One thing that we, as photographers, put off and don't do for ourselves is getting our own portraits made. I could give you lots of reasons why - we're busy, we're better behind the camera, we are too nervous to stand in front of a fellow photographer.

We preach at our clients to exist in pictures. To print those pictures. To give their families proof of their lives and loves. To make heirlooms and memories.

But we don't do it for ourselves.

Jeannie and I met online through a local photography forum a few months ago. She is inspirational, encouraging, and a fountain of positive energy. We love to share stories about our businesses, offer one another gentle critique, and share creativity. She's a talented photographer, who specializes in documentary-style weddings. You can see her work here.

One day, we were chatting online, and she was saying how much she wanted new portraits of herself, her husband and two dog children.  I told her that my family and I hadn't had portraits made since our wedding, and I felt really bad about that. So guess what, guys - bartering hasn't died! We set the dates,  discussed locations, and locked it down. On two Mondays, of course. Because weekends are for clients!

I drove out to Jeannie and Steven's farm in Protem last week. Wow. So gorgeous. The drive, the farm, the light - everything. I have to say I'm a little envious! They even have a preserved Civil War era cabin on their property. I just about lost it when I found that out!

It was so nice finally getting to meet Jeannie in person, and we hit it off immediately - further proof that real friendships can start online.  Steven was such a good sport with us talking shop as we were shooting, and the dogs - Summer and Febe - were super cute and energetic. Dogs are really a lot like kids! At one point, Summer finally got tired of posing, and she hopped up and ran away. It ended up being one of Jeannie's favorite photos from our session.

My family has our session with Jeannie this week at Busiek. I'm excited to show you the pictures, and I know I'll be so glad we took the time to do this. Exist in pictures, you guys. No excuses.