Finally Mr. & Mrs. Brian Womack | Officially Cancer-free | An Emotional wedding at the Third Degree Glass Factory, St. Louis, MO


Last year, for the first time, I opened a wedding giveaway and had the honor of photographing a couple’s wedding day for free. They get a whole wedding photography package for free, the engagement session, 8 hours of coverage and part of my heart. You see, we share something not so many share: we have both lost a parent.

Like me, Haylee had lost her dad. At the time that I posted this giveaway, it was a new loss for her and an older one for myself. As I read her entry into this giveaway, I was taken back to all those feelings of loss. I remembered all the times I’ve thought how I wished my dad was here to experience something, the meeting of my husband, my Master’s degree graduation, the birth of my children. They aren’t easy feelings to navigate through.

Haylee & Brian, have such a unique love story. They met in college and became inseparable nearly from their first meeting, despite Brian being from California. They had so much in common, Haylee was on the soccer team in college and Brian was on the baseball team and even when college breaks had Brian moving home to California, their feelings for one another only grew stronger, always allowing them to pick up right where they had left off.

Over the course of their relationship, they have endured the intensity of college sports, working on their degrees, having a long-distance relationship, experiencing the loss of a parent, but another battle was on the horizon.

In late January 2019, Brian was diagnosed with testicular cancer. While I won’t go into all the details, I can honestly say, I was stricken with an intense feeling of “how could this happen to such an amazing young couple”. They had already worked through so much in their years together.

Over the course of the next 6 months leading up to their wedding, I thought of them often. They had so much support during this time. Haylee was also working on completing her doctorate degree (yes, you read that right, Doctorate). I’ve never been more impressed by two people in my life. Their dedication to one another, their spirit and their love during this time was absolutely breathtaking.

As we were leading up to their wedding, I didn’t know what to expect. Brian had just had a serious surgery only a couple weeks before the wedding and had already experienced three rounds of chemotherapy. I just prayed for them and hoped that they would receive a miracle to begin their married life with.

A few days before the wedding, I get a text message from Haylee explaining that during the reception after the Best Man and Maid of Honor toasts, her and Brian would be making an announcement. An announcement that after a hard-fought battle, Brian was officially CANCER FREE!!! I can’t tell you how I felt in that exact moment but I can tell you that when that announcement was made during the reception, there wasn’t a dry eye in the entire place. Clapping rang through the whole building, tears streamed down every face and every face lit up with hope.


Haylee + Brian, you have been generous in allowing me to play a small role in your life’s story. You will always own a place in my heart.

Wedding Date: July 6, 2019

Venue: Third Degree Glass Factory- St. Louis, MO // Gown: David’s Bridal // Suit: Kohls // Hair: Special Occasions by Stephanie // Makeup: Brooke’s Bellas Makeup Artistry // Florals: Sola Wood Flowers // Catering: Pappy’s Smokehouse // DJ: House DJ St. Louis // Videography: Physical Memories // Second Photographer: Brooke Beeson


Giving Away a Wedding | Round 2 | St. Louis, MO


It always sneaks up on me. Every. Single. Year.

My dad was always the one I looked up to. For so many reasons. He was the one that always cheered me on, no matter what. He was the one that always told me to do my best and was supportive even when I wasn’t at my peak. He taught me so much in the short time I had him. It’s crazy to think that he’s been gone for 1/3 of my life at this point and how much he’s missed.

My dad wasn’t perfect, but he was generous. I can’t tell you the amount of times I heard him tell a customer or client, “Don’t worry about it,” when it came time to paying for services. Over and over again. He wasn’t always worried about the bottom dollar (maybe he should have a little bit more), he worked with his heart and it showed all the time.

Even as I write this, I tear up just thinking about it. I’ve been so blessed this year with amazing couples, families and clients who knew my dad and have shared stories about him with me. About how he stopped a fight from happening at a wedding reception, or how he gave them their school pictures for free because they couldn’t afford it.

It’s so moving to hear about him and how he touched other’s lives.

Last year, I came across this amazing photographer in New York who had started a giveaway. She gives away a wedding package every year around the time of her Mum’s birthday, and the minute I read her story (you can find it HERE), I knew. I knew that this was something I wanted to do as well and Erica (the photographer) was so supportive from the moment I asked her if I could do this too. It just seemed so fitting and the perfect way to honor my dad and what our passion is, photography.

One of my favorite things to remember about my Dad is how he would frame his hands around me when I started taking pictures with him. When I started following in his footsteps.

I can still feel his hands helping me on a wedding day or anytime I pick a camera.

So, this will be my second year that I will be opening my heart and sharing my talent with a couple who will win free wedding photography coverage for a couple who has experienced a significant parental loss. Last year’s winners just got married on July 6th, 2019, and this couple forever changed me. Their blog post will be up soon and you’ll be able to read their story in detail, but if you follow my work or pages at all, you will have seen them on there and heard their story.

So, here we are again. And here it is again, August 8th, my Dad’s birthday (he would have been 64 today). And in honor of him, I’m giving away free wedding photography coverage for a couple who has experienced the loss of a parent.

