Tuesday, May 26, 2015

                                 Step Back In Time

                       With In My Heart Photography

                                         DAWT MILL

When Jeff and Shannon hired In My Heart Photography last spring we were super excited to learn that their wedding reception would be held at Dawt Mill in Tecumseh, Missouri.  It would be another adventure for us!

    We arrived at Dawt Mill early and after touching base with our bride and groom we entered the mill where we were greeted by two of the mill’s managers.  After introducing ourselves, Sandy Steel graciously gave us a tour and told us some of its history. 

    Originally a mill had been built on the property as early as 1866.  That mill was burned down by a ten year old boy who was paid $10.00 by a rival mill to burn it!  The land was then bought by Alva Hodgson who rebuilt the mill.  Over the years the mill has survived multiple floods, the depression and has had multiple owners.

    Sandy explained that Dawt Mill is the only working mill in the area.  Unfortunately the dam is broken and renders the mill inoperable.  They hope the dam will be fixed so that the mill can run again as it did many years ago. 

    There has been some restoration and one room was added to the mill but they kept as much of it original as possible.  Sandy pointed out the original wood flooring complete with a few hole repairs done with tin can lids!  There are original pieces of the mill scattered throughout the property enhancing the unique beauty of the mill. 

    At the turn of the century the mill was a busy community.  There was a grocery store, post office, blacksmith shop, saw mill, cotton gin, roller mill, a few houses and a church.  Today the general store is still open.  The cotton gin is gone but the building has been turned into a beautiful cedar lodge called the Cotton Gin Inn.  Dawt mill also offers several small cabins and there is a campground as well. 

    Entertainment includes fishing, canoe rentals for float trips, a restaurant, campfires and the Gravel Bar where you can enjoy concerts and Karaoke. Small groups are hosted at Dawt Mill and many come back every year.  It also hosts meetings, receptions, reunions and other events.  Events like Jeff and Shannon’s wedding reception! 

    The wedding reception was held in the evening on the deck at the back of the mill.  The view was spectacular looking over the White River with its waters rushing from the North Fork.  The sound of the water was mesmerizing, so relaxing to listen to.  The deck was the perfect place for the reception.  There were multiple tables and chairs but plenty of space to move around and a place to dance.  Dawt Mill catered and served a dinner that was absolutely delicious!  The staff were so friendly and very helpful. 

    There was so much beauty and history at Dawt Mill providing In My Heart Photography plenty of photographic opportunities with our bride and groom.  We would highly recommend Dawt Mill for a relaxing weekend get-away, a family reunion and of course for a wedding! 

                                      Check out Dawt Mill at www.DawtMill.com
                                        8 Dawt Mill Dr.  Tecumseh, Mo.  65760
                                        Phone:  888-884-3298 or 417-284-3540

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Niangua High School Graduation 2015

2015 Niangua High School Graduation

            The commencement ceremony of Niangua High School on May 8, 2015 celebrated the accomplishments of 19 graduating students. 
            In My Heart Photography has had the honor of photographing many Niangua graduations over the years but this one was extra special.  This one Brenda did not photograph.  This one she got to be the proud mom of her graduating son Nolan, the last of her 4 children to earn his high school diploma!  And when she asked me to photograph this graduation I was more than happy to step in for her.  After all, this is a great group of students!

            Graduation began with T.J. Bransfield the principle/superintendent who expressed his thankfulness for all who helped this class through the years.  He spoke of improvements made to the school over the last year and of improvements to come. 
            Guest speaker Dana Okerman spoke of her years of teaching experience remembering details of the first day of kindergarten for this graduating class. 
            Kelly Donaldson read a poem she wrote in which each student was named along with a heartwarming memory about each of them. 
  Our very own Brenda Cook put her heart and great effort into making a slide show for the graduation.  Each student chose a few pictures from the time of their birth to now and they chose a song to go along with it.  The slide show is always a hit at the Niangua graduations!

            This year’s valedictorian was Isaiah Cook and Salutatorian was Shaun Winters.

Amelia, Katie and Kylie sang beautifully a song called “See you again”. 

