RED: A Traveling Dress Adventure!

One of the many resources I have been grateful to utilize in my photography journey is the Focused Photographers Forum. They are an amazing group of talented photographers willing to share their time and knowledge to other photographers as we all learn and grow together. Photography is, for so many of us, a life-long passion for further education, greater understanding of the craft, and pushing toward accomplishment of a vision that is our own, traveling the sometimes difficult path to get that vision from our brains to the back of the camera or the front of the computer screen. Joining forces with other talented photographers, such as those on Focused Photographers, makes traveling that path easier….and way more fun!!

The Traveling Red Dress Challenge: A certain Red Dress was purchased and sent to each of a dozen or so participants around the country (and 1 in Canada!). We were to keep the dress for a maximum of 5 days before sending it on to the next person on the list. Everyone had the same dress to work with, but of course, each of us had our own struggles with how to use the dress, finding the right (petite) model to fit into the dress, coordinate tight schedules and make our own unique vision come to life! All in all, the project took a few months to complete, beginning in mid January and just finished up the first week of May. I received the dress in mid March and was able to pull in my Hair and Makeup artist, Raini Jenkins, as well as my model Mary Williams, get us all together, shoot these images while the weather cooperated (some in the snow!), and mail the dress within my allotted time frame. Whew! ;)

At the time of publishing this post, I have yet to see ANY of the images taken by the other participants! I am SO excited to finally see the finished work of everyone in the group! We were asked to share our 1-2 favorites, and these are mine! I couldn’t decide between the color and black and white edit on the outdoor shot, so I am sharing both. Hope you enjoy following along our blog circle to see all of the other fabulous images shared today on our big RED: A Traveling Dress Adventure Reveal!

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I enjoyed this so very much, and I want to say “Thank you!” to each of the other photographers who participated with me and a special “THANKS!” to Beth Russell (Photos by ejrussel) for doing all of the leg work and organization for this project and for sending each of us little gifts to make our challenge shooting and editing just a little bit sweeter!

Please head over to Cheri’s blog HERE to check out her take on the RED: A Traveling Dress Adventure Project! This is a blog circle! Ever heard of it? A blog circle links from one blog to the next in a complete circle. Click on the linked up blog on each post until you find you way all the way back to me! Although there were a dozen or so of us participating, not all photographers have a blog, so the circle won’t be terrible big or take up a great deal of your time. Comments are awesome! Thank you for taking a look!

Senior | Emilee



Emilee came to me on a gorgeous summer day for her senior portraits. She won me over with  her stunning smile and amazed me with her sense of adventure! She was up for anything and we had such a great time capturing her in the beautiful country side of northern Michigan! Emilee, it was such a pleasure to work with you!

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Natural Light Studio | Children & Families

baby toes photography pink dress white stoolMy kids (and nephew) are my dear little guinea pigs when it comes to trying new methods and putting concepts into trial-and-error mode. Sometimes these kids show signs of PKS (Photographer’s Kid Syndrome), like that little one in the pink dress, who had to fight back tears before we got her laughing. Most of the time, they are gems and put up with a lot of my directing and even become my valuable helpers when dealing with little clients!

Sharing some of my favorites from last year’s summer work in my makeshift Natural Light Studio.Studio photography children and families kalkaska

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Senior | Sidney | Summer Session

The incredible Sidney drove all the way up from SE Michigan on her 17th birthday to have her senior portraits done on a perfect summer evening! We planned and waited and waited some more until the conditions were just right for this kind of perfect evening light in this field and the perfect smoothness on the lake for reflections. It was incredible and I can’t tell you how much fun we had putting together these elements of style and place to create something memorable for Sidney.

And the best part? She came back in October for fall portraits, too! Those will be shared in another blog post coming up soon!IMG_3236 edit full

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Matt & Josie Minikus | Album Cover Art | Summer Session

I’m so excited to finally share some of these images! About 18 months ago Matt and Josie came to me for a photo shoot to gather some images for the cover art on their upcoming album. It was such an honor to be able to work with them on this project, and now I’m happy to share my favorites from their session and announce their album is available and ready to ship in time for Christmas gifts. I was so proud of this session but I couldn’t share it! It was so hard to be patient for me!

Please take a moment and go check out their new album here at their website!


Finished Minikus HP&L Cover W166

The digital download is also available here!

Or take a quick look at their facebook page and give them a “like”!

I can’t tell you what a thrill it is for me to see my work on their website, business cards, and now 2 albums! Their music and ministry has blessed me greatly, and I hope you are blessed as well.

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B. Family | Summer Evening Mini Session

This gorgeous Mama has been a friend of mine for more than a decade, and I’ve had the honor of photographing her many times over the years. We got together on one lovely summer evening for a quick mini session with her sweet family and I love how these turned out! I especially love it when I can coax mom and dad to take a few minutes to capture the connection they share as a couple!
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Fun Photo Shoot on Family Farm in Michigan

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Outdoor family photo shoot

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I never could decide if I liked this one better in color or black & white!
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Nicholas and Riley : NICU Twins!

Photographing preemie twins while still in the NICU was one challenging project! But one that was incredibly rewarding and so very sweet! We had to work within the structure and rules of the NICU, without any natural light or any sort of flash, and I was not allowed to hold them (bummer!), but we were not to be out done by our circumstances.

I was really glad to be able to help share the little details of these precious new babies with those who were not able to see them yet in person, like their tiny little toes and the sight of them laying together, mommy holding them, and big sister helping out with the littlest of her 6 siblings!

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S. Family | Fall Portraits

It’s an honor for me to be able to photograph another photographer whose work I respect so much. Sarah of Beginnings Lifestyle Photography is not only a beautiful person on the outside, she has a sweet, generous spirit that has been a joy to get to know.

Our families have grown to be great friends, and we will miss them dearly as they begin a new adventure in Oregon next month. May God go with you and hopefully bring you back to Michigan before too long!

We managed to grab these family and couple shots right at peak color here in northern Michigan! And overnight the weather began to change, the light in the trees was lost, and snow soon took over the landscape. I’m so glad we were able to take this time and make this happen!

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Kayla & Kyle: Engaged in Northern Michigan!

I know! I know! They’re already married now! Don’t worry, I haven’t lost my mind, or forgotten that beautiful day last June when they tied the knot. But here’s the deal: A long time ago I pinned one of their engagement pictures to my Pinterest board and it linked back only to my flickr account. It was a dead end.

Here is the Pin if you would like to go see it!

And then it grew in popularity until I couldn’t ignore the nagging little voice in the back of my head that said, “CHANGE the link destination already!!!”. As of today, it has been repinned over 180 times! So it must have its own little blog post. But I can’t really stop there, can I? I absolutely LOVE some of these, not just the one that is all over pinterest! So here is a few of their lovely August 2012 Engagement Portraits. Enjoy!





















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