Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ritz Carlton Resort, Naples, Florida Wedding: Christopher + Carrie

Somtimes with destination weddings, we aren’t able to meet in person with the bride and groom until the day of their wedding. And to be honest, this can be so incredibly nervewracking. It’s like a blind date with people you’re/we’re spending the whole day with. Thankfully, it’s always been just fine, but I don’t think the nerves of the unknown first meeting will ever go away. The best though is when you show up, meet the bride and they make you feel like you’ve known her a lifetime the second you walk in the room. This is how it was with Carrie. My sister second shot this wedding with me and I think she must have said 5 times, “I think you’re the nicest bride I’ve ever met!” (disclaimer: we have awesome, amazing and fabulous brides, so this is quite the compliment).
Carrie and Chris’ Ritz Carlton Beach Resort wedding was a perfect way to end our March weddings and we couldn’t imagine a better couple or more perfect day.
Carrie and Chris, thank you so much for allowing us to capture your beautiful day. We wish you two a lifetime of fun, happiness and the most wonderful of marriages!
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Godliness, Glory and Grace.

Every morning my alarm is set for 6am, to be sure I enjoy a cup of coffee and spend some time with the Lord before our little ones are up and the craziness of our day begins. Today was no different…except after I got up, I just didn’t want to. To be honest, I wanted to check instagram, pinterest and pretty much involve myself in any other distraction that would keep me from spending with what matters most. Temptation at it’s finest.

So, with a few minutes before the early morning school routine, I opened my bible, read a little from my reading plan and spent the last few seconds reflecting on the message at our bible study yesterday. I long to read my bible pretty much every morning and this quiet time with the Lord is always well spent. How amazing is it that God works in such a way that the one morning I didn’t feel like spending with Him, He speaks so clearly and so powerfully to me. And even more, pursues me, so undeservingly. Truly, what the enemy means for evil, God is so, so faithful to turn it for our good and for his glory!

Once our kids were up and the kids were dropped off, I jumped right back where I left off. And then it hit me. One of my great friends said yesterday, “Are we living like God’s unconditional acceptance is enough?” Follow me here, because this quote took me back a few days when the Lord challenged me with 2 Timothy 3:5 (and has continue to do so), where it says, “having the appearance of godliness but denying it’s power.” Do I appear godly? Of course I hope so and I’d like to say so–even though I battle my flesh, yell at my kids sometimes, argue with my husband on occasion and fall short every day. Thankfully, there is grace for all these moments and the battle is already won through Jesus’ death on the cross.

But the second half of this verse is what’s convicting me–“…but denying it’s power.” Power is the present, effective working of God in and through believers lives. Although I may be completely off, this denial of power likely comes through words and the vocal expression of God’s goodness, glory and grace. I’m not blatently denying the Lord’s power, but when I fail to speak up and give him the glory, in essence, I’m doing exactly what I don’t want to do (Romans 7:15).

Then the other part of not speaking up deals with my desire for perfectionism. Often, I don’t speak up out of fear that what I say may not perfectly align up with truth, or may make me appear less godly. Going further, I may not speak up since I so often desire to please people, which is clearly not pleasing to the Lord. (For am I seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I still trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10).  So I say nothing at all. And then, obviously, there’s pride in all of this as well.

Anyway, I know this post is somewhat of a jumbled mess, but I guess that’s just my heart lately (in a good way!). I’m thankful our God reveals truth, frees me from my failure, provides grace upon grace and His acceptance of me really is enough. God is clear in scripture that His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9); isn’t it funny how we’re brought up and taught to be strong, independent people (at least I was), and now as an adult, slowly realizing how much freedom there is in being weak. God is not looking for equality with him, but rather for me to rid me of myself FOR him. One of my biggest prayers this year is that God, in his love, kindness and grace, continues to drive me to a position of weakness in my flesh…where his power can then be made perfect. Happy Friday people!

Selena + Chad: Dubuque, Iowa Engagement Session

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burroughs home wedding: nicole + guy

We had a March filled with many fabulous weddings and Guy and Nicole’s was most definitely one of them! Married at the beautiful Burrough’s Home in Fort Myers, the day was truly amazing. The perfect Florida weather, a stunning bride, gorgeous location and an adorable couple…I was one pretty lucky photographer!
Congratulations Nicole and Guy! It was a great honor to be a part of your special day and I wish you guys the most amazing love and joy filled marriage for years and years to come!

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Oh Kate, you never disappoint…
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Hotel: Hotel Indigo
Venue: The Burroughs Home, Fort Myers, Florida
Hair + Makeup: JA Makeup Artistry

Morgan + Dominic: Edison Ford Winter Estates Engagement Session

{You know blogging has been a long time coming when your “To Blog” folder is overflowing and the hard drive on your computer is completely full. We’ve had a remarkable past few months with so many shoots and weddings to share, so hopefully in the next few days and weeks I can get my butt in gear and get this blog going again…}

If you didn’t know already, I grew up on the soccer fields. Some of my favorite memories growing up were on the fields and during the countless tournaments we traveled all over Florida to play in. Many friends were made, including Morgan, during these years of playing for the Strikers. In fact, Morgan was on my sister’s team, so I always looked forward to playing with her baby brothers during the games. Also, on my sister’s team was Cat (who was their amazing goalie). And Cat had a brother named Dominic (who also played on the Strikers). This was back in the 1990’s. Following me here?

