Thursday, December 12, 2013

{Inspiring Woman} Amber Kerr

Amber is a nurse, lover of the outdoors, artist, prayer warrior, and a loving, single-mom of two beautiful children.  I have known her for over 3 years and Amber has become a good friend of mine.  Our journey has seen us through strong-faith, faith-testers, rash-decisions, mistakes, and grace.  One of the most amazing attributes of Amber is her attitude of gratitude.  Even during times of hurt, she has gratitude for the experience because she believes without those experiences, she could not be sculpted into the person God wants her to be.

Thankful for your friendship, Amber!


 

Friday, September 6, 2013

{Wedding} Second Shooting for Hillside Studios

I met Kristi Hill at Jasmine Star's theFIX event in Denver last March. I felt so awkward; everyone was so hip and trendy...and there I was, sporting a "rushed" look in my work clothes. I was so intimidated by the more gregarious personalities at the event that I found a seat in one of the back rows. There, I met Kristi. A quieter spirit, but confident, with gorgeous blue eyes.  She was open about her photography business, sharing her marketing materials, how she got started, her pricing, and etc.  Earlier that month, I made my photography business more "official" and public by purchasing (well, renting really) a domain name and publishing a Groupon-type deal with the local newspaper.  My experience up to that point was photographing friends, family, and their referrals. I was now reaching out to public...and I was pretty frightened. I was eager to glean off Kristi's experience and business as I officially started mine.

Kristi contacted me earlier this year offering me a second-shooting opportunity for a wedding at The Pinery here in Colorado Springs.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with a successful wedding photographer....and a BIG BONUS, Kristi is letting me use the images I've photographed to be publicly added to my portfolio.  Customarily, the images of the second shooter is the exclusive property of the hired/contracted photographer...and is at the discretion of the contracted photographer.  The experience to shoot with an experienced wedding photography is amazing in itself, but to be able to use the images to expand my portfolio was a cherry on top!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the wedding.  The first image is of Kristi as she was dialing in her settings before the ceremony.  Wedding images are watermarked to prevent pirating, however these images were shot for and are property of Hillside Studios.


During prep, the groom, Andrew writes a love note to Chelsea.

My favorite part: "First Look" without the groom looking.  

This was one of the most poignant moments I have ever witnessed. I felt the anticipation building for life to begin as "Mr. and Mrs".



Proud sister in the background



Bride+Groom Session

Thank you, Kristi, for the amazing opportunity!

To see Kristi's work, please visit www.Hillside-Studios.com

Saturday, July 20, 2013

{Maternity} Aaron + Steph

I love this couple.  Their maturity and relationship wisdom awes me.  I don't know how they know what they know or how they love the way they love, but it's inspiring.  I photographed Steph and Aaron when they were pregnant with their first child, Moses.  I'm honored to photograph their second pregnancy.





Thursday, March 14, 2013

{Love Note} Beauty Project

As many of you know, my New Year's Resolution was to experience more beauty in my life...whether it's enjoying music, dancing, hiking, being still, etc. In one of my creativity exercises, I had to list 5 of my favorite childhood foods and eat at least one of them that week.  All 5 items on my list were foods I enjoyed when I lived in Frankfurt, Germany when my dad was stationed there.  My fondest childhood memories are from that period in my life. On my list were:

1. Gummi bears (pronounced goomy, not gummy)
2. Gelato
3. Gyros 
4. Brotchen with butter and salami
5. Smoked roast chicken

It was so hard to pick an item because my grown up sensibility kicked in. I currently try to avoid a lot of the ingredients that most of these foods have. I try not to eat too much dairy, or gluten, and I rarely eat pork...and smoked chicken? German delicatessen style, where would I find that here?  I was going to not do the exercise and just say that I did. Then my "sensibility" went right out of my head and into my heart. I chose gelato.  

I underestimated the power of this exercise. The day I went to Glacier Ice Cream in the University Shops shopping plaza, I treated it like it was a chore. I decided to have ice cream for lunch..yes, you read that right, but on the drive there my "grown up sensibility" was telling me that this exercise was silly. Let me tell you, there is a reason why Julia Cameron, author of the Artist's Way chose this exercise.  After sampling a few flavors, I made my selection.  When I approached the register to pay, I was hit with childlike excitement....I believe I may have squealed in anticipation. I told the gal that I was having, "ice cream for lunch." The experience was nothing short of PURE JOY.  Even the patron behind me was excited for me and was inspired to eat ice cream for lunch some time.  :)

I enjoyed every morsel of that gelato.  It took me back to living in Germany when life felt slower, when I rode my bike almost every weekend with my best friend, Khalilah. It reminded me of the KrisKringel market in December in downtown Frankfurt where the mixed smell of cinnamon roasted almonds and smoked sausage from the deli filled the air; a smell that I can conjure up quite easily when I'm in this stage of nostalgia.

I smiled the entire rest of that day.  Sorry, no picture, I just took in the moment.  Since then, I've had ice cream for dinner, too. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

{Couples} Brandon + Jennifer

Congratulations to Brandon and Jennifer on their engagement earlier this year!   


I photographed Brandon and Jennifer last fall on a very, cold, blistery weekend day. Despite the freezing weather, we were able to capture their sweet love. Both transplants to Colorado, I'd like to think they both ended up here just to find each other.  


