Welcome Home

I know the importance of family photographs...I love the relationships that are shown and the group pictures.  It's fun to hug and laugh and enjoy time away from the natural setting of your home to get images in God's creation...

HOWEVER...there is something truly special about capturing a moment in the timeline of life...a pure, uninterrupted experience in the life of your family...

Those "life-changing" moments...This is not the first time that I've captured a New Home move...or even a "saying goodbye" to a chapter at an old house. But, it feels "new" each time I am able to do it.

I know that this family will so enjoy those first minutes of walking into the place they will call home for a long time...the place where their little ones will grow and have have "big kid" rooms...the rooms where dinners around the table will bring out deeper conversations as their children grow...

There is something unique about being present during these times..being able to capture the excitement, the newness of everything...

Welcome Home!!!











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Clients into Friends

My husband jokes with me that I need to "get out more" ;)  

Ahhh, the joys of being a "stay at home mom"...before CT PhotoMemories was born, I definitely longed for conversations with adults again...it wasn't that I didn't love being with my girls all day, I just missed the comradery of girlfriends and others that were in a similar season of life.

I've been so very blessed with the way photography had opened doors to friendships that wouldn't otherwise have been opened to me. 

I've known this family from the beginning...I have watched their daughter grow and I've been privileged to befriend Jen...her heart and creativity is evident in the way she presents herself to others, especially through social media.  She is dedicated to her family...her thoughts always revolve around them.  

She's been through a gamet of emotions over the course of the past years through sorrow and happiness and perseverance and joy...She amazes me with her determination to try new things...she doesn't let anything stop her.  She is inspiring...and she brings that into her relationships with her husband & daughter and all those around her.  








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Love Given Is Courage Gained

Bravery doesn't mean you always win...
It doesn't mean that you aren't scared or sad or confused...

Being brave is the ability to FACE sorrow, difficulty, conflict, confusion...not backing down...not giving up...enduring!

The most courageous people are the ones that face situations with determination and unconditional love...it's not that they are immune to the hurt...far from it...they feel it acutely, rather it's what they DO in and with those moments.

All mothers are brave already...you must be...

Everything is new and scary...a "never before" life is suddenly a part of YOU...

let's not even get into the discussion of labor & delivery or while we're at it, the following 18 years...and even beyond...because a momma never stops being a momma...

EVER

SHE is brave

I've mentioned before my passion for photography goes beyond the "art"...goes beyond the "technical"...

We are never given a guarantee in life...
rather, the moments we ARE given are just gifts...

How we face those "gifts"...sometimes packaged in challenges and hurt...
 makes all the difference, not only to those with whom we journey life, but in ourselves as well...

SHE is brave

I met them through other clients...she even came to a Snapshop class...

I love her wit & humor...I envy her confidence & comfort in her own skin...and I absolutely admire her bravery & strength...

the "glow" and joy you see in these images is REAL...and it's deep...
their little guy will soon have a little brother to tell stories and share dreams...








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bored yet?

I often wonder, with returning families, if they get bored with the blog posts that I write about them...

I'm just a girl with a camera...who likes to talk alot...my opinion doesn't really matter a whole lot in the scheme of things...

And so, when I see families multiple times in a year and I write about our time together and the insights I have...I wonder if it's just "ho-hum" after awhile...

I'm not family, I'm not famous, I'm not a honored speaker or keynote communicator...I'm just ME...

I'm the one who receives the scribbled notes from baby soft, finger nail painted hands of the "big girl"...I get the drooly grin from baby boy who thinks my goofy voice & silly smiles are hilarious...I see the runs, skips & jumps from the endless energy of toddler legs...I watch the little minds spin with adventure when we happen upon a new setting for taking pictures...

I'm just an observer...a passerby...a whisper wind that just settles to watch or rustles around to capture a moment... (okay, you may not compare me to a "whisper" wind perhaps...maybe it's more like a magpie bird?) anyhoo...

I love that families return each year...and whether or not they tire of hearing my seemingly endless words...I DO love telling their story...

I've met some amazing people, that have turned into surprise friends...

I've seen this family since the very beginning of their daughter's life...I remember looking into those newborn eyes and contemplating what kind of little girl she'd turn out to be...so many life happenings have surrounded her parents...and they've turned the sorrow parts into little joys in her life....she has a tenderness that is cultivated by parents that value remembering & holding onto legacies...little brother is already growing leaps & bounds...bonds are being formed & brother/sister roles are starting to take shape...

each time we meet up, a new little nuance or personality trait peeks out in our session time...

so, although I've probably said it a dozen times in all their other blog posts from past sessions, and whether or not they tire from hearing it...they are a JOY to be around and I'm so very thankful to have a small part in the story of their life!









