The Barbers

The Barbers were the first family to ever pay me to do a shoot (almost 10 years ago).  I am so thankful for their support through the years.  Someday I would love to do a timeline post of their images but today I just want to share this wonderful lifestyle shoot we did in their home.  I love capturing families doing the things they love, laughing and enjoying each other.  This family loves to play board games, read, build things, and climb trees.  Lifestyle shoots are quickly becoming a passion of mine.


Thompson Family

Last year (just a few months ago) I started doing photos at the lake a few blocks away.  I really love this spot and not just because it is convenient.  Its beautiful and I love that I have such good looking clients.  I am so blessed.

Tucker Babies

The Tucker's babies are no longer babies!!  Man, that first year bundle went by in a flash!  I loved seeing this family every 3 months and I am really going to miss it.  They do plan on doing B-day photos every spring and family photos every fall, so I have that to look forward to.  This shoot was a lot of fun.  I got completely covered in hitch hikers but I still managed to get so many adorable photos of these sweet kiddos!

An Afternoon in Ybor

Its hard to believe that I have never done any shoots in Ybor before.  It has so much character!  A few of my photographer friends and I got together for lunch and some photo play downtown.  My friend Theresa brought her gorgeous daughters and Lee Anne her adorable son, they made for fantastic models.  The flare you see in some of these photos are from a prism that Lee Anne Brought with her.  I fell in love with using them and promptly purchased some from amazon.  I would highly encourage you to buy one for yourself, they are really fun to use with any camera, including the one on your phone!

Little Mr. Walter

I had such a wonderful time meeting this sweet family at Brookside Gardens.  We shot in the morning since that is the happiest time of day for little Walter (and most babies his age!)  They are about to go on a huge adventure working in Mexico and wanted to get some family portraits done before they leave!  I am so glad that they chose me to capture these memories for them.  The laughter they shared was beautiful, and I love these photos so much!

Grace Turns One!

This was my first time meeting this beautiful family and I had such a wonderful time photographing their adorable little girl Grace.  She was very much on the go since she started walking 2 months prior to her first birthday but I still managed to capture her charming spirit.  I hope to be seeing more of them as she grows!  

Where do you store YOUR photos?

As I talk to people about photography and the way they capture the everyday moments, along with special events, etc, I have discovered that people have their pictures stored in all kinds of places.  If you're like me and have inherited boxes of family photos, you have boxes and boxes stored in a closet in your house.  Add to that the many photos that reside on cd's, SD cards, flash drives, external hard drives, computers and cell phones.  It's crazy!

Last week I attended a conference in Atlanta, Ga put on by a company called Forever.  Forever came on the scene in 2012.  Based in Pittsburgh and created by Entrepreneur Glen Meakum, Forever offers a solution to "what to do with all my photos".  Forever offers a safe (triple backed up), secure (encrypted) place where you can store, print, share your photos.  The account that you sign up for is YOURS.  It belongs to you.  You can leave it to your kids in your will.  A free trial is available and has no time limit on it.  You get 3gb of storage for free.  Create your account and play with it.  The site is very user friendly and there are many You Tube videos on their YouTube channel if you need help.  

Forever also offers a place where you can create projects like scrapbooks, mugs, cards and other gift items using your photos.  

I was so impressed by what Forever is offering that I became an Ambassador for them.  This means that if you buy an account and put my name in as your Ambassador, I will earn 15% of the sale.  

I will be spreading the word about Forever to everyone I know!  If you're interested in finding out more please let me know.  Visit my FB page:  Send me a PM. 


McKinlee is 6 Months old!

Little miss McKinlee is like most babies where she is in a much better mood in the mornings.  We first tried to do an evening shoot which went great until Mom and Dad tried to put her down.  I got a few darling crying photos and then just did some of her being held.  Given that Mom and Dad wanted some happier photos of just her on her own we decided to spend some time one morning the next week shooting in the morning in her own room :D  I am so pleased with all the adorable photos I got at both locations.  She may look a lot like her older brother but she definitely has a personality all her own.  Sassy lil thing she is!

Why do professional photographers charge so much?

Myth:  Professional photographers make a LOT of money.  $300 for a one hour shoot?  I'll bet you're thinking you should become a photographer too!  

Truth:  Professional photographers make a lot less than you think they do.  Yes, they may charge you $300 or more for a one hour shoot but let's look at what that $300+  covers.

The equipment.   A good digital camera (not even top of the line) runs about $800 without lenses.  The lenses cost anywhere from $50 to $1000 and up.  The camera and lenses, if used frequently will need to be cleaned a couple times a year.  Cameras usually need to be replaced every 3 years or so for professionals.

The editing of the photos.  Your $300 not only covers the time creating the shots, it also goes into the time it takes to edit the photos.  Hundreds of photos are taken during that one hour.  Getting those hundreds down to 30 - 50 takes time.  Once the 30 - 50 are chosen, your photographer then edits each one, checking color, sharpness, backgrounds, blemishes.  The photos then need to be uploaded to the website and to Facebook.  

The website.  There is a fee to keep a website.  

Training.  Your photographer is always trying to update her skills in photography and business which also costs money.

Travel.  Clients in other states may pay additional fees to cover the cost of the airfare or rental cars.  

And last but certainly not least, taxes.  Tax on business income is 25-30%.  

Your $300 covers a multitude of expenses.  What's left over pays the bills!  I think we can all agree that a professional photographer should make enough to pay the bills!


Why have professional portraits done?

