Purple Fun

October 22, 2013

This was the first time Izzy, Abby & Gabe dressed in purple for their family portraits. Purple was chosen just because it was a fun and different color, but it just also happens to be the color of their favorite college team. Yes, that’s right, they are Wildcat fans!

Of course, they know that I am a KU graduate and very much a Jayhawk fan. That just meant we had lots of fun making up sayings to get everyone laughing and giggling! Comments about purple boogers and stinky Jayhawks…it was all for fun and definitely brought out our silly sides!

Unless one of the kiddos grows up and decides to go to KU, I’m pretty sure we’re always going to be on opposite sides of that rivalry!

Four Legged Success

October 2, 2013

This is the fourth time that I have photographed the four legged baby of the family…Kate! However, this was the first time we went outside…and it was by far our most successful session with Miss Kate thus far!

Kate is a sweet pup, but she has a big body that she swings around with wild abandonment. I think, when we were in the studio, we were always afraid of what she might take out in one of her romps around the room, so we kept a tighter leash on her.

Outside, she was able to romp and play as much as she wanted. So she’d hold a sit for a minute, long enough for me to capture a couple of images, and then she’d take off at a run…chasing moths and flies and anything that caught her eye. Then we’d start all over…back to her position with her two legged siblings.

I’m sure it would have been entertaining to watch, but the main thing…it was a successful Kate session!

A New Addition

September 19, 2013

The T Family has added a member since the last time I photographed them. She’s four legged and very beautiful! Of course, she was also only about three months old at the time of their portrait session…and has plenty of growing left to do!

Her older sisters, Sandy & Rizzo, showed their stuff…staring right at the camera, working their angles. I’m thinking any time those tiny tots can show the new big girl what’s what, they will do just that!

Poor Daddy, as if he wasn’t already outnumbered…just one more beautiful lady to love!

Not Just Brothers

June 25, 2013

Nick and Luke might be brothers, but they’re also the best of friends. In the short time I got to spend with them, I definitely had a sneak peek into their relationship…and it’s full of laughter, smiles and happy times.

They’re great at making each other laugh! With just a word or phrase, they know what the other one is thinking. They’re not afraid to be silly or goofy, especially if it gets a response out of the other one! They have lots of inside jokes, that are communicated by a look or a raised eyebrow.

They told me they don’t really fight, that the most they might do is some bickering, but that usually ends up in laughter!

With Nick heading off to K-State in the fall, Luke says he’s going to miss Nick…because he can’t drive yet, and Nick is his chauffer…but I’m pretty sure it’s more than that!

It’s All About the Laughter

June 4, 2013

Pam and Bob have been married for 43 years. After spending an hour photographing the two of them, watching them interact and listening to them, it’s easy to see that the laughter, smiles, orneriness and teasing is the reason they’ve been together for 43 years…and plan to be together for many more!

I’m sure there were tough days and tough years, but having each other to laugh with during those tough times has to be a key to success!

They are high school sweethearts, who only ended up going to their first prom together because Bob sweet talked Pam’s mom, and Pam’s mom “encouraged” a reluctant Pam to go to prom with Bob. Three proms later, and look where they are today!

Rolling With It

April 30, 2013

That was the theme of our session! When it comes to kiddos, you can have the best intentions and the perfect plans, but all of those plans and intentions get thrown out the window the minute reality sets in!

Of course, the part you have to realize is that reality actually makes for some amazing images and some priceless moments that you may not have gotten if you had not embraced reality!

Moments like big brother, Taylor, reading to his little sister, Sophia, from her favorite book!

Moments like the boys of the family, laughing and smiling together.

Moments like Sophia planting a big, huge smooch right on her Mommy’s lips.

When you roll with it, you never know what you will get! It’s a good lesson to learn and it’s a good lesson to remember, not just in photography, but in life too!

The Trio

April 15, 2013

Caleb, Noah and Brooke were quite the trio!

Brooke never stopped talking, and within a few minutes of being in the studio had already spilled the beans about her brother’s girlfriend. I’m sure if I had asked additional questions, many of her brother’s secrets would have been shared! Brooke definitely enjoys being a star and being the only sister!

