Friday, September 30, 2011

Counting the Days! {OpLove}

So excited that I had the opportunity to work with this family again! We met up this summer for a family session when Dad was that he's in Afghanistan, they're counting down the days, minutes, & hours until they can all be together again!

I cannot believe how much "C" has grown in just the past couple months; and I was loving that he was all smiles and giggles for these long-distance hugs & kisses being sent to Dad. Miss "J" was a great model, as usual, and really should win the award for best big sister. {and how gorgeous is Mom?!}

I know without a doubt that their Soldier is going to love having these moments to enjoy, and I certainly hope these smiles from home help the days go a bit quicker.

{OpLove disclaimer: "The photos and other content of this publication do not constitute or imply any endorsement ot recommendation by the Department of Defense."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away! {OpLove Session}

Mother Nature was not playing nice with me this past weekend. Friday evening I had a session scheduled, and it was so dark, dreary & pouring rain that we decided to reschedule. About an hour later, just as the session would have begun, the skies cleared and there was a gorgeous soft light downtown. Argh!!! So, on Saturday morning for this session it wasn't raining...until about 10 minutes in. Really?!! Luckily, it was more of a gentle rain and  downtown offered enough locations with covering that we were able to get the session in.  Whew!

These three adorable kiddos were such troopers...getting up early on a Saturday, and dealing with the rain. But they knew they were sending some special smiles and long-distance hugs to their Daddy!

This one cracks me up! We were at the end of the session, and it was starting to rain a little harder and so I was doing my best to keep them still in the spirit and smiling. In an attempt to get them giggling again I told them to scream...well, I definitely underestimated their enthusiasm! I'm pretty sure their Daddy may have been able to hear them. It was cute, though, and this is one of those captures that shows their personalities in full swing, so I have no doubt their Dad will love it. {Maybe bring back a few memories of some long-distance car rides? "Are we there yet?"} Certainly years down the road the three of them can look back at this and giggle.

Mom is a rockstar. Three little kiddos, dressed, happy, and on-time for an 8 AM session with about a 30 mins car ride? Man, she's GOOD!!!

I had a great time marching around downtown with this family, seeing who's feet could be the loudest and watching them giggle and snuggle. I know Daddy is going to cherish seeing his beautiful wife and their kiddos! I can't wait to get his album out for him to enjoy...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

2011 Holiday Mini Sessions

 Woo-hoo! The mini sessions are back!

This year I have THREE dates available for you to choose from...but there's only FOUR slots available on each date, so only twelve lucky families are going to get to take advantage of these great little packages.  I hope you'll be one of them! Call me...NOW! grab your slot.


you can also e-mail me. Just click the "Contact Missie" link on the bottom left of my site

All session slots will be booked on a first-come,first-serve basis. If you e-mail me I will look at the date & time of your e-mail in the event of multiple requests for the same slot coming in.

Your session fee will be due in full at the time of booking to reserve your slot. For your convenience I accept Visa, Mastercard, & Discover via my secure shopping cart.
{I will direct you to this when we book your session}
If I do not receive your session fee within 24 hours, your slot will be considered "open"

I have designed three special packages for you to choose from for your mini session;
all of them offer amazing savings from my regular artistry prices. Simply choose what works best for your family...and you can certainly add on to your package with anything your heart desires from my 2011 studio product line of prints, designs, albums, & jewelry {new!}

Here they are!

Option 1: Enjoy your mini session & online gallery at this special $50 rate!
{any prints, designs, albums, & jewelry will be in addition to this session fee}

Option 2: Enjoy your mini session & online gallery PLUS select your favorite card design from my collection and you'll have a set of 25 beautiful holiday cards to share with friends and family. You'll also enjoy a $25 credit towards your choice of any one of my Framed Print or Lustre Print Collections. All this is only $150 ( a $285 value )
{you may select any additional prints, designs, albums, & jewelry to enjoy at home and give as gifts; these will be in addition to this session fee} 

