A Love that Lasts : Spence Couple Session

What a blessing it was  to capture these images of my MOPS mentor mom and her sweet husband together! I honestly couldn’t keep myself from telling them how sweet and inspirational they are (every couple of seconds!)…I was taking these images to help them capture this milestone year in their marriage – 45 years together!! Having been married only 12 years myself, I’m guessing that based on these two, the secrets to a healthy, happy marriage include lots of laughter and keeping God in the center of it! I brought my husband over to look at the images as I was having a difficult time choosing the images for their CD…and he kept going through them and raving over how much he loves this whole session. You can truly see their happiness radiating, and in this day of divorce and honestly not being happy for successful marriages, it was so captivating being around them to learn the secrets!

Happy 45th Anniversary, Dave and Juli!

You are truly a blessing to those around you.

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I just couldn’t help myself…they were so happy and smiley the whole time I had to try something to get them “not smile.”

They tried, but ultimately it didn’t work…they’re too sweet!

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A Fun Family : The Kinards at The Waters

This sweet Mama and I have been chatting about photography for nearly a year now and I’m so thankful for her friendship. I met her through our MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) and we share a common interest in photography and of course, capturing images of our sweet babies. I was a bit nervous about our session…I knew she loved my work but I was nervous I might not live up to her expectations! Well…that, and she also let me know before we started that sweet K, her baby girl, might not be too cooperative…or, rather, she wouldn’t be cooperative at all! This is often the case with littles, but I went in knowing if I couldn’t get the perfect “posed” images of K, I would get candid images of this beautiful baby girl, and Mama would still love them. Mama was right…K was NOT a fan of the camera at all. But I was super excited with how the images turned out…she has so many beautiful images! And of course…big brother H…AMAZING. First, he’s super photogenic, and quite possibly one of the most easy, laid back little boys ever! Second, ummm. Yeah…he loves me! No really, he told me he did. And with all of the sweet flowers that he picked for me, and that he wants me to visit HIM and not just “the adults,” I think he really just might! He sort of stole my heart that evening…shhhh…don’t tell my husband.

 

So thankful I was able to capture these memories in time for Christmas cards and to update pictures! And, I know Mommy will really get them up on those walls…she’s a wonderful decorator and I am thankful that my work will be along side hers of her beautiful family.

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So I can remember this sweet session and one of the most kind little boys ever!

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My Photography Journey : A Testimonial Share

I have to share something special with you all, and well, it’s not an image. It’s a feeling. It’s a feeling of worth in a world that sometimes wants to tear you down. God definitely moves people to do things and take action on His time, when only He knows when that action will be fully used and appreciated. I came home after my weekend photography retreat to a couple of AMAZING messages and this beautiful review, below. Without knowing it, I NEEDED to hear these things. And, I needed to have God move me to take action to make more connections with Godly people, professionals, and encouragers – those that want to help, both in photography and in life. For those that have been with me, cheering me on during this journey of capturing God’s beauty and special moments, thank you. Your love and encouragement is cherished more than you will ever know 

“I love Shelby’s photography- she has great taste, an awesome style & is one of the sweetest people you can work with for your special event. She captured some wonderful, irreplaceable memories for my hubby & I that I couldn’t be more happy with & still count as some of our favorite photos together, even years later. I would recommend her to everyone – she has a very easy manner & is great with both kids & adults.”

– From a sweet friend, whose event I captured was with a kit lens, a non-professional grade camera, and no real editing software. I put my heart, love, and eye for photography and composition in every image, and that she still cherishes those (and still loves them after seeing how I’ve improved over the last couple of years!!) moved me to tears yesterday. THIS is why I will continue on this journey. This is the reminder I needed that people do love and are inspired by my work. 

It’s Almost Time : Preston Maternity Session at The Waters

By far, when clients come to me, location is one of the first things discussed. Many have viewed the images that I’ve already taken, and though none of my clients need or want a replica of another family or client’s session or poses, beauty is something that everyone wants to be captured. The Waters in Pike Road, Alabama has it! The gorgeous setting has a bit of something for everyone, and everyone’s images are still unique and fun, and rolling off of my previous post, scream “Alabama!”  After agreeing to a maternity session, my friend and I discussed the location. She told me what she was looking for and I let her know of all that The Waters has to offer, and she loved how it sounded…and now she has a little piece of Alabama to keep with her, even when they move. And I’m pretty sure she’s going to miss it!

This session in all its beauty truly makes me happy! I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to capture the images of this gorgeous Mommy, her sweet baby bump, Daddy, and of course a couple adorable fur babies! It wasn’t without a little bit of convincing, however. Being a mother of two littles, and having had maternity pictures taken both times, there are few things that hit me emotionally as when I look back on that time. Now, trust me, my pregnancies weren’t easy by any means, but that being said, I’ve heard that you often remember the good and forget the bad! Remember the good…the great…the beautiful. I was carrying a precious life with me, to nurture and love and one day meet, and nothing compares to that feeling, except maybe meeting them for the first time. So, I knew I had to give my friend a nudge. I let her know that if there was any piece of her that thought she might regret not having them done, she should have at least a couple pictures taken. After some thought, the Prestons let me capture these moments; both Mommy and Daddy love these images and that makes my heart so happy! They get to cherish this precious time, some of the last moments of this first pregnancy while in beautiful Alabama, forever!

