Colleen M Photography: Blog en-us (C) Colleen M Photography (Colleen M Photography) Fri, 29 Jan 2016 21:42:00 GMT Fri, 29 Jan 2016 21:42:00 GMT Colleen M Photography: Blog 120 80 Meet James - Beauty Revived Winner [ Fort Mill, SC ] Congratulations to James Johns! He was chosen to be featured in the Beauty Revived Most Beautiful Seniors magazine!

James has endured his fair share of trials. When he was 3 his parents divorced and his mother left, having no future relationship with him or his little brother. “I can’t complain much about that. Dad has been an excellent father.” After several other trials during his childhood, James decided to throw himself into something positive - Boy Scouts. “I loved it. I always loved, and still love, the wilderness. Its definitely my element.” Things seemed to be getting better and then James’s grandfather passed away. “His passing had a great impact on me and my father.” 

But James has overcome these trials. “We stay strong in the face of all our troubles and we fight for a better life. Things were never easy, but it taught me that to be successful you have to work at it and be willing to take the good with the bad. My family has been my foundation through all of this and I’m very lucky to have them in my life.” Despite everything, James still says, “Life isn't all bad… its the bad that makes you appreciate the good more.”

James has recently made Eagle Scout, renovating three outdoor classrooms and a walking trail for a local elementary school as his service project. As of October 12, he’s also co-captain on the rifle team and has been to national competitions 2 years in a row placing 39/1100 and 69/11000. He also volunteers in a program through his church called Room at the Inn which provides shelter and meals to the homeless each year from December to March. This coming year he plans to staff at the scout camp in order to “give a little back” to his fellow scouts.

James is also a member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s National Honor Society, through which he volunteers his time to the scouting program. He works with the Cub Scouts as an Assistant Scout Master, is a Webelos Den Leader, a Boy Scout Troop Guide and an Assistant Scout Master. “I love being able to help out anyone who needs help,” James says. “Too many people out there just think about themselves these days. As the saying goes, ‘be the change you want to see in the world.’ It works for me.”

After so many years without a mother, James may finally have someone to truly call mom. Four years ago, Diane stumbled into his life. She describes James as loyal, humble and appreciative. “He puts his needs second to the needs of his father. As most kids are saving for a car, James has not had this chance. He doesn’t complain. He just does what needs to be done.” In the past 4 years, Diane has become a mother-figure to him and they are now in the process of a legal adoption. “Although he is 18, he deserves 2 parents,” she says. “He calls me mom and I love him as I do my own children. He blends in with my family and it just seems natural. I want him to always know he will never be alone.”

Diane’s greatest wish for James is “that nothing ever gets in the way of him being the best he can be.”

You can read James's complete story in the latest issue of Beauty Revived magazine. To support the Beauty Revived campaign and read other inspiring stories of Beautiful Seniors, please purchase a copy of the magazine by clicking here.

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Beauty Revived High School Seniors Fri, 29 Jan 2016 21:29:58 GMT
Meet Tatiana - Beauty Revived Winner [ Rock Hill, SC ] Congratulations to Tatiana Washington! She was chosen to be featured in the Beauty Revived Most Beautiful Seniors magazine!

Tatiana was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in May, 2015. She has undergone 5 procedures and 2 major surgeries. She had a colostomy bag placed, but because of her strong will and determination to get better, they were able to reverse the colostomy. Despite everything, Tatiana continued to do things with the cheerleaders, games etc. 

"Tati has accepted that she will live with Chrohn’s for the rest of her life and undergo treatments. Her strength through this disease has made me a better and stronger mother," says Kenshasa, Tatiana's mother.

Tatiana is a cheerleader, a sister, a best friend to all of her friends, and a loving child. She has been in honors classes since 6th grade. "It is a pleasure for me to call her my daughter! I would change nothing about her because she is such a unique child. She has her own mind and style and I adore her!" says her mom.

You can read Tatiana's complete story in the latest issue of Beauty Revived magazine. To support the Beauty Revived campaign and read other inspiring stories of Beautiful Seniors, please purchase a copy of the magazine by clicking here.

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Beauty Revived High School Seniors Fri, 29 Jan 2016 21:12:55 GMT
Fall Mini Sessions - What to Expect With mini sessions being underway, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown on what to expect. Since mini sessions are much shorter, these quick reminders and tips will help you prepare.

