All good things must come to an end

This past Saturday was a busy day for us.  The morning started out with Cash playing his final soccer game for the year, followed by his awards ceremony.  If you’ve never watched a kid at this age play soccer, I have to say you are missing out.  They are SO funny!  web 1

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And you can always kick the ball better with your tongue out!

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Cash and his teammates got together so I could take their final team picture for the year.  There MAY or MAY NOT be a few clowns on the team 😉  Mrs. Serina did a wonderful job coaching this year and we are so thankful for her.  She sure had her hands full!

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Cash loved his medal.  I don’t think he’s taken it off yet

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Once we finished with Cash’s game we headed to Hermitage to watch my nephew, Ryder, play in his final game of the season.  The rain was steadily coming down but that didn’t stop these little Billies from doing their thing.  They won!

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After his game we headed back to go to my other nephews 18th Birthday party.  He’s beyond taking pictures so I don’t have any to post of him…….yet 🙂

I took several pictures of Cash and Ryders games, so here’s the link if you would like to check them out: unlimited photography.shootproof.com/saturdaysports .  The password is saturday.  You can also feel free to download any of the images in that gallery you would like to keep!

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Madeline {McGehee High School c/o ’16}

Madeline loves sunsets.  This is the one request she and her mom had for her senior session, and gave me free reign with everything else.  When she came to the studio and laid her wardrobe out, I knew the visions I had for her pictures were going to turn out amazing.  All of the locations I had planned would just be an accessory to her.  This girl had some major style.

Madeline’s mom knew my older sisters (they grew up playing softball together, and in Desha county who didn’t know the Watson’s when it came to softball lol!) but prior to this session I’d never met them.  My first impression of Madeline was that she had a quiet confidence about her; behind her flawless skin and soft smile was a girl who knew what she wanted.  I think this was perfectly captured in her images.

Thank you, Madeline (and mom!), for trusting me to capture your vision.

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Jordan {Cornerstone Christian Academy c/o ’16}

I began my photography journey in 2008, and in that same year I was hired to teach junior high science at our local Christian school, Cornerstone Christian Academy.  I continued to teach full time and do my photography part time until the birth of my second child in December 2014.  During my time teaching there I had the opportunity to meet/teach Jordan.

If ‘good ol country boy’ had a face, it would be Jordan.  He is, in my opinion, any mothers dream; quiet, easy going, respectful.  I never had any problems out of him at school.  He would do anything I asked him to do (with that sheepish grin of his), and I never worried about him missing any assignments.  School is very important to him, and even if he had to miss school, he would come to me beforehand and get his assignments so that he wouldn’t get behind on his work.  He’s THAT kind of kid.

His session was so laid back and fun.  I think we captured who he is through his images.

Thanks, Jordan, for letting me tell the story of who you are your Senior year.

“I define manhood simply:  men should be tough, fair, and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.”  -John Wayne

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Just like mama used to do it…

This past weekend we celebrated my nephew’s 9th birthday.  His birthday is meaningful to our family, because he was born the year we lost mama.  God always knows what we need, even before we need it, so two weeks after mama passed, my sister found out she was expecting.  He was definitely a little ray of sunshine during a dark year.

This year Ryder had a ‘Spooktacular 9th Birthday’ party.  I can totally identify with this type of party since my birthday is October 18th.  Mama, every year, would throw me a halloween birthday party, and everyone always loved it.  We always had a haunted hayride (my most memorable is when Mr. Mark McElroy hid at an old abandoned house with a jason mask on and a chainsaw and scared the mess out of us…we were probably around 10 lol!) and some years she did a spook house in my dads old shed.  One year she also had a shoe box that we stuck our hand in and touched eyeballs, brains, and guts (oh the things you can come up with when it involves food lol).  Needless to say, she went above and beyond for my parties and it wasn’t until I was grown that I really realized all the time/effort/money she put into these and really,  truly appreciated my birthday parties.

This year, my sister Robin decided to do this same thing for Ryders birthday.

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We had mummies, bloody witches fingers, green brains, bloody pb&j’s, witches brooms, and bug juice.

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A few of the kids dressed up.  Of course there was one little kitty cat that was the cutest around.

