Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Moments Remembered

I can't even begin to express the gratitude I feel towards Patrick and Erin!  I was blessed and fortunate enough to document their beautiful wedding a number of years ago.. so for them to ask me to take on a new adventure and chapter in their life was a given and I thank them for that!

This globe trotting couple is taking on a new adventure together, called parenthood and they make it look easy!

The smiles on their faces tell all about the proud mom and dad and I am thankful to be back in touch with this beautiful couple again.

The joy that radiates from the new parents is contagious and I must say that newborn sessions are some of my favorite photos because not only do you have a perfect bundle of joy to photograph but there are so many priceless moments that need to be captured.

It's amazing to think how this time next year these moments will seem like yesterday. During this important time I always feel it is important to document newborn sessions in the truth of the moment rather than try to alter them because remembering this time together as a new family is just as important.

Team Work

One of my favorite sessions that I find myself intrigued by the most are newborn sessions.  These sessions are the most unpredictable to me because the infant is busy adapting to the new world and for the most part there is not much they can do but lay comfortable in the warmth of mom and dad's arms!

This is what makes it all the more rewarding when we are able to capture those little behind the scene moments between the new mom and dad!

Earlier this week I met with new parents Brooke and Ken for the first time to photograph their beautiful baby girl. She was so cooperative that she even decided to smile for the camera.

I very much look forward to sorting through all the images from our session to see what we captured.
Mom and Dad made a great team that helped me gather some really sweet shots of little moments that can be cherished long after our photo session!

Family Fun

What can I say?!?  The Sellers are a beautiful family!  This past weekend I had the privilege of photographing my dear friend's neices for their upcoming pageant. They are the first cousins of Addison, who I have photographed on a handful of occasions, so it was fun to meet the rest of the gang! 

The thing I love most about head shots is that every individual I photograph reacts differently to the camera.  Some are outgoing while others tend to be more shy and reserved.  This was an awesome group to work with as I found myself experiencing both the shy, reserved personality as well as the energetic and outgoing ones and I loved each and every one of them!!!

We celebrated all the siblings and cousins being together at the end with one group shot!  I hope these guys had as much fun as I did!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Corporate Sessions

Headshots today aren't like your grandmother's school portrait anymore.  They require variety and subtle differences that help draw the viewer in but also help the client stand apart from others.

When photographing headshots for a team oriented setting I always focus on photos that work well as a group while giving the images a little bit of individuality.

I've had the honor of working with Redmont Capital last year on a few conference room headshots so I was extremely happy to hear that they kept me in mind again for this year. They have since expanded the company and have hired on a group of talented professionals.

They are in the process of launching a new website and I cannot wait to see how they incorporate the images.  They are a very professional and personable team and I know they will do well!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Valuable Moments

Dr. Seuss once said ' Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.'  I can't agree more with this statement and find myself relating to this insightful quote often.  There has never been a moment where I wish I didn't bring my camera but there have been hundreds of moments that I wish I did have my camera.

Something that is valuable can mean dollar marks to one person where as to the other person it can mean something that is irreplaceable.  I choose to believe that all valuable things in life are the things that can never be replaced.

With this mindset I have adapted over time has allowed me to prioritize my lifestyle and work ethic based on things that can never be replaced such as my time, my family and my health.

Celebrating my great aunt's 95th birthday yesterday afternoon reminded me that photography has more value than I realized when it comes to documenting my own life.

It is days such as these that I thank God for allowing me to have the freedom and flexibility of having the opportunity to take part with all the moments that make up life.  As I have matured in photography, I have learned to treat it more as a gift and less as a money making machine..

I feel that sometimes it's not all about money but rather about passion and purpose and finding value in the things that cannot be replaced.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Earlier this morning Addison endured freezing temps and still managed to make it look effortlessly beautiful.  She is truly a genuinely beautiful soul that I love having the opportunity to photograph.

She is going to be in her first pageant and was needing some quick head shots to submit to judges. I do feel that head shots can easily become stiff, static and repetitive.. so I wanted to give those judges a little bit of personality along with her beautiful smile.

Addison glows and radiates such joy that I honestly felt that we left the session capturing who she truly is.  Those smiles of hers are contagious and I left the session smiling myself.

I can't wait to hear how she does because if it was anything like her photo session she should do very well!

Good luck to you Addison!!  Keep on smiling!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


So far far this year I have been doing a pretty good job of following through with my resolutions. Last night I went on a random adventure to Nashville with my sister, hung out in a different venue, met new people, photographed new places and tried new things ( the lottery).

This year, I decided to make a mental note to personally document and photograph my loved ones more often.  For so long I have only picked up the camera to use towards my profession but too much time has gone by and too many moments missed to where I no longer want to photograph just for paying clients. I want to photograph my own life and memories for personal use more often.

