Memphis Artist | Kara Rodgers | Tennessee Portrait Photographer

Kara Rodgers. There are so many reasons why I wanted to photograph this woman. She was the first person I remember truly meeting at Fellowship Memphis, my current church. We were running across a street headed to a summer party last year. Cars were speeding around us, while I heard her say “I’m kara, whats your name?” It was so exciting to make a friend before I even walked in that door.

Then at a friend’s birthday jam party, Kara stood up to sing. We were all taken away as she sang from her soul.I wanted to capture Kara. Kara with all of her joy, soul, and creativity. Her dancing, singing, and expressing the incredible woman that she is! I have a passion to capture people who have never been in front of a professional camera. The experience of shattering any expectation they did have is just so much fun. I pulled out my speaker, and we jammed and danced for an hour or two downtown. I hope I captured at least a fraction of her radiance and authenticity.

Crosstown Concourse | Memphis Photographer | Senior: Molly

Where do you go when its raining and you have the sweetest senior portraits to take? Welp, I joined the Memphis photographers, and headed to Crosstown Concourse. This place has been called a “vertical urban village.” It has multiple atriums that reach to the sky, each floor occupied by organizations, businesses, and apartments. There is a sense of constant movement as the main floor has a coffee shop, a juice bar, and many restaurants. Within Crosstown, is Crosstown Arts. They have incredible art exhibits all surrounding a vibrant grand staircase.

Now, enough about the building, lets chat about the beautiful girl. Molly Stelling. We go back, big time. Our parents were dear friends years before children came into the picture. Molly and I are the younger ones of the pack. I grew up coming to Memphis every other summer, looking forward to running up and down their huge carpeted steps, chasing through the trees in their backyard, playing polly pockets, and who knows what else. She sent me an adorable memory last week (haha, see below). She found all these books we made over summers. We designed, tinkered, and created our little hearts away. Really, Mols, you have been such a friend. I’m so so so proud of you. High school is just plain hard. Learning yourself, gaining confidence, facing real-life challenges, and building a community is hard. I am so excited to see where the Lord is taking you, and how he will use you in this new chapter. I’m praying zeal, faith, and endurance over you. May He reveal himself in more ways then one. I hope we never stop being friends and reminiscing about our hysterical adventures as children.

Go take the world, my dear. <3 He has us in His plans. No matter how dark, how alone, how rough it can get, we know our victory is in Him. We know His strength and glory. <3 Never be a stranger.


Bridals in Lyon, France | Kelly Ford

Kelly, just a babe in Lyon, dressed in her wedding dress, gallivanting through the city with a photographer. So thankful for Kelly’s giggles, and her excitement for this shoot. Props to Kelly for getting back in her beautiful dress from her wedding I also shot back in 2015. She was as radiant this day as she was that day.

I wanted to share from Kelly’s perspective and she was so gracious to write up just that:

“So your friend and wedding photographer is coming for a visit and she asks you if while she’s there you’d be up for getting back into your wedding dress to take some pictures. Obvious answer: “um…HECK YES!”

I knew that it was tucked away in the guest room, having made the trek across the ocean still carefully wrapped up in the box from the dry cleaners that I hadn’t touched since getting it back after the wedding. Thankfully I could still wriggle into it, despite now living in the land of delicious baguettes!

“Honestly, I’d anticipated feeling a little funny being all alone in front of the camera – not being a part of a pair, having someone to interact with – but rather just me, alone and exposed. But that was not the case at all! I’ve loved watching through social media as Emily has been learning, growing, honing, stretching her craft, and I’d already been able to experience it on her visit as I played being her “assistant” while she did shoots with some friends of ours. And her skills were equally evident as she guided me and put me at ease for this solo night —

Our wandering shoot itinerary was taking the funiculaire up the hill to the Roman amphitheatre, playing there for a while, walking up to the Notre Dame de Fourvière basilica, playing there for a while, walking down the hill through the gardens and stairways, playing along the way, and strolling home through Vieux Lyon’s cobblestone streets. And “playing” is the best word I have to describe the night – just climbing onto and off of and into and around all sorts of old stone pieces at the amphitheatre; twirling and running around the courtyard of the basilica; smacking myself in the face after trying to look artsy with some branches…it was all just such fun, playing and laughing with my friend – who, by the way, was giving me great guidelines/instructions/suggestions so that I could know what to do instead of getting lost in that “alone and exposed” funny feeling that I’d anticipated but that never materialized.”

