Chris + Helen + Emily + Charlotte ~ Alameda, California


I have met so many families since I moved to Alameda that have kids exactly my kids ages.  And when I say exactly, their baby is a month older then mine and their 3 year old I think is just a couple days different.  That being said, we definitely need to get our kids together!  I have a feeling Sebastian and Emily would make fast friends!  They are both super sweet, silly and social!  


Hi there sweet baby girl!





When they got out of their car the first thing I noticed was Emily’s duck dress.  Can I have a girl just so I can dress her in a duck dress?  This may be the cutest dress ever!

Alameda has the absolute best views of San Fransisco.  These next few were taken right next to my husbands work.



Andrew + Erin ~ Baker Beach, California


 

Andrew and Erin got married this year back home in Kansas City.  Usually couples don’t have a session a few months after their wedding, but they wanted some photos from where they live.  The newlyweds choose the most iconic place in San Francisco to take their photos, Baker beach.  This was my first time on Baker beach and even though it was a bit of a hike from Alameda…I would go back without hesitation!  Baker beach has such a cool view of the Golden Gate Bridge!  While we were waiting for the sun to go down a little we found some shade on the old Army base with some cool backdrops.




Erin, you have the most gorgeous smile and Andrew has some pretty epic dimples!  And they are the cutest together?!


As with all the views in San Francisco, I don’t think this would ever get old!



Matt + Rachael + Sebastian + Sawyer ~ Alameda, California


Since I have moved to Cali, I have been fortunate to meet two other photographers to trade photos with.  The first time I left the boys at home and met this husband and wife photographer team to take photos of each other.  This last time I met a fellow photographer who has two daughters closet to the same ages as my boys.  We had so much fun meeting and trading sessions and now need to get our kids together for a play date!  You can see their sweet session here.

So I was way more nervous for getting my family photos taken then I ever am shooting photos.  There is so much pressure to get everything together and everyone ready and then not knowing how the kids would behave.  Luckily everything went super smooth, Sebastian had a great time, Matt even seemed to enjoy himself and Sawyer didn’t cry…much (that’s a win).

My two sweet, crazy, rambunctious boys.  My heart swells just looking at these photos of them.

Sebastian has always been my super handsome, smiley boy!

The sweetest face ever!

Sawyer thinks Sebastian is pretty much the coolest person alive. 

This boy is my complete mini me…in looks and personality.  
  

Sebastian has always been daddy’s boy.  It’s safe to say he is pretty much obsessed with Matt.  Love this sweet photo of the two of them.

My little chunky monkey.

Like I said, Sawyer not crying = a win.

I love walking family photo shots!  

That chubby little hand with dimples is my favorite.   

Ryan + Caroline + Kennedy + Everly ~ Walnut Creek, California


I met Caroline on a photog Facebook group when we discovered we both lived in the East Bay.  She is also a family portrait photographer and has two kids about the same ages as mine.  Perfect, right?!?  We swapped sessions (I’ll be posting mine soon).  Her girls were so sweet and I may just have to live vicariously though them…I mean, just look at their sweet tulle skirt and sequined tops!  Caroline, I can’t wait to get our kids together and so glad we found each other!  We have to go to that amazing looking playground by where we did your session!  Right now they are enjoying life in Hawaii (so jealous!)  Can’t wait to hear all about your trip!


Those blue eyes though!







 


Alvin + Cassie + Olivia ~ Alameda, California


I met the sweetest little family last weekend for a beach shoot.  I momentarily left the chaos that comes with mothering my two crazy (and awesome) boys to this calm, cute family.  I couldn’t get enough of how stinking cute Olivia is!  Just look at her gorgeous eyes and jet black hair…and those cheeks!


Can we just take a minute for how gorgeous this mama is!?!


Olivia looks so stunning in black and white!!

Oh, babies in hoodies with ears…swoon!

San Fransisco, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  Love the views we have of this awesome city!

You are Beautiful


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see this photo of me?

Here’s what my friends and family said about this photo when I posted it on Facebook.

I almost didn’t post it…I almost didn’t post it because “it’s my bad side” because of my crooked tooth.  I almost didn’t post it because I hadn’t had a haircut since I was pregnant with my baby (who is now 10 months old) so I threw my hair in a quick braid and pieces are sticking out.  I’m almost didn’t post it because the high waist of the dress doesn’t really flatter my waistline (and the 38 pounds I lost after having my baby) like I want it to.   I almost didn’t post it because my right hand looks weird because I’m holding the handle like I would as if I were riding the bike, not taking a picture with it.  I really could go on.

I posted it anyway.  I posted it anyway because of the joy that is shown in this photo.  I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.  My family is complete with my two amazing sons.  I have the most supportive, handsome, hard working husband.  We live in an actual paradise on an Island in the SF Bay.  I feel like my little photography business is at the cusp of becoming something big and great.  Sure our life isn’t perfect, I could point out the flaws there too, but I won’t.

Why can’t we see ourselves the way everyone else sees us?  I had no idea how positively my friends and family were going to respond to this photo.  I posted it because I needed a new profile shot.  My goal from here on out is to ignore the flaws and see myself more as others do.  I hope you as my friend and clients do the same.  No more, “that’s my bad side”, no more “my hair looks dumb”, no more “I wish I looked skinnier”.  I think you are beautiful and I think I am beautiful.

