Monthly Archives: October 2016

Shea | Senior Session

There is one HUGE downside to senior high sessions for me- saying goodbye to the senior at the end of their session. Each time I work with a senior, I sit down with them weeks, sometimes months before their session to brainstorm & create an experience that truly captures THEM. (To read more about how I work with seniors click HERE.) I get to hear their heart, their past & their dreams for the future. And the same was with Miss Shea. Shea & I met actually the summer I was pregnant with Elizabeth when I did a mini session with her family. Her mom mentioned something about me someday doing her senior pictures & I secretly hoped that it would work out! And it did!

Fast forward to this fall to when we sat down at Barnes & Noble & talked over her session & pieced together alllllll the things that would help show SHEA in through her senior pictures. Shea has a HUGE heart for Haiti. She’s been there numerous times, in fact when we met up at B&N she was going to be leaving in just a few days to go back! Shea wants to be a nurse & plans to help others including continuing to help the people of Haiti.

I love this girl’s heart. She’s non-fussy & just really cares about the important things in life- family, loving people & her relationship with the Lord. We actually stayed in one neighborhood for her session but I got to use some new “spots” in it for Shea & I’m just thrilled with how everything turned out!!!

Shea is beautiful inside & out! I wish you could hear her laugh through this post but you’ll just have to take my word for it- it’s simply delightful as she is! (And shout-out to her mom, Heather, who was just as fun to be with as Shea! I totally think they have a Rory/Lorelai Gilmore type relationship 😉 )


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Shea enjoys playing the keyboard & I just LOVE how we were able to incorporate her keyboard!!




Ready for GORGEOUSNESS??!!!!



And of course we had to incorporate her love for softball!!! (Which Shea can tell you I know nothing about! haha! We had some good laughs about that! 😉 )

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One of my favorite pictures of Shea!!!!!!! Such JOY! I LOVE HER & her HEART for people!!!!


Shea wanted to use some of the things that she has from Haiti in her pictures & to that I said- Oh yes!!! All her jewelry is from Haiti. And her Toms are hand painted with a design from Haiti!!!!!!



Like I said in the beginning of this post, the one thing I just don’t like about senior sessions is having to say “goodbye”. Yes, I live in the same area as most of my seniors but they’re usually busy & ready to hit the college world. With Shea, I hope our paths cross often in the future. In fact, we actually saw each other at Walmart this past week! haha!

Shea, I’m so proud of you. I know I really barely know you, but I know that you have a great foundation to make a difference in your world. I know the Lord is going to use you- just keep your eyes focused on Him. Don’t turn to the left or the right, but just listen to His voice & leading. He will bring you through such an amazing adventure. Hugs & love to you girl! <3




Pray for the Cure 2016

Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

– Dr. Robert L. Lynn

I had the privilege of documenting this year’s community Pray for the Cure service this past September 8. I had photographed the event last year & was very much honored to do so again for the second year in a row. (To view last year’s service, click HERE.)

Pray for the Cure is a service open to the community. A time of prayer, music, reflection & encouragement occur for breast cancer survivors & fighters, their families & friends, & anyone else who would want to attend. The very first P4TC was first held in 2004 in Peoria, IL & the very first P4TC in Bloomington-Normal happened seven years later in 2011. “Pray for the Cure is sanctioned by Susan G. Komen for the Cure. It is meant to precede the Race as a spiritual and emotional care program,” P4TC’s facebook page states.

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Since it was my second time capturing the event, when I walked into this year’s service, I recognized many faces from the previous year. As I prepared my camera settings for the evening & began to observe my surroundings I watched as people greeted each other & seats were found to sit in for the evening. From the solemness in the room, I knew in my heart that there were several faces who would not be joining us this year that had been there last year because their fight with cancer had ended.

The Pray for the Cure team always does a fantastic job in remembering those who have & are battling cancer. As people walked in before the night even, beautiful flute & harp music played by Sue Miller & Rex Moore filled the small auditorium. Barb Haab & Cheryl Peterson-Karlan, this years Co-Chairs of P4TC opened the evening.

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Other special music was performed by LoriLee Dunahee & Amazon Women.


This year’s speaker was the inspiring & spirited Melissa J. Shrader, a two year breast cancer survivor. Melissa’s encouragement & testimony of victory was incredible! Her voice carried strength & her heart shared her story. All eyes were on her as she told her own journey & filled the audience with energy to fight & pray. Laughs were heard & tears were shed as Melissa spoke.


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After Melissa spoke, it was soon time for the lighting of the candles.

