Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cultivating Confidence-Annette's story

Growing up was not exactly easy for me, but I always tried to make the best of it. My parents divorced when I was nine years old. It was embarrassing for me as a child/teen mentioning that my parents were divorced because this meant we lived in an apartment, I didn’t have my own room and I may not be too much fun. I had many friends who had happily married parents, lived in a house, and even had a pet. I always wondered what it was like to grow up in a house with your own room. I took it for what it was and went with it, since it was all that I knew. I started to become insecure of who I was, because I was not too proud of what I had to offer to my friends. I always knew that making friends was not a problem, again, it was what I had that was. When I was in high school, we moved in with my grandmother, who lived in a green and yellow house with no air conditioning and I shared a room with my mom. I loved my mom greatly, but it was difficult not having much privacy when your friends were over. I was on the drill team, and drove a 1985 Mercury Zepher, again with no air conditioning. No matter where I went, my hair was flat, I was sweating before I had gotten to any destination, I had severe eczema due to the heat, and did not think that I was very pretty at all. I knew my parents were doing what they could for me, but it was hard to keep up with what all the other kids had in high school. This was difficult because it had taken a toll on my self-esteem, when high school was supposed to be some of the best years of my life. The motivation behind this insecurity was to graduate high school, become something of passion, and give myself all the things that I could never have and wanted.

Shortly after I graduated Graduate School, met my husband, married, we then had our first son, Jake. This was when my second insecurity hit me like a ton of bricks. It was being a mother and a wife. Who would of known that this was going to be an insecurity of mine? I surely didn’t! I had always envisioned what kind of mother and wife I wanted to be, “it shouldn’t be that hard, right?,” is what I would ask myself. Truthfully, being a parent and wife is one of the hardest jobs that I think I have ever had, even beyond my college years, which was pretty hard! I feel that it is hard knowing what your supposed to do as a wife and mother if you have never really seen a true picture of it. I had a mother, of course, but it was always stressful because we were always living in survival mode. It was rare to see that parenting was a joyous thing. And my parents divorced when I was so young that I didn’t get to see what being a wife was about in action either. It is a struggle, an inner battle, just to believe and hope that I am being the good mother and wife that I have always longed to be.

With these experiences and insecurities that I grew up with and still struggle with today, I have learned so much and would not take them back! It was hard and difficult and is still challenging to this day, but ultimately these experiences have made me become who I am. The Social Worker, Adoption Counselor, CPS Investigative Worker, Behavior Resource Specialist, and Special Ed Teacher, is what I have become and have experienced. I have a great love and passion for at-risk and Special Ed kids. I have a really big heart and would do just about anything to help these kids. I would buy them food, clothes, and hug them lots assuring them that they are loved and that they are special regardless what circumstance they were in. My experiences growing up motivated me to be the person that I passionately am. My best piece of advice is don’t let your insecurities get the best of you! Bottom line is, you are who you are because of your experiences and your life. Life is precious and you never know when it will be taken away. So teach those you love what life is all about, love them, and make time to teach them that what you have does not signify who you are. We tend to worry so much that living is actually very difficult for many of us who have these insecurities. Learn to be happy for no reason!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Megan and Brad-DFW Engagement photographer

It is such an honor to do Megan and Brad's pictures. You see, I got to watch this love story. They are so great together! My kids love them so much, especially my daughter. She loves Mr. Brad.

I am so excited to document this part of their lives together and can't wait to watch the next chapter. I'll let them get married before I wish a newborn session on them!

We went to Southlake Town Center on a Sunday, so it was like we had the place to ourselves. It was so much fun. It was such a change of pace to take pictures of adults who took direction! I loved it.

Here is wishing you years and years of happiness, Megan and Brad!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photography Tips-Using Available light

I often get questions about what light I use to take my pictures. I use all natural light (which means I'm too lazy to learn my flash). Honestly, I just love natural light. I usually try to find a place with shade, which may seem counter-intuitive, but I don't like splotchy sun or shadows on the face or under the nose.

If I am doing a session at someone's house, I try to set up next to a big window where the sun is not streaming on the floor. I love to use the light from doorways. I am posting a few pictures taken in the front doorways at my friend's houses. Even if you shoot on green box or auto on your camera it will figure out that you have enough light and the flash won't go off. Often times, people have tile or wood floors that help reflect the light up. I don't know about your kids, but my kids look so washed out when I use my flash. So next time you want to snap a picture of your daughter in her princess dress or your son in something you love, open your front door.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cooper 1 year session-Flower Mound Child Photographer

This session was filled with balloons and sugar, which I highly recommend and in that order. Cooper turned one and we did a smash cake session. It is so fun to watch since no two children react the same to cake. Let's just say he is a fan! Underneath that red, clown looking mouth of his was a smile. His parents were so good and moved all their furniture out of the way, so we had the whole living room to chase him. Thanks for a fun session, Cooper!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cultivating Confidence-Linda's story

My name is Linda Morrison and I am a Christ-follower, a Wife, and a Mom.

