June 24, 2014

Breakfast with the Crowells: A family life photo shoot



adventures in familyness

We all piled out of the car and walked the short distance through a little farmer’s market to the Pump Street Bakery in the tiny town of Orford in England.

Alisa had told me how much I would love this simple, little nook for breakfast but I had no idea it would be this fantastic.  And who cannot love that old pink building?

Breakfast is eaten around a huge, solid wood, community table with other diners pulling up a chair next to you and having a bit of tea or coffee while you order some divine pancakes with strawberries or french toast and bacon and bananas on top.


every familyness photo adventure is different

The Crowells lived in a little town in England and came to love so many villages and nooks and crannies of their life.  For them, photographing the locations and their experiences at their favorite family places were so important to them.

It’s so obvious how much they adore being together, laughing, sharing secrets, helping each other out, loving delicious food, and finding quaint and colorful places that felt like home. Each place we went their family would personally know so many of the other families.  They had friends everywhere we went.


Seriously….we need to go to Tesco for some more tissues!!!!!! Love, love, LOVE everything about every picture. All the facial expressions and moments you captured!  Oh my days!!! I think I am going to overflow with happiness! Stunning, absolutely stunning pictures, Davina. I’m bursting with happiness! ~Alisa, (mom in these photos)


See more of their sessions here and here.



Favorite things about ‘breakfast with the crowells’ session:

Pump Street Bakery is their family’s favorite breakfast-ing shop

The Crowells made a list of their own adventures they loved doing together

Alisa called ahead to this little shop and let them know they were coming (with a photographer)

They did what they always do and interacted with each other they way they always do

Alisa brought along things to keep her kids entertained, snacks to keep stomachs full, and a change of clothes for diaper blowouts…all the stuff she always does

Adventure was waiting and they were excited about it

The adventuring was kept simple and short with breaks in between



Thank you, sweet Crowells!

Photographing your dear family has been a huge highlight for me.  

The kindness you show one another and the way, even in disagreements, there is a desire to respect and understand one another is inspiring.  Every family has moments when kids are crazy (or bolt out the door any chance they get), you are so incredible at taking it all in stride, though!  You can tell that your relationshihps are more important than circumstances.

Thank you for letting me see your familyness…and for sharing your favorite breakfast with me…I’m still dreaming of that toast and strawberries!

xoxo, Davina



why book a session?

I would most definitely recommend Davina if you are looking for someone to capture you and your family in YOUR element–to note all the little details and characteristics unique to each family member and setting. Her intuitive approach enables her to step into your family culture enough to capture who you really are.  Thank you, Davina, our hearts are forever happy! ~Alisa, (mom in these photos)

ready to find out more about your own familyness adventure photo session?

*Familyness photo sessions are all about your family, your everyday life that you want to remember always or adventures that your family goes on that you know will be fleeting.

*We’ll dive into your familyness and discover the perfect familyness life photo session for you (with the Crowells we also photographed their life at home…waking up in the morning, getting dressed, and hanging laundry together—those photos coming soon).

*Adventures can be the simplest moments of everyday life that make your real life beautiful


Book your session now

Please call (704.964.5882) or email me (davina@davinafear.com).  I’d love to chat with you about what is making your heart yearn for this type of familyness photo session.

THIS weekend!

NOTE: photo shoot available this weekend in the DC/Virginia area (email davina@davinafear.com or call 704-964-5882 for details)

I believe families seeing their own love and magic in photographs can change their world.  And when families see that their real life if beautiful…they can change the world. 


davina_selfie_squareDavina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She is expert at building forts and is excited about her familyness road trip to Utah and the awesome people she will be photographing along the way!

She blogs at davinafear.com and believes in the non-cheesy smile.


June 14, 2014

Familyness Pop Up Adventures!


Familyness Pop Up Adventures!

We would love to have you join us…

You know how they have those dinner pop up groups?

Have you heard of those dinner groups that get together in random places around the city?
There’s not a whole lot of notice beforehand when a pop up dinner group is going to happen. You get an email a little bit before the random dinner pop up. Everyone brings something (or they have a great chef, etc). They just set up a table with dishes/glasses/silverware (sometimes fancy/sometimes simple), bring out the delicious food, and meet friends at a field or a street. They eat, chat, hang out, and then they break it all down and meet up another time. It’s super cool!

I’m not sure how I get in on one of those groups but I thought it would be really fun to do something similar and have Familyness Pop Up Adventures!

How Familyness Pop Up Adventures Work:

1. Sign up. Sign up here to get notified. You’ll be on the list to get the Familyness Adventure Pop Up Invite details every time an adventure is about to happen!

