Archive: ‘Families’

Beautiful Family…and an announcement!

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

I can’t believe I never blogged this gorgeous family. They are great friends of ours and I always look forward to their sessions b/c they are completely laid back and go with the flow…they tell me to do my thing and that’s just what I do–and they are ALWAYS so grateful. LOVE them to pieces!

Ok ok…NOW onto my announcement!!

Hallmark (yes THE Hallmark…as in greeting cards!) came across their beautiful images and contacted me. Seems they wanted to purchase their images, along with some others, to use for advertising!!! My first reaction was…huh? is this a joke? Once I got over the initial shock, I was SO excited! Beyond excited, I was ecstatic!

I wanted to share this with all of my clients, friends, family and those who follow my work. I am humbled, honored and blessed to call this business my own. I love it. Yes, even during my busy season. :) This “job” has enabled me to be home, be flexible and still be present for my family. I couldn’t have built this business without the help and support I receive daily from my husband (really, I wouldn’t be in business if it weren’t for him!), my family, my friends and my fans. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to share my passion with you, and for supporting me in it. xoxo

Now onto their beautiful images that you may see online at Hallmark OR in the stores!












And babies make 5…{Fort Myers Maternity and Newborn Photographer}

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

How is it possible i’ve been in business almost five years and never had the opportunity to photograph TWINS?!?! Well, my luck has changed! :)

Can you believe how beautiful this mama is? She is 35 weeks pregnant with twins in these photos…what??? I didn’t look that good with one baby…wait…I don’t look that good NOT pregnant!

Ah em…excuse the image overload…I simply could not narrow it down anymore!

First up, my fav from the shoot. I had plans for this shot, then big brother peeked through…and I captured it! What a sweet face…

This here is truly mom’s personality…she is always smiling and happy. I never ONCE heard her complain throughout her pregnancy…even at 40+ weeks…did I mention she is having twins??


This is one of my favorites from the shoot…Oh the face! OH the light! Oh the sailboat! (yes it’s real and was really there!)


Not one to normally over edit, I really wanted to try something different with this shot. The sky was really pretty but the water brown. So I decided to do some color overlay to spruce up the water color and it blossomed from there. And yes, the birds are real. What really struck me was that there were TWO birds. Oh the symbolism. :)

And after many weeks of waiting (over 40!), Stella and Eden made their debut. They are both so precious and so different!



I saved this collage for last. Every time I look at this series I just DIE LAUGHING! I don’t think I need to narrate the sequence of events here…the images speak for themselves!!


Bless you if you’ve made it this far! I hope you enjoyed this beautiful family…I truly had the best time capturing their story!


Warmth {Fort Myers Beach Family Photographer}

Monday, August 26th, 2013

I titled this post “warmth” for so many reasons. From the warmth of the day we shot this session, the warmth of the processing used for the images–I feel the title fits the post well. But most of all, what I was thinking of when I titled it, was this family. Such a sweet and warm bunch…and it just exudes in their images! No more words necessary, see for yourself. :)


I can’t stop looking at this image…I want one of my family just like this! I love the fun and casual vibe of it…

Sigh. If you have children, you know these moments are SO sweet and will not last forever…



This little guys loves his Mama!



And sea creatures…a lot. :)


So this little guy was a tough nut to crack, but once he did, he was all smiles!



You can see how skeptical he is here…



But then…smiles in abundance!




They were such a FUN couple and up for anything…LOVE families like this!





And this may be one of my most favorite images I’ve ever taken!

Thank you Jon and Amy for such a FUN shoot. You all have such a warmth about you that just glows in these images.


Stella The Star–A Magic Hour Foundation Session

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Recently, I have had the opportunity to work with a foundation whose sole purpose is to provide custom portraiture, free of charge, for families who are currently dealing with or who have recently dealt with cancer. This subject is very near and dear to my heart as my mom (who also happens to be my best friend) has dealt with cancer twice in the last five years. When she was diagnosed this time, we were blessed enough to have our entire family home over the holidays and spend that time together. I immediately contacted a photographer friend to come over and take some photos of all of us together. I will forever cherish those photos.

Enter Magic Hour Foundation. I came across this organization while networking on Facebook. I don’t think it was an accident, I truly feel I was called to be a part of it. Such a wonderful organization, and I am grateful to be involved.

