Newborn Portraits – Virginia Beach Session – Sexton Family

These two are probably one of my all time favorite couples!  They started dating at JMU and so when Sterling and I started dating at JMU we would all meet up on the dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights!  Mike (also fondly known as Big Sexy by almost everyone) lived in the house behind Sterling’s house and we were always at either of those two places during my Grad year.  Kevyn is a teacher like me and tons of fun!  The two of them are the kind of friends you want to stay have in your life forever.

The two of them are genuine in every sense of the word, they are loyal, kind and warm.  Kevyn has a spirit that lights up any room she’s in and a contagious laugh!  Mike gives the best hugs and an equally good listener.  The way they treat their friends though is nothing compared to the love they have for each other.  It’s undeniable.  Even just the way they look at each other from across the room, you can tell that they deeply cherish one another.  It’s a love that their son is so blessed to be a part of, one that some people only dream of and others can only emulate; true, constant, big love that pushes into everything they do.  To see these two as parents was amazing because it’s as if the love they have for each other just grew ten fold to include this little tiny baby boy.

Mike and Kevyn, we love you guys and feel so blessed to call you friends.  I’m so glad to have gotten to take these images for you.

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Ps.  You may also remember them from their engagement session!  Click here to walk down memory lane!

Mommy and Me Minis!

Save the date and grab your spot!  May 19th I’ll be hosting my first Mommy and Me minis and I’m partnering up with Becca from Stella and Dot!  All the jewelry will be available to wear at the session and order on site or ahead of time through our exclusive trunk show.  It’s time to treat yourself or the mom in your life!

Each session slot is 30 minutes for $125.  The focus is motherhood!  Whether you are an expecting mom looking for maternity images or needing a gift idea for your own mom or grandmother in your life, this session is for you!  For all the dads out there this is a great gift idea for your wives and could be an extra treat to let them pick out some jewelry that they like too. 🙂

Want to pre-shop the Stella and Dot goods before the session?  Check out Becca’s link here! 

There are only seven slots left so grab yours quick!  Email me at if you’re interested!

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Balch – One Year Portraits!

This little girl quite possibly takes the cake for the best facial expressions!  This whole session she had me won over!  The best part was seeing how much she LOVES her parents!  She lights up when they talk to her and just howls with laughter when her dad gets her going.

We had this session over at Belle Isle and the light was gorgeous!  The trees were blooming which gave the perfect pink glow in all the pictures!

Katie and Dan – you have the sweetest little girl!  Thank you for sharing this milestone with me, I had so much fun!

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Austin Trip!

We have been friends since we were kids.  Camp friends, the kind that of friends that share a special bond.  You see camp friends are special.  We used to spend 6 weeks of the summer living in extremely tight quarters laughing, crying, sharing secrets and being absolutely ridiculous.  Then the summer would end and we’d go a whole year without seeing each other (well except for some birthdays).  Our AIM conversations, a few long distance phone calls and some care packages were the only ways we kept in touch until that fateful June day when we’d all run into a new cabin screaming with delight.  So now that we are older and stretched out all over the world our friendships are still in tact because well, we’re used to the distance.  Our friendships were never based on having to spend all our time together, every weekend or every lunch.  Our friendships were based on those giggly, truly free selves that we were able to be every summer away from the pressures of our home realities.

Last year we were able to see a fair amount of each other because we were all bridesmaids in Lauren’s wedding in May and then they were all bridesmaids in my wedding in August!  Two bachelorettes, showers, weddings and all the moments in between left us in September on a friendship high with no real plans for the next time we’d see each other.  Until we realized that this was the year of the 30.  The year we were all turning 30.  It had to be celebrated and what better way than together.  The only question was – where?

Originally we thought – Vegas!  It boasts of constant fun and plenty to do!  But, we quickly reminded ourselves that 5 days in Vegas might be a little too much fun and would inevitably be pricey.  So then we landed on Austin, Texas, quite randomly too.

