Category Archives: Travel

I hope you had the time of your life. {Candid children’s photography by Songbird Photography}

Hello there.

children's photography
Have I told you how very much I love being an auntie? A few weeks ago, while my Sissy and Broseph were on vacation, I had the joy of watching the boys. Somewhere between dropping the parents off at the airport and Gabey Baby going swimming in a public bathroom’s toilet, I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”

But, we made it work. Not only did we make it work, we thrived. We had an enormous amount of fun and snacks and giggles and playtime and learning and snuggling and adorable moments of which I tried to capture.
children's photography

Seriously, I love just spending time with kids and families in their natural habitat, photographing them just doing their thing. Like… I LOVE it. Nothing makes me happier.

One day, maybe, this is all I will do. Maybe you will welcome me into your home and we will have a session over animal crackers and playtime. One day, some day.

But for now, I will keep my day job and cherish moments like this with my family, my friends, and my clients (who basically become my family and friends), share them with you, and take every chance to capture honest moments with authentic emotions during our fun times together.

children's photography

Until next time-

South Carolina Portrait Photographer


Orange Fanta on the Hilltop

You may or may not know, but I recently traveled to the lovely Nicaragua with 6 high schoolers and another adult for 10 days. We worked primarily with youth leadership development programs (aka partnered with a local church and helped their youth leaders create programs for the city and invested in them emotionally, spiritually, and relationally to be stronger, more authentic leaders). That being said, there was a morning when we woke at 3 am to feed the local homeless teens and plenty of ministry, service, and lessons in faith and humility.


My moment of humility came when I was picking up sticky juice pouches of the ground at a school for children who have learning disabilities, are deaf, or need more specialized attention. My moment of pride come from seeing my students serve a community with compassion, positivity, and authenticity. To see them face their fears, step out of their comfort zones, and take a step into the woman they were created to be. That was a pretty good high.


A lot of beautiful things happened in those 10 days. We saw salvations, healings, and emotional breakthroughs. People let go of their past and pressed on towards a promising future. Students crossed a cultural or language barrier to be one body for the kingdom. Leaders let their pride and agenda fall to the wayside to learn about flexibility and collaboration. Locals and non-locals learned to find common ground, even if it was with the help of Google translator or what felt like the longest round of charades.


Of course, none of us would be here without the help of others. I have a wonderful community of support (both financial and prayerful) who brought myself and these students to the land of lakes and volcanoes. A place where the stoves always have a pot of gallo pinto, the showers are cold (or room temperature at least), the people are kind, and a small team from America received the best hospitality they could have dreamed of. Thanks to everyone who was generous to grant us financial or thoughtful support. We couldn’t have done this without your help and God’s hand. We hope to have left the city of Matagalpa a little more inspired or challenged. We know that’s how we felt as we sat on a plane, exhausted, pumped with coffee, plantains, and a small sugar high from the tres leeches cake the night prior.


And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9-11

Tis the Season {Charleston Area Photographer}

The year 2014 is going to bring all sorts of great things.  I am confident of that.  At this point, I don’t know if it will bring me full-time business, a new job, better relationships, another puppy (yes- conversations about this are in the works), or more home improvement projects. No matter what, I know it will bring something new and exciting.


Last year, it was a trip to Germany and a new house.  This year… who knows.

Newlyweds in germany, lovejoyvoyage

So here is to a season of uncertainty, a winter that has felt like a spring, a spring that will feel like a summer, and a year that will be awesome.  What kind of things do you do when you’re unsure of what is next?

And One Ducky Please {Raleigh and Cary Area Family Photographer}

I know a little girl name Emily and she is as cute as a button.  Case and point: when at the park with all the ducks, she very kindly asked if she could hold one and take it her home with her.  World, meet Emily and her parents….

Family and Couples Photographer in North Carolina

Between feeding the ducks, playing with the leaves, crying, and running were sweet moments between mom and dad, a family enjoying an afternoon at the park, and these precious memories. Thanks for letting me tag along with you, Emily!

