Hecho en Mexico

After three years of full-time traveling and living in tiny spaces, we’ve gotten used to skipping the souvenirs. Every once in a while, though, we stumble onto something so special, we just can’t live without it. Want to see what we brought home from our four-month trip to Mexico?

I’ll give you a hint : it’s bigger than a plate of tacos, but smaller than a coconut. (At least for now!) 😂

Friends and family, I’d like to introduce you to baby Fitz , due just one week before Christmas! I’m currently 18 weeks pregnant, feeling great and so excited to meet our newest little adventurer.

To answer the questions you’re probably thinking : YES! We do plan to keep on traveling! We figure we’ve made it work with three kids, why would it be any different with four? We’ll be in Texas until the baby is born, but plan to get right back on the road in February of 2019. And YES, the kiddos are super excited, too. They’ve actually been begging for a baby brother or sister for years, but I don’t think they ever expected to actually get one. Ray is really looking forward to wearing the baby carrier on hikes, Kai says he won’t hold him because babies are way too fragile and Marley says she’s gonna teach him how to swim. We’ll see about all three of those things soon enough. 😂

Can’t wait to share more! Be sure to follow me on my @sarahQ Instagram account for belly updates, maternity pictures that’ll be taken by my awesome friend Lisa Woods, and probably about a million baby photos come December. Until then, here’s the first ever portrait of our family of six, drawn by Marley, age 8. ❤

Thanks for your love and support, friends!

The Q Family (OF SIX!)

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I’m Expensive

The only sugar coating I like is on donuts. When it comes to money, I’d rather be told exactly what I can expect to pay for something and why that something is worth the amount of money being asked for it.

So to get right to the point, YES. My photography services and the products I sell are expensive. 

Family portrait photography is my full time job and I’m damn good at what I do. Photographing children is not for the faint of heart. Crying babies, wild toddlers, fighting siblings, frustrated dads, exasperated moms. You have your hands full just trying to get everybody to the shoot in one clean, well-dressed piece. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting them all to look in the same direction, much less look happy while they’re doing it.

That’s my job.

I am a master at turning chaos into creativity.

I’m also a master at helping you decide just how to preserve and display your family’s chaos. Albums, wall art, framed portraits, canvas prints, cards – all of the printed products we grew up loving that seem to have gone extinct in this new social media driven world. Those are the products I want you to fill your home with.

“People are taking more pictures now than ever before. Billions of them. But there are no slides, no prints. Just data. Electronic dust. Years from now, when they dig us up, there won’t be any pictures to find. No record of who we were or how we lived.” – a quote from the film ‘Kodachrome.’

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How many CDs, flash drives or Facebook galleries do you have full of photos that have never been printed? If you’re like most people, I’m guessing you have a lot. Printing photos is an overwhelming process. Choosing your favorites, knowing which images would look best framed and which would look best in an album, choosing a lab or an album printer, understanding how to crop and resize your photos. These are all things the average person struggles with.

Because these things are MY JOB. Not yours.

I know where to order gorgeous photo albums that your children, grand children and great grandchildren will cherish. I know which photos are perfect for canvas and which ones will look best in a custom glass print box by your bed. I also know how stressful all these decisions can be, which is why I will be there to walk you through the entire process, step by step, to make sure you end up with incredible photo products you would run through a burning house to save.

Let me help you.

I want you to have prints. I want you to have albums. I want you to have something you can hold and touch and feel. I want your walls  and shelves filled with gorgeous photos that make you smile every time you walk into the room.

You deserve all those things and I can help you get them.

People justify expensive purchases all the time. The phone or computer you’re reading this on. The TV on your living room wall. That trip to Target that somehow added up to $400 even though you only went in for a candle. (Every. single. time.) The car in your driveway that you’ll own for less than 10 years. None of these things will be passed on to your children, much less your grandchildren’s children.

Yes, professional portraits are expensive. But they’re the only splurge you’ll keep forever. The only splurge that will get more valuable with every passing year. The only splurge that you’ll never, ever regret.

Let’s make something beautiful.

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Not lost, just wandering.

On June 5, 2015, we drove out of Austin with a couple hundred dollars in the bank, an SUV full of camping equipment and exactly zero jobs lined up. We had no backup plan, no reservations. Hell, we had never even tried setting up our tent. (The tent we were planning to live in for six months!) Looking back now, I realize what a huge risk we were taking. But at the time, it just felt right.

