Please join me over at my new web-home: christinayatesphotography.com. I am overjoyed to finally have this little piece of the web that is all mine! To celebrate, I’m offering a FREE printable! Come on over and click on my blog link!


I’m packing up and moving… to my own domain! I’m SO so excited, and can’t wait to welcome you to my new ‘home’. I’ll be working really hard this next week to get everything working (and looking) just right, and I’m considering having some kind of giveaway or discount to celebrate! Leave me a comment and let me know what you’d be interested in. 🙂

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Hi friends! I am excited to announce that I’ll be doing some shooting up in the snow! I’ll taking my 3 kids up Hwy 26 towards Mt. Hood on Monday, Jan. 16th. We’ll stop when we find somewhere fun to play in the snow for awhile! We’ll leave our house at about 11 AM and grab some lunch on the way. Please give me a call if you’d like me to call or text you to let you know where we are shooting. Local friends are welcome to come and play with us – you’ll only be charged a session fee if you’d like your own dedicated 20 minute session. If you do sign up for a mini-session, you’ll get a package of 32 cute Valentine’s cards with your photos on them.

These snowmen would be perfect in a holiday photo!

I am really excited to share one of my favorite stores with you today! The Learning Palace is a family-owned educational store that has been around since 1982! I have been shopping there ever since my 10-yr old was a toddler. They carry awesome puzzles, trains, science kits, and teacher supplies. LOTS of really fun stuff!

pull toys are perfect for new walkers!

One of the reasons I want to sing The Learning Palace’s praises is for their awesome wooden toy selection. These kind of toys are the perfect photo prop!

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to present a toddler (or up to age 7, maybe?) with a new toy to play with at the beginning of a photo session? These wood toys have a vintage / retro feel to them, and would be perfect with some similarly styled clothing!

pretend food is a great alternative if you don’t want to clean up a mess after your session
stacking and pounding toys are a big hit with little ones!

Keeping a kiddo’s hands busy is a great way to get a candid photo and show their true personality.

If you don’t live near one of their seven Pacific NW locations, they also have an online store HERE.

Lots of bulletin board supplies

Visit my Pinterest board with some of my favorite items! The Learning Palace is a great place to stock up on home-preschool supplies and activity books. You can read about my Mommy Preschool adventures here.

Today I want to share a little of my thoughts and ideas about homeschooling a preschooler. Mind you, I am NOT an expert at this! I enjoy spending time with my 4-yr old and we have lots of fun learning and exploring. I’m a stay-at-home Mommy and she spends her days with me in order to spare the expense of a formal preschool. Our family calls this, “Mommy Preschool”.

A few things we have found useful (or just plain fun):

  • Invest in a few workbooks from a teacher supply store. Our favorite is our local Learning Palace. My favorite workbook is a seasonal activity book. The age/grade recommendation is 1st/2nd grade, so it’s perfect for both my 4 and 6-yr old. It has dot-to-dots with both numbers and letters, coloring pages, and (my fave) a blank calendar for each month that the kids can fill out and then color. Fun! I make copies of the pages for the kids to doodle and write on, and therefore save the book for future uses!
  • I make a point of leaving the house and just exploring. We like to visit parks and go for walks once a week or so. These excursions are also Mommy’s excuse for practicing new photography techniques!
  • We go through LOTS of sidewalk chalk! [I like to pick it up at the dollar store] We write names, practice writing words, and draw pictures. It’s also lots of fun to draw a road or even a city and then play with hot-wheel cars on the drawing!
  • Since we often have rainy days for 30+ days in a row during the winter(!),  we really try to spend as much time outside as we can when it ISN’T raining. 🙂 When he head out to the backyard, we usually spend some time playing with our dog, Hera.
  • We support our library! I love to take Keira there and check out books to read to her and for our 1st-grader to read as well. Keira really likes to play the educational computer games while I search out some books. Our library also has story time for kiddos and other weekly activities during the summer.
  • I’m a big fan of OregonMom.com. TONS of free and fun family activities listed!
  • Of course it is super-important to me that we eat healthy snacks to keep us fueled up! Since I’m diabetic, this is especially important for me! When I start to run out of ideas, here’s where I go: Parents, Family Fun, and my go-to recipe site – Allrecipes.com. I am also a HUGE fan of bento lunches!

Yay for Mommies! I know the joy, excitement, love, frustration, worry, and disappointment you experience (sometimes all in a single day!), I’ve been there, and AM there. 🙂 If you are lucky enough to spend your days “at home” with your little one or ones (we’re really not ‘at home’ all that much, right?) – I commend you and thank you. Remember to cherish all those little teaching moments, and to document all that you can – in photos or in writing. You and your kiddos will be glad you did.

I had a really great time last weekend shooting portraits for my friend’s daughter, Sadie! She was gorgeous and easy-going – we had a great afternoon. Here’s some of the shots she choose for prints…

What do you think? 🙂 Let her know just how amazing you think Sadie is by leaving her some love in a comment. I can’t wait to work with this awesome family again – love you guys!

Ready to book a session with me? Click here ==>

If you missed your chance for family photos with me on Saturday, the 22nd, or you’d really like a full 1-hour+ family or child/sibling session, you’re still in luck! Here’s all the details on what I’m offering this year…

$100/hour session fee (minimum 1 hour)
Sets of 25 customized cards (you can get multiple sets at a reduced price), I offer flat or folded, envelopes are included with both.
Your choice of ANY of the card templates shown here: Card templates

Not to overwhelm you, but there are 28(!) templates to choose from! If you really just can’t decide, please give me a call and I’ll help you out! These templates are all really fun, and I think they cover just about any taste – traditional to funky modern. Sending personalized photo cards is a great way to document your family every year, and share with family and friends!

The session deadline is October 31! If you are a previous client, you MAY use shots from your previous sessions.

Let’s start a new tradition this year – custom, personalized family photo cards with me!