Scroll forward to 2012. Dominic and Morgan ended up reconnecting after a whole lot of years of not seeing each other. And quickly fell in love.

{For all you former Strikers out there, how awesome are these shirts they had made?!}

Aren’t they just beautiful together? This summer they’ll exchange vows at The Edison Ford Winter Estates and I’m honored to tell the story through photographs.
undeniable LOVE.
You guys are just too cute…

…and so gorgeous!!













Morgan and Dominic, I am crazy excited to work with you guys on your big day in June. I had so much fun with you guys and I know your day is going to be absolutely incredible!!

Mini Session Recommendations

– Always start with mom’s wardrobe. Mom, make sure you wear something you absolutely love!! If you don’t like what you’re wearing, chances are, you won’t love your photos.

– Lay your outfit choices out to get an idea of what it will look like together.

– Wear clothing that you’re comfortable in.

– Layers (whether it be a belt, jewelry piece, cardigan, etc.) are always great and add to your photos!!

– We’re totally great with colorful clothes that compliment each other and we recommend avoiding “matchy” clothes (ie. white tops and khaki bottoms).

– Moms, apply your makeup in natural light for best results. Also, it’s usually recommended to go slightly brighter/heavier on your cheeks, eyes and lips since makeup tends to look toned down in photos.

– Make sure everyone is on the same page. Meaning, if you’re going to dress casual, have everyone in the same casual style and vice-versa, if you’re dressing more formal.

– We love patterns (plaid, stripes, etc.) BUT be careful not to overdo it (and no big logos)! Make sure you put some solid clothing pieces into your families wardrobe.

_ We generally recommend to avoid solid black.

-Here’s a pinterest board we LOVE and could maybe help you on your selection:
http://pinterest.com/traceable/photo-shoot-what-to-wear/

– Come ready to have fun!! We’re all about laughing and making sure the shoot is enjoyable for everyone!!

– Lastly, please, please don’t be late. We have to run on a super tight schedule, especially since the sun sets early, so please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your start time.

Mini Sessions 2012

{I’ve had this blog post written out for a few days but our internet has been out (again!!!) and I’m just now getting around to getting it published! No worries though, there are still a few spots left!!}

We are so excited to finally announce the release dates and all the planning that has gone into this year’s custom mini sessions- two different sessions, with two totally different styles! Our goal through these mini sessions is that your family has a great time, ends up with a handful of treasured photographs, at an affordable price and in a painless amount of time!

Now onto the fun stuff…November 18th will be in downtown Fort Myers- we’re going to work with the charm, uniqueness and color that it offers to create a perfect backdrop for our urban shoot. There are so, so many nooks and crannies in our downtown Fort Myers streets, and I have a few spots I can’t wait to use for this family session! Our next mini session, on November 25th, will take place in a field. Not just any field though…a styled field. A romantic, charming, neutral setting with a sofa, paper lanterns, flowers and a whole bunch of other little goodies.

About a week after the shoot, approximately 20 edited photographs will go into an online proofing gallery. From there, you’ll be able to directly order any professional product and/or images from your shoot at a discounted rate of 15%. You will receive the print release, up to 8×10 in size, for 5 of your chosen images.

Lastly, since we know that many of our clients will be using these photos for their Christmas cards and family gifts, we will refrain from posting any of our shoots until after Christmas (unless told otherwise).

One last important detail…if you refer a new client to us, and they book a mini session, we will gladly give you a $50 print credit to use towards product after the shoot. So, share our facebook statuses, share this blog entry and spread the word!

Information overload? Stay with me for one more second!! To book your date we are requiring a $50 nonrefundable fee to reserve your date and time, and the remaining balance will be paid at the shoot. Once your date is booked, we will also provide you with a list of recommendations to help make the most of your shoot. If you’re super excited and ready to book your custom session, contact us at maria@mariaglassford.com with your preferred session date!

alyson + cassell: fort myers engagement session

A few weeks ago I had the priveledge of working with Alyson and Cassell on their engagement photos. When they told me they wanted to some of them at the Fort Myers High stadium and football field, I was so excited and thrilled to go back for a visit after all these years! Many of my cherished highschool memories happened right on that field (as a Greenwave soccer player) and they are truly irreplaceable. Obviously, I’m not the only one who finds this area to be a pretty darn special place- after all, it is the same spot where Alyson and Cassell met, started dating and even got engaged!

Here’s where it all began….

I don’t think it gets much cuter than this…

Okay, I guess maybe it can. Seriously, you guys are adorable.

We had some great coaches (a.k.a. Cassell and Alyson’s proud dad’s) watching and helping us along the way. They were awesome and I loved seeing them be so involved with their kids as they begin this beautiful journey together! PS. I wasn’t kidding when I told you I got a picture of the two of you… : )

 

The first date football has led to this beauty of a ring…

Then we traveled to downtown Fort Myers for the rest of their engagement session…

Um, you two are going to make some cute kids one day…for real.


You guys are stunning!!

Alyson and Cassell, it was a blast working with you guys! You two have love written all over your face I can’t even tell you how much I am looking forward to your wedding next June!

Friday Favorites: School, SongPop and a Graduation!

