I’m so happy to introduce you (or re-introduce you) to my friend Simone. I’ve talked about Simone from ST Photography a few times on here. She took our 2nd annual Friend Photos, our extended family photos and our very first family-of-three photos. I also went to high school with Simone and we were even in the same youth group for a few years. It’s so cool that over ten years later we can keep in touch through social media and even catch up when I go back to Texas and have her take our photos. Simone is much much more than a photographer and tonight I get to share her story with you!
Meet my friend Simone: (and I’ll sprinkle some of her awesome photos throughout her interview too!)
Tell us a little about yourself…
Well, I am a wife, mother, photographer, hydraulic sales assistant, and beach body coach. Wow, I’d like to see all that on a business card! I love big families, all out belly laughs, simple moments that should never be forgotten, beautiful light, polka dots, baby toes, soft smiles, baby feet in cake, selfies with my babies, being on the golf course with my love. I have three tiny humans, 7, 5 and 3, who give me more joy and a messier house than I ever imaged! I have also been married to my best friend for the past 9 years. I love to tell people about how he took me to my highschool prom.
You have multiple jobs and multiple kids…how on Earth do you manage to juggle so many responsibilities without totally losing it? What’s your secret?
I love Sonic Tea. Ha! The Beach Body coach in me should tell you to run away from the sweet tea, but hey, I am an imperfect person and strive to be completely honest! But for real, I have the best most supportive husband in the world. Our life is crazy and not perfect in any way but I couldn’t do it without him. We have had a crazy ride in our 9 years of marriage and we always have remained thankful. I guess that is how I keep going, in the midst of the crazy, I am thankful for what the Lord has provided me and look forward to the future…..and hit up Sonic happy hour every chance I get.
When did you get into photography and why?
I have always loved photography. My aunt gave me my first camera, a Nikon SLR, when I graduated high school. It went everywhere I did and I still have it. In college I took some art classes which furthered my love for capturing the moment. I got a C (I am not an artist!) but it helped me grow artistically. I started professionally taking pictures 6 years ago.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by artists who started with nothing and now are my role models. I am inspired by woman who stay at home day in and day out and are an example of grace and Godliness while doing a million thankless things for their families all day. I am inspired by the future and what it can hold for me and my family.
Tips for Moms who plan on getting professional photos of their families?
Two things. One, find a photographer you trust and can connect with. It makes all the difference! Look over their work, ask questions before the day and make sure both you and the photographer know what you are looking for. Secondly, have fun with it! What does your family like to do? Who are you? Try to incorporate that in your family pictures. Play with your kids at the session and don’t worry about trying to get that perfect shot. If you keep your cool and stay relaxed the real moments will come and I guarantee you will have moments of love, happiness and joy.
Favorite workout or workout move? How has becoming a Beachbody Coach changed you/your life?
I LOVE T25. It was my first program and still a favorite. I don’t know anyone who has not seen amazing results from this program. For me, being a BB Coach has been amazing. Not only do I get to help others live a healthy, active life, but I am pushing myself to do the same. I have literally sat at my desk and cried over messages from people so excited about achieving goals. I helped them. Nothing beats that moment.
How do you handle anxiety?
I would love to give some amazing secret miracle to anxiety, but honestly I don’t have one. We did talk about Sonic happy hour already, right?? Honestly, I am a worrier. I don’t let things go. So in order to sleep at night I talk it out with two very special ladies in my life. They listen, give advise and support.
Funny memory from photo session.
Oh! This one is pretty recent, but I loved it. About a month ago a super sweet family brought frogs to their session. Yep, frogs. And we had frog racing on a picnic table. It was one of the funnest moments I have ever had! And goes back to what I was saying earlier….who are you? what does your family do? For this family, having their boys play with frogs was perfect. It was their life. I loved that.
Something you want readers to know about you?
I genuinely care for each and every family I come in contact with. I love watching their families grow. I am happy with them in their joys and have cried and prayed for them in times of need. I think it’s why I have such a hard time saying no sometimes – I want to be there for everyone because I care about them.
Best beauty product?
This is totally not my specialty, but I do love MilkShake leave in conditioner! Its awesome with Texas humidity and my girls love that it smells like cookies.