1. They’re called “mini” for a reason. My normal sessions last at least an hour, giving us plenty of time to work around the kids, have outfit changes, walk around the location for more settings, etc. But with only 20 minutes, sessions move along very quickly. When children are prepared ahead of time and are told that the session won't last long and that it will be tons of fun, they are more likely to enjoy the session.

2. We will have fun! Sessions are very relaxed and comfortable. I love working with children, which puts them at ease and makes the session flow much easier.

3. Wear something that makes you feel great; if you look good, you'll feel good. Feel free to coordinate your outfits, but don't be matchy-matchy. You want each person to reflect their own individual personality. When considering outfits, keep in mind that we’ll be walking, sitting and standing, so your clothing should accommodate that.

4. Consider the weather. We've definitely had our share of rain this Fall! The ground may be damp. So feel free to bring a nice blanket to sit on. 

5. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early. This will allow you to arrive relaxed and give you a chance to do some last minute outfit adjustments and makeup touchups before the session begins.

Here's to hoping the rain stays away and we can relax and enjoy your session. If you have not yet reserved your spot, complete the form below today!


]]> (Colleen M Photography) Charlotte, NC Lake Wylie SC Mini Sessions Wed, 11 Nov 2015 07:18:47 GMT
Meet Elaine - She is Beauty Revived [ Lake Wylie, SC ] A huge congratulations is in order for Elaine Brausch of Lake Wylie, SC! I was recently approached by Beauty Revived to find an amazing woman in South Carolina to feature in their upcoming magazine "America's 50 Most Beautiful Women." I donated sessions to two beautiful, strong, amazing women, Elaine and Grace, both with stories of survival and beauty that shines inside and out.

Elaine's session was a blast! She's a natural in front of the camera. As we laughed and walked in the cool Fall air, she told her story: (written by Corey Brausch; makeup artist: Rose Plesz)

Elaine Leone Brausch, like the quote by Kate Spade, “leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.” In May of 2015, Elaine was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “It’s devastating news when you get it, and then you wrap your head around it and you just come to terms with it,” she said.

When receiving the news, her husband Richard Brausch took the news hard while Elaine stayed strong.

Once Elaine started receiving chemotherapy, she called it her sparkle juice. For family and friends to show support and ovarian cancer awareness, shirts were made with the phrase “keep calm and sparkle on” and it has been the motto since.

“When I am having my infusions, I picture it like little Pac-Man eating up the cancer and then pushing out glitter from the other end,” Elaine said.

Through the devastating news and the rounds of chemotherapy, Elaine stays positive through her faith and trust in God. “I know that God doesn’t cause this…and why not me, you know?”

Instead of treating life like it’s a last chance for experiences, she finds the little things, the normal routine, to be comforting. She says her biggest treasure is being married to her very first love, Richard.

The first few rounds went smoothly, with minimal nausea and discomfort. Each day, even when going through chemotherapy, Elaine completes 10,000 steps on her FitBit. Along with those 10,000 steps, she spends some evenings dancing and enjoying the South Carolina weather.

Around the three-week mark, hair loss began. But, that didn’t stop Elaine from going out and doing what she loves to do. “I got up this morning and each time I run my hands through I get about 10 strands. So what does a girl like me do, you ask? Go to the Y and dance,” she said. When she went home later that day she decided to buzz her hair off to ¾ an inch. Because of her scalp being tender, taking the weight off was a relief. Wigs are an option to Elaine but she decided she was more of a scarf-wearing girl.

Around the time of Elaine and Richard’s 50th anniversary, a trip to England and Scotland was planned. The doctor cleared the trip and they were able to go. When she arrived back, a surgery was scheduled for August 20th. During the procedure, a hysterectomy was performed along with the removal of the sigmoid colon and two feet of intestines. The healing process went well and then on September 29th, a inter-peritoneal port was placed for infusions. In the most recent weeks, Elaine has been struggling with pain due to abdominal fluid, which is common with Ovarian Cancer. An additional type of chemotherapy was added and this round has been rough on her. She has been struggling with fluid in her lungs and keeps it at bay with frequent doctor visits. Even though it is a battle that is growing more difficult, she is handling it with more grace and patience than the previous day.

After our session, as we walked back to the car, I began to worry that the cold air on Elaine's lungs and the long walk may have worn on her. Later that night, I messaged her to make sure she was feeling ok. Of course she was! In typical Elaine fashion, she was seizing every moment of the day by enjoying an ice cream by the lake with her husband!

