I am just not sure that I have adequate words to describe how very excited I am to share this session. I think I feel this way for several reasons:
1. Mary & I have known each other since we were little girls...like literally the second grade I think...so I'm truly photographing a milestone in an old friend's life.
2. Mary and Nick's story is one that simply inspires me. I am so very proud of what the Lord has done in their lives and feel so blessed to get to watch as He works to continue their story.
3. What they are embarking on is something that is so very dear to my heart. My family has seen the effects of this true ministry and I pray that we continue to live out it's example alongside people like Mary & Nick.
Let me give you a little understanding into what I'm talking about. You see, some of us live with the dreaded diagnosis of "infertility." It's something that we never dream of as little girls. We plan our whole lives to mother babies and when we get older and the babies don't come, sometimes it feels like our longest living dreams fall to the ground and shatter. For those of us who have been dealt this blow, it can be pretty hard to overcome. But let me tell you how good our God is...in the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, God himself demonstrates a beautiful practice called adoption. Adoption according to his example is the taking in of one who did not previously belong to you, bringing them into your family, and giving them the full rights and treatment that you would give one of your own...it's literally making them one of your own children. God does this to us when we confess our separation from him (because of sin) and our trust in his own son, Jesus. And he gives us the ability to do the same. My father is a product of the beauty and love found in adoption...and very soon, another baby in need will be brought into a family who wants, no, longs to make it one of their own! This is the journey of Mary & Nick!
When Mary first told me of their plans to adopt, I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement!! And because the adoption process tends to be so extremely expensive, they were already planning ways in which to help raise the funds. Of course I hopped right on board with donating a few sessions, but I also told them that I wanted to do photos for their blog. Thankfully, she must like my work b/c she let me do them ;) May I introduce to you my pals, Mary & Nick:
We chose to take their pictures on a FREEZING COLD day in March...and truthfully...it really was FREEZING! They were great sports..she even took off her warm leather jacket & braved the cold.
We took their photos near my office in Wake Forest. Wake Forest has the prettiest little nooks & crannies!
We found an adorable garden...
...this amazing brick wall...
...and of course the walkway down the row of historic houses made for beautiful framing...
These two were just a dream...I mean, look at them!
I think that I really love this next set...not just because the chapel is in the background, but for the truth that the pictures represent. I cannot think of two people who will try harder than these two to instill truth and God's love in the hearts of their children. I am so grateful for that.
We migrated to the train tracks for a few minutes:
And then we shot the cover for their next CD...just kidding :)
A few individuals for their adoption book:
And then my favorites...photos showing the spot they're waiting to fill with just the right baby in need of love!
I could not be more proud to call these two my friends. And I could not be more proud and confident of the loving home they'll offer a little one. With Mother's Day, just this past Sunday, I couldn't think of a better way to honor my friend who has a true mother's heart!
If you'd like to keep up with Mary & Nick's journey click here. If you'd like to bid on a photo session with me as a way to help Mary & Nick, keep checking their blog. There will be three sessions offered on silent auction soon!
To Mary & Nick - May the Lord truly give you the desires of your hearts!!
When this sweet family contacted me about shooting their fall portraits, I was really excited! You see, I often shoot people that I have met before...but I'd never met Meghan & Eric. We had a few mutual acquaintances, but we were virtually strangers. Through email, phone calls & texts, I could quickly see that Meghan was going to be one of those girls who would become a pal! She is always, always full of encouraging words & excitement. In fact, I really love the fact that she seems to see even the simplest things as wonderful blessings from God. It's a contagious love for life & for her family that really made an impression on me. I am so glad they ask me to do their portraits!!
Meet Eric, Meghan, Savannah, & Somerlynn:
Now, I will have to say...it took a little bit for these two little girlies to warm up to me...but once they did, we were on a roll!
Eric & Meghan:
(Does anyone else thing that Savannah looks like her daddy??)
One of the best things about fall pictures: leaves! Beautiful Laurel Mill
Of course we had to get a few of Dad with the girls...
...and then Mom with the girls...
