Thinking About Life & Oliver’s 1st Birthday

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing my cousin Oliver’s 1st Birthday photos.  I have sat down to write this blog many times and each time I wanted to give Jami (his momma) a shout out but told myself “this Oliver’s post keep sappy families to yourself.”  Well I am ignoring that crazy thought, more on his session shortly.

I once heard the saying that your cousin is your 1st friend you’ll have. I never came to understand that phrase until adulthood.  Jami and I are 5 years apart, total opposites in so many ways, yet so alike in others.  When we were small we used to spend every Sunday at our Papaw and Mamaw’s house for Sunday dinner and playing outside, spend nights at each others houses, we went to Disney together once and a few trips to the beach.  Then tragedy struck our family and took loved ones away and with that took away our Sunday dinner’s & playing in mamaw’s giant yard.  We grew, I don’t want to say grew apart because that sounds harsh, our interests just seemed so opposite and the 5 yr age difference seemed to be obvious for a few years.  Adulthood came upon us, Marriage’s & Babies.  Jami became a momma to her sweet boy. Oliver has brought my bond with his momma back to light for me and makes me think of those childhood memories more often.  I am so thankful for those memories she and I share from our younger years and no one can take those memories away.

I can’t believe that Oliver is ONE!!!!  It seems like yesterday I was driving back and forth from the hospital to my house to take care of my kids and yet not miss his delivery!  Click the colored link to see the photos from his hospital session, Oliver’s Arrival & from his Newborn Session here  Oliver’s Newborn

Last week Jami brought Oliver up for some photos to remember his first birthday.  He wasn’t feeling very good and was not interested in his cake at all.  He gets his dislike of cake from his daddy.  I mean who doesn’t like cake!?!

You can view all of the photos from Oliver Finn’s 1st Birthday session by clicking here

Thank you for bearing with me this morning on my trip down memory lane.

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Miss Bree is ONE!!!

Bree’s Momma April contacted me for a 1st Birthday Cake Smash after being referred to me by another client.  We were able to get it scheduled on her actual One Year Birthday!!  How sweet was that?!?!

Some littles come to their cake smash session and devour the cake & some want nothing to do with it.  Bree was just a little in to her adorable little cake.  April picked up the best little cake from the bakery in Spencer for only $4!!!  It was classically decorated and just right.

These were Bree’s 1st professional photos and she was stingy with her smiles but I was able to capture a couple hints of smiles.

Here are a few of my favorites…

You can view all of the photos from this sweet girls session here  Bree is ONE!!!

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ps My weekends are now booked through April!!  If you need a weekend contact me ASAP!!!


Mr & Mrs Miller

My internet has given me fits this week.  I really wanted to post about these love birds on Valentines Day but technology just wasn’t having it.

Jason & Catherine were married in beautiful warmly lit ceremony last October in Eleanor.  Catherine was a very hands on bride & left no detail undone.  She made the centerpieces, the arch, dried the flowers, gathered up family quilts and oil lamps for the tables, made a cute barbecue sign for the food and Jason made the perfect cake stand.   The details were so  beautiful, warm and cozy.

Catherine was a bride after my heart!  She wanted a “first look” & she had an “unplugged wedding”!!!   I believe first looks are great for taking off pressure from the bride and groom on the wedding day.  It’s gives them a chance to be alone, well as alone as you can be with me snapping your reactions, and take in the moments about to happen and shed a few tears if you wish without being in front of your guests.  I think I could & I might, do a whole blog about unplugged weddings.  Bride and Grooms have put so much in to planning their special day that they want you to be in the moment with them!  Not on your phone trying to take photos.  That’s what they pay me for.   When they look back at their photos they want to see your faces watching them take this step in life, not your phone or iPad hiding it.

Catherine’s son gave her hand in marriage, and they said their vows while each of their children smiled with pride as the two families became one.

The guests dined on freshly made pulled pork barbecue from Jason’s business, Mountain Que.  It was de-lish ya’ll need to stop and try it sometime!

It was a great wedding day and I was so happy to capture it for them.  You can view all of their photos by clicking their name, Mr & Mrs Miller  & a few of my favorites are below.

Are you newly engaged?   Still searching for your wedding photographer?  I would love to chat with you!

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Sweet Baby Cole

When looking over past sessions to catch up on blogging I came across Cole’s Newborn session that I had right before Christmas.  He was such a sweet little one with such patient parents.

Tamra contacted me a couple months before her due date to let me know she wanted to book a newborn session with me and she was expected to deliver right before Christmas so I penciled her in.

Expecting momma’s, did you realize the best time to get your newborn session scheduled is when you are still pregnant?!?!