Family Whimsy {Charleston, SC area family photographer}

There aren’t too many things in life that make me as happy as giggling kiddos.  The Dizenhouse clan certainly fits the bill.  I love them because they are exactly what they are.  You know those types of people who don’t put on a show…They are just in your face honest and it is beautiful?  That’s them.  And it’s beautiful.

fun family picture ideas with songbird photography

Thanks for keeping my camera busy and my heart happy!  You guys are always the best sports in our sessions and come with fun ideas, roll with the punches, and have a beautiful flair for the dramatic.  Can’t wait until next time!

Happy Anniversary {Charleston, South Carolina Couples Photographer}

I love love.  I really love it amplified.  For example, when couples speak about their marriage in front of a crowd, when a man shouts his love from a rooftop, when the right look is captured through a camera lens…. Just like this.

Couples portrait photography from Songbird Photography by Stephanie Herrell

Caitlin and Bryan love a lot of things, but nothing seems so dear to them as their family (which includes their pooch Penny) and each other.  Sprinkle in a strong sense of wander lust and healthy appetite, and you have folks after my own heart!

Couples portrait photography from Songbird Photography by Stephanie Herrell

This basically made it a no brainer that we would have a great time on our session in downtown Charleston, South Carolina and then for a little brunch at one of my favorite places in town.  They were such good sports about waking up early on vacation for a lil photo shoot; the cool temperatures and glorious lighting made for pretty dreamy session.  One of my favorite parts of our session?  The Cake.  I mean.. Who doesn’t want a little cake first thing in the morning?!

Couples portrait photography from Songbird Photography by Stephanie Herrell

Congrats to Caitlin and Bryan for conquering your first year of marriage! May the following years be filled with more joy and love than the first and may you always have this special lil spark.

Couples portrait photography from Songbird Photography by Stephanie Herrell

Couples portrait photography from Songbird Photography by Stephanie Herrell


Five months down, a lifetime to go

In case you didn’t get the memo, I’m a newlywed and I love it.  In the past five months, we have had an amazing, exciting, unpredictable, educational, and wonderful marriage.  I feel like I am having an eternal slumber party with my best friend.
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I don’t know why our marriage is so enjoyable. In spite of our list of great marital advice (you can read more about that here), I don’t feel like we do anything different from most folks, but praise God, because whatever He is doing, is working.  Hallelujah.

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So here I am.  Sitting with a hot cup of cappuccino, and rubbing my chin, reflecting. As I look back at the past five months of marriage, I realize we have already been through more than I imagined.


  • Moved in together
  • Eaten a 120 piece bag of pizza rolls with ranch in a day
  • Navigated holidays with both our families (no one told me holiday scheduling was going to be the hardest part of sharing a life together)
  • Visited two (three as of next weekend) countries
  • Moved to Germany
  • Left a job
  • Created numerous fantasy sports teams (and lost almost every time)
  • Started a business
  • Fell in love with “Better off Ted” only to be devastated at its brief lifespan
  • Paid off a student loan (Holla!)
  • Taught our dog to play dead when we say “Bang”
  • Joined bank accounts
  • Lived without a microwave (you try…it’s hard)

I know that may not seem like much to some people.  It may sound crazy and exciting to others.  I don’t really mind either way because…well anything I say now just sounds like a corny “this is our adventure” kind of response…and I don’t do corny except on Valentine’s Day and in my cornbread.  Well, and maybe in the section below.  So let’s add some type of anniversary to the list.

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So I raise my interweb-glass to my hubby.  I know I don’t say it enough, but I grow more madly in love with you everyday and am crazy grateful to have you in my life.  Thanks for always clearing your plate (even if you don’t like the food), cleaning my hair from the drains so I don’t flood the bathroom, tricking me into liking running, encouraging me (whether it is to be brave or to pick up an impulse purchase at the grocery), driving us around, opening my doors, loving our dog, and putting away my clean clothes.  You’re too good to me most of time, except when you fart in the covers.

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If you want to read more about our first four months and shenanigans in Germany, click here.

Special thanks to Kristin Burke Photography for photographing our big day!