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I Heart Faces Photo Contest-Let’s hear it for the boys

This week’s contest over at I Heart Faces is “Let’s hear it for the boys”.  (Anyone else have that Footloose song stuck in their heads now?  Wait….raise your hand if you don’t even know what Footloose is…..)

I just returned from Youth Camp with our church where I was so incredibly blessed to have been asked by one of our “sons” to photograph his proposal.  He was so nervous about doing it, and she had NO idea!  I think the HARDEST part of the whole week was seeing her several times a day and NOT opening my fat mouth and spilling the beans!

But the final day of camp finally came, and Corey was so incredibly nervous, he just DROPPED to his knee before anyone realized it!  If I hadn’t been checking the lighting in this extremely poorly lit cafeteria, I would have completely missed it myself!  LOL

We’ve known and taught Corey since he was a brand new 12 year old in the Youth department, now he’s grown and getting married.  Time sure flies without realizing it.  I’m so blessed to be where God can use me in more ways than I ever imagined!

This was my favorite photo of the entire engagement scene:  she was so overwhelmed, she sobbed all over him….and he just held her close, protective and loving, until she could compose herself in front of the entire church.  The lighting conditions were less than ideal, but it was a breathtaking scene I was blessed to catch.  Sometimes you just know that God is patting you on the head and allowing you to get everything right!

Congratulations, Corey and Kylie!  I can’t wait to do engagement photos….and perhaps wedding photos!  😀  We love you guys!


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I Heart Faces-bright and vivid

I just returned yesterday from an amazing week of church camp with the teenagers, so I haven’t had time to do a lot of planning for this week’s challenge!

But, in honor of one of my graduating Seniors girls from church, I thought I’d do a photo of Lizzie.  I’ve had her since she started in the Youth dept at church and I’ve seen her grow and mature in her walk with Christ.  I’m so stinkin’ proud of this young lady!

Click the I ♥ Faces button at the top to see more amazing photos!


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I ♥ Faces-From a distance

This week we’re going to focus on portrait photos that were taken at more of a distance.  Examples of this would be:  a photo with the people way off in the distance in a beautiful location, a photo that features a whole slew of people rather than focusing on a single face, a silhouette photo taken from afar, a photo with the subjects walking away from the camera, etc.

I have been waiting since APRIL to use this photo!  I love it so much!  This is our sweet friends that invite us along to their gorgeous land.  I have learned so much from them and treasure their friendship.  We spent an incredibly fun weekend with them in April and while we were supposed to be packing up, I decided to sneak some pictures in instead.  Even in silhouette, you can see their adorable personalities in the photos, each of the beautiful children with their incredible mom (dad was actually packing up hee hee!)  I think it makes it even more special knowing that all the land you see in the photo, all the beautiful water, is all theirs.  Lucky dogs!  LOL  I’m lucky they like me and invite us along for their fun!

(I will be gone ALL this week at church camp counseling the teenage girls from my church, so I’ll be missing all the great photos this week!  But I promise to check them all out when I get back!  So, if you have a second this week……pray for me.  I may need it.  😉  It’s not easy living with 15+ teenage, hormonal girls.  HAHAHAHA!  But this just means:  MORE WORSHIP PHOTOS!  YAY!)



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I’ve been published! TWICE!

I’m such a nut….I get so excited over the silliest things!  LOL

In my head, I’m still this little (OK, NOT so little…..maybe I should have said “unimportant”) stay at home Mom, who loves to watch her sons football games and band concerts and make bows and adorable outfits for her daughter.  I’m just a regular mom, working too hard to provide for her amazing kids, and would give her right arm for a 3 hour nap…….without 26 interruptions.

Sometimes I’m a little overwhelmed to know that people actually really like what I do.  (Is that too honest?  Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that on my public, professional blog.)  So to think, and then to see, that a BIG WEBSITE like I ♥ Faces would publish my articles and tutorials B L O W S my mind.  Seriously. b l o w s my mind!

If you are interested, here are the 2 most recent articles:

The Photographers Workout

Worship Photography

I am so humbled that God would bless me with this talent and that others would like it!

Always, be kind to others!  And think of others before yourself.


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People’s Choice-I Heart Faces

This week is People’s Choice–our BEST FACE photo taken in May.

I don’t know about BEST PHOTO, but probably one of my favorites.

Earlier this month, I had the honor of flying to Washington state for the FIRST time ever in my life, for a very special friend.  (I wrote about her story in an earlier post.)  To make a long story short, she flew me (and my almost 16 year old son) to Washington to do family portraits with her mother in law who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.

I had never met any of them other than many many emails and messages and comments on blogs and facebook. 😉  This family was like meeting your long-lost relatives.  They were loving and kind and HIL*ARIOUS!  They made my whole weekend.  Even now, weeks later, I miss them like I’d always known them.  (Weird huh?  LOL)  This is Rachel’s beautiful, kind, wonderful mother in law.

If you have a chance, say a prayer for her.  She’s pretty special.

I am not even concerned about the most votes or People’s Choice, to be quite honest.  But if I can get a handful of earnest prayers on her behalf, I’d be awfully happy.

You can vote for the OTHER talented photographers.  I’m happy with prayers.  And yet again, another reason I love I ♥ Faces so much!

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I WON…..again!

