Criss Payton Photography: Blog en-us (C) Criss Payton Photography (Criss Payton Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:34:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:34:00 GMT Criss Payton Photography: Blog 80 120 A New Year, adding chapters and starting new ones! As I start my 8th year in the photography business I have to reflect on how fortunate I am to still be in this business.  In today's world, the job of a "photographer" is very challenging.  It's a struggle to survive in this business for many reasons and everyday it seems like the easy way to go is to quit and not struggle anymore.  Then I have a session or talk to a client and I realize how much I love what I do and it revives my desire to keep fighting to make it another year.

One of the best things about being a photographer is building relationships with people and being part of something special....a wedding...a new baby....a special event.  Sharing these events with families is not just special, it's an honor, I am being allowed to capture something very personal in their lives.  I don't look at a perspective bride and groom and think of them as a one time client.  I spend a lot of time getting to know my couples, their friends and their families.  I don't want to be just their "wedding photographer", I want to be their "Go-To" photographer as they begin their lives together and start their families!  

I currently have 4 wedding couples that I am now photographing their first child!  That is awesome to me!  I have clients that I photographed their maternity pictures and now their children every year...watching them grow up is so cool.  One client, I started taking pictures of their little ones when their son wasn't even walking and their little girl was 3 or 4, they are now 6 & 9!  A few times every year I get to see them and now they have a baby sister that I get to see every 3 months and I'm getting ready to do her 1-year session!  

My First YearMy 2013 My First Year babies!!

Jamie, Nate & Aubree! One of my 2010 wedding couples that have honored me with capturing their first childs first year. Mary, Devin & WilliamAnother Wedding couple that have a new baby!


How cool is it to have a job where you are part of something so special!?  Let me tell you, it's very cool and it's the reason I continue to stay in this business.  I have met many new families in 2013, I have 11 babies in my My First Year Program and my first set of twins!  I'm so glad to have them here and I hope that someday I'm adding them to my list of clients that I have watched grow up in front of my lens!

So as 2014 begins and I reevaluate where my business is and where I am as photographer, I don't know what the coming year will bring, but I do know that I value every one of my clients and I appreciate every one that has helped make my business successful.  My wonderful husband, John and my beautiful kids JT & Lauren for putting up with all the time I spend on the computer and in the studio.  I love them more than words can say!  And my wonderful clients, as long I have those that value what I do for them, I will continue to do this thing I love called photography, but I like to refer to it as creating another chapter for all these families that allow me to be part of their story!

Happy New Year!!

(Criss Payton Photography) Sun, 12 Jan 2014 05:02:35 GMT
Babies, Babies, Babies... How precious is a newborn? The smell (the good ones), the soft skin and just the overall sweetness! I think newborns are becoming my favorite sessions right now. They aren't easy and I feel like I've just ran a 5k after I'm done, ok who am I kidding, like I know what running a 5K feels like?...haha! All kidding aside, when I finish a newborn session I just want to dive right in and start editing. As I go through the images I just fall in love all over with the little bundles. In the past I have been so lucky to have a few newborns here and there, but this year, I have two former brides that are having little ones, a few long term clients, and a few new clients all with little ones due between Feb and April!  How excited am I???  Here are a few images to share!


Elysia Mae




Elcie Elizabeth



And coming Wednesday, Aubree Taylor will be here in the studio!!


(Criss Payton Photography) Tue, 19 Feb 2013 02:11:02 GMT
2012 Charity Model Search for America's Cutest Kid!
Occasions! Photography is participating in theCharity Model Search to select America’sCutest Kid and to raise funds for the non-profit Now I Lay Me Down To SleepFoundation. (

Is your child America’sCutest Kid? We’ll give you the opportunity to prove it! The prizewinnerswill receive a generous savings bond and gift cards!

ModelSearch Special:
$45entrance fee includes a 30-minute model session and one image submitted to theinternational gallery.

