Monday, November 12, 2012

Pay it Forward Mississippi {2012}

I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful project called, "Pay it Forward Mississippi".


A group of 6 local photographers, including myself, have joined together during this busy holiday season to use our talents to serve others and God. 1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each of you use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms". (NIV)

We are each choosing from submissions to our blog/email  deserving families in the Columbus/Starkville, MS area to receive a free session, 10 digital files and assorted prints. Six families will be chosen from the submissions, the other photographers are all shooting for their sessions to be done before Christmas. Since I am due with our fourth child any day now, I will not shoot my chosen family until after January 1, 2013.

We are also challenging fellow photographers to take on our Pay it Forward project in their own areas. More information can be found on the blog page for photographers.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

B family

I've known this sweet mama since our first time at Columbus. While they aren't here anymore, we worked out a family session while they were passing through town. I'm so glad it worked out and I got to meet their two precious little boys!










gorgeous senior.

This gorgeous girl won a free session from me and I was so excited to attempt my first go at senior pictures with her. We lucked out with a gorgeous sunset and she was such a trooper dealing with all the bugs and crazy Mississippi humidity. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect first senior session. 

Even though I'm already on maternity leave and will only be back for very limited lifestyle and birth sessions after our new peanut arrives, I loved shooting this session and will hopefully open a couple spots up for seniors next year too!






Friday, May 11, 2012

{big} news.



Well, there you have it! We are happy to announce that our sweet peanut number FOUR will be arriving sometime in November! {The full post is on the family blog}

 Admittedly, it was hard to keep it a secret for so long, even more so because of how sick I've been. I am eternally grateful to current clients who have been so patient while I've worked on galleries. I have been living on my bathroom floor for almost 3 months and it hasn't let up at all. (Pretty much standard for me, it seems to get worse with each baby!)

What does this mean for the business?

It's been on my mind for months (longer than I've been pregnant for sure). I have been happily in business for two years! Two wonderful years capturing memories and moments, births and even a wedding! It has been incredibly hard to balance family life (which understandably!) always comes first with two kids and then three kids. But we've made it work. My husband has been ever patient, watching kids, helping with bath time and bed time so I could get more editing done. I have loved having another job besides mama. But I've also struggled with a battle. It's been hard to balance all the work of a business and being a stay at home mom. Let's be honest, I couldn't realistically do EVERYTHING while they slept. And I hated saying, "Hang on a minute, mama is working". After all, my dream was to be a stay at home mama. And in the last two years, I've slowly felt like less of the mom who's at home, playing, laughing and learning with my kids and more like one stressed out mama which slowly was affecting my love of photography.

 When I started out in photography, my husband had just deployed for 5 months. I dove head first into learning everything I could about my camera and composition and post processing. I read book after book, spent hours online in photography forums and chatting with other photographers. I'm proud to say I'm self taught, proof that anyone can do anything they put their mind to if they have dedication and put in lots of hard work. My first images were hardly stunning, I had "mommy goggles" for sure but I LOVED taking pictures of my kids, I spent hours snapping away, testing out all my new knowledge on them. And it paid off. I'm a fairly humble person, but I can proudly say I've taken some darn good images of my kids (and once in business- plenty of pictures of your kids that I adore!)

But somewhere along the way, I lost the passion. I dreaded getting out the camera. While I truly loved interacting with clients and watching their families grow and was very proud of myself for providing them with beautiful images to remember their family with. I hated taking pictures of my own kids; my project 365 became a chore and not something I looked forward to. Only my stubbornness for not giving up on a commitment kept me working on it. I felt my creativity completely draining away. I managed to pull it out for a session but my joy of photographing my own family was disappearing. I was scared to admit all of this, and have debated it internally and with family and close friends for a few months. Would I be a failure if I was no longer in business? Would it be okay to be just a MWAC? (Mom with a camera). How do I justify having a fairly expensive hobby? While I don't honestly feel the need to upgrade anything right now, I know eventually I do want a full frame body and a few different upgraded lenses. When in business, it's an investment to buy new gear. As a MWAC...I wasn't sure. Would people look at me and think, "Oh she couldn't hack it as a "professional" or "she must not have been good enough".

 And then, we found out about peanut number four. No, it wasn't a surprise. And the timing suddenly seemed even more perfect. I know I have struggled to make it all work with three kids, and I'm not going to kid myself that I'm sure it will be even harder with four.

And then two blog posts from a series a photographer I greatly admire, Sarah Cornish of My Four Hens really spoke to me.

 The first was an interview with an immensely talented photographer, Melissa Gibson, she happily calls herself a "mwac" and her work is just gorgeous. She was complete proof that even if you weren't in business, you could rock a camera and only take pictures of your babies and be happy about it!

