Friday, October 29, 2010

Job opening - apply within


Spotted at NWMSU. I hear it pays in pizza.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday inspiration

I wanted to add a little feature here to the blog, something that I can do on a regular basis. It helps both me and you. You, possibly see some inspirational eye-candy, and me, well, it keeps me looking for new and exciting things and not being too complacent.

Inspiration Thursday!
(I totally need a more inspired name then that)

A collection of interesting photos, or links, or WHATEVER has my mojo rockin' this week.

Like A Prayer

Isn't this light just to die for? I don't see many images like this inside churches. I have a church wedding in December, I'm going to be watching.


Uh yeah. I love this mainly because of that trailer. I want a little camper so bad! But otherwise, this photo is full of awesome. I think I went to high school with her?


Alice in Waterland

I wanna make a 24"x36" canvas of this random person and hang her on my living room wall. I'd tell ppl that it was me, before "the operation".

Lee & Jemma's Wedding 1 181-1-0

Awesome cool fake bokeh.
you don't get to say that sentence very often.

Check out this beautiful wedding by Ben Godkin. It's on a paddle boat. Yeah, that'd be awesome. I'm married 2 years now, and I'm already re-designing my wedding in my head. I'm thinking awesome 5th anniversary party???

And since I'm redesigning a wedding in my head, my photographer would for SURE be the incredible Mr. James Rubio. Gene has already been informed we're redoing our vows in Hawaii on our 10th anniversary. Mainly so James can take our photos. Hope he's not like a trillion bucks by then! ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Need any eggs?


I need either:
1. Less chickens
2. Bigger fridge

Fridge can't GET any bigger wtihout a kitchen remodel (again). I don't have the heart to get rid of any chickens.

That, my friends, is a quandry.

Wish granted - Poof. It's fall.

Lori and Michael were married on a beautiful fall day a couple weeks ago. The weather was perfect, it wasn't windy. It wasn't cold. It wasn't raining. Perfect.

Only one problem.... there weren't many fall leaves yet. In fact, we could only find one fall tree.

Today I happened across this tutorial, and decided that I'd make those fall leave dreams come true for Lori and Michael.



In other news:
Today I was told I wasn't "anything special", and while they weren't referring to my photograhy skills in particular it sure brings up all those things that you think about yourself at times, and the things you suspect that your peers think about you to start with.

I know I'm not a "special special snowflake", and I'm perfectly ok with that. But I am a human, with feelings. So what am I to do right? I could have hair flipped, or told them all to eff off - which I certainly considered. Instead... I just bitched to my one true photography friend, cried on my husband's shoulder, vowed to step back into reality just a bit and then went and worked on the above photo.

And I thought about this girl:



She didn't care that I hadn't won any "major awards" or haven't written a book, or that I don't offer workshops to aspiring photographers. Nope, all she cares about is beautiful photos. I dare say, that me being at her wedding was probably one of the biggest expenses of the day, and that flatters me more any day than some $250k platinum wedding.

You know why?

Because percentage wise, I was more important to *her*, than the most expensive wedding photographer in the world showing up at Chelsea Clinton's wedding, or the daughter of an oil tycoon, or a billionare daddy's precious snowflake little girl's big day at the Ritz. Guess what? That doesn't mean her day wasn't just as important, and she wasn't just as beautiful (if not more). Everyone deserves to have that day, and to be treated with respect.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This post is full of lies


I'm not sure exactly why I've worked so hard to deny the inevitable.

Fall has a firm grasp on Missouri, and winter is licking at our heels. As I sit here today, the sun is shiny sporadically through clouds that are dabbling from east to west, it's 50 degrees (11c) and the wind is reminding me that the vent on my microwave/stove hood is annoyingly loose. My windows are creaking, reminding me that they still need replaced and anything less than 40 pounds is flying around my yard.

One week.

That's it. No that's a lie. Just 5 days.

5 days until October is over and it's time to start thinking about "the holidays" and all the while I'm still thinking about the pool, and warm breezes and the sun still kissing my face.

The flip flop tan lines on my feet are gone.


That's not completely true either. I'm also still thinking about the 3 engagement shoots that I have in the next 3 days and how they all want fall leaves, and how the wind is probably blowing away all the good ones. I'm sure those with huge trees and tons of raking are cheering, and their neighbors are probably cussing.

