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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alaska

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When I first started this site, I had no intention of doing much, if any, landscape photography. I get so much joy out of taking photographs of people, that I thought there couldn’t be much fun in taking pictures of landscapes. However, when my husband and I decided to take a week trip to Alaska where he grew up, I jumped at the opportunity to dabble into landscape photography. I am so happy that I did. Even though I thought I would miss capturing the “personality” of the person being photographed, I quickly found myself being faced with a new set of challenges and rewards – trying to truly capture the bright colors and beautiful, breath-taking scenary of Alaska. My goal was to use this opportunity to the fullest, trying to find the best lighting to capture the most vivid colors and best depth of field that would truly make the landscape of Alaska pop. With all of the different elements to take into consideration, I found that landscape photography really can be as enjoyable as taking portraits.

We stayed in the Anchorage area for most of the trip. In this blog post, you will see pictures of Flat Top Mountain, Portage Glacier, Whittier, Mt. McKinley, The Coastal Trails, Alyeska Ski Resort, and other random spots in and near the city of Anchorage. I encourage you to take a moment to closely look over each picture carefully – I have included some sillouetted people in a couple so you can see how large everything is in comparison. And, as always, your feedback is always welcomed and appreciated!

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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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capturing beauty series . post one

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I have always been amazed at the beauty that can be found in the little things of every day life. Sometimes, it is the simple things I pass by everyday that, when I stop and really look at them, truly capture the beauty that is offered to us. That epiphany was the inspiration behind this series–the capturing beauty series. My hope is that, through these posts, I can encourage all of you to, when life starts moving rapidly by, take a moment to stop, look around, and find the beauty in the everyday things that surround you. Because of the nature of this series, I will not be publishing posts consecutively, but will rather select to post whenever I feel the need to share the things that I have found inspire me.

I hope that, no matter what you may be going through, this series will encourage you in your walk through life. Please take a moment to slow down, take a deep breath, and find the beauty that I have found in the pictures below. Leave a comment to let others know which pictures inspire you the most. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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family shoot . sunset beach

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In my opinion, there are few things more enjoyable than taking a family vacation to Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Sunset Beach is a small barrier island located on the southeast coast of North Carolina, halfway between Myrtle Beach, SC and Wilmington, NC. This summer, I had the opportunity to take my husband for the first time to enjoy the beach with the extended family on my dad’s side, which currently spans four generations. Though we missed having my younger brother there, we were able to have a wonderful time together as a family on the sandy beach, riding the waves, eating meals together, and partaking in numerous rounds of mini golf and dishes of Calabash Creamery ice cream! I can’t even begin to explain how abundantly blessed I am to be part of such a tight-knit family that enjoys spending time with one another.

To the Hills, Heidys, Drahers, Dunnivans, and Leatherberrys – Thank you for making this photo shoot extra special for me. I had so much fun getting to spend time with all of you. I hope that these pictures capture the memories we have made as a family at a place that will forever be in all of our hearts. I love you guys!

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josh & rachel . nathanael greene park

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After launching the website, I was so excited to receive my first official email from someone inquiring about photographs! It took a minute to sink in and, after jumping around the living room in excitement, I was thrilled to reply yes! It was such an honor to photograph Josh & Rachel, a wonderful couple that I have had the privilege of working closely with at church.  We went to Nathanael Greene Park during the hottest week of summer so far. If you have never been to Nathanael Greene Park, I urge you to drop what you are doing, grab a friend, and go enjoy the beauty that this park has to offer. I promise that you will not be disappointed!

Josh & Rachel – Thank you for being the first couple that I have had the opportunity to photograph! Your fun personalities and genuine love for each other made it so easy for me to get wonderful pictures that I believe truly capture everything that makes you stand out as a couple. Your sense of humor made for a great experience regardless of the humid Missouri weather. I can’t wait to see what adventure in life you end up going on next, and I wish you nothing but the best for your future!

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