I wish someone was in the passenger seat when I was following the Ketchams out to their family farm; it was nuts! There I was, driving up a huge mountain, venturing down a few long country roads, looking into the rear-view mirror attempting to memorize the landmarks… tall oak tree beside a stream, red tractor, a bunch of cows, etc. I thought to myself, “If they are wanting to shoot me & dump my body somewhere, this is certainly the place!” I first realized we weren’t in “Kansas” anymore when we turned onto Possum Trot Rd. As if that weren’t crazy enough, we then took a sharp right onto Big Neck Rd. Okay, enough already, who’s in charge of naming these roads? What is a Possum Trot… does anyone know? I digress.
We eventually pulled the car over beside a long barbed wired fence. Unexpectedly I glanced to my left, an incredible field opened up & I quickly noticed the late colors of fall in the foreground with evergreens in the distance. It was beautiful. And when I think about it, every time I have the opportunity to spend some time with the Ketchams, I am greatly encouraged. They’re such a fun family. You may recall their pics from earlier this year when I was in their home for Andrew’s newborn lifestyle session. This session was different; the wind was freezing cold but the location couldn’t have been more scenic & perfect. Sometimes it’s just too cold outside & you just want to cry.
But everything is better when you’re in your momma’s or daddy’s arms.
I love this picture… maybe I’ll photoshop our family into it & have it enlarged onto a huge canvas for our living room!!
The Ketchams recently purchased a cafe in downtown Athens, Stonehaus Deli. It is by far one of my favorite lunch stops; I’m a fan!!
It’s so neat to see Laura with Andrew! I love the privilege to photograph friends & their families.
On the property is also an old barn… we stopped for a few pics.
This is real life!
Annually, I jump in the Honda & head south to New Orleans for a week to attend Pictage’s PartnerCon. It happens to be one of the most anticipated weeks of my year. The experience lends itself more to a reunion of all your college friends rather than a work conference. It is at PartnerCon that I have developed some deeply meaningful relationships with some of the best photographers in the country & I inevitably leave with solid business advice & ways to offer better service. Most importantly, I leave further enriched with friendships.
There were many highlights from the trip. One of my favorite sessions was one evening with Ralph Alswang & Paul Morse as they shared their stories & photos of when they were White House Photographers for Presidents Bill Clinton & George W. Bush. It was so intriguing to hear them recall their daily duties & highlights of shooting behind the scenes of our nation’s presidency.
Also, I’m rather partial to my dear friend, Melissa Jill. I loved having the opportunity to spend time hanging with Melissa & to hear her present on “5 Key Lessons” she has learned thus far in her business. She never ceases to amaze me with her generosity & honesty coupled with her business acumen. Great job friend!
There were many others who I thoroughly enjoyed meeting or getting to know better. If I were to mention all the names & all the reasons I’m grateful for them, it would take days. Until next year PartnerCon friends, here are a few pics to document the trip.
This year, I stayed several blocks away from the conference (hosted at the Astor Crowne Plaza on Canal St.) on St. Charles St. Each morning I would catch the trolley, settle onto it’s old wooden benches & enjoy the 15 minute commute.
This year I rarely brought out my camera. I focused rather on learning as much as possible & taking advantage of conversations. The following picture (along with the first pic in this post) was taken at sunset from the sundeck of my hotel.
Another highlight of my trip was the opportunity to share coffee with a family friend, Sarah Rhodes. Sarah is from Scottsboro, AL & a recent graduate of Auburn University who just months ago moved to New Orleans to pursue her dream & use her degree in Fine Arts. Check out (& buy!) her work at From My Bookshelf Etsy store & her Sizarah Etsy Store. We met up for coffee at Rue de la Course, opted for a spontaneous photo shoot & visited a used bookstore. It was super-fun!
Thankfully, I finally feel like I’m coming out of a bit of a funk. Our entire family has had varying levels of strep throat this week & I’m starting to feel like Walgreen’s pharmacy is my 2nd home. Nothing says ‘home’ like a sterile pharmacy lobby! Hopefully we are on the other side of it; thank God for Amoxicillin.
In other news, I’ve had three fantastic sessions this week that I’m finishing up just in time for me to leave for New Orleans next week for Pictage PartnerCon! Hands down, my favorite conference to attend!
In today’s post I am highlighting a session from last Saturday when I had the opportunity to visit & photograph the Ronne, Perry, & McIntyre families. It was like being with family & catching up with old friends. I remember the Perry’s from when I was growing up & my mom had a beauty shop in our basement. Several times a week I would walk in the door to the smell of “perm” or some other girly smell. I loved having people in our home & it seemed like her clients were an extension of our family. To me, they were. The Perry’s were one of those families. Being with them on Saturday brought back wonderful memories of a simple life. What a great time!
(From left to right) Matt Ronne, Jennifer (Perry) Ronne, Mary Beth Ronne, Hannah Perry, Andrew Ronne, Chris Perry, Carter Perry, & Shelly Perry.
Carter is such a cute little guy; here he is with his mommy, Shelly.
Mary Beth & Andrew Ronne with their little cousin, Carter.
Love these pics of the Ronne family!
Pretty sure I never had a picture like this with my older sister… love it!
Meet the McIntyre family: Rusty, Brooks, & Lauren. What a great looking crew!
Thanks Ronne, Perry, & McIntyre families. It was such a pleasure to spend some time with you. There are many more pics to see… hope you enjoy!!!
I can easily say there are few families in the world I respect as much as the Olsen family; they are top-class! Sam has become a dear friend & I look up to him in several ways. Aside from being my physician, he has further helped me by speaking into my life & reminding me of things most important. He’s a wonderful leader to his family & I respect how he engages with his lovely wife, Rachel, & their four kids, John, Sarah, Abigail, & Joseph. And Rachel has been a wonderful encouragement to Joy as they share stories of motherhood. I look forward to when they are able to get together. And, as a family, we love when we have the opportunity to hang with the Olsen’s as it seems there’s great conversation to be had & plenty of laughs!
This didn’t quite turn out as I had planned. Joseph wasn’t too excited about the idea of being without mommy or daddy.
One of my favorites of the day!
First, the little ladies. Sarah (L) & Abigail (R). These are some of the funnest little girls you’ll ever find!
And, the guys. John (L) & Joseph (R). I’m lucky to have caught this shot of John… he’s 100% full-throttle! Love this look on Joseph’s face… so sweet!
There’s so much laughter among these kiddos; I love it!
There was a playground close by so we found it ideal to get the wiggles out!
What a great day! Thanks so much Olsen’s for the opportunity to photograph your family. There’s many more pics to be seen… can’t wait to show you the rest!