Bringing the joy {cleveland family photographer}

This summer, I feel in love with tall grass shoot-through. It probably had nothing to do with the jungle my own yard becomes 😉 We had a beautiful summer evening and despite a quick detour for a bee sting and some sharing of bee war-wounds (I was stung just a couple days before our session and shared my booboo with the young victim), we were rocking in rolling.

I happily allow my young clients to “soft” direct themselves, so when Madison and Mason hit this little chin-in-hands pose on their own, I got down on my belly too, and fired away. With full family sessions, we have plenty of time to let kids be kids, let toddlers do the toddler thing.

Things have been so up and down for me, and I’m sure for you guys as well. It was like breathing new air spending time hanging out, laughing, taking little walks, and reviving a tiny bit of normal joy. I hope as we move toward new things, we are able to see those pieces of joy again and more often.

To say thanks… {cleveland gratitude photographer}

This summer, I read about a program that photographers all over the US were participating in. It was a way to say thank you, to the members of our communities who found themselves suddenly more “essential” than they had been prior to March. When a session was purchased at full price in the months of July or August, I donated a session to an essential worker; a teacher, hospital pharmacist, an ER doctor, an employee of the food banks, and a grocery store cashier ❤
The Harraman family was one of the families gifted a session, and when Missy let me in on a little secret she asked if we could do something special for their shoot.

Missy was expecting and was going to find out the sex of their baby just a few days before we shot, and she wanted to use the photos as both pregnancy announcement and to let her family and friends know Baby Boy #2 was on the way!

No real smoke bombs were used; this is a digital overlay. No fires set here!

How fun, right?! Big Brother to-be Jack was happier than his face may lead you to presume : *) Missy let me know Jackson was going through a “smile phase” and I freaking love it 😀 I love that not only did we get to share their families joy, but we got to capture Jack in one of those points in childhood we moms look back on and say, “Oh yes! You always had your natural smile right up until I took a picture of you!”

When they don’t realize your photographing them, you get all the personality ❤ I love chatting with my little friends- allowing them to be silly, tell me stories, talk about the brown bunny who lives inside my camera– all of these things help them feel safe with me and that is key to cooperation 😀

Jack and his daddy are BFFs. Look at the straight up pure joy on Jack’s face!

Have no worries, Miss Wendy made sure Jack and his Momma got snuggles!

I can’t wait to meet the newest little Harra”Man”! Thank you so much, Missy, Jeff, Jack and of course Gigi for spending your precious time with me!

I am currently booking maternity and newborn sessions for December, January, February, and March 2021!

Check out session rates for the remainder of 2020 HERE!!

When Todd was born {cleveland newborn photographer}

Cleveland newborn, newborn photo, wrapped newborn

This summer, I got to meet sweet little Todd and his momma AND daddy! Daddy had missed *everything* with covid restrictions, so Mommy asked if there was any way at all, Dad could come to the shoot. As it stands my studio space is *not* large enough to accommodate two adults and myself, so with help from my husband I was able to move all the gear I needed for this Itty Bitty Baby session down to my much larger family room. Obviously, converting my family room isn’t an option for every session and my studio space works well for all milestone sessions, but I knew how important it was to include Todd’s daddy and I am so glad to have found a way.

Michelle brought an Americana flag wrap, which was perfectly stretchy and a great bonus! I can generally use anything personal with enough notice- I plan a shoot schedule so if there is something you want to incorporate, just let me know at least a week in advance.

I love these lightly posed newborns. The Itty Bitty Baby studio session is the perfect fit for families who want a solely newborn-focused session, at a great price.
You can begin your newborn session booking HERE– if your actual due date isn’t shown as available, pick the next closest date ❤ Don’t worry too much about the times shown either, we can make most time slots work 😀


fall photo sessions in Cleveland


I received a really great question regarding my fall sessions this year.  I was asked if I will be reusing props during my fall mini sessions. The answer is absolutely NOT.

