Getting A Little Personal

This portrait and wedding season has been both incredible and exhausting. I know that come October I'm going to be slammed as it's always when families want portraits and when weddings dates are in demand. My business is seasonal to a degree. I carefully plan out the month, schedule sessions while trying to balance my girls' activities and having somewhat of a life. 4 weddings, 28 sessions and 50,000 images captured. I survived. Barely. I've always done this on my own. Everything. Consultations, shooting, editing, sales, bookkeeping, etc. It's become too much. Which really, is a great thing! My business is doing better than it ever has. I invested a lot in my education this year and I believe it has really shown in my work. But, it has left me with more work than ever before. Good problem to have. But I cannot continue at this pace. I have to have balance. I have to take the next step. Expand. Hire help. It's scary. To trust someone else to do something the way you would. I'm not a control freak by a long shot but when it comes to your name and reputation you want it done right. Right? So here I am, taking a leap. It's the only way to grow. I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store.

I hit a milestone this year. I photographed my 100th wedding. It came on my last one of the year and it was perfect. The bride, Taylor, I've known since she was 7 years old. In my senior year of high school I worked at a preschool. In the afternoon, Taylor and her mom would come in to pick up her younger sister, Katelyn from my classroom. I've known the family ever since. Fast forward. When I was 20 I volunteered to coach basketball at the same program that I grew up playing in. Basketball was my life from middle through high school and to coach had always been something I wanted to do. Taylor was put on my team. It was pretty cool to see her all grown up. I went on to photograph her senior portraits and then when I saw she had gotten engaged I crossed my fingers she would ask me to photograph her wedding. Well, here we are. My 100th was just that much sweeter with this girl. We celebrated with a little champagne. She and her entire family were so good to me. Her wedding will be featured soon!

I am so grateful to every single person who has been there for me over the last several years. From clients, to my family and especially my girls. I do this for them. To show them that if they work hard, they can have their dreams too.  I love my job. Some days I get burnt out and it becomes a 'job' but for the most part it's rewarding and truly makes me happy. I get to be a part of the best days of peoples lives, see their families grow and give them priceless memories. Sometimes its hard. Last week I was called early one morning to come to the hospital. I was asked to photograph a baby girl and her family. She was stillborn in the middle of the night. I immediately agreed. I didn't know them. I didn't know their story. All I knew was they had a few hours with her before she would be taken and they wanted to remember her. As the morning went on and it came closer to time to go, I became nervous. My stomach was in knots. I felt sick. What would I say? I've had 2 early miscarriages and while I was devastated at the time, I could not relate to what this mother and father were going through. I didn't know what it was like to deliver a baby and know that I wouldn't be taking her home. I walked in, and was greeted by the father who thanked me for coming. I spoke with him for a moment about what they wanted. I photographed their sweet baby. Her features. Her nose, lips, feet, and little fingers. I photographed her mother holding her, tightly in her arms as she sang to her. I watched their tears flow as I fought to hold back my own. I finished and offered them both my sympathies and the mom hugged me and she didn't let go. I got out to my car and lost it. How did I just get through that? I sat for a minute and let it all sink in. I let myself feel it. I went on to the gym to clear my head and went about my day. But I kept thinking about them and how life can change so quickly. I've had other things in my life teach me that lesson and I think its why I tend to live in the moment, say what I'm thinking or feeling and love hard. Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. I received a letter this week from that mother, thanking me again for what I did for them and told me that I would never know how priceless those photos were to her. While I don't feel as though I did much at all, to her and her husband I gave them everything. I am both humbled and honored and incredibly grateful for my gift that I am able to do things like this for people like that.

A Birth Story

Natalie and Demetri contacted me on referral from one of my existing clients about 2 weeks before their baby boy was due. They wanted someone to capture the birth of their sweet boy and a few pictures of them together after so that Demetri could be completely there for Natalie during her labor. I wish I had done this when both of my girls were born. I was on call all day and Demetri kept me updated. At 10pm she still hadn't made much progress so I knew that I would be up most of the night waiting to hear. I dozed on and off and got a call around 4am that it was time. I made the 45 minutes drive to Forsyth Medical Center and arrived just in time of Natalie to start pushing. An hour or so later baby Drake was born. What an amazing thing to be a part of. I feel so blessed and honored to be trusted with such a task. These photos speak for themselves.