January 31, 2012


About two and a half years ago, I decided I wanted to really get serious about my photography, and specifically photographing people. Photographing people seemed much harder for me than photographing landscapes and flowers.

So, I needed to practice, and practice a lot.

At that particular time, I had only one model at my disposal on a regular basis.

You've met him before, but here's a reminder just in case you've forgotten.

These three pictures are a great representation of what I got whenever I could convince junior to let me practice my portrait photography.

He made me pay, and he made me pay big.

In case you're wondering, it's totally possible to be furious with someone while laughing hysterically at the same time.

However, angry laughing aside, after this particular shoot (which followed on the heels of several other similar shoots) I was pretty bummed. I needed a willing model who would actually behave themselves if I wanted any chance of getting better.

Kayla has been buddies with my youngest since grade school, and I'm surprised I didn't think of calling her sooner.

Like, before I'd pulled all my hair out and pinched my charming boy black and blue.

Over the next couple years, Kayla was game to model absolutely any time I had a whim to get my camera out.

Kayla was instrumental in my decision to start my small senior photography business.

And my son was instrumental in my decision to make my senior photography business for girls only.

Before I knew it, it was time for Kayla's senior pictures. We wanted to do something very fun and different. She knew she wanted flowers floating in the water and she knew she wanted pink, and we both wanted it to be soft and ethereal and dreamy. So we grabbed a boat and every fluffy, soft and cushy pink thing we could find and set out to create our floating photo vision.

I have to give a huge shout out to Kayla's mom, Tamsen. The boat had a mind of its own and Tamsen got a major workout making it cooperate.

Kayla, on the other hand, did not get any form of workout at all. I think she almost fell asleep several times. In fact, we could barely get her out of the boat when we were done, and who could blame her. Given the opportunity, I don't think I would have ever left that pillow filled, floating photo prop myself.

The pictures turned out just as we hoped.

A girl, almost grown, dreaming about all her future holds.

Dreaming about all the possibilities.

Dreaming about her life ahead.

Dear Kayla,

Thank you.

Thank you for letting me practice.

Thank you for helping me get better.

Thank you for being so fun.

Thank you for sending all your friends my way.

Thank you for being you.

Best wishes in everything you do and everywhere you go.

Love you!


  1. Totally adore these images and very inspired...Can I pin a boat one to my Pinerest please??...I am just starting out doing this for a few friends and fellow church members families...I have so much to learn but am having fun just the same...I am in the process of booking my first Senior Photoshoot for the Homecoming King...am I nervous?? you betcha lol.

    1. Of course, Kelsie!
      Pin away!
      Good luck with your senior shoot. :)

  2. Oh Teresa, those pictures are beautiful. Just lovely. You did such a good job. I agree your pictures should be pinned, more people can see your lovely work! Great post.

  3. ohhh....{squeal} these are AWESOME. how neat that you have this pictorial history with this beautiful girl. love it!!!

  4. Stunning!
    Like you, I have 3 sons, but if I had any daughters...I'd be calling you!
    xo Cathy

  5. Your photos are just lovely! Thanks for sharing...if only you lived in West Tennessee - I'm still looking for a photographer.


  6. gorgeous! what a lucky girl to have you for a photographer and your gorgeous home for a backdrop!

  7. Beautiful!
    If you ever miss photographing 3 little boys, I have a set you can practice on. :)

  8. Absolutely gorgeous. Thank Kayla for us, too, because we get the benefit of seeing the beauty - those pink filled shots are just beautiful. Hugs ~ Mary

  9. Gorgeous model . . . Adorable son, . . . Fabulous photos . . . What fun for you to be the photograph for the gals . . . I am sure you are positive mentor as well. Love all the pink and the water reflections . . .

  10. beautiful, lovely, gorgeous? yes, all of the above!

  11. Dear Teresa, you are an amazing photographer...

    Dear Kayla, you are beautiful...

    Dear Junior, you make me laugh!

  12. Hi Teresa! These are just dreamy and lovely and perfect. Her reflection in the water is stunning!! You are awesome with that camera lens!!! xoxo Debbie

  13. A lovely story and a lovely young woman!

  14. What a lovely visual treat you gave us today! Your son is simply adorable.. pinch pinch. I love what you did with the boat, water, flowers, pillows and beautiful young woman. I'm a boater and love water so that was perfect. Awesome!

  15. These photographs remind me of Tennyson's "The Lady of Shallot", especially the final shot of Kayla's hand grazing the water. These pictures are truly visual poetry - beautiful!


  16. Your pictures are beautiful. Great job!

  17. ...So beautiful. So sweet. *goosebumps* :o)


  18. These are beautiful and so unique! Thank you for sharing you talent.

  19. Lovely photos! And what a sweet and selfless girl, to help you in such a huge way!

  20. wow what a beautiful girl! you've captured her forever ...as she travels down life's road she will always remember your thoughtfulness & great gift!

  21. Well there must be something special in the water where you live all your neighbours friends and family are just beautiful!

    Wonderful photos


  22. The reflections in the water are stunning . . .
    {almost as stunning as your model!}

  23. These pictures are GORGEOUS!! I LOVE the one with her reflection in the water!! So, so, pretty!!

  24. Wow! Those photos are amazing. Your model is beautiful and you have captured her essence in your photos!!

  25. What a brave girl. I would never agree to having so many photos of me. You got lucky with that one.

  26. What beautiful, beautiful photos. I love the ones with the reflection in the water. I am so in awe of your talent. And, what a beautiful young woman in the boat!

  27. I'd say, you are
    both naturals....
    YOU at photography,
    and Kayla at modeling!
    Best wishes to you
    both as you go forward
    and conquer the world!!!

    xx Suzanne

  28. um gorgeous. saw your comment on FPFG and liked it, so i hopped on over. you have a pretty space here. and i'm totally not coveting your photography skills at all. nope. ; )

  29. Oh my gosh! Can we say MAGAZING..BOOK...AD...EVERYTHING worthy.

    Girl, you are one word. Amazing.


  30. I'm with Mary. Girl, you are ON YOUR WAY. To where? Heck if I know. But mark my words. And that Kayla is gorgeous and that Riley is a crack-up. (Those curls! Swoon. Don't tell him I said that.)

    Mad love and props to you.

    ps - BL? How's it coming???

  31. I'm in love with your photography! Kayla is the perfect model and the props and setting were Divine! You really created a mood and your desired effect dreamy and ethereal was spot on!


  32. My mom said kids always need time to dream...no pressures, just a porch or in this case, a boat, to just dream.
    Beautiful pictures.

  33. Completely gorgeous! Both the girl and the boat! The flower floating on top of the water are such a whimsical touch! So,so beautiful! Angie xo

  34. I can't stop laughing at your son's triptych. I would totally have that blown up and framed really big to pull out on occasion.

  35. Absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful shots (and girl!) T. Amazing!