what to wear from a NONfashionista

 Okay folks...it's that time of year...

the time that I get all anxious about what my family is going to wear for family pictures...

It really is ridiculous ya know...I'm a photographer for heavens sake...I should KNOW this...

but, here's the thing...I'm not all into fashion...I'm not all into spending a ton of money on outfits that look cute in a picture so that my kids can cram it to the back of their closet never to be seen of again because "It's too scratchy!!!"

Here's what makes sense to me...

FOCUS IN ON PERSONALITY!!! and then MAKE IT WORK!

I'll be honest...90% of my clothing comes from clearance racks at Kohls, Old Navy, Target or the GoodWill in Sunbury!!  I'm not bashing anyone that purchase clothing at the mall...I'm just here to tell you that I don't have an ounce of fashion sense in my brain...

My sis, Tina, got all that STYLE stuff and I did not!

So where does that leave me?  a photographer of families, no less?

Well...here's what I do...and maybe it will help you?  I don't know...lord knows you can go to Pinterest and find the MOST adorable combinations known to man...and if you need a little push in that direction here's a search link directly there: PINTEREST

The most important thing for family pictures (for me at least) is to just capture their personality...

the pictures I'm going to show you are not the ones that are necessarily on my wall...they are just the "posed" ones to give you an idea of the outfits...the ones I have hanging in my home, are the ones where most of the time we're not even looking at the camera....but for "fashion" sake, I show you these...

I wanted to give you an idea of color combinations...With 3 daughters, my husband is definitely outnumbered and so I tried to coordinate how we all fit together.  I'm not a big matchy-matchy person...probably because my girls are so drastically different in personality that I can't even fathom putting them in the same thing anymore...

With this first picture, I went with a basic black/grey and dark/light pink theme...we typically wear denim anyway, and my middle girl was totally into scarves at the time...so we just raided closets and found something that was close and somewhat in the same color family...(not my best hair year)
 This one was fun because we based the entire color scheme off of my youngest, because she probably wore this shirt everyday that fall/winter...I had gotten new boots for my birthday that year and a teal cardigan...We just went with the whole "shades of blue" theme and threw in Lil' Munchkin's mauve stripe for fun.

This one was one of my favorites because I really wanted fall colors last year...and I knew of a spot where there was lots of yellow and orange...to be honest, I have no idea if grey tights match denim dresses, with yellow sweaters and brown scarves, but it's what I had...middle girl was into denim jackets, big time!  My oldest wanted a scarf too and she's actually just wearing a sweater of mine that we pinned in the back (remember, I'm cheap)  we mixed up denim, dresses, and even corduroy...


The fact is this...try not to stress about outfits themselves (I have to tell myself this too)...the fact of the matter is that it is YOUR family...everyone FEELS like they look good in their OWN thing..so let them SHINE...find a clothing type or a color or a hair accessory, something that somewhat pulls it together and then go with it! 

Looking forward to seeing you this fall! I have no idea what my family is wearing this year...guess we'll just see what everyone has about a week before our session and we'll make sure we have FUN doing it!!

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Goodbyes are hard

Goodbyes are hard...I'm sure there are some out there that would tell us all to buck up and be brave...and the life is about choices...and we're all out for number one...

the funny thing is though...we all have a longing in us...and we can try to fill it with more, more, more...but when it comes down to it...it's RELATIONSHIP that is at the heart of our souls...

I mean, can I just be honest here?  

I do get excited when I have the potential to get the latest and greatest camera lens..and the possibility of taking a vacation over to Europe would be AHHHmazing...

BUT, If I ever had to choose between 'things' and 'relationships'...I hope my brain would be smart enough to recognize that my heart just won't "function" properly without relationship!  The kind of relationship where needs are not only met physically, but emotionally & intellectually too...

Where someone is there to cheer you on, to pick you up when you fall...someone is always on your "side"...someone is there to journey life WITH you!

This family had to make a good decision for their family, but along with that good decision,  it meant that contact with some special relationships would be farther away than what they have been used to...

It's not hard to see the value they place on each other...I know they'd move heaven and earth for each other...and it's plain to see the bond that they've grown...

It's hard for parents to let their kids go...to let their grandkids go...

but, I know it's only because they've invested so much of themselves into those "children" and vice versa...

goodbyes are hard...especially when relationships are so strong...








