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Here are some images of me enduring a little photo shoot. I needed a new headshot, and just started to ham it up for the camera.  If you can’t tell, I love color!

As a mother of 4, I want to capture my children at each stage.  I wish I could bottle them up and hold them there forever, and with my camera…I can!  I never have to fully let go of the joy and wonder of childhood.  My goal with this blog is to Capture my joy, and share it with you in hopes that you will see more joy in your life.  Photography has always been a passion of mine.  Growing up, my camera was never very far away.  Back in the day, I learned how to develop film in the darkroom, but now my computer is my darkroom. Besides teaching beginner momma’s how to use their fancy cameras with my books, workshops, & mentoring, I like to create beauty in my home, and share my favorite recipes.

My BIGGEST joy is my family…

I do hold a small number of portrait sessions each season. I completely understand the desire to have that perfect (smiling/looking at the camera) family portrait, but I also think it is important to capture the intimate moments as families interact with each other.  It is in those moments, the side that most people don’t get to see of themselves,  that we truly get a glimpse of our family as they really are.   I make sure I do both.  My goal is to tell a story with your portrait session.
Here is my blogging history:
I started my blog quite a while ago as a portrait photographer just sharing sneak peeks to my clients of their photo sessions. About 3 years ago I was introduced to the DIY world, and I began sharing weekly photo tips on The Idea Room, then I became hooked on inspiration DIY blogging!

One of my first DIY blog posts in June 2010 that really got attention was Decorating with Portraits~My first mod podge project.

It still gets lots of traffic thanks to pinterest! In that post I shared tips on creating a square picture image in photoshop, as well as how I painted and mod podged on wood. A few months after that, I started a Decorating with Pictures series where I invited a bunch of my favorite bloggers to share how they decorate their home with pictures. It is a passion of mine to encourage others to get images OFF of their computer and onto the walls of their homes. I feel strongly that our children a)build their self esteem seeing pictures of themselves around and b)builds family unity that we are a TEAM and work together. Here are two of my favorite DIY picture spots in my home:

Decorating with pictures

I Repurposed this giant frame and then used Vintage Windows as a Picture Frame. I’ve now held the Decorating with Pictures series 3 times and have over 100 posts with creative bloggers sharing how they decorate their homes with pictures. I am also very passionate about moms getting out from behind the camera and getting in pictures with their kids. Don’t have them reach adulthood and wonder if you were ever present because they don’t actually SEE you in activities with them. Take a picture with them at least once a week, and I call it Capture the Joy. If you do, hashtag #capturethejoy on Instagram or Twitter to play along with my readers!

On my site you’ll also find only my most favorite recipes from main dishes to desserts.


A few of my faves are the Honey Curry Chicken Dinner and the Strawberry Cream Cake.

I also like to share home projects, and currently I’ve got a personal goal of completing and sharing one room a month this year. The complete Home tour. A little sampling is my Girls Fancy bedroom Makeover, and my Boys Room Reveal. (I’ve now got my master, kitchen, and family room, too. Click on HOME TOUR)

Room Reveals

I also like to plan fun parties for my kids and friends, among them is the Soccer Party for the boys and Lalaloopsey Party for the girls:


I also like to share a little of my fashion style in an occasional What I Wore Wednesday post: style files

My travel tips, a few favorites are Walt Disney World and Alaska:


Did I mention my DIY home projects? Well, I like to dream and my husband likes to build, so together we’ve created a few fun projects for our home! Among them are a tin foil table and our Sliding Barn Door TV cover.

diy projects

I also journal my life with stories in a section I call, Life As I know it, where I am sharing my crazy LOVE STORY one chapter at a time, I chronicle my weight loss, address triumphing after gossip and hurt, and share my thoughts on life in a section called Kristen’s rambings with printables sprinkled in.

I have to remind myself to go back to my roots in sharing photography tips. I LOVE sharing photography, but I love so much more, too! A few favorites are How to shoot a silhouette and What to wear in Family Portraits.


In addition to photo tips, I have a little e-book (that can also be purchased as a printed copy) called Say NO to Auto for beginners wanting to learn how to use their fancy cameras. It is a short and simple book teaching the 3 basic steps, so as not to overwhelm the reader with too much! After the first book is mastered, I encourage my Intermediate level book called Get Focused with 12 tips and techniques on taking sharper images.

Say NO to Auto

I sized the books to fit perfectly into camera bags for easy reference when out photographing!

If you want to see what my readers love, you can see some of what they have pinned from my site as well.

Whew! I have a slight problem with over sharing. My husband shakes his head at me all the time. Now you know ALL about me, leave a comment every once in a while and tell me about you! I love to hear from my readers, it’s part of what makes this blog sharing so fun!

Other random tidbits about me:

  • My middle name is Joy
  • slightly addicted to having our family portraits done
  • I was born in Texas, but spent most of my childhood in New Orleans before moving back to TX for high school
  • I was on the drill team for 3 years in high school and STILL love to dance around the house (I also clogged in college)
  • I love to meet new people, and my hubby jokes that I get my 20 ?s in the first 5 minutes
  • I was raised with 3 brothers whom I adore, and have a sister in heaven I can’t wait to meet someday
  • I received my Bachelors Degree in Child Development at Brigham Young University
  • I love gourmet cupcakes (with cream cheese frosting), chewy brownies, and chocolate covered cashews
  • I married a California man and somehow convinced him to come to Texas to raise our family
  • I rode a camel through the pyraminds in Egypt in college
  • I like to sing loudly to the radio
  • I LOVE LOVE when my kids come to cuddle with me, everything else disappears
  • My hubby and I went to the Tour de France (he is an avid cyclist and lived there before we married)
  • My girlfriends are my sisters, I can’t have too many (click here to view a session with 2 of my best-ies)
  • I love to accesorize–headbands, bracelets, necklaces
  • I love to listen to my children chat with their friends in a carpool

I hope you will say hello, and tell me a bit about yourself!