Who am I? Mom to four of the most amazing tiny humans I have ever known, Owen (10), Ross (8) and Kyleigh (6), Rhys (13) (although he is Rick’s by blood I love him like my own!) and Anakin the dwarf rabbit. I share my life, love and and business with my best friend and one of the best partners you could ever ask for in love, life or business, Rick (aka Oz). If you hear me yelling for Oz at a wedding no I promise I have not lost my mind… I am blessed to have such strong people in my life who have and continue to love me in spite of so many things. I am quite OCD and driven and sometimes that makes me hard to live with (no comments from the peanut gallery here..)
Our house is nothing, if not exciting. It is filled with the roar of three small kids, 4 on the weekends, but no matter how crazy life gets… is our life and we love it. It is not always easy but it is worth the fight and worth the effort. I have found that in life if there is something that is worth having, it is worth fighting for.
Photography IS who I am. It is so much a part of me that I wouldn’t really know how to exist without it. It is something that is now second nature. My camera is like another limb / an attachment to my own body. Weddings specifically are “my thing”, my passion, my true love. Although I can, have and sometimes still do, photograph babies, children, families and commercial work, my heart is with my brides (and grooms!). I am still decent at photographing many genres because all basic photographic principles still apply but truly, Photography HAD ME at “I do”. With purpose and conviction I can truly say that we SPECIALIZE in weddings! As one of very FEW photography boutiques in Kentucky that can claim that, you will notice that when you open our website you will not see a picture of a baby or child at the front and have to sift your way through to find information about weddings. I shoot weddings, I LIVE weddings, I PIN weddings, Weddings…they’re kind of my thing!
Me…Amber Michele (-yes that is Michele with ONE(1) L – my mother made sure that my name was not spelled with “hell” in it… she said I would have enough hell in my life without having it in my name too!)… I am a bit of a workaholic… my phone is permanently attached to me, my kids constantly say “Yeah we know… you’ve got a client!”, if you become a Kentucky Studio bride you will end up receiving emails from me after midnight and many other odd hours, days, holidays etc. I would have it no other way. Who needs a boring 9-5? Not me! I am totally devoted to my work and truly hope that it reflects in my clients photos and love for our company.
We are “eating out” junkies, but truly I LOVE to cook… I hate to clean up after it and I firmly stand by the theory that the COOK doesn’t CLEAN, because there is nothing like a home cooked meal. Secretly I will tell you that if I have to eat McDonalds one more time I might end up in the funny farm! ICK. Until very recently I was NOT an adventurous eater but I have to say that I am quickly opening my eyes to many NEW foods and flavors thanks to Rick… (yeah he’s not just pretty hair that holds a camera!).
I love: snowy days, rainy days, gray days, sunny days, summer evenings, cool breezes, the sounds of the ocean crashing into the shore, the sound of my children’s laughter, the way my family yells “Marco” when they come home from work / school and always expects me to reply “Polo”, I love Black Friday and outlet shopping in a serious way mostly because I love a bargain and shhh… I picked up the habit of going “junking” from my mother and Aunt Sue!
I love Christmas more than any person should and leave my Christmas tree up until February if I can get away with it! (THAT is the reason why I decorate my tree in red and black so its Valentines”ish” also… and no it is NOT A LOUISVILLE TREE… if you mention that I might throw you out of my house! I bleed blue all the way!) GO CATS! I love GIVING gifts and could care less if I ever got one in return. I am told that I am really hard to buy a gift for but I think that just shows how truly blessed I am. There is really nothing in the world that I want more than to see the joy in people’s eyes as they open that one PERFECT gift that you put so very much thought into, poured over, searched for, ordered weeks in advance, carefully and ornately wrapped… in that single second it is pure joy to me. But I STINK at keeping secrets (I am a terrible liar) and generally I cannot wait until actual Christmas DAY to give people their gifts. I buy them “auxiliary” gifts just to be able to give them to them days in advance!
I love flip flops and pedicures, and Coca Cola Classic.. yes.. sadly I am addicted. I love black and white photos almost as much as contrasty color and I love it when an image makes me cry YEARS after I shot it. I love life and people in general and with the exception of a handful, feel like humanity, in general are GOOD people. I believe in second chances and forgiving those who have been mean to you. I believe that NO person is the SUM of their mistakes and that they can ALWAYS choose to change their life at any time. Yes, life is hard. I get that as well as anyone else and my life has been anything but easy but mostly I believe in fighting for what you want and for those you love. Some days you just have to wake up, pull up your bootstraps, hold your head high and move on. I believe that happiness is a choice that you must make for yourself but at the same time you must realize that it will not always be easy. We were never promised EASY… we were just promised that life and love … those are two things that are worth the fight.
