Wednesday, December 12, 2007


To my AWESOME clients (notice how I'm buttering you up)...

I appreciate your patience with me this holiday season. You all have kept me EXTREMELY busy & for that I am sincerely grateful! I never dreamed in a million years that I would ever be so busy with photography... you guys make a girl feel loved =)

As you may have read, I have welcomed a child into my home who is coping with the death of his mother. I've read all about this sort of thing - "expect behavior problems", "expect resistance", "expect mood swings", etc.... let me tell you... it's one thing to read it, it's another to live and experience it.

On top of those issues, there is also my regularly chaotic life. My other 3 children need me now more than ever. I have a full time job. I have a husband. I have Christmas to plan.

Add to my normally chaotic life - dealing with lawyers, judges, DHR, social security, behavior issues, crying spells, a new school & troubles adjusting there, family members, siblings.... you can imagine, I am PAST Stephanie, overloaded.

I am now Stephanie, overwhelmed. I haven't had much time to think lately, to really sit & ponder things, but one thing I do know now more than ever is that my family needs me and I need them. I am asking you all to please understand that while I may not be giving you 100% of my attention like I usually do, that there is a VERY good reason for that. =) I feel terribly guilty that I can't devote time to answering emails, questions, etc. like I normally do, but I simply can't add more hours in the day. I have been sleeping, on average, about 2-3 hours per night. I simply CANNOT continue this trend. I need to be strong for my family.

I will complete all sessions that I have scheduled until December 31, 2007. After that time, I will be taking a break- indefinitely. I will continue to work on my website and I hope to begin taking sessions in the spring, if at all possible.

Any orders will need to be placed before that time. Along with the new website will come new session prices, portrait rates, & business policies. These changes will take effect January 1, 2008.

Again, I thank each & every one of you for your understanding during this time. I have enjoyed each one of you & I wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy 2008!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Update: Nate has come to live with us. We have retained a lawyer & are petitioning for custody - GUESS WHAT?!? Yep, he wants an elf. I'm worried.... we have enough mess to clean up with Wyndham & Axel running around - adding a third one to the mix?? EEEEEK!

Good thing I had my car keys hidden -

I dunno who gave them permission to party... but they invited their friends anyway...

And here - Axel heard me playing the piano one day & wrote a note to Tucker saying he thought he could do better! Wyndham - oh, Wyndham, forever the mischevious one - he rearranged the nutcrackers & stole one of their swords!!!

Ohhhhh..... the morning I woke up & found this, I just about CHOKED the little devils!!! They made "elf angels" in the "snow" .... aren't they cute? *rolling eyes* Hardy har har.

They even made a snowman out of marshmallows. Crafty little boogers, I tell you.

Never a dull moment with these guys around... but I have to say, I might miss them when they're gone. ;)

Monday, December 03, 2007


I wasn't going to blog about this... I prefer a happy, cheerful blog myself... but on this day of complete and utter shock, sadness, anger - I can't be cheerful. I can't be happy. I need a release of some sort so here it is.

Some of you know Nate's story... some don't. Let me give you the cliff notes version. Meet Nate... (taken back in the summer on his first day of school)

Eric's cousin is Rodney. Rodney marries Diana & has 4 children, the youngest of whom is Nate. Rodney drowns in a horrible accident 5 years ago. Diana begins using drugs. Fast forward 5 years...Nate is 9, lives with his mom, but mom has a serious drug problem at this point... he begins to shuffle back & forth between relatives. He fails the 3rd grade because of failure to attend school. Then ... we get a phone call.

Nate is coming to live with us.

We're a little nervous, a little scared.... not sure what to expect. What do we get but a surprisingly well mannered little boy who is wise beyond his 9 years. I guess you have to be when you're acting as the parent. We enrolled him in school, he was doing great - then BAM! Mom comes to get him.... "nothing I can do" we're told. "She has full custody". I was absolutely heartbroken to see him go, simply because I knew in my heart it wasn't in his best interest.

