Chloe +Patrick, Engagement Session, Long Beach, MS

When Chloe reached out wanting to book a session, my brain was truly scrambling. I have seen the type of work she puts out and the talented photographers she has worked with and everything about her just exudes creativity. This wasn’t a shoot I could just go through the motions with. And I immediately started brainstorming. A few weeks passed before I decided to try and vibe with her and I should have done it sooner because it was so comforting! Once we spoke about what inspires us and what she was wanting, we were on the same page. I don’t know why I psych myself out. I guess there WAS a reason she chose me, after all. Will I ever feel worthy of the gifts of praise I receive? Probably not. Do i love every minute of trying to feel that way, working hard to keep my ideas fresh, crying over post processing, trashing work to just build it back up again and just the over all process of evolving and pushing myself to try something new? Also no.

But, sometimes….sometimes I really get lucky and the day is beautiful, the couple walks up in simple, laid back clothing, the setting is a combination of eerie and magical and I get to watch lovers dance and embrace in an overgrowth of greenery I have watched transform over the years.

These two seem like old friends. Their love is playful and sweet, they are tender and funny and patient and it all shows in Bronte (the true star of the beginning of this session) we could have ended it there, but we didn’t. We still had a lot to capture! Like….. Patricks strength and ability to build a fire, with no kindling, on a windy beach, while we were losing light, with a bic lighter (which I am STILL impressed by).

Alas, I will let the photos speak for themselves.


Piper and some time tested toddler photography advice.

Planning for photos of a toddler can only go so far.  You can plan their outfits, make arrangements for a location, set up a backdrop of sorts, schedule around their nap, snack, seemingly “best" time of day and then what?  All you are left with is the hope that their sock seams won’t bother them, or their skirt won’t be “too tight” or that they’ll actually wear their shoes.  If you have a two year old, or have had a two year old, you know that it is a roll of the dice as to if they stay on schedule or if they melt down because you don’t want the banana they’re offering you.  A backdrop or set?  ha! I literally set them up and have zero expectation to actually use it, just more hope that for a brief moment we could POSSIBLY heard he/she in the basic direction of it.  Toddlers are fast, determined and on their own mission that has ZERO regard for the expectations of their parents on picture day. And guess what?  That is ok.  In fact, it’s better than ok. Why try to put them into a boring “look at Miss Heather and say cheese” box when you can just let them be two and let ME do my job and capture all of their wild, wonderful ways!

Parents- don’t be obsessed with eye contact.  This is an age where energy and personality are what you want to capture.  I will follow the movement and maybe I will get a shot, but it won’t be when you expect it, and rarely does demanding it help.  I promise you that your frustration will subside with lowered expectations. And happy/funloving/in-the-moment mom and dad = the true-to-life, full of personality shots of your child.  You love these shots.  You cherish these shots.  You hire me for THESE shots. And we are a team in making them happen.

Paula and Sidney have been clients for a couple of years now.  We took it back to where we shot their maternity photos for some spur-of-the-moment fun with their (now two year old) daughter, Piper and the results were pure magic!  I know that Sidney was worn out from playing a “silly daddy” game of chase so that her energy was directed back and forth in front of the camera and Paula was so great about directing her attention to little details so that I could catch a few of her brief moments of stillness.  We shot with an overcast sunset-ish sky and it gave the area beneath the tree and all around this super soft glow.   A few of my favorites are featured in this blog and below.  As always, any questions about my settings/strategies behind the session are welcome, we are in this together.