Happy Birthday Big Brother

I love being part of surprises :)  

Although I do love them, I have a hard time keeping things a secret for too long.  

My husband and I have already given our girls their BIG christmas gift AND all the gifts we were supposed to keep for Christmas that we bought in NYC...

We just get too excited and can't keep it in...

It was all I could do to NOT post these pictures until wayyyy later...

For their sakes, it's a good thing that the Fall got so hectic because I would have been chompin' at the bit to do a blog post...

This little guy had a sweet birthday and I loved how his mom & dad knew all about his little smiles & quirks...even down to the a little "stare" he had...

I loved his sweet charm & the happiness he found in just being with Mommy & Daddy...

Happy (though now belated) Birthday...you are going to be an excellent big brother!









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Race for Time

It was forecasting rain...

If you ever try to schedule with a Senior, at the beginning of the school year...you'll know that you're running into "craziness"...

If they don't already have enough on their plate, they're now trying to cram in as many wardrobe changes and locations, in order to showcase their personality...all this before evening sports practice and cramming for tests...

This gal has a natural beauty that, amidst the chaos, she just shines...

We were jumping out of our cars on the side of the road as we spotted fields and she grabbed an umbrella in the rain...she was making the most of whatever situation was handed to her...

Many get overwhelmed and quit...some get angry and start a blame game...others are sad & feel as though all the odds are against them...all this when something doesn't go as planned...

Not her...

She's the "making lemonade" kinda gal...

It's her sweet spirit and "rise above" mentality that gives her confidence in any circumstance...the gift of knowing that no matter what, even if things don't go as planned, it's not going to thwart WHO she is...

and WHO she is...well, it's beautiful...inside and out!







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Surprise!!!

This was my second surprise proposal to photograph!
Looking back, it's a wonder I didn't get in trouble somehow...

Picture this:
I'm dressed in all black...
I'm crouching down, deep in the woods of the park, amidst poison ivy & squirrels, hiding behind trees and keeping out of view.

I receive one last text informing me that they are on their way on the trail, but I can't see where they are coming, so I have to trust that I'll have a good vantage point, halfway into the ravine peering through the leaves.

Some people notice me along the way, and I give them the signal to "shhhhh"...and all that does is make them laugh and look around for whomever I'm "looking for"...

As I use my camera like a periscope, I discover that they have arrived and now is the moment...

If she notices me too soon, I've ruined the surprise...if I don't get into a good spot, I miss the moment...

the sun has all but set and we're deep in the woods...so it's getting darker and I can't use the flash...

He had it so perfectly timed & planned...
not just attention to "detail", but attention to HER

The love of his life...the one who promises to be with him until "death do their part"...

She says YES and they get to bask in the hopes of their future together!

It was exhilerating and inspiring and I was so honored to be asked to share in the memory!!!



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All grown up

My typical family sessions seem to revolve around little arms & legs, swinging on daddy's arms, playing peek-a-boo and playing chase...

It's a sweet reprieve for my 40 year old knees to "hang" with older "kids"...

You never stop being a parent...your kids, are always your kids, whether they are 4 or 40.  How you interact with them changes, however.  I'm increasingly curious to watch how moms/dads "parent" their adult children.  It's a unique blend of friendship, honor, respect and a big dose of grace & laughter!  

I appreciated the value this family placed on investing in time together for capturing these fleeting moments in time...gone are the days of pacifiers and bribery to smile for a camera...and in it's place comes a comfortable ease of just BEing...

It hurts my heart to even think about the whole "babies leaving the nest"...but, that is our job as parents...to teach them independence and confidence...to pursue the dreams & purpose for which they were created...and we hope and pray that they will "fly home" often...so we can all soak in the "togetherness"

This family has that figured out...and it's a joy to see!











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Mentoring 2014-2015

This is a fairly new venture for me, but one in which I am loving...

Since I've been on this "vulnerability" kick here lately...let me just tell you that had you told me five years ago that people would not only seek me out to photograph their family's moments, but that I would also be teaching classes to moms on how to create those images for themselves...

AND...now, that other future professional photographers would be wanting one on one mentoring from me to help them launch their own businesses...

Ummm...I"m just a small town girl from that state of north who drinks way too much coffee and inhales chocolate like it's going out of style!

But God...

He really has just blown my socks off with the opportunities that He's thrown my way AND with the confidence He is building up in me...I am blessed!

Let me give you the scoop on mentoring...

actually, let this gal give you her perspective (cuz I asked her and she graciously replied to my overzealous emails!)

To whom would you recommend a Mentoring session, compared to a Snapshop class?

 Anyone who wants to learn about photography and take their skills to the next level.  I think your SnapShop class is perfect for someone who wants to learn to get out of Auto.  The mentoring is perfect for someone like me who already knows that but wants to take skills to the next level.  But I also think the mentoring is perfect for someone who wants to go at her own pace and ask specific questions. 

Here's what she said about our entire time together: 

Colleen knew where I was specifically in my journey as a photographer and helped take me to the next level.  I appreciated her honest and encouraging feedback of my images.  It was so helpful to know why I was disappointed with certain images that I had taken and showed to her, and to be affirmed in the images I thought were decent.  I loved watching her edit and enhance my images and offer suggestions of what to do differently.  I loved that she is helping me think through next steps I can take to improve.  I also appreciated how she was constantly assessing our session and making sure we were going in the right direction for me personally.

