Why Hire a Professional Photographer?

I wanted to write this post to clear up some commonly misconstrued ideas about professional photography and what it is and isn’t. Hopefully this post will give you a better idea about the services we provide and if professional photography is right for your needs. Disclaimer: I’m not necessarily the end-all, be-all source of knowledge on this topic; I’m simply sharing a bit about my experience and process.

First, let’s talk about the different “levels” of photography by starting with your average cell phone picture. No judgement if this is primarily what you use- I often do too! After all, the best camera is the one you have with you. 🙂 Here’s a photo I snapped with Will’s camera phone; it’s dark and sort of grainy. Not all phone pictures are like this (obviously), but I was trying to create a good comparison and this was the only place I could get the dog to lay still.


Next, I want to show you some raw photos. This is exactly how the photos came off my camera- no editing, adjustments, nothing. They look pretty decent but still lack that “pop”. After you book a session with us, I create a gallery of your raw images for you to choose which ones I edit. I do this so that you can get a feel for what the final product will look like and so you can select images you love. Like most professional photographers, we never sell raw photos (maybe I’ll do another blog post on that later).


Now for the edited photos. In these, the exposure, color balance, contrast, and a hundred other small adjustments have been made. Additionally, I use brushes to slightly enhance the subject.


Here’s a side by side comparison:

Now how does that play out on a human face? Below is a picture that Will took of me. On the left is the photo with basic lighting adjustments and on the right is with the final edits. I smoothed my skin, darkened my eyebrows, defined my jaw, removed a piece of hair from my face, and brightened my eyes. If you desire this level of portraiture, THIS is why you hire someone like me. I always strive to create a still-natural look (no plastic skin here!) but one that you’re proud to hang over your mantle.


There is no shame in wanting any of the above levels of photography! I just wanted to shed a little light (pun intended) on how much effort goes into creating a final edit. I truly see this as a form of art and value each client that entrusts their photos to me. Thanks for hanging on through this long read and feel free to ask me any additional questions you may have!


Downtown Family Session

I had so much fun with this family! We met in downtown Gainesville and had a lot of fun walking around taking pictures. The boys were such troopers (and so cooperative!) and you could just tell that this family’s home is filled love and laughter.






Linda’s Maternity Session at the Springs

When I spoke to Linda on the phone, she told me that she didn’t think she could actually go in the water. She was 40 weeks pregnant and had never enjoyed the cold water of the springs (which I definitely get). However, when we got to the shoot, she surprised both of us! We were blessed to basically have the park to ourselves during this shoot…and that her baby delayed his arrival so we could get these pictures.





Maternity Session at the Springs

I was so excited when Kendra asked me to do her maternity shoot at the springs! As a former cave diver, I’ve spent a lot of time at the springs over the years and their beauty never ceases to amaze me. It was a chilly morning with lots of mist rolling off the water but she and her family just rolled with it. Despite the chill and big snapping turtle we encountered (we gave it LOTS of leeway and used our husbands as turtle spotters!), we spent over two hours shooting and got a ton of pictures.

This was my first time ever shooting underwater and I think the results impressed us both! I absolutely love the way her hand-sewn gown swirls around her belly in the crystalline water. However, I think my favorite is the one of her sitting on the rock where you can see the reflection of the trees above the water and also the rocks beneath it. Not to get too sappy, but I feel that pregnancy is a beautiful state of transition and that this picture captures that. Maternity shoots hold a very special place in my heart as my pregnancy was one of the happiest times in my life. Please let me know if I can help you create your dream maternity session!






A Group Effort

Prepare for some feels (and maybe some boobage). When X was born almost 11 months ago (already?!), we struggled to breastfeed from the get go. Tongue tie, hypertonic muscles, and more caused me constant, excruciating pain. In my head was an anxiety-filled countdown until it was time for his next feeding. Sometimes, when the pain was too much, I would pump instead (though I never got much). In addition to the stress of feeding him, I had a rough recovery from birth.

I remember feeling like a failure the first time I gave him formula and then crying out of relief because it meant I didn’t have to go through the pain of breastfeeding. I remember pumping constantly throughout the night to keep my supply up. I remember the countless specialists we saw, friends I confided in, and times I broke down in front of Will. I remember the first time that I didn’t want to look at or be close to my own baby.

Thankfully, there exists a vast network of support! My OBGYN helped me have a healthy pregnancy, achieve the natural birth I had desired, and referred me to PT. An ARNP clipped X’s tongue tie and provided countless resources like referrals to PT, OT, and Craniosacral Therapy. Numerous lactation consultants and nurses helped us along the way too. I wasn’t sure I was going to make 3 days breastfeeding and we’re still going strong at 11 months! Thank you ladies- you all hold a very special place in my heart.

These pictures (taken by W) mean so much to me because I never thought they would be possible. I would go on to talk about my mom tribe and him but X would probably be in college before I finished. Needless to say, the support is out there. If you need help, don’t wait! This time is too short and too precious to not be able to enjoy it. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your little ones. Message me if you ever need encouragement- I’m always looking to expand my village. 🙂