This past week we traveled to Austin for our Spring Break shenanigans!  Brooksie came from Amsterdam, Elysia from LA, Natalie from NYC and Lauren and me (plus boys) from Richmond! We had the GREATEST time!  Austin is very unique and fun!  We all kept saying over and over again “I’m just so impressed!  Austin is so cool!”.  It has great food, plenty to do outdoors, is walkable and tourist friendly.  There are bike rentals everywhere, live music all the time, a beautiful river and tons of charm.  We couldn’t get over how dog friendly the city was and how clean, safe and accommodating it is.

I could keep writing and give you a true play by play of the entire trip but instead I’ll leave you with my top favorite things/moments of the trip (in no particular order):

  • The pontoon boat trip we took!  So great to be on the water all day and meet new people!  Plus there were some pretty great dance moments!
  • DINO Succulents!  The succulents in Texas are HUGE!  Really!  I kept calling them dino succulents because they were like the dinosaurs of the succulent world.
  • Mexican Food – Such good Mexican food everywhere you go!
  • Barbecue – If you go to Austin and don’t get brisket barbecue then you’re doing it wrong.  Cooper’s and Uncle Billy’s were amazing!  Wish we could have gone to Terry Black’s but it was packed.
  • THE BATS!!  We weren’t sure if we’d see them since it’s still pretty early in the year but we held out and got to see them!  I don’t think all of them were there yet but there were still THOUSANDS!  We lucked out that we were standing in exactly the right spot, the other half of the bridge couldn’t see them because of how dark it was.  I may have been the only one to appreciate this part of the trip but it was seriously cool!
  • Graffiti Park – It was dirty and very crowded but I’m glad we got to see it since they are apparently going to tear it down soon!  It was worth seeing although I don’t think I’d do it more than once.
  • Barton Springs – A natural spring that the city has sectioned off as a swimming hole for anyone (who pays just a few dollars).   There were tons of people with their dogs and kayak rentals to take out to the main river!  Inside of the pool where the spring is there are natural rocks at the bottom where endangered salamanders (The Barton Springs Salamanders) live!  They have lush grass hills to spread out on and since the springs are naturally 72 degrees year round there were plenty of people out swimming!  I’d love to do this again when it is a little warmer!
  • Quality Time – The best part of this trip was getting to check in with one another and spend some quality time together.  Our first dinner together we went around and talked about what we were going to leave behind in our twenties and what we wanted to take forward with us in our thirties.  The week was full of great meaningful check ins that keep us connected.  These conversations paired with tons of giggling made for a wonderful trip.

We had the best time!  Not only because we got to see a new city but more importantly because we got to celebrate a new phase of our lives and friendship together.  Cheers to our 30s!

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Cooper’s was FANTASTIC!  They literally cut the meat right in front of you, dip in sauce and serve!  They also have AMAZING mac & cheese.

We walked over to South Congress and stopped at the Yeti Flagship store – they have a bar with Yeti coolers as the seats!

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These two love each other!  Two peas in a pod!

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I seem to mind Maryland everywhere I go!

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It’s a really funky and unique city – with art EVERYWHERE!

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I LOVE the vibrant colors of the west!

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We visited the State Capital and had to take a picture with the statue tribute to the Alamo.  Sterling is related to William Barret Travis!

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We visited University of Texas!

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I wish I had more pictures of Barton Springs but nothing could do it justice – especially since it was so big!

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On the last day before our flight Sterling and I rolled our suit cases around Zilker Park.  This river access is right below Barton Springs and dumps into the main river.  So beautiful – bright green/blue water and tons of kayakers!

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Richmond Newborn – Rennolds Family

My first real memory of Leslie was initiation night my first year at camp, circa 2000.  She was a JC (Junior Counselor) and this year’s JC group decided to dress up as crazed electricians.  Or something to this affect.  You see, at camp every summer we initiate our first year campers will a scary (and often times silly) story, a walk around camp and a fun introduction to the rest of camp.  Leslie’s group being the “crazed” electricians were dressed up in jeans, plaid, hats and drawn on fake beards (if memory serves me right).  I was 12 as a first year camper and she was 16 and we had no idea we’d be such good friends.

