A Fall Afternoon on the River

There’s no better place in the fall to take family photographs than down by the river. You’re probably asking which river. A lot of cities have a river, but this one is the granddaddy of them all…the mighty Mississippi…ol’ man river…the big muddy. Whatever you call it, it’s a great place to capture memories. This sweet family has two little boys who were fascinated by the barges and throwing sticks into the water. We were lucky—we got a barge heading upstream in their family photo!

This Senior Graduate has the Beat…

Musical talent exudes from this ambitious graduate. I was honored to capture this young man’s senior portraits. We went to downtown Memphis and roamed the South Main district and the backstreets to find the perfect surroundings to capture his personality and style. One his favorite images is him walking down the trolley tracks with the confidence to tackle what’s ahead! (For the safety conscious – the trolleys were not running and the tracks were abandoned). Congratulations, Logan! Can’t wait to see where life and your talent takes you!

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Sisters…

If you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.
~Linda Sunshine

Having two sisters myself I can attest to this statement by author Linda Sunshine! Having a sister gives you a forever best friend, she knows you better than you know yourself, and when the chips are down, will come to your rescue without a second thought. They are your biggest admirer… and your greatest nemesis!

When you watch these two sisters interact together you can tell they are each others biggest fan. When the eldest goes off to college in just a few short weeks, there will definitely be a void in the younger one’s life. And even though they might be miles apart, they will always and forever be best friends!

“When you have a sister, you have a friend forever.” ~ Anonymous

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Bolton High School 2014 Senior…

This amazing young woman graduated from high school, worked during the summer as a counselor at a youth camp, and is now headed to her first year at college! You can see her quiet and gentle spirit in her big blue eyes, but give her just a little spark and she comes alive with fun! We wish this Bolton High School senior all the best as she begins her journey to become the woman God has designed her to be!

 

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Welcome Sweet Little Baby A… (Bartlett TN Children’s Photographer)

This little cutie was so sweet the morning we “played” together! She was wide eyed most of the time, except for about five minutes when we were able to capture some sleeping baby images. She didn’t cry though, mostly just looked around with the biggest blue eyes and stretched her little legs. Thank you, mom, for letting me photograph your precious baby!

 

The Little Cowboy…

This little cowboy was so excited to visit the barn and see the horses. He had everything he needed to look like a real-live cowboy…a flannel shirt, a pair of boots, and a real cowboy hat! The only thing he was lacking was a little bit of courage. You see this cowboy had never been this close to a horse before, and this horse was so-o-o much bigger than he was. But the cowboy’s newly found friend was so gentle that he eventually won the little cowboy over. They spent the morning getting to know each other and at times taking turns leading. After some guidance from the trainer the little cowboy got the hang of it and began to lead his new best bud around the ring with confidence. By the end of the day the little cowboy and the horse had become friends indeed!

I am so proud of this young 6 year old boy for taking the challenge to try something new and conquering his fears! Thank you to Oakland Stables in Oakland, TN for the use of their indoor riding area and providing the horse used in these images.

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Rolling on the River…

 

The Mississippi River is an awesome backdrop for a photography session – especially in the afternoon with the soft golden glow of the setting sun washing over everything. This family was so much fun to be with. The brother and sister truly love each other and absolutely adore their mom! When we headed downtown to the river, we knew exactly what the mom was looking for…a large print of the kids looking out over the river with the sun setting. And as an extra bonus we got a barge in the background! It was an amazing afternoon – the weather was slightly crisp, there were some clouds in the sky, and the river flowed lazily south under the bridge.

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Maras Family

Meet The Maras Family! 

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Ducklings…

About a month ago, my neighbor had a mama duck nest in her backyard, right next to her swimming pool. Apparently, it takes twenty-eight days after the eggs are laid for the ducklings to hatch…and, sure enough, these babies came right on schedule!

The morning of the twenty-eighth day, eleven eggs started hatching. By that evening, the nine surviving ducklings were swimming around in my neighbor’s pool! (I guess they thought it was their own private cement pond.) Mama duck waddled back and forth along the side of the pool and her babies followed her, paddling as fast as they could to stay up with her.

My neighbor made a makeshift ramp out of a thin float and pool noodles so the ducklings could waddle out of the pool. They tried climbing the ladder, but couldn’t quite make that first step! It was funny watching them try to figure out the ramp. They weren’t sure what it was at first or how to utilize it, but when the first little duckling climbed on, the rest quickly followed.

