Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 = Sucessful Year!

 As I reflect over my first year as a business, I am absolutely blessed by the people that I've met, the things that I've learned and the growth I have made as a business owner myself. There are honestly times I just sit back in awe and am just amazed at the encouragement I've recieved along the way. And within that same moment, sitting and cracking up at some of the moments that have went on as well!

I have to say the most hilarious moment I've experienced this year was during a newborn session of a sweet baby boy and we have the best set up. Mommy and daddy are in attendance and we are wanting to capture this itty bitty baby with daddy's big arms. Perfect. So we lay daddy down on the ground and have him put his arms straight in front of him and mommy would put the baby in his hands and I would snap the picture. Well....if only it were that easy. :)  Mommy does as requested, baby (nakie mind you) gets upset and THERE GOES THE RAINBOW! Not having a boy, it's completely different than a girl let me tell ya! So we get daddy and baby cleaned up (and dry)....take 2. Daddy is in position, gave himself a pep talk, baby gets placed in his hands and then....oh crap, oh crap, OH CRAP! Literally! Daddy's only response he could give, while baby is above him rather relaxed at this point (lol) is "Help me! Help me! HELP ME!" And usually I'm on it, baby out of the hands, whatever needs to happen, but this day...whew. Mommy was bawling, I was bawling, we were absolutely helpless! Without an absolute doubt, I will NEVER forget that moment and I can PROMISE you daddy won't either! LOL! I even got the finished product mounted because of the memory that was created and not to mention the finished product was flippin' amazing! So worth it! Right dad? ;) lol!

This year I had around 20 newborn sessions and I absolutely loved every single one of them. To be able to see new parents and although they are sleep deprived and adjusting to this new experience, the love and compassion I would see in their eyes was amazing. They would get peed on, pooped on, spit up on, cried at and within two minutes that child give us this sweet, sweet grin (yes, most likely due to gas but we'll take it!) and the parents beaming with pride, it is just every day confirmation for myself that we should never take those little moments for granted because one day they will be smiling because they ARE passing gas and looking for a high five for how loud it was!

Along with those little moments we should never take for granted, I had several sessions that pulled at my heart strings as well. I'm not even sure on where to begin with them because there were so many. What I truly love about being a photographer is that each and every single client had a story to tell. It was just up to me to help tell that story. Their story. This year I was honored to capture more than a few clients that had precious little ones that had death knocking on their doorstep. But those little human beings showed not only themselves, but us "big people" just how strong one person truly can be when we are determined enough. And to not just roll over and give in when something doesn't go our way. And listening to the families stories, I would just sit back and watch these little people play, smile, and love on their family, it truly gave me hope. Hope that even if life throws crummy situations your way, you truly can get through it. And not only get through it, but conquer it and live to tell about it, with a smile on your face! I have some strong clients that's for darn sure!

And then I have these little clients (and big people clients, let's not lie) that are just plain camera shy. These are the ones I particularly enjoy because I'm able to see them blossom right before my eyes. From the chin in his/her shoulder look to giggle a few times because who knows what mommy and daddy are doing behind me to get the kiddo to smile. To chasing and dancing and showing off their beautiful smile! I just love it!

And speaking of parents doing silly things to get their little ones to smile, one of my more recent family/sibling sessions, I'm just snapping away, the three brothers (if you want any sort of an idea, that should do it :)) and after getting several good shots, I just happen to turn around and look to see what mom is doing and she is turned around, booty back and shaking it side to side while doing a dance that I'm sure will embarrass the tar outta these boys in a few years LOL! I DIED! The things we do for our kids and boy it worked! LOL!

This year I was asked to participate in the Daviess County Wine and Cheese Festival and a few months later particpate in the local Fall Vendor Fest and they were both such neat experiences. I honestly didn't know what to expect, but in the meantime I was able to get to know some really great vendors. And one of the neatest experiences was having complete strangers come up to my booth and mention that they've seen my work on facebook and love looking at it. What a compliment! This county is full of kind, thoughtful people and I'm glad to have had the chance to meet a lot of them.
So, as far as 2011 goes, I would definately mark it up there as a successful first year in business! Several sessions with repeat clients and a lot of newbies as well! And it doesn't look like that's going to change for this coming year either! Already have several new clients lined up along with my beautiful, faithful clients. I couldn't do it without the continued support from you all, so thank you so much! Your support means more than you know! Yes yours ;)  I have a few exciting changes going to go on in 2012 and I can't wait to let everyone know!  So.....farewell 2011, you've been a great year. Let's see what 2012 has in store!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Winners Announced!

