Authentic You Photography Blog

December 31, 2009

My Family…

Filed under: family — Char @ 5:59 am

In the case you did not receive one in the mail,

our Christmas card…


I had fun with it. Wanted something with “pop” and character. I get a vision of the feel I am going for…

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Willing participants as long as it feels like fun!

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Love all my boys.

And Happy New Year to you! Smile.

December 29, 2009


Filed under: family — Char @ 5:36 am

Family near and dear…

I loved taking pics of this family. You see, they are truly family of mine.

So that means I brought my family along for the shoot and dinner afterwords was part of the deal!

Let me share a few…

Jere and Denise and of course the new addition, Carly.




Colby. Yes, my boys know that Colby is pretty much the coolest dude ever. Colby does it….they do it. End of story.

We love Colby!



Kris and her beautiful family.

My memories of Kris go way back to sleeping over at Grandma’s house in the big, blue spare room to swapping bubble gum at the cabin. Today she is a dear friend of mine.

Kris, Matt, Bryant , Brooke, and baby on the way!


Curt and Janessa and new baby boy, Carter.


I met with them a different day to get a few of baby Carter. Love all his hair!


I loved the way their Christmas card turned out…I don’t think they will mind if I share it.


In addition to Mom and Dad of this family, who were there also…this is the Zimmerman family.

These guys have been a big part of our lives and have given so much. They are awesome.

December 24, 2009

Christmas eve…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Char @ 6:34 am

Twas the night before Christmas…

I love the anticipation.

The excuse to stay up late and sleep in. Hot chocolate and cookies at 2pm (it is Christmas, after all). Last minute shopping trips..why can’t I ever finish early?!! Christmas carols in their full glory (a day from now…they don’t just don’t sound as good.) Gingerbread houses are on the agenda…graham crackers does the trick.

Love it all.


For the past three weeks, Riley has been making “gifts” from paper plates and crayons, wrapping them up, and proudly giving them out. He wants a crocodile pillow for Christmas, is quite proud of his handmade snowman card from kindergarten class, and is thrilled with the multi-colored candy cane from his bus driver.

To me, Christmas means time…time to remember the reason for the season, time away from email and computer, time to give to others, time to spend in the comfort of this near and dear.

Wishing you a super-duper merry, merry Christmas! Blessings, Char.

December 21, 2009

Austin & Amy

Filed under: engagement — Char @ 6:35 pm

“Tis the season for Christmas cookies and shopping and jingle bells and Christmas cards…..and 2010 weddings which means today’s engagement sessions.

And I love meeting  “in love” people…it makes me happier than all the Christmas cookies. Even the chocolate marshmallow kind and they are the very, very best.

They met as kindergartners in Sunday school class, grew up together, and well….today it is gonna be forever.


He says, “Her eyes. Her smile….yeah. And I love how pretty and funny she is.”

She says, “I love how he makes me laugh. I can’t help it….I beam when he is around. Nobody makes me happier than my man.”

They love going to the cabin, visiting the beach, and riding motorcycle.

Life is simple. Life is sweet when side by side with the one you love.

And these two couldn’t be happier together.

Looking forward to their big day in the spring. Stop here to see their slide show.

Thanks to sweet Jolyn from In His Image Photography for working with me during this shoot.

Meet Austin and Amy…








Amy will make a gorgeous bride. For sure.



Personality at it’s finest.

Sometimes it is tough, believe me I know…to be relaxed in front of the camera. But these these two made light heart of the situation and lots of laughter did the trick.





December 18, 2009

A few photos and ramblings…

Filed under: Just Because, family — Char @ 6:42 am

It’s always fun to photograph friends…

Beautiful Natalie.

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Her pretty mother is Coleen from Capture This Photography.

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Had to include Isaac’s grin…

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The rambling part…

Help-Portrait is defined as “A movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment, and expertise to give back to those that are less fortunate.” Basically it involved four steps: find somebody in need, take their portrait, print their portrait, and deliver it to them. On December 12th this happened at locations all over the world.

When invited last minute by Carrie from Cairtree Photography to take part in Help-Portrait at Water Street Mission, I couldn’t get it off my mind. Details fell in place and I was able to jump in.

Yeah, it made me appreciate how blessed I really am. I take for granted that my basic needs are always there. But even more so, I realized again how quickly my world becomes centered on my world.

I mean, my computer seems to think I enjoy watching the little beach ball spinning as it processes…grrrrr.  The traffic was awful….made us late for our nice dinner out. Hmmm, flats or boot…flats or boots….I can never decide. The lines at the mall were out of this World…they really should do something different. Why does my four year old always spill his cereal right after the kitchen floor is cleaned? And that four dollar latte was waaaay to sweet.

Yeah, it made me realize how quickly my tiny world can consume me…there is so much more.

