Matt and Courtney :: Engaged

I’ve been waiting to share this session for far too long.  The light, the location, the love…. everything about it just felt magical. My heart got a little fluttery just looking through the images on the back of my camera when I came home after the shoot.  Matt and Courtney, thanks for trusting me, and loving each other, and being, quite frankly, awesome.

The light was amazing and it was coming at us from all directions. just magical.

I can’t help but say it again….Everything about this session was magical.  The perfectly golden sunflare, the reflection from the lake in Courtney’s eyes, the beautiful way she looked at the camera…. SWOON.


I like to create images that have a purpose and meaning to my clients, and Courtney and Matt let me capture what they would typically be doing in the park on any given night.  

Courtney is kind of my hero.  In the last couple of years, she’s taken to love exercise and run several half marathons.  And she was on a Club Fitness commercial.  For real.  I rewound my DVR the other day and saw her smiling face jogging on the treadmill.  Adorable.

And we ended the night on a pretty tasty note….

Kevin and Stacie :: Married

The first time I photographed Stacie and Kevin, we met at the City Museum for an engagement session.  As we made our way inside, fire alarms began to blare and people poured from the building out into the streets.  We’re still not sure what was going on that day in the City Museum, but we decided to wander around the streets downtown rather than venture up into the building.  Which, really, worked out pretty great because it gave us more time to photograph their sweet dog Marley.

And on their wedding day, I’m pleased to announce that there were no fire alarms, no angry mobs, no clouds in the sky, and no threat of rain.  The day was pretty much perfect… full of beautiful details, classic romance, and even a little surprise during the reception.

It was a great day.  See for yourself.

Wedding day shoes don’t have to hurt. I love it that Stacie choose comfort AND fashion.  And, I’d be willing to bet that she’s worn these shoes since her wedding day, and when they slip onto her feet, I’ll bet she remembers putting them on for the first time.

In a quite moment, Stacie stole away and wrote a few words to Kevin before the ceremony. And she looked stunning doing so, I might add.

Adorable flower girls melt my heart

I love the streets.  I love the city.  I love Kevin and Stacie.  That is all.

such a seriously beautiful combination of blooms. 

These two are my faves. 

Love this.  Stacie, you are beautiful.

perfect pine cone place cards at the Whitmoor Country Club

At one point in the evening, Stacie grabbed the microphone from the DJ and said to her guests, ” I’m so sorry, but I’ve got something to say.  Kevin, I’ve met someone else. And here he is.”

Always a hit with the ladies, that Fredbird. 

Stacie and Kevin, I couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable couple to spend an enjoyable day with.  You are delightful and I hope you delight each other for years to come :).

Brit - Loving these photos. Also, I think you hold the record for most weddings photographed with Fred Bird. Honestly.

Stacie - Lisa, you are AMAZING!! Love, Love, Love!! 🙂

Lauren - I love me some Lisa Hessel Photos!!! 🙂

Christine - Those purple shoes are perfect with her flowers. Love it!

Aliece - So pretty! the flowers are gorgeous!

Faith is the victory

I cried a little bit on Saturday night.  As we were driving home from a wedding, we passed by the church where Jon’s uncle is the pastor.  The sign in front of the church said “Faith is the victory.”


Our dear cousin Kathy slipped away into the arms of Jesus early this morning after battling stomach cancer for the past  year.  Kathy fought and she fought well, as did her family.  The internet made the world such a small place as Kathy and her husband documented their journey on their blog (you should go read it. It’s amazing. Just hop on over to Their articulation and strength is something I can’t even begin to describe with my meager words).  The other night, I went through their blog -from beginning to end- and a little bit of peace swept over me.  Because of faith. Because of hope.  Because of life.

Kathy didn’t waste time wallowing in despair or self-pity, even in the midst of surgery, chemo and radiation.   She lived.  She really LIVED.  Their family didn’t put off living because they didn’t know what the future would hold.  They still moved forward. They even took a trip to Disney World just this past summer to celebrate.  And because of that, I am forever changed.  Really.  I’m not just saying that because I’m on an emotional high or feeling sentimental at the moment.  I’m CHANGED.

