Boys & Tonka Trucks

#Capturingessencephotography, #Infantloves, #boysandtonkatrucks

Shawn & Angela were meant to be parents and most definitely dad and mom to at least one little boy!  This little cowboy in training, Hudson, is one handsome fella.  We shot Angela’s maternity pictures right around her 36 week mark and decided to go to the same location and I also decided to combine the blog.  So a little then and now- inside his momma’s tummy and welcomed to the outside world.  Also, I can’t help but be in complete awe of Angela’s breathtaking beauty as a preggo lady- some women get all the luck!

I love watching a new momma breath in her baby and just radiate her love, but watching a daddy be smitten also catches my heartstrings.

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

I will tell you I’m not surprised by how amazing Shawn is with little Huddy because I have watched him treat Angela like a queen.  Men take note…be like Shawn and all the other good men out there- change diapers, take the fussy baby for car rides so momma can get some sleep, and just fall deeper in love with the woman who gave you the privilege to be called daddy!  A marriage is never one sided and parenting isn’t either so women be like Angela: value your husband’s hard work, take care of him when he get’s a man cold, and love that he gave you one of the best job titles of mommy!  These two are better because they have each other and adding little man to the mix was the best kind of bonus.

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

Yeah ending right here on that note of baby lips, chubby cheeks, and little man suspenders really wouldn’t be a bad idea, but maybe just a few more with tonka trucks and sweet swaddling.

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babyloveHudson-94Hudson-99

Congratulations Shawn & Angela- you both are rock stars (but maybe just on this Angela gets the edge of being lead singer because let’s be honest I know what she went through for that little man to be held in your arms) 😉  He is truly perfect!!! ❤



Sweet Dreams are Made of These

#Capturingessencephotography, #EngagementPictures, #Dreamycouple, #Dreamylight

Let me go onto the record and say I would be thee worst car salesman and I have never been great a self-promotion.  So, at the bridal shows I display my work, give a basic overview of what I offer and talk as much as I feel the group in front of me wants to hear me gab.  The last thing I try and do is convince someone that they need me to be their photographer.  I just have always felt that if someone connects with my photography style, my personality, and our services fit within the budget then entering the business side of the transaction becomes the natural next step.  I met Brittni for the first time at the bustling winter session of The Ultimate Bridal Show in Southern Oregon.  We had the initial conversation and natural beauty always strikes me.  She wasn’t overdone, fake or snooty- but definitely gorgeous!  Of course I wanted her to love our work and book us, but I also wanted to know that if she booked with us it was solely because she felt we were the best match for her and her fiance.  She circled the show several times and each time with questions that showed depth to her decision.  I was certain when she left without booking with me that she had found a match in someone else, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email a few days later to set up a meeting.  When she booked with us and we started talking about her engagement session I grew incredibly excited about her vision meeting my camera.  She told me her fiance, Travis, owns this exquisite antique car that she wanted to incorporate on their beautiful farm land.  I will be honest people have spoken highly of their homes or cars before and they haven’t always been up to the caliber of their praise- so I have learned to lean lightly on my expectations and hope for the best.  Her boasting was modest if anything.  In my photography world, sweet dreams are made of these: beautiful couples, dreamy light, amazing (or beyond amazing) props, and a backdrop to tie it all back together!

They were so sweet together and even though they said they didn’t know how to “pose” I called their bluff- they moved together flawlessly!  The car itself pulls out some romance, and even though these might be a little forward for some I believe there is still enough room for classy “heat”.

#Capturingessencephotography, #EngagementPictures, #Dreamycouple, #DreamylightTravis_Brittni_Engagement-12#Capturingessencephotography, #EngagementPictures, #Dreamycouple, #Dreamylight

The only thing I was leery of this entire shoot was running into a snake…I hate snakes!!!  As we made our way down to the little river I was shaking in my boots.  It was worth it and no snakes to encounter that day thank goodness!


Then the dreamy light poking through the perfectly placed trees that laid just behind the patch of coveted long grass.  Pinterest is jealous!