I'm not ready to succumb. I'm going down with a fight. I'm wearing flip flops still, but with socks. (Well, only at the house.... don't wanna embarass my kid in public more than usual.) I'm wearing my summer makeup, and my favorite summer shirt that really doesn't look great on me, but is uber comfy.

That's all kind of a lie too... I've lost my fight. All I really want to do is to curl up in a ball with Jingles, under my fluffy winter comforter (where he is right now, and I am not), and sleep until May 15.

Please don't poke the sleeping bear.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hannah + Sam = Engaged! Maryville, Missouri Wedding Photographer

10-24-hannah8 She spoke in hushed tones, even though Sam stood only 12 inches away. "I can't wait for everyone to see my dress it's [redacted**] with a long [redacted]." Slowly, you could see the color flood her face as she realized what she'd just done. "Uh oh" she said, as she looked at Sam. Sam just smiled, like Sam did the entire time. "I already know it's [redacted]." "Well," she says This is when I learned three things about this couple. {Read the rest of this post here}

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm old.. your old.. Everybody's OLD. Let's buy old stuff.


After the antique bug gets you, and you find numerous great deals that you can't pass up, and your house is full, and you keep eyeballing your storage unit... well, you have three options.

1. Build a bigger house
2. Keep your house but become a hoarder
3. Start selling antiques.

I kinda like the idea of #1. If everyone that reads this would send me $1.00 to my house fund, I'd have like $8.00. You know, less the cost of paypal fees. Meaning: I'd own paypal 57 cents.

Number two is a slippery slope. I have days where I wonder if I'm a hoarder and fantasize about a garage to put my stuff. Then that's when I realize that I really need to just do #3.

Now when Gene does something, he likes to go big. His FIRST IDEA, was to get an antique store. Yes. An *entire store*. He even went so far as to talk to an antique store owner that he knew was going out of business and looking for someone to take it over. Said store is over an hour away. The thing is, I've done the whole craft/antique mall once in my life, and I ended up hating it. I have not forgotten how I feel about retail.

It sucks.

Oh, I liked the people (most of them), but the money was awful and the hours were worse. Both easily my own fault. I didn't actually start making much money until I "rented" a both to myself and started making crafts to put in my own booth. I paid rent and commission like all the other renters.. There were many months before that, that the renters made more money that month than I did.

So to say I was dragging my heels was an understatement. I let him make his phone calls, and crunch his numbers, but at the end of the day it wasn't going to matter because I was NOT going to run 2 businesses at the same time.

Sorry dear.

Finally, about a month ago we compromised and rented a booth in an antique mall. He dragged his feet on it. Felt like he wouldn't make much money. I'm willing to take that risk. I feel much better being out nothing but a couple hundred bucks and some time, as opposed to say, $100k and a bank loan.

Yeah, notsomuch.

So my point is, we have a booth at Jesse James antique mall now! Yay! We've already sold quite a bit of goodies. If you love antiques, stop by #112 and throw cash at me. It makes me happy. I need to be happy - oh, and I need the space, my dining room table is full :p

LG Text Ed - Sexting and Texting

Don't forget to check out this week's installment of LG's Text Ed. This week we're talking about sexting and texting and our kids. *scary*

Remember when you post a comment on blogher or the blogger's sites, 50 cents goes towards!

Kandy and Ryan Get Married! Iowa Wedding Photographer


Kandy and Ryan, were married in my home town in Iowa, on a deck, in her parents yard. Oh.. it's also in the middle of a pond!

Yeah, that's what I thought too.

I've decided that rather than always showing all photos in both locations, I'll direct you to the photos on my business website. I know I've been showing a lot of photos over here lately. Considering I'm working 14 hour days and I'm a photographer, you shouldn't be shocked by this revelation, however, I feel an urge to talk more about chickens and spiderwebs instead of bouquets and diamond earrings over here

Just sayin'.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Good News - weather forecasting via caterpillar


It's pretty technical stuff ya know? Forecasting the future with a caterpillar anyway.

So the deal is, that the wider the black stripe on a caterpillar, the longer the winter. So imagine my excitement when I keep seeing just orange caterpillars. So far, fall has backed me up on this concept, it's kinda like the nemisis of last winter for sure.

