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    welcome!!! check back often to see some of the cutest kids & families, hottest engaged couples, fabulous seniors, or highlights of what goes on around here at my house! for those of you who don't know me, I am ambyr, and it's great to meet you. I'm married to my hot husband and we have 4.5 awesome kids together! life is fabulous. If you are a fan or a frequent blog stalker, welcome back :) feel free to contact me anytime by using the contact form above.

    UPDATE: yes I've been out of the business for a while having more babies! life is good, but haven't had much time to jump back into photography for while. baby #5 is due the first of feb. 2015 so who knows when I will get back into the groove of things.... for now I am enjoying life with my family. thanks for all those who still love my work and are waiting patiently for my return!!

I had my baby in the closet…. the birth story of #5

I wanted to journal this birth story, with all the details that I can remember before I forget. of course I won’t forget the big stuff that happened that day… and I’m thinking everyone would like to know how it all came about. well here to goes… and I am NOT a writer:)

thursday jan. 8

mark goes back to work today. he hasn’t been at work since before christmas. he had vacation days and then on friday jan. 2nd, he goes to the doctor to get checked out for a rash he had had all week that was keeping him up at night. he comes home with the diagnosis of a sever sinus infection and scabies. yes. you read that right. we have no clue how he got this but nonetheless, they give him some pills to take and he has to stay home for a few days because it’s highly contagious. I was doing loads of laundry every day and mark had to sleep on the couch. ha, man it was insane. scabies? really? so thursday Jan. 8th was his FIRST day back at work.

I get up that morning at 6:45am as usual and hit the snooze button 3 times, as usual. I finally get out of bed, go upstairs and wake the big kids up. we get ready, have breakfast, cohen is crying at my feet from having bronchitis all week and he wants me to hold him all day, which I try my best to do. and off to school we go. cohen and I drop them off and wave goodbye. ( we always wave goodbye with our hand in the ‘i love you’ sign language form.)

right after I dropped the kids off, Im at a stop sign and feel this contraction that made me stop and hold my breath for a few seconds. maybe I had to go to the bathroom? or that was probably a contraction.  I seriously thought nothing of it.

I come back home and since this is the first day mark is gone I get to cleaning the house…the last couple weeks we have been putting more baseboards down and door trim upstairs, painting, moving avery into luke and dylan’s room, and cohen into avery’s room. bought a set of bunkbeds for avery, and a cheap crib off amazon for cohen. so we had been going non stop. and I was not letting up. I was ready to get everything done. SO, my point, the house has been a disaster and it was time to get clean and organized again. so after an hour or so I call mark just to say hello, and tell him, NOT TO WORRY, but I’d been having some contractions here and there. nothing big, but just be sure to be by your phone. I am 35 weeks and 5 days.

I go on about my day cleaning and picking up cohen (18 months) and carrying him around since he’s been sick with bronchitis and needs extra attention. and every time I pick him up I start hurting but think nothing of it. it didn’t last long, it was just like a 2 second contraction from cohen’s weight on my belly is what I kept telling myself. I’m tired and worn out from all the projects we’ve been doing so I put cohen down for a nap and then take a nap myself. this was around 10:45 am.

10:37 I text my doctor/midwife right before I shut my eyes…

I wake up a couple hours later, get some lunch for cohen and I. I have a voicemail from the HOA guy and a couple of neigbors telling me that my water sprinkler has busted and it’s a waterfall in my front yard. it’s also 33 degrees outside. so I have a nice patch of ice on my driveway. I remember thinking how interesting that was since we haven’t turned on our sprinklers in months.

1:33 pm. I call mark to say hello again. of course every time I call, you can hear the worry in his voice since I told him that morning NOT TO WORRY BUT IM HAVING SOME TINY CONTRACTIONS. haha. he asks me how I’m feeling and I tell him I’m fine, no more contractions and we just talk about the day and if he will be able to get home before I take avery to tumbling class. just a normal convo.