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A table with small, white unlit candles is set at the front of the auditorium. At this particular time of the evening, members of the audience are invited to come light a candle in remembrance of someone who has passed away from cancer. The front fills with individuals waiting to light a candle for their loved one. Individuals who have fought alongside their friend or family member, never expecting to ever have to light a candle of remembrance yet there they wait in line.

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The room fills with a hushed respect. Tears are shed & whispers are heard through-out the room. Whispers of prayers & exchanged words with one another as candle after candle is lit.

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After the Survivor Recognition & Litany of Prayer for Survivors, a closing blessing is given by Rev. Cheree Johnson. As heads bow across the auditorium to close the evening in prayer, the peace that is felt in the room is unmistakable as hearts have been united & encouraged.

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One of my favorite parts of the evening are the many, many hugs exchanged throughout the evening. Arms holding each other. Long embraces. Hugs that are full of joy & others with heaviness. The days ahead are unknown but the Power we told hold of is not forgotten.


The wonderful team who put together this year’s service! pftc-36 pftc-34

“I’ll pray for you, you pray for me. And together a miracle we’ll see.”



Welcome Tobias | Newborn Session

Sweet Baby Toby 🙂 If you go a few posts back, you can read Tobias’ Birth Day Story or just click HERE. About a week after he’d been born, I got to go see him again! Only this time he was at home & hanging out with his mommy & daddy & two older brothers.

The LaBerge Family is very special to my husband, Elizabeth & I. Seeing dear friends grow their family has got to be one of God’s special gifts He gives. I actually was able to photograph Harrison, Toby’s older brother’s newborn pictures (you can see them HERE).

Here’s a few of my personal favorites from my time with Toby & his family!


Baby boy was pretty awake for most of his session! He wanted to keep an eye on me 😉




I love these two photos of Amber & Toby!



These next two photos will just melt your heart…




Love their faces 🙂



I love how Kyle looks at his son.


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I love ALL the pictures from this session. I really, really had a hard time choosing just a few for this post. But I feel this last photo really captures the love, the joy & the silliness 😉 in this precious family. Love you guys!  tobys-ns-blogpost-20


Fishel | Maternity Session

Elyse is the kind of person you enjoy being around. She asks you questions about your life, listens & remembers little things about you. Elyse & I met at Cracker Barrel as fellow servers about 8 years ago. We hungout with some of the same friends & through the years have stayed in contact, whether it was just through facebook or seeing each other at a mutual friend’s wedding or having a coffee date. And every encounter I have with Chuck, I’m always reminded what a nice guy he is & how MUCH he loves Elyse. He’s so easy to talk too & during their session I saw again how PERFECT they are together.

Over the past few years, Chuck & Elyse have been trying to start a family. Numerous prayers have been whispered as they have had to overcome many hurdles. The story of how they came to be expecting a little one is full of miracles…miracles that only the Lord could have orchestrated & woven together. There have been plenty of tears of joy & pain through this journey & I know they are so thankful for those who have been with them through this & prayed with them.

I still remember the tears in my eyes when I saw their pregnancy announcement. And then again my heart was full of awe while Chuck & Elyse shared their story again with me as we had their session. Their story is a powerful reminder of how God is in control.


They’ve nicknamed their coming girl “Baby Fish” & she is so loved already. I recently attended Elyse’s Baby Shower & the room was just full of excitement. Elyse was radiant & overflowing with joy just as she is in these pictures.




Elyse is one of the most talented cooks & bakers I know. Seriously. She did the food for one of our friend’s wedding & it was delicious. I’m always inspired by her posts on social media of all the yummy food she makes! And she recently has started working at Sugar Momma Bakery in Uptown Normal & we decide to start their session there!


Pink cupcake for baby girl!!!



I just LOVED Elyse’s outfits!!!!! So stunning & such a PRETTY momma!!! And I know Chuck thought so too 😉


Favorite of the GORGEOUS MOMMA!!!



Quiet moments as they live out the last of the season of just the two of them….



Complete JOY on their faces!!!!!



Oh Chuck & Elyse, I remember being at your beautiful wedding…I remember watching Elyse walk towards her groom & seeing both of your beaming faces. Now there’s another season of joy coming & that season has been wrapped & gifted to you in the form of a Baby Girl from our Lord & King. She will be here oh, so soon & oh the joys of this new journey you will encounter. Your story that is now wrapped up with the story of her life is one of miracles, the power of prayer & the beauty of joy. I can’t wait to meet her. And I know you can’t either 😉