My *Snow* Babies

My *Snow* Babies

SNOW!! It actually SNOWED in Oklahoma, and it wasn’t ICE! It’s a Christmas miracle…well, for many Oklahomans, it really was! The kids were out of school for two days – which is a little weird now because they now have Virtual School Days instead of Snow Days. In any case, it meant more time with my kiddos, snow time, hot chocolate, and of course…snow pictures (and video…)! It actually worked out super well because I was also able to have a fellow photographer’s session right after this! Actually, in the moments before she came (and even while waiting for my daughter to finish her orthodontist appointment) I took some test shots. I don’t care how seasoned you are as a photographer, I truly believe you ALWAYS need to check your settings. And, when photographing another photographer…hello, pressure! I wanted to nail the session for sure! Seriously, I did check out my settings a couple times, and also wrapped my camera gear up in plastic so it wouldn’t get all wet. But really, I think I nailed the settings, y’all. What people don’t realize is there are SO MANY WAYS to set your camera up to take the pictures YOU want. Not setting it on auto and hoping for the best, but actually setting your camera up for successful pictures. For instance, in these images, we have beautiful bokeh (foreground and background!), which I love, check. Gorgeous falling snow, check. Perfect exposure, check. Perfect subjects, check, check! Oh, and they are super sharp! I edited these with a matte, grain look, but in camera and without even without editing, they focus is nailed. Love it when all the things come together as I want them to. But it wouldn’t happen without practice and knowing my camera, and my lenses. 

Oh, and apparently this week, we are looking to get more snow in the area – still crossing fingers – so I decided I’d get these up and share these now so I can take new ones in a few days! Snow is so so beautiful to photograph. And so are my babies, so putting the two together make this mama’s heart melt! 

xx, Shelby 

December Snow in OKC

December Snow in OKC

I tend to think it’s a pretty big compliment when a photographer asks you to photograph their family, so when this sweet photographer reached out to me, I was more than happy to have a snow session with her! I was actually going to be out in the snow for just a few minutes anyways, with my own two littles at about the same time she was hoping, so it was fun to get to be out there with this beautiful family, even for five minutes! In that short time, I think I captured over 40 images, and honestly I pretty much loved them all! Snow + a Child’s Innocence + a Really Fashion Coordinated Family = Yes Please! Below is just a sneak peek, but you can tell we had fun! 

Not only did I get to meet a new to me local photographer, but I also got to experiment with a matte, grain look on t these images since this Mama preferred that look to my usual natural, purist type style…and I am okay with that! I love how these turned out and it pulled me out of my normal comfort zone. Note: I am not big on presets, y’all!! I honestly enjoy hand editing and there hasn’t been a single image I’ve EVER produced that I didn’t hand edit to some degree. Even in the early days, when I bought not so great (to my style) presets, and used them and then tried to fix them, LOL!  I’m sure many would think that’s silly, but it’s just how I am. Each photo and each photo session speaks differently to me, so although my editing style isn’t 100% one way, I hope the images are still speaking to you too! 

Oh! And, my new photographer friend is Tori Rice, and you can find her work at Tori Rice Photography!

xx, Shelby 

Golden Hour Mini

Golden Hour Mini

How I loved seeing this sweet family again this year! Last year, my friend, client, and realtor, Kat Kosmala with ERA in Oklahoma City did an amazing Client Appreciation event, and that is where I initially took this family’s pictures. They were, and still are, so kind, and let me know how much the photographs meant to them. This year, this Mama got a hold of me and requested a Fall, Golden Hour session, which of course is something I love to do and do often. Since she really only wanted a couple of pictures, I decided that we could do a Mini Session as long as we stayed on this side of town to squeeze her in, and remembered the field that I was able to do my family’s pictures at two weeks prior which had a beautiful, open shot to the golden sun. Y’all, she drove from Edmond for my photography…what a compliment!! Unfortunately, it had become *a tad* more bare in that short time…but I’m so grateful my client didn’t mind at all! She commented on how beautiful the light was, so I’ll call it a win — and of course her sweet children brightened the place up even more! Just take a quick peek at how gorgeous this session was!! Oh, and we had one pretty sleepy little guy to start, but it didn’t take long for him to warm up and essentially start modeling for me! Loved seeing both of their personalities shine in our session together. And I’m thankful I made a new military mama friend!! 

xx, Shelby 

I’m not sure what I was doing exactly, but whatever it was…this sweet girl seemed to LOVE it!!! What an absolute sweetheart! 

I couldn’t love this Mama anymore …she got the picture above as part of her order, and my heart was thrilled! THIS is what I want to remember of my babies, and so glad she does too!! 