2:11pm. I call my mom. I haven’t talked to her in what seems like forever, since we have SCABIES over here at the house I’ve been busy cleaning and finishing projects. “yes mom, I’m still alive.” we chat and I tell her about the pain I was having that morning and every time I picked up cohen. we talk about life and baby and everything in between. a family birthday party for me and my brother that saturday. yes I’ll be there I can’t wait!
she tells me about how this family that she knows (the mom) just had her 4th child at home and she died. the baby was rushed to the hospital and they don’t know if she’ll be ok. we just kept saying how heartbreaking that is. so so so sad. it’s just terrible. my phone kept acting up so we got cut off a couple times and so I just texted her back and said I’ll have to call you later. I sure love talking to my mom:)

2:54 the kids walk in from school. we do our routine… make lunches, do some chores, homework, etc… I lay cohen down for his second nap. I worked on some words with dylan for his spelling bee. I jump in the shower around 3:45 because I have to leave to take avery to tumbling class at 4:30. I get all ready to go and mark pulls in from work about 4:45. we kiss, say goodbye and out the door avery and i go.

4:50 I am driving to tumbling class and I HAVE  GOT to get more chalk paint!! and wax for cohen’s crib! but they close at 6! and it’s 30 minutes away and I just need to run in and grab it REAL QUICK! avery’s class is from 5-6. so I made a bad judgement call and drove to get the paint, (REAL QUICK!) so we made it to class, just a little late… like 30 minutes. (mark I totally forgot to tell you that! haha)

6:00 pm.  tumbling class is over. it’s dark and freezing but I have the urge to go get a car wash and vacuum out my car that was ridiculously dirty. I was slow waddling around but sure got that car looking good.

6:45pm. we get home and it’s time to get the kids ready for bed at 7. I go upstairs where mark and the kids are and say hello. “hey mark, does it look like I’ve dropped?” I say. “turn to the side, he says. um, no.” I then said,” it sure looks like it. hmmm, so weird.”

this is when I start really feeling the contractions. I tell mark and he tells me to lie down on the bed. I tell him I can’t because I need to clean up some stuff and wax the crib. but after about 20 minutes I listen to my body ( and husband) and feel the need to slow down a bit. so I stop what I’m doing and just lie on the bed with cohen.  mark puts the big kids to bed and tell them I can’t come up because I’m having contractions and I need to rest. he comes down and sits besides me as I’m holding my breath through a couple contractions. I’m still chatting and holding cohen while watching baby einstein in between contractions. so I’m not in a tremendous amount of pain. but they’re coming every 8-10 minutes and lasting 15 seconds or so.

7:48pm I text my doctor/midwife and tell her about the contractions and all that. she tell me this

I get in the bath since I was starting to feel lots of pain. while drinking out of my water jug as much as I can. it felt so good to sit in a warm bath. I was looking at baby girl in my belly moving around like crazy. thinking I can’t wait to see what she looks like. while I was in the bath, I honestly wasn’t feeling contractions that much. weird. I get out of the bath, put on my robe and go lie down on the bed. contractions are coming. closer and closer together.

8:38 we decide that it’s time to go to the hospital. (40 minutes away)

mark calls HIS sister, sarah (martin) on accident, he meant to call MY SIL sarah (spitzer) so I end up talking to sarah (martin) for a couple minutes, just telling her the latest…. and I TOTALLY had a contraction while I was talking to her, and then telling her I’m such a baby! I can’t handle pain at all! It hurts but I’m bearing it, and I’m not screaming, so that’s good.

mark calls my SIL (sarah spitzer) to come stay with the kids while we go. mark is talking to her on my phone since he didn’t have her new number on his phone. I’m sitting on the bed on my knees hunched over a pillow near the edge of the bed. this is how I’ve been ‘sitting’ on the bed the whole pregnancy. it’s the most comfortable I can get with a big belly. the contractions started coming every 3-5 minutes. mark is still talking to sarah and working out the details.

my water breaks.

the feeling of my water breaking is not new to me. my water broke with dylan (2006) and avery (2008) and we drove to the hospital with PLENTY of time and had those babies hours later. so after my water breaks I’m in no panic. I know we have plenty of time. the only thing I hate is that you can’t put on any pants because you’re constantly dripping of fluid! I remember going to the hospital in a green and white stripped towel with dylan. i mean really, can they invent like a ginormous diaper at least so i don’t get it all over the car?

mark was still on the phone with sarah when he heard the huge balloon pop and water hitting the floor. It was seriously so loud and the release of the pressure I felt was so incredibly strong. I’m guessing because it was the way I was sitting on the bed. mark tells sarah and hangs up the phone. immediately after my water breaks I felt a contraction that was pretty fierce.

have I mentioned that cohen my 18 month old is just sitting on the bed watching all of this happen?

