Thursday, July 24, 2014

36, That's Right, 36!

Well world, today is my birthday and I bet no one can guess how old I am!! :)
I have debated what to write on my blog about this glorious day o' birth  but I'm scattered with thoughts so I'll just put, let's say, 36 random thoughts down. Shall we begin?

There we go, last year's birthday picture. Now I can begin!

1.) I noticed today when putting money in my wallet that I have to turn all the bills to face the same direction. OCD or military precision - you decide.
2.) When going to sleep at night I flip and flop and wiggle so that my sheets always cover my shoulders - even when it's a million degrees out. I don't know why - perhaps my mom can give me some insight on that one or my sister since she'll be the one who reads this! ;)
3.) I am truly so happy, excited, nervous, and joyous about this next year and pursuing my photography passion.
4.) I will often dance around my house with my daughter when I play music... and often times it looks like this: (not that song though)
5.) I went gluten-free last year around Thanksgiving time - took a quiz online about it and discovered that half of my issues were tied to gluten - who knew??
6.) I'm so honored that so many people trust me with taking their picture. It seriously warms my heart with every person that books. Yep - I'm that cheesy.
7.) Speaking of cheese - I could watch the following movies anytime they come on even though I could probably recite them all to you: Top Gun, Dirty Dancing, Sixteen Candles, Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, and Sound of Music. I know you either think more of me or less of me now.
8.) I love cheesecake.
9.) Marketing a business is hard - I ain't gonna lie.
10.) I have been stung/bit by a scorpion, jellyfish (twice) and a brown recluse spider - and am still kicking!
11.) Speaking of kicking - as a kid I cartwheeled into our coffee table and messed up my ankle.
12.) Then b/c why not up the ante -I competed in a swing jumping competition with my brother and lost terribly when I landed on my arm and created a neat "U" shape in 2nd grade. #notwinning
13.) I come from a very small town, well, it's bigger now, but I had 66 people in my graduating class and people have laughed at me about that. I loved it though. I knew everyone and am still friends with some of these people and thanks to Facebook have been able to make new friendships with old people. (That reads funny - but you know what I mean!)
14.) I have 4 friends that have the same birthday as me. How crazy is that?
15.) My husband and I have total opposite views on road trips. I enjoy the ride and he just wants to get there. Thanks to my ability to need to go potty after just looking at a billboard for water - it's made for some fun car rides. :)
16.) Thanks to growing up in a small town I was able to participate in just about any activity possible - here are some of the things I did in high school: band, basketball, tennis, track, cheerleading, yearbook, Spanish club, student council, honor society, class treasurer - to name a few.
17.) My younger brother and I landed in the same Chemistry class my Senior year/ his sophomore  year. He didn't let me look off his paper once since he was definitely stronger in the science dept. I've never forgiven him for that. He said, "Then the teacher will know you're cheating." Harsh. ;)
18.) I have a yellow belt in Krav Maga and a black belt in Keeping It Real.
19.) I know some seriously strong women and they have helped shape me into the person I am today. I'm forever grateful for them.
20.) Google wished me Happy Birthday today and it literally startled me!
21.) I can't believe my 21st birthday was 15 years ago. Time flies but I swear I don't feel my age at all. Well, my foot does b/c I've been working out, but everything else feels great!
22.) My parents are simply amazing - I'm not lying. Some people have parent issues and I have been blessed to have two wonderful ones. Actually my whole family is pretty darn amazing.
23.) I'm just going to throw it out there, but, my kid is hilarious, cute and a genius. There, I've said it. Don't let her constant nose picking fool you - all the greats did it, I'm sure of it.
24.) I tell people to remember my birthday by saying "24-7" b/c it sounds really cool.
25.) I used to work for a company where I would travel all around the country and teach teachers how to use a software product. I once spoke in front of a group of almost 200. I nearly died it was so nerve-wracking, but I somehow did it! I never thought much of public speaking or my ability to do it, but somehow I did it!
26.) Above mentioned job took me to some cool places - I ran the "Rocky" steps in Philadelphia, hoofed it to Chinatown in NYC and spent a week or two with some teachers in New Jersey who schooled me on teachers unions and made me wish I was a teacher there - just for the union benefits! Sidenote - job also took me to some not cool places as well that I won't mention so as not to offend. ;)
27.) I had the opportunity to work for the government - in a field not anyone reading this could ever guess. It's funny how life turns out. Don't ask b/c I can't tell you.
28.) My favorite color changes yearly - I guess I just get bored.
29.)  I have a ton of high heels and wedges and I LOVE them, however, since having a child I swear my feet have totally forgotten how to wear them. I used to wear them weekly and now I look like Whoopi Goldberg in "Ghost" when I walk in them.
30.) I have the world's biggest sweet tooth and now that I've got a fitness goal in mind it is seriously a daily battle to avoid and talk my self out of eating sweets. It's SO hard!
31.) My family will speak in accents on the phone - for no. apparent. reason. I did it yesterday - not even joking.
32.) David Beckham is my celebrity crush and I think my husband looks a little bit like him - so that would make him my real life crush. Awww. Sidenote - I just showed my daughter a picture of David Beckham and asked her who it was. She said, "My Dad!" Theory proven!

