Posted on March 8, 2012

About a week ago everything in life was going on at a normal pace, with normal activities and day to day tasks. Then our lives got shaken around a bit, rearranged and just changed altogether. The changes that have come our way are very good changes and welcome changes. Although these changes are coming about much sooner than we had planned we rest in the fact that our lives are not our own and that God has His plans and His timing. We were told on Friday of last week that we need to vacate our rental home by April 1st or sign a new 12 month lease with a price increase. Panic set it. Where would we live? Would we have to put everything in storage and find someone to put up with us for a month…or more? What were we going to do?

Back story: We had put an offer on a house the turned out to be a short sale…and if you know anything about short sales they are anything but short. We asked our landlords if we could get out of our rent a month early if need be, or rent month to month after our lease was up if need be. They misunderstood this and thought we bought a house and just wanted to stay one month longer, so they secured a renter for when our lease was up. There’s more to what went on but it doesn’t really matter so I’m not going to get into it.

We decided in February to continue looking at houses in case the short sale did not come out in our favor. We found one or two that we thought would work for our family. One would be perfect for me to have a studio with a seperate entrance and the other would be a great home for our family but without much room for my business. When we found out that we needed to vacate our rental home by April 1st we had some serious discussions. One of those discussions lead us to put an offer on the home that would be great for our family but without a lot of room for my business. The offer was countered and we accepted. Part of the offer was that we would be able to occupy by March 30th and that was accepted as well. Praise God that He has lead us this whole way and that His timing is perfect.

On Thursday night while attending Financial Peace University at our church I had many thoughts running through my mind. “What can I sell? What kind of job could I get to help supplement the family’s income? My business is stressing me out and not going anywhere.” When I got home that evening we had the discussion about which home we could/should buy since we knew we needed to make a decision quickly. When it came time to talk about my business and my offering to get a waitressing job a couple of nights a week it all came out. I no longer wanted to deal with the stress of trying to re-start/run my own business. No longer did I want to have the pressure of finding the right clients who understood my passion and desire for great photography. No longer did I want to feel the pressure of having to make sure I made enough money each month to help put my children in private school. Trying to raise three small children and raise a business was getting to be too much for me. I just couldn’t handle it.

When the time to talk came the tears came as well. I wanted to be free of the stress from running a business but I never wanted to stop capturing priceless memories for my friends and clients alike. I know that right now I can’t handle the business side anymore so I’ve decided to hang up my JT Photography shoes. At least for a while. The statistics of new photographers starting out and how quickly they fail came into my mind and I felt like another statistic. I felt like I’ve failed at my dream. I felt like I would be labeled. But I remembered that I have been working part-time as a photographer for over 10 years. I remembered my dream of being a mother, my dream of being a stay at home mom. I remembered my dream of doing something I love because I LOVE it and not because I need to help put my kids in private school. I know that I’m not a failure. I know that this is a season in life and that while I may feel I’m giving up my dream I’m really just putting it on hold. I will not be putting my camera away. I will still be photographing my family and my friends’ families. I just will not be persuing new clients. I will shoot limited sessions when family time allows.

This website will remain online. I have the domain name and I’m not going to loose it. I have just renewed my website too, so I’ll re-evaluate keeping it or not when the time to renew comes up again. I am not sure what I will do with my facebook page…I’m still praying about that one. On my personal facebook page I had “liked” so many photography related businesses to enter contests and giveaways and I’m pretty sure that I have “unliked” most of them so that I am not constantly reminded of the business. I still have my few favorite photographers whose pages I will always like and that won’t change. This is painful for me and makes me cry just thinking about it. But the stress relief that I feel from not having to produce big bucks for my family is a HUGE weight off my shoulders. The relief that I won’t have to spend time a ton of time editing late into the evenings, that I will be more present in the moment with my kids and not worried about how I’ll get my next session booked is a HUGE relief. I look forward to when photography becomes new to me again and not just something that has to be done in order to make money. I know I still have a lot to learn about photography and I will use the time away from persuing my business to learn and learn and learn.

I will be looking for a part-time waitressing job (like I stated earlier) in order to help with the family finances. I actually enjoy waitressing and feel that a couple nights a week of waitressing will not be stressful to me but will be a time to let Greg hang out with the kids, let me meet some new people and earn some money for the family. And that’s the kind of job that I can leave there. No work to take home. No photos to edit, sales to make etc. But I do look forward to still having my camera handy, and photographing my loved ones. I hope to start regularly blogging again soon too…but probably not until we have made the move at the end of this month to our new home!!!!

Lots of changes. But we know that one thing remains the same and that is Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever!!!

Posted on December 24, 2011

{Jackson, TN family photography, newborn photography}

From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
We pray that your celebrations are blessed by the one who came to save us.
May the manger laid, cross hung, tomb conquerer be the center of your Christmas celebration.
Christmas Card 2011.2JT Photography is on vacation until January 9th. I cannot wait to help you capture many new and exciting things in 2012. I can’t wait to get your family in front of my camera so that you have memories to hold in your hand.

I am looking for a newborn to photograph. The first person to mention this (or my facebook post) will get 50% off their newborn session fee!! Newborn sessions are the only sessions that I will book or photograph during my vacation!

See you in 2012.