I’d like to introduce you to Stella and her family. Stella, at the age of 18 months, was diagnosed with Stage 4, high risk, neuroblastoma. Having children of my own, I cannot imagine having to watch my child go through any major illness, let alone advanced cancer. Through it all, Stella’s family remains strong and happy, despite the circumstances. I think it may have something to do with their faith…they inspire me to be more spiritual and faithful.


I think this is her signature smile. :) I love when the tongue comes out!

Speaking of inspiration, Stella is by far one of the most delightful, happy, engaging and sweetest souls I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I have yet to see this child NOT smile. She is incessantly happy and glowing. At the mere age of barely 2, she inspires ME to be a better person. To be satisfied with the everyday, to smile even when things are not perfect. I just want to eat her up.


Stella runs the show, but not without a little help from her older siblings. I’ve only met them a few times and they each have their own personal strengths. Big brother seems to want to hold things together and is oh so cuddly and loving. I caught him leaning his head on his mom’s several times and stealing kisses from Stella often.

Big sister, only in kindergarten herself, is a sweetheart. What I saw in her was a little mother hen, always helping with Stella by holding her hand or simply rubbing her back (which I caught her doing when nobody was looking).

Together, I think they probably keep mom and dad busy…but what a gorgeous bunch!

Stella’s mom and dad remind me of myself and my husband. They seem to truly enjoy each other and work well as a team.

Through Stella’s journey (i’ve been following her on Facebook since her diagnosis, they have a page set up to raise awareness, raise funds and most of all, pray for Stella), I’ve felt the fear and anxiety in her mother’s words, but i’ve also been enlightened by her faith and strength. There is no doubt these two share a very strong and special bond.



I’d like to thank the Magic Hour Foundation for providing me with this wonderful opportunity. This experience has me looking at life a little differently, enjoying the little things even more and hugging my children a little tighter. An even bigger thanks goes out to Stella, who has taught me to smile, even when life throws a curveball. This is just a small hiccup in what this universe has in store for you, Stella.

Check out Stella’s facebook page, Prayers for Stella. Updates, photos, fundraising and prayers!



Wardrobe Wednesday {Curvy Girls}

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Hello all of you gorgeous, curvy girls! We’ve had some requests for what to wear for the fuller figured or curvy ladies out there recently. I am well versed in this area, since I am definitely curvy. :)

Before I offer all of those tips and tricks that work for me, I decided to do a little bit of research first. Here are some fabulous tips to keep in mind, plus some great tips that work for me:

  • 1. wear clothes that FIT! clothing that is too large can make you look larger and sloppy. clothing that is too tight can accentuate areas you don’t want highlighted. :)
  • 2. navy and black are very forgiving, but don’t forgot to pop color with a belt, scarf, necklace, earrings or shoes!
  • 3. just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean it’s right for YOU. choose trendy clothing carefully.
  • 4. wear the right UNDERWEAR! find bras that fit and are smooth to round out those curves and compliment them.
  • 5. if you have an hourglass figure, play it up! wear belts and find clothing that cinches at the waist.
  • 6. if you are larger on top and smaller on the bottom, balance it out by wearing jeans or pants that flare a bit but are fitted through your hips. wear something on top that skirts over your larger areas.
  • 7. wear v-neck and tops that dip a bit. open up your neck and chest area. it draws more attention to your face by opening up that entire area.
  • 8. this goes for everyone: accessorize! wear large earrings that attract attention to your face or a cute belt that draws attention to your waist if that’s one of your smaller areas.
  • 9. wear heels! it makes you appear taller and elongates your legs. :)

Now that we’ve gone through those, let’s take a look at what I’ve put together! Remember these are just guidelines and suggestions. If you like what you see, visit the links posted below the photos for details on where to buy these fabulous items!

First up, a curvy mom plus family compilation.