Fast forward 5 years and Leslie is my first co-counselor at camp.  I felt pretty lucky actually because Leslie was the “Mother of the Row” and I was less nervous knowing I’d have help from a pro!  We lived in Pony Express with about 12 nine to ten year olds and boy was it a crazy summer.  Note-ably of course, was the 2 week long guessing game of “who is wetting the bed?”.  Which ended with a surprise twist and cabin sweeps for three cabins.  Truly a memorable summer!  In our time as co-counselors together she taught me how to sweep away homesickness, laugh through the weird moments and of course get 12 crazy nine year olds to bed, which is not always an easy task.  She was a role model that I always looked up to.

Leslie quickly became a very close friend of mine and a person who I can always call on for help.  She is fiercely loyal, a great listener and silly.  Greg is the calm in any storm, easy going and a perfect match for Leslie.  Seeing them become parents has been a real honor.  It is already evident that Greg and Leslie are great parents, they are grounded in love for each other and their new baby.  This family of five (let’s not forget the two pups) is simply lovely!  Congratulations Leslie and Greg!  I’m so happy for you guys!

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Newborn Portraits – Sam – Charlottesville

Meet my new nephew!! That’s right this little cutie is my sister in law’s son and so obviously I’m biased in thinking he’s precious!  He is officially a month old now and doing very well!  His sister Cora has adapted so well and is really sweet with him.  She is gentle and kind and even calms him down by saying “It’s okay little buddy, it’s okay.” ::swoon::  Sam meanwhile is an observer, calm and quietly takes it all in.  He has big blue eyes that watch you intently.  It’s going to be great watching these two grow up! Read More »

2018 – My Butterfly Year

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The end of 2017 had me doing a lot of reflection and in the midst of all this reflection I came across this post on the Tone It Up account and it really struck a cord with me.  You see I found myself lost a lot this past year.  Unsure of who I really was and where I wanted to go.  It was the hardest year for me professionally and I personally didn’t feel connected to who I really was.  I didn’t understand where all this came from until seeing this post and reminding myself that it was just a season.  2017 was a year of ups and downs that I needed in order to realize what was really happening, I was growing and I just didn’t realize it.  While I felt like I was in a cocoon, wrapped up in self doubt, there was a ton of people in my life who were there for me and knew what I could become.  I needed the hard moments of last year to make me see how far off course I had gotten from who I truly was.  I didn’t feel like myself because in all honesty, I wasn’t being myself.   I had lost sight of the goofy person who never cared what others thought, the girl who said yes to adventures over sitting on the couch, the girl who saw the good in everyone first and was uncomfortable bringing them down.  That girl wasn’t around in 2017, but she is now.

While I questioned a lot this past year, I was consistently guided back to things that bring me joy.  I prayed a lot this year, which I’m usually very private about, but I have to say that in doing so, in asking for guidance, I found that I got the answers that I desperately needed.

When I was discouraged in the classroom and decided to look for new opportunities a door swung open to a job that I LOVE.  I got my sparkle back that I was losing and now am able to share my sparkle with others and help people which fills me with so much joy!

Relationships is the heart string of 2017.  When I needed it the most, old friends came back into my life and reminded me of the girl I really am.  I found myself closer to my sister this year when I found myself stressed and overwhelmed by wedding planning. These friendships that I had neglected for a long time are now breathing truth and new life into me.  Reminding me of who I really am and helping me focus on what really matters.

I’ve also been consistently reminded of how many people are in my corner.  Each time I’ve shared out something personal I’ve had hundreds of people who have been there encouraging me and reminding me how blessed I am.  And of course, through everything, my relationship with Sterling has been the most constant force, having him as family is the the best part of 2017 and my future.

While 2017 may not have been a year of a ton of outward growth, it’s been a year of tons of internal reflection and appreciation.  I’m ready for 2018 and I’m ready to show up and be a better person.  I’m ready to reconnect with my genuine self and spend more intentional time with people I love that remind me of my focus and my heart song.

