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Advance Workshop 2015


The only Advance Workshop of 2015 will be held on Saturday, March 14. We are opening 12 spots. Some are pre-filled so there are a select number left and we expect them to go fast.

If you’ve been on the waiting  list in past years, now’s your chance to hop aboard!

Today, spots are 10% off for Cyber Monday!



The workshop is held at Trisha’s studio in Collinsville, Oklahoma. Attendees fly in from all over the US and we have accommodations in the area that we can recommend to you. Many attendees also choose to share hotel rooms and rental cars.

Friends are always made : )

>> Past ADVANCE posts <<



Attendees get boatloads of hands-on experience as well as seeing exactly how Trisha & I run our businesses — from lighting, posing, and shooting, to editing, marketing, pulling off $1,000+ sales, and handling all the inner workings of running a successful business.






There are several live model sessions: 2-3 newborns, 1 family, and 2-3 senior girls. Your portfolio will be given a complete makeover!





Each attendee also leaves with lots of insane industry swag. THE BEST!






The cost is $1400.

$400 is due to reserve your spot. Click the button below to get your seat.

We cannot wait to hug your necks and spend an action-packed day with you!


Madison Vining

Owner at Madison Vining Photography
Hi, I’m Madison Vining.
Photographers: to receive free tips, tutorials, videos and exciting news, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

Latest posts by Madison Vining (see all)

So Good.

Last Christmas we had 2 babies… this Christmas we will have 4! The hardest, most faith-shaping, beautiful year of our lives is almost over. Even in the midst of this week’s deep, unrelenting sadness, I can still see that God is so good.


It’s Always Worth It

Two days ago Harbor’s birth mom was at our house. She held the little girl that we both love so much, and she said “I couldn’t have chosen you a better mommy.”

We didn’t know that this would be the last time we would see her… the last time Harbor would ever see her. Those words will be a treasure to my soul forever.

Today, Harbor’s birth mom passed away.

She was born into a cycle of pain, poverty, and addiction. She hardly had a chance at a healthy life, but she somehow saw a way out for Harbor and chose it. I will spend the rest of my daughter’s life appreciating the gift we were given and loving her with all I have.

Let all of us, myself especially, take the lesson away that you never know who’s life you are being placed in so that you can shine light. And don’t be afraid to venture into darkness so that you can shine it. It’s always worth it. You don’t know how badly someone needs you or what’s at stake.

Choose love. It is always, always worth it.



Elaine Welte - November 17, 2014 - 1:56 am

Oh my Gosh Madison! I am so sorry on her passing. I am so thankful that Harbor has a family and that she is with you all! I’m so thankful for the love that you have for her, may she know your love and know the love her birth mother had for her.

Brandi Sisson - November 17, 2014 - 1:59 am

Bless you and her!

Amanda Henshaw Hudson - November 17, 2014 - 2:03 am

Oh Madison Vining, we are sending prayers and love to your family. I am so sorry to hear about her passing. I am thankful that Harbor’s birth mom chose you and Tyler.

Ashley Stentz - November 17, 2014 - 2:38 am

Thinking of you all. So tragic to lose a life so young. I know that you, Ty, Cade, Story and Nolan will love Harbor with all your heart, soul and faith and raise her well until the day she meets her mom again. Love to you all.

Nikole Herrington - November 17, 2014 - 2:39 am

Mads I’m so sorry… I’m in tears for your family. My dads up their giving her big hugs!!! ❤️❤️❤️

Alyssa Edlund - November 17, 2014 - 2:49 am

This was very touching. Thank you for this.

Amanda Brunngraeber - November 17, 2014 - 3:23 am

Prayers for all of you.

Mary Hagar Starnes - November 17, 2014 - 3:33 am

I am so sorry. I tucked my 8 year old in tonight who shares a bio mom with the same issues as Harbors mom. Although they know the best thing is for their child to have a better life, the pain and loss of not being able to be their mother is unbearable and suffocating and probably contributed to her deepened sadness. My sister lives with this deep pain but knows what she did was best. Giving up your baby is the most unselfish thing you can do and so so hard. My heart and prayers go out to Harbor, your family, and this mother who did the right thing by saving Harbor and providing for her a better path but continued to struggle. Drug addiction is the worst curse on people and families. Im so sorry. Sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing ever to do.. and it may just have broke her soul. But that is all part of God’s plan and knows what we all can handle and cant handle. god bless you Madison and baby Harbor and rest in forever peace her first momma.

Dana Lee - November 17, 2014 - 3:47 am

Thinking of you and sending so much love your way.

Hannah Mauck - November 17, 2014 - 4:58 am

This is beautiful!! Rest in peace sweet girl, you will be greatly missed!!!

Dawn Jeffries Bell - November 17, 2014 - 5:23 am

So, so sorry. My heart aches for you as my eyes fill with tears. Love and prayers for all of you.

Tracy Taylor - November 17, 2014 - 2:48 pm

This was beautiful. Thinking of you all.

Michelle Guilmet-Buck - November 17, 2014 - 4:14 pm

Oh my goodness, Madison. I’m so sorry for Harbor’s & your family’s loss! All the best to you & yours. Wrap that baby in love. <3

Rose Lawson - November 17, 2014 - 5:46 pm

This is beautiful in so many ways. May love shine warmly forever. God bless

Susan Delgado - November 20, 2014 - 4:39 pm

my birth mom was addicted to drugs and still is I was born weighing 1 pound at 5 months during her pregnancy i Was born at 27 weeks my older sister ended up living with my grandmother my other older sister myself and my two little brothers were taken into DCF my mom and dad who raised us they were in their fifties with two older kids in college and they decided to take four children all under the age of 5 and it is a blessing because it’s not like they had us they chose us out of love gave of a life worth living I’m glad they allowed us to meet our biological mom bc it allowed me to appreciate them so much. God bless you and your bundle of joy. Love her everyday and remind her she is your everything

Q & A

Since welcoming Harbor home, we’ve received a lot of questions, and I’m answering a few today.

Are Harbor & Nolan biological siblings?
Nope. I know they look at a lot alike (spicy & gorgeous) but they have two separate, beautiful birth mamas.


What avenue did you go through to adopt?
We adopted Nolan through the help of a nonprofit ministry here in Tulsa called Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. When we got the call about Harbor, we brought her birth mom to CPO so that they could facilitate that adoption as well. I can’t say enough great things about CPO and the way that they minister to and love on women and babies in the Tulsa area. It’s a ministry we’ve been blessed to be a part of and spend lots of time involved with. If you’re local and looking for a place to volunteer, you’d be blessed by your time spent at CPO.


How are your kiddos adjusting to their new sister?

They are phenomenal. Cade (5) is constantly telling me, “if she cries at night mom, just come get me.” He loves to hold her, sing to her, wear her in the Ergo carrier, and say over and over again that she’s just so cute. Story (3) sings to her when she’s fussy in the car and purposely tries to work the word “sister” into as many conversations as she possibly can. She is so ecstatic. I didn’t expect that Nolan (12 months) would know what was going on (he and Harbor are 10 months apart) but he has surprised me with how much he catches on to. He will pull up and peek into her bassinet and try to shove a binky in her face… scares me to death, but it is the sweetest thing. He also says “baby” which is hilarious because he’s kind of still a baby ; )


Can Harbor or Nolan’s birth moms come and take them back?

This is a question I get almost every day. There is a huge lack of education and misinformation around adoption. It kills me. The short answer: no. And they wouldn’t want to. They made a selfless choice to place their babies where they believed they would thrive, and they still maintain that it was the best choice they could have made (both have told me this more than once). They are so happy to see them growing up in a family that is stable and able to provide them with every opportunity they dream for them to have.

As far as the legalities go: no. Within a few days of placement, biological parental rights are terminated before a judge. At that point we are their guardians until all the follow-up visits are complete (our home study provider comes to our house three times over the course of 6 months to ensure the babies are thriving) and then we finalize before a judge and they receive their new last name and birth certificates.  Adoption is not babysitting. It is legal, and it is forever and ever. They are ours as if they were born to us, and for someone to take them would be kidnapping. I hope as more people come to understand this, they will be less afraid of adopting.



What books would you recommend for someone considering adopting?

These two books completely wrecked my heart and I can’t recommend them enough:
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker

A few others I love:
The Well-Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis
The Bible. It says so much about Jesus’ heart for adoption and how we are all adopted into His family… The Bible, man. It’s a good one.

For kids (whether they’re a part of an adoptive family or not, these are awesome):
God Found Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren
A Mother For Choco by Keiko Kazsa


How often do you see your children’s birth moms?

Every open adoption looks different, and each of ours does. Noley’s birth mom no longer lives in state, so we haven’t seen her in a few months but we stay in touch regularly via text & social media. She called me on the phone a few weeks ago and I think I answered the phone “Oh I’m so excited to hear your voice!” : ) We try to see Harbor’s birth mom once a week and we love our time with her. I understand that open adoption can be intimidating from the outside, but when you’re in it, it’s really not at all. If anything is ever unhealthy, you can absolutely make the decision to say “this will not work for us right now.” But for the most part, open adoption is an awesome opportunity to expand your family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents!) and be a shining light for Jesus.

There are lots of other questions that we get regularly so I may do another Q&A post soon!


Madison Vining

Owner at Madison Vining Photography
Hi, I’m Madison Vining.
Photographers: to receive free tips, tutorials, videos and exciting news, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

Latest posts by Madison Vining (see all)









Gift Guide | The Photography Lover


Are you shopping for someone who loves photography? Let me help you out! Here are my current top picks for photog-related gifts. At the bottom of this post I will list a few variations for different budgets, and a coupon code!

1. Canon 70D (body only) – I recommend buying SLR cameras without the “kit lens” they sometimes try to sell you. This is the cheaper and better quality route to take.

2. Canon 50mm f/1.8 – The “Nifty Fifty.” This lens will give you beautiful background blur (“bokeh”) and be great in all lighting conditions.

3. Bloom Theory camera strap – This one’s obviously a bit of a splurge, just for fun. Bloom Theory has so many great designs!

4. Clickin’ It | DSLR guide – Learn to use your fancy new camera to document your days and take your photography to the next level.

5. Canon Speedlite 430EX II – This is an external flash to be mounted at the top of your camera and used to “bounce” light off the ceiling.

6. Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 – I call this the “mommy lens.” If I’m going somewhere with my family and can only bring one  lens, this is the one I take. It’s versatile!




Camera body on a budget (for the non pro): Canon Rebel T3
Camera body that’s a step up (for the pro): Canon 6D
For the serious pro and for video (what I shoot with): Canon 5D Mark III

Other favorite lenses:
Sigma 85mm f/1.4
Tokina 10-17mm (fisheye)
Sigma 105mm (macro)

Compact flash cards – 4GB, 8GB, 16GB
AA batteries for external flash

These fun posing guides are accessible on your smart phone while shooting… so handy, and chock full of tips for posing your subjects and what my favorite gear & settings are for each type of session:
Posing Guide | Families
Posing Guide | Couples
Posing Guide | Senior Girls
Posing Guide | Boudoir

Color Rush textures, including step-by-step video tutorial