Saturday, December 31, 2011


A new year will be here any minute now, and this time of year always makes one think of what will be different in the next year. The great part is that it feels like an opportunity to start fresh – even though we can actually choose to change at any given point in time, let’s use the calendar for a little extra enthusiasm and motivation!

As I read about many other photographers’ goals for the new year of building their business, attracting clients, booking more weddings, etc., I have to say my goals in that area are very different. I’m not a full-time photographer, and maybe I should be working harder toward that goal, but to be honest I kinda like my “other job”. I’ve formed some deep friendships there and really look forward to seeing my friends at work. My employer has been SO good to me through some rough times so I feel quite a bit of loyalty to him also.

Again, maybe I shouldn’t admit to this, but when I ask myself what I want to accomplish in the world of photography, it really has little to do with “building a business”. I really just want to 1) LEARN, LEARN, LEARN - about my equipment, about light, about posing people in a way that flatters them, about so many things; and 2) create beautiful photos that draw HUGE smiles from my clients and cause them to call me saying how much they REALLY LOVE their images.

My top personal goal? To take time to enjoy life – to take more walks with my dog, to go to the barn and ride my horse more often, to spend time with friends and family, to read, to recognize and reflect on all my blessings, to grow closer to God.  Y’know our circumstances shape our priorities, and my circumstances changed just a tad :) in 2010 – “the year of cancer”. In the Spring of 2010, I underwent surgery to remove a large cancerous tumor and one of my kidneys. For the remainder of that year, my focus was on getting through chemo and radiation treatments and coming out cancer free. Because I finished all treatments just a couple days shy of the end of 2010, 2011 REALLY felt like an opportunity to start fresh.

This is what the end of 2010 looked like for me.  Last year, I couldn't have posted this photo, but I guess it's far enough in the past now that I can.

And at the end of 2011...

So while it's good to set goals and dream about bigger and better things in 2012, please take time to reflect and be grateful for all the ways you LIVED in 2011. All the things you accomplished, all the love you gave and felt, all the sweetness that God has allowed you to experience.
My very sincere wishes for a happy and blessed New Year are going out to you!!

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Earlier this month my beautiful mom celebrated her 80th birthday.  She's really something and I'm so proud to be her daughter.
A lovely person, inside and out.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2:10-11

I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a wonderful new year filled with God's richest blessings and so much love and happiness that you want to burst!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Meet Erin

Erin is one busy girl, and because she was playing in a volleyball tournament just before our photo shoot, we had a small window of time before running out of daylight.  But we made the most of it and had so much fun at the same time.  Erin has such a fun personality, is a very talented athlete, and on top of that she's a VERY pretty girl, don't you agree?
Erin, thank you for letting me take your photos.  I so enjoyed getting to know you better.  We'll take some more, but in the meantime, enjoy your senior year!

Probably my favorite, right here.

 Erin, you know how to rock the model face!  :)

Free advice for photographers

A pair of my favorite photographers - Justin & Mary - did a "Live chat" last Saturday and they have so graciously left a free re-watch on their blog.
I've been watching and listening a little bit at a time whenever I can fit it in and it's stuffed full of super great information and advice about starting and maintaining a photography business.  They talk about how they got started, how to make connections and build a clientele, their workflow - just lots of valuable stuff.  And really, where else can you get so much amazing information for free?! 
If you're a photographer or a photographer-wanna-be, I strongly urge you to get over to their blog, scroll down to Sunday's post, and check it out.  But it's only going to be available through tomorrow (Weds., 12/6) SO HURRY!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Raindrops on roses (AKA a few of my favorite things)

Being the Almond Joy fan that I am, when I saw a commercial for this coffee creamer I knew I had to find some! 

Now, if you know me you might be surprised by that because I never drink coffee, but I say why let a little detail like that keep me from enjoying a wonderful thing?

And I knew before even trying it that it would be great in hot chocolate!

Yep I was right.
I'm also pretty stoked about my new boots.  They almost have me wishing for snow and cold weather.
But it's a BEAUTIFUL sunny day today so I'm gonna get out there and enjoy it while it lasts! 
Oh, one more thing I'm excited about... like, WAY excited!!...This morning I got up at 5AM to do some Black Friday shopping - on-line.  No, I don't ever do that craziness that is Black Friday in the stores, but I bought myself a spot in a photography workshop conducted by a couple of my favorite photographers, Justin & Mary (  It's called Walk Through a Wedding and takes place next February in CT.  I just LOVE Justin & Mary's work, and LOVE the amazing nice people that they are.  I can't wait!
You know, I blog-stalk several photographers on a regular basis.  I've found which ones are willing to share their knowledge and experience and I've found 4 or 5 whose work I really admire. I frequently leave comments when I see an image that I just love, or when something they've written moves me.  But here's what made me want to set my alarm for 5AM, spend a good chunk of money, and travel all the way from Indiana to Connecticut in February for their workshop:  Mary Marantz is the only professional photographer who has taken the time to look at MY blog and comment on MY photographs!  I was SO stoked when I saw her comments on a couple of my posts.  It gave me such a boost to keep taking photographs, keep learning and keep improving.  Yep, that girl knows how to win friends!  Justin & Mary, I can't wait to meet you guys in person and spend a couple days with you!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Little Lucy is SO stinkin cute!

Following Lucy around the playground with my camera was a challenge but so much fun at the same time.  And she is just so cute, so the real challenge was trying to narrow down my favorites and decide what to post on the blog.  It seems that every time I look at these images I have a new favorite.  Lucy is very expressive, and it's fun to capture the different sides of her personality.  Enjoy!

She may have been shy at one point...but then she busted out some moves.
  Pretty sweet, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Colors of Fall

The colorful leaves that seem to glow, the rosy evening light, the crisp air and wonderful smell of fall - it all goes by so quickly.  You really have to take time to savor it.  I just have to share some photos I've taken over the last few days.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Emily - sneak peek

I'm a little backed up with editing right now, but just couldn't wait to post this image of Emily. 
Really Emily?!? Who looks this beautiful with NO editing?  You, of course.  A lot more favorites coming soon.   Love you girl!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lucy - sneak peek

Oh man, look at those beautiful eyes!  I have so many favorites of little Lucy but I think this is my number 1.
More to come later!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Megan and Hales - they take care of each other

Just before exchanging rings, Hales told everyone in attendance that in some ways it felt like he and Megan were already married.  Because they take care of each other.
Megan and Hales, thank you for allowing me to document the beginning of your life together.  I wish you God's blessings on your marriage.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The kids

Just practicing focus with my very handsome boy Alfred.  Normally he doesn't sit still for photos but a bird caught his attention.  BTW, in case you read the last Mission of the Month post, I'm much happier with the focus of my images since I started using the pinpoint focus mode.
Of course, I have to give some face time to my girl Jorga.  She's kinda sensitive about getting enough attention.