Copy and Paste :)

Getting family pictures taken once a year is, for most of us, a high priority. As it should be. 😍

If you're anything like me, though, the thought of scheduling those pictures can seem a little overwhelming. There's SO much to think about!!! Vacation schedules, summer break dates, kids' nap schedules, what you'll wear... OMG the decisions!!! ALL THE THINGS!!!


Most of the times when I start to think about scheduling a session for our family, I tend to freeze and move onto something I have more control over, like loading the dishwasher or petting my dogs or staring out the window at that squirrel on the back fence. Like, how does he even run so fast without falling off? HOW??? If it were me running on that fence could I do it? Would the neighbors notice? Important things to consider.

Here's the thing. If you know you want to schedule a photo session sometime in the next few months, all you have to do is hit "reply."

It's called getting the ball rolling, and it's all you have to do.

Literally... you can write "Amy, we want to do a photo session..." and I will take it from there.

That's it. That's all you gotta do guys.

To Review:

Step 1: Copy this - Amy, we want to do a photo session.
Step 2: Open an email, address it to
Step 3: Hit "paste".
Step 4: Hit "send".

I'm just here to help... and, you know, capture the essence your sweet babies' through photography so you can hold onto their preciousness forever. 😉 Hope to see you SOON loves!!!

What's that? You want to see some pictures? Ok then... here are a few sure to brighten your day. Let's go with a black-and-white dad theme today, shall we? These were all taken within the past 2 weeks during Lifestyle Mini Sessions. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'... 😍😍😍


7 Things Great Photographers Do...

Here's a post that's been in my head for years. I think it's so fun to know a bit more about what's going on behind the scenes of other people's businesses... so here's a bit about what's going on behind the scenes of mine. Enjoy!  (Note - all of the images in this blog were taken during this past week's lifestyle mini sessions... yay!)

7 Things great Photographers Do...

If being an amazing family photographer was a pie, I think it may surprise a lot of people just how small the slice of knowing how a camera works would actually be. Basic photography knowledge is just the price of admission. There's so much more to it than that!

These are the things the best photographers do to create the images that stop people in their tracks:



Great photographers engage.

When we see an image that demonstrates strong emotion, it's nearly always because the photographer has facilitated it in some way. I like to consider myself a silent player in every picture. My job is to draw out an emotion so strong that you are immediately participating in it as everything else falls away. The best photographers are people-people. They know how to form a strong connection with every subject in front of his or her camera. People don't engage with cameras; they engage with photographers. 



Great photographers look for the story.

If you've come to any of my classes, you've heard me talk about this. Every photo tells a story. The moment a skilled photographer arrives on the scene, he or she begins to look for the story. What emotions are present? How do these subjects relate to one another? Why are the subjects moving/behaving/talking/connecting the way they are? The best photographers aren't passive bystanders... they're detectives on a mission. 



Great photographers are a little bit bossy. Nice, but bossy.

If you were to take your car to the shop for repairs, you'd want the mechanic to take the lead, no? I'd definitely be having second thoughts if my mechanic started asking how I thought my car should be fixed. Great photographers clearly direct their subjects. They're comfortable calling the shots because they're secure in their knowledge of photography... whether it's how to turn your head, when it's time to walk to another spot, whom to look at, what to say... all of it! A photographer who directs his or her subjects puts them at ease, because they can trust in his or her knowledge and experience. Relaxed subjects = better pictures. Simple as that.



Great photographers practice wholeheartedness.

As dreamy as it may sound (and it often is!), photography is not an easy line of work. It's highly rewarding, but as artists we have a LOT of emotional skin in the game. We photographers not only put their work out for all to see (see the definition of vulnerable here, lol); we also have to put a price on it. Some will value the art, some won't. It can be difficult for an artist to separate people's valuation of her work from their valuation of her self... if not properly managed, this can lead a photographer toward defensiveness at best, bitterness at worst. Staying "soft" is one of the biggest challenges in this profession; the very best photographers understand and accept that exposing their hearts through their photography means they are opening themselves up to emotional hurt... but they choose to be wholehearted anyway, choosing to focus on and be grateful for the opportunities they have to create and share their passion with the world.



Great photographers find inspiration in their subjects.

