Who’s ready for a little Christmas on the blog?!  I am, I am (finally)! This year I thought Christmas was going to be the straw that broke this camel’s back.  I was having a major stress-attack about it all. Which is pretty unusual for me. But then we had a little warm snap.  The weather was beautiful. I got to shed my winter coat for a day or two and go outside to take photos again! Woo! I just don’t feel nearly as inspired when I’m stuck inside thanks to cold Midwestern winter weather…but send me a warm sunny day and a super adorable 18 month old in a perfect little Christmas dress…and I’m pumped!

Mae Rose was so SO sweet. She has such an adorable smile and although she is a little shy and took a bit to warm up to me, she wasn’t at all shy about showing off her cute little grin.  Here’s a few of her best shots from our warmer-then-usual-thank-goodness-for-that session 🙂

I love how her hair is a little wild & her tongue is kind of sticking out in this next one. 

This sweet girl has some great lashes!

The next two make my heart melt a little. They so capture her exactly as she is right now!

The next one is my favorite!  How stinkin’ cute is she!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope your holidays are happy and filled with friends, family and fun! Oh…and also filled with sugar cookies, because Christmas just isn’t the same without sugar cookies.

This weekend I got to spend a few hours with one my bestest friends and her hubby…the mission…get winter-y photos.  Now Maggie and I go way back…like WAY back to kindergarten when we decided we hated each other and could never be friends because the other one was “so bossy”.  Our mom’s both knew that we “hated” each other because we were two peas in a pod…both bossy. Well as is often the case…our moms were right! We’ve been friends ever since.  Maggie and I have been through everything together…and she still talks to me, which I’m pretty sure is the only thing you can ever ask for in a friend.  Oh yeah…and her and her husband are HOT…which made my photo mission much easier!

We started out taking photos at a Christmas tree stand just around the corner from their house. I’ve been wanting to shoot at a Christmas tree stand for a long time, but every shoot I’ve had recently has been really cold and rainy.  But we lucked out with a beautiful warm Saturday in December – so to the Christmas tree stand we went!  And it was just as good as I was expecting!! Love it when a plan comes together!

I’m a real big fan of this next one. How fun is that!

I also REALLY love this next one!

Then we changed locations and headed into the city to get some pretty winter-y city shots.

So let’s just say that I had to stand in a planter to get that last shot…you know like one of those big cement planter they have along the street…it was SO worth it!!

Maggie & Zac, I’d say we accomplished our “get some pretty winter photo” mission! Plus I had a blast hanging out with you guys! Thanks for being so super easy to shoot & good-looking! You made it so easy!

Time for another sweet baby on the blog!! Be prepared for a very sweet & totally handsome little man!  He was super tiny and a dream to work with.  Love an easy-going baby! I also got a chance to use a new vintage suitcase on this shoot and I LOVED it. Hope you do too!

I LOVE baby toes!! Sooo tiny!

And as usual, I saved my favorites for last.  Picking one favorite was too hard – in the next photo, the expression he is giving me cracks me up! But I think I’ll save my most favorite for last!

Gaw! I LOVE a yawning baby. SOOO sweet. I’m also loving the more vintage b+w treatment on this session. It just seemed to fit Wade perfectly!  Wade is such a sweet boy, I can tell already! Can’t wait to watch him grow & see his little personality devlop! Hope you’re not too baby-d out because I have more little ones coming up!

Several weeks ago Abbey, Griffin & I met up to take some engagement photos.  We decided to walk around their neighborhood and then head over to the Central West End in St. Louis to see what we could find!  Abbey & Griffin warned me that they “weren’t very photogenic”…..NOT PHOTOGENIC?? Not possible…look how cute they are!!

Super cute couple right? Yeah right, not photogenic??…. Pisssssshaw they might be the definition of photogenic!  It was a pretty windy day.  But Abbey was working it, which made for some great, dramatic shots!  We also had great sun & a super nice day, which I’m kind of missing right now as I sit curled up under a huge blanket…FREEZING!  The next photo I already blogged once.  I mentioned then that it was my MOST favorite photo….well until I finished this session (there’s a new favorite…you’ll just have to keep reading to see it!!)  But let’s revisit the previous most favorite photo! Isn’t it pretty?!

