I. Am. Home.

It's been a few months since I've blogged. I've tried to be better at it, but the reality is, it's the last thing I think about with stressed.

We moved from Oklahoma to California. California was my home from infant to mid-twenties. I tried to get away from the big city life, but ultimately it was not for me. I could not be happier.

 

Cadilliac Ranch - Amarillo Texas

Cadilliac Ranch - Amarillo Texas

Our trip from Oklahoma actually wasn't too bad, considering it was just me and my 5 year old. I did try to shake it up a bit and sprinkle in some fun stops.

Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo, Texas

Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo, Texas

Unfortunately, my 5 year old was more interested in getting to our final destination than he was any of my silly ideas. Like, hiking Lava Flow Trail in the Coconino National Forest. He said hell nah.

Either way, We did have some fun times...

And then we finally made it to California. I am just so happy.

 

Venice Beach, CA

Venice Beach, CA

This trip was not without it's hang ups. Life is never smooth. But I am so glad to be home and cannot wait to share what is coming.

Self Esteem is Scary but Self Acceptance is Terrifying

Why? Why are these words scary? Have we become so comfortable in pointing out our flaws, dreaming of sometimes unattainable things and spending all our time wishing we were someone else? Is there really something wrong with who you are now?

We always think of these two things as synonymous, but, they're very different things. Self esteem indicates that you understand you are valuable and worthwhile, whether you believe you're highly valuable or not. But, self acceptance requires a deeper understanding of your true and full self. It is knowing that you are you, you understand your weaknesses and your strengths, you don't hold yourself to arbitrary standards set by strangers. You know what you're capable of and not capable of and there is no qualms with that.

Loveryourself

This is HARD stuff. I'm not even going to try to be another one of those people that's like "Here's 5 Simple Steps to Accept Yourself", because that's not a thing. It takes work, lots of work and lots deprogramming. It's not your fault if you cannot accept who you are. We have everyone around us telling us who we should be, all hours of the day, how could you not believe it?

sacramento boudoir

There are so many ways to start your journey of self acceptance. Some work better for some and not so good for others. It just really depends on who you are and where you're at. For many, they find that seeing themselves through other peoples eyes is a really good launching pad.

sacramentoboudoir

One thing I've learned best over the years is that it doesn't matter what anyone looks like. You are beautiful. You are art. Every winkle, curve, muscle, scar, dimple and stretch mark. Your awkwardly crooked teeth or your extra long 2nd toe. All of it. You're beautiful and you need to see that. Maybe through someone else. Because I know how this works. You need tangible proof. You need to believe it and you'd likely believe someone else's perspective before your own. If that is what helps jump start your journey to self acceptance, GO FOR IT. Whatever helps.

And, I'm not saying all this to be like - you don't need to work out and eat healthy. You don't need to better your mental health, stress or anything like that. We're adults and we are always trying to better ourselves. Be healthy, be productive members in society and have solid relationships with others. So, don't misconstrue the message. Take care of yourself. But, part of self care, is self love. Love yourself.
 

bodypositivesacramento

Every year that goes by, my love of beauty/boudoir sessions grows. But, something happened in the last few months. Maybe, I've hit my threshold for self deprecation? Either way, I am working hard to be another person to flip the expectation of a boudoir sessions. These sessions, wrapped up in a perfect little bow. With the standard allure of fancy lingerie dangling at your ankles, high heels you'd never actually wear out and a garter belt you learned how to use that day.

If that's what you want, to be different, hey that's ok too! Sometimes a change in aesthetic is fun. My focus, however, is getting you in your element. Finding your everyday and showing you the sexy in it. Because, your aesthetic may be leggings and a big t shirt, but, girl... You look good.

