In Tribute

I debated with this title, I didn’t want to sound too much like Katniss Whatshername from those movies….you know the ones….No I wasn’t a fan.

I am writing this in tribute to my good friend, Cheri Smith.  We had talked for years about photographing Katie, her daughter – and Cheri.   We accomplished their session this summer!

Cheri’s is a selfless unwavering love…she is beyond gentle, caring and nurturing with Katie.  Cheri is an awesome professional photographer who has done some amazing work, but Katie comes first always.  To say Cheri is selfless is an understatement…she made the decision to keep her business to a minimum in order to care for Katie, and in turn gave up making it what I am sure would have been a very busy thriving portrait studio.

I am inspired by Cheri when I see her with Katie, and also by the incredible ways she works to make Katie’s life as full as possible.  I cannot imagine giving so much of yourself every minute of every day…..I am too used to putting myself first these days.  I will always be a mom, but taking care of our 20  and almost 16 year olds just doesn’t take up much time anymore.  It is especially interesting to think of Cheri and her caring, while I am gaining more and more personally as I expand my business to make myself happy.  We each must make our own way in the world, and face our challenges in whatever way we see fit.

Here’s to 3 amazing women – Cheri, Katie and me!  While our paths in life vary greatly, we’re all amazing in our own ways and we give love freely to those around us and make the best of our lives.


How do you do it???


I love animals of all kinds…that should be evident if you look at my facebook pages, or know me personally.  That love hopefully is evident also when you look at my pet portraits.

I was asked today, “How do you do it – photograph all those pets at Helping Hands shelter and Saving death row dogs rescue here in Topeka?”  I would want to take every one of them home with me!

I had to think a bit, but I guess I have a natural distance that I keep, in order to not fall in love!  After all, I do need to keep back to use the camera, but it is oh-so-hard when you see those sweet faces!  Through no fault of their own, they are in an  unfamiliar place maybe thinking that life is over as they know it.

I too have the deepest respect for pet  foster parents anywhere.  You generally know that you won’t be keeping that pet forever, but love them immediately.  I couldn’t do it, no way!  Every volunteer is an essential part of a shelter or rescue, and it couldn’t run without them!

So….I do what I do to help get those furkids adopted.  I try to keep a bit of a distance from them, yet make the best portrait of them possible.  You…you can go in and see those sweet faces and take one or two home with you!

Clear the Shelters is this Saturday!  Go and visit Helping Hands Humane Society and see all the great pets there just ready for you to take them home!


And they called it Puppy Love…

Is anyone else here a Donny Osmond fan from a loooonnnnnnggggg way back?  His was my first LP.  Yes, I am that old!

Now to the subject of this post!  This is Cooper, aka Cooperbeans, Bean, Cooperpooper…..He refuses to answer to that last one!

Cooper is a lab mix, we got him at Midwest Animal ResQ in Raytown, Missouri.  He is almost 10 weeks old now.  We had been without a dog since November, when poor Molly passed away.  It was time.

Please remember to watch your own precious pets when they are outside – many dogs and cats go missing in what many fear are nasty people stealing them to be used as bait for dog fighting rings in this area.  All it takes is one time, and they could be gone forever!

To close, hug and kiss your furkids today, and as always, Adopt – Don’t Shop!!!



No Regrets

I’ve just finished up a session tonight.  It was a special one, a lady and her beloved dog.  This dog doesn’t have a lot of time left here on Earth, and we captured their relationship for his human to remember forever.

I am so pleased that we were able to get the session done, since I’ve had a few that I didn’t get done before…well, you know.  It is always one of my biggest regrets, hearing “I always wanted to put Jimmy in our family photos… We just kept waiting until next year.

There are no guarantees, don’t wait for next year…make sure you include your pet in your family portraits, have him or her photographed alone as a puppy and an adult.  By all means, take a lot of snapshots!  I hear time and again, that portraits of loved ones who are gone are the most treasured possessions.

Do your best to have no regrets.  Keep those memories forever!


The new joint!

Here, have a look!  This is the building where my new studio is, and look at those woods right next to my door.  I am just getting my stuff moved in, but each time I am there is more and more exciting!  I will work the same in many ways…providing quality images of Maternity, Boudoir, High school Seniors, Families and Pets.  I will change things up as well…offering mini sessions with themes – for Pets and Kids!  I will be opening up my Shoot For The Moon photography classes again!