Yes, you’re seeing this right. A MGP blog post after a few months hiatus. We’ve gone through summer, did a ton of traveling, experienced pure chaos with 5 highly opinionated little people at home for 2 months and had tons of fun with our family and friends. Oh, and in between all of it, we were doing our favorite thing- capturing awesome people!

So, now that you’re caught up on the past few months, here we go…

– Schedule. Now that my kids are all in school {crazy.}, I am really looking forward to having a schedule in our lives again. Although I will miss my kids and our sleep and sun filled summer days, a little routine is so needed for all us of!

– With all of my kids in school (one of them in preschool), I officially have 3 full days a week all.to.myself. After being a “stay/work at home mom” for 10 years, the first day I had a mini identity crisis, but alas, I’ve adjusted pretty easily. Kid-free lunches with some of my favorite people is definitely a highlight…

 

– SongPop. If you haven’t played it on your iPhone yet, it’s super fun and incredibly addictive. Oh and if you’re competitive and like winning, play against me…because I am terrible. And, surprisingly, for some reason I still like it. 😉

 

– Destination Wedding. A huge highlight of our business this year is Valerie and Joe’s wedding, next week in Albuqurque, New Mexico. My sister and I head west on Friday for what will be a weekend filled with a whole bunch of love and amazingness!! We can’t wait, Joe and Val!

– This past weekend, our gang traveled up to Gainesville to celebrate my mom’s graduation, from the University of Florida, with her Doctorate degree. We couldn’t be more proud of her for constantly challenging and educating herself. And, now, we look forward to “having her back” after years of tiresome work!! Congrats, mom!! We love you!!

(all iphone photos, mixed with a little instagram)

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We celebrated with a fabulous dinner at The Warehouse. Soooo good!!
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After dinner, we headed over to Sarkara. Picture Yogurt Mountain, but cupcake style. Yes, pretty much AMAZING.
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Happy Friday!!

Rachel & Jon: Naples Engagement Session

It all started about 6 years ago, when Hurricane Ernesto was forecasted to possibly reach our area of Southwest Florida. Being that Rachel and Jon were college students at the time, and classes were cancelled, their sorority and fraternity decided a joint Hurricane Party would be the perfect way to spend the evening. Little did these two know, that this evening would change the rest of their lives.

They quickly began dating, while both continued to pursue their education and the opportunities that came with- which led to a long distance relationship for much of this time.




 

This past November, when Jon traveled up to Chicago to visit Rachel over Thanksgiving weekend, he surprised her with a romantic dinner but more importantly, a beautiful diamond ring. 



Cutest couple ever? Quite possibly.


I feel like this picture says it all about Jon and Rachel…in love, happy and more than ready to spend forever together…

Rachel and Jon, it was an honor to capture this special time in your lives. I loved watching you two interact, laugh together, and just be yourselves with one another. The connection you guys have together is undeniable and it makes me so, so excited to shoot your wedding next year!!

Class of 2013…We Need YOU!

 

We’re on the hunt for a few fun, outgoing and stylish 2013 MGP Senior Reps!!

Reps will receive a {FREE} Senior session, and are able to participate in our fun referral program – where you earn product and gift cards based on the number of referrals you send our way. For an application and to find out more, email maria@mariaglassford.com. Space is limited and senior rep sessions are starting soon, so contact us today!

Check out our Senior Portrait gallery from some of our 2012 Seniors {HERE}.

 

{Friday Favorites}: Golf, Soccer, Jesus and Being a WAHM

– Canon Professional Services. They fixed my sadly broken 5d, Mark ii in just a matter of days. I had mentally prepared myself that I was likely going to be purchasing a new one. Needless to say, when they sent me an email letting me know it was a $158 repair, I was thrilled.

– Miniature Golf! We took our younger three out to the course this past weekend and had the best time. Our little boys had never been mini golfing and I think they’re professional golfer of a grandpa would have been impressed with their skills. Considering I beat my hubby at the game, I think golf must just be in the Meyer blood. Actually, I know it is… 😉

{iphone photo}

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– Being a WAHM (Work At Home Mom). I will NEVER take this huge blessing for granted. I’m so, so thankful for my job and that I can create my own schedule (even if that means working at 1AM) and hang out with my kids while they fly through these most precious years!

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– Soccer. Soccer. Soccer. We had a blast at last weekend soccer tournament and this Saturday we have another one to look forward to. Praying the rain hold’s off since we’re scheduled for 5 games tomorrow!!

– I’ve been convicted, challenged and encouraged by the Lord lately. I fall more in love with Him daily and am grateful He meets me right where I am- knowing exactly what I need during my time with Him. Lately, He’s really challenged me to be a daily cross-bearing Christian, and reflecting the attributes that come with- denying myself, loving others, doing all things without complaining, and having full trust and hope in Him. I know none of these are possible without divine strength from Him and how thankful I am for my Savior who lived a perfect, sinless life before paying the ultimate price.

-Instagram. I may be slightly obsessed. It’s like Facebook through photos. I’m pretty sure the picture below tells a better story and any of my status’ ever would. LOVE IT.

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Happy Friday!!