I know a lot of photographers create a “set” for their mini sessions but I DO NOT shoot that, and will not have any props (blankets, chairs, stools, etc) available this year. You are 100% welcome to bring your own blanket to sit on or play the parachute game with, but I am not bringing anything other than myself and my camera 🙂 I have a buffer window of 10 minutes between sessions, so that in many cases clients won’t even pass one another. We are as always, shooting outdoors with plenty of social distance space. I’m not posing or positioning anyone.

Our safety is my first priority- your family is my family and I will share love, not germs ❤

Giving back {cleveland family photographer}

What a freaking wild ride 2020 has been, am I right? We learned so much about ourselves and the services we couldn’t live without, that prior to March weren’t even a blip on our radar.

I have been trying to think of a way to express appreciation to the people who we maybe didn’t think so much of before the ::swearword:: called Covid came to town—our grocery store cashier (you know the one who always bags the best) or the person who delivers your monthly “Friday Night Pizza Dinner” (it’s Panera in my house, my delivery person is called Kevin, and he’s fantastic). Maybe it’s the teacher you’ve emailed 38 times in three weeks, trying to figure out how the heck to use the distributive property (sorry, Mrs. G, my kids learned how to carry the 1). Perhaps though it was someone on the front lines like your nurse friend, who has been changing clothes in her driveway and going in the house barefoot. Or the pharmacist you know, who works third shift every night to make sure all patients have access to their meds. Before these people were just “doing their jobs” but now… now they have a new name… Essential.

Book One, GIFT One—Gratitude Sessions for Essential Workers

I heard whispers of the gratitude project and knew I’d found my answer. For the first TEN full sessions booked for JULY, AUGUST, OR SEPTEMBER 2020, I will donate a session to an essential worker!  Ten sessions, ten donations ❤  You can nominate someone to receive your donated session, or I have a list of essential people I’ve been building since April 1 when all of this started swirling around in my head. The recipient of your donated session will be given a gift card either physically or via email depending on what’s easiest for all. Some restrictions apply including but not limited to: I am unable to book donated sessions in October of 2020, and all sessions will take place outdoors to keep in line with Ohio’s social distance requirements. I am also not accepting in-home or studio newborns at this time.

If there’s someone you’d like to nominate tell me a little bit about them, how you know them, what they do and make sure you give me their name and email address when you book your session, so I can contact them and get their gifted session started. If the first ten spots sell out too quickly, I’ll look at opening more spaces! Email to book your session!

essential employee, covid, corona relief

Nothing but time {cleveland film photographer}

I didn’t shoot any film at all, in January in attempt to save a bit of money, but that all went out of the window in February and now March. I had mentioned earlier, that I have to rate my mystery film at 50 asa (sometimes I rate it at 25!) and what that means is that my camera thinks there is more available light. The lower the ASA/ISO number, the more ambient light your camera thinks it has. Since film’s ISO (called ASA) is set to one number and isn’t something you can change willy nilly like you can digitally, I often have to add some light. It’s pretty over cast in Cleveland in the winter for the most part, and being stuck indoors means there’s even less light. You can make a picture without light! Turns out, for these couple rolls, I didn’t add enough light with my flash so they’re underexposed. Some still usable, but film doesn’t do as well with underexposure as it does overexposure.

My daughter M really likes to bake, and she put together these cakes. Her butter wasn’t soft enough (or maybe was too melty? I don’t know I’m not a good food person) so her homemade frosting got a lil’ chunky. It was still yummy.  The cake is a crescent moon in the night sky.

As always, cats and skies on film My daughters get pretty annoyed when I stick my camera in their face too often, but my kitties never get sick of it 😉 You can see in this set how dark a number of the frames came out. When I used my flash, I didn’t use my hand-held meter so I winged it… not the best idea when you pay about $1 a frame for development, but hey lesson learned.

