natural light

Faith Academy of Montessori // Mini Session Fundraiser // Larson Park, Tiles Park & Oak Knoll Park, St. Louis, MO

I did a fundraiser for my son's, preschool recently... jamming 12 Mini Sessions into two weekends. It was insanely fun, exhausting and exhilarating. I get totally energized from doing photography, so the exhaustion didn't really kick in until a few days after it was all said and done. Photography simply fuels my creative spirit. So this was like 10 cups of coffee for me. We ended up fundraising over $2,200 to go towards a new natural playground at their school! I was so proud of all of us! Here is a sneak peak of the families that participated. What well behaved, Montessori children!

Grace is 1! // Forest Park // St. Louis, MO

I had the pleasure of photographing Miss Grace around her first birthday! What a sweet girl! We were blessed with some magical light on her photoshoot, along with some beautiful surroundings! Grace had a smile that lit up her surroundings, and very twinkly blue eyes that made your heart melt. And those lashes... and that adorable dress! She had some other funny expressions that captured what was on her mind. Like... "This balloon is amazing! Wow a clip to HOLD the balloon!". She was totally full of grace, but not afraid to get down and dirty when we wanted some crawling photos. She loves her Mommy and Daddy, her dog, books... and learning to walk. 

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Maggie + Patrick (and coming-soon, Henry) // Maternity // St. Louis, MO

How can I forget the star of the show, Bart (the bulldog)? He simply wanted to steal the spotlight during my recent photo session with his pregnant Mommy/owner.  His sweet, older companion, Homer (the pug) was also adorable and loving, doting on his pregnant Mommy. I love the names— Bart & Homer, my favorite childhood tv show, the Simpsons! These two adorable pups are smitten with their Mommy Maggie, as I am sure the NEW star of the show, baby Henry, will be as well. Maggie has a very calm energy, already deeply in love with this little baby. With a history of being a Nanny, I teased that she is already a professional Mom. Soon-to-be-Dad Patrick also has a calming energy, and is as loving and supportive as a Dad could be. These highschool sweethearts are starting a new, exciting chapter in their lives, and will no doubt be amazing parents. Their house will be a fun little circus for sure, with these two furry big brothers welcoming baby Henry in just a month! 

Mel + Joe // The Tea Barn at Fair Hill // Elkton, MD

These two crazy, adorable kids are the epitome of fun. I was so honored to take part in their special day. When I say that they know how to have fun, I mean it. Silly string at the engagement shoot? Um, yes please. Circus themed wedding at a barn with a kissing booth, ring toss, super-sized Jenga game, skee-ball and corn hole? Um, dream come true for a photographer. From the games, to the countless details scattered throughout the venue, this wedding was asking to be over-photographed. Which it was. And to make matters worse, these two lovebirds were extremely photogenic. 

The wedding took place on an unusually hot day in late September. The sun was shining brightly over the barn the entire afternoon and until sunset. Mel and Joe carried their big spirits everywhere they went that day, barely letting a moment pass without a big smile or laugh (Mel has a great, big, throw-your-head-back kind of laugh). They danced until the sun went down and left in a colorful shower of silly string. They were surrounded by a lot of amazing people that day, who clearly knew how much these two loved each other. And through it all, one big thing that mattered to them on their wedding day, was that everyone was having as much fun as them, including the vendors. What an extremely big-hearted, cool couple. Thanks for having me Mel & Joe!

Vendors: Wedding Planner: Danielle Crumlish | Getting Ready Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott | Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Tea Barn at Fair Hill | DJ: Andre Verlander | Officiant: Randy Franco | Videographer: Valley Creek Productions | Second Shooter: Kelci Alaine Photography | Catering: The Wood Fired Pizza Shop | Catering: Little Baby's Ice Cream

Little Aly // Northern VA

Happy Friday ya'll! Here are some photos from a recent shoot I did for my coworker and her ADORABLE baby girl, Aly. This little munchkin is so full of cuteness, and is incredibly sweet on top of it. She's also incredibly laid back. You know how everyone says they want a laid back baby? Well this girl is that baby. She did not have a single fussy "peep" during the whole session. I think back on Finn, and he would have demanded milk and/or a nap at least once in the span of time that I was with Aly. And he would have tried to eat the balloons. And the crate. And probably the grass too.

Aly also had these great little expressions. Check out that "I may be little, but I have a big personality!" face in the series on the bridge. You'll know which one I'm talking about. This little girl is awesome.

Her parents are chill too, so it all makes sense. Of course my coworker wore a dress that perfectly matched the balloons that I picked up. Totally perfect coincidence. And as two geeky Graphic Designers, we were thrilled. Oh, and their beautiful dog, General Patton hung out with us too. He was also a perfect gentleman! The few times I've done a shoot with a dog, it ends up making things pretty tricky. This fine Sir even let me take a couple snaps of him calmly standing (or laying) guard over his sweet little family.

What a beautiful spot and lovely evening spent with this very cool little family.

