Friday, March 16, 2012

The Fix

Where do I begin!!!? The FIX is a seminar I went to in Chicago this week. I LEARNED SOOOO MUCH!! I went with a new friend Jill Louvar from Jill Marie Photography We had entirely too much fun minus the "I know what you did last summer" fog patches we ran into on the drive home!
    This seminar was done by the AH-MAZING Jasmine Star ( . I have to admit it was so great to go and listen to someone who knows exactly what it's like to be a photographer. She talked about struggles of her own which made me feel less alone. She talked about the industry and breaking molds which empowered me and made me feel like "I CAN". It changed my whole outlook on my business. The first thing I'm dieing to do ya'll is to just be myself. For the past how many years I've felt like I should or shouldn't do certain things because they may or may not be socially acceptable. The truth is we are ALL different so why not embrace it!!! Through conversation with Jill on the way to and from the seminar we talked about a certain circumstance where I had expressed my opinion on my personal facebook page about education and someone had deleted me because of my opinion. I was hurt by that deeply because I felt like if this person TRULY knew who I was they would of known it was not a personal attack. I have never met this person. When I realized they deleted me I went to my "I'm sorry" place. I immediately started to write her a message telling her how sorry I was for offending her about my personal opinion...when I stopped. I had realized I have somewhat became a small doormat in my own world of photography. This is a small example of what I've been doing the last 3 years. The truth is I've been a  willing & participating door mat. It's no one's fault but my own.  Because of the dire need to feel accepted by clients, other photographers, and the public I've turned into a "YES" person. Because of this attitude I've offered unnecessary discounts to friends/family/photographers which in turn made me feel over worked and under appreciated.  Don't get me wrong I still LOVE to gift my skill every once in awhile. I'm just being completely honest with you guys. It got out of hand last year when I had added up the amount of money I could have made/gave away. I know...I know..It's not all about the money right! But these last 6 months I've been really reflecting on where I want to go with this. I absolutely love my job/business, but the truth is I love my God, my husband, my son, my family & friends WAY more. I want to be PRESENT in all those things. The older I get the more I realize just how precious life is. I want to do things....see things....and enrich people's lives. Now I've been very blessed to be able to have a perfect place called photography to help do that. The great Ninya Walters once told me " I believe you can run your business and not let it run you". I'll never forget those words. I'm excited to take this next step in growth with the business. I'm extremely excited to be myself and give myself to you guys. So perhaps I should start with a few TOTALLY RANDOM things you may or may not know about me!!!!! HERE GOES!!!! (Yes, I just broke a sweat)
   1. Several times a week we have supper with our best friends and their two girls (right? Who NEEDS to see their best friends that much? YES WE DO)
  2. We have a beagle, who my assistant Jari thinks I really dislike because I don't very often say too many nice things about her. However I will add that when she went missing right before my son's first birthday I drove all over town for hours to find her stopping to ask every police man if they could help! (Gotta love living in a small town)
 3. My absolute favorite color is turquoise.  Yes, I'm so obsessed with it that my fear is I'll be one of those 70 year old ladies that wears it so much my nic name turns to Teal.. Ask my cousins Madison and Morgan!
 4. I hate gum (grosses me out in every way)
 5. I have a love/hate relationship with fountain pop
 6. I'm addicted to antique/prop shopping.
7. This might surprise a lot of you..I'd rather edit than shoot. For me the image comes to life when I get my greasy lil wacom pen on it! :)
8. I record/DVR: Jersey Shore (AHH CAT'S OUTTA THE BAG...never wanted to admit this one), American Idol, The Bachelor, & Oprah!
9. I am almost certain I probably have some kind of allergy to ice cream/ dairy but it doesn't stop me from indulging in it frequently!
10. I have the fattest feet in the world. I swear my big toe is the size of Texas!

