A few weeks ago I was in Portland for a long weekend - yes, my husband stayed home with the kids while I got to connect with old friends and new.

On my way back to the airport at 4am on Monday morning, an overly chatty (especially for 4am!) cab driver told me he had never been further east than Colorado and that he imagined being a cab driver in New York City would be quite different.

And that he would like to visit New York one day and drive around listening to jazz.

As we drove around Portland listening to jazz, I looked out of the window and pictured the streets of New York where I would be in a matter of hours and I realized...we are already living someone else's dream.

I get to wake up every day in a city that many people only dream of visiting one day.

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But it's not only that.

How many things do we have in our life that others are right this minute only dreaming of?

And how many things do we have in our life that we ourselves were dreaming of only a few short years ago?

Maybe it's a house, a job, family and friends, all the way down to basics that we take for granted such as food on the table, clean running water, an Internet connection, the right to vote. No matter how hard things are, there is always something to be grateful for.

It's easy to focus on the things that we don't have and that we so desperately want. And it's important to have goals and aspirations - something to work towards that gets us out of bed in the morning.

But it's also important to recognize what we already have.

One of the things I have realized about myself is that while I am definitely a classic type A personality in my professional life - driven, ambitious, success oriented - as a mom, I am more laid back and focused on joy, love, and being in the moment. It's kind of a surprise to me that I am not in fact a type A mom - who would have thought?!

And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a type A mom, the people who are most drawn to working with me are similar - or want to be.

What I love to do, and what I do best, is to help type A personalities (whether they are currently working outside of the home or not) use photography to slow down, be more present, and embrace imperfection and the messiness of everyday life with young kids in order to find more confidence, joy and gratitude daily as a parent.

Moment captured by Photosanity challenge participant Tobie Barton

Moment captured by Photosanity challenge participant Tobie Barton

And it starts in my free 7 day challenge, which I ran for the first time last month.

Honestly, I was blown away by the results.

Because while I have a lot to share about photographing your kids, I have long suspected that a shift in perspective, a few quick tips and a supportive community are all it takes to start taking better photos.

However, I’d never tested this out in such a short program before, and I did not expect my expectations to be so completely exceeded! 

Said one of the participants, Tamsin Breare:

Moment captured by Photosanity challenge participant Tamsin Breare

Moment captured by Photosanity challenge participant Tamsin Breare

“Thank you Alethea for your wonderful photo challenge. I did not imagine at the start of the week that I would gain so much from participating. What a brilliant idea, and lovely to see Facebook used for something meaningful and positive. Thank you for the gift of enjoying family moments and the capturing of them more!"

I’ll be sharing more of the photos and experiences from the 7 day challenge over the next couple of weeks, as well as announcing the next challenge.

In the meantime, you can find out more about this free program and join the waitlist so you are automatically registered when sign ups open.