Birge Family – Deployment Homecoming

It’s May. To be specific, here in the United States, it’s May 7th. I say that with the knowledge that currently, so many service members are on the other side of the world, in different time zones, in different climates and vastly different environments. And I am grateful.

I am grateful for families like the Birge Family who went without a husband and a father present in the home for months; and thankfully back in March, he returned to his family, with their arms opened wide for him. I don’t take these words lightly — I know he was always there for them as he could be. But I also know firsthand the struggles that come with being military spouse with babies in the home. Having that extra set of hands is a huge blessing, and I know he would have been there in a heartbeat if he could have. But, you see, he is part of our military, and he had a greater calling, to sacrificially serve his country. And he, like so many others, has done this so well, and still let his loved ones at home know how much he misses them.
Now, this family has been amazing. As military members, as clients, as fellow military spouses…sweet Ebilene and I just clicked! I’m so thankful for not only her cheerful, supportive attitude and presence amongst other spouses and service members, but also for her huge heart and patience. Spouses like this keep the military community running on energy, love, and commitment…not just to the country, but to one another. Our service members are amazing for all that they do, but one would be amiss to miss the work of the ones they leave behind. 

As this family has been super gracious about things that have been going on here on my family’s Homefront, I decided I had to thank her in one of the only ways I think I can…which is going a bit above and beyond, just as she has for so many in her company. If you have a couple minutes, check out this beautiful video, created specifically for the Birge Family to document this beautiful time for them! 

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice! 

Blessings Always,

~Shelby 

{H} Family : Two Years Old & Pre-Deployment

Military families have my heart, and for obvious reasons as my husband has been proudly serving in the USAF for over fourteen years, and my father retired as a Marine. Although my childhood was not filled with deployment memories as my Dad retired when I was young, my children have been faced with a couple deployment separations, various schools keeping Daddy away for months at a time, innumerable TDYs of varying lengths, and even just long (LONG) hours at work. There even came a point where I wondered if voluntary separation (him living in OK while I stayed in AL with the kids) would make more sense than living in a house where we’d rarely see him at all.

So when I hear that military families are facing a deployment, I try to help and offer sessions as I can, as I know the struggles are real. This beautiful family, though scheduled for deployment in August, are thankfully reunited and their separation – though never easy – was brief. I am so thankful to have been able to meet them and capture some of these precious memories for them, as their little girl had also just turned One shortly after this session. I look on these family captures and see so much beauty and the emotion of having a young family with a sweet Two Year Old. So.Much.LOVE. They know every moment together matters.

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Rolsen Family – The Waters 2016

Gah! I can’t believe this blog post never got published!! So, here it is…you know, just a few months late (in total fairness, that’s sooner than other posts I’ve made, so maybe this is progress!)!

So, so thankful to have been able to meet this sweet military family before we moved from Montgomery! With two wonderful parents both being in the Air Force, this sweet little peanut is bound to keep them on their toes! I loved watching the connection that each member of this family had with one another. All I really had to do for this one was be there…and they did all the rest! Love families like these that truly cherish their time together.

Thank you for all you do, Rolsens!

I don’t think I could choose a favorite image if I tried, so here are quite a few from their session!

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I think I need to do one like this at every session!!

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Was this there Evil Laugh pose?!!

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Love!! I love that she ran to me…seriously…melts my heart. But Mom and Dad watching her in the background – priceless!

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I ADORE these images…
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Isn’t she the cutest little thing ever?!!! That SMILE!

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Seriously, I couldn’t choose…color or black and white? Either way…she’s gorgeous!
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You know it’s an awesome family when Dad joins in on the tire swing!

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I’m totally not a PhotoShopper (I process fairly naturally through LightRoom), but I still love how this image turned out!

I hope Mom and Dad love it too!
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I’m totally missing my Alabama families, but hopefully I’ll get some awesome new Oklahoma clients along this journey!!