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Cash is still in his superhero stage, so this was my spider man and ‘mr. bones’.  I think Cash still has his costume on he loves it so much lol.

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Of course, we had to finish the evening off with a haunted hay ride, just to keep tradition.  Erin is a die hard ‘The Walking Dead’ fan, so you can guess which one she is in this picture.  She made some pretty good flesh with oatmeal, gelatin, and tissue paper.  Who knew?!

What matters the most is that Ryder had a great party with tons of his little friends there.  Our family, chaotic as we may be, survived another family gathering  without a blow-up (we were on our best behavior since people were present) LOL.

I’m totally kidding….well sort of.

‘The Photographers Kid’

If you’ve never heard of it before, yes, there is such a thing as ‘the photographers kid’. What does this mean? The definition states ‘the child/children of a photographer who despises having portraits taken and will do anything to sabotage the session to ensure that their parent(s) will end up in tears’.

Well, I doubt there’s an actual definition in Websters Dictionary for this term, but boy it should be. The definition above is what I personally would say, spoken from a lot of experience! I hate to say this, but I usually have a little dread in the back of my mind when planning to take pictures of my boys. I have this perfect scene in my head, and it almost never goes as planned. This was the case for Colt’s newborn portraits, along with his ‘sitting up’ session. One child looks and smiles, the other is either making crazy eyes or looking at a dog running by. One child is screaming their guts out because they are tired and finished (5 minutes into the session) or the other child is whining, saying they’re hungry (and they just ate).

I don’t mean to complain by any means, because I love my two boys with all of my heart and always end up loving their pictures, crazy faces and all, but it is definitely hard being a professional photographer/mom at the same time. I did learn from the ‘sitting up’ session and took steps to ensure that the boys would be at the top of their game when it came to doing their pictures in the cotton this past week. To me, cotton and overalls are a must in the fall for little boys, and I will probably still be doing them the same way when they turn 18 haha! So in preparation, both boys had naps, bellies were full and Colt was dry. I will say that things went SO much smoother. I guess I just think a 4 year old and 10 month old should be ready to smile anytime I have the camera out and act perfect the entire time (apparently I’m in la la land sometimes lol).

SO, I’m just thankful that I am here to be the patient one at my clients sessions, that they can deal with the chaos that comes in the planning, and that they can trust that in the end I will always get shots that capture their babies (that are growing so fast) right at that very moment in their little life, the good and the bad. With all that has happened in our little corner of the world lately, I must say, I’ve been hugging them a little tighter and appreciating all of their little quirks (and attitudes!) that sometimes drive me crazy. I’m so thankful that God blessed us with these boys.

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And just so you can see a little of what I dealt with lol:

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Investing in my Education

This past weekend was one I’ve been waiting on for awhile.  I attended the Professional Photographer’s of the Ozarks Focus ’15 Photography Conference in Springdale, Arkansas.  My friends and I (Kimberly of Kimberly McNabb Photography and Jennifer of The Click Chick Photography) decided in the summer that we needed to attend after seeing the speaker list and how much we would learn!  I will admit, I was a little nervous about leaving my boys for two nights, but after Drew assured me he could handle it (he thought lol) I allowed myself to calm down and get excited.  I pulled out of southeast Arkansas early Saturday morning with coffee in hand and a full tank of gas.  I met the girls in Morrilton and off we went.

Saturday we attended a newborn class, taught by the amazing Lisa Rapp, an outdoor lighting for seniors class with Mario Mastitti. Saturday evening finished up with everyone hanging out at Bedfords Bash and a little bowling.  Sunday was a full day with a classes taught by Ron Jackson (architectural work) Miles Witt Boyer (social media) and Kimberly Smith (print competition). I’ve never done any architectural/realty type work before, but since taking Ron’s class I’m itching to play around!  Sunday night was capped off with an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding prints from print competition.  I could kick myself for not entering this year.  I WILL enter next year!!

Overall this weekend was amazing.  The classes were full of information that helped me grow, and so were the late night chats with my fellow photographers (while in our pjs!).  I strive to continue to grow and learn as a photographer because my clients all deserve nothing but the best from me….and that’s what I aim to provide!

So now, I’m off to prepare for a senior session that’s happening this evening and put all of this knowledge I soaked up this weekend to good use.

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