We have spoken to him on a few occasions, and he recently came back to live with us again at her request. He insisted on going back with her - to be honest, I think he worried about her all the time - if he couldn't find her, he would cry. He told me that there were times he couldn't wake her up... and that he was afraid something was going to happen to her.

Well, this morning, something did.

Nate's mother was found in a hotel room, dead. A suspected accidental overdose. I have no words really - no words to describe how I feel.... I'm angry that she would put her children through this - the death of BOTH parents in 5 years. I'm desperately sad for the children - even though I know that in some ways, they are better off without her. I'm frustrated with DHR who has refused to do anything about the reports for the past 2 years. I'm really... just... heartbroken.

Please keep them in your thoughts & prayers.

Need your help...

Okay, guys.... I'm about to wrap up my Christmas sessions & take ALL of January off (YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT!) I'm exhausted, to say the least. My clients are super - calla - fraga - listi - fantastic, but I miss my family! I've had such a great time & I've met so many new people... I know it's super cliche` - but whatever, I've had SUCH a good time. =)

Anyhoo, back to the point of this post. Of course after I take about 3 days off, I'm gonna be itching to do something (I'm a workaholic!) - so I've been planning on taking this time to completely re-do my website (I got a blu! yippeeee!) - my price list (ut oh, haha!) - my logo, pretty much everything in general. Originally I had decided on "Southern Couture" for my new name - now I'm undecided again. Hey, I'm a woman, I have the right to change my mind ;)

So here's where you come in... what do you think? HELP!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Finalist #2!!!

I'm so excited!!!!! :D

I got my second finalist at Better Photo with this picture:

Linkage for those who care to see =) I'm such a happy camper!!! =)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Playing in the leaves...

This little guy was soooo much fun, he had a few posing pointers for me. Hey, I need all the help I can get, right? ;)

And his cute little cousin... I think I see a bit of mischief in those eyes =)

Where do they get their good looks, you ask? Well, from their mothers, of course =)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Adventures of Wyndham & Axel

I'm not sure if any of you are familiar with elf magic - but if you aren't you need to check it out!

Basically, Santa lets your child adopt an elf - but only for a limited time. I mean, we can't have all the elves checked out of the north pole when there are toys to be made, right? Right. We're having such a great time with them here that I wanted to share the whole experience. Read at your own risk - long post ahead =)

I had just gotten home from work Monday night when we heard the doorbell ring. We wondered who in the world would be coming to visit at 8pm! Tucker & Jackson answered the door & discovered 2 little boxes sitting on the front porch. There was a note inside that said these were 2 of Santa's elves sent by the big man himself! Of course, we all were bummed that we missed Santa... heck I even took off running down the sidewalk, looking for him down the street, to which Tucker informed me, "Duh, Mom, he wouldn't be riding down the ROOOOOAD!" *insert eye roll here* Oh yeah. I forgot! But no sign of him in the sky either.

Now - these elves are very special & come with a little container of North Pole Snowflakes. At night, you put the elf on the kitchen counter & sprinkle him with snowflakes & he comes to life!!! You can write them little notes or questions & then at night, they write back to you. Fun stuff! You have to leave him crackers & water to eat because he gets really hungry - we were out last night (Axel broke into the pantry!) so we left them some Nerds. Apparently they really like candy. ;)

Meet Wyndham, our little troublemaker:

He's Jackson's elf. The first night he was here, he pulled off a whole entire roll of toilet paper & hid in the bottom of a side table! The next night, he broke into Jackson's room, pulled all of his clothes out of his closet & was swinging from the hangers... Jackson had locked the door, but alas, when we found Wyndham, he had the doorkey stuck in his belt. Smart little elf!

