Thursday, December 11, 2014

Customization, websites and Weddings!

For anyone like me who likes to avoid phone calls, paper product and any other complication, there is a new tradition for having wedding websites... ok so not so new but some aspects are:  Instead of sending invites, passing photos around... you name it  :D

There are many wedding websites.  Many options from the popular sites you've seen before but none quite look as aesthetic as SquareSpace.  Along with its simple, straightforward look it has great options for customization!  You can have your guest RSVP, submit their mailing address and connect with other guests... you name it!




So if you're looking for a unique and clean look... or I guess it could look however you'd like it cause it is completely customizable!

Check it out and see what you think!



Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

As Luna Grows...

I have all these thoughts and intentions of sharing different funny aspects of life with you all but by the time the day has ended and I have the possibility to type to my heart's content (so long as I'm willing to cut back on some sleep) the words leave me.  The day with Luna, work and keeping up the day to day and I get lost in the shuffle.

Funny stories of things and how I thought they would be verses reality.  I swear when I think of them they are funny, poignant and often self deprecating in a light and real way.  

I love my daughter, more than I ever thought I would.  But at times it would be nice to have a day of me... I mean she isn't that much work so much as it is I have to work around her schedule.  I get 4 min here or 12 min there but you can't sit down, or I guess I don't/can't, and read a book and enjoy it with a 4 min slot.  It's hard to wash dishes, or get much done in 4 min.  

I want to spoil myself and just slowly walk the aisles of the local grocery store... not having to think of nap time or when she ate or was changed.  Just walk... slowly browsing.  Not even with the intention of buying half of what I look over.  Just to be.  




But then my daughter wakes up, putting my work on hold, and at times I get perturbed... then she smiles and I melt.  It isn't her fault she needs me or has to eat so often or any of it.

And she has come so far.  From her early 3 hour cycle of doom to now when she is sitting on her own and babbling away.  It is a miracle that is set up for my personal viewing.  People say that having a baby changes you but you have no idea that the reality could be so true.

I always felt like it was a real jerk thing to say, "well wait till you have kids" and in a way it still can be, but for me personally I am extremely different then I was before Luna blessed my life... with all her throw up, poop and smiles.

And it isn't just the silly stuff like you'd think you could feel/realize when you have spit up running down your body, or you'd care that you some how have someone else's poop on your leg but it is even down to my priorities and my passion and... well a lot of things.  I mean I'm still sarcastic, still in love with shoes and photography and enjoy talking about all things not baby (no really... it is super nice to talk about pretty much anything else... save for maybe football... I have nothing to say.  The ball looks like a lemon... come'on!).

So if you are like I was unsure of whether the selfless nature of children should be something you volunteer for know that if it is thrown out there you will adapt and not mind (got to love those hormones... save for what's the deal with loosing my keys and forgetting EVERYTHING??).

So here are my ramblings in a confession sort of way...

Live. Love. Loud.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Loyalties, Love and Brands

Everyone has their loyalties.  I'm not talking of family, friends or country.  I'm talking brands.  You won't find my brother drinking Diet Pepsi.  You won't see my husband eating off brand chex mix.  There are things you find you love and you stick with them.  Sometimes it is because of getting burned from branching out but others is you find a love so true you can't help but know it is the only option for you.







One of these such loyalties for me is PASS.  It is the amazing thing I get to offer to all my clients.  It is a online gallery of all their photos that keeps them safely stored without hassle for 10 years.  Yes, you heard right TEN YEARS!  That's included in all my packages because I find it so amazing!  With one click you can download all your images or you can pick and choose which you desire.  You and only you have this privileged but you get to send off the link to anyone you want to flaunt all the gorgeous that is you.

One click sharing to all your favorite social media.  One click ordering from a professional gallery to get crisp clean professional quality without any hassle but because you also can one click download you can also get your prints from your favorite mom and pop shop around the corner "if that's what you're into" (yes that is a flight of the Concords quote).



On top of all the awesome that is the sundae that is PASS: it is operated by some of the most amazing people who support it so fully that every time I turn around they are adding new features that my clients LOVE!

I know there are other options.  They might be good.  But PASS is my love and to be fair it's my clients love too!

You just can't help to love a brand who loves you back...  What brands stole your heart?

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Slipping away...December Goals

Do you ever feel like time move slowly and quickly all at once?  It feel like both forever ago and just happened...  well I get that feeling often, at least recently. So much passes that it seemingly quickly but so much has transpired that you feel aged going back through it all.

The things that always get done are the busy things... not necessarily the important.  I wish that the things that kept you busy somehow connected more to the important.  I mean the dishes have to get done but so does spending time with your kids... and since my baby is only an infant doing the dishes with her isn't really an option :D... unless I tired bathing her at the same time... that sounds gross and dangerous. "Eeew" (think Jimmy Fallon on that one :)

That being said it is nice to know that as the time slips by the goals get done... well mostly :D  So here is yet another month's goals driving me closer to my dream... or so I hope!

