Monthly Archives: May 2016


Ande here! Last, but not least!

It's safe to say I'm the black sheep of the Tiptoe family.  I'm only 21 years old (turning 22 the end of June though)!! I don't have a wonderful husband or a sweet, little child of my own to tell you about.  Instead, my life runs on a completely different level....

I just completed my junior year as a biology student at Shepherd University.  Although, the likelihood that you've seen me elsewhere is very high. The entire time I've been in school, I've also been a volunteer at Briggs Animal Adoption Center, a volunteer/intern at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in VA, a sales associate at Petco, a berry vendor at the Farmer's Market in down town Charles Town and Middletown, a volunteer for my friend's Relay for Life team-Sister's With a Cause, and an avid member of Gold's Gym. Do you want me to go on? Because I totally could! Lol! All in all, I'm a busy girl, and I like it that way.

When I'm not being a busy body, I'm most likely sleeping. And you might think that's understandable seeing as how I'm always running around, but when I say I sleep...I mean I sleep.  I can't get enough of it, seriously.  I've slept a solid 20/24 hours before and it's been that way since I was about 12 y/o.  I normally average out at about 10 hours each night though.  It's my guilty pleasure and it's pathetic, I know. Other than that, I'm probably having cuddle time with my kitties or at the dog park with my 1 year old. Although, I might also be watching Netflix (I'm finishing 'Orange is the New Black' right now!!) or reading various pleasure books (text books during the school year though, ew).

I also spend a good chunk of time with my magnificent boyfriend of 3.5 years (fingers crossed that I will be calling him my fiance at some point this summer)!  Some people would say that we're joined at the hip.  We do everything together, because life is bearable and overall just more functional with eachother side by side. So with that being said.... okay, here's the doozy.....


I regret to inform you that I will be leaving Tiptoe Studios in order to further my acedemic career at the Davis College of West Virginia University as an Animal and Nutritional Sciences major this August.

Let me explain...Chris, my magnificent boyfriend I was talking about, will be attending WVU's Dental graduate program this fall. So I was faced with the very difficult decision to leave my life here behind to venture to this new beginning with Chris or to stay behind and finish my undergrad degree at Shepherd University.  Either way, I will have to leave eventually so I can attend Veterinary school so there was really no reason to delay the inevitable.  Attending WVU will give me a better chance of getting accepted into a vet school and I get to start this exciting, new chapter in my life!!

I would like to thank...

my parents-for dealing with me and letting me live with them up until now

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my siblings-for simply being there for me when I needed to complain about the struggles of being a student

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my boyfriend-for being the definition of perfect and for being by my side through thick and thin

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my friends-for being so supportive and always being down for a good time


my pets- and really all animals in my life, past and present, for inspiring me to become a veterinarian. I love my poopsies :3

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my girls- for EVERYTHING.  I joined the team right out of high school and I couldn't have ever imagined that you guys would take me on such an adventure. You all are the freakin' dream team.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for Tiptoe and I can't express how thankful I am to have been a part of this. I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!

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And with that, I will say...



At least I can say that I tried. To tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart...

That's right I am a Jefferson County native too, but I am the ONLY Tiptoe girl that resides on the outside... You know that "little place called Millville" that you had never heard of until you read Jennifer's post? Well, guess what??? This Tiptoe girl hails from Millville too. Fishing down by the river, riding my bike to the rock quarry, and taking a trip to the "end of the road" are all forever in my memory. Some may call Millville "that town where nothing ever happened", but I beg to differ.

It's not typical of me to talk about myself, and I'm sorry... but I have been told that by the "higher ups", (you can thank Tara, Lisa and Jennifer), that it MUST be done. So, here goes:

I moved to Virginia the summer of 2001, graduated from Warren County High School in June of 2003, and met my husband two months after I graduated. Yep, I was engaged to be married at the ripe age of 18, and we "tied the knot" before I turned 20. Crazy right??? Everyone seemed to think so, but I am happy to report that this Sunday, May 29th, 2016 we will celebrate 11 years of marriage. And, truth be told...I would marry him again tomorrow! He is without a doubt my soul mate, and he is pretty handsome too.


In September of 2008, we welcomed our one and only daughter, Brynnen Layne. Most would say she is my "mini me". She has a very strong/outgoing personality, and is destined to be an athlete. We could not be more proud of the fun loving little girl that she has grown to be. She is without a doubt everything and more than we expected her to be. We definitely "broke the mold" with her...which is why we only have one. And, let's keep it real...we "broke the bank" too. She is into EVERYTHING! Softball, training team gymnastics, PRIMS, and a member of the swim team for the first time this summer...I am not sure how people have more than one. Kids are EXPENSIVE, but I would use every last penny I had just to see that smile!