Another session. Another family. Another day in the life of a portrait photographer. It can be easy to fall into a rut of monotony, but that road leads to the desolate land of boredom and burnout. The best photographers intentionally and actively choose to see each subject as unique and beautiful; they look for the miraculous in the midst of the ordinary. The best photographers allow their hearts to swell with inspiration as their subjects dance, embrace, smile, connect, laugh... even cry... and they choose to fully engage in each and every session.



Great photographers won't "arrive."

I'm convinced that the moment I decide that my photography has reached perfection is the moment that marks the beginning of the end of my craft. It's like that with anything, of course, but especially with art. Art is not linear... it's a wide open field of exploration, experimentation and inspiration that can take you in any direction. There's no "arriving" with photography because there are ALWAYS more directions in which to grow! New lenses, new perspectives, new compositions, new subjects, new locations, new lighting techniques... the list is endless and one lifetime is nowhere close to enough to know and master it all. 



Great photographers love photography.

I mean... they REALLY love photography. They love it as much as they love air, food, water... even wine, hahaha. They go through life viewing the world through an imaginary rectangle, because life is a story and they are the storytellers. I often find myself in tears as I sort through the images from sessions, my heart threatening to burst into a thousand pieces at each precious interaction. Bet you didn't know that. I believe that the best photographers will always choose to open up their hearts and fall in love with their craft, again and again... because it's through this lens of love that truly incredible images emerge. ❤️


And those, my friends, are the seven things that the very best photographers will always do...

Why I Can't Stop Talking About Them...

Here's a smattering of the kinds of pictures that are taken during a Lifestyle Mini Session.

I can't stop talking about these sessions because they catch life happening. And life is beautiful.

There are still a few openings through the end of June, and our July & August schedule was just released. We expect these to go quickly this fall, so getting your session knocked out during the summer wouldn't be a bad idea... just sayin'. ;)

Click below to see what's available.
Hope to see you soon my friends! <3




Shredding Money and the CUTEST 2 Year Old

Did I catch your attention there? Hope so, because there is something I just discovered that is SO brilliant that I would be a straight-up criminal not to share it with you.

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But first, a quick back-story: I don't usually get up when my alarm goes off. Never have. That's the back-story.

K. Let's fast-forward to last week when my daughter heard Jonathan and I trying to problem-solve (yet again) our lack of willpower when it comes to getting out of bed in the morning. She told us that she'd heard of an alarm clock that shreds money. Yes... it shreds money. Or at least it threatens to, because actually shredding money is illegal, who knew?

It's like this: you put a dollar bill (or a larger one!) in it, set your alarm, and it activates 2 minutes later to shred whatever's sitting in its teeth. 😂 Brilliant.

Sadly, there is no such thing, but we figured out a hack. We got a little desktop shredder and a digital outlet timer and set up the whole thing easy peasy. Here's how it works:

  1. I slide the dollar (or higher) bill into the shredder before I go to bed.
  2. My alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. the next morning
  3. The shredder turns on at 5:02 a.m.

I keep the shredder downstairs, so my morning now consists of me FLYING out of bed to pull the money out of the shredder before it turns on. Hahaha. It's awesome.

K. Thought you should know about that. Now... do you want to see the CUTEST 2 year old??? She was amazing... enjoy!!!

PS... Every picture I posted from this session would qualify as a "lifestyle" image... If you're ready to book a Lifestyle Mini yourself, or learn more about them, click here!!!

Melissa's Back!!! (Wanna see the baby???)

So... in this blog post, I shared the maternity pictures of our amazing studio manager, Melissa. I also shared that we'd be downsizing left as we were planning to put a little more focus into the educational side of our business.

Welp. That didn't last long.

Turns out, Melissa is totally essential and worth her weight in gold. We knew it, of course, but we know it even more now, hahaha! She was so gracious to come back to us part-time and get going on emails, after we realized (yet again) that neither email nor timely communication lie in my arsenal of strengths. LOL

In the meantime, she went and had that baby. He is, without a doubt, the SWEETEST and CUTEST baby in the whole wide world. I am in love with him. You will be too. Take a peek:


And... I was privileged enough to get to visit these guys at the hospital during those first few precious days. I took this one and loved it enough to submit it to the NAPCP International Image Competition (National Association of Professional Child Photographers) and it placed!!! Because why wouldn't a baby with that kind of hair not place in an image competition??? Hehe.