Finalists will be determined by online votes. Eachvote is $1 (no limit on the amount of votes you can cast), and all proceedsfrom votes benefit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (  The top 25 vote receivers will move on to thefinal judging round to determine the winners.

Grandprize winner and runners up will be determined from the 25 finalists. Thewinner and runners up are selected by photography experts.

Call 317.997.5009 now to enter your “Cutest Kid” in thisexciting contest.

*Contestopen to residents of the US. For more information, visit

2011 Entries:

(Criss Payton Photography) Tue, 03 Jan 2012 13:12:00 GMT
First Steps
Then something really cool happened:


Tenley took her first steps! Her dad looked at me and said "she's never done that before!"  So he had her do it again, and again...then called mom and grandma in to see!  It was so cool and we captured it!  We truly froze a moment in time that is priceless....her first steps!

It's time like this that I feel so blessed to be able to do what I do!  I love my job!
(Criss Payton Photography) Family Children Mon, 07 Nov 2011 19:40:00 GMT
Caitlyn - class of 2012
So I'm now trying to get caught up on my editing and finishing all these session, but my blog needs updated as well.  So I will try to start at the beginning of the month.

First up was Caitlyn - Taylor High School - class of 2012.  Believe it or not, this young ladys mom and I went to elementary, jr high and high school together.  I feel so old that this is her 2nd child graduating from high school; but it was fun spending the day with Caitlyn and her mom and Nana.  Caitlyn has an awesome look that just came across so natural...Here are some of my favs....gorgeous!

(Criss Payton Photography) Senior Mon, 07 Nov 2011 19:20:00 GMT
Fall Family Sessions have begun!
What a great looking family!

Kim & Jeff

"Mz. Thang"  What a gorgeous girl, she had was posin' up a storm for me! 

The "Cool Dude" typicla tweener, didn't really want to be there but was awesome anyway!
Thanks guys for a great session!  Lots more to come :) 
(Criss Payton Photography) Family General Wed, 05 Oct 2011 17:24:00 GMT
A Week In Review ;) that bad.  Would I rather be home in my studio?  Absolutely, but I think the worse part has been having to wear shoes!  Seriously, I hate shoes unless they are my old ratty flip flops and I'm thinking they don't make the "dress code" in the office.  To be honest I've been in a pretty bad mood all week  because of it and probably took it out on my husband and kids when they really didn't deserve it. 

All in all the week went pretty fast and as the week came to a close, I received a call from Riley Hospital of a family requesting the services of NILMDTS.  Because I was working, I tried to find one of our other photographers to take the session; but I was not having any luck and time was running out for us to get there.  So I ran home, got my camera and went back to do the session.

I don't give details of NILMDTS sessions because it is a very emotional and private expereince for the family and the photographer, but as with the other 19 beautiful babies that I have had the honor to photograph, this little angel takes a special place in my heart along with his beautiful family.  I spend a very short amount of time with these families, but in that brief time I feel a connection that runs very deep as they allow me to share and capture some very special moments with their child. 

As I have spent the  past few days editing their images and getting them ready for them; that process puts me into a complete and total different mind set.  As with every session I take for NILMDTS it brings me down to earth and back to reality about how precious life is and I step back and look at my blessings. 

As we start a new week, this family prepares to lay their first child to rest and my thoughts and prayers are with them hoping that they have peace and love to guide them through this difficult time in their lives.  And as I start this new week, I will do so not with dread of having to "go to work" but with thankfulness for my family and all the wonderful things that God has given to me.

I'll leave you with a picture that brings a smile to my face every time...this was drawn at Disney this summer of my two kids...and it's fitting, the artist captured it perfect...JT is always looking at Lauren like "what the heck are you doing?" and she is always smiling that little onrey smile!  Have a wonderful week :)

(Criss Payton Photography) Family NILMDTS General Mon, 05 Sep 2011 15:41:00 GMT
Beautiful Emma - Isn't she a doll!

(Criss Payton Photography) Family Children Sun, 04 Sep 2011 19:19:00 GMT
Fall Specials.....hurry and save!
Brides: Book your 2012 Wedding with Occasions! Photography by Nov 1st and save $250 on your wedding package and 10% off a print package! 

Mommies to be....Book a My First Year Session and get your maternity session for free! My First Year inlcudes Newborn/3mo/6mo/1yr sessions + a 1 Year Framed print that include an image from each session!  This program will be changing in 2012, get your's booked today! your Senior session by Nov 1st (we'll shoot in the Spring) and save 15% off session fees! 

Families.....Fall Sessions are a great time to update your your family portraits.  I have some set fall days at locations around town or you can schedule a session to meet your timeframe.   Fall Sessions special, through Nov 15th is $55 (save $25) + $20 in print credit and 15% off holiday cards.
(Criss Payton Photography) Senior Family Children Wedding General Infant maternity Tue, 30 Aug 2011 15:15:00 GMT
Meet Julie - Cardinal Ritter Senior Rep Class of 2012
Since Julie is a Senior Rep and will be "working" for me :wink wink: she will have a few other sessions over the next months of her senior year.  Today's session was the "Studio Shoot" and the "Summer Shoot"  We spent about an hour int he stuido and then headed out to one of my favorite secret shooting spots.  I'm loving what I'm seeing from her shoot so's a sneak peek:




(Criss Payton Photography) Senior Sun, 28 Aug 2011 19:05:00 GMT
Fall Family Sessions, book your sessions now! fallsessionad Fall is a great time of year for family pictures.  It is beautiful outdoors, there are so many options for loctions.  Some of my favoirte images have been taken in the fall!  Earlier this summer I did Family Days at specific was a great idea, but it was so hot and humid it just didn't work out well.  So I decided that we'll do them in the fall too when it's cooler and more comfortable to get outside.

So, here's the deal...$55 session fee (Regular price is $75), 1 hour time slot, up to 6 people ($5 for additional persons), and $20 credit towards print purchase.
  • October 1st
    • Forest Park in Noblesville
    • Several different options here, covered bridge, trees, fences, etc.
    • Time Slots:  9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm & 5pm
  • October 16th
    • Shadyside Park in Anderson
    • Several areas of the park to choose from
    • Time Slots: 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm & 5pm
  • October 29th
    • Locations TBD, have an idea? Let me know
    • Time slots will depend on location

Call today to schedule your time slot, these will go fast!
(Criss Payton Photography) Family Children General Wed, 24 Aug 2011 07:33:00 GMT
Changes are coming.......if I blog it I have to do it right? Sandy Puc' seminar.  Each one has been different, there have been topics from Babies to Weddings....she covers it all and in a fun, interesting and unique way.  Listening to her speak is just energizing....she is so full of experience and knowledge and passion for what she does.  When I first saw her I said, "I wanna be like Sandy" but the more I see and hear her speak I realize that I don't want to be like her I want to take her passion and knowledge and reinvent me to bring out my own passion and excel at what it is I love...Photography!

The show Monday was all about Kids to be creative and unique and how to build your business to suceed.  Many of the things she talked about have been discussed in previous shows, but hearing them again just drives home the points that I have make some changes.  Good changes...for me, my business, and for my clients. 


I'm not going to rush these changes as I know that I need to do it right, so I'm giving myself a timeline of 6 months to prepare and do the things I have to do. Some may go beyond 6 months, but I think that is a good start.  This will be happening in the background and I will be doing "business as usual."   You might see some new pieces of the puzzle pop up here and there, but I hope to have everything in place by early 2012.  If you have small children, this is going to benefit you the most, but all clients, wedding, seniors, family will gain from the changes. 

Some things I plan to do.....
  • Branding....anyone that knows me, knows I HATE corporate buzz words like "branding" however I need to do it...all marketing materials need to be redesigned and given a "look" that is unique to Occasions! Photography.
  • The First Year Baby Program....there is so much more that can be added to this
  • Referral Programs....give my current clients more incentives to refer their family and friends
  • Products....streamline my product list, add unique and cool items that you want
Those are just a few things but I have so much going thru my head right now it's impossible to capture in a blog.  Watch for more details over the coming months....I will need feedback and may have a few contests to help me decide on styles and products and who better to help me out than my wonderful clients!

Sandy said during her show Monday that she continually has people come up and say to her,  that they put ideas in place and did the things she talks about and their business is better today because of it.  I hope to be able to say this to her when I see her again :) 

Wish me I go!

(Criss Payton Photography) Wed, 24 Aug 2011 07:21:00 GMT
Baby Graelyn

In May I went to Fort Wayne to meet & photograph Baby Graelyn, She was only 7 days old....

  Fast forward to today...and I mean fast, her mom brought her in for her 3 month session.  She's such a doll, can't wait til her 6 month session!


(Criss Payton Photography) Infant maternity Sun, 14 Aug 2011 19:00:00 GMT
"We'll try it for a year....."
The Happy Couple - Chuck & Eloise

The Cake 40 years ago....
The Cake today

Happy 40th!  Go ahead try it another 40 years :)
The cake today...

(Criss Payton Photography) Family Sun, 14 Aug 2011 15:55:00 GMT
Drum Corps Family Visiting Indianapolis
I'm still working on their shoot, but here are a few from the session:



(Criss Payton Photography) Family Sun, 14 Aug 2011 15:39:00 GMT
I can't give specific details about my session out of respect for the families, but today's session was a little more difficult than other sessions I have done.  He was beautiful and I could feel how much his family loved him and see it in every image I took.  He will take his place in my heart right next to the 18 other beautiful little angels that have graced my life over the past 4 years I have been part of this organization.

Many of you know of my association with the organization Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) but I don't think I have ever actually explained what it is or why I do it.  For those of you that don't know what NILMDTS is, it is an incredible organization that provides families of babies who are stillborn or are at risk of dying as newborns with free professional portraits with their baby.  Before you say, "OMG! Why would you want that?"  This is a sample of the type of portraits that are created for the families.

To see more or learn more about how you can contribute to this organization go to

In 2005 a Colorado family had to make the excruciating decision to take their 6 day old baby off life support. But before they did, they called a local photographer to take black and white portraits of them cradling their son. Those tender photographs documenting the child's eternal connection with his parents inspired the mother, Cheryl Haggard and photographer, Sandy Puc' to found this nonprofit organization.   The Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation (NILMDTS) administers a network of approximately 7000 volunteer photographers in the United States and nineteen International countries. To read more about Cheryl's story and letter she wrote to her baby boy Maddux, click HERE .

I am so proud to be one a member of this organization, I joined the organization 2008 and it has been one of the hardest, but yet most rewarding things I have ever done.  I have provided this service to 19 families.  Each family has touched me in many ways and I will never forget them.  I'm so sorry for the losses that they have suffered, but so honored that I was allowed the privilege to meet and photograph their beautiful babies and give them something to treasure of their precious child.

Today I am one of two Area Coordinators for the Indianapolis area.  We service all Indianapolis hospitals and surrounding areas.  There are 15 wonderful, giving, caring photographers that donate their time to provide services for these families and I can truly say I am a better person for knowing these wonderful people and being part of this organization. 

Many people hear about this and ask me how I can do this.   The answer is almost impossible to put into words, it's a feeling that is indescribable.  The only way I think I can make it make sense is to say this......I am blessed with two beautiful children that I can hug and kiss day and night, these families have lost that ability, they will leave a hospital with nothing more than a memory of their child that they held in their arms for a short time.  I can give them something tangible to take home, if only a portrait to hang along with their other family portraits to say "that's my son/daughter, a part of our family."  Those final memories of their time with their precious child, we capture and preserve....Always loved; never forgotten.
(Criss Payton Photography) Family NILMDTS General Infant Wed, 10 Aug 2011 19:24:00 GMT
New Business Cards....finally :)
I'm happy to report that my new cards have been ordered!

What do you think?

Front of card





(Criss Payton Photography) Senior Family Wedding General Infant Tue, 09 Aug 2011 10:03:00 GMT
Meet Kristen - Senior Red FCHS Class of 2012

(Criss Payton Photography) Senior Tue, 09 Aug 2011 04:56:00 GMT
Lindsey + Jonathan = Engaged!
What a great couple they are, during the shoot I found out they are foster parents to 5 kids!  WOW! And they have horses and dogs and they even put up with having my 6 year old daughter tag along today (see picture below).  You know they have to be patient and awesome to deal with her ;) 

Here are few quick ones I pulled....more later, time for bed :)
Good thing this pix was blurry and I took a 2nd one after Ms. Thang moved!  See what I have to put up with ;)

Love the views in Brown County!

This is about the spot that he popped the question! 

(Criss Payton Photography) Sat, 06 Aug 2011 19:58:00 GMT
Looking for Senior Reps! I have a deal for you :)  Be a Senior Rep for Occasions! Photography! I am looking for 2012 Seniors from Warren Central, Southport, Beech Grove, New Pal, or any other school you might attend.

What's a Senior Rep you ask?  Well, you would be my "spokesperson" at your school to help get other seniors to have their pictures taken here.  In exchange for you sending your freinds and classmates to me, you get The Ultimate Senior Experience Session for about 1/2 price, professional make-up for your session, PLUS extra sessions and lots of extras. AND....for every referral you send my way, you get a $20 gift card....and not a gift card to spend with me, but a gift card YOU want....iTunes, Gas Cards, Visa Gift Cards, etc.

Here are some of the items you get for being a Senior Rep:

Keepsake Box - great for keeping grad announcements, pictures, jewelry,etc

100 Senior Rep Cards - personalized with you senior pictures to give out to your friends. Each one that makes it's way back to me with a booking senior you get a $20 gift card.

You choice of an Aluminum Water Bottle, Dog Tag or Accordian Book all personalized with your senior pictures

AND MORE....Aluminum Wallet Tin to hold your wallet prints or Rep Cards and great discounts on prints and other products!  I'm always changing the Senior Rep Kit up and adding new products!

Call me today @ 997-5009 or email me to find out more about becoming a Senior Rep for your school!
(Criss Payton Photography) Senior Fri, 05 Aug 2011 06:31:00 GMT
Peyton & Spencer - IMA July 2011

(Criss Payton Photography) Family Children Wed, 03 Aug 2011 07:56:00 GMT
Dan & Rosie - Their Wedding Album
Daniel & Rosemary

(Criss Payton Photography) Wedding Tue, 02 Aug 2011 16:02:00 GMT
Jamie & Nate - Married 7-9-11
They had a very beautiful wedding at Valle Vista Country Club and we got some awesome images and it wasn't too hard when you see what a gorgeous bride she made and he was a pretty "sharp dressed man."

Waiting for his wife 2 be....

Mr & Mrs !

And the fairytale begins :)

(Criss Payton Photography) Wedding Mon, 01 Aug 2011 16:39:00 GMT
Class of 2013 Senior Models




(Criss Payton Photography) Senior Mon, 01 Aug 2011 08:31:00 GMT
Senior Rep Program is underway!
Lacey - Senior Rep Madison-Grant High School

Kristen - Senior Rep Franklin Central High School

Emily - Senior Rep Madison-Grant High School
(Criss Payton Photography) Senior Sun, 31 Jul 2011 15:13:00 GMT
I'm gonna give this Blogging thing another try :) ]]> (Criss Payton Photography) General Sun, 31 Jul 2011 13:21:00 GMT Blog Updating - MIA! Facebook vs. Blog - Facebook wins for now :)
Occasions! FaceBook Page
(Criss Payton Photography) General Fri, 17 Sep 2010 21:46:00 GMT