This is Axel, Tucker's elf:

I think Axel is a pretty good elf... he tries to play by the rules for the most part, but he *is* an elf, and elfs by nature are rather mischevious. He's already raided the pantry twice, eating up all the Little Debbies & crackers. He got into Tucker's PS games & threw them all over the floor... we found him in a drawer with the controller to the PS3, so we knew it was him. Then another night, he hung every pair of Tucker's underwear on the Christmas tree!!

And this morning, look what we found in the freezer:

Those crazy elves wrote that they were missing home so they went somewhere cold. Thank goodness they decided not to leave a mess tonight. They left a couple little presents instead =)

P.S. - Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Is it wrong...

that some of my favorite shots from this session were of big sister Sydney being a "toot-head"? HAHA! She still so stinking cute when she's crying, I couldn't resist snapping a few...

The real star of the show, Xander -

That would be the ONLY sleeping photo of the entire session, hahaha!!! =)

I almost feel sorry for the little guy - wait till the newness wears off, then he's in trouble!!! Living in a house full of estrogen will be pretty interesting I bet. =)

I thought Mom looked so glowy & beautiful here =) Look at him checking me out...

Congrats Grace!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Feed Just One

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." -Mother Theresa

I recently learned about this small organization - Feed Just One - through my Aunt Rhona. Basically, these folks pay for the shipping cost for food to starving children. For a small donation ($10-$15), you get a cool t-shirt, & can provide shipping cost for up to 3 months worth of meals!!! Here's a couple pics from their store's site.

I'm feeling a bit like Sally Struthers here ;) but... it's just beyond my comprehension WHY a child dies every 5 seconds from hunger. HUNGER! Unthinkable!

The season of giving is upon us - I think this is a fantastic gift idea! I bought several tees for people in my family. =) PLEASE, please, if you do decide to get a tee, leave me a comment & let me know. I'm hoping my little blog can help with a few & I'd love to know if it actually does. THANKS! =) Now what are you waiting for, go feed just one!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


What's a session without a few outtakes, right? Meet my nephew Riley. I really WANT to call this an outtake, but um, well... it's "his" look. I don't think that technically it qualifies as an outtake does it?

Well, except for the fact that I giggle every single time I look at it. I love this next picture of Riley... but what in the world is he doing with his hand? Is this his interpretation of the robot? Or am I about to get back handed? What?

And now for his lovely sister, my neice Bethany. Sadly, I can't take credit for any of these genius poses, she thought these up herself.

Bet you wouldn't have known if I didn't tell you, huh? Apparently these are Ariel poses... hey, you can't argue with a mermaid.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Summer in the fall

You know how you hear someone's name & you automatically get this picture in your head of what they look like? No? Well, okay then, maybe I'm weird. Anyway, when I booked this session with Summer's mom, I had it dead set in my mind that summer had blonde hair. Even so much so that I was thinking how beautiful her hair was going to look up against the huge fountain at the falls.... so she gets out of the truck, and....

...she's not a blonde. ABSOLUTELY gorgeous, but not a blonde. I was kinda shocked, it was almost like I had made up this pretend blonde Summer girl, but Summer was here, and Summer was - in fact - brunette, and HECK, she was even born in November.

Which leads me to the question.... Stacy?? Why did you name her Summer? HAHAHA!!!!

I'm totally kidding, of course! Well, about most of it anyway. I did think she was blonde for some strange reason! =)

Seriously, Summer is ONE GORGEOUS girl. I mean, she's got gorgeous eyes, a glowing complexion & perfect white teeth. On top of all that, she's SKINNY. Ugh. Perfect little package. Somebody slap her! ;)

I'm still deciding on my fave from the session - but this one is a DEFINITE contender. Loving the light here..... Summer, you look FAB, girl! =)

Look out college boys ;)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Say it ain't so!

Anybody that knows me knows that I'm *kinda* girly. For example - I don't do dirt. Dirt is for BOYS! I wanted to scrapbook until I realized that I could, possibly, get glue on me. I have probably 15 different shades of lipstick. I change my purse depending on what I'm wearing (duh, can't wear brown shoes & carry a black bag, can we?!) I like Gymboree and polka dots and silly monogrammed stuff and sometimes even *GASP!* smocked dresses!