The winners had until Saturday at noon to confirm their winnings and it's now 4:30 :) So there will be three new lucky winners coming your way! And the winners are.....selected randomly by

Vintage Charm Boutique | $15 Hat of Your Choice
WINNER: #34 -Kendra Stoll

Kari Reed - Scentsy | Plug-In Warmer
WINNER: #10 - Tracey Emmons

Crochet At Home Mommies | Teddy Bear Hat
WINNER: #1 - Kelly Miller

Heidi Graber - Tastefully Simple | Sample Package of a ton of goodies
WINNER: #84 - Jamie Knepp

So there you have it! If your name is stated above as a winner, email me at to confirm your winnings and I will let you know how to go about getting your goodies!  Thanks again for participating!

Thanks again for all of your support!
- Sandy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving Thanks GIVEaway WINNERS!

The time is finally here!  It's time to announce the winners of the Giving Thanks GIVEaway!

A special thanks to ALL of the vendors who jumped in on all the fun to help celebrate....YOU! They are all great, great people and I can't wait to work with them again....not to mention buy a few things myself for my business and also for Christmas gifts! Too many goodies to pass up! You all have some amazing things to offer and I've been so impressed by each and every one of you!

I would also like to thank each and every one of you for participating in this giveaway. My hope for you is that you were able to connect with some awesome vendors and find some goodies for yourself or for someone that you love.

Before I even started this giveaway, I remember thinking "how awesome would it be if I received 125 entries for this giveaway?" And I can PROUDLY say there were 133 ENTRIES! Just blows my mind!  So yes, THANK YOU....from me :) I've been blessed with several fans (old and new) and I appreciate the continued support you guys give me on a daily basis.

So let's get to it, shall we?


Winners were selected via, out of 133 entries that were entered. Winners will have 72 HOURS to contact me about winning and if at the end of the 72 hours I have not been contacted, that donated item from the giveaway will once again be up for grabs! So even if you don't see your name, you MIGHT still have a chance ;)


Kris Kreations | $15 Gift Certificate
WINNER: #19 - Jennifer Ellis
Kiwi and Kiki | $15 Gift Certificate
WINNER: #28 - Emily Andrews

HappyCrawlers | Two Pair of Happy Crawlers (winners choice)
WINNER: #3 - Brittany Dant

Vintage Charm Boutique | $15 Hat of Your Choice
WINNER: #16 - Jennifer Miley

Cherry Blossom Sweets | One Dozen Call Balls
 WINNER: #67 - Tiffany Davis

Pixiekid Toys | $20 Gift Certificate
 WINNER: #129 - Heather Hartlen

BriAnn Claire's Bowtique | Customized Tee
WINNER: #36 Sarah Swartzentruber

The Pig & Fiddle Emporium | $25 Gift Certificate
Winner: #63 - Jan Swartz

Stellar Stitches | Newborn Apple Hat
Winner: #91 - Jessica Rowe

Kari Reed - Scentsy | Plug-In Warmer
WINNER: #114 - Johannah Steffens

Crochet At Home Mommies | Teddy Bear Hat
WINNER: #27 - Renee Huff

Stuff So Simple | Double Sided Banner
WINNER: #52 - Ashley Purcell

Sweetie Cakes Home Bakery | One Dozen Strawberry Lemonade or Dreamsicle Cupcakes
WINNER: #44 - Virginia Pinnick
Crazy Socks Crochet Shop | Stella Hat
WINNER: #77 - Star Riker

Heidi Graber - Tastefully Simple | Sample Package of a ton of goodies
WINNER: #22 - Lora Holtsclaw

Sandy Clarke Photography | Free Package
WINNER: #82 - Leann Nalin

Again the winners have until  Saturday at noon to claim their winnings by emailing me at letting me know you won and I will hook you up with the appropriate vendor. If you haven't responded by Saturday at noon, a new winner will be announced.

