Sunday, July 25, 2010

Boudoir Photography...Empowering Women

I have to admit it...I was terrified at my first boudoir session. I thought to myself, "Now this could be a total crash and burn. What the heck am I doing trying this?!" As the session got rolling and I chatted with a fabulously gorgeous sweet client, I found both of us relaxing and laughing and oohing and ahhing over pearls, heels and lace. We put on some rockin' music and got started. And I soon found myself saying, "This is a blast! I love it!!" My fingers couldn't take the pictures fast enough to keep up with the ideas and creativity sparking in my head and heart. I was absolutely moved. Inside and out. But even better was the feeling that both she and I walked away with.

The female form is beautiful. Absolutely stunning. God's most incredible creation. The art, curve, line and flow of the female body is overwhelmingly mesmerizing and I was blown away to find that I was blessed to be a part in empowering another woman towards the discovery of her own beauty. As women, we are so hard on ourselves, and the Hollywood status quo has us all feeling a bit defeated. Tragic!!!! And false. Utterly false. We are women! Hear us roar!

Boudoir photography has changed. Big time. Initial thoughts often bring to mind scandalous, cheesy hard core images with bad hair and overdone makeup. But no more. Boudoir photography is making a comeback. It is now a classy, elegant affair, a playful journey in self-awareness and personal strength and a celebration of the human form, the femme fatale, and the true deep love that is meant to be shared with that one special person meant for you.

I am in love with boudoir photography. To see a woman look at herself for the first time and feel beautiful, confident, perfect. To capture the depth of creation with the bare essentials of the soul and the vulnerable power of the body. I'm amazed. And overwhelmed. And I'll admit it, I feel beautiful and empowered as I look through the lens. I am so incredibly excited to see where this will take me, and hopeful that I will have more opportunities to empower other women as to their own unique beauty and fortitude along the way.

Here are a few sneak peeks from a recent session. Inquire for more information and ideas for groom's gifts and other fun projects! Blogs will be limited on this particular topic for the client's privacy, but opportunities to meet up and review portfolios in person are available to those interested!

PS. And yes, I may have a slight obsession with killer shoes. They knock me out and I can't get enough of them!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mission vs. Purpose - How You Do What You Do

Let me start off by saying, always be ready to listen and learn something new. You never know where you will hear wisdom and find inspiration in your everyday life, but one thing is certain. If you don't listen and pay attention, you'll miss it.

While attending the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) Joint Industry Unsaleables Conference 2010 in Las Vegas on behalf of Operation Blessing (How's that for a unique place to learn something heartfelt!), I was challenged by author Bob Livingston to consider the difference between mission and purpose and what they meant to me, my art and those whom I serve. Mr. Livingston was so kind as to give us each a copy of his book, and I can't wait to read it!

Mission was defined as WHAT YOU DO. Purpose was defined as HOW YOU DO IT. Excellence and unique success in your market were defined by HOW YOU DO WHAT YOU DO.

As photographers in a heavily saturated market of professionals and an even more heavily saturated market of high tech equipment that some claim "do the work for us," I've been asking myself a lot lately...What is different about me? Why would people come to me to be their photographer? How do I distinguish myself from the crowd? And most importantly, how can I use my skills to bless others? What is the deeper meaning here?

I spent some time contemplating myself, my business, my art, my mission and my purpose. I believe my mission is best described by my commitment to consistently exceeding my clients expectations. By using all of the tools available to me: personalized service, technical prowess, attention to detail, unique proactively pushing my skills and knowledge to the next level, by seeking to learn and understand my clients on a deeper, personal level, by critically considering where I can improve and how I can challenge myself to new heights...All of these things push me towards my mission: to consistently exceed your expectations as my client. In all areas.

My purpose brings in the tender side. How do I do this? Why do I do this? By attentively listening and actively encouraging my clients to share their dreams and hearts, it is my purpose to enrich souls with the deep knowledge and loving assurance of their unique, infinite beauty as God's perfect creations. To know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you are beautiful. You are loved. And your life is memorable in a most special way.

