Murphy Children 2015 | Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins

As you all know I am normally a wedding photographer.  Sometimes it is pretty awesome to step away from what I normally do and do something different.  When I met this sweet family at Mary Mahoneys in downtown biloxi I knew it would be a great session.  Mom, Russene took a lot of time to choose the perfect COORDINATING outfits (not matching!).  The children looked liked little models!  Take a look at this some of moms favorites.  I think you agree they easily could be models!

Thank you Russene for choosing me to capture your beautiful family.  Next time we will have to sneak dad in some 🙂

Shannon

Props to Lizzy Jo’s Boutique for some adorable outfits!

Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins
Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins

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Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins
Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins
Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins
Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins
Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins
Biloxi Photographer Shannon Lutkins

That moment when the lightbulb went off | Shannon Lutkins Photography

I get asked all the time “How did you learn photography”?  Today I was looking through old photos and decided I had to share this.

I am very artistic and love to paint, draw and craft.  When my youngest child was born five years ago I wanted professional photos of her.  I had no idea who affordable “custom” photography really was.  I thought only the wealthy had a photographer and the rest of us went to Sears and JcPenney.  So after a couple of VERY hot, miserable trips to these studios I thought I could do better on my own at home.

I bought an advanced point and shoot camera (Canon SX20is)  that could shot on manual.  I started teaching myself how to shot in manual via YouTube posts.  I learned a lot.  I joined online forums and when she turned one I took her first birthday photos and cried.  I cried because I was trying so hard and I wasn’t getting anywhere.  I cried because I had wasted so much time and still SUCKED and I cried because I had invested any money I could have spent on photos in equipment (I bought a set of cheap off camera lights from Cowboy Studio).  So I felt sorry for myself for about an hour.  Then I did the hardest thing I could have ever done.  I uploaded my photos to a VERY CRITICAL group of photographers to learn how to get better.   They said what I knew.  They were terrible.  One of them who wasn’t mean told me to read “understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson”.  I ran to the store and bought it that instant.  I read it all afternoon and early evening then I went to my bedroom and took pictures of my ceiling fan for about an hour.  Then everything “clicked”.  Determined to get this right I re-did the horribly embarrassing shoot the next day.  I was so scared of how it would go.  You know what?  I really did learn!  I understood the relationship between ISO, shutter speed and exposure!  This was the moment I knew that no matter what I wasn’t good at I could learn.  I try not to ever stay upset with my inability for to long.  Because I know tomorrow I will figure it out.  I am one determined cookie!

Even four years into my business with awards and publications under my belt I still am learning.  I am a perfectionist and will do everything I can to be my personal best.  At the moment I am obsessing on reception lighting and bouncing flash on high ceilings (maybe another blog post in the making).

Here are the photos one day apart of my precious baby B.  Can you see the improvement?  I see lots of flaws in the day 2 photo now.  But MAN that is a HUGE improvement in one day.

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Mini Sessions in honor of all Parents | Biloxi Photographer

Not to be sappy…Never mind,  I’m going to be sappy.  We all NEED pictures with our family!  With our moms, dads, grandparents, best friends, etc.  It does not matter how old you are.  You need a photo with your parents. One day you will be like me and  you won’t have a good photo to look back on and remember.  You will be filled with regret.  I have been putting off family photos for YEARS because I need to lose weight to be in a photo.  How silly is that!!!  Photos aren’t really for us anyway.  They are for the people that love us unconditionally.  The ones that see past your imperfections and love you for all you are.  Even if it is a little “more” than you want it to be.

A month and a half ago my father suddenly passed away.  I shared every horrible picture I had online just so I could see my dad’s beautiful face.  The pictures were bad.  I had bad hair, no makeup, poor clothing choices, etc.  It matters NONE to me.  It is a picture with my daddy.  Do I wish the photo of ME was better.  YES.  But what I see is a time that was important in my life.

So in honor of my stubbornness and frankly ridiculous vanity to have my OWN photos taken.  I want to take yours.  I do not care if you look “imperfect” right now.  These pictures aren’t for you now anyway.  One day these photos will mean more to you than anything money can buy.  TRUST ME.

