Amy B Photography

just BE with them

©Amy B Photography 2017

Once upon a time, I followed this crazy, creative beauty on Instagram.  She is wicked talented, has like a million followers and posts the most beautiful, inspirational things!  After I moved to Seoul, I suddenly recognized the settings in her photos as places I was newly exploring… and then discovered WE LIVED IN THE SAME CITY!!  I timidly reached out to see if maybe she might want to I dunno… maybe meet up but INSTANTLY regretted it because I was worried she might murder me.  That happens right?!  Interweb scams and she isn’t really who she says she is and BOOM.  I’m dead because I went all fangirl over this chic that paints cool things!

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Turns out she wasn’t a psycho (I’m alive to tell the tale!), we both hoard scrapbook supplies (and swear we have EXACT plans for them) and our blood types are mexican food.  People think we are sisters, I fell stupid in love with her and even tho neither of us live in Korea anymore and still live thousands of miles apart, we are still bosom buddies AND I GET TO SEE HER IN 15 DAYS!  Plus she (SHE: the goddess of all things creative) asked ME to photograph her and her husband in their Korean world before they moved?!  What a treasure!

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They live in UAE now but it was such a treat to see Korea through her eyes!  Seriously, go back through her instafeed and check out her photos!  And then go to the current images to see her new part of the world through her eyes!

She and her fox of a husband love to laugh, travel, eat, adventure and stare deeply into each other’s eyes…so we all got along well!  How stinking cute are they?!

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One of the many things I love about these two is how they can totally BE wherever they are.  They notice lights and sounds, smells and textures….they just soak in whatever is beautiful around them and SHINE it back out!  They love the Lord fiercly, each other deeply, and friends genuinely.  I love hearing how they speak about others behind their backs with the kindest words and how they both really do look for the greatest things in other human beings.  Being around them just makes you want to be a better person and make awesome things!  They are just good feelings all around!

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Mr Man was such a blast to work with!  He had this “smolder” that he perfected and he laughed at all my stupid jokes!  I love how he loves my friend and supports her in all of her creative endeavors!  Real keeper, this guy!

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I am SO thankful (and incredibly honored) that these two would consider me for even a moment of their time!  They are just as delicious in real life as they are in these images and I can’t believe I wasted 35 years of my life NOT knowing them!  Follow us both on instagram (hers and mine) because, in just 15 days, much mayhem will ensue when she COMES TO GERMANY TO SEE ME!!

©Amy B Photography 2017

Like I said, Lauren is a maven of all trades and literally everything she touches is a success!  Below are just a few of the places where she REALLY shines and you need to check it ALL out!  Fun fact: I played my “friend card” and get to be on a podcast of hers at How She Creates!!  I will post about it when it aires later this month but for now, if you want to be inspired in your creativity, check out her first season of podcasts!

So thankful for her friendship and how it spans the globe!!  Thankful that we took a chance on each other (and basically our lives) to meet up.  I am thankful for all the meals we have shared, the laughs we have had and the amazing window light for selfies we have found.

Follow her.  For real.

She makes life a whole TON more beautiful!

©Amy B Photography 2017

Find her at her own website (with all her amazing creativeness), her amazing podcasts at How She Creates, and full-time time venture at Get Messy Art Journal.

That Sisterly Love

©Amy B Photography 2017

It been a long time since I have written but a little update for you: we have moved from Korea and are enroute to Germany, with a month long lay-over through the states!  While I am so excited about this big move, I am even more thankful for the amazing families (like this fabulous bunch) that hired me in the final weeks before our move.  They have waited SO patiently while I work through all the chaos of moving nearly all the way around the world!  They have waited an obscene amount of time for their photos and have been SO sweet and patient!

So to start off the sharing, I want you to meet this precious family!  We had such a blast on our session, exploring and being silly for their last week in Korea.  I grew up with brothers so I don’t know what a sisterly relationship really looks like, but…these two made me a bit green with envy!  They had so much fun together!!

