The “L” Senior Shoot

Lewis Shoot-0025So meet Ms. L!  She is officially my first senior shoot!  I have to admit, I was a little nervous about doing a senior shoot.  I’m not exactly sure why, maybe because I know these pictures freeze a really special moment in time for a teenager.  A huge chapter of their life is about to close, and wonderful new chapter is about to begin.  Somehow I feel the weight of capturing these special moments.  Ms. L made it easy for me though.  She is such a sweet girl, she had some ideas and brought some things that were special to her, and I loved getting to know her a bit more!  A couple things I learned – She loves Jesus and cupcakes! That right there makes her a favorite in my book! 🙂

For those folowing my blog to see what I’m learning….I have been working a lot on trying to get the crispness into my photos that I see in my head. Recently, I had an epiphany about shutter speed, and decided to focus on making sure those speeds were fast enough during this shoot.  I saw a huge difference as a photographer.  I got way more pictures then I promised, and am thrilled with what I’ve captured.  Now I hardly can decide what to post for Ms. L’s sneak peak.

So again, I can only say thank you for choosing me to capture these precious memories.  I hope you are as happy with them as I am!Lewis Shoot-0188

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On Being Creative

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It’s funny, until recently I never really considered myself creative. However lately, it seems I’ve been discovering a new side of myself, and I’ve been “creating” left and right. Its almost like picking up the camera and deciding to actually pursue my dream of doing photography, has unlocked the door of this hidden part of me.  That creativity is bleeding into other areas now.  I actually made several of our Christmas presents to give away and have caught myself looking at things thinking to myself….”I could make this!”.   You have to understand, this is a completely new thing for me!

I’ve contemplated this change a bit lately and it struck me when I ran across the above quote on Facebook the other day, and it sums up the conclusion I’ve come to.

It’s not that I’m NOT creative, it’s that too often my creative side has been suffocated by my fear.

You see, I’m a “follow the rules” kind of girl.  Coloring outside the lines, doesn’t come easy, even on an artistic level.  The idea that I have to let go of being “wrong” and follow my gut on  how I think something should look has stretched me more then I can begin to even communicate.  There is this fear that rattles around in my head that says…what if they don’t like it?  What if they don’t approve?  What if it’s “wrong”?  It is these kinds of thoughts, that have stopped me dead in my tracks, in life and in my artistic endeavors way more times then I’d like to admit.

This past year though, God has been leading me on journey, to break free from fear that too often controls me or hinders me from following the path that He has for me.  It seems only appropriate that He would extend His lessons to the daily part of my life and passions.

Who knew that God could use the lens of a camera to teach me to be brave?   But He is.

So today I’m choosing to let go of fear, and trust that internal creative side He’s given me.  I’m not going to get it right all of the time, but I’m learning to be comfortable with that.  And the rest of the time…well the truth is, I’m happy with what I’ve created, and I guess that’s what matters._DSC0008


The “B” Family


I’m running off to a gathering with my hubby’s family, but I wanted to be sure I got this posted today. This post is a sneak peak for the “B”‘s . I am blessed to call this gang not only friends, but family. Mrs. B is my sister, and I love her dearly. I treasure the friendship we have built over the years. It has come with our share of bumps and bruises, but those have been the things that has added depth and dimension to the fun, laughter, and MANY treasured memories. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders, and knows when to give me a good “shaking” if I need it. 🙂 Her hubby is a gem, and I am happy to call him brother. And these kids??? Well, they melt my heart daily. Next to my kids, they are my some of my favorite subjects!

My time is short today, and I have so much more to share. I promise a post soon of all that I’m learning, and the new things that are on the horizon to grow and stretch me in photography. Until then, enjoy these pics of the people near and dear to my heart!






The “C” Family Take 2


So this sneak peak is looooong overdue. I posted pics of the C family earlier in the fall, and after that shoot Mrs. C and I plotted a trip up north with her gang, and my sisters gang (who she is good friends with), and our family. The idea was to take our Christmas/wintertime pics and celebrate my sisters birthday. While the day itself was quite dreary and overcast, it seemed to fit the rustic background. The combo of it all made for the perfect place to take “winter” pics. And then there was the having three families with kids ages ranging from toddler to young adult. It was wild, but oh so much fun! 🙂

Right after the shoot though, the holiday rush was upon me! Not only that, but I had about two more shoots happen in the midst of it all. It’s been crazy to say the least, but I’m loving every minute of it.

And so with Christmas having finally come and gone…it is time to get back to work! First up is th C family! I love this gang. They are so much fun, and they seem to know instinctively exactly what I’m looking for from them, which makes it easy on me. 🙂

Thanks again C family! You guys are awesome, and I hope you love what I’ve captured!






BFF Time


We got to spend some time with our BFF’s today. These special friends have been a part of our lives since the boys were barely toddlers. It’s hard to believe how much “growing up” has happened since those early days. As I pulled out the camera today, of course the girls struck their poses like they were made for the camera and it ended in hugs and smiles. And in typical boy fashion, after I snapped the quick “shot” of two buddies…it quickly degenerated into a wrestling match. I guess some things will never change. 🙂

Love these kids and the smile they gave me today!

On a side note, I know from a photographers eye, these are not the best lit pictures. But lesson I was trying to keep in balance today? Sometimes getting the “moment” is more important then the quality. In that respect, I was successful.

Silly girls, preforming for the camera.
Silly girls, preforming for the camera.
Strike a pose.
Strike a pose.
Talk to the hand.
Talk to the hand.
BFF's forever.
BFF’s forever.
A pose, because your making us. :)
A pose, because your making us. 🙂
And as quickly as I had to catch the was gone.
And as quickly as I had to catch the moment…it was gone.
They make me smile.
They make me smile.

Tis’ the Season…


So with a little break in photo shoots and some unseasonably warm weather, we were able to pull out the Christmas decorations last week. So the halls have officially been “decked” at the Sommer household. As crazy as it can get, Christmas is my all time favorite holiday. This year the hubby is taking some time off over the holiday break, and I’m really looking forward to some down time with my family!! And of course there will be plenty of picture taking opportunities. 🙂 Can’t wait. Praying you and yours, are enjoying this holiday season too!!











The “T” Family


I really enjoyed getting to know this family better during this shoot.  I met the “T” family through a friend from a homeschool group I was a part of years ago. She knew that we had lived in Hungary for several years and her friends were Hungarian, so she connected us on Facebook (got to love Facebook for it’s networking capacity!). Having met only once or twice face to face, I have to say I was honored that she would ask me to do their family pictures.

In between shooting pictures I got to practice my Hungarian, and talk yummy Hungarian food. Man how I miss Kolosvari Kaposzta (a meat, rice and sauerkraut dish) and Turos gomboc (Really I have no way to describe what this is – think deep fried sweet cheese balls. Sounds crazy but oh so good :)! But enough about food…back to pictures. I really struggled with the light in this shoot. I just could not seem to get a handle on it no matter what I did.  I would get a shot that was solid and then just the slightest change in light, or direction and I was thrown again.  It was extremely frustrating at times to see the pic I wanted in my mind, and then not get it with my lens.  Somewhere towards the end of the shoot though, something clicked with the technical and artistic and things started to flow.

The lesson I learned today was don’t…give…up!  Just keep working at it with patience and perseverance when it’s not going the way you think it should.  Start back at the basics, and work your way up from there.  If you keep at it, you will eventually get what you are looking for.  Not a bad lesson in photography or life for that matter.  In the end I love the shots I got, and they are made even more sweet by the fact that I knew I worked hard for them.

Thank you “T” family for your patience with me, and enduring the “million picture” day. 🙂