Parker

This doll baby is almost 1!

Time. FLIES.

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Back in 2017, I started working with Jenny, Seth, and their beautiful daughter Payton. She found me through a mutual friend, so a requirement upon booking was that I keep a secret - she was newly pregnant with her second baby.

Payton and I became quick friends during that first session together. We played chase, she pushed buttons on the camera, we blew bubbles and within 15 minutes she was sitting on my lap to check out how her pictures were coming along. Jenny and Seth didn’t know the gender of the baby at the time of our session but I was convinced all the blue was a sign. But in what seemed like only minutes, it was time for Baby Girl’s Fresh 48 session. Payton was totally smitten with baby Parker the moment they met. That delighted smile and the tiny hands exploring even tinier hands and feet - my heart melts into a puddle when I see sibling love like this.

Parker’s newborn session was a few days later. I love newborn sessions. Despite the sleepless nights, diaper changes, countless feedings, and extra laundry, new parents are brimming with this kind of baby glow. You can’t look at your newborn and not exude love and joy. I love it.

I also love wrapping up little baby burritos and giggling at how adorable they look.

4-month update: Payton was still smitten with Parker and covering her with kisses.

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And Parker’s hair was changing!

With my recent move away from STL, scheduling regular sessions with this awesome family has been pretty complicated. But last week, I got to see my lovely girls again! Jenny has always the cutest ideas and clothes for her girls and Parker’s 1-Year session was no exception. Donuts, sprinkles, sparkles, tulle, and so much pink. As I boy mom, I live for sessions like these where I get to enjoy all things girly.

Happy One Year, sweet thing! I hope we get to continue doing this all the way through your senior photos.

(Which I’m sure will feel like 5 minutes from now.)



Lauren + Kyle

First, just let me say… this session? Best way ever to kick off a new year.

In January, you can usually find me huddled up under various layers of clothing and blankets, muttering about how much I hate winter. I’m not made for winter. I’m always, sometimes inexplicably cold as it is, let alone when it’s under 50 degrees outside. And the gray skies, barren trees, and cabin fever from days stuck inside can turn me into a real scrooge. But 2019 started off with a bang thanks to this super awesome couple.

Lauren and Kyle totally nailed their engagement session because their happiness runs deeps and it is SO infectious. We had such a great time together, even with all the (literal) running we did to chase that beautiful golden hour light and squeeze in several spots around downtown Cape, where they first met. We were originally scheduled for January 2nd - a day that turned out to be super cold and dreary. So we postponed, hoping for an accurate forecast that predicted an unseasonably warm and sunny day a few days later. Mother Nature totally delivered.

Just when I was thinking it couldn’t get better, sunset came. I have never seen the Mississippi River look so incredible. The painted sky reflecting on the water was the stuff of dreams.

Aren’t they just gloriously in love?! I feel like it radiates off of them and it has me SO EXCITED for their wedding in October. Here’s to a 2019 full of more amazing, fun couples and beautiful sunsets!

P.S.

We had so much fun running around during this session that I lost my phone. I was a little mortified when I had to walk back over to Lauren and Kyle after saying our goodbyes to ask to use a phone to track mine. And while I looked for it on Lauren’s phone, Kyle took off walking to retrace our steps in hopes of finding it for me. So when I say these guys are awesome, I MEAN IT.

P.P.S.

I found it. Some guy watched it fall out of my pocket from a distance and took it to the Verizon store, totally boosting my confidence in humanity and basically saving my life. Thank you, dear stranger!!!








Wedding Bells

It’s been almost a year since my last post. * Insert embarrassed emoji*

But there’s no time like the new year to start up again. And besides, a lot of changes have come my way in the last 8 months. In July, we moved from STL back to our hometown, Jackson. I’ll be honest - it was a tough move, leaving behind our perfect little house, incredible friends, and the comforts of (suburban) city living. But here, we’re surrounded by family and building our forever home on 10 acres across from a peach orchard, so small town life is not without its perks. In addition to big life changes, I was pretty anxious about moving my business, overwhelmed at the thought of starting over. But in that time, I made the leap into wedding photography and I couldn’t be more excited about where things are headed.