And as a SPECIAL thank you, I am offering $25 off EVERYONE who participated in the Giveaway, to go towards a 2012 session. To claim this, email me at and let's set up that session so it's set in stone and on the calendar!

So......EVERYONE WON SOMETHING! :) Simply because I care about you :)

Congrats to all of the winners and again THANK YOU for everyone who participated and also for all of  those awesome vendors!!

So while you're thinking about it....go thank someone for being in YOUR life ;)

- Sandy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Giving Thanks GIVEaway!

These past two years have been nothing less than amazing. It’s been a whirlwind and one of the most amazing rides of my life (aside from being a mom!:)). I feel so blessed to be doing something that I am passionate about and being able to give back at the same time. Truly blessed.

Today this photographer turns 31 years young! And I've definately realized just what support truly means, even if it's coming from a complete stranger. The emails I've received, messages, comments, it's just overwhelming at times, the love I feel from you all. So this birthday, I'd love to celebrate YOU! Yes YOU!
Without you all, who knows how this journey in my life would have became. And now....there's no going back ;) 2300+ fans later, I believe this deserves a celebration! Over $350 in prizes to giveaway to you, our fans! You guys are the BEST!

So are you ready?! LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!
Several Winners - One Winner Per Vendor!!!

Kris Kreations | $15 Gift Certificate

Kiwi and Kiki | $15 Gift Certificate
HappyCrawlers | Two Pair of Happy Crawlers (winners choice)

 Vintage Charm Boutique | $15 Hat of Your Choice
Cherry Blossom Sweets | One Dozen Call Balls

Pixiekid Toys | $20 Gift Certificate

 BriAnn Claire's Bowtique | Customized Tee

The Pig & Fiddle Emporium | $25 Gift Certificate
Stellar Stitches | Newborn Apple Hat
Kari Reed - Scentsy | Plug-In Warmer

Stuff So Simple | Double Sided Banner

Sweetie Cakes Home Bakery | One Dozen Strawberry Lemonade or Dreamsicle Cupcakes

Crazy Socks Crochet Shop | Stella Hat

Heidi Graber - Tastefully Simple | Sample Package of a ton of goodies

Crochet At Home Mommies | Teddy Bear Hat

Local Entries Only
Sandy Clarke Photography | Free Package

The GIVING THANKS GIVEaway starts November 1st and will end on November 14th at midnight. The winners will be selected by random number generator and announced here on the blog on November 16th . The winners will have 48 hours to claim their winnings or another winner will be selected.
OKAY, time for the rules and restrictions my friends. We have a lot of generous vendors participating so let’s show them some love.
Please leave ONE COMMENT ENTRY below this blog post stating your name and that you completed STEPS ONE THROUGH THREE (see below). That ONE COMMENT ENTRY will serve as your giveaway entry. Here’s what you need to do to enter:
1. Visit all 16 Vendors above and like their page (if you don’t already).  You can do so by clicking on each vendors FACEBOOK link. Leave some love on your fave vendors’ walls, I know they would love it.
2. Tell me within that same comment what you are most thankful for this year.
3. Make this your status on your profile page: “Go check out @Sandy Clarke Photography at to enter to win her GIVING THANKS GIVEaway!”. Be sure to use the @ symbol to tag my page.
1. Share a link to this blog post on your favorite Forum. Then come back and leave a comment with the link on to which I can check it out for myself.

You have TWO CHANCES to win! And if you receive my newsletter, you have another chance as well ;) Good Luck! THANKS AGAIN to all of my wonderful supporters and vendors for helping celebrate!

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Participants are providing information to Sandy Clarke Photography and not to Facebook.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jocelyn's Journey

“Your child has Schizencephaly.”

