Friday, May 19, 2017

A Day At The Park- Branson, MO

It's FINALLY summer break! I've spent the last 3 years working 50+ hours a week and unfortunately spending very little time doing fun things like this with my daughter. Now that's it's summer I'm soaking up every fun activity that we can! Here are some photos from our day at the park. 

This was our first real day of summer break. We took a walk, hit the park, played in the dirt, threw rocks in the lake, and even used the sidewalk chalk on the patio. It was pretty glorious in my eyes and I'm pretty sure she felt the same way. 

As Mama's we hold their little hands and play with their little toes but when do we think about having our family photographer capture those little details? Those are the specifics that they grow out of and we don't get those moments back. Take pictures while you can 'folks!

It's the small moments, the tiny memories, the moments that we think aren't any big deal that will someday be a huge deal to us. To have memories so simple is something I cherish more than anything in this world.

(PS I'm sorry for the overload but I'm addicted to that
 cute little messy bun! She didn't used to ever let me put it 
up that way and now that she does I swear I snap 100 
pictures of it every time.)

But really, have you ever thought to hire a photographer for the simple day to day stuff? I promise you won't regret it. Call me! And don't forget to mention this blog for a discount on your lifestyle session.

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 2017 Photo Challenge- Part 2

If you haven't already checked out part one of my January 2017 photo challenge, you should definitely give it a look! Reading and viewing the first part of the challenge will also help you to understand why I do these as well as a little bit about my life. Part 2 contains day 16 - 31 of this challenge. I hope you all are enjoying keeping up as much as I am enjoying shooting! With that said, I'll get straight to it.


January 31st ~ Theme: Healthy

My daughter asked me if we could make cookies together tonight and while I was thinking about healthy I thought what could be more healthy than spending quality time with your daughter? But then she gave up on me about half way through baking so I ended up with only a few photos of her helping and more photos of the cookies. Ya know, some days you just need comfort food and quality time and today, that's my version of healthy.

January 29th ~ Theme: Peaceful

Peace can be a scarce thing at our house. I've got a 3 year old (who I'm pretty sure is going on 13) and a husband who is constantly on the run, not to mention my busy schedule to boot. Our evenings are generally scattered and chaotic. We're usually hustling from school pickup to cooking dinner, from dinner to bath time, and from bath time to bed time, with a little playing in-between of course. 

They warn you about terrible two's but no one lets you know about the threenager stage. The three's came with a boat load of extra energy, additional knowledge on how to trick her parents, sprinkled with the frequent temper tantrum to test how far she can get away with things. There are days where it takes effort to enjoy this phase, and then there are days when simply taking a walk can be the best part of my day! She brings chaos, joy, and peace to our lives every single day... and I wouldn't change it for the world!!

January 28th ~ Theme: Mess

Ironically I "spring cleaned" my house today; purging it of bags of unnecessary junk and boxing the rest to be sold during our neighborhood garage sale that's coming up. In the midst of this giant mess I called my home, it didn't even occur to me to grab my camera. I was in work mode and if I switched to creative mode I would have lost my whole work flow. So at the end of this tiring but productive day, here lies the pile of lost socks that my husband brought with him when he moved in 2 months ago. This pile has migrated to different locations a few times and has even grown by a few socks since it made it's way into my (now our) condo.

{P.S. People warn you of all the adjusting you have to do when you get married but what they don't tell you is that hairy husbands leave twice as much hair in the bathroom as a girl ever will in the drain!}

This pile of socks that has been driving me nuts for weeks currently lays right in front of my dresser (mostly because I'm in the middle of finding the other half of them and purging the rest but that's beside the point). This pile of socks represents the many ways my husband and I are different, it represents heated conversations about cleaning up after yourself and doing things a different way, and it represents his individuality before he became a husband... this pile of socks somehow illustrates the fact that I am loved. How does a pile of socks show any form of love you ask? There was a time in my life when I would have killed for a pile of unmatched socks to drive me nuts. There were times when I felt lonely, much like I would guess a single sock to feel if it had feelings. This pile of socks suggests that I have a man to call my own; that though we may drive each other crazy some days, we love each other. This pile of socks reminds me that though I may be lonely when he travels, I am never alone in this walk of life.

This pile of socks not only illustrates that I am loved, but is also an indication of how blessed I am. This stupid, single, unorganized pile of mess symbolizes everything I wanted out of life and I am happy to say that though there are days when I struggle; I have what I always wanted.

January 27th ~ Theme: Books

I actually took this photo when I had the theme simple but decided it wasn't simple enough for the theme. I love paper books, I love how they smell and feel. I could never switch to digital books because it would just lose some of its charm.