I love cookies and would rather eat anything with cinnamon and sugar rather than chocolate. I love Italian Food and Mexican Food. I love to bake, to sleep, to WASH Laundry but NOT to put it away. I love the feel of FRESH sheets and a clean garage. I LOVE my home! (truly, madly and deeply love it) I love puttering around, shopping at Pottery Barn for that perfect soup taureen, I love ORGANIZING my pantry (yes… its a sickness… open any closet in my house and prepare to be amazed by my OCD tendencies)!
More than anything else, I Love my Heavenly Father. I believe in God. I believe HE is my Father and that He loves me in spite of my failures and wrongdoings. If you are not religious, I will respect your beliefs but it will
never diminish my own. If you hear me refer to God I most often call Him Father. That is WHO He is to ME. Every single time I ask, He gives. Every time I cry, He listens. Every time I am down, He scoops me up, dusts me off, and sends me back on my way. I know that I am special… because I am the daughter of a King and each day I live, I understand a little more, just how much, HE love ME too. There is a song by Matthew West that says, “never one did I ever walk alone.” That song has brought me more comfort in my past few years that anyone will ever understand. I find it hard to be depressed about life simply because I know that I am NEVER alone, that I have a Father who wishes to prosper and NOT to harm me, who works daily to give me HOPE and a future. That said… I hope that you too have your own deeply rooted faiths and I will respect each and every one of those.
I hate mean people, rude people, vindictive people, watching my Cats lose, the words “birth defects” (its a long story… find my family blog if you want to know), Thai Food, curry and bad smells such as soured laundry. I hyave a highly sensitive nose (think like 9 months preggo but I am definitely NOT preggo… my nose is just like that ALL.THE.TIME… yes it’s annoying…). I cannot stand Dr. Pepper, super spicy food, or 105 degree days. I sweat like a man and the extra hot weather makes that worse. I hate that I sometimes stutter and mix up words when I am stressed… so if I call you your husband or your twin sister’s name on your wedding day… I apologize… I promise I KNOW your name… my temporal lobe often fails me!
I love beautiful storms and lighting, I love snow storms but I am scared to death of Tornadoes. I was in a minor tornado as a young child and watched the roof of the building we were in lift up and down and I will never forget that terror. I will always own a home with a basement because it makes me sleep better at night!
I am, Stronger than I ever thought I could be, kinder than I often should be, more thoughtful each day than the last and wish that I had more time to SHOW people how much I care and appreciate them. I am assertive, passionate, intelligent, brilliant (if I do say so myself!), witty, sarcastic, tender-hearted, wiser than my years, funny when I don’t even try, forgiving most of the time, hopeful of all things, full of faith, and most of all I am unwilling to quit. I will never give up. Starting a business with nothing, growing a business, and now owning a rather blessed and successful one is not always easy… but above all else… I rise to the occasion. I am willing to work hard and fight for what I believe is right. I will go to extremes to make people happy even if it means sacrifice on my own part. I just love seeing the smiles on people’s faces!
I am a woman who will always seek to do right by her fellow human beings. I try not to be jaded or calloused by life even though mine has been far from easy. I am a dreamer, a wisher, a hoper, a thinker, a believer, a planner, a DOER, a mover, a runner, a winner, a lover, a fighter, a crier, a survivor, a victor.
As idealistic as it sounds all I have ever wanted to BE in life is someone who changes the world. I am destined for greatness. My Heavenly Father has a plan for my life and I am just along for the ride…. the day my daughter was born, everything I have ever wanted to BE in life, instantly came true. In all her imperfect, perfection, I can only hope, for the rest of my life, to be HALF the woman she already is. I watch her and wonder how it was that God found ME worthy to be her mom and mom to my boys too. I am humbled again and again to think that He trusted me with these little lives. I am blessed to get to be a part of theirs. They make me better. They challenge my thinking. Yes, they also test my patience but my kids have GIVEN me more than I could have ever asked for. To see them grown and learn and evolve into their own people is truly the greatest gift that I will ever have in life.
To truly understand me, as a person, you cannot exclude my kids. They are the smartest, funniest, truest people we have ever known. Often, we cannot begin to believe that we helped create these tiny humans who are everything we could have ever hoped for and more! They are each, in their own right, a true character. Each of them ranks as the smartest “numerically” child in their grade and are adored by everyone in their school. Someday I find myself in tears just because… I cannot begin to imagine how these little people will change this world. They already have and they don’t even know it.