:) OK- I promise I'll try and do better about being myself. I want to give you all of me! Love you guys so much! I'll make sure to share more about THE FIX later!!!! HUGS!!! I have to go re-apply deodorant now!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


While this is fresh in my mind I HAVE to take a few moments to sit and write about my WONDERFUL experience being in  the hospital room as our best friends delivered their second baby girl. It was technically my second birthography experience. My first one was several years ago with our God daughter Gracie, but I was so afraid to move I pretty much just stood there in fear. HA HA Now that I've warmed up to the idea here's a little blurb from my recent birthography session!
     March 2nd I received a call from my friend Tabra. HER WATER BROKE! She was on her way to the hospital. YIPPEE!!! We had only been waiting for this for about nine months! If you know anything about our friendship you might know that we are pretty close so the fact that I may or may not potentially see her "WHO HA" didn't really bother me as much as it bothered her. Perhaps that's because it wasn't my "WHO HA" being exposed (literally). So anyways...of course with great excitement I gathered my things and went pretty much straight to the hospital once my husband got home. When I arrived at the hospital I believe I said something a long the lines of "This feels like CAMP"! LOL Why on earth that was my description I don't know. It just felt like a sleep over with friends which I haven't done in years. I felt like a kid again! We sat there in the room and laughed and patiently waited for baby Stella to make her appearance. I will mention that when my husband got home from work he brought the mail in. Just before I left to photograph new life I received one of the most beautiful heartfelt thank yous from a NILMDTS mother. Real quick recap...NILMDTS is an organization that I volunteer for. It's very near and dear to my heart (see link for more info if you've never heard of it & grab a tissue).  Talk about a black and white moment. I was immensely touched and sad for this aching mother, but yet super excited to go and photograph new life. I believe they call those bittersweet moments. As a christian I felt like God was reminding me just how precious life is and to never take it for granted. The fact that we ALL have life is such an incredible gift that we rarely even thank God for. LIFE. BREATH. A HEART BEAT. Sadly, it's only in moments of tragedy that we really only thank God for life. This last month I've constantly been reminded of this. The birth of sweet little Stella was a warm welcome to a new outlook on my attitude. Tabra was a slow starter but then before we knew it we were woke up around 2:00AM to hear that she was READY TO PUSH! If those words aren't scary to every mother. :) The nursing staff was amazing and made me feel right at home. I stood there with two cameras on each shoulder ready for action. Tabra did a practice push and the Dr. had to tell her to hold up for one second while she quickly got dressed. Stella was READY to come out. And it was like the next push...there she came! Her perfect little cone head and all. She cried a little bit and then calmed right down once she heard mama's voice. Tabra even had to ask if she was OK because she was pretty mellow from the start! She was 7 pounds of perfection!!!
      Seeing her arrive and have LIFE...color, breath, a heart beat...What an incredible blessing. To know that God knit her perfectly inside my best friends womb is so amazing.And to think God has her life all planned out from this moment to all the others! The whole process was miraculous! 
           As mothers the birth experience is much different in our eyes. Our bodies are put through so much that we often forget to look at the whole process in third person.  I hope that if we ever have a second baby that I come back and read this again. Being in that room for sure is going to be one of very few moments in my life where I've been nothing but OVERJOYED. I wasn't thinking about the dishes, emails, photo shoots or any random things that bombard my thoughts daily. I felt nothing but JOY. For this reason I think everyone should watch a delivery. It's so hard for me to even put it into words. It was such a praise God moment. In my head I keep coming back to that birth session and the NILMDTS sessions I've done recently. The next time we complain about something let's be reminded of the life we've been given. Before I go and complain about conceiving a second child, I want to remind myself that God gives and takes away. It's ultimately His gift to give....and I have to be at peace and JOY with that. Life is so precious. I hope that this post gives a lot of hope to mothers who've lost a child or are having troubles conceiving a child. Always remember who's in control and thank God we don't HAVE to be in control! Instead of asking God why we were dealt these cards...try praising Him for all our blessings and life that we've been given. I know it's easier said than done, but you are the only one who chooses to have an attitude of gratitude.
   I want to personally thank our best friends Todd and Tabra for allowing me to document such a wonderful day in your life. You may feel so grateful to have these images and feel like you can never repay me, but I can never repay you for the experience and the amount of joy you gave me in those few hours. It was a mutual gift to one another and I truly believe I received more than you did!!! I love you friends!
     And P.S. I wish more than anything it was socially acceptable to add the photo of her actually coming out. Totally awesome. Wish you guys could see it, but there's no way I'd ever post that even if  mama gave permission. But have to cool is that they will have that picture forever and the documentation of that exact moment of entering the world!!!! WAY NEAT!!! :)