The End of Another Summer…

Our summertime fun is coming to an end around here and we’re trying to squeeze in as many last hurrahs as we can before school begins for the “big kids.”  We’ve been making time for one last trip to the zoo or Zesto’s and making the most of each moment.

My hope for this summer was for it to last as long as possible, so I tried not to jam-pack our schedule.  For the most part, the kids had a classic summer– they played with neighborhood friends, Cal learned to ride a two-wheeler, Preston and Maura went to summer camp, they played baseball, lob ball  & t-ball, and they took lots of bike rides and Jeep rides with Nick.

On a couple of gorgeous evenings I broke out my camera (not my camera phone ;) ) and I thought I’d share!

Preston played soccer at a local club twice a week to prepare for the fall season.  He got to play against his cousins at this game, which made it extra fun!  These boys are best buds and growing up SO fast!



Maura turned 8 in July.  I love this girl so much.  I think she’s the perfect mix of sweet and sassy.


Calum is my most outgoing child.  He wants to be everyone’s friend and loves to talk (which is why in most photos he looks like this.)  Wesley has kept me BUSY this summer!  “Outside!”  “Ride bike!”  “I go zoo!”  “I play cars!”  

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This photo might illustrate our summer at times…


But I think I will remember it more like this…


Hope your summer has been full of good memories too!

Author Marci Jefferson | Guest Post & Giveaway

I have loved taking head shots of my friend & talented author Marci Jefferson and today is a VERY exciting day for her (& for all of us who love her)!

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Marci is having a giveaway over on her blog to celebrate the cover reveal of her novel Girl on The Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart.

Here it is…

girl on the golden coin

Isn’t it gorgeous?!  Eeeek!  I’m so thrilled for my friend’s success!  She has worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality.  Plus, I’m a teensy bit excited for myself because Marci gets to use a headshot that I took of her on her dust jacket!   How fun is that?!  I don’t know which one will be chosen, so make sure to order one of her books and find out!  I’ve put links at the bottom of this post.  But first, more about her awesome book (& giveaway!) straight from the author herself.


My first novel is about Frances Stuart, who rejected three kings and graced England’s coins for generations as the model for Britannia. The book will release February 11, 2014 from Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press. But pre-order this week AND comment on my blog for a chance to win a pair of sterling-silver pearl-drop earrings like the ones Frances wears on this elegant cover (be prepared to present your receipt).


Impoverished and exiled to the French countryside after the overthrow of the English Crown, Frances Stuart survives merely by her blood-relation to the Stuart Royals. But in 1660, the Restoration of Stuart Monarchy in England returns her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and springs to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches King Louis XIV’s eye. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty, she has Stuart secrets to keep and people to protect. The king turns vengeful when she rejects his offer to become his Official Mistress. He banishes her to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and stop a war.

Armed in pearls and silk, Frances maneuvers through the political turbulence of Whitehall Palace, but still can’t afford to stir a scandal. Her tactic to inspire King Charles to greatness captivates him. He believes her love can make him an honest man and even chooses Frances to pose as Britannia for England’s coins. Frances survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the debauchery of the Restoration Court, yet loses her heart to the very king she must control. Until she is forced to choose between love or war.

On the eve of England’s Glorious Revolution, James II forces Frances to decide whether to remain loyal to her Stuart heritage or, like England, make her stand for Liberty. Her portrait as Britannia is minted on every copper coin. There she remains for generations, an enduring symbol of Britain’s independent spirit and her own struggle for freedom.


“In her wonderfully evocative debut, Girl on the Golden Coin, Marci Jefferson recreates the fascinating story of Frances Stuart, whose influence over England’s Charles II became the talk of a nation. As vibrant and delightful as the woman it’s based on, Girl on the Golden Coin is a jewel of a novel!”

