Category Archives: 5.JOYFUL NOTE {thinking.ones}

I Heart Faces: Anything but a Face!


“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
but rarely admit the changes it has done through to achieve that beauty.”
{Maya Angelo}




From time to time, I join in on the fun at I Heart Faces.  If you are not sure what it is, check it out!  If you have a love for photography,  it’s a great place to learn and be inspired by many great photographers.

This week’s Photo Challenge: “Anything but a Face”. The Photo must have a person in it but should  include  “anything but the face’. 

This is a photo of my daughter who makes our hearts flutter with joy.  

I Heart Faces - Photography Challenges, Tutorials and Tips


The Best Day| Elkhart Family Photographer

“Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


Find JOY today!   This is one special family to me.  We do alot of things with this special family and these kids have a big place in my heart.  As I edited the photos for this session, I got so emotional and was overwhelmed with tears of joy.  This session stirred up alot of emotions for me.  All afternoon, I was wondering why I was feeling this way….


….Maybe  I am being reminded the beauty of His creations.


…Maybe I am being reminded the beauty of  joy.


…Maybe  I am being reminded the beauty of being carefree.


…Maybe  I am being reminded  the beauty of a family’s love.


…Maybe  I am being reminded the beauty of a father’s strength.


…Maybe because I am being reminded the beauty of a mother’s touch.


…Maybe because I am being reminded the beauty of letting go.



…Maybe I am just being all sentimental.


…But I do KNOW one thing, make each day a BEST day and always, always, capture that.



“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize that they were the big things.”





B Family:  I hope you experienced joy in your day as I did spending time with you. Love to you guys! 



Amazing Audrey

“ You’ve got to push yourself harder.
You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take.
You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.”
William Albert Allard
I just got back from a private workshop taught by the A.M.A.Z.I.N.G  Audrey Woulard.  I spent 2 days this past weekend at her Chicago Studio learning and trying to absorb everything I could from her.  I am normally an observer and would describe myself as more of a behind-the-scene-kinda-gal.  Well, I think I took on a completely new identity at this workshop and I was shooting away with so many questions.  I was not very quiet.  I assure you this is true and my new Photographer friends that I met can attest to this.  
There are probably 3 photographers on my ‘wish list’ that I would love to learn and meet.  If you look at the work  of these photographers that I admire, they are actually very different from each other in their styles and artistic presentations. What I see the common factor is they all have a true sense of style.  Audrey Wouldard is one of the photographers I admire and I was so fortunate to attend her workshop and study from her.  
To give you a brief background of Audrey Woulard:  She, I would say, is undeniably one of the best natural light children photographers in the country. It is so obvious to see that as reflected in her work.  I just love the simplicity of her images yet her simplicity speaks volume as she captured the honesty and beauty of the children she photographed. 
Also, she has done high profile commercial work for Pottery Barn Baby, Pottery Barn Kids, In Style, Better Homes and Gardens Photography edition etc….I can go on and on with her credentials.
What I was most impressed with was her tremendous knowledge of light and she works with natural light 100% of the time.   Since natural light photography is exactly all that I do, what is better than just learning straight  from the very best?
I learned alot about the importance of lighting.  I also observed that each photographer can photograph the same subject(s), in the same setting, and even with the same camera,  yet each produces totally different outcomes.  Their final images reflect their perspective and interpretations. This is the beauty of photography and why I love it.
I left the workshop feeling so inspired. I am so inspired to now apply the tools that I learned and constantly work on taking my photography skills to the next level.  I also feel inspired to adapt what I learned and to continue work on developing my own sense of style. I also feel so blessed meeting so many new fellow photographers friends at the workshop who also inspired me with their beautiful work and how much I can also learn from them.  
Here are some fun shots I took at the workshop taken downtown Chicago.
 Aren’t they all adorable children to photograph?






Pure Pinkalicious


“Every now and then we need a pink.a.licious in our lives.” -U


Okay, I just totally made up that quote but I am tickled pink that I get to enjoy this new stage in our household.   Being a mom of 3 boys and a girl,  I’ve gotten used to taking the boys to all sorts of sports activities over the years.  Now our youngest is old enough to take ballet and she prefers this over soccer this is a new territory for me and I am enjoying it! The boys are so sweet to her and just love to see their little sister all dressed up in pink and ready to go to her ballet class today.   




“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”—–Greg Anderson

My oldest is heading into 6th grade Middle school.  My 2 middle ones are heading into 4th grade, Intermediate school.  My youngest is heading to Kindergarten.  Wow—— 12 years of always having someone at home and now they are off to a new journey in their lives. 

This year is somewhat of a big year for each one of them as they are all heading into different schools and facing new situations. As a mom, this can send my world spinning!