By the next morning, mama duck had the ducklings in the creek that runs behind our houses. Apparently, she had decided it was time to live in the real world!

 

Who Can Resist…

After photographing fireworks for about 5 years, I decided this year I would enjoy them – from start to finish – without looking through a camera lens…or maybe skip them altogether!

Usually, I attend about three different firework displays each Fourth of July. I love the booms and the sudden bursts of light. It’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. It’s a surprise with each explosion!

On the afternoon of the first one, my fireworks photographing friend called and asked if I was going. She and her two girls were going to watch them, without her camera. I think we both we’re over photographing fireworks for a while.

I actually met my friend at a fireworks display. I had found a perfect spot to photograph the fireworks. I sat up my tripod and camera, double checked my settings, and sat back waiting for it to get dark. I noticed, out of the corner of my eye (because who wants to be caught oogling another photographer’s equipment), that there was a tripod and camera just like mine set up next to me.

Being a new photographer, I couldn’t help but wonder what her settings were on. Should I ask her? Would she tell me? Finally, we struck up a conversation, found out we were both fairly new photographers, and shared our limited knowledge of photographing fireworks with each other. The rest, as they say, is history. We became great friends and have photographed many fireworks displays together.

I made it through the first show of the season without my camera. I met my friend and her girls, sat back, and relaxed. We chatted, watched the girls laugh and act silly, and oohed and awed over the bright explosions.

The night of the second fireworks display, I wasn’t even going to go watch, until about twenty minutes before they were set to go off. I just couldn’t resist! I jumped in my car and road around for a few minutes trying to find a spot to watch. I heard the first boom, saw the sparks fly, and, literally, pulled into the first parking lot I came to. It turned out to be a perfect spot, and the bonus was no traffic! Still no camera in hand. Just sat back and marveled at the spontaneous explosions!

I had one more chance to resist the urge to photograph fireworks. The last one was scheduled to go off at 9:15 p.m. It had rained off and on all day, and I thought they might cancel the display. Then just after dusk, it stopped raining. I could hear the pre-show music from my house. The urge was building! This would be the last chance this year to photograph Fourth of July fireworks! Did I really want to miss it? Did I want to look back next year and not find any images of this year’s brightly exploding lights! I could resist no longer!!!

I headed as fast as I could, with my husband in tow, to my favorite spot. I sat up my tripod and camera, checked my settings, and waited for the light show to start! From the beginning, it was thrilling! Listening for the booms, anticipating the location of the explosions, and discovering the array of patterns the bright lights revealed!

I don’t know if it’s the fireworks I love or photography…or maybe, it’s a lot of both. All I know, as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t resist! But who can?

This year I focused on using a couple of different techniques to photograph fireworks. I twisted the focus ring, moved the camera from side to side, and used a black piece of cardboard to capture several explosions while the shutter was open (multiple exposures).

Bright Future Ahead…

One of the milestones in a young man’s life is graduating from high school and looking forward t0 the bright future that lies ahead. When I have a senior session I incorporate their personality as well as their hobbies and interests in their images. The day is all about them. We headed downtown for the first part of his session and got some great shots around the South Main district. Then we went to Shelby Farms to capture what he loves…wake boarding! And, of course, we had to get some photos of him with his truck!

 

Birthday wishes…

When you’re twelve your future consists of what’s happening in the next two minutes…what you’re going to wear…what you’re going to eat…who’s posting on instagram or snapchat. For this birthday girl, turning twelve is all about fun, giggles, birthday cake, and presents! Happy birthday, Sweetie!

 

Celebrating Families…

Being a family photographer is a like being the proverbial fly on the wall. Once a family gets comfortable with the whole process of being photographed, they tend to forget you’re there and you get to witness first-hand the interaction between family members. Siblings start to tease and play with each other…little ones let go of their death grip on mom…even dads relax! Here are a few of the amazing families I’ve had the pleasure of photographing over the years. Celebrating families!

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Sweet Little Princess…

All little princesses should have someone to protect them, and this sweet one certainly does! Her protector is her big brother who adores her, although he’s only known her for a few short weeks! When little Miss A came into the studio for her newborn photos at 13 days old, her big brother came along too…just to make sure she was well taken care of and to protect her from the big, bad teddy bears if needed! How lucky and blessed is this princess!

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