Spring Break Shenanigans in Oklahoma

Getting back to my photography roots with off camera flash and a sassy model. Threw together a textured background, gelled my lights and created editorial style (weird model poses) images.

Hair flick on fleek.

Hair flick on fleek.

The big laugh is my favorite!

We are good with weird.

We are good with weird.

Remember when 14 was awkward? She seems to have skipped that phase. Dangit.

Remember when 14 was awkward? She seems to have skipped that phase. Dangit.

Little bro wanted in on the action!

Little bro wanted in on the action!

 

 

I Hate Elf On A Shelf

In 2013 there was a blizzard/ice storm/snowmaggedon and all of Oklahoma shut down.

Wait...let me back the story up a bit.

If you know me, or looked at this blog at all you know that I'm a photographer.  If you've ever been friends with a photographer then you know starting about the end of September we get a smidge unhinged. By mid October we are functioning on unending coffee and when November rolls in, forgettaboutit. This is our insane season. Our do-all-the-business-because-January-will-be dead, season.

This makes me not the greatest mom when it comes to adding one more thing on my plate during the holidays.

Back to snowmaggedon...the first week of December 2013. For Okies, the world came to a screeching halt. Turnpikes shut down, all the bread, eggs and milk was freaked out over and bought and schools were closed.

While the kids attempted to sled down our sorry excuse for a hill in the mid-west, I scrolled Facebook and glared at all of my friends and their stupid little stuffed doll doing all the cutesy things. 

In my best Scrooge attitude I looked over to Dave-O and snarled "if I had one of those dumb Elf dolls it would be cleaning and NOT making messes!"

The rest, as they say, is history...

Do all the dishes!

Do all the dishes!

Diced, not chopped!

Diced, not chopped!

Oh yeah...

Oh yeah...

Dyson, I'm waiting for my phone call.

Dyson, I'm waiting for my phone call.

This is where the evil elf on my shoulder took over and things started sliding down hill... fast.

Kissy Kissy!

Kissy Kissy!

He's a bad influence on all the toys.

He's a bad influence on all the toys.

Don't act like you haven't thought about it.

Don't act like you haven't thought about it.

Lots of outtakes!

Lots of outtakes!

A little left over zombie blood from Halloween and a PSA from the Elf. "Always wear your helmet kids."

A little left over zombie blood from Halloween and a PSA from the Elf. "Always wear your helmet kids."

We knew the elf wasn't all fun and games.

Elf always had a thing for Mrs. Claus.

Elf always had a thing for Mrs. Claus.

Night night.

Night night.

Merry Christmas from the Osborn family!

Paint, A Rusty Bus, And Boy Toes

If you follow my work even a little bit, I bet you've seen images in front of an awesome, rusty old school bus.

Like this beauty....

Like this beauty....

This precious family...

This precious family...

Or this Senior session.

Or this Senior session.

This bus is my spirit animal. Colorful, slow and full of stories!

The owner of this glorious scrapbook on wheels is my sweet friend, Lindy. 

Lindy contacted me for family pictures and said "I just want us to look like us."

This made me extremely happy for two reasons, one: she and her tribe are beautiful, and two: she's an artist with a flair for the funky. Oh, how I love me some funky!

Barefoot, boy and love.

Barefoot, boy and love.

Baby brother for a season, big brother for a lifetime.

Baby brother for a season, big brother for a lifetime.

A dreamer, a darling, adorable.

A dreamer, a darling, adorable.

All the way to the top bay-bee!

All the way to the top bay-bee!

Real life is messy.

Real life is messy.

Looking at the camera is over-rated.

Looking at the camera is over-rated.

Home can be more of a feeling than an address.

Home can be more of a feeling than an address.

When the client says "Can we play with paint?" the answer is always YES!!

A BIG smile on the brother who doesn't like to get dirty!

A BIG smile on the brother who doesn't like to get dirty!

Proud of you, mama for putting on your big girl panties and getting IN FRONT of the camera! You rock!

Proud of you, mama for putting on your big girl panties and getting IN FRONT of the camera! You rock!

This image is now printed as a 30x40 over the fire place in their home. It's THEM.

You do you! Pose or don't, paint or black tie, whatever your family flavor is, document it. Your kids will thank you.

Much love--M

That time I blogged pictures of myself...

This blog is really uncomfortable for me. It's so uncomfortable that after I typed that first sentence I went and started a load of clothes, heated up some leftovers...anything to avoid working on this project!

Avoidance, thy name is Melissa. 

Here we go, I'm diving in. 

This is a picture of me. 

Raise your hand if you like having your picture taken. *sits on hands*

Let me back up a bit. On top of being a photographer, I also homeschool my 3 kids. Part of our homeschool schedule includes 3 days of co-op where I teach 3 photography classes. My oldest son, Davis, is a Sophmore and in my 2nd year photography class. Teaching him photography is a JOY. I love sharing my passion and knowledge with him. 

Here is where that class is biting me in the butt. When my son has a camera in his hands he sometimes points it at me. 

Me, who would rather be behind the camera.

Me, who talks with her hands and makes dumb faces excessively. 

Me.

Here is where I'm a big, fat, huge hypocrite. 

I tell women to be brave and get in front of the camera ALL. THE. TIME.  Your kids will want to remember you just like this, I tell them. You are gorgeous in this light/color/location. None of these are lies. I see other women's beauty in every thing they do.

But my own...yikes..talk to my husband about how clearly I see myself. 

But when I griped to Davis about my lack of make up and bags under my eyes he smiled and said "My beautiful mama, the bags just show how hard you work for all of us."

Tears. Big fat ones. That boy is a huge suck up and I adore him. 

I'm looking straight into his sweet face....and trying to hide my double chin with my hair. 

I'm looking straight into his sweet face....and trying to hide my double chin with my hair. 

So mamas, here's where I again say: Get in front of the camera. Be with your kids in the images. Let them take pictures of you and make all the funny faces. In 30 years it won't matter. In 10 years I'll be glad 38 yr old me smiled for the camera cause 48 yr old me will look rough

Probably dreaming about having a maid. 

Probably dreaming about having a maid. 

Again, look at my posing skills, no double chin, no lower body at all. Go me. 

Again, look at my posing skills, no double chin, no lower body at all. Go me. 

Ok, I really do love this one. So moody! He gets an A!

Ok, I really do love this one. So moody! He gets an A!

Please Lord, let my kids only remember me smiling and cracking up with them. Let them look at this and see how much fun, joy and daily hilarity they brought my life. They are treasures I don't deserve but try my hardest to care for with all that I've got. 

 

Mama friends, don't wait. This fall buy the matching sweaters the teenagers will hate and sit in some leaves and be in a family portrait. Your kids love you and the way you look right this moment. Wrinkles, grey hair, double chins, they DON'T CARE.

They just see love. 

Band Mom Brag Blog

This is a bit more of a personal blog, but my camera was with with me, therefore we are calling it "work". 

A friend of ours celebrated his 50th birthday at Whiskey Chicks in Bricktown.

(WC doesn't have a website, but look 'em up on FB.)

They are the nicest family running a fun bar (with super clean bathrooms!) AND they made the best drinks that they SET ON FIRE!

FIRE! Pineapple, Rum, Unicorn Sweat....some other liquids..no clue what all she put in there, but it was the BOMB!

FIRE! Pineapple, Rum, Unicorn Sweat....some other liquids..no clue what all she put in there, but it was the BOMB!

I am in LOVE with the WC building! They said it is the oldest building in Bricktown. Something about horses I think....did I mention the drinks were on fire? Some details are blurry. Anyhoo, the building is deee-vine with it's hard wood floors, distressed brick walls. I'm hoping to do fall mini-sessions there (minus the flaming drinks and laser show).  The natural light during the day is dreamy! Keep your eyes out for booking a very limited spot in time for Christmas pictures. 

