Over Coffee (or tea) : A Favorite Memory

It's a series about hearts, the raw, and beauty.  It's the lights stuff and the hard stuff.  It's what we might share if we were sitting down over coffee (or tea).

When I asked for questions, Haley commented and mentioned the word "memory". That inspired today's post.

I was two years old when I made a decision.  I don't remember how I made it or what inspired it but it must have been the same thing that inspires hundred of other big sisters. I wanted a little sister. I began praying, they were two year old prayers that grew to six year old prayers.  Two little brothers and four years from that big decision the last child in our family was born and that baby was a girl! I remember being incredibly excited.  I can still distinctly remember when my dad came down the hall at the hospital and told us that it was a girl.  I remember seeing her for the first time.  She looked nothing like me (she still looks nothing like me:).  I have dark hair her's is blond.  I have green/hazel eyes her's are blue.  Yep, we stick out but we're okay with that.:)

She's my baby sister and I'll probably never forget that moment when I found out God answered my prayer!

 This is us one year ago. Photo: courtesy of my wonderful aunt.:)

Over Coffee (or tea) : A New Sereis!

I like coffee with all the good stuff in it. You know maybe some hot chocolate if I'm at home or a maple carmelle (includes whipped cream, of course) from my favorite coffee shop down town. I like tea too. A delicious cup of peppermint tea or some of my favorite honeybush tea by Tazo. I do like hot drinks but they're even better accompanied with good conversation.  Those first conversations you have with a new friend or the jump-right-in-where-we-left-off kind you have with your bff, that's what this series is about. It's a sereis about hearts, the raw, and beauty.  It's the light stuff and the hard stuff. It's what we might share if we were sitting down over coffee (or tea).

To get started I'd love if you'd leave some questions for me in the comment section.  What's something you might ask me if we were sitting down to talk over hot drinks?

Hannah (In Which the Photographer Models) : Portrait Session

This is Hannah, she's a photographer but on this day it was her turn to model.

I've talked about and shared Hannah's photo before.  The reason we indulged in another photo shoot was this new dress Hannah made (yes, she can sew beautifully too!) and the need for new head shots.  True to tradition we took the opportunity to indulge in some coffee, only we went for the cold kind this time, since it's warmer weather these day's, cold coffee is officially allowed in my book. 

It was a fine shoot with a lovely girl!  Enjoy!!


Hannah : Portrait Session Preview

She needed some updated photos and (of course!) I was willing to oblige.  More coming soon!!

Techniqual Difficulties

Ever expereinced the wonderful blessing of technology?  Instant messaging, ordering dinner on-line, alarms/reminders, yep it can be pretty fantastic.  Unfortunately, I've been experiencing the down side of technology.  My computer died. That was two weeks ago.

The good news is that the I now have a new computer!  The better news is that it was a great shopping experience with no buyers regret!. :) 

So, I'm back folks!

Happy Monday!

My Sister : Portrait Session

There's lots of wonderful jobs out there (I know, I have three of them:) but I think the best part of any job is touching other people's lives.  As a photographer it's my mission to "To capture beauty.  To tell stories.  To touch hearts."  There's something rewarding about someone loving their pictures.  There's a knowledge that it's really an honor to document someone's existence, to tell their story through pictures and then also through words here on the blog.

This is my little sister. She's fun and full of personality. An expert at interjecting humor into a tense moment, she has a delightfully quirky sense of humor and she loves nothing better than a hair raising adventure. She's special for so many reason, there isn't any one thing that makes her her rather it's all the crazy, incredible, real things combined that make her the beautifully unique individual she is.  She's the girl who loves late night sleepovers and dreams of someday skydiving.  She's also the girl who is crazy about organization and is looking at graduating two years early.  She is a special young lady and I can only imagine the amazing things the Lord may see fit to do in and through her!

She has A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. eyes!!

I love you girl!

Begging To Be Beautiful

We post pictures.  We tell funny stories.  We record beauty, life, and love.  When what we're really doing is straining our eyes to see the light.

We tell the good stories but don't for a second believe there aren't bad stories too.  Don't believe there aren't days when we want to post a desperate cry, "I'm hurting so much! I need help!"  or "Just give that other person grace, they're drowning in despair!"

I take pictures of people (mostly).  When you point a camera at someone they often start feeling insecure about how they appear.

I'm passionate about beauty.  It's my soapbox.  On of my personal missions is to make everywhere I go a little bit brighter and little more beautiful.  I notice beauty.  I notice how hungry and desperate people are for beauty.   I notice how TV producers write shows about makeovers and how girls compete with outfits and makeup.  Of all the things I've noticed, I've realized that the world is begging to be beautiful.  How it's craving to be other than it is.  I've seen how we can ignore that which isn't beautiful.  How people don't always like to see pain. I've learned that painting over pain doesn't eradicate the pain.  I've learned that straining to see the light is where finding beauty begins.