Sadly, reports are coming in from all over of solid black caterpillars. I choose to ignore those reports as nothing more than bold gossip.

Yes, I live

Sorry I've not been much of an updater lately, the reason is I have shoots every couple days, weddings every weekend, and trying to edit between those moments.

Here's a quick run down of my life:

  • Had a wedding again on Saturday, they were awesome sweet couple and one of the few grooms that'll get out there and really rock it on the dance floor. That was so fun to see and photograph. I took a trillion reception pictures, but I don't care, it was actually kinda fun. (I get bored of dance photos after a couple hours btw)

  • At said wedding, met up with one of my former brides too (they are good friends), and we're going to do a trash the dress! Yeehaww! I'm so excited. First off, I felt like we didn't get enough shots because it was just sooooo hottttt that day. Hottest day this year by far. Second, she seriously could be a supermodel (and he's not too shabby himself lol) so I think the pics will be beautiful.

  • I'm probably going to have to start holding back pics and share them through the winter. I imagine everyone is getting tired of seeing "sneak peek" in every 3rd title.

  • I had a bridal fair yesterday here in town. It actually was pretty good. Good sized crowd, lots of new vendors and I had a huge influx of traffic to my site last night. I have a good feeling about 5-6 of the brides. If that happens, I'll be nearly booked solid next year.

  • We finally got the last bit of the pool emptied yesterday. It's been "empty" for over a month. But it's hard to get the last 2 inches of water out. I walked in this disqusting muck trying to get it out of the pool. We all only yelled at each other 43 times.

  • I haven't had my nails done for so long that the acrylic has almost grown off of them. Which is good because I don't have to soak, but bad because they look like ass. I told Gene last night I'm thinking about going to get a mani-pedi today. He asked me how much, I said "Oh around $200" (fib). He choked.. then said it was ok, go do it. (aww). I then said "you know, I was informing you, not asking." Then he choked again.

  • Despite giving away 5 dozen eggs yesterday to misc ppl, I still have 15 dozen in my fridge! Anyone need to buy eggs? No I'm serious! Email me if you'd like some farm fresh eggs, $1.50 a dozen which is half the price of walmart for something similar.

  • I'm cold.

  • I still have a cold.

  • Taking Gene to a Dr. appt in Kansas City again today. It's been about 3 years he's had this bad reaction to a chemical used in all the stuff he's exposed to at work. He's officially allergic and it's never curable until he quits. He's not really into the concept of working 80 hours a week to make the same amount of money, so he stays ... for now. In the meantime, he gets steriod shots in the rear every few months. He whines about it too... loudly.

  • My house looks like a small explosion went off. I'm tired of cleaning. I'm kinda half serious when I say I'm ready to hire someone to come in and clean for me, of course they'd probably quit the SECOND time they show up and see we have undone pretty much everything they did.

  • I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I think I'm ready for winter. I need to rest.

Do you regret asking how I am now?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Upcoming Maryville, MO Bridal Fair

Future Brides:

You are invited to the 7th Annual Maryville Community Center Bridal Fair to be held on Sunday Oct. 17th from 2pm-4pm. The event will be featuring local vendors and a runway fashion show. Advanced tickets may be purchased for $3 at MCC Tickets at the door will be sold for $5.00.

Please stop by and say hello, Cease Fire Studios will be having a give away!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My article is up! Blogher's Text Ed program

Check out my post about texting and driving that I did as a Text Ed Embassador for the Blogher network! I've posted it on my review site, and you can leave a comment there to be counted towards the .50 donation to

I'm pretty proud of my little article, it brought back memories of when I was a reporter in 19dickety2. Yes, I used to report the *news*. I'll tell you about it someday.

Be sure to check out the other articles on Blogher too, your comment counts there as well.

Lesley and Colby - Engaged! Sneak Peek - Nebraska City, Ne


Lesley and Colby are so sweet and kind. It's obvious that they love each other. They wanted to do something different, and so we ended up in Nebraska City, Nebraska at Arbor Day Farms. This place is golden! No really. I could shoot every day for a year and never hit all the good spots!




A million and 12 more to come.
OK, maybe just 12.

