what I REALLY do...

When I meet people and they ask what I do, I tell them that I am a portrait photographer. But that label is just the beginning of of it all... and I find it incredibly difficult to sum up exactly what I do in a 30-second "elevator speech." Because I do a lot more than just take pretty pictures.

Here’s how I’m different from other photographers...

(and why I really think you should hire ME, when I know you have many lovely choices):

1.     First of all, I get that it’s weird. Because, let’s face it…it can be a pretty strange experience to stand in front of a practical stranger with their camera pointed at your face. But I make taking pictures a whole lot less awkward.  I actually don’t enjoy being in front of the camera, myself (believe it or not), and force myself to do it every couple of months in order to put myself in your shoes and remember what it’s like; then keep that feeling in mind during my portrait sessions so that we can remove that “uncomfortable” factor as much as possible.

2.     How? I make things FUN. It’s not just a portrait session… it’s a play-date. Let’s hang out. Let’s wander. Let’s play with bubbles, balloons, and maybe even fly a kite while we’re at it. Hopscotch? Sure. Play tag? Why not. And yeah… I’ve even got portable speakers to bring along, so we can crank up some cool tunes and add our own soundtrack to the day.

3.     I don’t use stiff posing techniques. I might place you in certain areas (for background and scenery), or ask you to sit or stand in certain ways (to flatter the figure), but I promise to never treat you like a prop. Cross my heart.

4.     I am AWESOME at dealing with kids and avoiding a meltdown. Trust me. Incorporating my experience as a kids’ art camp teacher, a Build-A-Bear-Workshop “Party Bear” (yup, that was my official title), and particularly my experience working in children’s group homes (where patience was a survival skill), I have a LOT of tricks up my sleeve and totally rock the family session when wee ones are involved. I am very aware of kids’ moods and know how to work with and around them… allowing YOU some time off to actually relax and enjoy the experience, yourself. My style is very relaxed and go-with-the-flow, which allows for kids to be kids.

5.     But, Michelle… I don’t HAVE any kids. Are you still the photographer for me? Absolutely! I’m open to sessions with kids of all ages (that means YOU, grown-ups). If you have a sense of humor, like to play and simply enjoy having FUN, we’ll get along juuuuust fine.

6.     I get personal.  I share pieces of myself. You’re not just a client, you become a friend. It’s only natural… I’m asking you to be open and vulnerable in front of the camera, so how can I not offer you the same respect?

7.     I create space for you and your loved ones to connect. I specialize in capturing natural expressions and moments between those involved, and give you a safe space for this to occur. My sessions are interactive, especially my more in-depth Beloved sessions. I might ask you to write love letters to each other. Or tell the other person one thing you are proud of them for. Or ask you to whisper something in their ear that will make them blush. You get to have the natural connections, and I am able to capture the actual emotions and interactions that occur.

8.     Everything is customized to fit YOU and YOUR TIME, from start to finish… from emails and meetings, to the actual portrait session, to product creation and even custom payment plans.

9.    This is a complete experience, and the resulting portraits will be the ultimate souvenir.

Want to learn even more about what I do? My look-book (with lots of sample pictures and oodles of details) will be ready soon. be one of the first to see it by signing up for my newsletter: