Kristin Cooley Photography │Kenai, AK │Alaska Wedding, Engagement, Portrait, Family, Senior Photographer bio picture
  • Hi! I'm Kristin Cooley and I'm a wedding and portrait photographer here in Alaska. I live on the Kenai Peninsula, but I photograph weddings and portraits all over Alaska and even destination weddings. Planning a wedding in Hawaii? Fiji? Or some other exotic destination? I'm your girl!

    I recently got married, so if you have any wedding planning questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I know, first hand, how overwhelming wedding planning can be, but with the right tools, tips, and tricks it can actually turn out to be a lot of fun!

    I was born and raised in California, but I'm a true Alaskan girl at heart. I'm a dedicated fisherwoman and a lover of everything outdoors. In the summer, you'll find my hubby and I fishing into the wee hours of the night. In the winter, you'll find us snuggled up at home, spending time with our two little munchkins, Scarlett & Lincoln, having movie marathons, and spoiling our two dogs.

    If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact me at


Perfectionism leads to procrastination…

I admit it, I’m a procrastinator. There, I said it. Do I feel better? Not really. In fact, no.

During a recent episode of Jasmine Star’s creativeLIVE ReSTARt workshop, Jasmine mentioned a quote I’ve heard before, but this time it really stuck with me,

“Perfectionism leads to procrastination”.

That phrase has been like a bad remix, stuck on repeat in my brain ever since. I don’t know anyone more guilty of the entire ideology of that phrase than I am. Maybe it’s a combination of my obsessive compulsive tendencies and my extreme desire for everything to be perfect, but I absolutely, without a doubt, am my own worst enemy.

During a recent conversation with a friend about my OCD and perfectionism, she said something to me that really hit home. I actually wrote it down, so I wouldn’t forget it. She said, “Done is better than perfect, we’re creative minds and nothing will ever be perfect in our minds.” Nuff said. Simple. DONE is better than perfect.

Another one I’ve heard, along the same lines is “Perfectionism is just procrastination with better marketing and PR.”

I’m guilty of it all. I want everything to be so perfect that I get caught up in all of the tiny little details, instead of just getting ish done! So that’s just what I’m planning to do, get over myself, stop worrying about perfection, and GET SHIT DONE. Yep. There it is. My first curse word on the blog.

Speaking of procrastination, how appropriate and relevant is this maze? I know we’re all guilty of this to some effect…(although the porn part? Not so much. Maybe that’s just me.)

Words to live by.

I know I’ve thought this far too many times.

Ain’t that the truth?

I need one of these stuck to my forehead every day.

Or maybe just this guy, to follow me around everywhere I go.

June 17, 2013 - 11:24 am

Sarah - Hahaha, get shit done certainly is to the point 🙂

August 15, 2013 - 10:22 pm

Cherry - Hahaha… I’m guilty of this as well… should be in my bio or something… Photographer, philosopher, procrastinator & lover of life! haha 🙂

My fave would be to have that guy follow me around.

Miss Scarlett | Newborn – 10 days old | Alaska Wedding, Engagement, Portrait, Family, Senior Photography

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 3 months since I blogged last. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, then you know a lot has changed around here. 10 weeks ago today, I gave birth to the sweetest little baby girl (who’s currently asleep next to me, snoring her cute little head off).

Our little miss decided to be an early birdie and made her debut at 35 weeks and 4 days. I’ll be posting the entire birth story soon, but rest assured everything went great! Miss Scarlett Ava Cooley was born on November 16th, 2012 at 3:47pm, 5 lbs 12.9 oz and 19.5 inches long.

I decided to take the opportunity to use her as a guinea pig for my very first newborn photo shoot and she was such a good sport about it, I couldn’t have asked for a better model. She was only 10 days old in these photos.

First off, how adorable are baby yawns? Ugh, I die. Also, can we please talk about the incredibly cute peach fuzz she’s covered in? You can really see it in the very last photo in this post. She’s lost almost all of it now, but since she was so early, she never had that last month in the womb where they loose all of the fuzz. I have to admit, I kinda love her fuzziness.