Here's what's included (for a 2020 wedding):

  • 8 hours of photography coverage

  • USB of fully edited high resolution images from your wedding

  • Online gallery of fully edited web resolution images from your wedding

  • Full printing rights to your images so that you can print and share to your heart's content :)

  • Engagement session

  • Online gallery of both high resolution and web resolution images from your engagement session

  • Travel within a 2.5-hour radius of St. Louis, MO

    And here's the fine print:

  • Applicants must have a parent who has passed away

  • Applicants must have a 2020 date and a venue secured

  • Applicants must complete the application process (below)

Apply HERE. **CLOSED AS OF 10 AM ON September 7th, 2019**

Applications will close on September 7th, 2019, and the winner will be announced on September 8th, 2019.

*If you are a vendor and are interested in donating something as well, please email me at:

A Snowy Engagement | Megan & Ben | Busch Wildlife

Megan & Ben knew very early on that they were soulmates.

She thought he was funny from day one and he thought she was incredibly sweet. After their first date at Bar Louie, they both knew right away that they had something special.

They took their very first road trip together this past August for their birthdays to Colorado Springs, CO, and they can’t wait to travel and explore more together.

I can’t wait to see all the beautiful places they plan to adventure to and for their wedding this fall.




A Wintery Maternity | Baby girl #3 | Cuivre River State Park

I really want to start blogging again, showing more images of my beautiful clients and their families.

What better way to start off then with this stunning winter maternity shoot. This young lady is getting ready to bring baby girl #3 into this world and I couldn’t be more excited for her and her family.

Mandy has always had an astonishing and bold strength about her. A quiet and endearing soul that raises strong young women. I can’t wait to watch these girls grow into powerful ladies.

Congratulations Mandy, Jason, Ren & Lily! I can’t wait to meet little miss!


New Year, New Goals

At the start of every year, I select a word. One word to keep in mind as I go throughout the year. This word is meant to give me focus, something to strive for and try to attain by the end of the year.

This year, I chose the word HARDY. It’s not what you think, but to be hardy means to be bold and/or brave, to be able to withstand adverse conditions. I chose this word because I want to push myself this year, I want to be bold in my decisions and brave in my resolve. I want to allow myself to grow despite setbacks. I want to push past any obstacles that come my way.

2019 is going to be a wonderful year, I can already see it now. It’s going to be a year for growth, a year for inspiration and a year for being hardy!

Now, I do set a few goals, but more for keeping my mind focused than anything else. Some of my things for this year are:

I want to take a family vacation

I want to travel somewhere new (anybody getting married? I travel 😉)

I want to read more books (at least 12, I know that doesn’t seem like much but I don’t count audio books and I have 4 kids, so, it’s tricky, lol)

What do you do for the new year? Do you choose a word? Do you set goals? I’d love to hear what all you lovely people do!


Puppy Love | Cannon Family | Troy, MO

Have you ever tried to get three dogs all looking at you?! Let me tell you, it wasn’t my easiest feat. These three pups belong to my brother Taylor and his new wife Leslie. They are quite the crew, all with a different personality. Gracie, the black lab, is the oldest of the crew and has a calm about her now unless one of her younger sisters are bugging her. Luna, the mini Australian Shepherd, is about the cutest little thing you have ever seen. She has that classic smile that only Aussies can give. Callie, is half German Shepherd, half wolf, she is a little more cautious but very sweet once she warms up to you.

I was so happy we were able to get them all together in one frame, it’s such a struggle with fur babies. So for the first time ever, please welcome Mr. & Mrs. Taylor Cannon with their three beautiful fur babies.


Giving Away a Wedding | For Real

My dad was my best friend. The kind of person I could tell anything to.

He owned his own photography studio {Cannon Photography} in Troy, MO for over 30 years. He is where this passion of mine really began. 

When I was getting ready to head to college, I decided to study photography just like him. My dream was that one day, we would run the studio together and build it beyond both of our wildest dreams. While in college, I realized, they weren't teaching me anything about photography that he couldn't teach me, so I headed in a different direction into Criminal Justice. He was supportive, he always believed I could do whatever I wanted. 

I thought I would have plenty of time to learn from him. I didn't know he was going to be taken too soon. On November 5th, 2008, he was taken in a car crash when he was supposed to be in Mexico with family. I'll never forget that phone call.  

My dad was my role model, my best friend, my biggest supporter. He was everything to me.


My dad died 10 days after my first wedding. I was in Mexico on my honeymoon when he was taken from this world. In the nearly 10 years he's been gone, he's missed so much. He's missed the birth of ALL of his grandchildren, he wasn't here to help me through my first divorce, he wasn't here to meet the man that I call best friend and husband now, he didn't get to see me graduate with both of my bachelor's degrees or my master's degree. It seems like a lifetime ago while at the same time only being a moment ago that he was taken.

We talked. ALL the Time. I miss his voice. 

This year on August 8th, my dad would have been 63 years old. So, sometimes, August sucks. But this year, I'm doing something special for him.

I'm giving away a wedding!

He was where this whole thing started and on his birthday this year, I'm going to honor the memory of the man that I adored. 

