Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome to our Old (and very first) blog.  Here you will find many photography tips and old session sneak peaks.  

Thursday, June 11, 2009

NEW BLOG COMING & A Vacation Update


While Stephen and Alden have been busy playing with their cousins, I've been taking advantage of some free time to revamp the look of my blog.  I wanted to breathe some fresh air and new life into these pages, so I've changed up the colors a bit and reformatted the template to accommodate larger pictures.  

The pictures will be larger, but not so large that you have to scroll down the page just to see the whole image.  They'll pop out at you for sure - but without blowing up in your face.  

I've decided to keep the basic layout the same, so you should feel right at home when you visit.  My goal is that you'll feel like you've stepped into a freshly painted and newly remodeled room - a room you'll continue to visit often for inspiration, heart-felt stories, and even a photography tip or two.  

Look for the new link later this week.

I'm not the only one having fun on vacation.  Take a look at my awesome husband, Steve.  Here he is playing with Stephen Jr., Alden and a few of their cousins.  They LOVE to gang up on him!

It's hard to tell who had more fun - the Big Kid or the Little Ones.'s way TOO CLOSE TO CALL!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Meet My New Nephew - Jensen Duke

Jensen Duke was born Sunday afternoon weighing in at 9 pounds 1 ounce and measuring 20 inches long.  Our family was so privileged to be able to visit him in the hospital the very day he was born!  My sweet husband drove most of the 16 hours it took to get us there in time for his birth.  Though I tried to contribute, I thought it best to leave the driving to him after I started to doze off after only 2 1/2 hours at the wheel.  It was a long week!

I grew up in Indiana but moved to Texas in 1997 after college to start a new career.  Being so far from family has been very difficult at times. I knew that missing out on most of the family gatherings and special events would be part of the deal, but that hasn't made it any easier.  

I have 6 nieces and nephews (now 7) and have never been able to be there for any of their births.  So, when I found out my brother and his wife were expecting their third child, it became very important to me to plan a trip up north to experience this wonderful family event first-hand.  It was such a special time! 

What a joy to be able to welcome Jensen into the world and to hold him in my arms on his very first day.  And to give my brother and his wife a big hug right then and there - that was just icing on the cake!  Even Stephen Jr. and Alden were able to meet him.  My husband was so awesome to allow me to plan our vacation around Jensen's arrival.  It truly brought tears to my eyes to be able to experience such a special day.

Our children didn't really know what to think when they first saw baby Jensen. I should have known, though, that Alden would show the most interest.  In this next image, you can even see Jensen "looking" toward Alden as she peers through his bassinet.  Precious! (Maybe she should be a big sister.)

The beauty of my new camera.  This top image was taken indoors with no flash at ISO 1000.  Below I shot at ISO 400.  I can hardly believe how sharp both of these are.  For that feature alone, this camera was well worth all the hard work it took to earn the money to be able to pay it off.

I just love newborn feet.

Congrats, Phil & Shari and Josie & Layton.  We love you!  Welcome to our family baby Jensen!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


It's been a whirlwind of a week getting ready for vacation. If you are just checking in for the first time in a while, you may want to scroll through all the new posts to see what's been going on. We've been busy this Spring!

I'm excited to announce that my new niece or nephew is scheduled to make his/her arrival on Sunday. Please keep mommy and baby in your prayers for a healthy delivery. And if you think of it, pray for my family too - we've got a 16 hour drive in store to see the new little fellow or princess. I'm hoping my brother and his wife will let me share their new little one with all of you.

They're keeping the sex of the baby a surprise...I can hardly stand it! The suspense is killing me. My sister-in-law's family has 1 grand-daughter and four grand-son's (with another boy on the way). I'm thinking another girl is definitely in order.

I'll be checking email and posting random fun pics from our vacation, so don't forget to stop in for a visit. If all works out as planned, I even hope to collaborate with fellow photographer, Patti Veld, for a fun children's session.

Happy Summer, Everyone! Thank you to all my clients who made this Spring so fantastic! I do believe that new camera is PAID IN FULL!


Julie and Kelly {Allen Texas Senior Photography, McKinney Senior Photography}

Kelly is also home from college for the summer, and Karen (like Nan) wanted to get some sibling pics of her two girls before they both head off for college in the Spring.

Like Joshua and Jeremiah who had experienced previous sessions with me, Julie was right at home this time around. We did her Senior pictures late last year. It was fun to see the little sister showing the older sister the photo session ropes.

We photographed this session in old Downtown McKinney. They were having some sort of Art Fair going on, so the place was hopping with people. As I'm sure I would have been if I were on the other side of the camera lens, I think Kelly was a little uncomfortable posing with so many "bystanders" observing the action.

She did just fine though and was a great sport. I think this following picture of her is one of my favorites.

My husband and I had our anniversary pictures taken at this very door you see below (Or, should I say we took turns taking pictures of each other on our anniversary in front of this door.). I think Julie pulled it off much better though! I love this one.

Julie, Congratulations on your graduation. I hope you and Kelly enjoy your summer. It's great to know the two of you will be in the same city when you head off to college - even if you will be attending different schools. I'm sure that brings your parents some comfort knowing you'll have each other nearby while you are away from home.

Karen, I'm thinking any of these would be good picks for above your fireplace - cropped to your specifications, of course!