And then a few days later, Sarah posted another interview with Sarah Wilkerson I've been a fan of Sarah's for a long time but I guess I never realized she also wasn't in business until this interview.

One of her answers in the interview just really blew me away...

 "Biggest Photography related insecurity? This industry describes photographers who don’t operate a business using the words “hobbyist” or “amateur” – both of which tend to imply lesser skill or a lack of commitment. I struggled for a long time with the perception that a photographer has to go into business to be taken seriously. I so admire the extraordinary photographers who manage a client based business while maintaining a passion for what they do and staying true to themselves as artists, but it wasn’t a good model for me. The most beneficial thing I did for myself as an artist was to step back from client work; when I released myself from the pressure to deliver, I found that I became a more adventurous photographer who was willing to take risks, to “fail,” to shoot what, when and how it moved me. All of those things really accelerated my growth and made photography more personally fulfilling. Being a “hobbyist” is not a sign of inexperience, inferiority, or whimsy; it is, for me, a luxury. "

 (from Sarah Cornish's interview with Sarah Wilkerson) 

Wow. What I have wanted to say if only I were more eloquent...exactly. All my thoughts from the last months, clearly and explicitly spelled out.

 I want to be like Sarah Wilkerson,  since "being a "hobbyist" is not a sign of inexperience, inferiority, or whimsy; it is, for me, a luxury." I want to tattoo those words on my arm and anytime I doubt myself for going out of business I want to just remember. I am not a failure. I will be a happy MWAC rockin' my camera and taking gorgeous shots of my four precious babies.

 So, yes. I am no longer in business. I have a few shoots still on the books and may consider very limited sessions this fall. But my children are the reason I developed a passion and talent in photography, why I went into business and now they are the reason I am leaving it all behind. To spend more time with them, enjoying their swiftly passing childhood.

 "Professional" photography and a client based business will be around when they are grown up, but for now, officially, I am "just" a MWAC now. And I intend to enjoy every moment of it.


Every. single. moment.  :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

perfect spring session :Columbus, MS family photography

It was the perfect weather for a session at sunset. It was 65 degrees, light breeze. A night that we will be wishing for in a few weeks when summer shows up early and sticks around till November.
This adorable family came out and made the most of it. I've known their mama for a few years since our first time at Columbus, they were just in town for a quick visit but it was great catching up and seeing how big each others babies had gotten!

Hope you enjoy your sneak peek guys!



Skipping rocks with Daddy was the best!





Wednesday, April 11, 2012

new family of four. Columbus MS newborn photography

I just adore this family. They are so sweet and quiet and kind. Their little girl is the sweetest big sister and just in love with baby brother. I was really feeling black and whites for this session, though I do love the outdoors shots we did that are full of warmth and sunset light! Little brother was a little big older than my typical newborn but he was still so relaxed and happy. Congratulations again on your new family of four! Hope you guys enjoy the sneak peek!








Tuesday, April 3, 2012

sweet sisters.

Aren't these the most precious little girls ever? We had a mini-session for sweet Mae's birthday and they were so sweet to each other. The birthday girl wasn't too sure about her time in the spotlight but she was still a cutie despite a few tears. And big sister, Bes, was so sweet dancing and singing to little sister- trying to get her to smile :)

Hope you enjoy your sneak peek, Mama. You and your girls are gorgeous and so sweet- and I'm so glad we got to connect again!







And then we went to pick some flowers...




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Southern Wedding

I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful couple or wedding for my first wedding. I went down to Savannah, Georgia and shot with a dear friend, Meghan from Meghan Cavanaugh Photography.

Neither of us has shot a wedding before, and this gorgeous couple made it wonderfully easy work!

John and Deedra, Congratulations on your marriage! I hope you enjoy this peek at all the beautiful moments of your wedding day! Sit back, and enjoy- it's definitely a large share ;)







John's first look at his beautiful bride.



And then for a few minutes, the rain poured down and decisions had to be made. Deedra decided she was willing to risk the rain for her ceremony under the live oaks at Forsyth Park.






And then it was time to get married!



"The token to pass is a kiss."


Did you notice the rain completely moved out and sunshine moved in!?!!

A very fun cocktail hour.

They put on their dancing shoes!


Introducing Captain and Mrs. John Meyers!

First dances.


Time to eat! Their menu was delicious; a carving station, make your own mini-burgers, shrimp and grits! And the cake- oh my word was it delicious!




After the beautiful toasts, it was time to hit the dance floor.


I think it was safe to say that everyone had a good time!

Then it was time for bouquet and garter tossing to begin.



A little more dancing,

And the beautiful evening came to a close, with everyone lighting sparklers to send the happy couple on their way!



May you both live happily ever after together!! Thanks again for letting me share your special day with you guys!! Meghan, thanks so much for thinking of me when hiring another shooter! I loved working with you!