caticonslite_bm_altWhat a Year: Thank You 2013 Clients! {Lifestyle Photography}

Thank you to all of my clients in 2013 for another great year of getting to capture great moments with great people. Here’s a look at many of the smiles I crossed paths with and hope to see again soon in 2014. Happy New Year to all!

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caticonslite_bm_altLocal Business + Local Art = Something Great {photography}

Gumbo Bottoms Ale House has given me the distinct title of “Artist in Residence.” Becky, their fabulous proprietor, has a record of promoting local artists and I am fortunate to have some of my photography on display at her great establishment. For those who can’t make it in to peer at my work while enjoying an adult beverage at Gumbo’s, here’s a look at the three collections of the pieces currently on display…

The Gumbo Bottoms Collection:

“Proudly Serving” – $75 (24 x 18 Standout)

“Great Head” – $85 (16 x 32 Canvas Wrap)

“Gumbo’s Pint” – $45 (14 x 14 Canvas Wrap)

Left: “Smithwick’s” – $45 (12 x 16 Canvas Wrap); Top Right: “Spring Taps” – $45 (16 x 12 Canvas Wrap); and Lower Right: “Boxed Wine” – $95 (24 x 32 Canvas Wrap)

The #JCMO Downtown Collection:

“Jeff City Skyline” – $150 (16 x 48 Canvas Wrap)

“Exchange Bank Clock” – $75 (18 x 24 Canvas Wrap)

“Navy Sky Capitol” – $45 (14 x 14 Canvas Wrap), “Pedestrian” – $55 (16 x 20 Standout)

The Vintage Media Collection:

“Photo Master” – $45 (14 x 14 Standout), “Back Spacer” – $45 (14 x 14 Standout), ”Film Reel” – $45 (14 x 14 Standout) -OR- Trio $125

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Healing Words – How Doctors and Patients Can Better Communicate

As an experienced communicator I continuously analyze messaging, down to what words are best to use when trying to get an idea to connect with an audience. I do this when it comes to policy, campaigns and marketing. I use it to help promote the non-profit organizations with whom I volunteer. But I had not before considered how much impact a few words can have when it comes to your health.

My mum ringing the bell signifying her final treatment at Siteman Cancer Center on December 12, 2011.

My mother recently completed more than seven-weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatments (APPLAUSE!) at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, Missouri. She chose Siteman for these difficult, but life-saving treatments because of their world-class reputation and, more importantly, how well they communicated with her during her initial consultations.

It was quite impressive. The consultation had no time limit, the doctor, his residents in training and lead nurse coordinator listened intently. They then shared their experiences and even presented a power point describing how the treatment works, visuals and lists of all the possible side effects, and how the long-term recovery process would work. Their words and complete attention, coupled with their reputation and unsurpassed history of delivering this type of care in Missouri made them her choice.

This thorough level of communication continued throughout her specialized treatments, particularly with radiation oncology – that is until she had to be admitted to the hospital.

Unfortunately, she was one of a percentage of patients who encountered complications that forced her to be hospitalized. She had constant nausea, was severely dehydrated and needed to have a stomach feeding tube surgically placed. The normal turn around after the feeding tube is inserted is 48 to 72 hours. However, in her case it took weeks to finally find the right combination of feeding formula and medications to keep the food down and her nausea at bay. While in the hospital,  she was greeted daily with the phrase from her nurse practitioner or attending physician of “Let’s get you home today.”

At first glance, those words don’t seem that bad. In fact, most of us would prefer to be home than in the hospital. But when you aren’t in good shape, and you feel like you’re barely making it by with professional care, going home too soon can be downright scary. It was for my mom and dad. Hearing this phrase day-in and day-out led my parents to possibly believe her in-hospital care providers were more concerned about the bottom line than health. Questioning that led to questioning other aspects of her care.

Ultimately, my father and I spoke bluntly with my mother’s hospital care team and explained how much fear and concern that phrase caused, especially when it was obvious she had not yet been stable for 48 hours. We agreed to not discuss “going home” until she was stable for 48 hours. And when she was, she did go home, and was happy about it.

The lesson here is we all use routine phrases when we communicate. When we great someone it usually includes the questions “how are you?” with the blanket response of “fine.” But how we’re really doing is usually not communicated.

Doctors and hospital staff enter dozens of patients’ rooms every day and greet them with “Let’s get you home today.” Its a phrase they learned and say it believing that everyone would rather be home. But the truth is, when someone is sick enough to be in the hospital, they aren’t anxious to go home until they are truly well enough. So, in the future, hopefully the first thing they greet their patients with will be “How are you feeling today?” It will serve their patients and the relationships they have with them much better. And to me, that makes them healing words.

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A Christmas “Bell” {baby & family}

Baby Drew is back and this time he brings holiday cheer! At three months old he was adorable as ever and unlike his newborn session, he was awake most of the time…meaning I had a chance to capture his big blue eyes and sweet smiles he was sharing with his mom and dad (Stephanie & Chris).

We began with bundling Drew in a big red basket in front of their living room fireplace. Kudos to Chris for lighting the fire.

Next we brightened things up with a pop of festive holiday color. Look at that smile!

And for contrast we next tried out a crisp white and steel blue setting. He loved the soft, snowy fabric his mom picked out.

A quick change and it was time for photos of the entire family.

Drew started getting sleepy while he was in mom’s arm. So as he drifted off, we nestled him into a green wreath and the results were some of my favorite from the session.

