joie de vivre
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Category Archives: About Me

Hazel is 2: Evansville Children’s Photographer

This little peanut turned 2 this summer and this styled shoot was absolutely perfect for her! Every day Hazel wakes up asking to wear a “mincess dress” (princess dress), a necklace, lip gloss, and perfume. Nothing less than feminine luxury would represent her personality! What an absolute joy she is!

Engaged! River Valley Magazine

Excitement, humility, hope….these are just a few of the emotions that have filled me over the last few months as I have been busy networking and collaborating with local artisan vendors to create some truly beautiful imagery that will help to elevate Evansville’s already bustling wedding market. Seeing the fruits of my labors in print form is the ultimate reward. I am so honored and blessed to have been included in the flagship issue of the new Engaged! River Valley magazine. I not only was asked to shoot for the magazine on two separate articles, but a beautiful styled shoot I helped organize this summer was given a 4 page spread plus the COVER of the magazine! I have several other photos sprinkled throughout the publication as well. I have no words to describe this warm, fuzzy feeling in my soul. I have LOTS and LOTS of copies to share with anyone who would like one, so don’t hesitate to contact me if you do! Thank you JoElle Knight and Nikki Davis for finding value in my work and for the beautiful friendship and support you have given me! I look forward to a long, loving, and fruitful relationship with you both, personally and professionally! Don’t forget to check out Engaged! River Valley online as well!




They Grow So Fast…

It seems like just yesterday that I was bringing home this tiny, 6lbs 12oz baby girl. I remember being terrified and exhausted and in awe all at the same time. I had created this little life. She was mine, ours, and I loved her more fiercely than I ever knew I could love anyone or anything. And here she is, half-way to being an adult herself. Where does the time go? It’s an interesting feeling, being sad and joyful all at once.


I’m so very excited to share with you some news! I just received my personal copy of a book titled “The Inspired Wedding” by Emma Arendoski, editor of the popular wedding blog Emmaline Bride…..which features some of my photos from Bobbi’s and Bryce’s wedding! I cannot even begin to describe the feeling I got when I opened up this gorgeous hard-bound 288 page book and saw my work inside! I’m so thrilled that many of my favorite vendors were also highlighted in this book including Cortnie Bigelow, Leesa Booker, and Miss Ruby Sue! Congratulations all around, ladies! And if you would like to purchase your own copy of Emma’s book, go to:



I was reminded of a few things from this little for-the-fun-of-it shoot tonight:

1. My husband is incredibly supportive of me and my photography addiction and such a great sport.

2. I need to do more inspirational shoots (i.e. for-the-fun-of-it sessions).

3. I would love to work with an actual model or someone who has modeling experience.

4. My husband is really sexy. Like. Really. Sexy. temecula_mens_portrait_photography0001temecula_mens_portrait_photography0002temecula_mens_portrait_photography0003temecula_mens_portrait_photography0004temecula_mens_portrait_photography0005temecula_mens_portrait_photography0006temecula_mens_portrait_photography0007temecula_mens_portrait_photography0008temecula_mens_portrait_photography0009temecula_mens_portrait_photography0010temecula_mens_portrait_photography0011temecula_mens_portrait_photography0012temecula_mens_portrait_photography0013temecula_mens_portrait_photography0014temecula_mens_portrait_photography0015temecula_mens_portrait_photography0016temecula_mens_portrait_photography0017temecula_mens_portrait_photography0018temecula_mens_portrait_photography0019temecula_mens_portrait_photography0020temecula_mens_portrait_photography0021temecula_mens_portrait_photography0022

My Baby’s in Pre-K!!!

Who’s going to preschool?! This guy! I cannot believe that my baby is in school already! Where have the last 4 years gone?! Zachary is such a sweetheart and I will definitely miss him hanging around the house in the mornings. But I’m also really excited for him and how much he is going to learn and grow! He is going to have a really great year! Of course I had to take the first-day-of-school pictures, but Zac made it so much fun with his 100% all-boy personality!

Anslie’s First Day of First Grade!

It’s happened! I can’t believe it! My little girl is getting so big and she’s now in all-day school (as opposed to half-day for kindergarten). She is blossoming into such a beautiful girl and I am so proud of her! I can’t wait to see how much she grows this school year!2014-08-18_00012014-08-18_00022014-08-18_00032014-08-18_00042014-08-18_00052014-08-18_00062014-08-18_00072014-08-18_00082014-08-18_00092014-08-18_00102014-08-18_00112014-08-18_00122014-08-18_00132014-08-18_0014

Summer Shoot in Big Bear with MY Babies!!!

