Elyssa: Breather of God’s air, lover of this life

Nearly six months ago this girl came into my life. I love her sister the most, but I sure do love her too.

Elyssa is a free spirit, a lover, a dancer, a singer — a God-fearing woman. Helping take her senior pictures with Em was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. For as loud as she sings the Lord’s praise on stage Sundays at Family Life Church, her smile is still brighter.

Surrounded by a bevy of loving family and raised by incredible people and community, Elyssa shines.


In shooting, I used my Canon 7D Mark I and rented a Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4. Easily the best lens I’ve ever used, I’d recommend this lens to anyone who wants a simple lens to use at a relatively low rent price (about $25 for the weekend.)

If you’re going to rent a lens around the central Ohio area, I highly recommend World of Photography in Grandview. The staff was knowledgeable and made me feel comfortable in picking out the Sigma since the lens I wanted had been spoken for. I even bought a Canon 50 mm f/1.8 after taking back the Sigma I felt so good about the place.

Anyways, after spending the first part of my Sunday afternoon training for Royal Family Kids Camp (please please please ask me about this!!!!!), I met Elyssa and Emily in downtown Marion, at the Main St. Professional Building. Elyssa and Emily had taken pictures at Marion Tallgrass Trail before meeting me downtown and for obvious reasons, that’s a really cool place to be around Marion, whether taking pictures or not.

We got started taking photos on top of the Main St. professional building. Thanks to my friend Alex Sheridan for helping me make the connection and to Mike Zucker for being so gracious in letting us get up there. They turned out to be really cool shots.


Elyssa wanted pictures in her tutu on top of the building, showcasing her love for ballet. She’s really good at it too.



One of the coolest things about the roof of the professional building for me personally was to see the revitalization of downtown firsthand. Good and bad vibes are a real thing, and while I have always loved Marion deeply, to look down Main St. and see all that has been done in the last few years to improve our city was really heartening. The vibes are good.


After the leaving the professional building area, we walked across the street to the mural on the north wall of the Merrill Lynch building where I kind of jimboed on that set, but here’s one with a little bit of the mural in the background.


After leaving downtown, we went and had dinner, and then headed out to a quiet itty bitty of Marion, a place I have grown to love. At this point it was near golden hour and with the combination of the company, camera body, the Sigma lens and Elyssa being pretty pretty made the end of the day come together really well.

Golden hour, hay bales and a full field makes for pretty pictures. Elyssa too.

~outfit change~

Elyssa Kristine Sayre

Senior pictures for any girl is arguably one of the most exciting times of a young life. For Elyssa it was just the same.

There was a little added bonus this time though, furry and small.

After chasing them around for what seemed like hours and seeing which one warmed up to her the most, convincing Angie Sayre to let her take it home to Wild Bill Sayre, Elyssa became a cat mom to Marcus. There’s nothing better than taking a barn cat home. They turn into the best ones, believe me I know (RIP Boo).

Marcus came home and Wild Bill Sayre instantly turned into a softie.

Though her day came to an end and the camera shuttered for the last time, the fun has just begun.


For more from Sunday’s pictures, click here.

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