Amanda Joy Photography

The Sjoberg Family | Lifestyle Family Photographer

Family, Children, PortraitsAmanda MohinaniComment

Their life right now is a glorious blur. 

With identical twin toddlers underfoot, selling their house, packing, buying a new one, and moving all in one weekend, these two are rockstar parents. (Look at all that adulting!)

In the midst of the craziness, we found time to meet up on my latest trip to Minnesota (email me if you want to know my next MN dates!) for some updated photos of their 14 month old twins! 

Who continue to win me over with their sweet smiles, red hair, and.... 

Their squishy little feet of course! 

Taking time to breathe and play is what makes family sessions the most real and relaxing. 

Taking time to allow children to explore and discover and taste and jump and play and be children. 

I had the privilege of photographing Erik and Elizabeth's wedding almost three whole years ago! And boy oh boy, how time flies! 

As a photographer you get to watch families develop and grow over the years, and it's been so fun to see these two become parents to their little boys. 

Also, how amazing is it that little twin boys can have such different personalities?? They may look the same, but they definitely have such amazing features that make them incredibly unique. 

Just look at those faces... :) 

Married for three years and still love to cuddle!! 

I'll be honest: just when I could easily tell the twins apart, mom and dad decided to change their outfits and I got completely messed up again! 

(Speaking of shirts, aren't those Wild One shirts adorable?? I want twelve.)

Erik and Elizabeth, thank you so much for allowing me to photograph your family yet again!! It's such a privilege to document your life and I can't wait to see your new house in person soon! :)

Trip to Minnesota

PersonalAmanda Mohinani3 Comments

During my trip to Minnesota last weekend, in addition to my parents adorable anniversary photo shoot, I got to spend a lot of time photographing my family as we hung out.

We decided to make things more interesting by taking our little beagle puppy along with us to meet all 11 of my nieces and nephews. 

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It's been a good long year since we've all been together, and it was delightful to see these munchkins again. 

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They all loved meeting Pixel, and we were happy to allow the kids to wear her out. :) 

One of my favorite parts of the trip was sitting down with my parents to reminisce about the home they've been in for over 30 years and all the adventures we've survived together. I also got to ask them some questions about how they met, details about their wedding (it's amazing what you forget in 40 years!), and what they've learned since dad's cancer diagnosis almost 7 years ago. 

At one point during our weekend together, dad began a conversation about what we should expect in the event of his death. Logistics, finances, property, memorial plans, etc. It was painfully sobering, but amazingly peaceful as we discussed the reality in front of us without fear. 

But we made sure to laugh a little bit along the way. 

it's amazing how bearable grief can be when we're in this together. 

My Parents | Anniversary Legacy Photographer

Legacy, Portraits, PersonalAmanda Mohinani1 Comment

It had been a long, emotional month for all of us. With dad's most recent scan revealing additional cancer and the doctor's lack of options, mom and dad are faced with an unknown future. Last weekend, along with my four siblings and their families, Sunil and I made a trip up to Minnesota to spend time with my parents. The house was loud and gloriously full with eleven grandkids (and two grand-puppies!) under foot, as the rest of us casually fell into conversations that varied from memories of our childhood, to questions about how mom and dad met and fell in love, to unhoped for but inevitable plans for the future which seems to loom large ahead of us. 

Being the photographer of the family, my heart longs to document each moment - happy or sad - to wrap up and hold forever. It's why I choose to carry my camera and photograph the surgeries, the pain, the chemo, the conversations, the radiation, and the tears that often accompany it all. With that in mind, I convinced my beautifully photogenic parents to allow me to document their love as it exists during this emotional season of life. 

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In typical Minnesotan fashion, the weather was sunny and brisk - a mere 45 degrees. But it allowed me to convince them to snuggle close without complaint. 

My parent's property sits on a corner lot with barely an acre, but having spent 20 years of my life exploring our yard, we were able to find the perfect nooks with the mostly lovely sunset light. 