            With diplomas handed over, tassels relocated, caps tossed high into the air the Niangua class of 2015 stepped into their futures. 
Our prayer for you is that you will all go out and make the most of your lives.  Make a positive difference in this world.  Congrats Nolan!  You’ve made your Mom and Dad so very proud.  And congrats to all of the Niangua students! 
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding Proverbs 2:6


Monday, May 18, 2015

Nianga High School Prom 2015

Niangua Prom

                High school prom sure has changed since we were in school.  These day’s proms are held in some pretty cool places.  This year the Niangua prom was held on the Tropic Island Cruise boat at Tan-Tar-A on the Lake of the Ozarks. 

   Not many schools could have their prom on this boat but Niangua is a small school.  These students danced the night away on a small deck at the back of the boat.  The weather was perfect and there was a beautiful sunset, but if the weather had been bad there was room inside the boat to dance as well. 

  Prom is always a favorite event for In My Heart Photography  to shoot.  We love to see what dresses and hair styles the girls will wear.  The guys in their suits and ties and sometimes hats.  Their energy is infectious and we always have a blast catching the moment for these kids in pictures.  As parents ourselves, we know that parents love to see what a wonderful time their kids had too. http://inmyheartphotography.pass.us/prom2015 

 With In My Heart Photography  we put these prom pictures online where parents and kids can download all they want!  They also have the option to print from our professional printing lab. 
 During some of the quieter moments we were able to talk with some of the staff on-board.  They told us that there have been small weddings, receptions, anniversary parties, corporate events and reunions on the boat.  The staff enjoys meeting a large variety of people.  They move around the boat making sure their guests are having a good time and are safe.  They are friendly and helpful. 

 We had a great time capturing once in a lifetime memories for Niangua High School.  We are so thankful to have been there for this and so many other events for Niangua! 

Check out Tropic Island Cruises at
Or call for more info

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bell Tower

Do you believe in coincidence?  Random events occurring here and there?  We don't!  We believe that everything big and small occurs according to God's plan.  He places us in exactly the right place and time with exactly the right people.  So when we met Christine Hill and found out that she and her husband Wes own and run a wedding chapel in Ozark, we knew that God had a hand in it.  After finding out that we are wedding photographers, Christine invited us out to tour her wedding chapel and we were very happy to do so! 

The bell tower Wedding Chapel story began one day when Christine happened to drive by the old church and she thought, "Wow! That's a cool building!"  When they bought it in June 2005 they were actually thinking of turning it into an antique store.  But the church that was built in 1912 had so much beauty, so much character, so much potential that they decided to turn it into a wedding chapel. 

It took 1 1/2 years to renovate the building.  Some walls were removed and stained glass windows replaced.  A new wall was placed behind the alter.  New carpets and beautiful tile floors were put in place.  The addition in the back that was built in 1961 was opened up and turned into a lovely reception room with a brand new fully functional industrial kitchen that was built onto  the building just before opening for business.

The Bell Tower Chapel is one of those buildings that you just can't wait to see the next room!  The detail in construction and decor was meticulously planned.  "I wanted every place in the building to be a beautiful back ground for wedding pictures."  Mission accomplished Christine! 

Most places have a very small room for the guys to get ready in.  This holds true for the Bell Tower as well but one of our favorite features is the Gathering Room in the basement.  It is a larger very comfortable room with large leather couches and chairs and yes, some games that the guys can go hang out in until the wedding begins!

Another great feature is the children's play room.  A sweet room to keep the kiddo's entertained when needed.

Extensive gardening surrounds the entire building, also making beautiful backgrounds for pictures. 

In My Heart Photography gives two thumbs up for the beautiful 102 year old Bell Tower Wedding Chapel!  Thank you so much to Wes and Christine Hill the incredibly nice owners who were so sweet to invite us in to tour and see all of the hard work that they have put into renovating and growing their business.  And thank you to God for introducing us that day!  We look forward to future weddings together! Bell Tower is located @ E. Elem at N. 3rd Ave. in Ozark, MO. 417-725-9054

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coming Soon!