In the meantime, lots more shoots coming up, another wedding, some senior pics, some albums to make, blah blah blah. Calgon take me awayyyyy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moooove over


If you've been here more than a week, you probably have already figured out I have some sort of weird fascination with cows. I'm not exactly sure why, my parents never had cows, or even one cow.

My grandfather on the other hand had cows. Not a lot, nothing like a cattle rancher or anything, but it was enough to call it a herd. My parents house used to sit on a single acre, surrounded by a barbed wire fence. On the north is a small wooded area that my cousin and I would disappear into and play like winnie the pooh and piglet for entire days.

On the other side, was a field owned by my grandparents where he kept the cattle. Sometimes, they would come very close to the fence for the "good stuff". You know, that saying "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" comes from instances just like that. I would never get close enough to touch one because the fact remains that I'm still kinda scare of cows. I suppose it's too many stories of mean momma cows protecting their calves or angry bulls bucking off wirey cowboys.

When I was about 9 or 10, I was riding down the road on my bike, going somewhere for some reason I have no idea, and I saw a cow laying in a field. I thought she looked weird but didn't think much else of it until I came back by about 15 minutes later and saw a little baby calf right in the spot where momma was laying moments before. It was the first time I'd ever seen a REALLY newborn calf. I remember being so excited to tell my family and getting a "umm... ok?" kinda response.

The truth is, I have this overwhelming urge to hug a cow, but it's weird, I've never as much as touched a cow my whole life... and I'm literally surrounded by thousands of cows from many different farms miles around me.

Yesterday, Gene took the day off of work, and we both went on an engagement shoot I had in Nebraska City. The groom is local, the bride is from Omaha, and they are getting married here. She wanted something to represent herself and where she grew up, so we went to Arbor Day farms.

On the way, we needed to run an errand at a house out in the country.

NOTE: Never follow directions that tomtom gives you instead of the directions the owner of the house gives you. Especially in Missouri where maintaining rural roads is marked as "optional". Let's just say, it was cool having a jeep for once.

In the meantime, while heading back to the highway, oh, and readjusting my internal organs, I spotted some cows, under a pretty fall tree, alone on a hill in the middle of nowhere Missouri (there's a lot of those places around here btw).

I made Gene back up and after he nearly ran me over (no really, it was run backwards or take a nosedive into a ditch.. wth?), I used the step to get me high enough to get a few shots off of some pretty cows.

I want to kiss them but I'm scared.


More pics of the actual engagement shoot coming soon. After I recover from anxiety from being nearly ran over by my own husband.

I'm sure he was trying to make it look like an accident.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Two Weddings - Two Sneak Peeks! Missouri Wedding Photographer

Amy and Dustun from last weekend....



And Lori and Michael from just yesterday.....



I have officially declared that all weddings shall occur from now on in October. So be it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A facebook conversation with my husband...


Oh he's a hopeless romantic.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Izaak and Abby - Kid portraits Missouri

Izaak and Abby

Tonight I had a shoot with these two cute kids. They were funny, lively and packed full of energy. I'm going to dedicate my life to bottling that energy.

When I'm not so tired.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LG Text Ed - Setting the Ground Rules

Don't forget to check out this week's topic over on Blogher for LG Text Ed. (I'm an ambassador!) This week the topic is Setting the Ground Rules for Texting. If you post a comment, .50 will be donated to! Just one little way you can help.

Next week: my article!

An interview with Cactus Creek's Fancy Smith

I've talked about Cactus Creek a couple times now on the blog. It's a cute shop in Weston Missouri that I could literally spend hours and buckets of cash in. A few weeks ago, Fancy called me up and asked if I would be willing to shoot some photos for herself at the shop and the Junk Mafia crew.

I said, "duh!"

Then I got to thinking what fun it would be for you to learn more about Cactus Creek and Junk Mafia, so I did a little interview with Fancy.


What is Cactus Creek?

Cactus Creek is first and foremost a retail store. Cactus Creek first opened ten years ago in Lenexa, Kansas and has had several locations, but our current location on Main Street in Weston, Missouri is the best yet!! We offer customers in our store a unique assortment of Rustic, Western & Vintage furniture, home accessories, art, antiques, jewelry & gifts.

Cactus Creek is also a website & blog where we offer readers pictures and stories about the people we meet, and things we see, owning our shop. is where people can keep up with us & our other friends in the Rustic * Western * Vintage market.

