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Cody is another senior who I have known since he was little…his Mom another dear friend of mine.  Let’s put it this way Cody knows me well enough to know my “mom look”, so in the midst of his senior session he may have gotten the “mom look” and he knew that meant he needed to cooperate with the smiles.  I know it is not at the top of every guy’s list of things to do, but guess what?!  You need to do them so you might as well have fun.  And we had fun, we really did. We brought along his baby sister and she helped with styling and smiles.

Cody, thanks for letting me be a part of your senior year…

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The Clement Family

This family was darling, I may be biased to a family with all boys.  These boys were busy, which is typical, and I am so comfortable in that environment.  I love just chatting with them and watching them run and explore…the trick is capturing pictures while they do all of those things.  They were super sweet to their Mom and did whatever she or I asked…not always the case with boys.  I loved the cheerful colors and the cheerful attitudes even more.

Thanks for asking me to capture your family….I loved it.


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Christian is another one of my seniors where I blinked my eyes between poses and saw a 5 year old in front of me.  We have known Christian and his family since preschool days in Sunday school.  He is all grown up now.  I had the privilege of taking both of his older brothers’ senior photos too.  A little known fact is that his oldest brother was the very first senior session I ever did, and that is kind of how I got into this business.  So I owe this family a thank you for having faith in me and for letting me “practice” on their son.  This time, for Christian’s session, we started off with the entire family…always a good time to update that family photo.  Bless their Mom’s heart, the sole one wearing pink..until the very end of the shoot…she is so well loved in this house of boys.

Thank you Christian for allowing me to share this part of your senior year with you…

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To be completely honest this is a hard blog post to write…as I am updating my blog with images and memories of sessions from this past year.  They are showing up in alphabetical order in my files.  This one, “Drew”, came up and a part of me wants to avoid posting.  It makes me sad.  But it also makes me smile.  I am still working on finding every last image to edit from this session.  You see Drew took his own life in January…and it is heartbreaking.  I have known Drew since he was in elementary school.  He was in my son Tommy’s class, another one of his former teammates from childhood sports.  Drew was quiet on the outside but so very funny on the inside.  We had fun at his session, I think he was even surprised at how much fun photos could be.  We brought along his dear friend Olivia, I often suggest to Moms of boys to bring along someone you know will make them smile, relax and be themselves.  Olivia helped to bring that out in him.  We had fun.  We laughed.  Little did I know that these photos would be used for a funeral service 6 months later.  But this has also has reminded me of the power of photographs to bring back a moment in time, an expression…you can hear laughter in photos if you really listen.  You can close your eyes and be right back in that spot.  I believe that with all of my heart.  Photos are powerful.

What I also know to be true is that Drew loved Jesus.  Drew and his family attend the same church that we do and I know they love Jesus.  You could see that in Drew, in how he was humble, kind-hearted and had a sparkle in his eye.  Something I learned about Drew is that he had a heart for those with special needs, in particular a special friend of mine named Katie.  Katie told me that Drew often sat at lunch with her, that he always said hello to her.  That tells you his true heart.  While he was a leader on the football field, and in his academics and that could have made him boastful if he would have allowed it but nope his true heart was filled with kindnesses and selfless acts.  He sat with Katie, while he could have sat with anyone else in that lunchroom, he chose a sweet girl with down syndrome.   If that doesn’t reflect the kind of person he was I don’t know what else does.

Suicide is not an easy topic…ever.  But one thing I have learned through this experience and was spoken at his wonderful funeral is that suicide is one moment, one decision.  We cannot allow one decision a person makes to cloud your memories of a person, or define your relationship with them.  While this decision Drew made changed his life and those who loved him greatly..it was truly one decision.  All of the other many wonderful choices he made in his life matter and cannot be lost.  The reflection of the kind of young man he was, the friends he loved, how much HE was loved by many, his family who he held dear and his relationship with Jesus were TERRIFIC choices and decisions he made in his life.  Drew has left a legacy, while his life was shorter than we feel it should be…he has left fingerprints on many people in those 18 years.

I believe that if you love Jesus,  if you have a personal relationship with Him you will have eternal life in heaven.  Therefore I believe I will see Drew again in heaven…and the details of this life on earth will not be so important then but the kind of heart he had while on this earth will still matter.  I am honored and privileged to share with you these moments I shared with Drew.


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The Fisher Family

One thing I have learned in this little photography gig of mine is that SO many of my clients become friends.  This family is a great example of this, they are return clients and they are my friends.  The back info on this session is meaningful.  In the summer we captured senior photos of their lovely daughter Jordan, and we planned a fall family session at that time.  What we didn’t know was that the Mom, would be diagnosed with breast cancer a few days before this session.  She sent me an email letting me know the news and we talked, and decided it was important to do these photos.  To capture their family despite the recent news.  There is a certain bond families have, and through good and bad you see that bond grow…in these images I hope you can feel that bond.  This was a tender time for this family, with fresh news, unknown results coming and a plan that was yet to unfold completely…I hope you see the love and unity in this family through these photos.

It was a blessed session, I know a few of us were holding back tears.  Cancer is not an easy journey ever, and even with a fabulous prognosis and early detection there is still a lot of fear associated with it and for good reason.  I am pleased to share that all is going well for this family and their cancer journey, the treatments are doing what they are designed to do.  Most of all, I hope you see the importance of family in these photos and the incredible love shared.  

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