SWFL Night to Shine

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It was by chance that we were invited to participate at such an event like Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine. The sweet woman who purchased our home knew that I was a photographer and reached out to see if we were interested in being apart of such a wonderful event. She promised it would be life changing, and that it was.

We were assigned the getting ready area; hair, make-up, flowers and shoe shine. It was so great to see the guests and their buddies walk in and be treated like royalty. The smiles on everyone’s faces was just THE BEST!!

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer next year, I am told that the event is always the Friday before Valentine’s day. Mark your calendars!






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Often times as I a business owner and a photographer, I find myself wanting to post more about the people that I am photographing, rather then of myself. This year I have made it one of my goals to have a healthy balance of both.

I want you, my loyal friends and clients, to know my why. Why Elsie J Photo is so important to me.

It isn’t a secret that spending more quality time with my babies is my number one reason for wanting to be self-employed. Even though I was so grateful for my job as a teacher, the past four years I found myself becoming more and more exhausted. I wanted to be more present and less tired when I got home from work. I felt like my kids weren’t getting all of me. And although there are days that I am tired now, I have the energy to keep up with them! I was walking into the store today with my youngest and I whispered to him how much I love spending time with him. I want them both to know that these moments are cherished beyond measure.

When I would meet with clients on a shoot they would always look at me like “you teach, do photography, and have small children?” Looking back, it does seem a little bit tiring to think about, but I needed my side hustle to become my main hustle. AND HERE WE ARE! Was it a lot at times, yes. Was it utterly worth it, obviously.

My second why is that I love creating stories (if you missed me talking about this, visit my website to see my behind the scenes video). I love seeing what I can create when I first meet a client. But most importantly, I love making people happy. I believe that I have a special chance to create lasting images for people and that is a pretty cool feeling.

I get to push myself creatively and am in a constant state of change. I can see myself as a business owner evolving, as is my photography itself. And that my friends is pretty sweet.

So if you’re still reading along here, I need you to know that regardless of how Facebook or Instagram have changed their algorithms again, any like, comment, or share means something to me. It means that not only are you seeing posts, but so are others! In staying true to authenticity I wanted you all to know that I’m not just a mom with a nice camera but one who has a why behind it.

Stay beautiful, friends! xoxoxo



Maggie & Seth’s Engagement Shoot, Delnor Wiggins Pass, Naples, Fl.

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I’m going to start by saying: These two were incredible! Maggie and Seth have been together since high school. When it was time for college, they decided to head to the warmth and sunshine to FGCU. (Go Eagles!) Together we talked about their dreams, and how sweet Seth was to go along with anything we asked him to do….even if it meant getting in the water, twice. It made for some laughs and a wet ride home, but I hope you’ll see just how worth doing it, it was!

Enjoy this sneak peek of their Naples engagement session. For all inquires, please visit me at Elsie J Photo.



Surprise Pregnancy Announcement

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You know those really cute pregnancy announcement photos and videos that you see while scrolling the internet? Well I have wanted to be apart of a reveal for sometime now. Which is why it was particularly special when I was let in on the secret that one of the family members was planning to announce that they were expecting to the unsuspecting grandparents.

They had scheduled a group photo session in advance, but this announcement was surely icing on the cake. I am so excited for you all. Congratulations on the news of your sweet little girl!

Next on my photographer bucket list: Document a proposal 🙂


(Top): This was one of my favorites. But it started more like this….


Top 7 of 2017: A year in review

Photography thoughts

1. Our biggest news of 2017 was me having the opportunity to make the transition as a full time photographer. Everything that we were doing had led us as a family to allow me to run my company and chase my dreams. When I say I couldn’t have done this with out every ounce of support from my family, friends, and clients I mean I really could not have done this without you. Every share, like, comment not only makes me smile (ok, squeal a little) but it connects me to others; and for that I am truly grateful.