I'm not exactly sure why I went through all that, but anyway... my point is, I'm girly, and I always wanted a girl so that I'd have a girly pal. I'm not altogether thrilled with the fact that my daughter is preferring swords over dolls at this point. But hey, I'm still safe, because I get to put her in all the cute little girly dresses, right? Uhhh......

I came home from work the other day & found this. MY DAUGHTER! In one of Jackson's tee-shirts from the fire department, paired with the top to her Dora tankini that I *sooooo* didn't want to buy but she loves Dora better than Mommy & was pitching a fit in Wal Mart & I was tired & I had to make her stop so I gave in.... okay that was totally a run-on sentence. Anyway! At least she had the decency to pick out a red bow. I guess I'll look over the fact that it's VELVET. *sigh*

I think she inherited her Dad's sense of style. I'm scared. Really scared.

The next GAP baby???

I dunno.... I'm thinking, maybe Leighton has a shot!

I mean, I know she's my neice & all, but c'mon, this kid is CUTE!

And here's her cousin, Kayleigh - I shot this last year, but it's still one of my all-time favorite shots... Mom ordered a few just in time for Christmas, I say EXCELLENT choice! =)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sneak Peek for Jennifer =)


That's me slapping myself.

Now usually I don't resort to physical violence on myself, however, I have been so sleep deprived lately that I have totally forgotten to post Jenn's sneak peek. So I must be punished. She's been so sweet & hasn't even bothered me one single solitary time. (unlike some other people, *cough*JOANIE*cough*)

I must say that Jenn & her hubby Danny were great. He actually missed golf to have family portraits made. Definite brownie points. Good thing he was there because I think Miss Addi is a bit of a daddy's girl.

I may just have to post some outtakes from this session, I must admit there were a few that are pretty darn funny =) But for now, I'll leave you with gorgeous eyes & a grin from beautiful Miss Addi....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Brotherly Love

I'm so SUPER evil that I haven't even posted one single solitary wedding photo for Joanie & Chris to see... (cue evil laugh) BWAHHH HA HA HA HA!!!

So her new hubby starts harassing me, now she starts harrassing me, GOOD GRIEF. I mean, do you two REALLY want photographic evidence that you DID actually go through with this thing?

So, you 2 stalkers, when I got the last friendly reminder, I was working on this one, so I thought I'd share it. This picture TOTALLY cracks me up. Isn't this what brothers are just *MADE* to do??!!

And just to show you I did get one of you guys looking semi-normal:

And P.S. - Joanie & Chris - I'm *totally* kidding. I love you guys! You're the best :o)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

On the boardwalk

Trying a different look... I'm loving the VIBE lightroom presets from Renee. I used grandpa's bite on this one...

I honestly cannot believe that I ever lived without lightroom at this point - it has made proofing so much quicker for me, because I can see what each "action" (preset) looks like on each photo just by running my mouse over it! Super cool... if you haven't tried lightroom yet, what the HECK are you waiting for???!!! I wish I'd done it ages ago! Thanks again Renee for twisting my arm =)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ashley Annabelle

I think I photograph Ashley about, ohhhh, every 2 weeks or so. HAHA! Seriously - her mom is my best friend from high school, so I do take muchos gracias lotsa pictures of this kid. (Ya'll didn't know I was bilingual did you? Yeah, well, I'm not. Whatever.)

Back to business here. I took Ashley's 9 month photos a few weeks ago, and oh my gosh, can I say I LOVE this age? They're so animated, and able to sit up, but can't run away yet. Although I give her kudos for tryin! Yeah. She's *THAT* cute. I thought my grass & fence made a nice colorful background =) All that picture takin' makes a kid hungry... what's better to snack on than little baby fingers?? =)
Alrighty, if you made it this far, you're a peach! =) That's all folks!