Photo Gift Guide

Gift-giving is my love language. I love finding the perfect gifts for the people I love, and most of the time I’m pretty good at it. When I do find a great gift, I’m usually too excited to wait for the occasion and give it to the recipient early. Whatever. It’s fine.

Naturally my favorite gifts to give are photo-related, and I wanted to share a few really fun options in case you are searching for a one-of-a-kind gift.



Woodsnap Wood Prints

I originally saw these wood prints from Woodsnap on HGTV’s Hidden Potential. They are so fun! Classic but unique. The prints come in all sizes, but they also have other gifts — photo wood blocks, coasters, magnets, and shaped wood prints. I want a few sets of the ornaments for our Christmas tree.



I love the concept of Chatbooks. Had I been introduced about 5 years ago, I would have printed my Instagram account so fast. Sadly for me, I wiped my page clean and don’t post much anymore. I am excited to upload my own photos and customize a book, but a gift card for a series of Chatbooks (printed automatically from one’s Instagram account) would be so special.


Click&Co. Store Tees

Growing up, my sister would get mad at me for wearing a variation of the same thing every day: jeans and “a white T-shirt with a picture on it.” It’s laughable now how upset that made her, but truth be told, my uniform hasn’t evolved all that much. Fortunately for me, graphic tees are everywhere these days. Click&Co. Store makes the best T-shirts! I have several, and they are my favorites.


Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising products are so beautiful. I want their albums to fill my shelves! The wood block with square prints also makes a really great gift at an affordable price. They have framed prints, display boxes, photo ledges, calendars, and more. The quality of their products is unbeatable.


I am not affiliated with any of these companies. I just love what I see and want to share.

Family Pictures 2018

You would think a photographer would have no problem getting her family in front of the camera at least once a year for Christmas card photos. She certainly knows how important family pictures are. And she could have a lot of fun with wardrobe and location choices, knowing what photographs well and what doesn't.

My track record with our family pictures is spotty. 2009 (before Mark's deployment), 2010 (after Creed was born, before we moved back to Germany), 2014, 2015. I didn't make a big deal about it because I was taking pictures of the boys. Life was being documented.

Getting on the other side of the camera is hard for me. Finding a photographer whose style matches mine is hard. Giving up control is hard.

Even though I take pictures of the boys and our everyday life, our family needed to be photographed together. I could have used a tripod. I could have had my mom press the shutter. But I needed to allow myself the experience of a family photo session. (And I needed to keep my mouth shut when the photographer made decisions I questioned. Yes and amen.)

We just got our photos back from this year's session (3 years after our last one), and I'm reminded of how important it was.

PSA: Get your family in front of a photographer's camera sometime in the near future. Let go of expectations and insecurities. Relax. Smile. It's important.

I can't quit you.

Hello, Internet! Hello, November! Guess who's back!


I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that the Internet overwhelms me. Hear me, please -- I am a fan of the Internet, but sometimes I just have this need to unplug, deactivate, hide, unfollow, silence, delete, etc... I go with it because I’ve learned to give myself some breathing room, some white space. It's a whole process. Let's all calm down.

I've been thinking a lot about photos lately -- as I do. Thinking might be too kind of a word. Overthinking. Overanalyzing.

I don't need to have a website for my work anymore. I still consider myself a photographer. But my sessions are mostly for friends and family. And my personal work is currently 98% done with my phone camera. But at the end of the day, photos are what light my fire. They excite me. I love taking them, looking at them, talking about them. They are very much a part of who I am.

And the thought of not having a home for the photos I do take makes me a little sad.

I am very minimal-ish (in my style, my home, my commitments, etc...), and I told myself a website wasn't necessary. But the whole point of minimalism is to make room for what matters most in your life. As much as I try to convince myself otherwise, photos matter to me. They always have, and I believe they always will.

I am very excited to start blogging again. I am admittedly more private about my personal life than I was when I began blogging over a decade ago, but I trust we'll figure that out. I have no plans for this space other than to be a home for my words and photos. And to make my mom happy.

Here's to silly hobbies you can't outgrow. Here's to words and photos. And here's to my mom, who will probably be my only reader.