She Wants To Be A STAR! ♦ Atlanta~Alabama Family Photographer

So I announce that I’m going to Atlanta for WPPI University and hang out with all the Big Kids in the photography industry.  You know . . . the ones that earn $1 million per year, have people chasing them like Rock Stars and are gorgeous.  Anyway, Jeanne saw me post that on Facebook and said, “Hey, let’s do our shoot in Atlanta too!” . . . Uhm. . . . Jeanne . . . . you live in southern Alabama.  Apparently the ATL is old stompin’ grounds for Matt (who isn’t a comedian, but could stand in for one if they were late) and No, they wouldn’t mind making that 5 hour drive.  I had met Jeanne through a mutual friend online, but we had never met in person, but I didn’t give a second thought to hopping into the big fat truck in front of the Omni CNN in Atlanta with these folk . . . . Until the door shut.  I was about to make them promise not to kidnap me, when I realized it would be more like The Ransom of Little Red Chief.  And I’m not sure they had enough money to pay my family to take me back.

Off we went to the park I had researched thoroughly when we were turned back at the gate.  Appears as though not only was there a wedding, but a very very very large music festival as well.  We were welcome to hike in a mile if we parked illegally and didn’t get towed though.  The outlaw in me said “let’s go for it” and they were game.  The Grands were with us but this was all a surprise to them.  As was the hike.  Everyone was a good sport because Little Diva had a show of her own to put on.  By the time we got to the main park area and I scouted out my first site, we had little light remaining.  The photos you see here were me pushing my camera to maximum capacity with no flash and willing my hands to stay steady enough to keep the shutter open just a little bit longer.  We shot until after 8pm and luckily we ran out of baby before we ran out of camera function in low light!  She was a Super Star, but that was not news to me.  I picked up that Vanity Fair magazine at an antique store just for this shoot.  How did I know?







Alabama Family Photographer, Alabama Child Photographer, Atlanta Lifestyle Photographer, Atlanta Portrait Photographer, Atlanta Family Photographer

One Response to “She Wants To Be A STAR! ♦ Atlanta~Alabama Family Photographer”

  1. Jeanne

    Love love love! So glad we had the opportunity to meet you and have our family photographed by your amazing self! We had such a wonderful day and I am still in awe of how well miss star did. She is such a good baby and I’m so glad even with starting to cut her first two teeth that day that she was such a ROCKSTAR!

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She found her Prince ♦ Chicago Family Photographer

Like so many other Viet Nam adoptive mommies, I met Kelli online.  We were both fighting a battle against the clock and against bureaucracy to bring our children home.  One particularly nail-biting day, I could sense the terror in her online communications, but I had information that would help ease her worry so I risked it all and sent her my phone number telling her to call.  I was just doing what any mom to be would do, but I found out how much it meant to her later.  When we were all able to exhale and talk more freely.

I was privileged enough to be one of the first to see Aiden Bao in his first photos sent from Viet Nam.   Considering it an honor to do so, imagine how I felt when Kelli found out I was coming to Chicago and could I do a shoot for them?  Kelli drove in from Indiana and was ready to unleash He Who Made Me Work For The Shot!  I was dying just to meet them in person, but to be asked to photograph Mommy and her little Prince was cathartic and healing in ways I couldn’t have imagined until I was there.  Shooting.  A. Miracle.  I still get emotional thinking about it and unless you were caught up in what we were caught up in, it is hard to explain.  Just trust me . . . it was a full circle experience.

Aiden, however, could not be bothered with such silliness.  There was this whole park that needed his footprints on it and if I wanted a piece of him, I’d better be quick.  The 70-200mm, 2.8 was MADE for Aiden.  It was REQUIRED for Aiden.  I just had to lie in the grass waiting for him to zoom by.  Luckily, it never occurred to me to try to pose him.  What a loss that would have been.  You want to meet Aiden . . . just look at these photos.  That is who he is!






Chicago Family Photographer, Chicago Lifestyle Photographer, Chicago Portrait Photographer, Indiana Family Photographer

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Planes, Trolleys and Automobiles, Part Deux ♦ Chicago Family Photographer

And the second part of my trip to the great Mid West was to photograph this adorable lot!

I suppose I looked scary carrying all my gear and luggage to the car from the airport, but it didn’t take long for these twins to figure me out.  I’m a sucker for cute and they were packing it in spades!  We spent time before hand getting to know each other twirling around Chicago and when I realized I had won over the “hard to win over”, I felt like a I had gotten the Golden Ticket!  Mom is a photographer also and I must admit that I was super nervous about getting it right.  There was a beautiful park near their home in the ‘burbs and the grass was REALLY that color.  The twins were just about as easy going and delightful as two littles could possibly be.  Made my job seem so much unlike a job and more like a treat.  I couldn’t stop with the camera and we shot until about 8:30pm.  The last photo of the day was a silhouette of Dad with his babies by the lake . . . . I snagged that when they didn’t know I was still shooting.  Upon returning to their  home, I couldn’t help but sequester myself to my computer and the resulting tears from Mom seeing these shots straight out of the camera was JUST the validation I needed.  Consider this shoot NAILED.  Please to enjoy two AWESOME TWINS and their Mom and Dad!





