So Long, Blogger....

Blogger, you've been good to me. But, it's time to move on.

Check out my new blog and update your bookmarks! :)


My First Display!!!

I could not be MORE excited about this display!!! The local Starbucks on Laporte Ave. in Valpo has allowed me to display some of my work. It's no secret that I am a HUGE Starbucks fan. I've even worked Starbucks into some of my customer rewards. But what is even better than a non-fat grande marble mocha machiatto stirred (which did take me a while to learn how to order, btw) is going in to see the staff at the local Starbucks. They are all so friendly and fun! I couldn't have asked for a better place to put up a display. So here is a HUGE shout-out to all the employees there!! Love you guys! Thanks for letting me show off my work and making the best drinks in town! :)

Manager Jen and Tiffany helping me celebrate my first official display. Thanks guys! :D


And the winner is.......

My handsome Dad, ready to pull a winner from the hat. :)

The winner is.....

Amy Prieto!!!! Congratulations!!!

Email me samantha@samanthauphold.com, and we'll talk details! :D
I can't wait to meet you and your family!!

But most of all, to EVERYONE that worked so hard to save my Dad

From the bottom of our hearts.
You mean so much to all of us.

Love, The Vanaman and Uphold Family


Butterfly Kisses

I don't think I can adequately describe the vibrant personality that was held in this tiny little body. Sam was the funniest little "man" I've had the chance to photograph in quite some time. His vocabulary is out of this world!! He was so sweet and so much fun to work with, I can't wait to do it again! These photos are the second set for Butterfly Kisses. These outfits could not be any cuter! Check out their website or stop in the new location (inside of Bangles Women's Boutique) at 15 Lincolnway in downtown Valpo to see their amazing selection of the best children's clothes. Thanks for the wonderful afternoon! :)


Attn: ICU 1 East / Happy Birthday Dad!!!!

Please excuse the order of the pictures, and the fact that they come before the story.  Blogger is NOT cooperating with me tonight!!

March 26th was my Dad's 64th birthday.   I feel so lucky to have been able to spend the day with my Dad.  I wouldn't call myself a Daddy's girl, because I love both my parents so very much, but I am VERY close to my Dad.  Those of you that know me or my family, know we went through quite a scare almost two years ago.  It's still very hard for me to talk about, and quite frankly even think about, but luckily my Dad was in the right place at the right time, and he is still here with us today.

In June of 2006 my Dad was experiencing severe back pain.  It started on Thursday, and continued to Sunday.  He was supposed to head up with my husband for his weekend bachelor party in Michigan, but decided to stay back because he didn't feel well.  Sunday morning he went to the off hours clinic to get checked out.  They thought he had pulled a muscle, and sent him on his way with some muscle relaxers/pain killers.  Sunday afternoon when I arrived at my parents house, his pain was too unbearable to handle.  We all ended up rushing up to the emergency room with him.  About 10 minutes after he was taken into a room, I saw doctors running down the hallway with my dad on a bed.  It was like it was straight out of a movie.  I didn't know this at the time, but my dad had coded due to a ruptured aortic aneurism.  The doctors revived him and prepared him for surgery while our family was informed surgery was a must, but the chances of survival were slim.  Just typing those words still bring me to tears.  

5 hours passed while he was in surgery.  We could do nothing but wait.  I know many others have been in those shoes, and it is not something I wish anyone would ever have to go through.  Finally, a nurse named Victoria came into the waiting room and pulled up a chair to talk to us.  I remember hearing the words, "We're preparing a room in the ICU unit for your father."  Those were the BEST words I had EVER heard in my life.  Victoria will always be just like an angel to me, as that was the best gift I had ever received.  He had survived!!  

The next three weeks were very trying, emotional, difficult, and full of joy.  Our wedding date was fast approaching, and it was so up in the air whether my father would be recovered enough to be released from the hospital in time.  We had planned our wedding ceremony to take place at my parents' home, the home my father had built.  It was a dream of mine that was quickly going to become a reality, but the thought of my Dad not being there was heartbreaking.  We debated on postponing the wedding, but in the end, decided we needed to see it through on it's original date.  

My father was in the ICU 1 East unit for 2 weeks.  The staff of this floor was so incredible to my father.  The worked so hard to nurse him back to health.  They called him their "Miracle Man" and they were determined that he would be at our wedding to walk me down the aisle.  After a total of 3 weeks in the hospital, my Dad was released less than 24 hours before our wedding.  He was there to walk me down the aisle, and to dance with me at our reception.  I have so much gratitude in my heart for the staff at Porter Hospital.  They saved my father's life.  There are simply no words to express what I'd like to say to them, to explain how I feel about the work that they did.  Thank you is not enough.  

I had big plans to have a contest drawing on my father's birthday, but it didn't work out quite the way I had planned.  So, instead, I'm asking that anyone who works on the ICU 1 East floor, please email me with your name if you are interested in being placed into a drawing for a free session.  This session will include all of the photos on a cd, with rights to print.  I don't know how else to give back to all of you.  I know this is only something small, but I hope it will begin to show how extremely grateful I am to all of you for your hard work and devotion to your paitients.  I'll be taking names until next Monday, April 7th.  Then, I'll put them all into a hat, and have my Dad pull out the winner!  The winner will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, April 8th.  

email me at


Below is a link to an article the hospital wrote about my father and his care while in Porter Hospital.  


Sneak Peak and A Special Offer!!!

First of all, what a whirlwind weekend! I was all over the state of Illinois for different photography conferences. I learned so much this weekend, my head is spinning! I'm so excited to start using what I've learned. I plan on putting all of that to good use soon. I'm in need of some maternity photos for my portfolio, so if there are any expecting moms who want some awesomely artistic memories of this amazing time, shoot me an email at


I have a fantastic offer for a combo maternity/newborn package that I can only extend to 3 moms-to-be. First come, first serve. This offer is not for the shy mother! I plan on capturing some very moody, dramatic images.

Secondly, I've been bursting at the seams to spill the beans about my new business adventures. I've teamed up with the owner and manager of Butterfly Kisses. Butterfly Kisses is an adorable children's boutique in downtown Valpo, located in the back of Bangles on Lincolnway. The owner and I have been working together on some upcoming promotions and charity events, so be on the lookout for news on that. Meanwhile, check out their website. You won't find a nicer children's store in the area.

I recently did some work for them, and here are a few sneak peak's of Miss Gracie's modeling debut. There is no doubt she is a natural. Take a look at the end of the post. It seems her photogenic nature may just run in the gene pool. ;)

The following two outfits can be found at Butterfly Kisses.

Seriously?? Are you melting right now?? SO STINKIN' CUTE!!

This cute little suit is not for sale. :)

I've been dying to capture this image for so long. Thanks Mom!!

And a HUGE shout-out to the best assistant/big sister anyone could ask for. Miss Marissa is just oozing with cuteness, too! Thanks for being such a big help, hon!



I'm off for a weekend of learning! I'll be back Monday with more updates, and maybe even a surprise! ;)

Kenzie and I had a fantastic day together taking photos. It makes my job easy when I have such an insanely perfect model. Hope you love 'em, Kenz!