2. Shooting a wedding outside of Fort Myers (again). Back in 2012 we found ourselves in Grand Rapids, Michigan shooting a beautiful wedding. This year we traveled to St. Pete to photograph the perfect wedding of Kim and Tommy. We laughed and felt so welcomed to be apart of their day. It’s always inspiring to see a new venue! While this wasn’t the only wedding we shot, the traveling was fun 🙂


3. Shooting a pregnancy announcement! This next one was really on my bucket list. I was contacted for a family group session a few months prior. A day before our session I was let in on the secret that their was going to be a very special announcement to the grandparents! While I plan on writing a full post about this, I just had to include it here!


4. Taking an epic road trip that also included an engagement session in Roanoke, VA. I started blogging our 4,200 mile journey here and I fully blame Hurricane Irma on why I didn’t write part 2 and 3. But we had an amazing trip and our children did so well despite all of the miles!!




Raspberry picking in Michigan


Family photos in Virginia


I’m pretty sure shooting in the mountains would never get old. Just sayin’


5. Shooting a styled shoot with really pretty models, and an awesome team! This is something that I wanted to do for a long time, and with the help of this team they helped me create something really wonderful. Complete with a truly epic video!


6. We moved from our home that both of our babies had (so far) grown up in. Don’t mind the cell phone shot for this one, we were at the end of a school year, and moving with two small children 🙂


7. And last, but certainly not least, my clients who have become my friends. Some of you have been with me from the beginning and some were new this year, but each and every one of you I am so grateful for. I have shot tens of thousands of images this year, and have been welcomed into your personal stories of engagements, weddings, newborns, families and small business owners and I couldn’t be more happy every time I get the opportunity to be just a small part in your very beautiful journey. Cheers to 2018. May you have much to celebrate and be surrounded by those you love the most.





Kristin and Shane- Engaged

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These two! We seriously laughed during their whole engagement session. It was one of those sessions where I left re-energized and in even more in love with this photographer life. Here are a few favorites from our session.

For all inquires, please visit www.elsiejphoto.com


Fresh 48-Explained

Photography thoughts

A few posts ago, I shared a some sneak peeks from a Fresh 48. I know that some of you may be wondering what this is, so I thought I should share a few more photos along with a description!

What is a Fresh 48? A Fresh 48 happens within the first 48 hours of your newborn baby arriving! It is intended to document a moment that will undoubtedly fade a little as the years pass. I absolutely love how beautiful and real these sweet moments are.

One of my goals for 2018 is to start offering more documentary type sessions in addition to weddings and portraits. I know that I personally want to capture more of the real moments of my little family, and I’d love to see your family in front of my camera soon too.

Do you want to schedule your own documentary or lifestyle session? Visit www.elsiejphoto.com

Welcome to the world, sweet girl.


Rachel and Miles, Celebrating their engagement, Fort Myers, Florida

Photography thoughts

Rachel has been one of my best friends since the 3rd grade. Our families used to vacation together, and truthfully, we are more like sisters. Which is why I couldn’t be happier that she and her (hilarious and sweet) fiancé Miles are getting married. There is nothing better then seeing your dearest friends happy. Here are a few of my favorites from their session at Lakes Park.

For all inquires visit www.elsiejphoto.com


Ps. I love clients that aren’t afraid to go into ferns for shots like these!


And we’ve got to end with the classic mustache pose. I’m wondering if I should share more of their “out-takes?” 🙂

KALON Consulting, marketing agency of Southwest Florida.

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When Ashley Burns, head of KALON Consulting first contacted me, I knew that this would be a really fun project. She wanted to update her business websites and wanted a fresh look to go along with her very organic views on marketing. If you are in need from someone in marketing, I would definitely contact her. She’s both sweet, fun, and she knows what she’s doing 🙂

I absolutely adored getting to work with her on this special project. Special thanks to Studio RK for hair and makeup and use of their fantastic space.

For all inquiries please visit www.elsiejphoto.com


Krystal and Travis, Lakes Park maternity session

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Their little boy is on the way, and these two parents-to-be couldn’t be more excited to meet him!

For inquiries, please visit below, or message me at Elsie J Photo on Facebook.