Hello and welcome to my magical little corner of the internet.

It’s been almost 5 years since the launch of my last brand. 2012 was the year I began to pursue this whole “fairytale” niche. And let me tell you, that branding was an absolute dream for me. I wanted to LIVE in that website. I loved sending people to look at my site, loved handing out my business cards… in general, I just loved rocking that brand…it was so ME.

Which is why I was so confused when that feeling began to change in this last year and a half. I was becoming attracted to new things and slowly finding things within the brand that I was no longer loving. How could this happen?! Wasn’t I just supposed to create this perfect fairytale world and live Happily Ever After for the rest of time??? Okay, so I didn’t actually believe that. But at the same time, it came as a surprise when I started to see that I was going to need an update.

At the end of last year, I called up my girl Julie Story and poured out everything that I had been thinking. She reassured me that this was totally normal and it was time for an upgrade. It had been 5 years after all! In 5 years a lot had changed. I had 5 thriving years of shooting things I could have only dreamed of. I had planned my own wedding. I had learned more about myself and my style. I had grown and evolved….and my brand needed to catch up!

When I began to tell people that this process was underway, many of them were surprised. I got a lot of “Are you not doing fairytale anymore?!”. Which is definitely not what was happening, you know me better than that! ;) This was not a matter of changing my style or the core of what I do. It was simply a means of updating the way that it was being communicated. The vision that Julie and I came up with was to mature the brand a bit. Less princess and more queen. Blend all of the whimsy, with some regal.

So that brings us to what you are seeing today! My new look! I can’t describe how amazing it feels to finally let the world see, what has been in my mind for so long now.

But this would not have been possible without the help of an amazing team….

Thank you to my MVP, Julie Story. You not only listened to my heart’s desires….but also heard the things I didn’t even say. You proved through and through that you know my brand even better than I do. I gave you full control of this process, because I trusted you. I knew you would bring my vision to life in a way that only YOU can…and what you created absolutely blew me away. You can see in every detail, that you pour your heart fully into everything you create. Thank you for your patience, talents, gifs and memes, and your friendship. YOU THE BEST GIRLLLL.

Thank you to Showit for giving us the platform to bring this to life! The best website software and the best support staff.  I’m a proud Showiteer since 2010. OG BABY!

Thank you Kayla V Photography for my amazing new photos for my bio sections. You created magic and made me feel beautiful.

Finally, I just wanted to say, with this rebrand comes some other changes that you will start to see. I am so excited to get back into regular blogging, do more teaching/mentorships, and pursue projects that have been on my heart. It’s only up from here! Exciting things to come and I hope you will come along for the ride. Thanks for stopping by!

My Purpose, as a Fairytale Photographer

Last year, a company asked me to be a part of a project, that involved taking a self-portrait, that incorporated my “Why”.

I’ve heard a lot of talk of “Why”, in this industry. Your “Why” is the fuel of your business…your mission, your purpose. Many say that if you don’t have a “Why”, you might as well just close up shop. From what I have been taught, every respectable and successful business has a meaningful answer to the question of “Why?”.

All this time, I thought I knew my “Why”. But as I sat down to plan my photo for this project, I realized that I didn’t. What I thought was my “Why”, was really just an interpretation of other photographers’ “Why” statements. It was more of what I thought my answer should be, than what it actually was. I definitely had reasons for why I love what I do and why I felt that being a wedding photographer was meaningful….but none of these explanations touched on the core and heart of my business. Fairytales. The magical, whimsical, and dreamy style that I strived for, was SO important to me. But why? I knew that a “Why” that only covered being a wedding photographer and didn’t touch on the fairytale aspect, would not be specific enough. I shamefully realized that this was something that I had not put thought into.

Over the next few days, I had some minor freakouts. I began second-guessing everything that I had been doing the past couple of years. Was there any meaning behind it? Had I built a business so shallow that it was only about “pretty photos”? Was my style pointless because I wasn’t a photographer that focused on capturing the real and the raw? Amidst my panic, I began scrolling through old posts and reading what people were commenting. How were they interpreting my work?

