I just did something crazy. | Stories Framed Photography enters a contest.

There's something you probably don't know about me. I HATE CONTESTS. I avoid competitions like the plague. Ratings make me nervous. And no, it's not a test anxiety problem. It actually stems from something very specific. 

In high school, I ran for student council president. FOUR TIMES. And I lost. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. One time, if my battered mind remembers correctly, I lost by only a handful of votes. Ugh.

Clearly, my doomed political career has scarred me for life.

Now, when it comes time for presidential elections, even if I am not posting signs in my yard, I get really nervous for the candidates. I just don't want them to have to face the next morning sitting in the loss column. 

Clearly, I have issues.

Flash forward to today.

I never enter contests. When I was a hardcore scrapbooker, I never submitted my work for publication in magazines or website contests.When I was a hobbyist photographer,  I never entered my photography to the State Fair. I still won't enter my work for competition through PPA, galleries or magazines. I just can't do it. If there is voting involved, count me out.

But today something came across my desk  today and on a total whim, I entered, shocking even myself. I knew that if I hesitated for a single moment, I'd back out. So I quickly wrote up my answers and whizzed it off to the Interwebs.

This is me, hiding behind my laptop after pressing "send".

This is me, hiding behind my laptop after pressing "send".

Here's the scoop...

For the last year, I have been utilizing a great referral site called Thumbtack. Honestly, in several photography message boards I participate in, mentioning Thumbtack  results in heated debates over its usefulness. Say what you want, fellow photogs, but I have had great success with it. I have been hired by some really fantastic people who I never would have met otherwise. I have been hired almost 50 times in the last year JUST from Thumbtack.

(If you are a photographer or other professional, drop me a line, I'd love to help you with your Thumbtack strategy.)

Thumbtack just sent its Professionals an offer. They will make one (two? three? twenty-seven?) of us a video advertising my business (ha! did I say MY???).

If nothing else comes from this contest, I took a moment to write down some of my thoughts on WHY I chose to become a professional photographer. It's nice to revisit your WHY every once in a while. 

Keep reading.... this is what I sent them. 

How did I decide to go into business as a photographer? 

It was December 12, 2011. I had recently turned 38 and was struck by a defining moment of clarity - if I have a single regret when I turn 40, I'll only have myself to blame. Five days later, my husband and I decided on a name for my business and began working on my website. It went live January 1. And to this day (past 40, thankyouverymuch!) I don't regret starting my business for a second!

Why photography? 

As most photographers will say, I have a passion for it! Of course. But I also love telling stories. Stories Framed Photography gives me the opportunity to tell stories in pictures. My stories, clients' stories. The quiet and still moments and the big, bold and loud moments. 

I love it when I know I've caught the expression on a child's face or the love in a mom's eyes... and then THEY see it in the photograph. If I weren't a grownup I would probably jump up and down and cheer when that happens. It's so invigorating! Or when a parent says, "you CAPTURED my child!" or "they don't even look like they're freezing cold!". That's my work at its best.

How do I know when I've hit a home run with my work?

Verbal confirmation, like I just described above, is one way. But not everyone is so free with their words. Sometimes the way I know I've succeeded is when there is absolute silence. When I show the photographs to a family and they say nothing, many times I only have to look at their faces to know. More than likely their eyes are filled with tears. For me, emotion is success. Especially when it's the dad who is flooding the room! 

Ultimately my goal with child and family photography is to capture children as they are - happy, serious, mad, glad - because they grow up TOO FAST. I want to capture tweens and teens for the same reason. Whatever lingering youth remains in their faces and expressions I want to bottle up, and sprinkle onto the canvas that is my photography. 

Quick, before they grow up.

#MKEkids Winners Coming to Instagram!

Hey you, young people! I didn't forget you. 

I'm rolling out all the BIG WINNERS on Instagram starting today. Are you SO excited or what?

If you are one of my winners, here's the dealio:

Yes, you really get a FREE PHOTOSHOOT with up to four of your BFFs. This is an awesome end-of-school year keepsake before you move on to a new class and a new school. (No crying!) You will always have THESE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS of you and your BFFs.


So, what now?

WINNERS - do these things right away:

  1. Most importantly, HAVE YOUR PARENTS CALL ME to set up the session. Without their permission, I can't do anything. Email works too.
  2. This is important, too: the session MUST BE HELD BY JUNE 30.
  3. The session is for you and up to four of your friends. It will be about an hour long. Everyone will get a complimentary framed photo from the session. (Yay!)
  4. Photos will be posted on Instagram and probably here, too. The entire session will also be available for viewing on a private proof site. Links will be sent when the site is loaded with all your amazing pictures.
  5. We WILL talk about wardrobe and hair and makeup. But here's a summary: BE YOU

If you are NOT one of my winners:

Sad face. Thank you for entering. Thank you for following #MKEkids. I am so excited to roll out this new division of Stories Framed Photography JUST FOR TWEENS. You are a special and unique group of people with something spectacular to say. Keep following #MKEkids... 

Are you a MOM of one of a kid between 10-14 years old?  Are you curious about these BFF photo shoots? Contact me for more information. Are you struggling with a birthday party idea? A birthday gift idea? Click below and let's talk... I think I can help you!


We are a month into summer, about half-way through. While that may mean switching to your second bottle of sunscreen, it also means we are at the mid-way point for my BIG iPad Mini giveaway.


Wait, WHAT?

I'm giving away an iPad Mini this summer. How do you get in on it, you ask? It's easy.... 

  1. Book a session with Stories Framed Photography to be held before September 3.
  2. Refer a friend who books a session with Stories Framed Photography to be held before September 3.

That's it? Yes. That's IT. 




And look at this - I already have a bunch of entries!


Are you one of them? Will you be? YES! is the correct answer here.

So now what.... 

  1. Contact me today to book your summer portraits.
  2. Tell all your friends to book sessions with me this summer. 
  3. You can check my calendar to see if your date of choice is still available. Your session date will be held once the deposit is received. 
  4. Tell all your friends about Stories Framed Photography's crazy owner who is giving away an iPad this summer. 
  5. Follow me on Facebook for other fun updates, session sneak peeks and more. 
  6. Tell all your friends.... I think you got it. 

See my website for complete contest rules. 

Good luck! 

And happy summer!