Owen, aka Big Red, aka Mr. Smartypants, is 10 years old. He is pretty close to a genius. (not really joking… you should see his test scores)He is very GOOD at anything he does and has a hard time accepting things that he cannot excel in! :) He loves all things LEGO, computer gaming (especially COD), nerf guns and is a Star Wars expert. He got an Xbox 360 for Christmas and has already mastered far too many games. He is a genuine chocoholic. If ever there is chocolate in our house… he knows where to find it! :) He is also VERY responsible for his age and helpful. We call him our “mama” hen… he packs his siblings lunches (by choice) and is always the one reminding his younger brother and sister to brush their teeth, hair, shoes, coats, etc. He has been truly adored by each and every teacher because he becomes their little buddy and assistant and each year they are sad to see him go. Although he is in 3rd grade he is reading on a 5th grade level and in a 4th grad math class. We will stop short of talking about his “tween” attitude though because up until that point he sounds pretty perfect! LOL He loves Duck Dynasty and playing pool with his cousins. He cannot wait to turn 13 so he can shoot a gun at the family farm.
While this business is my life, my children, are my whole world. Now you understand the hierarchy :)
And NO I didn’t forget Rhys! I claim him too but if you want to read more about him… check out Rick’s About Me page
I always, ALWAYS cry when a bride’s daddy “gives her away”. The point that brings big strong men, like a bride’s Daddy, to tears as they turn and walk away, leaving behind his baby girl, standing there with the man who is supposed to take care of her for the rest of her life, that is one of the more poignant moments of any wedding for me. I just know that there is NO ONE else in the entire world who will ever love her like he does or like her mama does. I often think of the fact that Troy will one day do that same thing for our daughter. No one else, including her husband, will ever quite understand her life quite like we do. No matter how much we tell him he will never know what it was like to live those months and years in the hospital with her on the brink of death. He will never truly understand the miracle that we watched unfold with our own eyes. I just hope that she finds a man, someday, who will be worthy of her love and not take the honor of being her husband lightly. But the funny thing is I want THAT for every single one of my brides.
I try to hide behind my camera… but if you look closely you will see tears falling off my cheeks each time I watch a Dad walk his daughter down the aisle. I cannot imagine what saying goodbye to your little girl will be like and every wedding night I come home and hug my daughter a little tighter knowing that in the blink of an eye Troy will be doing the same thing for her. I, of course, will be blubbering on the front row or maybe she will give me the privilege of walking down the aisle beside her also but either way I know that day will come far too soon. I also happen to have a weakness for the ceremonial dances… Mother / son, Father / Daugther yeah.. those hit me hard too. LOL
I love everything about weddings. Every long, hot, stressful, emotional moment of those days. That is the FIRST day of the rest of SOMEONE’s life… and those “someones” just chose ME to document that on “film”. It is a heavy thing that I do not take lighting and I count it an honor and a privilege.
I thrive on the adrenaline rush that a wedding day brings and look forward to each and every one. I love the challenge and the reward that comes when I receive the email or note thanking us for being their on their wedding day. There is no other life event quite like a wedding and although I will only have my own wedding ONCE, I am very content to enjoy one nearly every weekend for someone else.
“A thing that you see in my pictures, is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.” ~Annie Leibovitz
This is truly how I feel about my photographs. When you look back on your photos I want you to be able to close your eyes and go right back to those minutes of your life. I want you remember just how the freesia smelled in your bouquet and how the silk of your gown felt against your skin. I want your body to warm as you remember the flushing in your cheeks during your first kiss and the warmth of the sun on your face. I want chills to run down your spine as you remember just how he held you during your first dance. I want you to laugh at how you smashed cake in his face when he wasn’t expecting it. I want tears to fill your eyes when you see the images of you dancing with your Daddy. I want you to GASP and have your breath taken away at the sensual, sweet images of yourself and your husband. I want the images to jump off the page and grab you by the heart and NEVER let go.
One thing that you will notice about my images, especially on Facebook and our blog. You will rarely see them described as things like “Nice” or “Pretty”. Most often people’s first reactions are somewhat stunned and include words like “Amazing”, Fantastic, Gorgeous, Stunning. To tell me that my images are “nice” is almost a bit insulting. If my images are only ever NICE… then I will close my door and not photograph again. I am not content to create NICE images. I want to create images that touch your heart, images that truly tell your story.
My all time favorite Image? I don’t know what it is but this image just calls my name. No matter how many weddings I shoot at Talon this one is still “it” for me. I get chills every single time I see it.