February 2, 2016

Don’t ignore this: Free 15 minute coaching call for photographers


February is the month of Love!

For years I’ve been a business mentor and coach to photographers around the globe.  I love the opportunity to help burnt out photographers and moms get their passion back! It’s my favorite to help new photographers jump forward by leaps instead of tiny baby steps and to open the eyes of photographers who know they have huge potential in their business but just can’t see it at the moment.

This month, you can sign up to talk to me for one 15 minute session for free. No sales pitch, no strings attached. Just a gift of love from me to you.

Get your free session

To book your free 15 minute session CLICK HERE.

If you’re wondering what kinds of things can happen when you start working with me, here is a little peek from Luke and Cat of Luke and Cat Photography: “After working with you, Davina, for only 30 minutes, we put into action just ONE idea you gave us and we made $16k with the potential to make so much more! Totally worth it!”

Reasons you may want to talk to me:

  • are you struggling in your business?
  • do you feel burnt out?
  • are you having a hard time managing your time?
  • do you need help connecting on social media?
  • do you wish you knew what your clients wanted?
  • are you struggling to take great photos?
  • would you like me to critique one of your photos?
  • would you like some tips/advice as a mom, for your family or with a specific child?
  • would like your clients to be more natural in front of the camera?
  • do you feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure of the next step?
  • do you just want to talk and have someone listen without offering advice on how to fix things?
  • is there something else on your mind that you’d like to chat about?

Book now

Your free 15 minute session is waiting for you. BOOK IT HERE.


I love getting to see people go from bummed out about their business to feeling lit up and excited again we talk about their business, life, or family. It’s my gift to see simple fixes to problems that face you. I’d love to help.

This month, I want to spread the love by giving you a free 15 minute session to talk about whatever is bothering you, causing you negative thoughts, or that is keeping you stuck.

There’s no sales pitch, no strings attached. I’m here for you.

Book your free 15-minute session now.

Let’s talk! :)


PS In case you want one more witness before you get your free session, here’s Emily Lapish of Emily Lapish Photography: ““Thank you, Davina!!!! You are just what I needed.” Get your free session here.

November 19, 2015

Keeping things simple

family documentary photos, family lifestyle photo, family photo shoot, south carolina family photographer, north carolina family photographer, charlotte north carolina family photographer

A sweet start

I’ve known Natali since before she was married.  Together we coached 8-11 year old girls in Girls on the Run (a fantastic program you definitely want to check out if you have girls in that age range) before she headed out to college and then shortly after got in engaged to the man of her dreams.  I had the wonderful honor of photographing the day she was married.

Just this week we were talking about how much just four years ago feels like it happened last month.  My girls were so small and they adored being with Natali.  She is always so attentive and interested in them; it would be very difficult for them not to love her like a sweet, older sister.

Photographing her again…this time as a mom and wife was amazing.  Her kind, affectionate, and attentive ways have easily translated over to little Eleanor and Matt.  She is the sweet mom that I knew she would be.  She and Matt are the perfect pair in their quiet and loyal commitment to each other and the family they are building.  They are off to a sweet start together.

Their days are focused around each other even though Matt is often scooting out the door, with kisses and reluctant goodbyes, to go to class or to the library to study for medical school.

Not only is Natali a fairly new mom she also has started Apartment 18, a clothing shop that caters to women who want to have great style, be comfortable, and not worry about a plunging neckline or a too short skirt.

I asked Natali about three ways she manages to keep things simple. Even her ideas are simple!

Three ways to simplify your life

1. I try to unplug myself as much as possible (I deleted my Facebook years ago) so that I can focus more on what my family is doing rather than what other families are doing.

2. I don’t over schedule my time. I keep my schedule really flexible and open so that I never feel overwhelmed, and so that I can be available for unexpected service.
3. I declutter and clean.  As much as I don’t want my schedule overwhelmed, I don’t want my home overwhelmed. I make sure to keep a clean home (but not so clean that it stresses me out ;)) and I make a point to declutter often.

Last week I deleted Facebook off of my phone.  I haven’t deleted it completely from my life, like Natali has, but just having it out of easy reach and access has made a huge difference.  If you’re thinking that you can’t function without Facebook, here’s a little insider’s tip about Natali:  She’s built her entire business on Instagram!  She has thousands of followers and has done really smart things over there.  You can find her at @apartmenteighteen

What Natali said about her session:

I finally saw the slideshow and cried through the whole thing!! It has been an exceptionally hard summer but all I could think about when watching it was how grateful I am for my cute family.  I have been meaning to text you.  I cried the whole time I was going through the pictures.  I cannot thank you enough!  I love love love love the ones of Eleanor and Matt and the ones of just Matt and I! I didn’t realize how much these would mean to me.  Thank you times a million! -Natali

Have you simplified your life in some way?  I’d love to hear your tip (or one or three or more) for living simply in the comments!












bedtime_davinafear_2Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She believes in bed time chats and bike rides down mountains and in families who see that real life doesn’t have to be polished up to be beautiful.