Kitzke Newborn – Lifestyle 2015

Kitzke Newborn – Lifestyle 2015

 

 

 

 

 

If it wasn’t apparent before, it will absolutely be apparent now that I LOVE at home lifestyle sessions! I had the privilege of capturing this sweet family’s Maternity session, which you can see here: 
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. Just in speaking with this beautiful Mommy, I knew that we would have a wonderful and memorable session, and that held so, so true!

As a photographer, it’s one of those observations that I have to make — her sweet husband was so wonderful! I absolutely adored this couple during their maternity session! He was such a trooper and I can tell you first hand, it’s not all the time when a husband seems to enjoy the session (whether he really did or not, I’ll never know!) or if he was just doing anything to please his wife. Regardless, their maternity images speak a thousand words…all showing how much he adores his wife, and their Lifestyle Newborn session was different only in that he added one more cutie to love! Watching newborn Daddies…<sigh, and melt my heart>…he was so, so good with his son…truly the sweetest thing to watch!

For anyone questioning why one might want an in-home newborn session…please love, I mean, look at this amazing session! From start to finish, it was AH-MAZING…and, as I recall, we did have some fussy moments in there, which I totally expect! Please never worry if your little one needs a little extra attention. You just love your precious little, and I’ll capture the moments that you’ll love to cherish when this very short phase is over…

Take a peek into this precious Newborn Lifestyle Session with SLP!

This one should *seriously* be in a magazine!!! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!

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<melt my heart. all over again!>

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One of my all time favorites. No really…it is!

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Seeeeeepy baby! Look at that face!
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They also let me practice my freelensing, and I’m so glad they did! It wound up being one of their favorites!
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That handsome little face. Just perfection.

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True Lifestyle…
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I mean…really. Look at this GORGEOUS FAMILY! They will always have a place in my heart!


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My guess is that they miss this sweet face…because after almost one year (which is CRAZY!), he’s changed so, so much!

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Look at this sweet little newborn face!! And, of course, we had to get at least a few with Daddy’s military uniform…

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The signs of a successful lifestyle newborn session with me!

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Could I have a better job?! I think not! I have been so nervous to start over in Oklahoma City as a Lifestyle Photographer, but looking back at these images gives me hope and encouragement to keep going! I love these moments way too much to stop capturing the beauty that’s in real, raw, lifestyle images.

Thank you, Kitzke Family, for having faith in me and believing in me to capture these special moments!

Lightroom or Photoshop…or, Both

Y’all! I am so, so excited!

For a while now, I’ve been using Lightroom as my primary editing software. I’ll probably still use it more frequently than PS, but I decided to try a couple things to help me use BOTH editing software tools more effectively and more efficiently. I am so eager to try them both out. Actually, I’m a little terrified to try the Photoshop part, but we all start somewhere.

For anyone wondering where I decided to get my photo editing software, look no further than Amazon.com! Through Amazon, I purchased the $9.99 Adobe Creative Cloud monthly plan (that I think comes to $10.79 with tax) and have been very satisfied with it. Thanks to an awesome photographer friend in Utah, I was introduced initially to Lightroom 2…then I got Lightroom 4 and then Lightroom 5. Needless to say, I think just getting the automatically updating Creative Cloud plan was probably a better way to go! And to be honest, my husband was the one who finally gave me that push I needed and started purchasing the LRs for me…each time they came out with a new version! Silly man, but I love him!

Why did I choose Lightroom? Well, I had Photoshop Elements 8 for years. I could not figure it out! It just wasn’t intuitive for me…I still don’t understand masking and layers! But Lightroom…ahhhh…the ease. I played with Lightroom for less than 10 minutes and was sold on how easy it was to use. Of course, I’ve come a LONG way since then, and understand it so much more than before. But everything was just intuitive with it.

Now, for my new Lightroom toy…although I’m fairly handy with using the screen and mouse, I’m not as good with the shortcut commands. Well, I’ve decided it’s time to change that. What better way to learn quickly than with this awesome Adobe Lightroom Shortcuts Keyboard Skin?!  I’ll let you know how it goes as I’m pretty set in my ways! But just looking it over, I think it will help me reorganize my images and help smooth over my workflow. We shall see…but, here’s a quick visual in case you are interested as well!