I'm giving away a wedding package for the upcoming 2019 season. 

I'm giving away a wedding package to a couple who has experienced loss like this - a death of a parent. A parental death that is gut-wrenching and never really gets better. A loss that shakes your world and always makes you feel like you are standing on shaky ground. I'm giving this gift to a couple in honor of him.

Here's what's included:

  • 8 hours of photography coverage
  • 1 photographer
  • USB of fully edited high resolution images from your wedding
  • Online gallery of fully edited web resolution images from your wedding
  • Full printing rights to your images so that you can print and share to your heart's content :)
  • Engagement session
  • Online gallery of high resolution images from your engagement session
  • Travel within a two-hour radius of St. Louis, MO

And here's the fine print:

  • Applicants must have a parent who has passed away
  • Applicants must have a date and a venue secured
  • Applicants must complete the application process (below)
  • Applicants cannot already be contracted for the upcoming 2019 season
  • Applicants cannot have already inquired for the upcoming 2019 season
  • Travel over 2 hours from St. Louis, MO is permissible, if the couple is willing to pay for this extra travel and potential lodging

If you are a vendor, who would like to participate in this giveaway, please reach out to me via email ( I would love to include you in this special gift to a wonderful couple. 

Applications will open August 8th, my dad's birthday. They will close on September 8th and the winner will be announced on September 9th!

I can't wait to read and share in your stories!

P.S. This idea, I love, but it was not solely mine. Another dear photographer, Erica of Sweet Alice Photography out of NY began a wedding giveaway a couple years ago. I came across it this year and asked her permission to do the same thing, as we had both experienced the loss of our best friend and parent. She graciously said YES. So, if you have the time please read her story as well. Thank you!

Engagement & Surprise | Justin & Whitney | Klondike Park

Whitney first reached out to me to photograph her wedding this fall. I know Whitney's sister from my time in the military. I worked with her husband Matt in Security Forces with the 131st Bomb Wing. So, when Whitney called, I was on-board. I love working with people I know in any and all round about ways. 

Whitney and I started talking about where we wanted to do her engagement session and Klondike Park immediately came to mind for me. It is such a beautiful park and has a wonderful setting. A couple of weeks before the engagement session, Whitney reached out to me about needing to change her wedding date that she had booked with me due to an unexpected surprise. Sadly, I didn't have the date open that she was needing but I still wanted to provide some engagement pictures for them even if their wedding was moving up to July.

It was instant. The minute they stepped out of Justin's truck you could see how much they loved one another. It's not always so evident but it certainly was with these two. They talked about how they met and fell in love. It was like they were meant to be. 

Congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs. Bradley!


They also had a little surprise to share with everyone, I had to keep this secret for far too long it felt like. However, the secret is out! Mr. & Mrs. Bradley are officially expecting. I can't wait to meet the new one. Congratulations again you two!


Century Family Farm | It's Sold | Winfield, MO

As some of you may know, I was raised on a family farm in Winfield, MO. It belonged to our family for more than 125 years, passed down from generation to generation. This past Friday, on July 27th, 2018, it was officially SOLD! It was a hard day for me, I never saw this farm being sold in my lifetime and wished it would never be sold ever. Some things just do not go as we plan or wish. 


Without getting into all the details, it wasn't something that I wanted but something that could not have been prevented. There's a lot of family drama that goes into that story that I don't need to hash out here, but just know, it hurt my soul a little, what am I saying, it hurt a ton. 

This was the place I called HOME for 20 years. This is where I was raised. All of my fondest memories are held there. Pretending to be Jim Edmonds in the side yard while I tossed a softball up in the air and tried to catch it, fishing in the pond out back, picking blackberries for people to make pies and just enjoying the rustic red barn and farmhouse that I called home. 


I will never get over having to sell this farm, the place that I always imagined raising my own family someday. However, I did visit a lot in the last 6 months, I took photos to print and hang in the home that I will be raising my little ones in and I'm bummed that they will never know this family farm like I did. I'll tell them stories about it, and I'll show them how beautiful it was, but those things just won't be able to do it justice.

I hope the next owner understands and respects the history of it, but if not, I'll always remember it. 


Country Engagement | Taylor & Leslie | Winfield, MO | Wedding Photographer


My little brother Taylor met the girl he was going to marry while he was in Springfield, MO, at college. Leslie was a freshman and Taylor was a senior when they met on move-in day at Missouri State University. Taylor pursued Leslie for a little while before she really dove into the relationship. 

When Taylor graduated from college, he asked Leslie ( who had grown up near Springfield) to move with him back from to Winfield, MO, several hours away. She took a leap of faith and came with this young man who had stolen her heart. 

Fast forward a couple of years and Taylor is ready to ask this young lady to marry him. On a special weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks surrounded by family and friends, Taylor asked Leslie for her hand in marriage, which of course, she said, "YES!" 

Taylor and Leslie get married this November on what was mine and Taylor's parents anniversary. It's been an honor to document their story as a couple from the beginning and I can't wait to continue. Congratulations Taylor and Leslie. Can't wait for your November wedding.