2. Totally random. Familyness Pop UP Adventures will happen randomly. You may have a week’s notice or you may have a few hours notice. Most likely, it will be somewhere in between.
3. Adventure is everywhere! If you’re available come join the fun. If not, there will be a next time!
4. How long will it last? Show up, stay a couple of minutes and say Hi! or stay past the time we leave and keep having fun. It’s totally up to you!
5. Cookies (and other fun stuff). We will be there and (hopefully) handing out cookies or something other kind of fun…
6. Are you planning the adventures? We will be planning the adventure destinations. However, some activities will already be planned events by someone else. Other events will be planned by us.
7. It is free? Many adventures will be FREE! Occasionally, there will be adventures that involve an investment. (i.e.- the zoo: because there’s a fee to get in)
8. How often? You can come to whatever Familyness Pop Up Adventure you want to come to!
9. Not just for local people! We will be taking our road trip out to Utah next month and may plan some Familyness Pop Up Adventures along the way!
10. You don’t live in our city? Start your own Familyness Pop Up Adventures! Make sure to tell us about your group though. We’d love to help you get your Adventures set up and be sharing photos on Instagram.

First Familyness Pop Up Adventure is TOMORROW!!

Make sure and get on the list right away so you can be part of tomorrow’s Familyness Pop Up Adventure! We’ll be sending out the details asap! We can’t wait to see you there!

(Even if you know you can’t join us tomorrow, you’ll want to know about future Pop Up Adventures.)


June 6, 2014

Familyness Road Trip = Photo Shoots!


We are trekking to Utah.

Road tripping to be exact.

We will be hopping in our Awesome Adventure Wagon (aka mini van) and driving 2000 miles to Utah!

It’s the first time in 6 years (can you believe we’ve been living in SC for 6 years?! Me either!).  We are making the return trip!  I’ve gotten up my courage and there’s no turning back.  We are so excited!

I’m hoping to capture your familyness story along the way! (see below for the cities we will be stopping in!)

A few months ago, when I wrote this, I would not have guessed we would be making this trek to Utah.  It’s funny how facing fears and difficult moments, that have unknowingly held you back, open up all kinds of fantastic opportunities.

It’s true…

As many of you know I had stepped away from actively promoting photographing for clients.  I’ve still been shooting…just selectively (in fact, I got to do one of my favorite sessions ever in the past year).

And guess what?

Photographing these sweet families has reminded me of how much I love being in homes like yours, feeling the love there, and capturing what life (real life) looks like right now.

It’s made me want to photograph more families.  I’d love to spend some time photographing your family!

Here’s the surprise:

I’m offering photo shoot sessions for the first time ever while we road trip!

Along the way, as we road trip to Utah, we will be stopping in a few cities.  While in each city, I’m offering one or two photo shoots!

Did I mention I’m excited?

Are there Utah Photo Shoot sessions?

Yes!  I’m thrilled to be offering sessions in Utah!  See below.  I have multiple days available!

How do I grab a session?

If you’d like to book one of the session dates below:

* choose your dates below
* respond to this email and tell me the date and time you’d like to book
* if the date is still available, you’ll receive payment* information
* upon receipt of your payment the photo shoot session is officially yours! yay!

*payment plan available

What’s included in the session?

Each session is a one hour photo shoot for $500 with digital negatives included.

Cities and Dates!

Listed below are the cities and dates that I’ll be in each location.  I’d love to see you and photograph your family.  I’m so excited!

Knoxville, TN

July 12 : morning session

Kansas City, MO

July 13 : evening session
July 14th : morning session

Denver, CO

July 15th : morning session 


(One session available each day.)

July 21st :
July 22nd :
July 23rd :
July 24th :
July 25th :

Lexington, KY

July 31st : morning session


What might your session look like?

I’m so excited about these sessions! 

These sessions can be an opportunity to photograph a routine in your life…a moment that you will wish you had photographed years down the road: cuddling in bed first thing in the morning, breakfast time, snuggling on the couch reading together, your bedtime ritual, that summer activity you do almost every day: going to the local park, the ice cream truck…all the moments you’re part of but have a difficult time photographing and showing that you are part of the moment. I’ll photograph those for you and get a wonderful portrait of your sweet little family and the life you’re living right now. I can’t wait! 

Let’s chat!

I would love to talk with you about what you envision for your session.  If you’d like to set up a time to chat about what your session would look like email me: davina (at) davinafear (dot) com  I would love to see what it would look like for us to work together!

**PS  If you’re in the NC/SC area keep your eyes peeled!** 

I’ve been getting requests for sessions and will be opening up 10  (limited time offer) special photo shoots!  I’ve already sold three of the spots so you won’t want to miss it.  I’ll be making the announcement in the next 5-7 days.

davina_selfie_squareDavina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She is expert at building forts and is excited about her familyness road trip to Utah and the awesome people she will be photographing along the way!

