We took Little B to attend his first birthday party a few weeks ago. His cousin, Kynleigh, turned one and I’m not sure who had more fun between the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents and our little sweethearts. It was a wonderful reason for a family reunion my sister did an amazing job planning this party with a cute polka dot theme. Anyway, I had fun photographing it too and figured I should share because it is too cute not to share. Here’s a taste of all the sweet details:
Here’s a sweet moment between the cousins. Acutally, I have a series of shots of the two of them and it really looks like they’re having a conversation. They held hands, she took his hat off and even tried to put it back on. There was a chorus of oohs and aahs behind me as I snapped these precious memories.
Here’s the gorgeous family before her cake smash.
And here comes the cake!
We love you, Kynleigh!
I’m finally taking some time to introduce the little guy who has been my muse over the past four months. He has many nicknames ranging from Angel Baby to Crab Cake, but his blog name will be Little B. I think it took me so long to post photos of him on my blog because there are always more photos that I want to create. In fact, I just processed and retouched two more photos before sitting down to write this post. I guess you could say he’s my special on-going photo project that will last as long as he lets me. So here are some of my very favorites starting somewhere around two weeks old.
I know someday he’ll really dislike this photo below, but I hope he’ll eventually get a laugh out of it.
And here he is for his dedication with his Daddy!
Couldn’t resist a photo with the Miller jersey!
I was so excited that he could sit up in this chair—it’s a family heirloom. And I can’t help but brag because he is looking pretty dapper for his Christmas portrait.
I mentioned that he’s my muse for photos, but he’s also inspired me to get in touch with my crafty side. So in addition to snapping his photo, I’ve been sewing like a mad woman and made him this bomber jacket and aviator hat. He wasn’t too crazy about sitting in the chair so I didn’t push it by waiting for him to smile. Plus, I think I’ll like seeing his melancholy face some day when I’m looking back. I know most people like to see their baby smiling in photos, but I want to remember all of his precious faces.
I love finding things that I can sit him in or use to prop him up. And this suitcase from my mom and throw blanket from my sister were a perfect match.
That’s it for now. I’ll be sure to share more as we go. But for the moment, I think I’d just like to cuddle him.
I’m clearing out some cobwebs after a month or so of blogging since photographing my last wedding. Week after week, I’ve thought, I should probably get back to blogging. But I need to admit I’ve been deliriously distracted—my husband and I welcomed the most wonderful baby boy you ever saw into the world this Fall (right in the midst of the wedding season—thank goodness for a good plan B and some fantastic support from a few good friends). Anyway, we’re starting to settle into a rhythm with our Little B and are mesmerized with all of the fun things he discovers each day.
And as I’m learning to balance my roles as a mommy and photographer, I’m taking my own baby steps to get back into the swing of things. And for my first post of the new year, I had some help from Little B! We ventured out into the snow a few weeks back at a park in my neighborhood. Actually, Little B sat his car seat in the warmth of our car while I hoped out and snapped some inspired landscapes without having to walk more than a few steps from the car.
Yay! I did it! Yep, I’m cheering for myself, because I’m learning to celebrate the little things. I’m hoping to share some images of Little B in my next post. I just need to figure out which ones…
In 2011, my husband and I went on a short-term mission trip with our church to help out at Esperanza Viva, an orphanage in Puebla, Mexico—not one of us returned the same. I think it’s safe to say that I left a piece of my heart in Mexico. The children have so little and yet they are full of love and joy. We felt overwhelmed by the wonderful work God is doing there. There were countless stories of redemption for children who were born into abuse and neglect and rescued by the orphanage. In the week that we were there, we learned about many transformations that have taken place from the staff who dedicate their lives by serving these precious children.
Depending on a child’s background when they arrive at the orphanage, there is a natural adjustment period for them to learn what it is like to live in a supportive environment, where they are loved and can learn to trust others. The experience of witnessing the joy in these children and learning about how they have overcome heart-breaking circumstances, caused us to question what is really important in life. For me, I felt so selfish at living in such comfort with so much of my effort focused on improving my business—I love being a wedding photographer here in Pittsburgh, but could I do more?
The orphanage is at maximum capacity with 88 kids (the last time I checked) and there are so many more children in Mexico who need to be rescued. Esperanza Viva has great plans for expanding the Puebla campus as well as a few other locations throughout Mexico, so I have been praying about how I could help, and I’m hopeful in introducing a new project: Prints for Prosperity. This project is a small way for my business to support Esperanza Viva in its efforts to accommodate more at-risk children by providing them with a loving home and a good education. Twenty percent of each sale through Captivating Imagery client proofing galleries will be donated to Esperanza Viva. At the close of each year, I will post a fundraising report and share highlights from the orphanage. I’m thrilled to see how this project develops and I pray it will be a blessing for all involved.
I’ve been MIA on this blog over the last two weeks and I just want to share a bit about where I’ve been. My church sent my husband and I and two other couples to help at Esperanza Viva in Puebla, Mexico. Esperanza Viva means living hope and that is exactly what this organization provides. It is an orphanage and not only does it provide for children’s physical needs, but also for their spiritual needs. The orphanage ministers to children who come from the streets or whose parents have been sent to jail. These kids are no strangers to drug use or sexual abuse. Currently, Esperanza Viva has 88 kids, but there is a plan to expand. They are celebrating the inauguration for the completion of their first phase of construction tomorrow. This is the dormitory where the kids and staff members live.
The section with no grass in the foreground was one of our projects for the week. We planted grass, repaired sidewalks, and built a patio floor to hold a new water tank.
We attended Nations Church and many of the staff from Esperanza Viva were involved in leading worship.
The service was very moving. The pastor spoke about how we are all God’s adopted children, not his flesh and blood, but that he chose us and we are called to live as children of God. This is awesome news! Although, it was a real tearjerker for me as I was thinking about our week ahead with the children. After church, we got to visit the orphanage for the first time. Here are some of the adorable faces we grew to love—and it didn’t take long. These kids just melted our hearts. We got to spend about two hours with them each day.