 

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A Southern Session : James Couple at The Waters

The first time I met Mrs. Jayne, there was an immediate connection with her. She’s so sweet, easy to talk with (and lose track of time with!) and just a beautiful person, both inside and out. Her beauty is stunning, and her heart even more so. We also have an amazing mutual friend who shared images that I had done of her family, and from that, and just knowing me a couple hours, Jayne booked me on the spot. I was honored to have the chance to photograph her for this special birthday year with her husband…and let me tell you, they are a blast!! We had a lot of fun on the session, and I was excited to get so many types of images for them to choose from.  The location was at The Waters in Pike Road, Alabama. It is so beautiful there, and even though I shoot there often, it doesn’t get boring to me because every session is so different, and overwhelmingly, it’s not going to be boring for my clients. The Waters encompasses a natural Southern feel and charm…it truly cries “Alabama” to me! Gorgeous trees draped in Spanish moss, beautiful lakes at sunset, docks, and so much more can be found here. I hope you enjoy this sweet couple’s session while you take in some of the beauty of Southern Alabama…Jayne James-3 Jayne James-119 Jayne James-116 Jayne James-105 Jayne James-96 Jayne James-95 Jayne James-81 Jayne James-35 Jayne James-24 Jayne James-16 Jayne James-8 Jayne James-4 Jayne James-1

Work in Progress : Life in Loud Retreat, 2014

As a “newbie” photographer and an honest to goodness introvert, I decided to take a leap out of my comfort zone and I did the [once] unimaginable…I registered about 3 months ago for a photography retreat. Maintaining that I’m newer to the business side of photography, I went in already feeling intimidated by the names of the ladies (who are wonderful, by the way) who were hosting. Names that I’ve seen pop up in my newsfeed dozens of times. Or more. Because they achieved recognition on their art. Because they are phenomenal photographers. Because they are also continuing to learn. And you know what? I had an amazing experience. I “jumped” as one of my fellow attendees would say.

And the results are conclusive. Jumping out of your comfort zone can in fact be a wonderful opportunity to grown, learn, and develop connections with new people. I am a self-professed “work in progress” in photography and in life. And I’m okay with that. I’m okay knowing I was the only photographer there who didn’t have a wide-angle lens. Though, one day, I’d love to have one. I’m okay knowing that well, I’m not a “blogger” by nature. I’ve honestly never understood it…but now I do, thanks to some lovely ladies who wanted to help. I also now get the art of tagging images and what SEO actually means (in practice). I’m okay telling you all that I didn’t realize there was a special way to save images – well, I’ll rephrase, I did “know” that information, but I had and still have no idea why or what the true benefit is (it has to do with how the images look on the web, to avoid compression, I think). I’m okay knowing that one day, I might get all of this, buy some more expensive lenses and maybe one day, I’ll get recognition for an online or other form of photography contest (I did actually place 6th in the first one I entered last year, and once I learn how to get that information on here, I’ll share it too!). All that to say, being a work in progress is okay, and everyone, even those highly recognized photographers started not knowing everything. And if I never get recognized by the photography community of FB or professionals, I’m okay with that. Because they aren’t my priority. My God is, and He’s called me to use the talent that He gave me to capture moments of families and joy and newborn babies, special events, and more. And my family is my priority – which his why this is currently a part-time business. I’m an Air Force wife and mother first and foremost. That’s my ministry; that’s my calling. After those, of course friends, which I can’t live without, and then my photography clients. Yes, YOU are my priority with my images and my talent. I will assume you are coming to me if you already know my work or have heard of me – if you love my work, fantastic! Let’s book a session. If my artistic style isn’t for you, I can refer you to someone else, and I’m completely happy to do that. But I won’t change my style for you – though I will continue to be a work in progress and learn and try new techniques, of course!

Thankful for my out-of-comfort-zone jump of faith – because of that, I was able to capture these amazing images! More to come, but here’s a sneak peek! Oh, and I’m okay with telling you…this is my first time figuring out how to post images to a blog post. Wish me luck! #workinprogress

Many thanks to the following who helped make this styled session possible!

The talented hostesses and founders of Life in Loud (an amazing group of ladies, so check out their work and their individual webpages, which can be found at:

Who We Are

https://www.facebook.com/lifeinloud

 

Stylist, Lauren Soley:
Personal: https://www.facebook.com/lauren.soley.3?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
Work: https://www.facebook.com/lovegoodweddings?pnref=lhc
IG: lovegoodwedrentals and laurenatlovegood

 

Model, Autumn Beury:
Personal: https://www.facebook.com/autumn.beury?fref=ts
Work: https://www.facebook.com/…/Hello-Miss-Lovely/213776102047782
IG: @iamautumnrae

Model, Juliane Spears:
https://www.facebook.com/julianevoight?fref=ts
IG: @jewels_and_bailey

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