She blogs at davinafear.com, and creates photo documentaries for families who have days where everyday is simple, even in its complex managing of multiple people, as well as for families who feel like they’re living in constant chaos. If you’re like the Wilde Family, and don’t want to miss this moment…the real one…that’s happening right now, you’ll want to make your session happen. Get in touch by writing to davina@davinafear.com

November 13, 2015

The start of everydays


extraordinary everydays

Melinda has been my dear friend since we were very young.  Cousins and then, as years passed, we became dear friends.

In middle school one day, tired of waiting for the bus, we decided to walk what we thought was a short distance home (it seemed so short on the bus!).   Many wrong turns, dead ends, and too many hours later we finally arrived home.  I think that adventure sealed our friendship though.  We’d been through a scary and challenging time together and it bonded us, it changed our friendship, to something deeper that has stayed strong even after all of these years.

heavy duty challenges

Melinda and Troy and their family have been through much more difficult challenges than that one day over 30 years ago when she and I set out on a trek to find our own way home.  They’ve seen difficult times physically and emotionally.  Most recently, they’ve battled cancer in their youngest daughter and Troy’s terrible, debilitating neck pain, together.

The thing that always makes me stand in awe of Melinda is the way she takes it all in stride, laughs, says, “for the love” when things aren’t going well and just keeps moving forward not encumbered by what’s behind them or in front of them.  I know she has her moments, as we all do, but her default seems to be to not take it all too seriously while reminding herself that this moment, the one she’s currently in, is all that she can do anything about.

Her faith has astounded me.  She’s seen miracles happen and it’s added to her trust that everything is working together for their good even if it’s not something she can see right now.

no such thing as ordinary

There’s something about having a child that is battling a life threatening illness that changes your days.  For Melinda, she wants everyday to be as normal and as mundane as possible.  Regular not full of drama.  Because there’s a sacredness to the everyday that is missed when you know your child is fighting something so big.  The little things…going to school like it’s no big deal…those things are not so everyday.  Those moments that we think are ordinary are extraordinary to them.

Thank  you Melinda.  For letting me see your life and for the deep way you live it without even realizing it.

From Melinda’s perspective:

We are LOVING the slide show. We can’t watch it enough. It is so awesome. Love the way you can feel the special moments and how it can capture what life is like and what it’s all about. Some just make me cry i.e. Troy kissing Brin and Jordyn loving the bunny so tenderly. The sweetness of my kids with their niece. Me walking away from Jaxon and him being sad. The look on Brinley face when I leave her in line. Excited yet nervous. It captures the sweet joys of being a mom and the hard/emotional moments, too.
I am in love. I wish we could have something like this for everyday. I picture this is what heaven will be like when we get to watch the movie of our life. All the lives we touched and didn’t even know. Like you. You have touched my heart so deeply and I’m an so overly grateful. Thank you, thank you. This is one of the greatest treasures in life… Moments documented in our lives that only come once. I love you and I am honored that you did this for me. You are amazing. -Melinda




Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She believes in bed time chats and bike rides down mountains and in families who see that real life doesn’t have to be polished up to be beautiful.

She blogs at davinafear.com, and creates photo documentaries for families who have days where everyday is anything but ordinary, going to school is a big deal, and growing up feels like it’s happening too fast. If you’re like theRaven Family, and don’t want to miss this moment…the real one…that’s happening right now, you’ll want to make your session happen. Get in touch by writing to davina@davinafear.com

August 18, 2015

Making dinner time simple: part 1


keeping it simple

I know dinner time can be complicated enough.

As our kids have gotten older and had more and more things they are involved in and school gets later and later into the afternoon, dinner time has become harder to keep up with.

when we had a younger family

When everyone was younger and at home most of the day, we hardly ever thought of going out to eat.  We were already home so we just made dinner.  Now, many times a week we find ourselves running someone to the next activity and realize that we’ve not eaten dinner which would lead to grabbing Taco Bell or something else equally unhealthy or unappetizing.

the reality of our dinner time

Having dinner together the majority of nights has become something that we have to be very aware of and intentional about doing. Otherwise, we easily slip into the downward spiral of eating out at fast food that no one loves and doesn’t really nourish us.



