Stepping Stone Learning Preschool

This week as I get back into blogging (finally!) I want to feature somewhere near and dear to our family hearts… Lalo’s preschool!!

This fall we had to begin looking for where he would enter his first year of preschool and we were fortunate that our church building hosted a new preschool just starting up.  We were a bit apprehensive because Lalo doesn’t always make adjustments well (or so we thought) so we wanted to make sure this was the right fit for him.  We visited last August and he was shy but that first September day we dropped him off he flew into the classroom and has never looked back!

We have been overwhelmingly pleased with the care that the teachers and directors give to all of the students as well as the smaller class sizes.  Lalo has made some great friends and I have met some really wonderful parents and I am sure we will both have some lasting friendships 🙂

The center is run by Kristi San Miguel and Donatella Arona.  Both are certified Early Childhood Educators and there are two classroom teachers as well.  The school has a playbased learning philosophy were students are encourage to explore and engage in their education as well as have some time to learn center based education prepping them for kindergarten.  Lalo has greatly benefited from this program and not only loves it but has succeeded wildly!

Stepping Stone Learning is enrolling NOW!  If you want to schedule a time to swing in let me know or fill out their contact form.  If you do enroll we both get 50% off a month’s tuition so make sure to let me know so we can both get that benefit! 🙂   2015-05-19_0003 2015-05-19_0004 2015-05-19_0005 2015-05-19_00082015-05-19_0002 2015-05-19_00012015-05-19_0006

8/52 Computer Heros!

So as many of you know a few weeks ago my hard drive died on my computer.  While I back things up religiously and it was the ‘off’ season.  It was still quite catastrophic experience.  But like many things in life, if you have excellent people walking alongside you through a crazy and turbulent time things turn out ok in the end.  Thankfully everything turned out peachy keen and thanks to some FANTABULOUS people my computer is back to me in better than working order!!! 😀

Which brings me to this week’s post…. I wanted to give a very special shout out to the people who made my machine possible, the crew over at the Learning Center Ltd. 2015-03-02_0001I was referred to these guys from a good friend and the only thing I regret was that I had not been referred sooner.  Seriously!!  Ann Arbor was without an Apple store for so long and I once drove all the way to Troy for a genius bar appointment.  Once I met these guys I will never again be visiting a genius bar…! 

2015-03-02_0005They are a certified retailer and repair center so if you have a machine or device that is still within warranty or Apple Care they can look at it, diagnose and repair it for you without voiding warranty and under warranty ‘costs’.  2015-03-02_0002Their shop is nestled in an office park on State Street after Briarwood Mall but before you hit downtown.  It is convenient and best of all has parking!  All of their staff is extremely friendly and very knowledgeable!  2015-03-02_0003My machine has needed repairs twice and I also upgraded some of my hardware and they have helped me with all of my needs promptly and with big smiles!! 🙂  2015-03-02_0004I would highly, highly recommend them to any person needing any Mac work!!! As a small business owner I am very aware of how far great costumer service can take you… and when you have fantastic costumer service and offer quality products the sky is the limit!  Thank you guys for taking great care of me always!!!!!  I hope I don’t have to see you again soon but if I do I know I’ll be in good hands! 🙂

Planning, wrapping up and catching up!

So 2014 is coming to a close, when did that happen!!!???!!  This whole year went by in a giant whirlwind and I am so incredibly grateful!  We had a lot of ups and downs this year but looking back now I cannot even write how blessed we were!  I have a ridiculous amount of catching up to do with the blog to show every event, family and senior I was able to capture so you can look forward to that in the coming year!

As many of you have heard 2015 will be another year of change for us as we prepare for the addition of our Éowyn Olivia this Spring!!!

I am still working and will be accepting weddings for the year but will only be shooting 15, so that means I will not be able to accept every one that comes my way.  I will be focusing on more local weddings (with the exception of my September Holland wedding… YEA!!) and smaller events.  So if you know of any brides looking for a SE MI photographer send them my way, please! 🙂

The last year I have been slowly changing my family sessions from posed portraits to more of a lifestyle feel.  I will continue to do that as well as some new opportunities 🙂 so if you are a regular family client get EXCITED!

