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Category Archives: Personal

Where have I been? Fall 2014

Hey everyone you probably have noticed I haven’t been blogging or posting images on here as much. There is definitely a reason for that. After my grandpa passed away and I had so much to edit from my September weddings and small sessions. With the busy season upon me I made a choice to still work but cut down on my computer time. I really needed a way to still work but not be so stressed I wasn’t enjoying life or being so busy I wasn’t able to enjoy life and yet still getting clients their photos in time for Christmas.

And then I found out I was pregnant. I was very very blessed with a easy first trimester. I was exhausted. But the sickness side of things was so tolerable. I could eat away the “motion sickness” feeling. I could of slept all day long BUT I am really thankful. My fall and Christmas season was one of sorrow and definitely pain. Losing one of my best friends to the sickness of this world was tough. Seeing my family go through what we have gone through and are going through is even tougher. BUT God is still so good and gives us so much hope there is a reason for tomorrow and today.

I can say without a doubt the past year is one of those years where I look back and say I am glad its over. But I look back with so much joy and thankfulness. I can see how lucky I am to of been living so close to my grandpa through his last year of life on earth. I got to be with him….. doing things with him…. creating memories with him. I am even reminded that if he was a little bit older he might of had to go to war and not survived. I might not of been here or I might not have had that chance to know him like I did. And although I think his time on life was cut drastically short. I still got 20 years with him as my grandpa. I have gotten to see at a young age how short life can be. And how fast it can be cut short. I don’t want to wait for tomorrow to live like Christ wants me too.

SO with going through all this I prayed and have prayed a lot about how can I still not be so busy my mind is not always side tracked and yet still work? How can I still do the job I love to do and yet still be free to randomly go to my siblings basketball games? How can I get all my editing done and get clients their photos in a timely manner and yet still have emotional energy left over to love my husband and soon to be precious baby?

I really saw some areas I could give up and still accomplish all this. (and this is ever changing. I take this business day by day and client by client) Two major ones were how I got my clients their photos and blogging/posting images on the web. I have switched fully (except for weddings) to digital downloads. As soon as I am done editing the images they upload on a website where my clients can imediantly download and have them on their desktop ready for printing. And a major one is I don’t have to take the time to burn a CD and mail it.

I’m not really sure how often I will be blogging or posting sessions. I am continually looking for faster ways to do social media and getting clients to see my past work. But right now this is where God has me!

Here are some of my favorite moments from last fall. My heart has really been changing in how I see families, children, weddings, and newborn babies. Its not about all those posey images for me right now. Its those in between so real moments that make my heart melt.

 

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2014 Pricing

Hey everyone I have struggled for quite some time about my prices. I have not changed my prices in almost two years. And in that time I have gotten new equipment, invested more time, and gotten more experience as a all around photographer. But have kept my prices the same way.

I also got married the past year and just really feeling God tug at my heart to not be so invested and taken with photography. I absolutely love what I do. I still have a passion for it. But I want to be able to enjoy life AND those family moments just like everyone else.

SOO with this being said I am going ahead and changing my prices. I really don’t have anymore openings for this coming wedding season until next fall. I just don’t want to get to that point where I am so busy with photography that I am not taking each session or wedding and putting all I’ve got into it.

 

 

Package #1 3,500

Engagement session-CD includes edited high resolution images

Wedding coverage-Getting ready, ceremony, and 1 hour of reception

2 Photographers

CD with all the edited high resolution images and photo rights release

1 Album 20 pages/10×10

2 Parent Albums 10 pages/ 6×6

20- 4×6

10-5×7

4-8×10

 

Package #2 $3,000

Engagement session-CD includes edited high resolution images

Wedding coverage-getting ready, ceremony, and 1 hour of reception

2 Photographers

CD with all the edited high resolution images and photo rights release

1 Album 20 pages/8×8

10-4×6

5-5×7

2-8×10

 

Package #3 $2,000

Engagement session-CD includes the edited high resolution images

Wedding coverage-getting ready, ceremony, and 1 hour of reception

2 Photographers

CD with all the edited high resolution images and photo rights release

 

Portrait sessions-

All of these sessions include the edited images with the copyright

Newborn session $200

Birth photography $350

Maternity $125

Family $225

Senior session $200

3,6,9, & 1 year sessions $150

 

*****If you have already contacted me regarding a session or have already booked your wedding your session prices DO NOT change!******

If you are interested in scheduling something or need more information please email me at photography.zao@gmail.com

 

My perceptive on my own wedding day / One Month Anniversary

I can’t believe its been a month since I became my best friends wife…. this has been THE sweetest month I have ever lived and it brings tears to my eyes to think I get to live with my best friend.

