Thursday, September 30, 2010


I think I won him over when I called him dude. It just slipped out. I call people dude sometimes... not all the time, but sometimes. Besides, James is a total dude.

I wasn't going to blog about James. He's pretty private, but I did get him to smile a couple times. And, really, he's a pretty awesome guy (dude), and I had cool music, and he plays guitar, so I felt like I needed to know if he's gonna like the slideshow I made...

Time will tell. Best of luck to you James. Once you find your path, nothing is going to stop you.

Music by AdamCaptured

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beautiful Girls

Having mom-friends has been one of the biggest blessings of having children. I’ve had plenty of friends come and go, but when it comes to the types of friendships that will endure, mom-friends cannot be beat. Case in point: My beautiful, talented friend Amy. Our kids met at preschool, and we have great plans for her oldest daughter and my oldest son... but that is in a far distant future, and is not discussed with her wonderful husband Matt in any detail.

Amy and her girls are just simply FUN. And so beautiful and creative and clever it sometimes makes my heart hurt to look at them all together. Add in her incredibly handsome (and camera-shy!) husband Matt, and it is just pure family joy.

It is a lucky day when I get to spend time with them; Amy and I play phone tag on a constant basis... but when we connect it is relaxed, enjoyable, and always delightful. I spent a lovely fall evening at their house recently, and I brought along my camera... thank goodness!


Music "It's a Beautiful Day" by Tim McMorris

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I like to read...

My husband would say that I LOVE to read. He would be right. I read. A lot. I remember one of my first apartments had a small shelf with about 30 books on it, ones I wanted out because I would re-read them if I ran out of new books and needed something quick. A friend came over and said: "That is A LOT of books." (heavy emphasis on A LOT) I was in shock. 'A lot?" I asked. He said "Yeah. Did you actually read all of those books?" Um. Yeah. More than once, actually. More than 3 times, some of them.

I read at night before bed. I'm usually in bed, about 2 hours before I want to fall asleep, reading. About an hour after I should have fallen asleep I put the book down and close my eyes, but it still takes a while to fall asleep. (I'm always amazed at how quickly my husband falls asleep). Sometimes, I read so late it is almost morning before I can put the book down.

Something has changed. Now, I work. A lot. Instead of reading to relax and unwind, I'm at the computer, editing. Researching. Gathering Inspiration. Revising. Planning. WORKING, until my body is literally falling asleep while I sit here. I used to finish a book in about 2, sometimes 3 days. I read the last Harry Potter book in 11 hours. (Straight. I was lucky enough to be on vacation in Rhode Island with my sister and family, helping my cousin "Raise the Roof", so I didn't have the normal family duties). I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn't pick up a book for at least 20 or 30 minutes before falling asleep. Maybe college, but I doubt it.

The last 3 weeks I've hardly read anything. I have been working late, and getting into bed, and just falling straight to sleep. I can't remember that ever happening.

I don't really miss it. Things are good.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rock&Roll, Tombstones, and GREAT boots...

This month I’ve concentrated on being thankful. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

I couldn’t be more grateful that I know Kate. I know her from some unfortunate health issues I have to deal with, but she makes the task of dealing with a chronic disease so much more simple. When a routine phone call to the doctor to update him on my symptoms turned into a conversation about my business (and stress) it lead to another item I can add to my gratitude list: Devin’s Senior Portrait session.

From the moment Devin walked in, I did a mental fist pump. She was awesome. She has funk, and style, and is not afraid to show it. We exchanged some ideas, and some emails, and I got a good impression of the type of awesome teenager Devin is. She was open, and honest with me about what she wanted, and very DEFINITE about what she didn’t. See? No fear.

The day of the session I was totally nervous. I had some ideas, but what I really wanted was to put some images together that would support this unique personality. That would showcase her individuality and gorgeous features.

When Devin arrived, and throughout our session, she was PHENOMENAL. Calm. Graceful. Open. Daring. Brave. Willing to ask for things she thought would be cool that I overlooked. She was exactly right, and she was smokin hot.

Here are just a few from our session. I wish you the best this year Devin. Your world is about to expand, and I’d love to continue to hear about your journey.

Music by AdamCaptured

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gratitude Cards

I love thank you cards. I try to always have a supply handy. I've never managed to send them when they're expected (although I did send them from my wedding. Let me know if you never got yours). but I love sending them when they're not. :)

I purchased a set of pretty, press-printed Thank You cards about a year ago. I 'invested' in a set of 50, although I really wanted a smaller pack, but the ones I really liked only came in packs of 50. I figured I would use them 'eventually'... and spent the money.

I opened the box today to send one to a friend. Not technically a business thank you, but in another way it really is. When I opened the box I realized. THEY ARE ALMOST GONE. In one year I've been blessed SO MUCH that I've used something to say thank you that I thought would take me forever to use. And, I will confess something else. I keep forgetting to put them in people's orders. Isn't that crazy? Where are they all going?

Anyway, I am Grateful today that I will need new Thank You cards soon. Oh..... Michelle!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Gratitude

I'm grateful for so many things today. This isn't a formal post, I have some other ideas percolating for another 'official' gratitude post. Today I just want to say Thank You. I never imagined that this journey of starting my own business might lead me closer to my faith again, but it has, in large and small ways. I've always believed that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. EVERYTHING has meaning. I can see connections now that I've found this Photography path that I didn't see before. (more on those later). I have also always believed that the TIMING for things is perfect. A favorite song of mine has always been "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks. It has been a long time since I have formally prayed regularly, but my one prayer mantra has always been "Please show me your path" and I'm so thrilled to see where that path has lead me.