PS. This last photo is for my sweet friend, Dina, who texted me yesterday wanting to know if I was withholding her photos for my Friday Favorites….here ya go!! 😉

 

Friday Favorites

– Selah Sky. Lauren, one of my sweet second shooters, had her precious daughter on Monday and she is quite the beauty! My heart is filled with joy with new babies in general, but there is something unexplainable when seeing a husband and wife welcome their first baby…

 

 

– Thin Mints. I don’t really thinks this needs much of an explanation. Every February though, it’s like seeing my long lost best friend.

Guilty Confession: I used to order boxes of Thin Mints off of Ebay when I was pregnant.  For real. You can’t mess with a pregnant girls’ cravings. 😉

– My Grace Story. It was my week to share my grace story at our small group this week. I actually loved tracking my story from birth until now and it was incredible to see just how faithful the Lord was, even when I didn’t recognize Him and His power in my life. I’m thankful for the undeserving FINISHED work he’s done on the Cross and the fact that I have a God that loves me despite myself.

– Our 2012 weddings. I’m really pumped over the awesome weddings and of course, the wonderful couples I get to work with.

– This past week my kids had a 4 day weekend from school and we had a BLAST!! It was so nice to be free of our crazy schedule and have a mini vacay in Orlando. On top of a great gymnastics meet up there, we paid Shamu a little visit at Sea World.

(iphone photo)

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– American Idol and The Voice. The reality TV lover in me is pretty giddy almost every night during this time of year…

Cheers to Friday!

 

Kyndra & Kyle: Nautical Styled Boca Grande Engagement Shoot

After meeting with Kyndra for the first time and hearing all about her vision for her wedding, I longed to be the photographer she chose to capture her day. Their November, nautical themed wedding, was right up my alley and I knew the detail in her day would have my heart racing with excitement with pretty much every turn. Besides photojournalism and capturing the candid moments of wedding days, strategically placed detail just wraps up the day and turns the perfect love story into a fairytale of a day. Needless to say, once Kyndra emailed me and told me that they had chosen me, I was completely ecstatic.

Kyle and Kyndra wanted to create their engagement photos as a little sneak peak of what’s to come for their big day, so we decided to head out to the beautiful island of Boca Grande to set the scene. I truly don’t think they could have chosen a better location for their vision- the place was just spectacular and had so much to offer with a great mixture of beach and buildings. Add to that a little burlap, fishing nets, some flowers and a beautiful couple, and I was a photographer in heaven.

There’s no way I could post this without saying THANK YOU to Stephanie of Along Came Stephanie, for coming to help style this engagement session! You’re fabulous and were a huge asset in detailing this shoot ever so perfectly!



Ahh, I’m always a sucker for a high school sweetheart love story.



You’re gorgeous, Kyndra!!



Kyle, you did GOOD and Kyndra, you’re one lucky lady to get to wear this bling the rest of your life!

The Boca Grande Lighthouse- definitely worth the drive to visit!

They say engagement photos are practice for your wedding day. I’m pretty sure you guys are ready.





Meet sweet, little Daisy the dog!

Kyndra and Kyle, November 12th can’t come soon enough.  You have no idea how excited I am to be chosen to tell your amazing love story through photographs. The countdown is on…276 days!

Myla: {Fort Myers Newborn Session}

Everytime I do a newborn shoot, I wish I had someone taking video of the “behind the scenes”; there’s so much love, a few hilarious moments (Alisa can attest to this), and of course, an incredibly cute little baby that we’re swooning over the whole time. Thankfully, Miss Myla was the perfect little doll and was so cooperative with every move we made her on. Even more so, my heart just smiles seeing Alisa and Kevin, her proud parents, dote all over their precious baby girl. Congrats guys, I am so happy for you both! Without further ado, get ready for the little girl with hair most newborns are jealous of, here’s little Miss Myla….



Isn’t she just perfect?!

 



Friday Favorites

How is it Friday already?? This week flew by and the lack of blogging is a result of a boat load of other work and precious time spent with my family. Although I know I can’t do everything and stay on top of everything {at the same time} the way I’d love to sometimes, I’m starting to understand that this is okay and priorities need to be set. I’m resting in the fact that I do want to be a great blogger consistently but the truth is that I want to be a better mother and wife. Anyway, here we go…

Jasmine Star- The Fix. Tickets went on sale this week and since she’s a photographer who I admire and have learned an incredible amount from, I couldn’t imagine skipping the opportunity to see her in Miami. Eeeek, soooo excited for March 2nd!!

-Our beautiful weather. I heard on the radio this morning that our weather has been and will continue to be perfect; and although perfect is a hard word to achieve and meet, our current weather surely doesn’t fall short of the definition. Blue skies, no humidity and just the most beautiful temperature.

Twistee Treat. We took our kids on a ice cream date this past weekend. It was a regular stop in my childhood and there’s something nostalgic about visiting with my own children over 20 years later.

(iphone photo)

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– Miss Myla. This past weekend I got to do Myla’s newborn session. Just look below and you’ll see why this precious babe easily makes the cut….

{her official blog post will make it’s debut soon!}

 

Happy Friday!

{Friday Favorites}


– My redecorated/refurnished office!! The past few weeks, we’ve spent hours working on completely redoing my office and I’m thrilled to say it’s finally DONE. Thank you to my hubby for doing all the labor, while I partook in the fun part of shopping and buying. I can’t wait to share because I love how it turned out!! Photos to come…but here’s a sneak peak of the desk I spent almost all day Tuesday driving to pick up and bring back.