Everyone enjoys a good "Derp" face :D

November Goals!!
Personal
  • Go on a date with Chris
  • Keep house straightened
  • Decorate for Christmas! (Yes, I'm Christmas Crazy)
  • Pack for Trip to Cayman's 
  • Post Luna's 3 Month pictures :D

Professional
  • Create Investment PDF
  • Update Mobile site
  • Tweak Packages
  • Send out Referral Program for "New" Past couples
  • Streamline Editing process
  • Clean out Camera bag

December Goals

Personal

  • Do something unexpected in Cayman Islands
  • Send out Christmas Cards
  • Update family photo
  • Take Luna's 6 Month pictures



Professional

  • Update Wedding Section on website
  • Practice different techniques 3 days a week
  • Update my head shot
  • Submit wedding to publication



What can you do this month to help you get closer to your dream?



Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that is understated and amazing.  No the food isn't understated... it is mass and could probably feed a small country, or that could just be my family.  But it is understated in how it is overlooked by marketing.  Sure the grocery stores have their fill of the day but there isn't mass decor or commercials all over the place or endless things to do other than food and family.



For those who love this holiday: embrace its disregard by stores and the way they jump straight to Christmas.  It is a part of what makes Thanksgiving, well Thanksgiving.  If forces the holiday to be smaller, intimate in a way.   The focus is on family, whatever that might look like and hopefully a time to smile at all the blessings of the past and hope for the future.

So here is to the Thanksgiving to come being overlooked and keep this amazing holiday exactly as it is!

Happy Turkey Day!

May today you recall every blessing you have been given in the last 12 months and with a deep breath enjoy the beauty that is fall!

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Simple, Rager, you name it...

My wedding was small.  Like could have been and elopement and the guest list wouldn't have changed much.  So my bridal party included my only sister by birth and as a result my bachlorette party was not the rager it could have been (Read endless cookie dough, ice cream and a Friends Marathon) but it worked.

If you are not the eat sugar till you're sick and wish that Chandler was a real person kind of gal or even if you are and you want it to have more flair then eating ice cream straight out the container, then have I got the site for you!

The Bach is exactly as it sounds: a site devoted to helping plan your dream bachelorette party.  It takes all the complication away and helps with ideas, articles and quick how to's... you name it.  Think of it as the pinterest dedicated to all things bachelorette!



Don't take my word for it though.  If you/your maid/maitron of honor wants to have perfection with ease take a peak and see if this might not be a great solution for your needs.

Website designed to help plan the perfect bachlorette party

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

To the man of my dreams... and my reality

There are not many people in my life that I'm lost for... the list is short and you're at the top.  I'm overjoyed that God brought you in my life.  I'm in awe that over 6 years have passed since we said "I do".  I would say those words over and start this whole process over again if given the choice.  Though you drive me insane with your way of thinking it is also what I love about you= you're not me and you bring out the best in me.




Thank you for your constant support in my efforts to drive after my dreams. Thank you for our amazing daughter and for our wonderful life.  You are my husband, my best friend and the person I love doing life with, working along side and laughing at our success and failures.

Today is your birthday and I'm ever so glad you were born.  I love you my darling exception!

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

1, 2, 3! Luna's 3 months Session!

Now that Luna is 4 months old I can share with you her 3 month pictures.  I know, I had to keep you in suspense... or more accurately I just got around to my personal pictures from last month: which ever you prefer to believe.


My mother saved outfits of from when I was a baby and I had the joy of using them with Luna and her 3 month pictures!









It is crazy how fast babies grow.  Yes, I know all babies grow quickly but to be honest: I never really paid attention to other babies.  I was never the baby/kid person.  All my sister's life she has dreamed of being a mother... all mine I dreamed of shoes.

But wonderfully I have this beautiful daughter, I don't care if you disagree: that's the beauty of hormones, and I'm head over heels for her (read: I'm not crazy lady over babies... just my baby :)

So for those of you who haven't met your fill of baby pictures on your feed on Facebook here's a few of my cutie:

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tail kicked, nog ish and other silliness

Life likes to kick your tail at times!  I feel like I've been treading water for the last month only with each week that passed I lost a limb... so it was kind of like drowning towards the end.

How do you make life work?

I am struggling with getting it all done to be frank.  I love my job, my family and my life but I feel like I'm slowly being crushed by a really large rock only it turns out it is a mountain.


Figured I'd share a "derp" photo from Luna's 3 month session! :D


The easy answer is to stop doing something but I'm at a lack for what.  I'm a bit of a control freak (insert chorus of fake outrage... cause let's face it we all knew that kernel of truth) and that doesn't help the issue.

I write to do lists and lists and lists but with each item I cross off 4 seem to take it's place.  When I delegate parts of my business out and finally feel like they are going to be handled by professionals I seem to end up worse off... and the silly thing is I get references!  You'd think that would work lol...

That's enough of all of that.  Deep breath. "This too shall pass"  I know I believe in a God who is in control and knows best but damn shootin' if I don't act like that ain't the truth.  Here's to throwing my cares on God, whose broad shoulders can handle it.  Sounds simple right?  Somehow that simple truth seems to elude me on a daily basis.

