light…inside me and I use that to guide me. I leave fear behind. I use the gifts that God has given to me to serve those I come into contact with. I want to love and serve big and loud.

My 2019 goals to get me there…

  • Grow in faith and a constant connection to God and that still small voice.

    How (my mini goals):

    1. Begin and end my days with gratitude.

    2. Attend and be active in our church.

    3. Read the Bible daily.

    4. Pray with Steff.

    5. Keep the Sabbath.

    6. Create a gratitude routine with my family.

  • Cultivate healthy, sustainable habits to grow a healthy life…physically and mentally. (I feel like I would be a fraud if I didn’t mention that I am writing this while drinking a Pepsi and eating a chocolate chip cookie. Monday…I’ll start Monday.)

    How:

    1. Create a routine that clicks with me and takes some of the need for will power away.

    2. Move my body every day.

    3. Early to bed, early to rise.

    4. Write goals/visualizations every day.

    5. Meditate and pray daily.

    6. Eat clean foods that nourish my body 90% of the time.

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  • Grow a life giving, peaceful home…full of joy, love, and empathy.

    How:

    1. Continue to learn and grow in becoming a more peaceful parent.

    2. Create new sustainable rituals and habits to grow connection and trust in each other and allows each of us to thrive.

    3. Have a fun, love filled vacation and other adventures.

    4. Only allow things into our home and our life that matches our “personal style” (more on this later) and get rid of the clutter.

    5. Grow a successful garden.

    6. Love my little family well daily and remember “I get to”.

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  • Grow a love filled business to (insert double income) and show my people (by the way…you are my people) how absolutely loved they are.

    How:

    1. Create a VIP group.

    2. Say yes and just do the things I feel pulled to over and over again.

    3. Begin mentoring and create resources that will serve.

    4. 72 shoots this year.

    5. Create sustainable marketing plan.

    6. Automate and streamline workflow.

    7. Stay up to date with finances.

    8. Create a routine.

    9. Hire out editing.

    10. Finish up the Blueprint and TPL ( I believe strongly in constantly growing and both of these have been a huge asset to me…I just need to finish them :)).

  • Love Bret well.

    How:

    1. Date nights.

    2. 1 trip together

    3. Join each other in personal development.

    4. Big kiss and hug when he gets home from work.

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It all looks like so much when I type it out like that, but it’s all really do-able and most are about creating habits. No matter what…each goal has to be filled with so much grace and love. It’s not about perfection. It’s about the journey. It’s about letting go of the fear and moving forward. Knowing that this is what I’m meant for…being flexible in the how…and working hard to move towards the goal…no matter how slowly I get there.

2018 year in review | Priscilla Baierlein Photography {lexington ky family lifestyle photography}

Hi, friends! Happy New Year? I have been a bit in hiding. Only peeking my head out a couple times online. I’ve taken the beginning of this year to dream, plan, and make lots of changes to this little business of mine that will help us better serve you with all the love we’ve got. More to come on that. First I wanted to take a few minutes to share a little practice I’ve been doing over the last few years where I take a look at the year that just passed and see what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what I’d like to change, the things I want to say no to, and the things I want to say yes to. I usually just write this in my beloved Powersheets or in my favorite journal. Now, I’m sharing it for my little corner of the internet world…which is kinda scary.

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Good…

  • Bruce…I want to do a longer post about Bruce and his family. My heart breaks when I think of his life ending. And, at the same time, I am overjoyed by the love he brought to me, and to all those who heard his story. Bruce has touched so many hearts and he has forever changed me. I think of him and his family constantly. Being a small part of his story, capturing the most raw and heart aching love I’ve ever witnessed, is the greatest honor I’ve had as a photographer. I learned so much about love from him and his entire family. His love was loud and big and it showed up. He didn’t hide it away. He gave it away freely.

  • Steff’s snuggles…seriously y’all I will put this on the list every year until he stops snuggling. He is still so snuggly and sweet…when he wants to be.

  • Bret and I dreaming together about what we want.

  • Bret and I working on our parenting. Sheesh…when y’all said having kids was hard, I didn’t realize it was the actual act of parenting that was the hardest. I wish I had read parenting books instead of pregnancy books. We have been studying all things peaceful parenting because…well, we need all the peace we can find. We are a super sensitive bunch. I’m more sensitive and Bret’s more firey and Steff is the perfect combination of both. Gosh…what an awesome combination when he’s older. Right now we are all setting each other off. But we are learning and working our way through it. The absolutely beautiful thing about having kids just so happens to be the absolutely brutal thing about having kids…they bring out all the things you didn’t know about yourself. If you let it, parenting can help you become who you were always meant to be. You can grow up together. The journey is certainly a bumpy one.

  • Starting 20 minutes a day of just Steff and I time with him leading.

  • Finding something to help the anxiety and depression.

  • Our annual TN trip with our closest friends.

  • Being more involved in church and making new friends.

  • Watching Steff learn and grow through Kindergarten and the start of first grade.

  • A summer of learning in the garden. Didn’t produce much, but I sure learned a lot.

  • Traveling to North Carolina for a day in the life session.

  • Having a clearer vision for Priscilla Baierlein Photography.

  • The business coming to life during the second half of the year and being filled with so much love.

  • Growing our little team…Emily & Bella :)

  • Creating some of my most favorite work to date with so many I love dearly.

  • Having miss Marissa Noe create videos for our family and business!


the not so good…

  • Losing sweet Bruce.

  • Half of the year I spent with pretty deep anxiety and depression. I hate typing that. But it’s just another part of my journey. There were days it took the drivers seat. Finding something to help was such a gift. The darkness can be scary and feel so lonely.

  • Social media not being used intentionally. More mindless scrolling than anything.

  • Unhealthy habits.

