Conner and Cameron:: Beauty in Life::Elkhart Children Photographer


“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
— Ashley Smith


Imagine if I suggested to you to go to an empty building located on a mulch yard and then to a train that has been abandoned and covered with graffitis to do your family’s photo session? I think most clients would think I am out of my mind but what I love about this family was that they saw beauties in these locations that are often overlooked and trusted me to capture their 2 beautiful boys.

I always make a mental note of the different locations I see when I drive around. Sometimes they are out of the ordinary locations and I just have to wait for a special family to see the beauties in them. After our initial consultation prior to the session, I knew that the  boys would have fun in these locations. Indeed, we had so much fun!


Thank you for an amazing time and for making me slow down and appreciate the true beauty of life that are often overlooked.

Click below to enjoy the video slideshow of the Session:

Mackenzie:: Beautiful:: Elkhart Senior Photographer


“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
— Dr. Seuss

Couple of months ago,  I received a phone call from a lady asking me to photograph her daughter, Mackenzie, who is going to be a Senior this year.  Mackenzie had seen my work  and wanted me to be her photographer. 

What Mackenzie didn’t realize was by choosing me to be her photographer she was also reconnecting 2 college friends.  Her mom and I haven’t seen each other for 21 years!! 


Mindy was one of those people that I instantly connected to right away when I met her my Freshmen year in college.   To me, that’s pretty rare to come across someone like that.  She was just one of those special  people and who was so easy to talk to.  As we approached our Sophomore year, I moved into an apartment with some friends and Mindy transferred to another college.   Even though I got to know Mindy for just a short time, I felt that her friendship made a lasting impression on me.

Needless to say, we had an incredibly fun day at this session.  I was able to reconnect with Mindy and the pleasure of getting to know Mackenzie. 

As you can see from these pictures, Mackenzie is a beautiful young lady.  Not only is she beautiful from the outside, she is just as beautiful on the inside.  She is amazingly smart and talented  and I am absolutely convinced that she is going to be a famous television sports broadcaster/celebrity someday!! Oh the places she will go!!

Mackenzie, thank you for reconnecting your mom and I back together.  I wish you the best as you are heading into your Senior year.  I love the quote above and that is my wish for you. 


Click below to view entire session video:







I Heart Faces:: A Touch of Whimsy


This week’s photo challenge on IHeartFaces is “A Touch  of Whimsy”.  My all time F.A.V.O.R.I.T.E  Australian photographer, Barb Uil from JinkyArt,  is the guest judge on IHeartFaces this week. 

I remember the first time I came across her work, I was truly mesmerized by it! Her photography is beautiful, whimsical and totally inspiring.  She’s probably one of the top photographers on my list whom I would love to learn from!

Here’s the photo I am submitting.

I Heart Faces - Photography Challenges and Photo Tutorials

Vibrant::Elkhart Family Photographer::


 “Families are like fudge; mostly sweet with a few nuts.”~Author Unknown


 FUN, VIBRANT, COLORFUL, ENERGETIC, LIFE ……These are the words that came to my mind after photographing this fun group several weeks ago.  I think these adjectives stuck with me even as I went through and edited the pictures.  I saw so much life and colors with this bunch of “crazy chics”!   We had an absolute blast as we ventured through the park and made our own fun along the way. 

















Thank you B-family for such a fun time!


A Special Place:: South Bend Photographer::

” In my garden there’s a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ” ~Abrams L. Urban

 The moment I walked on this family-owned Garden Center where my client wanted me to do the photoshoot, I sensed so much joy and sentiments that were filled in the air.   When my client suggested this as a place to photograph her children, I knew it in my heart that this was going to be a special and meaningful session. 

This is the place that carries so much meaning to my client and her family.  Her children has spent many seasons played and explored this Garden Center, a place that has been with the family for generations. 

This is the place where they are free to explore and grow. 

This is where they can climb high as their dreams can carry them. 

This is where they feel the magic of childhood.

This is the place where they share their thoughts and  dreams.  

And definitely a place where memories are built. 

This is exactly what I want photography to be about. I want it to be more than posed pictures for one session. I want the photographs to speak to the heart as meaningful photos to have 20 years from now.  Mainly, I want it to capture life! —- “A Slice of Life”!with an artistic twist!

Thank you H-Family for sharing your beautiful place with me and trusting me to capture your vision. 











Love and Dreams::Elkhart Photographer::


“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”~ Anonymous


One of the best part of my job is I get to meet so many wonderful people.  This couple is  getting married next month and part of their gift, the mom of the bride-to-be contacted me and wanted to give them an engagement photo session. 

The couple knew exactly where they wanted the location to be.  Part of this session took place at the home of the bride-to-be, a place where she grew up,  and a place that  has a meaningful and special place in her heart.   The home has a beautiful view of the river and the bridge. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect location.  I love it when my clients choose a place that has special meaning to them because it makes the session just much more special.

Congratulations to the two of you.  May your own home and future be filled with joy, love and dreams!

