Newsletter HTML

Breathtaking Photography offers on-location, natural light photography in Alton, Illinois and the surrounding St. Louis Metro area. Offering birth photography and portraiture.

Photography that will literally take your breath away.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Back to the Business of Birth | St Louis Birth Photographer

I've noticed over the years, we photographers often have a path that led us into the art of still photography. It's not something you just fall into and take up because it's there. It takes an innate love and skill set that is almost inborn. From portraits to still life to photojournalism, we all have the passion that drives us to keep pressing that shutter button and capturing the things we see around us.

For this girl, it was birth.


While I offer portraiture and love it very much, at my heart I am a photojournalist. I want to be the fly on the wall capturing the action in front of me. Shots like the one above? I don't just love to capture them. I live for it.


Birth photography has always been around as long as cameras have been at births. But the business of capturing birth on film/camera for a client was just starting to pick up steam in 2005 when my passion for birth itself was in its infancy. I was pregnant with my third child, planning a home birth, and finding stunningly beautiful images of birth on the Internet. It captured my interest immediately.


In 2004-2005, as I was nurturing the babe growing in my belly, I was also nurturing the love of the art of birth photography. I wanted this to be my life, my career. I absolutely loved and was fascinated by birth. I already enjoyed the art of photography. In 2006, I was given permission to shoot my first birth. The ONLY one I've ever missed. My clients called too late and I was unable to make the 40 minute drive to the birth center fast enough to shoot the actual birth. But what I learned was irreplaceable.


I had never had work that I was so passionate about. To this day, nearly 6 years later, I have yet to find anything that grips me with the same excitement, the same joy, the same vitality that birth photography brings to me.


My sadness in December 2010 at shooting what I knew would be my last birth for quite some time was a little overwhelming. Yes, I was still offering portraiture and my photography business has continued to grow and thrive, but my status as single mom meant that the unpredictable nature of birth was off the table. Possibly for a very long time. I was nearly distraught.


My fiance, Jay, says that my face lights up when I talk about birth photography. It's what most animates me.


And why wouldn't you love it? The long nights, the weeks of living on call- ready to drop everything and go at a moment's notice, the sleeping with one hand on your cell phone (and obsessively checking your phone when a Mama has started laboring), the foggy mornings of editing last night's images.....

It's a calling. It's a passion. It's my life. Other than Jay and my children there is literally nothing I love more.




And now, it's back in my life.

Breathtaking happily introduces birth photography back into it's menu of choices, beginning with due dates in late February 2012. I'm just absolutely delighted to begin this work that so fills me with joy and allows me to give my clients a glimpse into their births that they would not otherwise have.

I shoot at home, at birth center, and at hospitals around the St. Louis Metropolitan area and into Illinois. I work equally as well at c-sections as I do at home births, with obstetricians as well as with midwives.

I will accept 4 births per month and offer a fantastic Belly+Birth+Baby package at a discount for the complete boutique photography experience.

You may reach me at 636-328-5120 or at

I am honored and humbled at my ability to serve women and give the gift of memories treasured for a lifetime.

Much love,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Baby Planner Cami | Alton Illinois Baby Photographer

Long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I went to high school with a pretty lady named Amy. All these years later she's given birth to three beautiful daughters. The last of whom is the subject of this humble blog post. Baby Camryn is so much like her mother in looks and expression I crack up every time I see this image:


That's TOTALLY an "Amy" look right there. A cocked eyebrow that denotes her incredulity at the world. "Really? You're going to get me all dressed up and drag me outside and take my photo? What ARE you thinking!?"

Yes, yes I am kid. And you're gonna LIKE it.


No? Not yet? Let's try it again....


Hmmmmm... I know. We'll get big sister Taylor in on the action. That should do the trick.


Yeah, that's what I thought. *grin*


I'll see you, Ms. Thang, in a few. We're gonna have loads more fun together, you and I. Mama has you booked every three months this coming year. **wink**

Your Favorite Photographer

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bad, BAD Blogger! | Metro East St Louis Photographer

I'm a terrible blogger! Or rather, I've been so busy establishing our lives here in Alton, Illinois, resuming a business I thought I was going to have to let go, and meeting/moving in with the man of my dreams that I got completely sidetracked.


Breathtaking is back in a BIG way!