By the end of this session, I swear I had a model on my hands!! He did such an awesome job…sleepy and all!! And yes, if you have kids (or really even husbands…) and you have a session with me, I’ll make sure you do two things: 1) BRIBE. Yep. I said it. Bribe them!!! and 2) REWARD them!!! Most adults have a hard time with pictures for more than a few minutes, and kids are no different! Let them know it’s supposed to be fun, and then reward them after!! 

For more awesome parenting tips, just follow me, HAHAHAHAHA! But really, the bribes work! 

Celebrating TWO…and my First Home-Water Birth

Celebrating TWO…and my First Home-Water Birth

It’s hard for me to imagine, but this time two years ago, I was barely recovering from having my first HOME Water Birth Story session! Yes, me. I was recovering…from photographing it! To say this birth was eventful would be a huge understatement, as this birth was filled with so much peace, joy, love…and also worry, pain, and uncertainty. Our strong Mommy undoubtedly passed her strength and spirit to her incredible, brave, princess fighter, and through some tears and quite literally a “labor of love,” I watched as this life was brought Earth side. We started at my clients’ home, fairly late in the evening, maybe around 9 pm, but ended up at OU Children’s sometime well after midnight. Thankfully, God had His hand over this family the whole time, and I could not have been more thankful to be a small part of their amazing journey while growing their sweet family. Through the joys of having social media and especially Facebook, I have been able to watch this precious little one grow into now a beautiful little “wildflower” as her Mommy likes to say. I’m sharing today as I think of this child often, and am so thankful for her life and that I was able to witness the beginning of it. With the COVID pandemic taking over our ability to do normal, daily tasks, including various types of photography over the past several months, I have missed being able to meet and document our world’s newest blessings. And this birth was so very special to me, so sharing my love for Births and this Birth Story just seemed natural. 

Here are a couple of images from this special child’s amazing Birth Story, as captured through my lens. I love every image from this Birth Story. Documenting this time is truly an honor for me. To be there, in the room, present with Mom, Dad, the medical team, and of course, God, who makes this miracle happen. I’ve been questioned before about how I can document “births.” “Aren’t they…umm…”  … LET ME STOP YOU THERE. Births are beautiful. They are part of everyone’s story, and documenting the details couldn’t be more fulfilling to my soul. If you can’t see beauty in these images, my guess is that you have some preconceived notion of what you think birth is like, and not what it actually is. Because…just look at these! BEAUTIFUL. GOD. MIRACLES. 

Happiest of Birthdays to you, Eden! Thankful to have been among the first to meet you!

                             

 

xx, 

Shelby 

 

Blogging Again? …. Maybe

Blogging Again?  …. Maybe

Hi! 

I get it. It’s been a while. In fact, unbeknownst to me until this very moment, it’s been a YEAR since I’ve last posted! Where has the time gone? 

Well, here’s a bit of an update. And possibly why it should matter.

Last April, 2018, my husband was deployed and was gone for 374 days! Crazy, right? Well, in that time, I was taking care of our two kiddos, ensuring that we attended all of our end of school events, enjoying our summer vacation…and then the craziness of our school schedule returned! Seriously, I have two kids, but the amount of extracurricular activities they enjoy is insane. Karate (x2, two days a week, and one was on the tournament team last year), piano (x2), gymnastics (competition team, 2 times a week, and then meets), band, archery, golf, academic team…and I’m confident I’m missing something! And, I love it. I love watching my children grow in their chosen activities, whether they are “good” at them or not! That said, I was left with little time for “me” (my undeniably bad health issues) and my photography growth. 

Fast forward through his return in May of 2019, and my husband came home, we went to Europe on a Disney Cruise (AMAZING! I’ll post pictures one day…and maybe even do a blog post!), and….then he moved to Washington DC. He was home 1.5 months total between his return and his departure. Have I mentioned lately how much I <<LOVE>> the Air Force? Note the sarcasm. And, although *some* time away is nice – because, let’s be honest, the running joke with our friends is that the pain in my neck is actually a long-term chronic illness called “being married” – working on a second year without a partner in the home to help me raise our kids, to help with things like home maintenance and bills, and to just be there for each other and to enjoy each other has been difficult. Manageable, thanks to an amazing tribe of friends, but nonetheless, difficult. I actually really love and adore my husband, and he’s my other half. It’s pretty tedious going through life without half of yourself. I miss him. But right now, this is our calling – him to be there for the Air Force and his country, and for me to be here for our children. 

I’m pretty verbose, and condensing anything is rather tedious for me! So, to sum up, it’s been a long year and a half or so, and thank goodness I’ve received a swift kick in the caboose from some AMAZING friends! MY TRIBE! I’ll discuss my tribe more later and the significance of me being able to say that, so be prepared for that upcoming post. So, even though I’ve not done nearly as many sessions as I’d like over the last year (still grateful for each and every client who enjoys working with me for my style and vision), and even though I’ve lost some confidence in myself because of this, they won’t let me continue the negative self-talk. In fact, I have at least four friends literally on a mission to help me in any way they can (life, health, kids…all the things) but for this post’s purpose, they’ve been steering me back on course with my photography goals. And although I’m afraid of failure, they have faith in me. And with that…here I am. Blogging for the first time in a year. 

