photographer

August Graduation/St. Charles Photographer/Blanchette Park

August is a JHP 2019 bride & I was overjoyed when she reached out asking me to take pictures for you graduation from VetTech school. Then of course, I was even more excited because she was going to bring her recently adopt pug. What she didn't tell me previously was that Ginger is a 13 year old pug she found on a pug rescue Instagram page. Ginger has no teeth and hardly any muscle tone in her back legs which makes it very hard for her to walk. August adopted her to simply give her a loving home until she went to doggie heaven........I don't think I have met anyone who had picked a more fitting career choice. I am so glad that I got to meet Ginger and capture this fantastic achievement in August's life. Her cap was my favorite!

Next up...a wedding!!!

Another gorgeous session at Blanchette Park in St. Charles

St. Charles Senior Photographer/St. Louis Senior Photographer/ Cameron Senior

The only thing I remember from high school is cheerleading and being being horribly awkward. The big hair, no idea how to do make-up, and no fashion sense what so ever. Meeting seniors this year has really blown my mind how handsome and runway ready they all are, but I have been having a blast with all of them. 

This time The Landing in St. Louis Missouri provided our back drop to show case Mr. Cameron. Cameron is looking forward to attending SIUE in the fall. He plans to pursue engineering, but until then is rocking the last 19 days of his high school career. Cameron is a handsome, polite young man who I am so lucky I got to meet and work with. I can't wait to hear what he does in this world. 

St. Charles Wedding Photographer - The Flourish Workshop in St. James MO with Ashley & Noah Wills

The past two years I have made it a goal in my business to attend some sort of class, workshop, or continuing education, as well as meet in groups of other photographers just to have fun and practice. I know how important it is to try new things and inspire yourself to create new memorable pieces of art for your clients. 

This year at the beginning of March I attend The Flourish workshop in beautiful St. James MO with Ashley Wills LLC.   As with most things I was a little nervous going in. What's more intimidating that a room full of not only your peers but also your potential competition?? Instead though, from the moment I stepped foot into the Will's beautiful home I felt welcome. I felt that we were all there to not only learn from Ashley & Noah, but from each other. I felt we were there to encourage and lift each other up. 

Each one of these amazing woman are all on a different journey, but with the same purpose. To share your artwork and passion with the rest of us. It was just an amazing weekend, sharing meals, knowledge, and what we love about this industry. 

On the first day of the workshop Ashley and guest speaker Tiffany Katka put together the most beautiful wedding styled shoot at Wildwood Springs Lodge. This location was a perfect overlook of the rolling hills in Missouri. Ashley had so many great tips on posing, positioning for great lighting, and remember the tiny details like florals to make the image complete. Not only is Ashley a wedding photographer but she does a small amount of florals too if it is something her bride needs. Ashley did a beautiful job complimenting the colors of the venue to the florals to really make for great pictures to learn off of. 

 

Let's take a second peek at the gorgeous bridal gown from Mimi's Bridal in St. James Mo. The way the light hit the skirt made it glow with that gorgeous blush undertone. It was so fun to watch her dance in! I really hope one of my bride's this season has a gorgeous flowy dress like this one!

I couldn't believe how many images I walked away with! Everything about this shoot was just so gorgeous. It is essential in our line of business to slow down and learn what stems your creativity and spark it again. Here is some of my favorites from the whole shoot. 

Saturday & Sunday we were blessed with some of the best cafe style food from The Market Place Cafe in St. James MO. For Saturday's lunch we were served fresh cut turkey sandwiches and the best baked potato soup I have ever had. They delivered it right too us fresh and set it up so we could easily make our sandwiches! If you are ever there or just passing through, you should stop in for lunch or dinner!

I really enjoyed my weekend at The Flourish workshop. I came back home inspired to turn my business into what I saw it as, what I knew it could be. If you are a photographer looking to start or build stronger skills, look into the Ashley Wills Workshops. You will instantly know it was the right choice as soon as Ashley's huge smile & Noah in his bowtie, open the door and welcome you into their home.

Ashley loves to give gifts like me! We were given so many cute things to remember the things we were taught. Below are all of the amazing take aways we received from some pretty amazing businesses. 

