parkys pics wedding photography

Drakeford Wedding at Camp Bauer

Jeremy and Rene’ were actually neighbors in the small town of Scotia. A friend suggested that Rene try a dating site. She saw that a guy on the dating site lived in Scotia. She told him," “ I live in Scotia too. What street do you live on?” He answered, “Main Street.” Rene responded with" “I used to live on Main St." . He said, "Oh really? Where? " She answered "Across from the fish hatchery". He responded with "Rene' ?" A few months later, they decided to meet for drinks and have been together ever since.

Jeremy proposed on Christmas. Traditionally they do stockings first, but that particular year Jeremy wanted to do them last. When Rene’ pulled the ring box out of the stocking, Jeremy told her to read the tag. It said to “My fiance' “ The sentiment went right over her head. When she unwrapped it, he got down on his knee & the rest is history.

This beautiful couple loves to explore Humboldt County by fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, going on bike rides, and spending time with their two boys. No matter what they do together, they don't have to talk to connect. He is selfless, a good dad, and would do anything for his family. Rene still gets butterflies eleven years later. They are puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly.

I was blessed to capture both their engagement and their Camp Bauer wedding in Korbel (Blue Lake) California. They got ready at the Blue Lake Casino and were blessed with abundant sunshine for their picture perfect fall wedding. : )

Vianney's Southern Sunny Humboldt Senior Session

Vianney and I met in Southern Humboldt for her senior session. There are a couple of different reasons that I love to shoot in the southern end of Humboldt County. 1. The weather is almost always nicer than it is northern Humboldt. 2. I know of many great locations, all within a small radius of one another, so you can get many different looks in one shoot! We spend some time shooting in both Redway and Garberville and I think we got some great shots! : )

How to feel confident in front of the camera

As a professional photographer, I often get asked for advice on how to feel confident and comfortable in front of a camera.  This has also been something I have struggled with in the past and has taken me awhile to feel happy with someone taking photos of me.  I mean, we all agree its awkward right?  You just standing there, trying to look cute and pose naturally, all the while feeling as though everyone is staring and judging you.  It can be downright nerve racking to say the least!  Since I have been in your shoes and have experienced this first hand, I thought it might be helpful to talk about a few tips I have learned in how to feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera!


Get to Know Your Photographer

Before your photo shoot, try to get to know you’re photographer.  Take some time to check out their website and social media page.  If they have a blog, take a few minutes to read what they write about and share with the world.  Once you can get a feel for who your photographer truly is the far less intimidating they will be!  If your photographer is going to be the one shooting your wedding, it’s a great idea to have an engagement photo shoot with them before your wedding.  By doing a shoot prior to your big day, it helps make you and your partner more comfortable in front of the camera, as well as makes a great opportunity to get to know the person that will be capturing some once in a life time moments! Some photographers will offer package deals with engagement and wedding shoots, so be sure to ask for additional details!

Wear Something You Feel comfortable In

If you’re not naturally comfortable in front of the camera, I highly recommend choosing an outfit that you feel comfortable and confident in.  I have worked with clients before that have picked out a more “daring” outfit that was out of their comfort zone.  When we took a look at the photos the client did not like how she looked in what she had picked out and the way she had posed in it.  She stated to me she had felt uncomfortable and lacked confidence.  By choosing an outfit that you absolutely love and feel really great in will allow confidence to naturally shine through!  When you feel great about how you look and feel in something, your smile becomes so much brighter and your body will pose more naturally!

Know Your Angles

Speaking of posing naturally, do you know your best angles?  Obviously it’s my job as a photographer to know what angles compliment the best, but you knowing how you like to look really helps with confidence in front of the camera!  Taking a few moments to stand in front of a mirror to see what angles you prefer on your body is really beneficial before your photo shoot!  Take a few pictures of yourself, pose a little, get creative and review what you look like.  Trust me, once you get used to this it will make it much easier when someone else is taking photos of you! 

Understand the Light

If you have ever worked with a professional photographer before, I am sure you have heard them go on and on about evening light.  I know it sounds strange that we always seem to want to photograph in the evening on a warm summer night, but it’s totally normal.  The light is far more flattering and soft when the sun is setting.  By having your photos taken midday when the sun is at it’s highest peak in the sky, leads to unflattering and harsh shadows on your face.  Be sure to stick to the golden hour.  We want the glow of the radiance you have within, to be what shines brightly!