I get off the bed and look at the floor to find a towel. I remember not thinking very clearly… it seemed unreal because this was TOO EARLY to happen. my babies all come at 38 weeks. I ask mark about sarah and if she’s coming, he said she’s on her way. WITHIN 30 SECONDS, I walk back to my closet, hang up my robe and grab onto my dresser because I feel the urge to push. I’m telling mark “it’s coming, it’s coming! mark says don’t push! ( meanwhile he is trying to get me to lie down on the floor, as in holding my shoulders and if it came down to it, knocking my legs out from under me to get me to the floor!) he was ready to deliver this baby himself. he knew in my voice that this was happening and I wasn’t moving.  I push super hard. the feeling of my baby girl coming out and no epidural was pretty amazing. it hurt for a few seconds and then immediately I was feeling fine.

she falls to the floor. onto the carpet and a towel that I had thrown down seconds earlier. I was standing up with my legs bent a little. and the next 10 minutes went like this

mark: in this sweet soft voice says, “oh my gosh.” I’ll never forget that.

THE UMBILICAL CORD SNAPS as she landed on the floor. he grabs her immediately, turns her over and starts patting her back and sticks his fingers in her mouth to clean out the mucus to get her to start breathing. she cries a little bit. mark grabs a clean towel and wraps her up tight.

he says to me (as I’m standing there in shock) I’m gonna get the bulb and clean out her nose, where is it? I say, upstairs on the changing table. he says ok, call 911

I say ok, and I go to look for my phone as blood drips from me and the umbilical cord is hanging down. It was like a hose of blood being splashed all over the closet to the bathroom to the bedroom. I remember saying, “where is my phone?” because mark had just been on the phone with sarah using MY phone. I finally see it hidden behind a pillow. I call 911.

911 call…  I actually have the recording! but they cut off the last part, the part I really wanted:(

she asks me my address like a million times. I sound a little out of breath and after all my info is given to her, she just starts asking how I’m doing, and what’s the babies name? at this point I’m like, OK, time to go since the ambulance is almost here and she’s asking random questions. so I said, hey I’d like to call my parents… is that ok? she said oh! sure, go ahead.

I hang up on the operator and call my mom. there’s no answer but after a few rings I hear mark talking to my dad in the other room. so I hang up. I call my SIL sarah martin.( she is supposed to be at the hospital taking birth photos so she was wanting to know what the deal was)

her daughter abby answers immediately and says HEY AMBYR! HANG ON MY MOM IS RIGHT HERE!

sarah: hey what’s going on.

me: I just had the baby.

sarah: YOU WHAT?

me: ya, right here in my closet.

sarah OMG! do you want me to come over or what do I do?

me: i don’t know but I have to go because the ambulance is here.


mark had called my parents in the meantime to let them know what had happened

mark: hey just wanted to let you guys know we had the baby.

my dad: you WHAT?

my mom (in the background) WHAT?

my dad: you’re kidding

mark: no, I’m not. she’s here. we had her at home

my dad: YOU WHAT?

my mom (in the background) CHUCK! what’s going on?

mark: no really.

my dad: you’re kidding


my dad turns to my mom: KAREN! they already had the baby at home! I can hear her crying

my mom: they had the baby at home?! WHAT?!

mark: everything is fine. she’s fine. ambyr is fine. we are just waiting on the ambulance.

my dad:  where are you going?!

mark: I don’t know yet, but will let you know when we find out.

my mom: is ambyr ok? is she bleeding? is it a lot?

mark: um, I don’t know I guess it’s a normal amount

***** this is the point where my mom starts to really get scared because all she could think was the story of the mom that dies giving birth to her 4th child AT HOME that JUST HAPPENED days before. but at this point she knows nothing of how I’m doing. my poor sweet parents! they said they were breaking the speed limit all over the place trying to get to the hospital as fast as possible so they could see if I was ok. *****


ok, so I’m still standing in my closet and I hear the paramedics talking to mark at the door. I then realize I’m straight naked. I must have forgotten. so yes I was walking around naked while talking to 911 and cohen just staring at me the whole time. not saying a word.

