Friday, May 30, 2014

Finding a lull to enjoy all the LOVES

Enjoying your weeks as they come | Looking to the LOVES this week | Durham Wedding Photographer The days and weeks just fill up.  With seemingly no effort each moment of time away from work fills itself into a point of little rest.  Often it is filled with great things: time with friends and family, getting things done, enjoying new adventures or accomplishing to do's but at a certain point you just need time to be.

Or maybe that's just me.  I'm a pretty extroverted person.  I'm pretty sure there isn't a sole who would question my love of people and my inability to be shy.  However, as much as I love people, and enjoying life and being loudly me I have to have downtime.  I have to have quite.  I need to just sit on the couch with Chris and allow conversation to flow.  No TV, no books... just sipping quietly on a nice ice cold beverage and allow time to just enjoy the silence with him.

Often this moment can't be as long as I'd like especially when things are so crazy busy but even if it is just an solid 20 min it can recharge me and bring me back to a place where I can LOVES on things again...

Which of course brings us to this weeks LOVES:

Time to just be!
Fresh fruit: I'm pretty sure the heat of summer is only worth it for the produce and bodies of water!
Enjoying my favorite exercise: swimming to my hearts content
Finishing up what has been a busy but wonderful month
Learning to smile when people tell me that I look ready to explode or that I have my own gravitational pull
That deep sigh of relief when your house is clean AND tidy!

Here is to yet another amazing month!  What do you LOVES this week?

Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cutting out of the Norm

Unique Cake options | Inspiration for the nontraditional bride | Your day your way So I love a little wacky in my life.  I'm pretty sure weird and wacky parties were made so people like me would have an outlet for all the crazy that goes on in my head.  That said when I come across different and interesting ideas that are a little off from the norm I fall in love a bit too quickly.

I recently came across some amazingly nontraditional cakes that I thought I'd share... just in case you like me love a little different.

So I'm a sucker for creme puffs but this is the first time I saw someone transform them into a cake alternative  (photo thanks to Lucky Dresses)

Macaroons are delicious and I love how bright and playful this is... (photo thanks to Wedding bells)

But I think my favorite of all is this Crepe cake... I mean it just looks heavenly!  Made by the ever talented Petite Reve Cafe Photo credit thanks to Lavender and Twine

This is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to interesting and less traditional cakes... if you need other inspiration here is some things on Pinterest that might stick your interest.

Happy hunting!

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Got to love Holidays

I wouldn't say that Memorial Day is my favorite holiday but it is up there.  What the holiday stands for in thanking our troops for all their work and sacrifice is fantastic and needed.  When you really stop and think about the holiday, which I'll be honest I often forget to do, I get a little overwhelmed with all the years of work and sacrifice this holiday represents.  But even with all that beauty and deep rich history for which this holiday stands, I have to admit something terrible: I love the holiday because it marks the opening of pools in NC.

Yesterday after we returned from our last out of town trip to see our amazing friends I was about to steal a few laps at the pool and I got to tell you there is nothing quite like allowing the hot day to melt away as you slowly sink into the cool waters.  The back that aches with all the added weight rings silent, the "glistening" forehead is soothed and there is this moment of pure relaxation when your body finally gets accustomed to the water.

Nothing quite wipes away stress and struggle like a few nice long laps...even if there are little kids looking at your giant belly the whole time.  I swear I was waiting for one of them to accuse me of eating a whole watermelon!  Sad but true story when Chris and I took our baby-moon a little girl pointed at me and shouted "Eeeeeewww!"

So here is to enjoying a bit of cool water and letting the stress of your hard week wash away with a little pool side break!  Now if only they made floating waterproof computers...

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Cookout Day!

Happy Memorial Day | The beauty of cookout holidays | Durham Wedding Photography I can never keep some things straight.  Memorial and Labor day are among them.  I always say the wrong thing even if I know which holiday it really is.  So to me, just to be safe sometimes I say things like: I hope you have an amazing cook out... cause that's totally safe.  I mean any holiday after Mother's day and before Thanksgiving has a cook out right?

So today I wish you the worlds most fabulous and wonderful Memorial Day Cookout Holiday!

What will you be doing this amazing day?

Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Shaking with joy and all other LOVES

What joy pools bring | Accepting my inner child | Durham Wedding Photographers As a child other than being a cashier, to this day I still have a bit of an obsession with the satisfaction of swiping items across the bar-code reader, my dream was to be a mermaid.  No joke I was convinced that the best life ever would be a mermaid version of Peter Pan, I knew when I was young I had it made.  Obvious by my dream of being a mermaid I love water.

(little throw back Thursday on Friday)

If you ask my husband he will try and emphasize that "Love" isn't a strong enough word.  I have a lifelong passion for water.  If there was a way for me not to slowly melt and have continuously gooey skin I would probably not ever leave water... well that and I'm pretty sure after about 3 hours of no sun screen I would probably die from sun exposure (shout out to all us translucent folks out there!).

