Burnt Toast Photography: Blog https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Burnt Toast Photography cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) Mon, 11 Apr 2016 02:09:00 GMT Mon, 11 Apr 2016 02:09:00 GMT https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u183399654-o693873608-50.jpg Burnt Toast Photography: Blog https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog 90 120 Justin & Kara Wedding Day https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2016/4/justin-kara Justin & Kara


The day begins with this gorgeous couple in Toluca, Illinois.

I have known Kara for a good while so it was so easy to pass the drive with excited ideas about what the day would hold.

 We knew we had a beautiful bride and a handsome groom to set the tone for a wonderful day.

 We knew they are as kind as they are beautiful.

We knew that what had promised to be a dark and stormy day was looking blue skies lovely.

We thanked God and asked His blessing over the day, their marriage

and our creative eye plus our equipment (always that) & set out on our way.

And then we met them, the Shidesmaids.

The best group of lovelies a girl could surround herself with on such an extraordinary day.

Meet the Shumsmen.

Clever with the name as are the gentlemen who fall under it's title.


The Dressing.


The Gift.

The True Gift.


Your bus, my dear . . . 

(who needs a chariot)

Willy, be sill my heart.


Peace, love and obviously, joy.

May the LORD bless you and keep you.

May the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.

May the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.



cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2016/4/justin-kara Sun, 10 Apr 2016 22:27:29 GMT
A toast to Jake https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/9/a-toast-to-jake one of Metamora's finest

It was around the third or fourth image peering back at me through my view finder and after learning that Jake 

is one of the coolest, well-grounded, Lord loving, charming people I have had the pleasure of working with . . . 

yes it was at this time, I may have mentioned having an equally charming daughter.

He has a girlfriend ladies.


Thank you Jake.

It was a true pleasure.


cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/9/a-toast-to-jake Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:10:47 GMT
A toast to Tracey & Simon https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/8/a-toast-to-tracey-simon

Tracey & Simon~

Simply one of those couples that you know you would want to hang out with on the weekends if they didn't live elsewhere.

Preparing for one's wedding day is such an intimate affair.

It is a treat to peek in and bear witness~


















Tracey & Kim


Rachel & Alyssa











The Gentlemen of the hour~






























Demitri & Simon




























May beauty surround you both on the journey ahead

and through all the years.












May happiness be your companion always.

Go now to your dwelling place
to enter into the days of your life together,
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Apache Wedding Blessing

Thank you & much love.





cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/8/a-toast-to-tracey-simon Mon, 26 Aug 2013 13:30:00 GMT
At Toast to Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Jackson https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/6/at-toast-to-mr-mrs-andrew-jackson Andrew & Jessica

These two have built a life together & they marked a milestone this past May.  It didn't involve any horses which Jessica would have loved beyond measure.  It did involve a group of amazing friends and family coming together to witness the joining of these 2 lovely people and celebrate the happiest of occasions, their wedding day~

The hours leading up to the wedding are so much fun and this group of girls made it entertaining to say the least.







You can take the girls out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the girls! You can take the girls out of the country . . . 

well, you know.


Rain or shine, it just didn't matter.

She looked beautiful and he was waiting.

They would be the first to admit that hell must be empty because all the devils are right here.

The rainfalls of the midwest proceeded as did the wedding~

They did.


Seriously.  It was fun.  No honestly, it was really exciting.

I mean it, even Kylie was happy.

Dramatic . . . and happy.

Candy was eaten.  Dancing was done by all.  And the whole night rocked!

Grandma did indeed approve of the ring and all was well.


We, of course, love you both and wish you years of love, joy and peace.



(ok, maybe just one)

love you!



cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/6/at-toast-to-mr-mrs-andrew-jackson Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:21:04 GMT
A Toast to Haley https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/6/a-toast-to-haley  

Haley is a self proclaimed theater geek.  She is more comfortable behind the scenes but 

we would challenge you to find anyone more charming on the stage.

Everyone has their token good luck charm for opening night.

Shoes.  Oh my gosh, shoes.

Bye Bye Birdie. 

You Can't Take it With You.

The Wizard of Oz.

just to name a few on your resume~

Lovely. Dramatic.

“You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” 

L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


Peace, love & blessings to you Haley.

You are a gem.



cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/6/a-toast-to-haley Tue, 04 Jun 2013 03:44:19 GMT
A Toast to Dan & Angie https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/3/a-toast-to-dan-angie In 1 month a wedding came together to join 

Dan & Angie,

one of the most charming couples we have worked with,

in the holiness that is marriage~

Their love for one another and generosity of spirit was so evident in the day and those they shared 

this remarkable time with.




(let's take this outside and handle it like men)

Yes, that Will.

















Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. 

Ecclesiastes 4:8-13 





























Endearing is the couple who not only serves fried chicken at their reception

but is not opposed to stepping into the middle of the street for a dance.


Yes, Mrs. & Mrs. Frank you did and we thank you from the 

bottom of our heart for inviting us to be a part of your celebration.


(This blog brought to you by Trisha, whom we also love and adore.

 Without her we might certainly have missed this blessing.)

cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/3/a-toast-to-dan-angie Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:39:59 GMT
A Toast to Colleen~ https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/3/a-toast-to-colleen Here is our toast to one very special girl we call our friend, Colleen.

We have known her for a hundred years (which explains her timeless beauty).

She has modesty, integrity and purity.  Colleen stands confidently in the grace God has given her.

I know, like any young woman, she probably doesn't see herself that way.

We just wanted you to see through our eyes for a moment.

Colleen is a senior this year so she will be venturing out of her parent's house at summer's end.

The question will remain . . . who will laugh at Brendan's corny jokes?



May God bless you and keep you.

May He make His face shine down upon you.

And may you know that you are loved beyond measure.

God has a plan for you and

we will be quietly watching the unfolding while cheering you on in our hearts.

Thank you.




cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/3/a-toast-to-colleen Wed, 13 Mar 2013 14:15:03 GMT
A Toast to Some Lucy Love~ https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/2/a-toast-to-some-lucy-love Love.

I got to spend the better part of a morning with this gem.

I know, lucky right?!

"For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Psalm 139:13-14


There is nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby.

(And her deep sleep allowed us to change up a hat or 2.)

It was a great day & we can't wait for our next time together.

Love, love & more love~



cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/2/a-toast-to-some-lucy-love Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:19:33 GMT
A gift https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/2/a-gift A Gift


To be a gift is no small thing but it is one of the  things I love the very most about being invited into someone's life for a moment.

So many times our photographs are a gift given from one person to another.

Many times they are a gift revealed to the very person in the images.

The honor never escapes Rick and I.

Sometimes we get a reminder that stops us and makes us literally bow our heads and thank God for the opportunity

we never imagined having.

It may be seeing the absolute perfection in a new born.

It may be standing along side a beautiful girl who is seeing the woman she is becoming for the first time.


A boy who never thought himself as cool as he does at this very moment~


It is the whisper between the shots that are so true and so sweet, you can't help but sharing so families

will see what we see when their eyes are only for each other.


It is the family or 4 that have asked us to walk through their lives with them

as their "photographers for life"



lucky, lucky us

*Becky Ellenwood's Lovely (beyond measure) Family*


But today, today . . . the gift was entirely for us.

When I picked up my phone to an unknown number,  

a woman simply said "thank you."  Her thank you turned into a conversation which blessed me beyond belief.

She had received a photograph of her family for her 70th birthday and was moved to tears.

It reminded me that God's gifts are perfect because they are perfecting.

 They often humble us, cause us to work harder than we could ever imagine and lead us to a place where faith is essential in our life.

And on a good day when I have a little clarity, I can throw my perfectionism out the window and accept sincerity, grace and mercy.  

I can accept gratitude in the very sweet way it was given.

And it was in her gratitude, she reminded me that the gift we have been given is to be given to others

for His glory and most certainly for our good.

Thank You.


Rick & Cheri


cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/2/a-gift Mon, 25 Feb 2013 19:16:22 GMT
A Birthday Toast to Brandon https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/2/a-birthday-toast-to-brandon Happy Birthday Week Brandon~

I had so much fun this week thinking warmer thoughts.

I can't imagine better company to trek through the HOI Fair asking the carnies for some

"image opportunities" with.

A Self-Professed coffee snob.

I admire that about you.

A musician.

An Artist.

We hope your 18th year offers you a thousand instances

to be the amazing young man you are.

Thank you for sharing a little of your 17th year with us.






cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/2/a-birthday-toast-to-brandon Fri, 01 Feb 2013 16:35:45 GMT
A Toast to Taylor https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/1/a-toast-to-taylor This is an extra special toast to Miss Taylor Renee.

She belongs to our very own herd and we absolutely adore her.

Taylor is our Niece.

She began her days with us last February and we have had a blast watching her grow this year.
















We know, we know . . . who hasn't caught the blue bench in a Peoria Portrait or 2?

 We had to give it a go because of Taylor's beautiful eyes.

 They were a gift from her Great Grandmother, June. Aaron, Samantha & Taylor

(Ok, her mama may have had a little something to do with the eyes too.)

We love you to the moon and back Sweet One.

May your second year be as charming as your first.



aka . . . Uncle Rick and Aunt Cheri


cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/1/a-toast-to-taylor Thu, 24 Jan 2013 17:07:29 GMT
A Toast to Zoe https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/1/a-toast-to-zoe "Every silver lining's got a touch of grey."

the grateful dead

and that makes Zoe one of the most lovely girls we know

Stories, songs and poetry live here.

You can't always see or hear them but I know they are there.

I recognize a soul that runs deep.

and when you catch a glimpse of the joy . . .

it is intoxicating

that and she is an athlete too


Zoe will graduate this year and as the world opens up for her,

we wish her the very best.




cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/1/a-toast-to-zoe Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:42:30 GMT
A Toast to Andy & Jessica~ https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/1/a-toast-to-andy-jessica America Gothic

(with a little bt flair)

Meet Andy & Jessica~

We have had the pleasure of knowing them for quite some time now and couldn't be more delighted in looking forward to

their wedding this summer.


Meeting a couple for the first time and deciding between the 4 of us that we are the perfect fit for their occasion 

is one of my favorite things.  In doing this at the beginning, it gives us the freedom to

celebrate our strengths and grow in our weaknesses.

We become better photographers and in the end great friends.

Strength = being willing to do (or climb) just about anything to capture a unique portrait.

Weakness = being, let's just say "intimidated" by large animals.

Quote, "The horses are just curious for the most part."  Jessica

Quote, "Ahhhhhhh"  Cheri

I love them . . . with Jessica close by.



When is the last time you felt this beautiful, this loved and this protected?


See you in May~





cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/1/a-toast-to-andy-jessica Thu, 10 Jan 2013 16:44:59 GMT
A Toast to Gabriela https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/1/a-toast-to-gabriela


 (lit. meaning One (f.) who is fifteen)

sometimes called fiesta de quince añosfiesta de quinceañeraquince años or simply quince, is the celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday.



A boy who is a young girl's formal escort in a court of honor

during her rite of passage welcoming her into adulthood.



















Each one unto his own.













La Familia

and now we celebrate~

Moustaches are so cool~

The day was grand.

The people were amazing.

The occasion was festive.

May the LORD bless you and keep you.

May the LORD make His face shine on you

and be gracious to you.

May you feel His love and grow confident in the beautiful woman you are becoming.

And may peace be with you~





cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2013/1/a-toast-to-gabriela Fri, 04 Jan 2013 15:30:06 GMT
A Toast to the Hanleys https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2012/12/a-toast-to-the-hanleys  

There is this family that we know and love and they are called the Hanleys.

They will soon be moving . . . we are talking BIG moving . . .  to another country moving.

They will be missed by a multitude of people who count ourselves lucky to have shared a little time with them.


Steve & Susan




The boys~

Ding Ding

May God bless you and keep you.

May you come back safely.

May you know that while you are away, you will be missed.

And may wherever you travel, they appreciate dogs that are beautiful in spirit.

Thank you.


cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2012/12/a-toast-to-the-hanleys Tue, 11 Dec 2012 01:57:48 GMT
A Toast to Tim, Alyssa and, of course, Aleah https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2012/11/a-toast-to-tim-alyssa-and-of-course-aleah

It must be Autumn when we get the pleasure of spending some time with Aleah and her family.

 We love this little girl!  Who wouldn't?

















Each one in this group is as charming as they are darling~

Tim & Alyssa

Aleah is a Mermaid~

It is no small thing to get to share in a family's life as they change from year to year.




Hmmmmm . . . 

Until we meet again, whatever the occasion may be.

(no pressure)



cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2012/11/a-toast-to-tim-alyssa-and-of-course-aleah Fri, 23 Nov 2012 18:11:42 GMT
It will never be perfect~ https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2012/11/it-will-never-be-perfect Today this shall act as my confessional according to the book of James which tells me it is good to confess my sins to others.  I am a perfectionist.  I always have been.  I know I am not alone, however, I will not mention anyone by name.  There are pros and cons to being such a person.  A pro is that I expect a lot of myself and those around me which causes us to rise to the occasion of things we never knew we were capable of.  That in itself is exciting and the results are more times than not, nothing I have done myself but something the LORD has revealed.  I simply love that about him.  A con would have to be the fact that I like to keep things completely to myself until they are just right for presentation.  Ridiculous.  Life is messy.  We are busy.  We will never be at the point where everything is just right and life is ready to begin living perfectly.   No matter what my "agenda" may be, God is continually so good to us.  He is so faithful in bringing us opportunities to show His glory through the work of our hands.  He gets the glory, we get the blessing.  How very gracious.  


Today I am starting right smack dab in the middle of something wonderful. I have not written a blog or posted a picture in who knows how long.  The website is not complete but being worked on as we get the time.  Rick is still on the radio at 93.3 every day and tends to a million details behind the scenes.  You would never know that by talking to him.  He hides his chaos much better than me.   I work outside of our home 3- 4 days a week at Senara, a spa.  The irony is not missed.  We have 2 girls in college.  A son at Richwoods High School and a daughter in 7th grade at Concordia.  They are all different, artsy, dramatic, super fun and yet challenging just in the sheer number.  We just threw a surprise birthday party for our 13 year old this past weekend and we are exhausted but it was well worth it.  There is the writing of 20 7th graders all over our living room window and soda still stuck to the kitchen floor.  My washing machine sounds like a gorilla is living inside and  is fed up with the small space and is trying desperately to bust out.  Be still my OCD heart.  I will get to that in a minute.


For now I am confessing . . . I am a perfectionist and very little of this portrait looks perfect on the outside.  From inside it is perfectly crazy and perfectly manageable but only with a perfect God who strengthens us and gifts us with every good and perfecting gift.  We are healthy.  We have food in our refrigerator.  We have heat in our home which sleeps 6 in our own beds.  We are safe.  We have 2 cameras and through their lens God shows us something remarkable every time.  


Introducing Micah . . . a perfect example.




We have known Micah and his family for a long time.  I am always honored when asked to spend time with a friend's kid and to capture the images they will hold on to to remember this significant time in their lives.  It was a privilege to get to know Micah off of the soccer field.  He is quite fetching when he changes out of his jersey and into something a bit more classy.  His personality remains the same, however.

 He is interesting, a great conversationalist, encouraging and charming.


Micah will be heading to Wisconsin next fall to attend Concordia University.  

He will be missed by his friends and family but I know he will find crazy success and bring it back to Peoria.  He loves this place!

Thank you Micah~

I know girls, be still your heart (which I pray does not have OCD) . . . 


We will see you soon~






cheri@burnttoastphotography.com (Burnt Toast Photography) https://www.burnttoastphotography.com/blog/2012/11/it-will-never-be-perfect Tue, 13 Nov 2012 13:30:00 GMT