Monday, March 31, 2014

Trudge to Spring

Despite the dreary outside and the looming feeling of winter it really is spring.  Doubtful... I think that they must have the date wrong... all the same I have decided that since it is spring that I am going to look at the positive.






With a focus on the positive I look for potential and beauty.  

Happy Monday!


Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, March 28, 2014

My LOVES

Psych USA | The end | Emotional connection to TV characters I get strangely attached to characters in shows.  When I watch a show I feel attached... like I really know them.  It is always hard when a show finishes, whether of their own accord or cut short because the producing company didn't understand the brilliance.

This week bid adieu to one of my favorite shows.  Psych ended last night.  I am weeks behind on the episodes because I just can't watch it end... I know it is silly but all the same I feel like I would be killing them to a degree... I mean they will live in reruns but it just isn't the same.



So this week instead of focusing on the end I focus on the amazing that was every episode!  I hope you have gotten a chance to enjoy it and if you haven't and enjoy playfulness and laughing you're in for a treat!

LOVES

Finally having getting a couch.
HTML: I know it is silly... but it is so simple and beautiful I only wish I was a master at it
Milk: I'm pretty sure that everything is better with it
Enjoying crazy long weekends with family and friends
Our Last week free before our Birthing class starts
Psych... filled with so much amazing

Live. Love. Loud.







Thursday, March 27, 2014

Confessions, Competitions and Crazies

Portrait Palooza | Raleigh Engagement photography | Photography Competitions I struggle with where and when to be vulnerable.  I'm not one who wears my heart on my sleeve but when it comes to my photography I am more sensitive.  People tend to feel better about themselves when comparing to those around them who are lacking.  This is true in every avenue of life, as I am sure you have seen, witnessed and felt.  There are very little exceptions to this.  Sadly it is our natural tendency... it works somehow for us.  If someone else is lesser then we by default are greater?


(This is an image from me taking on that challenge and trying my hand at a competition)

In my personal life I feel like the protector.  I feel like I am some type of social hero ready to jump into my cape and floaty and save all!  However when it comes to my photography I am oddly quite and held up.  I feel protective and safe in my silent corner.  Why put yourself out there if you could get hurt?

Why is it that all so often we decided that the possibility of hurt is worse than the inevitability of lacking the experience?  Why is it that I feel better about staying held up alone then chancing to put myself out there?


When I was little my mom would often say, "What's the worst that can happen?"  When you want something and you ask... they say no?  They laugh?  They point and scoff?  When you want something and you don't ask... you don't even get the chance.  You are left at the starting gate because you were unwilling to try.

Why is it that despite our knowing this we seem contented to handicap our chances at the possibility of unacceptable?

I get so tired of myself and my timid worries of being shunned that I shun myself.  This makes no sense yet I can watch the pattern cycle over and over.

I stop today... at least for today.  I choose to start up today with boldness and place myself into something foreign, uncomfortable and stretching.



Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What does an engagement session look like?

Making engagement pictures seem simple and natural | Raleigh Engagement photography | Engagement photography that shines you! I meet couples in many different ways. Often I start a random conversation with someone and it turns into a longer conversation. Sometimes it is because the couple seeks me out, via my website or blog. Sometimes it is because of a referral. 

But past how I meet these amazing couples, our relationships develop differently. Most of my clients are like me and prefer email as a form of contact. I am one of those people is the WORST on the phone. By that I mean I will try and leave a short message giving you just the information you need.... 3 min later I realize I'm still rambling on your machine and I beg for forgiveness. Walk through the process from booking with me to completion of the engagement session.  Yea, I do know I'm terrible.  Chris has requested that I just don't call people and I tend to agree.



But sometimes my couples want to meet up in person to chat about their beautiful and unique weddings but others are just so busy that it doesn't fit.  Each couple is unique in their preferences, how they relate and how our relationship develops but one thing is very similar: the process of information.

When a couple books with me all my packages include a complimentary engagement session.  So one of the first steps after we are all sign, sealed and delivered is to discuss your up coming engagement session.

I usually email with a cute-zy (if I do say so myself :) email checking in and throwing out some thoughts and questions to get the discussion started.  If the wedding is far off sometimes the couple won't want to immediately book their engagement session but wait for their preferred season, others want to get it done as quickly as possible so they can have the pictures to use.



