Art & Soul.

When we arrived to yesterday's shoot location, it started raining. No rain had been on the forecast, and yet a dark and foreboding cloud hung directly over us the moment we pulled into the parking lot. Sitting in the car, waiting for the rain to pass, I had a moment where I thought...this is it. This is where you need to shine. In the unexpected and the less than perfect. Because you can plan and you can plot and you can have the best of intentions and it will STILL pour rain over your best laid plans, and you better be prepared to go with the flow regardless.

And you know what? As soon as that rain stopped, a perfect rainbow shot across the sky.

I want you to understand something...I love this job. I have since the beginning. But I have always sought after so much more than a perfectly posed portrait. I firmly believe in the power of emotion and connection to elevate photos from snapshots to works of art, and it's the art and the soul of the medium that has always attracted me.


But can I tell you something? Soul? It's a HARD thing to produce. It's not something that can be replicated, manufactured, or faked. I love each session I work on because I view our sessions like a dance, with us working in tandem to create something beautiful. But it requires a piece of me just as much as it requires a piece of you, and I want to make sure I give you my all. 

You know those old family photos your mom or grandmother has stashed in a box somewhere?  Do you remember the ones that stand out to you? I always love the ones that showed who we were, what we were like. I see the mischievous grin and know a rebel when I see one, or that shy smile and see a gentle, passive soul. Do I see a posed family portrait? Absolutely, and it's wonderful to see those sweet faces and features in beautiful detail. But the ones that make you stop and stare, and break into a smile, are the photos with that piece of soul. And that's what I want to provide you with.

So yesterday? I was completely hands off. I directed and prompted but I didn't interfere. I just watched each moment unfold naturally and I shot it the way I saw it happen. And you know what? The results blew me away. Because every expression was genuine. Every "pose" was heartfelt. And while I still steered the ship, these four stayed on course themselves, doing what they do best. Being together. Do you know how amazing it is to stand back and just be? To trust in the beauty of the moment? I want you to experience that for yourselves, because it is an amazingly freeing feeling.

This is what I want for you. I want authenticity. I want to see a picture I've taken of you to be hung up real big on your wall as ARTWORK. Not just a portrait. I want your children and your children's children to look back at what we've made and be able to tell without words that mom was a spitfire, or that grandpa loved to be rocked in his mama's arms. These are details that only photographs can bring us back to, and I find that to be such an amazing thought. Gives new meaning to the phrase "pictures worth a thousand words."

So what does this all mean? Well, to put it simply, I have a newfound awe and respect for this job of mine. And I'm going to bring that inspiration to every shoot moving forward. I'm going to give you an experience that truly defines "Valor & Vine" and that you won't be able to find just anywhere else. I can promise that there will be laughter, cuddles, joy, and tenderness. I will direct you but I will also trust you to show me exactly who you are, and I KNOW that it will be beautiful. That dance of ours will be more harmonious than ever before. And I can promise you that I will never ever stop seeing you as art.

Please watch and enjoy this wonderful family session that defines this family in it's purest form. And I hope you'll let that music play <3