When Clients book a session with me, I have them fill out a questionnaire, I feel that this is important to get to know each person I am photographing before I meet them. I like to know their names ahead of time and a little something about each person. This is my favorite part of all the administrative stuff that I have to do, because I love reading what each person writes, its interesting because some people share very little so its more like a a story that you have to unfold as you go and others share so much and you are so prepared for how the story will read. Some of the letters make me cry, others make me laugh, and others I am shaking my head with a big Ohh Yes!! I feel you!! I used to read them as soon as I got them, but then I got everyone all jumbled in my head so I started reading them the week of our session.
I love it when families just bring what they love to do with them to the beach and that is just what this family did, mom told me that one of her girls was artsy and the other was a gymnast and they both were outgoing and girly. I found that to be so true what she wrote, as I photograph them, I felt like this was this family on any normal day, dancing and drawing except here we were at the beach with the gorgeous sky and water!! I hope I have given them some wonderful memories to take back with them home to cherish their time here on the Beach!!
Have you ever wondered just what are Fresh 48 Sessions? Well, they are a special photo session where a photographer comes to the hospital within 48 hours after your baby is born and documents you and your family with your baby. I find these sessions to be more candid and so very sweet because everyone is just wanting to hold the new baby. I love to see the kids reactions to their newest addition, some are very shy while others can’t get enough, they want to hold the baby as much as they can. It is also amazing to me to watch how proud the Dad’s are, they are just naturals at snuggling their baby’s in and its funny when I say its moms turn now, how they don’t want to give the baby up!
I don’t know about you but my time at the hospital was like a blur to me, and how I wished I would have had someone to photograph this sweet moment in time because it oh how it changes too fast!!
To this very day evertime we go to the beach my kids run ahead of my husband and I leaving us with all the bags, coolers etc. They are so excited to see what lies ahead at the ocean. I can barely get sunscreen on them, especially my son, who sprays it on in one spot and then says “ Can I go now” As soon as I say “yes” he is off, followed by my daughter and usually my husband too. I am left to gather up all of our belongings that are scattered along the beach almost forming a line as they have walked the sand to the water! I feel that kids are the same way during a photo session, it does not matter that we have dressed them up in nice clothes, to them its all the same, they are so eager to get to the water or dig in the sand or just run and play. They do not want to sit or snuggle but they just want to explore and be free. During sessions I feel its important for the parents to just go with the flow and have fun with their kids, play games with them, and let go of those expectations that your kids are going to sit for a long time and I bet you will find their is magic that will begin to happen. You are making sweet memories that you will treasure with your family!!
People ask do I get tired of photographing at the beach during the summer? My answer is NO WAY!! The sun is shining most of the time here, I suppose that is why we are called the Sunshine State. The ocean changes daily, sometimes you can see all the way to your feet and other times we have lots of waves. Our sunsets are just amazing and different everyday, I never get tired of watching the sun set as you all splash around in the waves.
I like to photograph my families in a natural, fun and relaxed way by truly capturing the spirit and joy of you and your relationships! Expect to have fun, laugh, and play..
Isn’t that what being at the beach is all about?
There is nothing sweeter than family time!! Deciding to take a vacation with extended family members can be extra special because these days so many of us are separated by many states for reasons of kids, spouses, and jobs. A beach vacation is special in many ways, it can be a time when many families come together for the first time in several years or sometimes a family gets together every year or even every couple of months. I am so honored to be able to tell your story as you are here enjoying being in the present moment relaxing and enjoying your family. In my sessions I enjoy capturing true and honest family connections. I thank you for for trusting me with your family and I hope you leave the beach loving it as much as I love it here.
Do you remember your first time to the beach? The smell of the salt air, the wind in your hair and feel of the sand between your toes!! And when you finally saw the water you could just sit and stare at it all day!!
Now you are thinking about a beach photo session because you enjoy all of the above just as much as I do and you want to preserve those memories and have your family present with you. My approach to a family session is that I want it to be stress free, I want you to enjoy this time you have set aside to be with your family. This is a time for you to be present in the moment and to let go and have fun with your family because let’s face it with we are not with our families enough!
If you have young children they will lead our session. It is normal for kids to be somewhat curious about me in the beginning and then quickly loose interest and when there is a great big beach ahead of them, who can blame them!! I will work to get the more traditional photos first and from there we will play some games and just have some fun and explore, yes mom and dad included in the fun!! If you feel led to splash around in the water or allow your kids too, I would love to capture these photos for you too, so be sure to bring a towel or an extra change of clothes if you desire. I can’t wait to meet you!!
What to bring:
Towels or Change of Clothes (if desired)
What is an Extended Family Session?