Hearing these words, left this precious baby girl's parents and family speechless and full of worry and tears. When this mama was pregnant with her precious baby, the little one had a stroke and the left side of her brain did not develop all the way, therefore, the spot that she is missing in her brain is filled with spinal fluid. When she was 6 months old, she was then diagnosed with Hydrocephalus and needed to get a shunt placed in her head. This condition was unexpected and came out of nowhere.Then one day she got very sick and started having bad seizures. She became completely unresponsive and lethargic. She stopped breathing and was life lined to Riley. They saved her life.

Before this little miracle was even born, the family was told that she would be paralyzed, be on a ventilator and a feeding tube her entire life and the doctor did not believe she would ever progress out of the newborn stage. They also diagnosed her with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia and would most likely be full blind.

Every day brings life. Every day brings hope.

Today Jocelyn sits up on her own, scoots, rolls, and crawls. Wherever she wants to go, she gets there one way or another. She plays with toys, flips pages in books and can say some words. And Jocelyn's eye doctor informed them a few months ago that she has very good vision, which absolutely surprised the doctor and staff as well! She has started eating baby food and other soft foods from a spoon.

“JoJo” has leg braces which help her stand on her own. STAND UP ON HER OWN! Before she had gotten the braces, if you even tried to help her stand up, she'd would pull her legs up, but now she can do it! She is able to stand for a short period of time with the help of these braces.
One of the not so great Schizencephaly cases turning out to be one of the better ones. Expecting the worst when being told by your doctor while you have this precious little life in your tummy and looking at her now....two years old and proving the doctors wrong day by day by day. This is what I call a living miracle.

There are still obstacles, surgeries and struggles this family knows they will face, but seeing the strength and happiness of this precious little girl, is sometimes all this family needs. This family knows how much more she's capable of, but unfortunately some of those opportunities come with hefty price tags. JoJo is very busy with therapies through First Steps, but they have tried to raise some money through selling t-shirts. All of the money that they raise goes straight into a bank account at Old National bank called Jocelyn's Journey/Denise Emmons. Money is only removed when it is being used for a certain situation, such as a surgery or therapy.
Jocelyn is thriving, but there are also a lot of things out there that could help her even more. A lot of things that aren't covered by insurance. One therapy they really want to try with Jocelyn is Hippotherapy. This is therapy on a horse with a licensed physical therapist. Insurance will not pay for this because she is in First Steps (which provides several of the weekly therapies that she needs to have and have often). Hippotherapy is a therapy that helps kids with cerebral palsy (which Jocelyn also has which is keeping her from walking). It is known for improving children's motor skills drastically who have any type of brain injury resulting in poor motor skills. Each session is $130 and they would like to take her once every other week. It is in Carmel, Indiana. Any money that is not used on Hippotherapy will be used for future equipment or extra therapies she may need that insurance in fact will not cover. They are hoping they will need to purchase a walker in the next few months as Jocelyn continues to prove just how much of a fighter she really is.

I share this story with all of you because most of us have children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or know of children who we are able to love on and enjoy in our lives. And we count our blessings that they are healthy and happy. But sometimes God brings children in our lives that are even stronger than we are ourselves. They are who I consider the little ones God chose to show the world that strength comes not from money. Strength doesn't come from hatred. It doesn't even come from power. It comes from courage. And it comes from people that love them unconditionally and show them that no matter what obstacles in life we may face, love will NEVER fail you. Ever.

This family continues to try to raise money so they can continue to give their precious Jocelyn the life she deserves. They are selling shirts of all sizes, which they receive a $5 profit on per shirt. The shirt says “Jocelyn's Journey” with her picture on it, along with her website address on the back. These shirts are $9 each.

Feel free to check out Jocelyn's website at www.jocelyn'

If you are interested in helping this little one grow and become the little girl that her family knows is possible, feel free to email me at or contact me through facebook inquiring how you could help. I know they are grateful for any help, big or small, and would be extremely grateful.

And while you are at it, that child I mentioned that is in your life. The son, daughter, grandchild, etc. Go hug them. And thank God they are in your life.

- Sandy

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Senior Season has begun!


Maybe this will go away with more years under my belt, but it seems like I've done so many newborn sessions lately, along with family and children that when it comes to doing senior sessions, which as so completely different than any other session, I just get nervous. You've gotta admit, newborn...senior...nothing alike. LOL. 