We spent a great couple hours meeting her where she was in her journey.  We were able to pinpoint specifics between technical, artistry and business related questions...we took time in the areas that intrigued her most and discussed lighting, posing, business ventures, editing and post processing, aperture settings & large groups...it was the whole gamet...and a TON OF FUN!

Here are a few of her headshots...She is a beautiful woman inside and out!  I'm so excited to see where this journey takes her...









I'm looking into developing a private facebook group for all former snapshop attendees and mentoring students...a place where questions can be asked, photos can be shared and encouragement will be given.  I hope to have this up by January 2015 (look for facebook updates for an invite)

Mentoring sessions are designed specificially for the individual, therefore, each session looks different and is unique unto it's own. When you register with me for a session, we find a day/time that works best into both of our schedules...mentoring pricing begins at 2 hours, however, you can customize your time for longer if you wish to cover more topics or desire headshot or on location practice, etc...(pricing is then determined accordingly) We continue a correspondence until I know that I have a good grasp on where you are as a learner and what it would take to help you take the next step in the journey.  

I look forward to meeting many more people in 2015!  You can contact me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com for inquiries and also check out the mentoring link HERE for more information. 

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Where you Belong

There something to be said for just knowing where you belong...

For me, this fall has been an incredible journey...I've been busier than I've ever been and my style has morphed and changed and back again and then I have slowly become more confident in the style and moments that I want to capture.  I don't "get it" 100% of the time, but that's the beauty of artistry...it can ebb and flow with you, with clients' dynamics, with location & weather...everything plays a part..and that's what always keeps it interesting and challenging and keeps me coming back for more :)

This photography "trek" is not just a job for me...it's a part of myself...and while that is not only something that makes me incredibly vulnerable, it is also something that I'm learning to value more and more...being a people pleaser by nature, I sometimes find it difficult to know just where I belong because I try so hard to fit into everyone's "ideal" of what I should be...

am I the only one that struggles with that?

Have I lost half my audience at this point with my "emotional" talk?

I'm just throwin' it out there...I think everyone wants to know that they belong somewhere...that they fit...that they have found their niche'...and I also believe that it's always changing, because we all grow and mature and have different goals and fears that sometimes seem to change like the wind...

I know that my goal this winter is to continue to evaluate and grow and learn how to pull out the interactions by creating the situations for my clients to be REAL in their moments...so I can capture a season of LIFE for them...

These little ones know where they belong...they are secure in the arms of the ones that shower them with love & protection...

It's been passed down through the generations already...



Hugging and laughing and saying silly things...it's those expressions and words of affirmation that make even the youngest at heart, KNOW that they are where they belong...





I love the times of instruction & play...of just letting everything else go because it's not what matters RIGHT NOW, in this moment!...




These two are learning this...even now...they know where they belong, to whom they belong...and because of that, they freely give that same reassurance to others...what a beautiful legacy!



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Firstborn Baby Girl

I think I may have mentioned before that I'm about 56 blog posts behind...

OH.MY.Goodness

It's because I want to spend a bulk of my time editing and processing through the sessions so that I can get galleries out quickly...

but, my blogging gets put on the backburner...

I'm skipping wayyyyy ahead in that line up to blog about this family...

They have a baby girl...it's their firstborn...

baby makes three...

I had ONE baby girl once...just me, hubby and our sweetpea...

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO to be exact...

She's going to become a TEENager this coming week...

And when I saw these images on my computer screen, I couldn't help but be nostalgic...

My girl was once this small...with big eyes and blowing raspberries...

She packs her own lunch and does laundry by herself now...

My, how time changes things...

I watched this couple interact with their little girl...

how she loves them both, and feels safe when they are near...

how she is the center of their world right now...and they'd do anything for her...

and how, little by little, they will teach her to be independent...and not "need" them so much in the future...and oh how that sometimes hurts to let go...when all you want to do is hold them close and block every pain or challenge that could possibly come their way...

but right now...

in this moment of "she's not yet one year old"...they can bask in her dependence...in her security and confidence in them...they can protect and pour into her every ounce of love & character as the moments pass by...

thirteen years go fast friends...and I know that this young family understands this better than most...they know to cherish the moments...how to invest in relationships and time together...they "get" it...of that I have no doubt!

It's been a beautiful fall...and what a sweet reminder...
















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PUMPKIN

My dad used to call me "Pumpkin" when I was little...

It still makes me smile when it sometimes slips out when we're together...or when I hear him call my daughters by the same affectionate name...

Little girls have a way of becoming their parents little pumpkins :)  I thought it so appropriate that this momma brought along a "pumpkin" for our session time...

We did a lot of rolling and running and picking flowers...

it's what "lil' pumpkins" do...










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Blog Archive

How can I reach you?

The best way to contact me is either through Facebook Messaging or emailing me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com

I can't wait to hear from you!
"Teach us to number our days, (savor the moments) so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" ~Psalm 90:12

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