Heard of the band Horse Thief? Well, you should! They were the nicest guys and we were able to enjoy them before they take off for a Canadian and European tour.

Srsly, the sweetest guys. 

Srsly, the sweetest guys. 

They weren't crazy about being called "sweet" so this is their hard core rocker image. Isn't it sweeeeeet?!?! ;)

They weren't crazy about being called "sweet" so this is their hard core rocker image. Isn't it sweeeeeet?!?! ;)

After Horse Thief, our boys and men took the stage in their band Minnesota Donkey Milk. (don't ask)

Pretty sure all my photographic talent went out the window after two flaming Drinks of Glory.

Pretty sure all my photographic talent went out the window after two flaming Drinks of Glory.

These guys are a rag-tag group of kids/Dads/weekend warriors. The memories being made are priceless!

My Davis, Lovely Lidia, and Sassy Sev.

My Davis, Lovely Lidia, and Sassy Sev.

A friend of ours is building these amps (they might be super secret so....don't quote me). The Texas girl in me swoons at the pretty yellow rose. The mom in me swoons at my baby boy's face. Again, blurry pictures 'cause fiery unicorn juice. Bless.

 

Orthopedic surgeon by day. Sound man/bassist/light model by night. 

Orthopedic surgeon by day. Sound man/bassist/light model by night. 

Creepers gonna creep. (the bald guy, not the adorable love birds)

Creepers gonna creep. (the bald guy, not the adorable love birds)

All in all, a great night of celebrating a friend, beaming like the proud mama I am, and wearing makeup after 9pm. 

Happy Birthday, Darin!

 

 

 

 

Texas Wedding Sneak Peek

Less than 48 hours ago the sweetest two families celebrated their children tying the knot. While it rained on me all the way down to Texas, the skies cleared up in time for vows to be shared. 

Here's a small sneak peek into a beautiful day:

Everything that makes a wedding a special occasion was here. A stunning location.

A beautiful bride!

A beautiful bride!

Silly groomsmen! 

Silly groomsmen! 

Friends and family.

Friends and family.

A stunning bride.

A stunning bride.

Did I mention silly groomsmen? 

Did I mention silly groomsmen? 

OK, the bridesmaids were goofy as well! 

OK, the bridesmaids were goofy as well! 

Love from family far away!

Love from family far away!

Yummy cake!

Yummy cake!

Sweet moments on the dance floor.

Sweet moments on the dance floor.

And so, so much love. 

And so, so much love. 

Praying God's blessings upon this sweet new family. Thank you for choosing me to capture your special day! 

2 Weeks Fresh

I have a confession:

Babies scare me. 

Not in the ~woowoooooo it's a ghost!~ way. But did you know babies can't hold a pose? I'm a poser! I pose people for a living!! Babies with all their cartilage and squishiness just can't master the bend and snap. Bless.

So I decided to conquer my fear and just let precious Hadley free range. She rocked it:

Sister, I get it. I can't handle my feet under covers either. 

Sister, I get it. I can't handle my feet under covers either. 

Who needs poses when your face is this pretty? 

Helloooo Gorgeous! 

Helloooo Gorgeous! 

It's tough work being a model. 

It's tough work being a model. 

Probably the only client who won't complain about her double chin. 

Probably the only client who won't complain about her double chin. 

The more time I spend with babies in the studio, the more I love it! Simple, pure, perfection all in a tiny bundle. 

A New Friend Is Born

"When God created man and woman, he was thinking, 'Who shall I give the power to, to give birth to the next human being?' And God chose woman. And this is the big evidence that women are powerful." Malala Yousafzai
 

My friend Tiffany showed her powerful warrior spirit this week! 6 a.m. Monday morning her and her husband Cary arrived at the hospital full of excitement and ready to meet their baby girl. 

Monday turned into Tuesday. 

Tuesday turned into Wednesday. 

I arrived, camera in hand, by 6:30 Wednesday morning. Epidural was in, water broken, and we were in high spirits that baby girl would be making her grand entrance soon! 

We were wrong. 

As the day wore on, and nerves were frazzled to the max, we saw moments of frustration. 

Moments of silliness.

Moments where God stepped in and answered prayers in a big way. 

I can not get over the look on all 3 faces. 

I can not get over the look on all 3 faces. 

Late, late Wednesday night, exhaustion blanketed the room. 

As the clock creeped closer to Thursday the sound track of baby's heart beat started to change its tune. A lively beat, a rush of anticipation, and a mama's primal urge. It was time to push!

In the wee hours of Thursday, 6/16/16, sweet Hadley made her eagerly awaited entrance! 

Her first smile! She's just so happy to be holding her mama! 

Her first smile! She's just so happy to be holding her mama! 

She and I had some sweet conversation about all the shenanigans we will get into together! 

She and I had some sweet conversation about all the shenanigans we will get into together! 

Happy Birthday, Hadley! I'm thankful I was there to share these moments with you! 

 

 

Birth Photography in Oklahoma City

Batteries are charged, memory cards are cleared and the waiting game begins! I can't wait until I get the call to head to the hospital to capture sweet baby Hadley's birth. 

Cuties!

Cuties!

These two are going to be such wonderful parents! 

Obviously, I'm hysterical behind the camera.

Obviously, I'm hysterical behind the camera.

Any day now these two will become a family of three! The adventure has just begun! 

Home Sweet Rwanda

The first time I stepped foot on Rwandan soil I was terrified, excited and jet lagged. We were there to see our third child and bring him home.

Home of Hope, Kigali, Rwanda. 2007

Home of Hope, Kigali, Rwanda. 2007

The second time Rwanda called to me, I begged a friend to go with me. The two of us hauled art supplies and hearts full of joy, ready to love on kids and create a VBS experience.

Crafting for Jesus 2012

Crafting for Jesus 2012

In 2015 City of Joy asked me to bring my camera and help capture the daily life of children at their school and help them raise money to sponsor kids and build a new home and church.


Precious faces

Precious faces

Cell phones and squishy cheeks

Cell phones and squishy cheeks

I've tried to explain how Rwanda makes me feel, but I'm no good with words. It's a pull, a constant nudge to go, to do, to be there.

Now trip number 4 is less than a month away.

Belay Global has invited me and my camera to tell the story of brave women who are seeking a way out of prostitution. For one week in March I will attempt to be the hands and feet of Jesus to these women. To respectfully share with the world how special these sisters are and to impress the importance of supporting them so that they can work and provide for their families with dignity.

Chillin'

Chillin'

Wanna help? Right now would you just pray? For my family that I'm leaving behind, for my trip, and mostly for the people that I'm going to meet. That they only see Jesus when they see me.

Thank you, friends! More updates soon!

Christmas Surprises

There was quite a bit of sneaking that had to be done to pull off this shoot! Thankfully the husband was not upset once he saw the final results!

Red Thread Adoption Session on Fox 25

It's exciting to get an email from a local new anchor asking for an interview! Our local Fox station heard about the volunteer work I do with Red Thread Sessions and wanted to know more and meet some of my clients. It was a nerve wracking honor! So thankful for the video editor who took out my flailing hands, the bird that tried to attack me and my impromptu attempt at the robot. All bad things!

Adoption has changed our lives and my heart is full of compassion for other families who are walking the same path. I love each one of the families I'm able to work with through this organization.

Here's the video:

http://www.okcfox.com/story/27156422/adoptive-families-get-priceless-family-photos#.VFI5oKM-vDg.facebook

Source: http://www.okcfox.com/story/27156422/adoptive-families-get-priceless-family-photos#.VFI5oKM-vDg.facebook