She blogs at davinafear.com and believes in the non-cheesy smile.


June 6, 2014

When your iPhone rules: 3 ways to put it in its place


When strangers come to bed with me

The other night I was laying in bed and my friend Lucy came and got in bed with me.  Just out of the blue, pulled up the covers and laid down next to me.  In no time at all, Jacob was on the other side of me asking me questions and then just staring at me like I wasn’t answering him fast enough.  At the end of my bed Jackie plopped down sitting criss-cross-applesauce telling me all about what happened today.  I couldn’t resist, I had to have a conversation with her.

Meanwhile, Hot Guy is laying in this bed but I can’t even reach him because of the crowd of people around me.

How to get strangers out of my bed

In a miracle moment when I put my phone over on my window sill and turned around all of the people had magically disappeared!

Mike and I were talking the other night and realized that when we bring our devices to our bedroom with us it’s like we are inviting a bunch of people into our bed.  Weird, right? lol

We’ve talked a lot about getting our need to look at our phones under control.  We’ve tried many tactics.

Here are a couple of my favorite ideas:

1. Get an alarm clock that is NOT your iphone!  This is the biggest reason I bring my iphone to my bedroom.  I need an alarm clock.  I hate loud, buzzing alarm clocks and haven’t been able to find one that I like.  I like to wake up gently not jolted out of sleep with wild banchees wailing (which is what it sounds like to me).  Here is an alarm clock that is just what I’d like to wake up to!

2.  Feed Ned.  I love this awesome idea that Jenny Solar of Happy Family Movement has created.  It’s actually not created yet and you can help!  They’ve just started a Kickstarter Campaign to put these awesome little Phone Monsters into production.  I’m looking forward to having one on my counter to give me the quick reminder to put phone down and live my life and BE with the people I love most.  I hate to say how often I look like Jenny in this video:

3.  Set boundaries.  Decide on some rules for devices.  Things like:

  • No phones at the table
  • All technology must be put away when a family member arrives home
  • All technology stays with Ned at bedtime
  • Technology can be used from 4pm-6pm in the evening, all other times when we are together as a family we have zero screen time.

Bonus: Limit the amount of devices you have.  Everyone in our family does not have their own device.  Sharing devices, even though it adds some complications, introduces the opportunity to get along in having to give each other turns and in playing and encouraging each other.

what about my camera on my phone?

Just like with my big camera sometimes I leave it at home or in the car.  I occasionally have to remind myself that I don’t have to document every second of my day or every moment of the life I’m living.  If I’m constantly documenting it means I’m not actually living and experiencing.  I’m sitting on the sidelines, watching.

Today, sign up to Feed Ned here so you can back to living!

I love technology.  It’s so helpful and I love being able to find what I need at the click of a button, keep in touch with friends’ lives, and text people at any moment.  I also want to be intentional about living my life outside of my devices.

What do you do?

Please share your ideas on how you make the best of your iphone and at the same time spend time living a rich life.  I’d love to hear them (and I have a feeling I’m not the only one) !

Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer.  She gave an interview about criticism and how to she moved past it.

She blogs at davinafear.com.  Have you signed up for The Art of Familyness Photography?  Get it HERE!



May 29, 2014

When I feel like a lame mom


when a day goes wrong. very wrong.

Sometimes I fall prey to my own negative thoughts.  This is the story of one of those days and one of the ways I’ve discovered to pull myself away from the downward spiral of “lame mom-ness” also know as Lame Mom Syndrome (LMS). Has also bee know as Lame Business Woman Syndrome (LBWS) and Lame Photographer Syndrome (LPS) and Lame FIll-in-the-blank Syndrome (L__S).

A perfect storm

This is what feels like the 14th time in the car since school got out.  We’ve been to too many locations and everyone is hangry (hungry + angry)…including me.

A kid at school said something to one of my kids and now they are spiraling about what that must mean about them as a person…analyzing in a way that means tears are close behind.  Another of my kids is saying things they think are helpful to the situation but truly, it’s exacerbating the issue.  It’s coming off as mr./miss-know-it-all to the sibling they are giving ‘helpful’ advice to.

One of the other kids is incessantly repeating how hungry they are and another is fully disappointed I didn’t keep the promise of taking them to the pool.

I’m so hungry that thinking of something compassionate and patient to say has left me.  It flew out the window a few miles back and I’m pretty sure it won’t return until we eat something.

Keeping my mouth shut at this point is the best remedy for the situation but when one person (to remain unnamed) decides to push one last button on another person who was way past button pushing patience (who will also remain unnamed) and that person lets out a yell in the car….I know I’ve had it.  And I give it to them with my words and tell them all that everyone has to remain silent until we get some food.