The skies are cloudy today.  It’s a sad day.  Even though we have faith, we still mourn.  And that’s kind of encouraging really. Because Kathy lived life well, she made a mark on us and something feels wrong now that she’s gone. So today we mourn. But we mourn in a different way.  We mourn with hope.

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?” …But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:54, 55, 57

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” (I Thes. 4:13-14)

See ya soon, Kathy.

Kelly Park - What a precious picture Lisa, I remember when you first told me about Kathy’s family. Thank you for sharing your post and I will be praying for your family and Kathy’s.

Brit @ Landlocked Bride - Such a joyous and full-of-life photo. My thoughts are with you, Jon and your entire family. Sending you many hugs and smiles as you remember Kathy and her life.

Mike Brutton - Well said Lisa.

Thank You.

Holly - Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Her story and her face – captured so well in this photo. Thank you.

Robert - Very sorry to hear of the loss of your cousin, but gladdened to read of your mutual faith in Christ. Indeed, “faith is the victory.” And “death is swallowed up in victory,” through what our Saviour has done for us (I Cor. 15:54).

As my own blog is about our hymns and gospel songs, it was your title that first caught my eye this morning. John Yates, the author of the hymn by that name, was born on this day in 1837. If you enjoy reading about our hymns and their authors, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject.

And if you’ll excuse a brief “commercial:” If you do not have a good book on the subject of our Christmas carols, I encourage you to take a look at my own, Discovering the Songs of Christmas. In it, I discuss the history and meaning of 63 carols and Christmas hymns. The book is available through Amazon, or directly from Jebaire Publishing. (Might make a great gift too!)


Meet my friends, the Kelly’s.  They’re a pretty adorable family and I like them bunches.  Just scroll down and you’ll see why.

First off, there’s Madeline.  Adorable, that’s a given.  But look at her rockin those pink cowgirl boots.  I’m smitten. 

We met for their photos on the perfect fall evening with the perfect autumn  sunset.  

and then we have little Anna, who couldn’t look more serene…. and just like her momma, if you ask me.

Would you check out that hair?  Love.

I love the two-teeth grins 🙂

I love Anna’s grins so much that I asked Madeline to help me get Anna to smile.  And this is what ensued.

But really, they’re sweet sisters. 

And they’re about to have another sibling join their family.  I’m betting it’s going to be a baby brother.

Ok, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but I seem to have the most adorable pregnant women ask me to photograph them.  Christy (who also happened to be one of my college roommates… I liked to call her Christy-fer) looks like all of us wish we looked like when pregnant.

Love this one of Matt and Christy :).

Kelly’s, you’re a beautiful family and I’m blessed to know you :).

Rochelle - Christy and Matt, you two are wonderful. Beautiful family. Ok those pictures of Madeline pulling Anna’s face cracks me up… Love you cuz!!

Dave and Rachel :: Married

Warning: Lots of beautiful people ahead.  And shoes.  Lots and lots of shoes. 

Rachel’s bouquet was custom designed by Amanda, who is not only wedding and event planner extraordinaire, but also a bridesmaid.

The beautiful bride.  Rachel was breathtaking.

Rachel and Dave chose to do a First Look, which was so perfect with their schedule for the day. The ceremony was immediately followed by the reception, which left little time for photos before the reception started. To maximize their time for photos, Rachel and Dave met for a private moment before the ceremony to see each other for the first time.  And it was magical.

The guys.  love this. 

And more shoes.  I warned you. 

I knew from their engagement session that Rachel and Dave were photogenic, but on their wedding day, my camera loved them even more.

Love these next two shots from my second shooter Carrie.

Obviously, they love each other.  Obviously.   

Dave’s mom.  Adorable.

And there they are again.  I can’t help myself. 

Rachel’s one request.

Dennis Bullock - Great work Lisa! Hope you are feeling better…

Brit @ Landlocked Bride - Love her hair! The light that day seems like it was pretty perfect. Photos are crisp and gorgeous! And, I can’t blame Rachel for wanting the shot of them on the ground.

Lindsay - Wowee! These pictures are great!