—Michelle Moran, New York Times bestselling author of The Second Empress and Madame Tussaud


“Beauty is not always a blessing, as young Frances Stuart finds out when her lovely face pits her between the desires and politics of rival kings Louis XIV and Charles II. Frances makes an appealing heroine, by turns wary and passionate, sophisticated and innocent, as she matures from destitute young pawn to the majestic duchess whose figure would grace Britain’s coins for centuries. Her struggles to support her loved ones, uncover her family secrets, and somehow find a life of her own amid the snake-pit courts of the Sun King and the Merry Monarch make for lively, entertaining reading in this lush Restoration novel by debut author Marci Jefferson.”

—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of Mistress of Rome


Girl on the Golden Coin is a fantastic novel. I couldn’t put it down. The plot is fast-paced and compelling, with intriguing characters, lush settings and captivating narrative voice. Jefferson’s debut paints an intriguing portrait of Frances Stuart, a novel worthy of the determined, golden spirit of the woman whose face became the model for Britannia herself.”

—Susan Spann, author of Claws of the Cat


“Girl on the Golden Coin is a sexy, exciting tale featuring vivid characters, rich historical detail, scintillating court intrigue, and a complexly rendered heroine in Frances Stuart, Maid of Honor to the Queen of England, who will capture the reader’s heart — as will the man she loves, that rascal King Charles II.”

— Sherry Jones, author, FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS



Barnes & Noble




SSG Elkins | Welcome Them Home Session

Happy 4th of July! I’m excited to share these images from SSG Daniel Elkins’ homecoming.

I have never experienced a military homecoming before, but I am honored that I was able to be a part of such a wonderful day for the 384th Military Police Battalion and their families. I saw the anticipation and excitement on the faces of those who hadn’t seen their loved ones in almost a year and it was truly inspiring. The men and women who serve not only put their safety at risk, they sacrifice their time with friends and families. The first years of dating when you just can’t get enough time with each other or the crazy, fun-filled years of life with preschoolers. They are thousands of miles away from little moments that make everyday life so special. As a wife and mom who feels the years flying by, I can only imagine how difficult it would be to miss family dinners, goodnight kisses, birthdays, or experiencing these memories without my loved one.  All that military families give up to serve their country really hit home. I tried to focus on camera-settings and other things so I didn’t start crying as we all waited impatiently for the motorcycle escort to burst into the Coliseum!

Meaghan contacted me about a month ago and asked if I would photograph her soldier’s homecoming. Daniel’s parents were there too and I had a great time being part of the Elkins family for the afternoon. :) Here is what it looked like…















Happy 4th of July to SSG Daniel Elkins and his family! Thank you for your service and sacrifice!

To find out more about the Welcome Them Home organization, visit their website.  They are a network of photographers who offer homecoming sessions to military families.

Celesta & Dusty | Engagement

I met Celesta and Dusty at Foster Park last week on a completely gorgeous spring evening.  They are getting married in the Bridal Glen at the park in October, so I was thrilled to shoot their photos in such a meaningful location.

Celesta has a Zooey Deschanel-like adorableness and Dusty is hilarious and they were just so in love, I could have photographed them all evening.  They made my job very easy!

I had a hard time picking my favorites, but I did my best!




Fort Wayne Engagement Photographer








Thank you again, Celesta, for asking me to take your photos!  I had such a blast with you two!

Carmen & Reggie | Engagement

Last month I received a sweet email from Carmen looking for a photographer for some engagement photos.  I NEVER get engagement inquiries, since I don’t shoot weddings, and last month I received TWO in two days.  At first, I thought I was getting punked, but it turns out Carmen and her fiancé, Reggie, were completely legit and are completely ADORABLE.  We had a beautiful evening for their engagement shoot and it was a treat to capture some photos of these two.

Here are some of my favorites from our time together…

Jill Sloffer Engagement Photography

Jill Sloffer Engagement Photography

Jill Sloffer Engagement Photography

Jill Sloffer Engagement Photography

Jill Sloffer Engagement Photography

Jill Sloffer Engagement Photography

Congratulations again, Carmen and Reggie!
Jill Sloffer Engagement Photography

Help Jen Fundraiser


This beautiful woman is my friend, Jen Roussel.  Jen and I became friends a little over a year ago when we went out to dinner with mutual girlfriends.  She’s the kind of woman where you don’t get to know her through normal introductory questions like, “Where did you grow up?” or “How many kids do you have?”  It’s more like she tells you a story that makes laugh so hard your sides ache and all of a sudden you feel like you’ve known this girl forever.

