Welcome home from Afghanistan, VMM-365

This sweet family welcomed home their USMC pilot husband/daddy in early August after 7 months in Afghanistan.  The littles were so tired & confused at first, as this took place around midnight… but this sweet 4yr old was SO excited by the time his “Captain America” hero daddy got off the white buses. It was a sticky night – it was as if the anticipation & excitement took on the heat & humidity as we waited. The minutes it took for the Marine to find his family felt like hours! I love shooting these tender homecomings so much… I am always crying while I’m snapping away, freezing these moments forever. What a special, amazing job I have.


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Frame Maternity Shoot

This session took place at the end of November 2011.

This mama was 37 1/2 weeks pregnant when we took these pictures…

….and looking absolutely beautiful!!

Beautiful Mama is just teeny tiny & had this big baby-basketball under her dress!!

Her sweet baby (not actually a basketball) was a wiggly little peanut & it was funny to see her whole belly move from side to side as the baby moved.

I’m still trying to figure out the ins-and-outs of wordpress & how to make the pictures best for your viewing pleasure….

and I can’t figure it out. But this post is SOOO overdue, so I will post it as it is for now & try to figure out this here new blog format another day.

Click on the images below to scroll through them larger:

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the whole gallery can be seen here

Aric + Sally Fam

meet Aric + Sally.

they are pretty awesome & have such a beautiful familia.

We shot these a couple Saturdays ago in their beautiful backyard….

Wow on the awesome photo location!

Their sweet kids were so much fun to photograph –

even if I had to work hard to win over Littlest Sister’s heart.

Little brother is just barely walking & was trying to keep up with his sisters –

he kept me running & focusing like crazy.

What a fun family – swinging with dad, eating cookie dough batter & cereal, playing with mama.

And the best time was hearing about the Sally’s Family Pictures vs. Aric’s Gun(s) purchase.

Looks like this time they both won:

Guns for shooting & shot Pictures.

Wow, I’m pretty hilarious. Ah-Ah-Ah.


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you can view all proofs/order prints from here

Dusti welcomes Ryan home

Dusti & Ryan have done 3 deployments in the 4 years they have been in the Marine Corps.
This time, their little one was just teeny when daddy left.
August 8th was a HOT & HUMID night
but one filled with anticipation & happiness
as everyone welcomed home the 2nd Batallion 8th Marines from their tour in Afghanistan.
Ryan’s sister (USAF), brother in law & niece were also there
along with his wife Dusti & sweet baby girl.
Ryan’s niece made a sign on the iPad, it was pretty awesome!
I’m pretty sure the 2hours while the Marines turn in their weapons at the armory
as long
as the previous 7 months.
And the butterflies were almost visible as those big buses drove in
& the Marines poured out looking for their loved ones.
Welcome home, Ryan & thanks for your service!!
And good job, Dusti, you’re truly a hero!!

Full Gallery for viewing & print orders available here

Baby Madison

This little one decided she wanted to make her world debut about 6 weeks early!
We did these photos on her actual due date…
and she was weighing in at 6 weeks old at 8lbs 3oz.
Such a little peanut!!
Her mama is a proud Navy wife & I loved capturing their tender mama/bebe bond.
Madison was a trooper being held all kinds of crazy ways &
being awake so long (all in the name of good light!) & conked out by the last few shots.
Mmmmm, newborns are the sweetest.
So teeny. So precious. So new.
I love that she was still a little fuzzy:
this next one is my absolute favorite image from the session –
can’t you just hear mama saying “shhhhhh?”


{ meet Miss Maggie! }
her mom is the famous blogger/quilter extraordinaire AmyLouWho
MamaLouWho really likes fabric… it’s a wonder Maggie’s name isn’t AmyButler LouWho.
Maggie is such a little cutie & we wanted to capture her littleness as much as possible.
She loves mama, milk, tickles & her big siblings.
She was barely learning to stand when we took these pictures.
We made a day of it & just hung out at my house & played
& of course took lots of pictures.
Amylouwho is such a great friend-
one you can just talk for hours with & laugh & be yourself & feel so loved!
We both love dentists, wegmans, ikea, photography & baba ganoujh
& playing that blasted words with friends scrabble game on our iThings.

meanwhile, this is going on behind the scenes.
2 harmonicas, 5 kids, 2 moms, a bed & a camera (and a whole lot of crazy!):

after a couple milk breaks for Maggie & some lunch for everyone else, we relocated & re-costumed for some more shots. It was a long day for such a little model, but she was sweet as ever, even past naptime.

Welcome Home, VMM-266

Last week I had the honor of photographing another USMC homecoming from Afghanistan.
This cute family had made it through their first deployment
& they were so excited to welcome daddy/hubs home!
The weather was perfect & the Marines showed up right on time.
We stood outside on the tarmac & waited for VMM-266
We cheered as 10 osprey flew in formation over us, followed by 4 helicopters.
They circled around & landed… the Marines got out of their aircraft,
lined up for a short speech from their CO & then they cut the ropes separating us from them.
The mama & kids held up their signs & flags & watched & waited –
their Marine found his family quickly & came running in for hugs & kisses.
The kids were so excited & probably still haven’t stopped smiling/putting their sunglasses on their daddy!
Such a sweet family, such a sweet reunion.
The hugs & kisses & teary eyes mean so much
– I can only imagine how long the past 7 months have been for this family (wife!).

I’m so lucky that I get to share these tender moments.
(you can see the whole gallery here)

Family Vacation: disneyworld

We took our little family to Orlando to see Mickey Mouse Lightning McQueen! It was such a fun trip & now I want to move there & get a season pass so we can go all the time (& avoid the crowds). I took this picture just as we were leaving Magic Kingdom just after sunset.

Photo Recipe: 0.4sec at f/3.5, ISO 100

Welcome Home, 1st Battallion 8th Marines

I had the honor of photographing a military homecoming a couple weeks ago.
This sweet family survived a 7-month deployment to Afghanistan
…during which their little girl was born.
There was so much excitement & nervousness in the air that night-
so many families & friends waiting
and waiting
and waiting for their dear Marines.
I’m pretty sure the 3 hours of waiting at the arrival point was almost as long as the previous 7 months.
The kids did great & it was so amazing to witness daddy meeting baby girl for the first time.
I know understand why some countries require military service from all their youth.
There is an indescribable love & a pride & a sacrifice these families have/give
& I am proud to be a small part of this amazing community.
Welcome home, 1/8 & especially to GnySgt Williams.
Thank you for your service.