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(iphone photo)

– In BIG and EXCITING news…a New Mexico Wedding!!! AHHH!! Remember Valerie and Joe? I remember leaving their engagement shoot hoping and praying that I would somehow be chosen to shoot their wedding. Little did I know, they already had an account started where they were saving their sky miles to take care of my flight. So, it’s now official: I am New Mexico bound in August to shoot what is going to be a crazy fabulous day. Their wedding planning is going incredibly well and I can’t wait to see everything come together on their big day!

– My daughter’s gymnastics meet. Although I may go broke from her being in the sport, I’m proud and love watching her flourish as a gymnast. This past weekend we headed up to Tampa for her first official meet and she went home 4 medals richer and pretty darn excited for her next meet in 2 weeks.

– A full DVR. It may drive some people crazy, but I love knowing there are a ton of shows and movies waiting for me.

– The book my dear sister got me for Christmas- “Because He Loves Me” by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I’m not far yet, but it’s already rocking my world and changing my perspective on godliness.

– I’m officially addicted to Ghirardelli Crisp Chocolate Bars. As in, I embarrassingly went into Home Goods tonight to buy some because this store (and others like it) are the only place you can get them. I know, I know..who in the world does that!? I promise though they’re to die for and because of my newfound addiction, I am committing to get to the gym at least 3 times next week.
Happy Friday and Hello Weekend!!!

Lauren & Bill: {Fort Myers Maternity Session }

When one of my other second shooters was pregnant (Katie, who now has handsome little Greyson), I knew I needed to add one more to the MGP team. I prayed about it and the Lord told me to get in touch with Lauren. I remember telling my sister and her response was “That’s so funny because Lauren told me she was actually looking for a little job!” I just love how He works and not only knows, but also provides for each of our needs. God is so good and what a blessing Lauren has been to work with and I am incredibly blessed to call her my friend.

Apparently once you start working for me, you end up pregnant (seems to be the little MGP joke : )), and here we are only a few weeks away until little Selah will make her appearance in this world. I am SO excited and I cannot wait to meet what will undoubtedly be a precious and gorgeous little girl!!

Lauren and Bill, thanks for letting me capture you during this special time. You two will make amazing parents and are such a true example of what love is in a marriage and I know this love will only grow stronger and deeper as you raise your family. I love you guys and am so thankful for both of you!

Ahhh Lauren, you are GORGEOUS.


Oh, how the camera loves you both…



Lauren may just have the best laugh ever (which she gets from her amazing mother)…


Bill, you’re hilarious and Selah is definitely blessed to have a daddy as fun and awesome as you!

I leave you with one of my favorites….

{Friday Favorites}

– Four blog posts in a row…this might just be an accomplishment (for me, at least).

– Today, I get to do the maternity session for one of my fabulous photographers. Lauren has been working with me for 8 months and she has been an incredible blessing and a true joy to be with.  Seems like just yesterday, we we’re sitting in the car on our way home from a wedding talking about her exciting news and next month she’ll be holding her little girl. Cannot wait!

– Staying somewhat on that note, I have the absolute best second shooters and photographers working with me. So, thank you to Alicia, Katie and of course, Lauren for everything you’ve done and everything you do. Seriously, THANK YOU. You are all amazing and I am grateful I get to do life with such awesome people.

– A couple we’ve worked with from surprise proposal (captured by Alicia) and then onto their beautiful Miromar Lakes wedding, had their little girl yesterday. Thank you Kevin and Alisa for allowing me to be a part of your incredible journey. I’m excited to add a new chapter today as I head to the hospital this afternoon to capture some of the most precious moments life has to offer! LOVE LOVE LOVE hospital sessions and I totally LOVE this couple, so to say I’m a bit giddy is a bit of an understatement.

From their proposal in 2009…

…and from their wedding in 2010…

– Schedule. I had a blast on Christmas break, but I am looking forward to the normalcy of a schedule again. So long, waking up at 9am and hello, buzzing alarm at 6!

– Cold weather. I’m flat out LOVING it (as long as it doesn’t get any colder).

– 2012 weddings. Our wedding season kicks off in less than a month and I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a year of weddings, as a whole, as much as I am this one. There’s a whole bunch of fabulous in store.

Off to spend a day doing my favorite thing with some of my favorite people!

 

The Game of Sorry.

I never thought a game of Sorry with my children could possibly create as many tears, as much heartbreak and as much fun at the same time. In all seriousness, it’s one thing to play a game where we’re each just moving along the board on our own (ie. Candyland) and it’s a whole other thing to play a game like Sorry, where you have to strategically kick people off their hard earned spot and send them back home. And by strategically, I don’t necessarily mean those who actually benefit you to win but those you may be, let’s just say, less thrilled with.

After playing the game yesterday, and sitting there in awe of the roller coaster of emotions I had just experienced with my children, I have quickly come to realize each of them has learned how to be insanely competitive, courtesy of yours truly. Awesome.