It’s been way too long since I took the opportunity to photograph my own children and what better time of year than summer?! A few months ago some friends of mine showed me a little spot up in Big Bear that was just PERFECT for a little portrait session for my kids. I wanted the collection to feel organic with sunkissed skin, dirty hands, feet, and faces, messy hair, and an all around feeling of what it is like to be a kid during summertime! Regardless of whether or not this goal was accomplished, I will treasure these moments forever, simply because my babies were healthy, happy, and having fun!

Family Beach Trip

This weekend my dear friend came to town for a quick visit. While she was here we had the opportunity to spend a few hours at the beach. I didn’t happen to bring my camera, but luckily said friend (whom you will see more of in an upcoming blog post) happens to be an incredibly inspiring (person) photographer and she had her camera with her. So I stole it from her and snapped a few quick shots my family and a few of the highlights from our stay at the beach. There is something haunting and beautiful about the way these photos turned out so I just had to share them. And I can’t wait to share the few photos I took of my friend as well so stay tuned!san_diego_family_photographer_beach0001san_diego_family_photographer_beach0002san_diego_family_photographer_beach0004san_diego_family_photographer_beach0005san_diego_family_photographer_beach0006

My Baby’s a Big Boy!

My wittle baby isn’t such a wittle guy anymore! *sniff, sniff* My Zachary started (co-op) preschool on Tuesday and, while I’m excited to have a couple of hours twice a week completely to myself, my heart is breaking just a little bit too. I love this little dude so much! He is going to do awesome things, though! I can’t wait to see the amazing person he is going to grow up to be!

First Day of Kindergarten 2013

My little one is growing up so fast! She had her first day of kindergarten today and I’m so proud of her bravery (and when I say “her” I mean “my”) and excitement for this new chapter in her life!

Christina’s Maternity Photos + Baby Shower

I just finished up a baby shower that I participated in throwing for a dear, sweet friend of mine and I am so happy with the way everything turned out!!! Most of all, I’m pleased that my friend felt “spoiled” and “appreciated”! Mission accomplished! And for an added bonus, I tricked her into having a maternity session, which for some cuh-razy reason she didn’t want to do! Can you believe this girly is due 4 weeks from the time these photos were taken?! If only……… <3 <3 <3 I can’t wait to meet baby Waverly in just a couple of weeks!!!

Baby Shower

Pinterest will be the death of me! The death of me and my bank account! I have never been much of a crafter, but along came Pinterest and now I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love all of the wonderful ideas, tutorials, and recipes it gives me access to, but I hate how it’s such a time and money eater. Mostly I love it though, so Pinterest has a happy little place on my favorites toolbar on my desktop.
Earlier this month I was so lucky to be able to help out with a baby shower for one of my dear friends, Trisha. I was put in charge of decorations and in the past that would have absolutely terrified me, however, now that I have Pinterest as a resource for all things adorable I was more than up for the challenge. Here are the fruits of labor of mine and my crew of amazing friends and family who put their shoulder to the wheel to pull this little shin dig off. I hope you love it!
t1t2t3t5t4t6t7t8t9t10t11 Cake by: Leesa Booker 
Bunting by: Cortnie Bigelow 
Cake Pops and Whoopie Pies by: Sarah Stewart 
Candy Table by: Cindy Kramer 
Centerpieces by: Andrea Kitterman 
Origami Napkins and Paper Flowers by: Tiana Mangold 
Letter Ornaments and Tree Decor by: Amberlyn Russell and Rachelle Nelson 
Cake Table, Quilt Backdrop, and Clothes Lines by: Shillawna Ruffner

Jet Set

I just got back from an amazing trip to Europe!!!! (Hence the MIA posts) My little sister, Audra, and her fiancee, Mike, planned a 7 day Mediterranean cruise where they were wed in a very sweet and intimate ceremony in the Amalfi Coast in Italy. (Pictures to come soon!!!) I wanted to share a couple photos from each of the ports we stopped at and of course, “a couple” turned into “a ton”. So bear with me! I’m not much of a landscape photographer but I had a blast walking in the shoes of one for a week and I will certainly treasure all of the memories and experiences that my husband and I shared on this trip. I think I shot about 1200 images of all the places and things we saw (not including Audra’s wedding) so I chose the highlights from my European Vacation Collection! I am planning on printing the completed collection in a coffee table book…..I guess I should start shopping for a coffee table 🙂
We picked up our cruise in Venice, Italy…yes, Venice is as romantic as it’s claimed to be! venice2venice3venice6venice7venice8veince9venice4venice5venice10Venice1venice11
Our first stop was in Koper, Slovenia where we took a tour bus to Lipica and visited the Lipizzaner Horse Stud Farm. I loved horses as a child and this experience was seriously a little-girl’s-dream-come-true! Such beautiful horses!!! Koper1koper2koper3koper4koper5koper6

