Monthly Archives: March 2013

Boulay Girls 2013 Sendoff

category: seniors

Last spring we had the kick-off for our first ever Senior Ambassadors: The Boulay Girls. My vision for the program was that it would be mutually beneficial to the Senior Ambassadors and Boulay Photography. Janice and I really didn’t know what to expect, but since we more or less hand-picked the girls, we knew they were outstanding in everything they do. I couldn’t  be more pleased with our first class of Boulay Girls! They have set the bar unbelievably high for the incoming class. They actively promoted Boulay Photography through tweets, Facebook posts, passing out rep cards, and word of mouth conversations. We were blessed to work with them and their fantastic families as well as all the wonderful seniors they sent our way. I can’t thank them enough.

I asked each senior to send me a brief resume about their high school activities as well as their future plans so I could brag on them even more! What an outstanding group of young ladies! Here are their bios:

Chloe Sullivan: Centennial High School

Chloe will be going to Mississippi State University in the fall and received almost full tuition in scholarships. (Fun fact: Chloe and Boulay Girl Karis Hicks will be rooming together.) Chloe is Student Body Vice President at Centennial. She received the Character award for Centennial varsity volleyball last fall. Chloe was accepted into the Honors College at MSU.

Karis Hicks: Centennial High School

Karis will be also be attending Mississippi state this fall. Before she heads to college, she will achieve one of her dreams: working as a UCA staffer this summer for cheerleading camps in the Mid South. Karis has been on the all “A” honor role and was granted in-state tuition at MSU because of her academics. Karis was also elected the DAR good citizen for CHS.

Mary Smith: Page High School


Mary heads off to University of Tennessee, Knoxville this fall where she will study nursing. Because she made all “A’s” in AP and Honors classes, Mary made the principals list! Mary received the HOPE Scholarship.

Maggie Smith: Page High School


Maggie will also head to UTK to study nursing. She made the honors list and also received the HOPE Scholarship for college studies.

Megan Wilson: Independence High School

Megan will be attending the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She has received the HOPE scholarship, The National Technical Honor Society award, and will graduate with her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license.

Bridget Whalen: Independence High School


Bridget plans on spending her summer working and vacationing at her best friend’s beach house. Then she’s off to UT Knoxville in the fall where she plans to study business and interior design in the hopes of becoming a successful real estate agent after college. Bridget received the HOPE scholarship and the UT University scholarship.

Sydney Schroeder: Ravenwood High School

Sydney will attend to UT Knoxville this fall. She did work crew for three weeks with Young Life last summer, and was a cheerleader all 4 years in high school

Morgan Heatherly: Ravenwood High School

Morgan has been in competition cheer since she was 7. During her high school career, she was active in Young Life and Campaigners at Ravenwood. She will be pursuing nutrition studies at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

One of my favorite aspects of social media is that I get to keep track of my sweet seniors after they are launched from the nest. It’s nice to see updates from sorority and fraternity rush, adventures at college, and seeing them meet new friends and connecting with their high school buddies. I can’t wait to see what these special ladies are going to do with their lives! Good luck to all of you and God bless!

Stay tuned! I will be posting about the 2014 Boulay Girls and our first Boulay Guy very soon.



Rhonda and Mark West

category: Families

We all have certain God-given gifts and talents and I truly believe He intended us to use those not only to make our lives richer and more abundant, but to help others. If you’d known me growing up, you would never have described me as an “artsy” person–my sister Julie was the artist in the family. She actually went to art school for a couple of years and has an amazing talent for drawing, sketching, and painting that I can’t even comprehend! So, I guess it’s kind of ironic that I am the one working in more of an art related field. I found my artistic vision through the lens of the camera and that experience awakened in me talents I didn’t know I had.

Over the past couple of years, both Janice and I have prayed for God to show us ways we can use our talents and this business for His greater glory, and lo and behold, God keeps giving us those opportunities. Many of you know I did a fund raiser in December to help off-set medical costs for the Nevil family (see “Praying for the Nevils” on Facebook to learn more about their story). I regularly support silent auctions and volunteer at charitable events as well. So when I was approached to help the West family, it was a no-brainer.

Several weeks ago, I heard about Rhonda through my friend and also client February. When February learned of Rhonda’s fight with cancer and that she had never had family portraits, she immediately contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to help. How could I say no? Several dear friends of mine have battled or are battling cancer and I even lost my father-in-law to Hodgkins, so this cause is close to my heart. I got in touch with Rhonda’s sister, Ruthanne, and we worked out the details. Here is Rhonda’s story:

In the Fall of 2012, Rhonda was struggling with strange gastrointestinal symptoms like severe indigestion, nausea and abdominal pain. The doctor ruled out gallstones but the symptoms continued…and turned into SEVERE itching all over her body and jaundice. That’s when the doctor got really concerned.

A gastroenterologist did a procedure where, with Rhonda under anesthesia, he put a tube down her throat to “flush out” her gallbladder. While in there, he noticed the opening to her bile duct was surprisingly small so he took a brush and collected cells for biopsy and placed a stent in her bile duct to relieve her symptoms. He told her she could expect her symptoms to be gone the next day and he would call her with the results of the biopsy, which he was confident would not be cancer.

Three days later, he called her into his office and told her that a tiny tumor was responsible for the small opening to her bile duct. He referred her to a surgeon and told her he was confident that surgery would take care of it. Rhonda’s family believed, based on what the doctors had said, that once she recovered from surgery the nightmare would all be over.

Two days after Christmas the pathology report came back. Stage 2b pancreatic cancer. That was a devastating day for pretty much everyone except Rhonda. When she got the news she was saying things like, “Lets get this straight; I am a cancer SURVIVOR.” And, “I’m gonna get such a sexy wig.” The surgery was successful in terms of removing the cancer and getting clean margins, but two lymph nodes had been compromised; hence the need for chemotherapy.

I spoke with Rhonda on the phone prior to our photo session. I didn’t know what to expect and was surprised by her upbeat attitude. She has a very strong faith, and says that’s what accounts for her inner strength through all the rough times. The session itself was special. Rhonda and Mark have four beautiful children, including three very active young boys! As you can see in these images, Rhonda is quite a beauty as well and looks amazing considering all she has been through. I applaud her and her family for taking the time and energy to capture these precious images of their family that I know will be cherished for years to come. I ask you, my readers, to keep them in your prayers and support them if you can (see “Friends of Rhonda West” on Facebook). I will keep you updated as well. Thank you, Rhonda and Mark, for letting me play such an important role in your lives at this moment. I hope you love these photos.




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