I do not do MINI SESSIONS normally so do not miss out on this deal.

Sessions are $150
This includes 15 minute session for up to 5 people (add additional session time slot for additional people)
1 11×14 or smaller FINE ART Print
5 digital files

SUNDAY June 7th
12-4
Beauvoir Jeff Davis Mansion
Call 228-596-5872 to schedule
50% retainer fee collected upon scheduling

Family Mini sessions Biloxi MS Photographer
Family Mini sessions
Biloxi MS Photographer

Jennifer and Steve 11.08.14 | Gulfport MS Wedding

Shortly after I met Jennifer and Steve I predicted that their wedding day would be full of lots of love and laughter.  I was right!  They have a way that they smile at each other you can tell this is the “real deal”.  Here are a few of my favorites from their beautiful wedding in their backyard overlooking the pier where they met!   I hope you enjoy some of my favorites!

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Photographer: Shannon Lutkins Photography
Caterer: Salute of Gulfport
Flowers: Pine Hills Floral Design
Cake: Family Friend (and it was amazing)

Elaina Spradley Skinner | Ocean Springs Wedding October 12, 2013

I have struggled with what to write about for my first blog post. I have needed to start a blog for years. I am far from a writer. I am terrible at grammar and quite frankly feel funny putting words online that I know no one will read. Today is different. I do not care if the first person reads this. I want to honor my friend Elaina. She left this earth far far to soon though she left a mark on it farer and wider than most can dream of doing. Elaina was a special person. I want to share with you a little about her from my perspective.
The day I met Elaina I knew we would be friends. She was one of the first brides I “signed” as myself as the primary photographer. When we met I was so nervous. We sat down and I thought to myself…she has to pick me. She was not just stunningly gorgeous. She was also whitty, laughed with a pure joy I had never seen before and had the sweetest most melodic voice. She and Aaron seemed so in love and I knew we would get along and take great photos together. They did pick me! Before the wedding we chatted often between engagement photos, bridals photos book designs and print and canvas orders we talked A LOT! I looked forward to our chats. As soon as I heard her voice a bad day could turn brighter. She made a person feel important.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

The day of their engagements it was HOT. They were so laid back or in love….or both… they didnt seem to care. I noticed how Aaron looked at Elaina. He exuded love and she returned it. You could tell he was not a “fan” of taking the photos. BUT then he looked at her and he seemed to relax. They were like Yin and Yang together. When we finished the formal poses they sat at this table and shared a cupcake. THAT is when I really saw Elaina. That laugh!!! She was just happy. I left that shoot with a smile from ear to ear. I knew that on their wedding day we would have such an amazing day. I couldn’t wait!!!

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Next was Elainas bridal shoot. She pulled up in her little car and stepped up all made up and ready to go. I looked at her and said “you drove her like that (wearing her bridal gown)?” She said “yep”. We looked at each other and laughed and I said “Elaina Spradley you are one of a kind”. At this point we time we knew each other and quite honestly I had a hard time getting the “posed” photos that I knew I had to get because all I got was this:

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Perfection huh? I love the joy she had for life. She made my day so fun!

One thing that was so strange is when I shoot on the beach the seagulls dont stay around. Unless you have food to bribe them with. We didnt. They didn’t care. Wonder why? They felt her peace too?

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Just two short weeks later was her wedding. I couldn’t wait. It was lovely as planned. She suprised me though, and she shouldn’t have. I already knew she was special. She was the calmest bride I had ever seen. She let everything roll of her back. When Aaron strolled out to their first look in sandals. She giggled and said “Oh no he didn’t” I tensed up and thought “uh oh” were in trouble. She looked at his feet and they both laughed. Who does that? Most brides would have had a fit. She didnt care. She was having the day of her dreams and nothing was getting in the way!

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The wedding was a day to remember with lots of friends and family.

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Elaina, Aaron and their family and friends danced, laughed and celebrated throughout the night. It was such a fun day.

