Mini Sessions for Ukraine

Last spring, I had a few days of Mini Sessions to raise money for the Bernert Adoption Fund. I had a blast meeting so many of Kaitlin & Toby's friends and I even got to photograph their brand new baby girl this year!! God is so good! Last year when Kaitlin asked me about the possibility of a Mini Session fundraiser, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. This year as I was planning my Spring Mini Sessions, I wanted to give back again. Deciding to give to the efforts in Ukraine was an easy choice.

When I was a little girl, I remember hearing stories about my grandparents. They were young adults during World War II. They were taken to a concentration camp, fought to stay alive while there, and eventually made it from Poland to New York to Kentucky where they made their home. One of the ways that they survived in the camp was that my Grandma helped cook for the guards and was able to sneak extra scraps of food to my Grandpa when he was sick in the camp. Without her skill and bravery, I wouldn't exist. Once they had settled in the United States, my Grandma's cooking skills continued to provide for her husband and 10 kids not only physically, but emotionally. Her cooking linked them to our Polish heritage. Decades later, those same foods link me and my children to that heritage. It doesn't transport us back to a homeland the way it must have done for my grandparents, but it does transport me back to the holidays spent in the home my grandparents built, gathered with our family... the smell of warm pierogi and bacon in the air. When I bite into a pierogi, I don't just taste dough and filling. I taste love. That bite of food wraps me in my Grandma's embrace and takes me straight back to her kitchen.

Feeling loved and embraced by way of food is a beautiful and sacred thing. I have been blessed to experience it many times in my life. I've tasted love in my Grandma's pierogi, homemade bread or freshly fried donuts. I've tasted it in my other Grandma's homemade caramel cake or cinnamon toast... or even in the Twix bars and Squeezits she kept in her refrigerator for me. I've tasted love in the Lemonheads that my Grandpa would buy for me when he took me to the pool. I have tasted it so many times in things my Mama has made in my life: sugar cookies, chicken pot pie, monkey bread, soups, fresh crostini, crescent mummies for Halloween, Christmas cookies, and a million other homemade meals over the years. I've tasted love in my Dad's chili that he used to make. All of these foods are wrapped in moments filled with love and will always be close to my heart.

I've tried to pass this feeling on to my kids as best I can. We bake my Mom's sugar cookies together. I make homemade pierogi, bread, soup, crostini, and many more things from my childhood. I've also expanded our repertoire to include things like homemade ice cream, sausage gravy, honey baked turkey, roasted chicken, lemon cream pie, cinnamon rolls, brie and apple grilled cheese, oatmeal lace cookies... even my recreation of a baguette sandwich that Toby and I had on our honeymoon. The list goes on and on.

Cooking to me is truly a Love Language. It is nothing short of profound that a bite of food can both nourish you and make you feel warmed inside out... loved... cared for... safe.

With that legacy of love given through food in mind, this year I will be donating a portion of each Mini Session fee to World Central Kitchen. This organization doesn't just provide meals to communities in crisis, they work with food sources within those community and help them to continue doing their work. For example, the founder of WCK, Chef José Andrés, was on the ground in Ukraine at a bakery near Lviv earlier this month. That bakery is baking bread to give to refugees fleeing Ukraine and those in need in Ukraine. WCK is supporting them by donating more flour. This touches my heart. It's wonderful that WCK is providing meals, but to also be working in concert with local food providers... it allows those people to have food that tastes like home. It's amazing. I hope that each donated meal brings to the people of Ukraine our care and concern for them.

"You must do something to make the world more beautiful."

—Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney


My Mini Session fee is $200. Just like last year, 30% of that fee will be donated. Sessions will take place in Bellevue, KY. There's a chance I may move them depending on the weather. I will finalize a location via email by a week before each date. If for some reason any scheduled date looks as if it will have inclement weather, by 9pm the night before I will make the best decision I can with the knowledge I have about whether to reschedule for another day.

Session times are listed below. I will mark them with clients' names when they reserve them. I like to keep my Mini Sessions close to sunrise and sunset since that's when the light tends to be the prettiest! Mini sessions last for 20 minutes and include 50 digital images which can be downloaded via online gallery. To book a session or if you have any questions, please reach out using the contact form under the session times! Thanks so much!

Spring Mini Sessions

Spring Mini Sessions are no longer available for booking.

Please check back in the fall for more Mini Session dates! Thank you!

Book Your Session

To schedule a Mini Session or to ask any questions, please fill out this form and send me your information! Make sure to let me know which day/s and time/s you would prefer! I'll get back to you as soon as possible to get your session scheduled. Thanks!