Off the rails

By summer’s end we have seriously gone off the rails with routines, eating at a decent hour, and even regular showering.  And by decent hour, with teenagers, I mean eating breakfast at the crack of 11:50am and dinner at the early hour of 11:30 at night has become our usual eating times together.  Even though our dinner schedule is so crazy we still make it a point to gather around the table together.

Even on days when we would end up at the fast food drive up window would often bring it home and eat together around the table.  That gathering together, instead of eating in the car, can make even fast food feel special in the way it brings us to a place where we get to see each other and talk and laugh (if you’ve not downloaded my dinner time/back-to-school questions you can do it HERE).

I’m looking forward to school though, if only for the chance to eat dinner before before bedtime!



Here are a couple of things we do to keep it easy and simple:

*eat at the same time every night, even if everyone isn’t here

*set the table

*eat at the table, even if it’s fast food

*make a plan for what to eat, each night of the week, on Sunday

*create a very simple menu with super simple ingredients

*start making dinner together at the same time every night

Ideally, we would like to eat at the same time every night.  I give this idea as an ideal.  What we have started doing is establishing on Sunday what time we need to eat dinner each night and who needs to start it.  With older kids, this works for our family.

While photographing the Jones family, I got to eat a delicious dinner with them.  I loved how simple Alexas kept dinner.  To help you get started with your own super simple recipe that involves very few ingredients and takes only about 20 minutes to make, Alexas sent me her mom’s recipe for Salmon Patties that she made during her family’s documentary photo session.


jonesfamily_summer2015_davinafear_0268Meet Alexas

Alexas (instagram: @itsalexas ) is amazing…she is an advocate for natural child birth, raising her children trusting God, and she lives in a 100+ year old house that she and Bobby have filled with charm, love, warmth, and a sincere welcome to people who visit.

While photographing the Jones family, I got to eat a delicious dinner with them. I loved how simple Alexas kept dinner. To help you get started with your own super simple recipe that involves very few ingredients and takes only about 20 minutes to make, Alexas sent me her mom’s recipe for Salmon Patties that she made during her family’s documentary photo session.


Here it is:

Salmon Patties


photo by: alexas jones

1-14oz. can of Salmon drained

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

3 Tbls. milk

1 egg

1 cup cracker crumbs

Mix all ingredients and fry in oil.  Turn after 2-3 minutes on each side.

*Alexas said she serves these topped with her homemade honey butter.



Robyn Holland of sweet.ish gave me some great tips for keeping dinner time simple.  (If you’ve not checked out her site, when you go there you’ll immediately feel wrapped up in warm words and delicious food that all feel like love and understanding from a long lost awesome sister/friend who you regularly sit with at her kitchen table while she listens to you and dispenses the most thoughtful and kind wisdom.)

My note from Robyn about simple and delicious food:

Here’s the big secret to making amazing food: salt, sugar and acid.

Amazing food always has these three things.

Robyn’s 10 tips for a simply flavorful dinner time:


photo by: robyn holland

1. One of my favorite examples is my favorite salad:
Fresh heirlooms, a touch reduced balsamic with a splash of maple syrup, drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Pure gold.

2. I would get yourself some acid (vinegar, lemons juice, lime juice, etc), salt (I love mortons kosher salt) and olive oil or a little butter.

3. You need salt or you’re going to hate your food.

4. I never cook with crockpots. I’m not against them but it’s just not my style.

5. Chicken is most often over done. I usually cook it until it slightly bounces back at the touch of my finger. It’s about 4 mins per inch of cooking time for the meat. 2 inches thick = 8 mins each side for the breast.

6. I don’t like baking chicken breasts. I seer each side after salting in a little olive oil mixed with butter.

7. All meat should rest 5 mins before cutting it to let the juices settle.

8. Always salt your meat and veggies before cooking them.

9. If you can get your hands on salt, do it. If it’s impossible. Find some lemons. But I am telling you, the balance of all three is what you need. You could use balsamic. Olive oil and salt on everything and you’d have magic.

10. Also, fresh garlic on everything too.

What do you do to keep dinner time simple and delicious?




