cincinnati mermaid

Be Your Own Princess!

Ok, lets chat about something really quick.

Growing up, we all at one point or another were introduced to the Disney Princesses. Those sweet caring little delicate creatures who somehow always wound up in some kind of danger and needed to be saved.  Some of us, I'm sure, owned dresses that looked like their favorite princess or your children do currently.  Regardless, we all had a favorite princess who we admired and wanted to be like her. 

(In case you were wondering, mine is Jasmin. She was pretty badass for a Disney princesses if you think about it. She didn't just sit around and wait to be saved. She took several hits for the team. She even had to deal with Jafar who was a super creep and basically had to seduce him to save Aladdin's butt. Pretty badass in my book) 

Jafar is a creepy McCreeperson!

Jafar is a creepy McCreeperson!

... Back on topic :) 

I however have personally always had an issue with the idea of wanting to be like one of the princesses.  I loved the movies for what they were and don't get me wrong, its ultra adorable when little's are running around in their princess dresses but I always want to pull them aside and ask " Ok, but if you could create your own princess, what would she look like?" 

Actually, knowing me I'd ask way more than that. I would want a full detailed description like, What is her favorite color? How long is her hair? What does her ballgown look like? Does she even wear a ballgown? Is she a modern princess who listens to punk and rides a dirt bike vs. kissing frogs to find her prince?  Is she an astronaut from another planet? ... My question list could go on forever.

Chances are she would have one amazing answer that would top any Disney princesses theme. Perhaps its the part of me that is always striving for uniqueness and originality but I always want children to run with their own ideas and not get boxed into someone else's description of something.

With this being said, I've put together a character building sheet to do with your own children (or yourself, because it's fun and really gets your creativity going.) Once you get it all filled out share your answers with me either here on the blog post or send it to me in a message.  I may or may not be planning a big surprise for the person who has the most well thought out princess. 

So print that bad boy out and get to working on the ultimate princess description. I can't wait to see them! 


A Cake Smash Alternative You NEED To See!

We have all by now seen and love a good cake smash session for a one year old's birthday photos. It's adorable and such a fun thing to watch as it's happening. I mean babies covered in cake with huge smiles on their faces as they claw their way through it! Win win! Well till you have to clean them up I guess but that is a different story

A while ago an article surfaced about a little girl who used Tacos as alternative to cake for her photos and I absolutely loved it. When things like this pop up online, I always hope that someone will ask me to do a session like it, but you know... with my own personal ideas for it. 

Well, i got my wish on this one!

A friend contacted me to start planning out her daughters 1 year photos for a classic session with a twist.  She had seen one of the very first Taco smashes that came to lite online early this year and wanted to do one for daughter too along with some more traditional styled images. I of course was on board and we began to plan out the look of the set.

We opted for not a lot of distractions when it came to decoration for the first backdrop we kept it simple to match the colors of the clothing and some banners in the back  for added flair. For the Taco Smash we decided to go with a Fiesta banner and a sombrero Pinata that way we could keep the focus more so on Bri, her daughter. 

When doing Classic Sessions like this I don't like to photograph EVERYTHING on one backdrop or in the same location even so we opted to photograph 2 outfits inside and the 3rd we would take a quick drive over to the park. If you know me, you know I'm more of an outside natural light photographer anyway, so I'm always happy to take a trip to the park.

When the day came the weather was perfect and Bri was such a good little model. 

And lastly, the TACO SMASH!  

Unlike a cake smash it was not as messy and the cleanup for something like this was quite a bit easier. Also, oddly enough she was very clean about it and was picking up the little pieces and eating them first until we showed her i was ok to make a mess with it. All in all it was such a fun session and I can't wait to do another one like it. 

Hooray for tacos! 

Have you ever done a cake smash? Would you have rather done a Taco smash or something else along those lines? Let me know what you think in the comments below! 

If you're interested in booking your own Smash send me a message or visit me on the Book A Session Tab. 

The Best Way To spend 2 Days in Orlando.