So... feel free to wish her and her husband, Brad, congratulations on their GORGEOUS baby boy! And we can all rest a bit easier now that you'll be getting responses to your emails again. 😂

Also, this. Heaven help me. I will never get anything done at her house ever again...

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Please no more mugs... a to-the-point Mother's Day blog

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I'm gonna speak "dad" today... short, clear, and to-the-point:

Your wife wants something photography-related for Mother's Day. She just does.

Here's what we can hook you up with, dads:

  1. A gift certificate for a Lifestyle Mini Session (click here)
  2. A gift certificate for a Standard Session (click here)
  3. A gift certificate for a parent photography class (click here)
  4. A gift certificate for a One-on-One learning session (click here)

Each one is a perfect gift for Mother's Day because each one means she'll have beautiful pictures of her children, and images of her children are precious and timeless.

If you're not convinced, let's go ahead and examine some other options and see how they stack up:

  • Flowers: Precious but not timeless. 
  • Jewelry: Precious and timeless but won't go with every outfit.
  • Nice Outfit: Nope. Don't try to guess her size. Just no.
  • Handmade cards from your kids: Precious and kind-of timeless, but you should be having them make those anyway. Kind of a given.
  • Breakfast-in-bed: Has potential to be precious, but not timeless. And let's be honest... that one's really more about the kids than it is about the mom. Cute, but not typically of culinary quality. Note - for the love of all that is holy, for this to be a present YOU MUST clean up the kitchen when finished.
  • A Mug: Please no. This is rarely precious or timeless. Don't get her a mug.
  • Yummy treats: Always acceptable as a Mother's Day present. Especially macarons or similarly expensive cookies.

Just here to help you guys. ;)
We'll send beautiful gift certificates to whatever secret location you tell us to...
it's all part of the gift-certificate-buying process, right in the check-out.

She'll be thrilled. You'll be a hero.

The end. 



Pennsylvania Kiddos... ;)

It's been six years since I've captured this gorgeous little family, and the sister was just a bump in her mama's tummy at the time!

Another trip to Chicago for these guys meant that I was given the treat of having them in front of my lens. Everyone was 100% amazing. Hadn't expected any less... ;)

Little note btw... these pictures are representative of the images that are given in our Lifestyle Mini sessions. We still have a few left if you want to grab one!



Lifestyle Mini Sessions... What, When & Why

Do you know how long it's been since we've offered mini sessions around here???

A LONG, LONG time.

And now... it's time to bring them back!!!

So here's the deal: each passing year, I understand what inspires and drives my joy in photography a bit more. Having just passed the 10 year mark in this business, I've been taking a good, hard look at what I want to do, where I want to go, how I want to grow and evolve... all of it. And here's what I've come up with:

It's all about connection.

Photos by the fabulous  Twig and Olive Photography

Photos by the fabulous Twig and Olive Photography

When our family gets our pictures taken, the only ones we ever put up on our walls are the ones that show connection. Even our Christmas cards are relational pictures. No looking-at-the-camera-smiling pictures, like, ever.  Connection pictures are also what I live and breathe to capture through my photography.

Now here's something you may not know: looking-at-the-camera-smiling pictures, especially of groups (siblings & families), happen to take a VERY long time to edit compared to candid shots. Who knew, right??? We charge what we charge for our standard sessions because of the editing time that goes into creating a gallery with those images.

So... for those like us who are happy and willing to forego these looking-at-the-camera group shots, we've created a very special kind of session: lifestyle minis. I'm in love with the idea of them, and SO curious to see who else might be in love with the idea as well! My heart tells me it may be quite a few of you... <3

We can bring the price WAY down for these sessions because the editing time will be much lower for me and we'll be grouping them back-to-back, cutting down on travel time, too.

So that's the WHY.

Now for the WHEN:

We'll be having these mini sessions on the mornings and early evenings of May 5th, May 19th, June 2nd, and June 16th. There are 8 sessions available on each of these days. We're opening up the sessions at 10:00 a.m. CST this Wednesday, March 28th. 

We're using this opportunity to build up our subscriber list a bit, though, because it's always a great idea to have access to your clients for things like this! :)

Those on our mailing list will be getting a special invitation to book a session one day early:

10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27th

So if you're interested, be sure you're on the list, watch for that email, and join me for a lifestyle mini session this spring! You can sign up right here:

Name *
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Wondering what kind of pictures / editing are we talking about? Take a look:


So what do you think???

I think this could be the start of something VERY special...