This is the Jones Family

I’ve photographed the Jones family for years so I’m particularly in love with them.  They are such a down-to-earth group of people.  Bobby and Alexas manage to parent in such an effortless way that it almost feels like they were both born to parent with grace and kindness.  This was the first time I got to see them with all three of their kids.  Everyone says how difficult it is to go from 2 kids to three.  It’s more challenging to have three kids and only two parents, two arms…two of most things.  But Bobby and Alexas have created a home where their kids are so safe to be themselves and where they are nourished with love, understanding, and a knowledge that God loves them.  Being with them always makes my day.  To see their full slideshow, CLICK HERE or on the photo below)

What Alexas said:

I asked for an evening session specifically because it is such a busy and chaotic time in our day, and I know how easily I lose sight of the beauty in those little moments….when I am scrambling to get supper made, wrangle my kids who are going crazy waiting for their Daddy to get home, and just being a mama who has spent all day long at home with three wild kids! I got exactly what I had hoped for out of this session. Davina feels like family already, as she’s captured some amazing moments in our lives, but our evening was like any other…loud, crazy, fun, and I’m sure a little frustrating! Life with three kids never fails to be those things! Davina did such an amazing job capturing our real life!

We waited anxiously for our slideshow and images from the shoot, and I was so overcome with the beauty that she had captured in what felt like such a normal day at our house. I was brought to tears at how perfect everything was….even the song choice made me laugh (through tears) at how it seemed like it could have been written for us! When we were able to see our full gallery, I was just so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have had these memories preserved forever…the opportunity to capture the seemingly mundane and trivial parts of our day…not dressed up or perfect, the stuff that we will eventually forget with time. How Macie’s fingers looked on her piano keys, the way Virgil proudly stacked his blocks, and Emery’s fearlessness….little moments like that slip away unnoticed so easily! I am so grateful for these images, and for the pieces of my life during this season that they will forever help me and my family to cherish!




bedtime_davinafear_2Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She believes in bed time chats and bike rides down mountains and in families who see that real life doesn’t have to be polished up to be beautiful.

She blogs at davinafear.com, and creates photo documentaries for families who have days where they work from home, while they manage potty time and play time with sending emails to clients and projects across the globe. If you’re like the Jones Family, and don’t want to miss this moment…the real one…that’s happening right now, you’ll want to make your session happen. Get in touch by writing to davina@davinafear.com

August 13, 2015

That one thing moms think they have to do


For you, and many moms, oftentimes the one thing you feel like you have to do is…


Not only do you feel like you have to do EVERYTHING, you also have to do it all well while you’re looking great and your house that you DIY’d looks like it could be in a design magazine and you’re creating beautiful pinterest worthy parties and also having a super successful business that looks amazing to everyone and…

The list goes on.

I hear you! I’ve been the mom in the kitchen doing the dishes thinking about how I need to get the laundry started and get client photos done and do that marketing idea. At the same time I would make another mental note: _I need to call the doctor and set up those appointments_ and my mind would make mental list after mental list while I rinsed dishes or sat at my computer.


How I’m living in those kind of moments

What I’ve found in those moments is that I’m living off a checklist. I’m ticking things off but I’m not really living.

At times like those I feel sometimes like a bit of a martyr and almost always the list is accompanied by guilt. The guilt that I’m not getting to spend more time with my kids or that I have clients waiting.

Many years ago I figured out that living like that wasn’t really living. I knew that I wanted to enjoy my days more, get the work done that I needed and wanted to get done, spend time with my family, and have fun.

Mom Guilt origins

Here’s the thing…mom guilt is new. Moms didn’t feel guilty about all of the things they weren’t doing 50 years ago. Or 70 years ago. Or 100 years ago.

Did you hear that? Mom guilt is new. It’s something we started buying into and we are now holding onto.

Moms have worked for always…it started on the farm where she made money by trading sugar for eggs, pies for dress fabric, etc.

It’s not something we are supposed to feel guilt over. Working to help our families has always been a way of life for women.

The reason I’m telling you this is because when I realized that mom guilt is a new thing and that moms have always worked it made me breathe a sigh of relief. It actually felt freeing. I’d like for you to feel free of that guilt, too. I hope it helps you.



The purpose of the task

Years ago I realized there was one little piece of key information that went missing along the way at some point. The little piece of the equation is that women used to see their work and tasks as a way to strengthen the relationships with their family. They knew that the purpose of the task was to strengthen the relationship.

Instead of doing all of their tasks alone, the whole family was involved. Instead of telling their kids to go fetch the water or harvest the garden, they worked side by side getting the work done.

The same can happen in our own families…no matter how old your children are.

The kitchen is not my work

I don’t see the work in the kitchen as a million things to add to my to do list every day. I see the work in the kitchen as everyone’s work. It’s not my work. It’s not Mike’s work. It’s work that we tasks we accomplish together. In the process of doing them we form deeper relationships. We talk about things that may not have been talked about.

Not everyday is rainbows and sweet moments happening while cheery music plays in the background but in the process of getting work done together we make space for those important conversations to happen and for those silly moments of fun…both of which are vital to strong bonds.



