Since we are already 2 months into 2013, I’m thinking its time to pay tribute to 2012. A year that flew by in a blur of highs & lows. A year spent rebuilding & growing as an artist, business owner, and most of all… a mother. Over the past year, I’ve taken a big step back from blogging, social media, and the unimportant mental clutter in my life. These small changes have created free time to travel, soak up priceless moments with my family, and really live a life I love. But its time to bring blogging back into the mix.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve missed it. This little blog feels like home. The words flow easily, and you wonderful readers make it worth taking the time. So, the next 3 posts will be paying homage to 2012. This is the first of three, dedicated to the families who shared their hearts with me in 2012. If you’re a longtime blog follower, you will recognize some of the faces below. It’s always a challenge to narrow down favorites, but I’ve chosen 2-3 frames from each session to give you a peek at the magic of 2012.

I will never be able to fully articulate what my regular clients mean to me. Thank-you for allowing me to share in your beautiful, soulful, ever-changing lives. You guys are the reason I’m still here, and the reason I will photograph families as long as my hands will hold a camera…

Melinda, Kyle, Cole & Ryan: This is the 4th year I’ve photographed this family. The boys are so comfortable with me, I’m pretty sure they forget I’m even there. I adore their free spirits & brotherly bond. And Melinda…as stunning as she is on the outside, to know the heart she has inside is what makes this family one of my absolute favorites. For their latest session, we took over their friends farm & played on hay bales, swung in the hammock, and ended the day with a perfect NC sunset.

Meagan, Joe & Charlie: These three. Love them. I shot Meagan & Joe’s wedding in ’07 and they’ve been with me ever since. I’ve watched them grow from two to three, and have photographed snippets of Charlie’s life since she was 6 months old. She’s a whirling dervish of a 3 year old… all giggles & dance moves. Pure comedy, I tell ya. This little trio means a lot to me. Every year I plan something special for Charlie. This year, we’re going all out. Can.not.wait. Meagan, Charlie & Joe, did I mention I love you guys?

Sherrie, Joe & Roxy: Sherrie used to be in the wedding planning business & we worked together on a few weddings back in 2008. Its seems like a lifetime ago that she told me to expect to hear from her whenever she had kids. Fast forward 4 years & here they are with the most precious baby girl, Roxana. I seriously never wanted this session to end. Roxy is roly-poly baby goodness at its best. Love.her. These three drove in from Raleigh for their shoot & pretty much made my day. I’m hoping they will be the newest addition to my “lifers” club..

Jackie, Phil, Izzy & Lilly: Jackie & Phil are one of my 2008 couples. Their wedding was one for the record books. Jackie was drop-dead gorgeous in her silver ( yes, silver ) Badgley Mischka gown, and even though it was 4 years ago, I remember their tearful first-look. I’ll never forget how sweet Jackie was with Phil’s then 12-year old daughter Izzy. She planned part of their first look especially for Izzy & her dad. One of the stand-out moments in the 300+ weddings I’ve photographed thus far. To see them as a family of 4 is beyond precious. Their one-year old Lilliana has big brown eyes & baby cheeks for days. If you happen to follow my facebook feed, you’ve seen Lilly’s face more than once. I fell in love with this kid the minute I met her. She reminds me so much of my sweet Noah when he was that age. This session was so good for my soul. Love lives here…

Vaneesha & Logan + 1: V and Logan are one of my 2009 couples. Their wedding was published in the Knot magazine in 2010 & we have kept in touch ever since. V is such a beauty inside & out. I may or may not have jumped up & down when I got her email asking to book a maternity session. They flew in for this session & lets just say…this girl can rock a belly. And having followed her and Logan’s transition into parenthood via facebook, I can tell you this…she’s a natural mom. Their baby girl Isla Grace is the perfect mix of the two of them. I’m dying to fly to Chicago to photograph her in all her cuteness. V, lets plan that soon, k?

Rissa & Marky: Hard to believe I’ve been photographing this little pair since Rissa was a year old. Time flies. I’m so grateful for these two sweet peas. They know exactly how I work & always bring the magic to their sessions. Each time we shoot, I think “well, we can’t top this one.” And somehow we do. Every year they grow bigger, sweeter & more animated. At this point do I even need to say it? I…ADORE..them. truly.

