Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Want to know about me?

Hello, friends!

So, you know about me as a photographer a little bit. And you know maybe a little bit about my personal life/kiddos. But, I thought I'd take this opportunity to let you know some more about me. As a person, as a wife, as a mother. Just...insight into who I am. Here we go!

1. I was born in Anderson, Indiana. I'm 28 years old. I've lived in Indiana most of my life, and nearly all of my family is nearby, which I love.

2. I was born into a very religious family, which I consider to be an amazing blessing. My father's dad was a Baptist preacher. My mother's parents were missionaries in Niger, West Africa for 35 years. My mom moved there when she was two years old and lived there until she was ready to come back to the States for college. She's trilingual, still fluent...which I consider to be pretty cool! Even though, she never fully taught me Zarma...I can say "hello, how are you?" and can say my name in Zarma. That's about it!

3. I have an older sister, Nansie. She is my best friend. We are 3 1/2 years apart in age and were never really close until we were older. She was a huge huge support to me when I got pregnant unexpectedly with my first son, Ethan. Nansie has two awesome boys with another on the way. She's married to an awesome guy, Kevin. He's a firefighter...and my kids think that's pretty cool!

4. I got pregnant with Ethan when I was 21. Definitely not the plan, but he has been such a blessing to both me and my husband. We got married when Ethan was 18 months old and have added two more babies since then! BOTH of whom were also "oops" babies! We definitely have no problem reproducing, that's for sure! ;) Ethan is now nearly six, Harper (our daughter) is three, and our chubby nugget, Maddox, is 16 months old.  They are the three cutest kids in the whole world! You can check out their recent pictures below.  This year, my husband Dave and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary, and we've been together over nine years. Yowza!

5. I have a younger brother, Ryan. He's awesome. He went into the US Army after high school and has been deployed twice to Iraq. He came home quite unscathed, still the same person he was when he left. An absolute answer to prayer. Check out his surprise return home from his first tour here! And's a tearjerker, for sure! He's a wonderful man, brother, and husband to his awesome and gorgeous wife, Chelsea. They live in Oklahoma. Which sucks...but I think we can convince them to move to Indiana soon! ;) By the way...Chelsea is also getting her name out there as an awesome blogger, check her out here! Ryan and Chelsea actually met through blogging. Who woulda thunk?

6. I've been a nurse for over six years. I love it. I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was in first grade. What really cemented it was when my grandpa got diagnosed with leukemia when I was in elementary school. I was in such awe of the awesome nurses at Methodist who took care of him. He went to be with the Lord in summer of 1996. We miss him dearly. Nansie and I still talk about how sad we are that he didn't get the chance to meet our babies. He would've been an amazing great-grandpa!

7. I started dabbling in photography in April of this year. So, I'm very very new at this! I still have a LOT to learn, I'm not as good as I hope to be in a year or so. But I love it love it love it! I'm so blessed to have found this new hobby/profession. I've met some awesome people, and I think every single one of my clients has taught me something about myself and life. It's pretty darn cool.

8. I'm an emotional girl. I cry when I'm happy, sad, tired, hungry...and I especially cry when I'm really angry. Like, really angry.  Then I get angry that I'm crying, because I don't want to look like a wimp. I'm not being a wimp, I'm just pissed off! I don't like appearing weak. Especially because I'm strong. Very strong. I've been through some things these last five years that have been very trying. Trying on my self-esteem, my marriage, my kids, my friends, my family, my jobs...things I wouldn't wish on anyone.  But I've come out stronger in the end. I love who I am, I honestly do.

9. I have five best friends. Count em. FIVE. How awesome is that?!?! My sister, my friend Crystal, who (whom?) I've known since kindergarten; Ashley, friend since fourth grade; Rachel, fanTABulous photographer in the Indy area- only known her two years, but I must've done something good to have her walk into my life! And then there's Dana, whom I've only known a very short time, but we've grown to be very close. She and I have a lot in common and have formed quite a bond over the past few months.  Most people aren't lucky enough to have one person to call a best friend, so I am a pretty lucky girl! :)

10. I consider my life to be split into pie pieces. Every aspect of my life, every role I have, is an equal slice of the pie. I'm a wife and mother--foremost. But I'm also a friend, a sister, a daughter, a nurse and a photographer. Most of the time, I'm enjoying my "mommy" slice of the pie. Other times, I prefer to enjoy my "friend" piece of the pie and get dressed to the nines, go to dinner and get some drinks with my friends, and for a night, forget the other pieces of the pie. And just be a girl, having a great night out with my girlfriends.  Some people feel guilty doing that. But, I never ever ever ever will. And I don't feel guilty for not feeling guilty!

