February 21, 2012

February 14, 2012

Today, in lieu of Valentine’s Day, I am going to share some lovey-dovey images from a Beloved session I did a few weeks ago.

But first? A little bit more about the Beloved experience.

That may sound hokey to some – an “experience” – what does that even mean, right? See, I have been photographing professionally for almost 3 years now. And, while I’ve always loved it, I felt like there was something else that could be done – another step that could be taken – as far as what my clients benefited from the session. Sure, quality, professional images are great – but I wanted there to be something else, too. Something more meaningful.

So when Jesh de Rox came up with the Beloved concept, I was hooked. Jesh is a Canadian photographer who had the same issue – he knew there was more potential for the photography experience than what was happening during his engagement sessions and weddings. People would book, show up wearing their ‘best faces’ – or, let’s be real, their fake faces- and smile cheesily and  laugh and act like their lives were perfect. Jesh wasn’t satisfied with that, because he is a human being, and he knows that no one’s life is perfect and to pretend so over and over and over again was just a sham. He wanted more. He wanted to provide his clients with an honest experience and honest, emotional images.

So he stopped taking wedding clients, and put his entire wedding business on hold to try to further explore this idea of making the session a better experience for people.

And then the Beloved movement was born….and I, at least, found that hole in my creative heart filled.

So now when I say, “Beloved experience,” hopefully you have a little better idea of what I mean. I want to turn the tables a little in this industry- I want the session to be the primary source of value for my clients, and the images be a bonus, not the other way around. I want the couples I work with to be allowed to use their session as together time – a time to really, honestly be thankful for and reflect upon their relationship. When that happens, I just stand back and wait for those moments to occur when I can click the shutter and grab an extremely profound, emotional moment that I had no part in creating.

Ever had a really romantic, really memorable date? One that you will always remember and that is in your archive of “favorite” things to reminisce about together? Yeah, that is sorta what I’m going for with my Beloved sessions.


…Which brings us to Alan and Trista. We did their session at a small local park (which, by the way, is TOTALLY a hidden gem, as far as a great place for a session. Whew knew?). It was a lot of fun for a lot of reasons, but for me, primarily because they were themselves.  They were transparent, open, and laid back the entire time, and they were just…themselves, together. I don’t even know if that makes sense or not, but…yeah. That’s how it was.

And can I just also say that “being themselves” = being TOTALLY HILARIOUS? I know I had tears in my eyes at least a few times from laughing at some of the things they said.

Thanks again, Alan and Trista, for such a fun, professionally fulfilling experience.






“While the beginning of a journey together certainly deserves celebration, as the journey continues, each additional step is an acheivement worth celebrating – just as much, if not more. ” ~Jesh De Rox


Beloved sessions begin at $300. Want to book? Contact me! 

February 09, 2012

Wow, it’s really been that long. Wow.

“What, exactly, are you talking about?” I am sure you’re thinking at this point.

11 years ago today, at 11:21am (I know this because 11:20 was- and probably still is- when the bell rung to change classes at our high school), a very tall, handsome, lanky (and, it has to be said, a little awkward) guy asked me to be his girlfriend. And I said yes.

And? The rest is history.

It’s a fun history, and one worth telling, though..for sure. It makes me laugh, mostly. But in a good way. A really good way.

If you had told me back then that Jared was the guy I was going to marry, and the guy who would be the father of my children, I probably would’ve laughed. Not that, of course, there was any problem with him (I said yes, didn’t I? He was hot, after all. And into me. If that is not reason enough for a 14 year old girl, I am not sure what is). But I had this idea about what MY future husband was going to be like, and it just…wasn’t him.

See, I thought I was pretty tough (key word: thought.) I was young. I had big aspirations- I wanted to be a BET backup dancer. (No, I’m not kidding.) Hey, there are a few white girls in those videos…and at the very minimum they could tan me up and make me look, at the very least, mixed, right? So were my thoughts. Plus, it has to be said, I had a cool background. My parents were bikers, and drove a Harley. I was legit. I was the girl who head-banged to AC/DC at all the dances in middle school, instead of dancing to Celine Dion like everyone else. (Wow, did I really just confess that to the world, in written form?)

And then…there was Jared. Who, in addition to being hot, and into me, was the product of an idealistic, suburban utopia. Black belt, eagle scout, honor student since birth…his parents were a nurse and loyal EMS volunteer, and the entire family were upstanding, involved church-goers. They drove a mini-van.

…So one might see why I would be skeptical about this “relationship” progressing very far.

But with each day, then month, then year – I was flabbergasted at this point – things went well. Really well…. and it was just right.

Then one year turned into five, and shortly after that, Jared asked me another question. And I said yes. Again.
Happily, and a little older, a little wiser, with a little bit better idea of reality, and of commitment.

It was still right.

And so today, as I sit and play with our daughter, at our home, and I feel baby #2 kicking,  I smile and am extremely thankful for my hard-working, intelligent, patient, dedicated- albeit nerdy- husband.

I love you very much, Jared. Thanks for taking a chance on the biker girl/ghetto wannabe 11 years ago. Just for the record, being your wife and mother of your children is WAY better than being in a BET video.





January 22, 2012

This session is one that is very near and dear to my heart. Anyone who knows me well knows exactly WHO Heather is.

For those who don’t…well, let me tell you.

