portrait

Kappel Family // larson park // st. louis, mo

I recently photographed this awesome family, with three kiddos (all individually unique). The youngest was super outgoing and silly. She reminded me a little bit of myself as a child. Her name is Annie, which is what I went by as a kid. I'm pretty sure I told her Mom numerous times how funny and adorable I thought Annie was (so I must be funny and adorable- er was at one point?!). I, like Annie, am also the youngest of three kiddos, with a big brother and big sister. 

Annie clearly was the outgoing, silly child. Her energy was infectious. She LOVED to be center stage. She was unique and colorful. I think birth order is so interesting, and I'm sure there are a lot of youngest children like Annie... outgoing and silly, refusing to let their voice go unheard. I love it! 

Emma and Sam were so patient and sweet with their younger sister Annie. They let her be in the middle, in the front, on center stage. They were laughing at her funny antics most of the time, too. Like it was just another scene in their movie called life. Emma was the patient older sister. The way the light was bouncing off of her was so beautiful. Sam was a silly one himself, but also had this old-soul element. He was super comfortable in front of the camera, and did a crazy back bend. You kids rock. What a fun family! 

Haddie // Larson Park // St. Louis, MO

I really want to keep this one short and sweet. Haddie is clearly such a beautiful little girl. Her Mom is a hairstylist and has great taste in fashion. But not only are they a beautiful, stylish family, they have beautiful personalities. Haddie and her Mom were so sweet and soft spoken. Haddie took a little warming up, but soon enough was chasing her Dad around, playing peek-a-boo and climbing a rock wall! The last thing her Mom said before we started was "Oh, I just really want some photos that capture the love that we share.". My heart melted.. I wish every client asked for this, because that really is all that I want to do for all of you! Capture the love that you share...

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!

Sweet baby Nolan

There was another very special baby that was born right before Christmas. Finn's younger cousin, Nolan. We were so glad that our rotation of holiday visits landed on this side of the family for this past Christmas, which fell two weeks after Nolan was born. The timing couldn't have been more perfect! He came into this world calmly and is just about one of the most laid back babies that I have ever met. He is also incredibly sweet and snuggly. Finn is always SO excited to follow his big cousin Trevor around, trying desperately to keep up. One day Finn, one day. It will be fun to see the three of them following each other around next year!

Here are some tips for any Mommy photographers or Moms that are just trying to take photographs of their newborn: Stay calm, patient, turn up the heat, have a blow-dryer handy, burp the baby, rock the baby and photograph near a window. See more below...

We had the heat set to 80 degrees, went through 5 diaper changes2 feedings and ran the hair-dryer before little Nolan happily fell asleep on his parent's bed. Also, his Mommy's relaxed and soothing attitude (see her hand on him below) helped him fall asleep with not a care in the world. Having the Mom stay close usually helps keep the little one relaxed. If they are hungry though, they will smell her and wail. So keep them well fed! Some babies do get distracted by Mommy's sent regardless, so if they don't calm down, send her away to get some R&R. Using the parents bed is a great way to have a lot of space around the baby to work with. Just make sure you shoot in the room of choice when the lighting is best. Don't get frustrated if the baby is awake, those can be beautiful photographs as well. When they sleep though, they tend to have a more relaxed face, with no "Benjamin Button" wrinkles, haha. A hair-dryer, white noise machine (a ton of apps for your smart phone) or a vacuum cleaner also tend to stop the crying if it gets really bad. Remember to burp the baby after the feedings as well, and don't rush! A last ditch method is to either you or the Mommy hold the baby on their back with the head in your hands and feet pressed into your belly and sway him/her left to right (back and forth), keeping their feet in the same place. This motion creates some kind of effect that is similar to being in the womb. Remember to be patient, and give yourself 2-4 hours if needed. Babies are like sharks and pick up on fear, hahaha! G'luck!

Nolan_2.jpg
Nolan_4.jpg
Nolan_3.jpg
Nolan_1.jpg
Trevor_1.jpg

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. 

holiday_oh_shoot.jpg
holiday_oh_shoot_2.jpg
holiday_oh_shoot_3.jpg
holiday_oh_shoot_4.jpg
holiday_oh_shoot_6.jpg
holiday_oh_shoot_7.jpg

a day in the life of finn

I know, I know, I'm obsessed with my child. I'm sure you are too, or will be with your future child. So here is the third post of the birthday boy. I tried to capture a normal day with the Bubba, which I am blessed enough to enjoy 4 times a week. It could be better, but hey it could be worse. I treasure every single moment with him. I don't take my time for granted. I try so so hard not to do too many dishes or scrub the floor while he is awake. I've learned to be present SO very often when I am with him. Nothing else matters. I get down on my hands and knees and crawl around with him. We both have bruised knees.

It is amazing how full of love and light children are. I wish we as adults could maintain that open-hearted nature. Do you see how bright and happy he is when he first wakes up? Do you also notice he went through 4 outfits that day? LOL. You could wake up at 7am every day if he was your alarm clock too... "Baaaaaa Maaaaaaa Gaaaaa Dadadada"!

Finn_1yr-2.jpg
Finn_1yr-1.jpg
Finn_1yr-3.jpg

Boo Bear

I spent a relaxing-but-not-so-relaxing week in my family's cabin in the woods (on a lake) in upstate New York about a month ago. It was my "summer vacation". My husband wasn't with me, so I was a bit short of help. I was basically chasing Finn around the whole week, aside from a few moments of solitude. My parents (MomMom and Poppi) were there too, but they were also on their vacation. It was a great vacation, since the sole purpose was to spend some quality time with my boo bear. My husband's Aunt conveniently sent this (un-coincidentally) adorable hat a couple weeks before the trip!

Finn_bear.jpg

The sweetest

I had the pleasure of photographing one of the sweetest families I know. Big brother Evan and his little sister, Ellie are just two peas in a pod! They both are seriously mini-me versions of their parents. I love it! Evan is such a smart little guy, who says the funniest things (Hey, Mr. Photographer Man, can we try that big light on your camera for the next photo?). He was a pure natural at tree-climbing, and oh-so-fearless! Ellie is an old soul with twinkly blue (greenish) eyes and a big, beautiful smile (but shares it selectively, which I love). She loves to play chase and tickle her big brother too! I can't believe how much bigger these two sweeties have gotten since last year...

Spencers_1.jpg
Spencers_2.jpg
spencer_3.jpg

My little cousins

Once removed cousins, that is. Or whatever. That stuff confuses me. It's too late, so don't ask! Tomorrow is Friday, that's all that matters! 

These adorable kiddos are my cousin's kids, which I am lucky enough to live closer to  since moving back east. It has been so wonderful being close to family. I have a ton of super-amazing relatives, and it just so happens that my cousin married a super-amazing woman. I seriously feel like I'm related to her too. She loves when I take photos of her mini trio, and I am more than delighted to use them as my little models. Especially when they have the cutest outfits (for a wedding they were in)! The oldest, Hailey, is blossoming before my eyes. Such a beauty. James is the MOST energetic child on earth. I adore him so much. One time when I visited, he was wearing a daisy costume and pouting by the big window as I left. He is so fearless and full of life. You'll see his eyes twinkle if he stays still long enough. Ava, the youngest.. is just the sweetest sweetest girl. She is a tiny little peanut, but as fearless as her big brother. And never stops smiling!

kleins_1.jpg
kleins_2.jpg