I started with the mom. A long maxi (with spanx underneathe) can be very slimming as it skims over a lot of problem areas. Chevron stripes are very “in” right now and I thought this black and white number was very cute. Pop it with a little yellow on top (which will also cover your arms if that’s an issue), some large earrings and either flip flops or wedges. From there I moved onto the girl’s outfit. I found this adorable dress with different colors in it. Pulled the pink out by adding pink sandals…which brings me to the boy. I wanted to incorporate some more pink so I found this handsome striped polo. Who says boys can’t wear pink? Not me. :) Gray shorts went really well with this shirt and then tied right in with Dad’s gray shirt. Pair Dad’s shirt with some jeans and you have a no fuss outfit for him…because everybody knows Dad’s REALLY enjoy photoshoots (insert sarcasm). Make it easy on him, mkay? Click HERE to view details about the clothing, including price and where to buy.

And a few more examples for curvy ladies. The outfit on the left cinches at the waist and skirts over any bulges that may be occurring up top. Pair it with some fitted white jeans and a colored wedge. SUPER cute necklace adds some pop and you’re ready to go! The dress on the right is adorable and comes in several different colors. It also cinches at the waist with a tie. This dress doesn’t need much more than some jewelry and shoes. Easy peasy. I chose wedges that were open across the ankle because it helps to elongate the legs and slim the ankle. If you have heavy legs, you’ll want to steer clear of any sandal that goes around your ankle. Click HERE to view details about the clothing, including price and where to buy.

The ladies of Wardrobe Wednesday are currently taking suggestions for future posts. If you have some, please feel free to comment on this post or on our Facebook page!


Mom & Me Mini Sessions {Fort Myers Family Photographer}

Friday, April 12th, 2013

It’s no secret that I LOVE mother and child photos. I always capture them, every session, and they are by far my favorite. SO, after hearing some comments about me offering mother/child sessions, I decided it was time to dive on in. So here it is! There are only 6 spots available, so contact me ASAP! OR 239.410.2802



No Words Necessary {Estero Family Photographer}

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

UPDATE: The Lawrey’s have been featured locally, as well as nationally recently. Click HERE to read their story or watch the short video clips to get a glimpse of what they are all experiencing. They are in serious jeopardy of losing their home–if you would like to donate, any small amount helps. There is a bar on the right titled “How to Help”, you could help a family save their home. Also, turns out Gavin is a very talented photographer! Click HERE to view his work…it is for sale, again to help pay the bills.

I know I said no words were necessary, and there won’t be any…after I get this out. I’ve known this family for two years now. They are by far, one of THE most sweet and loving families I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Two years ago, Brandi won a contest I was having on my SJD Photography Facebook page. I quickly learned what this family was dealing with. Their son, Gavin, was diagnosed with Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia (PKD), and nocturnal seizures in February 2010. This disorder causes Gavin to have episodes that cause him to “shake” and lose muscle control. Not too long after this diagnosis, came a more devastating diagnosis of Mitochondrial disease. Gavin and his family have had a rough run, to say the least. But this does not break their bond. Their love for one another AND others as well. I truly admire every one of them. Now, for their photos. You can just feel the love in every single one of these images. Be on the lookout for Hershey, their latest addition. He is Gavin’s service dog, and detects any seizures or episodes Gavin may have BEFORE they occur. He is well loved, as you can tell. :)


Their “awareness” bracelets! Brandi wanted a shot of these because there is so much meaning behind them. Notice their coordinated outfits too…every color they’re wearing represents the different awareness colors.

I just love this family and I am so honored to have been able to work with all of them again. They are all so appreciative of the photos and the memories captured, which makes my job so much more important and worthy!


Wardrobe Wednesday {Stocking Stuffers for Photographers and Shutterbugs}

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Something a little different this week, brought to you by the multi talented Morgan Dawson of Morgan Dawson Photography!

Here’s what she has put together!

There is just not enough time left in the shopping season to be anything but honest and straightforward, so here goes: This is the kind of stuff I would want as a photographer, and I think it can help you, too. If you’re a photographer, you can send a link to this post to friends or family who need gift ideas. If you need to get a gift for a photographer or shutterbug, you’ve come to the right place. Here we go…



Memory Cards: Photographers really can never have too many of these. When buying them, just be sure you know what format your photog uses. Compact Flash and SD are the most common, but double check since you never know. My personal collection includes a bunch of SanDisk 8GB compact flash cards, but I wouldn’t turn down a larger size (who would?). These can be purchased at so many different stores, so be sure to compare prices.