So I begin to doubt myself 

"Gosh am I going to be able to execute like I want to?"
"I did soooo good last year, will I be able to do the same this year?"
"What if I can't execute the look and style they are wanting?"

And I tell you, everytime I begin to doubt myself, I have an amazing session. A session that is flawless, fun, easy going...perfect. And my first two senior sessions for the class of 2012 were just that. Of course, aside the fact that the first session included seeing a big snake in the distance...seriously didn't know if I was going to get past THAT one WHEW and then the second session the rain decided to greet us, but I think we nailed it. 

So next time I begin to doubt myself, which this won't be the last time because I'm human :), I'll remember this moment...because I love seniors. Just as much as I love newborns :) Awesomeness....complete awesomeness!

Let the fun begin, shall we? 
- Sandy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reasons I love being a photographer

When I was asked in the fall of 2009 if I would take my BFF's engagement pictures, I'm not gonna lie, I was just a tad nervous! lol! I knew I could take pictures of my baby girl, but memories for other people that would last a life time?


But after the nervousness subsided I set out researching and researching some more. And after the session was over, I was in love. That's all it took! Since there are a lot of new faces out there that may not know me personally, I thought I'd just list some reasons why I love what I do :) Enjoy!

1. Photography is my artistic outlet. In my day job, I am meeting new mommy's all the time. I'm able to listen and help in any way I can. There are times that I'm able to get creative with that position, which I really appreciate, but photography brings on a completely different type of creativity. So being able to be creative at my day job and then on the weekends being able to slip into another creative element...pure Heaven :) So to be able to talk with a family, get to know them, I mean REALLY get to know them, their likes, interests, etc. and see how I can incorporate those likes into their pictures, it's just so awesome. To be able to talk with a family and say "what if we did this" and then it just snowballs into 10 other ideas, those are the creative juices I love to feel flow.

2. I love meeting new people. When I first starting taking pictures for others, I would take pictures of family and friends. Then gradually I started to have complete strangers email me inquiring about a session. Coolest thing ever. lol. Now I probably get 1-2 emails a day from people I've never met and it instantly puts a smile on my face. And then going from emailing to actually having a session, it's like I've known the person for years. I love it! I can be in Walmart and people will come up to me, you are Sandy Clarke right? You took so and so's pictures and instantly a conversation is started up with a complete stranger. I tell ya you people make me feel famous sometimes lol. Sometimes my hubby just laughs and shakes his head. "I can't take you anywhere" he says lol, he likes it ;)

3. I love when I have a session and a child (or a couple of kids lol) are running crazy, non stop, "won't cooperate" "no smiles" etc and I can just chuckle behind the camera just knowing that the parents are thinking "there is no way we are getting one good picture to work with" because they miss the geniune grin when they were being tickled, being chased,  the gaze looking away that was adorable as ever, the hug of mommy that speaks volumes. I. love. this. When I go home, sort through the pictures, smile myself, edit and then post a few pictures and then I get the responses. The parents reactions are all worth it to me and I give me the adrenaline to make each picture perfect for them. I can't explain this feeling because it's pretty awesome.

4. New Life. I enjoy capturing moments for all ages, but to be able to capture those itty bitty babies within the first few days of life, man that's icing on the cake. At the end of my pregnancy, I ended up getting HELLPS syndome and it was pretty scary for a while. For Sammi to be on this earth (and myself for that matter), it has really helped me cherish life and it makes me want to capture the sweetest memories possible for these new parents. These are THEE first professional pictures of these little sweeties and it's my job to make them absolutely perfect. So if we have to take 25 breaks during the session, we take 25 breaks. I love being able to hold the little ones, whisper to them, swaddle them, and laugh uncontrollably when they decide to go potty all over mommy and daddy. Oh those priceless memories. They are just flat out fun! Love them!

5. Post Processing. I love the moments of actually taking the pictures. But then to be able to come home and see how I can take those pictures that are already cute and fun, to try and take them to another cute and fun level, is priceless. This also goes along with the creative juices. But then again, I also enjoy just taking the picture and not having to do a darn thing with it either.