I got a call today. My first unsolicited recommendation from a client. I also got some amazing positive feedback from the people where I have my treatment every 8 weeks. It's just been a really, really good LHP day, and I am THANKFUL.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fit and finish...

I'm having trouble fitting it all in. There are so many things on my plate. The boys, school, teaching, the business, the marriage, the family, the to-do list, the want-to-do list, the fullness of my life.

This may not seem like a Gratitude post, but it IS.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

40 Years

A week ago, I had the distinct pleasure of capturing a piece of history. My personal history, because this is family, and there is nothing stronger in my life than family. In college, I couldn’t wait for breaks to go to my hometown and be surrounded by the noise, insanity, love, and affection of my extended family. I was shocked to learn that my college friends didn’t have the same feeling of homecoming, and I realized then what a lucky person I was to be blessed with the family I have.

When my aunt asked me in the spring to help commemorate the 40th anniversary of her marriage, I was thrilled. Stunned, overwhelmed, honored, and thrilled.

Being only 35, it is hard for me to conceptualize a 40 year relationship. One that you choose to continue, in large and small ways, on a daily basis. One that sustains you and supports you. I have been blessed to witness and learn from several strong marriages in my family; this is just one example. I’ve seen arguments, laughter, discipline, support, contentment, change, upheaval, tension, and lots and lots of laughter. I’d love to share with you what I learned about two important people in my life this past weekend

Their sense of family does not stop at their own children. It includes mine:

Ice cream is better when you share it, even if it gives you an ice cream headache:

Even after 40 years, you aren’t allowed to dress yourself without having your wife ‘fix’ it:

Although passions and interests will change, and they aren’t always shared:

For a marriage to be a success, those passions and interests should be supported:

Here are a few that show my aunt and uncle as I know them:

A life of love and laughter, simple moments shared and enjoyed, stories told and retold, traditions passed from generation to generation, a life shared and a family built.

Jayne’s parents on her wedding day; Lawrence and Ruth Parrott:

Gary and Jayne Magee, August 11th, 1970:
(don’t they look happy?)

Thank you for allowing me to capture memories for you and your children. It is my sincere hope that I’ve captured the things you love about each other, and I wish you 40 more years of love.


Create your own video slideshow at

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another good idea...

One thing that I want for my business to set it apart is customer service. I'm not so hot at it right now :-/ but it is a 2010 goal to improve.

I was reading INC. mag today (so surprised how awesome this magazine is.) and they suggested that you write out 10 customer service goals and POST THEM in your space.


Now I need 10 customer service goals. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gratitude, Day One

Gratitude: the state of being grateful, THANKFULLNESS

I'm trying hard to make goals I can stick with. Goals that include me making drastic changes are always doomed to fail, goals that take me too far out of my comfort zone are going to crash and burn within hours of their conception. (things like a routine for laundry or even general cleaning, or being consistent, or remembering my goal once it is written down... these things border on impossible for me)

For September, my creative cycle is set to 'inspiration' and in particular, THANKFULLNESS. Next month marks an important milestone for my business, and is making me think back on the last 18 months. When I do, I see people. I see the faces of the people who matter, the people who make LHP a success. So, my goal this month is to make sure they know how GRATEFUL for them I truly am.

This first post is dedicated to the families who made my first attempts at capturing their personalities a reality. They know who they are, but here are their names:

Thanks to Beth and Curtis, who stuck with me through my first session, even when "R" didn't like the water, and both kids wouldn't stop throwing sand. That reality made up some of my favorite images from that day. Your continued support means more than you will ever know, and I cannot wait to find out which images are your favorites from this year's session!

Thanks to Amy and Mike, (and Mike's parents!) who allowed me to follow them around while they played, get baby-cuddles, and capture their kids in a setting where they were totally comfortable to be themselves. Here's to another great session early next month!

Thanks to Jaime and Jeremy, who put up with strange archery equipment smack dab in the middle of my beautiful location, and made the appearance of this stuff into a fun time instead of just something really strange. Also, thanks for the FB-love, when you say I captured the boys personalities perfectly you have no idea how much that means.

Thanks to Lynn and Ron. I'll have my 2nd session in a cemetery this weekend, and yours from last year is proof positive that it can totally create beautiful images. Thanks for trusting me to not include any tombstones in your family portraits, and for using my images on your holiday cards last year! I hope our new location this fall provides the same opportunity, although it is impossible to take a bad picture of your beautiful little girl!

And finally, Thanks to Olivia and Chuck, even though Chuck did an awesome 'duck and cover' to avoid being in any pictures! The location we used continues to get comments from my portfolio, and the challenge of 3 active kids provided a wonderful learning experience.

A sincere thank you to the families that made the first summer of experimenting, trial and error, and blind faith a true blessing. Your continued support is the backbone of my business, and your faith keeps me going.

(PS - I promise that I have that hard drive issue resolved, and if I lost your pictures last year IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. )

Much love and gratitude,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

There are two sides to life:

Resentment or Gratitude.

Pick one.


Things that are currently ping-ponging around in my head:
Work/Life balance.
Owning a business while being a stay-at-home mom.
How valuable is my time?
Where should I be focusing my time right now?
What's next?
How many more days can I listen to the same Pandora station before I'm sick of it?
Next photo session.
Next 4 photo sessions.
Customer service.
Endless to-do lists.