Existing in Photos with your Father

Existing in Photos with your Father

Lately, I’ve written a lot about the importance of mothers and daughters existing in photos together. I even had my own mom in the studio so we’d have beautiful portraits together as adults. But with Father’s Day approaching, and looking through the many sessions I’ve photographed, I’ve yet to photograph a formal portrait session with a father and his son or daughter.

Why? First, mom is typically behind the camera. There are likely many images of dad with his children on your cell phone. But there is a difference between a quick cell phone picture and a formal portrait. There is a difference between a digital image and a printed portrait that you can touch and hang up on the wall. Second, men just don’t seem to have the need to be photographed like women do. They want to get in and out as soon as possible. :) But it is just as important for dads to exist in photos as it is for moms.   

Have you noticed what is missing from this blog? Photographs. LET'S CHANGE THAT.

Father’s Day is coming up in just a couple of weeks. Help your husband exist in photos with his children or your own father exist in photos with his adult children (you!) and grandchildren.

Contact us to schedule a Father’s Day portrait session at klmunpshoto@gmail.com or 623-341-5745.

Existing in Photos with my Mother

Existing in Photos with my Mother

As a portrait photographer, I am constantly stressing the importance of existing in photos; especially of existing in photos with your mother.  Yet, when I started thinking about pictures that my mom and I existed in, I could think of very few. So I went through ALL of my pictures. I asked my mom to go through all of hers. I asked my aunt and cousin to go through theirs. In the end, we came up with 10 pictures throughout my entire 38 years that are of just me and my mom. Only 10.

And the most recent one was from nearly 20 years ago.

So, for Christmas, I gave my mom the gift of a mother/daughter portrait session. She was to come to my studio, get her hair and makeup done, and we’d take some beautiful portraits together. January came and went. As did February. And March. I kept letting the busyness of everyday life get in the way – in the way of something as important as existing in photos as adults with my mother.

Finally, last week, we had our session. We had such a fun day. We laughed and joked with one another. Mom got her hair and makeup done, and she had faux eyelashes applied for the first time! She felt so pretty and kept saying she couldn’t believe how blue her eyes were. It was so special to watch her see herself all done up for the first time in many years. We looked at old pictures of us, and she gushed over the Record Wall in the studio (from records that she collected when she was a teenager!). We took some serious pictures, and also captured many where we were goofing off. We thoroughly enjoyed our “us” time together. Afterwards, since we were already all glammed up, we went out for lunch and enjoyed each others’ company for just a little longer.

At 38 years old, I am very grateful that my 63-year-old mom is still with me. But I know that isn’t the case for many. As a photographer myself, I am embarrassed that it took so long to get me and my mom in front of the camera.

Because we never know if we have a tomorrow.

I know that one of the reasons that we don’t exist in more photos together: my mom and I have both steadily put on weight over the past 20 years and we are both at our heaviest right now. It’s hard to get excited about having photos taken of us when we aren’t feeling and looking what we think is our best. But being overweight was not a good enough excuse not to have our portrait taken together. What if we both said we wanted to lose 20 pounds before we had our photos taken? I know what would happen…we’d never have our portraits taken. We’d either not lose that weight, or once we did, we’d want to lose 20 more, then 20 more, etc. No matter where you are in your life, what your weight is, how big your thighs are, etc, RIGHT NOW is the right time to exist in photos.

I am so thankful that I didn’t put our photo shoot off for one more day…and that we didn’t let our insecurities and the busyness of life get in the way of something so important. 

We now exist in photos together as adults. 

An Unexpected Gift for a Beautiful Mother

An Unexpected Gift for a Beautiful Mother

Kim had been dreaming of her own portrait session for quite some time. When she called to book her session this past January, I asked her…”why  now?”

Her response was so beautiful that it is best told as a poem:

The Bridge
I am no longer young, but not yet old.
I am no longer who I was, but not yet who I will be.
I am no longer broken, but not yet fully healed.
I am on a bridge, half way in between.
-by Karianne Munstedt

My job was to capture Kim as she is right now in her life, and to capture her honestly.
So we moved forward with planning her dream portrait session.

And then life changed.

A few weeks before our scheduled session, Kim asked to reschedule. Why? At 38 years old, and nearing the end of a degree in psychology, she found out she was pregnant with her third child.

To say that she was surprised was an understatement.  It rocked her world.

After the shock settled, Kim was determined to move forward with her portrait session before her body began to change much more. And we did just that. These are the beautiful images that we captured.

When I invited Kim to bring her beautiful daughter Arica to the session, she jumped at the chance to exist in portraits with her daughter.

I am secretly hoping Kim is having a girl so we can say we have baby’s first mother/daughter(s) portraits!

Happy Mother’s Day, Kim. I am so excited to meet your unexpected gift.

Empowering Mothers to Exist in Photos

Empowering Mothers to Exist in Photos

We moms wear lots of hats. It’s hard to take time for ourselves. We feel guilty for taking time away from our families or for spending money on ourselves rather than our children. But we forget that when we invest in ourselves, we ARE doing something for our children. By existing in photos, you are creating beautiful treasures that will be passed down from generation to generation. One day, photos of you will be among you child’s most prized possessions.

