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My love story

10 Sep

All romances begin with a meeting.

The way I met my husband is pretty childish, whimsical and completely us. I was living in Germany at the time, but visiting my high school best friend in Lakeland, Florida where she attended college. Five college guys and five college girls hung out together on a regular basis. My best friend and Craig, my huband, were both apart of that group. In true Florida fashion, a downpour created a muddy mess on campus one afternoon while I was visiting. So, what were five college guys and five college girls, plus a friend suppose to do with these circumstances? Mud fight, of course!

Lakelandwedding-3

And that is how I met Craig: slinging mud and running all over campus in the rain. Can you see us in the picture? We are the back two on the left.

Two years after this picture I actually started attending the same college. By that time Craig and Karen, my best bud were great friends, which made it easy for all of us to hang out. We went every where together, the three of us: the library, cafeteria, walks around the lake, camping in Key West. I liked Craig, he liked me and we both confided in Karen this truth. She would “fall asleep” on our outings or “have to leave” after we all were settled into a study group together. What  a good friend!

We began dating four months after I started attending college, six months later we said, “I love you” for the first time and nine months after we were “official,” he proposed. Some say that it was fast, but for us it was perfect.

The proposal is a wonderfully romantic story, but I’ll save it for another post. Let’s just say that in true Craig fashion, he was HUGELY romantic, surprised me completely and I looked like this for my proposal.

Lakelandwedding-4

Even though I wasn’t adorable for the proposal, it was one of the best evenings of my life. Craig had become my best friend and I knew that life with him would make the mundane amazing. I mean, we met during a mud fight. How much better could this match be? And with all my enthusiasm for a new life ahead, it was time to start planning a wedding! We were going to get married the summer after Craig graduated, giving us six months to plan.

Enter the planning scrapbook. All of the things I liked, inspired me, struck my fancy were snipped from the magazine and glued into the scrapbook. Sometimes words escape me, but an image expresses my intent perfectly.  This book helped me share my ideas with others as I planned. Now, brides-to-be create boards on Pinterest or a wedding planner might create a  “mood board” for your event. Back then I had a glue stick and a pair of scissors. Look! I was ahead of my time.

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I was only *gasp* 21  when we got married, so I was still honing in on my style. My mom was willing to help plan the wedding any way she could, but there was a huge ocean between us as I planned. My magazine clippings gave me an idea of what I wanted, but I struggled to make my DIY, handmade, vintage wedding come true. There wasn’t Etsy and Pinterest back then to show you amazing artisan ideas to do on a budget. And I wanted something different than the traditional wedding that all of my college friends were doing. I was in a dilemma for making my perfect wedding plans come true, but I knew I was in love and the marriage was more important than the wedding. I knew I had that part right, so I just went with what I had.

The next step was dress shopping! The dress had to be perfect.

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{Stay tuned for more of the story about my dress, the photographer I chose, our engagement pictures and the wedding!}

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And baby makes 4 {Lakeland Maternity Photographer}

16 Aug

Baby bumps are seriously miraculous. A mother expecting a child is a beautiful thing and it is a true privilege to capture this special moment in a family’s life. Anticipation. Joy. Glow.

 

This family just happens to be my brother, his wife and their son. You might recognize them from their last maternity shoot or even their one year anniversary photos. They are naturally photogenic and cute as a button! I might be partial, but their love for one another shines through in every image. And could my nephew be any cuter?

 

They have chosen not to find out the gender of the baby, which adds another layer of fun to this pregnancy. You will have to wait to find out if their little bun will be wearing pink or blue.

 

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Baby Bump Love / Lakeland Maternity Photographer

31 Jan

The new year began with a shoot with Ben and Drew, a couple who are expecting their first in March. It was a beautiful January afternoon when we did their shoot at Circle B Bar Reserve. Both Ben and Drew are runners and they showed me along some of the paths they enjoyed using. The light was beautiful and complimented the adorable couple and their obvious love for each other and their little one-to-come.

 

To see more pictures of Ben and Drew, click here and here and here. Yep. I’ve photographed them a couple of times.

 

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

Kiss Interrupted / Lakeland Family Photographer

3 Nov

Sometimes the perfect shot can be interrupted.  While photographing a family, I always take pictures of just the husband and wife. Too often, parents can forget that they were a married couple first when the demands of diapers and school lines take over their day to day lives. During my photo shoots, we take a brief moment among the pictures of the family and the kids, to take a picture of the people who started the family: the husband and wife! Sometimes this shift of focus takes the kids by surprise and funny things can happen.

While doing my Holiday Mini-Shoots at Circle B Bar Reserve, the last family I was photographing had one of those unexpected moments. Here are a couple of the beautiful shot we captured of the husband and wife as the kids “helped” me make their parents smile.

Lakeland Couples Photographer

Lakeland Couples Photographer

Lakeland Couples Photographer

They turned out so well! I was excited about how well the girls were doing and the wonderful shots I knew I had captured for my client. And then I suggested the parents kiss and chaos began. The oldest child yelled, “NOOOOOOOO!!!” and ran straight for her parents, interrupting any further photos I planned on taking. It was hilarious! Then both of the girls started trying to attach me and the camera to stop any further picture taking of their parents kissing. I was laughing so hard!!! This is what I captured and thought you all would get a kick out of it. I just love my job!

Lakeland Couples Photographer

Lakeland Couples Photographer

Lakeland Couples Photographer

Christmas Photos 2 / Lakeland Family Photographer

28 Oct

Round 2 of Holiday Mini-Shoots! Check out the first batch here. Enjoy!

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Lakeland Christmas Photographer

Weekend Sneak Peek / Lakeland Photographer

12 Sep

This weekend I had the privileged of photographing two different families.  First, I met Jennifer, who won the Summer Fun Photo Contest last month.  We all met at the beautiful and historic Bok Tower Gardens to photograph their first outdoor, natural light portrait session. Up until Saturday, they had always done studio pictures.  Besides the mosquitoes, we had a wonderful time exploring the gardens with little three year old “H.” Here is their sneak peek.

Bok Tower Photographer

Later that same day I met a couple who are expecting their first child for a maternity session.  I had the opportunity to be the second shooter at their later last year and they contacted me as soon as they found out they were expecting to set up their appointment for their maternity shoot. Tessa wanted a fun feel as she and Andrew explored the playground equipment together. It was fun to photograph in a new location, even though I am there all the time with my 3 and 1 year old kids. It was a first to photograph there for me. Here is their sneak peek.

Lakeland Maternity Photographer

New Business Cards / Lakeland Photographer

12 Apr

I have just used up my last business cards this month and am ready to go a little fancier. This what what my old business card looked like:

Lakeland Portrait Photographer

 

This is fine. Clean. Professional. Informational. But I want my business card to show my work. If my images are already on the card, that allows people who see them without taking the extra step of going to my website. Hopefully this will leave them wanting to see more images and they will hop right on the computer and see more!  So, here is the front of my new, improved business card:

Lakeland Wedding Photographer

 

And here is the back:

Lakeland Family Photographer

 

I still need to make some more promotional pamphlets and fliers, but this is a good start. One day I hope my business will be large enough to hire a professional to design all of my business needs. Until then, I have me and my husband. We make a pretty good design team and that makes it all worth it!