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I received an email last week that encompasses why I’m a photographer. A Mother of the Bride from last summer’s wedding season contacted me to get a quote on prints. Typical right? Not so much, the story of WHY she wanted the prints was so deeply touching that I choked up right there in front of my computer! Melissa graciously agreed to allow me to share her story/email on my website. She entitled the picture “The Last Dance.”

Hi Mabyn,

I’m Trisha’s Mom. You took a photo of my father and I with me dancing and I’m leaning on his shoulder crying. The reason I was crying was my father is terminally ill with cancer and all I could think was, my god this is the last dance with my Dad.

My whole family is quite taken by the moment you captured.

My father now only has a couple of months to live and I would like to give a 5×7 to each of my siblings plus my mother.

Could you please give me a quote for 6 – 5×7’s in the black and white version? Also, the time line it would take to get them?

Thank you,

You never know when you take a picture who it’s going to impact or why. This is a special moment Melissa shared with her father that she will have forever. I am so honored to be the one who captured it for her.

I pray that you take this into consideration when booking your photographer, be it for your wedding, family portraits, or baby pictures. It’s so important to document life. To quote Simon and Garfunkel “preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.” It’s so true. At the end, what do you have that survives the people you love?

The Impact of an Image : Real Moments


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Now that spring is upon us, I’m receiving more calls and emails. It’s the light at the end of the looong winter tunnel! Soon wedding and portrait season will be in full swing! Hooray!

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my photography during the cold winter months. I’ve really been able hone the direction I’d like it to go. If you’re a frequent visitor to my blog then you might have noticed I’ve recently changed the “About Me” section a bit.:

“The significance of a photograph is greater than any of us imagine. It can be breath taking, emotional, and precious. It can capture a moment that may never happen again. We need to cherish these moments and that’s why it’s so important to me to capture them.

In this digital age it’s so easy to find a friend with a camera or throw all of your images on a disk and forget about them. What’s not easy, and never has been, is capturing the true essence and beauty of a person and the moments they share with others. That is what I strive to do. To not only take pictures, but to capture moments that will become an heirloom and a legacy.

Every day I thank God that He’s blessed me with a unique eye. An eye that expresses how beautiful and important God’s children are to Him. He is my Savior, my joy, and my life. ”

This concept of how precious our images truly are really hit me hard the past couple months. I mean, do we really have all of the pictures that we want with our loved ones? Can we honestly say that we have too many pictures? Too many memories? This idea tugs at my heart strings every time I think about it. It has prompted me to revamp some things as well as create some special projects in the future.

For now, I hope it compels you to break out your point and shoot or your DSLR and snap a shot with someone you love. Print it out and frame it. Make it hard proof that they exist and you feel deeply for them. Time is too short and too precious. I pray you make the most of it!



My Parents and I when I was born

My parents and I last spring

My brothers and I (typical Nate, not a fan of pictures ;oP)

Ben and Melissa

Nate and Lindsey

Babyn Mabyn (Insert cute noise here)

Ethan, my nephew, the new love of my life!

Marvelous Monday : The Family Edition


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Welcome back! This is part 2 of the Shroyer saga! I just love talking about this family! They’re so wonderful!

This post is dedicated to Ami Shroyer and her beautiful spirit, talent, and heart!

The main reason I was in NC back in November was to take pictures of Ami for her new CD. We had so much fun going to consignment stores in search of outfits, looking for peace signs everywhere, getting fake eyelashes put on, and bashing around Winston Salem looking FABULOUS! I really feel like our friendship went up a level that week. I got to know Ami like I’d never known her before, it was beautiful!

She’s so in love with Jesus. When you listen to her music you can’t help but love Him more too! When you sit and talk with Ami you see how big her heart is and how much she adores doing Gods work. Her family reflects the same. They’re a family for God that I hope to have myself one day.

Ami’s album is called 40,000 Reasons. It’s a beautiful collection of old and new songs that encompass her life and encourage others to draw closer to their Savior. Visit her website and buy the CD! You wont be disappointed! Every time I listen I’m compelled to spend even more time with my Jesus. It prompts reflection, stillness, and joy!

40,000 Reasons – Ami Sandstrom Shroyer : Real Music


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The next two posts are full of people I love. I am so excited to finally share these images with you! I’ve been waiting for a BIG moment which has finally happened…but i’m saving that till next post! 😉

I’d like to introduce you to the Shroyer family, Mike, Ami, J Michael, and Sadiella! Mike and I have been friends for years, literally, he was one of my camp counselors when I was a kid at Casowasco! Since then we’ve seen each others ups and downs, relocations, and families grow. I was  privileged to visit them in NC back in November of 09. I was able to allocate a whole week to Shroyer time! Sooooo fabulous! It’s always tough when I have to leave, they’re absolutely wonderful, and I’ve been tempted (more than once) to move to where they are. Not that they don’t suggest it every chance they get :mrgreen: . But, God has me here in cold and snowy NY for now. Maybe one day I’ll get to join them in the warm and sunny Carolinas!

Every time I look at these pictures I’m flooded with wonderful memories. I can’t wait until I get to visit them again! I miss them so much!

The Shroyers : Real Life