Shaw Family Photo Session

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Meet the Shaw family – one of THE coolest families that I’ve yet to meet. Our session was almost rained out, but we were determined to fight the weather and press on for the photos we wanted. Fortunately, the weather held off and we were able to capture some of the most captivating family shots I’ve yet to shoot.

I love the way this family interacts and the love they share. It’s shown in the photos 100%, and I’m pretty sure that’s what makes me love them so much! I love photos that capture who a family is, and how they usually interact with one another. I mean, we’re people – not robots. Photos should show who we really are, not who we *think* we are or who we *wish* we were.

Kim, Steve (although I called him random names the entire session. ha!) and their kids were an absolute inspiration to me and they truly made my day! Let’s face it – guys HATE to have their photos taken. It’s life. I get that. BUT – Steve was SUCH a trooper for these photos, and that made the images that much better! When everyone is on board with family photos, they simply turn out better – end of story.

At the end of our session their little girl even came running up to me after the photos were complete and offered me a pack of gummies (aka – bribes for good smiles). “Here! I got you one before the boys ate them all!” Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than that:)

I love my job, and I love what I get to do. I’m a story-teller, a memory-maker and a moment-capturer… I’m a photographer!

So… wrangle up the ones you love and go have your photos taken, acting just like you always do!

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Sharon’s Ultimate Peanut Butter Pie

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Let’s talk about THE best Peanut Butter dessert that one could ever eat – Sharon Pope’s Famous Peanut Butter Pie! The thing that makes this pie far superior to all others is one important fact: it MUST be eaten warm – preferably minutes out of the oven.

I know, I know. Eating a hot pie goes against almost everything you’ve ever known. I thought the same thing when Sharon first told me – but trust us on this one… It will change your life! (Don’t get me wrong, this pie is pretty rockin-awesome at room temperature too, but when it’s hot and ruining all over the place… Well, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss out on!)

So, without further a due – the recipe that will soon become your favorite…

SHARON’S ULTIMATE PEANUT BUTTER PIE

For the Crust:

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

9 tbs. shortening

5-6 tbs. ice water

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the crisco and “cut” the shortening into the flour. (I like to use my fingers and hands – you want the crisco to end up in little bits, about the size of a green pea.) Then drizzle the ICE water onto the flour mixture and mix well. (You want the mixture almost as damp as play dough – but not too wet. It will still be a little clumpy, but will hold together when pressed with your hands.) Press together into a ball, then turn the crust mixture out onto a WELL floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the mixture out to about 1/8 inch in thickness. (Try to keep the crust moving while you’re rolling by using the rolling pin to spin it a little – you don’t want it to stick to the counter.) Once the crust is rolled out to the right thickness, roll it up on the rolling pin and transfer to the pie dish. After fitting the crust into all the edges of the dish, trim the excess dough off the edges with a knife – leaving a little over an inch hanging off. Then fold the remaining inch of crust under the edges and crimp using your left thumb and pointer finger on the outside and your right thumb on the inside. This gives you that attractive edge!

Using a fork, pierce the crust about 10-15 times (to release moisture while cooking) and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. If the crust doesn’t seem to be golden after 20 minutes or so, turn the broiler on and get a little color on it. Be careful not to burn the crust at this point – keep a good eye on it!

Tip: This crust recipe is actually 1.5 times more than the original recipe, but I have my reasons. First off, I’m not the best at keeping my crust from cracking a fair bit when I roll it out, so with extra I can usually just cut off the cracks after I put it into the pie dish. Secondly, I’m a huge stickler on things looking good, and with extra crust I have plenty on the edges to do a stunning crimp! Plus, there’s enough in this recipe that you’ll be fine for a deep dish pie too!

For the Filling:

The Peanut Butter Crumbles…

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

Directions: Place in a medium bowl and mix together using a fork. They’ll be crumbles, of all sizes. (Try not to eat them all before you place them in the pie, please! :p) Set them to the side.

Tip: I add a little more of both ingredients because I prefer to have more peanut butter in the pie – but that’s just me:)

 

The Custard…

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)

1 tbsp. AP Flour

3 tbsp. corn starch

1/4 tsp. salt

3 cups milk (2% or whole)

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract (don’t measure, just pour a good ol’ dash in – you can’t add too much vanilla, ever!)

Directions: Place yolks, sugar, salt, flour and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk together well. Begin to add the milk, slowly at first, and whisk until combined. Place in a pot over medium heat. The goal is to thicken the mixture with heat until it’s the consistency of a custard/pudding. You can do this in the microwave (which Sharon taught me) by heating the mixture in 30 seconds intervals and stirring it in-between to make sure it doesn’t curdle and scramble the eggs. I prefer to do this on the stove top – but that’s just me. Either way, keep a watch on it! On the stove, I bring it almost to a boil and that’s when the flour and cornstarch do their thickening work! After it’s thickened, pull off of the heat and add the butter and vanilla, whisk to combine, then grab a spoon and taste it – best stuff ever! (Again, as with the peanut butter crumbles, try to leave some for the pie filling, please! :p)

 

For the Meringue:

3 egg whites

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 – 1 tbsp flour (I’ll explain below)

Directions: Place the egg whites in a bowl and begin beating with a mixer. (Using a whisk attachment if you have one) After they’re starting to turn white and a little foamy, begin adding the sugar slowly. Then beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.

Tip – sometimes, especially on humid days, it’s hard to get egg whites to hold their peaks. My mom taught me years ago that if you’ll add just a touch of flour to your egg whites and whisk it in well, it will help stabilize them when they cook and they’ll hold their peaks better!

Final Assembly: 

Place 1/2-3/4 of the peanut butter crumbles on the the bottom of the cooked pie crust. Top with all of the custard mixture (but don’t over over-fill the crust. You can always snack on the left over custard later!). Spread the meringue over the custard and top with the remaining peanut butter crumbles! Place back into the 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes to cook the meringue and brown the top of the pie.

Pull out and serve within the first hour to fully enjoy. Like I said before, this pie is WONDERFUL at room temperature, but it truly is a life changing experience when it’s served warm! I’d let it cool for about 10-15 minutes to make sure you don’t burn your tongue completely off though… :)

I truly hope that you make this recipe with your friends and family for years to come. It’s recipes like this that hold so much meaning for me. Sharon, who shared this recipe with me on my 22nd birthday, is one of my dear friends from my time in Arkansas and we have made so many memories in her kitchen with our friends over the last several years. Every time I make this pie, I feel like Sharon is right there in the kitchen with me – laughing and acting like a total loon… And that’s what makes this SUCH a special recipe to me!

Take the time to create memories with those you love over recipes like this one… Not only will you feed the body, but more importantly you’ll feed the soul!

Happy Eating!

 

Jenna + John [Engaged]

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This is one of my favorite engagement sessions! Not only are Jenna and John beautiful people to work with, but they had one of the most unique ideas I think I’ve ever seen! Growing up in the small town of Stokesdale, NC, everyone is familiar with “the Bi-Rite.” It’s a small grocery store that has been a local icon for almost 50 years. I’d say that it’s the best known landmark in Stokesdale – hands down.

For the end of their session we went to Bi-Rite and incorporated their advertising sign! Jenna had John on a ladder putting their names and wedding date up for all to see. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful session.

Keep your eyes peeled for sneak peaks from their wedding in October!

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Autumn Mini Sessions 2014

jordan tickle autumn mini 2014Autumn is right around the corner – that means sweaters, hot cocoa and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING! It’s my absolute favorite time of the year… With Autumn comes Autumn Mini sessions – wooooohoooo!

Here’s the details:

When: September 27, 2014

Where: Summerfield/Stokesdale/Reidsville area

Price: $100 gets you 5 digital images, $150 gets you 8 digital images and $200 gets you 12 digital images

Set-up: Minimal. There will be a few crates, maybe a hay bale and a few pumpkins if you wish to include those. My goal for these sessions is to keep them classic and timeless, so that they will look good displayed in your home all year long!

Specs: each session is limited to 4 people. Each additional person will be $25 extra, but will include 1-2 additional images as well.

Images: all images you receive will be professionally retouched, edited and high resolution in format. They will be available by way of digital download as part of the session. A disc of the images from your session can be added for $35.

Payment for the sessions is required at the time of booking. Please email or call to book your session. Spaces are limited. These will be the only fall mini sessions offered by Tickle Photography this year. Full sessions are always available for booking. Email me for details.

Can’t wait to see y’all!

 

Easter Mini Sessions 2014

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It’s that time of year again! Easter is only weeks away (April 20th) and I’ve got bunnies on my brain – ha ha. This year I’m hosting the annual Easter Mini Sessions again, but I’m revamping them! In the years past I’ve been all about the Easter decor, but this year I’m going for super simple and timeless. I think that it’s great to have bold colors and easter eggs all over the place, but every now and again it’s like a breath of fresh air to clean things up a little – know what I mean? I think that these will be some of the very best photos to date! They’ll be great for Easter, but since they are so timeless and classic they will look right at home when you have them displayed all year long in your home and offices!

The live bunny we are using this year is a little different than years past too! Our mini session mascot this year is Miss Sweet Pea. She comes to us courtesy of Red Dog Farm! She’s currently up for adoption and we are hoping that with all this publicity we’ll be able to find her a “forever home” with a loving family! She’s a sweet rabbit and is going to be perfect for this year’s photos! Check out Red Dog Farm and keep them in mind next time you’re thinking of getting a new pet. Adoption is a GREAT alternative!

So, about the sessions…

• All sessions will take place at my studio in Greensboro. This means indoors – finally! Last year we had a little cold snap toward the end of the sessions and it was a tad chilly for the little ones… This year we will have none of that:)

• Sessions are intended for children only, no parents allowed. Yes, let the kids have some fun on their own for this one. I’m usually a huge advocate of getting parents in the shots, but not this time around.

• Sweet Pea will be available for photos, if you choose. She’s totally optional. If you would rather use this session as more of a  traditional spring portrait, we can!

• There are two options for the sessions. First off, for $75 you will receive 5-8 digital images and a print release. For an additional $25 you can receive 3-5 extra images if you wish. The $75 sessions are limited to no more than 3 children. Each additional child past 3 is subject to a $25 charge – due to the extra time and images.

**Each session is intended for individual families. If you add an additional child that is not a sibling (adopted or natural) there will be an up-charge of $25 per child.

• Your images will be added to an online gallery for your download no later than two weeks after your session. No disc will be provided. The print release will be emailed once your gallery is uploaded.

To book your session, simply email or call. jordan@jordantickle.com or 336-552-4137. Sessions will book fast, and space is limited, so I suggest you book as soon as you can!

Full payment for sessions is required to book. Payment is non-refundable due to individual session reservation.

PERKS! There are a few things I’m doing with these sessions. First off, share the mess out of the ad on the Facebook fan-page and on my instagram account (@ticklephotography) for a chance to win a FREE easter mini session. When you share on Facebook, tag a few friends you think might be interested and hashtag #tickleEASTER so that I’ll be able to search it. If you’re going to share on Instagram and want your re-post to count toward the free session drawing, then make sure to use the Instagram ad and not the Facbook ad. The instagram ad is square and can be found on my instagram account, as well as floating around on facebook. When you share on Instagram, make sure to hashtag #tickleEASTER and tag THREE of your friends. I’ll draw one lucky winner from both facebook and Instagram for FREE sessions, so share like a crazy person:)

Let’s recap:

If you share and post on Facebook – tag a few friends and hashtag #tickleEASTER. If you share on Instagram – make sure to use the Instagram ad ONLY, tag THREE friends and hashtag #tickleEASTER.

OH – one more thing! For every friend that books an Easter Mini and pays in full, you’ll receive a FREE 5×7 from your session. The more friends you send my way, the more free photos I’ll give you! Just make sure to tell them to tell me that you referred them! :) [These friends must be new clients to Tickle Photography. Repeat customers do not count as referrals]

If you have any questions, let me know!

Can’t wait to see you there!

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Iredell Heart Ball 2014

heart_ball_web-34Well, this past Saturday evening I had the awesome privilege of shooting the Iredell Heart Ball for the American Heart Association! I’ve done a little volunteer work for the AHA here locally over the last few months and I must say that I’ve really enjoyed it! (Back in May I shot the Greensboro Heart Walk and then in November I photographed the Tanglewood Heart Walk)

Any hoot – Saturday evening the AHA held their annual ball to raise money for the local chapter. The night took place at the Statesville Civic Center and held a silent auction, a dinner, a live auction and several speeches. Oh – and dancing to the tunes provided by Johnny White and the Elite Band! The most entertaining moments of the night were during the live auction. Things got crazy and fun as people were bidding for things that had been donated. I’m talking everything from an Outback Steakhouse catered dinner party for 12 at your home to a weeks vacation to a home in Mexico! Yep, there were some pretty awesome items up for grabs.

Want to know something pretty amazing?! The goal for the evening was to raise $90,000… Well they raised over $150,000! How awesome is that?

I’ve posted a gallery below of some images from the evening for you to peruse. Hope you enjoy!