So you know how much I LOVE I ♥ Faces.  What it is:  a photography website FULL of information, tutorials, giveaways, and of course, photo contests!  It’s HUGE.  Big.  Like, BIG BIG.  Tons and tons of people.

So, this week’s theme was YELLOW, and ya know, I love me some happy yellow!  So I entered a photo of my supremely GORGEOUS daughter.

AND……out of 447 entries, I took 10th PLACE!  WOOOHOOOOO!!!  Makes me SO happy!  😀  😀  😀  😀  😀

I’m a little proud.  😉

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I ♥ Faces-YELLOW

This week at I ♥ Faces, the theme is YELLOW!  And today was a beautiful day, but spent doing a million other things, so I had to go back to the archives and edit an old photo.

Miss Brooklyn… amazing daughter God has blessed me with.

(Click on photo to see it in full resolution)

Who has God blessed you with?  Who makes a difference in your life?  Who do you make a difference for?

I love I ♥ Faces and I’m so sad I couldn’t make it out to San Antonio for their BIG workshop this weekend!  I’m so jealous!

EDITED TO ADD:  I just found out today that Brooklyn’s wonderful teacher nominated ME to receive a FREE housecleaning!  WOOHOO!!  So, if you have a second, would you pretty please vote for me?  All you do is click on this link:  “LIKE” the Tulsa Clean Team page, and then click on my photo on their page and “LIKE” my picture.  You don’t have to comment (she doesn’t count those), just “LIKE” my photo.  I just think it’s the SWEETEST thing for her to think of me!  And truth be told, I could certainly use it.  {sigh}  I’m so tired. Working 3 jobs is not an easy thing.  Thank you to EVERYONE for your sweet vote!

Tulsa Clean Team

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Family session giveaway!

A few weeks ago, on my Facebook Fanpage, I felt the need to give away a FREE family session.  The participants only needed to email me with their story and a photo, and at the end of the contest, my sweet kids and I would pick a winner.

(For the record, I am constantly getting the urge to have specials and give aways and discounts….so, become a FAN on facebook and watch those specials!)

I’ve seen a lot of death and cancer and hospice lately, and I always hope they have an amazing family portrait to leave behind.  So this prompted the give away on facebook.

I received an email from a very unlikely candidate:  my sweet blog friend, Rachel.  It wasn’t that she didn’t have a need, here are a couple of parts from her letter:

Last week, my Mother-in-Love was diagnosed with a grade 4 tumor. She has brain cancer, the worst kind.

I remember crying through your posts about God healing your mom (I cry a lot, don’t I?), and I know you understand how our lives have been turned upside down over the possibility of losing a woman we love very much.

Two days after the diagnosis, I realized that it had been forever since family pictures had been taken. In fact, I think it was well over a decade ago, that Mom and her siblings had done the good old 80’s Olan Mills session.

What breaks my heart, is that in considering her treatment options, my Mother-in-Love had to realize that she would lose her hair. The utter disappointment on her face was devastating. Nearly 80 years old, and losing your hair. It wasn’t vanity – but just another personal thing taken away by cancer. And in these next few weeks and months of treatment, I worry about the opportunities for family photos. Worry about her feeling well and getting the chance to make these memories.

She has a very deep need….the only problem is:  SHE LIVES IN WASHINGTON STATE!

But that letter ended with:  if she is chosen as the winner, they will fly me up there.

So, last weekend, away I flew, complete with my oldest son in tow, to states I have never been before, to a ‘stranger’ I had never met before, to do family portraits for some of the wildest, most loving, amazing people out there!

Their desire wasn’t only for the pretty, posed photos of all of the siblings together again….they wanted the laughter, the pranks, the silliness….and those touching moments that make life bearable.

(someone may or MAY NOT have been pinching the other on the down under…. 😉  )

They wanted memories of healthy days, lazy days…..days just being together.

The wanted the everyday.  Not the perfect.  Just the every day.  The great grandsons running to meet their great grandma with a hug and a kiss.  The great grandaughters having a chuckle….just like always.

The beautiful posed photos happened of families with family, and the wonderful image of a beautiful, very loved matriarch.

She was, afterall, the entire reason for the trip.  But when all is said and done, what they wanted was the normal…..the memories of the common occuranceAnd that is what I captured.

But what I hadn’t planned on….was leaving there loving them all too.

What an amazing family.  Congratulations to the Grayless family for being a wonderful example of a loving family.  Our prayers are with you Mama Grayless. 

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I Heart Faces-Motherhood

Oh I had so many choices for this week!  It’s really hard to pick for this subject, it’s so near to my heart!

In honor of Mother’s Day and the hardest job ever on the planet….we are celebrating MOTHERHOOD!

This is one of my sweet friends I have been so blessed with!  She likes having babies…I like photographing babies….it works so well for both us!  😀

I dearly love the baby stage.  The snuggling, the rocking, and the nursing.  {sigh}  If only they would stay babies longer.  It really isn’t fair really.  Goodness I miss that.  Appreciate it while they are young, because it doesn’t last long.

I love this photo of Kayla.  I wish I had more photos of me with the kids when they were babies.  That is your challenge….take more photos WITH your kids.  They grow up so fast.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  Love yourself, appreciate yourself, and enjoy this time.

And always, be kind to others!

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