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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Life & Travel

Happy Friday, ya'll!

The Bagel I Eventualy Ate : 'Cause it's good to laugh

I got up Monday morning, too late. I dressed and then realized that the bathroom containing my hair stuff was unavailable (i.e. one of the seven of us was occupying it).  So, I took myself downstairs with unbrushed friz (fully intending to tame it later, of course).

First place I went was the kitchen.  I checked out the menu - bagels for breakfast.  Over by the oven was a partial bag of cinnamon raisin bagels.  I popped one into the oven to toast (we don't have a toaster. Having seven people makes them a little unpractical at times:).  I popped one into the oven even though I think that these particular cinnamon raisin bagels have a texture a kin to glue.  Sometimes eating is like a chore to me.  It's part of my routine so I do it.  Yes, I'm weird like that.

I settled at the kitchen table with my laptop as I waited for my bagel to get toasty.  My internal clock for my toasted bagel started ticking.  E-mails, blogs, Pinterest, and my little brother is talking to me from the kitchen.  He has a brand new bag of Everything bagels (the kind with seeds and onion pieces on them) and wants to know if I'd rather have one of this kind.

"Well, if you'd rather have my cinnamon raisin one I'll take that kind." I let him know.

"No, I don't want it but somebody else does." He informs me.

"Who" I ask (Yes, we're weird like this.  Really, can't I just say "Yes, give me a new bagel that won't remind me of glue!" No, I can't 'cause I'm not like that.)

He informs me our father would prefer my cinnamon raisin bagel so, I tell him to go ahead and give it to him and I'll take the Everything bagel.  I look back at my laptop screen and start my internal clock for my second bagel.

More blogs and Pinterest, my bagels probably getting nice and toasty at this point.  My little brother is talking to me again.

"Hey, did you think I put a bagel in the oven for you!"

"Um . . . (slight internal irritation) it's okay . . ."

"I'll put one in for you." he offers

So, I start my internal clock, again, for the third time.  This time I get the bagel!

P.S. I'll be back next Tuesday with the last installment in the Featuring! series. :)

Top Commenters!

Bloggers love comments.  It's true.  Comments make us happy. We love hearing your feedback.  (Maybe I should change all these "we's" to "I's":)

I just recently installed this fun little gadget on my blog (see the upper left column) that lists the top 5 commenters on the blog.  It's pretty cool and it gives YOU the chance to see who's talking and maybe encourage you to say what you're thinking but haven't yet verbalized.

Anyway, tell me what you think.  Do you like it?  Hate it?  As always, I love hearing from you!

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Featuring! Andrew

Hey folks!  Today's it's my pleasure to introduce ya'll to Andrew, a fellow photographer and artist with a passion about more than ink on paper (I'll let him tell you about that).  I honestly don't remember when I first met Andrew but I do remember about a year ago when we both happened to be traveling to the same wedding in a van filled with photographers and videographers.  Andrew was the second shooter for that wedding and is here with us today to share a little bit more about his photography journey!  

Hello, everybody! I'm Andrew.

Five years ago I received my first camera for a birthday present, I was twelve years old and the simple little point and shoot overwhelmed me, both with happiness and with confusion. I was addicted to that camera, I always had it near me and I was constantly snapping away at things that made me happy. (That is, if I could keep the batteries charged) =) 

Soon I realized that the four little megapixels wasn’t quite enough, and I spent a little money and upgraded to a better point and shoot (with 34x zoom and all the other bells and whistles.) Unfortunately, my happiness was only very short lived because a friend of mine showed up to my house with a fancy, hot off the press, Canon DSLR. I knew from that moment on that I would not be happy unless I had one of those amazing machines. So, about a year ago I finally spent a huge amount of money and bought a Canon 50D. It is definitely not the best camera in the world, but my obsession with it, is as it was the first day I got it. I picked it up and I never have been able to put it down.

"My main photography dream is to make my photography more than just another way to make a few bucks. 
I want to create pictures that will burn deep, that will never
 go out of style and most of all 
I want my pictures to capture the real beauty of life."

I have been most inspired by the work of Jose Villa, Sam Paul Rader, and David Duchemin.  The work of those guys just drives me on, and on, and on. I hope to be as masterful as they are someday. 

You know the funny thing about this picture? Early on in my photography days I vowed never to take the typical ‘kids hanging upside down’ picture. Well, I arrived at this family’s house to take their portraits and this very picture was their #1 ‘must have.’ *growls* The moral of that story is ‘never make any promises that is out of your power to keep’ =)

Last of all I would like to say thanks to Moriah. This has been very fun and thought provoking for me. Thank you for giving me this opportunity!

