Lauren...Seniors 2018...pure joy :)

"a joyful spirit is evidence of a grateful heart. " - maya angelou


JOY is completely what i saw first in her.

well, besides her smile. ;)


lauren walked into my studio the day of her senior session, and her joy just spilled out.

as shannon did her hair and make-up, and lauren, her mom, sister ashely  and i talked about where and how we would make this shoot happen, her dad stopped by.  he couldn't stay away completely and miss such a special day in his daughter's life.   whew.  

seeing the smile and pride he showed, then ducking out to give "the girls their time", i got it. 

this family was secure in themselves and each other.  they loved like - ALL love. 

and lauren was a product of that. 


how i enjoyed her!  she filled my own soul with laughter and helped ME feel carefree :). 

what most spoke to me about lauren was the confidence she held in herself.  

the joy she found in EVERYTHING.

and how she shared and exhibited that joy without reservation. 


a few nights ago, her family sat in my studio, and we played her video up on "the big screen."

i wanted to jump up and down! 

in the images, you can just FEEL lauren's heart!  and it is so so special.  

sitting with the people she loves most, i TOTALLY get why it is that way. 

what a girl...what a family 

lauren...xoxoxo you exquisite girl!

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Averi...Seniors 2018...an old soul

"she's an old soul whose heart speaks an all but forgotten language."  -JM Storm

 

i knew heidi casually in high school.  

heidi had the smile and laugh that you could see and hear coming, a mile away. 

a year older than me (i'm totally not rubbing that in heidi!), she graduated and went her own way, and a year later, i went mine. 


OF COURSE, Facebook reconnected us years ago. 


at the time, what i was speaking and sharing was right up her alley. 

her daughter averi needed to hear and be told what what i was sharing. 

but heidi, her husband, her son and averi now lived in north carolina.  

we talked about possibly getting the message there, but life took over. 

fast forward probably 6 years later, and averi is now a senior.  


averi is going into film making for her career.

i think heidi just KNEW that averi and i would click.  

averi is this beautiful old soul...

she gets things and has a sense for things, like she's been around a whole lot longer than she actually has. 


my dad always called me the same. 


averi and i...we just clicked.  

 

and then we literally did. 

it was magic.  

two creatives...and this is what we got.  

 

you see, it's not only about pictures!

it's all about "GETTING" the person you are shooting.  (even IF you are different!)

it's about going above and beyond what you promised you would. 

it's about making the experience and pictures JUST AS important to you, the photographer, as it is to the "client."

THIS is my heart, and what i THRIVE on!
 

meet the beautiful, and one day to be known everywhere and anywhere...AVERI.

-xoxox love!

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Quiet Creek Herb Farm - Mini Session/ families

the owners at Quiet Creek Herb Farm, are as sweet and welcoming as their beautiful farm.  Claire & Rusty just allowed me to make myself at home on their beautiful property, and what a beautiful "picture" it all turned out to be.  

these are some highlights of the first batch of special families that i got to shoot at the farm. 

more to come:!

 

the snell kiddos

the anderson family

Shayla...

and the martinis...

losing my lady like stature.

flippin' and freakin' have been the most used words in my vocabulary lately.  

as my sisters were growing up, (and as i was  a teen), i always thought and taught.."speak as a lady would speak...think like a lady would think."

when an uproar of pain hits your life...

"lady" flies out the window.

 

life is hard.

loss sucks...i mean stinks....

living through aftermath is crap.  

i'm here. 

i know.

i feel you.

you, who have lost their husband with two young babies left to raise....

you, who are a grandma, who is my age, and is faced with many physical challenges to deal with...

me...with issues, i've left unsaid, only to deal and pray for in my heart...

 

wednesday morning, i started out on " a mission" to help my london, and her "team" raise money for their mission trip to jamaica through Won By One. 

we were immediately overwhelmed with donations, bags and tasks to go through and a deadline to meet.  

our family, and church family helped greatly. 

i learned a few things:

your heart comes out when you are stressed.

laughing helps everything. 

when jesus is in control, you cannot lose. 

planning, and diligence is a rare and gifted trait. 

children with loving, giving, willing spirits are a gift, only to be used in greater ways for years to come. 

from wed-sat....we were swamped.  
our mission team raised enough money for 3 trips...Thank You, to dubois donators, buyers, and to jesus!

but i also learned, AGAIN, that reward does not come easy. 

because of many reasons, my body, physically is in shambles. 

but i worked my tail off, wed - saturday at that sale, with 4 shoots (including a wedding) in between. 

my arms, wrists, hands, fingers, and feet are still swollen. 

the pain is unreal. 

and i am stil able work, to be dedicated to it, and to complete it. 

what did i learn?

when you believe in something...you do it. 

when you can, and the pain is there....you push through it. 

when you aren't strong enough, YES you are. 

and when hope seems lost, HOPE is still there. 

and lastly, when you feel alone, without a smile in sight, look to those around you.

those who love you unconditionally. 

through their love and life and faith in jesus, they will bring hope, laughter, endurance and will stick by you through and through for results...

to my "family"...

i love you. 

don't you stray far from me.  

i flippin' need and freaking love you all!!