January 25, 2013 - 8:18 pm

Kristen - Adorable! Come to Canada in June to take pics of my little one?

33 weeks – girly parts, pineapples, and my aching ribs

I know, I know, I haven’t blogged in nearly 6 weeks. I’m a bad, bad blogger. Hey, I’m brewing a baby over here, give me a break! No? That excuse doesn’t work? Okay fine.

Since the last post, we had our 28 week ultrasound to confirm the gender and she is, indeed, a girl!! In the pics below, her girly parts and legs are in the top photo, on the left hand side right of the frame and the bottom photo is of her face on the right hand side of the frame and what I’m assuming are here knees maybe?? I wish the Dr. would’ve taken a better one of her face, at one point we could clearly make out her lips and nose, it was so cute.

Here’s a photo of my ginormous belly, at 33 week, it’s a little late considering I’ll be 34 weeks tomorrow, but it’ll do.

How Far Along: 33 weeks

Size of baby: 17 inches, 4 1/4 lbs, the size of a pineapple (I’m not sure I believe that she only weighs 4 1/4 lbs at this point, considering the 28 week ultrasound said she weighed 2 lbs, 8 ounces and that was 5 weeks ago, but who knows.)

Maternity Clothes: I feel like I’ve been wearing the same few outfits over and over. Perhaps it’s time to go maternity shopping online again? 😀

Gender:  A girl of course!! Scarlett is her name…still undecided on the middle name. The only one that seems to be sticking is Sawyer. I’ve also considered J’s grandma’s first name, Marilyn (even though she once told me not to use it, of which now she has no recollection whatsoever).

Movement: Now that she’s a lot bigger, she moves a lot less, but don’t get me wrong, she’s still a little wiggle worm when she wants to be. The best part is now she shakes my entire belly when she moves. One night I was sitting on the couch next to J and started laughing,  I poked him and said, “Watch!” and a wave went across my entire belly from one side to the other. He laughed and said, “Whoa!! She’s totally in there doing the wave!! Hell yes!” Leave it to him to compare her movements to a sports fan activity.

Sleep: Some mornings when J gets up for work at 4:30am, I cannot for the life of me get back to sleep after he leaves for work. This drives me absolutely insane. I lay in bed, trying so hard to get back to sleep…and nothing. So then I finally give in and play on my phone or watch some TV. Other mornings? I barely even wake up when he comes to my side of the bed to give me a good bye kiss. Those are the mornings I just love, although I wake up feeling like I just can’t get enough sleep, no matter what. The bigger I get the harder it is to get comfortable in bed, but on the flip side to that, for some reason I barely even move throughout the night. Normally I’m all over the bed, tossing and turning throughout the night, but now I pretty much stay in one position for most of the night, which some nights wreaks havoc on my back and I wake up completely stiff.

What I miss: I honestly don’t miss a whole lot. The only thing I really miss is not having her in my ribs all of the time. I’d be a whole lot more comfortable sitting at my desk all day if she’d just move down a touch. Pushing her down doesn’t help either, she just wiggles her way right back up.

Cravings: The cravings have pretty much stopped. For awhile there I made so many batches of those red velvet cheesecake brownies, that I think I probably got burnt out on them. I know for sure J’s sick of them. 🙂 I do have to make myself eat breakfast though, even if I’m not hungry. Last week there were 2 days where I didn’t eat breakfast and then by the time I ate lunch, it came right back up again. Vomitting at 33 weeks? Not so fun. Although I’m pretty much an expert puker now.

Symptoms: So that stabbing, searing pain I had in my ribs? Yea, it’s still there. Every day, all day long. Everyone kept saying, “Oh it’s probably round ligament pains.” or “It’s most likely her feet up there in your ribs.” Nope. It’s most definitely her butt.  At the last ultrasound she was head down, butt up under my right ribs (where the pain has been consistently for the last 3 or 4 months), and feet near my left ribs. I had a feeling the pain wasn’t her feet because it wasn’t a jabbing or kicking sensation, it’s just a consistent pain all day long. It’s the worst when I’m sitting and it goes away if I can lay down, which obviously isn’t an option at work.