Meet Cassie

During one of my Day in the Life sessions with Cassie I noticed that she was good at inviting her daughter to work alongside her. I asked Cassie (she blogs at [themommies.org](http://www.themommies.org)) for her tips on how she makes her tasks not just a way to get the work done but also a way to strengthen her relationships.

Tips from Cassie:


I try to include Isla in my daily activities, but sometimes it’s a challenge when I find myself in a rush or I get too caught up in perfecting the task itself. The truth is life isn’t perfect. It’s messy and the mess is what makes it so beautiful. Messy kitchens after cooking with your little ones. Messy laundry after playing outside in the rain. Messy floors after dinner and the mess goes on and on.

letting go

I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot… deep down, I like for things to be perfect. Having children has been the biggest eye opener to the true definition of perfection though. Now I know, just because I have a messy house or nothing got marked off my “to-do” list, this doesn’t define a perfect day. A perfect day is spending quality, intentional time with my family and being truly engaged in the moment.
I used to rush through my tasks with the thought of…”once I mark these off my to-do list, then I can spend time with my family.” I had to get things done first.

Now, I have a different mind-set. There will always be things we have to-do as moms. We can’t change our long “to-do” list. Of course, lunches have to be made and floors have to be swept, but if I make it a family affair these “tasks” become less like a chore and more like fun time we spent together.





Here are a couple things I try to do to include the kids and also get things done.

Make a game out of it. When I need to fold laundry, I play matching games with Isla to match all the socks. Or find the squares (wash clothes). When it’s time to pick-up we count to twenty to see who can pick up the most in twenty seconds. Making up games as we go along is fun for everyone.
Slow down and start early at meal time. The kitchen is a beautiful place for mothers to make memories with their children… and kids love to be involved in the pouring, mixing and prepping of meals. If you start early enough and don’t rush through it, there will be plenty of time for your kids to be involved.

Make believe. Make up a story around your task. Isla loves Cinderella so if I need to scrub our floors or clean the bathroom, we make believe that we are princess Cinderella or some other fairytale and we share our stories with one another.
Reward them. For instance, we love to add on books for story time before bed. If Isla has good behavior and helps out with dishes, feeding Bella or cleaning up, we will add on another book at story time to her normal three books.


The most important thing is to get your children involved and make a connection with them. These little connections make sweet memories and bonds that last a lifetime.

(**Cassie, you’re amazing! Thank you for these insightful ideas!**)

If you’ve been feeling some of that mom guilt that seems to plague us as women, let it go! Embrace the idea that mom guilt is something we made up in our recent history and that women, moms, have worked to make ends meet, shore up the family economy….whatever you call it in your home…for more decades than they haven’t. You can be a mom and a business woman if that’s what you know you want and/or what you know will serve your family well.


This is the Bradbury Family

During the very early morning hours I arrived to the entire Bradbury clan just beginning to wake up on a Friday morning. I loved getting to see the sweet ways they interacted just as they began their day and to see the happy, determined energy of Isla from the moment I arrived. Cassie and Joel have a second nature rhythm to their days, passing of little ones and moving through activities, as they manage their daily work life from home. I love this little family! To see their slideshow, CLICK HERE (formatted for best viewing on a laptop or desktop) or on the photo below.

What Cassie said:


“Davina, Oh my goodness, this made me cry – a good cry – this morning. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for capturing these true sweet moments. That song selection was perfect for us too! So sweet and true. :)
We loved having you with us for the day and look forward to continuing to stay connected to you. Thank you!”
“Davina gave us a gift so priceless. She was able to capture real memories. A true day in our lives. Thirty years from now, when our children are grown, we will be able to look back at this season of our life and revisit an entire day with our babies. Just basking in the little things like coloring, cooking, potty training and nursing. Things that often get blurry when you’re in the trenches with two little ones. It was a different experience than any photo session we’ve ever done. It is real life being captured. No stress, no staging, just our true togetherness. She documented our day through her art and there aren’t enough thank you cards in the world to show our gratitude.”



**PS I will be in Utah super soon!! If you’d like to book your session during my visit there, get in touch right away. I have very limited open dates during the week of August 24th! Just respond to this email for more details.**

2012-09-05_1346872111Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She believes it adds magic to dinner time to drink chilled water out of a vintage lemonade bottle she and Mike received during their adventure in England. She also thinks that mistakes are inevitable (and helpful) and she’s getting pretty used to being ok with them.

She blogs at davinafear.com and creates photo documentaries for families who have days where they work from home, while they manage potty time and play time with sending emails to clients and projects across the globe. If you’re like the Bradbury’s, and don’t want to miss this moment…the real one…that’s happening right now, you’ll want to make your session happen. Get in touch by writing to davina@davinafear.com