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Clients, Photographers, and a Whole Lotta Trust

30 Dec

It’s a scenario that I’m sure most all photographers and clients have been through at some point in time:

Client: “Are you sure this is gonna work?”

Photographer: “Yes, just trust me.”

Client: “Are you sure all these layers and patters will look o.k.?”

Photographer: “Yes, I promise.  Just trust me.”

Client: “This location, it looks a bit…um…not picturesque.  Are you…er…um…sure about this?”

Photographer: “It’ll look better than you can imagine and nothing like you’re picturing right now.  Just trust me.”

In all of my experiences in life and photography, the times I’ve prepared, prepped, and went with my gut instincts, are the times I’ve been happiest with my work.  They’re also the times the clients have been most proud of themselves in the work.

A good photographer will communicate with you before the shoot.  Find out about you, what your overall vision is (i.e. natural or urban setting, intimate or outgoing, etc.), coach you in what to wear if that’s not your forte, and guide you through the process.

Tori, one of my most favorite Seniors, wanted an urbanesque feel to her shoot.  When I drug her to some rough warehouse she didn’t look at me like I was straight up crazy, rather her reply was a trusting and confident, “This is fun.  Let’s do this!”

It’s sometimes hard to see beauty when surrounded by surface-level ugliness, but then again beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Beauty is everywhere, sometimes you just have to look hard to find it.  And don’t worry, if you can’t see it, your photographer will!

*A big thank you to Ms. Tina for this picture from her fab phone during our session!

Have a Blessed New Year!



30 Oct

Things I often hear parents say on a photo session with kiddos:

“I’m so sorry he’s not performing!”

“I canNOT believe she’s being this way!”

“Don’t worry.”  I try to reassure in my sweetest voice.  “ALL kids do this as some point. Even mine.”  Yes my kids, who are so used to having a camera shoved in their face they strike a pose when they see a dangling point-and-shoot hanging from one’s wrist!

I recently received some of the kindest words of encouragement from a friend that I haven’t seen in years.  The timing perfection.  The day: chaos.  My mind: scattered.  I was grateful for her words of encouragement – both as an individual and photographer.

I’m a bit of a dreamer.  I think. I fantasize.  I dream.  My grandmother, an author by trade and dreamer by nature, is my kindred-spirit.  Never once did she kill somebody’s dream.  She always encouraged them.

Dreams don’t always unfold in life as we envision, but they always breed vision.  They propel us.  Move us forward.  The same way an encouraging word does.

Hernán and I were just discussing how important our words are because they always seem to take root and head us in one direction or the other.  Words give life.  They are never stagnant.

Today, may you be an encourager to someone else  and be encouraged by these words:

“Therefore, encourage one another and edify one another, just as you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.” ~Henry David Thoreau


That my kids DO have meld-downs during photo shoots.  Here is ZOE on her NOT-SO-BEST-BEHAVIOR during a recent photo shoot!

Cars, Posing, and One Sweet Baby Model.

27 Jun

It’s a rare but beautiful occasion when Hernan (my hubs) and I get to spend individual time with each of our kiddos.  Amidst everything that goes on in this mad world, it’s tough to do.  But we are trying very hard to be intentional and creative about how we can squeeze more moments in with them.  Together.  And, apart.

Friday was a glorious evening.  Big Z attended his first theater movie ever: Cars 2.  He and his daddy walked hand-in-hand to the car while I, juggling a child and camera, tried to catch the moment. Success.  He loved it.  And proceeded to talk all night about it.

I used to always tease my mom about taking care of herself.  She’s a nurse and always nursed everyone.  Except herself.  Funny how that’s happening here.  Not nursing, but lack of taking picture of my own children.  I finally broke down and bought a point and shoot because I was missing SOOOOO many moments.  Too many.  So as Zoe and I relaxed in our back yard, I decided to work and play with little Z.

And the results:

…I’m a smitten kitten =)

Photography, Family, & A Whole Lotta Crazy

6 Apr

Am I the only wife, mother of two (2 years and 4 1/2 months), and photographer wishing for more hours in the day?  I pondered this question aouple of weeks ago week sitting at my desk during a quiet time as my calendar sat before me with ink ALL OVER IT. I genuinely thought, I’m never gonna get this all done.  NEVER.  It was utter chaos the first three months after I had baby Miller numero dos.  Seriously.  I just ran from task to task doing everything as fast as I could without any real plans. Praying that my sanity wouldn’t leave me.  This is bad for someone like me who likes, no, LOVEs to write a to-do list and check things off.  But more than that, I didn’t want to waste precious time that could and should be spent with my kids because I was just too scattered.

So, what to do?

I realized that I had to have a plan.  One that gave me routine and balance.  (BTW, I had this before, but it had to be completely changed going from 1 babe to 2).  And, if you’ve ever tried working from home with kids, you get this.  Without a plan I found myself saying yes to every little invite or job that came along without realizing it might not be best – for me, my family, or my workflow.  So here’s the 411 on my general photography work schedule.

I’ve deemed Mondays, to be my primary bookkeeping, shipping, fulfilling client orders, and corresponding with clients day.  My oldest goes to Mom’s Day Out once a week, so this is a much more serene time for me to look at numbers (without them being shouted from 1 to 15 in Spanish next to me as I try to work in QuickBooks), chat with clients, or write coherent e-mails.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days to blog, study/read, and edit.  Wednesdays and Fridays I edit, e-mail, and work on updating things that need updating like website, price lists, etc.  Iusually take photos during evenings and on weekends (every now and then a weekday morning will get thrown in the mix) but that’s not the norm.  I tweak it here and there, but for the most part, this has helped me regain my sense of sanity and order that I need.

Maybe this will encourage you moms and dads out there working in unique situations and wondering how it will all get done.

Anyone else out there got tips, share!

Jasmine *

30 Aug

If you haven’t recently (or well, within the last 5 years) heard of Jasmine Star or J* as she goes by, then you probably either 1.  have nothing to do with wedding photography or 2. have been living in a black hole.  I recently had the honor of listening to Jasmine * speak at the St. Louis Photographer’s Shot Party and she was a breath of fresh air in an industry that can often be competitive and stuffy.  Neither of which I care for. 

While talking about her encounter with the Mid West, St. Louis in particular, she exclaimed, “People here are so nice!  Everyone is smiling and wanting to talk.  I almost expected someone to give me an apple pie!”  Well, she deserves one because this girl is as real and honest a good ole’ American apple pie.  I adore her work, her admiration for things that are important, family, friends, and Jesus as well as her 100% acceptance for who she is as an individual. 

I’ve added her link to my sidebar inspiration.  Go check her out.   Even if you’re not into photography, she’s worth the time.

To view her blog:

New Love…the expodisc!

1 Jul

I recently heard about the expodisc and think I’m going to LOVE it!  For all you photographers out there, it soooo helps get good skin tones & takes a LOT of the work out of editing – even if you shoot in RAW and color correct your white balance in Photoshop.  They’re fairly inexpensive to buy.  I got mine for $99 big ones, which is worth the time saved on color correction if you ask me!

TIP:  If you’re buying just one, buy the one that fits your largest lens and you can just hold it flush so it’ll work for all of your lenses.  No need to buy more than 1.  Also, get the neutral so you can use it for every moment that comes your way.

Get You Gear

26 Jan

I have MAD LOVE for this shop. 

 Even before I was doing photography, my husband purchased our first digital Canon Rebel from B & H.

Their prices are great.  Service, fantastic.  And products, nop-notch.

I’ve never been disappointed with B & H.

I HIGHLY recommend them.