Goss Family . Downtown Springfield

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It feels like forever since I’ve been able to get a blog post out! Since my last post about change, my husband and I have moved from Springfield, Missouri to Claremore, Oklahoma. The past month has been a blur, but I am excited about all of the blog posts that are about to come your way. I am so happy to be featuring the Goss Family as my first post after our transition. They are such a great family that Jon and I had the opportunity to know during our time in Springfield.

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Chris & Samantha . Downtown Springfield

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I was so excited when Chris & Samantha asked me take some photos of them as part of a Christmas gift for family. I had just received my new lens and was totally ready to test it out on a shoot! It was one of the first really cold days of December, but we bundled up and went to downtown Commercial Street. I’ve been to Commercial Street plenty of times to window shop at some of the eccentric little stores there, but this was the first time I had ever ventured behind the shops to the railroads. I must admit, I sometimes feel that railroad pictures can be a bit cliche–however, I totally fell in love with this part of Springfield and all of the pictures I got of Chris and Samantha there. I honestly cannot wait for another opportunity to take pictures there!

As I mentioned, the day was very cold, but Chris and Samantha were awesome, and they let me take some time to experiment with my new lens. We walked around Commercial Street, got some awesome shots, shared some great laughs, and stopped by Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar for something warm to drink. Big Momma’s is a great little coffee shop that I encourage you to try if you are ever downtown (for more information on Big Momma’s, check out their website or facebook page).

Chris & Samantha – Thanks for choosing me as your photographer! Even though it was cold, I had such a great time watching you guys interact (I hope you enjoy the pictures I have included of some of your goofing off!). You guys are such a fun couple to be around! Hope that these pictures work well for your Christmas gift and for the two of you to enjoy for years to come!

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Caleb Foster & Samantha Walker . Engagement . Jordan Valley Park

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I am not ashamed to admit it – I am a hopeless romantic to the core. I can’t help it. I just think there is something magical about watching two people fall more and more in love with each other. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching the Disney Princesses fall head over heels for their Prince Charming. Maybe it has to do with all of the romantic comedies I watched through my teens. Or, perhaps it has to do with the gushy feelings I have for my own love, my husband. It’s plain and simple really – I love everything about love.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that I jumped at the opportunity to book my very first wedding this May. I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to photograph such a great couple too! Caleb and Samantha truly exhibit everything that I love about love! It was great taking their engagement photos and hearing all about their relationship together. It’s obvious that they know without a shadow of a doubt that they are meant to be together.

Caleb and Samantha, I loved the opportunity to take your engagement pictures at Jordan Valley Park! You both have such fun personalities, and your playfulness is adorable! Your love for each other truly shows! I am praying for you both as you continue to plan the wedding while going to school. I know it’s not easy, but it will definitely be worth it in the end!

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B1E . Hall Event

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I must admit, I felt a little nostalgic going into this shoot with the girls from Bowie first east. During my time at CBC, I spent two wonderful years living on that hall – two years spending countless hours laughing and staying up late with the other girls on the hall. It was so great to have the opportunity to capture some of the memory-making of the current group of girls who are living there. The weather couldn’t have been better for a photo shoot at Nathanael Greene Park, and these girls made the afternoon lively and fun!

To all the girls from B1E: From the time we started taking pictures until the very last frame, I don’t think I stopped laughing for a second. You are all so full of energy and life! Thank you for allowing me to spend the afternoon taking pictures for your hall event! I hope you all get to share many more moments together making memories of your time at CBC.

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the bottchers . family portraits

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You will not meet any two people who have more joy and excitement for life than Jason and Georgina Bottcher. I am convinced that the world is a brighter place because they are here. It is people like Jason and Georgina who take any situation, laugh about it, and know that it will all work out just fine in the end. They are the “glass half full,” “lemonade out of lemons” type of people that the rest of the world wishes to be like. The attitude that Jason and Georgina have is absolutely contagious – I love to be around them because they make me a more joyful person. It’s not surprising, then, that their 7 month old son, Austin, would have the same personality they have. He was such a great baby to work with – happy, smiling, and giggling – even though he had already had such a long day because of a meeting that lasted longer than anticipated.

Unfortunately, this meeting caused our photography session to begin later than expected, and we lost sunlight rather quickly. Rather than be upset about this, I had to take it as Jason and Georgina would and make the best out of the situation. I was able to experiment with Photoshop more and try different editing techniques that I normally wouldn’t have taken the time to try. Lighting. Exposure. Textures. There is an endless world of possibilities. It was great to dive a little further into some of these things. And I must admit, I’m pretty thrilled with the results.  I would love to get your feedback too! Please feel free to add a comment to the bottom of this blog post letting me know which ones are your favorites and why! I love hearing what you have to say!

Jason and Georgina – It was so great to spend time with you both and get to know little Austin a bit better! Your family is truly precious and a joy to be around. I appreciate your ability to laugh at life and at yourselves–trying to be more like you helps me not take life too seriously. Don’t ever lose that wonderful spark in your personalities! It is so needed for all of the people in this world that you will come into contact with! Love you guys!

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eric & aimee – rutledge-wilson farm

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“There is something wrong with the system.” These are the words we often hear when people talk about the welfare system, the education system, the legal system, the health care system, etc. We often hear these words, as well, when it comes to the foster care system. However, though every system may have its own set of faults and short-comings, there is good that can come from the systems that have been put in place. Eric and Aimee are part of what makes the foster care system work. For the past year, they have completely opened up their hearts to give children a place to call home.

Eric and Aimee decided to take their boys (whom we will refer to as “Big” and “Little” for their safety and privacy) to visit a pumpkin patch for the first time in their lives. They invited me along to get some family photos, also a first-time occurrence for Big and Little. Though I cannot show pictures of the boys’ faces, you can imagine some of the shots I got–wide-eyed excitement to pick up all of the different sized pumpkins in the patch, big-toothed grins while playing in the hay, and lots of laughs while riding in a little wagon. There may be some things that aren’t perfect with the foster care system, but when you see people like Eric and Aimee give all of themselves to impact the lives of these kids, there is definitely something right going on. Let them serve as a great reminder that it is the people that open up their hearts and their lives to better someone else’s that can really make a difference and an impact in this world.

Eric and Aimee – You are both such an inspiration to all of the people that you come into contact with. Thank you for being willing to open up your hearts and your lives to serve and help other people. One day I hope to be half as great of a parent as you two are to these boys.

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bobby hill . downtown springfield

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I must admit, I was quite nervous going into the session with Bobby because, if you know anything about him, you know how amazingly artistic he is in every way. I knew that I would be stretched creatively and forced to think outside the box of “normal” portrait photography. However, Bobby’s fun and upbeat personality quickly made my worries go away as we discovered the hidden beauty of downtown Springfield. Personally, I have always been intrigued by the different people I have come into contact with downtown. This session forced me to open my eyes to the equally unique art and graffiti that plasters every wall and alley. It is not always easy to allow yourself to be stretched. However, the results are always worth it in the end. I can’t even begin to explain how happy I am with how the pictures from this session turned out.

Bobby – Thanks for forcing me to think differently in an effort to bring out your creative personality. You have been given such a wonderful gift, and I love to see the drawings and paintings that you come up with. Your creative personality  is so inspirational to all of the people that you are around. You have been an inspiration in my life and now in my photography. I am excited to see the influence that you will have on others in the future as well.

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