What’s in store for my clients? New sessions, in studio! Up next…Fall Sessions, Halloween themed sessions, and …Christmas! 

What could be better than all that? Christmas WITH Santa! It’s totally happening! 

Want a sneak peek?  

I thought so! Check it out! 

 

 

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 

Valentine’s Fun – 2017

Oh my heart!! When my neighbor and sweet friend came by to see if I could help out with some super Valentine’s Day pictures in the studio, I was pumped! She had some awesome ideas, and I think the images capture how fun their family is! 

Seriously, is she not the COOLEST (and sweetest!!) Mom?! I absolutely love how much the kids enjoyed having fun with Mommy, and how much she enjoyed it too! 

 

{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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Mommy & Me – {B&L}

Melt. My. Heart. 

Seriously, Mommy & Me Sessions melt my heart in general (and what I’d have given to have more photographs like these with my littles!) but from the moment I met this little guy and his Mommy, I was smitten! First, I’ll always fall for a guy who meets me and starts giving me presents. Rocks, pebbles, weeds…I’m game…and, I still have this guy’s little gifts! Then, when my little subjects are so excited about a session with me they start posing and getting ready with smiles before we get to the actual venue…sold! Between his cute personality, those blue eyes, and his Mommy’s super sweet kindness…it was a wonderful session at Will Roger’s Park! This venue is pretty wonderful for family pictures, and you can tell that’s true by how many photographers are always out there! But, even on a busy day, we can always find some little nooks and open spaces, blooming flowers and even some trees to enjoy. I love the sweet moments and interactions with this Mommy-Son duo…

All sessions should end with a memorable face like this one!!! And, I LOVE that Mommy decided to add this one to her order…I totally would have too!! Truly an expression worth holding on too…they grow out of this way too fast! 

^^^^ This little one also ended our session at his car, with a kiss on my hand. Seriously…Mommy better watch out for this heartbreaker! 

And, standard with recent sessions, I decided to try my hand at a cute collage…I LOVE IT!! 

{H} Family – Spring 2017

Hello, Friends! 

I don’t think there’s any denying how giddy I am over this BEAUTIFUL Oklahoma family’s canola field session! There were so many amazing moments that came from maybe an hour at the field together, and I truly adore them! We had some interesting weather – naturally, we are in Oklahoma so it was fairly windy as you can tell, but it was also a little undecided as to whether it wanted to  be cloudy or sunny! We were able to capture a good bit of the images during the overcast time, but towards the end, it got very, very sunny!

Now, with my “style” of photography, my clients get the benefit of having me LOVE all types of photography — from portrait and posed to candid lifestyle and even the every day documentary — I love it all. That said, here’s another session that is a bit of portraiture combined with lifestyle…and I am so thankful that my client chose images for her order from BOTH styles! That completely makes the session complete for me as an artist, as I love the fresh, polished look of some great family posed captures as well as the moments that really make life so much happier in the raw moments together. The laughter, the fun, the memories…these are what truly makes memories last! 

I think I am going to start offering collages like this on a regular basis for my clients!! I love having so many great looks in one place, and as I was playing with the images in this set, I realized how much I want one of these with my family! What do you think? Do you love collages as much as I do?! 

Oh my goodness. The classic look and timelessness of this capture melts my Mommy heart to pieces! 

It might not be everyone’s thing…but these shots are some of my FAVORITES! I love the focus on Mom and Dad…(and, for the record, I just saw those gnats in my picture, so those are about to get deleted in Mom and Dad’s picture! Left them in this one for a good laugh at myself though — I didn’t see them in my editing software, so I’m glad I caught them here!) 

I can’t help but laugh at this! I mean, really, if you have children around these ages, this is just a necessity to capture! (and, I love the passion between Mom and Dad back there!)

COULD HE BE ANY CUTER?!!!!!

This little one is SUCH a beauty!! I love her freckles, and her eye color is AMAZING! I am so mesmerized by them! 

Do you know I’ve known this guy for over half his life?! What a cutie pie — and, in case anyone wonders, he may be president, and very famous one day. Hence why he is so amazing at taking pictures! And seriously…why do boys always get the amazing lashes?!

Ahhhh! LOVE. Just…so much love! 

Daddy and Daughter…

 

  

 

  

One last amazing posed…

And now for some candid lifestyle fun! 

This family has now inspired a new pose…the Totem Pole! I love it!