My little family has planted new roots in Winchester, VA. We have lived here since we got married in 2005. In 2013, we bought 9 acres and built our current home which we plan to live in until we retire. (Unless we hit the lottery and can afford a bigger piece of property.) We are so grateful to FINALLY have our horses with us. And with the horses, come the boots. As some of you may have read in a previous blog, my family has a boot addiction. Because remember...EVERYTHING looks better in boots!

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Although I hated to leave Jefferson County, I am thankful that life didn't take me far. They say 'Virginia is for Lovers" , and "everything happens for a reason" I know it was meant to be. I may live in Virginia, but I will always remember my roots... and I will always wear my boots!





Hey Everyone! It's Jennifer, the baby out of us three and one of the owners of Tiptoe Studios.  I was born and raised in Jefferson County in a little place called Millville, that not many people even know is here.   I live with my husband, Codie and two boys, Maximus and Maverick. I will be 30 this year and dreading every minute of it.  I swear I'm going to stay in bed all day, and probably cry.  I have the worst fear of getting older.  We are currently living with my parents (I know that sounds so awful) but it's just temporary until we build our dream home on our 2.5 acres that we have in Summit Point.

What makes me, me.....

First and foremost, I'm a daughter to the most amazing parents ever, that will literally do anything for anyone.  I'm the little sister to a twin brother (by only 5 minutes) and two older sisters.  I'm an aunt to 9 nieces and nephews.  I'm a wife to my high school sweetheart Codie and I'm a mommy to two rotten little boys who are my entire world.

The mom life was made for me. I always knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a mommy.  It's definitely not me trying to write this post that I've had to walk away from 1000 times to wipe a butt, runny nose, tear, pull Maverick off of Maximus...etc.  It never ends, but I take the good with the bad and wouldn't change it for the world.  It's the most rewarding job ever, because at the end of the day...I didn't miss any of it.

A little bit about my boys...Maximus, my oldest, is 5 years old and Maverick oh my Maverick (the name fits him to a T) is 3. I didn't know what love was until I had them.  They have changed me in so many ways and I'm forever learning  from them.  Maximus is a true mommas boy, I mean he acts just like me and I hate to admit it. He has a heart of gold though.  Maverick, well let's just say he is Maverick.  He will for sure do big things when he gets older, I just know it....but he gives you this big smile and in that moment everything in life is perfect.

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Codie- my love, my boo, my babe....I remember the day I saw him, I was 15 years old and I told my mom that I was going to marry him. Sounds super crazy I know, but I'm a sucker for love and I believe in love at first sight.  We have been together for almost 15 years and married almost 7. I love doing life with this man by my side. 

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More about me...

I hate mornings with a passion, if I could sleep all day I would. I'm late for everything...ask anyone, no matter what the appointment is, you can bet your sweet ass I'll be 5-10 minutes late.  I love the gym, I'm obsessed and pretty much live in workout clothes. I love peanut butter, I eat it ALL DAY!   I can't add or subtract...honest, it's sad but true...and to think I even worked at a bank for 6 years.  I absolutely HATE doing the dishes like every ounce of my body HATES it!  I use way to many napkins , like it's bad...every time I need to wipe my hands, I get a new one.  I will never get into an unmade bed...I'll make Codie get out of bed just so I can make it.

So now that you know so much about me, it's okay to think I'm a hot mess....but this is my crazy, beautiful life and I love it and everyone that's in it.





Hi there... Lisa here! Number 2 in line for the meet and greet of Team Tiptoe. Which is appropriate because I am the middle "child" among the 3 owners of Tiptoe. I'm a born and bred J Co. resident and have no plans on ever leaving again.  I always say that I moved away once (to Virginia Beach) and learned my lesson... There is something about home that I know I can't get anywhere else. Being surrounded by family and friends is one thing I never take for granted, especially after I started my own family!

I have been married to the love of my life, Tom, since 2008! He is my rock, the ying to my yang, and makes me happier every year we spend together. We have 3 kiddos, a beautiful forever home we built a couple years ago, and a chocolate lab, Chelsie.

Here is a little about my kiddos! My stepdaughter, Taylor. She is the most beautiful, talented 16 year old I know.  She has taught me so much over the years. Now she's like one of my best friends... I know they say that you shouldn't be your kids friend, but there has to be an exception here, as sometimes I think Taylor is more mature than I am, LOL.

Olivia is my 7 year old, who is so smart, far beyond her years, who never met a stranger and who is exactly like her mother in more ways than I'd like to admit out loud. She just gets life, and that is so amazing to see in such a little girl!

