simple joy simple beauty

I am not a confident soul. My close friends know that I am, in fact, annoyingly insecure. I admire (and sometimes envy) the self-assured women I know who can take on the world with boldness and conviction.

Instead, I rely on rare flashes of bravado that inspire me to submit that article, write that letter, ask the question, build that website, start the blog, take the class… And more than anything I appreciate the people who have faith in me, who push me to do more than I think I can.

Those people are YOU. So with great thanks to each of you who have faith in my photography and in ME, please come take a peek at

I’ll admit I’m nervous about it. Perusing the websites and blogs of REAL photographers, I only see how much I have to learn, how inadequate my skills are. But just as I was considering an inexpensive website template, my friend Annie wrote a beautiful post on Playing Big:

Today as I was watching my daughter’s violin lesson, her wonderful teacher Cate asked “Maddy, do you consider yourself to be someone who holds pieces of herself back & tries to take up less room? Or do you think of yourself as someone who opens right up and shares with everybody and isn’t afraid to be noticed?”

“Well…both, I guess.” (Which is true…she does both. Maybe we all do.)
“Hmm. Right now your violin is asking you to open up more. To be bigger. To take up space. To share more of what you’re feeling through your music. It’s a great invitation! Can you do it?”
Meanwhile, I’m over on the scratchy sofa, inspired and inwardly nodding my head and saying “Yes, I can, Cate. I will play bigger. I will share. I will take up space.”

Then, President Uchtdort gave the most incredible talk on women and creativity, Happiness, Your Heritage (take that cursor up to 54:40– you could, of course, just read the transcript– but why deny yourself his fabulous good looks and charming German accent? Trust me, my noMo friends, I’m not trying to proselyte here, just sharing the good stuff).

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

And this quote from Segullah:

“You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” Annie Dillard

And so, I am jumping off a cliff today. The site is a work in progress and will surely suffer several tweaks and upsets before (if ever!) I deem it enough.

But for now it is a beautiful place for my favorite photos to live and the clients section allows my friends to look at their photos at home instead of in my crazy, chaotic kitchen.

And so, this takes me back to why I take photographs– I want you to see your own incredible, amazing and unique beauty. So take a peek and go take some risks of your own.

xoxo, m

look at you! You’re gorgeous!
October 27, 2008



  1. Annie

    October 29, 2008

    Wow, Michelle. Can you hear my applause here from across the country? So, so happy for you and proud of your braveness and excellence. Inspiring!

    And stunning photo there of the little girl with the red shirt and lovely eyelashes. As I think I’ve told you before (and if not I should have) you have a gift of showing people their beauty through your lens. Run with it gladly!

  2. Holman House

    October 29, 2008

    Well if tears it is that you wanted, you got them! I just spent too much time browsing your entire new web site. Stunning! You have so many god given talents, thank you for sharing just some of them with us. What an insightful quote as well. So are you still going to share the latest photos with us on your blog, or are they all going on the photography site?

  3. GeorgiaBecksteads

    October 29, 2008


    You have an amazing talent. Enough said – your pictures, candids or portraits are beautiful.

  4. Kelly

    October 29, 2008

    Amen! It’s done! You’re live….its so great! Im so happy for you!! I jumped in a year ago with both feet…I am so blessed with awesome clients doing something I truly love…I know you are as blessed!!

    Beautiful site!

    (did you get my email response to your question on my blog?)

    Congrats to you my friend!

  5. Linn

    October 29, 2008

    Absolutely beautiful! I love it. And cannot wait to be in your area to take advantage of your incredible talent. You are amazing!

  6. Laura H.

    October 30, 2008

    it’s beautiful. it made me cry. and it sparked something in my own heart. wish i could share. maybe someday…

  7. Claudia

    October 30, 2008

    Well, you already know how I feel about all that.

    What would we do if we didn’t have you to capture the magic. Moments and memories lost is what they would be. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for talking that leap. You are wonderful to me!

  8. Natalie Hansen

    October 30, 2008

    Incredible website. It is wonderful to see all of your beautiful work. I look forward to seeing many more.

  9. Ken

    October 30, 2008

    Dear Michelle, is wonderful right from the beginning! You make me proud to be your father and give me great joy.
    I love you.

  10. Chelle

    October 30, 2008

    You go, girl!


  11. Kim

    October 30, 2008

    It looks so great, Michelle! Your photography journey has been amazing to watch. WTG girl!

  12. Denise

    October 30, 2008

    Your site is great! It makes me want to cry though. We just had a photographer come to take pics of the family and each of the kids and I’m not so pleased. And it cost us about double, just for the session fee alone. Sometimes NY is a pain!

  13. Christie

    October 30, 2008

    What a great sight to showcase your beautiful art. Well done, my friend. Love it.

  14. ashli

    October 30, 2008

    you know i love the sight and YOU!
    way to go! i am so proud of you for taking the leap…..I hope to be on the calendar soon.

  15. Brooke

    October 31, 2008

    i’m so proud of you. and you got it. (i can’t believe you don’t know that, so i say it again: you’ve GOT it.)

  16. Kevin

    October 31, 2008

    The site is amazing and even better it will be such an amazing gift to so many. Us included!
    We are so thankful to have you for a friend.
    The France clan

  17. twoelves

    October 31, 2008

    Love the site. I know I’ve said it before, but you really do amaze me with all your talents. You have so many! btw, I made your cookies for Alexandra’s pumpkin day – they won in her pumpkin tasting contest.

  18. Jan Russell

    October 31, 2008

    Your photographs are truly amazing – I loved looking at all the beautiful shots on your new website.You definitely, definitely have a gift!

  19. Reluctant Nomad

    November 1, 2008

    It’s fantastic Michelle. And when I find a ‘real’ photographer, I’ll let you know. You’re FANTASTIC. Congrats.

  20. Goodrich's

    November 12, 2008

    your website is gorgeous. Ashli told me about it. I’ll have to have you do a session with my family next time we come into town and the weather is good. your photos are gorgeous!

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