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Planes, trolleys and automobiles ♦ Chicago Family Photographer

We had talked about a family shoot for some time, but it finally started putting plans together in May.  It just so happened that a family wedding was taking place and you know what that means.  Extended family photo options!  We adjusted my flight schedule accordingly so that we could include family from California before they headed back home.  Three generations came together and I had one chance to get it right.  So you know what happened right?  Torrential downpour.  Yup!  We were pulling lighting in from downstairs from construction that was still ongoing and we commenced shootin’ inside!  We managed to get through about 1/3 of the shots I was hoping to get when the sun came back out.  Oh Glory!  The kids held up like troopers and Grandpa was a rock star at getting the most lovely expressions of elation from them.  Two thumbs up for Grandpa!  But check out Grandma . . . . doesn’t she have the most gorgeous smile you have ever seen?  Why can’t my smile be that pretty!?  Please to enjoy, the H family.




Chicago Family Photographer, Chicago Lifestyle Photographer, Chicago Portrait Photographer

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260 {acres} + 3 {munchkins} = SPECTACULAR ♦ Chatham County Child Photographer

It took a long time to drive to this location, but Heaven doesn’t come easy does it?  As I pulled up the long dirt path to this 260 acre farm, I kept having to pick my jaw up off the floor.  It wasn’t just the land . . . it was the STUFF!  It was like I had died and gone to photographer Heaven!  You’ll see what I mean.  No where did I turn that I didn’t find something incredible and that was BEFORE I saw those beautiful babies!

So . . . the children.   They could sell me beach property in Utah . . . truly.  Each one had their own little personality rooted in fireworks, but you’ll see that in the photos.  I don’t pose children which is a good thing because they would never have signed up for that to begin with.  Luckily, I had two cameras working the whole time and I could have used a third just to keep up with them.  I am including a list of things heard on this shoot and I DID NOT make them up.  Had a great time with them and if I ever need to drop 5lbs in 2 hours, I know where to go!  They made me hustle!

Please to enjoy the Top Eleven favorite things heard on this shoot

1. Boys . . . . Please put down the machete!

2. No, put the frog back! Fine, then just one photo. Well, I don’t know what to tell you, I can’t make him stop peeing.

3. OK, we’ll blow something up at the end of the shoot as long as you work with me for just 5 more minutes!

4. You should ask your mother first though.

5. M . . . move the pig from in front of your face!

6. Should we let the cows out?

7. I’ll get a photo of you choking your brother if you just sit somewhere remotely close to him for 30 seconds.

8. Can you stop crossing your eyes when you smile for just ONE photo?

9.  I know I said I’d give you $150 for looking up just once, but I’ll tell you now that the check will bounce.

10. Don’t put the fire out with your bare feet!

11. We have a goat that faints. If I yell at him for some reason, he’ll just get stiff and pass out. He does that with fireworks too. . . .













Chatham County Photographer, North Carolina Child Photographer, North Carolina Lifestyle Photographer

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Radiant Roots Indeed ♦ Commercial Photography ♦ Raleigh Photographer

The script got flipped on me.  We had just wrapped up an indoor shoot for Radiant Roots Yoga and with a twinkle in my eye, a la Jack Nicholson (think The Shining), I asked Jen . . . “How do you feel about levitating in the middle of a downtown street while I shoot you doing yoga poses?  I’ll watch your back, you watch mine and hopefully we’ll be able to dodge oncoming traffic in either direction.”  Luckily, Jen had a twinkle right back.  Off we went, beating hearts and twinkling eyes, to create something different for both of us.  The end product was one of my proudest moments as a photographer.  I almost didn’t notice that people had stopped around us and started photographing me photographing Jennifer.


But let’s back up a bit . . . while in the lobby of a swanky downtown building with swanky marble and swanky art, we captured Jen doing what she does  . . . . helping bring a mindful meditative presence in others.  I started out this shoot nervous as ever and about 15 minutes in, her soothing nature got to me as well.  And I learned something about myself . . . if I took just a few minutes to breath and find a center on which to balance, I will rock the shoot, guaranteed.  It, of course, helps to have lovelies as muses as well.  The children are Jen’s children, Jillian and Evan and the light they emanated was so bright, I almost had to get my shades.  Can you dig Evan’s Namaste pose?  Oh yeah . . . . . Jen is good INCREDIBLE!










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