But on the up and up: EGG NOG!  I know "Ewww" I can't help myself.  Maybe it is the deviant in me that only wants what I can't have (for large chunks of the year) but I sure do love it... even if it has to be dairy free (I love my daughter...I love my daughter...I love my daughter...I love my daughter...#mantra).

Live. Love. Loud.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hillsborough NC: Erik and Melissa: Occoneechee Mountain Engagement

I LOVE love stories.  It is always fun to hear how couples found each other.  More and more recently I have heard wonderful love stories that started out online.  A bride and groom from last year met on Facebook!


But this couple takes the cake for interesting ways to meet online.  You ready for it?  They met on W.O.W.  For those of you not married to gaming aficionado that means the game World of Warcraft.  It is a super popular (massively multiplayer) online game.  So in all reality: their animated selves eyes met from across the tavern!  

What a neat way to met: you know both of you have a hobby in common right of the bat!  Though their story starts off online it moved to in person and that's what got us here today.

He admired her game play but couldn't stop from staring once he saw here eyes and smile!  She couldn't get enough of his charm and the way he seemed to delight in making her laugh.  They are a pair!  Both are having a blast planning their wedding.  No joke he was telling me all about all the details with ease and laughter!


I swear the whole time Erik was trying to make Melissa crack up.  It was adorable to watch.
















What a smile

I just love how peaceful he looks!


So here is to unique couples with amazing love stories all over but more specifically: here is Erik and Melissa!  I am extremely excited to shoot your wedding this coming April and I am superbly blessed to be given the honor!

Thanks again for taking a day to hike, laugh and spend some time with us (Chris, Luna and me)!

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

EEEK= my life currently

So you know that feeling of complete exhaustion?  Yea... that's been me.  The list of "to do's" has been so long and the time to do them has been so limited that it seemed only logical to cut out sleep right?  No!  No is the not what you should cut but alas it seems to be the only solution at the moment so I feel like...

(photo thanks to Allwomenstalk.com)

What are all your tricks you use to make your life work?  PLEASE educate me!

Live. Love. Loud.



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

That time of month...

Monthly Goals | Making Dreams Come True | Durham Wedding Photography
It is an interesting change in pace.  Time still goes by quickly as it always has but now I get to have a visual as it changes: Luna!  With each to do list crossed and written I get to see my darling figure out her hands, feed to grab anything in sight... it is a nice change to just seeing the months go by :D




So here it is again: Goals for November... Here's to making your dream comes true one to do list at a time!

Old October Goals
Personal

  • Luna's 3 month shoot
  • Continue physical activity
  • Start/try meal planning 
  • Go camping for the first time since 6 years old


Professional

  • Get photos to clients in under 6 weeks
  • Look over and budget next equipment purchase
  • Attend meeting with photographer(s)
  • Do Social media of some kind at least 5 days a week
  • Instagram at least 1 per week


November Goals!!
Personal
  • Go on a date with Chris
  • Keep house straightened
  • Decorate for Christmas! (Yes, I'm Christmas Crazy)
  • Pack for Trip to Cayman's 
  • Post Luna's 3 Month pictures :D

Professional
  • Create Investment PDF
  • Update Mobile site
  • Tweak Packages
  • Send out Referral Program for "New" Past couples
  • Streamline Editing process
  • Clean out Camera bag

What are your goals for November?


Live. Love. Loud.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Raleigh NC : Quinn and Austin: Jones Chapel at Meredith College

Downtown Raleigh, NC | Meredith College Jones Chapel | Durham Wedding Photography Nothing but peaceful smiles greeted me when I came to join the bride and her maids getting ready.  Quinn had it all planned out to a tee.  She had thought of every detail and on the day of the wedding she was ready and excited but being one of the most chill people greeted her excitement and wedding day with the utmost relaxed excitement... if that's possible?!  Well, it has to be cause that was Quinn.  It was a join to join in on the fun as she finished up getting ready, enjoyed relaxing with her bridal party and shared in the joys of her wedding day.

The dress, the shoes, the jewelry... it was laid out ready and perfectly fitting to this wonderful fall afternoon.  The threat of rain hampered no one as they our made their way to the church Quinn's father recounted stories of his wedding and Quinn's childhood and the love for his daughter poured out without effort.  There was nothing but support and excitement for the start this new family and I have got to say it was a joy to be a part of such a wonderful day and I'm right there along side anyone else that has met Quinn and Austin in cheering on them, their love and their new life together!


How beautiful is this dress!



Quinn you are stunning!









Loving on Jones chapel over on Meredith Campus!






The Shine Rocks were great!







Thank you Quinn and Austin for allowing me to not only spend your wedding day with you but also for giving me the honor of capturing your moments!


In case you haven't had enough here is a slide with a few more :D





Thanks to some amazing vendors!

Cake: Sugarland
Invitations: Exclusively Weddings
Gown and Accessories: Savvi Formal
Bride's hair: Alter Ego
Ceremony: Jones Chapel
Reception: Sitti Lebanese
Flowers: Teacup Floral
Band: Shinerocks


Live. Love. Loud.