I always get nervous for shoots.  This isn’t founded in self-doubt but rooted in a self-expectation to go beyond a photograph and seize emotion.  As we got to the end of the session I felt my nerves ease up and I knew we had captured something spectacular throughout.

#Capturingessencephotography, #EngagementPictures, #Dreamycouple, #DreamylightTravis_Brittni_Engagement-60Travis_Brittni_Engagement-63

Travis and Brittni you are a beautiful couple and thank you for entrusting us to record this time in your life.  We cannot wait for your wedding day!!! ❤


The 28th Dress is all Yours Jules!

#CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured, #FinallyHerTurn

Give me a minute while I clear my throat and wipe my eyes.  This one is going to be a doozy.  You know the movie 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl and insert the coin phrase, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.”  I love that movie, but I hate waiting to get to the perfect ending.  I also find myself silently cussing out George for being a blind moron for not seeing the perfect Jane right in front of him.  He instead falls head over heals for sister Tess… I mean WHAT?!!!!   All this happening while the silent undertow plot is developing between snarky reporter Kevin Doyle and the yes girl Jane.   In the end her happily ever after starts with all those who she stood beside and they are appropriately decked out in the dress or outfit Jane suffered their wedding in.  Why the cliff notes on one of my favorite movies?  Well, I wanted to reassure you true love is worth waiting for of course!  Also, I wanted to give you a clear picture of this beautiful bride who is also my amazing cousin (fanning my eyes so I can still see enough to type).  So many of my fondest memories include Julie.  Softball, climbing onto rooftops watching sunsets, feeding our grandparents cow Martha while trying not to get shocked from the electric fence, feeding the Koi fish and letting them suck on our thumbs, prom, inadvertently enrolling in University of Hawaii together, and strolling up to a beach that we had no idea clothing was “optional” (we found another snorkel spot fyi).  So you see, I and so many of her friends have this baffled confusion towards every guy who had opportunity and chose to be a moron.  However, I think we get to this part of the plot and realize that Mr. Right had never walked into the scene until now!  There was a different spark in her eyes when she talked about Josh.  After she told me about this guy I may have gone to his place of employment and watched him silently to see if he was a quality type…some people might call that stalking but I call it homework and being a good cousin. 😉  He checked out and I resolved to let things play out the way they were meant to- with a ring on her finger!

I felt incredibly honored when they asked me to be their photographer for their wedding and engagement photos.  We met up at a local park for the engagement session where I was able to properly get to know Josh.  Perfect pair.

He had just gotten back from a long business trip and still managed to meet my crazy demands for each shot.  You know like sitting in the middle of a bridge because that’s natural lol.  Have you ever wondered why we stage ourselves somewhere because it will look cool in a picture, but in real life it’s a super ridiculous place to just reside.  I hadn’t until that moment and now I just laugh every time I continue to place people for the picture perfect background.

As we walked up the path there was so many coves of opportunity.  We stopped at a few but light was starting to fail and we had a specific destination to reach.

A bench in a beautiful location overlooking a river; that was our destination.  It’s a place that will forever hold significance to them.  The first kiss in a forever relationship is something you never forget.

#CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured, #FinallyHerTurn

We ended our session at this skinny bridge, but continued our party at a local restaurant for dinner.  I enjoyed the catch-up session with Julie and filling Josh in on the family.   It’s only fair to give the guy a clear picture of what he’s really getting into.  I’m kidding, my family is mostly normal…mostly.

#CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured, #FinallyHerTurn

Josh & Julie {cheers} to your happily ever after!  Thank you for choosing me to capture it- ❤

Googily Eyed is the New Twitterpated

#GoogilyEyed, #Engagementsession, #capturingessencephotography, #legacycaptured

A relationship without humor is like a flat soda…maybe for some people it’s easier to handle the dull and mundane, but I like a little fizz in my life.  Matthew and Megan were so much fun and when she pulled out these “googily eyes” I was so glad they had chose me as their photographer.  They get each other, they love each other just as they are, and when they look in each others eyes they see happily ever after.  It’s no wonder their love grew and ended in a proposal after chronicling 50 Disney movie classics.