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Little Mister

Home is where the heart is...

We've all heard that saying...and it's true...

However, isn't it pretty nifty when your home, the actual building, is part of your heart as well?

It was evident the moment I walked into this home that all parts were a reflection of the people who inhabited it....

Their hearts were seen in every detail...the bookshelves and mirrors, the rugs and pillows...everything added to the characterization of the members of this family...

We definitely needed to include those "parts of the story" for this little guy!

He made his appearance earlier than expected and therefore, we scurried to get our schedules to match so that I could zip out to them for a newborn session.  

I loved mom & dad's enthusiasm about photography...I loved their ideas and the "whys" behind the decor in their little mister's nursery room. 

I nearly didn't want to leave...and if that didn't prove to them how much I relished my time there...the fact that I left a blanket AND my PURSE at their home after I left, should have clued them in at that point.  

He was a quiet, content little soul. The moments they shared with him were precious.  Infact, I don't think I've ever been to a session where we spent so much time trying to WAKE a baby...he was so calm and placid...when we did want those little eyes to twinkle up at us, it took all 3 of us working with him just to grab a couple shots!

I love the people I meet...the moments I get to capture...I enjoy the sweet poses, but I adore the relationships...the connections made...the hearts that are bound together...those are the images that are my favorites to reveal...











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Snapshop Overview

We had another class today!

I call them Snapshops (it's sort of a cross between taking a "snapshot" and taking a "workshop")


I like words...I'm crazy like that...

Being the extrovert that I am, it also means that I am energized by people...therefore, everyone else is asleep in my home, whilst I am still on a "people high", waiting for my brain to just settle into a restfulness...

don't worry, it should only take until a little after midnight or so...

Why do I teach these types of classes?

How funny you should ask...hmmm...let's see if I can sum it up in a lengthy blog post (all these words ought to bring my adrenaline down just a bit)

You'd think that I wouldn't want to teach other people how to do what I do...wouldn't I be teaching myself OUT of a job?...a job that we created so that I could get my "camera toys" but still be at home with my girls and save money for their college & weddings someday (well, and maybe pay a few bills along the way as well as the regular stuff like groceries and shoes)

Yes, in some cases some of my Snapshop Grads have gone on to document the lives of their families in such a way that they don't "need" me as often..but to be honest, it's really about the "story" of everyone's own, individual life...it's not all about me!

If I may get a little "philosophical" here for a sec...

We are never given any guarantees on life...just because we do A and B never guarantees C...We sometimes FEEL like it does, like we have some control in the matter, but we don't.  I know this to be true because it's the life in which I grew up...

The opposite is also true...sometimes you can do X and Y and end up with this amazing C...and that doesn't always seem "fair" either...at least to those on the outside...while those that get C are just so incredibly humbled and grateful for the undeserved blessing.

The point is...life is never a guarantee and therefore, I want to be able to be content and enjoy the moments that I am given, however they come...and because I've had moments feel as though they've been "taken" from me, in a sense...I tend to value the "story" of life...however long characters are allowed to play a part in my story...however long the settings stay familiar...however long the seemingly insignificant moments are allowed to be played over and over again...

Photography isn't JUST about the mechanics...

The technical aspects ARE important.  Why would you spend all that money and invest the time & energy researching for a "fancy" camera only to never use it anywhere close to it's capacity.  And, did you know that cameras can't really "SEE" what you see?  They don't know that what you see in your viewfinder is a precious little girl who loves to twirl in her princess dress on a sunny afternoon.  It only measures light...therefore, if you let the camera do all your "thinking" for you...you'll never consistently get the shots you envision...because there is a "technical" way to achieve the image...

HOWEVER, the 2nd part to that, is no matter how much of the mechanics you understand...if you aren't looking for a story to tell...if you aren't aware of how to capture a moment in a way that showcases an emotion, a relationship, a memory...then you're just getting a wonderfully exposed, super crisp, in focus picture of everyone saying CHEESE!

THAT IS WHY my Snapshops are half day workshops...because I want to help moms (and dads) be able to "see life through the lens" first...You are the only ones with your kiddos 24/7...you get them at their best (and their worst) EVERYDAY!  You are the ones that have the insight on how to 'tell the story' of their lives...THEN, once you have a grasp on those concepts and tips, you can move into the mechanics of the camera in order to tell your camera exactly what you want it to do!