 

sacramentoboudoir

My entire focus is to show you that you are still sexy in your world. You are beautiful for all the things you enjoy and excel at. I don't care if all you do is read all day or you're the pinball machine master. It's awesome. You're awesome. And when you feel empowered in even your most redundant tasks and normal hobbies, there is nothing that can stop you.
 

cozy boudoir body positive

In the end, self love and acceptance is important. However you need to achieve that, more power to you. I am so proud of the fact that I can help provide a starting point for women to find their sexuality, see themselves in a different light, feel empowered and sexy. This is one thing I don't think I could ever take for granted. Find your launching pad, your platform. Find yourself. Because everyone around you knows you're great, but maybe you still need a little more convincing.  If you think that you may want to start with me, contact me here! I'd love to hear from you.

loveyourself
bodypositiveloveyourself
bodypositiveloveyourself

Surprise! You're Engaged! A Tulsa Engagement

Nothing thrills me more than surprise engagements. I love them! So, naturally, when Samantha (a friend of mine and the brides) asked if I would be available on Christmas Eve - it was a big fat HELL YES.

I met with Emily a few weeks before and kinda loved her. I knew very little of her girlfriend but I had met her years ago when she adopted a sweet little puppy named Pickles from my vet office. Danielle has so much energy and this amazingly contagious happiness and well.. shes fun! After meeting Emily, I could not wait for this. Two really rad people, one really awesome event.

Danielle was escorted by Samantha on a scavenger hunt around Tulsa to all the places where their relationship started and bloomed. Each location had a lovely card with either a written clue, or a video Emily had made. Thankfully for all of us awaiting her arrival, Samantha had the hunt up on Facebook live.

A while ago, Danielle had told Emily that she didn't want to be proposed to with a ring. She wanted a KitchenAid Mixer. Well, she got her mixer AND an absolutely gorgeous ring.

So, now we wait! Everyone is getting really excited. Keeping close tabs on the live feed. Tulsa had also apparently decided that we were going to have spring weather for Christmas, so on top of it being a little warm, the sun had come out in full force! It really could have gone in any direction, but we were thankful it wasn't raining.... yet.

We finally see Danielle and Sam walking up the road and ITS TIME!

Everyone moves away like a curtain and Danielle gets to see the "Special Date" Emily had planned for her.


 

In case you were wondering, she said yes... duh.
 

Congratulations to both of you. You have so many wonderful things ahead and I am SO FREAKING EXCITED for you! Hope to catch ya on the West coast. <3
 

Jennifer + Nathan - Centennial Park Wedding

I remember walking out of this wedding with my 2nd photographer and her saying "You know the coolest people". Truth be told, I really do. Jenn and Nate are probably the most easy going couple I've met, and their humans are just hilarious. 12 hours with these guys and I swear my abdominal muscles were sore from laughing so much.

Jennifer, being a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Nate, a huge animal lover, obviously got their sweet dog involved in the event. And who doesn't love a dog at the wedding?!

I think I basically won the photographer lottery here because - most weddings I photograph, run completely on time. This one was no exception. The entire day ran smoothly and felt so relaxed. Other than it being 1000 degrees outside, it was perfect.

 

In Tulsa, OK, Centennial Park has the greatest event center. The AC was kicking, the space was beautiful and the lighting was perfection. I have got to remember to suggest this to clients. I loved this space.

I'm so thrilled to have been able to capture this event for Jennifer. And, if you ever need a sweet, compassionate Veterinarian - Go see Dr. Livesay at VCA in Tulsa!

 

How To: Preparing For A Boudoir Session

Lots of women search tirelessly online to figure out how exactly to prepare for your upcoming boudoir session.  

What do you wear?

What angles and poses are best for bigger girls? 

Should I wax before a shoot?  

What type of heels should I bring? 

Can I eat before a shoot? 

 

Well, ladies. I'm about to answer all of your questions and more. Ready?  

 

1.  Whatever you want. Do you like big sweaters? Bring it. Wanna just go nude? Cool. Do you feel sexy in a furry suit. Phenomenal. 

2. All angles are good for bigger girls. Yup. You know why? Because your body is beautiful from every angle. I promise you. 

3. Wax? Sure. Whatever. If you want, but all I'm saying is heaven forbid you grow any amount of hair on your body. I mean, how dare you! 

4. Heels? Why? I mean, totally bring some of you want. Is that what you're comfortable in? Is a pair of sexy heels really who you are as a person? Cause if not then don't bring them. Be you. Don't be some typical boudoir clichè, that's not what this is about.  