All the same, if you are willing we will discuss your engagement and wedding to your heart's content.  Discussing your desires and thoughts and coming to a place where you have what you desire.  I always ask that the couple chooses their location because who else could pick a place that matters to them better.  Whether it is a local dump that you both served at and that's where you met or if you always eat at this particular Chinese restaurant, you always find a place that will turn out the perfect pictures for the two of you.

...Then the day of the session arrives.  We met up at the location you have chosen.  I have taken time before you arrived to look over the location to have some ideas of what places might be great but I usually check with you first: what places mean something to the two of you?  We will walk and talk and hopefully have a blast.  I try and make the whole process as natural as possible.  Everyone feels awkward and uncomfortable when you are placed in front of someone and asked to "perform" or get that feeling.  I am there to enjoy the day with you and in that process capture some real moments of your joy.

Because of my own preference, having been in front of the camera I don't like silence.  You will hear me make a fool of myself, because it happens pretty much all the time anyway, but I will walk you through what I'm thinking, how I think this might look and I'll ask you questions.  I do this because for me, when I have been in front of the camera, I hate to sit there unsure  "Do I move my hands like this normally?  How have I forgotten how to walk normally?  What is the photographer doing?"

At he end of the hour to hour and half, we will hopefully had a wonderful time together and have gotten a chance for us to get to know each other more and cherry on top of this sundae: ended up with some pretty fun and real photos of you and your love!   You might even forget you are being forced to take pictures :D


Live. Love. Loud.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Giddy with Order

Shoe organizers | Making order out of everything | Fun with order I have a strange affinity to storage containers.  Walking down the organizational aisles literally makes me a little giddy at the possibilities.  I mean you could make any space filled with anything neat and orderly and on top of that super cute!



I can't help but want to throw all the baskets, cabinets and drawer units into my cart and run for the door... having absolutely no real idea of where or for what to use them, simply too overwhelmed by the joy of the possibility.

I stop myself because as amazing as all those organizational units are they are also crazy expensive... well if you want to buy as many as I do :D  But every once in a while I allow myself a bit of crazy OCD joy.  Recently I allowed a splurge.  A new shoe organizer.  I looked and looked online and in stores before I made my choice.  I was like a kid waiting for Christmas when the UPS man stopped by with his delivery.

Why is it that having my shoes newly reorganized make me so happy?  I blame my parents!  No real reason other than they do form a lot of the crazy that is us... sad reality for a pregnant person.  Sorry in advance kid.

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ordinarily Silly

Bouquet of Freshly Sharpened Pencils | Silly, ordinary and beautiful | Chapel Hill Wedding Photography Whenever I watch "You've Got Mail" I always get struck by the lines written to the heroine from her unknown love, "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms."



It is as silly line of whims but it strikes me none-the-less.  There is beauty in the simple things.  How I want a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils now!  That feeling of warmth at the idea of finding beauty in the day to day.  I just love it.  Too often I get bogged down in seeing all there is to do or watching the last moments of vacation slip away or how the months seem to fill.... instead of looking at the beauty that is silly sharpened pencils.

So on this Monday of Mondays I challenge you to find your silly "sharpened pencils" and look on the bright side of the ordinary and take full advantage of the only March 24th 2014 we will ever get a chance to enjoy!

Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, March 21, 2014

LOVES even to appliances???

Love leads to Generosity | Raleigh Wedding photography | Looking to the positive Love makes for generosity... or so has been my experience.  When Chris and I got married people were overly generous to us, in their help and prayer and gifts.  One of these amazing gifts was an amazing couch.  It served us faithfully for these many years but it has come to its end so we are finally saying adieu and trying to find a replacement.

Completely unrelated but I saw this and couldn't help the LOVES


When I was a child I had odd quirks.  One of these extremely odd quirks was my attachment to objects.  You see we moved around a lot and we had a lot of changes in our life and so I blame my desire for consistency on my attachment.  You're probably wondering at why this is an odd thing... don't most children and people for that matter get attached to things?  Yes... yes, they do.  But do most of those people/children cry weep when their parents get a new refrigerator?  Maybe and I kind of hope so but thus far in my breaching the subject I have yet to find a soul.  So yes, I LOVED our fridge as a child and when it came time to replace it I couldn't handle it...