January 26th ~ Theme: View

There are so many things that we view through the day but this one puddle caught my attention. A simple reminder that fall has gone and the cold winter is here. This simple puddle that caused me to stop in my tracks and put my day on hold so I could run for my camera. It's amazing to me how everyone views life individually, differently things stand out to everyone, and to me it was this puddle with a perfect reflection of a leaf.

January 25th ~ Theme: Play

Oh to be young again! To find the joy and innocence in every situation. What it must be like to play through life with no worries... never grow up dear baby, never grow up!

January 24th ~ Theme: Art

Anyone who has met me or follows me knows me to super artsy craftsy, however drawing and free handing ARE NOT my strong point. I started Bible journaling several months ago and while 95% of the drawings are not free handed, I still love them. They are quick reminders of lessons that I've learned through the years. It is scripture that I want to be sure not to forget. It's my artsy craftsy meeting my love for the Bible <3 p="">

January 23rd ~ Theme: Love

Due to the fact that I photograph my daughter daily, posted my sister a few days ago, and rarely have free time with my husband (other than 10:30 pm), I decided to rock some self love for my love theme.

There are a million days that I struggle with self doubt, fear, anxiety, depression, anger, etc, not to mention feeling overwhelmed. I struggle to feel like I succeed at being a mom, a wife, and simply a person. Life often doesn't go the way I planned it to and that causes all of the above emotions to take control. But here's the thing y'all... I'm human, I'm not perfect, but I am definitely loved. I am definitely not a failure. AND I AM ENOUGH... even if I do have to remind myself on a daily basis!

January 22nd ~ Theme: Neighborhood

Have you ever walked around your neighborhood just to admire the ordinary beauty that you miss out on every day? We rush around getting to work or running errands or heading home to get dinner started but we rarely just take a walk to enjoy the scenery.

I remember one of my very first photo challenges when I was doing photography school was to walk around and look at the beauty right in your front yard. I didn't get it back then. I hadn't learned out to shoot with my own style. I hadn't figured out why I love photography and what it means to me. The day I figured out my purpose in photography was the exact day that my photography changed.

Our neighborhood may be quaint but it sure is gorgeous. On a side note: getting the mail for the very first time in her life was pretty dang exciting to her!

January 21st ~ Theme: Cold

Ever looked at an ice cube through a magnifying glass? Yeah me either until I borrowed my sisters macro lens filters...

January 20th ~ Theme: Family

Family is a huge thing to us "Renyer's". We may have grown up and acquired new last names but our blood will always be the same. To me nothing says family like quite like the people my daughter loves most; such as her Aunt Crystal. The pure innocent love that this little girl has towards her family is something unsurpassed by any other emotion I've ever seen. We are so thankful to have the people we call family. They have been with us through the good times and bad and these tender moments of pure joy, bring me happiness myself!

January 19th ~ Theme: Tasty

I kept wondering what I was going to photograph for today's theme because I ate a left over Jimmy John's sandwich for lunch and we were going out for dinner. After our lunch break my mom grabbed a Little Debbie for desert. I'm the sweet tooth queen but today I just wasn't feeling it... so this cupcake got eaten just for you readers.

January 18th ~ Theme: Beautiful

My original plan for today's theme was to photograph my Mom because she is my beautiful. She's helped me through every step of life, is always there for me, and is constantly encouraging me but be as it may, my schedule just didn't work out like that. So, I went for the next best thing.. my makeup brushes. Nothing makes a girl feel more beautiful than getting all dolled up and looking good.

January 17th ~ Theme: Simple

I'm actually a super complex person and most of my photos are very intricate and detailed so simple was somewhat difficult for me. Thanks to my lovely sister, the still life photographer, I was pushed outside my box. She made me try several new things, gave me lots of pointers, and a few great ideas to try. And so, here is simple..

January 16th ~ Theme: Sunshine

The sun was only out for the last hour of light today but goodness was it glorious! I'm a summer girl, I love the feeling of the warm sunshine on my face. I love sunglasses and flip flops. I love outdoor activities and being at the lake. Today, that split moment of sunshine reminded me of good memories and fresh beginnings. It was a much needed 30 minutes in the sun for me!

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Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2017 Photo Challenge- Part 1

I'm not the type of girl who makes New Years Resolutions, mainly because I tend to set goals that can either be accomplished in a few days or ones that should have been 3 year goals. However, this year, I'm setting huge goals for my business. Goals that may be on the 3 year plan but my resolution is to work as hard as I can this year to reach where I want to be!

So to start this year with a bang, I'm doing another photo challenge. I've always loved these because they force me to examine my creativity. They push me to get out of my typical box and make me use parts of my creative brain that I don't use on a daily basis. They also allow you, the reader, to get to know my personality a bit because I explain why I chose the shot I took and how it relates to me.

So, without further ado, here's to January. *clinks glasses* I hope you enjoy!