I was heartbroken this past fall when I learned that my sweet new friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Jen has amazed me with her courage and sense of humor, even in the midst of her battle.  For example, if I try to go home too early in the night, she’ll tell me that her “cancer is flaring up” and I have to stay out longer to make her feel better.  :)  You can read her full story here and also donate to a fund that has been set up by her friends to help with Jen’s medical expenses.

Another way you can help Jen is by booking a mini session with me this May!


I have morning and early afternoon sessions available.  Please email me with questions and to book your session!

Last weekend I was honored to photograph an amazing birthday celebration for Jen, where her husband and many other friends and family members shaved their heads as a very special way to support Jen and her fight.  Jen also bravely had her head shaved and I am so excited to share more photos from the incredible evening very soon.

Here’s an end-of-the-evening shot of Jen and me.  Please help me support this amazing wife, mother, and friend!



Class of 2013 Grads | Book Now!

Senior Promo 2013


Contact me via email, phone, or text to get more information on a senior portrait session or to book your session for this spring.

The session fee is $150 and grad print packages start at $200.

Marci & Family

Did you see gorgeous Marci & her headshots on the blog yesterday?  Now here is her beautiful family!  Kevin and Marci have been married for 15 years and have 2 awesome kids.  Dalton is 9 and Delani is 7.  Marci and I were first-time moms together with our boys, they were just 3 weeks apart, and together we have sorted through many mommy-woes from fussy babies & sleepless nights to dinnertime pickiness & setting video game boundaries.  Our camaraderie only strengthened when we had our little girls just 1 day apart and our hospital rooms were right across the hall from one another.  Now THAT was a fun 48 hours!

Okay, onto this great family and my favorites from the quick little session we had this past October.

Lots of love to you, Jefferson family!

Marci | Author Headshots

This beautiful gal may look familiar.  Marci’s head shots were one of my very first blog posts.  Marci’s book, The Duchess of Richmond, will be published by Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin’s Press in early 2014.  And what do a debut author and her photographer friend do to celebrate said debut author’s book deal?!  They shoot more head shots, of course!

I am so thrilled and proud of my talented friend.  (And I’m excited for me, too, because my photograph will be in a book!)

Congratulations again, Marci!  2014 can’t come fast enough!!

NYC | Creative Live

I’m excited to finally share some of my NYC adventure!  It’s been a bit hectic around here since I’ve been home and it feels surreal to look back at my photographs, especially since so much has happened in New York since I was there.  I hope you’re not looking for great photos of the actual city — most of mine are iPhone pics.  Shame on me, I  know.  Here’s my best city pic taken from Chelsea Piers.

When it comes to recounting stories, I usually go with the long version, so if you read this entire post, I will love you forever.

Nick took me to the airport on Sunday morning (10/21) and the kids joined him for the big send-off!  I had been so stressed about preparing things here at home and making sure I had liquids that were less than 3 oz. (and why don’t I ever have a quart sized bag?!) that I forgot saying goodbye to my sweeties was going to be heart-wrenching.  There is no more of the out-of-sight-out-of-mind comfort that you have when they’re babies.  I held it together pretty well during the ride to the airport, changing every dang country song that came on the radio, because darn it, Hootie, I won’t let you make me cry again.  That is until we pulled up to “Departures” and after my husband put the van in park, I suddenly felt two arms hug me from behind and the familiar shaking-sob of my daughter.  And then I just had to join in.

After saying goodbye and having a good cry in the airport restroom, I went to the security screening, did the whole rigamarole that I can never seem to get right (did you remove your belt? Is that your cell phone in your pocket?  No, you need to put that in a separate bin… ) and headed to my gate.  The bird flying around the terminal was a nice distraction.  No more sitting there being sad, posting pictures of my kids to Instagram.  All I could do was sit there and think, “I need to wear these pants on Wednesday too!  That bird had better not poop on them.”  Luckily, the bird was kind.  Unfortunately, the subway later that day was not, but I’ll get to that.

