The Harry Potter-Themed VP Campaign

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I know, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been back to share some of what’s going on with my family and with my photography! Things have been a little busy around here, and truth be told, that’s a good thing.

I’m jumping back in to sharing with a few personal images that I thought would be fun and hopefully a little inspiring for your children. My Sweet Caroline is amazing, intelligent, funny, and talented. That said, she’s also *very* shy. I guess I should say that she has been very shy…over the course of the last two to three years, I’ve seen this child blossom in front of my very eyes. She’s been trying new things (karate, karate tournaments, school dances, joining school clubs, etc), and she’s learning to excel in all of them. Not to say she started out amazing in these things, and I dare say she may never actually “dance” for you or anyone else. Ever. But…she went to a dance, twice. THAT’S HUGE, PEOPLE! Here’s proof! Two of these are social butterflies that I am so thankful are in my daughter’s life!

Well, the new school year started, and with that came every Mother’s fear of the dreaded years in “middle school.” Let’s be honest, I know of no one who thought those years were great. But, as with most things with a blanket statement like that, my kid has proven otherwise. She came home from her first day at Brink Jr. High and she said she “LOVED IT!” She commented that she loves the freedom that comes from her teachers instilling more independent procedures for them, that the teachers talk to them like they aren’t small children, and that they are actually challenging her. It may help that she’s chosen (on her own…because this Mommy is still a little nervous about pushing her too hard at this level) all Pre-AP courses, and one course that even already counts for high school (Pre AP Algebra I). Y’all, it’s crazy hearing the teacher say in orientation that we need to know that this is High School level work and expectations. She’s still my BABY! Right? Okay, so maybe not, but in my heart she is, and the last thing I want to do is put too much pressure on her – in 7th Grade. But my Bug welcomed it. And though it has proven challenging (YAY!! She’s actually *truly* LEARNING new concepts for the first time since being in Oklahoma) she’s enjoying it and hasn’t wanted to back out of any of it.

When my historically *shy* child came to me telling (not asking) me that she was going to run and campaign for Vice President (the highest she can run for in this school at her grade level) I was a bit shocked. And proud. VERY PROUD. I understand the difficulty it is for her to be up in front of people (most of us have that fear…but for her, multiply that by like a zillion), and she knew she’d have to give a campaign speech – in front of her classmates. Remember, she’s a military kid – she moves around and has only been here for two years. I imagined some of the kids being here their whole lives and feeling more comfortable with being in front of their friends (though, it’s a huge school for anyone!). Anyways, she and I brainstormed things that she could do her campaign around, and there are a few things in this world she LOVES. 1) Reading 2) Reading Harry Potter 3) Reading. And if there’s a fourth, maybe watching Harry Potter. Soooooo, as someone who isn’t *as* in to all of the HP fanatical stuff, I asked if there were things that she could build a campaign around. She immediately came up with a few slogans, and then after hanging out with one of her closest friends, they came up with all of the ideas for her posters and all of the slogans, and even part of her speech!!! She was really excited. A few days later, with the help of two friends, she got her posters finished, her posters put up in the school, and her speech was given. And, I did some praying. I did a lot of praying. Is that silly?

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I’d love to say that my little girl won the Vice Presidency, but alas, the democratic process spoke, and the candidate that was essentially pegged to win, won. He had a crazy awesome speech, and is very well known and liked by all (I was also informed that the cheerleaders would all vote for him…because he’s cute). We were pretty sure this would happen, but I didn’t know how my daughter would handle it. She did great – she congratulated him, and she was happy to know she’d still be in Student Council as a “Senator.” And that she saved her *good* ideas for being able to share them herself at meetings. That girl has a very level (and clever) head on her shoulders!!!

Here are some of the pictures that she took for her Harry Potter-Themed Campaign for Vice President. I couldn’t be more proud of her – and I am so excited to see where her life takes her! Oh! I should add that she was thrilled to find out that her ideas were completely original and not already on Pinterest!! Originality and creativity for the win!

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This one might be my favorite, though I really like the Sorting Hat one above, too!
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We also had a really good lesson on product placement during her campaign…

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This may not have been the best poster for this particular location ūüôā
Am I the only one who thinks that?!

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Anyways, thank you ALL so much for reading this, and for those of you who cheered my girl on and who pray for her on a regular basis…thank you. I don’t have enough words, but she’s a huge blessing in my life, and I already know she is one to others too. She’s come so far, and each day I see more of her personality coming through. I know a lot of people struggle with their children having some issues or different-abilities…just as mine do. God has so much more in store for them and for all of us — we just have to trust Him and the path that he sets us on with our babies.

Blessings,

Shelby

 

 

 

{D} Family : Newborn Session – Twins!

{D} Family : Newborn Session – Twins!

Seriously, how beautiful…to be blessed with two healthy babies, one boy, one girl?!

This family is absolutely precious — just look at these images! You know, I had someone comment on one of the Facebook previews about their Dad proudly serving…actually, while Daddy is proud of his babies and his wife…in this case, the Mommy is the one serving. That’s right — a toddler at home and the Military Momma taking care of these precious littles AND doing her thing at work while serving our country too! Amazing, loving, and beautiful family. Such an honor to meet them, and I know the sacrifices this family is making. It’s not easy, but with that much love, they make it look like it is!

