joie de vivre
evansville wedding photography of flower girl in white dress with horse



Category Archives: Misc

Maria Michelle: Make Up Artist Extraordinaire

One of the amazing vendors I have had the pleasure of working with several times this year is Maria Coleman. She is the ish when it comes to makeup artistry! Her work never disappoints and my clients ALWAYS look extra beautiful with a little help from Maria! I was really excited to be able to contribute a few shots to Maria’s portfolio this summer! If you are looking for a fantastic Makeup Artist, check Maria out at or on Facebook at


New DVD’s and Cases + Custom Designed Announcements and Rep Cards

I’m excited to share with everyone some new items I am offering! Full hour long portrait sessions and weddings will now include custom designed DVD’s and image wrapped cases which feature highlights from your collection and are absolutely stunning! This lucky senior was the first to receive one and I’m not lying when I tell you his grandma cried when she saw it!!! Also, I am now offering custom Announcement and/or Rep Card design with High School Senior Portraits and Newborn Sessions! Take a looksey below at some of my handy work!

Wedding Album

I just got this gorgeous album in the mail today for Pat and Heather!!!! 

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!

Holiday Mini Sessions

Christmas is right around the corner and I am already feeling the crunch!!! I looked at my crazy calendar and realized that I only have 3 weekends between now and then without something scheduled. I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to throw out a great Holiday Mini Session offer to fill those weekends up — and weekdays too!
So, here’s the deal:
You, me, and whomever you would like in your photos with you
45 minutes of my undivided attention and camera-lovin’ at any location of your choice (within 30 miles of Menifee, CA — destinations at greater distances for a small travel fee)
5 professionally retouched images on a high resolution CD with a copyright release (printable up to an 8×10)
a gorgeous 11×14 mounted print of your favorite photo from your shoot (or you can exchange the print for an additional 5 images on your disk)
All this for $150.00
What do you think? I am only booking two slots per day, so that equals 12 available slots at a first-come-first-serve basis for weekends.
Here are the weekend dates:

Friday, November 26th
Saturday November 27th
Friday December 3rd
Saturday December 4th
Friday, December 10th
Saturday December 11th

Weekday bookings are available.

Please email me asap if you would like to take advantage of this great deal!
I look forward to photographing you very soon!

It’s D-Day!

Meaning “drawing day!” and I’m so pleased to announce who won the drawing for a free photo session including 10 of your favorite images from the shoot on a CD! And the winner is…….(drum roll, please)……….
Tiffany Anglesey!
Congratulations! I’m so excited to photograph you and/or your family! Email me so we can go over the details!
And that’s not all! I was feeling extra generous this morning (maybe because I went to bed early last night, was only woken up once by my baby to nurse, and both kids slept in this morning. I think that would put anyone in a great mood!!!) so, after Anslie drew the winner from my husband’s pirate hat (his halloween cosutme…he doesn’t run around dressed like a pirate on a daily basis) I had her draw two more names.
Winner number two will receive 25% off a portrait session and winner number 3 will receive 15% off a portrait session.
The person who gets a 25% discount is:
Amber Jackson
and the person who gets a 15% discount is:
Christina Ranes
Yay! Congrats! Shoot me an email to claim your prize!
I would also like to give everyone else who entered the drawing a free 11×14 print if you decide to book a portrait session with me before December 31, 2010! I so appreciate all of your support and enthusiasm! You all are the best!
And just because blog posts with pictures are better, here’s a couple photos of things I photograph when I’m not photographing people. Happy Thursday!

Guest Sign-in Albums

I think every bride and groom should have one of these at their wedding. Instead of having a Guest Sign-in book that is full of nothing but signatures (because, really, who looks at that ever again?!?!?) wouldn’t you rather have a beautiful album that your guests can not only sign and leave notes of love and congratulations, but that you can also show off all of your engagement photos? I guarantee that is one Guest Sign-in book you will look at again and again! And that is why I am offering it as an option with all of my wedding packages!

Here’s a little peek at Erica and Ryan’s Guest Sign-in Album:

Newsworthy News!