What I’m looking forward to: I honestly can’t believe we only have 6 weeks left and then she’ll be here (give or take a few days, depending on if she comes early or late). I have moments when I get so antsy and I just want to see her little face, see what/who she’s going to look like, and hold her already. Then I have moments where I turn to J and say, “Can you just tell the Dr. to knock me out, take her out, and then wake me back up when it’s over?” I’m definitely anxious about giving birth…but who wouldn’t be?!

November 6, 2012 - 5:11 am

Kristen - Love the belly!!!

27 weeks – horizontal stripes, restless nights, and subliminal marketing

I the results back from my 24 week glucose and iron tests a week or two ago and everything looks great, my iron levels are fine, my thyroid is still cooperating, and I don’t have gestational diabetes. All great things to hear.

Since it’s been 3 weeks since my last post, here’s an updated belly photo:

How Far Along: 27 weeks

Size of baby: 14 1/2 inches, 2 lbs, the weight of a cauliflower

Total Weight Gain: 15  lbs

Maternity Clothes: I ordered a few more new shirts and dresses for our maternity shoot. The dresses I ordered before didn’t work out, except for the really cute coral one. I’m in love with one of my new shirts though (the one pictured above) this is the only time in my life I can get away with horizontal stripes, so I’m owning it!! 🙂

Gender:  We’re still going with a girl, until the Dr. tells us otherwise. Our 28 week repeat gender ultrasound is tomorrow, so…we’ll see.

Movement: She’s not as active and wiggly as she used to be, I’m guessing it’s because she’s getting bigger and has less room to move around in there. She still moves whenever I eat, when there’s music playing, or when the dogs bark though. Her movements have changed a bit too, now that she’s bigger. One of my pregnancy apps on my phone said the new “spasms” are actually her having the hiccups, which always makes me smile when I feel them. Last night when we were laying on the couch, J was able to feel her moving/kicking by simply resting his hand on my belly. Before, I’d have to actually press his hand into my belly pretty hard for him to feel her.

Sleep: So that whole sleeping through the night thing? Not happening anymore. J gets up for work around 4am or so every day and until recently I never really had a problem going right back to sleep. Now, I wake up at different hours of the night some nights and it drives me crazy. There have been some mornings when J leaves for work around 4:30 or 5:00 and I sit there lying in bed, desperately trying to get back to sleep. It’s almost as if I’m better off sleeping in 5-6 hour increments, even on weekends when we end up lounging around and napping here and there.

What I miss: Okay, so I know I’ve said it a thousand times over, but I can’t wait to be able to lay on my belly again. There are times when I’m on the couch or in bed and just can’t quite get comfy and the only thing I feel like will fix it is laying on my belly, but of course I can’t. I even tried it the other day and it’s definitely a no-go. I know you’re not really supposed to, but I lay on back sometimes just to get more comfortable, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Everything I’ve read says it’s not a big deal to lie on your back, so long as it’s not for a long period of time.

Cravings: Really none that I can think of, it’s a strange thing to not love the same candies and sweets that I did before being pregnant. Before I got pregnant if there was a bag of peanut butter M&M’s in our house, it was only a matter of days (who am I kidding, more like hours) before I devoured it, but now I’ve had the same bag on top of the fridge for weeks, probably months and I’m not really all that interested in it. My first trimester was really strange, not wanting sweets at all. I will tell you that commercials are the devil for a pregnant girl. If I see a Subway or Arby’s or Domino’s commercial, I’m instantly like, “Ooooo, Subway sounds good.”

Symptoms: I haven’t thrown up since that last post 3 weeks ago (knock on wood)!! So that’s definitely a plus. The last two days I’ve had that pain in my ribs again and I’m telling you it’s enough to drive a girl insane. All I want to do is lie down, to relieve the pain and pressure. I’m not quite sure if it’s her head, her butt, or round ligament pains, like my friend Andra suggested, but it’s so annoying and uncomfortable. When I try to push down on her to get it to stop, I can feel her wiggling and moving around at the bottom of my belly. The only thing that seems to work is lying down really, standing up helps sometimes, but only temporarily.

