stevie & anthony…. and why i love wedding day portraits

hi there! i was just talking with one of my brides from last summer… about…. doing their baby-to-be’s newborn portraits! over the moon happy over here for not only a returning client (yay! they like me!!), but also because that means i get to continue to document a new family’s story. seeing the growth is so awesome and i’m so excited for them too!!

in thinking back to their wedding day… though the whole day was beautiful and filled with love, it’s still a wedding and the day has an itinerary, as most weddings do in order to fit everything in! i truly felt like one of the nicest times was after the pressure of the day and it’s timely events were over… and stevie and anthony could just spend some time together. just them…. well, and the paparazzi (me and my photog friend, melissa). we took them back outside for some portraits — before we lost the glorious light that summer evening. (i won’t lie — much of my initial motivation came from the light!!) but, also, it’s so, so nice to capture their time together AFTER all of the have-to events are taken care of. this is the time where they can just gaze at each other, basking in the new reality. be silly together. relax. tell secrets. laugh. be themselves — but still beautiful in their wedding attire. 

my advice: make time to take these pictures. make time to have a few intimate moments on your wedding day. much of your time will be filled with tasks and visiting with guests. make some time for you and your new spouse to enjoy each other. take it all in together. step away from everyone, even if only for half an hour. you won’t regret it. i don’t think stevie and anthony did. xo

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reflecting on a beautiful, warm summer day with miss deysia

so, i’m perpetually playing catch up here on the blog. i have so many sessions i would like to feature! here is one i’ve been holding onto since the summer!! remember summer? there wasn’t any snow…. i feel like this winter will never end!

i was approached to do some head shots for deysia, as she is thinking of going into modeling. and why not? she’s already a competition cheerleader, musician and dancer! an ‘urban’ session was on the agenda — and as i experienced in the spring with my session with amanda, i was dying to do another session in the city! we walked around downtown richmond — taking advantage of the murals and classic scenery around main street station. miss deysia is an amazingly beautiful, talented, poised young lady, and i feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend a couple hours with her — and listen to her play her guitar! she’s a gifted performer, and i know she will shine brightly in the years to come.

oh, and did i mention she’s only eleven? yep. when i posted a few shots on my facebook page i received inquiries about deysia’s ‘lovely senior session…’ the more i photograph young women, the more i love it! seeing their confidence shine through…. it’s wonderful to see them feel beautiful… and sassy…. and confident. show deysia some LOVE!!!! xo

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juggling life…. sort of…

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today is a new day. it’s time to get real, people. i’m going to tell you why i haven’t been very active here. i’m going to admit to you all that i have been busy. and dysfunctional. and overwhelmed. and filling my plate too high — over, and over, and over again this year. my full-time job has been a bear since the summer — and is just finally calming down now… or maybe i’m just learning how to better cope with it…. but, my most important job is being a momma. my girl is growing up so fast and she’s so impressionable…. and she needs me now more than ever. sometimes, i feel like i can never catch up on all of the things going on around me, because i’m so desperately trying to be present for her — not constantly working.

does anyone ever wonder why i post the few things i do (to FB) in the middle of the night? because i’m waiting til after we’ve done our nigh-night routine before i abandon her for the glow of the (rapidly becoming more and more outdated) mac.

i don’t do resolutions. but, i will say, i have to start this year off with my priorities in the right places – for my sanity and the sake of my family. i will not take on too many projects — paid or not. i will not take on projects that will not promote growth in my work. i can’t afford to make unnecessary sacrifices. period. that time away from my family is worth so much. it’s time i won’t get back. i hope with every bit of me that she knows how much i love her and the sacrifices her daddy and i make for her… and that she never feels like my second job takes away from her. that would break my heart. into pieces.  i need to carve out time to be the momma my sweetest girl deserves. to my core, i want to document life and love. and beauty and truth. she is what started it all, really. documenting her is where my passion for photography became something more.

so…. i’ve been ‘busy’ living. and, truth: i’m bad at blogging. all my life, i’ve always been a bad journal/diary keeper, so this is no different. though, it is something i’m vowing to make a better effort to do, going forward. how else will all of you lovelies see what i’m up to — all that passion, insight and growth! haha. for now, take a look at the personal side… my sweetest girl.