When my girls were growing up, I took a lot of pictures.  Most parents do.  I also took them to portrait studios when I could afford to.  Every school year I bought their school pictures.  What I didn't do is have a professional photographer take portraits of them.  I regret that a lot now that I have seen first hand how nice they are when done right.  

Looking at studio and school photography now, I think that it is very impersonal.  Yes, the kids are all decked out in their best clothes, hair done just so, and have cheesy smiles plastered on their faces.  The difference between studio photography and a lifestyle photographer is like night and day. 

Lifestyle photographers, like Emily, capture your children's moods, personalities, character.  They do this by getting to know the kids thru conversation and play.   One the greatest joys for Emily is to watch and capture those personalities and moods.  Kids don't always want their pictures taken and that's ok.  Sometimes the best shots are the ones that don't include smiles.  A sullen child is just as beautiful as the one that wears an ear to ear smile.  Even if your child is not really into the shoot, Emily will get some great shots and you will see how beautiful he/she is even without that smile.  The way Emily can capture his/her moods is amazing.   She will follow a toddler around the playground while you play with him/her.  She will sometimes have bubbles to have you blow while she shoots.  You can bring a favorite toy or blanket for him/her.  Siblings playing together will create some gorgeous, frame worthy, portraits. 

Should you have professional portraits done of your children/family?  That's entirely your decision.  I hope you do at least once so that you can really see the difference between your snapshots, studio photography and school pictures.  I think that once you see the difference you will make it a regular occurrence like so many of Emily's clients have done. 

Amanda and Damien

Beautiful children with awesome talents (that they are working very hard at!).  Amanda hasn't been playing the violin for very long but she is picks it up really fast, I love watching the clips of her on facebook playing her violin along with some of the pop songs you hear on the radio.  I have never had the pleasure of seeing Damien in action but he is a black belt so I know he can kick some serious butt.  LOL.  I could gush all day about them but I will just leave you with some pretty photos instead :D

Madison Turns One!

I have never had a cake smash go as well as this one did!  She really dug into the cupcake and made a beautiful mess :D  I bought the highchair months ago in anticipation of a few one year shoots coming up and I couldn't be more pleased with it.  I can only hope that some of the other coming up love icing as much as Maddie.  Isnt she such a doll?  Madison's mom made the banners!  I love my crafty mom clients!

Scarlett @ 9 Months

I met up with Scarlet and her adoring parents on the Saturday before Fathers Day to do these sweet photos of her at 9 months.  First year photos are so much fun because their milestones happen so fast.  From sitting up to standing up in just a few short months!  She was very happy and expressive and I am so pleased with how these turned out!  

Digital Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking has been around for a long long time.  It became "a thing" about 15 years ago.  Numerous companies sprung up around the world, Creative Memories being one of them.  I was a CM consultant back in the early 90's, though I really didn't have the time or energy to focus on it.  That was when I was doing traditional scrapbooking.  I put together several albums of family photos and I spent a LOT on supplies!  I didn't stay a consultant for long as it just wasn't in the cards at the time.   I did continue to scrapbook however!  My neighbor at the time introduced me to a group of women who would go to the beach twice a year for a full weekend to scrapbook together.  Those trips were some of the best times I've had!  It was during one of those trips that I signed up as a consultant again.  This time, I was just a "personal use consultant" which means I just did it for the discounted supplies.  Sometime around 2007 CM developed digital scrapbooking software.  I didn't think I would ever be interested in it but I watched someone else put a page together and I decided to buy the program to see if I'd like it.  Boy, did I get hooked!  There was so much more portability with digital!   The nice thing, besides portability, is that you can use your papers, embelishments, etc  over and over again.  You can also change their colors!  I guess it was around 2010 that I began getting rid of most of my traditional tools and supplies.  It sure freed up a lot of space in my craft room!   As of today, I am 100% digital.   I love it and don't see myself ever going back to traditional.  We moved to FL in Dec '14 and I had to find a new group to get together with.  So far, I have only found traditional scrapbookers.  It doesn't bother me though.  They do their thing and I do mine.  The common goal is to get those photos into albums and to get the story on the page for family and friends to see.  

If you are interested in learning more about digital scrapbooking let me know.  I would love to show you how it's done!

Molly's 6 Months old!

This adorable little girl is the daughter of my long time friend, Ellie.  Again, it's blowing my mind that I get to photograph the families of my elementary school friends :D    We were blessed with a lovely overcast sky and a super easy going baby even though she wasn't feeling her best.


I am feeling overwhelmingly blessed today.  Not because my life is perfect, it's far from it.  I struggle daily just like everyone else does.  I feel blessed because so many of my clients have become friends and so many of my friends have become clients.  It gives me such deep satisfaction to get to know you while I do my shoot.  To laugh over the joys and challenges of parenting at each age and stage.  To hear what it's like to be a new parent.  I love love love when your kids want to give me a hug when we part.  I adore watching them grow.  And man oh man, when they start to talk!  So fun.  I know I can't be close friends with everyone, but after hours of looking at all your smiling faces, I really want to to be.  Thank you all for being a blessing in my life.  

Janet and Family

I met janet through another client of mine several years ago, since meeting her I have had the pleasure of doing senior shoots for both of her beautiful children.  This was a very special extended family shoot as both her and her husbands parents were there and we were able to get some priceless photos of everyone together.  I especially love the couples shots of the grandparents, so sweet!

The Bindara Family

I met this beautiful family at church when they first moved to Florida.  They are wonderful, loving people and I am so glad I was able to photograph them before they moved back to Michigan.  This session was an anonymous gift to them and they were so very thankful!  :D