Wednesday, February 7, 2018


So, this was a super fun composite photo I did of my daughter for Valentine's Day.  I actually had a different photo in mind, and even bought the stock background for it, but decided to go with some stock that I already had and I love how it turned out. I wanted it to be magical, pink (which is my favorite color) and something she can always have to remember her childhood.  I hope that one day, when my daughter looks back on these photos, and shows her children, they will be like "Mom, were you in a field with an elephant?"  I'm so glad that all my children will have these types of photos (and then some) to treasure for the rest of their life.  Nothing makes me happier then creating these one-of-a-kind pieces for them.  Here are a few snapshots of the post work with the finished photo :)


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

                                                       "The Flock"
                            "Letting Go" 

 In some ways I've touched on this subject in my blog "The Deep End," but I'm kinda in a series with my photos right now that are about loneliness, letting go and so on. These two photos go hand in hand.  With this particular photo I created of myself, I wanted to express the pain of letting go--letting go of the pain, letting go of people that no longer belong in your life, and being free.  I can also say (for me) it's about change.
So, first I'll dive into the letting go part.  I've held onto a lot of pain these last few years, and I can be honest and say I haven't let it all go (some hurts worse than others) and I'm not sure if I ever will, but I do hope in time that I can.  Sometimes people don't understand what you are going through (cause they've never been through it) so it's hard for them to put themselves in your shoes.  I do have certain people in my life that are there for me and understand and that I'm able to talk to openly about problems.  These people aren't related to me but they're special to me.  It's crazy how friends can be more loyal and open minded then your own family.  It's sad in a way, because some family members want to destroy your relationships, think you have something to hide, and just plain out don't respect your wishes as a parent or wife/husband.  This is where the letting go part comes in.  Get rid of them.  If they are not doing you good in your life, then don't let them in.  Don't keep opening a door for them to keep mistreating you and disrespecting you.  Let go!  
So, with change, it can be letting go of people close to you, but for me change is scary.  I would like to say I'm adventurous, but in reality, I'm terrified of change.   Change could be letting people go, a new job, a big move--anything that scares you.  Sometimes we have to let go and and see where things fall.  If it's meant to be, then it will be.  If it's not, then it's not.  If people are meant to be in your life, then they will find a way to be.  I hope writing about my photos helps you understand why I create the images I do, and I hope it helps you for whatever you might be going through :)

Monday, January 22, 2018

                               "Bell's Palsy"

   Almost twelve years ago, my life changed forever.  I used to feel beautiful, was able to form a complete smile, and life couldn't have been better.  Then I woke up one morning with my right ear hurting.  I took some Tylenol and thought it would go away.  The pain was horrible; I would've rather given birth over and over again than to feel what I was feeling at the time.  I could feel a bump forming in my ear, and eventually made a doctor's appointment.  It's there I found out I had shingles, and it was in my ear.  Now, most people (from what I've heard) get it on their rib cages and places like that.  Well, not me.  The next morning I woke up to the right side of my face feeling numb.  I called the doctor and told him I couldn't feel that side of my face anymore.  I went back to the doctor and that's when he told me the shingles had severed my seventh nerve and I had Bell's Palsy.  I'd never heard of that before, so of course it freaked me out.  The doctor told me that I should be fine and everything should be back to normal in 8-10 weeks.  Well, those 8-10 weeks came and went and I still had Bell's Palsy.  I called him and he said I guess you're in that one percentile that will remain like this.  He never offered any kind of treatment for me, and I feel like if he did (because I had no idea), maybe, just maybe we could have fixed me.  As a woman, this is devastating; we are judged based on our looks, hair, makeup, clothes, and our general outside appearance.  To me, that all went away twelve years ago.  I know it's what counts on the inside and not the outside, but that doesn't stop you from not feeling pretty anymore, not worthy, and feeling like people just stare at you.  I hope one day I can find peace with this, but I still look at old photos and wonder how do you go from looking and smiling one day to the next day looking totally different...
I'm posting a before photo of me, and the fine art photo I created to show you how I feel when I look into a mirror.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"The Deep End"

                                   "The Deep End"