 

 

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one of my oldest friends

so, one of my oldest and dearest friends is freshly engaged! and, after having met his fiancé, i could not be happier for them! how rewarding to see someone you grew up with holding the person they are meant to be with! they have fun together, keep each other in check and they love each other deeply. they’re a great fit and i look forward to seeing what their new chapter holds!

our session, on her aunt and uncle’s pasture land in farmville, was a perfect setting. hay bales, horses, split-rail fences…. fields for miles. simply perfect. only thing less than perfect was the heat that day! for october it was scorching, but they made that hot day look breezy….  

to look back on our session, my heart is truly full for them. i think back to my childhood…. and all of the memories of our friendship, and the importance his family played in my life at a time when my own family could not give me everything i needed… and i’m so thankful to have had them and to still have them…. and to be even a small part of the evolution of this part of my friend’s life. to be allowed to capture such a sweet, romantic time in a couple’s life together is special. it’s a tender, magical, dreaming-of-the-future love — unscathed. new. perfect. it’s time you don’t get back and is unique from any other. my job is important: and i was there to make it photographic history. their history.

hugs and eternal blessing to you, tate and jennifer! xo

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(and here are a few fun out-takes… )

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the first big milestone

so, in a new marriage there are lots of new, exciting things happening. lots of firsts, lots of changes, lots of learning, growing, compassion and adjustment. a whole new level of commitment. a whole new realm of ‘forever love.’ a sweet beginning. and, if i remember correctly (as i, myself, have been married almost 10 years), the first year anniversary is the first ‘big deal’ milestone. you made it a whole year.

i was fortunate enough to capture this first anniversary for a sweet couple, adam & kristin. their connection is honest. playful and sincere. true. it was refreshing to see them interact — lovingly and lightheartedly. and a perfect, real-world couple: wonderfully independent, but better together. the best is yet to be — i’m looking forward to their next chapter.

personal bonus: they chose to hold their session at kristin’s family’s river house. the lover of nostalgia that i am, this was perfect, in my book. the house that kristin and her family had vacationed at all her life, the pier and gorgeous, flawless water she had played in every summer of her childhood…. the ‘favorite’ (gigantic) tree at the edge of the property… it just seemed like a perfect spot, serene and filled with the magic of memories. where would have been better to continue making memories? i’m a sap. i can’t help it. i think, sometimes, the location can make a session. the location doesn’t have to be a botanical garden and the sunset doesn’t have to be the most amazing ever, but the emotion that comes from a sentimental plot of land can alway bring you back to something magical and make the session all that much more special. or is it me?

also, since delivering their images, kristin has since made a photo book of our session!! how honored was i to be handed their ’1st year anniversary book’ and see all of their favorite shots from our session… my camera…. my vision. i felt so honored to have been the one to capture these memories for them. love you guys!!

p.s. enjoy the outtakes too — i mentioned they are playful…. i wasn’t kidding! :wink:

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dodging rain clouds | libby hill park

one of my dear friends, cindy, has been my saving grace so, so many times. she’s the empathetic ear, the voice of reason… the one who talks you (me) off the proverbial ledge…. the one who will always give me good advice and a little tough love in the same sentence… the one that reminds me that i am important, talented, worthy… and fully capable of making good decisions…. that i am better than i sometimes make myself out to be.

now, i’m crying.

and, now it’s so poignant. so clear. the first time i met her beautiful daughter, i knew that she (unknowingly) bestows these modest gifts on those she loves. because, this gorgeous creature is courageously human, humble, quietly confident…. and exudes goodness and honesty. she is her mother made.

i pray, one day, someone can spend an hour with my daughter and see such inner beauty… and i would be honored if they thought any of it came from me.

who knew that their family session that almost got rained out would produce such images… and such emotion. from me.  

enjoy these. i do. very much.

cindy, grace ann & keith, thank you for letting me a part of your day.

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tiffany — mentoring session with sharon elizabeth photography

back in APRIL i did a day of mentoring with the fabulous Sharon Elizabeth Photography. i can’t say enough about the influence sharon has had on my business and my life since i stumbled across her and her work on, you guessed it, facebook…. does the whole world revolve around facebook? maybe.

we talked about ‘the business,’ covered some techniques, she critiqued my prints and gave me some guidance about the direction of my focus, and i got a taste of lightroom (and have not looked back! haha!). Her passion for the art and teaching came shining through in her desire for me to succeed and grow in my craft. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and her business and i look forward to the next time i can afford to be a ‘mentee’/attend a workshop with her again! a day full of eye-openning experiences = a worthy investment.

and what do i have to ‘show’ for my day of mentoring? the photos i snapped of our lovely (incredibly sweet AND beautiful!) model, tiffany, with one of sharon’s cameras! EEEP! i had been dying to get my hands on more of a ‘pro grade’ DSLR and, that day, i had my chance! she handed me her SONY a77 wearing a battery grip and a 50mm lens…… nearly three times the size of my NEX… and i had to use the view finder…. a VERY different experience! i’m used to shooting in manual, but not with this big girl camera! i was fortunate to get any good shots — i was so nervous! and it was SO super windy that day!

anyway, here are my best from that day! it feels good to grow. (click here for my mentoring session feature on sharon’s blog… if you wanna see some excellent work — and funny pictures of me with that BIG camera!)

thanks again, sharon!! xo

(i even threw one in that i took of sharon…. she’s way too sunny/overexposed, but i loved her smile so much, i couldn’t resist.)

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