I quickly grab a grey tank top. it’s maternity so it’s longer and covered me a little bit because let’s be honest, I couldn’t put any pants on with that umbilical cord still hanging out of me!!! they wheel the gurney back to my room and it was so funny to see all their faces when they saw the floor and closet. (cohen looks right at me and starts to cry…. stranger danger) I get on the gurney and they cover me up. they hand me the baby and tell me to get skin to skin with her. they also wrapped her up in a heat blanket. this was the first time I was holding her. she was beautiful and totally had my nose.  they told me to keep shaking her so she could cry and get her lungs cleared up. oh ya, and these hot firemen show up and well…..  here i am…. looking sooooo fabulous.

they wheel me out of the house and into the ambulance. WOW. I remember thinking. this is nuts. I’ve never been in an ambulance before! mark jumps in and gives me a kiss goodbye. he stays back at the house because sarah (spitzer) hadn’t made it there yet to watch the kids.  I mean, this DID just all happen so FAST!

ok so I am in the ambulance for I swear atleast 20 minutes OUTSIDE MY HOUSE. I was wondering the entire time why we were’t headed to the hospital already.  the paramedic informs me that he hasn’t “delivered a baby in 17 years.’ YA! it sure looks like it! I thought to myself as he rummages around opening packets, talking to the driver, telling me to keep shaking her etc… he was totally not prepared. OH and my contractions are starting again to deliver the placenta. awesome. in the ambulance.  we eventually start moving and boy am I glad.

the paramedic can’t stop moving around looking for stuff and checking baby and talking to the hospital telling them we are on the way and to be ready outside.  he asks if I’m ok and I said.. well, these contractions are killing me so can we hurry and deliver this placenta? one more contraction and it comes out. WHEW what a wonderful feeling.  NO MORE CONTRACTIONS EVER!!!

we FINALLY get to the hospital. this is NOT the hospital I was supposed to deliver at, but hey, since I had already delivered in my closet we just drove to the nearest one:)

riding in that gurney the whole time was so weird. I mean I’d seen it a million times on Grey’s Anatomy so I figured there would be about 3 people waiting for me at the hospital to take me inside from the ambulance. NOPE. nobody there. even the paramedic was wondering why nobody was there to help wheel me inside. so they get me through the doors and pass me off to a male nurse and he takes me in the elevator and up to labor and delivery.

my parents had actually beaten us to the hospital. so they had gone in and asked for me. they explained the situation to the ER desk and said no, I don’t think she’s here yet but she would be in labor and delivery.

I get to my room and I have 2 sweet nurses immediately wiping the blood off of my legs and feet. which I should have taken a picture of! man that was a lot of crusty blood.

then MY PARENTS walk in and my sweet adorable mother has tears in her eyes. finally seeing me and that I was ok was a huge relief since they hadn’t been updated on my situation. she comes and gives me a big hug and I am so thankful that I have the most WONDERFUL parents who care so much about me and my family.  she told me what they had heard and how everything happened on their end, and then was asking me how everything went down in my closet:) we hugged some more and I could see my dad in the distance looking at baby sydney under the warmer while the nurses were checking her out.

my brother quentin shows up next, then sarah martin, and not too long after…. my amazing husband.  he comes over and gives me a kiss and a hug and asks me if everything is ok. mark’s parents come in after that. everyone in the room of course was laughing and joking about how mark practically delivered our baby and knew what to do to get her to start crying and all of the details in between. the birth story must had been told 10 times. It was so crazy going over it in my head. I JUST had my baby in the CLOSET? my CLOSET? what in the world. how did that happen so fast?

and then someone said something about scabies….. and everything hit the fan. long story short, every person that entered my room had to get all the ‘gear’ on, as to not contract scabies. oh boy was it funny. the nurses weren’t coming in near as often as they probably should have just so they wouldn’t have to get dressed. that was great, but the DOWNSIDE… they couldn’t keep my baby in the nursery AT ALL. so I stayed up watching tv ALL NIGHT LONG while sydney slept my arms. I usually ask the nurses to take my babies the first night so I can get some sleep so that was HARD. I WAS EXHAUSTED. and I JUST WANTED TO GO HOME. my BFF’s came the next day and that was great to laugh and talk with them. they even got dressed up in all the gear….. minus some pieces.:)



   and that’s it. the whole story.


after I left in the ambulance, mark went and put cohen down to bed and then took pictures of the crime scene. I’m so glad he did.

          the bedroom floor outside of the bathroom. it’s hard to see but blood was everywhere!