5. Please don't starve yourself and get hangry on set. This is tiring work here. You will be a little tired after. Eat girl. It is after all needed for survival.  

 

There. Done. Wanna know how to prepare for a boudoir set? Come in, be yourself, nail the shoot like I know you will and leave like the damn sparkley diva goddess woman you are. Stop worrying about every little detail or keep putting it off for another 10lbs. This is your body and you don't have to love it, but I do and I guarantee someone else in your life does too. Be you, because it's all you can do and it's awesome.  

Dark Styled Bridal - Langley, Oklahoma

Erika doesn't much care for being in front of the camera, I know this because it took months to convince her to do a shoot with me. SOMETHING. I'm like that nagging friend that never goes away... she caved. muahahaha

I know some great people with some even greater land in this state, so having the opportunity to use Howard Haven up in Langley is super exciting. Amongst the Longhorn Ranch, you'll find beautiful quarries, small ponds, a large workshop filled with antiques boats and my favorite area - the private boat dock. We hopped in the Gator and took a tour of this gorgeous land, stopping every so often for a photo Op.

Being a cattle ranch, there's a good chance you'll end up with skeletal remains. And after seeing the skull of one of their females, my heart flew out my chest and I was in love. This simple bridal quickly switched gears and became a dark bridal. Although, I believe it to be more fitting to Erika anyways.

 

Random pieces of fabric can work in so many ways. Experimentation is super fun. I think I may start a series on different ways you can play with your cameras. Would you be interested in participating in a weekly challenge? Check out the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/241691556225825/

Sunrise Boudoir - Santa Cruz, CA

I woke up heavy eyed and caffeine deficient. Staring at my phone "5:45am". Is this a thing? I didn't know there even was a 5am.... but, being that my love of sleep has caused me to miss out on something far more amazing than sunsets - I had to get up and do this.

I finally got up, threw my hair up and grabbed my leggings. Handle it. Leslie met me at the bottom of the hill and we made the journey out to West Cliff. Fog is something I've missed a great deal in Oklahoma. We get some, but its never like the fog you get on the coast. We walked down the 17,000 (yes, exact number) steps to the sand and you can see the thick fog for miles. The sun was rising directly over the light house, letting in a perfectly diffused golden color.

The only people around were 2 older women walking their dogs. As Leslie was walking out into the water, they joked about how cold it was. Another reason I love this area, people see a half naked girl being photographed on the beach and they act like its the most normal thing in the world.

 

It was cold. Colder than cold. This girl, just jumps right in. I've known Leslie a long time, so I'm not completely surprised, but that tiny bit of surprise you have when you know you yourself wouldn't do it because NO THANKS.

After the dog walkers left up the shoreline a bit, there was silence. Not a car on the road, no dogs, no humans. Just the sound of the waves and I count the waves "1...2...3...4....5....6 Ok, break!" Is that 7th wave rule true? No idea, but they do seem to get bigger, so I'll just go with it. It's been a thing in my head since I was a kid, whatevs.

 

This was one of those sessions that seemed a little surreal. Here you have a completely empty beach, it's clean, the background is amazing, the fog lifting off the ocean and a woman excited to pose nude AND get up at this ungodly hour with me. I say this about every session but here I go again - This. was. amazing. It was. If you ever have the opportunity to get your butt up at sunrise and shoot, do it. PLEASE.
 

A Wonderful Witchy Tarot Set - Tulsa, OK

Amber is my hair lady. Oh man, this woman. She comes from a line of tarot reading women, so naturally we agreed on this set. I found the perfect place in South Tulsa, and we set the date. I think the date was the hardest part because having to plan around the full moon. Then of course there being enough light for the shoot in the woods and not having to wait an hour for the moon to raise high enough to capture.

In the end, despite a few hangups (snakes!!!!), I could not be more pleased with this shoot.

Amber NAILED IT. With Halloween coming up too, this is just too much good stuff.

 

Amber, an artist herself, can be found here. If you're in the area, I HIGHLY recommend stopping by. Make up was done by the LOVELY Lauren Sylvester. Check her out HERE!