Most common color in your closet?
Mint / Teal. I am a little in love with that color right now!
Most embarrassing song in iPod?
Oh goodness, I would say the Grey’s Anatomy Season 1 soundtrack. I love it!
Finish this sentence: My dream vacation would….
A cabin somewhere near the mountains. Somewhere we could play golf, enjoy nature, roast s’mores and end the endings playing board games with the kids. And of course get some updated family pictures in the beautiful scenery!
I thought I’d have so much more free time being a stay-at-home Mom, but I never ever seem to finish my to-do list and honestly sometimes feel like I’d be more productive if I was working. At least I’d be on a schedule with deadlines and expectations I must meet. I’m not complaining though, I LOVE that I have the opportunity to stay home, watch my baby grow and be there for every little adorable thing she does. If it weren’t for that than I might miss adorable kodak moments like the first time in her Baby Einstein activity jumper!
Come on. This kid can’t get any cuter! First time in a bouncer and she’s wearing a little red gingham Russian dress that a friend gave us. It’s too much.
Man, I wonder why I can’t manage to get things done? Even when she naps I have trouble pulling myself away. I either want her to stay napping on me or I just watch her sleep. Oh well, they don’t stay small forever!
I got the results from our photo session with the wonderful Simone from ST Photography when we were visiting Texas and I love them!!! She took beautiful photos of Luna at two months old lying in wildflowers. These were Luna’s and our family of three’s first professional photos. Our wrote about our wonderful experience here. Take a look at the outcome!
Thank you so much for your hard work Simone, you never disappoint!
Cheers and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful Moms out there! xoxo
I began planning Luna’s outfit for our friends’ wedding months before she was even born. Yup, I’m apparently that Mom. I just couldn’t wait to pick out a fancy dress, doll her up and have everyone ooh and aww over my beautiful girl. The only problem was that I had built up the outfit so much in my head that I couldn’t find any that I liked. About two weeks before the wedding I finally landed on one very fluffy over-the-top handmade dress from Etsy…it was perfect.
It’s Little Mermaid inspired which is perfect because the bride is Disney obsessed and her absolute favorite character is Ariel. Not to mention both the Bride and Luna have red hair…brilliant. I even got crafty and made her a pair of the oh-so popular barefoot sandals. (Tutorial coming soon!)
I planned to dress her once I arrived to the ceremony because it’s a little to fluffy for the car seat and I wanted as little time as possible for the risk of spit-up/baby poo to end up on the dress. When we pulled up to the church she was fast asleep. I decided to hold off dressing her until she woke. (Rule #1: Never wake a sleeping baby.) So, she slept through the hour-long ceremony, the ride to the reception and would have continued sleeping, but I decided it was time for her to eat and get dressed.
From the moment we entered the cocktail-hour room she cried. She whined and cried until the reception started. She also spit up on herself and the dress at least 8 times within a ten minute span. She then continued crying as I desperately tried to console her at least until Husband arrived. He was Best Man and was lined up with the wedding party waiting to be introduced at the reception. I only wanted him to see her and for us to get a photo together. That’s it. I tried very hard to explain this to Luna, but she could clearly care less.
Finally, the music stopped and the DJ announced that it was time to introduce the Bridal party. Hallelujah. The second the room was silent Luna let out a wail that could have been heard around the world. Every head in the room turned to stare in our direction. Lucky for me, I happened to be standing next to the kitchen which I immediately darted into looking for refuge.
It is my belief that the kitchen staff is secretly a group of nannies/angels who disguise themselves as cooks and servers. The second I ran in they took me under their wings. One began helping me pull off Luna’s dress while another prepared her bottle. When Luna refused to take the bottle they set up a chair for me to sit and nurse her in private. They brought me dish towels to use as burp cloths and never once acted like I was interrupting them in the middle of serving diner, even though I was doing exactly that.
By the time I made it out and into the reception, Husband had made both our plates, ate all of his and Luna was mostly naked. Oh well, so much for that.