“I didn’t have bridal portraits done before our wedding – just wasn’t really my thing or something I cared to do – but I will say that, whether or not you did portraits beforehand, I highly recommend something like this after the fact! Now we have all of these beautiful photos of me that involved doing all sorts of things that would certainly not have been as fun and playful if I’d been thinking about keeping my dress clean or unmussed, etc. Heck, my dress still has a tear in the floofy-under-dress part from the grand ol’ time I had at our reception 😉 What a joy it was to get to wriggle back into this dress full of great memories and then play in it to make some more, worry-free.

And, certainly, it’s something that is to-each-their-own, but I kind of love looking through these images and seeing the differences from the wedding day itself… We didn’t do everything exactly the same – my hair is cut so it is different, we decided not to worry about my turquoise heels and some of the jewelry, it was chilly so we added my leather jacket…

You can see the passage of time and, for me, even more so the passage of life: that night was in a different piece of the world than our wedding, I spoke a different language to the people we bumped into, I had different things on my mind…

“So I am grateful to have had this fun silly night with Emily, and now grateful to have these images. Time is passing, life is changing, I now own a leather jacket(!)…but I am still Dave’s bride, covenanted to him in joy, dancing and twirling that night before an audience of only the One who witnesses each of the moments of our marriage when Emily isn’t around to document them…

Just precious to have these images to remind me that, while I don’t wear my wedding dress every day (alas!), I am daily a bride – to my Dave and to the Lord.”

Victoria + Sharline | New Friends in Heidelberg, GE

Jonna and I had the best day a couple weeks ago in Heidelberg. We met up with Sharline + Vicky one night at a store and ventured around picking up our picnic snack/dinner items. Including olives, cheese, lots of bread, bananas, dips, ect. And headed on our way to the gorgeous riverside. Upon arrival, it was the ideal time for photos. I asked Sharline if she would be my model. We had met that same hour and were already giggling, arms linked towards the water.

Sharline is such a sweet soul. I love how kind her whole demeanor is and its so visible in her eyes. She encouraged me so much, and catered to all my ideas and prompts. Definitely embarrassed her yelling out compliments. <3 Thank you, Sharline, for still being my friend! I feel like I’ve known you forever, even though it was only a few hours. The Lord just connected us, and I thank Him for that!

And the tables turned when Sharline took my camera, and started posing me! <3 Also we were trying not to get in goose poop.. #adventures

And this beautiful woman is Victoria (Vicky!) She lit up when I asked if she would model as well. The girl has fierce eyes that really are the door to her adventurous, passionate spirit. Vicky filled our little picnic with laughter and encouragement. I was simply baffled by how the Lord used these girls to bless my trip to Heidelberg.

SHARLINE + VICKY, I love you both! May the Lord be with you!

Rooftops | Memphis + New Friends

Its incredible how personalities work. How quickly you know if you are going to really like someone. Bre was one of those people for me. Within my first conversation, I knew she was just my kind of person. Chillax, hysterical, and loves Jesus. We really hadn’t had more then one or two conversations in person over the course of a year or two,  before she planned to come see me last month for a short weekend.

As a professional in the field of your passion, your freedom gets lost in the business. What was your hobby becomes a to do list. There is so much beauty and blessing in that, but I’m starting to see how I must protect my creative process. Reading Ben Sasso’s incredible blogpost, “Creative Manifesto” a few months back, I was already chatting it up with Bre about all my thoughts on the subject. He speaks so much truth in getting creative, loosening your standards, being free. Pushing yourself in unpaid situations. Bre, even from a far, was such an encouragement.  I asked if she would be a model one day for me. AND NOWWWW it has happened. Months later, here she was, in front of my camera. Even more fun and exciting then I could have dreamed. Bre, you are such a wonderful human. I had the best time chatting, adventuring, and learning with you. I’m so excited to see how God is using you.

Recently, I also had the joy of meeting Jessica. Seriously one of the coolest highschoolers. This chick is graduating and headed to Belmont. She is full of dreams, bravery, and talent. She joined us on our adventures and took us around some of Memphis’s best tops- even agreeing to get in front of the lens. I’m just so honored to know her. <3 Thank you Jess for being so lovely and such a joy! I love how I can see your dreams through your eyes. I love your style and genuine spirit.