Category Archives: Personal

This category features topics from my personal life.


It’s that time of year again…back to school. The summer was wonderful and lazy…and now it’s back to schedules. I have to admit…I need a bit of a schedule. I’m craving some kind of schedule in my life right now! This summer we spent some time by the pool…visiting family…I went to Japan with my bestie from college…and we found out we’re expecting baby # 3! Quite a summer huh? We’re so excited for this winter and bringing a new baby into our home…the kids are thrilled…Ellie is holding out hope for a sister, while Riley is hoping for “a BIG boy!”. Lol!

A quick sneak peek at the family I had the pleasure of shooting yesterday afternoon. This family is near and dear to my heart…and it helps that their youngest & my oldest share the exact same birthday! They’re only hours apart:)We had a great time at the Carroll County Farm Museum & this is no doubt going to be one of my favorite places to shoot in the fall. Gorgeous weather & fabulous light made for an awesome day! Thanks again M family for picking such a great location! Enjoy!


It’s Friday! Whoohoo! It’s Fun Fact Friday, and today’s fact about me is that I am originally from Nebraska. I grew up in a small….small…small…town. For example, my class had only 11 kids; 9 boys & 2 girls. Most people around here have more people in their class than I did in the town I grew up by! So now I’m sure you’re wondering how in the world did she get out here in Maryland. I came out to DC after grad school at KU to explore a summer internship in public policy. I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do with my Masters in Social Work…and what do you do in that kind of situation? Travel…and explore, and that’s what I did. I quickly realized I missed the hands on experience with clients, but at the same time, fell in love with DC, and I decided to stay. Through many struggles…like getting my car stolen, having no home, no money & no job, I was determined to make it. And I did:)Eventually I got a job and the best part….I met my husband. And as they say…the rest is history.


A great question to ask…and one that I’m sure gets thought about a lot. What is the difference between having Aunt Suzy with her great camera, and Jodi at Cherry Tree Photography, taking pictures of my family? The answer? It’s more than just the camera. We are so fortunate in this day and age to have digital everything. Digital cameras have come a long ways too, and most people can set their camera to “Auto” mode and let the camera do the work for them…which ends up in underexposed images or worse. The camera can only do so much for you. The best option is manual mode, which allows the user to make the adjustments. It takes lots and lots of practice to learn Manual mode….that’s the “M” on your dial by the way. Professional photographers have spent countless hours practicing and perfecting their art. And that’s the key piece too….it’s ART. Photography is more than snapping away on a camera. There’s composition (how a photograph is composed), there’s lighting (either natural or added lighting, like strobes, flashes,etc.), there’s the post processing (editing).And all of these things requires learning…and practicing. It’s not something that can be learned overnight. Think about how many other professionals you hire to do things for you. You wouldn’t want your 3 year old cutting your hair would you? I certainly wouldn’t…I’d hire a professional…someone who knew what they were doing. Got a leak in the bathroom? I’d much rather hire someone who knows what they’re doing than tackling this problem by myself.

I know what you’re thinking….the cost. I totally understand that it’s cheaper to have a family member to quick, snap a few pics of the family and call it a day. I know families are busy. But it’s more than just the photos. It’s the experience. It’s the memories that are created during those moments. You may not realize it right now, but some day, these pictures will be important. These pictures tell your life story. Your life story is important and needs to be shared and carried on to the next generation. Take the time with your family to invest in your story. Let a professional capture all those things that make you, YOU, and what make your kids who they are. Photographs are the only thing we own that appreciates over time. Now is the time to find a photographer that fits your style and understands what you want. If you think that photographer is me…AWESOME! I’d love to preserve your memories for you, and if not, that’s ok too. The important thing is for there to be something left of you long after you’re gone. Something for your family to remember you & to remember your life. That’s the most important story to tell.