molly- senior session

Here’s the truth:

Remember Molly? She’s part of this awesome family.

Here’s the truth:

Molly is autistic. Molly is non-verbal autistic.

You can google autism and there is a ton of information out there. What it is, what the symptoms are, and so on.  As a photographer to me molly being autistic meant… I couldn’t use all my normal tricks to get her to smile. So I was struggling with ideas. I knew I couldn’t tell Molly a funny story, or ask her to think about that thing that she did that her mom know’s nothing about and would die if she ever found out. For me it meant, really trying to connect with someone who doesn’t answer me when I ask a question. Trying to connect with someone who doesn’t say,” I don’t like this location,that pose is totally awkward, grass makes me itchy, or hey do you think we could throw on some music?”

But here’s the truth:

sometimes… I get Molly, and honestly I think sometimes… Molly gets me.


mollybell-1-2Those two pictures are shutter click 2 and 3. Started off strong-


every girl needs good lips.


Last time I took photo’s of molly I really got her to smile and have a good time by jumping off a ledge. We must have done it 5 times. So… we tried again. Molly wasn’t all about it this time, but her moms demonsration was awesome.(and she may just kill me for the image below)


So  I am 20 min’s into hanging with Molly. By now I would have told her some crazy story about my senior year, and we would be in full swing, comfortable with each other, and having a blast. Molly… well she was still a little unsure, and very serious-



And I am starting to get a little nervous. But then- boom- this would happen




So we switched up outfits-

Side note: working with someone who doesn’t smile eaisly – really, it is a challenge. My goal going into this was to give molly’s family 8 good images of her. before we switched outfits i was starting to hope for 5. i felt like i was failing with a big capital F. it might have even been prefaced but the you know what f word. every time I would lift my lens i would talk to molly. “I love your shirt, did you pick it out. your boots are awesome. thank you so much for looking at me. molly your eyes are so pretty, can i see them again.” but after my first session, i knew asking molly to smile was not a good idea. i think last time i got her to smile when i said something that made her whole family laugh.. so i was struggling to capture her  with anything but her serious look.

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So, we jumped in the car for a location change-

annnndddd guess what… still serious molly, worried, concerned molly.

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At this point…. i’m starting to hope for one good image- then this happens.

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I have to tell you I have no idea what I said, or what thought suddenly ran through molly’s mind, but when i see these… love.  I am suddenly like, ok, ok, her mom isn’t going to chalk this up to tried but…. failed. I see this, and I remember I was  thinking in my brain.. sending her the mental message, just have fun with me molly. just relax and know you are doing a great job, you’re beautiful, these are going to be awesome. and maybe me mental messaging that to her… stuck with me too. hands down, my all time favorite image I have EVER taken. in the middle above. and maybe that is because for a second, she was with me. she wasn’t looking off humming, she wasn’t staring off into the distance thinking.. well who really knows what… she was just a kid, happy to be having her senior picture taken. and I am so proud of that image.



I asked molly, like I do all my seniors… is there any place else you’d like to go. and she immediately started walking, so we followed. She did pick this overly sunny spot, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to take her picture there.


I asked her one more time – and she chose this spot. Not a bad way to end our session.

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hey molly, have an awesome senior year!

(side-side- note HERE is her mom’s blog. i can’t describe it, so i won’t try. i can tell you this, it is an awesome read, and a little insight to life with molly)




Thursday’s Thoughts-

Here’s the truth:

1- What is up with high waisted skirts and pants. Didn’t we get rid of those at least a decade ago? I’m not sure I can go back. It’s like skinny jeans…I’m struggling with those too.

2- Homecoming talent show last night… good times. Nothing like hanging out at your old high school at a  predominately  misunderstood youth event. Spent a lot of the evening shaking my head.

3- The big cut his hair (yes!) but still refuses to smile….. ugh.



4- I promised myself no soap boxes this week…. This whole number was a huge rant about mean moms… who raise mean girls… but then I realized why waste my breath, or your time. Mean girls exist, mean moms exist. Period. Teach your girls to humble, kind,  and accepting. A wonderful mom sent this link out to other mothers in our community.I think it is an awesome read. I also think that the culture of this school district feeds the mouths and entitlements of the “mean” girls. I taught my middle (and so did those mean girls) say 4th maybe 5th grade, if they don’t make you feel good about yourself  WALK AWAY. If they hurt your feelings with “not to be mean but so and so really doesn’t like you” their true intent is only to be mean. Drama does not equal friendship and friendships don’t need or thrive on drama.  You don’t need them to be your friend. I’m shutting up now,(since I’ve written and erased this number… oh 12 times now) right after I say this… MEAN GIRLS SUCK> and so do the parents that fail to acknowledge it or correct it.

5- This. no matter how old you are these are applicable.