For over 23 years, Heather and I have been first cousins, best friends and partners in crime. We’ve made tents, recorded hour after hour of home video, put on Spice Girls concerts for random passerby, pranked our relatives (over and over and over and over again), and had uncontrollable, pee-in-your-pants, tears-streaming-down-your-face, laughing fits in just about every context imaginable.

We also have seen each other through the loss of loved ones, big decisions, rebellious streaks, break-ups, family drama, crawl-in-a-hole-and-die-embarrassments, arguments with friends, and, of course, fights with each other.

We have watched each other evolve from naive, rambunctious girls into awkward, headstrong adolescents, and – finally -into beautiful, mature young women.

C.S. Lewis once said about friendship: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.’ “

Heather is that person for me. No matter where we are, what is going on, what time it is, I can call her and tell her exactly how I feel, or what’s going on, and she gets it… when literally not another person on the planet would. It can be serious or something totally random. She gets it. Period.

She has always been that person for me. The only person like that. I used to think, “I will never have this with another person. Ever.”

…Until Jared. Now, I have two people like that. 

And now, with Cory, so does she.

Here’s to a lifetime of being that person who “gets it,” more than anyone else, for one another – to Heather and Cory.





December 27, 2011

Hello, friends!

I’m so glad you’ve found your way [back?] to my new site. I’ve heard from some of you that you have been searching for me online for a while – to no avail. Sorry about that! It’s no secret I have been a little MIA for a few months.

Why, do you ask?

For you…it’s all for you, my clients.

Ok, ok, that was a little cheesy. Sorry.
But, in all seriousness…I decided back in April that things just weren’t working. You know the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, it was broke.

My business was doing well on the surface, but behind the scenes, all was chaos. There was too much for me to try to do by myself, with the organization and systems (or, should I say, lack thereof) I was operating under. Plus, I simply wasn’t making any money.  It was all I could do to keep my head above water, and it was taking more money out of my own pocket than it was bringing in.

Finally, after several nights of crying despondently over my computer screen, I had an epiphany: FIX IT. If I wanted to actually be successful, I had to stop now and fix the problems or my business would inevitably die.

Talk about a wake-up call!

So, I literally plunged myself into a time of intense study of this industry, and, more specifically, business and business ownership.

See, that is something that had never occurred to me before. I am a BUSINESS OWNER. So many people are, I have found, under the huge misconception that to be an artist, you have to run away from all things pragmatic and logical…like it will murder your creativity. Mess up the groove….the “artistic flow.” Whatever.

Plus, let’s face it, when you hear the phrase “business owner” (at least, if you’re like I was), your eyes kind of glaze over a little.  Boring, right?

Wrong. Oh, so wrong!

It’s not until I made it a priority to understand what being a business owner meant and really capitalized on all of the knowledge that comes from educating myself on that topic that I have been able to fully realize my artistic vision and creative potential.  It’s a necessary prerequisite to being a good, professional artist!  (Or, at least, an artist that gets paid to do what you love, anyway). That was the first and most important thing I learned.

My mind = blown.

So, I’ve spent the remainder of the the year reworking my business from the ground up. Analyzing, perfecting. My old approach to my “job” didn’t even touch the tip of the iceberg on the thought, energy, time, and money that I have invested in the last 6 months alone. I can guarantee you that every single decision, product, you name it, that exists in my business, has been the result of hours – yes, hours – of brainstorming and discussion.

Why? Because I am not going to half do this. If I am going to be serious about doing something that I love – creating beautiful images – I have to be ALL IN. It requires more than just my interest…it requires my dedication, commitment, artistic vision. Primarily, it requires education. It’s not worth it to me, my family, or my clients, to do anything else. Go big or go home, right?

So, here I am. I’m back, and instead of 50% posing as 100% (because I don’t know any better), I’m at a fully educated 110%, and ready to go.




Huge thanks to:

Lindsey of Lindseybelle Photography
Julie of Julie Roberts Photography
Alicia Caine of Served Up Fresh
The Get It Together Kit
Elizabeth Halford  of Elizabeth Halford Photography


December 20, 2011

A few months ago I had the privilege to shoot my first ever Beloved session for some good friends of mine, Aaron and Samantha. It was an exciting beginning for me – coming back and doing a session with a couple right around their 1 year wedding anniversary, after I shot their wedding last year.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “What in the world is a Beloved session? I’ve never heard of that before!” Well, that’s because it’s a relatively new thing. A photographer named Jesh De Rox pioneered the concept, which has become a pretty significant movement within the photography industry.

There’s a lot that could be said about it, but I’ll put it in a nutshell for you.

Say you get married. You hire a photographer – a good one – because this day only happens once, right? You want to celebrate your union with your beloved…your other half. Makes sense.

But what DOESN’T make sense is that for a lot of people, that’s where [photographically] documenting and celebrating their love ends. Which is such a tragedy, in my opinion. When you get married, yeah, that’s a time to celebrate…BUT, with each and every year – even every day – you become more deeply attached and connected to that other person. You gain more history.  You’re more in love. And, really, there’s even more to celebrate.

And that – at least for me – is what a Beloved session is all about. Celebrating two people who are not only in love – but are STILL in love. After 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, or 50 years. What is more worth celebrating?

I am truly honored to be able to provide this  unique and emotional experience for couples. For more information about Beloved sessions, please contact me.

Aaron and Samantha – Happy 1 year. Here’s to many, many more.