Have you ever reached your breaking point? You know, the point where you just can’t take it anymore. Where you can’t handle your shitty job, your broken relationship or your boredom with life for another second. I can tell you the exact moment I reached that point. I was in the bathtub, of all places, reading a book. I loved long baths and would sometimes soak for so long, I’d have to drain and refill the tub because the water had gotten cold. That night I was reading a book about how to grow your business by taking bold risks. I’d been running a successful wedding photography business for almost ten years at that point, but was more than a little bit burned out. I was making a decent amount of money and had a flexible schedule. Our kids had all the toys and clothes and snacks they wanted. We took vacations a couple of times a year and everybody was generally happy and healthy. But I was so bored. If you had asked me what my biggest goal was that day, I would have said “to lose weight.” Not to climb a mountain. Not to see glaciers in Alaska or whale sharks in Mexico. Not to become a published author or famous actress. Not to run a marathon or become a millionaire. MY BIGGEST GOAL WAS TO LOSE WEIGHT. That’s how boring my life had become.

So, I was in the tub, reading this book about taking risks and for whatever reason, one line almost moved me to tears. Not because it was so profound or beautifully written. No. To be honest, this line is cliché as fuck. You could go to Pinterest right now, search for it and find a hundred inspirational posters with these exact words. But these words found me at the exact moment I needed to read them :

Fortune favors the bold.

If you had asked me to describe myself at 21, I would have said bold. When I was younger, I had such a grand vision for my life. But 14 years later, I was a 35 year old fat lady soaking in a tub of room temperature water, crying at how boring my life had become. That was my breaking point. Something had to change.

Less than a year later, I woke up early and looked out the window. There was a line of people from our doorstep, all the way down the sidewalk past the neighbor’s house. A few days before, I had put an ad in the Craigslist’s yard sale section that said we were opening doors at 8:00am and everything we had left was free to whoever grabbed it first. We’d already had three huge yard sales that month, but our living room was still full of clothes, shoes, books, toys and picture frames. When we opened the door, people flooded in like Walmart on Black Friday and within 15 minutes, everything was gone. We had sold or given away nearly everything we owned and were making plans to be a traveling family of five, living and working from the road for as long as we could make it work.

How’s that for bold?

Driving out of Austin that day in June wasn’t scary. It was exciting. I knew it was the beginning of something big, something bold. Most people don’t realize they’re in the best years of their lives until after they’ve lived them. One day they look back and think “those were the good ol’ days.” It’s very rare to recognize those moments as they’re happening. I recognized it that day. I felt it. We were finally living the stories we would tell our grandkids one day.

At the end of 2015, after six months of camping, we bought an old school bus and turned it into an RV, complete with water tanks, solar electricity and a very high tech composting toilet made from a bucket and a toilet seat. (JEALOUS?!) For the next two years, we lived and traveled the country in our big, blue bus, criss-crossing the United States from California to Alaska, all the way across Canada to Maine, back down to Florida and Texas, passing through and meeting families in just about every single state. In June of 2018, we celebrated three years of full-time travel. Three years of hiking, swimming and exploring with our kids. Three years of campfires, beach days, mountain lakes, big cities and small towns. Three years of experiences and adventures. Three years of being bold. And three blissful years of not giving a single fuck about weight loss.

In 2018, we sold the bus, bought an old Volkswagen van and headed south into Mexico. After four months of blue-green water and cheap margaritas, we came back with a few souvenirs : some Mexican coins, a few small toys … oh, and baby number four, due in December. Fortune really does favor the bold.

Living and working from the road is not always easy. Both our minds and our vehicles have had their fair share of breakdowns. We’ve gotten stuck. We’ve run out of money. We’ve “camped” in more Walmart parking lots than I’d like to admit. The kids still complain.

My life isn’t perfect these days, but it’s far from boring.

This website was created for me to share these stories with you, along with the stories of all the families I meet and photograph along the way, and I’m so excited to start doing just that. Please be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you’re notified whenever I post something new. I absolutely love meeting new people and would love to meet you, too. So book a family session, leave me a comment, drop me an email or just say hello if you happen to bump into us on the road.

And if you’re getting close to your breaking point, don’t be afraid. Sometimes breaking is exactly what we need.

 

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