You can find the adorable mugs at Mugsby. We had lots of fun taking pictures of these which you can check on on Ashley Wills Facebook page. The adorable candle is from ModParty and they have unique and adorable wedding favors for your wedding party! Teals Prairie Engravers made the notebook etched with Flourish workshop on it. They have great options for personalized gifts. Last but not least, the perfect checklist notebook was from Paper Rocket Studios. I am so grateful I was able to also make connections with other great businesses that could be an asset to one of my brides while she is planning her wedding! 

So many wonderful things came from my weekend at The Flourish workshop. I am looking into another one they offer in July! Come with me!

If you would like any information on any of the vendors, click their names and it will link you directly to their websites or Etsy Shops!

St. Charles Newborn Photographer/St. Charles Photographer/Lorelei

Lindsey & Dan never share the name of the baby, unless you are their photographer & then you get to know secrets! When they told me the newest addition to their family was named Lorelei, I immediately fell in love and then after meeting her fell in love all over again. Loralei was calm, sleepy, and wanted nothing but snuggles! She is so precious, that even big sister is over the moon for her and of course her two guard dogs.

Congratulations Remiger Family! Looking forward to watching both these girls grow in the next year. #jhpfamily

St. Charles Family Photographer/St. Louis Family Photographer/Happy Halloween

This year for Halloween the costumes where so good, I hooked up my camera to get some shots. Halloween is my favorite. I love the colors of Halloween and fall. The reds, purples, blacks, and oranges, together they are all just so pretty. 

My husband help make his oldest costume an Elvin Warrior. He made the bow and the outfit accessories with the pants. My love is one creative man! I had a lot of fun last minute making Parker's because he left his at his Dad's. I also did his make-up! Parker really got into being a zombie, but immediately washed his face when we got home HAHAHAHA. 

My Facebook feed is always the best on Halloween. My friends are so creative. I even got to head Parker's classroom party this year. Each year the kids get to parade around the school in their costume! I LOVE IT!! This year my favorite has to be the 5th grader that came as Donald Trump. Kids are hilarious. 

So here's a fun blog of my family life because it's been a minute since I reminded myself why I really do this job. 

St. Charles Family Photographer/St. Charles Photographer/Autumn & Summer

Autumn & Summer were a wonderful twin sister duo session at Quail Ridge park in St. Charles. Immediately I knew we were going to have so much fun because they way they interact with each other can make anyone giggle and have a good time! I loved the way they made each other laugh!

St. Charles Engagement Photographer/St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Maggie & Catie Engaged

Maggie & Catie are in the 2018 Jheart Wedding Line up. Upon speaking with Maggie I immediately knew this was going to be a great relationship. As soon as I saw them interact with each other I had no doubt this session was going to rock. I asked Maggie a few questions prior to the shoot and one was asking to tell me the story of your proposal and let me tell ya...Maggie did not miss a beat when planning this....

Maggie sent Catie on a scavenger hunt through family and friends. She had cards and flowers delivered to Catie by amazing friends and loved family. She chose all the most important people in Catie's life to present this next life step in all the important places of their relationship. Like the spot where they first met and that is just so beautiful. It really shows why when asked what Catie's favorite thing about Maggie is her big heart. 

Then, after 2 clues, and a lunch with her family here is what the third clue read:

"#3 - You've gone from 1st, to 2nd and now 3rd.  Where do you go from here? Run home! Meet me downtown at our favorite venue.  The home plate from Busch Stadium 2, is where I'll be waiting for you"

Catie then was proposed to with Maggie down on one knee and of course she said yes! 

These two really have an amazing love and being in front of the camera didn't phase it one bit. They really made my heart full after shooting them and I think it really shows in these pictures. 

St. Charles Photographer/St. Charles Maternity Photographer/Waiting for Baby McKenzie

I love the Doggett's. This family has been with Jheart since the very beginning. I have been around for the engagement, the wedding, Baby Annie, and now Baby MacKenzie! I am so excited that their family is welcoming baby girl #2 in November. Annie is the cutest little girl and absolutely hilarious. She is so full of character! She is going to be an outstanding big sister judging by the way she loves her new kitty! These pictures are one of the reasons I love Quail Ridge Park in St. Charles. The back drops around golden hour are just so beautiful and when you add a baby bump you get dreamy pictures. 