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I love it when my families ask to have a culturally relevant photo shoot to document that specific time of life.  I love taking kids to explore a place they have never been!  I love love LOVE getting to know these amazing families!  We may only get a few hours together but I always leave so happy and excited about our time!

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What a beautiful family, amiright?

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I mean, seriously.  Look at these people?!  How can you not feel the love?!!  Big sis was cracking me up with her super serious face as she (MULTIPLE TIMES) shoved her finger in her sis’ nose!

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Thank you so much BW family!  I am so thankful that you trusted me with your images AND for your INSANE patience/grace through my eternal move!  Thank you for sharing your evening with me, for exploring a new-to-you location and for all the forest games and whimsy!  Best of luck in your new city and I will never forget the giggles we shared!

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She's Always Brighter

©Amy B Photography 2017

Meet Caitlin!  She has a smile that can light up the world and loves the Lord with her beautiful heart of gold!  While I have only known her a short while, and this is going to sound super creepy, I feel like I know so much ABOUT her from watching her at church and interacting with her family.  I remember one of the first things I ever noticed about her, as she sat in the pew in front of me, was how gently and sweet she played with her little sister’s hair or how she softly scratched her back during the service.  I prayed that my kids would love their siblings the same way and was just so impressed by her tender actions.

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It is so easy to see how much she cares for others by how she spends her time!  Mission trips, volunteering around the community and spending time with kids younger than her, she seems to always be helping others!  I have heard her mom talk about her giant heart and care for others and it just makes me so proud to know such a kind person!  She loves her friends, worries about their futures and has a great relationship with seemingly everyone she meets!

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Aside from just being an incredibly caring human being, she loves to sing and can really belt it out!  I didn’t make her sing during our session (you are welcome Caitlin!) but I do love watching her perform on Sunday mornings with her friend at the piano.

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Thank you, Caitlin!  Thank you for choosing me to photograph this special time in your life!  I had SO much fun wandering around Seoul with you!  You were such a good sport and I love how you smiled that big, beautiful smile the whole time!  Your kind heart, your thankful spirit and the way you love the Lord is so infectious and we are all better for getting to know you!  Congratulations on your graduation and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!!

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Give Me Jesus and The Gym

©Amy B Photography 2017

Meet Caleb.  His sweet family and I became instant friends (through the help of a mutual friend) and right off the bat, I was impressed by Caleb.  He loves the Lord more than anything, he is a leader to his younger brothers and those around him, and he is more determined than most kids his age.  Knowing he wants to make a career in health and fitness, he spends his free time at the gym, researching all aspects of personal health and vlogging in order to share what he loves.  He is kind and funny, he laughs a lot and he is just a real kick in the pants to be around!

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If you EVER want to know ANYTHING about eating plans, how to lift heavy things or what the heck your macros are…he’s your man!  I like to pick on him by telling him every time I eat something healthy or do something active.  Whenever I work out, I feel like I need to tell Caleb…if anything just to make him laugh!  But he genuinely cares about the people in his life and gets even MORE excited if he knows you are taking good care of yourself!

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Since the gym is his second home, of course, we had to do half of the session there.  The rest of it was spent wandering around a part of Seoul that our families spend a ton of time in!  He made it so easy for me to do my job!  Isn’t he just so handsome?!

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Thank you, Caleb, for allowing me to photograph you!  I will never look at carbs the same way (but you can’t stop me from eating and loving them yet) and if I am ever able to function properly at the gym, it will be all thanks to you.  I admire your strong faith at such a young age and I love how you influence those around you!  It is amazing how proud your parents are of you, not to mention the rest of us that know you!  You are truly an awesome human being and I pray for only the best for you in your future!!  Can’t wait to have Ethan point you out on the cover of a magazine someday!  😉

©Amy B Photography 2017

this is us

©Amy B Photography 2017

One thing I love about human beings is the intricate and beautiful narratives they each hold within them.  No one story is the same but each one has it’s own allure.  I think this is why I love photography so much.  It combines my love of preserving memories, meeting beautiful people and telling stories that will hopefully last beyond the lifetimes.

