October 28, 2015


Oh my gracious. Are you ready to take a trip down memory lane with a ridiculous amount of photos, haha. Last week I sat down and went through all my old photography posts and made sure all the photos were properly sized and that my best work was showcased, whew. It took a while, but it ended up being really great. I still have two more sessions from 2012 to add, but I'll get to those later.

It was really amazing to look back at my older work and see how I've grown. I was able to see how I compose photos differently now, how my editing style as changed and I was also able to see how my own photography style really started to take shape.

This is where my journey began. My gracious, I can't believe it's been so long ago. when I first started my photography journey I started with film. Tyler's sister let me borrow her SLR and I was so excited to get started. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea what shutter speed was or aperture. And I definitely, had no idea how to properly expose for a photo. Amazingly enough I managed to capture the image below.  The camera manual became my best friend and that is where my learning began.  I shot a handful of different things with film, as I was taking a photo journalism class and I shot film for half of the lessons. Half way through the class Tyler surprised me and sent me my very first DSLR, it was a Nikon D60 and I was over the moon. I couldn't believe it and I couldn't wait to learn more.  I was in my final semester of college and I finished my photo journalism class with my D60. I tackled a handful of photo sessions with friends. This one below was a friend from college. I remember three or four other photo sessions, specifically couple sessions. Those first few couple sessions were so hard. I hadn't yet started to understand the importance of lighting and posing was so tough.

I did so many photo sessions in 2010. I was living in Florida at the time and I had a handful of friends that always said yes when I asked to take photos. I also had other friends that were photographers so we took photos all. the. time. A lot my photo sessions from 2010 aren't documented here, because there are just so many, whew and many were meant for practice. I shot my first wedding while in Florida, it was fun, scary and overwhelming, whew. 
This was probably one of my favorite years of photography. I had returned from Florida and I was living in Missouri again, my old stumping grounds. It was familiar territory and I had grown in my photography. I had a tad more confidence and I had a greater understanding of my style and light. I was definitely still learning, but I was starting to find my groove. I did portrait sessions, family sessions, senior portraits, couple sessions, little babies, and I was a second shooter in a wedding. It was during that wedding that I think I started to learn that wedding photography just wasn't for me. It was also a year that I loved portrait photography.  2012 
I only did a handful of photo sessions in 2012, I was pretty busy planning my wedding. ;) But one of the last sessions I did in 2012 was one of my favorites. I did an anniversary shoot with the two lovely people pictured below and it cemented my love for portrait photography. One of my favorite types of sessions are anniversary sessions. Married couples are so magically comfortable together, they know what makes each other tick, they know how to make each feel comfortable and their love just pours out. I want to do anniversary sessions for all the days. :) And here we are, 2015. It has been a solid three years since doing portrait photography on the regular, and I can't wait to do more. So get ready! :) If you saw last week's Fall post, you know that I have two sessions in processing and I can't wait to share them. I really loved taking this walk down memory lane and being able see how I've grown. xoxo! Samantha

October 26, 2015


Since sharing a tour of our tiny house, I thought it might be fun to share some tips for photography your home. Sometimes it can be really  tough, but it can also be really fun! Our space is so tiny and tight that I had to get creative with tucking myself into corners to get everything I wanted in the shot, haha! I really loved photography our home though. It helped me to see all the little details and gave me a lot of appreciation for our tiny space.
If you are able to do this it will help tremendously at properly lighting your home. You want the light to be streaming in as evenly as possible and you want everything well lit to photograph. Our home is the brightest in the early morning and in the late afternoon. When I shot these photos of our home I shot between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. I have to keep tabs on light in our house, ha! We have so many trees that block the light. 

Even when our home is the brightest there are still areas or corners that are lacking light. When photography our tiny house I wanted everything to be well lit so I could highlight all the details. Using a tripod sealed the deal and I was able to capture our home in the best light. The tripod is so important because it allows you to have a long shutter exposure letting in lots of pretty bright light.
Shooting in natural light and shooting with my tripod sets me up for the best picture I am able to achieve. Shooting in raw allows me to take it to the next level. Even if my photos aren't as bright as I would like them to be or the temperature or tone of the photo is off, I can make those adjustments in post and shooting in raw allows me to make those changes.

There are certain things I love in our home and others things that aren't necessarily my favorite. For our tiny house tour, I did my best to photograph everything, but I found myself highlighting the things that I loved most.  I also took note of details, like smashed pillows and I took the time to fluff them before the shoot. Taking notice of those details will go a long way. Before taking photos of your home take a look around for any details that you would like to "fluff." For me it was folding our couch blankets and fluffing our pillows.