I didn't go to school for photography, I've never really taken any classes, but I never stop learning. I read. I watch videos. I research like crazy.   I still have a lot to learn, but for taking pictures for others less than two years, I've enjoyed the ride and all that has came with it. I enjoy my clients. I enjoy seeing them come back for another session. I enjoy when they refer me to others. I enjoy the appreciation I get from them and I LOVE their reactions.


I'm not sure if anyone really reads this, but if you do, how about showing some love! I'd love to see a comment from you it would make my day :) So go know you wanna ;) I don't bite, PROMISE! :)

Thanks for reading :)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Photos = Memories

I was asked to see if I could do anything with an old photo that this family had of this tractor that this lil' man was sitting on during one of my more recent sessions. Of course I always jump at the challenge because it gets the creative juices flowin'. This is a picture of this little guys great aunt one year after their family had bought the tractor. This picture was on an old slide that this lil' guys grandpa had to go searching for and he was able to clean it up a bit. How awesome is that! This just goes to show that pictures....they are worth a lifetime of memories and who knows how THOSE memories can effect people down the line. Another memory captured. What are YOU going to capture today?

Sandy Clarke Photography
Capturing Life Through The Lens

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Sandy Clarke Photography, LLC photo has been published!

This picture is a snapshot of the UPS employee website. Employees from all over the US will see this announcement. I am so glad to have the opportunity to be apart of this! Very exciting news!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Client Spotlight: Lexi N.

All of my clients mean the world to me, each and every single one of them. Every client has a story to tell and many times I'm blessed enough to hear about those stories and in the meantime, capture them. This is a story that I wanted to share with everyone.

I received this email from this mommy and I had to stop more than a few times to wipe the tears from my eyes. Just preparing you...

