Simply Suite Storytelling Video and Giveaway


I feel like my entire life has led up to this video, and yet I sit here trying to figure out why the journey took so long.  It comes down to one thing - timing.  As an educator, photographer and soccer mom, the school year is fairly stressful for me.   I find that during my winter and summer breaks things just seem to come into focus.  My brain has time to process, and I do my best thinking.  This winter was certainly no exception.

I was thinking about some kiddos I teach that have touched my heart, about my own son who struggles daily with anxiety, and about the things I went through as a child.  I’m a fixer at heart.  I see pain or feel pain and immediately want to heal.  I don’t bottle my emotions for long.  I avoid conflict at all costs, and it kills me to watch someone struggle.  I feel a strong need to help.  From these thoughts, my new venture in photography began…



In the past, I have focused my photography on motherhood, the bond, and what it means to exist in photographs.  I spent one extremely awful night bawling my eyes out when I realized my five-year-old and I had only one picture together.  One – that’s it.  It has always been my lack in self-confidence that holds me back.  For heaven’s sake, I used to wad up my garbage and sneak it in my desk at school so that I didn’t have to stand up in front of people to throw it away.  I am a work in progress and I aim to empower moms everywhere to step in front of the lens and feel beautiful.  Last year, I started a project that sought to tell a story about who kids are and what they love, not just what they look like in formal family portraiture.  I wanted to celebrate what it means to love your pet lizard, your great grandmother, cars, or science beakers.  But that wasn’t quite enough.  I was headed down the right path, but not there yet. 

I started thinking about the young boy who came to school with the same clothes on from the previous day and melted down on the floor behind my desk because his brother had been shot in gang violence the night before.  This is just one of the many stories that have tugged on my heart over my 12 year teaching career.  There have been so many kids who have been through the unspeakable and at a terrifyingly young age.  My childhood wasn’t without its bumps and rough patches either.  There was abuse, but I survived.  There were so many days that I was told I wasn’t good enough.  I thought I had moved past it.  I took all the negative experiences and used them to become a great educator.  I try every day to do what is best for my own kids at home.  It is my deepest hope that they feel nothing but love and support from me.   Even with the somewhat normal and stable life my husband and I are providing for our children, my oldest son’s anxiety isn’t something I can fix.  There are days when my hugs and words don’t work and I simply feel like I am failing him. 

My son has now hit the “tween-aged” years.  It is such a tough time, regardless of your home life and the support systems in place.  Kids are becoming self-aware, they struggle with confidence, their friendships evolve or change, and there is often a strain in their relationship with their parents while striving to become independent.  Rarely does this age group exist in pictures outside of a selfie or maybe the occasional family portrait.  Lord knows I would have burned my middle school pictures if given the chance!

My creative soul began to realize that I had an opportunity to make a difference for kids in this challenging age group . . . and their families, too.  Here is where Storytelling Suites for Teens to Seniors was born!  I create a beautiful portrait honoring the unique person each child is at this age while also telling their story.  For the five girls in this video, it was their enduring friendship.  In the meantime, their family members wrote them a handwritten expression of encouragement, empowerment, support, but most of all love. This letter was then recorded and played during their preview experience.  The kids had no clue it was coming.  They see themselves, beautifully crafted and on a large wall, and then the audio plays with their one of a kind message.  The family walks away with a timeless keepsake portrait that has the handwritten message attached to the back. 

My calling, my journey, and my passion have led me here -  as a young adult, a tween, or a child, you are respected. You are an honored work of art.  It is my deep joy and privilege to walk this journey with you and your child.


So who's ready to make that journey with me?  We are hosting a giveaway for a Simply Suite Storytelling Session for Tweens to Seniors on the Studio Bliss Facebook page.  This package will include a two hour session here in Springfield, IL, and two matted 11" x 14" fine art prints from the session- a total value of over $450!  All you have to do is stop by our Facebook page using the link above and complete the following 2 steps by Midnight on May 13th, 2017.  

1. Give us a Like on the Video Post pinned to the top of our Studio Bliss Facebook Page.

2. Comment on the Giveaway Video Post after you have completed step one.

And of course you are always more than welcome to share that post on your page, and it is much appreciated but not necessary to be entered to win.  Make sure you Like our business Page if you are excited to keep up with Studio Bliss, but again it is not necessary to win.

We will use a random number generator to announce the lucky winner on our blog just in time for Mother's Day! Good luck and enjoy!


A huge, huge thank you to my incredible videographer Immanuel Ahiable, Cafe Moxo, and The Pharmacy Gallery & Art Space!


This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.