Category: Life

The ULTIMATE Gift Guide For Women

Hey there friends! As promised here is a gift guide for all the special women in your life. These gifts range from budget friendly brands to the high end brands. I tried to make this gift guide super easy, and accessible for you, and I tied in some last minute options too.

I love giving gifts, it’s one of my love languages, and it makes me happy when the people in my life love the thought, and time I put into getting gifts for them. I’m sure you are the same way too, and that’s why you’re here gathering ideas.

*Jewelry

Of course this one seems to be the go-to when shopping for any holiday, but especially valentines day. For this gift I can’t guide you on the expensive side of things(like diamond bracelets or necklaces, although if you want to gift me with one I wouldn’t object to that. 😉  ), but I can show you some really beautiful, and budget friendly options that they will love.

If you want something a little different, and out of the norm, Etsy is your go to place. You can find any style, and even personalize it if you wish. I love shopping on Etsy, because no two people will have the same items. Everything is very unique.

H&M, Vici Dolls, and Rue 21 are all great places to pick jewelry up at. *Here’s a hint: Rose Gold flatters every skin tone. So if you’re unsure of what to buy, always go with rose gold.

*Beauty

Here I’m going to list a few of my absolute favorite products that I have tested out, and used.

Too Faced is a brand I love so much, and their Sweet Heart Flush Blush is amazing. I use Candy Glow, because it compliments a pale skin tone better than orange tones would. The blush itself  multi-colored, but when blended together they create a beautiful glow on the skin, and makes your complexion look healthy. It’s not over done, it’s just right. They have 3 different shades to choose from.

 Urban Decay’s Anti-Aging Eye Shadow Primer Potion is worth the price tag. I have had mine for over a year, and I use it almost daily. All you need is a little bit on each eye to make your eye shadow stand out, and last all day. Even when I don’t use eye shadow I still wear it to cover the purplish veins on my eye lids, and make my make-up look a little more flawless.

Beauty Blenders blend your foundation flawlessly onto your skin, and it’s hard for me to even go back to using brushes now. You can spring for the original Beauty Blender, or if you need one that’s a little more budget friendly you can buy the Real Techniques Sponge Applicator.

For skin care I cannot recommend these products enough:

Biore Self-Heating One Minute Charcoal Mask — This is great for clearing your skin of breakouts, and for a deep clean. When you first put it on you will feel a burst of warmth, wait one minute, and your skin will feel so much better!! [Note**: You can buy these in any drug store cheaper than you can online]

Shea Moisture Masks are incredible. They make your skin feel so clean, and good. I have been able to find these masks at Wal-Mart. I use the Coconut & Hibiscus Radiance Mud Mask, and the African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask.

*Gift Cards

Of course gift cards are everyone’s go to whether you are in a pinch, or you want to put a lot on these to surprise your special person. I love giving gift cards to those I know appreciate them, and use them throughout the year. So I’ll pick a place they frequent, either get a card with a set amount on it, or if I can find one, I’ll grab one where I can set the amount myself.

*Stationary

If you’re coming from the Girl Boss Gift Guide this may same seem redundant, but women love stationary! We love writing things down on pretty note pads, sticky notes, decorative journals, etc. You can even find some really cute pens out there too. Home Goods, and Target carry a lot of beautiful stationary for a great price. Etsy carries customized stationary , and one-of-a-kind journals.

If you really want to spoil your person, or if your person love luxury check out The White Company.  Oh’ Hello Friend, has been one of my favorite small businesses online to support especially when it comes to buying unique stationary.

*Home Decor

Posted in Life, lifestyle, Photography Tagged with: , , ,

Gift Guide For The Girl Boss

Valentines Day is coming up, and maybe you want to get that special girl boss in your life something she’ll love. I have complied a list of my favorite things everything from digital products to paper.

Don’t know a girl boss, but want to get your loved something special? Stay tuned, next week I will have another gift guide coming out.

*Stationary

This personally, is one of my favorite things to receive, especially when its cute! I always have ideas floating around, and while you can jot these down in the ‘Notes’ section of your phone when your out, I still love keeping cute little notebooks on hand at my desk. Even though I don’t really need them, sticky notes have made their way into my must haves.

Of course, you can never have too many pens. I usually end up losing over half of my pens so I buy in bulk. I know pens don’t seem like an ideal gift, but when you package everything together you can create something your girl boss will love!

*Books

I use to be a huge bookworm, and would spend hours in the school library trying to pick out good reads. Of course now that I am a boss, I find that I only get to read in 30 minute increments, but I have compiled a list of good reads that girl boss of yours may just love.