So when this family contacted me and asked if I could just come and photograph them in their home environment, I was overjoyed.  I love all my sessions and I love the stories that come out of them but these home-based, storytelling gigs really steal my heart!  This family let me into their home, introduced me to their “grumpy ol deaf dog” (who didn’t seem so grumpy to me) and allowed me to come alongside them and experience a bit of their daily life while I photographed it all.

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Sometimes we feel that we need a fancy backdrops or an amazing location, the perfect lighting or the most killer props.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of those things…but when it comes down to it, the key ingredients are the connections between people and a story woven throughout.  I hope these beautiful babies look back and admire the beauty in their mom’s elegant hands or the crinkle in dad’s jeans from holding on so tight.  I want them to nearly feel that parental squeeze and hear the way their parents laughed.  I pray that fond memories of their old backyard and the way their toys were splayed throughout the home leave them with a warm feeling about their upbringing.  I want these images to tell them a novel of how they came to be and how they were loved.

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Sessions like these don’t mask the flaws.  They can be fun and giggly or they can show real moments of tears and care.  While I was only with this sweet family for a few hours, I was lucky enough to see moments of exploration and discovery even in the place where they spend most of their time.  I witnessed pride from the toddler as she explained how her garden grew.  I watched the littlest perfect her new walking skills.  I saw tender moments between parents and offspring, and playful moments with grandparents and their grandbabies!  It’s in these quiet, maybe even common moments to the outside world, that real life beauty springs forth.

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To the beautiful O Family.  It was such an honor to be invited into your home, to your garden and to your lives to spend time with you and capture your story in the here and now.  From loud moments of play, to quiet moments of connection, your family life is so colorful and unique.  I am so thankful you chose me and I hope these images tell the story of where you are at during these all-too-quickly-fleeting moments on the grand timeline of your lives.  Your girls were so fun to get to know, your stories so interesting and your family just a delight.  What a joy to get even a glimpse of the memoirs you are crafting…

thank you.

©Amy B Photography 2017

blue steel

©Amy B Photography 2017

I will be honest, shooting high school seniors makes me sweat.  I get nervous and start feeling really old and saying stupid things…more than normal.  But then I got the chance to photograph Jonathan.  Even though I have known him and his family for sometime, setting out for our shoot was a whole new ball game.  First of all, I haven’t done senior photos in quite some time (will I even remember what to do?!) and second…he is way cooler than me.  Letterman’s jacket, immaculately styled hair, perfectly cuffed jeans…you get the idea.

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I quickly settled back into my groove of ridiculously unfunny jokes and random “OOO!  Let’s stop here!!  This light is KILLER!” as Jonathan and I wandered around.  The best part was, he made it SO easy for me!  Seriously?!  Look at this kid!  I didn’t even have to tell him where to look or how to stand!  He just found his spot and BOOM…blue steel for dayz.  With a z.  Because duh?!  Youth!

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Seoul itself is just an amazing backdrop!  You can wander anywhere and find the best spots for a shot.  Color, texture, depth, design…Seoul has it all and it has it everywhere.  Yes, some of the places we stopped to shoot smelled like dookie, but that is just part of this crazy, amazing, odd city!

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One of the best parts about this shoot (besides Jonathan reading my brain on what we should do next) was having his step-mother (and my dear friend) along with us.  She was a posing and lighting expert!  She had the most amazing ideas for how to set up the scene and I kinda wanna hire her to tag along on all my shoots, to help make the magic happen!