Then my baby Tre, who will probably always have the nickname of "baby Tre" no matter how old he gets.  (He's about to be 3 this summer.)  I just love the way he loves me. I always heard the saying mommas boy and didn't really get it until I had him.  He is my little man, my baby noonie baby, my baby fat balls, and the wittle wuv of my life!

I don't know what I did to deserve these 4 people as my family but God has given me a beautiful life.

A little about me and my photography! Like a LOT of things in my life, whether it be my closet, decorating my house, or even the 1000 lists I make everyday, I am constantly learning, trying and changing! I spend a lot of time perfecting this craft that we call Tiptoe! I would say that my style is light and airy, happy and fun!  OHHH, and I love, love, love our Tiptoe Teaches classes!  It gives me an outlet to educate new photographers about my passion!  #Winning

So outside of my family and the obvious of getting to own a flourishing photography business with some of my BEST friends, here are a couple things that make me, me!

I love my God! I love my church, New Destiny! And I love everything that comes with His word. I am fairly new to this journey, but I love everything it has taught me, so far!

I coupon! I love a coupon and a sale! I am on a constant look out for a discount! I love the Sunday paper, Ebates, I botta, SavingsStar, Find&Save, and Checkout 51! I check them out before I buy ANYTHING, like even a tea at the convenience store. It's bad, ya'll!

I over punctuate EVERYTHING!!! I am not screaming at you... I promise! I also feel like I can never just end a sentence, which is the reason for my ... after everything! Sorry guys!

I cry, unlike my partner Tara, I will cry at almost every wedding , sappy movie, kids program, and showing of a DVD slideshow! I'm a tad emotional! I can't help it!

Things I can't stand... showers that are already wet, dirty floors, waiting, and being butt in front of while standing in line! (Like, seriously if you do this I will cut you! )

My babies!


Me and babe!


Now ya'll know a little of what makes up my life. I will leave you with my all time favorite quote - "You're perfect... now just smile" by Ryan Star (one of my favorite musicians of all time, I don't even have time to get into all my love for true musicians, or all the time I spent before Tom going to shows... Yep that'll have to be a story for another time...LOL)

headshot editHello Everyone! Tara here.  I am the lucky first Tiptoe lady in line to bring you my All About Me post so let's get this contest going, shall we?

I am the oldest Tiptoe lady at 36 (gasp!) years of age. I totally feel like I am somewhere around 28 though, on a good day! I was actually born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania but moved to Charles Town when I was 5 years old. Because it is such a small town, I do still tend to feel like a transplant, even 31 years later. I live in Kearneysville with my husband, Donnie and 2 kids, Maddox and Gabriel whom I love and a dog, Milly and cockatiel, Bubbles whom I do not love. As you might can guess, I am not an animal lover!

I, along with my two partners, Lisa and Jennifer own Tiptoe Studios. I actually retired from shooting about a year and a half ago. My current role is scheduling sessions, handling emails and phone calls, assigning shoots, handling the financial aspects of the business and conducting mostly all of the ordering sessions. You know, all the fun stuff, lol! I do thoroughly enjoy what I do and appreciate every day that I have the opportunity to be my own boss and set my own schedule. It gives me the flexibility to be more involved with my kids' school and leaves plenty of Me-Time which I absolutely require in order to stay sane!

A few things that make me, me...

I am a closet introvert! It is through a lot of practice and effort that I can definitely handle myself in a crowd, but what you don't see is the part when I go home and isolate myself in a quiet room by myself to "re-charge my batteries"...for a few hours...and normally with a glass of wine!

I am not a fan of big emotional displays. Or small emotional displays. Or of emotions in general. Please do not cry in front of me unless you are watching a Tiptoe slideshow or you are a small, hurt child.

My nails are painted 99.99% of the time. Plain nails make me sad. (But I don't cry about it, lol!)

My sister is a nurse who happened to also be a hairdresser once upon a time, so she still cuts and colors my hair. My biggest repeat request when I have her do my hair is to not make it look like "PTO mom hair". On that note, I am currently the PTO president of my kids school and have been for the last 5 years!

I love TV, like, ALOT. I frequently put every TV in my house on the same channel when I am watching a show so that I can wander from room to room, cleaning or whatever and still be able to keep a continuous eye on said show!

I do not like blueberries, raw onions or wasabi. A few other dislikes are capri pants, Subarus and Kanye West.

As soon as I drop the kids off at school, I crank the radio up and sing (loudly) along to 80's rock, 90's alternative music or gangster rap, just depending on what mood I am in. AND I think I sound great AND I don't care who sees me rockin' out!