I wish you the best on your family's newest adventure!  These bonds will not be broken :)  


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One year...already

Sometimes "time" feels as though is crawls by...the hours, the minutes...they just seem to drag on by...

and then other times, it feels as though I can't hang onto each second long enough...the time ticks away and I'm 'on the clock'...

either one of those feelings are not "fun" to experience...In the first, it's usually because I'm anticipating something and it's taking too long to arrive...in the second, I'm trying to enjoy the moment, but my brain won't stop telling me that it's going to be over soon...

Living in the "present" is a hard thing to do, I think.

So much energy is expended worrying about what is up ahead or fretting about what is behind and lost already...

I wish it weren't so much of a struggle for me.  I think that's another piece to the puzzle in my crazy personality, of why I enjoy photography.  I can enjoy the moment better when I know I've got it captured and I won't have to feel the "regret" of forgetting something.

I also believe that my 'complex' brain sometimes just thinks TOO much and I need to just let it rest :)

I think this family has figured out the secret though...one year has already passed for their little guy...but I don't see the worry lines or even sadness of time gone by...they are just relishing the moments that they have together.  I love their carefree and "in the moment" living.

We found a little spot off the beaten path and this little guy got to play and build rock towers and laugh and just "be" with his mommy & daddy.

I am ever in awe of the people that are put in my pathway...I learn so much by watching and am reminded that there is a "time" for everything...

Thank you for such a fun evening!!!








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6th Grade Memories

Oh, I recently had quite the trip down memory lane...

Let me explain...

When I graduated from college back in 19_...ummm, a long time ago...I went straight to Lake Ann Camp to be a counselor in that state up north.  While there, another counselor and I both got interviews for a school out in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Being the adventurous 21 year old that I was, I jumped at the chance and off we flew for our teaching job interviews...

Long story short, we both got the jobs in a middle school there in Milwaukee and when camp was over, we packed up our belongings and headed "out west" to find an apartment...along with all the other stuff you have to do when you're striking out on your own.

My first "job" was teaching a self-contained classroom of 6th grade students.

Let's see if I can help you "imagine" what this looked like...I am a whole 5 feet, 4 inches tall (and I don't wear heels). I'm the oldest of 4 children with a tendency to "mother".  I also spent countless summers in high school and college on mission trips where I worked with very young elementary kiddos...and then I was faced with 6th graders.

Let's just say that they "broke me in" pretty fast that year :)  And yet, there were a few that had mercy on me...

There were even a few of the boys that felt it their duty to help their teacher "get out" just a bit...and they took me golfing.



As you can see by the score card (in which we used alias names) I pretty much stink at golf...we stopped at 9 holes...you can probably see why...

so, why am I writing all this...blabbering on...because we all know you have better things to do than to read about the past happenings of some "no-name" photographer...

Well, ya see that kid in the blue and green striped shirt?  way over on the right?

He grew up (well, I guess they all did)

but, what I didn't know, was that he also attended my alma mater...in fact, he became an RD at the university AND coached the golf team...AND (yes, it gets even better) he and his wife are really good friends with THESE people...and if you remember, THAT girl is someone I would count as one of my best friends.

Anyway, one day I happened to see a picture on facebook on my friend's personal page...I then just "happened" to message her about a guy in one of the pictures, because he looked very familiar and his name matched one of my student class lists from that year long ago...low and behold my friend was at a wedding and she & her hubby were sitting next to "said guy"...I said to her, "ask him if he remembers the name of his sixth grade teacher"...and thus it began!

And that brings us to now...he's all grown up, married to a beautiful & incredibly sweet wife, and together they have an adorable little boy.  At their session I was reunited with his parents who were in town for this little guy's birthday as well...oh the fun we had swapping memories and catching up on life journeys.

It was fun to hear "his side" of that 6th grade year and my many "First year teacher" bloopers!  I'm beyond thrilled to see the choices he has made for his life...he is living a life of integrity and character...he's building into other lives and leading his family with strength and compassion!  I didn't have anything to do with the man that he has become, but I can say that I'm quite proud to call him my former student!










It was wonderful seeing you again!!!


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FALL SESSIONS coming soon...



Hi all :)  I cant' believe it's the end of August already!  I'm getting ready to put up part 1 of my fall schedule line up!  All 3 of my girls are in soccer this fall, so I'm maneuvering around quite a few schedules.

Here are the basics and then be ready to sign up just through the month of September, in a couple days :)

Sunday mornings, I will have one or two time slots, until daily light savings kicks in :)  These sessions are at a set location.

