We All Started Somewhere…


Today, I want to go back in time to 2012. Springtime had turned the corner, and photography had just peaked my interest. Let’s go back to the beginning of my business, when all I had was a point and shoot (and occasionally my mom’s camera)…

Now entering the DeLorean…

I present to you a small collection of my first images as a photographer:


Back then, I was super proud of these images. Looking at these now, I wonder what I was thinking. Oversaturated, too high contrast, and talk about tilt! But you know what? I will never go back and change them. This is the beginning of my journey. This stands as a testament of how far I’ve come. This is a reminder of the experimentation and hard work I put forth to hone my skills. Now I am creating images like these…

Time and practice make a difference. So, let’s help each other. Let’s guide each other. Let’s build each other up. Remember, we all started somewhere.

Come with me on my journey to building my portraiture business. Follow me on Instagram: @studiolexington

-Kristen D.



Myah Winbush- Model Photography in Lexington, KY

As many of you know, I am building a portraiture business. My new business will be centered around women and their beauty and strength. This new venture brings me great excitement. Today I get to highlight the beautiful Myah Winbush, a model in Lexington, KY. She is such a sweet girl, and it was a delight to work with her.

This whole session was done in one hour in Jacobson Park.

The first look was Myah’s own dress. I added a couple of pieces of jewelry and decided to start the shoot in the rows of pine trees.

So confident and her skin looks amazing! We kept saying to each other how much she was glowing. Gorgeous! The next outfit had a more summery feel. We went to the open fields in the center of the park. The sun was lower and a little softer, which was perfect for the look I was going for.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the photo with the open sky.  The great thing about photography is the variety you can add just by changing your angle. Our next outfit was from T.J. Maxx. (I may have a T.J. Maxx problem. I was once there three days in a row.) The light by this time was GORGEOUS! I love shooting right when the sun falls behind the horizon. The entire mood changes and you can get images like these-

Myah was bringing some beautiful dance poses while we were by the lake. Soft and feminine looks are my favorite. She definitely showed great talent during this session. I would love to work with her again. Give some love for Myah in the comments, and tell us which is your favorite look!

-Kristen D.

A Sense of Wonder

Yesterday, my mom, dad, son, and I went to the Newport Aquarium. I have been wanting to take G to an aquarium for over a year. My excitement may have overshadowed his a little bit. Having the opportunity to explore and learn about the world is important to me, and I want to pass that on to my son.


I wasn’t always that way. School work was never something in the forefront of my mind. Unless it was music, art, or theater, I was simply uninterested. Creativity is something I craved. Now that college is behind me, learning is enjoyable. Maybe it was the structure of it all. Ask anyone that knows me. I don’t do well with structure.


I believe freedom was my key to learning all along. My teachers and professors were excellent through high school and college. However, classes that allowed for more freedom of expression were my forte.


The wonderful thing about wonder (see what I did there?) is that it will lead you to discovery. You will research, experiment, and learn. This is true in art and science. Stopping because of a mistake becomes absurd, because you know that the knowledge or ability of what you seek is more important than a failure. (Isn’t that how we got electricity?)


All of this starts with a sense of wonder. So, go out and explore. Reignite your love of learning and discover something new. You can travel, research, go to a play, interview a stranger, anything. Look at things a new way. Live, and always have a sense of wonder.


-Kristen D.

The Power of a Photograph

Last year, a wonderful man passed away. His name was Ken Haddix. He was my marching band director through college. He was a mentor. He was an amazing musician. When I started seeing all of my college friends’ profile pictures change to pictures of him and themselves, I was worried something had gone wrong. It had, and cancer is horrible.

I started searching my pictures. I didn’t have a single photo of us. He was a major influence in my life and the only photo I could find was one of a parade where I am spinning a flag and he is walking beside the guard. It’s not the greatest quality photo. It was probably captured by a cell phone. I was disappointed when I realized I never took a photo with him, but this is now one of my most valued photos.


In the past month, I have lost two members of my family. My Aunt Bobby and my Uncle Ricky. As a wedding photographer, I know that the most important pictures of the day are of the people. Don’t get me wrong. I love the details. The details allows us to see the personality of the bride and groom. However, it’s not the details that make a wedding beautiful. It’s the people.