Next up was Split, Croatia in the Dalmatian Coast where we roamed the streets of this lovely port town, snacked on fresh-roasted chestnuts, and toured Diocletian’s Palace. split1split2split3split4split6split5

I think my favorite stop on the cruise as far as visual aesthetics was Dubrovnik, Croatia. This city looked like it came right out of a fairytale! It was built from the streets up in white marble and the walls that surround the city look like a castle! Add the gorgeous teal-blue waters of the Adriatic Sea on which it sat was a photographer’s dream! dubrovnik1dubrovnik6dubrovnik5dubrovnik9dubrovnik3dubrovnik4dubrovnik2dubrovnik8dubrovnik7dubrovnik10

We also visited Messina, Italy which is in Sicily. We ate some awesome Sicilian pizza and got a giant canoli. We also toured this beautiful Cathedral and Clock Tower, the largest astronomical clock in the world.


From Messina we took a tour to Tindari where we saw these ancient ruins and toured the Cathedral or “Sanctuary” of the Black Modonna. So gorgeous! Everything that was gold was solid, not just plated.


We disembarked our cruise in Rome, Italy and sadly only had one day to spend there before we came home. We spent most of that day touring Vatican City and then walked the streets of Rome in search of some historical landmarks and pizza. Unfortunately the Colosseum was closed due to a “political demonstration” so we couldn’t even get near it (which was a HUGE bummer because that was the #1 thing I wanted to see in Rome!!!) So I took a picture from afar 🙁 We did toss some coins into the Trevi Fountain, so if legend holds true we will return to Rome and we will be able to experience all that we missed this time around.


This is the Belvedere Torso which Michelangelo used as inspiration for many of his own paintings and sculptures. I just felt this photo needed a little explanation 🙂 vatican3

This is a hallway dedicated to paintings of maps in part of the museum in the Vatican. I love how ornate the ceilings are and how they went on forever. Can you imaging how long it took to paint these?!


Michelangelo’s first sculpture, the Pieta, in which he was in his early 20’s when it was completed. vatican7

And, of course, the Sistine Chapel. vatican6vatican5vatican4

And St. Peter’s Basilica. vatican10rome4rome1rome2rome3

I have a million more photos to share, but I think it will have to wait til another time. Needless to say my husband and I had a wonderful experience and this was certainly the trip of a lifetime! (There was one port that I haven’t shared any photos from because it was the port in which my sister had her wedding. I will share the photos from her wedding and the few shots that I got of the coastline in Amalfi in the following posts!)

My Baby Model

I can’t tell you how many fights my daughter and I have gotten into over my trying to take her picture….and when you’re fighting with a 3 year old, no one wins. When my cousin’s wife sent me a skirt she’d made and asked if I could use my daughter as a model and photograph it for use on her website, I was a little hesitant about saying yes for this very reason. I think I had the skirt for about two months waiting for the perfect time where the light, Anslie’s mood, and my schedule could all come together, even if I just ended up with a couple snap shots of the skirt to prove that I had at least tried to do what was asked of me. Finally, the stars and planets aligned and I actually had a willing subject! I’m a little biased but I do think the photos turned out great! And I just had to post them for all of internet-land to see, kind of like way back when, when parents would keep little plastic accordion leaflets filled with pictures of their kids to show off to strangers. I can’t believe that I finally have a couple of pictures of my gorgeous little girl where she is looking at the camera and gasp!!! SMILING! I’m a proud mama! And a lucky one at that!
And don’t forget to check out my cousin’s Etsy Shop! She make the cutest baby stuff around!

The Orchid

I like to receive flowers, but let’s be honest; they’re kind of a waste of money. They’re expensive and if you’re lucky, you might get a weeks worth of enjoyment from them. I can think of a million things that I would rather do with the money that’s wasted on flowers.
My husband is smart though. He knows how I feel about spending money on a gift that’s going to stop giving in a few days time, so for Mother’s Day he bought me a living plant instead! That’s my guy! I really like orchids and have been tempted to buy one in the past, but they’re awfully expensive. So this ended up being such a thoughtful present from my sweetheart!
Kevin made me take pictures of the plant because he was so impressed with his taste in flowers 😉 It took me a while to get around to it, but I’m really glad that I did! I’m thinking about printing one of the pictures and hanging it in our house.
Here’s where you come in: I need help making my choice! Take a look at the photos below and tell me which one is your favorite by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post. And if you would like to check out a color version of each image, head on over to my family blog and do the same! Thanks for all your help!


I just had to share one photo of my beautiful little girl. I can’t believe how much she has grown and how special she is. This is what my heart looks like, walking around outside of my body…