Avoid taking photos of your home at crazy angles. Shooting straight allows the viewer to see your home at a more natural view. Visitors in your home usually don't view your home at crazy angles and when we photograph our home we want to share it with others as though they are coming over to visit.
Guys, photography our homes can be such a joy. After I finished snaping all the photos for our tiny house tour I was reminded how much I loved our home and how blessed we are. Have you done a house tour? What are some of your favorite things to photograph in your home? What have been some struggles you've ran into when photography your home?

related : Welcome to Our Tiny House.

October 22, 2015


It's been a while, right? Since we have sat down and just chatted about life. So let's do just that. This Fall has been so fun. We've had lots of weekends full of fun Fall activities, spending time with friends and taking in the crisp Fall air. One of our first official Fall activities was heading out to pick our Fall pumpkins. We went with some of friends and their little people. What made our pumpkin picking so much fun was all the other activities that came along with it.

We drove about an hour North and found ourselves at a big beautiful farm. I was most excited about picking our own veggies straight from the farm. We picked green peppers, green beans, zucchini, and tomatoes. There was also an option to pick your own apples too, but we passed on the apples, mostly because we just didn't need that many, ha. We also indulged in apple cider doughnuts, said hello to farm animals, and had a small bit to eat.
So what comes after pumpkin picking? Pumpkin carving. Except we didn't actually carve a pumpkin, ha! A friend of ours invited us to a pumpkin carving party and even though we didn't carve we had so much fun. It's always nice to just hangout with friends and chat over caramel apples and Fall festivities.
I've also been working on some really beautiful photo shoots this Fall. It has been so dreaming catching the light with such beautiful subjects. I was all geared up to processes my photos too until the hard drive of our computer when out. Booooo! So my photo editing has been on hold while our hard drive is being replaced. Be on the look out for these two shoots in the near future because they are so dreamy.

Our Fall festivities have been so dreamy and there are more to come! This month we're celebrating my mom's birthday. Next month we're celebrating my birthday and in just a few week's we'll be celebrating the release of the new Peanuts movie!

Also, before I forget, I'm headed to Southwest Missouri over the Christmas holiday and If you're interested in scheduling a shoot with me send me an email! I would love to work with you!

October 20, 2015


LOCATION:  Chappaqua Train Station, NY
DETAILS:  Her - Sully Watch c/o  ||  Red Pixie Pants  ||   Grey V-Neck (similar)   ||   Jean Jacket (similar) ||  Grey Chucks  Him - Delmar Watch c/o  ||  Blue Button Up (similar)  ||  Caramel Trousers (similar) ||  Leather Boots (similar)

I'm all about timing when it comes to taking photos and the importance of staying in a specific time frame when doing photo shoots. Every time we move I reassess where we live, how the trees and mountains are and the strength of the sun. I never thought I would think about the strength of the sun, but when I went from the Missouri to Florida and then from Missouri to Southern California I could definitely see a difference in the sun. But let's get back to timing.
When I think about timing I think of two different things. The first thing is keeping track of the setting sun. Whenever I do a shoot, I always check online for the exact time the sun will set in my region. For the most part, I know that the sun is going to set around 6:00pm, but I still check, because I also know that the sun will be setting at a completely different time a month from now. When I know the time of the setting sun I know that I want to start shooting a solid two hours before. I like to spend a good solid hour and a half shooting and I've learned that in this area the sun will fall behind the trees before it actually sets and I'll lose the light.

Not only do I keep track of when I want to start my shoot, but I also keep track of the time and light during the shoot as well. For this particular shoot we left our house at 4:30pm and started shooting a little before 5:00pm. As we shot I kept track of how the sun was setting because I wanted to make sure we still had enough light to take photos of Tyler. As the sun moves during a photo shoot I tend to move as well so stay with the light.
The second important thing about timing is to catch those beautiful impromptu moments, the ones that can't be timed. In every photo shoot there are moments that naturally unfold and as a photographer it's important to let those moments flow naturally and catch the little things that happen that aren't posed or directed. For this particular shoot Tyler was rolling up his sleeves, nothing that I would think to photograph, but when he went to un-bottom his sleeves I saw it, a beautiful natural moment. It is one of my favorite photos of the shoot as well.
Guys, I love bringing together style, timing, and functionality. And what better why to do all those things then with our Jord Wood Watches. Really quick, guys, we love these wooden watches. They are amazingly light weight and so unique. We love how they add a pop to our style and keep us on track during our shoots. The uniqueness, quality, and custom care are probably my favorite thing about these watches. I love how unique and different our watches are, they are full of rich tonal color and they have such unique shape and detail. They are great quality and each watch arrives already custom fitted.
Friends, timing for photo shoots is so important, especially if you are wanting to capture that golden light during sunset. It can be really tricky at times, but with lots of practice things get easier and tackling well timed photo shoots start to happen all the time. :)

How do you stay on time during photo shoots? What is your favorite time to shoot? 

related : 9 Tips For a Great Photography Hike

Ladies Wood Watch
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