Family and child photography will always have a piece of my heart and business, but there is something magical about photographing two people in love. I could wax poetic about all the things that make my little photographer heart soar - like the adoring way a groom looks at his bride, like he’s the luckiest guy on the planet. Or the way she smiles and laughs without inhibition when he whispers in her ear. Or I could not, because I’m not a poet by any stretch of the imagination and why tell you when I can show you?

I’m looking SO forward to a year of working with my amazing couples and growing my photography in new directions. I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2019 holds. If you need me, I’ll be behind my camera watching people say “I do” and trying to resist the urge to dance at their receptions.

Zach + Liz + Baby to Be

Missouri weather is a real piece of work. A few weeks ago, I laughed as I rolled up the blinds on a rainy morning and saw a swimming pool and sled sitting on my patio - both of which had been used in the same 4-day time frame. This unpredictability paired with the general dreariness of bare trees and gray skies means indoor shooting locations are in high demand in winter and lucky for me, the Botanical Garden is only 20 minutes away. 

I recently spent the morning at the Missouri Botanical Garden snapping some beautiful mamas-to-be. When I woke up that morning and let my dogs out, huge, beautiful flakes were falling from the sky. I immediately texted Liz, who had the first session slot, and told her we'd be shooting in the snow with my clear umbrella because guys... I've been dying to use that thing. Then I crossed my fingers and hoped that the snow would still be falling while we were shooting and look! For once, Missouri weather came through for me. 

Sigh... Magical. These lovely friends of mine had even brought some goodies from a local bakery, so life was pretty much perfect as I checked these shots on the back of my camera while sipping my steaming coffee in the snow.

But cameras and hot coffee only last so long in cold and wet conditions, so we headed inside to the Linnean House, where cacti and bananas happily grow despite the conditions outside. Small but beautiful, it's my favorite (indoor) spot at the Garden. The brick, the windows, and all the shades of green = love.

When we walked into the Linnean House, it was snowing. Twenty minutes later when we walked out, the snow had stopped and the sidewalks were already clear. Ah, Missouri. 
We headed to the Temperate House for a few more photos before stopping for the day. Before our session, Zach jokingly told me he didn't think I could get a good picture of him, but he played along anyway and we ended up getting a lot of great ones, so... I win this round, Zach! And I'll be getting another chance to prove him wrong very soon - their baby boy is due in 10 days and I'm so excited for their newborn session! 

To be continued... :) 

The Babbling Blondes + EverEve

Last Sunday, I had the privilege of meeting Lindsay and Carley from The Babbling Blondes blog to shoot a few pictures of their spring outfit picks from EverEve. If you've never been in EverEve, I highly encourage a visit. The first time I went, I told my husband "I would wear everything in this store." He feigned a slight amount of enthusiasm for me and I headed to the dressing room where I discovered they even have snacks and toys to keep small shoppers occupied while you try on two or three (or forty) things! That is, if you're lucky enough to actually make it into the store after stopping at the mall playground and the food court to pacify your kids. I usually end up with about 3 remaining minutes for shopping before we have to head home for nap time. Mom life. 

Sunday ended up being a beautiful day and we had a great time roaming and shooting around Old Webster. The kind folks at The Clover & the Bee even let us stop in and snap a few. And when Lindsay and Carley left to do an outfit change in the car, (we've allll been there!) I even managed to resist all the delicious, sweet treats surrounding me. 

Truth:  I didn't have my wallet. I would have certainly succumbed to the sugar otherwise. 

The girls came back in sleeveless shirts and managed to keep smiling and laughing despite the cool temp. I felt bad being all cozy in my sweater, puffer vest, and sock cap, but they were total pros. No shivering or complaining! We had such a fun 45 minutes together and I think I discovered a new love for blog photography. So, if you know of any bloggers looking for a fun session, send them my way! I'll even bring my wallet along to treat them to something delicious.