Aw....I wish I had a sister!

Thanks again, Karen. I really enjoyed my time with you and your girls.

Big Brother's Back in Town: Owen, Jeremiah, and Joshua {Allen Texas Senior Photography, McKinney Senior Photography}

Remember the Lamborghini session?  That was my first session with Joshua and Jeremiah. By the time we took their Senior Pics later that month, we were all getting much more comfortable around each other. This past weekend was better yet.  I felt like I was hanging out with my own three brothers.  We had great fun, and they were really getting into the shoot - even helping me out with posing ideas.  Such a creative bunch!

This time around all three amigos were on hand.  Big brother Noah is home from college, so mom wanted to get some individual shots of him to match the ones we took of Josh and Jeremiah.  And what parent doesn't want some great group shots of all of their children together? Even their Dad was along this time, and though it was my fourth full session of the day, these guys kept me energized for sure.  It was a great way to end the day!

Owen was a bit camera-shy at first  - not unlike Josh and Jeremiah on their first session with me.  Just give me a couple more shoots, Owen, and by the time you're ready for a wedding photographer, you'll be an old pro (and you'll know who to call)!

All three of these boys are off to college this Spring, and I can only imagine what a bitter-sweet transition that will be for Nan and Todd. Perhaps having these awesome portraits of their boys on their walls at home will lessen the blow while they're away.  (Be strong, Nan!)

Here are some of their favorite "Brother" pictures - and a few of mine!

By the time the texting began, I knew my time with these boys was limited.  Apparently they had better things to do with their time - something to do with a Red Wings game and a couple of twins...  

At least I was able to convince them to hang in there for a couple more shots. Good thing I did. We ended up with my favorite shot of the night!

Now that's what I'm talking about!

I just knew these three would like those Pioneer Woman actions.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bree and Noah's Family (Dallas/Allen/McKinney Family Photographer}

I love this family!  It's been about a year since my last session with their children.  It was fun to photograph the whole family this time around. Noah is just slightly older than our Stephen Jr., and Bree is a few months younger than our Alden.  It's fun to watch the brother sister dynamics play out when it reminds me so much of my own children.

Sweet Bree has been doing some modeling for her mother Jennifer's friend's clothing line called Pout Baby.  You can see her strut her stuff on their website.  She's as cute and adorable as ever. (That reminds me...I need to do some shopping!)

We had great fun taking family pics and Jennifer is always so great about bringing THE best outfits for her children.  In honor of her fantastic style sense I thought I'd do a little fashion show for you.

First up, Bree in Matilda Jane:

Next, big brother Noah sports a smashing blue polo and beach chic striped linen pants.  I'm thinking modeling could be in his future too. Though something's telling me Noah's more the soccer and baseball type. (Funny story - his Daddy had me seriously convinced modeling ran in the family. Call me gullible!)

On to some Pout Baby.  When Jennifer put this dress on Bree I wanted to jump up and down.  I was so excited.  I do believe I WANT this dress for myself!  Hmmm, I could use one of mom's dresses too.  (The mall is seriously calling me!)

Jakob and Daddy share a father-son moment.

Mom and Dad are pretty stylish too.  They are so adorable together. Thanks for working with me on these shots to make them so fun, you two.

And we can't forget the best photography prop EVER invented, my very own Belle Ame pettiskirt.  Can't you just see YOUR daughter twirling away in one of these? (I could make that happen, you know...)

Finally, no session is complete without a little treat.  And there's nothing like Smarties to buy us an extra 15-20 minutes session time. Man, I LOVE the sunset lighting in this image!

Thanks, again Jennifer and Jakob for sharing your family with me. Can't wait until next time.  And, Jennifer, I'll be checking out one of your Baby Boot Camp classes with some friends of mine this Spring.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Elise, Matthew, Andrew, and Jacob

Check out these blue eyes!  If you think they sparkle you should see these guys in action.  They are so full of life.  I loved my first session with them over a year ago, so I was looking forward to seeing how they've all changed over the year.

Sweet Elise outgrew her glasses and is blossoming into such a lovely young lady.  Matthew is a super bigger brother and just an all around great boy.  And Andrew...oh, Andrew.  He has my heart, I believe. Those dimples are to die for and that smile is brighter than the sun. He's such a fun child.  Their youngest brother Jacob wasn't even sitting up when I first took their pictures.  Now he's a ball of energy always on the go exploring the next new thing.

Their parents are doing a wonderful job raising them.  Mandy is a Creative Memories consultant and loves to digital scrap book, so we arranged a digital package to suit her needs.  She hosted a photo party with her friends in exchange for a great deal on her session and digital CD.  Contact her at for your own scrap booking needs.

If you are interested in how you can get your hands on your own digital CD of your session images, give me a call and we can discuss your options.  Can't you just picture these images in Mandy's new scrapbook! What a great way to record your children's growth from year to year.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pioneer Woman Actions Sets Update: Link Fixed {Pioneer Woman}

Good morning!  I've heard from several of you that you've had trouble opening up the actions download I included from Pioneer Woman.  Try it again.  I think I've got the link fixed.  Let me know if you have any problems!

Have a wonderful Monday.  As for me, I'll be busy working on 4 session sneak peaks for you today!