Option 3: Enjoy your mini session & online gallery PLUS select your favorite card design from my collection and you'll have a set of 50 beautiful holiday cards to share with friends and family.  I'll also customize a 3x3 mini accordian album design for'll have a set of 3 of this design. Perfect to give as gifts, and you get to keep one for yourself! You'll also enjoy a $25 credit towards your choice of any one of my Framed Print or Lustre Print Collections. All this is only $310 ( a $540 value )
{you may select any additional prints, designs, albums, & jewelry to enjoy at home and give as gifts; these will be in addition to this session fee}

So when are these awesome sessions being held? you ask

Here are some answers to some FAQs:

Where will the session be held?
All sessions will be outdoor, natural-light sessions. Your setting will be in the landscaping and comfort of my home's yard...I even have a rockin' shabby chic couch I'll have out for us to use!
I will provide directions once we're booked, but I live in the Haymount section of  Fayetteville.

What if it rains? Will sessions be rescheduled?
Nope! No worries...I've got 'cha covered. literally. Your schedules are hectic, so I wouldn't put you through the hassle of having to figure all that the event of inclement weather, we will move the session inside. I have studio lights, beautiful hardwood flooring, and soft subtle colors that will blend in with any family's style and attire. We'll be good to go!

Can our dog {or cat, or bird, or snake...}be a part of our session?
I love working with pets, however family sessions incorporating four-legged family members do take a bit more time since, well, pets will be pets. Because these are 20 minute sessions I ask that pets please do not join you. If you would like for your dog to be a part of your family portraits I would love to schedule a regular session for you...we'll have the time and locations perfect for your warm fuzzy.

What is the difference between a mini session and a regular session?
Mini sessions offer you to opportunity to enjoy working with me to capture those important family moments, only without all the "bells and whistles" and {bonus!} at a mini price.

My sessions are $125, and in addition to the 60-90 minute session I spend time with you in person for both a pre-session consultation and a post-session portrait & design collection consultation. A family session can include up to 2 wardrobe looks, and may not necessarily be in just one location. Well trained & friendly pets are welcome with advance planning, and your gallery will include 30 images.
With 48-hours notice we are able to reschedule a session due to illness or family emergency.

My 2011 Holiday Minis are 20-minute sessions. We use one set location, and there are no wardrobe changes. Pre-session consultations will be done over the phone at the time of booking, and you will enjoy a gallery of 10 images to select from. Sorry, no pets allowed. For these specific sessions you have three package options to choose from; all of which you can add to from my studio product line.
We are not able to reschedule mini sessions for any reason, and deposits are not refundable.

I look forward to working with you! Remember, while I have 3 dates available there's only 12 total slots! Call or e-mail me today to reserve your family's time! 760.927.0518  or e-mail.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jessica & Ryan {Five Star Entertainment}

This past Saturday I teamed up with Five Star Entertainment to photograph the wedding of Jessica & Ryan. I met Nina, Mark, & Ray from Five Star during the Extreme Makeover Home Edition build this summer; they are so much fun, and their DJ/Videography was part of The Knot's "best of weddings" for 2010. Awesome! So I was very excited when they asked me if I'd be interested in shooting some weddings for them...

Nina & I teamed up to photograph this super cute couldn't ask for a more easy-going and fun family to work with.  I was so bummed, though, to learn that the owner of this gorgeous location is not going to book any weddings for 2012! Gorgeousness aside, I was VERY glad I made the last-second decision to nix the heels and opt for the ballet flats once I saw the set of stairs the wedding procession was going to be walking down....

....these steps just screamed "missie moment!" If I had been in heels, I probably would have wound up as a YouTube sensation....

