Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Growing Pains

Today has been a tough day, not gonna lie. I'm not really sure why today has been any harder than yesterday, really it's a transition year. This year my oldest son graduates from high school and my baby became a teenager. I am really mourning having a little one in my home. These feelings have really snuck up on me in the last few weeks. I've realized as our children go through rites of passage, so do we as parents....and I am not traveling very gracefully.

The beauty and challenge of being a photographer is getting to document the milestones of your own children. Truly, it is a blessing....truly. Senior photos are no different. Of course, from the point of view of the senior; I'm sure it seems the sessions are never ending. We started our senior sessions last year on vacation. We were in the stunning Smokey Mountain National Forrest, and in anticipation we packed the button down shirts for the trip. It was a little hot, but I think worth it. Please don't ask the teenager his opinion. It was all good for the first fifteen minutes or so, but became exceedingly less desirable as time wore on. Yet, I believe we were all happy with the results!

We even made, I mean let the little brother take a few.

The rest of the time I really wanted to indulge Zach and give him what he wanted. That meant I had to suffer through the scruffy beard and was a struggle, but I did my best.

And of course more, with a different guitar....

His favorite slam poet....

and then I got to indulge myself a bit.

Much to his pleasure our sessions are done (I think), but the milestones continue. I was proud to get to observe and video Zach's senior project. He presented on the importance of history preservation to the Board of Directors of the Reno County Museum. I was honored to get to listen and Zach did a fantastic job. The curator offered him an internship, as did several of the board members; definitely a proud mom moment. Pictured below are all the pieces of personal history he brought from home.

Afterward, Zach got to tour the storage areas of the museum!

I would say we've come a long way, I look forward to the journey of the next month with dread, wistfulness, many emotions that words can not portray.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Top 10 (or so) Photo's for 2013

I can't believe I haven't blogged since September, what a slacker. One of my business goals for 2014 is to blog at least once a week....we'll see how that goes :)

So, for the first post of 2014 I'm going to share a few of my favorite shots. I was going to do top 10, but I really couldn't narrow it down that far; so you're stuck with the top 15.

15. Spring in Kansas was so weird this year. It snowed in May on the kids last day of school. In April, we had an amazing ice storm. Let me just say that I hate ice storms. However, when they occur in April, they are generally short lived. The following day was beautiful, so I grabbed the opportunity to take some pictures before it all melted away.

14. More April ice storm. I love, love, love tree canopies. What could be more majestic than these ice laden trees over the dirt road; especially when you see the green grass of spring. By the time I finished shooting here the ice missiles rained down upon my car.

13. In May I had the honor of being a founding member of a new photography studio in town. Studio 13 is located near Main Street at 13 E. Sherman. The studio has definitely grown my photography business, but more importantly, what a pleasure it has been to get to know my fellow studio mates. I've gained many friends. The photo below is our "hair and makeup girl" (Lyndsey Clune) sporting her fabulous tool belt. Seriously folks, if you have the opportunity for some pampering from Lyndsey, you won't be sorry!

12. Some of the best photos are simply snapshots. This year the kids and I traipsed across Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee on vacation, with a quick dip down into Georgia and Alabama. We didn't have plans to stop in Memphis, but a certain boy I know LOVES.....I mean LOVES pandas. He had it on good authority that the Memphis Zoo had his furry, black and white friends. So, stop we did. Literally, we stopped in Memphis long enough to go to the zoo. I'm so glad we did, the look on his face when we saw them was worth every minute (this photo wasn't staged folks, he really was this happy)!

11. This year I have reflected a lot on the freedom we have, and what that freedom has cost. I had the honor of photographing the American Veteran's Traveling Tribute many times through the week they were here. My favorites are of the wall being assembled. I get a lump in my throat when I think of what has been sacrificed so that I can continue to speak what I want, and worship freely! I am so grateful.

10. More of the traveling wall. What a labor of love, for those who came out to put it up.

9. I was so moved by the traveling wall that I decided to have a contest for veterans. I asked people for nominee's of those who had served or were serving. The response was overwhelming and I chose 3 nominees for a free photo shoot each. This shoot gave me a two for one. This is Reid and Gambler. Reid had two tours, but his first deployment was with Gambler, who was deployed as a bomb sniffing dog. Gambler was deployed twice after the first tour, with different partners. After his third tour he was retired, and Reid was given the opportunity to adopt him. I think about Reid and the other men and women who risk everything for us; but I would challenge us all to think of the unsung heroes of our wars. It never occurred to me that there were four legged soldiers fighting for my freedom! Thanks Reid and Gambler for telling me your story.

8. This picture just makes me happy. It's my boy and his guitar.

7. Briggs, isn't he a handsome boy!?! Absolutely one of my favorite baby shots of the year.

6. My friend Dani and her family. I adore shared looks over the babes. What a sweet family.

5. Another friend. While shooting this papa loving on his boy, I happened to capture the smitten mama as she watched over her boys. This photo is everything that is pure and loving. What a blessing for me, to be a part of such an intimate moment.

4. I know this isn't technically the best photo, yet it is definitely one of my favorites of the year. Little Meyer had such a look of wonder on his face. Of course it was his daddy that elicited such a response. What a sweet little dude that stole my heart.

3. Two of my favorite girls in the whole wide world. No further explanation needed :)

2. Another sweet moment of intimacy from a recent shoot. They were just playing around waiting for me to get ready. It's a good thing I already was, I'd have hated to miss this moment.

1. And finally....while I find it hard to really put any of these photos in order of favorites, I love the wonder and excitement in Farra's eyes. This girl captured my heart when I met her, and now so has her little family.

I pray you all have an amazing year!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Have you ever met someone just by chance that just tugged on your heart from the start? Who knew when I met Farra at her job that she would be one of those people; but she was. She's a little bit of a girl, with a quiet way at first, but a wicked silly sense of humor. When my son started working with her, it sealed the deal!

Farra met her "someone special" and now the have someone special to both of them. A little over a month ago, little Ryker made his way into the world. What a sweet, special little man. Did you know the meaning of the name Ryker is "becoming rich" according to (9/7/2013)? I think Ryker is not becoming, but is already rich. He is rich in love, surrounded by a multitude who adore him.

I was blessed to photograph Ryker and his mommy and daddy. Here are just a few from our session. Thank you Mason and Farra for allowing me a glimpse of your life, and thank you Chris Block who partnered with me for this session.

Monday, September 2, 2013


The thing about a blog, is that you have to actually blog. I think all the time about how I need to update mine, but think that I don't have anything really interesting to say. Oh well, that's not what I'm here to blog about today. Tomorrow we are reaching a milestone at our house. My sweet, precious 6 pound baby Taylor, Tate, Tator Tot, Tator bug, Tay; whichever name I call him, is entering the 7th grade!  It seems like just yesterday that he was this little gray bunny, or this little dude at the lake...and now he's going into Middle School.....*gasp**gulp**sob*

It really is so fun to see them grow and discover what kind of men they are growing into. This guy is so sweet and sensitive. He knows how to love! He cares about the people around him. He is special, to me for sure; but I think to everyone who takes the time to know him. My buddy has such amazing insight. A teacher once told me that whenever she asked a question, Taylor always had his had up first; and she wanted to call on him every time, just to hear what he had to say. 

So now he's half grown and moving up into a new school. It will be an exciting time for him, bittersweet as he only has one class with his very best friend. But he will grow, make new friends and seek out his current friends. Part of me is scared, nervous for him....but the bigger part is so excited to see him embark on this new world he's entering. It's an exciting time at our house and some of us are excited for it.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A life time ago

A life time ago I was in high school, really it was a life time 30 years! My junior year of high school we had a foreign exchange student from least he started out as just a foreign exchange student. He ended up being a very dear friend, as it turns out....a life long friend. Cristian Carlone spent a year in Winfield, Kansas 31 years ago.

Who knew that 31 years later we would be sitting in a restaurant in Wichita spending the afternoon together, one of my very besties, Lauren; Cris and I?

The Italian Stallion still has it! 

We had a great time revisiting the fun times we've had, talking about our families and laughing the afternoon away. It was sad of course, when our time together ended. My drive home was spent pondering friendships I've had. I have been so blessed throughout my life to have long lasting friendships. I cherish those special relationships, both the old and the new.  Cris, if you read this; you are a treasure to me beyond words! Together we learned to take lemons and squeeze them into lemonade!