I TOTALLY remember thinking I did NOT want to get blood on our new rug.

the closet…


every time I think about this day, I feel so incredibly blessed. after talking with the doctors and nurses throughout my stay at the hospital, it was very clear to me that my heavenly father was watching over mark and I and sydney. there were so many things that could have gone wrong having her at home. mark being so calm was another blessing…. he knew what to do right away. he says he was guided by an unseen force that spoke directly to his mind:) I truly have a testimony of eternal families. how grateful I am to have these 5 little spirits that God has entrusted mark and I to take care of.  we just LOVE and ADORE them so so so much. YES, it’s the HARDEST job, hands down. but so much more rewarding than anything else. i love my husband so much. it’s been 12 years this month that we’ve been married and what a journey it is. he’s an amazing father and a wonderful husband who takes care of me and our kids. most importantly he’s good looking and makes me laugh! thank you to my family and friends who surround mark and I and who love us unconditionally. this is quite the story to be told over and over again through the years… and yes, the closet carpet has been replaced:)

HUGE thanks to sarah spitzer for cleaning up THE DISASTER of a bloody mess everywhere and bleaching my bathroom as well. she got the blood out of my NEW SHOES! and to sarah martin for taking pictures at the hospital for me… even though we had planned to do it BEFORE the birth.











I seriously cried. The part where she is birthed and mark is caring for her made me smile cry! Such an incredible story and so incredibly blessed! And those sarah’s! Way to rally girls!

hailee {senior 2015}

this.girl. can’t believe she’s a senior now.  what a beautiful young woman she has turned out to be! it was such a great feeling to get back behind the camera for this shoot… hoping to jump back on the wagon a little bit after I get the hang of having my 5th child. good luck hailee!! you are going to do GREAT things in life! so proud of you.


Kim Labrum

Oh Ambyr!!! I am so in love with these! Your talent AMAZES me! I can’t thank you enough for doing these for us, even with all you have going on in your life. You captured Hailee perfectly!!

davis {engagements}

I’m not totally back in the swing of things… just a couple sessions here and there… a lot has changed since I last posted! airplanes rock. what a cool place to shoot. these two were ADORABLE and so IN LOVE. I remember those days… HAHA! just kidding.. my hubby and I still say we love each other all the time:)  congrats you two! here’s a few pics for you to take a sneak peek at:)



Oh my goodness Ambyr!!! I’ve missed seeing your unbelievably amazing photography. You truly have the gift and these pictures are outstanding. What a fun idea!!!!


good thing I can’t spell my name right… ha, ha!! Sorry about that.

a new year, a new decision

happy new year?!!! (yes it’s February!) it’s been a while since I blogged and I just wanted to share some pictures that didn’t get blogged in november & december. so it’s one huge picture post!

on another note………. I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts about what I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve read blogs of which mirrored my life, being a mom, having a photography business, and trying to balance life.
the past couple months I have been trying to get my house organized, especially my office and all of my family pictures. and I would find myself so happy and so grateful that I have those pictures of my kids when they were little. I haven’t really captured my kids like I used to the last couple years. I’ve lost my balance.
with that being said, I also am so blessed in my life. I have so many good things. I want to do everything AND be so good at it.
but the key to life is balancing, and I totally stink at this part. something has to give.
I need to put photography on hold….for a little while at least.
I want to be able to take tons of pics of my kids like I used to… and blog about them…so I can look back with no regret knowing that I chose to focus on the best little creatures in my life.
I want to catch up on my kids’ photo books and videos and projects that I have started but never finished. I haven’t replaced any pictures in my house since 2009. my kids’ rooms still have bare walls!!

the most important thing in my life is my family. I love them all to pieces. and they are growing up faster than I ever even imagined. I don’t want to look back some day and be sad that I chose the good things instead of the best things.
but they will not always be clinging to me…… and that’s all I want right now. with that comes lots of bad days, good days, frustrating days, and amazingly wonderful days. cleaning house every day, doing laundry, stepping on random toys in the hallway, making lunches, wiping noses, cleaning throw up, doing homework. I want it all because it means I’m a mother. and I love being a mother.