Baby Erik

I won't lie - when my friend Jules told me she was expecting her second baby, one of the first things I thought (second only to "Congratulations!!!" of course) was "ooooohhhh I can't wait to get that baby in front of my camera!" It was a long 8 months, guys. But a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of documenting Jules' sweet family when Erik was almost two weeks old.  

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I started with their oldest, Adeline, who has lots of personality and the cutest platinum hair. She has adapted to her big sister promotion quite easily and is even helping out, despite being only 2 1/2. One of my favorites from the whole session is this one:

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She gasped when she heard Erik crying in the next room and declared that he was awake. And that was the end of our time together. A truly responsible big sister, she had to find her crying baby. 

Once we got Erik swaddled and cozy, I set up shop in some nice window light and started shooting. Between the bright sunlight and the talking (he's a people person!), Erik wasn't going to go to sleep for me. But I did manage to catch an adorable yawn.

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Being the star of a photo shoot is hard, tiring work. 

Not long after, when he snuggled up in mama's arms, he gave in and slept through the entire next hour of the session, where we focused on the lifestyle shots. Posed newborn shots are beautiful and they have their place, but my favorites are the lifestyle images. The expressions and interactions are natural because they capture the family in their own home where they are comfortable and relaxed. It's good for them, good for baby, and obviously good for me. Once in a while, I smile my way through an entire edit because the love in their images is contagious. This was one of those times. 

Super soft and snuggly wrap by The Tiny Co.

New Year

Each year as the holiday festivities wind down, I make an overly ambitious list of New Year resolutions. And each year, by the end of January, it's clear that almost none of them are going to become a reality. I mean, I have a 5 year old and almost 2 year old at home with me full time... my days are full of diaper changes, endless snack-making, and living room dance parties. And when I'm not busy doing that, I'm letting my dogs out every 30 seconds to sniff the yard one more time. So once again, I've put most of my 2018 resolutions on the shelf. But it's not all bad, because you're here, and that means I have at least accomplished one goal:  a new website. AND! I'm blogging, which means I've officially started on another resolution. So I'm basically killing it so far. (Ha! Kidding. I'm still drinking too much caffeine and staying up too late to binge-watch my favorites shows, among many other things.) 

I debated about the first blog post for a while. I couldn't think of the "perfect" way to begin, so I got overwhelmed and avoided it altogether. Procrastinators, unite! But perfection is overrated anyway, so I just decided to start this new blogging endeavor by sharing some photos of my little family. And by family, I mean mostly my kids. I consider child photography to be the heart and soul of my business because that's how this journey began. So it seems fitting to share some of my favorites. And I wouldn't be a mom if I didn't also use this opportunity to gush about them. #sorrynotsorry.

The blonde-headed 5 year old is Gunnar. A true first-born, he's a leader and he keeps us on our toes. He's incredibly logical and straight-forward but is super silly too. I just registered him for Kindergarten (*sniff*)... the days are long but the years are short, right?! The redhead is Emmett. My favorite picture of him is in the slideshow:  his white onesie is covered in food, his face is dirty, and you can see a fresh knot on his forehead next to the scar from his stitches from a previous fall. That picture perfectly embodies his personality. He's ornery and fearless, but loves snuggling... for now, anyway. Our two dogs, Hutch and Izzy came around long before the kids, and they're still an important part of our family. Izzy is essentially the nanny around here and 85lb Hutch pulls his weight by making sure everyone is safe. If all is well, he spends his days sleeping. Ah, the life. 

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We met in high school choir and started dating in college. We've lived in three states and moved 8 times so if you ever need packing tips, feel free to call. We're originally from a little town in Southeast Missouri called Jackson and our family now owns and operates an orchard there. My parents still live there too, so we visit often, which is why you'll sometimes see photos from the farm. I could never pass on the opportunity to shoot in an orchard! 

A year ago, I felt a tug to quit my full-time job and stay home with my boys. I am so glad I followed it because doing so also allowed me to pursue this dream of starting a photography business. This isn't where I thought I would be on the first day of February 2018, and for that I'm extremely thankful. So, cheers to a new year and resolutions... even the ones we don't keep.