I have been photographing Emma since she was 6 months old. It's a great feeling when people continue to love what you do.

I love this family. They are just good people, and I love this session, the location was gorgeous.

It was a really chilly fall day, but the sky was had an awesome moodiness to it.

I hope to continue to photograph Em as she grows, she is such a sweet little girl.

here are the Routtes.

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To be welcomed into a clients' home is an amazing experience, a gift really, for both parties.
I get to use their intimate space as a backdrop and they come out with real life, story moments captured.

That's why I love lifestyle sessions, the honesty of them.

Meet the Peddicords.

This is the time in their life when they brought home little John.




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With the summer months brings a different kind of mess to add to our daily routine. Usually it's 90 degrees and super humid in Ohio this time of year. However, it has been really mild and rainy lately. So there is garb like rain boots laying around from jumping in puddles that normally wouldn't be there. Those boots will make me remember, that it had been rainy in the summer of 2013, when I look back on these images.

Once again I am so grateful for this amazing project with these incredible photographer mamas, to be mindful of capturing what's going on in this very moment with our children. It causes me to pause and take a look around and not only take a picture with my camera, but look at that personal property of my children and what it represents at that moment in our lives.

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If you would like to participate in the KIDS WERE HERE project, feel free to grab the badge below and put it in on your blog.
Or you can participate through our Facebook and FLICKR group.




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This awesome project continues to inspire me to look past the mess and see the imprint that our boys are making on our family's memories. I included images of Adrik's lovie Bunny this month. It was given to Kaes (my middle) by a fellow art teacher as a shower gift. Kaes didn't care anything about it, but Adrik has latched onto it. Some days Bunny just lies in his crib and waits patiently to be played with and other days he's out and about. Every image of Bunny was exactly where his little hands put him. With Kai (my first), if he had put his lovie on the dirty garage stairs, I would have sprinted to get the disinfectant. Disinfectant is too much work these days, the germs will build his immune system. ;)

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"it's a magic potion mama!"
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When I first began this project, I thought it would be fun to document the every day messes my children make. As the weeks have passed, this project has really become so much more than that.

It's not really about messes at all, but about the stories they tell. It's about traces of childhood I see throughout my home on a daily basis. It's about the love we share together. It's about living and being...creating, making, learning and trying. This project leaves me a beautiful story each month of the reminders that Kids are here now...and the time, well, its all too fleeting, isn't it? We all need to embrace these moments and just live them too; because they really are the best moments of life." -Ginger Unzueta

If you would like to participate in the KIDS WERE HERE project, feel free to grab the badge below and put it in on your blog. Or you could participate through our Facebook and FLICKR group.



Kids Were Here Image
 
 
First of all, I have to say that I just adore this little lady's name, Adler. I find it sweet and strong, just like her.  Adler is my good friend and fellow art teacher's daughter, Bonnie. Bonnie and Joel have Noah who is 4 and now little Adler.  They tried long and hard for this ball of beautifulness.  I couldn't be more happy for them and it was a total honor to get to experience this relaxed bundle of sweetness.

meet Adler and Noah

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I wonder if there will ever come a time when I am not nervous for a session? I am a nervous wreck walking up to the front door of a complete strangers home. Then the door opens and all of my anxiety is quickly wiped away as they welcome me with warm vibes. 

This session was extra nerve wracking for me. Dwight is the principal at the high school in the school district where I teach. I have only been in the same room with him once and his sweet and calm demeanor was intriguing. He is well respected in our community and being a little peon of an art teacher, I felt a little intimidated. All of my fears were completely laid to rest when I stepped into their living room.  Samantha is Dwight's wife and she is as sweet as she is absolutely stunningly gorgeous. You get to know your clients skin very well while editing, and hers needed no editing at all, seriously...totally flawless. 

Then there's Gabby. Holy moly, talk about a gorgeous baby!! Not only was she gorgeous, but she was cool as a cucumber like her daddy. You would never know that this little miracle had been adopted.  What an amazing story.  I am such a people watcher and love, love to hear others stories. Gabrielle is going to have an amazing and loving life with her parents.

It was an awesome morning. 

Meet the Carters

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The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary hit me hard.  I was down in my art room at the elementary where I teach, when I saw the headlines on MSN. My immediate feeling was to run upstairs and get my son out of his first grade class. It was an irrational thought, there was no shooter in our school, but it was just so horrific. I had many irrational thoughts on that day.

