Best Friends are the Best of Friends

Belle and Abby have been friends for years. Soon they'll be graduating high school and most likely, going to different universities. I'm confident that they'll remain close and continue their friendship for years to come.

Today I offered to do a "best friend" shoot for the girls--mostly as a ploy to get Abby out of the house while her mom prepared for her surprise 18th birthday party. Although the girls were freezing and cuddled in a blanket in between shots, we had a blast.

Natalie, Class of 2015!

Natalie and my daughter played on the same volleyball team for a few years. I've had the privilege of photographing her both on the court and off--I love the opportunity to do so because she's nearly flawless. When her mom contacted me to capture her senior session, I was thrilled. 

It was a lovely sunny fall day in October and everything just clicked. Natalie included her friend Brooke in a few of the shots, and of course she's beautiful as well. So much fun!

Megan, Class of 2015!

Megan has been one my daughter's closest friends for several years now. They started out as middle hitters on an elite travel volleyball team. Much has changed--Megan stayed a middle whereas Belle changed positions, but even more recently, though Belle can no longer play due to chronic knee pain, she and Megan have remained good friends. She's a wonderful girl--all 6-feet of her, with an infectious laugh and a winning spirit. Enjoy the rest of your senior year, Megan--the rest of your life is just about to start!

Lauren, Class of 2015!

It's hard to not fall in love with Lauren the moment you meet her. She's so full of enthusiasm and life! I've known her for several years now, and have photographed her on a number of occasions. She just keeps getting more beautiful!

Taylor, Class of 2015!

Taylor is such a lovely girl and is a natural in front of the camera. The rain has been relentless for days--stopping just long enough for us to have a beautiful clear evening for a photography session. The first few minutes the wind was so strong that it was nearly unbearable. As the weather settled down, we got down to the business of capturing Taylor's kind spirit. I'm very pleased with her images.

Congratulations on your senior year, Taylor. Your whole life is ahead of you!

Abby, Class of 2015!

Abby and my daughter have been BFF's since second grade. It was such a delight to finally get to photograph this girl. Abby is sincere, delightful, and beautiful both inside and out--it was torturous to choose a selection of images for my blog because every single photo I took of her was perfect.

Of course, no photo shoot can be without at least one photobomb. Abby's? An adorable tabby cat who lives in a store. This sweet kitty kept trying to get Abby's attention and made her way into several photos. One of the highlights of the evening was when I asked Abby's mom to join her in a couple of the photos. Those moments are precious--and should be captured!

Congratulations Abby on arriving at your big senior year--you're life is just beginning!

Mission Trip in Shropshire, England

I recently went with 20 members of my church to host and manage a missionary's conference in England (T.E.A.M. All Europe Conference). I've been on some rewarding mission trips before in El Salvador and inner city Los Angeles to help the lost and needy, but it was certainly a first for me to minister to those who minister to others.

These missionaries to Europe are on the front lines--leaving their homes in the U.S. to serve overseas. My roll on this trip? The photographer. I photographed the missionaries and their families so that they could use these photos to send home to their U.S. relatives or use for fundraising letters. We weren't sure how much my services would be used--of even if there would be interest. Ha! I was swamped. I was outside by 7:15 every morning, ready to photograph couples and families before breakfast, after breakfast, and then all late afternoon and evening. When I wasn't shooting, I was editing (thank you, Wacom tablet--I do love you).

As usual, my husband was my trusty assistant (he played in the worship band when he wasn't helping me), and I was fortunate that my daughter could go as well. She not only assisted with the 3-5 year old little ones, but she also attended the youth activities with the missionary kids and made some lifelong friends. The rest of the team were invaluable whether they played in the worship band, tireless kept and taught the missionary kids, or humbly served as the doctor. What a blessing to be a blessing.

 Our Christ Covenant mission team serving at the TEAM AEC 2014

Our Christ Covenant mission team serving at the TEAM AEC 2014

 Pastor Jim Barnes and his wife, Jane

Pastor Jim Barnes and his wife, Jane

 I don't know what it was about those missionaries, but they could SING! Worship led by Gabe and his trusty team

I don't know what it was about those missionaries, but they could SING! Worship led by Gabe and his trusty team

 My  sweet daughter and a few of her kiddos from the 3-5 year old class

My  sweet daughter and a few of her kiddos from the 3-5 year old class

 Our team included a retired doctor so that the missionaries could get some medical counsel. That, and the fact that Dr. Bob was hilarious made a lovely addition to the group.

Our team included a retired doctor so that the missionaries could get some medical counsel. That, and the fact that Dr. Bob was hilarious made a lovely addition to the group.

 The camp was very well run and the food wasn't that bad. Except for those darn British sausages. Ugh. Who can eat those things? I firmly believe that the reason we conquered the British during the Revolutionary War was their food. Seriously.

The camp was very well run and the food wasn't that bad. Except for those darn British sausages. Ugh. Who can eat those things? I firmly believe that the reason we conquered the British during the Revolutionary War was their food. Seriously.

 The teenage missionary kids were a great group. It's hard to be a missionary kid--they're not Americans any more, but they're not really European either. Difficult to be somewhere in between...

The teenage missionary kids were a great group. It's hard to be a missionary kid--they're not Americans any more, but they're not really European either. Difficult to be somewhere in between...

And finally a few of my favorite shots of the missionary families...

And finally, a professionally done video that I had nothing to do with. T.E.A.M. employs their own talented videographer, Joel Hager. This work is all his...

England Missions Trip 2014


Beth Anne

You know the expression, "The camera loves her?" I didn't believe that was true until I met Beth Anne.

Unbeknownst to her, I snapped her in a casual shot while I was photographing a church youth group trip to Washington DC. My intent was just to capture as many of the group as possible with a few candids. As I scanned through my pictures, I did a double-take--oh my goodness--who is that beautiful girl?! I must photograph her!

When Beth Anne is in front of the camera, there is the most amazing transformation. In "real life" she is quiet and somewhat reserved--a brilliant girl studying linguistics at the University of Tennessee. But when she's photographed she is simply stunning and both her beauty and intelligence just radiates. I hope this is the first of many of our sessions together!