I love TV shows, movies and books about an apocalypse! It can be any apocalypse, zombie, power, natural disaster, whatever.  If it's about the end of the world, I am fascinated!

I retain a lot of useless information about a wide range of topics. But, hey, when I am ready to go on Jeopardy, I am going to kick ass!

Us girls...


The boys...


In parting, I will leave you with what I think is some pretty damn good advice...

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Hi Ya'll, aren't you glad the sun is shining today??!!  We certainly are! Despite the dreary weather this month, we haven't let it put a "damper" (see what I did there 😉 ) on our productivity! We have been super busy not only shooting several sports teams, preschools and weddings but also designing and preparing for the launch of our brand new website! On June 1st, we will be making the big change but in the meantime, we have a little contest to get under way...!

Every day this week, there will be an "About Me" post from 1 Tiptoe lady, giving you the lowdown on her life. You know, personality quirks, likes and dislikes, funny stories; pretty much anything we want to throw out there to our captive audience, lol! Read these carefully and thoroughly because on Tuesday, May 31st we will release our 1st Ever Tiptoe Studios Scavenger Hunt! There will be questions plucked from each blog post for you to answer and maybe a "find the object" portion thrown in for good measure. All answers must be submitted to our email,, June 1st by midnight to be entered to win! The prize? One lucky winner will receive a 15 minute Tiny Session with 10 print released images, a $500 value! Want to increase your chance to win? You can receive one additional entry each for liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram and subscribing to the Tiptoe Studios blog. So, shall we get this thing going? Here is the first portion of our All About Me Series:

Tiptoe Beginnings...

 Sometime in 2004 in what feels like a galaxy far, far away, Tara Showen, Lisa Mercer and Jennifer Gustines met while working at Jefferson Security Bank in Charles Town, WV. After a few more years of "working for the man" we decided to strike out on our own and Tiptoe Studios was formally created in July of 2008. In the beginning we had no studio and shot on location in Charles Town, Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry.

Sorry about the picture of a picture but we were disposable camera type of girls back then so enjoy this little gem!throwback

With the addition of a studio around 2010, we also added Ande Compton who we never imagined would stick with us through thick and thin for the next 6 years! Ande started out as our office girl but quickly impressed us with her edgy and modern style of photography and has since escalated to part-time photographer while attending Shepherd University.

In January of 2014, Beth Williams, a longtime client (and Jennifer's cousin!) joined us as our Winchester area photographer. Her eagerness and persistence has helped us spread the Tiptoe word and we consider ourselves lucky to have her!

We moved into our current studio space 4 years ago this September and we have enjoyed being in the center of downtown Charles Town. For those of you who have never visited, stop on by sometime for a visit! We love to show our studio off!

We believe Tiptoe is so successful because of our shared customer service related backgrounds and also because we genuinely love each other and get along so well! We often get inquiries from people who are eager to join our team and the underlying comment is always, "you guys just look like you have so much fun!" Well, we honestly do! It helps that we were friends before business partners and it is something that we try to never to lose sight of, even when we are elbows deep in editing and spending hours upon hours in meetings in the studio. If you follow our Facebook and Instagram pages, you can see that we spend lots of non-Tiptoe time together as well!

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There are a few people who deserve some pretty big thank yous for helping Tiptoe truly flourish along the way:

Art Henderson- Art taught us so much when we first began Tiptoe Studios, including the very basics and, more recently, he taught us natural light girls a little bit more about studio lighting as well! Thank you Art!

Lindsay Hall and Chasity Eggleton- These girls were our Missouri and local photographers and we truly believe they were instrumental to making Tiptoe Studios the success it is today. Even though major life changes have taken us on different paths, we still believe that "once a Tiptoe lady, always a Tiptoe Lady" and consider them our Tiptoe Family even now! Love you, ladies and thank you so much for everything!


So that ends the "Tiptoe beginnings" portion! I hope you read it carefully... Tara is up next and will be posting later on today!


1 Comment

I absolutely LOVE weddings!  Nothing makes me happier than capturing the TRUE love that a couple shares on their wedding day.  I instantly flash back to my wedding day almost 7 years ago and my heart just about explodes.

I first met Cari-Ann and Paul back in December and we immediately hit it off.  I couldn't wait to start working with them.  The engagement session was great so I knew their wedding day would be AMAZING!

Here are a few TEASERS from their day...and for the first time in weeks the rain held off!


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Just wanted to get a couple teasers to some of my favorite people!! Their BIG day was absolutely gorgeous! And we made some extra time during their bride and groom pictures to revisit the spot that we did their engagement pictures! Which made it so unique!!  #rumseymonument #shepherdstown #clarionhotel

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