I have been wanting to kind of write out what went on in my heart that week. And from a photographer who has shot a lot of weddings what it was like to finally be living my own.

One thing that I would like to start out with is our location. Was perfect all on its own. It was a place where we both felt like God was closest and there is hardly any cell phone service. So for us we loved how this made everything feel in the moment. Life stopped for us on this weekend…

Its hard because there are so many things I want to say and I’m not really sure where to begin. First of all as a photographer you see all sorts of situations and how people act during stressful times of a wedding. You see how some plan out a ton of time… everything goes perfect…. and all their helpers and friends do exactly what they were told to do… and the day goes without stress or panic and is just this beautiful joyful time of celebrating two people committing their lives together.

And of course you see the other side of weddings where everyone is running late. The parents are no where to be found when it comes time for family photos. The bride is waiting for all her friends and family to be there or ready for her to get in her dress. And the list goes on… its no ones fault when these things happen but when your planning your big day of course you want the calm and enjoy every minute.

For me I almost had a lot of panic attacks the weeks leading up to the wedding because I didn’t want to miss any minute of it. And now looking back I remember every little detail that happened that week and day. I kind of wish I would of had it more planned out the week of the wedding so it wasn’t like I have no idea what I should be doing its finally here and now what do I do?! I almost was too not busy enough.

So my big day happened… it wasn’t exactly what I planned… we were running late… we were taking family photos leading up to the ceremony… I felt like I was running around with my head cut off… my mom was no where to be found when I was getting ready… I felt like the whole time we were going to forget a photo or pose that I wanted… or my biggest fear was not getting family photos done before the ceremony because I knew we wouldn’t have time to do them after.

BUT here is the amazing party. GOD KNEW ALL OF THIS BEFORE THIS DAY!!!! Isn’t that amazing? He knew all these little details and yet he knew all the amazing things he was going to bless us with as well.

Now for the amazingly awesome parts that happened. I got to marry my best friend that day. I got to be blessed with perfect 81 degree weather just like we all had been praying for. There were no bugs (I mean no one got any bug bites at all). No wind. and BEAUTIFUL sunshine with that golden light that we photographers loved. Do you remember how much rain we got leading up to August? How muddy and how water was standing everywhere? Well we had gorgeous green grass and tress and get this… no mud at all. So our chairs didn’t sink in the ground. We didn’t have to be careful going around for photos.

We had gorgeous ponds, trees, fields, and my favorite party my Grandad’s model T car to take photos with. We had lots of friends and family make the trip to be at our wedding and share in our day with us. My favorite part of the whole day… honestly speaking. Was how not only was every bit of the day so us with it being outdoors and gorgeous weather. (Well and I mean seeing my handsome man FINALLY become my groom and husband) But everywhere I looked I saw God’s goodness. HE alone could of made the weather and no bugs the way it was. Not some expensive tent or locations. But HIM. He chose to bless us and like my mom says, “Put his Kiss on our day.”

Ok so here are the things that as a photographer I didn’t expect.

I didn’t expect to look at the photos the way I do after the wedding day. I mean ok it does remind me of how good and amazing that day was. Like all those excited feelings I felt and it makes me take myself back to all the moments I remember. BUT it reminds me even more. How amazing it is to be married now. Like I look at the photos and think of all the fun times we had on our honeymoon. How I amazing it is knowing we go to OUR home together to sleep at night. How we plan our meals together and all the funny moments we have had doing these things since that day. And most of all…. those photos remind me of all the hard lonely times I had before that day. How many times I dreamed of seeing him dressed up like this waiting for ME at the end of that aisle. And hearing his amazing deep voice say those vows that he wrote only for ME.

I don’t think about how I would of done this pose that way or taken the photos this way. I think about how perfect our day was. Because HE our sweet Jesus made our day what it was. Not because of money or because we had the perfect decorations. (Even though as a girl… everything was what I dreamed it would be. I can’t thank my Uncle Alan enough and all the guys for hanging our chandelier and lights exactly what I have always dreamed they would be.) Hey lets face it. We are all human and we want everyone to desire what we had. But in my heart that isn’t what made our day perfect to me and I don’t think of that. I think of all these other amazing things that make me feel like the luckiest girl alive.

