Committed to 52

Right now we are in the middle of planning our Spring Mini Sessions so it was nice to take a break and share this glimpse into my daily life. Don’t get me wrong, I just ADORE planning our mini sessions, but it is time consuming and a little draining to work out all of the little details! Speaking of, if you are interested in booking a spot for Spring Minis, let me know now, as we do limit the number of sessions and these tend to sell out within a few days!

Who else has tried those 365 day photo challenges? Yep, I see all of those raised hands.

Now who has completed a 365 day photo challenge? Whoa, where did all the hands go?

ME TOO!

It got overwhelming and boring. I thought it would be nice to have a new “inspiration word” for each day, but it left me a little stressed. I did want to do something this year, so I’ve decided to do a 52 week challenge instead. And it isn’t for work, it is just to document my personal life and my family.

There are no “inspiration words” or weekly themes to try and figure out, so that has been nice. So far I am keeping up and LOVING IT. I thought I would share what I did for week one. At the end of the year I will choose one photo from each week to turn into an album. I think the most difficult part will be choosing just one photo for each week!

During week one, our youngest was recovering from a nasty virus. To cheer him up, we had a pajama day and I let him have his favorite snack (grapes!) at his little table in the living room. It cheered him up and the gloomy window light was magical so I couldn’t resist grabbing my camera.

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10 Things You May NOT Know About Me

Everyone wants to know the juicy details, right?!?!?

Since it is January in the Midwest, I am still mostly taking time off. I much prefer to photograph outside, but the unpredictable Missouri weather makes that difficult to do. I can watch the forecast every day, only to see it drastically change at the 11th hour. Le sigh.

So here I sit. Inside. Looking out the window. Wishing it were Spring. If you are as bored as I am waiting for the weather to get nice, read through these 10 facts about moi and then comment with something that I don’t know about you!

  1. I have love of turkeys and often dream about owning a turkey ranch. I once tried to estimate how many live turkeys I could fit into our mini van. The husband was probably quite relieved that I can’t stand math!
  2. I have a tattoo on the top of my left foot. I got it in 2011, on a whim/dare. I’d always wanted one, and I knew exactly what I wanted, just not WHERE it should go. It is a small Irish knot in greens and blues and I got it on the top of my foot mostly because I told the artists that maybe I should get it on my foot because I was wearing sandals that day and he told me it would be too painful for a first tattoo. Challenge accepted.
  3. Speaking of feet, I can write my name with my right foot. Not my left foot, which is a little strange because I can write rather well with my left hand. Figure that one out.
  4. I swore that I would NEVER get married again. And I forsure KNEW that I would NEVER have another baby. lololololol… Well hello there second marriage (Love you Honey!), and bonus kiddo.
  5. If there is a friendly dog in the vicinity, I will stop to ask if I can pet it.
  6. I have thyroid disease. Hashimotos. I had surgery in 2010 and am on daily medications and yearly scans. The doctor thought that it was cancer, thank goodness he was wrong. I count my blessings every day that I am still here.
  7. Some day I will go to New York for the sole purpose of getting mermaid hair colored by Dusty the Hair Wizard.
  8. I still have a film camera. It does function. Some day, when I have more time, I will get back to using film cameras more often.
  9. Chocolate chip cookies can fix just about any rotten mood. I LOVE TO BAKE.
  10. Every morning I sit down and write out a to-do list. Making a physical list that I can look at and cross things off really helps to keep me focused and centered. I’m a little ADHD and can end up all over the place and that makes everyone around me crazy.

 

Now tell me something about you!

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I’ll Will if You Will…

Happy 2019, for starters!

Do you have any good resolutions? Are resolutions even a thing any more?

My confession is that I’ve never really been into making New Years resolutions. You can start something new any day of the year, why wait?

Having said that, I did make one goal for this year and it’s a doozy.

All year I get to spend my time doing what I love, making beautiful portraits for awesome people to display on their walls. And I love every second of it. My goal for this year is to do the same for myself! All of the photos hanging on the walls in my own home are sooooooo old! It gets a little crazy around here, with one kid away at college, one teenager with school clubs and a job, the other still splitting his time between parents, and the toddler that never stops moving, but I am committed to not only taking photos of my own awesome family and documenting all of our adventures, but printing and displaying those photos proudly on my walls!

When we bought this house four years ago, the owners left so much stuff here, and we left it for a long time but it just wasn’t our style. A few years have gone by and we are slowly starting to paint (NO MORE BROWN/TAN/ORANGE/RED/DARK WALLS!) and redecorate.

How do you display your family photos in your home? I’m still not sure what direction I want to go in. There are so many options. Canvases, tiles, glass, metal, traditional frames, wood transfers….

As far as goals go, it’s rather tame, but it is important to me and I am excited to see and share the results!

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Home Life

I’ve been on sabbatical for a year now, only taking a few jobs here and there for existing clients only. It has been peaceful and relaxing. 

Lately I’ve found my mind wandering to work related subjects. I did two jobs this last month, a wedding and a styled session inspired by the classic film Breakfast At Tiffany’s. I had a blast. I’m still on my game, but I’ll confess to being a little rusty with the post processing, so getting back into that groove has been a huge time suck. 

My days have mostly been devoted to my family and my garden. My husband has taken to the aerial photography like a duck to water. It has spilled over into collecting drones and other photography equipment. I love it!