I'm telling you right now: I am envious of crafty people... 


Being the stubborn person I am I determined right then and there I wouldn't get attached to things.  Which hasn't always worked but I will say there have been nor more crying over appliances.  That sad, I am sad to see the end of era.  Dear old couch you treated us well and you hold many a precious memory but sadly your sunken and worn appearance has shown your time of reign is up and it is now time for something I deeply enjoy: Furniture shopping! (don't judge me... ok, you can but I mean don't knock it till you try it with me :)

Which brings me to all my LOVES this week:


  • Furniture Shopping!
  • Day dreaming: I love the chance to let my mind wonder over the possible adventures both possible (dates, meals, activities) and impossible (how much fun it would be to be able to fly)
  • A clean home: it is even better when you don't have to do it :D
  • Fruit: we all know it is amazing but I'm just going to remind you of the awesome that is fruit... and better yet smoothies!
  • Getting something new: namely the couch
  • Unexpected stories and the chance to know more of someone 
  • Um... yea still on the list: ICE CREAM (if nothing else this is for you Brianna)



I hope you have a fabulous Friday and don't forget to tell me all about your LOVES this week!

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Confession of a Twisted Mind

Pregnant and Unsure| Importance of Parenting | A photographer dealing with a life change I can't wrap my head around the concept.  In less than a hundred days I will have a child.  I  mean you know when you get pregnant that it ends in a kid but I guess I'm still getting used to the idea that I am pregnant.  It is scary and intimidating... I mean just the idea of it.

Random: I just watched Psycho for the first time the other day... Finally get SO many references 


I mean I will be responsible for this person.  For keeping it alive but all the more difficult: who it becomes will in large part have to do with how I mess it up.  So I have decided to be very decisive in how I am going to warp the poor unsuspecting soul... Cause I figure there is no way to actually not warp it so instead I will make it my brand of crazy on purpose.

Example: If you have to error on one side or the other of the crazy train I'd rather have one that is on the OCD side of cleanliness then one who is super messy.  I get that personality of the kid plays a part but I figure as long as I know that I can't do it perfect I better be sure of what flaws I'm giving it.  Be intentional.  But that's the planner in me.  I can't help but think it through.

So for today's confession: I plan on molding myself and intentionally "my-type-o-crazy" kid... how twisted is that??

If you have any great ideas, good ideas or simply not bad ideas I'd love to hear them... cause gosh... I'm just saying it is a lot!



Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WHERE!?!!! How to pick where to have your engagement pictures taken.

Great places for engagement pictures | Raleigh Engagement photography | Engagement photography that reflects you! Picking a location for an engagement session can be intimidating.  If you are like me you start thinking over "pretty locations" and then you get frustrated because everyone does those same locations and you want your pictures to be unique... but also pretty!  IS it too much to ask for??

The reality of picking the "perfect location" can only be determined by you.  One thing I like to say to all my amazing couples when they are picking out an engagement session is that as amazing as this botanical gardens may be or how great that brick wall looks(... you get the idea) don't just choose a location because other have, or because you think it is pretty but choose a location that both of you have enjoyed together.



If you met at a Laundry mat then why not get at least some of your pictures there!  If you love going to carnivals great!  If you are home bodies and you like watching movies at home: Awesome!

I always ask that my couples pick their engagement session.  Who better to know where you would want such a significant moment captured better than you?  It doesn't have to be the most amazing location or the prettiest.  What is most important is do you like it?  Do you feel comfortable there?  Does it mean something to you?

Now, no judgement if you have always wanted your pictures at beautiful botanical gardens, that has meaning if only for you love/desire for it.  There are a lot of right answers and there are even a lot of great answers.  For me it is almost a gut reaction.  When I first asked about locations that you shared was there a place that came to mind, silly or not?  That just might be it!

I ask for the ponder moment before the choice simply to make sure that we have the best environment for you two to be you and have the most amazing results possible!  Let's be serious we all want this to be an amazingly fun day... and having great pictures at the end of it might also be a good idea :D


Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meager but My Own!