Truth me told, emotions ran so high, my sweet little 4 year old quit halfway through out of pure devastation. After laughingly hearing the words SORRRRYYY in his face about 5 times, he was just done and made a quick exit (tears and all) for his bed. I’m thinking the amount of life lessons everyone learned yesterday during our hour long (yes, HOUR LONG.) game were enough to cover us for 2012. Today, for my sanity, we’re off to accomplish the huge floor puzzle of the United States.


New Year, New Goals.

 

We’re already 4 days in and my brain seems to be going about a million miles and hour trying to narrow down my 2012 goals. Since I’m a list-maker, combined with what most would consider a ridiculous amount of competitiveness, there’s something way more motivating about making a written out list of these goals for the new year. Ya know, because being able to cross or check something off a list just gives me a sense of accomplishment. I should probably be clear just in case my husband reads this, this list making just doesn’t seem to work when it comes to laundry (which he graciously does for me), cleaning or the like.

Here’s a few of my 2012 goals I’ve created for myself.

– Family first. I need to be more diligent in putting my family first…even when I’m in great need of a date with my computer.

– Read more.

– Put myself in more uncomfortable situations in every area of life (who makes goals like this?!).

– Pray more.

– Stop comparing myself to others. I’ve never really been one to do this…but I notice myself doing it way too much in this business.

– Quality over quantity.

– Be a better and more consistent blogger.

– Keep a work journal. I keep a personal journal but I want to really use a work journal, where I solely write about work, mistakes I can learn from, things I want to change and the things I’m proud of. I know it’ll be useful and purposeful for later.

Because every blog post is better with a picture, I leave you with little Naomi (or NJ for short). My BFF of over 15 years is down with her fam so they stopped over yesterday for a belated Christmas session an early Valentines shoot.

Unfortunately, NJ doesn’t respond to bribery and she was more interested in the grass than the camera. Therefore, when all else fails, we can almost always rely on the trustworthiness of a dog…who knows exactly what the word treat means.

 

Happy Wednesday!

PS. Today is most definitely one of those days where I am sooo glad I can stay in my pajama pants, under my covers, while drinking coffee, and blogging. And yet, it’s still entirely too cold for my Florida blood. Hopefully though, this means scarves, boots and the like can make an appearance in today’s outfit!

 

 

U-Pick Citrus Family Session, Fort Myers, Florida

As I sit here drinking my coffee, the morning after our trip the U-Pick citrus farm, I am still swooning over our little visit yesterday. As a photographer, it was pretty much the equivalent of a trip to Disney World for my children. Minus the ice cream, funnel cake and popcorn.

 

Love this family and I think it’s safe to say, the camera loves them.

So, this family consists of parents, 4 sisters and then each of their own families. This is their first time together in 2 years, since they live all over the world (California, Argentina and Italy).

I think it’s safe to say he’s a pretty proud husband and dad…


 

The only local sister, who is an incredibly talented makeup artist and the owner of Hope Artistry.

 

A shoutout to my birthplace…love my Iowa roots.

Love this photo of my friends…an incredibly beautiful couple who are madly in love with Jesus. Check out the high school summer camp they co-founded in California- Elevate.

 

For the record, it wasn’t only the location that made the trip feel like the happiest place on earth. Thank you to each and every one of you who made yesterday awesome. It was a blast hanging out and capturing you all.

Lastly, a HUGE THANK YOU to Bob and Judy for being so kind to allow us to use their property, pick tasty fruit and hang out with their super cool dog, Bob.

Happy New Year!

I’m still thinking it should be the year 2000, so I can’t possibly be the only one who can hardly believe 2011 has already come to an end. More importantly, how in the world has time seemed to pass in the blink of an eye? Literally. For some reason, whenever we close the book to an entire year, my heart aches a little knowing it’s 365 days that will never be gotten back and an endless amount of memories I’ll never fully remember. Most of all, I think I dread knowing my kids are one year closer to adulthood and I desperately want to cherish every ounce of their little being while they’re still little. I guess it’s safe to say that time and I have a love/hate relationship.

With that said, 2011 has been fabulous, amazing, beautiful, love-filled and an absolute blast (most of the time). I am grateful for a lovely family filled with my favorite people, a year of great health in our family, a God I’ve grown closer to over the year, wonderful friends and the most amazing clients a girl could ask for. It’s been a great year and I feel like it’s an understatement to say I feel blessed. Thank you to each and every person in my life- family, friend, client, etc.- who has made 2011 a year to remember.

With that said, even though I’m sad to see 2011 go, I’m totally ready to welcome 2012. I am excited for the changes that are ahead this year and the fresh start in all areas of life. So, as I sit here in my love/hate relationship with time, I know there is nowhere I’d rather be than my current spot- cuddling with my family on the couch while watching the New Year’s Eve shows and awaiting the big ball dropping. Goodbye 2011 and welcome 2012! Happy New Year..and here’s hoping it’s a great one!

Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, Florida: Lindsey & Mike

There’s something so storytelling about seeing a wedding through photos- from beginning to end. I figured since it’s been ages since I’ve blogged about one, I would replace my Friday Favorite today with a beautiful wedding we captured this fall. I remember the first time I met Lindsey and Mike, while sitting in my office, Lindsey told me that she just wanted to elope and didn’t really want to go through the planning process. They were so in love and so ready to spend the rest of their lives together that a trip to Vegas would have been sufficient. However, they decided against jetting off, and began the planning process for their big day in October. And, did they ever plan…their day was gorgeous and so detail filled that I could hardly contain myself. Their plum peacock theme literally traveled throughout every location in our area at the Gardens. Since I’m a wedding detail fanatic, I absolutely love when my head spins in every direction with something to photograph. On top of the fantastic detail, I had a beyond gorgeous bride, an awesome groom, a super fun bridal party and possibly the prettiest wedding location in Naples. Needless to say, it was a pretty perfect day and I felt so blessed to be chosen to capture it all.

