The Cross Family

Guess who I get to feature today? The beautiful Cross family!! I don’t need to write too many words… you’re sure to fall in love with their smiles no matter what I say. This is definitely one of my favorite family photo shoots ever!

Taryn & Brandon Cross

Ummm wow.

It was the summer of 2017. I was thumbing through my Facebook feed when a little red blip alerted me to a new message. It was from someone named Taryn Turley, someone I didn’t know and had no connections with. The message was brief, punctuated with exclamation points, very hopeful. I read through it, then read it through again. She wanted me, a stranger, to shoot her wedding! I shot back a quick response. We met at a local Panera to confirm that we were the right couple-photographer match… and let me tell you, we 100% were.

My first impression of Taryn and Brandon was overwhelmingly positive. They were kind, cherished each other and their kiddos, worked hard. I liked them right away. Over the next couple days, we filled in details and got dates on the calendar. Engagement photos in October, wedding the following May.

So the fall came and went, and Taryn and I occasionally checked in over Facebook. In the meantime, I transplanted my life from Illinois to Indiana, earned my degree, created new circles of friends, started a full-time job. Between their engagement session and their wedding, my life really did a 180.

In February of 2018, I discovered that I had double-booked May 12. Somehow, I had failed to realize that their wedding was the day of my undergraduate graduation ceremony.


There was a brief moment of panic, and I felt sick. Graduation was important and I just knew my family wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t wear that cap and gown and walk across the stage and…

Then it hit me. My heart and mind grew calm, like a lake in early morning, as peace washed over me. I had already made my decision: I wouldn’t walk in graduation. That was that. After a quick conference with my parents (and many prayerful hours with God) I knew I’d made the right call.

It went beyond a simple scheduling mistake, though. It was a “just so happens” moment of forgetfulness on my part, one that was absolutely necessary and perfectly timed. Taryn & Brandon were worth more to me than walking across some silly stage. They are worth more period.

May 12 dawned a little sticky, a little wet. Rain threatened for most of the day and did fall for a while, right before the ceremony. But I was determined to give Taryn the prettiest pictures she’d every laid eyes on, rain or no rain. Their big day drifted by in a happy haze of hugs, laughter, tears. And praise God, I was blessed to capture every moment.

See, here’s the thing: Taryn & Brandon did it out of order. They’ve been together since high school, and have four beautiful babies, and already live together. My faith dictates (with good reason) that marriage should come before those things… but you know what? I witnessed more joy and unity at their wedding than I’ve experienced at some weddings of full-on Christ-followers. And the fact that the kiddos were there to experience mom and dad commit to each other forever? Wow. Just wow. It was 100% worth missing graduation to be at their wedding.

Marriage is sacred. It’s more than an excuse for a party; it symbolizes a much more beautiful, transcendent truth. Taryn & Brandon took part in that on May 12, and I’m overjoyed for the future they get to share.

Portraits: Mitch Randall

You know those people who make class discussions interesting, dinnertime more delightful, game nights hilarious? Yeah, that’s Mitch.

Mitch is equal parts sunny and insightful. He greets people by name and remembers facts about their lives. He has a knack for engaging in lighthearted conversation with professors and staff and peers and whoever else he meets. And I’m grateful to call him friend!

Thompson Family | Sunny Summer Portraits

“Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.” — Shauna Niequist

Why I Provide a Portrait

The most basic photography pose is a portrait: a head-and-shoulders, close-up look at the model that capitalizes on their smile. It’s my most-requested image, something all mothers and grandmothers mention. And with good reason! The basic portrait is made for the fridge or a gallery of photos on the mantel. It showcases their child or grandchild and is something they can refer guests to.

Since portraits are so often requested, it’s my policy to capture at least two per session. Artistic shots are important, but not like traditional portraits.

4 Helpful Tips for Senior Sessions

If you’ve never done a photo shoot, your senior session may seem intimidating. But don’t worry! There are several steps you can take to ensure your photos look their best…

  1. Choose outfits that are comfortable… but dressy!  Ultimately, the outfit should fit your style. Choose clothing that you’re comfortable in. (But avoid graphic tees– those just look sloppy.)
  2. Bring props! Items include: an instrument, old journals, basketball or bat, jacket or hat… anything that symbolizes your hobbies or other interests. You’ll like looking back on those later in life!
  3. The camera doesn’t bite! The best photos are the ones you’re laughing in– so be yourself! I will probably ask you to tell me a story or joke to help you relax.
  4. I’m your friend! I’m holding the camera but that doesn’t make me the unapproachable. I can’t wait to get to know you! 🙂

Senior Session: Evan & Kreigh

Evan is a reader; Kreigh enjoys track and basketball. Both boys are working toward college, finishing their high school careers with excellence. They’re gifted young men!

I enjoyed spending time Kreigh and Evan, capturing their distinct personalities and learning about their lives. Not only that, the brothers are excellent models.


Senior Session: Isaac

It was such a pleasure to spend time with Isaac and capture his laid-back, cheerful personality! From basketball to pre-med courses in the fall, Isaac is both talented and personable.

Check Pictures Off Your To-Do List!

Getting photos is often the trickiest thing on a to-do list. You just don’t remember the need for updated pictures until it’s time to send Christmas cards… or create graduation party displays!

If you’re running a little behind on getting professional images of your senior, don’t worry. Spring a great time for portraits!

Contact me to book a session today. The process is simple. Plus, you’ll get the pictures within two weeks of your session!

Senior Picture Sessions Available

It’s that time of year. You high school senior is finishing their final semester, choosing a college and getting ready to shop for a dorm room. In a couple months, you’ll create a display for their graduation party… and you’ll need a few updated pictures!

If you’re running a little behind on getting pictures done, don’t worry. Spring a great time for portraits! Contact me to book a session today!