Revamping your Work Space | Raleigh Wedding photography | Small is all you need So we have been in our new place for three weeks and thanks to the amazing help from all our family we got pretty settled pretty quickly but I have just recently gotten my desk up and running.  Though one day I plan to have a studio to meet clients in and have pretty displays and adorable furniture for the now I have my desk and then I get to treat my amazing couples to a cup of great coffee at one of the amazing location coffee shops in the area!




But since I have just gotten my desk up and running I thought I'd share a picture of my meager work space because small as it is I'm proud of it!

I hope you are having a fantastic Tuesday!


Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Camping" to sleep

Stay-cations | Raleigh Wedding photography | Fun ways to enjoy a weekend at home Did you camp as a child?  I didn't.  I can recall the one and only camping trip that my family took.  I was about 4 or 5 years old.  It was July or August and it was over 100 degrees everyday and rained most every night.

My parents My father isn't the roughing it type of person so even in our camping we had running water and a restroom that could be used which I was most grateful for.  The two things that stick out to me are wondering where my father and brothers were, I found out years later that they ran off for the whole day to find air conditioning and left my sister, mother and I to "enjoy the outdoors".  But being 4 and there being any sort of water near by I did just that!



The second thing I remember is that you should never tell your child not to do something if they didn't think to do it prior to the suggestion.  My father announced as we were entering our tents to avoid the torrential rain not to touch the tent.  My sister and I (6 and 4 consecutively) were burdened with this burning desire to touch our tent... the idea of touching the tent had never seemed so inviting.  It was as if our hands reached out of their own accord.  It wasn't until the next morning  we awoke floating in a nice sized private pool or our own making did we understand the reason we shouldn't touch the tent.

That said: I don't camp.  Not as a rule or because I don't like it I just never have past that one time.  I don't own the equipment and it seemed silly to buy it all just to see if I would like it.  But Chris and I do "Camp" and our own little version I enjoy quite immensely.  We camp in our living room.  We bring in our bed and make "camp" for a weekend.  Silly and Childish as it is it is fun.  Almost like a vacation from normal life but at home.

We make foods that we haven't in a while.  We stay up late and talk... though sadly no ghost stories... or at least not yet.  We eat ice cream for days and days... ok, so that may be just mean eating all the ice cream but I feel better when I say "We".

All that amazing randomness to say: finally after days and days of not being able to sleep we "camped" this weekend and I slept... Oh you don't realize just how amazing sleep is till you can't seem to do it!

What amazing things did you do this weekend?

Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Quirky LOVES

TGIF | Raleigh Wedding photography | Weekly LOVES I'm feeling a bit quirky today.  Maybe it has something to do with the zero sleep I've had in last few days, to which I would love to say were based in some awesome project instead of the silly truth of just not being able to sleep, but all the same: I feel quirky.  Like grab a box of novelties and wonder a car parking lot and day dream, or wander the halls of some mega store not looking for much but seeing what rare/strange items can be found.

Photo thanks to & Other Things

Photo Thanks to Juliano Coutinho

I feel like rolling down a grassy hill... till I stop and think about how itchy I would be afterwards... plus it would be more like wobbling down the hill at this point.  I feel like finding a play to audition for just to have tried.  Yet the other part of me wants to simply collapse on my couch and sleep the day away but alas... sleep eludes me so off to find silly adventures... and other LOVES:

Photo thanks to Trend Hunter


  • Cereal... I know it isn't great for you but I'm lazy at times and they are pretty delicious
  • Yoga pants/PJ pants for those days when eating cereal for dinner isn't lazy enough... and all other amazingness
  • Closing my eyes to listen to a beautiful day: I feel a bit like Cinderella with all the birds chirping... but in a good I'm a Disney princess way not in a I'm a slave to my evil step-mom way.
  • Baths: sore muscles meet the worlds best treat!
  • Quiet.  I'm not sure if it will be the same in a few months and right now I relish the silence.. 
  • Looking at Furniture: I know it is quirky but I really do love browsing at furniture... I just deeply enjoy the process.  Pretty sure a good Saturday would be one spent for at least an hour looking over and touching furniture.

What do you LOVES this week?  Want to join me on my quirky adventure...?  



Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Throwing out Confessions

Throw back Thursday | Confessions of a Photographer | Raleigh wedding photography This past week I had the challenge of watching my brother's kids, three of them to be exact.  I haven't watched anyone's kids for days since I was a nanny back in College.  Whenever I spend time with kids I seem to have a constant reminder of selfishness.  Between their nature and my own it sits at the forefront of life with kids.  
I'm on the front

I have to take a knee to parents, no matter how great or rotten their kids are they take lots of work... like endless amounts of work.  Not just the cooking and cleaning but the actual them.  Talking, teaching and being with kids drains energy.  Everything has to be explained and reexplained.  The effort is worth it for their sake as a person but in the moment... AH my selfish nature just wants to take the easy road.

So this post is to say a thanks out there to "Parents" for their effort for our coming generation and a special thanks to my parents for dealing with the handful that was me.

#ThrowbackThursday

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Engagement Pictures: What to wear?!?

Engagement Pictures | Raleigh Wedding photography | What do I wear? I am an over planner.  I like to make lists for my lists.  Pack for my packing.  I like to think things through a little too much.  I guess I figure that if I have considered all the options then there is no failing... there is no reason to be surprised by the unexpected.  So when I got my engagement pictures I had thought it through.  I had outfit options for Chris to choose from, locations I liked and yet I still felt like I was missing something.  Like others might know something I didn't know.

Did I pick the right spot?  Was it going to be pretty enough?  Are my outfits good enough for my engagement pictures... I mean you are stuck with them forever????  Maybe you aren't the questioning type.  Maybe you are the person we should look to cause you have it all under control and if so please SHARE YOUR WISDOM!  But if you are like me and you eyes go over and over your options and you're just not sure then this post is for you!

When you are thinking about what to where, try to breath and remember it cannot be perfect and if it was then it wouldn't really work.  What I mean is unless you are perfect you don't want your outfit, location or pictures feeling perfect.  Perfect is never real.

Well, at least it isn't real for me.  I am a hot mess most days.  If my outfit was in place and not a hair on my head was out of place it would be because somehow I turned into barbie and the kid playing with me likes a whole lot of hair gel!

Your engagement pictures are simply a reflection of you and your love.  If you are silly and wild don't try and put pearls and a Jackie O outfit: embrace the awesome that is you!  If you are country and relaxed don't worry about breaking out an evening gown.

Your clothes should reflect you.  My suggestion for most couples is for them to pick out two outfits.  One more casual and one more formal.  Think through outfits you have worn before.  Which were you favorite?  Which made you feel lovely/beautiful?  Which did you feel comfortable in?  Those outfits will either give you the outfits you want to wear or it will at least point you in the direction of what you'd want.  If you're not sure I have no issues helping but I would suggest you have at least a few options because you don't want my style coming out in your pictures. ( I wore jeans and a casual shirt in my engagement pictures because being the crazy that is me I wanted to take some pictures in a tree...)

Don't worry about matching each other.  Have you ever seen the family pictures where everyone is wearing the blue shirts and khaki pants?  I can't tell where one person ends and other begins.  Clash, compliment or draw be yourself.  The main thing when picking out your outfit/outfits is that you want to be comfortable and able to relax.

As my father in law says, "There are a lot of right answers!"


Live. Love. Loud.




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Abandoment

I can tell which weeks pass with more paperwork or busy work and which ones pass with more interactions with my amazing couples.  I get like a whinny kid on the paper centric weeks.  I feel like I have emotional temper tantrums.  If I had less dignity I might just throw myself on the floor to avoid getting on my computer once again.



This week is looking to be one of those paperwork weeks.  And so in a desperate attempt to look on the "brighter side" I started day dreaming of vacations, trips and adventures.  I determined a perfect trip doesn't take much... as far as distance or stuff is concerned.

The main thing for a trip to turn out great is for you to let go.  Release work, the tension of home, the dishes to be done, etc and be in that moment.  Laugh at the errors and take them as a new direction.  Abandon.  The best trips I can remember are those I abandoned.

So today I dream of abandon!



Live. Love. Loud.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Marching to new Goals

Every month rolls by with more ease then it should.  This month was no different then all those before it.  Filled with the day to day but also those small moments that take your breath away.  The months of winter, at least this year, have been  filled with quite moments at home bundling up before trekking out to enjoy the winter wonderland.   I'm excited to see what spring will bring.