 

Now. Photoshop! I think it’ll be a lot easier to use the Photoshop version since I’m not already proficient with it, so the shortcuts will hopefully be easier to learn this way.
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I’m hoping these will give me some incentive to try new editing techniques, especially with Photoshop.

Do you have any specific editing tools that you love? Or something that helps ease your workflow?

Halloween – SLP Style

So, yes, it’s 6 months late…but, this was us on Halloween.

And, the woes of being photographer…I’m FINALLY getting around to doing something with my family’s images!

My friend Becky McCandless of Capturing Life Photography was kind enough to come out (before a hot date!) and capture some of these fun moments for my family! So, so thankful she did…we had a blast! And…if I HAD to let my husband get a motorcycle, I had to make him put it to good use as a prop!

 

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{F} Family – Fall 2015

{F} Family – Fall 2015

Have you ever sat there and really anticipated something? I have. A lot…and this session was one of those things! This sweet Mommy had gotten in touch with me after seeing another client’s session and I am so thankful that she did! Unfortunately, it was not an easy (or quick) session to schedule (life happens, and I totally get it!), but when it was finally set, it was awesome! And can you believe it…this little guy wasn’t feeling very well during the session, but he did such a wonderful job. Look at those smiles!

This is one of those sessions that I can use over and over again as an example of letting things roll, letting kids be kids, and trusting your photographer! Oh, and it’s totally a session I’ll use for outfit coordination…look at those matching colors and that pop, even amidst the beautiful fall leaves! We had a vision for this session, and I think it turned out even better than we could have hoped for, and I’m so thankful that Mom and Dad love the images as well (as did their cat, since apparently the picture package was a new place to lay!). I’ll take the win!

Enjoy this session, the fun, the smiles… and the beautiful fall leaves! Remember, no matter what is going on in session…have fun! Your kids will enjoy it so much more if you are enjoying it too…this Mom and Dad nailed it with their ease and comfort, and their baby boy {A} fed off of their joy. These are the sessions that are the most “real” and the moments you’ll want to have captured.

What. A. CUTIE!! I can’t even lie…when I saw this handsome little guy with that amazing smile (and those eyes!)…heart.melt! 
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Seriously…he knows he’s a little cutie pie!

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Not every picture can be “posed” with little ones…go with the flow and enjoy watching them run around. Those are often the favorite images!

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Oh this boy! Mommy had told me that Baby {A} (yes, since my little guy is nearly 6 and is my baby, this one can be too!) had pictures taken with this football when he was a newborn, so we needed to try to capture it in there. No problem. He nailed it! I only wish I was going to be permanently here to capture more of these images of him holding it.

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Such fun! Our little guy got of of the picture taking groove…so, playing with leaves offered an awesome (and realistic) break…and he didn’t know the difference!

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Just another moment to lay with Mommy…I wish I had some professional captures like this!

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Mom and Dad individually with the kids. They’re a must!

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I couldn’t bear to do just Daddy with the silhouette…so Mommy got one too!

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Look at those colors!! Perfect depiction of an Alabama fall session. I LOVE this location!

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And, one more…I’m always a sucker for black and whites. They’re sort of my thing, and have a sort of timelessness about them!

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Thank you for spending this time with me {F} Family!! I loved our time together, and I’m so, so happy you love your images and prints!

{C} Family – Newborn Session

{C} Family – Newborn Session

Oooh…this sweet baby girl’s newborn session has been waiting to be blogged for quite some time, but I was trying to do a little something different and special for this one! I’ve recently started adding photo videos to my sessions and this one was the perfect session to practice on!

I loved every moment of this casual in-home newborn session … and I’m fairly certain it’ll be easy to see why! This precious little one was a dream to work with (as was her gorgeous Mommy and siblings!) and we had some amazing light to work with in this home too. Enjoy!

