The Nielson Family | Family Lifestyle Session

You may recall this family's session from last year around this same time. They were eagerly anticipating to be matched with their little girl. They covered this process in prayer (just as they did with their 1st adoption), and trusted that God would bring them the daughter of His choosing.

Fall 2016...praying & waiting...praying & waiting (repeat)

Fall 2016...praying & waiting...praying & waiting (repeat)

Trusting full well, the wait will be MORE than worth it! 

Trusting full well, the wait will be MORE than worth it! 


Despite many ups and downs along the way, He remained faithful. Late this summer, their family traveled to China together to meet and bring their sweet girl home. Alaina created a Facebook page so they could update family & friends as events unfolded throughout the process. I felt so privileged to be among that group...observing such precious moments - including photos (practically in real-time!) of meeting Cora face-to-face for the very first time. It's been quite the journey (and, I might add, not for the faint of heart)! 

Not that I've experienced anything like this first-hand for myself (I haven't), but I can't help put myself in Cora's shoes. What would it feel like meeting these strangers, traveling literally across the world with them to another country, being immersed in a completely different culture and language, and transitioning to a very different way of life than what she's experienced to this point?! It truly has been remarkable observing her transition into her forever home. She is indeed one blessed little girl, and I know they are equally blessed by her. 

How sweet is this face?!

How sweet is this face?!

Sibling love

Sibling love


Thank you for trusting me with such a special times in your's been a JOY!

Courtney xox 


I have to say, given the extremely hot temps & humidity on the day of this session I wasn't so sure. I couldn't help but think we'd all be melting...including Payton's makeup (which was done by one of Payton's very talented <makeup artist> family members...isn't it fabulous?!). We came prepared with LOTS of water, hand-held fans, blotting tissues, and makeup for touch-ups. Our determination paid off, if I do say so myself, and I'm so glad we followed through, despite the "Extreme Heat Warning" we were under! 

You'd never know it as you're scrolling through these photos, but Payton told me over and over that she feels very uncomfortable in front of the camera. Little does she know she's a natural, and made my job an absolute breeze. Not to mention we had a blast, and shared a lot of laughs throughout the process ;) You are stunning, Payton, and you rocked this session!

Thank you so much for contacting me for your session...I loved working with you!

Congrats on your Senior year!!

courtney xox  

Chris + Megan | ROSEMARY BEACH, FL

Truly...this place has my heart. Any chance I have to photograph a session in Rosemary Beach is an absolute dream, and lucky me, this was my second time having a shot at a dreamy beach session here.

Chris & Megan are friends of ours from church, and they traveled to Rosemary Beach to celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary. I was ecstatic when I learned their vacation overlapped ours. I must say...the fact that my parents live 30 minutes from here is a MAJOR bonus ;-) The architecture and design of this community speaks to me in ways that I can't describe. One of my favorite things to do while visiting is simply walking up and down each and every street, just taking it all in. My husband laughs at me, because I verbally sigh, as I can't hardly take in all the beauty that surrounds.

Although I grew up in the Chicago area for the first 18 years of my life, when my parents relocated to this area in 1998, it immediately felt like home, and Dave and the kids and I always greatly anticipate our return. I'll take any opportunity I have to fly down, so hey...if you know of anyone traveling to the area, and are interested in having photos to capture their time in such a gorgeous setting, send them my way ;-) 


Until next time, 30A...

Christmas Mini Session

Originally I hadn't planned on doing a mini session for the winter season, but I started to get the itch when we got our first taste of the cold weather. Suddenly I was craving cozy layers, hats and mittens, and hot cocoa (ok, so in reality, it's coffee I was know, the red cup ;-)). And  once I get that itch for a photo session, the only way to stop it is following-through and making it happen. Typically mini sessions include festive-themed props, which I love, but I had my heart set on a certain location, and given the beauty of the scenery, I wanted to keep things simple, and let the backdrop speak for itself. I'm quite ok with that decision ;-)

and that wraps up my year of 2015! Thank you to all of my clients...I so appreciate your business and trust in's been a joy and privilege! May God bless you in 2016!

KAPPES + JOY | engaged

What an honor it was to capture this amazing couple. I couldn't be happier for them. They are the genuine, "real-deal." We laughed a lot during their session, and it was fun for me observing their interaction.

Although I only just recently met Kappes, I have known Joy's family for almost two decades (in fact, Joy's dad married my husband and me :)), and we are so grateful for their friendship and what they have invested in us and countless others through their ministry.

Kappes and Joy, you have a solid foundation, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your lives together will <continue to> be a blessing to those around you. Congratulations to you both, and thank you for trusting me to capture such a beautiful and important time in your lives!

"A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." | Ecclesiastes 4:12


Thanks for stopping by! 


Brendon | CONCORDIA HIGH SCHOOL | Class of 2016

What a fun evening photographing Brendon. He was a natural in front of the camera, and very go-with-the-flow, so he made my job easy.! We kept stumbling upon new locations as we were exploring between midtown & downtown. Brendon is talented in many areas, and has aspirations of going into medicine. It was clear to me after spending a couple hours with him, that he's got a lot going for him...he is driven, has a heart of gold, and a wonderful family. Thank you for the privilege of capturing this important season in your life!

Did I mention he looks like James Franco?!

Did I mention he looks like James Franco?!

Congratulations on your senior year, and God's blessings on your years ahead!

George + Ann = Beach Session

The earlier hours leading up to this session didn't appear all too promising. Lots of rain and looming dark clouds. But the skies opened up graciously on my drive to Rosemary Beach, and God provided ample, beautiful sunlight. And although it seems NOTHING ever goes according to the plan I have in my mind (a good portion of my shots I was planning in front of the Town Hall building, but literally minutes before the Parker family arrived, someone parked illegally, and their truck remained there for over an hour!). 

This family contacted me months ago asking if I'd consider traveling to the area while they were vacationing this summer so we could work in a session. I didn't have to think about it too long to reply with a big, fat, "YES!" Considering my family lives just minutes away from here, I don't need a whole lot of extra incentive :) So happy you contacted me, Parkers! What a joy it was to capture your family! 

Do you see what I see?&nbsp;

Do you see what I see? 

This guy plopped himself right down here for his turn. Great location choice, G :)

This guy plopped himself right down here for his turn. Great location choice, G :)

You sure made my job easy, T :)

You sure made my job easy, T :)

It was a decent night ;-)

It was a decent night ;-)

Brothers &lt;3

Brothers <3

This place is almost  too  perfect. #unreality

This place is almost too perfect. #unreality