Friday, January 27, 2012

moments: strawberry jam

As I've said before on this blog, I got into photography originally to document the simple, beautiful moments in life that I was afraid would pass me by. A lot of these moments in my life involve cooking. I absolutely love cooking and baking just about anything! Last fall on the same day I canned tomatoes, I made strawberry freezer jam, but I didn't get it photographed! 

We dug into our last jar of jam last weekend, so I made some more this week, with the help of my friend Ashley. While these aren't the most gorgeous strawberries ever, they sure are tasty! (Especially when you add a bunch of sugar to them! (Recipe below.)

I'm not sure what I would do without a food processor. Cry, maybe? I did mash them by hand last time, but it took quite a bit longer...this time? About 4 seconds.


Sugar is my greatest vice.

The finished product sure was pretty (and tasty!).

Strawberry Freezer Jam

2 pints strawberries (2 heaping cups crushed)
4 cups of sugar
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tbsp orange zest, plus the juice of one orange

Hull and halve the strawberries, and crush them, either by hand with a fork or potato masher, or in a food processor. Mix in 4-cups sugar, zest, and nutmeg and let sit for 10 minutes. On the stove, combine one box fruit pectin (I used Sure Jell) with 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil one minute. Stir pectin into fruit mixture, and continue to stir until sugar is completely dissolved (approximately 3 minutes). Spoon into freezer safe containers (leave 1/2 inch of space at the top for expansion) and freeze for up to 1 year. (YUM!)

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I took Kati's pictures last spring, and when I met her, I was immediately struck by her warmth, kindness, and authenticity. She has a beautiful spirit and a beautiful soul. By the end of our session, I felt better for having the opportunity to capture her beauty. 

Kati is a pianist pursuing her DM at IU. She is fabulous! :)

Kati's beautiful blue eyes are like gemstones... :)

This photograph makes me smile!
This one makes me want to breathe in deep and appreciate the moment. Kati, I think you're good at that.

Kati, I feel extremely blessed to have worked with you. You are beautiful and wonderful!:)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

heather + mike

Let me just start off this post by saying that I love my job. When people ask me what types of sessions are my most favorite, I often tell them that engagement sessions are my favorite. It is because you get to capture this special moment in two people's lives, when they are anticipating marriage and they're so in love. It is a privilege to capture that time. 

Heather and Mike are awesome. I'll just put that out there. I've known Heather for awhile (she's a fellow soprano IU alum, who is amazingly talented, I might add), but when I met her other half, I fell in love with them. They are just perfect for each other. And they're so FUN! As we were sitting at Starbucks in Bloomington, telling me about how they met and how long they've been together, I just knew I wanted to be there to document their story. And when Mike clued me in on his connections to Wrigley field and his life-long Cubs love affair, I knew my husband would love them, too. :) 

We drove to Chicago last fall to document their love, and it was one of the most fun photography weekends ever! Full disclosure: I had a really  hard time narrowing down the amount of images in this post.

We started things off at Wrigley Field. Yeah, no big deal. My husband has been watching the Cubs religiously on TV (that's why he has a few gray hairs) since he was very young, yet he had never had the chance to go to a game live or step foot in this historic stadium. The first time we went there, we got to sit in the dugout. I told Ayron, "See? Being a photographer has its perks!" And by that, I mean photographing awesome people has its perks. 

Heather and Mike, how are you two so adorable?

They're just lying on top of the dugout and being cute...I'm sure that happens all of the time at Wrigley. ;)


You guys are ridiculously good looking. I'm just saying...

 Love me some love!

As it turns out, there are some pretty cool areas under the stands at Wrigley. I couldn't resist...

Post-Wrigley, we headed over to Navy Pier for the remainder of the session.

I melt.

I love how this ship just happened to sail by at the perfect time...

Oh Chicago, we love you...

A trip to Navy Pier would not be complete without a photo in front of the famous Ferris Wheel or some gorgeous skyline views...


The four of us took a brief photo break and went out to dinner, and then we took a nighttime ride down the river and snapped some fun shots with the lights of Navy Pier behind us.

Heather and Mike, we are so excited for June! That night when we all sat down to dinner at Navy Pier, I knew this was going to be more than another wedding/engagement session. We feel like we not only are blessed to have you as awesome clients, but also as awesome friends. You guys are the best! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I remember meeting Joe early on when I started at IU, and he made an impression on me from the start. He is one of the kindest, warmest people with an infectious smile and laugh that always leaves me feeling happier. Plus he is an extremely talented bass-baritone. My second year at IU we had the pleasure of working together in L'Italiana in Algeri, where I he was my Mustafa and I was his overly dramatic, whiny wife, Elvira. It was so much fun! 

Now Joe is singing at Minnesota Opera and being famous! I miss you, Joe!

Why are you so fabulous?

I'm fairly certain you should just go and be a model when you need extra cash.

Seriously. So hot. Just saying.

I love your attitude...and your skinny tie.

Why is it that men in suits look so good leaning nonchalantly on brick walls?

For real, you are such a model, Joe.

Joe, I had such a blast going on epic photo adventures with you this past summer. I hope life is great in the twin cities! We miss you here in Bloomington! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stages Bloomington

Last November, I had the opportunity to photograph a group of wonderful kids at a local non-profit organization called Stages. Stages is located here in Bloomington and it offers singing, dancing, and acting education to children of all ages. There were several fifth graders in the group and there were even some high schoolers, so there was a large age range. 

If you're reading this and you haven't heard of Stages, check out their website! The program is great, and as a fellow musician, I think that these kinds of programs are so wonderful - I'm glad Bloomington supports these efforts. 

For the folks over at Stages, thanks for giving me the opportunity to work with these wonderful kids! I had fun shooting them, and I hope they had fun having their photographs taken. 

Without further ado, here are the wonderful kids:

Happy Friday!