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

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}

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

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!



2K Giveaway!

August 13th, 2013

I am humbled and excited to be nearing the 2K mark on the SJD Photography Facebook page!  Those who know me well, know I like to give back.

SO, I am giving away a FREE mini session and FIVE high resolution digital images! Enter below if you’d like to win!

Contest ends Thursday, August 22nd at midnight OR when page reaches 2,000 likes!




a Rafflecopter giveaway


*winner must be local

*mini session lasts 20-30 minutes at one of two locations in Estero

*winner will receive about 15 images from which to choose their final 5 digital images

*upgrade to full session is available and can be held at location of choice and will yield at least 40 proofs from which to choose

*option to add on products and/or extra digital images

*participants can enter once per day

*session must take place between September 1, 2013 and September 30, 2013 OR after November 15th, 2013


Wardrobe Wednesday {Curvy Girls}

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!


Wardrobe Wednesday {Mother/Daughter Sessions}

May 8th, 2013

Mother’s Day is just around the corner  and I bet many photographers-as well as clients-reading this have either had a mother/child session or wish they have had a mother/child session!  Mother and child sessions are by far my FAVORITE sessions to photograph, so I decided this week to put together a post in honor of mother’s day!

Last week one of our Wardrobe Wednesday contributors, Kelly, introduced us all to an entire new world of wardrobe planning via Polyvore! This site is AMAZING! I have not yet had time to truly explore it, but I bet what i’ve used it for so far only scratches the surface.

I found THE cutest little girl’s dress and fell in love. I found some shoes, accessories and an outfit for mom and voila! A cute compilation and not too costly, either!

I am just in love with the spring/summer colors in this “look”! (you’ll find links to buy below)

And for extra inspiration, I am posting of few of my clients’ wardrobes from my weekend of mom & me mini shoots. I was SO impressed with what everybody put together! They outfits compliment each other, without being too “matchy”. Success!






Click HERE for links for where to buy mom’s outfit (scroll over the item and click!).

Click HERE for links for where to buy the daughter’s outfit.

Those are links to the sets I created using Polyvore…my new obsession!

I urge you to check it out for yourself…and HAVE FUN!


Mom & Me Mini Sessions {Fort Myers Family Photographer}

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



WIND–I heart faces monthly challenge

April 9th, 2013

Every once in a while, I enjoy entering photo challenges. It’s good to put yourself out there and get some feedback. This month’s challenge over at I Heart Faces is “Wind”.

This little girl is one of my favorite little models and I happened to catch her on a windy day. :)


I Heart Faces is an AWESOME resource and community with invaluable information relating to photography! Challenges are only one small portion of the blog…there are daily tutorials and tons of inspiration. You should check it out. :)

No Words Necessary {Estero Family Photographer}

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 {Extended Family Sessions}

May 16th, 2012
I have had a lot of extended family inquiries recently and one common recurring question on Wardrobe Wednesday is “how should we dress for an extended family session?”. One common answer I always give is “not the same thing”. Whatever you do, steer clear of the white shirts and jeans look. It went out years ago if I may offer the brutal truth. Having said that, it doesn’t need to be a daunting task, either. Here is a post I wrote a year ago outlining how to coordinate an extended family wardrobe! :)
–pst, the shopping list is a bit out of date, but you get the idea ;)
Recently on the main Wardrobe Wednesday page on Facebook, we asked our most awesome and appreciated fans what they’d like to see from us. There was a decent amount of feedback, so thank you fans! One common theme that kept appearing was highlighting a multi generational or extended family shoot. Those can be really hard to coordinate, trust me! I decided to go ahead and put something together since I’ve had a few extended family shoots over the years. One thing to keep in mind with these large groups, is to encourage them to step away from the “all white and khaki”, or “all black and jean” look. While that may have been the “trend” in years past, it’s really outdated and well, just boring. Large groups or extended families CAN wear color and it looks fabulous! The two following extended family samples show just how you can integrate color into large family shoots. One family coordinated whites/khakis and blues! Navy blue, bright blue, aqua and even some yellow! It looks great on the beach, don’t you think?


This family did such a fabulous job pulling together all kinds of “warm” hues for their shoot! I love how they integrated yellows, oranges, eggplant, browns and even a splash of red.


Here is another sample from Wardrobe Wednesday contributor, Morgan Dawson. I love how they used the little girl’s dress and pulled other colors form it to coordinate. This is something I tell a lot of my clients to do! I will explain more in a bit.



I hear you asking “But where do I start?”. As I mentioned before, I often tell my clients to start w/ a female in the family. With multi generational family shoots, there is bound to be at least one little girl. Little girl clothes can be so much fun and so colorful. Find your little girl a colorful dress. Then “pull” colors from the dress. For example, for this compilation, I was inspired by all of the corals I was seeing in stores and online. I found the girl’s dress in Family 2 and LOVED the color combo. Soon, I was able to coordinate several more outfits using creams, aqua, and other coral colors. Remember: you do NOT all have to MATCH exactly. There are often coordinating colors you can use. For example, nowhere in the original dress was there an olive color. BUT, coral and olive coordinate, so I chose an olive colored dress for the mom in Family 1. Because mom’s dress was all one color, I chose a necklace and sandals that would pop with color! Accessories can be so important in your custom photo shoot. A colorful hat, shoes, necklace or scarf can do so much for an image that would normally not have much color or character.
So there you have it. Multi generational family shoots don’t have to be boring! Use color, coordinate accent colors and accessories. Don’t be afraid to mix subtle patterns and textures. But most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with it! There aren’t many times in your life that you’ll be able to get everybody together for a custom photo shoot. And if you can’t afford to hire a custom photographer, consider these alternatives: set up a tripod and use a remote,set your self timer OR ask a neighbor or a person passing by. Seize the moment and capture your time together!!






Chicos Travelers Linen Linda Crop Pant-Winter Drift–$79.00

Chicos Pure Linen Lexie Shirt-Seville Orange–$47.40


Luxe Touch Textured Stripe Polo–Gaki Brown–$49.50

Banana Republic Cotton Summer Plaid Short–Grey–$54.50

Calvin Klein Deauville Suede Loafer–Classic Khaki–$79.50



MOM  [Family 1]

Banana Republic Gathered Column Dress-Glen Olive–$79.99

Chicos Malini Necklace–$68.00

Marcia Knot Flat Sandal–Orange Peel–$79.00

DAD [Family 1]

Banana Republic Short Sleeve Pocket Shirt-Teal–$54.50


Cotton/Linen Cargo Short–$54.50

Crocs Santa Cruz Hemp–$32.50

GIRL [Family 1]

Embroidered Shift Dress–$42.95

Jessica Simpson Valentina (Youth)-$40.00

BOY [Family 1]

Boys Cargo Pocket Polo-Cilantro Butter–$12.99

Old Navy Boys Plaid Cargo Shorts-Marshmallow White–$16.50

Reef Kid’s Slap (youth)–$16.50

DAD [Family 2]

Banana Republic Micro Check Short-Sleeve Shirt–Burnt Orange–$54.50

Gap Cargo Shorts-Chino Cedar–$39.95


Keen Rockaway Flip–Shitake–$50.00

GIRL-[Family 2]

Gap Paisley Floral Print Dress-Aqua Blue Sky–$29.95

Kenneth Cole Reaction Kids Starting Shine-Light Gold–$40.00

BABY GIRL [Family 2]

Gap Metallic Heart Print Jumper–$29.95

Pediped Penny–Gold–$21.50



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