This year I’m determined to try…

  • Saying YES to positivity and gratitude
  • Saying YES to adventures
  • Saying NO to gossip and negativity
  • Saying YES to relationships that bring me joy
  • Saying YES to helping others
  • Saying YES to eating healthier
  • Saying YES to working out consistently and getting stronger 
  • Saying YES to my faith and strengthening it
  • Saying NO to silly spending in order to say yes to long term savings
  • Saying NO to soda (this makes me sad, but it has to go)
  • Saying YES to more me time

In 2018 I’m focusing on reconnecting with myself and my genuine happiness.  I’m determined to put intentional energy into old friendships that I deeply cherish and lift me up.   I’m excited for 2018 because I finally don’t feel as lost as I did in 2017.  I don’t feel like the caterpillar who is hungry for more and I don’t feel myself hiding away my true self in the cocoon.  I’m ready to be the butterfly and try new things, open my wings and show off my true self.  This is my year.

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Williams Newborn

I’m not going to lie to you, I always get nervous before newborn sessions.  Mostly because I don’t have children of my own yet so I don’t know all the ways to sooth them the ways mothers do.  Also because I’m never 100% sure of how it will go.  With kids I can distract them or play games or try to make them giggle but newborns can’t be distracted easily with games or silly phrases.

While I always get a little nervous before hand – I always sink into calm the moment we start.  Newborn sessions are special – they are new and exciting and sweet.  It’s calm and slower and intentional.  It’s not about games and being silly it’s about sweet little moments.  Capturing the way moms look at their baby, the way dads hold them and look at their wives.  It’s about little toes and tiny ears.  Small little smiles and sleepy poses and details. I always love taking newborn images and even more so editing and delivering newborn images.  They are a milestone, not just a picture for a card but a memory, a moment, a blink.

Lauren’s little girl made our session perfect.  She was sweet and when she wasn’t sleeping she was staring right at the camera with these beautiful big blue eyes.  Lauren has these white curtains in the room which we were able to use as a perfectly clean white background.  The nursery is decorated with sweet little touches of giraffes – a favorite of Lauren’s.  🙂

Here are some of my favorites from the William’s newborn session, I know I’m biased but I think they are simply precious!

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Best of 2017

This year was a challenging one for me but one in which I got to do some new things that pushed me to improve.  To start I did more newborn sessions than any other this year!  Two years ago I was telling myself that newborns weren’t for me and that it wouldn’t be something I offered.  I quickly began to understand that if I wanted to be considered a “Family Photographer” I’d have to accept the challenge of newborns because let’s be honest – newborns are a huge milestone for families.

And so, this year I decided to say yes to newborn sessions!  It challenged me because since I’m a natural light photographer – I usually prefer to be outdoors.  With less access to the sun it can be challenging to shoot newborn sessions without studio lights inside.  I used to struggle to get good clean colors and skin tones with indoor photographs but with the help of an expo disc and having these sessions I feel so much more confident at getting great clean color.  Now I love the clean and soft skin tones of newborn sessions and the slower pace that feels refreshing.

I also offered two dates for holiday minis to accommodate more families and found huge success!! With a total of 15 sessions I got to work with amazing families and my bucket was filled after chasing around and playing with so many littles!

This year I also registered for some new and exciting educational experiences which I’m taking time in 2018 to dive into!  More about this to come!

I’m looking into 2018 with excitement and ready to grow!  But for now – here are some of my best images from 2017!

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Trenton – Senior Portraits

I can’t believe that Trenton is a senior! I first met him 5 years ago (?) at Sterling’s family christmas party.  He is Sterling’s cousin and is one of the sweetest young men you’ll ever meet.  He is always one of the first to say hello to me and helps however he can.  He has a heart of gold and takes care of his mom and sisters in a way that will melt your heart.  He’s a good ole boy who loves everything country, specifically hunting, his truck and his dog.  He came out of the woods that morning right before these images and even cleaned his truck!

The whole time we walked around he kept offering suggestions and was willing to do just about anything – including picking up a log with a tractor and moving it across a field for me. 🙂  Needless to say Trenton is growing up to be a wonderful man who will do amazing things in his life!  Such a pleasure getting to take these and getting to have him as family.

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Had to get some with his mom Brandy, she’s the best!

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He has the sweetest girlfriend!!

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