Monday, June 8, 2015

                         SHE WAS THERE

                           HONORING BRENDA COOK

Written by Amy Whitener Ward

    “I want to say thank you for everything you have done for our small town, schools and families.  It’s not just the impact you have made for us but also the memories you have preserved.  You have always and will be a major monument of all of us.  You have done a great job as a mother, sister, teacher, friend, photographer and a shoulder.  Your last one (child) may have passed through the doors as a student for the last time, but every child there is a part of you.  Every picture you have snapped will hold a memory for someone for the rest of their lives and a smile in their hearts.  Thank you for everything.  It is an honor to have you with us.”  Thomas Cash

    “We love you and the kids love you!  Just remember that!”  Heather Cash

    Niangua is a town with a population of around 400 people.  I’m pretty sure that Brenda Cook knows all of them!  Brenda and her husband Mike raised their four children in Niangua.  Over the last 20 + years Brenda shared her heart with so many people in the community.  If there was a ball game she was there with camera in hand.  A fund raiser for a sick friend, she was there.  Prom, graduation, yep she was there.  One could never count all the times that Brenda was there to lend a helping hand.  Bible school she was there to teach your kids about the love of our God.  How many church meals was Brenda there to help with?  Too many to count.  You got married and she was there to photograph it or to be your guest.

    “Brenda you are one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met.  Not only have you completely changed your life recently she has also changed mine.  You are fantastic at your job, lending a hand, listening and giving the best advice!  You are so positive all the time.  Brenda you helped me so much for my wedding and made the whole experience so easy with how much you helped!  From finding me a preacher (last minute) to helping us clean up!  And all of our family pictures are fantastic!  I love you Brenda!  Keep up the fabulous work!!  See you later darling!!!”  Megan Young

    Brenda has been there to welcome your newborn babies into the world and she’s there to wrap her arms around you as your loved one is laid to rest.  She was there and she will continue to be there because she has a heart of gold! 

    You might know me as Brenda’s “partner in crime,” as her second shooter at In My Heart Photography.  We met about 10 years ago and quickly became the best of friends.  I am not from Niangua but Brenda proves that her love for others has no end.  She took me in as not only her friend but her family.  She is a fine example of the love and generosity that God wants us to be.  She has taught me and encouraged me to become a better photographer allowing me to grow in what I love to do most!  And I’m not the only person she has done this for. 

    “Brenda Cook is one of the most kind hearted people I know.  She would give the world to someone who needed it.  If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be the photographer I am and I’m so grateful for that.  I’ve seen her put her all into her work for Niangua for as long as I can remember.  Working for hours to take, edit and upload pictures for every event.  The community is lucky to have such a selfless member.”  Kodie Weaver

    Brenda helps me to think about things in new ways.  She is there to cheer me on in my success.  She is there to walk with me through the storms of life.  She is my friend.  She is my sister and I love her to pieces!  Thank you Brenda Cook.  You were there and you are still there and you are very much appreciated by many!

Help us celebrate our beautiful friend Brenda
Give her a shout out on Facebook! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


                       RUN LIKE A DIVA

    The Run Like a Diva half marathon/5k run was held at the Branson Landing on May 17, 2015.  Run Like a Diva partnered with the Skaggs Foundation and Susan G. Komen Ozark affiliate.

    The day started off very cool.  It had been raining the night before and continued on and off throughout the day.  But the rain did not stop these dedicated runners and it did not stop
 In My Heart Photography from getting some fun shots!

 The half marathon runners started first with the 5K runners starting after them.  They all wore pink T-shirts that said, “Divas Half Marathon and 5K Branson, Mo.  May 17, 2015” with a tiara printed just above it.   New for this year, all participants received pink tutus.  These really added to the fun!  To complete the look these ladies also wore pink boas and tiaras. 

    There were lots of people that added their own touches to their ensembles.  One wore her wedding  dress!

                           Some wore bright pink lipstick.

 A few gentlemen were there sporting their own unique and stunning styles while running in support of these fabulous divas!

With the help of a very Special photographers assistant Miss Grandma Gail Help was amazing!

The rain did not seem to be a problem for the Diva-licious runners.  The firemen handing out medals at the finish line proved to be great motivation or maybe a good distraction from the rain!

    A 12 year old girl won the 5K and an amazing age group of 70-90 years young ran the race as well.

    When the race was completed the gals quenched their thirst with sparkling apple juice in super fabulous wine glasses in typical diva style.

  There was much laughter, photo bombing and many memories created.

 Various shops and restaurants at the Landing offered special discounts to diva participants.  They also could bid on purses in an online auction.  As if this day wasn’t diva spectacular enough, a concert was held in the evening featuring Candy Coburn. 

    In My Heart Photography’s Brenda Cook had a blast watching her own two daughters and sister running this race.  So much so that she wanted to share this experience with you.  Perhaps you might like to join in on the fun next year!

    For more information or to make a donation check it out at