I can choose to feel uncertainties as they all start their new schools; or I can choose to feel full of possibilities and the new friends they will meet. 

I can choose to be sad as I no longer have a little one around during the day to spend my time ; or I can choose find joy as this can be the time for me to work on spending more time with God.

I can wish that they need me forever; or I can find contentment that they no longer have to need me.

I can worry if they feel alone; or I can feel assured that they can learn to stand on their own.

I can wonder if they will make mistakes; or I can believe that they will choose to make good choices.


Life is all about choices. I can choose to see the situation as a glass half empty or I can choose to see it as a glass half full.

I can choose to fill my thoughts of uncertainties or I can choose to find joy in this new situation.

I am ready as they are to embrace all the possibilities ahead and trust that God has a plan and will direct all of us and where we need to go.   Life moves so quickly, it’s all up to me how I want to perceive this journey.

How about you? Are you finding joy in your journey or are you more troubled with the uncertainties? Are you ready to trust Him to direct you where you need to go?







A PLACE IN THIS WORLD|elkhart senior photography


Do not follow where the path may lead. 

 Go, instead, where there is  no path and leave a trail.

{Ralph Waldo Emerson}


What a perfect Sunday it was for this photoshoot.  I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful and sweet Senior to photograph. 

I just love mixing old with new. I love decorating this way as well. In fashion, I also love to experiment with this look.  I used to do this quite a bit—- mixing old and new into my fashion—-well that was way back in the days when I was in college and when I was out working in the fashion retail world after I graduated.  Yes, that seemed so long, long ago…  Over the years as I was busy raising my kids, any fashion interests somehow got pushed way down the priority list along with many other things.   

Perhaps my sense of fashion is not where it needs to be at the present,  but I can definitely entertain the idea of incorporating a little bit of fashion flair into photography. Just how I love decorating with vintage-inspired pieces,  this session inspired me to bring this piece into my image crafting. Since I am eclectic and I never can do everything with the same look, I also played around with the colors in some of these urban-inspired backgrounds. Thanks “E” for allowing me to capture your special day and your great fashion style and personality inspired me to have fun and add a twist of flair into processing your pictures.  Enjoy your senior year!

 Below are some of my fav pics from session:



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FROM THIS MOMENT…|elkhart family photographer

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a LIFE by what we GIVE.”

 —-Winston Churchill


The 3 elements of Time, Talent and Treasure all weaved together beautifully Thursday night at the Women’s Care Center Benchmarks annual Auction held at Elcona Country Club.  

From the artists who created so many beautiful art pieces, to the volunteers who put in so much time behind the scene, to the guests who came and generously donated their money—–there was so much giving and selfless acts that evening.   

A few weeks ago, I was asked by a dear friend of mine to capture “A Day in the Life” at the Women’s Care Center to be used during the evening of the Auction and to exactly show what happened at the Center on a daily basis.

My husband and I always supported the Center, but to be honest with you, I have never been to the Center to fully understand all that went on behind it.  

It was truly a great experience for me and I learned so much  in the 2 days that I spent there.

I had the pleasure of meeting the incredible volunteers who work there.  Because they do this truly from their heart, I felt a great sense of love the moment  I walked into the Center.

I also had the privilege of meeting the clients who came to the Center to use the services.    Did you know that 1 out of 4 women in Elkhart County use the Women’s Care Center?

At the beginning, I wasn’t so sure how the clients would receive me being there photographing them.  I wanted to be very respectful of their privacy so I made sure that they knew what I was doing and was okay with the idea. 

I was  pleasantly surprised by the warm embrace I received. They allowed me to follow them through the process and allowed me to capture their most private and precious moments. 

One of the most touching moments was being in the same room capturing the preciousness of Life.  It was priceless to capture that very moment of the mom seeing her baby for the first time on  the ultrasounds screen. I saw so much love and joy that very moment. It left me speechless. 

I also had the privilege of following one mom into a counseling session as she shared her story to a counselor. I witnessed a counselor who listened and cared for this client.

I also met clients who took the Parenting classes to clients who use the incentive-based BABE store to redeem their coupons for diapers, clothes and baby foods.  

I met and  played with little children as they sat in the waiting room.  I was able to capture these beautiful children and saw the beauty of life from all different aspects. 

This was truly was one of highlights of my photography journey.  I feel truly blessed to be apart of this wonderful experience and to have this opportunity to capture all aspects of life. 

The theme of the Benchmarks Auction  was: LIFE, HOPE, LOVE, AND FAITH.

WCC represents all of these. 

Make sure you have your sound turned up and on and click below to view  video that I would like to share with you:

The Women’s Care Center.

Below are some of my favorite pictures.