She’s The Sweetest

A couple of posts back I shared about having the amazing privilege of photographing the birth of my niece’s daughter. And while I haven’t been able to attend the arrival of my other niece’s two sons I have had the great joy of doing their newborn pictures. So I’m really happy that tradition is being carried on with Miss Kya’s sweet self.

She is absolutely adorable and we spent a lovely morning together last week taking pictures. Because her mama is who she is and my niece’s mama is who she is the child is not lacking in cute outfits and head bling to wear.

But her Daddy gets all the credit for picking out the most adorable coming home from the hospital outfit. He found it and ordered it online as a surprise for my niece.

See what I mean? Worth the wait all sparkly and then those leg warmers! But then we have this on so fancy head piece.

The sweet little baby was a trooper during her pictures. She was awake a little bit but when her mama got her to settle and go to sleep she was out and let us move her all around without a whimper.

And how perfect is this bridge? My mother-in-law just got it as a sweet birthday present for my daughter. It made the most phenomenal prop and I am already plotting and planning how to use it again.

Looking at these and I just can’t wait to love on her some more. She is so precious and we thank God for her life.

Welcome to the world little one! You are so loved.

Favorite Photo Friday

I love taking pictures of people…the happiness, the joy and love, the funny.

But I also enjoying capturing nature be it the beach, a flower or a sunset.

For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made…

I can’t help but see God in the physical world around me and when I start nosing in with my camera, start focusing and really paying attention, I am astounded and left amazed at what He reveals to us of Himself…the beauty, the strength, the grace.

The way a flower blooming hints at the divine unfolding right before our eyes…the story of life, death and resurrection told over and over again and again bearing witness of hope.

Today, look around you at the natural world and marvel that everything was made through Him and for Him.

But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of heaven, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
~ Job 12:7-9 

The Reason Why

If you hang out a round the blog at all you might have noticed more pictures being shared. There’s a reason for that.

There has been a long going debate about whether a photographer should blog every session or just some sessions. I was a blogger before I really became a photographer though and so for me I would share the occasional picture but that wasn’t the point of my first blog. As my confidence grew behind the camera I started a side blog where I did a weekly photo project. It ran into a glitch after a few years and eventually went away all though the project continued on other platforms.

Then there was this weird overlap between a lack of words on my part and more picture taking. I decided to start a whole brand new blog and Life Through My Lens was born. It didn’t take long for me to realize I don’t live my life divided up into neat little boxes and my photography spills over into my words and my words spill over into photography. But oddly enough I still never shared images from sessions on a regular basis. No particular reason why it’s just been the way it has worked out and I still don’t have an answer for the all or some question as far as which ones to blog.

However I have recently joined an online photography community and we’re encouraged to share more of our work so we can learn from each other, to get feedback and constructive criticism, and maybe show off a little. And I decided that I want to share more of the wonderful people I get to photograph. I don’t really have a reason not too. So you’ll probably start seeing more of my work on here along with the regular recipes and my own thoughts. And if I’m having a slow season I just might pull up some past sessions and share those.

All that being said, today I am going to share some of my favorite images from a newborn session I did back in May. It was pretty special for a couple of reasons. First, it was twins. Adorable could-not-be-any-more-precious twins. Second, it was the first time I have ever attempted any sort of fandom portrait and it actually turned out really, really cute.

The twins have one beautiful big sister and she was willing to get in a few pictures. This one was just so sweet!

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And the boys themselves…oh my goodness they were just the cutest!

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They were angels and it was one of the easiest newborn sessions I’ve ever had. Mom and Dad were both really laid back and the whole time was low key and pleasant.

Ollie is the oldest although his little brother beats him on size by a few ounces. He is quite possibly going to be a redhead.

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Mom made these cute little hats for each of them.

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Like I mentioned, Teddy is the younger but bigger twin. He is also as dark as his brother is fair.
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I keep up with mom on facebook and it is such fun to see them growing and getting bigger.
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Mom and Dad are fans of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings and they brought some neat things to incorporate into a photo. It also happens that people in my house are fans of both series and so I had some things that would help make this set up come together. I might have squealed a little when I saw it on the back of my camera.
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I really enjoy newborn sessions and this one was just about perfect. And, pun intended, practically magical.

Vince And Kait

Sometimes last minute things just work. One day in the beginning of June my friend Mel (of Our Blessed Arrows fame) sent me a text asking if there was anyway I could possibly photograph her oldest daughter’s surprise engagement that afternoon. She and her about to be future son-in-law were plotting and planning and while Mel figured she could probably get a few pictures with her cell phone she decided to see if I could be there.

Now I have photographed all kinds of events from family, children, and senior sessions, a 95th birthday, engagement pictures, weddings, 50th anniversary celebrations, gender reveals, maternity and even a birth. I’ve also been blessed to have the privilege of recording some of life’s more difficult moments when friends lost their one month old baby and another said goodbye to her husband too soon. I had never ever photographed an actual proposal though and for that reason alone I would have been excited to do it. But this was also some of our dearest friends and I was beyond excited to have the opportunity to photograph this special moment.

Turns out I am a stinkin’ ninja. They never even saw me and Vince was kind of looking for me when he wasn’t down on one knee asking Kait to spend the rest of her life with him.

Last week I got together with the happy couple and we had such a great time in downtown Pensacola shooting their engagement pictures. I love how diverse the downtown area is with so  many varied backgrounds all within walking distance to take advantage of. We started near Plaza Ferdinand and just meandered around Palafox Street before ending our time together on the pier.