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After the wedding I raced to get her photos edited as fast as I could. I edited and delivered the photos in less than 2 weeks! Then we created a photo album. I can still hear Elaina when she called me to tell me how much she loved her album. Not many couples get their photos and albums so fast. I hear nightmares of years going by. Well, I guess God works in mysterious ways because on Feb 12, 2014. Four months after this amazing day Elaina passed away. I have sat and wondered many times why such a beautiful life taken so soon. Elaina had so much going for her. She had just gradutated from college. Just won Employee of the month at Beau Rivage Casino, Biloxi and had so much more she could contribute to this world. No matter what the reason I look forward to seeing her one day and feeling her loving warm spirit again.

I owe Elaina a lot. She is with me every wedding I shoot. I used to be exteremely nervous before every wedding I shot. Now right before I go to a wedding I close my eyes and speak to her. I ask her to be with me and bring peace to myself and my coulples. It works! I have always liked shooting weddings. Now I love them!!! I have altered what photos I see as perfect. I am no longer looking for the perfect posed photos. I am trying to SEE a person deeper than a perfect smile and posture. In her short time we spent together she impacted me more than she will ever know. Thank you Elaina! You are one of a kind.

Please take a moment to pray for Elainas family today.

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In Loving Memory of Elaina Renee “Sweetpea” Spradley Skinner

November 27, 1990 – February 8, 2014

Sweet little man Zayne-Biloxi Wedding and Portrait Photographer-Shannon Lutkins

Seems like so long ago….I used to babysit this handsome little man. He was a fantastic baby and now a really well behaved little boy. I have had grown men more difficult to smile and pose. Just look at his eyes!!! His mother is such a sweet lady. Stronger and kinder than most. She also sacrifices a lot to protect our country. I feel fortunate to be able to take such wonderful peoples photos. Thank you!
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Biloxi MS Premier Bride Show Prize Winners

The Premier bride show was one fabulous event.  It was my first bridal show.  I didnt know what to expect.  The turnout was fantastic and I was able to meet many fantastic people.  Anyone who spents 10 minutes with me can see that I love people.  So this was like heaven to me!  I was able to welcome several new couples into the Shannon Lutkins Photography “Family”.  I hope to welcome many more in the weeks, months and years to come.  I am realizing more and more my couples are like family to me.  I almost feel sad after the wedding is over as our time is over.  I am fortunate that I have made some great connections and I communicate with almost every one of my brides after the wedding.  So with each new couple comes new friends and many memories.  I appreciate the trust and faith you have in me.  I promise all of my couples I will give you 100% at all times.  I do not take my responsibility lightly,  You will look back on your photos many times for many years.  I want you to be proud to show your photos of.  I want them to conjure up emotion and joy.   My goal is to offer quality and timeless photos.  I do provide some “artsy” edits as well.  Those are great fun and I love the look.  However, one day your grandchildren will be looking at your wedding photos.  I want them to love them as much as you do.

 

Premier Bridal Show Booth 2013
Premier Bridal Show Booth 2013

 

OK back to the business of the winners….

1st Prize: Free Engagement Session KRISTINA CLAIRE WILTZ

2nd Prize: Free 16×20 Canvas KRYSTYNA SZCZECHOWSKI
3rd Prize: 50% off portrait session fee KATELYNN ELY

OK that is weird….Every winner starts with the letter K and two have the same name spelled different!!! What are the odds????

If you are a winner please call Shannon Lutkins Photography at 228-596-5872 to redeem.  Prize must be claimed by August 30, 2014

Biloxi Wedding Photographer-Reaves March 02, 2013

The minute I met Ashley at Bliss Wedding Cafe I knew I had not only an amazing bride but a friend. She radiates such kindness and inner beauty! If that weren’t enough she has Hollywood good looks too! I couldn’t wait to shoot her wedding and to finally meet her life partner. When I met Andre I knew that these two were made for each other. They seems to sparkle when they look into each others eyes.

March 2nd came and it was one of the coldest dates in March I have ever seen. We stuck it out and I am so glad. Look at these amazing photos. You would never know that Ashley and Andre were bearing 35 degree beach winds. Now that is true modeling!

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