Wednesday, November 24, 2010

joni & laura

This is where I come from. No matter where I am in my life or in the world, if it isn't on the Iowa farm where I grew up, there is always a part of me that feels like my ultimate goal lies somewhere on these 200 acres in Iowa. Even though it is freezing cold here in the winter, I still love it. I love the drizzly gray days like today where the horizon isn't visible for all of the haze and colorlessness, because I know how vibrant and green it will be in the summer. It makes me appreciate it more. And there is beauty in colorlessness, too, even if it is harder to feel cheery on days like today.

I am at peace here. I feel like I can rest and sit peacefully and draw inside of myself to reflect. In Bloomington, I feel like a constant mess of motion, barely pausing to enjoy anything, always running from one thing to the next. Here, I can get a glimpse of who I am, where I am going, and how I should get there. I dream here. I hatch schemes. I paint and draw and feel inspired. I may have complained about the temperature on my Facebook status a couple of nights ago, but Iowa is my muse, with all of its corn and vast reaching fields - with its big sunsets and long stretches of highway.

Now, if I could find a way to recreate this kind of peace no matter where I am in the world, that would be perfection. But if that would happen, home would lose its sweetness, familiarity, and reward.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for this place and for its memories, and for the wonderful family who keeps me company here, and the wonderful friends and other family members who keep me company throughout life!

On that note, two of my first best friends from Bloomington were Joni and Laura. Joni is my fantastic, giving, sweet friend and accompanist. She is so beautiful, patient, kind, and she's such a hardworking and amazing musician. Joni, thank you for always being so supportive and such a wonderful friend to me and to Ayron. We love you! Last spring, Joni and I had a fun afternoon styling hair and I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots of her. She is so effortlessly beautiful and feminine!

Another of my greatest friends is Laura. Laura is the whole reason why I survived at IU my first semester. I feel like we connect on a level that I have with very few people throughout life. She is a special treasure among friends for me. Laura, your friendship has meant so much to me and to my husband. We are so blessed to have you in our lives! You are beautiful in so many uncountable ways. Last spring, I purchased my headshot lens, and the day after I bought it, I got Laura to be my first experiment. I'd say the experiment went rather well! :)

I'm feeling blessed to be a musician and a photographer, and to be surrounded by such amazing friends and family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm back in Iowa this morning and feeling good to be on vacation! I have a lot of work to do, but at least a large portion of my life (the student and teacher part) is on hold for a week and I get to be with family and eat too much and hopefully get caught up with my business!

The past couple of weeks have been wonderful for the business. I have met and gotten to work with so many wonderful new people and I've learned so much from each of them. The more I photograph the more I love the job. There is a part of me that is longing to try this profession on full time, just to see what is like to be a photographer, not a singer-student-teacher-photographer. I find it increasingly hard to be so divided, but I am also feeling lucky to have so many opportunities.

Like most of my clients, I met Jimmy at Indiana University. If I were to describe Jimmy in two words, I would call him tall and hilarious. He always makes me laugh, and he's so much fun. He normally wears these totally amazing glasses that I sort of feel define him, so I thought it would be kind of a challenge to capture his true image without those glasses. But it was no problem! He has such a great personality and I think his shots reflect that! :)

Jimmy, you have the best eyebrows.
I love the unique color of all of my clients' eyes. Jimmy, I love the smoky gray color of yours...they look amazing.

Jimmy, you are awesome. That's the bottom line. :) Thanks for giving me the opportunity to photograph you! :) Happy Tuesday everybody!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


One of the strangest things about photography, which I didn't expect when I first began pursuing it, is that I sometimes experience anxiety similar to what I experience before an audition or performance. I'm always hoping the light will be working in my favor and if we're doing a location shoot, that the places I have in mind will still work. Sometimes it still feels new to me, even though each time I get into a groove with a client it feels less and less unknown and more and more like I am supposed to be doing this and that I am good at it and I love it. I like feeling this new pressure and rising to a new challenge. And it is so rewarding to sit with the images after a shoot and see the beautiful soul revealed there. I used to think a lot of this photography thing was up to chance and up to luck, and so for awhile I felt at the mercy of my surroundings and my equipment. But now I'm starting to see that beauty can be found anywhere; I just have to look around until I find the perfect spot to place a client so the light hits them in just the right way so their very essence is visible in their beautiful eyes. After all the "should I's" and "I'd love to's" I am actually getting to experience my dream only a few years after it unfolded inside of my soul.

Part of what helped me gain confidence is the fact that my friends let me experiment on them! I am trying to catch up and post my new work from this fall, but I keep going back to shoots I did last spring and summer, mostly of good friends. Tom is one of my very best friends from Iowa State. We were voice majors in the same studio there, and we have so many wonderful memories from that time. My favorites? Opera Thursdays. Or maybe our summer trip to Minnesota with Ayron and Susan, where we made yogurt margaritas (don't knock it 'til you've tried it) and spent a lot of time on the boat not catching fish! Last year, a lot changed in Tom's life, and I felt privileged to get to photograph him during such an amazing time of change for him.

Tom! You are so special to me. And you are so handsome, inside and out! I love how these images capture your fierceness and sweetness all wrapped up together. I miss you.
 The color of your eyes in this picture makes me melt.
"Hello! My name is Tom, and I'm a model."
 I love you, Tom! :)

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Morgan and I met in opera chorus my first year at Indiana University, and I was immediately struck by her beauty and kindness. The first time I got to hear her perform was when we decided to sing some songs and arias at a local nursing home with some friends of ours. She has such a beautiful presence and an amazing voice. When she asked me to take her headshots last May, I was so excited to photograph her because I knew she would be stunning. And I was totally right!

I experienced extreme hair envy while photographing Morgan. Six months later, I still haven't gotten over it.

Morgan! You're so beautiful and warm! And I think this photograph shows people your true personality and beautiful spirit.

Morgan, I sometimes think your beauty is from another era.

I had such a blast photographing you Morgan. Thanks for being wonderful!

Monday, November 8, 2010


Sorry for the delay in blogging! The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy. I can't believe it is November already! Before we know it, it is going to be Thanksgiving and then Christmas (yay!) and the new year. I am feeling busy and stressed, but I am trying to carve out time to relax and realize how lucky I am to have such a supportive husband, family, friends, and awesome clients! :) 

I'm trying to get caught up posting all of my sessions here...I'm still posting sessions from summer!

Susan has been one of my good friends for a long time. I remember one of the first conversations I had with her - it was about the time I studied abroad in Florence and how it changed my life. And then Susan studied abroad in Florence! And now we both know what it feels like to get homesick for Florence in the fall. If I could use one word to describe Susan, it would probably be open.  She is so open with who she is. She is warm, giving, and kind. She is also hilarious and has so many great stories. 

Our paths crossed when we were both in the same area for my batchelorette party, and so I carved out a little time to take her headshots. And am I glad I did! Susan, you are so striking. Can I just say I'm glad you bought some red lipstick for this shoot? And that you also wear it in real life? Thank you.

 Your eyes are AHHHHmazing!

 I loved the interesting places we found to shoot.

Susan, you are beautiful, and I'm lucky to have you as a friend. I miss you! :)