The rest of the day (on Sundays) I will have some openings, but have reserved a few 4:30-6:30 time slots just for seniors.  At the 2 or 3 pm time slots, locations will have to provide good shaded areas (especially for larger families with little ones who tend to squint like me :)

Not sure what "polar vortex" is going to do to us this year, so I'm trying to prepare and allowing for earlier weekend session times, but needing to be mindful of location.

I do have weekdays available as well after school/work (Tuesday/Thursdays and some Fridays) until the sun starts setting to early for lighting)

Also, due to increased travel, I need to finally "install" a travel fee for distances longer than a 20 minute drive from the 43015 zip code.  There are some incredible locations right around my area that I'd love provide, however, I know that some locations hold a special place in people's hearts...I will do my best to accommodate, I just need to be mindful of the miles on my vehicle and drive time away from my fam:)  thanks for understanding!

I will have a first come, first serve sign up on Facebook in a couple days...wanting to give everyone a heads up to be watching for it...I will do my best to get you in this year :)  crossing my fingers for continued beautiful weather as well!!!

***I will open October once we get into September and I know that we won't have too many weather reschedules...if you have special circumstances (i.e. people in town only for a specific time) please let me know and I'll do my best to get you in!

last thing:  please be sure to check through the INVESTMENT tab, as well as the FAMILY SESSIONS, etc...it will explain moneys, time, images, etc

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SnapShop 2014

Snapshop Class is set for Sunday, September 28th
12:30-5:30

See all the details HERE

Please read these testimonials too...I have every participant fill out an anonymous survey afterwards because I honestly want to know how they felt about the class...I know it's an investment...I've been there...and time/money are precious!  TESTIMONIALS

Contact me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com to get your earlybird pricing AND you'll be sure to receive a custom made camera strap cover for your camera :)  Earlybird ends August 30th...

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Tranquil Beauty

I'll be honest...I'm not a fashionista!

I don't even know if I spelled it correctly for pete's sake!

I'd love it if I were...I'd love to say that I go into clothing stores and know exactly how to put things together to make amazing outfits...

but, I tend to be more of the "holy cow, that plain black skirt is only $4 on the clearance rack and since I only have brown and black shoes, that should work great with all of my white, brown, grey or black tee shirts!  WOOHOO"

yeah, it's pretty pathetic...

I'd also like to say that furniture or decor shopping gives me great thrills...but in all honesty, it puts a sense of FEAR and DREAD in me anytime I know I have to find another rug for the back door!!

And then I go to homes like this one...and I want to move in!

Everything is simple, elegant, lovely...classic, clean, uncluttered...there is a purpose and design to everything...the entire house flows as you literally feel like you are floating from one room to the next!  It's a little bit of heaven I tell you!!!  


When two gorgeous people have a beautiful baby, in a stylish home...it becomes more like a magazine shoot rather than a newborn photo session...

I'm not kidding!  

I probably could have stayed there hour upon hour...their home is peaceful and tranquil...

they are at ease with one another and with their new little one...

It definitely does something to one's heart to see a new life being surrounded with such devotion!

I have no doubt that the many months and years to come will bring countless times of joy and fascination...

I was so honored to even have this tiny part in the memories :) 










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The Real Deal

I think in college I was very naive.  

Scratch that...I KNOW that I was naive.  

Now, I had come from my own set of struggles before entering college, and then more heaped on as I journeyed through...before the ripe age of 21, I had already seen/lived through the effects of divorce, buried a sister, been through counseling for a myriad of other things that plagued my heart...

but still...I had this "hope"...that maybe...maybe if you did all the right things...if you made all the right choices...if you could possibly, just maybe, figure out how to do things "perfectly", no more "bad" stuff would come your way...

That's not the case with LIFE...

The fact is...troubles and hardships just have a way of finding you...and each person has a choice how they will respond in any given situation or circumstance that comes their way.

I don't say all that to give the impression that this family has had loads of struggles by any means...however, they are the type of people that are solid...committed...stand in the face of adversity and stare it down...compassion & love coupled with courage & "stick to it-ness" (I know that's not a word...sorry)

Anyway...I enjoy meeting up with them each year...they went to my alma mater...and therefore, I find myself thinking, "YAY" for them...they were naive 21 year olds at one time too...but, together, they have made choices for their relationship, their family...that have made all the difference...

and here they are...it's a beautiful thing!








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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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