Extended Family Sessions are when you have several families that are related come together for one photo session. As life gets busier and busier we find ourselves being apart more from the ones we love, sometimes only getting together at Holidays. When a family has taken the time to plan a vacation to have everyone gathered all together this is a very special event to document. Some families get together every year in the same location while others may get together only every few years. I have seen some families who have not been together in many years, so you can imagine how more special that would be for everyone to want to document their time together.
i love being apart of these sessions, I love to capture each families personality as well as the entire family as a whole, and even get some candids of the kids running, and jumping in the water! These sessions always make me laugh, they make me cry at times, and sometimes they surprise me with a baby announcement, a birthday, or even a wedding proposal. I feel so honored to be apart of each family as they travel here and enjoy the beach, which is the place I call Home!!
My favorite time of the year to take beach photo sessions is actually in the fall of the year!! The weather here on Pensacola Beach is still warm but not as hot as the summer. The sunsets seem to radiant brighter orange, pink, and blue colors that make the sand even take on a slightly different tone.
This family travels to Pensacola Beach every year with their family just before the start of the school season, soaking up the last of the beach days. This year in the middle of their trip they got to experience a real life hurricane drill, by the grace of God we did not experience a hurricane in our area.
The beach is such a wonderful place to relax, explore and have fun. When you have a session with me we go on a bit of adventure playing games along the way to keep the kids entertained, we explore every part of the beach from the dunes to the water. We hunt for shells, run, twirl, jump, and even sometimes splash in the ocean.
I don’t want anyone to leave my sessions feeling like they don’t have some part of the beach to take back home with them.
This summer I decided I wanted to offer beach photo sessions to families traveling to our area. I started back in the winter preparing my advertising and my website, finally all was ready. The summer came and I am proud to say I have been busy ever since. I can't stop smiling, It has been so exciting to meet the many families who have traveled here to the Gulf Coast and watch them have fun in the sand and water, and being able to capture their story. I wanted to include an email I received from one family, and by the way Her name is Marie Ann and mine is Ann Marie so when we spoke I knew I would love her. She sent me a photo of her whole family which also told me she was a proud Mom!! It's emails like these that make you cry and smile for all the sweetness that still exists. I am so grateful!!
"Oh my gosh....I just don't know how to thank you......every picture is my favorite. They are priceless. You went way over my expectations. I mean I knew the pictures would be great, but I wondered what I would miss because our contract said 35 shots and you were taking so many great ones.....but I see them all and I just can't thank you enough. You are an incredible photographer and you did just what I asked.....a family having fun at the beach. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!! I look forward to next time......my kids do also.....they want to continue the tradition as our family grows and changes......and we had fun."
I like to give a questionnaire to all of my families to get to know them a bit better before I photograph them. I love reading all the sweet and wonderful things they say about each other, its just a small glimpse into their lives.
How quickly does time fly and when you have 4 kids, I can't even imagine how you can get anything done and savor every moment of what sweet precious time you have with them while they are little. Elizabeth contacted me about a month out so I had enough time to prepare for our session. I knew to keep everyone's attention may be a bit of a challenge so I researched, and asked around and then finally I started to think like a kid. I wrote down a bunch of games that I thought may be fun for the kids and keep them engaged with the family at the same time. This would involve me running, and asking a lot of questions. We did the usual running, jumping, and hugging things. But we also drew in the sand, writing our names and played a bit of freeze!! I think they liked running and chasing each other the most, and then they found this big hole that someone had dug so that was a great place to do show off their jumping and twirling skills. Before I knew it the sun was setting low to the ground and it was time to go. I love it when families are just able to relax and go with the flow of things and have a bit of fun. Needless to say I slept well!! I hope to photograph them again soon.
What in the world is a Fresh 48 Session? Well a Fresh 48 is a special photo session for those families who want the first few hours of their child's life documented but not necessarily the birth. The time after you have your little one goes by so quickly. After birth you are recovering, nurses, and family are coming in and out of your room visiting, and you are getting used to this wonderful new addition to your family all at once. I don't know about you but for myself it was all a blur. Once you get home and get into a routine you forget what it was like to feel that sweet baby in your arms where you looked into your baby's eyes and said how much you loved them, how it brought you to tears as you watched your husband hold the baby, being such a proud Dad!! These are the moments I try and capture for my families.
I think these Fresh 48 Newborn sessions have become my favorite because they are so full of emotion and love. When I arrived to the hospital for this sweet family's session, I got on the elevator and like always I was in a rush, that seems to be the story of my life. As I stepped off the elevator I see photos of kids and babies on the wall of the hospital. I became emotional and start tearing up. I just stopped and gave thanks to the Lord for the wonderful gift he has given me. I asked him to help me relax and create good memories for this family. I feel so honored by each and everyone of my families that choose me to photograph them, what an important job it is to document your life.
I entered the room to meet Baby Carter, I sat and held him for a bit and then I gave these family some precious memories that I hope they will treasure for a lifetime.