Do you ever just find yourself so overwhelmed with life that you are about to fall off the deep end?  Life isn't easy; there are ripples all along the way and sometimes it doesn't seem like it will ever be a smooth sail again.  It will, it just might take longer than you were wanting or expecting.  I feel in some way that has been me.  It's been a rough few years, dealing with serious issues within the family life...even with extended ones. This also could go for friends as well.  I'm not going to go into my story but I do want to ask you a question.  Do you ever get so mad that you make a rash decision and regret it the next day?  Yea, me too.  But here recently I did just that, and for the first time in a long time, I had no regret on my decision.  I feel better about myself, I feel better that I've let people know how I feel and I have no regrets.  What amazes me is how you now become the "evil" person for just speaking the truth.  What I can say is it's not cool to hide behind fakeness.  The fakeness I'm talking about includes the subtle comments or posts (if you are into the social media thing) that someone might say or leave that are clearly targeting someone, but are vague, and they hide behind that, so later they can deny and say that's not what I meant or it had nothing do with so and so.  I am now a no bull shit kind of person.  What you see is what you get. I'm not a blunt person (one that has no filter), but I won't hide behind my feelings like I used to. This picture means to me that if you're on the edge of the deep end, keep holding on; life goes on and people come and go.  Let that shit go and be free and you will be much happier :) 

Thursday, August 7, 2014


As many of you know I have six beautiful children.  Lilly is my youngest.  She just turned four in July.  This makes me happy and sad all at the same time.  Lilly will be starting kindergarten next year and this breaks my heart.  The reason it does is that I have always had a child at home with me for the past 16 years and I don't know what I'm going to do with myself when she leaves for school.  I want to keep her my baby forever but I can't.  Time truly does go by so fast...especially as an adult.  I do know for sure that this next year I'm going to enjoy every moment before I send her off to her first day of school.  Here are a few pictures from her four year old shoot.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Shoot, 2013

For the past couple of years I've been doing themed photo shoots with my children for Halloween.  I try to raise the bar every year, and outdo the previous year.  This year's theme came to me one night while I was trying to fall asleep. My vision had my oldest daughter, Halie, as a witch holding a crystal ball.  Inside the crystal ball would be my other children, all in their Halloween costumes.  I was going for a "trapped inside by their sister and can't go trick or treating" feel.  I am pleased with how my vision came to life--it was exactly how I wanted it to turn out.

The picture is a composite of three pictures.  The main one being Halie (the witch), a candy dish as the crystal ball, and a group shot of the five kids.  This was all done in my studio on a black and white background.  Taking the photos was the easy part--the post processing not so much.  It took almost eight hours to complete.  Anyway,  I hope you enjoy the photo as much as I do.  Until next year!

Here's Halie during makeup:

 Here's the final product:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Memories From the Past: The Arkansas Health Center

Memories from the Past:
The Arkansas Health Center
Maybe it was my past experience in patient care or just my undying curiosity to explore living history, but ever since I learned of the Arkansas Health Center, and its rich history, I just had to do a photo project there.  I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer, who works at the AHC, and was willing to make special arrangements to escort me around the historical grounds.
There has been a state mental hospital in Arkansas, in some form, since 1873.  It moved locations several times over the decades, expanded, and went through multiple name changes.  In 1929, the state’s existing hospital was over-crowded to the point that the state authorized building an additional facility.  The state chose a tract of land off of Highway 67, near Benton, and began building.  This is the modern site of the Arkansas Health Center. 

Buildings were first occupied in 1936.  Since then, some buildings were demolished and some new buildings were added.  Today, most of these original buildings are empty and just sit with memories of once was.  Many are condemned and have been unoccupied for close to 30 years.  During my tour, Jennifer sadly mentioned that plans were being made to demolish more of these historic buildings.

The next three pictures are from the old Auditorium.

General living area pictures...

The darkness, with only the the light from the window coming through, gives you feelings from a time long ago.

The chapel

The Gibson Building, called building 70 by the staff.  This was built in 1951.  Scenes from the movie "Sling Blade" were shot inside this building.

The current laundry room inside Building 70 is in the room that used to be the morgue.  The antique wooden doors are still in tact.

The offsite barn holds many more historic relics.

I want to give thanks to Jennifer and David for allowing me access.  You both were very welcoming.  I appreciate your taking the time to let me photograph such a beautiful and historic place.