We also forget that, before all of the other hats, we are first and foremost a WOMAN. And every woman deserves a beautiful portrait of herself. Every mother needs to celebrate her womanhood and femininity and reconnect with the vibrant woman that she is. Every mother wants a few hours to herself, to be pampered, to have her hair and makeup done, to get dressed up in fancy clothes, and to be treated like a model. To have stunning portraits on the walls of her home. Portraits that she feels beautiful in. That she exists in.


Reba is Getting Married!

Reba is Getting Married!

You might remember Reba from the portrait session we did together in November. She and her fiancé Steve are getting married this weekend, and I have the honor of photographing their wedding.  She is a true inspiration, and they have a beautiful love story together, so I wanted to share their story just ahead of their very special day.

Reba was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, and in the fall of 2014, her diagnosis became terminal: she was given 2 to 5 years to live. Instead of giving up, she said this: "I don't know how much time I have left, and I just want to make a difference in women's lives."

And she has done just that. Reba started a foundation, Reba’s Vision (www.rebasvision.com), in which all proceeds help women without insurance receive a 3D mammogram. The mission of the foundation and the legacy that Reba wants to leave behind is to stomp out breast cancer in the West Valley. In addition, with her own two hands, she also makes “Baskets of Hope” for women who have been diagnosed with cancer.

I met Reba in the fall of 2015. She reached out to me because she wanted not only beautiful glamour portraits of herself for her fiancé, but she also wanted to capture her illness: her bald head, her scars, and her fight to live. Here’s a video of her beautiful session:

Even in the darkness of her disease, Reba found love. And on Saturday at 4:00pm, Reba and Steve will become husband and wife. Here is their beautiful love story:

Congratulations to Reba and Steve!!

April's Transformation - Inside and Out

April's Transformation - Inside and Out

Having your portrait taken is about celebrating your femininity and womanhood. It’s about reconnecting with a part of yourself that you haven’t seen in a long time, or in April’s case, merging how you feel on the inside with what you see on the outside. 

April reached out to me in December and we scheduled her portrait session for mid-January. During that month in between, we emailed and texted back and forth a lot. April was a woman who knew what she wanted! She had a STORY that she wanted to tell. She was also super sweet and had a great sense of humor. A few days before her session, I met her in person for the first time at our wardrobe consultation, and at first glance, she was the definition of the cute girl-next-door.

Though she came to session a few days later as that cute girl-next door, she didn't leave that way. During the few hours that we spent together, she literally transformed before my eyes. The wonderful stylists who did April’s hair and makeup did an AMAZING job; however, her outer appearance was not the only way in which she transformed. Her transformation was deeper; it came from her SOUL.

She became more confident in her femininity and her sense of being a woman, not a girl. She was sexy, and vulnerable, and sweet, and silly, and so much more…and most of all, she was free to express all of these aspects of herself in a very safe place.  I was honored to capture all of those different sides of April that show who she is right NOW in her life.  

One of the most important stories that April wanted to tell through her portraits was that of her scars. She had heart surgery as a young child, and has a scar down her chest and one on her back. Instead of being ashamed of those scars or wanting to hide them, she wanted to celebrate them. They are a part of her, and it means the world to me that April felt safe enough with me to capture this part of her.

In the months since her session, April and I have become friends. I recently asked her if her confidence level had increased over the past few months as a result of her portrait session. Her response blew me away. I can't want to share it with you later this week.

Makeup by Leiah at The Sparkle Bar
Hair by Sherri at Hair by Sherri

52 Selfies with KLM Photo

If you cleanse your thoughts and attitudes about yourself, your words will also increase in beauty.
— Mary A. Kassian

2016 is a year about learning to love myself. About looking in the mirror and liking what I see. About saying kinder words to myself, which will in turn help me speak with more compassion and to others. Because the words that we say to ourselves and about ourselves MATTER. 


I created a Facebook group called 52 Selfies with KLM Photo and I have invited all of my friends to join it. I challenge you to post one selfie of yourself each week. And to not only post it, but to say something nice about yourself. Something that you like when you look at that picture. Your selfie doesn't have to be taken when you are feeling your most beautiful. You don't have to have your makeup and hair done. You don't have to be smiling. Join the group. Invite your friends. Let's all have fun together as we reconnect with what we love about ourselves.  

Here are three of my selfies. What I love about these are: 1) my big lips to give Freddie lots of kisses with 2) that I was sooooo happy in my happy place, at the ocean 3) the awesome curl of my hair. See, it's that easy! Because we are already 8 weeks into the year, I've posted 8 selfies in the FB group already and the reason why I like them. 

52 Selfies with KLM Photo is a safe place to be authentic, to be vulnerable. There is no judgement, no shaming. (And anyone who violates that will be removed from the group.)

My hope is that over the course of the year, you will fall in love or back in love with yourself. That you will get used to saying loving things to yourself, instead of criticizing yourself. That you will see the beautiful being in the mirror that the rest of the world sees when they look at you.

Love, Kari