The most striking thing that has come to my heart through this careful consideration is that both my mission and my purpose don't necessarily specifically detail my photography. They actually encompass my being and every aspect of my life. And that is where I think I am different and where I have found my reason for having this passion in me and pathway to blessing others. Yes, ultimately my photography and the images that result from our time together should be vivid, compelling and perfect reflections of your sacred moments, and I am confident that they will be. But most importantly, if you walk away from our time together with a heightened confidence of your unique beauty and the knowledge that someone cares for you deeply and you are valued richly...then I have achieved my goal. That to me is what makes me unique in how I do what I do.

I have scribbled one tiny note from the speaker that I keep returning to for motivation. Those who succeed are driven with the UNRELENTING PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE. Not personal excellence and elevated status, money, fame, the like. But in service to those around them. In humility and simplicity. Because our clients deserve excellence. You deserve my very best. And then some.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Little Things

This is my favorite picture from Heather & Tiff's July 3rd wedding at the beautiful Talbot Hall in Norfolk, VA. Really, it's nothing crazy. No deep artistic composition. No impressive photo editing on my part. No stunning light. It's a candid snapshot. But I love it.


This picture screams Heather & Tiff to me. Love, love, love those two. They know how to laugh. And laugh hard. Heather looks stunning in this picture. Because she is truly at ease, doing what she does best. Laugh with her Tiff. Happy day.

That's why I like it. Love it. It's the little things sometimes. It needs to be the little things most times, but we all know we get lost in life. Lost in crisis. Lost in time flying by. Lost in being lost. And we miss these key moments. Of simplicity. A good laugh on the most special day of your life. 30 seconds that were absolutely crystalline. Perfect. Unrestrained. Unreserved. Unpracticed. The real you. And you're beautiful.

Congratulations Heather & Tiff! Thank you for reminding me to laugh. A lot.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Special Feature: Emily

When I am not moonlighting as a struggling artist, I am a mom. My daughter, Emily, is my creative inspiration for so many things, encompassing much more than my photography alone. Simply put, she makes me want to be a good person. A better person. She has personality, attitude, grace and most importantly heart. She has an empathy and compassion unmatched by anyone else I have ever met. I could go on for days about how she will rock this world out as she grows up, but I'd be highjacking her post. I promised Emily her own little feature piece on the blog so she can speak to the world.'s Emily!

"Hi. My name is Emily and I'm sending this message to you because I want to say all of the things I like about photographers. First, they make sure that you get the pictures you want and they take all their time just for you. The next thing I like about pictures is the photographers make sure the pictures look very fun and serious and playful and colorful. And they spend all their time on the computers. And that is what I like about photographers and pictures. So have fun with all the pictures you take and on the computer.

I love to take pictures of people, and my favorite sports are swimming, soccer and volleyball. I love to eat ice cream. My favorite type of ice cream is root beer floats. I could have root beer floats every day if I could. My favorite color is pink. And green. And blue. And yellow. And orange. I love pets. I especially love my cat and my dog and I would love to have a farm and have horses, because I also love to go horseback riding.

I love to save up my money for the homeless people that live out on the streets and my mom and I are willing to look up on the internet and work at the soup kitchen. And I also want to work where they get lots of clean water for the rest of their lives because I care about people that are in need. I also did Locks of Love and in this picture you can see that I have long hair, but I actually have short hair because I cut 12 inches off. Just to let you know.

I love to be active and play with my friends. And I also love to have sleepovers with my best friend, Chelsea, and she also has a dog who is a Chihuahua. And I love to make pictures and I love to talk to myself. And I also love to sing in the shower. I love God and Jesus and I love to go to church. That is why I am a Christian. I love to see the sunset and the pink sky. That is so pretty with the blue.


From Katy...please know, I dictated word for word. No help!
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