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Vince is completely smitten with Kait and it was so sweet to see the way he looks at her.
Of course Kait is equally smitten with Vince. 
I love Pinterest and I encourage my clients to make use of it when preparing for sessions. Everything from planning what to wear and picking out favorite poses. I make sure to explain that it is for inspiration and that we won’t be making exact recreations. I mean, we live in FL so that gorgeous California mountain light just isn’t going to happen here and unless you and yours are the exact same size and shape as the people in the photo logistically it’s just not going to look exactly the same. Knowing all of that we pulled up the Pinterest board we had created for their session and found a few that we really liked. I think it only took us about nine or ten times to finally get this shot the way we liked it. 

There was a bout of Rock, Paper, Scissors and a few rounds of thumb wrestling and even a game of arm wrestling.
I don’t think Vince was worried about loosing.

This was one of my absolute favorites from their session. I’m not sure exactly why…maybe the way they’re looking at each other, so completely sure that they’re each other’s other, the part that fits and connects like no one else has or will. Whatever it is or however you describe it I hope they always keep looking at each other that way.
Vince and Kait, I am so excited for you both and cannot wait for your wedding. Until then may you both jealously guard and protect the love God has so generously given to the both of you. 
And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes,
in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality,
I’d find you and I’d choose you


Throw Back Thursday…Sort of

Most of the photography I do is for family and friends and people connected to my community of church and the kids school. Every now and then though I get contacted by a friend of a friend kind of thing and that’s how I came to meet this sweet  couple. Tim’s mother is a long time friend of my sister’s neighbor and family friend so when they mentioned wanting to do engagement pictures a few months ago my name popped up and I’m so glad it did.

We actually did the pictures back in April (hence the blog post title)  during spring break when his parents were visiting so it was a family event. Both Tim and Abbey are students at a local Christian college and the wedding will be back in her home state but they wanted their engagement pictures done here.

Because I hadn’t met them before I was a little nervous but they were all so laid back and happy it was easy for us to settle into good rhythm and we got some really sweet pictures.

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Congratulations to you both, Tim and Abbey! I know you are counting down the days until the BIG day and I pray that you continue to find love in each other and in the details of all the planning.

Being in love is not merely a feeling.
It is a deep unity maintained by the will
and deliberately strengthened by habit;
reinforced by the grace which both partners
ask and receive from God.
~ CS Lewis

Repeating The Good Stuff

In the past ten years or so I have had Alice in front of my camera in family pictures multiple times (including the first time when she and her siblings agreed to sneak off with me to do pictures as a surprise Mother’s Day present.) She was also in the first class of senior pictures I ever did  and most notably as a bride when I photographed her wedding about a year and a half ago.

A couple of months ago I not only got to meet her sweet little baby boy while she was down visiting from Idaho but I also got to take his pictures. I love taking anybody’s pictures but there is something extra sweet about getting to record some of the biggest milestones in a person’s life.
Especially when they are as adorable as this little guy.
I mean just look at that face…is it cute or what? Even when he wasn’t real sure he liked the Florida heat, our humidity, the gnats, or my camera.

His expressions were all adorable but for some reason it’s his toes that I just love in this picture.

Sweet mama.

Beautiful mama.

I don’t know how often she’ll make the trip down here but over the next ten years I hope I can get her and hers in front of my camera again.

Lady Summer

Lady Summer reigns over long hot days.

Boldly, she leans into the heat and breathes it in.

Without apology she dares you to do the same.

Beckons you to follow along the edge of the shore. To give into freedom, to build sand castles, to play.

She urges you to reach with both hands to grab hold of time even as you feel it slip through your fingers.

Even as her days begin to wane, she laughs as she slowly slips away.

Leaving behind thoughts and memories offered up like treasure to be enjoyed from the sea.

A Beautiful Bride

Sometimes living in Florida with our pop up afternoon showers can be a tad frustrating as a photographer. We planned Chrisann’s bridals and had to cancel twice because of afternoon monsoons.

So, what were we to do because we had some serious time constraints to work within? Get up at 4:30 in the morning of course to do a sunrise session.
And oh my, was she indeed a beautiful bride!

Fabulous dramatic lighting at the fort that early in the morning.

Looking for all the world like a princess watching for her Prince Charming.

Abby ~ Part Three

Here are the last of her pictures from our magical session in January. The light was fading but we moved onto the beach and, despite being a little chilly,  Abby was a trooper.

I’m really terrible about getting my pictures off the computer (a horrible confession from a photographer I know!) but I really need to have some of these printed.

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Sorry for the picture overload but I couldn’t help myself! And truth be told there are a few more. Maybe I will share those another time.

Abby ~ Part One

There are times when my camera feels like a magic wand in my hands.

I always love taking pictures. Whether it’s families, or children or even the head shots I’ve been doing recently. Capturing certain moments…helping preserve moments and events in someone’s life…that is just an incredibly amazing thing to be a part of.
But sometimes.
Sometimes, I am surprised and amazed when something I see in my head becomes a reality on the back of my camera.
Sometimes I am startled when it all just comes together and the vision finds expression so perfectly that I want to dance I’m so happy.
It is an incredible feeling however fleeting it may be.
Back in January Abby and I spent some time together one late afternoon and in was one of those magical moments. Rarely have I been as proud of personal work as I am of the images from that day. I’m going to be sharing them over the next several weeks and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
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I came across this quote by CS Lewis and it just seemed to fit so perfectly. 
I can’t wait to share some more with you!