Case & Catie

I've been taking pictures of Case & Catie for 7 years (and their family pictures for 4 years). I love seeing kids grow up in front of my camera! Case is a typical 10-year-old boy who pretty much never wants anything to do with me or my camera. I tease him every year that he doesn't cooperate because he wants to drag out the session and spend more time with me. He'll love it this year because we actually split this session into 2 due to their dad's work schedule. Who wants to break it to him?!

I feel like this session deserves to be celebrated, though. When I was backing up the files, I realized this was my 100th session. I had no idea what God had planned when he put a camera in my hand -- I still don't! My business was short-lived but taught me so much about myself and others. I'm forever grateful for my clients-turned-friends who gave me a chance and rallied behind this adventure of mine. I've grown a lot as a photographer in 100 sessions but still have a long way to go, so here's to the next 100! 

Check back in a couple of weeks for Round 2 with the whole family.

Halloween Flashback

I came across these Halloween gems from 2014 and needed to share. I just love them! I'm once again at the crux of wanting to share more but also wanting to keep moments private, sacred. I'm entertaining a lot of thoughts about the power of pictures, being in the moment versus capturing the moment, holding tight to what matters most -- and I desperately need to write it all out. I'm also trying to figure out what this space is for me now. I'm an Enneagram 4, so I have ALL the thoughts and ALL the feelings about ALL the things! 

Today this space is simply for showcasing a silly session with my babies (who weren't babies for very long). And donuts. Always donuts. Enjoy.

Jerrod

While I am not officially taking sessions anymore, I couldn't say no to taking Jerrod's senior pictures. I've known Jerrod most of his life, and he's pretty much Creed's best friend (no lie). We road-tripped to see his family over the weekend and had the very best time. This session was so much fun! We walked for miles, climbed up the side of a bridge (yes, we did!), and ended the session on the edge of the river. Literally. I sat by a tree so that if I slipped, the tree would catch my fall instead of the water. I mean. You just never know what a KWP session will include.

The crazy adventure was worth it -- look at him! Jerrod, I'm so proud of the man you are, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for you. We just love you so much!

Vacation 2016 | Project Life App Album

Last summer we took the boys on their first legit vacation. Living in Germany, most of our vacations (save for a few weekend trips here or there) were spent coming home. Flights from Germany to Texas aren't cheap!

Our destination list was ridiculous. But when we ultimately decided to visit Mark's dad and stepmom in D.C., everything started falling into place. We planned this thing for 6 months (and it was worth it!). 10 full days in New York City (2), Philadelphia (1), and Washington, D.C. (7). If any one of us would have worn a FitBit, it surely would have maxed out every day. The trip was EPIC.

Since we knew it was going to be such a full vacation (and we were going with only 2 carry-ons), I opted to travel with only my iPhone camera. It was the greatest decision! So freeing. 

To keep my photo library from building up, I deleted pictures every single day. At the end of each day, I went through and flagged the keepers and deleted the rest. I knew as much as we planned on doing, I was going to have a massive catalog of images when we got home. There was no need to keep all of them and risk being more overwhelmed. 

Silly me. Overwhelm was inevitable. I had big plans of making a photo book of all our pictures, but even though I culled my images each day, I was still overwhelmed by the mass amount I had accumulated during that time. So naturally I did nothing. 

I put it off for months but finally realized the longer I waited, the harder it would be to do anything with them. I started a few different variations of a photo book. I started to make my own in Photoshop. I started one through Artifact Uprising. I started one in Shutterfly with pre-made templates. But even then, I was simply and completely overwhelmed. 

I've long been a fan of Becky Higgins and her Project Life memory keeping system. I make digital Project Life albums each year, and I have traditional albums in progress with both boys' school papers. I downloaded the Project Life App the day it came out but didn't have any reason to use it. 

Until now. 

I put all of my vacation photos back on my phone and got started. Thanks to a sick day at home in bed last month, I basically completed the album in a day. One day! I didn't use all 1200 photos, but I used a lot. 

Taken with my phone. Scrapbooked on my phone. Technology, I love you. 

I ordered an 8x8 album straight from the app and (im)patiently waited for its arrival. 

GUYS. It is amazing. 

I still flip through it on occasion and love reliving our time away. 

Although we opted to skip the big vacation this summer, I'm already dreaming of our next one. This time I'll scrapbook along the way! 

5 Minutes

When inspiration hits, I run with it. The results from our 5-minute photo shoot in the backyard quickly became some of my all-time favorites. The light. Their expressions. Andrew's eyes. Creed's missing tooth. I super loved my babies, but ages 9 and 7 are pretty fantastic. 

Photo tip: stacked firewood = backdrop perfection.

The Bible Project / Ruby

On a scale of 1 to 10, just how weird is it to ask someone "Can I photograph your bible?" Everybody says photographers need to work on personal projects, and I claimed this one as my own -- and then did nothing more than think about it for the better part of a year.

Bibles are personal, special, sacred. The notes in the margin mean something. The underlined passages carry people through different seasons of life and remind them of what matters. 

When we went to Mark's Great-Grandma Ruby's funeral on Saturday, I knew hers was the Bible to start this project. So much history was tucked into those thin, yellowed pages. Names and birthdates of her grandchildren (and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren), daily prayers, letters, pictures. I knew I would regret not asking for the chance to photograph it. This was truly an honor. 

Ruby's bible was re-covered and bound (the first time) in 1969 when Pixie, their Boston Bulldog, chewed it up in protest of their baby favoring her brother's French Poodle. The details were written on a note inside. So were the dates and prices of when she bought her vacuum cleaner and painted her house. Her driver's license number. Her blood type. Mark's birth weight. Creed's birth story (where he was born, that I was staying with my parents, and that Mark was in Iraq). A #1 by Andrew's name since he was her first great-great-grandchild. 

Mark's dad gave me the camera that belonged to his dad Charles, Ruby's youngest son. I love the ones of them together. 

I am so excited to see where this project goes. (If you've seen me eyeing your bible, now you know why!)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
— John 1:1

You belong among the wildflowers.

You belong among the wildflowers. You belong where you feel free.

My camera was once an extension of myself. Even when it wasn't with me, I saw the world around me through a lens. Sure, my photography ebbed and flowed alongside the seasons of life. I would take all the pictures one day and only a few the next. This past year has ebbed longer than any other. I would take a few pictures one day and none the next. Then I stopped taking pictures altogether. And eventually, I stopped seeing the world through a lens.

It was a great year. One of the best in our ten years together. But even so, I knew all along I was missing a piece of myself. So last night, camera in hand, Mark and I took the boys to one of our favorite spots, and I saw my world through a lens once again. When we got home, I told Mark I remembered why I love taking pictures so much. 

Andrew - age 8, Creed - age 6

Published

I've been a member of ClickinMoms since the beginning. I think there were about 800 members when I joined. Now, there are more than 16,000. I'm not an active member on the forums, but I'm always blown away by the talent of the photographers who are. So I was surprised when I got the email saying my submitted picture was chosen (out of hundreds) to be published on their blog. I was even more surprised when I realized mine was the cover of the article. What an honor! 

One of my favorite pictures...

Click here to view the full collection. And thank you to ClickinMoms for the fun surprise!