33.) It is totally bizarre to not be in "getting ready for school" mode this year. So bizarre.
34.) I've only ridden a horse once in my life, on my honeymoon, and it scared me to death! Yet I love horses and have a great friend who has a stable. Go figure.
35.) Love riding roller coasters as an adult - used to freak me out as a kid - now I love them, but haven't ridden them in years.
36.) I love Disney World. I have been more times than most and I still get excited every time I cross through those gates. I can't wait to take my daughter there someday!!

Well - there you have it. 36 thoughts, ticks, random things on my big 36th. I am so blessed and happy for everything in my life right now and I can't thank y'all enough for being a part of this journey of life with me. I wish everyone an awesome year whether it's your birthday or not! Go eat some cake today just for the heck of it!

Love to All!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why Hire a Photographer??

I mean, these days with Instagram and DSLR's being so user friendly why in the world spend the money on someone taking your picture when you can simply do it yourself?? This is something I struggle with and am often asked about b/c there are easy-peasy editing sites out there now and almost anyone can make their pictures look great. Instagram and all it's finishing glory has the ability for anyone to take their picture of their coffee from boring to artful!

The answer for as to why you should hire someone is not a clean and simple reply though - why do we hire anyone to do work for us? Well, because one - they are an expert in the field. They have a solid understanding of what they are doing and can create a masterpiece b/c they know their craft. Fashion designers, painters, chefs, mechanics - all of these people have a passion and skill set for what they do that not everyone possesses and that's why we pay them to work with us.

Second - if you do it yourself you could be missing out. What do I mean by missing out? Being a photographer I am constantly snapping pictures - very rarely am I in these pictures with the exception of some selfies and the occasional self-timer shots. Even with a self-timer I know when the "click" is coming, my phone even counts down for me and I can prepare myself for the shot. We got our family pictures done last year and this was my favorite shot. So much so that I got a large canvas of it. Now you may think this was totally posed and that our photographer (the talented Abby Glenn of Abby Glenn Photography) coached us through it. Well, it was absolutely none of the above. We were nearing the end of our shoot and it was COLD that morning - I mean probably in the 30's cold - and my baby girl was FREEZING. Her little nose and cheeks were turning red and she was pretty much done with getting her pictures done. This was simply my husband and I trying to warm her up. I simply love this image for that reason - it's us, it's our love for our daughter, and it's a tiny moment I would have never thought to take with a timer or pose ahead of time. Shots like these - these are what I hire someone for to take our pictures. Real life.

Now absolutely the posed shots where everyone is looking are amazing and are the goal for many people. I have those framed and on our wall as well. So a third reason you may hire someone is because we only get one trip in this crazy road of life and I personally want to remember it and capture it for generations to come. We are not perfect creatures and it breaks my heart when so many people, women specifically, won't get their picture taken b/c of how they look and their unhappiness with some little flaw they think they have, be it weight, blemishes, or anything else. Please don't erase yourself from your family history b/c you are unhappy with something that honestly only you are stressing about it. Get in the picture for your kids -even if you are doing the dreaded "hide behind my kid pose" get in the shot. Even on the days when I feel like crud and my hair is a mess and I haven't put any make up on and my daughter comes up with the phone and says, 'Take a picture with me Mama.' I do it. I do it b/c she doesn't see any of the things I might be fretting over - she just see's her mom and she loves her. Who can say "no" to that?

One thing I can do as a professional is I know how to take your picture to make you feel comfortable and make your look your best. How is that? Well, if I told you THAT you all would do it. ;) I make the photo experience fun. I used to love the once a year dressing up for a family picture for the church directory. It was an event, a highlight, a chance to get all dolled up, and a chance to be with the family that I loved all in one spot! I promise to make your laugh - most of the time at my expense, but because life is short - why not laugh while taking pictures??



So, in a nutshell why hire a photographer? A photographer can "see things you can't". Not in the 6th Sense way, but we do hone into those little emotions between people and know when to click the button. We love and are passionate about what we do so we are connected to what we are doing for you. So hiring a photographer can be a way to quite simply, capture the love between you and your loved ones. Right now I am offering $50 off any session I honor of my birthday - see ad below!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


See rules below!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Senior Year...

So upon looking through my work I noticed I did not get a chance to post about my Senior Model Reps who helped me out this spring. Here is a peek into that session and what possibilities a senior session can look like.