This is how I remember my parents best. Especially since photos of them curled up like this are my favorites from our last photo shoot together almost four years ago. Just look at how cute they are! 

My mother carries such strength in her eyes. Strength to keep fighting, to keep hoping, and to go on one more day....

And to look straight into the unknown future. 

A Home for Hosting - the Mohinani Motel

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When Sunil and I got married and moved to Kansas, we knew we'd be hosting people a lot. With Sunil knowing just about everyone in the world and their mother, Kansas City being in the middle of the states, and our families living out of town, we knew people would end up staying with us quite a bit. And we loved every moment of it. (Actually Sunil did. I took some warming up to the idea.)

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Never one to say no to people, Sunil and I made it work. Giving up our bed, sleeping on the couch, blowing up an air mattress for the living room floor... it all became a way of showing people love and giving them a safe place to be.

We started out with a one bedroom apartment, moved to a two bedroom duplex, then bought our three bedroom house a few years ago and breathed a sigh of relief. We finally had a guest bedroom. 

We now fondly refer to our home as the Mohinani Motel and keep the guest bedroom ready for visitors at all times. Sheets clean, room picked up, and extra supplies and toothbrushes at hand.

We have people over so often that our friends and family will now invite themselves over to our house without permission because they've been told over and over again that they're always welcome. 

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And we're pretty sure that's the best compliment we could ever receive. 

Because isn't that what having a house is for? 

Creating a place for anyone to feel loved, cared for, and safe. 

And whether that means a bed to sleep on for the night, a place to find escape, to be fed, to be listened to, to cry, to laugh, or just to snuggle with our adorable puppy... 

That's our home, and you're always welcome. (Just please knock first.)

Before and Now: Office

Personal, BusinessAmanda MohinaniComment

One of my favorite things to browse through on Pinterest and Instagram is home offices - simple, clean, crisp, and organized. Make them black and white and I will drool all day long!! Office envy is a real thing, ya'll. 

In the 7+ plus years I've been running my business, I've never had a dedicated home office. I'd set up my computer in the living room of our apartment, in the guest bedroom of our duplex, at the table in our kitchen, and anywhere else we had extra space. And you know what? It worked. I've never been one to need lots of storage space; in fact, I LOVE living a minimal and simple lifestyle, and that includes my office space! But when we bought our first house a few years ago, one of the requirements for us was to have an extra room that could double as my office.... or JUST be my office. 

Well, we found a house with 3 bedrooms! This is what the smallest bedroom looked like when we bought it, and we immediately made plans to make it my very own and very first home office. 

Yay peach walls! (not. ew.)

Since my business colors are black and white, I made a bold move and painted one wall black (chalkboard paint!), and the rest light grey. I love clean, white, modern furniture, so basically... Ikea is my happy place. 

Even a monochromatic office needs pops of color! Fake plants make me feel confident and BB-8 is a little droid I won for attending a tech meeting with my husband! Pretty fitting for today being May the 4th, right? 

Writing on the wall done by my talented friend Jessica! Because my handwriting looks terrible. True story. 

Jess also gifted us a set of these Minnesotan coasters not long after we were married, so I keep one in my office to remember my homegrown roots! 

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I also keep a high school photo of my hubby hiding in a plant because it reminds me what he looked like when I first met him. (He legitimately looks like a different person!) He's still my favorite. 

Yay clean desks!! 

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Here's how lazy I am. Those curtains (Ikea!) are too long and drags on the ground, so I simply draped them over the rods in the most carefree way. And I'm not even sorry.... :) 

Washi tape is my best friend. I use it in every room of the house and it allows me to hang free printed designs from Pinterest without ruining my paint or tearing my decor! I got this tape set from (can you guess?) Ikea! All prints are from Pinterest - for free! 

Somehow having shelves and shelves of books makes me feel smart and accomplished. Someday I'd love to own a whole room of bookshelves packed to overflowing!! 

Look how light and pretty it is!! 

My new iMac is so happy here... :)