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A Little Break from the Heat Wave

If you live in the midwest, you know what record setting heat we have been having. No one really wants to have their family portrait done in 107 degree weather so I was so thankful we got a break in the heat at just the right time. I met up with the Dudeck family a couple of evenings ago and was immediately in love with these kids. (the whole family)  Have you ever seen a cuter little girl? She is so adorable and big brother is just as cute as a bug in a rug! Actually, he’s cuter. Bugs in rugs are not cute! Anyway, I sure had a great time laughing with this young family and it brought back so many memories of when our kids were little. Sarah and Dave, enjoy your life with your kids, they are surely a blessing from God! Thanks for letting me spend an evening with you and capture some fun memories.

Hadley had a birthday a few months ago, so she got a few images of her by herself. Is she not a living doll?


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Before….and After

I am going to start a monthly feature called, you guessed it, “Before and After”.   Sometimes we are tempted  to cut corners to save our pennies and I completely understand that. I try to use coupons, ONLY buy off the clearance rack and on sale items and am well known for my frugal style. Some might even call me a tightwad. There are some things that are so important that I would not cut corners too much on. Namely, for me those things have to do with memories, sentimentality of when my kids were little, and special events. For example, when our daughter got married, her dream wedding was a beach wedding. We went frugal and DIY all the way! (You wouldn’t believe it if I told you how much we paid for her perfect wedding dress!) It was a lot of work hauling all of that stuff from Missouri to Florida. She made her own cake, we all arranged the flowers, we rented the chairs and to save money set up the bamboo arbor ourselves and did all of the decorations for the reception. We cooked all of the food and even supplied our own ministers – by the way, the father of the bride AND the groom are both in the ministry so that was very special! The one thing we would not compromise on was the wedding photographer. We were so fortunate to be able to hire the fantastic Rae Leytham Photography. Wes and Rae both made the event so memorable and I can’t say enough good things about them. They were funny, relaxed and totally the perfect choice for us. I do not regret spending the money on the fantastic images we now have to cherish of the otherwise very frugal wedding. ANYWAY, enough about weddings.

I say all that just to lead into this. So many people have “nice” cameras and are more than willing to photograph your baby, child, family, senior and even wedding. However, they may not be fully knowledgeable of how their camera operates and what it is really capable of. And they may not use or even have the latest photo editing software. In my opinion, I would never photograph any event without touching up and editing each image purchased. The editing process can be time consuming when there are hundreds of images.  Of course, the less editing you have to do the better and usually means you have a good grasp of your camera equipment. That being said, when I am in a picture I want my skin softened and my teeth whitened. I want my blemishes removed and eyes brightened.  Some people like the more drastic and dramatic editing styles. My own style is to be more natural and classic, not following the latest fad style of the moment. I don’t think I want to look at my photos of my baby years from now and they are all washed out and hazy (vintage style) or tinted in some strange shade of blue or green. This is not to say I would never edit in those styles as you will see in a moment.

Before I go on forever, I wanted to post a couple of lovely senior girl before and after shots. One is more classic, the other is more dramatic – just to contradict what I just said I thought I’d throw it in. It is not my normal style.

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Custom iPhone Covers Now Available

I don’t know about you, but I can not function without my iPhone! I am pleased to offer Customized iPhone covers featuring your beautiful images. Special introductory price of $30 for any of your previously purchased images. Adorn your iPhone 4 or 4S with images printed on metal and mounted to a durable silicone cover. The high gloss, crystal clear cover image becomes a beautiful contrast to viewing the images IN your iPhone and no batteries are required!

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Noelia is On the Way!!

How do I even begin to put this into words? For that matter, how do I put into words for the whole world to see, what my heart feels? 23 years ago, I had a baby girl. I had no idea – none whatsoever – how having a baby would change my life from what it was to what it became.  It was like I was born on the day she was. I was living and breathing before that, and loving too – first my parents and family, then friends, then my husband and finally God. But when that little baby looked at me and I saw what God had been doing for 40 weeks – right INSIDE of me – I was totally blown away.  When I felt the depth of love a mother feels for her child, I was aghast at how much God loves us, and how great His sacrifice for us. To give your only son, that you love and are pleased with, to pay a penalty he did not owe. Wow, it’s mindboggling. Those were the early days of my daughter’s infancy, right along with sleepless nights and trying to figure out what to do to keep this demanding little person happy, those were some hard but glorious days. As she grew, my heart continued to swell with love until I knew it could not hold any more, not a drop. Somehow it kept growing, without bursting until her little brother came along. I vividly remember wondering if I could actually love another child like I loved her. Just like that, he was born and voila – the capacity to love multiplied immediately.  How could it be that anyone could love someone as much as I love them?  Then came the day they would look at me and say  “Mama” for the first time. What a truly lovely sound.  Then, “I love you, mama.” How does a mere toddler know what love is? How can they know that as a mother, I would give anything, ANYTHING, to keep them safe and care for them. I would trade my life for theirs at the drop of a hat if called for and if possible. I would give all I have and ever will have if called upon without a second thought to protect them.  A toddler can’t know that, neither can a child, or a teenager.  But a mother – she knows. Now my little baby daughter is all grown up and is going to be a mother herself, then she will know it too.  I can’t wait to see our daughter meet her daughter, to hold her close and breathe her in. To experience the softness of her baby’s sigh, the sweet feel of her daughter in her arms, that moment when this miracle of God happens and her life is forever changed. What a joy and blessing. I never take it for granted, not one minute of it. I have truly loved being a mom to my two awesome kids and my life has been so transformed by them.  I know they are going to continue to change the world for the better as they serve God.  I am thankful and humbled to have played a part in this life God has given them.

Since Nicki is expecting, we went out and had a great maternity session. Please enjoy these images of impending motherhood. I love you, Nicki! You will be a great mother to little Noelia, and Jaron will be a wonderful daddy.  What fun you have in store! Cherish every minute.

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Moriah is a Dancer!

Once again I have been woefully behind in blogging. I don’t know why I don’t keep up with it, the images look so much better on this blog than on facebook. I update my facebook page all the time. Wanna see? Click here if you do.  While you are there, click the little “Like” button. Anyway, I wanted to show you some of the portraits of Moriah. She just graduated and is a fantastic dancer. I knew she loved to dance and have known Moriah for several years. In fact, I taught her in 5th and 6th grade when she was in my Connection Group at church. She is a joy and smiles all the time. We have a beautiful performing arts theater here in our town called the Missouri Theater. Moriah called to tell me she had access to it and would like to do some shots there in her various dance costumes. I thought that sounded fun so I enlisted my great lighting assistant, Megan, and we all met at the Missouri Theater. I had no idea that Moriah could actually fly. Yes, fly. Or at least it seems like it in these images. The girl is quite the athlete!  I can’t wait to see her perform. In the meantime, I will be happily looking at these images of her jumping, leaping and smiling. On top of her leaping ability, Moriah is sweet, smart and a fantastic young lady. You should here her recite scripture! I mean whole chapters at a time! Whew! Pretty amazing. God Bless you, Moriah.  Looking forward to a special session I have in mind if I can just find the location for it!! Stay tuned!

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