The rest of the night was much smoother. Luna’s many Aunts and Uncles held her and kept her company when I needed a break. We got lots of dancing in and Luna partied in her PJ’s. (Thank God I had something packed in her diaper bag.) My favorite photo of the night is when I caught our friend Derek and Aunt Zoey watching Luna together outside. They looked like the picture perfect family and I got it on camera.
We weren’t able to take any photos of Luna’s outfit at the wedding, but I was not going to let that precious dress go to waste. I decided to put Luna in it in the morning, when she’s happiest, and snap some photos at home.
While in Texas I was lucky enough to have Simone from ST Photography take photos of my little Luna. I do not have her edited photos yet, but I have to share our experience with you. Photographers seem to be a dime a dozen these days. Everyone (myself included) has a fancy camera to play with and half of these fancy camera owners have started their own photography business. In some ways, this is great because we have so many options, locations, prices and people to choose from when having photos taken. However, it’s often hard to know who has not only professional quality, but a professional work-style. Trust me, it’s no fun to pay for crappy pictures.
Here’s how our photos session in Texas went… First of all, Simone asked us to take photos in a field of wildflowers because everything was in bloom and beautiful. She knew exactly where to go and knew I’d love to have baby photos taken. I follow her on Facebook so I know she is always driving around searching for the perfect locations and excited to try new places and ideas, so I trusted her opinion.
Of course, as soon as we were all dressed and ready the bottom fell out and we all assumed we would have to cancel the session. Immediately, I received a phone call from Simone. She was not only willing to reschedule for another day (which would have been sometimes this summer), but she was also willing to play it by ear and work with us and the weather. Luckily, it stopped storming after an hour or so. It was almost sunset and I was sure that it was too late and too wet to go through with the photos, but when I called Simone she immediately left her home and her family to drive out and meet us just before the sunset. It was rushed and a little muddy, but she made it work.
Luna was a happy smiley baby when we woke her up and dressed her for photos, but almost 2 hours later I was certain she’d turn into a fussy grumpy baby. Not long after lying her down with the flowers she began to whine and was on the verge of tears when Simone instantly picked her up and soothed her. She hugged and loved on her until she was happy again. This happened a few times and we were somehow able to get through the entire session with no tears. I kept waiting for a meltdown, but Simone was like the baby whisperer. I only wish she drove home with us afterwards!
She’s not only good with babies, but she can tell adults what to do also! I need someone to give me direction and Simone isn’t afraid to say, “look this way…put your hand here…fix that wild hair…etc”. Clearly, Simone is a pro and I am so glad I can use her for family photos when we are in Texas. I cannot wait to see how all the pictures turned out, but until then here’s a little spoiler!
If you live in Southeast Texas and need photos taken for any event I highly recommend Simone from ST Photography.If you do not live near her, then I suggest searching for a photographer with a website and a Facebook page with lots of updates, comments and followers. It will give you the best idea of how they work.
Over the weekend, the very busy weekend, our little Luna got to meet her cousin, her Aunts, her Uncle, lots of honorary aunts and uncles and have many outings. We, the parents, learned that getting out of the house with a newborn isn’t necessarily hard. They sleep most of the time, her food is always with me and she’s so darn cute that we are always the center of attention…it’s not a bad gig. However, it is quite hard for me, the new Mom, to get out.
Between feedings, diaper changes, being a hostess and recovering from seems to be a never-ending roller coaster of illnesses (my body apparently hates delivering babies), when am I supposed to shower, brush my hair or put on mascara? I am SO ready for the day that I am healthy again and have some down time. I do not like this having to rest and stay on the couch or in bed all the damn time.
Anyways, we still managed to have a good time with our family and snap some photos of adorableness. Like cousins and sisters having lunch at the famous Loveless Cafe.
We also had the opportunity to take Luna to her Great Grandpa’s exhibit at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville. Her Great Grandpa was a very talented violinists, and one of our most favorite people. We know he would love little Luna more than anyone so we will always do our best to share his many memorable stories with her.
AND, we took the family to Grandpa “Handsome’s” and Daddy’s place of work…the set of Nashville. Even Luna and Micah got to play on set.
But, perhaps the best times were when we were just chillin’ in our pj’s at the house and forcing the babies to pose for our many cameras.