Terel Arnett-Dias Mini Session | Black Swamp Nature Preserve, Paulding, Ohio

One of the hardest days of my life was the day in 2016 that I found out that my husband, at age 28, had colon cancer. Our world seemed to start spinning and slowing down all at once, and we didn’t know up from down. Our daughter was only 18 months old, and I was fresh out of graduate school working part time trying to build up experience. He went through surgery and removal of part of his sigmoid colon at Lima Memorial Hospital, thirteen chemotherapy treatments at St. Rita’s in Lima, and months of pain – but we were lucky. Stage IIIA colon cancer did not wreck our lives as much as it could, and I am grateful every single day.

Fast forward to a few months ago.
My third cousin (who at one point felt more like a brother – you know those cousins – he lived across the street from me with his mom, two brothers and sister in Grover Hill, Ohio and we’d run around town like we owned it – and when they moved, my mom and I were at their new house all the time so it didn’t even matter that they moved but then we grew apart because teenagers…) married a beautiful girl and they had a beautiful daughter. I was even able to take portraits of them this Spring when I did family photos of all of the crew back in that hometown of Grover Hill in Paulding County!

It wasn’t long before the news broke that Devin and Terel were expecting another baby! How exciting for a young, growing family. Then we got other news:

At only age 29, 27 weeks pregnant, with a 2 year old and husband at home, Terel has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. “

My heart sunk. I had just seen her, and she was fine and happy and healthy. But – as I know better than I’d ever like to admit to myself, cancer doesn’t care. So I knew that I had to do something to help this family out. I remember being in that spot. “How will we pay for our…” “What if…” “I can’t go to work..” “My spouse can’t work..”

I messaged my friend Andrea Schlueter – who is Terel’s bonus sister – and a photographer in Paulding County. I had an idea – let’s do a mini session marathon at the Black Swamp Nature Center in Paulding and give the proceeds to Terel and Devin. She was completely on board, and we were nearly fully booked within 2 days. We raised over $1200 for the family.
To those who booked a mini: you rock.

I wanted to write a blog post to be able to share some of these images, the GoFundMe, and the Facebook Page – where you can learn more ways to donate including t-shirts, magnets, and a poker run. But I also wanted to let anyone who may be suffering from this horrible disease – breast cancer, colon cancer, or any other type of cancer – know that I am here. I am here to talk to, cry to, scream in anger to, and I offer free family sessions to cancer warriors and survivors so that you can cherish time and memories.

GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/helpterelfightcancer
Team Terel Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teamterel/

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Product Photos for Cruikshank Farms, Gomer, Ohio|Lima, Ohio

Product Photography | Cruikshank Farms | Lima, Ohio

It’s not often when I sign up to do a collaboration through the Let’s Collab group on Facebook that I meet another local creative, and it’s even less often that the creative is a shop owner who runs their business out of the old Gomer, Ohio Post Office, but that is Jessica Cruikshank of Cruikshank Farms. Her shop is literally a hop, skip, and jump north of Lima, Ohio – and I was so excited to meet with her and be able to collaborate on some items from her adorable line of scents, wooden flowers, and metal work!

It all kind of conspired out of the fact that we just renovated our kitchen which was one heck of a project itself. We did it on the cheap; we bought a counter-top renewal kit, painted our cabinets and walls, and spent and entire week in the evenings just going full force on turning the Formica blue counter-top and back-splash into something our Millennial loving souls will cherish until we can afford something more high-end. My husband is a saint, and we seriously tested our marriage during this week. The end result is awesome (thank you Daisch transformations). I was so excited to be able to offer my new space for my brand and product photography, and when Jessica posted she was looking for someone local to Lima – well, the stars aligned!

I picked up the items from the actual Cruikshank homestead one morning my family decided to head into town to grab some IHOP and finish our Christmas shopping. Again, this is totally different than any other collaboration I have done – this is local so I had the opportunity to meet the creator and owner and she didn’t need to pay for shipping (we’ve also became Facebook friends and she’s given me advice on my daughter’s nasty cough).

So, I bet you’re wondering exactly what I got to photograph for Jessica, right? Well, she had me photograph an amazing candle, some soy warmer scents, a scent shot, an awesome wine rack that is made out of HORSE SHOES, and a wooden flower box that I got to customize by picking the wood stain and flower colors! You guysssssss, it is all so great. I can’t even explain. So, I’ll post the photos, of course.

I mean…..beautiful stuff, right?! Anyway, you should definitely go check out Cruikshank Farms – https://www.cruikshankfarms.com/ and if you go to their brick and mortar, say hi to Jessica for me! She’s a pretty great human, and I’m glad to call her a new [Facebook] friend!

This Ladypreneur Rocked Her Headshots | Findlay Ohio Headshot Session

Findlay Ohio Headshots | Lady Boss Headshots | Litzenberg Memorial Woods

If you know Kayla, you know that she puts her heart and soul into everything she does, and I was so excited to be able to provide her with headshots to help grow her makeup business – Glamour Without Guilt. Kayla is a Findlay, Ohio mom of two, full time speech language pathologist, and kick-butt entrepreneur running a successful Younique business!

I know Kayla fairly well, and I know she loves Litzenberg Woods. However, I wanted to shoot in some areas of the park that we don’t usually shoot at when we do her family portraits – so we shot at the front of the house and on the beautiful stone steps of the history Litzenberg home. Of course, being a working mom, we had to capture Kayla with Beckett – her partner in crime.  If you get a chance to catch Kayla live or follow her page, Beckett is ever-present. He LOVES mirroring his mom, and he steals the show!

Which photo of Kayla is your favorite? Tell me in the comments!