I spent the first 7 years of my first daughter's life not having a clue how to work my camera.  I missed telling a lot of her "story"...she has lots of pictures...yet, they are lacking in some ways that I wish I could go back in time now.

So why do I teach these classes?

Because though life isn't a guarantee, it's definitely a gift...a beautiful gift...and God has been gracious to give me the ability to teach and to communicate...He's given me this extroverted personality with an over-active brain, along with this heart that can't help but WANT to share what I know with people...

I suppose there is a selfish part for me too...I received this note this evening after our class from one of the participants:

I just wanted to thank you for offering the snapshop class! I have learned so much in one afternoon from you! Your class was truly a joy to attend. Made learning fun and easy!!!! I finally think I am starting to get how it all works together! I can not wait to get out and use all of these wonderful things you have taught me!

and not more than 30 minutes later I received a phone call from one of the gals that I mentored a couple months ago and she absolutely blessed my heart with her words of affirmation and appreciation.

I teach these classes because I want others to experience the same things that I do when I look through my pictures on my computer or printed in my scrapbooks or walls...the feeling reliving the chapters of my life...

Have you ever had a book that you love to read, over and over again?  Or a movie that you like to watch repeatedly?  I feel the same way about the story of my life with my children...I love being in the moment NOW, but I like to look back and remember those feelings too...It helps me remember just how good I have it...it reminds me to be thankful and to treasure the moments I've been given.

WHEW...did I mention that I like words?  HELLO LONG WINDED WOMAN!

To break things up, I think you'll enjoy this little clip of my shenanigans at today's Snapshop.  If you haven't attended one yet...I encourage you to think about the kind of photographer or family life document-er that you want to be and determine how you can get there...time is fleeting...

and you just can't get this type of entertainment anywhere else (insert cross-eyed, tongue sticking out emoji)







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Gonna make you smile

I don't think there is anyway that you can get through these pictures without smiling...

nope...

I don't think you can...

These boys...

This family...

What do I say?

This was the second time I had had a session with them and I was very much looking forward to it...and I wasn't disappointed!

These boys...oh my goodness...such sweet old souls...their temperaments were like angels...I'm not kidding...Now, I know I don't live with them day in and day out...and I'm sure there have to be days where Mom gets  little weary of being the only female in the all boy club, but I marveled at the level of respect these little men had for their mom & dad...

Not once was a voice raised...when they were asked to do something, big brother obediently went into action and little bro followed right along...they are best buds!  I could kick myself for the mean ways I treated my little brother when we were little...this little bro worships the ground his brother walks on...and big brother doesn't take advantage of it either...he is gentle and kind and helps him keep up.

I'm telling you...I just meet the most amazing people...so inspiring and I'm very grateful!






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Boys and rocks

Back when I taught in the classroom, I thought for sure that God would bless me with all boys one day...that I'd be the mom with all the boys..

it wasn't because I didn't enjoy the girls in my class...infact I still keep in contact with a couple of them...they are all graduated from college and in their mid twenties...but let's not go there right now because this conversation is starting to make me feel very old...

back on track...little boys...

snips and snails and puppy dog tails...

This little guy reminded me again why I had such fun with them...

never-ending energy...always thinking and trying new things...risk takers...quick to forgive & forget...

to say that he kept me on my toes for this session might be an understatement...

INFACT...I actually climbed INTO THE WATER...fully clothed...in order to get the shots of this little man...NO JOKE!!!

He was so dead set on throwing rocks out into the water...I HAD to get in front of him in order to capture his expression...

It was so incredibly worth it...

He is a much loved little boy...one who brings a lot of laughter & activity to his mom & dad!!!

It was an unforgettable session to be sure!







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Pleased to meet you

It's always a pleasure to meet new families.  

When I started this business back in 2009, I had just a handful of clients...last year it grew to almost more than I could balance with volunteering at school, not missing my girls' sports & special event performances...but, the fun part about all the craziness is that I get to meet new people!

You've heard it all before, that I lean far to the end of the extrovert spectrum!!!

This family came with all smiles...

the whole time...

They are just HAPPY people in general I think...I  had never met them in person before, but they conversed with me like we had been friends for years...

their daughter was such a gracious little lady...

their son was all boy, but eager to please...you can see it in his little cheesy grin!!

Such personalities...such playful relationships...

I hope to see them again, for many more years to come!







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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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