I just love, love, love this picture :)
A few of Savannah ~
I love that her eyes almost disappear when she smiles!
A few of Somerlynn ~
Cute as a button!
Sisters Together ~
It was about this point in time that the girls really started wanting to climb on the rocks, so with camera in hand...we scurried our way up the hillside. That's when it happened...the tree hugging, I mean. I think it started with Savannah giving a skinny little tree a hug. I tried to take a picture of it so I told her to hug the tree again. Then Somerlynn wanted to hug a tree...then Savannah wanted to hug another tree. Within a few moments, we were all hugging trees. I'm pretty sure that people driving by thought we were straight out of the loony bin. I say, "Hey...this is what we do to get cute pictures!!"
So to my sweet, tree-huggin' friends - I'm so glad we got to do these portraits and that I got to meet your family. I cannot wait until we get to do our 2013 sessions. You guys are a true joy. And to my new pal, Meghan - I love your attitude, girl! I benefit from it every time we talk :)
I would like to thank Facebook for these session! Let me explain:
It started out with some general comments from these momma's on my wall. Both were interested in having family pictures done, so we started talking over the basics of getting them scheduled. One offered her farm as a location that they could both use, so I decided to message them together. From that initial message, came over two months of back & forth conversations between us all. There were conversations that included all three of us, convos that were just between Sarah & Cathy, a few between me & Cathy or me & Sarah...it ran the gambit. I must say, I rather enjoyed it though...it was like having our own little communication world, lol! I was a little sad to see it end!!
We ended up coming up with the game plan to shoot both families on the same day, in the same location. We came up with a list of props (baskets & quilts & chairs, etc) and divided them between the families and then off we went. Chad & Sarah helped with parts of Jesse & Cathy's session...and Cathy helped with parts of Chad & Sarah's session. It was quite the adventure...kind of like one big happy family sharing the day together. I had so much fun with these guys!! The kids were just picture perfect & both families were easy to work with. Here's what our afternoon looked like:
Meet Jesse, Cathy, little Charity, & big brother Jess.
(I cannot lie...I had so much fun going through these images when I was done. Little Jess had the cutest smile...his mouth was open all the time!)
He even tried to beat up his dad...he's just not quite big enough yet ;)
And then there's Miss Charity (and Dad):
Can you get much cuter?
Mom & Dad:
Really, they're the sweetest family!
Then we took a few of Miss Charity by herself because her first birthday was coming up. Cathy had the cutest tutu EVER for her...add some balloons & a few props...we had ourselves a sweet little birthday set up!
The b/w because I thought it was pretty:
The Birthday Girl!!
The next part of the day was all about the Smiths!
Introducing Chad, Sarah, Shayna, & Cody
Now, I know I said that Jess had the cutest smile...and it might be a close tie with both Charity & Cody, but Shayna most def. had the funniest faces. She was Miss Personality...which makes my job all the more fun!!
Seriously...can you get much better than that? Keep on scrolling ;)
Wait for it, wait for it...
Boom. Oh yes she did!! I was rolling over this cheerleader pose! She clearly gets her personality from her father, haha!! (Just kidding...I've known Chad since I was 8 & I have never seen him do a cheerleader pose)
Seriously...I am so lucky!
A few of Mom & Dad together that I thought were absolutely gorgeous!
(Told you she made the best faces ever!!)
What a cutie pie...
And a few more of the family together...
When we started planning this day, I had no idea how it would actually work out. I gotta say...it was one of the most fun sessions of my year! To the Burnettes & the Smiths, you guys are wonderful. What a treasure your families are! So grateful you let me photograph you. You blessed my heart!
Fall of 2012...it's hard to believe that it's already gone by. I think it was just yesterday that the leaves were changing in my yard & the excitement of the holiday's was beginning to build. I am having the hardest time wrapping my mind around the fact that it's 2013 already!