Batteries: When I asked the other WW girls about their stocking stuffer wish list, batteries were the first things mentioned. Flashes and other gear will burn through these puppies in no time – extras are a must!

Lens Cleaner: What happens when mud gets on a lens? Smudges or sticky kid fingers? This two step solution will easily fix the day. All you need to do is use a few drops of the solution and then use the pads to wipe it away. Easy!

Pop-Up Flash Diffuser: If your photog has a camera with a pop-up flash, this is a great gift idea. While the flash is easy and convenient, the light is often harsh and less than flattering. The best way to even out the light is by diffusing it somehow, and this puffer couldn’t be easier. It slides over the flash and automatically diffuses the light – awesome!

Towelettes and Wipes: These little wipes are such a lifesaver for both the photographer and their clients. Large bottles of sunscreen or insect repellent aren’t likely to make their way into a camera bag, but there is always room to stash a few of these. If the model – or photographer – start to get a little shiny, the blotter papers can be a great fix when you’re on the go.

FUN CAMERA GIFTS: These are just cute camera-related gifts that would make any photog smile. My personal favorite may be the “Oh Snap” bag, but that’s just because it also comes on a onesie:-)


Fingerless Gloves: If you shooting in the cold, you’ll want a pair of fingerless gloves. If you’re sitting at your desk on a cool morning and want a little warmth, you’ll want a pair of fingerless gloves. Tons of colors – various warmth levels. A perfect gift!

Custom Camera Strap: Why stick with the boring old black camera strap when you can have one with style!

Coffee Mug: Coffee mug? What’s so special about a coffee mug? This one actually keeps your coffee HOT! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made myself a cup of coffee or tea and then sat down to do a little editing. Before I know it, I’ve completely forgotton about my drink and it’s gone cold. This mug has a lid and stainless steel double wall interior (read: warm drinks). Note – they also make a travel version!>

Spunky and Sassy {Fort Myers Children Photographer}

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Oh how I love these girls! This is my third time photographing them and they are just so spunky and sassy!



Big sister is so sweet to little sister and vice versa!





How cute are they? I just love these sisters!


Wardrobe Wednesday {spotlight on ZARA}

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

This is one awesome Wardrobe Wednesday post from Morgan Dawson of Morgan Dawson Photography! LOVE this spotlight and all of the compilations! And she speaks Italian…well, maybe just a little. ;)

Buon giorno a tutti! {Good morning everyone!}

Ok, that’s just about the extent of my Italian – other than “Dov’è il bagno?” (where is the bathroom?), “Vorrei un cappuccino” (I’d like a cappuccino) and “Mi dispiace. Non parlo italiano.” (I’m sorry. I don’t speak italian).

Mi dispache, but I just got back from an amazing trip to northern Italy and haven’t quite accepted that I’m back to my normal life yet. I have this strong urge to bake bread, learn how to make my own pasta, and make my wardrobe more euro chic (especially since part of the trip included a conference attended by people from 35 countries). The bread baking happened yesterday (total tangent, but this book is AMAZING!) and the pasta will need to wait, but the wardrobe changes might be easier than I thought.

If you’re not already familiar, let me introduce you to Zara. Zara is a clothing and accessories retailer that began in 1975 in a central street in downtown A Coruña, Galicia, Spain. You can now find them in over 70 countries. While they have an online store that can be viewed in 10 languages, it wasn’t until 2011 that the US was one of the 17 countries where items could be shipped. I’ve never been to a store – and am trying to accept the fact that I was unknowingly two blocks away from one last week – but I’m already a huge fan just by browsing online.

Zara carries clothing for women (including a more youthful TRF line), men, and separate kids lines for young boys and girls (age 2-14) and baby boys and girls (age 3-26 months). You may notice that I included below examples of shoes and scarves for each group. If I had to overgeneralize what I saw in Italy, it was funky shoes and scarves, scarves, and scarves (even on kids and babies – so adorable). Oh, tons of chunky jewelry as well! The question doesn’t seem to be “if” you should wear a scarf or chunky jewelry, but rather what color and how many pieces.

If I wasn’t pregnant (unfortunately they don’t have a maternity line), I’d be going nuts with the shopping. For now I’ll just need to focus on shoes and scarves. But only for now…



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