Magical Mystery film {cleveland film photographer}

I have found a number of posts that just…didn’t… so here goes! This is a bit of December:

I visited the Rockefeller Greenhouse and Garden (now closed until further notice) and it was a nice little escape…

I took a walk through my neighborhood on a cold day. My mystery film does REALLY well in bright well lit places. I have to rate it at 50asa (if you want to learn more about what that means, let me know!) I could go for some sunny days; how about you?

Mother Nature got me again {Cleveland indoor Mini update}

On my Facebook page , I mentioned that Mother Nature had a way of throwing curve balls at me in the Spring, and wowie, I tell you what, I did NOT see “global pandemic” coming.

I’ve reached out to everyone who had booked the indoor mini sessions I had scheduled in the next couple weeks, but for all those who might have been thinking about it, I am postponing them until late April and May. Since I shoot inside my home, keeping a “safe distance” from one another isn’t really possible. Keeping in compliance with social distancing and with the welfare of our community is a priority, so I will not be hosting indoor minis in March. We will hopefully get the OK to come together again in late April and May, and I am still scheduling outdoor spring minis  and will be adding additional times for those in May. Be aware when booking indoors that if things change as they’ve been daily, there is a possibility we will have to reschedule or move outside. 

If you love my pretty backdrop like I do, when the weather is warmer I can 100% take it and my floor outside! If you’re interested in that, just say the word!
baby photographer, spring photographer, mini sessionI know everyone is on edge, and this whole thing is pretty freaking crappy. I want to thank everyone who is going ahead with bookings for the warmer months, and everyone who has purchased gift certificates for use later in the year. You’re keeping my small business afloat, and it does not go unnoticed ❤

February Newborn Special!!

newborn photographer

It’s not often I can offer a newborn sale price, but for the month of February I am! I have some great newborn things coming up and want to get some babies in studio ❤ The $275 session fee will end on Feb 28th, so don’t wait! Share the word, it’s not often I have last minute newborns available let alone at a sale price 😀

In fact… I might just have one VERY special newborn session available for one very special family 😉

Looking to book a milestone, maternity, or family session? Do it quickly and easily online, with my online booking site!


13 and changes… {cleveland teen photographer}

Milestones come at all points in life. We celebrate when our babies pick their heads up. We celebrate the first time they lock eyes with us and smile. We celebrate when they do that tri-pod sit. And then when they pull themselves up to stand… and toddle off. We celebrate their first days of school.

And we celebrate when they come into who they are.


Layla turned 13 this summer. Thirteen is a big one. It’s a toe dip into your own future. Layla, at 13 has more self assurance than I ever had. She loves sarcasm, and pride, and The Walking Dead. Layla is smart, and witty. She has a quiet way about her, and when she hits you with something hilarious, like begging to dab in front of a church you do NOT see it coming.


Thirteen is special. Thirteen is beginnings. It’s stretching your boundaries, putting yourself out there. It’s learning how to be YOUR OWN person. Layla is boundless, brave, and a force. She is thirteen and pretty awesome.

A look back at 2019 {my life, a personal post}

Well, that’s it kids. 2019 was something. This is going to be a super personal post for me, I’m not gonna lie. This was a tough one for me. The first five months of the year were just like, 10,000 kicks in the gut personally. Work was great, but man. This post is going to be SUPER photo heavy, with a look back at the good and the bad.

My year started off a little bumpy- while I had this amazing solo trip to Maui planned, my daughter got really sick literally the day before I was supposed to fly out. Temps of 103, Urgent Care… double ear infection. Luckily, she responded well to antibiotics and I was able to go (with about 94385 pounds of guilt). My husband was going to be home, but I had also called in the troops. My mom came to Ohio from PA and took care of the girls. I crashed, and the next day the adventure took off.
Maui vacation, Aloha They have wild chicken, “moa fowl” just all over! It was so cute! And the ocean! And sunshine! And Molokini! And Kaho’olawe! AND THAT WAS THE FIRST DAY! There was some freaking out, after a call from my daughters but Deb- the friend I met and lived with on Island- slapped sense in to me, almost literally and I couldn’t love her more for it.