And I can say that last sentence only because of my Savior Jesus Christ. Because I didn’t feel disappointed for a little while after my wedding. I wanted that relaxed everyone enjoy picture perfect easy going day. But I did get that in our own God glorifying day. But because of how good He is I can look at all the little things that made it OUR PERFECT WEDDING DAY.

So my advice to brides getting married. And I know everyone has said this most likely to you as some point. But here it is. Breathe deeply a lot and just stop. Take in the moments and think about what is really important. And most of all… its not about being with your girlfriends or your family on your wedding day. Yes, this is very important so don’t get me wrong. But this is about you and your almost husband. What is important is having memories THAT day together where you can look back on those memories and think about them together. You will have those memories together and not just you or just him. That is what is important.

OH and most importantly…. HIRE A AMAZING VIDEOGRAPHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For me it goes without saying to hire and invest in a photographer. But Adrian really wanted a good videographer that would not only capture our day in a good quality where you can hear everything and see everything. And it was the best decision we made about the whole thing. Because now that the whole thing is over. Our day is done. The decorations are being reused by other brides. And our clothes are put away. That amazing incredible video and photos are what we have to look at for the rest of our lives. And it was worth every little penny.

These are some of my favorite images ever…. Adrian ended up running to me during our first look and I love what his face looks like in the b&w image.

Here is the link to our incredible video if anyone is interested. CLICK HERE

Our photographers were Megan Hein photography and Jennifer Miller photography. And our videographers were H&M videography… I HIGHLY recommend all of them.

 

 

 

 

Our Proposal Story

Ok so I know how I tell everyone I will post about this and that with my personal life. And then I completely space off and let life pass by….. and here I am still haven’t posted it. And really the biggest reason why I am posting this is because I want it for me. I have had some friends who still have yet to hear the whole story so I am posting this for them too. But I wanted to get this typed up before I forgot about it.

BUT as I realize just how soon our wedding day is approaching I really want to type this story out before other memories get put into its place.

Well as most of you know Adrian and I have been together for close to 5 years (actually 5 years to the day on the day we will say “I do”).  And I know a lot of people were thinking it probably would happen soon. But with this boy you really never know what he is thinking or what he will do last minute.;)One thing that is really interesting to me after the whole evening was over and we finally got to tell each other our secrets I really thought he had been planning this whole thing out for a long time. But he actually just had a general idea and really put it into plan 48 hours before.

So anyway, my birthday was approaching and I could only hope that maybe he would ask the big question that I had been waiting forever to hear. Some of you may know this but we had decided to not kiss or say I love you until we were engaged. Let me tell you…. waiting 5 years to hear those words was one of the hardest things I have ever done. When you realize you love someone and how naturally it would be to say those words but you can’t…. can get pretty tricky when hanging up the phone or saying good bye. And after 5 years of jokingly saying I like you a awful lot, the day that he got down on one knee was anticipated for more than one reason.

My mom and I decided to go to Wichita to have lunch on my birthday and for fun we decided lets go get our nails done. Now funny thing. I really hadn’t wanted my mom to know if Adrian had talked to my dad or not. But really had no idea how this would happen since my parents tell each other everything. But also knew that if my mom knew she wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret very well. At this point my mom had no idea but we decided to just hope it would happen that day. Well anyway, as soon as we came home I had to go to a shoot and at this point thought He was just bringing dinner over for my whole family. But when I got back from my shoot I head upstairs to change and looked into the living. And there was a table sat for two and a candle light looking setting.

My mouth totally dropped and I looked at my mom and she goes, “I know absolutely nothing! All I know is that you left and your dad said hurry set a candlelight dinner for two”. And I start laughing and go oh boy. But it will be so awkward if you guys are here listening to us have a nice dinner! But she goes, “Oh no we are leaving. We can’t be here!”.