As a kid I was ALL about Nickelodeon.  I would stay up way late watching Snick and anything on it like are you afraid of the dark , All That and Double Dare. I was a DIE HARD Nick fan.  Basically what I'm trying to say is I was not a huge Disney fan. I had my favorite movies of course like Aladdin (I'd watch that on repeat and knew every word to the soundtrack)  and Beauty and the Beast but I was no where near the person who was head over heels for the vast majority for Disney.  

I know.. unpopular opinion but 90's nick is where it was at for me!

But to be honest in the back of my mind I always wanted to go to Disney World. The magic behind what they were creating always seamed to catch my attention and as a teen when I was watching things like Lizzy Mcguire and all the tween shows and movies like Halloween Town and Smart House ( because yes, I was SUPER into those). But needless to say, I never went to Disney as a kid but it was always something in the back of my mind that I wanted to do eventually. 

Well it may have taken 28 years but guess what..


If you recall a while back, I had said I wanted to make traveling a part of my normal life and I started to make moves towards that. Within the past 6 months I've been to Albuquerque, Vegas and Nashville and you bet when I got the opportunity to join my friend Sue from  From west to Midwest, I was compleatly on board! 

We started our trip out by having a great lunch at Phans, where I had my very first Pho dish and some AMAZING Ribs that you should definitely stop in and try if your in the area.  If you know me at all you know I'm NOT an adventurous eater and I stick to some main dishes but you guys I'm trying to step out of my little box of pizza and various Italian foods. 

After doing a small amount of exploring and seeing some lovely things in Orland we were off to our next stop at  Canvas Restaurant & Market.  I was so impressed with how gorgeous this place was. It sits off a lake and provides the most BEAUTIFUL Sunset views to enjoy while you're eating dinner.  

Sue  looking fab! 

Sue looking fab! 

And as you all may know.. I'm such a sucker for a sunset, so I was EXTRA excited about this view.

The next day was the big day.. DISNEY DAY!

The minute I saw Cinderella's Castle my childhood dream got checked off the list and I'll admit there was a moment that I was so excited about being there and seeing everything that I may have cried a tear of joy.  (dorky.. I know. I don't care.)

I didn't actually take that many photos while I was there oddly because there was SO MUCH to capture. I think I was just a little overwhelmed with it all.  I think my favorite part of being there was how themed things really are and I miss that aspect in amusement parks around Cincinnati that used to be theme parks... Kings Island, I'm talking to you....

We road several of the rides, mostly the ones with 45 minutes to an hour wait times. I was so impressed with the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the Haunted Mansion ride especially the animatronic aspects  or Heliographic ones, they looked SO REAL! I actually questioned if they were real people a couple times.

When it came time to call it a day at Disney we headed over to Planet Hollywood Observatory and had an amazing dinner and quite possibly the most EPIC milkshake I've ever had in my life.   The restaurant itself was pretty cool with memorabilia and costumes from movies throughout time displayed in little cases throughout the building.  It was kind of cool knowing that they were actually used in the movies themselves.   The building was really cool too, they had a DJ at the bottom floor who would interact with tables throughout their visit, while playing music videos on the observatory wall. At one point he played Frozen's "Let it go" and the whole place started singing the song. 

I posted on Facebook that I was about to make some terrible food choices that night but you know, terrible in a good way and I so did.  I had a burger with Mac and cheese, bacon and onion straws on it  and some amazing seasoned fries.  I also had, as stated above THE MOST EPIC MILKSHAKE EVER. They had 2 different ones to choose from and it was a hard choice but i went with the strawberry one with cake on top. It was so good and not hard to eat like I kind of thought it may be. Pro tip... you have to take it apart to make it work, thats why they give you an extra plate ;). 

So all in all my short trip to Orlando was perfect and just what I needed. I've actually already started planning out some future trips to California, Utah and Florida again. I'll be bringing my Mermaid Crown workshops to those locations.  Also, if you're in those areas and want to book a shoot with me while I'm there send me a message! I'll be sure to let you know the dates as well as add them to my Events calander. 

Have a place you think I should visit next? Let me know in the comments! 

P.s. I'm coming back for you Universal... I'm coming back!