Here are some non-business book finds that she may love too. I find that when I’m overwhelmed, and need to get the creative juices flowing again reading something non-related to business does the trick.

*Planners

Posted in Life, lifestyle, Photography Tagged with: , , , ,

Matthews 26th Birthday Cookout || Personal

For those of you who may be new, and may not know I have one younger brother named Matthew. He’s 3 years younger than I am, and on August 27th, 2017 he turned 26 years old. He’s a very quiet, and shy individual so we had a low-key cookout with just family, and we had so much fun. We had his favorite type of cake, chocolate with chocolate icing, and vanilla ice cream(you thought I was going to say chocolate didn’t you?).  I hope that you enjoy some of these highlights.

You can never tell if my dog, Rascal, is enjoying himself. Every time the camera turns to him, he does the following:

Or my person favorite, this one below. He really does not like it when I take images of him.

Posted in Life, lifestyle

How To Be A Business Owner While Overcoming Anxiety, Or Depression

Hello friends! If you are checking to see if you read the title wrong, I promise, you didn’t. This is something I kept feeling a pressing to write on, so I pray you find this helpful in your life.

How can you run a business while dealing with anxiety, or depression?

 I’m writing from a place of personal experience, and it’s hard, but not impossible. Most people deal with a minor form of anxiety, but still accomplish their goals, and lead a pretty active social life. As for me, it got to a point where I was trapped inside my house, and felt panicked if I tried to do anything different outside of hiding behind my computer working (i.e: “Working” on Facebook, “Working” on my website, “Working” on projects). I wanted to look busy so that nobody knew what was really happening, so often my statuses would result in, “I’m “working” on something”. Whats even worse is that I felt trapped inside myself. I wanted to be pro-active, I wasn’t a lazy person, I knew how to work hard, but I felt so paralyzed to do anything. During this time period, I was essentially jobless, broke, lost a few friends during that hard season of life, and that’s when depression hit, and it hit hard.

My parents realized how critical it had gotten, when I made a comment, “I just don’t want to be here anymore”. Immediately they prayed with me, and soon after that I started to feel hopeful again. There were days I had to work harder than others to feel okay, but the more I prayed the better things became. Today I am enjoying life more than I ever have before, and I find myself laughing more than I ever have before. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but it is possible, and so worth it.

Maybe you’re reading this right now, and realizing you’ve been to that point, or maybe you’re in the middle of going through this right now. Whatever the case may be, I want you to know that you are here for a reason. You have a purpose, and you can still be a successful business owner. 

How?

Posted in Inspiration and Encouragement, Life

5 Ways to Relax, and Free Your Mind

Last year the to-do lists became bigger, and bigger by the day. I found myself being like a hermit crab, and staying in my leggings, over-sized sweaters, and fuzzy socks, working until late in the night. After I did this for a while, I found myself getting burnt out, and not taking care of myself at all. Does any of this sound familiar to my fellow, creative entrepreneurs out there? So at the beginning of this year I promised that I would take better care of myself. I started with getting a schedule together in my business, and adding in times to stop working. For me this is really hard, because my brain has a tendency to keep going, and going, and going, and it’s hard to shut off the work brain.

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Posted in Life, lifestyle, Photography Tagged with: , , , , ,

2016: A Year In Review Part 1

2016, I can say was the most challenging year I have faced in a long time. It was more so in my personal life than in my business life, but what do you do when life knocks you to your knees? You pray, and you keep moving forward. So on into 2017 we go! I’ll share with you what I’ve learned, what is going to change, and more throughout the blog. Part II will be going up next Wednesday. I just had so many good highlights to show you. I really hope you enjoy seeing the highlights as you scroll down.

The beginning of this year was almost like a dream. Everything had started coming together, and I was putting myself out there more with my work. (Please notice the progression of my images throughout the course of this year) 

Over the years I have been so back and fourth with my photography, and I finally put my foot down, and said this will be a full time career. Before 2016 I had actually put down my camera for several months. I had been tired, worn,  restless, and just ready to give up. I wasn’t happy with the quality of work I produced, but something kept drawing me back to photography. So in January I started really thinking about where I wanted to be, and what I wanted out of photography. I wanted to start out specializing in high school senior portraits.

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Why high school senior photography? My senior year was not the best it could have been, and I really wasn’t happy with the images that I received. Around this time I found, Hope Taylor Photography, and started listening, and reading her educational material. Something about it just hit me, and it started making sense.

I want to create an unforgettable senior experience for all high school seniors who cross my path. As of right now, I still want to work towards that goal. I want them to leave me happier, than when they came.

