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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!


Family Session: The Whites

25 Oct

Fall has been pretty perfect across Missouri’s rolling praries this year.  The leaves golden and temps lovely.  Perfect for a family photo session.  The White family’s morning was no exception.

I arrived at the White’s house and to my delight found Logan entranced with the movie UP. “He loves this show,” Mikaela stated.  “We watch it at least once a day.”  “Perfect!” I exclaimed with delight. My props for the family session would be a hit.  Two MASSIVE balloons =)  They loved them.  We all were happy.

Mikaela and I go way back.   To third grade to be exact.  Funny how life is.  You grow up friends.  Move on to college.  And life, well, it brings you back to where you started – close in proximity and friends once again.  Mikaela’s family is as warm and loving as she is.  Kevin, an amazing support to his family; and the kids, enamored with their parents and grandparents.  Rekindling a old friendship has been just one of the best things about taking this family’s pictures so frequently.  And for that, I’m blessed to call you my friend.

The McKinnon Family: Session of Expression

8 Aug

I’ve known Kristin since I was 4 and she was 5 and we played Pixie League softball and took gymnastics together.  We grew up together, went to the same college, and now live near one another with kiddos close in age.  I consider this a blessing.

We came across some old photos just last week of us growing up.  We laughed at the “professional” pictures we had had done.  We were cool (at least we thought).  Matching shirts, poofy hair, and yes, even make-up that coordinated with the get-up!  We quickly decided that we were in need of an update.

There were tons of great pictures from their session, but I narrowed it down to these few because of all the expressions.  If you knew Miss Avery (the older gal), you’d know that she’s never short on words nor expressions.  And sweet little Emma Grace, she’s just so precious and innocent.  This was hands-down one of the most laid-back and fun sessions.


Baby Blues and Chinese Lanterns

25 Jul

It was a perfect early morning session.  Sun shining.  Birds chirping.  And the temperature, a mere 90° at 8:15 a.m.  It is St. Louis during the Dog Days of summer, but Lyla was coming.  One of my most favorite babes ever to photograph. She’s definitely worth schlepping gear around in a hot and humid climate.  You might remember her from an earlier session where I warned looking at her pictures could lead to severe baby fever!

Lyla’s jean shorts weren’t the only baby blues that shone and were sooooo adorable.  Look, at those eyes.  I mean seriously.  I’m plotting to enter her in some gorgeous Gerber baby contest or something.  Her mother just doesn’t know it.  Well, until now =)

She adored the colorful chinese lanterns.  She played the camera.

I can’t wait until the fall when her 1st birthday rolls around!

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 =)

The Hurayt Babes

15 Jun

I was so shocked and excited when I received an inquiry for a sibling session from a girl that I knew in high school.  You know the phrase “pretty and popular” and “oh so extremely nice” ?  Yeah?  Well, that completely applies to her (and her twin, who looks just like her).  Needless to say, I was over-the-moon excited to do some outdoorsy newborn baby pics with his sister.

And you know what?  These kids are just as sweet and beautiful as their mama.  There were sooooo many good ones.  I wanted to share them all, but decided on these few.  Take a look…

A Tortoise, Tutu, and Emmalee.

1 May

Her mama was sure she wouldn’t like her tutu or pose for any of her 1-year pictures.  But boy was she wrong.  Emmalee was ready for her day and dazzled the camera.  We might owe it all to those magical little finger snacks that babies adore, but hey, does that matter?  Nah!

Her day went something like this.  Pose.  Eat a snack.  Dazzle the camera in tutu.  Pause for a snack.  Photo shoot with the gi-normous tortoise.  Sit.  Rest.  Eat a snack.  Hit the playground.  Wrap up the shoot.  Get in the stroller and rest as mom strolled her back to the car.  And, of course, eat a snack.

Of course she’d sparkle in any picture.

She’s a jewel.

Happy 1st birthday Emmalee!