I wanted to give a big shout out to J and K photography!  I had so much fun with you two and you really made me feel so beautiful and relaxed during the shoot!  My mission from here on out is to make my clients feel and look beautiful despite whatever flaws they feel they have.  Especially my mama clients.  The ones just like me, in the trenches with their babies and their crazy toddlers.  The ones who don’t have time or energy to get their hair cut for months.  The ones whose makeup doesn’t seem to cover up those dark circles as well as it used to…maybe I need better makeup?  The ones whose bodies created and grew life and that makes them perfect.  If I don’t accomplish anything else with this little business of mine, I hope I can at least make all my beautiful mama friends feel beautiful.

 

 

7 Years!


Today is Matt and my 7th year anniversary!  So much has happened in the 10 years we’ve know each other.  We met in Indiana the year after I graduated from college.  He was working for a racing team and I was living at my parents house substitute teaching. We met on Match.com and instantly hit it off.  (This is actually a pretty good story for another post).  We moved in together 2 months after knowing each other.  Our black lab Jake was a year old when I met Matt and year after we met got our pound puppy Oliver.   We got tired of renting after a year so Matt bought a house.  A couple months later, Matt’s race team went under and he got a job in Michigan and I stayed in Indiana.  He was in Michigan for an entire winter and it was terrible.  So much snow which kept him from being able to visit Indiana a few times and the house he was living in burned down (gas leak in the middle of the night).  He barely got out in his boxers and boots he had by the door.  Shortly after he got a job in North Carolina working for another race team.  He proposed that spring and I followed him out there at the end of the summer.

We lived in North Carolina for 7 years.  We bought our second house on 7 wooded acres.  I had several different teaching jobs including Kindergarten, 3rd grade and ESL.  I kept my photography business going and had so many amazing clients.  We brought home both of our babies to that house, celebrated several birthdays and Christmas’.  Right after Sawyer was born, Matt had a job interview in California and we packed up our entire house in about two weeks and headed west.  And here we are…living in a tiny apartment loving California.  Matt loves his job and I love staying at home with the boys and growing my photography business.

I couldn’t be happier with the life we have built together and so glad we found each other.  I’m so appreciative that Matt has now taken me out of my comfort zone twice to experience life on both coasts.  I recently unearthed the wedding slideshow my dad made for us so I wanted to share some gems from the past.








And here is one of our more recent photos.  I love the little family and life we have created for ourselves and wouldn’t change a thing!

Website Launch and About Me


My bestie from high school and college has been doing my website for me since I started my business back in 2011.  We’ve had a few new websites relaunch over the years and this one is definitely the best yet!  Please take a look around and let me know what you think!

I’ve been working on a lot of professional development lately and perfecting my craft.  Moving to California and quitting my teaching job has given me the time and creative space to do a lot more with my business.  While doing all this I’ve been reflecting a lot on my journey.  It actually started on a rock in front of a waterfall sitting next to my dad. He always had a knack for photography and was teaching me how to take photos of the waterfall.  After that he let me borrow (have) one of his cameras.  I took two photography classes in high school where I learned how to use the dark room and set up one up in my high school boyfriend’s basement.  Once in college, I pursued a teaching degree, but the photography bug never went away.  I was on my dorms art’s council as the photography coordinator, taught other students how to use the darkroom and hosted photography shows in our little coffee shop.  I also worked for a company taking pictures at graduations and worked in the photography lab printing pictures and learning how to edit.  The summer after my first year of teaching I had a couple weddings on the books and decided to start my business.  I contacted my friend and that summer Silverleaf Photography was born.  The following year my business took off.  A year later I moved to North Carolina with my fiance, (now husband) started my business back up and continued to teach.  The year my first son, Sebastian was born, I had 15 weddings + portraits and engagement shoots along with teaching full time and being a first time mom. By the end of the year I knew something had to give, I couldn’t continue to do all three so I scaled back my business.  Fast forward to having our second baby, Sawyer, Matt got a new job so I quit my teaching job and we made our big move to California.  All of which happened within a month of each other.  Now here we are.  I’m waking up early and working during nap times. It’s time for the hustle!  My goal is to have a thriving business by the time my boys are in elementary school.  If you are reading this I hope you stick around for the ride and thanks for reading!

 

In honor of my website launch I wanted to share some photos from a recent shoot of me.  I met a local husband and wife photo team at a beautiful vineyard to swap photo sessions.  Here are the pictures I took of them.  It was so much fun playing the model for a little while!





 

Ken + Julia


One of my business goals is to network and meet more photographers in the area.  So when Julia asked if someone from our photography group would like to swap photo sessions I jumped at the chance!  It was so much fun photographing fellow photographers and somehow I felt like the pressure was off with them.



Here we have a vineyard on the left (ready to harvest) and and olive tree on the right.  I had never seen an olive tree before, I was pretty excited!  I still sometimes can’t believe we live in such a cool place!

I just love it when my wind machine shows up for my sessions!

I’m thinking this one should definitely go on their photography website…so sweet!

Had to bring my new bike so it could have it’s photo debut!

Isn’t she pretty…the bike and Julia!!

Julia is from Germany, if you knew me in high school you know I had a best friend from Germany named Nina…I definitely have a soft spot for sweet german girls with curly hair!

 

Etienne + Sarah + Natan + Noa ~ Alameda, California


This family is seriously the cutest little family!  Little Natan was such a ham and was so easy to get great photos of!  I’m obsessed with Sarah’s gorgeous red hair and I’ll never pass up an opportunity to be around sweet little newborns!






Little Natan is just a ball of sweet energy!  He’s so much fun!


We put Noa in a basket with scraps of her mom’s wedding dress.  So special!