6- THIS.

7- So I don’t really want to talk about this, as I find it embarrassing but it’s like consuming my every thought? So I figure, blog it and then forget it. Happy people don’t dwell.

I was taught a little lesson this week- I was approached to photograph some art. I’m not overly comfortable shooting things other than people. I mean sometimes I feel like I still struggle shooting families. So, I told the lady that I would come, shoot her stuff, and if she could use it great she could pay me the agreed price, and if not then we could both just walk away. So I did the work, (hurriedly I might add as she had a very short window to get it) got her the disc and that was that. She never really came back to me, so I figured she wasn’t overly impressed, and maybe my images were not very good. I chalked the experience up to “what katie can’t photograph” internalized my failure and moved on. Sunday, my husband was desperate for some roasted hatch green chili’s… so I tracked some down. As I was paying for them, I look over and see…. my image, on a flyer. Yeah…. one of them from the session she never said anything about and certainly didn’t pay for. Furious, I chalk it up to me failing to follow up with her. Somehow making the entire situation my fault. I cried and then moved on. So yesterday, the husband and I are downtown… after a tasty gyro (if you have’t had one you should) and hunh- there on the side walk on a sidewalk advertisement/sign is my picture again. No really. When approached about paying me… her response “well I only used one of her images”. Right, so if I happen to stroll into the art gallery, take only one of your pieces of art with out paying that makes it ok? But if i take two.. then what? Lesson learned. I will now watermark all my images in a huge diagonal hard to photoshop out, for proofs…. I am shaking my head at myself right now…

8-On a happier note, I CAN’T wait to blog the senior session I took this week. I have to admit, I love it.

9- Let’s talk TV for a second. I LOVE the new show, Madam Secretary. Love it. But then again I love politics so… I love this season of scandal so far. I just started watching One Tree Hill… I’m not sold yet.  But I love that it has 9 seasons, so days like today, when it is gloom and doom outside.. The little and I can just cuddle up, and watch our electronics? Yeah, that didn’t sound right, that may in fact enroll me for the worst mom ever award? whatever…. THIS. YES THAT. I am going to watch it in REAL TIME. yes I said real time, commercials and all.

10- this weekend, a little CC TTIIIIGGGGers hockey, welcome to the new coach!





Here’s the truth:

1- Root Canal. YOU SUCK.

2- I really really really really want THIS.

3- I need an office. Or like a space… that is not the basement. Too dark and gloomy in there for me. Hummmmm… plus my dinning room table is so not the right height for me to work at. I am too short, and my arms are way to high when I type, or edit… struggles.

4- The little. Well, he’s killing me off. Remember when I said his new thing is to like, jump out of bed and get dressed. Well, now all the sudden he wants to get out of bed and get dressed in… soft pants. Like fleece or sweat pants or something. No really, everyday the kid is in fleece or sweat pants. For a second that mom that I want to be, the one with the kid in super cute gymboree/gap/children’s place/etc had a full melt down. You can’t wear little boys sperrys  with sweats. I also lost the shoe battle. I refused to let the kid wear light up anything. Like so lame. But take one guess what the kid is wearing. Yup… light up spiderman shoes. Whatever, life is too short and when you four there are only so many things in your life you get to control. But still… that little mom part of me who wants the catalog cute kid… I keep telling her to shut up.

5- Speaking of the little….. the other day we were in Kmart… they had Angry Bird toys on like, super discount… after 30 mins of waiting for him to select something we are standing in line, and he notices I am holding something he didn’t select. Immediate break down, after all we told him HE could pick out what he got… so he starts reminding me that he did not pick that and I should put it back. So fine, I’ll save the 4 bucks and put it back. The husband, however, is a little embarrassed that the kid is demanding I put a toy back, and letting the whole store know we promised him that HE could pick out the toy and blah blah blah.. so the husband whispers in his ear ” hey it embarrasses me when you talk to mom and dad that way. people will think we are bad parents for letting you speak to us in such an ugly manner.” At which point the little thinks, and then blurts out ” You are bad parents”. Yes, I had to turn away for fear he might see me laughing. And of course I am laughing because, well- yes, we shouldn’t let him talk to us like that and leave it to a kid to point out the obvious and 2- his dad is turing a shade of angry that i have never seen. Needless to say I sent them to the car and finished checking out.

6- Did I mention I had a root canal. Oh well I did, and my face is still swollen and sore.

7- I made these last week.  (now they are all i can think about) I have to make brownies for the Bigs choir somethingorother and I told him I was going to make these again. He asked me not to call them Slutty brownies. I suppose I could change the name since, well… it might not be appropriate for  a high school somethingorother for me to show up with.. slutty brownies. Ha.