But first I need to set my March goals and share my successes and failures of this past month

Professional:
Get my "Referral Program" up and running
Post on Twitter at least 2 times daily (m-F)
Post on FB at least 2 times daily (m-f)
Post at least 1 Instagram per week


Sadly I failed to post at least 1 a week on Instagram and at the moment my amazing designer is working her way through the referral program but for now it is on hold.


Personal:
Exercise at least 3 times a week
Do my daily stretches
Keep my sugar intake to a minimum
Do a better job of keeping up with friends
Go on Babymoon



On to looking towards March and what it might bring

Professional:
Send out "Referral Program" to previous couples
Post at least 1 per week via Instagram (going' to do it this time!)
Respond within 24 hours to any work email
Do planned website tweak.

Personal:
Sleep at least 7 hours a night
Eat no less than 5 small meals a day
Keep active for at least 20 min a day
Go on at least 1 date with Chris
Eat an apple fritter :D



Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, March 7, 2014

LOVES-in on some Jennifer

I love meeting people.  Sometimes when you meet a person an amazing connection is made.  You know what I am talking about?  The moment you ask yourself "How have we not been friends previously?"  Or maybe that's just me.  But worse off than my connection with people I actually have met is I sometimes get this kindred feeling about people I haven't met.

Photo thanks to Faces of Jennifer Lawrence


A great example of this is Jennifer Lawrence.  I'm pretty sure we are kindred spirits just yet to meet.  She is one of the most adorable celebrities out there and I sure hope she has a great number of fantastically true and real friends.  The way she speaks up for what she believes in and isn't afraid of being herself or better yet willing to laugh at herself.  I'm sure there are many other celebrities out there who are just as genuine and sweet but I don't often see them being as boldly who they are as she is and for me that means the world.

(photo thanks to E Online)


I am boldly and unapologetically me... which often lands me on some people's "not a fan" lists and to be honest: I'm ok with that.  Not everyone can like me or I wouldn't be a real person.  So for this week I'd like to say a big shout out to Jenifer Lawrence for rocking out the real.

And on to my other LOVES this week..

Having a home unpacked.
Give away bags: whether you are the one doing the giving away or if you get a bag of goodies there isn't such a nice feeling.
Bluebell ice cream: no matter how much I know I shouldn't eat it  cause blah blah blah... but it is so amazing!
Baths... I don't make the time for them often but when I do my muscles thank me.
And of course: Jennifer Lawrence and her adorable self

What do you LOVES this week?











Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Confessions of change

I'm terrible about letting the busy get in the way of the important.  I often let the things that seem to "have to get done" muck up my schedule so there isn't time for the important.  This month I want to keep my focus on the permanent, on the important... on the things I so easily push to the side.

As I think over missed opportunities I can't help but think over this past month so I thought I'd share some pictures of what this month looked like to me.





Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Engagement Sessions: When is right?

When to get engagement photos | Raleigh Wedding photography | What questions should I ask before having and engagement session Continuing last weeks thoughts on Engagement sessions:
I often get asked, "When should we have our engagement session done?"  To be honest this question doesn't' have a direct answer and it has a lot to do with your personal opinion but to help you along the way I'm going to ask a few questions.

What do you plan/want to use these photos for?
People use their engagement sessions for a lot of things.  From posting in the newspaper or work to something personal like pictures in your house or social media.    Depending on what you are going to use them will greatly depend on when or how far from your wedding you should schedule your engagement session. If the pictures are simply for personal use then choose when you so desire.  It doesn't really matter.  12 months from your wedding or 2 weeks it is really up to you, but I would suggest no closer than 2 months because the closer your wedding you get the more issues and stress that always seem to complicate life. However, if you are going to have them present for an engagement party or if you are going to use them for a "Save the dates" or if you desire to announce your wedding then you will need to keep that in mind.  You will want your session at least a month prior to when you want to use the photos.



In what season would you like to have your engagement sessions taken?
The season you desire to have taken obviously affects how far from  your wedding you want to take your photos but it also affects the ideal time of day.  If you want the best light and best circumstances then you'll want to consider the time of day to have the shoot.  Generally close to sunset will lend itself to the most beautiful light, that's why it is called golden hour.  A professional photographer will be able to make any time of day work well but much like going to the mechanic when he isn't slammed with a lot of other business lends itself to your best service you can get the most of your photographer's talents by allowing ideal conditions.