I was very excited to do a In -Home Lifestyle Session with this family, Melissa had been my son's first grade teacher and she is such a sweet and kind person. I could not wait to meet the rest of her family, I knew they had to be just a sweet and adorable.
When I arrived their little one was still asleep so this gave us time to make a plan of where we should start. From the beginning of our time together it was so apparent that both Melissa and her husband Andrew were so in love not only with each other but their sweet baby too. They reminded me of when my husband and I had our first baby Elizabeth, we would sit and stare and her for hours, it was if time stood still just for a brief moment. I am so happy I am able to give them these sweet memories to keep because it does go by way too fast. I could have stayed so much longer to photograph them, but maybe they will let me come back again soon.
I am so excited to be offering Mommy and Me sessions again this year they were just so much fun just year and a break from my normal Family Sessions. When Courtney contacted me she told me she had three children and two of them were twins, so naturally I was excited because I had all these great ideas in my head about how I could photograph them showing love to their momma. This would be such a sweet time for mom to just stop and spend some time with her children because they grow way too fast.
The first time we set our date and time Fog and a bit of rain decided to show up. The second time we scheduled our date it was gorgeous day but the wind decided to show up and I mean really windy!! All the wind also made the air a bit cool, but we decided that our session would go on as planned. The girls did so awesome playing, flipping and twirling in the sand with momma and brother, brother even got into the fun digging into the sand. Even though the wind was strong I think it fits this session quite nicely adding a whimsical look and isn't that what they call the" Salt Life Anyway!!"
Having red hair is always something I wished I had, as a child I had a friend with red hair and I remember thinking how unique she was. I had blond hair and looked like everyone else, why could I not be unique in my look.
Well fast forward to now, I can't even imagine what its like to be a teen now with all of social media and everything that comes with it. This young lady is such a sweet teen, she loves sports, soccer in particular. She loves to laugh and we laughed a lot when I was photographing her as I asked her to flip her hair and jump. I asked her if she minded her curls and she said not at all, which made me smile because I know this is one grounded teen. The world needs more children like this.
There is just something so sweet about capturing a babies first year especially surrounded by the beauty of our pure white sand. I joined this sweet family at Pensacola Beach's National Seashore for their Lifestyle Family Session, and this little one quickly decided he loved the way the sand felt in his hands, he made silly faces at us as we laughed and giggled at his many expressions. Mr. Elephant even joined in the fun in the sand for a bit, before mom and dad could get a few snuggles. It may have been a cold January Day on Pensacola Beach but it did not seem to phase this little guy in the least. We ended our session with his favorite blanket made by his grandmother and then off to the car we went to get warm.
When I first walked into Kristie's house, there were photos everywhere of her family. I must admit I felt a bit intimated, I wondered if I could capture the same beauiful images as I saw hanging. She had also shared with me that after several miscarriages, God blessed them with this sweet baby Girl!! They had never had Lifestyle In-home photos taken in their home and they wanted to get some photos of the nursery to add to their memories.
I asked Kristie what "Lifestyle Photography" means to her I she wrote the most wonderful thing back to me....
"Lifestyle photography, to me, means that you are capturing real moments in real time. I think there is something so special about having pictures taken In-home, where you spend all of your time LIVING! I am so excited for you to document these precious moments in our family’s time and I know that I will cherish the photos forever!"
One of the perks about living at the beach is having family come to visit, there is always so much to do here with our white beaches and warm weather! I remember the first time someone contacted me about an extended family photo session, I was so nervous I thought to myself how can I get everyone in focus and to smile at the same time. With a bit of practice and some very patient families I now love extended family sessions. It is a wonderful time for some great memories and since I have taken them on, I have had many families tell me that this would be the first time they have had photos in 5, or 10 years and sometimes even ever together and that makes my job all the more special!
This family in particular is special to me because our children have known each other since Kindergarten, her husband has coached my son and they are such sweet family and always makes me laugh. And this session was no surprise when I met the sister who was just as funny. I love families who can laugh and have fun!!
When we first moved to Pensacola my kiddos used to ride thier tricycles in the cul-de-sac of these boys neigborhood, they were all so little. Since that time we have all moved from each other but I have enjoyed being able to photograph this family each year to be able to stay connected. They are so handsome and just so funny, I look forward to my time with them because their is never a dull moment!!
I have known Micah for several years now, and I was so excited when she contacted me to photograph her family on the beach. Their wish was to be photographed on the beach before their big move to Italy. For several years now they have considered this their home but in a few short months their family will start on a new adventure out of the country.
The beach had been so calm leading up to our session but the few days before it became cold and a bit windy. Do you think it stopped these active kids from having a little beach fun, NOT at all!! The water temperature was actually warmer than the air. Oh how I love Pensacola Beach in the Winter!!