My first evening in New York was all kinds of fun because I got to meet up with my friend Jessica, who I ‘ve been friends with since we met our first day as freshmen at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.  She now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn and this was my second time visiting her in New York.  We did a whirlwind, Instagramed tour of NY on our way to a delicious dinner.  Did you know that ramen noodles were not just in those crunchy little packages?  I had NO idea!  Momofuko was ridiculously yummy and then we even went to their Milk Bar and had dessert.

Between all of the eating, there was A LOT of talking.  Jess is the kind of friend that you can pick up right where you left off the last time you were together.  It was sad to say goodbye at the station and head in opposite directions.  Although, I will admit, I felt pretty cool waving goodbye to my friend across the platform and getting on the subway all by myself.  And that is when I sat in the mystery liquid on the subway seat.  Ew, yuck.  Welcome to New York, Big City Girl.

Monday was the first day of the Creative LIVE class with Lara Jade, and oh my gosh, I did more things that scared me that day before 9:30 am than I usually do in a whole week — it was exhilarating, but a little bit terrifying.  Her Fashion Photography 101 class was from 9-5 for 3 days.  As much as I’m babbling about my trip, I will try to sum up 3 days of learning as best I can.

Creative LIVE provides courses to photographers and other creatives through an online classroom.  You can watch live during the broadcast or purchase a digital copy of the course.  I have watched a lot of cL classes and it was so much fun to be a part of one.  During each class they have a live audience of students (this time it was me, Christina, Yin, & Chloe) to ask questions, and those watching online also ask questions through Facebook, Twitter, and the cL website.  It is an amazing resource that’s getting a lot of recognition.  It is even up for an award (go and vote here)!  The hosts for the NY class (it is usually shot in Seattle) were Kenna Klosterman and Russ Andes, who were, not surprisingly, as nice in person as they seem on the internet (if not more).

And Lara?  Oh my, she was lovely.  So unbelievably sweet and willing to share her knowledge.  It was such a thrill to meet her, watch her work, and learn all about fashion photography from her.

Lara told us how she started in photography, from doing self-portraits at 14, to moving to London and finding an agent, to traveling worldwide and having major clients.  She went over the different elements of fashion photography and stressed the importance of continuing to do personal work and constantly looking for inspiration.

She walked us through how she does a photo shoot and then allowed us, the students, to shoot along with her.

After the first day’s class a lot of the crew met up for dinner and drinks.  I didn’t know until I arrived at the Creative LIVE studio that there were a lot of photography events going on in NYC that week and so there were a lot of photographers in town.  So in addition to Lara, the cL team, and fellow students, I got to meet a whole bunch of other really amazing people.

Lara had an amazing team of artists who helped with the shoot, providing make-up, hair, props, clothing & accessories.  They also shared their insight on how to put together your own style team to create fashion and editorial shoots, even on a small budget.

Another extra-special part of my trip was a dinner with my dear friend from middle and high school, Kelly.  She and her husband moved to NY last year and it was so wonderful to see her.  I think we did a pretty good job of squeezing 15 years of catch-up into a very short 2 hours.

Three days of fashion photography was amazing.  On day #3 Lara showed us her retouching techniques and how she processes her photographs, plus a ton more.

I was sad to leave all the fun right after the class ended on Wednesday, but I was excited to be home when my kids got up the next morning. It almost didn’t happen because of a delayed flight in NY and missing the last flight to Fort Wayne, but 2 other stranded passengers at O’Hare were heading my way and I caught a ride with my new BFFs, Keith and Trudy.  I felt a little like Kate McCallister, minus the polka band in a U-Haul, trying to get home.

If you’re still reading this, thanks for indulging me.  I haven’t taken the time to sit and reflect on my time in New York.  I’m so grateful for the knowledge I gained and friendships I made, and am super excited to see where my new goals and new passion for photography take me this next year, which sounds like a good topic for a different blog post.  It’s time to wrap this one up!