{I always love the moments right before the ceremony begins, when Dad's & Daughters share a few moments together. I'll always remember that moment with my Dad; he was suprisingly nervous.}

I'm personally always drawn more towards the casual, candid moments of weddings rather than the formal elements. Obviously weddings are one of the few times we're able to enjoy having so many of the people we hold dear to our hearts together in one place; and to me it's more natural to capture those connections through less formal posing. Don't get me wrong, I love and admire a lot of wedding photographers that follow a more traditional and formal element in their work, but my style is definitely a reflection of my personality and how close I am with my family. I try to capture the types of moments that are similar to the ones dearest in my heart. Jessica, Ryna, and their families definitely had a TON of super cute moments. I'd love to be at a Thanksgiving table with all of them - certainly lots of laughs and nothing but warm fuzzy feelings. These next couple of captures prove it:

{Ryan with his Sisters}

{LOVE these laughs! And so wish I could remember what Nina & I said to cause 'em. Whatever it was certainly worked....}

{Jessica & her parents}

OK, so this shot of the flowers doubles as my "Awkward & Awesome" post for the week...this beautiful piano was in this itty-bitty, teeny-tiny corner with all this gorgeous natural light, so obviously I HAD to use it. However, I'm sure it was pretty entertaining watching me trying to squeeze between the wall, window, piano edge, and stereo equipment to get to the keys. And heaven help the person who was outside the window that may have looked up at the wrong time to see my rear end squished against the window and I wedged myself in for the shot. Sorry! hehe

Jessica & Ryan - Congratulations!

& Nine & Crew at Five Star - I really enjoyed working with you and look forward to the next event!
One last share....this is the groom's sister with her new little one. She didn't know I took beautiful is this moment?!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Awkward & Awesome Thursdays

Hello, Hello!

Whew! I am so glad this week is just about over; last week I had a lot of great sessions and everything was rolling along and then POW! Sick. Blehck! These past few days I have been wiped out...not fun, and definitely not good for productivity! But thankfully I think by tomorrow afternoon I should be all caught up - which is good because Saturday I'm shooting a wedding, and then Monday & Tuesday I'll be having a blast at a 2-day Budiour Photography workshop with the fantastic Kay Eskridge! Woo-hooo! {I met Kay at the Chicks Who Click Conference and just love her to pieces....getting to spend another two days with her is going to be so fun!! and I can't wait to finally launch my Budiour line!}

So with being sick all week I was a little panicky about what I was going to share with you this week for my Awkward & Awesome post; afterall I pretty much slept and downed least that prevented me from any shopping cart disasters or tucking my skirt into my underwear in public...but I'm meandering around the point, sorry. The point is, I got home from UNC today and my dilemma was solved! There in the pile of mail,  all the way from Iraq, were two letters from my hubby that provided me the perfect answers to both my awkward & awesome for this week. So, Thanks awesome hubby of mine for your perfect timing and hilarious really are always here when I need ya!

Without further ado....

The Awkward:

  • This is a "throw back" awkward from May, but I don't know HOW I forgot to tell you!!! hubby's letter (as shown below) reminded me of this completely awkward moment:
         The scene: St. Croix, a gorgeous tropical day. My hubby & I are fresh off the beach and wandering around some shops in search of "Cheney" - a type of jewelry the island is known for. It's basically pieces of old Dutch pottery that has washed ashore, so counterfeit pieces are everywhere.

        We came across this beautiful, obviously very high-end store with gorgeous pearls and other beautiful pieces of jewelry. Everything was very much out of our price range, but those are always the fun stores to go into so we did. {I cannot stress enough for the sake of this story how classy and high-end this store was}

        The gentleman behind the counter, as expected, was very polite and eager to know how he could help us. We explained that we were interested in any pieces of Cheney he might have. He began a very long and detailed lecture about cheney, and how easy it is to sell fakes, and how it's so VERY important to make sure you're dealing with a very respected and established jeweler so that you know the pieces you're buying are genuine....blah, blah, blah....

       Meanwhile, I'm trying my hardest to keep my jaw from hitting the counter and any awkward laughs to come out of my mouth...while I'm also trying to discreetly elbow my hubby to try to make sure he was seeing what I was seeing...