Senior portraits are still one of my favorite types of sessions because they are SO different from student to student and allow for some awesome creative expression!  I am hoping to add to these sessions for the 2015 season (2016 class) and will be looking for some help!  So if you are a past AMP Purely Senior or know of someone who may be interested I will be looking come May/June for some additional help, so keep that in mind too 🙂

Another exciting thing I am pumped to start in the new year is a monthly challenge!  With the new babe on the way I want to have a schedule set up for artistic exploration!  I will be focusing on off camera lighting as well as artificial lighting because that is one way I am excited to grow my business in the next year 🙂 If you want to join me please feel free!  And if you see me, feel free to hold me accountable 😉

So as I just sent out my last wedding for year be on the look out for me to catch up on blogging my last 8 weddings from the year as well as my ump-teen portrait sessions!  2015 sure is looking EXCITING! I cannot wait! 🙂

And since a photographer’s blog isn’t complete without PICTURES! I leave you with some pictures of my loves! (minus starbuck who has been firmly planted next to my belly protecting the baby… silly pup!)

2014-12-15_0001

This is what happens when a photographer’s child puts up ornaments and you tell him ‘no, look at the tree but keep your eyes wide so I can catch the sparkle in them” …. he looks like a deer in the headlights…. goofball!

2014-12-15_0002His first trip to see Santa 🙂 2014-12-15_0003But seriously… those EYES! 🙂  Love my brown eyed boy! 2014-12-15_0004Had to include the brown eyed pup too 🙂 2014-12-15_0005These three are such goof balls and lights in my life! 🙂 ❤

Feature Friday: Maureen’s Designs

I have been hoping to incorporate blogging into my off season more (and let’s be honest, my busy season too :p ) So I began brainstorming some good topics to include during my ‘less’ busy season.

Most of the Wedding Industry is much like a blind date.  You hear good things about vendors, maybe a friend or an acquaintance knows them but in all reality you are showing up to a coffee shop or their store front with little to no background information about them.  So- enter Feature Friday!  I work with these vendors on a very regular basis!  So what greater way to get to know them then through a blog post with pictures of them and their work! 🙂

My current goal is to blog vendors once a month, but I may try to add more too that as time allows!

For January, meet Maureen of Maureen’s Designs!

You will find Maureen’s Designs on the corner of Ann Arbor Street and Michigan Avenue in Saline right behind Mac’s Acadaian Seafood.  A true mom and pop shop, Maureen opened in March of 2007 with her husband, Jack.  The two moved to Saline in 2006 with their four boys, all of whom are in college now.

2014-01-31_0003Image courtesy of Complete Luminance

Like many vendors located in Saline, Maureen appreciates the small town feel, “I really enjoy the courteous and friendly clients who recognize quality work.”

As you enter her shop it greets you warmly with not only the smell of flowers but an absolutely enchanting atmosphere.  She has some products available ready to be purchased as well as all of the necessities to make handmade arrangements.  There are several colorful vases to choose from as well as baskets and just about anything you could imagine to make a memorable bouquet.  She has a sitting area that resembles a garden patio to look over photos and ideas from clients.

2014-01-30_0003Then as you continue around her shop you will see every detail of the shop pairs perfectly with her work.  Enchanting, fresh and lively. 2014-01-30_0004I was so excited to find my floral favorite, succulents (and the most difficult potted plant to kill 😉 ) are also available for sale!

2014-01-30_0002One of the things I admire about Maureen’s work is everything she does has a personal touch.  From the arrangements you order over the phone to your bridal bouquet she has a knack of hearing what you’re looking for and creating the perfect visual masterpiece!  Maureen designs many of the pieces herself, unlike larger flower shops.  She does have on assistant that she will bring on during busier seasons but she personally oversees all creations.  Another awesome thing is how she educates her brides.  In the advent of Pintrest, many industry professionals will simply recreate what the bride brings, but Maureen is able to create from scratch some amazing artistic arrangements (as she did for my husband’s and my wedding!) as well as what you can find on Pintrest!

Here are some photos from our wedding, they really do not do the flowers JUSTICE!  I had a simply stunning Calla lily bouquet and each of my bridesmaids had these amazing handmade flower balls!!! This is a perfect example of describing to Maureen an idea and precise execution!  They served as head table decor as well with the aid of stocking hangers!  She also arranged some beautiful pieces for the front of the church too!2014-01-31_0002Photo credit to the *amazing* Sarah Lugo Photography

Below is Maureen assembling an arrangement ordered for a client’s wife’s birthday! 2014-01-30_0005Jack is there to help with more of the business end of things as well as deliveries and moral support!  You can see their love for each other in how they work together, which is pretty rare in husband and wife run business!  As you can see they are adjusting to business– and an empty nest very well! 2014-01-30_0007 Maureen is still booking for some 2014 Weddings and Events!  So get in while the gettin’ is good!  Also she is an excellent choice for Valentines Day, or just because!  While located in Saline, they deliver to all of Washtenaw County!