This whole new concept of adventure for the new year reminds me of the Jim Carey movie 'YES MAN'.  To where he must say yes to everything which in return gives him new experiences.. So when my sister asked me if I felt like riding up to Nashville for one of her open mics, I immediately felt like saying 'no.. I am tired.. it's too cold, I have to get up early the next day'.. etc etc. and then I reminded myself about being more open to new opportunities.. so I willingly agreed.

The trip was quick and easy.  I met several new musicians at the Blue Bar and was very impressed by the talent to be found there.  Everyone was so nice and welcoming that I found myself wanting to come back again soon. It gave me some rare one-on-one time with my sister where we spent our car ride listening to some of our favorite songs from childhood and youth; Bon Jovi, Debbie Gibson, Van Halen, Radio Head and MatchBox 20 just to name a few.

I am glad that I was able and willing to do something random on a normal Tuesday night.  I was reminded that so much life can happen all in one day, you just need to pick which part of it you would like to participate in.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year Resolutions

'Have less, do more, be more' was the quote that stared back at me from the bright screen off my computer monitor.  There is a reason this simple message stood out from all the other colorful quotes pasted among one another on the popular pinning site.

The message is simple yet powerful and it reminded me of the recent New Year's resolution Gary and I both agreed to.

For the new year Gary and I both agreed to be more spontaneous, try new things and not be so 'routine' with our adventures. It doesn't have to be pricey or elaborate by any means.. it can be as simple as trying a new food, hanging out at a new bar or restaurant, meet new people, photograph new things and explore new parts of our own hometown or taking a last minute road trip.

The purpose of this drill is to keep our life entertaining and colorful, to inspire us and allow us to never stop appreciating life and the lessons you learn from it. I want this year to be the year that I become excited about doing more in my life not necessarily having more work or money but experiencing more with my life and the life I share with loved ones.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Newbie Expressions

Photographing the expressions of all the participants during a newborn session is almost as fun as photographing the newborn babies.  There is so much excitement and joy when I enter into a new family's home and it is always very welcoming to take part with the new parents in capturing all the happenings from diaper changes, feedings, cuddling, putting them down for a nap.. All of the in between happenings are what I find to be the most intriguing part of the whole newborn session experience.

In a way, I feel that when I come in and document the family being who they are it tends to help eliminate the often common stressful parts of new parents and a photo session. It should be something that you want to remember that day by as it was.. not as it was planned!

This is one of my all time favorite photos as it captures so much in one frame.  The laughter and joy of the twins as well as one happy pup!  I realize it doesn't even show the babies faces but it doesn't always need to because this frame was about what was going on.. the moment of it all.

This is my own interpretation.. but like anything else in life, we all have our own side to the story.  I personally enjoy capturing all sides of the story from mom and dad, the newborn and of course.. you can't forget the family pet.

This particular pet, Lance, was all smiles during his session!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

More Skills, New Opportunities

My motto in life is to never put your life or your profession in a bubble.  It limits your ideas and quality of life.  So when my mom asked me if I would be interested learning the family business I found myself more than interested. I recently have taken a part-time position at the family business in the flooring department of the new showroom. This experience has allowed me to expand my knowledge and skill set, given me more opportunities and options and it has also allowed me to become more selective with my photography bookings. I have the best of both worlds.. I get to help individuals pick out fabulous flooring as well as continue to photograph an awesome group of selective clients..

This new outlet has given me that extra pep to my step because I find myself being challenged in new ways and learning new skills while still having that creative outlet in both professions.

I must say it has been well over 15 years since I have worked in an environment outside of photography and I never realized how narrow my skill set was until I tried something other than what I've always known, photography.

The day I realized I should learn a new set of skills is the day I found myself scared if photography ever fell through or if I were to become burned out or worse, injured.

There are so many talented photographers out there and I predict the number of new and aspiring photographers to rise since the digital era has graced its presence.  This drastic rise in photographers has inspired me to become my own photographer again rather than shoot for the masses. I found it harder and harder to do when I spent 95% of my time photographing for others.

So having a new skill set has given me the freedom to do this!  To shoot for me and share with you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lifestyle Requirements

I feel that a successful photo session is when you can bottle up that energy of each individual and keep it alive.  It may sound silly but I honestly believe that a portrait isn't successful if it does not have life, emotion or humanity to it.

A photo should make you think, challenge you, teach you to feel or see something.. It needs substance and life.  It needs emotion and connection from the viewing audience.

You can shoot a perfect photo all day if you have all elements line up with lighting, composition, posing and the correct meter and shutter speed but that doesn't give a photo life.  A photo can only come alive when you allow your subject to shine and show their soul.

I thrive on these sessions.  The perfect and ideal session for me would be to show up and photograph how you are.  I don't particularly like to direct a person on how to be and when to smile because I believe you can only be yourself when allowed to be.

This recent session of the Hodges Family is what I call a successful photo session and this is why.  It holds all elements that I require to call a true 'lifestyle' session.