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Another aspect of Seoul that makes it such an unreal place for photo shoots (or for just eye candy in general) is the amount of graffiti.  I don’t know if this stuff is commissioned or allowed but most of it looks like true art that nobody is upset about having there.  Most store fronts have these roll down shades and I would say the majority of them have some sort of spray painted words, images or mixed media design on them!  A photographers dream!!

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Hey Jonathan!  Thanks for putting up with a giant dork like me!  Thanks for making it so effortless to take your senior photos!   You were so easy to work with, knew exactly what to do before I could even make the request and I am surprised my camera didn’t just explode in my hands from your steely gazes!  I love that you let me sit you down in dirty alleyways or lean against weird walls.  Thanks for being down for whatever and I am so stoked we got to work together!  Happy graduation and all the best to you in ND!

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under the blossoms of seoul

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I met sweet Mama during the cherry blossom season of 2016.  What a blessing to photograph her newborn babe and family only one year later!  Since sweet baby was born during cherry blooms and while they were living in Korea, Mama made the perfect plans for our location!

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While baby ate and cuddle mama, big brother and I had lots of time to play!  Lots of silliness, exploring the Korean cultural homes and tic-tacs!

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He sure loves his little sister and made sure to come over a steal some snuggles with her every now and then!

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How fun to have Grandmom visiting for the session!  She and big brother had fun playing together and exploring while we took photos of sister!

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Little charmer!  Who knew he could wink?!

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A Korean cultural heritage village, cherry blossoms AND Seoul Tower in the background?!  It doesn’t get more authentic than that!  😉

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Since sister was born in such a huge city, we made sure to snag a few photos on the way home, documenting the craziness of the bustle she was born into.

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Mama had a vision for how she wanted to document baby’s birth city and time of life for their family.  Thankfully she was very patient with me (babies and props are not my area of comfort or expertise) as we collaborated to make her dreams come to life.  I mean seriously…how adorable is that sweet cherry blossom baby in a kimchi pot…in front of a traditional Korean home?!

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Passing tourists and lookie-lous just FREAKED OUT over how cute little sister was in her pot!  Looking back, we should have charged for them posing for photos!  😉

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After the kimchi dreams were reached, baby was still totally asleep!  So we took our time and had fun!  Mama is a photographer as well and was given the most perfect wraps as baby gifts by her incredibly thoughtful and smart friends!  They lent so well to our setting and the images!

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Thank you so much for trusting me with your newborn images, friend!  Thank you for giving me your grace, trust, confidence and patience through it all!  I am so thankful we met at the park that spring day!  Thank you for letting me hold the baby ANY chance available, for allowing such nonsense as I played with big brother and for letting me push the limits of time and hunger as we stole every drop of that beautiful evening light!  You have a beautiful family and I am so thankful our paths crossed!

©Amy B Photography 2017

all things in bloom

©Amy B Photography 2017 - Seoul, South Korea

Meet Anna and Jake!  I met Anna at a baby shower and was so thankful she contacted me for photos!  I had SO much fun with the three of them (Hi Baby!!) and we seriously laughed the entire time!  These guys didn’t need to be posed or told what to do…they were just magic!  They put up with my lame jokes and my outrageous requests as we wandered around the park.  It was the spring cherry blossom bloom in Seoul and such a magical time to capture their sweet little girl-in-waiting.

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I mean seriously?!  How cute are they?!  Even our outtakes are keepers!

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Thank you Jake and Anna, for allowing me to photograph this special time in your lives.  It’s only been the two of you up until this point and I am SO excited to see you be three!  Maybe someday soon, we can take another walk around the park but this time, with your baby in your arms instead.  :)  Praying for all the best in your delivery and so incredibly thankful to have met you both!!

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By His Grace

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Meet sweet Alannah!  What an angel baby!  Can you even handle those cheeks?!

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What a joy it was to watch big sister stick to her side like glue.  Wherever baby was, big sis had to be.

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Little brother wasn’t so sure about the new edition but in his own precious way, he stole time with baby Alannah.  And Dad was SO patient through it all!

