There were so many images that I fell in love with during 2011. Waaaay more than 20. All have a story that made them a top twenty image for me and I thought others might like to see and read about them.

And here we go…

During my formal education, in both undergrad and grad school, I was taught to shoot with the sun at your back. Who knew it would be cool break that rule! The thing about shooting into the sun is controlling the lens flair and the lack of contrast, so you need to know what you are doing in post processing to make this work. This is my daughter and number one model, dressed in her cousin’s dance costume in a field near our home. And the number 20 image of 2011.

Sometimes—and it seems to me more often than most—the unexpected photo opportunity presents itself. This curious kitty with the stunning eyes walked onto our set of a family shoot and posed just right for me to make image number 19.

The number 18 spot for 2011 belongs to Margaret. A fall bride in Annapolis, MD, her beauty radiates from the inside and obviously from the outside. Her natural beauty was highlighted here in a way that shows off her flawless skin and clear blue eyes.

Easter weekend 2011 brought my children to their grandparents house in Mississippi. Living on several acres, there is always exciting wildlife abound. This weekend, a covey of very young bunnies were found in the middle of the backyard. Leaving Mother Nature alone, it was only when they started jumping away that we could not help ourselves in their adorableness…How appropriate for an Easter Sunday!

My number 16 image for 2011 is again of Maryland bride Margaret and her new husband Clay. My reason for picking this image for the Top 20 is that I was able to steal a sultry moment. I love the sexy, yet elegant story this tells.

My number 15 spot goes to Carson. It’s a good thing I photograph horses, because 2 year olds move almost as fast! Taken during a family shoot, this image almost looks as if I’m shooting above while he is lying on the ground. Actually, I shot really tight while this toddler was being held by dad as the leaves were falling. His eye looking at me between his fingers was all planned. Yeah. Right.

I thought the mask might fool you into thinking it was a different model. Nope. My daughter again. The number 14 image of 2011. I love the idea of masks. Masks can be used for protection, to disguise, for performance or to entertain. And I just think they are pretty.

This image is just classic. The subject, the pose, the lighting. Just classic. Anna Kate has the most beautiful red hair and matching freckles. I caught her lit in the doorway of her mother’s barn, one of my own favorite all time places.

I am a natural light photographer. Which only means I don’t like what I don’t understand. And I don’t like studio lights. I have never, ever seen a studio shot with this kind of light. Never. ‘Nuff said. The number 12 image of 2011 belongs to the beautiful bride sitting in front of a window, Rebecca.

I have so many images of Lauren. This model can give me 1000 different looks and even better, she’s a horsey-girl. Lauren is destined to be a top christian model and I have all the faith in the world she will accomplish it!

And we are half way there!

Peek-a-boo works every time for this setup. And so does this blue barn! The moment I saw this barn from the road I knew I had to photograph a family of denim there. The Due trio is a military family who found the time to come down from Little Rock for their photo shoot won this location and came in at the number 10 of 20 countdown of 2011 image!

Winter in red. A snowstorm warranted this all red color in the blue-white fluff in my neighborhood. We would shoot a little and run into the garage where I had a heater going full blast to thaw us out for the next pose!

This past spring, I was fortunate enough to experience a most wonderful workshop in Portugal. Hosted by Italian equestrian photographer, Paula Da Silva, 20 photographers from 9 different countries were invited to photograph Lusitano horses in their native country. One of the locations included the wild horses of Mouchão do Salgueiral, which is an island in the middle of the Tejo river. This image comes in at number 8 in my 2011 countdown.

An engagement session. Followed by the wedding session. Seriously, Tabitha and Lee were married 8 years ago without a wedding photographer. For an anniversary present he set up a photo shoot for his bride. How romantic is that?!

Sophia. You’ve met her before. (hint…you’ll see her again) Here on my blog. My favorite session of 2011. This child is adorable and modeled for me like a pro. We set up a somewhat winter scene for this shot. Fake snow on the ground, in her hair and edited some in during post processing. But there is nothing fake about that smile…and those EYES!!!

Yawn…Am I boring you? These tones are too rich to ignore and the yawn too tempting to not photograph. This image just makes me smile every time I see it. Taken at the new home of the Greer’s, this new addition to their family was just a hoot to shoot!

My son is one of those kids that was never into team sports. Racking my brain for a cool, but personal Christmas present and knowing he loves birds of prey, I found a master falconer in our city. Heath has been kind enough to take us under his wing (I know. I’m sorry. It was just right there!) to help us with the basics of falconry. This unusual sport (of kings!) goes right along with fencing (yep, I’m raising a knight) but one he can get into. Next year my son will be an apprentice in falconry. How cool is that?! p.s. let me just go on record as saying that I have a HUGE new found respect for bird photographers…and I thought horses were hard…they got nothing on our feathered friends!

and the top 3 images of 2011…

Madison’s senior sunset image comes in at number 3 of my top 20 images of 2011. Mother Nature is so kind to me. It just doesn’t get any better than this. And I am so lucky to have the clients that I do. Just grateful.

This is the first image that pops up on my website {}. An engagement session with Michael and Rebecca, this is hands-down my favorite image of the bunch. Sigh. So romantic. I love it.

Drum roll please…

My number 1 image of 2011 is…

Sophia and Pink Tab the pony! Seriously. How could it not be…