Check it out peeps.... a little lookie-loo at all the session I haven't blogged since May!


Love my job, love my clients, love my life. I'm excited and practically bursting with new ideas for the biz and I can't wait to share with you all! :)


Small Business Saturday!


I love the idea of Small Business Saturday! And to help promote this fantastic concept- I'm offering one HECK of a deal today.

Purchase a gift certificate for a full digital session today for HALF off!

That's a steep discount on 2011 prices AND you or your loved one may schedule your session anytime in 2012! Gift certificates are good for 12 months from date of purchase.

And really, is there a better gift than the one of photography? Your family, your children, your home.... YOU. I want to capture the silly, the smiles, the giggles, the love that y'all have for each other and present it to you to treasure for a lifetime. That's a holiday gift ANYONE would love to get- don't you think?

Contact me before 10pm tonight to get this fantastic discount. This sale only happens ONCE per year and prices will be going up in 2012. You may reach me at 636-328-5120 today or via email at! Happy shopping!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sweet Baby Jane | Godfrey Baby Photographer

What's better than dressing up a baby girl in pearls and lace and washing her in the golden sunshine for a photo session? Um.... nothing? I can't think of anything, either...


Except maaaaaybe sticking her cute little self in an antique washtub...


That's some serious YUM right there. You know, that washtub came with vintage DIRT, too. ;)

Til next time...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Love This Family | Alton, Illinois Family Photography

I almost always blog the same day I shoot. Why? Because I can't stand it. I'm usually so giddy over my images that I HAVE to get home, download, and edit sneaks. It's just how I've always done it.

But this family... this family took some time. Because I just couldn't come up with a good enough description for them. I've completely fallen in love with them all. And photogenic doesn't even begin to cover it.

You might recognize Casey and her clan from my past posts about Relish Designs. We're neighbors, we're close friends, we'll some day be business partners I've no doubt. In short, I adore her/them. We met in Downtown Alton for a walk along antique row and had a freaking blast. You can't help but have fun when you're with them. Enjoy the hilarity. We sure did. ;)



Yes, I know the formatting is off! Pppppttttffffftttt!!!! I will be switching the Breathtaking Blog to Wordpress soonsoonsoon. In the mean time, I've LOVING these new storyboards.

Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Mother's Day | Alton Family Photographer

You know what I love about my mother?

Her chocolate brown eyes. The sound of her voice. The way her eyes crinkle when she smiles. The way she always can tell when I'm upset when I'm faking it for the rest of the world. And our relationship is complicated, to be sure. But I love her with my whole, entire being. And now that I have my own Six Pack I understand her so much better. I know now that mothers are just human beings- doing the very best they can to take care of and raise other human beings. We aren't perfect, we have many, many (many) flaws, and we fail... sometimes several times a day. But we love our children. Deeply. Fiercely. With a passion that takes our breath and raises the hair on our arms.

You know something else about mothers? We tend to lurk in the background. And for most purposes I'm just fine with that and in fact, do a fair amount myself of the backstage deck hand stuff. But when it comes to documenting your life with your children... I'm just not okay with that. Because someday you'll be gone. This is a fact of life we all must face.

Someday we won't be here.

All they will have left are the sweet memories in their head.

And the photographs.

So today I'm announcing a little giveaway over on the Breathtaking Facebook page. I don't care if you're overweight. I don't care if you don't like your hair. I don't care if you think "I take TERRIBLE pictures" (don't worry, I know how to make ya look GOOD!). Your kids don't care either. Someday they will open those old photo albums and point to your image and say "This was my mother and I loved her with all my heart". And they won't give a damn about anything other than your smile.

Yes, I may have little tears in my eyes. I'm such a sap.

So, go click "like" on Facebook here and tell me why the "mother" in your life needs a FREE session with me. It can be your sister, your wife, your best friend... or your mother. All that is required of her is that she be IN the images (you may NOT use this to shoot your kids or your newborn alone... you MUST be in them).

Here's what you need to do:

Upload an image of your nominee on the wall at Breathtaking's Facebook Page here. Then rally your friends and family to go and click "like" under the image. Comments of love are welcome and encouraged but only the "likes" count as votes. At 9am on Mother's Day, THIS Sunday, I will post the winner.