I had the conversation with my 6 year old on what he should do if there was a crazy person in our school.
Our childrens' innocence is being ripped away from them and it pisses me off.

The Olivia Act, named after one of the children killed in Newtown, was started by by Leslie Spurlock Photography. Olivia’s family had family pictures taken a short time before she was killed. Those pictures are precious and now priceless to them. Upon hearing this, Leslie was moved to give away a family photo shoot and challenged other photographers to do the same.

It was so little in comparison to what happened, but it was something.

When I received the nomination for Marcy Rowley, I had chills. It was one of those moments where I felt like it was meant to be.  It turned out I knew Marcy from when she and her husband Michael opened a coffee shop down at Creekside by our house. The friend that nominated her was a total stranger to me.

I had only spoken to Marcy and her husband a few times in the coffee shop, but when I showed up at their door, I remembered their kind faces.  When the coffee shop closed due to some very unfair acts by the building owner, Eric and I were really sad for them. We didn't know them well at the time, but we knew that they had poured their hearts into the business.

I didn't know what to expect when I walked into their home. They have three beautiful children Isaac, Olivia and Asher. All three are on the spectrum for autism. Having worked with many autistic children in my nine years of teaching, I had some insight on autism. I honestly expected it to be a crazy house, like my house with three boys, but not so much. They could not have been more calm and sweet. I felt a connection to the Rowleys as soon as I walked in the door. It was comfortable and I was really happy to be there to tell their story.

This family is in need of some serious prayers right now.  They have some tough and heartbreaking challenges ahead of them.
I hope my images can bring a little joy to their beautiful family.


Meet the Rowleys

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shanbu

12/01/2012

12 Comments

 
I've been looking forward to blogging this session.

A friend from high school contacted me to see if I would shoot her friend's arrival from Ethiopia with their new son, Shanbu.  There was no hesitation, I was really excited to do it.  Marina and I exchanged a few E-mails but that was all the contact we had before their arrival.  For them to give this five year old boy an awesome life after having lost his mother and having lived in an orphanage most of his life, words can't describe the admiration I have for them.

As the mama to three boys, I have such a soft spot for boys, they need a little extra love and understanding.  I tend to feel things deeply, especially when it comes to children.  Maybe this makes me a better a better photographer, I don't know, but when Shanbu came walking down the hallway for the first time, I was overwhelmed with emotion and the tears came rolling down.  A security guard came up to me and said, "boy that oughta' make him feel special..." more tears.

I could tell he was happy but overwhelmed at the same time, and by the end of shooting, I could tell he was exhausted.

It's amazing how things workout in life.  Shanbu's best friend in the orphanage was adopted first.  Marina happened to come across that adoptive mother on Facebook. Shanbu's best friend now lives in Clintonville OH, and Shanbu lives in Newark, OH, they live only 45 minutes apart.  I'm sure that will be a lifelong friendship.

The first pics are of Levi and his sister.  Levi was also adopted from Ethiopia also and his parents are friends with Shanbu's parents.

Now here is this amazing little boy that I was lucky enough to capture, his eyes are striking, I'm sure they have seen things that we can't imagine. 

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When Heather and I started teaching together, we instantly became friends. I am drawn to people who are genuine and not full of crap.  Even though we haven't spent a ton of time together with my room down in the dungeon and her's on the opposite side, she is the type of person that I know I could come to with any problem and she would be there.  On top of being  a down to earth, sweet soul, she is married to an insanely fun guy.  Mike is the one who always gets the dreaded karaoke going at parties. ;)

Their two beautiful girls are Ella and Lilly.  Ella is crazy gorgeous and is going to give Mike grey hairs very soon. Lilly is my kinda girl, she is a little spit fire, full of sugar and spice. They made my job so easy, they were so full of life and spunk.

I am not a big prop junkie, but I always tell my clients to bring absolutely anything they want to remember.  They brought their little table and chairs to have a tea party, I loved it!  The table was Heather's step mom's when she was little.

That's what it's all about, those are the memories we want to have, forever.

Now meet this beautiful family who is near and dear to my heart. 

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The thing that I love most about photographing children is their pureness in front of the camera. I can tell them to look for airplanes that aren't really there and they're happy to oblige, while I grab some catch lights. Or I can tell them shhhh, see if you can hear any animals in the woods, and they'll look, for a minute anyway. ;) Conner and Ellie had that sweet innocence  which made for a great session.  Such a sweet family!! Thank you to the Ewings for letting me capture your beautiful family!