January 15th ~ Theme: Natural

It's amazing to me that we can drive through the gorgeous Ozarks and see the miraculous creations of God yet still fall into depression. It's baffling to me that we can look into the faces of our sweet children and loving spouses yet still feel as though we can't handle life. It's shocking to me that we, especially Christians, can know the promises of God yet still doubt that our lives will turn out perfectly fine.

I'm the type of person who goes through phases; I have enormous amounts of joy and gratitude for the life that I have been given but I also struggle with anxiety and depression from time to time. Personally, I feel way too many emotions and I struggle to find a way to deal with them.

Today's theme was perfect for my condition. It forced me to stop worrying, stop stressing, stop crying, and look around. It forced me to see the beauty that is around me and realize that God is in control. It gave me the opportunity to appreciate all of the little things around me that I never realize are there, let alone how beautiful they are.

My wise Dad once told me not to take life so seriously. "It's just life" he would always say. Through the years, I have come to realize that my wise old Dad was nearly always right. I can't count the amount of days when I have felt like the sky was falling but if there's one thing to remember it's this; sometimes the hardest days of our lives lead to the greatest moments of our lives. Just keep your faith strong and your eyes on Him and it will all turn out just fine. It may not be today but at least you're one day closer.

January 14th ~ Theme: Warm

Nothing warms my heart more than when my hubby does the little things. I started out today thinking of warm sun rays and fuzzy blankets but as this gloomy day lead on, I decided to choose a different side of warm. If I'm 100% honest, both my husband and I entered into our marriage with baggage and not every day is rainbows and puppy dogs but those little things remind me every day that he cares and that he puts forth the effort and that we will be united forever.

(Another side note: I had trouble picking one particular photo so I posted two again.)

January 13th ~ Theme: Gray

There are so many things in this life that we just pass by, not even noticing. We get so used to seeing them everyday that they are no longer miraculous in our eyes. This photo challenge has made me stop and take a look around. It has made me appreciate all of the little things in my life that I thought had no meaning. I've spent this entire challenge thinking about my husband and my daughter, about our home and our lives. It's a nice break to stop and really admire my life because when you stop and look around this life is pretty amazing.

January 12th ~ Theme: Sweet

Truth is, I'm a sugar fiend. I have a serious sugar addition that I attempt to work on from time to time. Needless to say, there is PLENTY of sweets around our house to use for my subjects. As I shot several differently candy items around our house from our Silver Dollar City taffy, to our Christmas candy, to the Halloween candy that's mixed in there I couldn't pick my final one, so I posted several.

Sorry guys, I feel like today was somewhat mundane. As I said yesterday, we've been super busy around our house. I promise tomorrows will be more elaborate!

January 11th ~ Theme: Glam

You know what isn't glamorous? Exhaustion..

I'm sitting here, barely able to keep my eyes open. At this point I feel like it should be Friday, not Wednesday. My body aches, my eyes are tired, and I don't want to move. It's been a busy beginning of the week for us and the adults in the house are getting very little sleep. We've all been waking up early and staying up late. Needless to say, tonight I'm enjoying the couch cuddles with my toddler. I'm going to be honest with y'all, I'm just not gonna make it tonight. I'm skipping today's theme for the sheer fact that I am not even functioning properly. I'll be back tomorrow, I promise!

January 10th ~ Theme: Cute

My daughter was an elaborate plan set in place by God. She was planned and perfectly timed. She was my miracle rainbow baby who prompted my escape from a terrible situation. Everything she does just mystifies me; her intelligence, her sense of humor, her tenderness and independence, her random mannerisms and her genuine kindness. She motivates me to love life and to appreciate the little things. She, in herself, is my definition of cute.

January 9th ~ Theme: Colorful

Colorful [kuhl-er-fuh l] adj.
Full of life, interesting.

Yep, that perfectly describes my husband! He's almost always in good spirits and always positive. He's got the most amusing sense of humor. One of the things I love most about him is the way he makes me laugh everyday, no matter what mood I'm in. He's the one person who can always lift my spirits. To top it off, you can regularly catch him in bright clothing or in something that will catch your eye. Between his personality and his style, he's my sunshine, my light when there are dark days. He's the other love of my life and he makes me incredibly happy!

January 8th ~ Theme: Organized

Organized... Or not...

Generally this is a word that describes me well. I'm thorough, tidy, and sometimes just plain OCD (and that's ok) but lately, nothing in my life has order. We're still adjusting to married life and moving in together at our house, we're adjusting to a family of 3, and we're definitely still adjusting to the new cleaning chores and schedules. So, as I looked around for organized, I found nothing except my daughters rows of shoes (who is also OCD).

I had every intention of being the perfect wife. I planned on having the perfectly staged house, dinner on the table at 5, and my child always in order... and then life hit. I'm trying to run a business, work part time, maintain the house, all while my daughter tugs at my shirt every night to come cuddle with her. There have been areas where I have failed already and there have been areas where I feel like I am just mediocre. I tend to take life so seriously and my poor husband just rolls with it. My life is chaos right now but you know what? That's ok. I'm only human. This too shall pass and the best is yet to come!