11. I don't like fights or confrontations of any kind. And I certainly won't START a fight. But, if you push...I'll push back. And probably push back a little harder. I don't back down until you start waving your little white flag. And...that is something I consider to be one of my character flaws.

12. I love coffee. Like...LOVE. coffee. A lot. Always craving coffee. My winter drink? Venti Americano with four Splenda and extra cream. My summer drink? Iced venti sugar-free caramel breve latte. Yeah...say that five times fast! ;) Feel free to surprise me with coffee any day of the week. It'll win you the key to my heart.

13. I'm initially very stand-offish. Not as a photographer, though. I come out all loud and crazy and very excited to spend the day with you. Personally though...I'm super quiet at first. Some people misconstrue this to mean that I'm...well, bitchy. That might be the right word. But, that's not be at all. I much prefer to be a quiet observer for a long time when placed in a new situation.  I would much rather it take a while for you to get to know me than for me to put it all out there right off the bat. I used to trust people a little too easily sometimes, and I that's not a good idea! So, that has a lot to do with why I seem quiet and "stand-offish" at first. But I warm up quickly, so no worries! :)

14. I'm a total breastfeeding advocate. I breastfed all of my kids and think it's one of the smartest and most rewarding things I've done as a parent. I pat myself on the back for being a full-time working mother and being able to nurse my children until they self-weaned. Gooooo ME! ;) I couldn't have done it without my awesome sister and support. She was my own personal lactation consultant!

15. Anything else you want to know? Feel free to ask.

If I'm being brutally honest...this blog post was inspired by an altercation I got into today with someone. Not a physical one, but an altercation with words.  For some reason, situations like that, although few and very far between, always inspire me to put words down.  I have a hard time accepting something like being misjudged for the wrong reasons, and this is my way of sorting through it in my head.'s not in my head. It's on a public blog. But, I feel the need to share, to let my feelings out. And I feel like it was theraputic for me to get it out.

So, thank you. Thank you for reading, and quite possibly thanks for reading until I bored you to tears!

Here's a recent picture of my husband and I at a friend's wedding.
Dates are few and far between!

Muah! xoxo

Monday, November 1, 2010

Been a LONG time!

Wow! I had no idea it had been over two months since I had made a blog entry! I've been SO busy these last couple of months. I'm taking a much needed night off from editing to watch some Monday Night Football (go Colts!) and relax a little bit...but I figured I'd go ahead and do a blog entry to update anyone who still follows it. And I hope there are a few of you out there that still check it out! :)

Well, let's see. I'll fill you in on life first. Ethan has started kindergarten. It's going well, he's learning a lot and really eager to read and write. It's awesome to see. Harper is still prancing around like she owns the place, insisting she's "Superman." You'd better not call her Harper, because she won't answer you. ;) Maddox is nearly 16 months old, is close to outweighing Harper, and spends a lot of time picking on his big sister. They're busy and loud and messy and keep me on my toes TWENTY-FOUR/SEVEN.  But, they're awesome. Here are a few recent pictures, taken by my best friend and go-to photographer, Rachel Vanoven.

My husband got a job offer three weeks ago that landed him in Atlanta for six weeks. It's a great job, a real blessing to our family, but working 60+ hours a week with two jobs and taking care of the kids and the house has been pretty difficult, lately! I'm SO thankful for the friends and family that are lending a helping hand to me and my babes. 

I'm still working as a nurse, three days a week. Then...any "spare" time I have is filled with kids, cleaning, shoots and editing. I put in about 36 hours a week as an RN, and about 30 hours a week with this awesome photography gig I have going!  So, I'm stretched thin, and have been for quite some time. I had a REALLY hard time saying "no" to people, because I was (and still am), SO incredibly grateful that people want me to be their photographer! Such a great feeling.  But, I'm learning quickly, that I can't be everything to everyone...all the time. So, I've got about 12 shoots in November scheduled (less than half of what I did in October!), and I'm leaving it at that. Three shoots a week still keeps me plenty busy, but not drowning in work. I miss my kids, I miss sleep, and I'm ready to wind down a little bit! Thankfully, Starbucks has been there for me every step of the way! ;)

Onto my recent shoots...I have met the most wonderful people and families these last couple of months. I've also gotten the chance to reconnect with old friends, which has been SUCH a blessing. I'm convinced I have the best clients in the world!!!!  Here's a very very small look at what I've been up to these past two months. Sorry I don't have time to be more detailed, but...kickoff in half an hour!