Ignore the Rest of the World

All too often it is so easy to let the little voice inside take over when you’re having a photo taken.  It doesn’t matter if you are surrounded by a lot of people or in the middle of nowhere, just you and me, doubt will start to creep in.  You may feel concerned about what others are thinking of you but in reality, most of the time, people aren’t even noticing that there is a photo shoot going on.  Most photographers won’t mind if you are shy either, it’s their job to help make you feel more comfortable!  So try to forget about the rest of the world and who is around you and just enjoy the moment at hand!

Have Fun

Similar to above and ignoring the rest of the world, it is so important to try and have fun while you’re being photographed!  As a photographer I do my very best to try to keep the mood light, entertaining and comfortable.  I may not be the classic comedian but I’ve learned a thing or two about making people laugh and loosen up!  The more relaxed you are and can let yourself go in a photo shoot, the more confident you will feel and the nicer the photos will turn out!

I hope these pointers will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and help build your self-confidence!  Put on that perfect outfit you absolutely adore and work your best angles!   Photography is meant to be fun and creative so enjoy the experience!

Vacation is a state of mind|What I learned from my dream Hawaii vacation.

This working full time, running a business, and being hustling mama  is NO joke! I have been wanting to write this blog post for 6 months!

Back in January for my 40th birthday, we took a family trip to Kauai. It had always been my dream to go to Hawaii, and I figured if I didn’t make it then, I never would!

Growing up, we didn't have a lot of money, so family vacations were rare. Besides the annual family camping trip, I think the most exciting vacation was a trip to Six Flags.

No Disneyland

No tropical vacays.

No airplane rides.

In fact, the first time I rode on an airplane was my sophomore year of college when I played in the Jr. College basketball state all star game.

I had been watching so many of my social media friends take all these exotic vacations  and I thought to myself, I work my butt off. I deserve that. So I booked the trip.

I have major anxiety about flying.... so the flight there was a bit nerve wracking. I did my best to not freak out for the kids and keep my composure as we flew over the ocean, as I thought of the multitude of things that could go wrong that ended up with our air plane plunging deep into the ocean.

Once we landed, it was as beautiful as promised. We settled into our hotel and went and got some groceries. The first full day we explored the island with a local photographer. As he took us to different locations I was thinking to myself, A lot of this looks like home. Some of the beaches we went to looked just like Shelter Cove, or Trinidad.

The next day in the early afternoon, I got a massage in a cabana right on the beach. I could smell the ocean and feel the breeze.

When I got back to the hotel room, I immediately felt sick. Fever, chills, sore throat. Sicker than I had been in a LONG time. I didn’t want to get out of bed. The first day or two I barely did. After that I ventured out,because I knew our time was running short, but it was still a struggle.

For my birthday we went to the amazing Smith's Family Luau. But I couldn’t really enjoy it as my nose was running so bad, my throat was burning and I just wanted to crawl in bed.

One of the mornings, I was lying in bed while the kids were feeding the fish in the hotels Koi pond with my husband. The following message appeared as a text message on my phone.






I immediately texted my husband. He had gotten the same text and was walking quickly inside with other hotel guests.

My husband is a very calm person, which completely SUCKED in this situation. I was freaking out on the inside, but had to remain calm on the outside because my 5 and 7 year old kids were in the room with us.   

I was asking him, should we get in the bathtub? We need to get away from the window!

But he said no. If we are going to go, we’re gonna go.

Both kids had settled into doing their Independent study school work. I was thinking to myself...

Is this really how we are going to die? Reading to our kids?

I had texted my dad and my good friends husband who were both ex military. They both had looked online and said they didn’t see anything.

So we waited.

Not long after, but what seemed like forever, I think it was 15 minutes we got the text that it was a false alarm.


So much for my dream Hawaii vacation.

Although I didn’t have the time of my life, or my dream vacation, I did get a few valuable things out of the trip. Lots of relaxation, and some quality family time which were both desperately needed at that point in my life.

But laying by the pool which is about all I could do comfortably,  watching my children play,  and my daughter go down the pool slide a million times, I realized that I didn’t have to fly thousands of miles to have a great vacation.

My kids were perfectly content just swimming in the pool, and walking along the beach.

Sometimes things don’t always turn out as planned, but I take each thing in my life as a learning experience. What I learned from this experience was that….vacation is a state of mind. One that I could escape to at any time in my mind.

I could lay in my backyard while my kids swim in the blow up pool….

I could head to the river for the day, and hang out with friends or family only miles from my house.

Or I could travel on one of my husbands softball tournaments and have fun swimming and shopping. I didn’t have to travel thousand of miles and fly over the ocean to have a dream vacation.

Now I want to turn it over to you. Where do you love to vacation? Do you have any crazy vacation stories? I would love to hear from you in the comments! Drop your thoughts below.