The Todd family: I went to high school with 2 of these gals. Katie was a year younger & Erin was a year older. I was honored when they called to have me come photograph their kids together as a gift for their mom Ellen. Ellen is an amazing lady who’s been fighting cancer for a few years, but you’d never know it to see her. She’s lovely as ever & glowing with pride for her family. The image below is one of my favorites of the year. A mom and her girls…I hope this image is one this group of kids will show their kids one day. This right here, is why I do what I do.

Julia, Jona & Quin: Recognize these faces? After this session, I told Julia that her little family is quickly becoming the most blogged family in the history of this blog. There was something so real & true about this session. Every time they show up for a shoot, they bring it all to the table. They let me in completely & that is what makes each session special. We have yet to plan their shoot for this year, but you’ll definitely be seeing them again soon. Julia, Jona & Quinny..I love you guys. Thanks for sharing your sweetness with me.

Nicole, Jon & Nick: Nicole & I have been friends since the days of braces & teased up bangs ( actually, I never fell prey to the bangs..that was alllll Nicole :) She’s an incredible gal. I shot her wedding six years ago & have photographed Nick since birth. Its been a rough road for this sweet family since Nick was diagnosed with a heart problem as an infant. He had open heart surgery at 4 months old & will need more surgeries as he grows. Nicole & Jon have stayed strong & held each other up through it all. They would do anything for their baby boy. I wanted this session to capture the beauty of their connection even through life’s unexpected storms. God must have read my mind because the skies definitely delivered that day. The heart balloon was used to honor Nick and all the heart warriors out there. You’ll be seeing more of these 3 soon, as they welcome a baby girl this spring. I hope to be there to photograph her entry into the world…

Lucy, Javier & Benjamin: If I had to choose one session as the best of 2012, this would be it. Baby Benjamin brought his A game to this shoot. The last time I saw Lucy & Javier was on their wedding day in 2007, but we made such a connection that I knew I would be seeing them again. Let me tell you, they made one heck of a kid. He’s cute, funny, and knows how to kill a photo session at the wee age of one. If you follow my facebook feed, you’ve seen these images. In the comments section on this first image, Lucy’s mom asked if I could ever, in a million years, capture this shot again. The answer is..no way. I could try again endlessly to get Benjamin’s sweet little face framed perfectly in his daddy’s glasses…and it would never happen. That’s the beauty of a moment. One minute its there, and the next its gone. Lucy & Javier drove in from Raleigh for this session & I’m hoping they’ll do the same again this year… you in, Lucy? :)

Comments: 11    leave a comment

  1. I love each and every photo, and the sweet, personal note you wrote for each session. You’re amazing, Kellie!

  2. so my top favorites are the 3 of my kids lol
    seriously though I cannot tell you the people that have admired these pictures in my salon…..my family and friends have just loved them.
    it is true though the kids adore you and they actually respect what you do it’s pretty awesome….and it truly is always magical…xoxo

  3. I really love the wonderful shot of the father and daughter by the wall. it’s just simply adorable.
    And I really love the one at the end with the boy in the hat…you can see the rush of his parents love in the background. I really feel their joy.

  4. So cute! I’ve always loved that one of the ‘daughter like daddy’ pose against the wall. Lovely work, Kellie!

  5. I cannot begin to tell you how much we value you as a friend, a photographer and a confidant.. It’s easy to let you in because you invest so much in us. We love you so much Kellie! Thank you so much for the priceless gift you’ve given us in our photos and in your friendship. xo

  6. Gorgeous, darling! Neat to see these return families grow up!

  7. Aww, I love this round-up! You are an amazing artist and an amazing woman. XOXO

  8. Love this! and I miss you! Kinda weird cause we never met…;)

  9. Your work is always so magical. I am forever thankful that we found you for our wedding. Your photos of Benjamin fill my heart with joy! Thank your for capturing these special moments in our lives.

  10. Your heart and talents dazzle me, Kellie!

  11. love your photography, beautiful. you capture such sweet and unique moments, wow!

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