SO YOU WANT THE WHOLE STORY...
Back in 2008, fresh out of high school, I only knew one thing with certainty. I loved taking pictures. Since I wasn't sure if that could really be a career for me, my parents encouraged me to still go to college, and thankfully I landed at the University of Central Oklahoma [where they offer a Photographic Arts degree].
I told myself that if I took that first required course of Basic Photography and still loved it by the end of the semester, I would know that pursuing this thing fully would be the right choice for me. Lo and behold, by the end of that fall, I knew in my bones that photography in some form would always be part of my story.
Fast forward through the rest of college, and I've got a handful of sessions and a couple weddings under my belt, and the journey has begun. Zach and I got married in 2013, and we were both working our behinds off in that first year of marriage! While I maintained another full-time job during the day, photography evolved from a budding side project to gaining more and more clients and experience on evenings and weekends. About a year later, we decided to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma. As I was moving away from that full-time job in OKC, I knew there was no better time to take the plunge and pour all my focus into photography.
That first year of full-time photography was an absolute dream, and it confirmed all my suspicions. This was the thing for me! At the end of that year, Zach was hired to be part of the team at Life.Church, and we made the big move to Albany, New York! I hustled to re-establish my business halfway across the country, and I had an absolute blast shooting all sorts of sessions - from NYC elopements with the Brooklyn bridge in the background, to family sessions surrounded by the incomparable Northeast fall foliage. It's safe to say I was pretty well having the time of my life!
As much as we loved New York, it was tough to be so far from family, especially as we had - a little to our surprise - quickly gotten pregnant with our first child! After an amazing, whirlwind year in New York, we made the move back to Oklahoma and got settled in Stillwater. Grayson was born a few months later, and it was time to figure life out as a new mom. As much as I loved photography, I found that in the quickest instant when he arrived, I loved this tiny human even more. Doing photography became a balancing act, and I was so thankful that for the next couple years, I was still able to shoot part-time while we learned the art of how to raise a child.
Jump ahead another year and a half, and Grayson's little brother Will was born! At the end of my pregnancy with Will and in the months following, I knew I needed to simply take some time off. It turns out that shooting and editing with a toddler and newborn at home is a somewhat tricky process! Who would have thought? When I got back to shooting, what work I could fit in became very laser-focused on the essentials. Things like social media or basically ever updating my website would have to wait! ;) Thankfully, my wonderful clients didn't mind too much if I wasn't getting things on Instagram on the daily.
That about brings us to 2021. (If you're still reading, I think you may have earned a discounted session or something.)
In August, Zach was hired to be the campus pastor at the Derby, Kansas location of Life.Church, and to say we were pumped would be a massive understatement! By the end of the month, we moved into our new home and excitedly started exploring all that the Wichita area has to offer. Within a week or two, I told Zach that I was ready to start getting my photography built back up again in our new town.
So after fourteen wild years, I'm happy to say that I'm as passionate as ever about capturing your story.
I've lived a little bit more life - so where I used to be intimidated by sessions with energetic toddlers, I now have an overflowing toolkit of how to make the most of that energy, and I thrive on the challenge. Families are my sweet spot, and I enjoy nothing more than catching images that show even a glimpse of the love between a parent and a child, or the silliness of play between siblings. And having shot 50+ weddings, I still find myself in awe at every love story. There is no greater honor than capturing all of the big, quintessential moments on a wedding day, as well as the tiny, spectacular moments that may otherwise fade from memory.
If you made it all the way to the end of this novel, thank you for your heart to know me a little better. I can't wait for the opportunity to hear your story and chat about the kind of photos we can create together!