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I was so excited to see Creve Coeur Camera offer another Photopalooza workshop after attending the one in July.  I thought it might be a one time offering, or even a once a year workshop, but they put on another less than 4 months later! This time they also packed it with non-photography topics like running a business and social media, so for those who claim it is only for photographers- you are wrong! This event would be great for anyone who owns a business or has children or just enjoys to learn!

I attended three worshops:

  • Business Portraits – On Site Studio with Tom Tussey
  • Senior Photo Session – Laura Hicks (origionally it was supposed to be with Austin Pekarek)
  • Lifestyle Portraits – Laura Hicks

I would have attended more (and the ones on Friday) if this fall season didn’t have me so booked.

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Some suggestions for people who attend it next time:

  • Make sure you sign up for the sessions early!
  • Go with a friend. You will meet a ton of wonderful photographers but it is nice to go with someone you know. I would encourage you to go to different sessions and compare notes during breaks.
  • Plan food options. There are a ton of local restaurants to check out.
  • Take advantage of the great discounts that day. Go in with a list of items you are looking to buy and price things out while you are there. You might get a really great deal.
  • Talk to the vendors there. Want to know what new products Nikon is putting out? More than likely a representative might be there to chat up.
  • Bring a notebook. These sessions are top-notch and you will take in so much, so bring something to write down all of the tips they share.
  • Network with your session leaders and other attendees. St. Louis is smaller than you think so go meet your fellow photographers and remember that #communityovercompetition is key!

If you attended photopalooza this year, tell me your favorite session in the comments.

SSMP + Pinterest {business}


Life is busy and often clients feel the expectation to have “perfect” photos – this can all be so overwhelming.

My goal is to make the preparation for photos to go incredibly smoothly! In order to do so, I like to share with my clients some of our pinterest boards so that they can breathe easy when planning outfits and deciding how to use their photos in their home.

Here are links to some of our Pinterest boards!

If you have any ideas of topics that I can add pins on, please let me know. My goal is always to make the session and prep as seamless and fun as possible!

Lauren {Senior} . Forest Park


If I could pick one word to describe this session it would be magical. The details that were thought of and the willingness to try new things made it simply perfect.



There is so much more to Lauren besides her stunning smile. She is full of kindness, understanding and so much intelligence. She told me her favorite place to be is outside without shoes and with a book. I tried to include all of her favorite things in her senior session.





I believe that often those who are quiet are overlooked. We may not be the first to raise our hand, you won’t find us in the middle of a party and we might prefer staying home in your pajamas crafting or reading. But we are fierce and full of light and love. Don’t underestimate those who are quiet as they will always surprise you.



I told you that the session was full of magic. When Lauren’s mom asked if we could use sparklers in the session every inch of me wanted to scream YES, and I’m so glad that I did.



The session ended with some soothing shoeless bridge sitting.




Congratulations Lauren. I wish you incredible opportunities as you finish your Senior Year!

Luke {Senior} . Tower Grove Park


Strong, stoic and kind are the words I would use to describe this young man. Listening to him talk about his many future aspirations and interests was a true delight. I have no doubt that Luke is bound for an amazing future in college and beyond.


Luke came dressed to impress in his dapper suit and electrifying tie. And this guy was willing to jump up on ledges in it! That is dedication.



This guy has a winning smile and attitude. He values time with family and with his sweet pup!




Luke came prepared to show his true game and it was great to see Luke in his favorite outfit his jersey. He is a proud member of the Lutheran South High School basketball team and I’m positive he is encouraging guy on and off the court.




Thank you Luke for spending some time with us in Tower Grove Park. Congrats on your Senior year!

Abigail {Senior} . Faust Park


Simple rustic beauty. There is so much beauty in nature. In lush green arbors. In fields of flowers with butterflies dancing. And then you add in a sweet, kind senior and you have the perfect combination. And this girl rocked not only a killer pair of heels but also a sassy pair of boots.




I am known to be a planner. I like to communicate expectations so that the client doesn’t have to wonder about what will come next. I thought I had done exactly that, until we pulled up to Faust Park and realized that it was a local high school’s homecoming that night and everyone and their mother was at the park for photos. As anyone who is a planner would react, I was basically freaking out inside and considering all the things that could go wrong, but on the outside I was quickly contacting Abigail and her mom about an adjustment on the meeting location so that they would know exactly how to find us. In the end, the session was perfect. Yes, we had to be a bit more patient for some locations, but the kind and forgiving attitude that Abigail had was so helpful when dealing with a potentially frustrating situation.



I love that she picked out two different outfits that worked so well together.



Abigail has the prettiest smile, but I also adored her awesome stare as it feels like she looks sweetly deep into your soul.



I have no doubt that she will succeed in all that her future holds. Congrats on your final year of high school.

Beth {Portrait} . Creve Coeur Lake Park

This girl is incredible.