In talking with Mommy, we decided an at home, candid lifestyle session with a few posed images would work best for their family. I call this realistic expectations! With a toddler at home and two newborn babes, although I know it can be done, I think having the best of both portraiture and lifestyle is the way to go!

Also, if you are interested in seeing their maternity session, you can find it HERE

This one is a must share!! LOVE!
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Proudly showing off what Mommy is up to here in Montgomery, Alabama.
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Perfection…
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I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a prouder Big Brother!
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Daddy has his hands full of love…
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Quite possibly, one of my all time favorite lifestyle captures.
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I adore this one so much! Look at those precious faces!
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Gorgeous
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I might have been a little too giddy about capturing this one! Look at those smiles!
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Pure love…and you can feel it!
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One final image to round out this amazing family newborn session!

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{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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September 24th – Lightning in OKC

Welcome back to Oklahoma City…we have Lightning Storms again!

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This one is one of my all time favorites…between the silhouette, the foreground, the framing and the color…it’s just perfection!
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Our Newest Family Member

Our Newest Family Member

Sometimes, you have to start your Monday off with a little bit of extra cuteness.
Today just happens to be one of those days!

Y’all, meet Beckett! She is the newest member of our family, a rescue puppy from Forever Yours Pet Rescue in Oklahoma City. What started out as any regular Saturday running errands wound up becoming a day that would soon change our lives.

My son, sweet Tyler, is a REALLY good child. He’s rarely ever thrown a “tantrum” and he’s typically pretty respectful of our wishes and requests. Granted, he doesn’t alway listen, but he doesn’t yell, scream, or throw fits. Well, on this very fateful September day, one week before making our Adoption of this pretty girl official, he did at the PetSmart Pet Adoption Event in Moore, Oklahoma. He must have known she was truly meant to be ours. As we left that first day after meeting her – “Zuri” according to her paperwork – Tyler said repeatedly that we were breaking his heart and that she was one of his biggest dreams. From the mouth of a six year old child, it’s actually pretty heartbreaking. As was watching my husband HAVE TO carry a bawling child out of the puppy rescue area. This behavior is so uncharacteristic for him – it truly broke MOMMY’S heart listening to how sad he was!

One week later, on September 17, 2016 the discussion of Zuri still had not passed. Tyler was still heart broken, as was our daughter. Both kids literally begged and offered to pay the full Adoption fee of $140 in order to pick her up, if she was still there. As we were, once again, out running errands, we found ourselves on the east side of town, right by the PetSmart (a good move by Mommy), and we HAD to go check to see if she was already adopted…and much to our surprise, she was still there! Clearly, it was a sign, right?! It actually sort of was…later that afternoon, we had a terrible storm, and that puppy rescue tent was badly damaged. Thankfully all of the puppies were safe, but our puppy – our Zuri – was with us, safely tucked away being loved on at home.

After officially making Zuri ours, we decided to change her name to something that suited her a bit better, especially since she wasn’t fully responsive to Zuri. We had all loved the name Beckett before adopting our German Shepherd mix almost two years ago, but our daughter decided to name “her” dog Zasha (after a dog in a book, called Saving Zasha, about a German Shepherd…I couldn’t really say no to that). And my son named this new little pup, Beckett, likely to make Mommy happy! And Daddy – despite the “fight” about all of the reasons not to get her, the kiss on her forehead at the Adoption tent that day sealed it…she was ours, and he loved her too.

So thankful for the many volunteers at Forever Yours and those with the PetSmart event that day! We love our precious girl, and she’s been¬†a wonderful and loving addition to our home!

How could one NOT fall in love with this face?!!!

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I love this puppy so much! She’s such an amazing addition to our family.

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That Face. Seriously, I must fall in love with it every single day! She’s such a wonderful puppy!
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{D} Family : Maternity Session – Twins!

I am going to let this beautiful maternity session speak for itself…the only regret that I have is that I haven’t posted this amazing photo session sooner! It’s been in my Drafts folder for so long, but today’s the day to share this with the world! I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year (about 11 months since we were both back in Montgomery at this maternity session), but I’m actually excited to share since I truly want my focus to be on maternity, birth and newborn one day, and that’s a perfect way to share with my local followers here in Oklahoma City!

I am so thankful that this Mom & Dad trusted me to do both the Maternity and Newborn sessions of these sweet and beautiful twins! I cannot think of anything more beautiful than photographing¬†these precious moments! Clearly, I had a difficult time choosing a few images…all of them are so, so beautiful!

I haven’t officially posted it yet, but when it’s published, you can find their newborn session¬†HERE.¬†

She is stunning…the epitome of a glowing Mom, in love with her babies.

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Such a special and beautiful family connection…I loved every moment of this session. Truly.
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I love when my clients incorporate personal items that are special to them in our sessions.
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I am always a happy photographer when I get moments like this, in addition to a gorgeous, natural sun flare! Makes my photographer heart happy!
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This family is so excited to welcome their sweet new babies, and look at Big Brother!
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If you’ve ever had a session with me…you know you have to be prepared to kiss at least a couple times!
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I adore this moment…
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Absolutely precious! 
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I love everything about this!!!
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I can hardly wait to share the newborn session with you all! I’ll leave you with with this stunning moment…and hope to get those babies up¬†linked here soon as well.
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To my GORGEOUS client and her family…THANK YOU!!! I am so thankful you took a chance with me to capture these moments!

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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