Noah would have rather been anywhere else! Getting his photograph taken and snuggling with his siblings…not at the top of his list. Although, at sixteen years old, I can’t imagine any guy who would put that at the top of their list. Despite his reluctance, he survived the session and even flashed a few smiles.

Caleb will be graduating from high school this year, attending two proms and doing it all with a smile and a laugh! It is beyond obvious that Caleb adores his siblings, and loves nothing more than to smother them with love, make them laugh and just make sure they are close by and happy! Snuggling and giving kisses was not a challenge for Caleb!

My Grandparents

January 15, 2013

Last April, I was visiting my grandparents, and despite the fact that it was the last thing they wanted to do that day, I made them search their closet for coordinating outfits and then drug them outside for a few photographs.

Yes, it took me over eight months to find the time to work on their images, but that’s okay, because I had the images on the computer, backed up, saved and waiting for me!

Now looking at them, it takes me right back to that day. My grandpa being difficult (or should we say silly!), and my grandma (who’s voice I can hear perfectly in my head) telling him to “Stop that!”

Over sixty years of marriage, and they still make each other laugh, still give each other a hard time, still look out for one another, and still love each other!

It doesn’t need to come anytime soon or even quickly, but I look forward to experiencing sixty years of marriage and still smiling and laughing at each other, just like my adorable grandparents!

Only One Today

January 10, 2013

I’m a firm believer in not putting off for tomorrow what you can and should do today, especially when it comes to photography!

I cringe every time I hear the lines: “I need to lose five more pounds,” or “I don’t really like my hair,” or “It’s so hard to find something to wear,” because I know that those five more pounds, they’re never going to happen, finding the perfect outfit is as likely as finding bigfoot and the hair, sheesh, it looks different every day!

There is no such thing as perfection…this is coming from someone who at times can be obsessive compulsive and anal and a perfectionist in my own world! But there is a moment in time, a memory to be made and something here today that may not be here tomorrow.

Recently, a client of mine, a young, mid-forty year old, beautiful lady with a wonderful spirit passed away. One day she was with us and the next day her spiritual body had moved on.

I am so thankful that Leslie and her family never put off for tomorrow having their family portrait done. Almost every year since 2004, Leslie and her family would come see me. No, things weren’t always perfect. Sometimes family members were in difficult health, sometimes money was tight, sometimes finding the free time to drive the hour to get to me was challenging, but they did it, and because they did, they will forever have family portraits of a time when laughter was frequent, sisters were together, babies were born and memories were made!

A couple of days ago, Leslie’s sister posted this message on my facebook wall:

“As I tried desperately to sleep last night, it dawned on me that I need to be thankful for Ms. Brandi Majerle for her amazing professionalism and talent in photography.

Brandi was always able to capture my sister’s pure beauty, spirit and kindness. It is portrayed so vividly through the expressions in Leslie’s eyes and smile. When I look at my sister’s photos that have been taken by Brandi I feel her warmth that was nurtured by my parents and generously shared by her, to all she knew.

Thank you Brandi….. For the gift of love and memories you have provided to the McLendon family throughout the years. We are forever indebted to you.”

Days later and I still can’t read the words without getting teary-eyed and speechless. They mean the world to me…I was blessed to know Leslie, to see the love she and her family had for each other, and to capture it in a way that will live forever!

Leslie, you will always be in my heart!

Back Together

November 19, 2012

This past year has been a tough one for Lily & Ava’s family. Their Daddy had to look elsewhere for work when the local jobs dried up, and elsewhere turned out to be over seas. Since January, Daddy has been in Afghanistan working to make a better life for his ladies back here at home. He’s been able to come home twice for two week periods…and one of those times I was blessed by his presence!

There were smiles all around from all four of them! Even the pups were happy to listen and “obey” Daddy. Little Miss Rizzo, couldn’t take her eyes off of him! I actually think this was the easiest session to get Daddy to smile at. He’ll usually flash me a few smiles, but I can see he’s always thinking, when is this going to be over? Not this time, he was all smiles and even flashed a few at that beautiful lady of his!

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