The fine print: This contest is open to anyone in the US but you must cover travel expenses if you're outside the St. Louis Metro Area or Dallas Metroplex. Dallas clients will be limited to certain shoot dates/times. Tell me a your nominees name and why she should win. At 9am on Sunday, May 9th (Mother's Day) I'll count the number of "likes" under each image and announce the winner! And I bet there will be a special little treat for ALL the nominees, too. ;)

So go like me! And then post about the woman in your life who needs to have her picture taken!!!! :)


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Little Miss I'm Not Having It | Children's Photography Alton Illinois

Oh, I've seen some toddlers throw some fits in my time. It's par for the course when working with babies and toddlers is your job AND you've got three under school age at home, too. So when Miss Keira showed up at her session last night with her "No pictures, please" attitude going on she didn't know that she'd met her match. Yet. ;)

Big brother Ben was AWESOME and Mama Kate brought her A-game. Together, we managed to talk Keira into a good mood and subsequently the sky opened up and gave us just a glimmer of beautiful evening sunlight. Thanks to all involved (mother nature included!) for these gorgeous images!

We shot in downtown Alton and my my my, I think I've found my new favorite location! Check it out:





Yummy light and some really fun locations down there!


Then we moved on down the road to a little park near my house. Ever heard of Haskell Park? It looks a little something like this:





Oh, she's a funny, funny baby!


Thanks Katie, it was WONDERFUL to see you and I adore your babies. What a freaking awesome job I have!


Saturday, April 30, 2011

15 years later.... | Alton, Illinois Family Photographer

What happens when you take this cute couple:


And add on 15 years of love? You get this, of course:






That's FIVE amazing, funny, lovable children and ONE happy marriage. It's a beautiful thing. :)



I loved seeing them all interact with each other. They have a lot of fun together.




That kiss we had to work for. 11 year olds are WAY too cool for kisses from Mom. ;)

Not too cool for THIS though:


And on that note, I'm getting ready for my second session of the day. Sneaks coming tomorrow! LOVE being busy again. :)

Lots of love!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Relish the Moments | Alton, Wood River, Edwardsville, Jerseyville Children's Photographer

Casey of Relish Designs and I got together again this morning for a second modeling shoot. You can see the first one here. I'm always delighted to showcase her work and my children continue to put up with us forcing them into adorable clothing and running them around in gorgeous park settings while in no way allowing them to play on the playground equipment! Poor Nolan and Noah joined us this time and both got completely ripped off as far as playtime goes. Just as we finished, one of my twins fell and gashed the back of his head open. Head wounds bleed. A lot. He's okay but that was the end of our fun. No pictures of the carnage though. LOL

As usual we paired my Hannah and Casey's daughter Reece. I love the way their completely different colorings set off against each other (and Casey did an AMAZING job pairing their clothing for this shoot!)Reece is as fair and delicate as they come with her wide blue eyes and pale golden ringlets. Set against my daughter's flashy copper hair and cat-like topaz eyes they make quite the stunning pair. Or at least, we think so... though we might be slightly biased. ;)


The girls have really become best friends. A relationship I encourage both because I love Reece's Mama so much and because Reece is the sweetest, most well behaved child I've ever met. She was born grown, as Casey likes to say.


Isn't that yummy? The light was NOT perfect today but when I snapped that image something magical happened! Another of her beautiful sapphire eyes


The bestie, looking annoyed with Mom and stunning even with crazy, wind whipped hair


She was not amused with me today... ;) That dress is a new design of Casey's that she made specifically for Hannah (I get paid for these modeling sessions in clothing!!!). It's called, of course, the "Hannah"!

This is Nolan:


He is Reece's little brother and man is he a sweetheart. I nearly grounded my children for being mean to him last night. Don't be mean to my little Nolan. *growl*



Notice the bow tie? Casey MAKES those. And she makes regular ties, too. Noah doesn't want to give it back:



I swear we keep modeling sessions fun and enjoyable for all involved. No children were bored in the making of this blog post...


Love the designs you see here? In addition to sewing both dresses and making the ties, Casey put together the entire cast of outfits you see. Everything from the hats to the shoes to the coordination across the outfits was created by Casey (you should see her beautifully decorated HOUSE!) Check her out on Etsy Facebook or at her Blog. And tell her Breathtaking sent you! I promise you will NOT be disappointed in your purchases!