Times are changing and so is my website! I’m getting ready to launch my new and improved website, so keep your eyes open for it!
In honor of this exciting news, I am going to give away a free portrait session! If you win, you can use your session for:
Family Portraits
Engagement Photos
Senior Pictures
Baby Pictures
Bridal Session
Or anything else you want (excluding weddings:)

Included with your photo sesssion, you will also receive a high resolution disk with 10 of your favorite images (printable up to a 8×10) with a copyright release! Cha-Ching!!!

To enter the drawing, leave a comment on this post. You can enter 1 additional time for becoming a fan of Shillawna Ruffner Photography on Facebook and 1 additional time for emailing this announcement to everyone in your contact list (that’s three entries!). Make sure to leave me a comment when you become a fan (or if you already are a fan) and another comment when you have spammed all your friends 🙂 Winners of the free photo session will be announced on Thursday, October 21st! Locations for your shoot must be within 30 miles of Menifee, CA. Good luck and happy commenting!!!
-More to come on the Christmas Special so stay tuned!

Digi Moms Workshops by Garrett Delph

I had the pleasure of attending/helping out at a workshop in Solana Beach presented by a photographer named Garrett Delph. He had the wonderful idea of creating a class designed to help parents better understand how to use their cameras and how to take better pictures of their kids. What a wonderful concept! I know so many people who wanted to take great pictures of their kids to preserves memories and bought fancy cameras to do it with, thinking that was the key. They have since realized that it doesn’t really matter what kind of camera you have if you don’t know how to put it to proper use.

This workshop was such a fun experience! It was a small gathering of women who were all eager to master their tools. It was a joy to see the light bulbs turn on in their heads as Garrett taught them about shutter speed, aperture, ISO, depth of field, composition, and lighting. Although I understand these concepts, it was a nice refresher course for me and I was also able to answer some questions for the other ladies if Garrett was busy helping someone else when they needed him.

I was so grateful that Garrett let me be part of this workshop and I look forward to becoming more involved in the future! If you are interested in signing up for a Digi Moms Workshop, click here to check out the Digi Mom’s Facebook page! Hope to see you at the next meeting!

Garrett’s Studio in Solana Beach
Our fearless leader
The “tools”

Part two of the workshop involved a live photo shoot with an adorable model named Sophie.
And then everyone practiced shooting each other.
We also got to try shooting with different lenses. The image on the left was taken with a 50mm lens at f/1.2 and a lens extension, the image on the right with a 16-35mm wide angle lens.

I encourage anyone and everyone who would like to learn how to use their dSLRs better to sign up for this workshop! It’s a real treat and I don’t think one single person regretted being there one bit!

Some unusual subjects…

One of the things I love to do in my spare time is to read blogs written by friends and family, and also blogs written by successful and well known (some not so well known) photographers. Not only does this last group of people inspire me with their bodies of work, they also enrich me with the tips and advice they freely offer, they give me wonderful ideas to try on my own shoots, and they allow me to live vicariously through them during times like these.

I’ve been pretty bummed (and bored) lately because things have been really slow for me and my photography business. And for me, taking pictures is like breathing…so when I am not photographing things, it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and crushing the life out of me. Not fun.

I was reading one of my favorite photographer’s blogs the other day and came across this post. I thought the idea this photographer had to just appreciate all of the beautiful things around, no matter how insignificant they may seem, to make herself happier was a great idea. I have come to realize – and forget over and over again – that my happiness mainly lies in my hands. If I choose to be happy and proactive, then I will be. If I choose to pity myself and wallow in misery, then there is no hope for me.

So, I decided to try my own “happiness project” today. I ventured no further than twenty feet away from my front door to capture these pictures, simply for the joy of shooting, making art, and appreciating the beauty all around me. I hope these pictures inspire someone out there. Someone who is having a hard time and just needs a little reminder that they are in control of their own destiny.

Life is beautiful. You just have to see it.


Just Because

Because I love San Diego and the fact that these bloom here in the middle of January…