I love Carrie’s thought…a camera should never be used for taking, only giving.

As I had the opportunity to work with those less fortunate, I walked away blessed.

The photographer’s working at Water Street Mission:


It is Friday and snow is in the forecast and we are going to start wrapping gifts today. Smile! Happy weekend.

December 16, 2009


Filed under: senior — Char @ 6:04 am

From the one time I had the opportunity to meet Kaley, this is what I saw…


Reserved, but aware. Without trying, beautiful. Unassuming. Intelligent. A seasoned athlete…an excellent swimmer.

It was a pleasure! Meet Kaley…




December 14, 2009

Casey & Kerri

Filed under: engagement — Char @ 6:13 am

They share the same visions, values, and passions.

Finish each others sentences.

Find ways to make each other laugh.

Try new food and find new music together.

And explore the city side be side.


Meet this wonderful couple… Casey and Kerri.

Go here to see their slide show.

In Kerri’s words….

I love his genuine outlook on life.  In his own way, he makes things simple and is never afraid to be himself.

He allows me to be me and supports my passions and goals.  He cares about my family and friends.

I love his big green eyes and his crazy curly hair.

And I LOVE how he makes me laugh all the time.


In Casey’s words….

I love her passion for changing the world.

I never know what to expect from her…she keeps me on my toes.

She is strong willed and determined and doesn’t even know how much confidence she has. I love this about her.

She is beautiful. I love her Asian eyes and she is gorgeous with no makeup on.

And she makes me laugh like no one else.


I love capturing character and the realness of my subjects.

When Kerri started describing to me what her and Casey would like to include in the shoot, I was thrilled. We chose Lancaster city as the location.

As seen above, Casey and Kerri love catching up with coffee and this local paper from their college town….reading up on the latest happenings or maybe learning about a nearby, undiscovered restaurant.

Looking forward to their big day in spring…hearing Kerri talk about the details, I am positive it will be absolutely beautiful.



Casey has a passion for records…




Kerri is beautiful and wasn’t phased be the wind we had that morning.







December 11, 2009


Filed under: Portraits — Char @ 6:21 am

“I love life, God, and my fam”….


Many of us have “reasons” we want photos. You know…new baby, family Christmas cards, our baby is graduating, and many other good reasons. But it spoke volumes to me when Judy wanted photos to simply remember this happy stage of life. She told me she is very un-photogenic and does NOT enjoy being in front of the camera, but really wanted to document life today.

Judy is warm, friendly, seems to have a huge heart for others, and embraces each day for what it is. With passion.


She said and I couldn’t agree more….

” I love people. I know if I had walked a mile in their shoes, there would be many things I would have done differently. Maybe some words I would have kept to myself. Or lent a hand and money. If we all were a bit quicker to help and a bit slower to speak, the world would be quite different.”


Loyal and ready to stick by your side….willing to give and give.

Spontaneous and making the most of each opportunity and yet grounded and able to accept things as they play out.


Her family and siblings…they are the best ever and she would not trade them for the world!

Music is everything. Praise and worship, oldies, 80’s and everything in between.

Macbook and blackberry. Necessary at all times.

A girl after my own heart….dark chocolate and coffee. Nuff said.

And I am pretty sure, she has a huge network of Judy fans.


Judy’s nieces came along and played the role of my assistants and made monkey faces at Judy when I told them to!

Lovely Emily…


Sweet Angela…



I really enjoyed our time together. I felt inspired to experience each day as it is. To make the most of the opportunities in front of me and not wait for everything to be “perfect”. To allow time to unfold and not rush ahead. To acknowledge the beauty of simplicity and how blessed I really am.

I felt all honored to work with someone as cool as Judy.

And un-photogenic? No way!


December 8, 2009


Filed under: senior — Char @ 5:45 am

Full of bubbling life…and spilling over!

Happy, and loving today.

Meet gorgeous Chelsea…


“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”

She says, “The first time I heard this, it seemed to really embody me and my thoughts on how to live life.”

She is CRAZY about running and loves the hurdles.

Singing and dancing. Always.

She loves summer….”Nothing is better than bare feet and a lifeguard tan!”

After graduation she will be going to a five year physician program for her master’s degree. During her college years, she is hoping to travel on medical mission trips and become fluent in Spanish.

She’s got a huge smile and a huge heart.

I have been wanting to share a few of Chelsea…








Okay, I am sure this is not her favorite, but I love it because this is Chelsea!


December 5, 2009

Just Because…

Filed under: Kiddos, family — Char @ 4:54 am

Just because they are too handsome to not show off….

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Charming the camera, Dylan is six and Raine is three.

It is Saturday and it is suppose to snow and I think I might start my Christmas shopping. Smile.

Okay, happy weekend!

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