I’ll make a separate post of wedding photos after the bride and groom share with their families. It stormed all day, but we managed to make the best of it. 

Instead I’ll share some photos from my garden. It is little, but I’m rather proud of it!

The list of crops:

Lettuce

Spinach

Strawberries 

Squash

Gourds

Tomatoes

Basil

Cucumber

Lavender 

French Mallows

Thyme

Radishes

Onions

Beets

Pumpkin

Beans

Peas

Carrots

Okra

Rosemary

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I’ve also got a blueberry bush and two thornless blackberry bushes. They won’t produce anything for at least a year, maybe two.

My first spinach crop this morning. No one told me that spiders like to nest under the leaves. GROSS.

To combat the flooding, we built raised beds and added some rain barrels! It has made a HUGE difference and I haven’t had to use any other water for the garden.

Lettuce! An heirloom variety I got from a historic French Fort, and your everyday black seeded variety.

I’ve got three rows of carrots, two different types. I love carrots!

I reclaimed some old broken fencing for the peas to climb. So far it is working great! Next year I’ll spray paint them a pretty color first.

Are the going to be beans? I guess I’ll wait and see!

Green beans. I’m not a fan, but Scott is. The things we do for love!

Finally starting to see some little roma tomatoes off my three plants!

Cake Smash!

Happy Birthday Mal!

The studio is in pre-construction chaos anyways, so smashing cake all over the floor is no big deal! Malcolm celebrated his 1st birthday on Sunday, with robots, Hungry Caterpillars, and a homemade cake!

A few shout-outs:

The robot stuffed plushie is a Scentsy Buddy. If you don’t know what those are, then you need to check them out. It has a scent pack inside and smells delightful. This particular robot is sporting a Lavender scent pack, in hopes that it would calm the kid down for bedtime. It doesn’t work on him (pretty sure nothing ever will!), but does wonders for knocking mom and dad out! If you are interested, check it out HERE. They have different buddies, very cute and cuddly!

The adorable shirt/bow tie combo was purchased from THIS adorable Etsy shop! Super affordable and so very cute! I’ll be putting this away to use in the future I’m sure!

The circle garland is a new studio prop. I made it myself and am working on more color choices for future studio sessions!

I’d forgotten to order a cake, so this is just one that I put together at the last minute. It turned out cute. The rainbow layers looked good smeared across the floor.

As a side note, cake smash sessions are soooo much fun! I’ve done them indoors and out and there is always something new and different! I’m always happy to book cake smash sessions either in-studio or on location!

Now on to the photos!

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They’re Super Kids!

I love the homespun look of DIY props! I built these last year, but this is the first time I’ve used them in the studio and it turned out so cute! I’ve had other clients ask about the “Super City” so I will be working up a mini session plan using these props and a few other things!

Until I work out the details for that, please enjoy these photos of Belle and Lex from a few weeks ago! Adorable!!

(I’ll have Mal’s first birthday/cake smash photos ready to blog soon too! I do love a good cake smash!)

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Beautiful day for some beautiful ladies!

Last weekend I was able to spend some time photographing a family I met years ago, a family that toughed me deeply. Sue is a special woman and I was happy to see her again. Her girls are so adorable and they were so much fun to work with!

I met Sue years ago when her son, Jalen, wasat Children’s. They didn’t expect him to make it and she had reached out to me. I met her at the hospital and got to photograph Jalen. It was humbling and bittersweet.

He passed away four years ago and I know that not a day goes by that he isn’t missed and loved by so many. I know that he forever touched my heart.

Sue started a book drive in Jalen’s name a few years ago. Here is a quote from the site:

“We started Jalen’s Book Drive as a way to celebrate Jalen, remember him and brighten the holidays for other children with special needs. Two of Jalen’s favorite things were Christmas and Books! We truly believe all children can be read to and should be read to no matter what their ability.”

It is a fantastic cause and I urge you to donate HERE or HERE.

I am truly blessed to do what I love and meet amazing people along the way. Keep scrolling for some photos from our session. Sue and her girls are stunning!

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Kaleb and Alicia

It’s the time of year that parents love! The return of the school year! 

The biggest complaint I hear from parents every year: School Photos

I hear parents lament about what a waste of money it is to order the traditional school head shots. Their child blinked, made a funny face, had messed up his/her hair by the time it was their turn to sit on the stool for the 5 seconds it took the photographer to snap a yearbook photo. For parents with more than one child in the school system, this can get pretty expensive. The mid level photo package from the school costs around $30. If you have three kids in school, you are paying around $90 for photos. And, if you are honest with yourself, they aren’t even photos that you like! Boring background, harsh lighting, fake smile.

I advise everyone to skip ordering the school photos and just hire a professional portrait photographer! It’s a little more expensive, but you get soooooo much more bang for your buck! No forced smiles. No boring blue or grey backdrops. No filing the photos away in a drawer, never to be seen again.

Back to school photos don’t have to be boring! Spend the money on something that you will cherish and be proud to display on your walls! Do some research and find a portrait photographer that fits with your style. Many photographers feature back-to-school mini sessions too! I promise, it will be worth the time, effort and money!

Check out Kaleb and Alicia’s back to school photos from earlier this week! Colorful, fun, and fast! They did a wonderful job, and their mom was smart to skip the traditional school photos this year!

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Check out the video to see all of the fun!