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!!
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!!
Have you ever heard people say pregnant ladies have a beautiful glow about them? I believe it’s because of the very special gift that we have growing inside our bodies! What a time of excitement and anticipation of knowing your family is about to change.
I love maternity photography because it is such a special moment in time, one that should be celebrated. In this session with Charity, we picked out a special dress from Rainey’s Closet, we chose this dress because of its flow and beauty. I wanted to include all the beautiful ways light shines on this very special mom to be and make her feel like a princess!!
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.
How I came to meet this sweet family is just the coolest story ever. I had posted on Facebook another Fresh 48 Session I had photographed and asked if anyone knew of a family interested please pass my name along. A sweet man named Tom Elkins who also happens to be a realtor in my neighborhood knew of a family that was the coach on his son's baseball team that was about to have a baby. So the whole team got together and decided to gift this session to the family, how Cool is that!! I mean really, this just goes to show you how other people value this precious time in the beginning of a baby's life and how quickly it passes!!
A few weeks went by and on a Wednesday afternoon I got a call saying baby Regan Grace is here name. So we set a time for me arrive to the hospital the next day, when I arrived at the hospital Grandma and Grandpa were there, and Grandma was holding her, she was just beautiful! She was sound asleep and no matter what we did she did not seem too mind to much. We even got Grandpa holding her for the first time, and she just slept right in his arms, it was just precious. Besides the crazy sun going in and out we are able to get some wonderful photos for this sweet family who just about made me cry when I found out this is their first baby. You can see from these photos that this is going to be one loved child indeed. I so hope I get to see them again as she gets older.
When Shelby contacted me she knew she wanted an In-home Lifestyle session but also loved the outdoors too so we discussed doing a bit of both in a location that was just near where they lived. I was so excited that she decided to book a in-home session I just find them so laid back for the parents, they don't have to worry about packing up the whole house and driving to a session.
Some tips I tell parents to prepare them for an in-home Lifestyle Session is that newborns are unpredictable and the session is all about them. Parents do not have worry about if their is baby crying or needing to eat during the shoot. Newborn sessions are purposely longer to allow for plenty of breaks, feedings and even diaper/outfit changes. Matter of fact, during my session with Baby Poppy she stopped to eat and for a diaper change, I used the time to look for light, get to know Dad and get some water. It’s usually a good idea to try and feed your baby right before your session so they’re sleepy and content this makes for the sweetest photos. I prefer babies dressed very simply in plain onesies, muslin swaddles, or just their diaper so we can see their sweet tiny faces because they do change so quickly.
Shelby, Ryan and Baby Poppy were a dream to photograph, they were so laid back! Poppy was a little ham in front of the camera, I believe she has a future in modeling, she did not mind the camera at all. She does love her Passy and you can so tell she is so loved by her Mommy and Daddy!! I can't tell if she is a Daddy's girl yet or a Mommy's girl!! I think she is a bit of both! I hope I get to photograph this dear sweet family again!!
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!!"
If you look at my work, you will see that I Love kids!! Most of my experience has been photographing families and kids, until recently taking on a few In-Home Newborn Sessions which I have enjoyed. Several people have asked me have I ever considered doing Fresh 48 Sessions. Fresh 48's, "what is that" I said, For those of you who do not know what a Fresh 48 Session is, it is a special session for those families who want the first few hours of their newborn's life captured without having the labor or birth documented. What a wonderful idea as I thought about this more and more. Let's face it who even remembers their time in the hospital with the baby, its like a big blur right!!
When I spoke to the Smith family about what I wanted to do and that is would be my first time photographing this type of session, I felt at ease because Catherine is a labor and delivery nurse so she had to be laid back, I knew i had nothing to fear.
Close to the time before our session was supposed to happen I was very nervous, At dinner one evening I shared with my husband what I was going to do, he said that is cool because "I do not remember anything much about our time in the hospital with the kids! I wish we had more photos of that time!!" For my husband to say that, I knew what I was about to do was going to pretty darn special.
The day had finally arrived, the baby was here, I must tell you, as I knocked on their door to the room at the hospital, my heart was pounding with excitement, nervousness, and joy, but as soon as I saw the family with this sweet baby boy whose name is now Rowyn it all melted away and just pure joy was there. I love, loved this session and I hope I get to do more!!
My idea of wanting to offer a tea party session all started when I was going thru my daughter's armoire, she had all these princess dresses and tea cups, I remember thinking to myself how sweet would it be to have Belle and Cinderella all at the same table having tea. It's hard to believe this is now the third season I have offered these Tea Party Sessions and each time they have taken on different look. I love offering these sessions in the winter just before the family beach session starts.
This year I decided to change my location because of the camellias that bloom in Florida in January and February. We had such a cold January that I was worried about the blooms but there was just enough to compliment the beautiful setup which is Matilda Jane's line designed by Johanna Gaines.
When this mom contacted me about this session she asked me if she could be in the photos with her daughter and I thought what a wonderful idea! I was so excited, my first Mommy and Me Tea Party!! Our lives are so busy, how sweet is it to take that time to sit and play with our children. These ladies had fun serving tea to each other and had some bonding time together. Candy the unicorn even had a spot of tea and a pixie stick. We ended our session with some walking and crazy twirls!! I believe the youngest one will be back for her very own future tea party as she was very into the tea pot!!
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.