#GoogilyEyed, #Engagementsession, #capturingessencephotography, #legacycaptured

These two “techies” swooned together and the scenery of the backdrop was just an extra bonus.

The little grass patch with little white and yellow flowers everywhere was a heavenly spot to take a picture.  Then the thought comes to mind that anyone can take a picture, my objective is always to capture something so much more.  Hence the name of my business Capturing Essence and my tagline a legacy captured.  When the feeling or the essence of the “subject(s)” transcends the photo and remains a mood.

Even the details translated emotions radiating with love!

These two go together like peanut butter & jelly, like Cinderella & Prince Charming, like M&M’s!  Even their first initials are cooperating for perfection!

#GoogilyEyed, #Engagementsession, #capturingessencephotography, #legacycaptured

On a funny side note, we had to send Matt to retrieve the one squirly M that managed to fall through the crack (good thing he didn’t let Megan slip through his grasp and he snagged her with his charm!).  I’m sure it was also some sight to see a 8 month pregnant lady on the ground making sure the right angle for this picture was attained.  This bridge though…it is one of my go to favorite locations and for each couple or person it holds something different.  I love how these ones translated.


I do love this park and it holds such great opportunity for amazing photos, but this couple really nailed it by just being them.  I will always love watching a couple truly value each other and bringing joy to the relationship by pouring into the other person.  I can’t wait to shoot this wedding in October.  I know Megan will far exceed any Disney princess and Matthew will treat her like a queen!


When Love is Natural

#WhenLoveisNatural, #CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured

In my line of business I meet a lot of couples, and I generally am a good judge of a match made in Heaven…or not lol.  I met Brittany for coffee to discuss her wedding  and was immediately drawn to her personality.  I found myself getting “big sister” for her and wanted to make sure Boyd was everything he needed to be to be the best for her.  We met up for their engagement session and it took maybe a half second for me to drop any of my doubts.  When love is natural that “you’ll just know” feeling isn’t just evident to the couple but everyone in their space.

#WhenLoveisNatural, #CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured

We moved from one location to the next and it was effortless to set them up, not because they had attended modeling school and knew how to pose.  More because they just naturally fell together perfectly each time.

#WhenLoveisNatural, #CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured

They filled their surrounding and brought more radiance.

They switched it up about half way through the session to a more casual vibe, and still commanded the place.

Then this bridge happened and as soon as clicked the shutter I knew it was magic!

#WhenLoveisNatural, #CapturingEssence, #LegacyCapturedBoydandBrittany-65

I’m pretty sure they didn’t take a bad picture and if the light hadn’t started to fail I might have kept finding places to take more shots so we could just hang out.  For Boyd’s sake though we wrapped the session up.  I’m excited for their wedding around the corner- no doubt it’s going to be gorgeous!

Little Violet Bunny

#Capturingessencephotography, #almostEaster, #infantphotography

I LOVE babies!  Violet came into the studio tucked in her car seat and I could already feel my baby fever rising in me.  She was a little past the 14 day fresh and new session, but we were going to pull all our tricks out of the bag and hope for the best.  Apparently, she was easily swooned because she snoozed through the whole session.  We of course started with some purple tones playing off momma Katrina’s love for colors.

Then we went a bold route with a solid yellow backdrop.  Not everyone shares my obsession with mustard yellow- but me and Katrina must be kindred spirits for the bold and colorful!  Oh how I was in ❤ !!!


There wasn’t a single prop change that this sweet slumbering princess didn’t look adorbs in.  I think it was this set too that we noticed Patrick (aka sleep deprived daddy) had followed Violet’s cues and took a brief 5 too.  We may have all laughed but I think we were also secretly jealous.

Momma had brought so many choices that I loved that I was hoping little miss would snooze right through outfit changes…and she was a champ!  I must say lemons also speak to me and with a bright violet backdrop and a precious Violet in the basket oy vey- GORGEOUS!!!


