Category: Life

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.

read more

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.

dsc_0236

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.

dsc_0245

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.

dsc_0248-edit

dsc_0251-edit

dsc_0172-edit

dsc_0206

dsc_0198

dsc_0093-edit

dsc_0041

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.

dsc_0085

dsc_0088

dsc_0063

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.

dsc_0085-2

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.

dsc_0005

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.

dsc_0010

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. 🙂

dsc_0019

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

dsc_0028

I love these little hidden moments.

dsc_0027

dsc_0032

dsc_0046

dsc_0043

dsc_0048

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: , , , , , , , ,

The Road to Recovery

I made all these big plans last week for what I would do to promote my business, I had a couple of blog post ideas that I thought I would launch, but all that came to a screeching halt on 08.30.16 at 9:00 a.m.

I had a little trouble sleeping the night before, and had to work a long shift that day so I thought I would try to sleep in for a bit longer. All of a sudden I heard the door fly open, and a rush of foot steps heading towards my bedroom door. My dad bursts into the room in a panic, and  starts shouting, “Something terrible has happened, get up!” I asked him, “What’s going on? What happened?” That’s when he told me our little boy, Rascal, was hit. He said, “He’s still alive, he just took off yelping, and I don’t know where he went.” After searching for about 20 minutes(what felt like an eternity for me), we finally heard him yelp from under a nearby bush.

The poor little thing was in such shock that he was completely white from head to toe, and holding up his right leg. I finally was able to catch him, and hold him still long enough for my brother to get our truck so we could take him to the vet. Once we got him there someone was able to come out, and help us lift him. We waited for about 40 minutes so they could do a full x-ray on him, and so they could give him pain injections.

When we finally got to talk to the vet, they gave s a pretty grim prognosis: A broken pelvis bone, and he may lose the use of his leg. My head was pretty much spinning at this point, and spinning even harder once they told us what we could for him. Surgery would actually be ideal for him, so they could put a plate in his hip, but it was way out of our price range($2,000-$5,000). The other options they gave me over the next day or so had me so upset I didn’t really know what would be in his best interest. They told me I could put him to sleep so we wouldn’t be in anymore pain, or put him on cage rest for 4-6 weeks because the bone could heal with time. 

I wrestled with what to do only because I didn’t want my little boy to be in any pain, and it was so hard to watch him. After talking with God, and praying about what to do I ultimately decided to keep in on cage rest. I am so glad I made that decision, because he is sitting right beside me, and already doing so much better.

When we brought him home, he did yelp whenever my brother would pick him up to go outside to do his business, or whenever he would try to move too much. It’s been less than a week, and he’s only yelped once since those first couple of days, and he’s been picking himself up. His mood is already improving every single day, and I am hopeful that he’s going to be well very soon.

He’s our little miracle boy, and I can’t wait to see him running around outside very soon.

Love,

signature Posted in Life, lifestyle

Senior Style Inspiration: Rompers

Rompers have become one of my favorite wardrobe staples, and have been trending over the summer. So how can you make this work for the end of summer, and the beginning of fall? That’s what I am about to show you.

Senior Style Inspiration Rompers

I want to show you 3 simple ways to go from summer to fall with only one staple piece. I love figuring out ways to save money, but at the same time still keep up with certain trends I love.

Romper: GAP

Senior Style Inspiration Rompers

I love this classic black romper, but when I want to look a bit dressy I just add a really nice top on. The top was actually given to me as a present so I am not sure what store it is from.

Senior Style Inspiration Rompers

Senior Style Inspiration Rompers

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