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Like I said, big brother was a bit unsure about his role with sweet baby.  For those few moments he chose to indulge, we were there to make sure to snagged them!  So while these moments were fleeting…they were some of my favorites from the whole session!

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No one likes to feel left out, so we made sure to have a quick tickle-fest with the bigs to show them some love!  I feel like I can still hear the giggles in these photos!  (Sorry mom and dad for getting them all wound up and then just ditching you!) 😉

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It’s amazing to see that even though sweet Alannah is the third baby in the home, the looks in a parent’s eyes are still as if they haven’t ever known such love.  Just when you think your heart might burst with adoration for your little people, God always makes extra space for love you didn’t even know you could handle!

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One of my favorite things about these types of sessions is the fact that they are so real.  Some mamas apologize for the house not being perfect or there being “stuff” in the photo…but that stuff is life.  It is always my hope that those things of life tell pieces of your story when you look back on these photos years later.  While they might be artifacts in your history that you wished hidden, I cherish in using to tell your exact story.

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Little sis woke up and spent some time studying Mom and Dad’s faces.  And then she just started showing off!  Not even one week old and the BIGGEST smiles you have ever seen on a newborn!

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Round two for big sister and she was just smitten!  I pray that their bond grows ever stronger throughout their whole lives!

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Thank you to Alannah’s family for allowing me to photograph your precious first days together in your home!  For letting me play with and giggle with the kids and for just sharing yourselves with me!  Thank you for letting me steal some cuddles and nuzzle those adorable cheeks!

And thank you to Mama’s friends who came together to help set up this photo shoot as a gift to the family!  Mama is such a beautiful soul and you can tell by the company she keeps!

©Amy B Photography 2017

Documenting December - Day Seven

©Amy B Photography 2016

Receiving mail is one of my very favorite things in life.  Handwritten letters, postcards, gifts wrapped in bubble paper or even a good ol’ Hallmark card with a few loving words are treasures I save forever!  Our lives are filled with instant gratification but the anticipation and patience required with standard mail delivery is thrilling.  I know after I have sent a package, without having told the person it is coming,  I wait on the edge of my seat to hear that they received it and hopefully felt loved by the gesture. 

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So of course, one of my favorite traditions around Christmas has always been the arrival of postage-stamped cards in the mail.  I rejoice (and ironically) usually Instagram “the first card of the year”, rubbing my hands with child-like joy that the dam has been broken and more are sure to come.

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Along with that tradition comes the memories of cards gone by.  At the end of each Christmas season, we take all the cards received that year and bind them together in whatever we have on hand.  Two years ago, we had an album (like an overachiever) and you can read this past post on how I put our books together here.  Last year, we went back to basics with a decorated cardboard cover and two free standing binder rings.  Whether fancy or simple, the book of correspondence is tucked away with our Christmas goodies and is made anew the following year when we begin to enjoy the season again. 

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Today we pulled out the book from last year.  Being a military family in a foreign country, we weren’t able to take all of our belongings with us so most all of our “memory items” are in storage until we are station state-side again.  But we have 2015 in our hands as this is our second Christmas in Korea, and we enjoyed flipping through our favorite friends and faces all over again.  The kids laugh at the adorable babies and the furry family members featured.  We share memories of how we met these friends once-upon-a-time or how much fun we had last time we saw them.  We guess what their 2016 cards will look like now that they have new babies or hug each other tighter if we know they lost someone this past year. 

These cards?  They have our people on them.  We are blessed to know so many amazing friends and family all over the world and at Christmas, the tradition of snail mail still holds on.  We mail cards because we know how good it feels to receive cards.  Our list is filled with people we care deeply about and this Christmas Card Book is such a treasure to enjoy each year.

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Do you still send Christmas cards?  Have you made yours this year?  

Thank you again for sharing your Christmas card love with us!   It is a gift we can hold in our hands and revisit each year, thinking fondly of the many people we love!