Do you have a theme in mind for your engagement session?
If you have a "baseball" theme in mind then that will dictate what seasons you will be best. The same is true if you are wanting  a "snow kiss" session or if you are wanting to get your pictures taken a midst of a whole bunch of blooming flowers.  Keep in mind that themes can be amazing but the man thing is not be at ease at your engagement session so if it works better for your schedule to do it different season as long as you and your love are there the pictures will be amazing!

Basically: there is so many personal decisions that play a part to when you'll want to have your engagement session that for each couple it seems to change.  The main thing is that if you have the time getting them done early might help ease your stress.

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Winter's visits again.

A blinking curser is the curse of a writer.  When I was in college it would taunt me as I tried to complete assignments.  When I write a blog and that curser blinks at the top of the screen my mind goes blank.  I almost start to hum music to the blink... but that might have to do with the fact that I feel like my life is a musical.




So this is where my mind is falls on this beautiful winter day!  I hope that despite your love or hate of winter you get a chance to take a moment to enjoy the beauty of those around you.

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Misadventures of Joy

Babymoon ideas | Southeastern Locations for a baby moon | Finding joy in the small things This might be heresy for some of you out there, so hold your breath and wait till the end before you judge me too harshly:

I have never been a huge fan of Myrtle Beach.  Most of the few times I have been it has been crazy busy and cliche tourist beach town.  And maybe I'm too purist in my beach love but I like smaller quieter beach experiences if I'm trekking out to the coast.

Chris and I decided that instead of trying to figure out how to do a long one trip for our "Babymoon" (kind of like a last ditch to enjoy some alone time before the kid comes) we would do 2 or three super small trips.  My first request was a chill trip that included indoor water, preferably and indoor lazy river.  So we did our searching and found the closets options seemed to all be in Myrtle Beach.  So we each put our bias asside and decided to try and take on the city with new eyes together... and it worked :D

We stayed at the Dunes Village Resort which has slides, pools, hot tubs and a big lazy river... and if you're not careful on when you go: LOTS of kids and many without parents (be warned :D).  But before we could check in we decided with all the crazy looking mini golf options we would try our hand.  Though Chris loves mini golf I've never been a huge fan, only having tried it less than a handful of times but we love to conquer firsts so we decided it was time.

 Yes, poor Chris is forced to do a selfie with me on occasion... despite is protests :D

I saw this amazing looking three story display down the road of thatch houses and waterfalls so we decided to go and see what it was and we came across Mt. Atlanticus Minitar Goff.  Chris was so in love with the double pun that we pulled in and set off.  It was amazing.  The owner was behind the desk and we got to talking about how he and his wife started this business as a passion 13 years earlier and how they like to keep things new and interesting by changing up and bringing in new looks.

The best way I know how to describe this place is a theme park of mini golf.  Everything keeps you in this world, the pipes are made to look like vines and trees.  The hills are made to look like claws.  There are animal prints all along the paths.  I'm pretty sure you could walk the course more than a few times and still come across something new that you missed the first 5 times.  There are swings indoors.  There is a hole in an ice cave... I mean... just pretty amazing the amount of energy and thought that was put into this holistic experience.

But to top it off: after you enjoy your 18 (or if you are super adventurous you could play both courses and have finished the 32) holes you come back to the lobby for a bonus 19th hole.  If you make it in this ridiculously difficult hole you win yourself a lifetime unlimited pass as well as your picture on the wall.  So being the complete klutz I am I laughed at the idea, plopped my ball down and swung away...

(yes, that is the face I made to learn of my new good fortune... it is a common face sadly )


To my utter astonishment, and Chris' bewilderment, I made it in.  So you are now looking at the proud owner or a lifetime pass to mini golf.  Things I never thought I'd say.

Point being: we determined if you can put your bias aside and take on a city with the only goal of looking for an adventure you can have a blast without even meaning to :D

I hope you get a chance to enjoy a lazy river and Mt. Atlanticus Minitar Goff in your new future (it is worth the trip :D).

Live. Love. Loud.