Where did the name “Cactus Creek” come from?

When my husband and I decided to open the store we knew that it needed a good name, so we started talking and brainstorming one night… it was a conversation that lasted many hours till the wee hours of the morning. Cactus Creek was not the first name we chose. Our first name was rejected by everyone we knew and Cactus Creek was number two on the list. We were too tired of talking about it to start over again so we went with it. Turns out Cactus Creek was the perfect name.


What kind of things will you find at your shop?

We have a line of rustic furniture that is made in Mexico. We’ve worked with the same craftsmen for over seven years and love to do special orders on everything from dining tables to barstools to new bedroom suites

We also have a ton of antiques ~ old Western memorabilia, folk art and classic vintage Americana objects. We believe that the one of a kind vintage accessories & furniture are the perfect items to make a home interesting and personal. The goal of a home is for it to be full of the things you love, old or new.

Cactus Creek also offers cowhides, jewelry, chips & salsa, t-shirts, original art and southwest rugs.

How did you get into this business?

I’ve worked in one retail business or another since I was 16. In college I was a part of the Center for Retail Studies at Texas A&M University. The only thing I know how to do is own and run a retail store… and, even though it can be a roller coaster ride, I love every day of it.


What is your favorite thing in your shop right now?

We just received a large shipment of Western & Americana antiques so my favorites list is rather long… I really love our big signs… we also have a lot of primitive painted furniture which is great to mix with rustic pine & iron furniture… My absolute favorite right now is an original painting of a cactus landscape ~ I’m pretty sure it’s coming home with me.

What is your favorite thing you’ve ever sold in Cactus Creek?

I can’t think of one thing that is my favorite I’ve ever sold, but I can tell you that the one thing I do LOVE to sell is cowhides. I’ve probably sold almost 300 hides but every one is absolutely different from all the others. They are such a great investment, look terrific in every house, feel luxurious to step onto, and make a big statement no matter what your d├ęcor looks like.


Is there anything else you’d like to let everyone know?

My newest adventure outside of Cactus Creek is partnering with John Todd and Darren Smith from the Junk in my Trunk Radio Show to form a new movement & website called Our goal is to encourage people to commit to taking everyday ACTIONS to Re-Cycle, Re-LOVE™, Re-Deem, and Re-Spend. By becoming a part of the movement & taking these ACTIONS we believe that individuals’ lives will benefit, families will benefit, in turn communities will benefit, and then our global community becomes a better place to live. Stay tuned for more about coming soon!!



Thank you Fancy for playing along with Mz-Cellaneous. I thought it was a kind of a fun way to share some photography with my readers!

I'm doing commercial type work as well as weddings so if you need headshots that are a little different than just head and shoulders, or if you'd like to feature your business in some way, let me know! We'll also do product shots for your web presence or catalog if you need them!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This pretty girl I know named Hannah

more of this girl soon....


and her sweet handsome fiance too.

In the meantime, 2 weddings to get edited this week!

Playing with light and dew

One advantage to getting up early to take Tanner to band, is the chance to see a rare sunrise. Sorry, I'm a late sleeper and a night owl. Sunrises are a novelty in my world.

This time of year, the dew is on high alert, warning us all of what's to come. Mix the two and you have some beautiful light bouncing in every direction.






Saturday, October 2, 2010

Well, there's one good thing about cooler weather....


Friday, October 1, 2010

And the winner is ......

Winner of the very pretty ruby and diamond ring donated by my hubs is .... Ms "Geek Details"!!

Ms Geek, please contact me with your address and we'll get it mailed to you!
Stay tuned for more contests!

{Apparently I love exclamation points!!!}

Kayleigh + John = Getting Engaged!


I met Kayleigh for the first time at a bridal fair. She's so sweet and kinda quiet. She really REALLY wanted me to shoot her wedding for her, and that really REALLY made me want to shoot her wedding.

Funny how things work out.

Her mom was with her, and something she said stuck with me. She said "John is the perfect man for Kayleigh, we couldn't ask for a better guy." You know what? Mom was right. These two are good together and it's obvious that they love each other deeply. You know, that icky, squishy, please stop looking at each other so much because I've been married for more than 2 years, kinda love. ;P









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