Posted on December 20, 2011

{Jackson, TN newborn photography}

I don’t normally talk to strangers. I’m pretty reserved and keep to myself. But when I see a pregnant woman I can’t help but ask questions…like most people I suppose. When are you due? Do you know the gender? Is this your first? Standard fare. But then I usually progress with, have you had maternity photos taken? Do you have a newborn photographer in mind? A little forward? Maybe. But to me, I just want to know that the person has a way to capture the newness of life and the love of a family. Many times when I ask those last questions I am met with the name of a photographer in town. And that’s good with me. I am so passionate about people having professional photographs taken that I don’t mind when they tell me that someone else is doing their photos. I’m all about leaving a legacy and getting this point in time down in print. Since I am new in town I don’t suspect that people would have my name on their tongue for photos of their new babies, anyway. Most people don’t even know I’m here, let alone that I photograph babies and families, among other things. So, when I saw Nichole, I approached her and asked the standard questions and was met with an open opportunity to tell her about my photography business. I am so glad that she welcomed me into her home and allowed me to photograph her sweet six day old baby.

I’d like to properly introduce you to sweet Eva Grace. I shared a few sneak peeks with you on Saturday but I’d like to give Nichole and Brandon a few more photos to share with their family and friends of their sweet baby…and I’d like to tell her story. Everyone has a story, whether it’s dramatic or not does not matter…it’s YOUR story and you’re the only one who can tell it and share it with the world.

I think having a newborn in the house around Christmas can add so much to the season. You are instantly reminded of what happended two thousands years ago as our Savior came to the world as a baby. You’re reminded that Mary still had to wake in the middle of the night to feed him, she had to calm him when he cried and even change him when he was dirty. You see everything with a new pair of eyes. Even last night when five year old Naomi prayed “Dear God, thank you for making Christmas so close. It’s only 6 days till Christmas. I cannot wait to see you as a tiny baby. It’s so awesome. I can’t wait. Amen” it reminded me of how tender and fragile and amazing those little lives are.  Even the earthly life of our Savior Jesus Christ started as a baby.

Here are a few more photos from little Eva’s session. She didn’t fall asleep too hard so I didn’t get to try all my sleepy baby poses on Eva but I am so happy with the ones that she did allow me to capture. Here they are.JTPhotography-EvaGrace-5

Eva has been loved since they knew she was coming. Nichole, Brandon and the boys were the recipients of that care and love before Eva arrived. Nichole had asked her grandmother to make her a quilt, not knowing that her grandmother had never made a quilt before. But her grandmother set to work and with the help of some friends made this beautiful Lonestar quilt. My cousin-in-law Jamie who is a quilt maker and has even designed patterns said, “It’s takes a lot to piece the top, you have to make sure all the colors are in the right spot and there are Y seams in it that is more tricky to piece….Gorgeous quilt, one of my favorite patterns of all time and it’s impressive that it’s the first quilt she’s ever made!” That’s love. Now their family of five can snuggle up under this gorgeous quilt and think of all the time and love that went into making it. JTPhotography-EvaGrace-63
Nichole is a third grade teacher and her class made Eva a VERY special quilt that includes all of the students handprints in the shape of hearts and then each student also made an owl (one of Nichole’s favorite things) with their fingerprint. They took the time to make handmade gifts for their special teacher and her new baby. That’s love.
Eva is the first little girl in the family so Nichole made sure to give Eva a girly space of her own. I know how much fun it is to decorate a little girls room so I know Nichole must have had a blast dreaming up this space and making it happen. I love the black and white damask pattern with the hot pink. She had her friend cut out the tree and owls with her silhouette machine and many items in the nursery were handmade or given as gifts. When you spend that kind of time working on your babies room make sure to have your photographer take some photos of it for you!
This precious little girl is loved and doted on by everyone in her family.
What a great family. A great example of love and faith.
Thank you Brandon and Nichole for allowing me to come into your home and work with your little six day old baby. I had so much fun working with all of you. Thanks for letting me get a few new baby snuggles in as well. I hope that you like these images and that you’ll cherish them for many years!

Posted on December 16, 2011

{Jackson, TN Newborn Photography}

I am so honored to be asked to capture these first moments in a precious little one’s life. Sweet baby Eva is an adorable little lady doted on by her two big brothers and loving parents. She wasn’t too interested in sleeping (until I was ready to leave) but I am so excited about the images I was able to capture. Nichole and Brandon thank you so much for allowing me to capture this amazing time in your lives. Thank you for trusting me with capturing these memories for you. I have SO many photos for you to see but here are three quick little sneak peeks! Check back later in the week for more!

Eli was so excited to be able to take Eva’s picture with his own camera! Looks like I may have an apprentice!!IMG_2326-2
Ethan and Eli love their little Eva!! Such sweet big brothers!

Posted on December 8, 2011

Last year I had a sweet little newborn on my hands for the holidays. My sweet friend Katherine sent me an adorable santa hat, diaper cover and booties for Hannah…and I took photos of Hannah in the cute little ensemble…but I don’t think I ever shared those photos. for shame. So to make up for not sharing these photos for a year I’m going to share an obscene amount of photos of sweet little santa Hannah. Because it’s my website and I can if I want to. Because I couldn’t choose just a few. And because she’s just that cute.


I had to share this because this is still the face she makes when she gets really upset. It’s funny how some things never change.
Who’s going to break it to Hannah that girls can’t win the Heisman? I guess you gotta have goals right?
Shocked? Surprised? Cold?
and the hat falls down again…
Thanks again Katherine! I hope you have a cute little Santa hat for some pics with Frankie…if you want to borrow mine just let me know :)

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