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I love the friendship Kelsey, and Hannah have. They were just so fun to work with. This was the first attempt at trying to put together a senior styled shoot at Cross Creek Country Club. I still had a lot to learn at this time.

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I wanted to keep up with my shooting, and continue to get better so I asked Abby if she wouldn’t mind letting me take her portrait. We met up, grabbed something sweet from Starbucks, and we headed off to TangleWood Park on this beautiful, but very cold day.

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When it first it spring, and started to get warm, I took a day at the park just for myself. There are many things I would love to openly share with you about this day, but for personal reasons I want to keep that to myself. Just trust me when I say it was a beautiful, warm day full of love, and laughter. Full of memories that I will always treasure.

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I couldn’t resist capturing this little couple just enjoying a nice day. Are they not precious? 

Posted in Business, Inspiration and Encouragement, Life, Photography, photography business, Senior Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Style Inspiration: Winter Lookbook 2016 Part II

It is officially time for part II of this winter lookbook. I really enjoyed putting these lookbooks together for my clients, and just for anyone who is interested in gathering a little more inspiration. I hope you enjoy!

Winter Lookbook 2016

You may have seen this shirt before, but I love how it easily transitions from a fall look to a winter look by adding a few accessories.

Fun fact: This huge pine tree has been sitting in our front yard for so many years. I call it my year round Christmas tree. It makes me so happy, especially during this season.

Winter Lookbook 2016

Winter Lookbook 2016

Winter Lookbook 2016

This sweater was something different for me, and my style, but I decided it was time to switch it up.  It’s a soft charcoal, grey with white specs on the main part of the sweater. The bottom, the cuffs on the sleeves, and around the collar are not as soft, and wispy as they appear. This was the only part I was disappointed in, because you do have to iron those bits quite a lot. Other than that, it’s a very warm sweater. I paired this look with leggings, and my grey boots.

Winter Lookbook 2016

Winter Lookbook 2016

Posted in Life, Style Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Style Inspiration: Winter Lookbook 2016 Part 1

I am so excited to be back to blogging. After all the technology issues, bug fixes, etc.,  it’s just nice to be back behind my computer constructing this blog post. I love looking at style inspiration posts, and videos on YouTube so I wanted to start doing something like that for my clients. I know it’s tricky to pick out clothing for your sessions, but I hope this gives you some inspiration for your next shoot, or just inspiration in general.  I will leave links to a few of these style finds at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy!

Winter Lookbook 2016

Do not be fooled by this ‘Cold Shoulder Sweater’, the material is pretty thick so it’s going to keep you cozy. I paired this sweater with my fleece lined black leggings, and long grey boot socks. Of course being 5’2″ these, ‘one size fits most’ socks actually come up to my inner thighs, so I had to roll them down at least once.

Winter Lookbook 2016

Winter Lookbook 2016

Posted in Life, Style Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Fox Hunters Paradise Shoot

Fox Hunters Paradise has become one of my favorite spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway to visit, and it only takes me about 30 minutes to reach these amazing views. Becky, and I had been planning to go to the Parkway when the leaves started turning colors. I had a day that I wasn’t going to be busy on, and so we went for it. It turned out to be cold, foggy, and a little windy, but it was such a fun day.

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One of my loves is helping others who want to learn photography. I don’t feel threatened by it, I encourage it. Anytime I get the chance to help someone who wants to learn, I take it.

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Her son Nathan, wanted to be in all the images with her which was so precious. I am not a family photographer, but I just couldn’t resist shooting some images with this cutie. 🙂

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He also wanted to become adventurous, and try to climb the rock wall.

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I love these little hidden moments.

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Posted in Life, lifestyle, Personal Shoots, Photography, Travels Tagged with: , , , ,

Senior Style Inspiration: Fall Style

 Fall is my favorite season to photograph sessions in. The light changes, the leaves start turning different colors, and falling. It is the time of year for Pumpkin Spice everything at Starbucks, and Tortilla Soup at Chick-Fil-A. It’s the time of the year when I get to break out my tunics, leggings, scarves, cardigans, and on the occasion my sweaters. It’s just the best!

The most frequent question I get asked is, “What should I wear?” So, I put together 2 different fall inspired styles for you. If you’re not sure what to wear to your portrait session, feel free use these posts for inspiration.

Senior Style Inspiration Fall Style

Burgundy is definitely in for fall this year, and it’s such a beautiful color. I added a gold necklace just to break up the darkness of the outfit.

Senior Style Inspiration Fall Style

Of course I had to break out my combat boots with this outfit. These are so comfy!

Senior Style Inspiration Fall Style

Senior Style Inspiration Fall Style

Posted in Life, Photography, Senior Photography, Style Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,