       There, in this classy jewerly store, while a well dressed and very articulate jeweler lectured us on his well- respected reputation and business, was the store's computer...angled just enough for anyone at the counter to see...with some SERIOUS hard core porn playing. AWKWARD!!! Neither of us could get out of the store fast enough to start laughing and making sure the other had seen what was going on...we were laughing too hard to have known what to say! {Later we came up with a million remarks we could have made to the gentleman...}

The Awesome:

  • The laugh I had opening the letter from my  hubby that included a stick-figure drawing of us in the store with this scene happening. {image below...} Thanks for that great memory today, baby! 
  • The other letter included one of our favorite things....Mad Libs! I keep a book of 'em by the computer so when we get to skype we get a laugh out of one or two....

Info on the Extreme Makeover:Home Edition images is coming soon...I'm meeting with a CPA this week to make sure I dot all the i's and cross all the t's in the right way for setting up a way for all the proceeds from the image sales to go to The Jubilee House. I appreciate everyone's patience as I make sure to get this right...and I can't wait to share all the images with you all!

Don't forget to check out Heather & Erica's Awkward & Awesome posts as well...and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

OpLove Photography {Home Sweet Home}

This beautiful couple welcomed home their sweet little man just a few short weeks ago, and I loved being able to capture these tender moments for them before Dad heads off to Afghanistan. Using their home as our backdrop, we met up bright & early Saturday morning for this OpLove session....

Little "W" was the calmest little guy...just happy to be in Mom & Dad's arms...
I was thrilled that Buddy came out for some photos, four-legged family member streak continues! I love it! {But it's seriously getting harder & harder to resist bringing home another warm fuzzy to add to our family. I keep trying to tell myself two pets are already enough....I may just have to go get a goldfish or something...I just love dogs!}

Buddy seems to be pretty chill about sharing the attention with this new little member of the family; maybe that'll change once "W" is crawling after him, but for now he was all about trying to plant a big 'ol slobbery kiss on him. "W" didn't seem to mind one bit - boy, those two are going to be adorable together as the years go by! Sure hope I get the opportunity to capture some sweet little moments between the two of them in the future.

Thank you guys for the wonderful opportunity to photograph your sweet little family. I look forward to sharing the rest of your gallery with you. May this year apart speed by for you; can't wait to hear about a safe & happy homecoming!

{OpLove disclaimer: "The photos and other content of this publication do not constitute or imply any endorsement or recommendation by the Department of Defense."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

OpLove Session {downtown Fayetteville}

Thursday evening I had the pleasure of getting to photograph this lovey-dovey pair; capturing sweet kisses and glances and they prepare for facing a year apart. Married just about a year ago, they are still all doe-eyed toward each sweet to witness!

This portrait of "C" is one of my favs of her that I captured. Something tells me this is one "M" will have in his "top ten" list for me to send to him overseas. She just looks so naturally radiant. And I just love that Tux & Sable, their surprisingly calm little chihuahuas, were sporting their patriotic bandanas and joining in on the fun. {Sable even had her nails painted for the occassion}

It was so wonderful getting to know you two! Thanks for being so fun & relaxed to work about making my job easy! I really look forward to photographing you both again in the future.  I hope you enjoy this little sneek peek - your gallery is soon to follow!

'till then.... "M" - safe travels! Come home safe, and come home soon. I'll be looking forward to seeing the two of you together again XOXO 

OpLove disclaimer: "The photos and other content of this publication do not constitute or imply and endorsement or recommendation by the Department of Defense."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Eli {and Mom, and Dad, and Buzz, and Woody....}

This little guy has such cute little cheeks & perfect little pouty lips...and some of the best "I'm cute so I can get away with whatever" looks. {definitely caught some of those for Mom & Dad to enjoy!} His favorite word right now is "no!" - but he's so adorable about it, it's not a trouble-making "no," just a cute little "no." No matter what you ask. I love little ones....I love how they force you to step back and just enjoy the moment, because you never know what they'll say or what will get them excited. Inevitably I always wind up over-shooting when working with this age group because they're just a rollercoaster of expressions and I never want to miss a beat. It's so fun, but it definitely makes it hard to select the final images for the gallery.
 These were the first two shots of the session, when Eli was still being a little shy. I loved how he was peeking over Mom's leg...
 Getting to play by the fountain with Mom & Dad won him over....and since he brought along a few of his favorite friends we just had to let them splash & play, too. I was so glad he didn't move when I went an moved all his buddies to get them lying just like he was; I was so afraid I was going to miss the shot!