It’s moments like these that make me doubt myself as a mom (LMS).

I begin thinking things like:

  • *I know better than to let everyone get hungry
  • *How can I let myself get so angry
  • *Why couldn’t I see what to do in that situation with my kids instead of getting bugged?
  • *Am I a terrible mom?  Are my kids all becoming entitled?  Is that what I’m raising?  Entitled kids?  Oh geez.  That’s not good.
  • *I’m definitely not one of those moms they talk about that never once in her life raised her voice
  • *My kids may be scarred for life and remember this day as the one when mom lost it
  • *This is the day that will be the one my kids will talk about in therapy
  • *Why can’t I be a mom who never gets mad?
  • And the list of things I say to myself goes on.


Everyday is not like this but I have my moments.

Moments when I wonder if I’m cut out to be a mom. Moment’s when I get obsessed with a project and being a mom takes the back seat while I work to put out into the world something that matters to me.  Moments when I’m just tired.  Moments when all of the kids are having a tough day for whatever reason, too.

As a wife, mom, and business owner I can get pretty lost and caught up in everything I’m not doing, all of the things that get left undone, all of the ways I’m falling short, and all of the ways I could improve so many things (LMS).

It can be tempting to see only what needs fixing.

It can be tempting to only see what I’m not doing.

It can be tempting to sell myself short.

It can be tempting to NOT see all of the good I’m doing in the world.

And there is so much good.

There is so much good that I’m doing and that you’re doing.

What am I actually creating?

All of these things I say to myself create a negative reality for me.  When I live from this negative reality I begin to see all of the things in my life that support my negative thoughts.  And I begin to see proof everywhere that supports those ideas.

There are more days where I listen completely and am fully present in the moment of hearing, in full detail, about the trip they just went on, the thing that happened at lunch today, what their friends said while waiting in the car rider line, laying in bed next to them just after the lights went off and laughing, sitting on the couch after school looking through their art work, setting up a hot air balloon experience on Saturday morning, many nights eating dinner on the deck, I get inspired about my business or a particular client, I create something amazing that I know is going to make lives better, I spend time with my husband, I write an awesome note, I give to someone just when and how they were needing to be loved, and so much more….

The thing is…you do too!

I don’t want to live in this negative place!

Knowing that I’m creating a negative reality is a bummer but the good news is that we can create a positive reality.  I can tell myself new “I am” statements.  Statements that I can believe fully and begin to see the proof of the positive in my life.

I’ve started working with a business coach and one of the first emails I received from her was about “I am” messages.

Here are some “I am” statements creating a negative reality:

  • *I am such a bad mom. I’m sure other mom’s don’t do this.
  • *I am such a bad planner.  I never plan ahead for situations like this.
  • *I am so mean when I’m hungry.  I hate that.
  • *I am terrible at managing my kids emotions when there are too many things going on.
  • *I am not the kind of person that can be successful at business
  • *I am not enough
  • *I am worried my life will never be what I want it to be


How I’ve started to see positive proof about me

I decided to start writing in a book everyday (idea straight from my business coach) some of my “I am” statements that tell me good things about myself.  I’m making it a practice.  There are neural pathways that we make to our brains with negative statements about ourselves.  This practice is one way to create new neural pathways.

I fill up an entire page in my book with positive “I am” statements.  All of them are true.  All of them help me to see the proof of their reality in my life.  And the more I do them the more I’ll know them even on the challenging days when I’m tempted to beat myself up with the things that aren’t true.  My new “I am” statements open up ways to see where my strengths are even more so that I can play to them.

Here are some of my new “I am” statements:

  • I am good at seeing possibilities
  • I am productive and find ways to make great use of my time
  • I am smart and articulate
  • I am interested in others
  • I am adventurous and enjoy new experiences
  • I am full of faith in people I trust
  • I am open to possibilities
  • I am creative and make things that bless the lives of others
  • I am believing in my kids
  • I am learning and visionary in the way I approach life and family
  • I am enough to be successful
  • I am enough

Sometimes we are so good at seeing the good in others we forget to see it in ourselves.  When a friend calls us up and tells us they are discouraged we are good at pointing out all of the ways they are amazing.  The generous outlook isn’t just for them.  It’s for us too.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “What you look for, you will find.”

I’ve discovered a truth:

“What you look for you will find” is not just true of looking for the good in the people I share a home and life with; it’s also true of the person I am.  And what I look for in myself, I will find.  I deserve to find good.  And so do you.

What are some of your new “I am” statements?  Be brave and share yours! I’d like to hear them in the comments.