Pack o'Lions Playin' It Cool

Tonight, we tried to take our family photos. As usual, it was chaos. For your viewing pleasure, I've culled only a handful of the goofiest pictures. No captions necessary.

Note: To see high res versions of the images, double click on the first photo and a gallery will appear for you to flip through. 


The Shown Family Session

I think the most stressful thing for parents to attempt to do is get family portraits when they have young children. It can be very stressful and chaotic. But, parents, if you're reading this...just sit back and enjoy as much of it as you can. If you get a good photographer, they will direct the chaos and poses and excitement and find you a bit of magic.

These portraits of the Shown family are pretty magical, if I do say so myself.

Yes. Yes, I know. I did just toot my own horn.

 Note: To view the high res images, double click on the first image and a gallery will pop up to scroll through.






Star Gazing With Lucy

Tonight, we went outside to light our freshly carved pumpkins (Teddy’s was not so “fresh” since his was rotten on the inside). Lucy, my little light bringer, looked up and noticed the night sky was clear and full of stars. “I want to stay out here and watch the stars, mommy,” she told me. I said no…that it was a little chilly…and we needed to get ready for bed. Lucy didn’t listen so well, because she rushed inside, grabbed a flannel blanket and went back to set on the front steps and stare up at the sky.

It took me less than five minutes before I decided that brother and sister were content inside and that I could be making a memory with Lucy. I grabbed my own blanket and went outside, encouraging her to come lay down in the grass with me. We lay side-by-side in the front yard, right where passing cars could see. Didn’t matter…

Lucy chatted non-stop, pointing out constellations that I couldn’t see. We marveled at how more stars came out in the night sky as our eyes focused and adjusted. Suddenly, it wasn’t only a handful of bright lights tossed into the sky. We could now see thousands of less bright, but sparkling none-the-less stars everywhere—a beautiful twinkling dome in the sky sheltering us.

I wondered how many people were pausing to look into the sky tonight. Did everyone else notice the clear sky…or the way the sky isn’t actually black, as Lucy pointed out? “It’s a dark blue,” she explained. “It has a touch of black in it, but it isn’t black like everyone paints it.”

“The sky looks like a mirror that is a little foggy,” I said. “Like…if we could wipe it with a cloth, the stars would shine brighter and we could see thousands more.”

“Yeah…” Lucy breathed. "Do you see the big dipper?"

I did not.
If you just looked…and looked…and looked at just one single star in the sky, it wasn’t simply white anymore; there were little pops of color like blue and red that flickered far,  far away.

After a while, Roger pulled in the driveway from work and came to lay down beside us. He pointed out the splash of light color that ran diagonally across the sky. “See the milky way,” he asked.

It might seem silly, but I couldn’t get over how very small I felt in my little town, laying in my front lawn beside my husband and my daughter. I felt like I was laying on a table, and if someone tipped it over, I could plummet out into the vast darkness and float away with the stars. There is so much more to life here. There is an entire solar system--a beautiful and dazzling galaxy that we are simply lucky to be part of. And there is a purpose in all of it. None of it is mysterious or surprising to the One who breathed it all to life.

In that moment, I wasn’t as small as I felt. Because somewhere out there…or maybe, actually, right there beside me, was a Father—a Creator—The Maker who knew my name and loved me without bounds and with depth unimaginable.

As Lucy prattled on and on…

I felt very much cradled and protected under that dome of endless night and light…and space without boundaries.

"I could look at the night sky forever, mommy."

Me too, baby girl.

Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.”  ~Isaiah 40:26


The Flight of Love :: Dax and Jaki

 Dax and Jaki are some of the sweetest people Roger and I know.  When Jaki asked me about shooting some portraits for them, I was stoked. They're newlyweds, but ooze maturity and deep--old love. Still, though, I had to direct the romance that I wanted to capture on the camera. It's just the way it is. Very few folks are comfortable snuggling and kissing their partner while a strange Gia watches and takes pictures. To add pressure to the scene, I'm pretty critical of the "on screen" kisses. I make sure that people kiss with their eyes shut to avoid the creeper aspect. But as Dax kissed Jaki, I WAS THE ONE THAT WENT ALL CREEPER.

"You guys have a super passionate kiss!" I suddenly say.

Then my cheeks flame with heat. What the heck, Gia? Why would you say that?!

So I pick up my shovel and start to dig my way out of the awkward mess. "I mean...sometimes I'm shooting engagements or weddings and the kiss is pretty lame. But not you guys!"

That's not actually that much better...


But Jaki politely relieves me from my awkward banter by explaining that perhaps they have that kiss because it is so special to them. You see, their first kiss came the day of their wedding. In fact, is was Jaki's first kiss ever.

My eyes just about roll out of my head. How had I not known this?! I was at their wedding! I mean, for goodness sakes! If I had known this bit of information, I would have been hooting and cheering and cat calling for daaaaaaayyys.

And that's probably why they didn't tell anyone.

I cleared my throat and shook my head and told them to bring their temples together and smile. I went back to shooting, silently lecturing myself on talking too much during photo session. 

And now, you, my friends, may enjoy these beautiful portraits of some of the sweetest human beings I know.