 

A Sweet Family Reunion – Military Life

A Sweet Family Reunion – Military Life

I’ve said it time and again, but I am blessed with the best clients! This particular family is no exception! I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to capture two family sessions, and I am so very thankful! You can see their first family session from 2014 here…Cummins Cotton Field Session.  You don’t want to miss it…it was a beautiful Southern Cotton Field Session! And in just one short year, look at how much their handsome little guy has grown! With two littles of my own, I can attest to how much they change before your eyes, so blink (or don’t take pictures to capture the changes) and you can miss so much!

Well, for this family, these sessions have been particularly special…this handsome Daddy had been away from his loves for way too long, and thankfully we were able to schedule this right away so we could get the pictures taken when he got home! Moments like these are so, so special, and I know that looking back on these captures means the world to military families, and hopefully all families. We surely don’t want to take the times our family is together for granted! Oh, and for anyone wondering…this beautiful location is over in Pike Road, at The Waters.

Isn’t he the cutest with those stunning eyes (and handsome grin?!)

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And then we have these two love birds…they really are the sweetest!!
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A couple extra family captures…I really try to make sure we have a good set to choose from!
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More Cuteness..
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An amazing family…and they’re ridiculously photogenic. Photographer’s dream!

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This capture above is an updated head shot we decided to take while we were out there! You never know when you’ll need a new one! And, thanks to this lovely lady, I was blessed by a huge set of referrals from our local yoga studio, Yoga Gem! I can’t thank her enough for the amazing referrals and the chance to meet some awesome new clients!

Ending this post with this handsome little man’s smile…he just makes me happy!

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Thank you so much, sweet friend for letting me capture your amazing family again this year!! I will be so sad next year when we aren’t together! You’d better keep in touch!

 

By He{Art} – Inspirational Artist of the Week

By He{Art} – Inspirational Artist of the Week

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone is enjoying this likely {cold & snowy??} weekend! We wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who joined By He{art} yesterday for our Fun Friday Inspiration post! Not only did we find some inspirational artists that had not been introduced to By He{art} yet, but we also decided we HAVE to recognize an amazing, talented, and inspirational artist who not only participated and named artists, but was also chosen by so many!!

Here are just a * few* words about Lindsey:

“You are THE ray of sunshine in this photography community!!!” – Nikki Smith

“Not only are her photos beautiful, her memories perfectly captured…but she is one of the KINDEST, SWEETEST people in the whole world. There aren’t enough “Lindsey’s” out there these days.” –Tammy Scirrotto

“She’s so kind. She has the warmest heart and is beautiful inside and out. She is quick to help others and encourage.” – Jennye Austin

If you haven’t started following Lindsey Bramlett of Lindsey Bramlett Photography, please, please head over there….right now! You will see that her images show a passion for light, use of shadows, special and every day moments…and her daughter. Her beautiful daughter is her heart, and you can see so much love in each frame. Coupled with gorgeous beach landscapes, it makes you wonder if there isn’t anything Lindsey doesn’t do wonderfully!

You’ll gain inspiration not only from Lindsey’s gorgeous images but also from her sweet heart. Always an inspiration to all of us in the photography community (and certainly everyone she comes into contact with!) her kindness shines, and she’ll encourage and uplift you daily. These are the tributes of a By He{artist}!! We are so thankful that this community is growing, and that y’all are helping to inspire and encourage others in the photography community….now head over to Lindsey’s page, send her lots of love, and this coming week…aspire to be a “Lindsey” and show love and kindness in all you do!

Oh, and since I started this post two weeks ago, I think, I also wanted to share that Lindsey has started a couple Facebook pages which definitely need a wider audience! The first is Focus on the Good, in which Lindsey shares articles, posts, images she and other photographers have taken…all to show the positive in the world, which, let’s be honest, we all need more focus on! The second, and her newest is Ray of Sunshine! Both are so, so perfect for representing what Lindsey is about! Ray of Sunshine is to help inspire and encourage photographers, without the fear of being put down or criticized. Photographers of all levels are encouraged to come and share – not for challenges or themes, but rather to help be a Ray of Sunshine to others!

Below are just a *few* images that Lindsey has inspired me personally with! Amazing talent in heart in this young lady!

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