I really hope to see you one of these days!  Take care and have a good, safe 4th of July!





Big News!!!

Well….I’m taking a deep breath here now…. I have decided to lease a studio location again after 17 years of working from my home!!!  This has been such a journey!  The only career I’ve ever had was as a photographer.  I worked for many years before marriage, and then along came our first born, Tristan.  I planned to be a working mom, but when T was 2…I worked more than I saw my precious son.  I was in tears most days, missing him.  My husband and I discussed…and we decided that I would close my storefront location and work from home.  This arrangement has had it’s ups and downs, so fast forward 17 years.

Our sons are almost 20 and 15 1/2….needing me far less than before.  I am doing this move for me, and for them.  I believe that you can take care of your family and take care of yourself as well.

So…to end this, watch for many, many exciting offers and specials!  I plan to be there  by appointment only…but I will always be available by phone, text, email, facebook, Twitter and here of course.  Thanks for following and listening!!!

Be Brave Enough To Take This Flight

Whoa, that’s a loaded title, isn’t it?  Conjures up all kinds of thoughts and scenarios for me.  I love to fly, getting there quicker is great to me.  I love speed, riding speed boats and motorcycles etc.  I bet most acquaintances of mine would be surprised to hear that!

The true topic here today is about a different type of flight for me. I will be taking a leap of faith, or a flight of faith as it were.  I am about to change my business up quite a bit and shake things up in the process.

I am officially launching my boudoir photography line – Flirt Boudoir by Carol , this week!  It has taken me many months, lots of pep talks and ages of planning and thinking to get going with this project.  Boudoir is a type of photography that not everyone gets.  To some it is too over the top, to others fantastic.  I love it, though, and love how it makes ladies feel when they see their finished portraits!

Empowering isn’t just a buzz word to me.  For a woman to take the leap and get out of her comfort zone to even have a boudoir session done, sometimes is huge!  I want to help ladies feel comfortable during the session and pleased afterwards when they see their finished products.  To me, that is plenty empowering for them!

In closing, I look at this little statue that my son gave me, and it reminds me that I have been and will be brave enough to take this flight.  I will not be worried what might happen or will people like what I do, etc!  I will do this, and it WILL be fantastic!


Tis’ the season of Love

Tis the season of love!  Any season is the season of love…love yourself!!!  One of the many reasons I love to photograph boudoir is that I truly believe that I can help empower women with boudoir photography.  I love to photograph women, and starting here lately, have been overjoyed with the boudoir session I have done.

We all have impressions of ourselves…whether good or bad.  We do the best we can to be gentle with others – our significant others, our children and co-workers; often though it is very hard to be gentle with ourselves.  Why is that?

I’ll admit I had a hard time years ago when our boys were small.  I tried to be the mother that my mother had been.  I soon learned that I needed to be the kind of mother I was meant to be…maybe not have a spotless house or perfect meals, but I got in the dirt and played with my boys and tried my best to nurture them every chance I got!  I had learned to be gentle with myself!

Here is a beautiful lady, who is a wonderful lady, inside and out.  She showed a certain vulnerability to me especially as we talked and got to know each other even more during our session.  In the end, she felt bolder and had gotten slightly out of her comfort zone, and loved her images!

I love these images, and think she looks perfectly herself.  Loving them all the way!

Remember to love yourself today!



Leading Lines

Hello, there!  I thought it was time again to give you some basic photography tips.  Today, I will talk about leading lines.  Essentially, these are lines formed in your photograph that leads the eye in to the subject.

The black and white image of a woman and her beloved old dog shows the strong leading line of the fence coming in from the right.  The way they are lit from behind (technically) helps even more to show them as the main subject.  The little path is a secondary leading line.  bw old dog

The portrait of the couple below show a similar idea, as the lane leads in to them the main subject.  One other thing to note is that the background on that image is very soft, or out of focus.  That is another technique that pro photographers especially use to isolate their main subject.  The couple is even slightly soft and out of focus as they are secondary to the little chair and chalk board announcing the new baby coming soon.

Kelcie maternity

Have fun and play around with lines in your photos.  Lines are everywhere if you look hard enough.  Fences, buildings, the horizon….Curvy, straight, vertical and horizontal.  Anything goes!  Happy Tuesday and enjoy your day!              Carol