Derrick and Tamra brought Cole in at about a week old for his session.  He loved being swaddled and in-between setups he wanted to cuddle and nurse with his momma.   I love when my clients come in to a session with ideas and props that are personal to them. These proud parents brought in a baseball glove, bat and a ball with sweet Cole’s footprint on it.  They also brought a cute little Santa outfit since he was born so close to Christmas.

Cole’s session went well and his parents loved their photos so it was a home run.   If you would like to view all of the photos you can follow this link Cole’s Newborn Session.

Are you expecting a new little bundle of joy?  Contact me now to get penciled in for your Maternity, Fresh 48 or Newborn Session!

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Ludtman ~ Ripley High Senior

Graduation 2017 is coming soon!

Olivia was so fun and easy going to work with during her senior session late last fall at the riverfront park in Marietta and we found some great places for photos.  The weather was perfect, the colors of the leaves were perfect, it was an all around great day for a senior session.

Olivia is the type of gal that knows what she wants, not just in her session, but in life.  She knows what she wants to study in college, where she wants to attend, and has the determination to follow and achieve her dreams!

You can view all of her senior session by clicking here… Olivia ~ Ripley High Senior 2017

There isn’t much time left to schedule your 2017 Senior Session!  Contact me asap to talk details!

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My 1st Try at a Milk Bath Session

As a creative sometimes I see a session someone else has shot and want to put your own swing on it.  Milk Bath sessions seem to be the “in thing” to do lately.  The trend seemed to start with adults with boudoir & maternity and has now moved on to babies.

I knew I wanted to try one of these sessions but I didn’t want to wait on a client to request one so I looked over my client list for a baby girl who was sitting but not mobile yet.  I thought of sweet Avery so I contacted Caressa to see if she liked the idea and she loved it!

We set the date and I began studying the details, I knew the milk but what else did I need to figure out.   I got my studio really warm because I didn’t want her to be chilled, boiled water to add to warm the milk, snip the tops off of flowers and choose the right tie back.

Well like many things in life we live and learn…Think back to elementary science class when you learned about water displacement!  Fill the bowl pretty high, put a baby in and there will be some sloshing of milk all over the floor!  I have decided I like that part now and it adds character.  Check for non poisonous flowers incase the baby tries to eat them!  And sit the milk out further in advance to warm it up.

All of that being said, I can’t wait to shoot another milk bath!  Who is ready to schedule theirs?

Here are some of my favorites from our session, to view them all please click here Avery’s Milk Bath


Kids will be Kids and that’s okay!

I want my clients to know, it is going to be okay. I am mom of 2 crazy, okay one crazier than the other, kids and its okay if your child isn’t into pictures right now.  I have been there!

Don’t be embarrassed.  I know that is easier said than done, try to relax and let me work my magic aka act like a crazy fool to make them laugh & hold down my shutter to hopefully get one photo out of 50 for you.

I hear “I’m Sorry they are acting like this” so many times during sessions from moms and dads when their littles are being crazy and running around, not sitting for a photo, and most def not smiling.  Please don’t be sorry, they are kids, most kids do not like having their photo taken and you know what, that’s okay.

In many cases, when you show up to the session, that’s the first time we have met, I try to make friends with the little ones, get to know them, what characters they like, noises that make them laugh, etc.   Then we start the session and 99% of the time it all works out.  I have many moms say they are so impressed with how many photos I actually was able to capture after they left feeling like they would have nothing.

Also I am not above bribery!  lol

Ashley was one of those moms.  She requested her session be shot at her home that she shares with her husband Landon, and littles Carson and Violet.

After chatting with Carson and Violet about the kittens on the porch we moved to the  porch steps of the their home.

The kids playset was just out of sight and it was a sunny warm evening, what would most kids want to do…PLAY!  So after trying to grab some photos in front of the home, we moved towards the backyard to small tall pretty grass near the pond but made a pit stop along the way for the kids to play on the slide and I grabbed some quick pics there.

When I asked Ashley’s permission to use her session as an example for this blog topic I also asked her if she had anything she would like to add about that session and the end result…  “You just telling me I’m a mommy they are fine made me feel a little better, but I think as a parent you always want your kids to be little angels when they are around people and that’s just not how it is. I even prayed that they would be good. Yes it was stressful, but I was 100% satisfied with the end result and I thought all the shots were amazing! I remember thinking … Well maybe they, meaning the kids, weren’t so bad after all.”

I call that session a Win!  Memories are already printed and up on her walls!

So next time your kids are being crazy, just remember, we have all been there at some point and it will be okay!

You can view all of the photos from their session by clicking here…Barnette Family Session

I can’t wait to spend time with all of you for a family session of your own!  Life moves so fast make sure you get in those photos with your kids and capture those moments for some day they will be a memory!  Print those photos and decorate your home with your memories!

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