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I always know it’s going to be a fun shoot when the family coordinates as well as the Mohler’s did. And can we just talk about how adorable this family is even without the holiday-styled outfits? Too cute! There was a lot of jumping, laughing, running up and down hills and tree-shaking. Yep, shaking trees to see what falls out was a big deal to the two oldest kiddos. Hilarious.

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Their property was perfect for this mini holiday session, the way the green foliage pops again the red is perfect for holiday cards! I fell in love with the way the winding driveway was framed by big, beautiful magnolia trees. And the children melted my heart the way they so eagerly held hands and walked down the driveway towards me – like it was so natural, something they do all the time. And of course, big sis got to squeeze her little brothers in a tight sibling neck-hug that really says “happy holidays”!

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Thanksgiving text

In between servings of turkey and raisin pie (it’s a delicious, wonderful, misunderstood delicacy – I promise), I’d like to let you know how thankful I am…

I started Poppie Studios because I’m passionate about capturing memories on film. If you’ve ever had a photo session with me, if you’re a new client of mine, if you’ve purchased prints through me, or if you’ve read any content on my blog, you can hear the excitement in my voice, I hope 🙂

But none of this would exist if there weren’t wonderful clients like you. None of this would exist if you didn’t think photography was an artform. None of this would exist if you didn’t believe in me and the truth that I’m doing more of what I love. And that, my friend, is why I am thankful today!

I am thankful for you and your unforgettable life-moments. I am thankful that your desire for my framed photography artwork on your walls glows magically. And I’m thankful that you are letting me live my life brightly and boldly.

I am incredibly grateful for your readership and excitement about Poppie Studios, but more importantly that I am able to dream big dreams and then go out in the world and make those dreams come true because of you.

Happy Thanksgiving,


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I’m sure we’ve all heard the acronym, DSLR. Which, in case you didn’t know, stands for “digital single-lens reflex.” It’s the system inside the camera that uses a mirror and prism system which flips the image so that when you look into the viewfinder, you’re looking at a right-side-up image. And, in case you’re wondering, there are film cameras (known as rangefinders) that show everything upside-down. Like all my awesome twin-lens reflex cameras for example. But I digress…


How quickly we take for granted such things like upright single-lens reflex technology.

SLR Photography

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With the insurgence of digital photography, anyone with a camera can call him or herself a photographer. And the majority who do, want to be considered professional or artists or both. And the number of photographers calling themselves “fine art” photographers is also on the rise. So what makes someone a Fine Art Photographer?

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Well, I have many images I would consider art. But not fine art. That’s most because there really doesn’t seem to be a universally agreed-upon definition for what elevates a photo or photographer into the Fine Art category.


While earning my fine art photography degree, part of every photo course was the required peer-critique after each assignment. We take turns hanging the best photos from our most recent assignment on the wall. During the critique, I explained what my intent was, the idea I was trying to convey. Then my classmates talked about techniques, what worked well, what didn’t.


Another key part of my fine art degree was learning about and from other artists. Both past and present. This is key in helping emerging artists, like myself, see what they did, how they did it, why they did it.


Artistic vision, in my opinion, is what makes a photo fine art. A lucky snapshot, a happy accident, can certainly make for beautiful images. But the premeditated intent isn’t there. And that’s what separates art from fine art.

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I recently shot a wedding for which the Maid of Honor was the one reaching out to prospective photographers on behalf of the Bride. During my initial phone call with her I began asking her questions about the Bride + Groom. A few questions in, she said “I think she’d really like you. Why don’t I have her call you later today and you two can talk in more detail?”

The Bride and I chatted later than evening and the next day they decided to book with Poppie Studios. Hooray! They were a super laid back couple, loved riding motorcycles together and were DIYing a majority of the decor for their reception – which looked fantastic. I was so impressed when I arrived the day of their wedding and saw how simple yet gorgeous the entire event looked and felt.

I had a blast at this wedding. The couple was extremely photogenic, even though they both claimed not to be. The Bride, Maid of Honor and I all commented on how it seemed we had been friends for a long time because we instantly had a connection. In fact, friends and family thought I must have been a friend by the way we got along so well.

The point? That’s why I chat with you beforehand, and ask some personal questions. Because I want to know you, and you me. That way, even if we don’t have the opportunity to meet in person before the shoot, at least we’ll feel like we know who we’re meeting.

The Maid of Honor later confessed to me that I was the only photographer to ask to get to know the Bride + Groom, their story, their personalities to such an extent like I did. Which seems crazy to me! What kind of photographer wouldn’t want to get to know their client? How can I provide such a custom-personalized service like lifestyle photography if I don’t even really know who it is in front of the camera?

Moral of the story? Make sure your photographer is interested in getting to know you. And get to know them too.

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