If you have had any work done by Maureen make sure to leave some love on the blog or on her facebook page!!

Maureen’s Website

Maureen’s Facebook

Holiday Themed Portraits 2013

(general disclaimer! my blog is WAY behind!  I will be backlogging this down-season to catch up! But please enjoy this recent post!)

I am very fortunate to have wonderful friends and clients who are willing to let me inspire their portrait sessions!!! This session was supposed to take place at the amazing Urquharts Tree Farm but due to unforeseen circumstances we had to make due with this beautiful setting at a neighborhood park in Dexter.

I was able to use a beautiful handmade family quilt, my husband’s old Detroit News Red Ryder wagon and some beautiful products from Etsy and some Pintrest Inspiration.  Super thankful the weather was magnificent and my models were willing and ready!!!  Soph loved playing in our fake snow since I couldn’t make the snow cooperate (though we much preferred the sun over chilly cloudiness!) but fell casualty to some glitter in the eye.  Thankfully she is a trooper and a little love from mom, dad, grandma and grandpa (and Tio Nick!) helped to remedy the situation!   Make sure to check out all of the images to see Baby Eli!  He napped for the first part of the session and Grandma played with Soph to allow for some great pictures of just Mom and Dad!  (Lucky ducks!) But Eli did wake up for a few fun family shots! 🙂

Thanks for hanging out with me and for allowing me to plan a creative shoot!! Love you guys!

If you are interested in some last minute holiday shoots, I have a few slots open this coming weekend December 7 and 8 in Ann Arbor, let me know if you’re interested! ❤

run often, smile more! 🙂 2013-12-01_0001

2013-12-01_0002

2013-12-01_0003

2013-12-01_0004

2013-12-01_0005

2013-12-01_0006

2013-12-01_0007

2013-12-01_0008

2013-12-01_0009

2013-12-01_00102013-12-01_00112013-12-01_0012

2013-12-01_0013

2013-12-01_0014

Make sure if you are looking for some fresh cut trees, check out Urquharts Tree Farm!

For decorations check out Amanda’s boutique on Etsy!

And for fun crafts toddlers enjoy check out this page! (Lalo helped make my star!)

Team in Training Benefit

If there is one thing I hope my clients take away from their sessions without me having to say is that I shoot with passion.  I strive to live with passion, love with passion and run my business with passion.

That being said I am excited to announce a shoot that combines three things I am over the moon passionate about: running, photography and charity.

August 11 I will be doing mini sessions to support Team in Training.

For $125 you will get a thirty minute session and 10 images with printing rights.  50% of each session fee will be donated to a Team in Training team that is headed by one of my former Saline CC runners preparing to race the 2013 Detroit Marathon!

Not only are running and charity important to me but my grandma Elizabeth passed away due to leukemia so the opportunity to raise money to help eliminate blood cancers through research was simply irresistible.

My personal goal is to have 14 sessions so that I can donate more than $1000 to blood cancer research.  Help me reach that goal and sign up for a session today!

emailposter

Purely Senior 2.0

So I know I posted a short post announcing my new line of Purely Senior

But I wanted to do a little bit longer of a post featuring the WONDERFUL models I have had the past few weeks.  Now let me explain, these are not runway models, these are some amazing students from Milan, Saline and Arbor Prep.  They are every day swimmers, baby sitters, runners and teens!  If you love what you see please give me a call pronto!  Wedding season is launching and I want to make sure to get you a slot before the summer flies by!!!! ❤ 734.330.3311blog Page 1 blog Page 2 blog Page 3 blog Page 4 blog Page 5 blog Page 6 blog Page 7 blog Page 8 bblog Page 1 bblog Page 4 bblog Page 3  ivyblog Page 3 ivyblog Page 4       ivyblog Page 1ivyblog Page 6 ivyblog Page 5 ivyblog Page 2maggeeblog Page 5 maggeeblog Page 4 maggeeblog Page 3 maggeeblog Page 2 maggeeblog Page 1