January 7th ~ Theme: Fancy

When I was 14 years old, my Dad bought me a ring. That ring laid the groundwork for purity and a promise that we would always be close. It's promise was tailored so that I knew I could always talk to him when I needed something and that I could always lean on him for support. Through the years my dear ole' Dad, has been with me through my utmost highs and also my extreme lows. That ring held a special place in my heart every day from the day I accepted it, to my 25th birthday.

On my 25th birthday; after losing my purity in my late teen years, moving away from home, entering into an abusive marriage, having the most amazing baby girl, a harsh divorce, and moving back home, my Daddy bought me a new ring with a new meaning. This ring had the same principle of support and love; however, this new ring was more of a "new life" ring. It meant that although I was started over, I still (and always had) had him. My Dad has been my constant hero through a majority of my life and he continues to be. This strong, influential, respectful, selfless, loving man deserves every applause in the world. So, here's to you Dad! I love you so much.

January 6th ~ Theme: Kids

My intention for today's theme was to shoot anyone's kids but my own... I adore my child but she's my go-to model for everything and I wanted to do something a little different. However, it was a busy day and once 8 pm hit, I gave up and grabbed my camera.

Almost two weeks ago I got really sick (I'm not the type of person who gets sick, ever!) and I was down for four or five days. In that time I explained to my sweet EmmaLynn that she had to play by herself or come cuddle and watch a movie. My sweet girl, who was not a cuddler before this, suddenly became a cuddler and has been asking to snuggle every night since. It's my favorite phase that she's experienced recently. I will forever cherish these little moments. They may be minor little details to her but to me, they are everything!

January 5th ~ Theme: Winter

It was magical. I woke up to my phone blowing up with text messages because it had snowed and school was canceled (I had no idea we were even expecting snow). Last night, I was laying in bed trying to think of anything winter that didn't involve snow.. and then I woke up to snow! I literally took photos all morning and afternoon. I was in photographer Heaven with these giant snow flakes. This particular snowflake was one of the many, and my final selection.

I don't own a macro lens unfortunately, but maybe some day. *cough cough dear Husband* Since I don't own a lens dedicated to close up pictures such as this one, I had to do some work post processing. I enjoy showing you guys some of the behind the scenes stuff as well so I'm going to share that with you too.

This is my original photo:

I took the original and cropped it in a bit to see the exact snow flake that I was focused on:

Then I took the image and cleaned it up a bit by removing the dust and dirt around it as well as the broken snow flake that was also in the frame:

Once I had it cleaned up a bit, I decided I wanted to get a little bit closer so you could really see the detail. And this is the final product:

January 4th ~ Theme: Outdoors

"The only difference between a weed and a flower is judgement."

Unfortunately, today's photo doesn't have some huge sentimental mushy meaning behind it. Outdoors was a pretty broad theme so I tried not to overthink it. As I was driving home this afternoon, these weeds on the side of the road caught my eye. (On a side note, I'm that girl that will get in the way, awkwardly maneuver, and sometimes cause a disruption to make sure I get the perfect shot.)

January 3rd ~ Theme: White

As I got ready this morning, took my daughter to school, went to work, ate lunch, took my daughter to the dentist, then came home to oblige my daughter in watching Zootopia and cuddling; I looked around at all of the white. Do you have any idea how many things there are out there that are white? In case you don't, it's A LOT! Once I was home and starting to settle down for the night, I realized how many of my daughters things were white. There is little pieces of evidence throughout our entire house where she has played through the week; white socks, a black and white rubber duck, a scooter with white handle bars, and then there was this white tissue. This white tissue has been laying on her makeup stand for several days. She used it to wipe the lip gloss off her brushes. It's the tissue that reminds me that my little girl is slowly fading out of the toddler phase, she's growing and changing, and becoming truly girly.

Let me explain my passion to you. I have 2 favorite things to photograph; one is little details (fingers, toes, hair, tissues) and the other is expressions. My passion is photography because you can't get these moments back. Someday when the kids are all grown, Grandparents are old and frail, and moments have long passed the only true evidence you will have is pictures. One day those little detailed shots and those expressions of love and joy will make you feel warm and wistful. I yearn to give you the evidence of those memories, to give you something that you can never again experience.

January 2nd ~ Theme: Coffee

Generally I find these challenges online so I don't pick the daily theme and am completely unbiased. With that being said, coffee is still one of my favorite things! I'm your basic white girl, I enjoy the occasional overpriced Starbucks but I usually make my coffee at home each morning. The Monday after a Holiday weekend, unquestionably needs coffee even more than your typical Monday!

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