Then I got really nervous…. because on one hand this could really be “it”. BUT it is still my birthday. And he could just be trying to make it special. One thing that I have really noticed with Adrian and I is when we are nervous together I get super quiet. And he gets majorly talkative. Like Mr. Chatterbox. Which is not normal for him.:PAnd when he got there with his dinner all ready to be served (Yes he got me a roasted chicken and all the works from dilons;)) He was standing in my favorite jeans of his, a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and his boots:DAnd chatting away;-)

So we sit down for a nice dinner and my family leaves. Adrian was totally sweet!!! Served me my food and all the while asked me about everything under the sun. And the whole time I kept thinking ok this has to be it. BUT like I said before…. this is my birthday and he does keep saying he wants to make me feel special today. I mean really it was the perfect set up. Well after dinner he goes hey I have a idea lets dance. And I go ok but you choose the song. So he puts on Josh Turners “Soulmate”. And lets just say…. my heart melts. I’m like ok perfect time. He is totally going to propose right now. But he doesn’t and then goes welp we better clean up before your parents get back. Ok. wait. a. minute. That was the perfect moment and you didn’t do it. FAIL!!!! haha

Yea at this point I’m really happy because I just had a perfect birthday. But no ring and I’m not gonna lie. I’m ready to marry this dude. So he suggests we do our devotions on the couch while we wait for my parents to get home. So after we read our book and pray we are just sitting there… And you know when you hit that point where you are just tired and you feel blah but yet you don’t want it to show? I was at that point. I had had the best birthday ever and He had been totally sweet. But I was at my tired point.

Then all of a sudden he jumps up and goes whelp are you ready to see your present? And I just look at him like you didn’t get me anything…. so what?! And he says yea you didn’t even know I got you something big. But you have to come out to my truck to see it. So I go ok… without trying to smile really big because lets face it… the night has not ended haha. But then I got really nervous and I said ok but I have to pee first. And he goes oh me too! For some reason this was just really funny to me. That both of us at the same time got nervous and it showed.

So then we walk out of the house and he goes ok you have to trust me because I need you to wear this blindfold. And I mean come on like how suspicious does that sound?! But he goes its only because its in the truck and you can’t see it….suuuure! We start driving around and he keeps talking away. Where do you think I’m taking you? Do you have any guesses at all? Its not all the way to Newton but we are going somewhere special and so on. Well come to find out he was stalling because one of my good friends was helping him and he couldn’t get ahold of her to help decorate the truck.

Well at this point because I’m blindfolded and have a heavy coat on… I start to feel sick. And he is turning around, turning turns and I have no idea where he is going. We even pass my sister on the road and I jokingly asked who it was and he was like “Oh I think that is your neighbor.” We finally get in contact and find Autumn and her friend who was helping her take photos and they get all the stuff set up. He comes up to my window and says “Hey Court… are you ready?”. At this point I am shaking and looking back I really wanted to say I have been ready for the past five years.;)Then he leads me out and takes the blind fold off and his truck is set up with candles in jars so they wouldn’t blow out. (Autumn your a genius! ) and then a little table with cookies and sparkling grape juice. He gets down on one knee and starts saying how he loves me with his whole heart and so on. I remember thinking are you ever going to actually ask me?! I kept waiting for him to just jump up and say welp just joking its not time yet. LOL

I of course said YES!!! And then he hugged me and I kept saying oh my goodness oh my goodness! I can’t believe it. All the while he kept saying I love you so much I love you so much. That was my favorite part with the first two weeks of our engagement he kept saying I love you all the time. It was like it was a bigger deal to say it to him than to me. When normally guys don’t care that much. I always thought it would feel weird to finally be able to see a ring on my finger and have it actually be time to be engaged and in a way it did. But it definitely felt like God’s timing! And it was just the next normal step in our relationship.

Our engagement photos

Megan has been such a amazing friend to me. Like period. She has been such a great person for advice and just a over all blessing in my life. When I had a few people say they could do my photos then back out I immediately texted Megan and said ahh what am I going to do!? And she goes don’t worry I will help you in anyway. Totally put peace in my heart that God had this all planned out.

We had a session early in our engagement that was in a field but I really wanted a session where we got to do all the poses I had wanted. So I was so happy we got to do this one!

I’ve had to come the point where I look at the photo and remember the moments and what we were feeling instead of critiquing and looking at how I would of done it differently. Which has been really great for me because I look at these and laugh and smile because of the funny things that were said or goofy faces Adrian was making. (Which I think everyone needs to see a blog post just dedicated to Adrians goofing off poses;))