Sandy, I cannot tell you how excited I am to get pictures taken by you this weekend. Every time I look at ones you have taken I get a little more excited. I love how each one always seems to have a little story and that's what I would like with mine and Lexi's. I always love to get them taken, but with these, they will be even more special to me than any taken before. These will be the first ones since Lexi's deathly illness/surgery. And we are bringing a special friend to have them taken with us, Lexi's 'Willow Bear.' July 11th Lexi woke up and we did our usual morning routine with her eating breakfast and watching some Mickey while I got ready for work. My mom happened to be on vacation so she was eating with her and when I came back to the kitchen she asked if I had seen Lexi's neck. A large mass had grown literally over night under her chin. After a trip to the pediatrician, he thought maybe she had cat scratch fever b/c it will come on fast in the lymph nodes. blood tests were ordered and she was put on antibiotics. Unfortunately when the tests came back, they were negative along with a few smaller illnesses that had been tested with the 5 tubes of blood taken from my daughter and more tests were ordered. Once again nothing and he started to get worried b/c other than the lymph node, she had no symptoms. At first, I was relieved she was in no pain, running no fever, and seemed to have no other problems. However, when she was sent to an ear,nose, throat specialist who was completely stumped, this momma started to panic. She was put on more antibiotics which didn't even touch the lymph node. In fact, it had grown. The specialist was worried and ordered a CT Scan and we went to St Marys to have this done. After 2 weeks of waiting, that too came back normal. Just showing a growth under Lexi's chin. Doctor's were worried and we were referred to Riley in Indy. We were suppose to wait a month, but after the doctor's saw her blood tests, scans, etc. they wanted her the very next day. By this point Lexi was extremely ill. She had gone from being my crazy, hyper story-telling two year old, to sleeping constantly, in pain and not letting anyone look or touch her neck, always running a fever, never wanting to be put down, pale, and losing weight at a very fast rate. Not to mention terrified of doctors and making the visits even harder than normal. We went to Riley and after hours of poking and prodding, the doctor grabbed my hand, sat down and told me "that things looked grave. We think it's lymphoma." I crumbled. It had always been in the back of my mind but I had kept trying to stay positive and now I was hearing the worst news. I thought my baby was going to die. The doctors did an immediate biopsy b/c they wanted to start treatment immediately and even did the tests right there in the hallway outside of the exam room to get immediate answers. 6 doctors came back in and PRAISE THE LORD, it was not lymphoma. It was a very bad bacteria. No antibiotics had been able to kill it and it was still active. They would have to remove her lymph node. A date was scheduled, but after one week it had grown even more and Lexi was in extreme and vomiting so I called the doctor and we had surgery the very next day. It was suppose to be a quick surgery with a small incision just to remove the lymph node. It ended up being 4 hrs, and during that time no one came out to tell me what was going on. Finally, after the longest 4 hrs of waiting of my life, the surgeon came out to tell us she was in recovery, but things weren't so simple inside. The bacteria had spread. When they cut the skin infection immediately came pouring out and they had to let that drain for 20 min before they would even reach her lymph node. As they removed it, more infection poured out and more draining had to be done. They then realized a second lymph node was infected, which was directly behind a nerve to her lower lip. They had to remove that while being extremely careful not to hit, move, or damage the nerve. Also, the bacteria had started to kill the skin on top of the lymph nodes. It had turned red over the few mths, and what they originally thought was just stretching from the mass turned into her skin dying and had to be removed or it would continue to kill the skin along her neck and face. Luckily after everything was removed, she was great!!! The infection was gone, no other lymph nodes were infected and she ended up moving her lips as soon as she saw me which meant no nerve damage and she would still be able to use her lip. Weeks later, tests still came up with nothing. They knew it was a bacteria, but no exact one came up. We were left with not many answers. No reason on why she got it, what caused, or if she could get it again. But just the relief of knowing she was healthy again was good enough for me. However, the doc did say, if we hadn't done surgery as soon as we did, it most likely would have spread to all of her lymph nodes, continued to kill her skin, and would have eventually taken my daughter from me. At the beginning of the whole process, a co-worker of my mom's who had a daughter extremely ill when she was Lexi's age, who had to go through similiar tests of her own, went to build-a-bear and got her a bear dressed as a nurse for Lexi to have anytime Momma couldn't go back with her during her scary moments. Named Willow Bear after her daughter Willow. She told us, each time Willow had to have a test she took a special bear with her that kept her calm, and they wanted Lexi to have something too. That bear went everywhere! Each doctor's visit, in the car on days Lex didn't feel good, in the bed with us, during surgery. That bear helped not only Lexi to feel more calm, but me also knowing she had something soothing her when I couldn't. So for our pictures I would like to bring Willow Bear. She helped us get through 3 scary months and represents a memory of how lucky I am to still have my daughter, my fighter with me today. I just thought I'd share our story and let you know our "prop" I was bringing so you would understand just how special Saturday will be for me. =) 

I told you! What an amazing story this precious 3 year old will be able to tell one day? And those moments where it seems like I'm always reiterating "love on your loved ones because you just never know", this mommy lived that moment. Thankfully it ended for the better and was given a second chance. Those days where we get so frustrated with our little ones (or our big ones), aggrivated, annoyed, upset. See, this mommy experiences that too. But the difference between this mommy and myself is she lived through knowing "don't take another second for granted, and for that reason, I was able to live through the lens and really truly capture the raw emotion and feelings between the two of them. It was unreal, I'm serious. This little girl was so incredibly happy. And the laughs, the smiles, the hugs, and teasing, I was so moved during this session. 

This little precious girl, at age 3, has experienced so much more than I have already in life. And because of the support and love of her family, especially her mother, I truly feel she's going to grow up into an incredibly strong woman. All because a love of a mother.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Newborn Session of 2011

I started back to the Blog World shortly after I did my very first newborn session, so I wanted to go back and capture the memories a little bit more. Being the first newborn session of the year, I wanted to start off with a bang, and I think this little man was all we expected and hoped for! He was awake at the perfect time, asleep at the perfect time, lol it was just wonderful. So many of his pictures look like he's just a little doll baby, he's soo soo precious.  

The little owl hat in this first picture was made by All You Knit is Love and it fit him perfectly. The night before the session, I sat and I thought. I sat and I thought. How can I just help this adorable owl hat stand out on this precious baby boy, that much more....sat and I thought. BINGO! A NEST! Perfection. I think we nailed it. I swear it gives me all the confidence in the world when I think up an idea and it's executed perfectly. Makes this photographer one happy camper!

