Sunday, September 13, 2009


I have to be one of the luckiest people ever. I have been given so many wonderful opportunities over the years. Last month, I was asked by the Decatur Limited magazine's editor, Ralf Pansch, to be the featured artist for the September/October issue. I was incredibly honored to even be considered to be the featured artist! I used this platform to showcase my artwork from two unique and rewarding opportunities given to me in the last year: my trip to China as the Millikin University Choir's documentary photographer and the photographs I produced for my good friend, Michelle Stephens' play "In Real Life." Both experiences were inexplicable.

While in China, my job was to document the choir interacting with the culture, trying new things, site-seeing, and of course, performing at different venues during the tour. There was little free time with our rigorous tour schedule, so I devoted my "for-fun" shooting (well, it was all fun, but you know what I mean) to documenting street life and the people we encountered along our journey. I've always loved street shooting and meeting new people, so photographing the people of China was incredibly fun for me. One of my favorite people to meet was the woman on the bottom right of the second page below. She didn't speak a word of English, but when I asked to take her photograph, she was very excited. She fixed her hair, straightened her shirt, and sat up nice and proper for me. I took her photograph, showed it to her on my lcd screen, she smiled, then I thanked her. As I started to walk off, she tried to talk to me, asking for something to write with. I gave her a pencil, and she wrote down some characters on a Chinese newspaper and handed it to me. Obviously, I had no idea what it said, so later that day I took it to our translator, and apparently, she had given me her telephone number to call her about getting the photo. It was the cutest thing ever, and aside from my photographs, my favorite souvenir from the trip (hmm, I need to find that and scan it...).

Earlier this year, my awesome and uber-talented friend, Michelle, wrote, directed, and produced "IRL" at Richland Community College. Being able to take part in her creativity was so much fun. I always love being around the productions- there is always so much energy among the actors and crew. I was able to take the promotional photos of sock puppets...need I say more? As well as taking the archive photographs, and creating a body of to include on the stage as a sampling of work for one of the lead characters, Max, who was a photographer. Since the play was set in a large city, Hugh and I took a trip to St. Louis to take some photographs, visit the zoo, annnnd celebrate our 5 year dating anniversary. It was one of the best weekends ever. We stayed in the Millennium hotel (top right on the last page), with an awesome view of the arch. I tested out my Lensbaby Muse for a lot of the shots. Once we got back, we had several of the photos printed up, and they became part of the stage set, along with beautiful paintings by my bestest friend in the whole-wide-world, Laura. It was a great experience. I can't wait for the next production!!

Those two experiences were the inspiration for my photographs featured in the Limited. If you get a chance, pick up a copy at the Herald & Review, or check out the scans from the magazine here:

Saturday, August 29, 2009


The last few weeks have been filled with new experiences, fun photo shoots, and back-to-school. I've met a ton of new people, which has been awesome. I'm excited to work with new students this semester. They seem so eager to learn. It's inspiring, really. It makes me want to learn new techniques; try new things. So with that in mind, I finally ordered some portable lights.

Here's some test shots from tonight...I think my models had a bit too much fun:

More to come very soon!

Friday, August 21, 2009


You may remember Shavon from our fashion shoot earlier this year (she had the awesome pink prom dress). After seeing the results of the shoot, she came back to me for some senior portraits (this time with a bit more natural make-up haha). Shavon is so incredibly cute, and is a natural at Tyra's "smile with your eyes" look. We had a great time at her shoot. Check out some of the shots:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So I think I'm getting addicted to blogging, despite the fact I'm a few years behind the trend...oh well! Anyway, I just have to say, I'm so impressed by how far word-of-mouth advertising has taken my business. Two nights ago, while waiting for the meteor shower, I got bored and decided to work on my Facebook fan page that my bestie, Dave, started for me probably 4 months ago. I hadn't really done much to it since then, so I started adding photos, then sent out some fan requests. By 8am I had over 125 fans (mind you, I sent out the requests at like midnight). It's day 2 now, and I have 191 awesome is that?

My new 'fan base' has really made me think of just how lucky I've been so far with my photography. I've never placed a single ad, and I'm getting so many calls and emails everyday asking about different photo shoots: weddings, seniors, reunions, maternity, and the list goes on. It's an exciting time. My wedding season is quickly filling up for 2010. It's great! Let's just hope it keeps going that way!

I've got a bunch of new shoots coming up in the next few weeks, so I'll be sure to post more info/photos of them as soon as I can!.

Meredith & Patrick

On Sunday, I shot an engagement session for my friend Meredith and her fiance' Patrick. We had a great time, sweating profusely in downtown Champaign. Despite the humidity, everything turned out really well. I can't wait for their wedding this coming Sunday. It's going to be gorgeous!

Busy, Busy

I've been so busy this whole summer, I've hardly had a second to myself, let alone time to blog and write about what I've been doing. But today, I am home with a bit more time, so I figured I would take a second to post a little bit about all the projects that have kept me busy.

One of my favorite shoots this summer was a collaboration with one of my past RCC students, Nicole. Nicole is an awesome photographer, and she also rocks at doing hair and makeup. We had been discussing collaborating on a project for some time, and then it hit us...we could do some high-fashion portraits. She worked on the makeup and hair, while I shot the portraits of our gorgeous models: Shavon and Sara. These girls rocked it hard! My awesome husband, Hugh, was along for the first part of the shoot and made me an awesome video to document how much fun we had. Please note the cars that kept circling the transfer house as we shot...haha.

As with every summer, I was also lucky enough to do a few weddings, in between my normal routine of teaching classes and doing smaller shoots.

We met Abby and Aaron through a mutual friend, LeAnne. We were so lucky to meet them, because they're now awesome friends that we love to hang out with. Their wedding was beautiful. It was a super hot June day, so we didn't get much outside time, but the sanctuary was gorgeous, so no worries. We had a great time documenting their day.

The following weekend, we photographed Maggie and Andrew's wedding in Monticello. What a fun wedding! Andrew was fresh out of boot camp for the Navy, and it was so cute to photograph him in his uniform. Maggie was gorgeous, as was the entire bridal party. I was able to bring along one of my past Millikin students, Rob to be my assistant and second shooter. He did an awesome job.
Early in the summer, I was contracted through RCC's marketing department to show campus life for a back-to-school campaign. I spent a few days wondering around campus, visiting classrooms and labs, and talking with students and professors. It was a ton of fun. Here's a few shots:
More to come shortly!!