Two Offical Years of Blogging : The Stats

It's March 14th, the day when I first entered the world of bloggers.  It's been an official two years folks!

I'm surprised by all the changes that have happened.  How I re-branded and started my own business.   How me and the other girl are putting our heads together on a themed shoot, how I'm running this series where I've joined up with other photographers, and how someone asked me about doing a wedding (P.S. nothing official here folks but just being asked it pretty special:).

My favorite part of this whole journey is how I started out wanting to just grow to be a good photographer for my own sake and to bless others and how today I'm getting to do that.  I'm getting to take my good friend's engagement photos and shoot images for a local non-for-profit, I'm getting to do what I dreamed of! That's such a blessing!!

I thought it would be fun to celebrate by looking at some of the most visited around here.

My most visited post this month is - Featuring Sierra = 98 page views

Most visited in the history of forever is - Hello = 415 page views

The total page views are - 9,084

No, it's not Katelyn James traffic but it's mine.  It's the footprints of all the folks who've checked out this little corner of mine on the world wide web.  It's the marks of those who are my fans and the waves of sweet passerby's.  Thanks to all of you on this journey and here's to more years of blogging!

~ Moriah


Featuring! Sierra

Hey folks!  Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to Sierra of Photographs by Sierra.  I just recently stumbled across her blog and decided to ask her to participate in this series.  I'm so glad I did!  Just in our few emails back and forth, Sierra has proven to be an encouragement to me.  I asked her to write from her heart to ya'll and here's what she said!

First off, I just wanted to thank Moriah so much for asking me to be featured on her blog. I feel completely inadequate since my business is still small, but maybe I'll be able to encourage those of you who are looking into starting your own personal business. And even if you're not! We're all here because we love good photos and we love hearing other people's stories.

Ever since I can remember, I've always been fascinated with photography. My love began when our family took a Summer trip to Ely Minnesota where we rented a cabin that was surrounded with woods, lakes, and delicate wildflowers. At that point I didn't have a camera to claim my own, so one day I decided to borrow my brother's little point + shoot and spent the *entire day* taking photos of and around the lake. I'd even drag my family members into being my personal models! It was that day that I believe my love for photography was born. 

I was 11 years old then, and by the time I turned 16 my parents surprised me with a brand new Nikon digital camera kit. In my high school years photography was more of a hobby than anything, but once I graduated I had so many people who asked if I wanted to pursue photography as a business. At that point I had never really thought of it, but once that seed was planted in my mind, I couldn't shake it. 

"Take photos for a living?" "Wait, I could actually do something I love to make money?" "Is that legal??" ;) I was excited for the chance to own something. And to not only own it, but to share it with others. I also loved the idea of creating a business where clients could turn into lasting friendships. I love people...I always have. And honestly that was one of the biggest motivators for me to pursue portrait and wedding photography.

However, my journey as a small business owner has had it's rough days. Weeks, even. If I were to tell my younger self one thing about owning a photography business, it'd be this: Do. Not. Compare. 

Oh, how I wish I had someone to remind me every single day (even now!) how dangerous it is to compare your work, life, and decisions to other people. Especially if those people are those you know only from social media. 

Someone once told me to 
never let the outside of someone define the inside of you.

I'm so passionate about this point because it's something even I have to fight every day, and it's something I wished I had learned 2 years ago when I started. I know this message is everywhere, but it stands true...even for a business. You need to do you, I need to do me, and we need to keep encouraging and inspiring others to do the same. :) All photographers are different. Each of us will look at art a different way, and each of us will create something completely different because we are all unique.

Another thing would be to never give up. I believe one of God's most precious gifts to us are found in the passions and dreams He's placed in our hearts. If you're a photographer who's just starting out and staring into all the "unknowns" of owning a business, I'd encourage you to not get so overwhelmed with the intricate details that you let your passion and energy for creating beautiful images fizzle out. Go back the basics. :) Ask your friends to model for you, take photos of things you love, share your images, and get comfortable and confident in who you are as a photographer. And don't ever pass up an opportunity to learn more.   

Much love, 


Follow Me!

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Featuring! Series : From us, for us, and you

I'm super excited to be announcing a new series on my blog featuring "local" photographers!! 

I love taking amazing photos but I also know how difficult it can be to just be one more photographer in the huge pool of photographers out there. That's one reason I've decided to run this series.

My fellow photographers are my co-stars!  As a photographer myself, I know being a photographer is a lot of work!  And I want to take a spec of internet space to appreciate my fellow photographers.

I'm excited to introduce ya'll to some of my fellow photographers.  If you are a photographer yourself or know a photographer who might be interested in being featured please send me an e-mail as I have some spaces that are still open and I want to fill them up!!

Come back next Tuesday to meet our first photographer!! 
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