Elaine's story was chosen for the Beauty Revived magazine, "America's 50 Most Beautiful Women." Purchase your copy today to support this incredible photography movement. Every other month, we will be supporting the Beauty Revived campaign by donating sessions to beautiful women and children. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay informed of our current campaign. Details of each campaign will be provided on our website under the Beauty Revived Campaign link. The current campaign is looking for the "50 Most Beautiful High School Senior Girls and 25 Most Amazing Senior Guys." Nominate someone you know today!

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]]> (Colleen M Photography) Beauty Revived Tue, 10 Nov 2015 03:55:45 GMT
Meet Grace - She is Beauty Revived [ Rock Hill, SC ] I recently joined the Beauty Revived, a photography movement that celebrates real beauty by donating photography sessions to women who exhibit qualities of true strength and beauty.

Meet Grace! Grace was nominated for Beauty Revived's "America's 50 Most Beautiful Women." From the moment I met Grace, you would never know her struggles. She met me with a huge smile and wore it through our entire session! She truly is a beautiful person.

Here is her story: (written by Corey Brausch)

As a young college student, Grace wakes up every morning and takes depression head on.  She is 22 and about to graduate from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. She has struggled with depression since she was 15 when she was put on medication and stopped attending school. She was then sent to a mental health facility due to suicidal thoughts and ideation. Throughout it all, she has remained a strong person. In the fall of 2015, she was sent to a behavioral health unit again. “I am not quite sure how I got through to this point with all the suicidal thoughts I have had, but apparently, I am meant to be here,” she said. “My family, friends, and teachers have all supported me throughout the years and I am eternally grateful.”

Today, she is able to better cope with life. Growing up and being a psychology major helps her understand things better. “I can’t help but apply things on myself and then overanalyze myself and others around me. It’s my nature now,” she said.

Grace still struggles with depression and anxiety but things are looking better for her. She realizes her life isn’t perfect and that it doesn’t have to be. “Yes, my relationship with my parents and siblings is not perfect. Yes, I still struggle in school, because I am trying to graduate in 2015. I am in no way perfect but the beautiful thing about that… is that it is okay,” she says.

She thanks the people in her life for getting her to the point she is today. She has found comfort in her parents, friends, family, teachers, counselors, her boyfriend, sorority sisters and new newfound faith in God. “You are loved and important, even if it doesn’t feel like it. You have purpose; you just have to open up the doors of your heart and mind to receive it.”

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]]> (Colleen M Photography) Beauty Revived Sun, 08 Nov 2015 01:56:39 GMT
Tween Models Needed - "Who I Am" Photography Project "Did I not exist as a tween?" I think to myself as I flip the plastic pages of my parents' family photo album. One of the few photos that exists of me as a preteen is a traditional school photo. You know the one, that head and shoulders pose with the cheesy grin. My teeth are slightly too big for my face and my hair isn't combed. Ah, sweet innocence.

Babies are so cute, new and chubby. Toddlers have those big, bright eyes and lets face it, they just do the darnedest thing. But those tween ages are often forgotten. At ages 10-12, kids aren't children anymore but aren't quite teens.

I'm making it my personal mission to capture those lost preteen years. The goal is to help tweens look and feel beautiful/handsome and have unshakable confidence in themselves when they hit junior high.

In comes the "Who I am" project

We are starting the "Who I am" photography project to fill in the forgotten photo years while enriching the lives of pre-teens. The main goal is to make pre-teens look and feel beautiful/handsome and be confident in who they are.

Who we're looking for:

We are looking for female and male models for our photography project, ages 10-12. We will ask the model and their parents a few questions, then combine the text and photographs to create one impactful piece of art.

Why "Who I am"?

We want to capture the personality of these tweens and record the last stage of their childhood before they become young ladies and men. We want them to realize their true beauty so that they are confident in themselves before they hit Junior High. Imagine the impact a single beautiful image can do for your tween’s self-image.

How to participate or nominate a friend:

Please e-mail us by Saturday, November 14th if you are interested in having your child participate in this project, or if you would like to nominate a friend or family member of yours that you think would be perfect for this. Please nominate people you think would enjoy the boutique experience we provide. The on-location session itself is complimentary and includes $50 in product credit (a total $200 value). Our goal is to create a gorgeous group of photos you’ll love and that truly show your son's or daughter’s spirit and soul!  Many people like to use these photos as gifts for their child. Our portrait collections start at $325.