I got to see the blood moon from a beach on the north shore, I got to see black sand, crazy big waves that even still were nothing compared to the JAWS waves just a few miles east, I saw green sea turtles, and caught a really gorgeous silhouette of a family, a sailboat, and a sunset on the beach ❤


I got to see humpback whales play in the ocean, and rainbows EVERYWHERE. I got to see fossils in the making (the shell inside the coral!) and I learned so much about this island with so many thanks to Maui Mom and Dad, Jane and Fred ❤

I came home so happy… and sick. It may not seem like a big deal, but I hadn’t had so much as a cold since 2009. I got bronchitis, pneumonia AND FLU over a three month period. I felt like trash, then felt better, then a few days/ weeks later would be laid out again. It was not awesome and it prevented me from being able to work as much as I wanted- I wasn’t able to get Mommy and Me minis scheduled or planned and that bummed me out 😦 I know how hard it is for us moms to be IN the photo and it’s important to me to make sure to set aside time for my amazing moms.
Seriously, ten years. I vividly remember this cold- I was working as a bank teller while also doing photography very part time. I had volunteered to work the week of NYE that year, because my kids were little (only two at the time) and I knew I wouldn’t be doing anything. If I was working, then the other tellers who had asked for the days off, would be more likely to get that PTO.

When I was feeling well, I got to meet SO many new people and I tell you what, that is such a boost. Winter has always been tough for me to fill with sessions, because I didn’t have enough studio space to take much. That has all changed this year, thanks to my loving family who set me up with a great light system, a new backdrop company I’m working with who provides LARGE backdrops (watch for more model calls!), and a dear friend gifting me a newborn posing bag ❤  I obviously love my clients and getting to see them year after year is so special for me- getting to meet new families, new babies, new friends is the best thing for my heart.

In May, I noticed my fluffy beautiful kitty Martha was peeing blood. Mars had had UTI and IC issues for two years, but usually she got some meds and was back to her cuddly, sweet self shortly thereafter. I took her in on May 21st fully expecting to hear that she had lost weight because she just felt so junky.

That was not the case. The vet who was on duty that day was not the one I prefer… and he simply walked into the exam room without Mars and said, “It’s fatal. Sorry.” Nothing else. Just stood there looking at me. I said, “UTI isn’t fatal? What are you talking about?” He explained that Mars had a LOT of fluid in her abdomen and thought she had a fatal virus called FIP. I lost it. FIP is contagious and we have two other cats. He immediately backtracked and said he wasn’t sure, he could run more labs to confirm presence of virus…but the outcome would be the same, Martha could not survive. Beside Mars not eating as much as usual and peeing blood, her personality was no different. She showed no signs like you’d think you’d see for a dying pet. I demanded the labs be run and three days later she was negative for FIP, the vet was wrong. It was both good news and bad; good that we didn’t have to worry that Fiffy and Beep would also develop this deadly mutation to a virus (as none of the cats had been exposed to it) but bad because there was no answer as to why she had lost so much weight. He didn’t even address the UTI. They drew out some of the fluid in her belly, and her appetite came back- she had some snacks and wet food and water. She was her same purring, loving self. Sitting on my lap, tipping her chin up to my face, laying her head in my hands.
She seemed to be on an upswing, until May 27th. Late that night, I noticed she was leaking a lot of fluid, wasn’t able to stand very long, was very lethargic. It was bad. I didn’t expect her to live through the night, but she did survive. As soon as the vet’s office opened on the 28th, I called and told them she was suffering and it was time. They couldn’t see her until 4pm so I spent the entire day keeping her as comfortable as I could. Dribbling water into her mouth, petting her, telling her I loved her. She passed away in my arms at 415. She was nine years old. I am not over it.

I focused as much as I could on my summer families, and THANK YOU to every client who helped me smile and laugh, the friends who texted me back when I was so sad I couldn’t see straight and talked me through breakdowns and to all the people who understand that Martha wasn’t “just a cat”.  My orange and white kitty Beep gets a lot of screen time, but Mars was my fluffy booful.