So, what is the power of a photograph? Some photos are taken to invoke emotion. Some to sell products. Some to inspire. The beauty of photography is that one day those photos will become small and powerful memorials of our loved ones. When we take out our albums and picture boxes we’ll laugh, cry, and remember. We must remember.

This is when photographs truly take on a new meaning for people. They become memorials instead of pictures. So, cherish those moments. Hug your loved ones. Take a picture. Capture a memory. Life should never be measured in length, but in depth. Love deeply, and always remember.

-Kristen D.

Just Put the Pillow on the Couch


I know. Odd title, right? Well, here’s the story.

Carrie and I were watching Captain America and my son was jumping on the couch, which then caused a pillow to fall on the floor. I instructed him to pick up the pillow and place it on the couch. In all his toddlerness, he refused to do so. Crying, screaming, falling to the floor as if I had just insulted him to highest degree. He even picked up the pillow, walked to the couch, and dropped it on the floor. At this point, Carrie laughingly stated, “All you have to do is put the pillow on the couch.” Then I began laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation, and how much harder Gabe was making it on himself. After he finally put the pillow on the couch, we went back to watching Captain America and everything was peaceful.

How often do we make things on ourselves much harder than needed? All because we simply don’t want to do them? Here are a few of my “pillows”-

  • Laundry
  • Cooking (Paul usually cooks, or else we would eat out every day.)
  • Getting the oil changed.
  • Blogging (I am getting better!)
  • Managing money.

What about you? What are you making hard on yourself? My best advice is just put the pillow on the couch.

-Kristen D.

Trusting Him

Recently, we moved back to Kentucky. The financial strain of moving is there. The additional financial strain of owning your own business is there as well. I was praying Monday, asking for God to give me a client. My spring was pretty empty because of the move. May had only one booking at the beginning of the month, and then my June was full.

After I prayed and asked my sister-in-law to pray for me as well, I received a text that same day from one of my photographer friends. They needed a second shooter for a wedding in May. This was completely out of the blue. Tuesday (yesterday as of writing this post) I received a message on my Facebook page from a bride that needed a photographer the last weekend of May!

I just want to give praise to God for this. In two days I went from one booking in May to three. It is a comfort for me to know he answers prayer.

A Styled Bridal Session- Wedding Photography in Lexington, KY

Don’t ever be afraid to ask. Don’t ever be afraid to create. That is my advice to anyone who is doing a styled session and is just starting out as a photographer. I had never brought together such an amazing team of professionals before, and the results are beautiful.


I want to give a special thank you to my sister, Ashley, for helping me set up and break down the shoot! I had so much fun with this styled session. Tell me your favorite detail in this session! Did you like the dresses? The jewels? How about the venue? Comment below!

Also, I could not have done this shoot without the help of some amazing professionals and vendors! Click on their names to visit their websites!

Model- Victoria Rose Nolley
Hair Stylist- Ben Powell of Paul Mitchell The School Lexington
Makeup Artist- Bridget Teall of Paul Mitchell The School Lexington
Wedding Gowns- Wedding Wonderland
Jewelry- Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers
Florist- Rachel’s Rose Garden
Furniture- Canvas Furniture and Events
Venue- The Livery

-Kristen D.

One Woman + Five Gowns

I have been following The Steel Magnolia Bridal Shop for a couple of months. I was incredibly impressed with their gown selections showing up in my IG feed. I had to work with them! I called the owner, Lacy, to coordinate a photo shoot. She was completely for it, and even asked if her friend, Megan, could be the model. I LOVE these photographs, and they were incredibly fun to create!

The whole shoot took about two hours. Megan wore five beautiful Justin Alexander gowns, and was simply amazing in front of the camera.

Gown #1


Gown #2


Gown #3


Gown #4


Gown #5



The beauty of this shoot (besides the beautiful Megan and amazing gowns) is the fact that it was photographed in The Steel Magnolia Bridal Shop itself. If you are looking for a dress, I highly recommend this shop in Somerset, KY. Lacy is wonderful and very carefully selects the gowns she brings into her store. Follow them on IG @thesteelmagnoliabridal. While you’re at it, follow me @kristendphotography!

Thanks so much for reading! Tell me your favorite gown/photo in the comments!

-Kristen D.