See the dramatic wind + pretty sun + super cute & totally in love couple = HOTNESS!

Ok so this next one isn’t my MOST favorite, but I like it a lot. I think Abbey looks super great! The wind, her expression…love it all!

I also like this next one a whole, WHOLE lot!  This is such a cute moment. Totally real. I couldn’t have posed this. It’s totally them and will be awesome to look back at years from now. Can’t you just see how much they LOVE each other?

Alright. Prepare yourself…are you ready??  This next photo is my FAVORITE…like favorite, FAVORITE maybe of all time!! I really big-time heart this. Abbey & Griffin, I hope you do too! It was totally worth sitting in the grass right?  I thought so 🙂

Abbey & Griffin, I’m so, SO happy for the two of you. You are so in love & it shows. I love how much you love each other & I REALLY love that you’re getting married. I can’t wait until next fall to celebrate with you! It’s going to be beautiful! Hope you love these photos as much as I do!

It’s time for another fun engagement session!! About a month ago I headed down to the Landing with Danielle and Brandon to take some engagement photos.  Danielle & Brandon were so awesome to work with & as a result, we got some awesome shots.  Such a cute, lovey-dovey couple! I don’t think I have ever literally squealed and jumped up and down as much while shooting as I did during this session. I knew without even reviewing my shots that I GOT IT! They were seriously so so easy to photograph!

We started off by wandering around the Landing. It was the perfect over-cast kind of day but then toward the end of the session the sun peeked out from behind the clouds giving us just a little warm, glowy kind of light. I got so excited about the sun that I quickly ran backwards to get the next shot and almost ran into a car – Opps! I’ll remember to turn around and look where I’m going next time. Although in my defense we weren’t even on a road, we were right next to the river and I don’t think that car belonged there. 

I told you they were super cute! 

But, maybe I did forget to mention that they can rock a serious face as well! I mean c’mon…that “smizing” would make Tyra proud! I think this might be my favorite shot from their session (although it is hard to pick a favorite this time!)

Danielle & Brandon – Congrats again on your engagement! We are so SOOO excited about your Jamaican wedding!!! Thanks for being my models & for wandering around the Landing with me…standing in some not so sweet-smelling corners…and putting up with all my “kiss her again…ok 1 more time…ok I lied…do it again….and again” demands (I know kissing is such hard work). Hope you love your photos as much as I do!

Go big or go home…right? As if getting married & starting a new “real” job aren’t enough life changes for one year…I’m planning on adding lots of big changes to my photography as well.  Although I’ve been in love with photography for years & haven’t ever really slowed down when it comes to learning & practicing new techniques, over the past year I’ve been working REALLY hard to build my portfolio & gain experience (especially in areas that I didn’t have much experience previously).  All of this was in anticipation of the day that I launch my photography business for real.  Well my friends, that day is coming. 

Writing this post reminded me of the “word” I choose for 2012 as a kind of motto & idea to shape the year.  It was “dream” and this really has been an extension of that. The timing was right and for maybe one of the first times in my life I decided to take a deep breath, take the unexpected route and jump without truly knowing what’s below.

It’ll still be awhile yet since I’m gonna go ahead and mark “getting married” off my checklist first 🙂  But after that, watch out for lots of big changes. New name, new business, new website, new blog.  Just wanted you to hear it here first! Not all the details are complete (including pricing and policies) at this point – but if you’re interested in a session of any sort in 2012 please send me and email or message so we can talk more about what to expect/what’s upcoming/and most importantly get you on my calendar. 2012 is already starting to become a BUSY busy year already so please send me an email for more information as soon as possible. 

I’ll be booking a bit of everything for 2012 – babies, families, couples, weddings, you-name-it.   Also I’d love to give out a big THANK YOU to everyone who has read this blog, left comments, and encouraged me to keep going up to this point. I mean it when I say all your encouragement has kept me going in my creative slumps & has been so sweet & more than I could have ever expected! An especially HUGE shout-out to those who have acted as my models in the past few years – you all had so much trust and faith in my abilities before I had it in myself – Thank You from the bottom of my heart!!