Years of weddings have taken In My Heart Photography to many wonderful locations. We never know where our next wedding may take us. We don't know who the next wedding couple will be, what season of the year, indoors or out. But what we do know is that we love discovering each new place that we go. We also still love each place that we have already been. And because we do, we will be blogging all about many wedding venues. It is our hope to help our clients find the perfect place to begin their lives together in marriage and at the same time to share the many awesome experiences that we are blessed with! Coming soon!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3rd annual fund-raising banquet for Choices Pregnancy Center

In My Heart Photography had the honor of attending and photographing the 3rd annual fund-raising banquet for Choices Pregnancy Center on September 16, 2014. Choices Pregnancy Center benefits the community in many ways including providing pregnancy education for parents, diapers, baby clothing, spiritual support and many other services. This year 98 mothers, fathers, and babies were given the support of the Pregnancy Care Center! This year’s banquet began with their mission statement: “The mission of Choices Pregnancy Center is to edify, educate, enable encourage and equip families so that they can make wise choices and raise the next generation to fulfill God’s purposes for them.” Goals for the next year are: Expand client base through more advertising Employ our abstinence program Engage local churches and pastors in reaching out to the lost and hurting. Moving client testimonials were read by Choices mentors. These were personal stories written by clients about their experiences with Choices Pregnancy Center. There was not a dry eye in the house after hearing their stories! It was clear to see that these mentors become very involved and attached to those that they serve. A scripture comes to mind in this moment, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 KJ. Many wonderful people made this banquet happen such as Joe Blankenship who welcomed us all and Gary Dedmon who started our evening with a lovely and heartfelt prayer. Theresa Clement who is on the board of directors gave ministry updates and Jay Adrian gave the Benediction. Of course what brought us all together was the delicious dinner that was served by Andy’s 417 Catering and all of the students who waited on our tables. And then there was the guest speaker Gordon Douglas. “Gordon Douglas is a ‘comedian’ speaker who has been head of the pastoral board for the Delaware County Pregnancy Center for 25 years. He is a pastor, husband and father. He and his wife took in 14 boys in addition to raising their own five children. It is an amazing story, and it is no surprise they were named ‘Parents of the year’ for the state of Pennsylvania.” Gordon and his wife not only had 19 children, they also took in a family member who had had a stroke and his son with Down’s syndrome. Gordon has a Bill Cosby style of comedy that he uses to reach people in their spiritual journey. He speaks at events such as women of faith conferences, wild game dinners, mens retreats, he has even been on a singles cruise (even though he’s not single!) Throughout his comedy he makes serious and valid points that make the listener really think about how God wants us to live our lives. “God will never make a bad thing good, but good can come from the bad.” In his many speaking events he discovered that “people I never thought would be believers, are now. Don’t give up on people.” He also gave great advice. “Use your talents to help others.” Everyone has something that they are good at. Even if you’re not great at it, use it and you can become good at it. Let God work through you to bless others! In My Heart Photography had a wonderful evening with the Choices Pregnancy Center banquet and we haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time. Thank you so much to Gordon Douglas who made us laugh, and made us think about how we can become better at serving others! Thank you to all who make the Pregnancy Care Center such a blessing to our community!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"It's a God thing"

"It's a God thing" Choices Pregnancy Center Marshfield, Mo. We are excited to announce that God is leading us in new directions with our photography! We trust Him in every aspect of our business and our personal lives. So when He hooked us up one year ago with Choices Pregnancy Center we knew that this wonderful organization was a place that we wanted to become more involved with. Choices Pregnancy Center is a safe, non-judgement place for pregnant women to get education and support for things like pregnancy and infant care. Clients will learn about nutrition, relationship building and Godly life choices. The love of Jesus Christ is shared with each client. Because Choices Pregnancy Center is a non-profit organization, they rely on community support not only for monetary help but also for donated items such as diapers, newborn clothes, maternity items, blankets and other various items. They are there to help their clients in many ways. All services including pregnancy tests and ultra sounds (limited screening) are free and confidential. Ultrasounds and life sized models of a fetus at various gestational ages help to educate new moms and dads. This picture shows the actual sized of a 16 week gestation. This baby is just a handful at this point! In My Heart Photography is very happy to support Choices Pregnancy Center. On September 16, 2014 we will be honored to be at the annual fund raising dinner for our second time. We look forward to seeing so many wonderful, caring people there to support our community. We believe in the Choices Pregnancy Center mission, to be there for our community and we look forward to serving with them and for our God with something we love with a passion... our photography! If you would like to show your support to Choices Pregnancy Center, would like to become a volunteer, or would like to become involved in one of their fund raisers, you can reach them at 417-468-5555 or text 417-531-2685. Check out their website www.choicespc.org and don't forget to "Like" them on facebook! Brenda Cook In My Heart Photography Written by Amy Ward Back up Photographer