Harley: Simply Beautiful ::Syracuse Photographer::


“I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smile, to the highest of your hopes, to the window of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.”-Author Unknown


What a fun afternoon spent with Harley several weeks ago.  We lucked out with the weather because it had been raining for weeks leading up to the week we had our photoshoot.  The  day was beautiful and sunny and couldn’t be more perfect way to welcome in Spring! 

Good luck in College, Harley. I know you will do great!






Sense of Humor


If it’s a deep desire and God knows you need it, he will bring it to you….

This is a story I’ve been meaning to share with you for awhile now.  It’s a great one and  I hope this one brightens your day as it did mine.

One of my good friend’s son woke up one day and he just had this desire for a donut.  It was on his mind and he kept asking his mom for one.  To his dismay, no donuts were to be found in his home. Yet, that didn’t stop him from asking her for one.   After multiple requests for a donut, his mom finally challenged him with a thought.

She said if this desire is on your thoughts and consumes your thoughts, just ask God to help you find your desire. She encouraged him to see where He leads him to find his donut that day.  So he placed his desire in God’s hands that day.

Later that afternoon, he saw my boys outside playing basketball so he came over to join them in on the fun.  After playing for awhile, they all decided to come inside my house for snacks.

Guess what I offered? 


Keep in mind that I have no knowledge of his desire that day!!

I just love this story when it was finally shared to me weeks later.  It shows that God definitely has a sense of humor.

Sometimes we don’t get everything we ask for but He always gives us what we need.

I just a great reminder to me to give it all to Him and he will lead me where I need to go.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends.




WELCOME to my new blog design! All updates and information now can be found at this new website address!!  I am so excited to launch this new blog format. I think this will be a better reflection of my style and the Boutique experience I want to create for you.  The new blog also is a better format showcasing pictures and the layout is much easier to read. 

Thank you for stopping by! Please be sure to bookmark this new address or subscribe to my blog for recent updates. I will be doing Blog updates of my recent sessions the next several days.



A Winter’s Nap…


Greetings Everyone!

It’s been a much-needed Winter nap and I am so excited to start up my season again!!  I love this job because  I have the opportunity to use this time to rest up and do a lot of behind the scene in my work.  Most importantly, it allows me to take a break and spend that time with my family.  Now I am ready to come out of hibernation, excited to start my season, and I can feel my creative juice flowing again…

What I have been up to this Winter…

As you can see by some of my postings this winter, that I took on a side project going to several locations at Women’s Care Center to capture “A Day in the Life”. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me to capture images that are raw and real.  It’s also been a great opportunity to collaborate with this great organization and  to help them share their message using pictures that represent joy that exists in these centers. I am also happy to announce that they will be using 20 of my images enlarged in big poster size for an upcoming fundraising event.

On the educational side, I took a Lighting class.  As a Natural Light Photographer, I depend heavily on the natural scene and environment for my lighting.  Since I am on-location, most of my work is outside and I want the feeling to be very natural; therefore, I rarely use flash.  This was a great class to help me learn more about lighting. I am planning on taking more classes like that.  I have to say, I do look at light now in a brand new way.

On the business front, I have launched a business page on Facebook for JoyfulHeart Photography by Uyen.  If you get a chance, hop on to my new business page and “like” me to become my friend.  I will no longer post pictures of my Photography business on my personal page so I am encouraging everyone to become a friend of my new Business page. When I first started my business, posting everything on my personal Facebook page makes sense. As my business grew quickly, I think there needs to be a healthy separation between the two so starting a business page just makes sense.  I am really happy how my business FB page turned out so check it out if you get a chance.

Lastly, I want to announce that there’s a new arrival to our family. She’s so perfect.  She makes me an extremely happy Mama. Yes this is true….she doesn’t cry much, she doesn’t need her diaper changed, and she doesn’t need to be fed.  She’s beautiful and does exactly what I want her to do.  My heart just goes pitter-patter whenever I hold her.  She arrived Wednesday, May 4 and she’s sooooo perfect for me.  I want to welcome Betty Lou, my ohhhh ohhhh so perfect 50mm f 1.2 lens.  Oh yes!  This Mama is in love with her beautylicous baby….   I am nuts over her!  I think only a photographer who reads this would ever understand me!!  That’s okay….just know that I always strive to give you the best quality pictures and this baby is so beautylicious and I can’t wait to introduce you to her at my photoshoots!!!

Finally, I am busy meeting clients for initial consultations and customizing their sessions for this Spring-Summer.  I want to mention that because it is very important to me to give my clients the utmost of my time and service, I only accept a limited number of clients each month; therefore, my schedule fills up quickly and my availability is very limited.  If you are interested in a session with me, please do not wait if you have a specific day in mind. 

To end this, I can’t do a post without more pictures.  I am including some pictures of my Info Pkts that I’ve been working on.

Enjoy this beautiful weather and be sure to stop by my new FB to say hello!!