I am confident.

I haven’t always been confident, though.

I used to be dependent on myself and I thought my ability to be confident for any period of time was made possible by events, other people, successes, and my own abilities. Because I misunderstood where confidence comes from, I was on a roller-coaster of self-worth.

Throughout my 20’s, my self-worth was low and my confidence relied solely on who or what people told me I was. I spent the early part of my 20’s working hard for the next job promotion and searching for a husband. My hard work paid off, though. I received promotion after promotion and even got married. After I was married and had the title I wanted at work, I thought I had it all.

I thought I had it all, but for only a little while. For three years I was failing at both the job and the marriage, until both ended. I was devastated and let my failures define me. My confidence and self-worth were at an all-time low and I didn’t know where to turn. I once again turned to my own abilities and relied on what others thought of me to define who I was. I worked more and more hours and spent my free time dating without discretion.

In my late 20’s, I was led by a single friend to Fellowship Church that had a very robust singles ministry. I know now that this change in direction for me was fully orchestrated by God. I attended church regularly, but didn’t think I was worthy because of my divorce. I soon learned about God’s true and real forgiveness for those who believe in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. I knew the only way I could get off the roller coaster of low confidence and low self-worth was to call out to Jesus. That is just what I did on March 11, 2001.

I gave my life to Jesus, and through studying God’s word I learned where true confidence and self-worth comes from. They come from God. They come from God’s abilities in our lives and not our own abilities. Lasting and reliable confidence is available to all of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior. All we have to do is rely on a constant and never-changing God, instead of ourselves or other people.

So, 10 years after I accepted Christ and began studying God’s word regularly, I am married to a wonderful man, I have two beautiful children, and a fulfilling career. The best part of my life is not what I have, but whose I am. I am confident in an all-powerful and all-loving God.

For anyone struggling with lack of confidence, consider where you are trying to get it from. Godly confidence comes from taking the focus off our own strengths and placing our focus on His strength. We can’t, but He can!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Luke-18 months DFW children's photographer

I can't say it enough-I love watching these kids grow up. This big guy has changed so much. He is an energetic little boy and I tried to capture that in this session. He loved his hat and it made for a great session!

This first picture epitomizes an 18 month session!

Here are a few of my favorites:

I heart faces-sun flare

This week's challenge is sun flare. I am learning to embrace sun flare. It used to scare me and now I can't wait to incorporate it. This picture is was celebrating her birthday! Be sure to check out the other amazing entries at!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cultivating Confidence-Victoria's story

I don’t normally do an introduction for my cultivating confidence posts, but this week is a little different. You see, last week I reached out to a local celebrity and asked her if she would consider being a part of my series. I was so excited when she replied and said she would.

Victoria Snee is a co-host of the morning show on MIX 102.9 in Dallas. I have listened to her for years. She used to be an entertainment reporter on CW 33 who interviewed stars and went to movie premieres. I always thought she had good reviews and I found her very relatable. On the morning show, she does some very cool segments like “Star Style” and another one of my favorites is “Fashionably Frugal Friday.” Who doesn’t want to know about cool deals in the area that are in style and affordable?

She has a website called, where she shares beauty tips. She also just wrote a book called “The Beauty Buzz: No More Beauty B.S.!”

I cannot say enough good things about her. She had a number of books signings and appearances and yet she had her write up to me within days—that meant the world to me. She is also very passionate about promoting esteem in others, too. Here is Victoria’s story:

Photo provided by Victoria Snee

I would say that my biggest insecurity has always been fear of being myself and people not liking me. When I started in radio, we would always give our opinions about different topics and issues and at first, I didn’t want to say anything too controversial. I didn’t want to upset people or say something I thought they might not like. But then I realized, it didn’t really matter. Not everyone is going to love you. You will have people who don’t like you for things that you can’t even control, like the sound of your voice. I realized that if I am not true to myself, I can never be true to anyone else. Embrace who you are and love who you are. The opinion that matters most is your opinion about yourself.

I love that the older I get, the more confident I get. I feel more confident in my own skin. I feel good about the person that I am. I constantly strive to be a better person--a better wife, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend. I will always put pressure on myself to succeed both professionally and personally in my relationships, but I realize that it’s OK to make mistakes. If I do fall, I will dust myself off and get right back in there and not be scared to try again. Failing is when we truly learn what we are made of. I believe you must fail to truly succeed.

My best advice—never stop trying! When one door closes, another one always opens. I tell anyone trying to get into the broadcast business (TV or radio), take any job that they will give you no matter what it is. All you need is a foot in the door. Get in there and show them what you are really made of and what you can really do.