Stop it right!!! Cuteness overload!  Not through yet though.  She let us pull two more quick changes on her before she gave us the all done signal.  Easter is right around the corner so naturally a little bunny foo foo had to make the cut…and the smile that we had been trying to persuade out finally made it to the frame!


To finish the session off we went Bohemian chic coastal pallet.

#Capturingessencephotography, #almostEaster, #infantphotographyViolet-65

What a cutie little miss Violet is!  ❤  I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to capture these moments.  Truly, a legacy captured.

Love is Thick in the Air

#engagementsession, #capturingessencephotography #emotion

I met Eryne as a fellow vendor in our bridal show.  She was with a cross-fit group and their booth was electric with personality.  If I hadn’t been pregnant at the time I would have joined the gym…but I’m always pregnant so who was I kidding?!  By the next show Eryne strolled in not as a vendor, but as a soon to be bride!!!  She booked with us immediately and I was ecstatic!  She is beautiful, but beyond that I love her demeanor and sense of humor not to mention a smile that lights up the room.  I always get the best brides, but I definitely felt like I was winning the lottery.

A few months later, I met up with her, her fiance James, and his two stunning kids in the historical town of Jacksonville.  Sometimes it takes kids a little bit to warm up to new people, but these kids were AWESOME!  I could tell it wasn’t going to feel much like work and more of fun afternoon that I happened to bring my camera to.

As I had already assumed it didn’t take much for Eryne’s genuine smile to surface and James knew how to draw it out of her in a moments’ time.

This couple couldn’t take a bad picture if they tried!  Even when their faces couldn’t be seen you could feel the “happy” radiating.

The structures in this town always make me giddy and the old wood and brickwork make for such amazing backdrops.  Love the texture that it provides and how it makes this couple stand out even more.

We snuck in a couple of family pictures and a few of proud daddy with each of his kids.  I think they’re keepers!  😉

Something about this moss covered fence always has my number.  I also like that we only moved 50 feet and it looks like we went to a whole new land of amazing!  Oh, and if you ever meet Eryne…don’t let her tell you she doesn’t know how to be an actress.  Hollywood- you should send your recruits…so you know that will remain an inside joke.  😉

I feel like this entire session made my cheeks hurt I laughed so much.  This moment may have been at the helm of a joke that was a wee bit in the gutter, sorry… not sorry…also staying an inside joke.  😉

We rounded out our session back at a flight of stairs that was plagued by all the wrong kind of light earlier, but at the end was perfect.

#CapturingEssencePhotography, #LoveIsInTheAir, #EngagementSession

#CapturingEssencePhotography, #LoveIsInTheAir, #EngagementSession

I cannot wait to see this couple say their vows and make this whole shebang official! ❤ ❤ ❤

Carmen on the Up and Up

#capturingessencephotography, #seniorhighgraduate, #somuchpotentialforgreatness

I love when life throws curve balls that were destined to be bases loaded grand slams!  Here is the series of events leading up to this photo session.  One of my other “jobs” is a biannual event planner for The Ultimate Bridal Show.  Heather, Carmen’s mom, became a vendor in our October show and she connected with my photography style for her daughter’s senior pictures in particular.  We gabbed a little bit and settled to meet up post bridal show craziness.  Life being nuts for the both of us early December came quicker than either of us were prepared for.  I joined Heather and Carmen at a modern cozy coffee shop.  We all brought our ideas to the drawing board and the excitement of the session started mounting.  Heather had told me how amazing Carmen was, but I always reserve mom bias as a real thing.  Truth be told, she didn’t oversell an ounce!  She is stunningly beautiful and her personality is a gem. That next weekend the weather looked like it was going to cooperate so we formed a plan.  We decided on a traveling shoot (which I offer, but is not listed on my photo packages) with multiple locations and outfit changes.  I left a little sad there was seven days to pass before we could execute this marvelous plan of ours.  But alas the day arrived.  Our first stop was a rickety old fence and open field.  Carmen’s sister, Faith (aka my new assistant) not only mastered the art of the reflector, and told great jokes for genuine laughter, but she was a great addition in a few sister pics.  Each place we went I felt like different aspects of Carmen’s personality started to peek through and it was truly magical.