As I sit in my house (I'm home sick, boo!) and reflect on this past fall, I feel so honored. I was looking back at all of the sessions that I needed to post to the blog & there were so, so many. I had almost forgotten all the sessions I had done! Before I give you the wrong idea, like I had too many sessions or didn't enjoy what I was doing, let me clarify that statement. I completely over-booked myself this past fall. I did it for several reasons: I love shooting, I wanted the business, and I feel like I get better with each session. If you know me, then you know I'm the kind of person that will push myself until I've got something just the way I want it... and I still feel like I have so far yet to go with my skills in photography. So for me, taking on all these sessions was something I felt like I both needed and wanted to do. In the midst of that, because I was (and still am) working full-time at my alma mater, Southeastern, I was slammed. Instead of having the time to linger over my images & really absorb them, I had to push them out. And frankly, I forgot how many wonderful families allowed me to spend my time with them, snapping away to my heart's contentment! What a blessing I had!!
Over the next week, I hope to showcase these families and the photos they allowed me to capture. There will be quite a few posts, so don't hate me if you get blog overload from me ;)
To those who allowed me to take their pictures this past fall, you helped me make the end of 2012 the craziest it could have ever been, lol! But seriously, you are each precious to me and I am so thankful I got to work with each of you. Let's do it again in 2013!
One thing I'm learning these days: working full-time & trying to keep a photography business running on the side is NO JOKE. I am so, so grateful for all of the support & interest I've been receiving from folks in our area. It's been such a blessing & such an encouragement! The rest of 2012 has been booked for me since early October...what an honor!! I know what I'm booking isn't even close to what others do, but for me it's been so much more than I could have hoped for. Did I mention how grateful I am??
Being this busy means that inevitably something has probably dropped somewhere. For me, beyond my cooking frequency ;) it's been this blog. I am quite far behind in posting client sessions here. I upload them to Facebook as I'm working & then move right on to the next one as soon as I'm done. So, in order to get myself caught up, I'm going to do one more big post with several of my favorites from each session over the past few months. (Thankfully my amazing clients didn't hire me to do blog posts!!) Hopefully this will help me get back on track.
If you're reading this, then most likely you've supported me in some way or another. So to you I say, "Thank you!"
Mike & Amanda || Engagement
Since we did this sweet couples engagements back at the end of July, we've shot not only Amanda's bridals...but their WEDDING!! I had the pleasure of spending all day last Saturday with them, documenting their wedding day. What a joy!!
Obviously, I'm just starting to work on their wedding, but here are a few from their engagement that I just loved!
The Cottrells || Family
This family is so special to my husband and me. Scarlett, the mother, was diagnosed with lung cancer back in August. When Christy called me about doing family portraits for them, I literally jumped at the offer. I've photographed Christy, her husband & their kids in the past, so I was thrilled to shoot them again...but even more so, I was so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of this tender moment in the larger family's journey. You see, they were unsure of just how bad things would be for Scarlett. One of their top wishes then became to have family portraits made. My heart was so happy that I got to share in that sweet time with then. We have since found out (just this week actually) that the Lord has allowed Scarlett's body to respond overwhelmingly to her treatments and they are predicting a total turn around! Thank God!!
The Wilson Family || Grandkids
I have known the Wilson's for a while now through my husband's work, but earlier this year, when a family member married one of their sons, I was afforded the opportunity to get to know them even better. What a pleasure it's been! When Linda mentioned taking some pictures of her with her grandchildren I was thrilled. Let me tell you, those girls started modeling right from the start. And little Connor...such a cutie!
The Westers || Maternity
Meredith & I have been friends for about seven years now. We met when I moved back to the area for grad-school & started dating my husband! We hit it off immediately & have been pals ever since. When she told me she was pregnant, I could hardly contain myself...I was so excited! When she told me it was a girl...I was even more excited!!! It's been such a blessing to be a part of this time in Meredith & Kevin's life. I love getting to watch Meredith just bloom with love for this baby girl that will soon make her appearance to the world (early December). I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about shooting her newborns too ;)
OK...now this is not a good picture, technically...the focus is off. But, I had to include it. Give Kevin 2 minutes of free time & here's what he's doing...
Again...take your eye off of him for 2 seconds and you get this:
The truth is, I have about 12 more on their way to the blog before 2012 is over. Yay for me!!! Be on the lookout for more folks, coming soon!