People love makeovers because it's a transformation of old to glorious new.  People love happy endings because it's darkness triumphed by light.  People hate masks cause they're not genuine.

Why can't we all be more vulnerable?  Why can't you say, "That hurt" and I say, "I'm sorry."  Why in our begging for beauty do we hide from the light?

Yes, I capture beauty, it's my job.  But you can capture beauty too.  We both just have to be willing to strain our eyes to see the light!

A New Camera

I've had my Nikon D80 for two years now.  It's suited me well but it's come to that time where an upgrade is in the near future.  It's exciting and intimidating.  Where do you begin?  Should I switch brands?  Stick with Nikon?  Which Nikon do I get?  Then there's always the very helpful factor of pricing (it kind of narrows down your options:)

The camera that is currently in the running is the  . . .

Why?  It's Nikon's only FX camera under $2000. 

All you Canon lovers will just have to forgive me and any Nikon users, feedback please!!!

To all my blog readers get ready for some beautiful new images as soon as this new camera situation is figured out!

Happy Friday, ya'll!


Featuring! Series : Thank you and Recap

It was a spur of the moment idea.  I ran with it, booked my first photographer and launched a series focused on featuring "local" photographers.  It was my idea but YOU guys made it possible.  Thank you Sierra, Andrew, & Kathryn for participating in this series.  Thank you to all those who followed the series, commented, or stopped by to see what was going on.

To all my fellow photographers, keep up the good work. When the going gets tough remember your passion, remember you're not alone, and light that fire that keeps you going!

Thank you again to those who made this series a reality and if you missed any or all of the posts in this series be sure to check them out!

Featuring! Series : From us, for us, and you
Featuring! Sierra
Featuring! Andrew
Featuring! Kathryn
Featuring! Series : Thank you and Recap

Henry : Personal

It was the fall of 2007.  My whole family, all seven of us,  where at the Stephenson County pet swap.  That's where we found Henry.  This incredibly cute puppy, who was an orphan and needed a home.  We decided to give him ours. :)  And then name him after Patrick Henry, since we had been studying that historical figure that particular year.

I'd say I'm not really a pet photographer and that's true but really, I think photographers are just photographers.  We can't help taking pictures of life and beauty, of what's around us and sometimes, that's a dog. :)


Featuring! Kathryn

Hey folks!  Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to my fellow photographer Kathryn of Kathryn Grace Photography.  I first met Kathryn when I was about eight years old.  We attended the same church for a number or years and I even remember several months when we were recipe pen-pals!:) It has been so neat to watch Kathryn over the years as she has grown into the amazing and talented photographer she is today.  Today she'll tell you about how she started her journey into photography as well as the photo shoot that was a big break through for her in getting where she is today.  If you love pretty pictures, this is a post for you and if you're just starting out as a photographer make sure to read to the end where she shares some encouragement just for you!


Hi, there! I'm Kathryn, and I'm a portrait and wedding photographer based in northern Illinois. Thanks to Moriah for featuring me today!

Moriah asked me how I decided to become a photographer... but the thing is, I didn't. It just sort of happened! As a kid I absolutely loved shooting flowers and nature with my mom's DSLR. I had enough of a prolonged interest in it that my parents got me my own camera when I was 16, and you don't want to know how many flower pictures I have in my archives. After a while, I branched out and started enjoying food photography. I never thought I would end up shooting portraits, much less weddings. A pivotal point in the switch from shooting mainly inanimate objects to people was a just-for-fun shoot my photographer friend and I did with our sisters. We had a great location, great light, and photogenic models, and I just fell in love. Fast forward a few months and friends started asking me to take their pictures, and it has blossomed into the flourishing business I have today!

I love being a photographer because I have the privilege of freezing a moment, an emotion, and preserving that for my clients and for their children and grandchildren. I like making people feel beautiful. :-) I want the couples that I shoot to look at their pictures and fall in love with each other all over again and remember why they married their spouse. One groom-to-be told his fiancé after their engagement shoot, "I will always look at these pictures and remember how happy I was to be next to you." I love shooting, I love taking pretty pictures, but most of all, that matters. Preserving something special for my clients.

 Featured on: Classic Bride Blog

Moriah also asked if I had some encouragement for other photographers. Always keep learning and challenging yourself to improve and be creative. When you get busy and you have also found your groove and what works for you, it's easy to settle into that and get stale. After a busy season of lots of client work, it's often really refreshing to do a personal project, just for fun. Think of a situation you would love to shoot in and make it happen without the pressure of having to deliver for a client. Most people aren't photographers because it's the best paying job in the world, we do it because we love it... so make sure you keep loving it. :-)

 Featured on: Wisconsin Bride

Thanks for having me on the blog, Moriah!

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