The skies were cloudy on Monday morning, but thankfully the little rain droplets held off until the  end, and even then they were very light. Whew! This session was originally scheduled for when Hurricane Irene hit, so I was a little nervous seeing "scattered showers" in the forecast. So happy Mother Nature remembered that she owed us one and we were able to get this session in.

Awkward & Awesome Thursdays

Welcome to this week's edition of "Awkward & Awesome"
{images above: "scenes" from my WVU snowglobe}

Don't forget to check out my friends' blogs to follow along on their "Awkward & Awesome" posts as well. Erica and Heather never dissapoint! Have a great weekend...and here's hoping you avoid any awkard moments and only encounter the awesome ones. {but if you have the inevitable awkard...I hope you're able to laugh about it!}

The Awkward:
  •  Having to get a perscription filled for 31 tubes of  cream...all at once. Talk about getting weird glances, especially as the lady at the counter shouted back to the pharmacist "do we even HAVE that many?!" Totally appreciated her subtly in asking that. Ha!
  •  {ok, before you all go running and hide your children in fear of whatever has made me need to get that absurd amount of anything from a pharmacy, let me calm your fears.....I'm having surgery on my nose soon and I simply just have to do this nasal rinse everyday leading up to it; this cream is what I mix into the solution.}
  • While I'm on the topic of you use those netty pot things? The whole squeezing liquid up one nostral and having it come pouring out of the other really just falls on top of the "awkward" list for me. Especially when my cat hops up on the counter and watches. Everytime I use it I just can't help but giggle...which of course makes me wind up tasting the solution, which makes me grimace...and that's a whole 'nother level of awkward to catch a glimpse of yourself doing in the bathroom mirror...ok, I need to change to subject. Why couldn't I have just knocked over a huge display of Animal Crackers in the store or something? I'll try to do better next week.
  • talking about your nose and things you put up it. awkward. {Sorry!} hehe

The Awesome:

  • Snowglobes! Even cheapies at the tourist trap shops along the highways....little worlds with glittery snow falling on them just make me happy. My hubby & I have a big WVU one that plays a music box version of "Country Roads" when you wind it up. I love it!
  • Enjoying a book that just sucks you in...I love getting lost in another world. I've been trying to read for at least 30 mins every night before falling asleep, and the past couple books I've picked up have had me burning the midnight oil because I just couldn't put them down.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Harley & Her People {OpLove Photography}

{OpLove disclaimer}
 "The photos and other content of this publication do not constitute or imply any endorsement or recommendation by the Department of Defense." 

Say "hello" to Harley and her two favorite People. I was lucky enough to spend part of Sunday morning with the three of them down at Linear Park here in Fayetteville. Between the adorable little puppy head tilts & kisses from Harley and the sweet adoring glances at eachother from this fabulous couple, I just couldn't get enough...

These two are just sweet beyond words, and seeing how in love they are just has kept me smiling all weekend. I loved going through their images as I was creating their gallery; almost every shot included them just all doe-eyed towards one another, and just like this one above they all just radiated with warm gushy feelings. Them having an incredibly well-behaved and uber adorable puppy just almost made it unfair...I mean c'mon! Since when do puppies just cozy up on a lap and tilt their heads just so like a photographer hopes they will? I was totally loving it! {And I have to brag a bit....this was the SECOND shot of the day. I could've just melted with happiness}

It's always my pleasure and honor to photograph an OpLove session.This couple was just so warm and easy-going; I truly hope I can be there to capture them reuniting when this deployment is over...
To "P" and "A": Thank you for this opportunity. Your personalities and love are infectious - you're both so wonderful to be around. I hope for you that this year flys by; stay safe & keep those smiles in your hearts...and may your Skype calls be clear & crisp without any awkward delays & video freezes {seriously!} 
XOXO Missie

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Awkward & Awesome Thursdays {a fun little group posting}

{above images: Left- My sweet lab, Quilla, lying next to her leash by the back door this AM
  Top Right-my new spice shaker, a gift from my Mom & Dad. Bottom Right- Salt shaker, bought on a trip to Mexico with my hubby}

This week's "Awkward & Awesome" is brought to you by the letter "C"....for coffee. Somehow, despite how "chill" this week's schedule has been for me, {no thanks to Hurrican Irene forcing me to reschedule sessions},  I just can't seem to get enough of it. Maybe it's the effects of a post-adreline rush from the triathlon, but I have been seriously dragging the past couple days! Not cool!

For those of you new to the blog...Welcome! Awkward & Awesome Thursdays is a fun little group posting I do every week with some fellow photographer friends, Heather & Erica. It's a light-hearted little way for us to stay in touch, and for you to get to know us a bit better. This late in the week sometimes you just need a giggle {and it's OK with us that it's at our expense} or a little good news...but be careful, sometimes these postings can have side effects! Erica once blogged about her orange fingers courtesy of a bag of Cheetos...and despite my best efforts to restrain myself I wound up caving to the craving her post created. I think I'm still running that indulgence off at the gym...

Since I didn't get a chance to post last week, this week will focus mostly on my experience competing in my first triathlon!

The Awkward:
  • Things you don't want to hear from a fellow racer just seconds before starting the swim portion of a triathlon: "I hope I don't get pinkeye again from this swim. Last time I swam in this lake I got it from the water..." For the first couple minutes I found myself doing a modified version of the breast stroke...I did NOT want to stick my face in that watert...
  •  This one would be better with a visual aide, but my "creative problem solving" {I certainly can't call it genius engineering, although it worked - so maybe I can?} to get my bike rack attached securely to my VW Bug Convertible so that it could handle the 11+ hour drive I had to make. 
  • I SO love my Mom & appreciate beyond words her undying support, but I still giggle thinking about this: I was home for a couple days before heading to my race and needed to get some of my training in. My rockin' Mom decided to buy a bike so she could ride with me.We did an 18+ mile ride with me on my racing bike...and her on her little "cruiser" - complete with a basket and a little bell that went "cla-ching, cla-ching."  I would ride a few miles, then stop and wait for a while for her to catch up. I'd see her peddling away in her matching turqouise outfit, basket full of "gear," waving to me as she got nearer. She's so darn cute, but that was such a hoot to see! {I love you, Mom!}
  • The swim start to the triathlon: I had my "happy place" during the 2 minutes we were treading water before the horn went off. We were all spread out and I was ready to just zoom off ... but apparently my happy place was THE happy place that EVERYONE in my heat wanted to be in. The 10 second countdown began, and all of a sudden everyone seemed to magically get sucked into my foot of water. The horn went off and it was suddenly like this pirana attack of stranger's feet on my face and arms. EEEEW!
  • The way your legs feel after you get off the bike to start the run portion of a triathlon...twleve hundred pounds of concrete tied to each leg would be about equal.

 The Awesome:
  • My Mom  loving me enough to go buy a bike to ride along with me.
  • Getting over my completely irrational fear of riding a bike. Not only did I complete the extremely steep-hilled 17.5 mile bike course, but I rocked it!
  • Crossing the finish line.
  • Crossing the finish line and having your Mom & Dad literally RIGHT THERE to give you a huge hug.
  • The post-race "high" you get :-) I can't wait to do another one!
And here's one hell of an extra special "AWESOME":
  • Getting the news that your hubby's latest CT Scan shows NO SIGN OF ANY MORE CANCER! woooo-hoooo!!! We've been waiting for that for over 2 years now....