Monday, January 14, 2013

{Personal} The Beauty Project: My first Artist's Date

An artist's date is a blocked time for myself, by myself...to nurture my "creative consciousness" (term from the book The Artist's Way). In short, it's a play date! It's part of the creative program I'm doing in support of my new year's resolution. I know it may sound a little facetious, but I'm going to keep an open mind and let's face it, how many busy moms complain about not having time for themselves? My first thought when introduced to the concept of the Artist's Date was,"How am I going to find time to do this?" Funny, how things work out. A time opened up for me to have this first date and an opportunity for a set, blocked time has come up I need to explore! God gives me exactly what I need, when I need it...as He usually does.

For my first date, I took myself to the bookstore to read children's books. Yep, you read that right. It was the first thing I thought of, but honestly I felt a little silly. After entertaining, seemingly several "silly" ideas, I decided to go with the first. My judgment, reluctance, resistance are probably the very things this exercise serves to help dispel. I remembered when I was 20-something years old, living in Chicago, I came across a children's book called Why Do You Love Me? written by Laura Schlessinger. I think I was looking for a gift for a friend and I fell in love with this book...so I bought one for myself. I'm so glad that I did because I enjoyed reading it to my daughter when she was younger.

I love the way young children think. Why not color trees on a coloring book page purple? Why does it have to be green? I've let Marisa pick out her outfits for as long as I can remember, maybe as early as 4 or 5....yes, there are times that I furrow my eyebrows wondering what she was thinking when she paired up a plaid skirt with a striped shirt or other very confusing combinations. She continues to wear mix matched socks because she likes to; it makes her happy. Now it's kind of the "in" thing, right? She's good at spotting trends; what can I say? I just know that it makes her happy. She feels good in it. Inspired to have the same uninhibited feeling, for my first date, I decided to be a kid and read children's books in the children's section. :) Along the way, I picked up a great book for Marisa.

Hmmm...what to do for date number two...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

{Baby+Kids}

Favorites from July - December 2012 Baby and Kid Portraits

Featured: Kiddos from the Collins Family, The Ely's, The Yarger's, The Brown's,  The Kerr-Johnson's, The Lewis', The Haskell's, The Quesada's, and The McCormack's.








Monday, January 7, 2013

{Personal} The Beauty Project

My 2013 New Year's Resolution

I had no intention in setting a New Year's Resolution for 2013...mostly because any new year's resolution I've set in the past, my ADD (self-diagnosed) helped me quickly forget. I also adopted the attitude that I didn't need to wait for a "New Year" to create changes in my life.  2012 was a great year filled with blessings, opportunities for growth, and experiences that challenged me to trust and let God lead me (I fought it. hard). 2012 wore. me. out. By December, I was tired and weary. I was very opportunistic in December, doing whatever moved me. It was a busy month, but I took advantage of the invitations extended to me, as well as opportunities on my own, to see Handel's Messiah at the Air Force Academy, to spend time in Frisco to celebrate 4 important people's birthdays, see Les Mis twice, and seeing 1st Presbyterian's Christmas Concert.  The concert was amazing. The caliber and quality blew me away. The violin solo of Silent Night reached into the deepest place in my heart and brought tears to my eyes in pure joy of it's beauty. It was such a long time that something moved me so.

I didn't realize that I was in search of beauty. On a last minute shopping trip to Denver, a friend and I bought Marisa's last gifts then had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I enjoyed her company and the beauty of such an honest conversation.  On our drive down from Denver, I told her that I wanted to be intentional in finding beauty in the following year. I created a resolution without realizing it...it just so happened that the following month is next year and I didn't want to make it a one time practice.

What is beauty?  Beauty, for me, is anything that opens up my heart and makes it smile (even through tears).  Intimate and honest conversations, music, Marisa, a hug, a compliment, a violin solo, dessert,  the warmth of the sun on my face...there are so many more. Beauty is what helped me through my divorce. I recall driving through Garden of The Gods (I call it "God's Garden") one day in search of something to photograph. I was in awe of the autumn colors. I parked my car and stared at Pikes Peak just amazed by His artistry.  Amazed that the same God who created the beauty of Pikes Peak and Garden of The Gods...created the universes. This very same God created me...I didn't feel so alone.  It gave me perspective on the size of God vs the size of my circumstances.  I visited God's Garden often during that time and have since to be re-amazed.

The Beauty Project is going to capture my intention in enjoying beauty in 2013. Several weeks ago, before realizing I had a "New Year's Resolution", a friend and I discussed doing a book club on a book that inspires creativity called, "The Artist's Way." Her sister, who is a cherished friend of mine, spoke volumes about it. Once a week or as often as I want within the week, I'll be identifying, creating, witnessing what makes my heart smile. I've decided to share this beauty journey with you, whether it's an exercise through the book or something spontaneous I came across in the week, because the very idea makes my heart smile.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

{Couples} Forest and Cheryl

I thought I'd never have the chance to photograph Forest, Cheryl, and their daughter, Anna. The first session was cancelled because of a 40% chance of rain, (but then, it didn't rain), then the second session actually rained out, but third time's a charm.

This beautiful couple has been married for 30 years. As much as I love photographing new love and engagement sessions, I loved photographing Forest and Cheryl.  Forest, with his signature million-dollar smile, is fun and outgoing.  Cheryl, more quiet, has a sweet, confident, and graceful spirit.  What I noticed and admired most about them was their respect and confident love they have for one another.

Wishing you, Forest and Cheryl, another 30 years (plus) of new adventures, success, and love!