Then there is the little lion outfit. Oh. My. Goodness. I feared that it would swallow him up, but I have to admit, he rocked it. And his face...see what I'm talking about with the babydoll? My GOODNESS!

I absolutely love capturing moments, telling stories, and creating memories. With this specific family, I'm just blessed. I was able to capture mommy's oldest son at 18 months. I was able to capture her youngest son as a teeny tiny newborn. And I was able to capture mommy's entire family, including her precious little angel baby girl who I'm sure of it, looks down from Heaven every day (when she's not riding a tricycle and singing her ABCs) and is proud of her mommy and how she is raising her younger brothers. It's moments like this, famlies such as this, that make you take a hard look at all the petty things in life that don't matter, nor will they ever, yet they nag at you, they consume you, whatever. It's not worth it. Life is worth it. Family is worth it. Every single second. 

So many times these sessions mean just as much to me that it does the families simply because of the stories that it brings out, the stories I'm able to capture for these families. And for that reason, I feel so blessed to be able to act out on the gift that I finally realized that God has given me.

 Absolute Angel....
 It doesn't get much more pure than that. New's perfection.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Precious Baby H

 Isn't the baby girl precious as all get out? I'm not going to lie, after doing two newborn sessions where the babies weighed less than 6 lbs to little miss almost 9 lbs I thought I was working with a 3 month old at times during this session! Her mommy warned me about those beautiful cheeks of hers and I'm going to have to agree, they were perfect! All 9 days of her, she would sleep through just about everything and she would just grin and grin some more. You just have to wonder what goes through their sweet little minds of theirs.

Mommy wanted to bring out the monkey outfit again and I have to say she looked perfect in it. Such a cute lil sock monkey :) Love that outfit lol
 Yup...another blooper....with a newborn....containing....well, see for yourself :)
 Of course you get to see the final product ;) Love love love it!
 Innocence....pure innocence. Such a sweet, sweet baby and I'm so happy for mommy and daddy, they are one blessed set of parents!
Welcome to this world Baby H! Can't wait to capture you again! :)

Welcome to this world Baby K

 This sweet little one came to Washington from Greenwood Indiana, all of 2 weeks old. 6 lbs sopping wet, she was soooooo sweet to hold, sway back and forth with, whisper sweet cuddly's too....brought back so many memories of my own little one.
 I have to this little one going to be a girly girl....
 or an outdoors, get the camo out and go truckin' in the woods with daddy, kinda girl.
 Or just plain be super cute and just do it all?
 Like her mama....
Yup, I agree. She's gonna do it all and be it all....all 6 lbs of her, watch out world!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Meet Baby L

Trying to stay caught up on the blog! Meet Precious Baby L...
This precious baby girl was just over a week old and was one sweet little girl. She seemed so cozy in every little pose we tried with her. This session was done during the morning session of the Washington Regional in Basketball so daddy was able to keep us up to date on the happenings (they win by the way....and no on their way to the State Finals next week, woohoo. Sorry for the Hatchet plug, couldn't resist ;)). Anyways, Baby L's grandma was there to help us out so we had plenty of hands to help out. We swaddled, we cuddled, we patted bottoms of this little miss and in response she gave us some awesome pictures, she poo'd on grandma, she pee'd on daddy, she grinned, she slept, she pee'd and ladies and gentlemen, we were done after that :) LOL No but seriously, she was a treasure to capture and I hope I made the parents proud by capturing these memories for them.

Daddy (and Daddy's Dad) works for UPS and so it was it only appropriate to bring back the exact box that we used for their maternity session that fit right over mommy's belly, to put precious L in. She. Fit. Perfect. 
After this picture....she peed. :) For the 2nd time LOL

I absolutely loved how this turned out. With this mom's vintage style, I wanted to try and capture just that and incorporate it in both the maternity session and the newborn session. And I believe we nailed it. I couldn't be more pleased!

Hope you were able to enjoy Baby L as much as I have :)