What I’m looking forward to: Obviously our repeat gender ultrasound tomorrow, duh!! Also, 11 weeks from tomorrow will be my last day at work!!! My maternity leave will start Monday, December 10th and I’m not going back to work until Monday, March 11th, woohoo!! Can you tell I’m just a little bit excited? Of course that’s all if nothing changes and she doesn’t decide to show up early. Which I honestly wouldn’t mind if she came a little early, better than late, I’d rather not be in the hospital on Christmas. I have to admit I got slightly excited when the Dr. mentioned the idea of a C section (at my 20 week ultrasound the placenta was just a hair low, she said it will more than likely move up as my uterus does/did, but that we’ll keep an eye on it and if it stays low, we may have to consider a C section). It’s not that I’m excited about actually having a C section, but how cool would it be to pick your due date? Hello, 12/12/12?! I think that’d be a pretty awesome birthday.

24 weeks – my giant belly, strawberry daiquiris, and red velvet cheesecake brownies

Well, we didn’t get to sneak another peek of the peanut at our 24 week appointment this week. The midwife was too busy with appointments and the Dr. across the hall was in using the ultrasound machine. We will get to take another look at our next appointment though, at 28 weeks.

Since I’ve been feeling so huge lately, I snapped a few more photos of my growing belly, just for you guys. 🙂

How Far Along: 24 weeks

Size of baby: 12 1/2 inches, 1.25 lbs, the length of an ear of corn (It grew 4 ounces in a week?! why does that seem like a lot to me?)

Total Weight Gain: I didn’t weigh myself this week, but I’m guessing it’s quite a bit because I suddenly feel HUGE.

Maternity Clothes: I just ordered some more work tops and even a bunch of super fun dresses and tops for our upcoming maternity shoot, including this super cute dress from SierraLane. Hopefully some of them fit and will work.

Gender:  Just 4 more weeks until our repeat gender ultrasound, we’ll see if the Dr says she’s more than 85% sure it’s a girl this time.

Movement: She’s still moving like crazy.You can see her from the outside really easily now and I actually took video of it the other night. 🙂

Sleep: I’m still sleeping through the night just fine, I just never feel like I get enough sleep, no matter how long I sleep.

What I miss: I had the strangest craving for a strawberry daiquiri the other day and that’s not even something I normally order or drink! I don’t miss much, but man when I’m feeling uncomfortable in bed, I’d give ANYTHING to be able to lay on my belly again.

Cravings: In the past few weeks I’ve made endless batches of these red velvet cheesecake brownies that I found on Pinterest and made for our super bowl party earlier this year. Seriously, red velvet and cheesecake, need I say more??

Symptoms: I’ve been having this insane, intense pain that’s driving me crazy. It’s in my ribs and through to my back. It literally feels like I’m being skewered with a hot poker from my right upper ribs straight through my back and out the other side. I asked the midwife if it could be gallbladder issues (a friend of mine said she had similar pain when she had her gallbladder problems) and the midwife said it could be, but it also could be from my uterus moving up and everything stretching, there’s really no way to tell. I’ve noticed that it’s the worst when I’m sitting at my desk at work (which of course is for 8 hours a day) and it gets better when I’m at home relaxing or lying down. I do get some relief when I stand up, so I’ve been trying to get up and move around more regularly at work, but it’s hard when 99% of what I do is done sitting at my desk.

I also had another incident where I threw up again the other night. It’s been so long since I threw up, I honestly thought I was done with it all. I made this super yummy dinner for J and I, I took two bites and felt full, which is pretty common for me now. At breakfast and lunch I eat just fine, but come dinner time I eat a bite or two and I feel so full I can’t eat any more. A few minutes later I got up and J asked where I was going, I had to make a mad dash to the bathroom and luckily I made it in time.

What I’m looking forward to: I’m ready for our 28 week ultrasound already, hopefully she can give us a 100% answer on the gender.I’m also really looking forward to opening weekend of duck season tomorrow, it should be a blast (pun intended).