After you email us, we will send you specific details and you can decide if this project is perfect for your tween child.


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]]> (Colleen M Photography) tween photography Wed, 04 Nov 2015 07:23:11 GMT
CMP Model Shoot Day - [ Fort Mill, SC ] What an awesome day! 6 models, one makeup artist, one photographer, a model coach, cupcakes and a Snapchat Takeover! I am one lucky photographer to have such wonderful ladies on board this year! Makeup artist: Cara Truitt;  Modeling Coach: Kristen Rushing;  Host Location: Cupcrazed Cupcake Bar (YUMMY!!)

Here are some shots from the day.

]]> (Colleen M Photography) High School Seniors Teen Model Shoot Fri, 24 Apr 2015 04:30:00 GMT
Mary Beth - Class of 2015 High School Senior Model

]]> (Colleen M Photography) High School Seniors Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:30:00 GMT
Rowan - Class of 2015 High School Senior Model

]]> (Colleen M Photography) High School Seniors Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:45:00 GMT
James & Felicia - August 31, 2014 [ Blythewood, SC Wedding ]

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Weddings Thu, 04 Sep 2014 15:45:00 GMT
David & Christine - July 6, 2014 [ Mooresville, NC Wedding ]

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Weddings Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Mark & Katie - June 7, 2014 [ Lake Wylie, SC Wedding ]

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Lake Wylie SC Weddings Mon, 30 Jun 2014 06:15:00 GMT
Brady & Aubrey - September 1, 2014 [ Charlotte, NC Engagement ]

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Charlotte, NC Engagement Mon, 30 Jun 2014 05:30:00 GMT
Ethan & Kaitlyn - June 21, 2014 [ Lake Wylie, SC Wedding ]

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Lake Wylie SC Weddings Thu, 26 Jun 2014 02:45:00 GMT
Eric & Karla - May 24, 2014 [ Fort Mill, SC ] Makeup by Cara Truitt. Reception located at Dance Center USA, Fort Mill, SC

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Colleen M Photography Fort Mill South Carolina Weddings Sun, 08 Jun 2014 23:20:18 GMT
Kareem & Felicia - May 19, 2014 [ Freedom Park, Charlotte, NC ] Kareem and Felicia were one of those sweet couples that you just hit it off with right away! I was sad to see our session end...but we were starving! These two rare gems had a small, intimate wedding earlier in the day and had me meet them for photos that evening at Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC. We never ran out of things to talk about the entire session. They kept a smile on my face the entire session and we parted with big hugs! As a matter of fact, I realized that every time I sat to work on their photos, I would catch myself smiling. Just looking at their images over and over was the sweetest part of my day! Congratulations Kareem and Felicia! I wish you both the absolute best and hope to see you again soon!

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Charlotte, NC Weddings Sat, 07 Jun 2014 20:51:00 GMT
Jared & Alicia [ October 12, 2013 ]

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Weddings Sat, 12 Oct 2013 20:43:38 GMT
Chad & Megan [ October 5, 2013 ]

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Weddings Wed, 09 Oct 2013 20:12:26 GMT
Scott & Shannon - 9/21/2013 [ Raystown, PA ] Despite the torrential downpour all day long, Scott & Shannon’s wedding was still amazing! What a perfect venue for a time like this. There were gorgeous overhangs around the building, perfect for photos! Shannon’s amazing smile was enough to captivate everyone in attendance. And the way she looked at Scott during their ceremony showed how much love they have for each other. After the ceremony, their private hug, kiss and cry together was one of the most touching moments I’ve been privileged to capture.


]]> (Colleen M Photography) Weddings Sat, 21 Sep 2013 00:43:34 GMT
Michael & Kara [ August 17, 2013 ] Michael & Kara had the most gorgeous rustic wedding I’ve ever been to! Foggy Mountain Lodge was truly a rustic gem in the middle of nowhere. Driving home afterward in the dark through the winding and narrow mountain road was a little bit scary! But it was totally worth it! After the ceremony, the bridal party hopped aboard a hay wagon and and had a slow, tractor-pulled cruise to the reception. With their unique handcrafted wooden decorations and mason-jar wine glasses, this rustic wedding had enough class to put a Pinterest-lovers wedding to shame! Congratulations Michael & Kara!

]]> (Colleen M Photography) Weddings Fri, 16 Aug 2013 22:00:42 GMT