  • Not being the kind of parents we want to be. We all deserve more.

  • The first half of the year being the slowest the business has seen.

  • More time on editing and not enough time on growing.

  • Not enough time spent with our extended families.

And with that…I bring you some of my most favorite images of 2018. I’ll be blogging more from 2018, but this is a glimpse into each of the year’s sessions. I cannot wait to see what we create in 2019!

These next three images may not seem like anything spectacular, but they are of me and sweet Bruce. Being the photographer, I took pictures of what I could. Us sitting together watching Scooby Doo and him holding my hand while walking down the steps.

Also, see if you can spot Steff in a couple of the images below.

You made it all the way to the end! Thank you sweet friend! I cannot wait to see what we create together in 2019! Soon I will blog more about my goals and all the wonderful changes for this year, but, for now, I’m sending you all my love and hugs!

Much love,

Cilla

PS…Are you ready to book your 2019 session?

choosing love over fear

It took years to admit to myself. It took another year to say it out loud. It took another few months to make the appointment. But I knew it had to be done. The shame almost won, but my love for my family overcame. A month later I was sitting on a couch, in front of a stranger, who I would share every single thing I could remember about my life that would be of any significance (and, let’s be real, probably a lot that wasn’t of all that much significance…I have been known to verbally meander from time to time). I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to lay down or sit. What’s the etiquette here? I never expected to be here. Therapy? I literally had to imagine Jesus sitting beside me making me say what needed to be said. So, I did. I spoke all the words. I knew I needed to say everything in the first meeting so the wound could begin to heal. How long could one person live with an open wound? Perhaps their entire life? Some do, I suppose. But do they thrive? Or do they merely survive? Is that what we are meant for? With an open wound isn’t the pain so fresh that it makes joy nearly impossible? Bandaids weren’t meant to help forever. They eventually come off with enough pressure.

The abuse would begin as soon as my eyes would open. “I hate you!” “You are never going to be the mother you thought you’d be.” “It’s too hard to love you.” “You’re ruining everything.” “You’re going to lose it all.” “No one thinks about you.” “Maybe God never intended for you to be a mother?” “You have everything, but you don’t deserve it.” “Don’t you appreciate this gift?” “You can’t tell anyone…they’ll just think you’re crazy.” “If you do tell, you really will lose everything.” “What’s wrong with you?” “You aren’t good at anything.” The bully couldn’t be avoided. There was no running, hiding, fighting back. The bully was…me. Me…the one who has so much to be joyful for. Me…the one who is so insanely grateful. Me…the one who is all about love and being imperfect. Me…who knows she is loved. Me…with a great group of friends. Me…full of grace…for everyone else. My very own thoughts. Born out of pain. Hidden with brightly colored bandaids. Brought back to light with the pressure of becoming a new mom and feeling like a failure in all the things. I mourned the mother I thought I would be. I wasn’t good enough. I mourned the wife I thought I would be. I wasn’t good enough. I mourned the human I thought I would be. I wasn’t good enough. I mourned the photographer and business owner I thought I would be. I wasn’t good enough. I mourned the friend/daughter/sister I thought I would be. I wasn’t good enough. Lost. Without an identity. Afraid. Anxious. Depressed. Constant overwhelm. Feeling like an “other”…alone.

Sometimes I would share just a bit of my feelings and hear…“You’re JUST too hard on yourself.” “Well, I choose JOY.” “I focus on the positive side of life.” Gosh…why couldn’t I just CHOOSE joy? Why couldn’t I JUST be easier on myself? Why was I thinking so negatively? That’s not me. I’ve fought too much hardness and always knew I was better for it. I see the light…the positive…glass half full.

Postpartum depression during the first year of my baby’s life. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from childhood trauma. Each became an answer. With each one, “Yes! That’s it! I understand!” Something I could read about. Something I could research and connect to. Something to make it all…tangible. Postpartum depression would’ve been obvious if I hadn’t been in so much denial. I had heard so many extreme cases and knew that wasn’t me. PTSD was even trickier. I hadn’t gone to war. I hadn’t been in a horrific car wreck. I hadn’t had anything violent happen to me. But, apparently, trauma doesn’t always look like this. And the things that would cause trauma to some doesn’t always cause it to others. Who knew? PTSD is a darkness that affects so many who don’t even realize it and doesn’t look the same for everyone. We all like to think we can push things down and just move on, but that’s, unfortunately, not how our bodies work. Push it down and it comes out in other ways. Addictions, overwhelm, yelling, anger, perfectionism, anxiety, depression. The darkness will overwhelm the light until it is brought to the surface and spoken and seen.

My first day sitting on that couch was nearly five years ago. I wish I could say that today I’m speaking to you from my scars…healed but different. I’m not quite there. Scabs? Maybe. It would explain the healing and then the falling that seems to be constant. But eventually scabs must become scars. I know they will. I have the tools. I have my battle armor. I have some answers. Isn’t half the war already won?

I’ve written this post a million times in my head, but I do not want to share it. I’m scared. I do not want to hit the publish button. In fact, I’ve sat on this post for days. My instincts tell me to bottle it up and make the outside pretty for everyone else. But I know that’s not what I’m meant for. I feel a pull to something different. How do we learn and grow without each other’s stories? How do we know we aren’t alone without someone else speaking it first? Here…in this space or behind my camera…my desire is to show you are loved and you belong. I think of the people I love deeply and know that I never want them to feel alone. Or to feel as if no one else feels the way they do. I am almost positive everyone has some kind of pain they are dealing with or have dealt with or will one day deal with. We can either let it fuel love or we can let it make us bitter and afraid. Today I choose love. I never want to choose fear. Always choose love.

So much love to each of you,

Cilla

image by Stacey Woods Photography

image by Stacey Woods Photography