St. Charles Photographer/St. Charles Maternity Photographer/Chuck, Brooke, & Jasper + Baby

Brooke is one of the cutest pregnant women I have got to photograph and I think the best part is, she is kind of shy in front of the camera. Plus she picked my favorite colors for their outfits and my favorite location Quail Ridge Park in St. Charles. In October she, her fiancé Chuck, and their first born Jasper will be welcoming Sonny, a nice little brother for Sir Jasper to play with. I hands down think Jasper is going to be the BEST big brother ever. As soon as I told Jasper to run for a minute while I shot Mom & Dad, he took off so fast and did NOT want to come back!! HAHA But then he would shoot that million dollar cutest little boy smile and my camera would go crazy. 

This growing family is definitely now one of my favorite families to shoot. They were sweet, they laughed, they played, they hugged, they are everything a photographer wants to shoot. Thank you so much Chuck & Brooke for asking me to capture this special moment in your life.

St. Charles Photographer/St Charles Lifestyle Photographer/ Mom Life meets Business Life - How do you manage?

I am adding a very intimate and candid moment to my blog today....a side that unless you read my personal facebook, you may not see...that I am a Mom of 4 kids and 3 step-kids which equals 7. Yup, that was not a typo...it's 7. 7 amazing children that I couldn't imagine my world with out them....but let's be honest....this.shit.is.HARD. The hardest thing I have ever done. To juggle school, feeding...my goodness the feeding and the snacks are a daily job on it's own, sports, church, washing clothes, making sure they brush teeth, cleaning rooms, wiping butts, my job..3 businesses, and a new marriage....How in the world is this even possible? It was exhausting just to type...

How do you juggle it? How do I juggle it? Juggle being a Mom AND being a business woman??

Humor & Balance....

St Charles Photographer

Humor is huge...like this picture...Back to school always floods a lot of emotions for me. Sometimes even the smell of the crayons, notebooks, and supplies at Wal-Mart can bring up these emotions. A big one most of us feel is Excited! Excited to have my daily freedom back. Where I can eat a candy bar in silence and not have to share. Where I can go to Wal-Mart without spending $50 more then I planned because somehow there are 7 things we didn't realize we needed until we touched base in the land of all the crap. I also get so sad. Sad that I don't get to see my kids as much. You know, wake up late, enjoy breakfast, plan our day, make them clean for me, playing games, and reading. It's sad to give up that time with them to others. Mad. So mad that I have to spend SO MUCH MONEY ON SUPPLIES. 7 kids starting school doesn't come cheaply but of course I fork it over for the cause. I will be happy my fridge won't empty so quickly because if one more person asks me for a snack I might have to be admitted. Anyone else's kids need a "snack" 4 minutes after ANY given meal?? I am always worried that I won't be good at helping with homework. The way classes are done now days always throw me off. I feel like they have made simple addition SO HARD. Us old people just don't get it. I know I will be glad to have more time for business. Fall season is always crazy and I enjoy giving my clients the attention their pictures are worth. Sometimes I worry I will struggle making my schedule work...cause that is the second BIGGEST part..Schedule...Between traveling, school events, blended kids, sessions, weddings, and practices...some days just don't have enough hours.

Before I even take sessions for a month, I block of dates that I refuse to work so I know to make time for family. Even if that means 10:54pm blogging sessions (like tonight). I make myself STOP at a certain time at night and some days I don't let myself START until a certain time of day. I schedule my blog, my shopping, my gym time, my Jesus time, and my family time. There is of course room for the spontaneous but to make sure my kids feel secure and that they have my attention, I schedule everything and I old school schedule everything with Pen & Paper AND electronicly, ie: my iPhone calendar. 

Don't get me wrong...some days end up like this:

Stressed, tired, and sitting in the tub with a bottle of wine! Business woman and Mom's are human too!  I wouldn't trade running my business, where I can make my own schedule to chose what I want to do with my time and when I do it, for anything in the world. I also try very hard to make sure my family doesn't suffer the stress as well. 

Plus, I love my job! Which is half the battle most days. Meeting new families and sharing my love for capturing those special moments is everyday different and cherished in my eyes. I love watching families come together and then grow. It's such a blessing to be trusted as that person in someone's life....to document the greatest moments of their life! WOW!

PC: Cieara Ruess Photography

PC: Cieara Ruess Photography

Always remember that with a little humor, a little balance, a lot of Jesus, and a lot of love...you can survive and accomplish anything. Don't give up, especially not on yourself, because most of all those little ones are watching and learning.