We had *another* loss on Aug 14th- but this was a little more expected. Our Shiba Inu, Zoe Elizabeth passed away. She was 16, had been totally blind for over 13 years, was stone deaf, and had been showing signs of dementia. She was very much a loner- she couldn’t “dog” like other dogs due to her disabilities, and she spent nearly all of her time sleeping either in our laundry room or in front of our slider doors as seen here ❤ She did not like to be pet, or have physical attention given to her. She was a 13 pound pretty-to-look-at diva ❤
shiba inu
The summer months were beautiful despite the sadness in my heart. I shot a TON of film. I think I sent out something like 50 rolls of film this year. :O Beep (orange and white) and Fiffy (black and white) my cats feature HEAVILY in all my film photography. I included a couple of my family, and there was a lot more of that, but I really love skies on film, my kitties, and my neighborhood. In the first set, Beep is inside playing with me through the kitchen window. My cats are 100% inside cats, and Beep is *very* jealous that we bi-peds are allowed to come and go as we please.

I shot a roll of Ilford BW film and did a boudoir session with it, though my model asked I not share. Just as a quick heads up- if you allow me to shoot you as a model, *all* images may be shared; that’s the point of me offering less expensive (in some cases free) modeling sessions. At any rate, I super loved how the Ilford shot. I had shot Tmax BW before and loved that as well, but wanted to give the super popular Ilford a try. So so so creamy and gorgeous. The box speed was 400, but I rated it at 200 and on my model session used OCF (off camera flash). Loved it. I want to shoot more BW in 2020.

We spent a bit of time at the pool. We took time to visit the Sieberling Nature Realm. More cats. More my kids being weird….

I was also given 25+ rolls of “mystery film” by my cousin and her girlfriend! They brought me this film that would have otherwise been thrown away. I could not let that happen. I had no idea how it would shoot- it had only been stored in a file cabinet in an office building FROM 1998. But, film hangs on for a good long time and so far, only one roll has been damaged. And I’ve developed ten rolls? Something crazy like that : *) film photography, cleveland, fall, film
There are so many things I want for 2020. I want to be busy. I want to bring in more clients, and I’d love to spend more time photographing babies and milestones in my studio. I would like to find affordable, not located in my home studio space : *) I would love LOVE to shoot clients on film- the wait is a bit longer and the cost is a bit higher BUT there is something so, so gorgeous and classic about film. I want to make this a GOOD year. It’s looking like things *will* be good in 2020- I have already booked three weekends in January, a milestone for March, and a family session either when it snows but isn’t freezing or in May whichever comes first 😉 If your little one has a FEBRUARY birthday let’s book that cake smash NOW. We can shoot it in my studio OR I can bring my studio gear to your home! I can bring a backdrop or two, whatever you want. I’m working with a backdrop company now and have access to SO much more. You just let me know what you want, and if I can get something like it I will!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! I know this has been heavy both emotionally and in photos but it feels good to get it all out. Thank you for keeping my chin up in 2019, and I cannot wait to see what we make together in 2020.

Welcoming Calvin {cleveland newborn photographer}

There is nothing better than when your friends have a baby! This summer, I got to meet Calvin who was born to Brandon and Leah.
I made the trip over to their home for some lifestyle photos, followed by some lightly posed newborns. The first few weeks after a baby is born can be so chaotic and still go by so quickly.

Brandon and Leah are natural-born parents. They were totally chill, totally comfortable. I mean, they did practice for a few months with their sweet pup. Look at that good sit!
Look at the way Calvin is looking at his daddy!! Have you ever seen anything so adorable?

Newborn photography is my favorite. It’s never too early to book your newbornnewborn session. I am booking 2020 newborn dates and take a very limited number of newborns per month so don’t delay! I have one January newborn left, two February and two March newborns. Email to get your due date on my calendar.