I’ve been reading alot of good talks, quotes, blogs and watching these videos lately. I love seeing what other people are doing in their lives and how they balance life, church, work, family, school, friends, and motherhood. It’s inspiring.

I want to do better at balancing.  especially with this new year, I’m ready to change lots of things and be better at many more things. I feel like I’m off to a good start. I need to CHOOSE what I can really handle right now and do it really well. Then I can take on the rest later.

my kids need me, my husband need me, and I need them.
the sessions that are already booked for this year will still remain. I’ll always have a passion for photography. and I can always pick it back up when I’m ready:) and knowing me, I’m sure this “break” won’t be long since I’ll be itching to get back behind the camera:)



Good call, friend. My “theme” for the year is also balance. I’m not sure if I am doing any better, but it is out there as a goal. I’m going to check out those videos…thanks for the link.


Good for you Ambyr, I admire your determination. Your post has inspired me to find more balance in my life. You are so talented at photography but you are an even better Mom! Enjoy those adorable kids of yours. :) We miss you guys!


Great post! Who are those cute kids at the very top!? ;) Holy cow, am so in love with those shots of your kids (especially the first one), Avery is so lucky to have 2 big brothers! Love her little jeggings! And the Martin family has to be the most photogenic family ever! They are so gorgeous! Great pictures, great thoughts, can’t wait to see more of your kids and spend more time with you at the pool this summer!


I totally support you, my friend! Mormon women like to talk about and aspire to “Balance” but, IMHO, I think “Balance” is unattainable. “Priorities” is more like it. Put the important things first and let the fluffy stuff fill in the cracks. Not that I’m perfect at it, but thought I would share my thoughts. You are an admirable woman! I look forward to lots of cute pics of your darling kiddos!

trista + trey {married}

what an amazing wedding. another wonderful time in mexico and everything was perfect. trista and trey were married on 11.11.11. it was magical. they are so darling together and had a definite spark between them. I love capturing the “first look” moments and highly recommend any couple that’s getting married to do so. It’s so intimate and just beautiful to capture those few minutes of them together before the ceremony. all of the family and close friends were there. the weather was perfect and we all danced the night away watching the sunset. I can’t thank you guys enough for letting me come and take apart of this chapter in your life. It was so much fun:) there are many more pictures that I could have posted, but here are just a few. congrats you guys!!!


Oh Ambyr, how heavenly! Fabulous pictures like always. I’m glad everything went so great!!

So when are you in Florida next?(sometimes you travel this way) I’m having my first baby due in February. I could sure use some amazing ambyr porter photography in my life. Let me know next time you head this way and are willing to take some shots! Not only will I pay you, I can offer you free room and board in Orlando while you’re here :)
Andi is going to come for a week after baby- just her no kids to help- I’m so excited!!
Keep the eye candy coming! Hope all is wonderful!


BEAUTIFUL!! This makes me want to get married again on a beach!
And I love everytime I come onto your site I get to see that cute picture of Slade with his huge eyes!


So so so gorgeous, as always. My favorite is the kissing forehead one. So sweet!


Someday I’m going to have you take pictures of me and Brent on the beach (you know, when we finally all go on vacation together!) ;) love the feet!


Destination weddings are definitely your thing…these are awesome!!! Love them all!! Love a good bride and groom, but I must say my favorite picture is the bride and her mom looking at each other..SO sweet!


So SO SO gorgeous! You make me want to re-do my wedding on a beach and have you photograph! :)

Very modern, clean and love the colors on the beach! Great job. I truly think this is were you shine! Love the forehead kiss, the fan shot and the bouquet. Come meet Bradley and I in Hawaii this November and we can swap couples photo shoots ;)

Such beautiful pictures! I want to fly you here to California and keep you in my closet so that I can have fabulous pictures all the time! I love the pics of the couple kissing on the beach.

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