Family Shoot

office pride appreciation (mini session)

My incredible parents own a commercial cleaning business..they’ve built it from the ground up, starting from one employee (my stepdad) and moving on up to over 40 employees in just a few years. (I was one of those employees in my engaged-to-be-married months!) Now my stepdad and my mom run the business together, which is the most adorable thing ever. The respect and admiration I have for the way they run their business can’t be stated in a blog post; they have given everything to God, given up on some dreams to make way for others, gone through some rough patches with learning how to run their own business, and have been blessed immensely for their hard work and honorable standards.

All this to say, a lot of the credit can also be given to their amazing employees. Cleaning is not an easy fact, I would argue it’s one of the most difficult. Late nights, crazy messy offices (when I cleaned, there was an office that CONSISTENTLY had food crumbs and smears everywhere, and let’s not even go into detail about how sick the bathrooms could be sometimes…), the occasional creeper driving around outside resulting in police calls, lots of physical labor along with the fact that most of them work all by themselves makes for an intense working situation..but I know many them who have stayed with it, working incredibly hard and doing an astounding job. My parents, of course, see much more of this in their employees than I do, and so they decided to hold an Office Pride Appreciation Day to thank their employees and friends for the job well done.

They invited everyone to come out, bring their families, eat some great food, and get family photos taken. When my mom hired me to take the pictures, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I met met some of the most amazing people; some of the sweetest families. I was shocked to find that a majority of them had either never had family pictures taken, or had never had them professionally done, so I went into it a little bit nervous, wanting them to have a great experience with professional photos. It seemed to go well!

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and can’t forget to add these Office Pride shenanigans…. 🙂



emily kay photography 2014 all rights reserved, do not copy.

Family Shoot

jason lavery: birth story

Where do I even begin to express the beauty of experiencing a birth?  I always thought that the moment a mom and dad see their little one for the first time would be the most beautiful of all, but what about the strength of a mother in labor? Or the watery eyes of a father holding his son in the quiet moments after the nurses have left.  My great friends, Kevin and Audra, blessed me.  They blessed me beyond anything I could have ever expected.  They invited me to share the most special hours a couple will ever experience together: they asked me to photograph the birth of their first child.

Jason Andrew Lavery was born on 1.4.14, at 5:41 a.m (lots of 1’s and 4’s!).  His mama was a champ.  I have never seen a woman in labor before, (aside from health class in 5th grade, so that doesn’t count)  and Audra was incredible.  If there was ever proof of the strength of a woman, it’s in childbirth.  I expected screaming and yelling and all sorts of horrible things.  Instead I found calm, patient, quiet, loving, and soft.  (I’m not sure if Audra would say this is how she felt, but this is what she showed me.)

I was terrified when I walked in the room.  I was afraid I would be in the way, and that I wouldn’t be able to get the shots they needed.  But as soon as I stepped inside, I felt welcome.  It was definitely a bustle of activity; nurses coming in and out, people helping Audra breathe through contractions, machines being moved in every direction, but no one minded that I was there.  I just made my way to a corner of the room, took a quick breath, and started photographing this new life.  With Audra’s permission, I wanted to share some of the things I saw that early, early morning.  It was just captivating.  I had to wipe tears from my eyes every two seconds so I could see through my lens, and then again as I edited each photo the next day.  So I hope you enjoy the moments when this precious baby boy entered the world…I know I did.  Love you Kevin and Audra (and baby Jason), thank you for letting me be a part of this.DSC_0016 DSC_0037 DSC_0069-2 DSC_0161 DSC_0183 DSC_0275-2 DSC_0284 DSC_0316

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2014 All Images Copyright of emily kay photography  (Modern Mildred Design LLC)

DO NOT COPY (thanks 🙂 )

Modern Mildred Designs

workin’ away

This post will be super short, but I just wanted to share the latest sign I made for a friend’s daughter.  Yesterday was her 8th birthday, and this was her favorite Bible verse.  This was my first time making a rustic wood plank sign, so I was super excited with how it turned out!  The best part by far, though, was getting a text about the Birthday girls’ reaction when she opened her gift.  Her mom said she “went CRAZY” when she opened it…seriously, as an artist, I can’t even tell you what joy it brought to my heart to hear those words.  To know that God let me use my gifts to bring joy to someone just makes it worth it, you know?


frame of mind

This has already been such a fun year.  God has been guiding me through this whole “self-employed” thing, and thank goodness for that because I have no idea what I’m doing.  I find myself daydreaming a lot (not unlike Walter Mitty?), and when I come back to real life I have all of these great ideas with how I want to better myself and my business.  It was only a few weeks ago that I started thinking about being a kid, partly because I’m getting a little tired of being an adult (Bills really do suck.  People aren’t joking about that stuff.) and partly because this whole process is forcing me to figure out who I am.  And in order to figure out who I am, I’ve had to think a lot about who I’ve been in the past.

People always tell you to think back to your childhood and try to remember what you were passionate about.  This is supposed to guide your decision on what career choice you should choose.  I guess if you’ve been building things since you could stack blocks then you’re more likely to be an architect or a construction worker.  So anyway, I’ve always thought about my childhood…what did I do then that still intrigues me today?  I always wanted to believe that I spent all my time designing clothes or discussing books with my friends so that I could become the next Vera Wang or wealthy book editor.  Yea.  No, I spent my time playing with Ariel Barbie in the bathtub until her head dissolved and fell off.  I was the kid who took my mom’s recipes and traced her handwriting with my blue Crayola marker so that I could pretend I could write in cursive.  And I danced.  A lot. But with every “passion” I had as a kid, it was always replaced with something new.  Barbies turned into American girls turned into real friends (of which I did not play in the bathtub with or pop off their heads, just to clarify).  And you can’t do much with tracing, right?  And dancing…well.  My best friend posted this picture on my Facebook the other day, tagging my other best friend to laugh about how true it was about me, so there’s that.