I met Beth while in college, and while I may have said “Hi” once in a while, we really didn’t become good friends until we graduated. We ended up working at the same place and had similar passions and desires, and to this day she is the person I go to and know she will just ‘understand’. Do you have that person? Who you just feel an insane amount of peace after you spent an afternoon together?

Meet the peaceful Beth.

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Peaceful is one way to describe her, but I can think of many other words.
Strong-minded (and sometimes strong-willed 🙂 )

She is constantly traveling, exercising, and surrounded by her family. Did I mention she does tri-athlons ? Just for fun.

And in the mix of all of these incredible attributes, she has just a pinch of sass to make you randomly bust into laughter.

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Creve Coeur Lake was the perfect place for the girl who loves water and adventure. When you add Beth into the mix, natural elements look even more lovely.

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I adore Beth’s “Let’s do it” attitude. So when we got to this mini waterfall, I asked if she was game. I knew she would be!

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Dear Beth,
Keep chasing the light. No matter what comes before you, know that you are strong and your creator is stronger. You are an example to so many of what a feminine, kind, and passionate woman looks like. Thank you for your years of friendship and listening ear.

To many more fish taco dates,
Sarah Marie

3 Tips to Have the Best Senior Session

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Congratulations! You (or your child) has accomplished so much and in fact you both deserve a photoshoot to celebrate your accomplishments to getting your student to their senior year. We are excited to share some of our favorite tips to have the best photo session (but would love to also chat about booking a portrait or couple session for the parents that made this life event happen!). Welcome to our 3 tips on having the best senior session!

  1. Prepare. But first we need to know the style of the senior. Are they the free spirit, rustic type? Do they love long flowy formal dresses? Do they like clean lines and modern aesthetics? Are they the athletic type that would hate to be put in a dress?Once you know the style that you want, we can plan locations, outfits, hair/makeup, and props. And yes, all of those things are important.-We have locations that can meet any preferences from urban to rural, from bold to soft, and from industrial to lush fields of floral. And if you want a mix of both? We have that too!

    -Outfits. Bring a variety (and understand that it might be difficult to do a full change so make sure your bottom pieces work to your advantage) of outfits. Bold and bright colors without patterns work the best to photograph. We recommend at least having one more formal outfit and one fun outfit. And over everything else, make sure you feel comfortable in what you choose. Pulling or swimming in your clothes never looks great on camera. Oh, and layer, layer, layer. Bring along some accessories that we can add or subtract as we go!

    – Hair and Make Up. This might seem extreme but consider getting these done professionally. Artists know exactly how your hair and face will photograph using their products, that is why they are the experts. Make sure, however, that you pick a style that is natural to you. The photos only happen once and so you don’t want to worry that your eyeliner is fading or those flyaways are bothering you. Oh, don’t forget to polish up those nails!

    – Finally, props. What do you find yourself drawn to? Are you always eyeing that flower crown, new book or family pet? Then consider bringing it. Are you a three sport athlete? Then bring items relating to that. Do you love to sing or play an instrument. Lets incorporate it!
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  2. Let’s have fun. We want you to feel super comfortable in front of our camera. This should be a fun experience. We understand you introverts, as we claim that status too, but now is the time to let your hair down and relax in front of our camera. Please share some photos you would like for us to create, but understand that you are your own person and will have a different experience then the person in that pinterest photo. And to add some fun, we might just bust out some tunes and have a mini dance party with you!
  3. Support. It is totally okay to bring a parent, sibling, or a friend. As long, as they bring the best out in you. We love encouraging people, so bring along that person that makes you feel amazing. The person who yells out, “you look gorgeous” and believe them, because they are right!

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Jake {Portait}

Warning : Heart-throb Alert

This guy can melt a lady with one smile.
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Told yah!
Jake is always one of the first guys to open a door for a lady, lend a helping hand and say a kind word. We had the joy of taking Jake to a couple different locations around St. Louis and he was so enthusiastic to any ideas that we thought of. There is something to be said for that type of easy-going spirit. We also got lucky and had the most beautiful sunset!
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Who knew that a suit and boots could look oh so good?

Jessie {Portrait}

Forest Park . Waterfalls . Smoothies

When I began dating J, I had no idea that I would be gaining a new set of friends. One friend in particular is able to tell you straight up what she thinks in a way that you want to be her best friend forever. Let me introduce you to Jessie:


Jessie is a great mixture of sassy and sweet. She is a Cardinal loving, traveling encourager lady who is working on her BSN. I admire her deep love for her city and that she spend a wonderful afternoon embracing Forest Park with me.


We went all over Forest Park : Muny, Visitor Center, Jewel Box, etc.

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Besides capturing Jessie’s beauty we also caught abit of her playfulness! We topped the day with a trip to Smoothie King! I’m not sure you could plan a better photoshoot!


Have a fun-filled day!