Baby Henry.

Sweet Hallie. Her momma's a photographer, too!

Zoe. I LOVE this picture!

Miss MK.

Lolli and Poppy. most. precious. girls. EVER!

Little Adeleena Belle. She loved the apples at the orchard!

SUCH an adorable family!!!

Last, but not least. This is just a little FYI to future clients, past clients, current clients and everyone in between. I've learned a lot about photography as a business here lately, and I just want to share a few things with you.  Or...get a few things off my chest. Either way, here it goes!

Of course, I would like to say 99% of the clients I've had have been more than perfectly pleased with their images. It makes my heart smile, it gives me this huuuge stupid grin on my face when I get an email, a text message, a facebook message and everything in between thanking me for doing such a wonderful job on their pictures. I wanna jump up and down when I see them refer me to their friends, I giggle like a little girl when I see them instantly make my image their new profile picture. It's awesome.


I've also had a couple of unhappy clients. We all know that's a given. It's impossible to keep everyone happy all the time. It's disappointing and makes me really sad (yes, I've even cried), but it's part of the job. And I'm okay with that. But, I wanted to give anyone who's not familiar with me or custom photography a little background on how this whole process goes. May not be the same for every custom photographer you meet, but this is how I roll..... ;)


I take a LOT of pictures. For a very specific reason. Eyes blink, snot flies out, eyes cross, blurry images here and there, baby crying, baby pooping, baby puking, lighting is off, no eyeballs looking in my general direction, outfit messed get the idea. I may take 20 pictures of seemingly the same "pose," but only get one or two really good shots out of the whole group. As a general rule of thumb, I probably edit 10-20% of the pictures I actually take. After the shoot, I sit down with my camera and delete the obviously horrid ones. And believe me, every photographer gets them! Then, I upload to the computer and go over every single image and write down every single one that, at first glance, seems worth editing. When I finally start editing in Photoshop, I may realize that a third of the images I thought were good enough to enhance with editing, actually aren't that great of images after all. They're pushed aside, too. The editing process takes anywhere from 4-12 hours. Depending on the session/situation. If you purchase a CD of "all edited images" (which is how I very carefully word it), you get exactly that. All edited images. Not every image. Not the good, the not so good, the horrible, and the beautiful edits. You get my BEST work. My absolute best. The work I lose sleep over. The work I sometimes ignore my kids over. The work I miss lunch and dinner over. But I DO edit every.single.editable.image. from your full session. (mini sessions are 10-15 images...the best of the absolute best). I promise I'm not "withholding" pictures from you. I promise I didn't overlook an amazing image you're sure I didn't give you. I promise promise promise! The other 200 pictures I took? Most of the time, not even worth a second glance. Trust me on this one.


I work two full-time jobs. I have three kids. I have a missing husband. ;) I have friends, family, housework, laundry and myself to attend to. Sometimes, I need a shower. Sometimes, I need to feed my face. Sometimes, I need more than three hours of sleep a night. Sometimes, I need to leave your pictures right where the are, sitting on my computer, and run downstairs and read a book to my kids. Or play outside. Or take them to McDonalds for dinner. Or sometimes I just need a few minutes to cry, regroup on the phone with a good friend, or sink into a bathtub for 10 minutes.

But I *promise,* you're a priority, too. I love you guys! You help me support my kids and my family while my husband is away. You put gas in my car, food on my table, clothes on my kids' backs. I am SO grateful for you. More grateful that you'll ever know. I think, in the next year or two, you (yes, YOU), will give me the unimaginably exciting opportunity to stay home with my kids.

I want you to get your images back as soon as possible. I've gotten busier than I would have ever in a million years have imagined. I used to be able to turn a CD over to you in 3 days, then it pushed to a week, then two, I'm sitting on a three week turnaround. I know I overdid it in October, but it's too late to turn back now! But...I didn't forget you!!! And thank you, three million times over, for being understanding, patient, and perfectly lovely! xoxo


One more thing. I want to be here. To answer any questions you may have. email me, text me, facebook message me, bug me to death before your session!!! I don't mind. I want your mind to be at ease, I want you to be excited and prepared to spend time with me, to let me spend time with you, and I want you to be tickled pink with the results. There's nothing too silly or "minor" to ask, so feel free to ask away!

I want to thank you so much for listening to my rambling. It's been a rough couple of weeks, and there were just a few things I wanted to get off my chest.

Have a wonderfully wonderful week!