8- THIS. need I say more. I might even travel all the way to Whole Foods for some of these ingredients. #3 and #13- who’s making them with me? Anyone… Anyone??

9- my pig needs a friend, but the husband keeps saying no. one day….. he’s going to arrive home and there is going to be a friend for her. (insert picture of depressed dog)

pig-110- The bad thing about Halloween, despite it is when I enter the (dreary music playing here) funk… is all the candy in the stores. Like, I don’t even want to grocery shop because I just walk right past everything good for me… and straight to the never ending candy aisle. Where you can get rollos, and nerds, and milky ways ALL IN THE SAME BAG, for the bargain price of … what the? $25.00? Back to the fruit.

11-This weekend….. Football. I think on Sunday I am going to do nothing but watch football. Yup.



Ava and her family

Here’s the truth: I have decided I like the whole-outdoor/lifestyle session.. over the newborn thing.

Here’s the truth: Baby A is all grown up. Well not really, she’s 1!!


sb-1-37sb-1-56 sb-1-59 sb-1-76 sb-1-50 sb-1-38 sb-1-36

We can’t forget the big brother…


Say hello to beauty…. times three.


and the cute cousin-



sb-1-5Hey Ava, happy happy birthday little lady!




Chloe and Emmy-

Here’s the truth:

I am slowly getting more comfortable with kids. I finally decided that just following them around and then asking them to look at me once or twice gets me some awesome shots.

Here’s the truth:

These girls are not afraid of an outdoor adventure, or dirt, or rocks, or mud. I ❤ that.

cande-1 copy cande-1-13

My fav- below. ❤cande-1-15 cande-1-18 cande-1-25 cande-1-33 cande-1-36 cande-1-41 cande-1-48 cande-1-60 cande-1-63 cande-1-66 cande-1-74 cande-1-80Hey girls, thanks for taking me on a nature hike, i loved every second of it! Can’t wait to follow you around again.




here’s the truth:

1- this week I…….

2- apparently killed a snake with the mower. although I am still in denial….maybe it is from someone else’s yard, deposited in mine by a bird since just this AM I sent the hubby a photo of my snake (yes I am sparing you from said photo) peacefully sleeping in his favorite spot.. I am standing by my belief that it is not MY snake.

3-whilst trying to start said lawn mower i ripped off a finger nail. and no, i don’t mean I broke a finger nail, i mean i ripped the sucker off to the point i had to use three bandaids before it stopped bleeding through them.

4- broke a tooth. yes, it is friday and yes my dentist closes at 2:00-so yes, i have a gaping hole in my mouth.

5- you know how they made THIS book ( that i read almost to the point of memorization to the middle) into THIS movie. that’s how I feel.

6- On another note, I have been feeling the big 4-0 creeping up. I mean, really…. it’s begun showing up daily.. on my thighs.. around my eyes.. countless times in my hair. So, to combat it, i have been getting dressed. yes, i mean really dressed like jeans,  or something.. something other than my workout clothes. Does it make me feel younger you ask? no… just slighlty frumpy ( i need to go shopping) and uncomfortable.

7-who knows what this kid is thinking?luke-1

8- I also learned this week that if you give people the power to make you sad.. they can. and they will.

9- I  learned that watching 2 hours of Jimmy Fallon clips on youtube will make you laugh until you cry. Laughter really is the best medicine. I always thought that saying was, like, total BS. but after this week…. i have found some truth in it.

10- I just need to say it out loud one more time.. and I know, all of you, my internet best friends already know this, but I am just saying it again… if you start a sentence with- “Not to hurt your feelings but..” or “Not to be an ass but…” what ever you are about to say you should just keep to your FN self. Saying that before you say something hurtful does not lessen the hurt of whatever you are about to say to the person you are about to say it to. ugh. If you want to say something awful and hurtful, then just own it, and say it.

11– This.why do people always have to analyze things and kinda take the fun out of them? I too was totally disappointed when Hans turned out to be bad but, it’s a kids movie, not a real life situation. and hey, newsflash, sometimes people you think are good, aren’t. whatever.

12-last night I made THIS and asked my kids on a scale of 1 to “i know i am an awful cook” how bad was it… they pled the fifth. calgon take me away.

13- this weekend… well since I’ve had like a week of mondays… it doesn’t even feel like the weekend.


bryan- senior session

Here’s the truth:

I love senior sessions. LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.

Here’s the truth:

I am still a bit intimidated by boys though. I mean, I can’t show them how I want them to stand, since, well I am a girl and they would totally look girly if they stood the way I do. But these. I love these. Nothin’ girly about them.


br-1-11 br-1-14 br-1-16 br-1-20 br-1-25 br-1-34 br-1-38 br-1-44 br-1-41My Fav. Hands down.

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Hey Bryan, have an awesome senior year!