So as I’ve grown, I really haven’t gotten much out of my childhood talents.  I did write a lot, and that’s something I still do today.  I would love to publish a book, but I can never think of what to write..and it doesn’t make an immediate income, as any of you writers know.  I had given up on believing I would ever truly follow through with a passion, so when photography came along it was hard to imagine it would ever become a career.  I would go up and down on my thoughts about it.  As soon as I messed something up, or got a bad critique in one of my photography classes, I would tell myself “never again” and try to think of another career choice.   Even to this day, I have frequent fights with myself about my ability to do this.  I don’t know all of the technological terms about a lens.  I don’t know all of the functions of my camera.  I don’t have the best equipment, or the money to buy the best equipment (donations can be made out to Emily Richardson…..).  And I suck at self-motivation (daily struggles: Get out of bed, bum. Talking to the dog instead of doing the laundry is not productive. Dancing to this song with your lying hips will not help you get things done today, etc.) 

Aside from all of this, for the first time in my life I am passionate about my passion.  I may fail.  I may fail again.  But I don’t want to give up on this, because when I look back on the photos I took when I was a senior in high school, I want to shred them.  I really want to throw them away.  And that’s what gives me hope.  I look at my photos now, and they are far from perfect.  Far.  They are also far from the work I did in high school.  I have grown, immensely.  I actually know what it means to work with light.  I know what 85mm 1.4 means.  I can get a pretty clear photo in a poorly lit room with my crappy lens.  Still working on the rest, but if I gave up now, I would miss out on the growth I could potentially gain from hard work and failure.

It’s all God, guys.   I am not a motivated person.  I don’t like work.  I really, honestly believed I’d be a stay at home mom by now, chillin’ with babies and sitting around all day (although I probably do way more sitting around than any mom I know.). I never wanted a career.  But here I am, doing something that’s totally out of my hands.  It’s not at all where I thought I would be.  I quit a steady, full time job to do this unpredictable work.  It was a step of faith, and even though I’m not yet where I dream to be, I’m taking continual steps of faith to get there.  Jesus is my motivation, and if I’m seeking to glorify him through this season of life, I can’t fail.  So there, that’s my “go get ’em” speech for you.  Every blog needs one (or five).

Also, I was wrong about tracing my mom’s handwriting.  It actually has come in handy.  (Get it..handy??)  (Yea, I went there.)  Through the years, hand-writing is something I have continually done.    Starting with those recipes, moving onto full pages of typography in the form of favorite quotes and songs in high school, and now onto a second small (VERY small) business of making hand painted signs, like the one below. I named my business after this blog, modern mildred designs.  Go to that link and message me, I’ll totally make you a sign if you’d like!

So maybe people are right, when they say your childhood frames who you will be in the future.  I was creative.  And God has formed that into something so much bigger than myself.

Thanks for reading, friends.


Family Shoot

Wickman Family: Winter Mini Session

I had so much fun with the mini sessions I did back in December! I completely fell in love with this particular session though, these two little girls were just so stinkin’ cute!  Really looking forward to doing more mini’s in the spring..being able to meet with so many families in one day was so worth it.  If you’re in the Indianapolis area and you’d be interested in a spring/Easter session, be sure to send me an email or facebook message!


2014 All images copyright of emily kay photography

Please do not copy.


Brian & Skyler: Married

I am continuing to be super behind on the posts, but we all know the holidays can get a little crazy!  I’ve finally got a moment to sit down and share some photos with you all, and I figured it would be good to share a wedding I October…so yea like I said..super behind..

Seriously though, what a fun and creative wedding!  It was my first wedding held in a barn (I can’t even begin to express how excited I was about this) and the bride did an incredible job with the decorations!  Although it rained most of the day, causing us to drive across Ft. Wayne to find a spot for pictures, it was still a perfect day and I am so glad I got to share it with them! ❤

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2013 All images copyright of emilykayphotography
do not copy.


Victor & Olivia: Engaged

I am SOO behind on’s been a busy couple of weeks but never late than never, right?

This engagement session was quite an adventure!  I drove all the way to Columbus, Ohio, having no idea where I was going had it not been for the GPS on my phone…except my GPS stopped working with about an hour left of the drive.  I am so thankful for my amazing hubby who got on Google maps, looked up where I was (because I seriously had no clue), and directed me through country and farmland to get me to my shoot.  Needless to say I was a bit flustered when I arrived.

This lovely couple took me in, introduced me to their adorable family (or re-introduced me…I shot the bride’s brother’s wedding last Christmas, so I already had an idea of how lovely this family really was) and off we went to shoot some photos on Olivia’s grandparent’s farm.  I can’t say enough about how sweet Victor and Olivia were to photograph.  They are so obviously in love that just about every photo I took was of a giggle or loving glance. It’s couples like this that make me feel so blessed to be a photographer; to be able to capture these moments for someone is something I really can’t explain, so you’ll just have to see for yourself.



all images copyright of emilykayphotography 2013 please do not copy, edit, or sell.