There were some phrases and words that really resonated with me….things like “This belongs in a storybook” …. “Surreal”….. “Absolutely magical”. As I read these comments, it slowly started coming together. It was then, that I thought of one of the best compliments I had received. A while before that time, someone left me a comment I would never forget. It read:

“Your photos remind me that love is real….so I don’t stop looking”

Then it dawned on me! There were people commenting on the magical and surreal aspects of my work….while others were moved by the genuine love in the photo and they very “real” aspects of it. These very different perspectives were the puzzle pieces that I needed to realize my “Why”… my reason for being not only a photographer, but a fairytale photographer. That reason is….

“To make the world believe in Happily Ever After”

In that moment, it all fell together. I had the power to create enchanted images, from REAL love stories. I could capture true love in a way that is normally only associated with storybooks and fiction. In my own little way, I could change the way people see real love. I could create a testimony that the most magical love stories aren’t just the ones in the movies. The doors began to open and the possibilities felt endless!

Having this new outlook has brought a whole new passion to my craft. I will continue to strive to capture magic in real life fairy tales. For the people who see my photos, I hope to make them believe. I will use extravagant attire and stylized concepts to show real love in a new light. I will seek to prove that these things aren’t just for royalty and characters from books….but that normal people and everyday love are just as extraordinary. And as for the people IN the photos…I want to help enhance the magic in their story. Not just for them, but for future generations.

Maybe one day, my clients will tell their grandchildren bedtime stories about their own journey and my images can help illustrate it. If stories of true, genuine and imperfect love, can be told with images that will showcase it in a perfect way…my job is done.

Showit United 2013 in Santa Barbara

I’ve been a Showiteer since 2010 and I have loved it every step of the way. If you’re looking for a way to have an AMAZING, easy to build/customize, flash website….Showit is the way to go!

That, in itself, is awesome enough right? But Showit never stops at just that. They are constantly innovating and inventing new products for us (like PASS!!!), building a tight-knit community of photographers who serve, and other cool things….like photo contests and THIS amazing conference!

I know, I know….blahhhhh blah blahhh…..I am rattling on and probably sounding like a paid endorser. But this thing is, I’m definitely not…I pay THEM….and I still feel this way, because they are just that awesome. Check it out for yourself!

Last week, 200 of us Showiteers got together, at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara, for a 3-day conference. The days were jam-packed with speakers, photo shoots, parties, and fun! I’m so glad that I went! There’s so much that I could say about it…but I’ll let the photos do the talking. But even more…if you’re already a Showiteer, I hope you will attend United next year! If you’re not a Showiteer, I really hope you will check it out and see what Showit is all about! :)

{This first section is all photos shot by my friends Lukas & Suzy VanDyke. Super thankful for the great job they did of documenting it, since I hardly pulled my camera out at all!}

And then here are your standard “We’re in a photobooth…so let’s do weird things” photos!! This is me and Shannon’s prom photo. I did pull my camera out on one of the days. And on this day, I grabbed a couple shots at Katelyn James’ posing class, the beach landscape, and dogs. LOTS of DOGS. If you know me….you know how much I love dogs….so that day on the beach, I kind of became an official Dogtographer! And on this day, was the birth of ROOSTER DOG!!! I saw this photo, when I got back to my room and laughed for about 5 minutes straight. Then spent the next 10 minutes, trying to figure it out? How did I manage to get this photo?! Rooster Dog was a major source of laughter and entertainment for me and my roommates, over the remainder of the trip. But towards the end, I broke down the photo and finally solved the mystery. Can you figure it out? Another super fun part of the trip, was getting to play dress-up and be a princess bride, for a shoot with Jessica Frey Photography!

The Showit crew also printed an amazing lookbook for us, which contained the top 10 photos in all categories of the photo contest. I was ecstatic to see 4 of my photos in there! :) And of course…the majority of the trip was documented on my phone…so here is a brief peek at what United looked like through my phone cam! ;)