When I recently posted some sneak previews of Kristen Lee’s latest shoot to my Instagram, I called her “delightfully uncompromising” and I’m not sure I’ve ever more aptly described anyone in my life. I did a branding session for her back in May of this year, but for those who missed the post, Kristen Lee is a dog business coach (!!) who helps dog business owners branding themselves and get on the right track in their business. But – she’s not really a normal business coach. Instead, she’s more of the kicking ass, middle-finger type of business coach who’s wearing Louboutin heels *while* she’s kicking ass and giving everyone the middle finger.

She’s unapologetically herself, and she strives to help other women find their own sense of self in their brand. She also LOVES dogs. Loves dogs. Loves loves loves dogs (why else would you become a dog business coach?). For this particular shoot she brought with her Duke, “The Greatest of Danes,” who is a client of her husband’s in his dog training business. Duke was more like a pony, and I had a pretty fabulous time attempting to take selfies with him while he drooled on my head. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to work with this fantastic woman multiple times, but also to meet the cute dogs she always brings with her. Hair Creds: Synquis at @kawaiistyles_u. Makeup Creds: Shatara at @justfaceitmua

Vivi // At Six Years

Ohhh, dear friends, you all know sweet Vivi! In case you are new here, below are my chronicles of Vivi’s life:
Vivi at two
Vivi at three
Vivi at four
Vivi at five
She is, without a doubt, the absolute sweetest girl and I adore her. She’s in school now (what?!) and also has entire conversations with me about all sorts of things (what?!). I realize that’s just normal behavior for a six year old, but I still can’t believe I’ve been photographing her for this long to have seen her change so much. She’ll likely be taller than me either next year or the year after. AND, and this year, while I’m still not technically posing her, she has started posing herself and telling me what to do: “Take a close-up of me here,” and “Maybe you should get a picture of that plaque on the bench?” were my most frequent instructions this year. She’s also a lot more safety-conscious… no longer running blindly toward dangerous situations, but instead standing quietly by bodies of water and being slightly concerned about falling in like the rest of us. But, some things have not changed: I’m still sprinting after her quite frequently, and she still loves and talks about Geoff (he’s retired so he wasn’t present at her session, she still remembered him!). She’s also still wearing the BEST cat shoes (similar to her cat boots from year four), and I’m still doing GIFs with her (she chose a running-in-place GIF this year, also similar to year four). Vivi – I am so glad that you are my subject each year and that I’m helping to capture you growing up (insert crying emoji here).

I used to get a ton of requests for high school senior portrait photography that I had to turn down due to our wedding schedule, but now that I’ve switched over to portraiture, I’m so happy that I get to take a bunch of these seniors on! It’s SO fun to work with them and talk to them about the future, and Jackson was no exception. Jackson’s graduating high school this spring, and is moving on to college at Appalachian State University. He considered a lot of different schools before deciding on App because of its different landscape and beautiful campus. In high school, he’s enjoyed playing trumpet in marching band (I am a fellow marching band kid, so I appreciated this greatly!) and trying out a ton of Durham’s restaurants, particularly the authentic Mexican restaurants that he loves. It was so much fun getting to know Jackson and I know he’ll have the best time at App State!