Mike and Lindsey, thank you, thank you, thank you. You two are insanely sweet and I enjoyed every moment I’ve spent with you through the process from engaged to married! I can’t think of a better way to end the week (since I know how much you guys love Fridays!!) than sharing your wedding from beginning to end with everyone. Enjoy!


Swooning over Lindsey’s dress. Seriously, one of my most favorite dresses ever.

 

Stunning, stunning bride. Lindsey, you are gorgeous!!

Get ready for the food! They had all sorts of buffets to choose from- sushi, pizza, cheeseburger, pasta. Most definitely a hit for the guests!

Congrats Mike and Lindsey!  It was such a pleasure to be a part of your day and I wish you two a marriage filled with joy, great love and much laughter!

Venue: Naples Botanical Garden
Dress: For the Bride, designed by Allure Couture Bridals
Hair & Makeup: Stephani at The Rock
Food Catered By: Cater Masters, Inc.
DJ: Black Tie Entertainment
Cake: GulfShore Bakery
Photography: Maria Glassford Photography

 

 

 

Dear Santa…

My kids are always doing or saying things (that I so wish I would journal daily ) which make my heart smile, laugh, or even tear up, but there’s nothing more priceless than when these little heart melters are jotted down with their own precious hands. My dear daughter, Kyla, is always asking for a sister and after an argument with 2 of her brothers, she decided to take action and write her wish to Mr. Clause, who seems to always pull through with the things she asks for on her Christmas list.

After she wrote this and I gently broke the news that she probably won’t be getting a sister for Christmas, she sweetly asked if we could bring home an 8 year old girl from Haiti to be her sister (Haiti is the place she is asking to go to for her next birthday). I don’t know if she realizes that bringing another little girl into our house would steal her limelight and her princess status a little bit, but I do know I totally love her passion for those less fortunate. I think with the every child initiative at our church, the Lord is changing her heart and opening her eyes to the orphans in need throughout our world, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

20111128-083409.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                     (iphone photo)

Oh, and as for now, the letter is on the way to the North Pole, courtesy of our favorite elf, Nico….. ; )

Neglected.

I’m pretty sure that’s how my blog must feel these days. I’m okay with it though because I have spent some much needed time with my family, enjoyed a few Saturday’s off (so rare.) and captured a whole bunch of incredible people. I have so many shoots to upload and a bunch of couples, seniors and families that I really want to blog about, so even if it’s weeks down the road…I’m determined to make it happen. (And yes, I apparently really like the word “so” and in my mind, it’s impossible to overuse. : ))

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a shot from my three shoots this past Saturday.

 


See how awesome my Saturday was (and how gorgeous my clients are)?! Add yesterday’s greatness of church, The Lion King with my gang, football, a Sunday nap and another couple to MGP’s 2012 wedding season. I absolutely love weekends filled with all kinds of my favorite things.

Happy Monday (even though my day looks more like that of a taxi driver, maid and chef…)!

Goodbye, Summer.

I love summer. I love the flexibility of our schedules, the endless days at the pool and beach, no homework, sleepovers, hanging out with my kids (most of the time), sleeping in, doing whatever we want in the evening without having to watch the clock and spending so much time with our family and friends. And then, the week before school hits.  Anybody feel me here?!  Chaos, antsy kids, doctors appointments, open houses, haircuts, back to school shopping, nervous kids, fighting kids and life is just plain old crazy. The picture above pretty much describes our life the past few days. Feel free to put your own caption on it. 🙂

So, as of this week, it’s official…I’m ready for school to start. I’m ready for the schedule and routine to be back in our life, even if that means kids in 3 schools, a few kids playing soccer, a daughter with gymnastics 4x a week (FYI, this translates to a practice/game every single day except Sunday) and becoming the taxi mom who is constantly toting her kids from place to place everyday. I’m ready to have a quiet house from the hours of 9-2. I’m ready to take only one super cute little 3 year old with me when I need to go to the store and I’m ready for the hours when this awesome little 3 year old naps (which equals absolute silence in my house for a few hours each day). Truly, the last thing I want to do is wish time away because I see my kids growing with the blink of an eye, but I’m definitely ready for this next season in life to begin.

So long, Summer of 2011….I know in about 4 weeks I’ll be looking forward to Summer 2012! Happy Friday and happy last day of summer, for us! 🙂

Friday Favorites: Kyla’s Answers, Round III

For the past 2 years I’ve asked Kyla this same list of questions, and it crossed my mind this morning that I haven’t given her this mom quiz for quite some time.  It’s been so fun asking her the questions and seeing growth in her and our relationship over the years. I’m so, so thankful the Lord entrusted me with one little princess (who has her 4 brothers and daddy wrapped around her finger…) and although time is flying by way too quickly, I’m incredibly proud of the little lady she’s becoming.

To make it even more fun, here’s the links to her 2009 and 2010 answers! Apparently I work a lot more, can’t dance now but still love me some football and ice cream! She’s figuring me out more and more each year. 😉 Thanks for reading and please feel free to “steal” this…it’s something that has become priceless to me! 🙂

Kyla’s 2009 Answers

Kyla’s 2010 answers

Without further ado…the 2011 answers:

1. What is something mom always says to you? Go read a book.
2. What makes mom happy? Spending time with me.
3. What makes mom sad? If Carter hits you.
4. How does your mom make you laugh? Tickling me
5. What did your mom like to do as a child? read
6. How old is your mom? 28
7. How tall is your mom? very tall.
8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV? Football.
9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? work
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? singing
11. What is your mom really good at? Taking pictures.
12. What is your mom not very good at? dancing.
13. What does your mom do for her job? Takes pictures of people that are getting married.
14. What is your mom’s favorite food? ice cream
15. What makes you proud of your mom? being a good mother
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Spongebob
17. What do you and your mom do together? Go to the movies
18. How are you and your mom the same? Were both girls
19. How are you and your mom different? You have green eyes and I have blue.
20. How do you know your mom loves you? Because you’re my mother.
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? He’s a good person.
22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? Outback.

I’m thinking sometime next week, I’ll be back, but with answer’s from some of my boys. 🙂 Happy Friday!!

They’re Baaaaacckkk: {Friday Favorites}

After a few months hiatus, and numerous people asking why I stopped, I figured I would get back into the routine of listing my favorites of the week. Ready, set, here we go- in no particular order…

1. Sephora. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with this store. Find something you want to try in the store, but don’t want to spend the $$$ without knowing you’ll love it? Ask them for a sample jar to go. How awesome is that?! Also, if you end up not liking whatever you purchase, you can return the empty bottle for a complete refund!

2. Summertime. Beach, movies, the pool, books, lots of time with our friends and endless time with my kids. I am simply, LOVING the laziness of summer.

(iphone photo)

3. Kyla’s gymnastics. She started 6 months ago and has already moved up to a level 5/6 ( which translates to 4 days a week, 3-4.5 hours each day). We are continually impressed every single week as she learns and masters new skills. Yesterday, she got her kip on the bars and she is absolutely ecstatic about it. Kyla absolutely loves it and we are so, so proud of her. Hopefully, I’ll have video to post next week!

4. Paint! We finally painted our living room after pretty much turning an eye to it for the past 7 years. It was a darker red so the task of painting the room was extremely overwhelming and we tried to do whatever we could to just make do with the color. We decided on a wet cement, greyish, brown color and although it took some getting use to, it’s now my new fave sitting place in our house. How great that a few hundred dollars can totally change a house- I love paint!

Before (furniture had already started being moved):

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It only took us about 10 hours (the living room and kitchen are a big open room together) and I ask myself everyday why we waited so long. After:

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We also painted our dining room (it was a green color before):

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5. I’ve been loving my quiet time with the Lord this week. It truly is amazing how different my day is if I spend a little bit of the morning in the Word. I also came across this article this week and I think it’s a great read for ANY mother (or father) out there:

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/motherhood-is-a-calling-and-where-your-children-rank

6. Words with friends. It never gets old and the competitive person in me takes it oh so seriously. Let’s play: MGlassford5.

Happy Friday! I’m off to take my little ones on a Winnie the Pooh movie date. 🙂

 

Erin & Eric: A Green Tree Wedding (Avon Park and Sebring, Florida)

What all began as a blind date a few years ago, led to the most beautiful start of a marriage yesterday for Eric and Erin. I had the honor of capturing this incredible wedding day at the First Baptist Church in Avon Park, with the reception to follow at the Highlands County Fairgrounds in Sebring, Florida. The day was nothing short of perfect- a adorable and stunning couple, a God-centered ceremony by the wonderful Jared Longshore, the most hilarious bridal party, a unique lantern filled reception, and little details with every turn.


Erin & Eric decided to see each other before the ceremony. I love this intimate moment of the day…

I can hardly handle your gorgeousness.

I promise you there’s nothing like 10 groomsmen singing Backstreet Boys, to have a little fun during their pictures…

Someday, I may have to show the picture that took place two seconds after this one…oh girls, you were too fun!
One of my favorite moments before a wedding. All the girls praying over Erin before she becomes Eric’s wife. 
Erin and her sweet little niece, Livia. I don’t really think it can get much cuter than this!

First kiss!

I LOVE getting to work in small town locations that I’ve never shot before. It’s just so different than everything we have in Southwest Florida, and the rustic charm of these little towns in the middle of our state just make me swoon as I go through them. Oh, and an awesome bridal party definitely makes for plenty of fun!

Reception bound!
Details, details…

I love the thumb tree for the guests to leave their little mark on the day.
Do you see how gorgeous this room was?! I couldn’t get enough of the lanterns that were everywhere!Yes, that would be a backflip….I never thought dried peas could add the perfect touch to the centerpieces. Brilliant.Eric & Erin decided to share a last dance while all the guests got ready outside with the birdseed. This was definitely a special moment of the day.
Congratulations Erin and Eric! I was so blessed to be a part of your wedding day and I wish you two a marriage filled with great love and joy through all the years to come!