Our next stop was derived from a picture that was going to take a little imagination.  Our example photo was from Spring, and we were no where close to freshly budded flowers.  Carmen and Heather had however found a tree that had seasonal berries.  The location had potential to be problematic but we prevailed!

She was also super amazing because she allowed for some crazy over the top ideas to be tried.  I knew these wouldn’t necessarily be the norm for senior pics but they sure turned out magazine worthy! Carmen-104Carmen-106

Our next destination was a chilly adventure.  We headed up to the mountain in hopes of snow.  With one of her interest being theater I was particularly thrilled for this set.  It is a play off Little Red Riding Hood but oh so more sophisticated.

And like it was a text book fairy tale moment the white specs of snow started to gently fall…Nah just kidding!!!  Sometimes fairy tales are fake or photoshopped.  We were hoping for just fake.  Momma sure put in the A+ effort and we did get one really close one.

The day was expiring so we headed down to our final destination.  This was a little more on the usual side of senior graduate photos and because of that I really thought these would be lack luster against all the other amazing pics we had already achieved.  When I got back home and loaded these I was surprised at how some of my favorites ended up in this grouping.  Maybe it’s because nothing this girl does lacks luster…holy moly she’s a beauty inside and out!

Let me take a moment to get on my soapbox on self image.  This world would love nothing more to take any beautiful girl and minimize her greatness by killing her soul with comparison.  Allowing this world to define beauty and put what that looks like into a box is like death and belongs six feet under.  Cookie cutters are boring, dull, and all too ordinary.  Take a lesson from Carmen and be extraordinary!  Maximize your beauty by being who God intended you to be and own it!  Mic drop I’m out. ❤

Forever I do

#capturingessencephotography, #Fallwedding, #OregonWedding

It was a cool crisp fall afternoon in Southern Oregon and natural elegance surrounded them at the beautiful Red Lily Vineyards.  With their family and closest friends present Mike and Tailese joined together as husband and wife.  I met Tailese at her parents home and captured a few details and the tail end of the her getting ready.

There was such anticipation and joy for this bride in waiting.  She was surrounded by love and support from her family.  We scurried off to the venue to set up the first glance between Mike and Tailese.  As he exited out of the barrel room sliding doors his smile hit the widest points of his face.  He knew it, we all knew it, she was absolutely stunning!

#capturingessencephotography, #fallwedding, #OregonweddingMike_Tailese-77

We took a few minutes to grab some pictures of the two of them before our light failed and the ceremony was set to begin.

After a few family photos we gathered inside the amazing barrel room.  The ambiance of the lighting and the natural wood was breathtaking.  I am a huge fan of black and white photos for certain moments.  As I was in the edit bay with this wedding, one of the first pictures I took of the ceremony set-up was screaming to me to be converted into B&W.  The moment I did that so many of the key moments just followed suit.  I absolutely love the drama it created.

There was so much beauty packed into the three hours I spent with this couple.  I know their marriage will thrive and I pray that they continue to be blessed beyond measure! ❤

Turning a New Leaf

#capturingessencephotography, #seniorhighgraduates, #fallcolors, #freezingwaters

Graduating high school is a big deal!  Keep it up Loryn!   You only have a few more months and you can join the ranks of those before you who have at one point or another taken our tassels on our graduation cap from one side to the other.  Loryn rocked her senior session and even sunk her toes into the frigid waters of the Rogue River.

It was overcast and cold to say the least, but the scenery was beautiful.  Loryn seemed to fit in like she was the missing accessory to the whole ensemble.

#capturingessencephotography, #seniorhighgraduates, #fallcolors, #freezingwatersLauren-43

She incorporated her love for reading poetry.

We cracked a lot of jokes.  I guess my sarcastic sense of humor was welcomed because we got some really genuine laughter pics.  She was a master of the serious but not so serious that she looked like a “serial killer mugshot” serious.

All in all I walked away from this session with numb fingers and toes but a satisfaction that we nailed it!