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(These pictures of Jasper were taken in the front yard. I was trying to get some good images for my new business cards and was letting him pinch the bum of my mouse puppet...thus the uncontrollable laughing.)

Two and a half years ago I first hung up my photography shingle. My first website went live in June of 2009. I had gone from pestering friends to let me take their pictures to having friends of friends ask about having photos done.

Since then I have photographed literally hundreds of people. I have made myself look very silly to get a good grin out of little people. I have wiped little noses with my sweater. I've changed a few mini diapers and been peed on by newborns with super apologetic moms. I've had to come up with backup plans. I've checked the weather websites religiously. I've had moments that make me want to sing and a few where I was struggling to figure out how to get the look I've wanted. I've hugged kids, heard stories, laughed a ton, dropped my camera, and talked a lot. I have learned so very much.

When I was in university to learn how to become a teacher, I remember doing observations and student teaching with absolutely amazing teachers. I would take lots and lots of notes, trying to remember every thing they did so that I could be just like them. While I definitely learned techniques and skills and was so blessed by the heart they had for their students, I remember coming to the realization that I could take what I'd learned and truly be a good teacher myself.

I feel much the same with photography. I have read tons of books and blogs and admired the work of great photographers. I have tried and practiced and learned. Now I feel like I am getting very settled into who I am and how I photograph. Though I always want to be learning and growing, I am quite comfortable with my own style.

What's even more fun, is that the people that have chosen me to record their families have done it because they have are drawn to the type of work I do. That means so very much to me.

I did price myself very inexpensively for the type of photography I've done. There's a lot of strong opinion and argument in the photography community about pricing. Initially for me it involved wanting to be priced very affordably so that I would get lots of experience....and I have. I still feel the very real tension of wanting photography to be accessible to people who value it, and also making it worth the time of consulting, shooting, traveling, editing, blogging, and sending out finished cd's. I have slightly increased my prices this year, and trust that people who do value the quality of portraiture that I do, will also recognize the time and talent that goes into it.

I love this quote I recently came across. It's one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it's another thing to make a portrait of who they are. Paul Coponigro

So now I'm at round two, it feels like, with my second website launch. I'm excited...and quite happy with the feel of it. My friend, Kristy, who taught me photo editing years ago, was uber patient with me as I went back and forth on what I wanted for a logo and I am thrilled with the final result. I like how fresh and clean and modern it is. Thank you, friend!! I love the galleries of entirely new images to the website, though many of them have been blogged or facebooked. I love the families and people that I see there. You'll notice I have a client gallery now. Your photos will be blogged after a session like before but then I'll put the whole bunch of them on your own private gallery to see and share with family and friends. You can then decide to order the whole disk, which I know many of you love, or to order prints through me. I decided to offer quality prints as an option as honestly, seeing my images printed at the local one hour Walgreens makes my skin crawl. It's so worth having a quality print from your images once you've gone through all the effort of having a session done. I also have some fun, whimsical "featured galleries" started which will continue to grow with creative themes.

Finally, I have a hard time adequately describing just how much I love photographing people. I truly love what I do and feel very grateful for the opportunity to have you in front of my camera, to share with me your families, your connections, your love. Thank you!

I would dearly love it if you would leave me any feedback or thoughts about the website if you would. Thank you!

Here's to a great 2012.

Check out my new website HERE.