It's never too early to book your Senior session! Contact me today at:

Monday, June 30, 2014

June from my phone..

So somehow June has flown by and I have a beautiful tan to show for it. Now it came at the expense of a really bad sunburn on our fist day at the beach, but as misery loves company - the WHOLE family was burned. We can't figure out if we all had bad sunscreen, if it was a terrible UV day, or some other natural phenomenon tied to El Nino!

Anyways - here is a sneak peek into what I've been up to...while at the beach...

Top row: beach house d├ęcor... only by the beach can shells be used for everything
2nd row: sweet cousins, mud pies, early morning shoot, dolphin watching, and walking with Nin
3rd row: apparently I've got an unhealthy obsession with taking photos of birds, I'm too embarrassed at just how many I actually took.. moving on..
4th row: toes in the sand, my first attempt at a jump - what the heck, I look like a Muppet, 2nd attempt hair tied down and now my shirt is unruly, 3rd attempt - success, 4th attempt - holding phone while jumping...apparently it's quite stressful
5th row: shout out to my little sister-in-law for catching this one of me and my girl, me riding a gnarly wave, photo courtesy of a 3 year old, burn of the century as mentioned above, best treatment for sunburn - ice cream!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What I've Been Working On Wednesday

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with two amazing families. Both were sessions where toddlers were involved, and being a Mom of a toddler, I knew my approach had to be FUN.
I brought along some of the favorites of the kiddos that I learned about from their Moms and did my best with the tiny window of attention you have with a 2 and 3 year old. One thing I want families to realize that work with me is that not every picture has to be "perfect". There is a good chance I'll catch everyone smiling at me at one time, but the pictures I really love, are the ones where I catch you just being yourself. The boys dancing in the second photo is one of my all time favorites. Everyone was lined up behind and then these two scoot out and start dancing - priceless!! The very last photo gets me too - just a Dad and his son sharing a moment. Sometimes the "every day" is just perfect.

First up the "W" family:

Then I had a nice little session down by the lake with the "S" family:

Oh that pout on little man - kills me, but the look of love in his Mama's eyes is just the embodiment of motherhood. Love that photo.

So that's what I've been up to as of late!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

*Thank You*

The response I've received from my post yesterday has been overwhelming and humbling. I appreciate every kind word, "share", "like", and "follow" that I've received. For those of you who have inquired and are now in the process of booking a shoot with me - thank you so much.

I failed to include this little man's photos yesterday in my blogpost. Little Mr. P was born very, very early a few years ago and I'm happy to say he's a thriving little toddler these days! I was so lucky to be able to take his pictures once he got home from the NICU. Life is truly amazing and miracles are all around us - sometimes you have to just slow down and take a closer look.


Monday, June 23, 2014


-the art of helping others through photography

When  I look back on pictures of my loved ones who have passed on to heaven  I am grateful for every second I was able to spend with them and a tiny bit sad that I don't have more pictures to look back on. My brother passed away unexpectedly in a car accident when I was 13,  I was old enough to remember  life with  him, but as years pass my memories of him are tied more directly to the photos I have of him.  Unfortunately the last pictures we took together were on a roll of film that got  exposed so there is a huge bright  line down the center of them. These two pictures remind of me very specific memories - the one on the right is the last "good" photo we got of Chris. That is my now grown nephew's tiny hand on his knee. Everyone in the family treasures that photo and I remember that exact moment because of this picture.

As I start my photography business full time right now I struggled to find a way I can "help" others through my craft. I read Blake Mycoskie's , "Start Something that Matters" (founder of TOMS)  and I was inspired, hopeful and now filled with an idea for what I CAN do.
For every session anyone books with me you can donate a session to a family in need.
This can be for a family that has someone suffering from an illness, to someone with a spouse deployed, to someone who is just down on their luck. I take whomever you nominate and take pictures of them. Simple as that.

Every PhilanthroPICS session has been such a blessing for me to be a part of. I have done 2 sessions with people battling cancer and as I drove away from both I cried and prayed for those families. For one family it was their last photo session as a family, and for the other it was the second round with an opponent that is relentless.  My purpose of offering these sessions is simple - to provide a little hope, a little comfort, a little peace for however long need be. I am not a doctor - I can't make people better (though I really wish I could), I'm not a millionaire who can send people on a dream vacation to take their minds off what is happening.  I'm simply a girl with a camera who can record your moments with loved ones while we are on this journey of life. If what I can do can help - even just a little - then by God's grace I will do it with all my heart and soul.

So what can YOU do?? Spread the word about my mission. Share this blog entry with friends and family on social media. "LIKE" and "FOLLOW" my blog and Facebook page:
Think of people you know who could use a little cheering up, who could use a memory that will last a life time.
I want to help - I just need people to know I'm here to do it. I will leave you with my favorite quote: