I'm Ariel, the photographer. And yes, I was named after The Little Mermaid. I was raised in Joplin, Missouri as one of six kids and for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a mom. I went to Pittsburg State University for a while before transferring to Ozark Christian College where I met my husband who coincidentally turned out to be my next door neighbor but that is another story for another day. :) We got married May 19, 2012 and much to our surprise found out we were pregnant 6 weeks later! February 26, 2013 we had a sweet baby girl named Elise. We both finished our degrees at Ozark Christian College and then we moved to Lincoln, Il. where my husband got a job at a local church and is getting a double masters from Lincoln Christian University. I have since completed some photography courses from Harvard in order to challenge myself and grow. Since moving to Illinois we have added to our family a second baby girl, Annistyn, on September 3, 2015. We finally added our 3rd and *FINAL* baby GIRL, Audrey, on December 30, 2017.  So when i'm not taking pictures... I'm busy keeping these tiny humans alive ;) lol.

As for photography...

I didn't always know that I was going to be a photographer. I mean, I've always had a camera in my hand since about junior high and thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures... but it wasn't until my first baby was born that I got a nice camera and began to take pictures of her. As I was posting them to social media with no intentions other than showing off my adorable child... people started asking me how much I charged for pictures. Then, Photos by Ariel was born. I started taking pictures professionally in 2013 and I wouldn't have it any other way. I truly do LOVE my job! But that's not enough! It is important to me that you know why. As in, why do I take pictures? For me... it really isn't about the money... hence why my prices are so low, haha! For me... photographs are incredibly unique. They cross all language barriers. Photography mediates the world around us. It is as vital as language itself and in my opinion, equally potent. You look at a picture and it forces you to FEEL something. It demands that you see the beauty in every single day. It helps people to be still... focus on the moment. And in the same breath inspires people to act and to do something. It triggers change and it documents history in arguably one of the most important ways. Photography brings people together in a way that nothing else can. But why me? Why should you hire me? There are literally a MILLION photographers out there for you to choose from. Well... The French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, once said that "it is an illusion that photos are made with the camera‚Ķ They are made with the eye, heart and head." For me... to see and to listen is to know and to feel. It is my job (and an incredible honor) to walk into a photoshoot whether that is a family session, a wedding, an engagement, a toddler, seniors, or documentary and just observe. I translate what I'm observing into emotion, combine it with what I know, and I capture that raw moment on my camera to create a beautiful photograph. A photograph that will hopefully tell a part of your unique story for ages to come.

Photographs are your legacy. They are priceless. When tragedy occurs, our impulse is to save our recorded memories. Photographs are our personal stories... they are a timeline of our life filled with people and places we love. These hundreds of individual photographs come together to tell a narrative of our lives.

Photography, at its best, is a powerful language that speaks directly to our emotions. It allows me to tell a story and show others my interpretation of the world around me.