Sweet dreams to this little “Bell!” And happy holidays to a great family!

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Zora, Anna Lea & Their Favorite Things {family}

Zora and her daughter Anna Lea have several things they love to do together. And I love they asked me to photograph them doing those things. It was an out of the ordinary session that included baking (banana bread – YUM!), bike riding, and smiles all around.

Anna Lea making sure the sugar is sweet enough!

Dry goods mixed, now time for eggs…

Check the batter and add the bananas!

One last taste test and then into the oven.

While the banana bread baked and made the house smell yummy, we goofed around in their backyard.

I love this one…

Then these cool girls were off to ride bikes.

Back at the house we took advantage of this older home’s great architecture. Who could pass up this cute divided door!

Oh, don’t forget to check on the bread…

Thanks Zora and Anna Lea for a fun afternoon. It was awesome to get to photograph a mom and daughter spending time together doing the things they love. It made me think of my mom and am sure it will touch on fond memories for all the moms and daughters who see this post, too. Happy baking and biking!

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Lucy & Miller {kids}

You are in for a treat! My friends Aaron and Lisa have the cutest kids ever – Lucy and Miller. I had the chance to photograph them this fall and we had a blast. We started in their home’s foyer. Between the perfect blue walls and crisp black and white marbled floor, I couldn’t ask for a better backdrop to try to keep up with these two!

We shifted gears and headed outside. I love the punch of red this vintage glider that was a hand-me down from their grandmother provided. But its hard to look past these sweet faces and bright eyes!

Lisa has the Taj Mahal of Pyrex collections. Miller was a little antsy at this point, but I loved the look Lucy gave him when he couldn’t stand still!

A big thank you to Aaron and Lisa for letting me photograph Lucy and Miller!

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The Gordons {family & pets}

Meet the uber-awesome Gordon family! Rebecca and Darren, along with their son Jared, met up with me at some great Jefferson City locations for a family session in early November. The weather cooperated and this family was beyond photogenic! We started our session at the Old Shoe Factory.

Just look at these two! I didn’t even have to prompt them to snuggle up.

We gave the lovebirds a break and snapped this series with Jared.

Jared and his dad striking a few guy poses…

And some so sweet ones of a great mom and her son!

And here’s the entire family – including Biscuit! What a sweet pup!

We shifted our session to downtown and captured a few images with the capitol in the background before taking advantage of some side allies for a different take.

In case you didn’t eat up enough of Biscuit in the family shots above, here he is alone. Check out those Hollywood poses from this Gordon family cute pooch.

Thanks for choosing me to photograph your family, Rebecca. I hope you had as much fun as I did!

PS Thanks to the Chamber Friday Coffee where Rebecca and I connected to make this photo shoot happen!

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caticonslite_bm_altThe Planks {family}

Bill, who I met through hYPe last year, and his family took advantage of one of my holiday special mini-sessions and I loved the results. His beautiful wife Beth and personality-loaded little guy Will made for a great session. We met up in the governor’s garden in early November to take advantage of the great fall foliage.

I love the next series, especially the one of Will and his mom on the left.

There were lots of giggles during the session, and Will had the most adorable expressions.

Like this one…

And the even cuter “showing off his muscles”…

The next series is at Lohman’s Landing, I love how the next two turned out…

Will takes center stage again. What a sweet boy!

Ending with this photo of Will between his parents. I love how he’s making sure he had ahold of both their hands so tightly, linking this terrific family.

Thanks Bill and Beth for letting me photograph your family!

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caticonslite_bm_altThe Olivers {family}

One of the great things about photography is it introduces you to so many wonderful people. In this instance, it reunited me with a childhood friend. Barbie and I grew up in a small town in southern Missouri together. We were in the same class and had plenty of sleep overs when we were young. At our high school reunion last year, we touched based and realized we were now in neighboring cities. That along with staying connected on Facebook gave me the chance to photograph her beautiful family!

Shawn and Barbie are the proud parents of adorable Audrey and sweet Dane. Let me tell ya, for a 2-year old Dane is quick. But I managed to snap a few of him amid his playfulness. Meanwhile, Audrey was quite the young lady.

I love this one of Shawn and Barbie.

A quiet moment after all the horsing around…

Closing with the ladies. I loved that Barbie brought hats along because her and Audrey like to wear them. So cute!

Old friends are the best – thanks, Barbie, for letting me meet and photography your beautiful family!

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The Herveys {family & pets}

Meet the awesome Hervey family! I met Erin through the Leadership Missouri program this year where I learned about her work and her family. I was ecstatic to get to meet them when she signed up for one of my holiday special mini-sessions. We met at the governor’s garden on a beautiful fall morning where Brian and Erin, their adorable daughters Lauren and Lindsey, and super cute little guy Brendan gave me their best smiles.

Oh, and Truman the golden retriever, too!

Erin’s mother has a history of public service, so the kids made sure we snapped a photo in front of the building where she used to work.

The proud parents…what a great couple.

Each of the kids took a moment to pose for the camera. First up was Lauren, the oldest who set a great example for the others.

Brendan gave me his best “pirate” pose, while Lindsey posed pretty in between a few tickle fights.


From the landing, we scooted over to the old Shoe Factory in town where we wrapped up the session.

We made sure to let Truman be in the spotlight because he had been such a good sport, and who wouldn’t love that sweet, pale face!

A little throw back, retro feel to go with Brendan’s fun look as a farewell to this session…

If we had this much fun this year, I can’t wait to see how great next year will be! Thanks, Erin!


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