Beautiful Savannah // Tybee Beach, GA

Is there a 'command z' (or 'edit undo') button for life? 

I recently posted that my little family was packing up and moving to Savannah, GA because my husband took a new job. I am happy (and sad) to announce that we are not moving to Savannah. We were two days away from moving when my husband and I decided that it was not the right move (no pun) for him professionally. Sure, it would have been nice to have figured this out a couple weeks sooner – but I sure as heck am happy that we figured this out a few days before loading up the moving truck. 

So here I am, editing this blog post that was originally an announcement about our move. I really do not have much to say, other than – I remain grateful for all of the things that I have in life, rather than the things I lack. There have been a few things that have happened in the last couple months that have given me great perspective. Life is just too short to worry about something like packing and unpacking boxes. And not living near the beach again. Sigh. ;)

So, as I said before, I'll say it again: Sometimes life takes us in a new direction and we just have to follow that flow. It can be exciting, scary, thrilling and sad all at once. But we have to embrace it and make the best of it. We can't look back. We can't worry about the future. We just have to ride that wave–trusting that it is going to be one hell of a ride. 

Here are some awesome reasons to visit Savannah, Georgia. We'll be back someday, pretty lady.

Here are some shots from our visit a month ago… when Finn discovered pure "gold". The beach, the sand and the mysterious ocean. I swear I did not coordinate Finn and my color matching. 

a brand new baby for christmas

I had the pleasure of photographing the sweetest little family, just before Christmas. The Momma had her third, beautiful baby (a boy) on December 6th, which is RIGHT in the middle of the holiday craziness. I can relate 100% (Finn was born on 12.10.12). SO, I re-assured dear Momma that people would understand if she didn't have holiday cards AND announcements sent before Christmas, in addition to taking care of all of the other typical holiday needs AND a new baby. She sounded just like me last year, trying to do it all. Such an angel! I told her, "I think people would be impressed and surprised if you got all of that done"! Last year I had to be easy on myself and settle on sending a combination birth announcement/new years card (skipping a Christmas card). It can be really difficult trying to get everything done, the way we are used to. But as a Mom you also have to force yourself to let that pile of laundry pile up sometimes (a few days too). It actually is liberating. Meanwhile... flash forward three days and you find me on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floors and cabinets like Cinderella. 

Sorry, tangent! The photoshoot was AMAZING! Not only did I photograph the oh-so-beautiful new baby boy, but I spent the morning photographing his older sister and brother, who built a gingerbread house in the process. It was so much fun! I will be sure to try to plan activities for kids next time I have an indoor shoot. It kept them focused and creative. They did a seriously good job on that house too! These kids were so sweet, silly and adorable. What more can a photographer ask for?

I was thrilled with the light that poured in through their windows... enjoy, enjoy.

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Nothing beats family time

Here are some more photos from my visit to my sister's place somewhere between here and the West Coast, right near Lake Erie to be more specific ;) There is nothing more important than family, so I soaked up every second I could. I took a lot of photos of my nephew Ross, aka "Rossy Boss". He just turned two a few days ago, happy birthday bud! The angel faced, deep thinker.. who has few things to say (but he seems to choose his words carefully, like his Daddy). He likes to call Finn by his middle name, Jude... which actually sounds like "Dude".

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A shoot on Lake Erie- behind the scenes

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! It snuck up on me fast, and flew right on by.

I was lucky enough to see all of my immediate family, near and afar. Over Thanksgiving we all headed to the Midwest to see my sister and her clan of boys. She has an awesome little family; three boys and a Rottie named Petunia. My sister is my other half. I would be lost without her. I wish we lived closer, but I'll take what I can get.

Here are some behind the scene photos, in addition to the actual photos of me shooting my sister's family photos on Lake Erie, (my husband took iPhone pics of me shooting them). You'll also see a photo of my hubby photographing my sister, brother and I in one. My Dad is the one that took the holiday photo of my little fam (see previous post). Any photo of me in it was taken by either my hubby or Dad. So yea, I ask the family to step up if I need to be in the photo. I just adjust the settings and hand the camera over... and pray they get me in focus!

I have some more awesome shots from the visit, which I'll post soon. Here is the bunch from the Lake. And to any of you who think you can't have a photoshoot in the winter, you are wrong (have you seen my shoot of Finn in the highchair while it is snowing- which the Grandparents thought was cruel, but he loved it, I swear). My sister's boys LOVED being outside, regardless of the chill in the air. Natural light is best, and my absolute standard for shooting. 

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squatch hunting

Happy Halloween! I took the little man out to the wetlands & woods nearby to do a little Sasquatch hunting (or cute winter yeti hunting- that looks like a scary chicken). If I haven't said it lately, I'm so grateful to have such a happy baby (he must take after his Dad, who is ridiculously happy all the time). He was so happy to get out and crawl all over the boardwalk (and I had to chase him away from the edges every 5 shots). Num num num... leaves taste yummy.

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