I had an opportunity recently to photograph the wedding of a very dear friend. It was incredible & I was so SO happy to spend the day clicking along while watching one of my oldest friends say I do!  Their wedding was at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri & it turned out to be the most beautiful day!  An incredible venue + beautiful weather + an awesome couple = epic wedding!!

First we went to the salon so Lys could get all gussied up

Then it was back to their condo to get on the dress. And what a dress it was!! It was completely perfect for Lyssa!

Catching these sweet moments is totally why I love doing this!

Don’t worry – I got a few of Cipi getting ready too!

Lyssa & Cipi decided to do a “first look” which not only was very sweet, but also gave us lots of time to do portraits before the wedding! win-win!

Love, Love, LOVE this next one!

This next photo is one of my favorites from the day – it’s just so dang happy!

Right after the ceremony the sun peaked out just a bit from behind the clouds & I got this shot! Another one of my favorites & one of the first photos after they said I do!

Lyssa & Cipi – I hope you love these photos! I loved being a part of your very special, big day! I wish you two many, many years of happiness!

Ok – so maybe I use the word “favorite” all the time….but this photo from tonight’s engagement session is my FAVORITE!!! I like it so much I had to post it as soon as I got home!

Hello super cute couple & GREAT dreamy fall light!

This session was so much fun! And really easy with a couple that cute 🙂  Can’t wait to share the rest soon!

It’s Trent’s turn to star on the blog. I know it’s another baby, but I warned you there’d be lots of newborn photos! I just couldn’t wait any longer to share these sweet little photos.  Trent was only 5 days old when I stopped by to take a few photos but he handled the photo session like a pro!

 

See he’s such a sweet, sleepy little thing!

There’s something about this next one that is just so completely relaxed & comfortable – I’m loving it!

This baby has one INCREDIBLE creative/crafty family. One of his Aunt’s whipped up this little hat and diaper cover for him…so cute!  There was no shortage of sweet hand-made props for this session! It was baby blankets/baby booties/stuffed animals galore!

We even got a few sweet photos with Mom & Dad. I was so happy to capture a few photos of the entire family! – Let me just pause here for a quick rant about family photos – it doesn’t matter if you don’t want your picture taken or if you don’t think you look your best or if your hair hasn’t been washed in days…take pictures with your kids.  Take them often. If you don’t like how you look – Oh well! Get over it! You don’t have to frame them or put them up in your house…but keep them, because they will mean more to your kids when the grow up then you realize.  It’s important to document your life as a family not just their life.  Just think – aren’t the photos of you with your parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles some of the most special you have?! They tell your life story & it’s important to have the physical reminder sometimes…ok rant over…

And ending with one of my favorites from the session.

Todd & Jess, thanks for putting up with me and all my stuff taking over your house for a morning. I had such a good time with you guys & your new little addition. Hope you love the photos & the reminder or how little  he was (as I’m sure he’s already doubled in size by now).

Time for another baby to be featured on the blog. You know, looking at newborn babies never gets old for me..hoping that you all agree otherwise you might be bored for a little while as that has been the majority of my shooting lately.  This little guy was not the most cooperative probably thanks to his little cold, poor sweet boy, but despite all that we still got a few great photos from his session…we even managed to get a few of his very handsome big brother.

This next shot is my ABSOLUTE most favorite…maybe like of all time (although I’ve been known to change my mind frequently…I REALLY like this one!)  There is just something about a sleeping baby in black & white!!

That photo should probably be printed REALLY big…juuuuust sayin’ that’s what I would do 🙂

Now…didn’t I tell you big brother was handsome! I also love the next photo…it just reminds me of sweet childhood innocence, plus he’s got incredible eye lashes…he’s gonna be a heartbreaker I think!

Thanks for letting me come hang out with your sweet family for a morning! It was so much fun & I can’t wait to see how these brothers grow up together.  I can tell already they are going to be sweet & VERY fun boys!!