That said: this weekend always brings me much joy because universally it means that pools are open.  And yes, I am the adult acting like a little kid outside the gate trying not to jump up and down while I wait for them to unlock the pool gate for the first time of the season.

Which brings me to all my LOVES this week!

The pool opening: if that wasn't clear enough above
Long weekends that are made even better with time with friends
My job: I am ever so blessed to be a part of the most amazing couples lives
Chris: for he not only deals with my insanity but will actually stay with me in a pool well past when he is finished
Freezers: you don't think about how amazing they are but really... just stop and think about it.  There would be no ice cream without them!
Coming to a close on this seemingly unending pregnancy: only 5 weeks left!
The chance to make strangers friends!

What are your LOVES this week?

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Giving up and taking a nap!

Struggling to fulfill a dream | Looking to your love | Durham Wedding Photographers I get tired.  At times I feel like I'm trying to run up hill only to figure out I'm on a treadmill set at a stupid high incline and I'm not actually going anywhere... do you know what I mean?

Like all the effort, thought and strain is going to... absolutely nothing.  It gets overwhelming.  Whether you own your own business, striving after a dream, trudging your way through school or anything else  you get the idea right?  I mean I can't be alone in this at least momentary desire to collapse into the couch and not get up.  I mean let's face it couches are pretty awesome and beg for you to take a nap... they are just inviting.

When I give in and stop trying I slowly spiral.  Once I cave into my desire to give up... it is like when you have been going to the gym and it isn't work anymore to get up and go but you decide to take off a few days.  Maybe this is just me but at the end of those few days though I know that I will feel better and love life more if I go the actual getting me to change and go... yea, it isn't gonna happen easy.

All that to say: with all that strain and work with little results I more than start to question my motivation.  I doubt my reasoning behind the action.  Do I really want this?  Is it really worth this?  Whenever I feel this way I know it is time to get back behind the camera.  For the moments the camera is in hand and I am hanging out with the worlds best clients and helping them relax and be the beautiful that is them I forget the work, the strife the effort and I remember why I go through all the rest of it.

I'd love to say that one session behind the camera makes up for all the unsettled business that seems unending or the lulls in season or the question of certainty but that would be one big fat lie.  What I can say is that helps me with my perspective.  It helps remind me of why I started this all in the first place and it makes the work seem more achievable.

What is your dream, goal, love?  What struggles are you facing?  Have you found something to remind you why you started in the first place?

Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I guess I'm a Plucky Chicken

Learning Posing from fellow photographers | Plus sized beauty | Durham Wedding Photographer So if you've been reading this blog for long you'll know by now that I'm a little tentative when it comes to photography meetings.  I love the idea but the reality is I often chicken out.  This past week I heard of a great opportunity to work with some fellow photographers in sharing ideas of posing and posture.  So I decided to take the plunge.

Thanks to the beautiful and talented Amaris Photography and Sarajane Case Photography, as well as the debonair Christian for stepping in and playing our much needed prince charming, for setting it all up!

 It was such fun to see how different each photographer's style was and how they pose and think behind the lens!

I wanted to give a huge shout out to Christian who had to handle a hoard of  stranger ladies pushing and pulling on him all evening! And to top it all off he is a super photogenic guy so hats off Christian. 

I'm telling you right now I struggle with jealousy.  For oh so many reasons but today I will only mention one: Sarajane Case' hair!  I mean come-on son!  Just drop dead gorgeous and it doesn't hurt that she has spunk for days to boot.

I swear Amaris has the most striking eyes and laugh!  So glad to have been given a chance to capture her beauty.

I couldn't help but love this shot.  Sara is ever so fun loving... one of those girls you meet and feel like you've known her for always, never runs out of reasons to love and laugh... 

It was a joy to get to see Amaris and Sara do their magic even in front of the camera!  I'm excited to see what all I will have the "pluck" to get up and do!  Yes, I do realize my pun was terrible but let's be serious you only hate it cause you didn't say it first :D

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The ultimate Groom spot!

Finally a registry a groom can get behind | Ultimate one stop shop for Grooms | Durham Wedding Photographer Sometimes during the wedding fever people forget about the groom.  Forget about his side of it.  Not all grooms are super involved in planning the details of flowers and decor but each has something special to him, even if it is just the honeymoon location or duration.

In our wedding planning process I came across the fact that if asked Chris had opinions.  Some clear and definite, while others were sway-able.  Personally I really liked his giving his opinions cause I had very little... to be honest had we done what I wanted the full budget of the wedding would have gone to a photographer and we would have eloped but then our families may not be speaking to us still :D  So alls well that ends well.

That said: I came across this website that is the ultimate groom site.  It has everything you could think of that might be desired.  You can get personalized gifts, register, look over vendors, bachelor party ideas and planning tips, a blog of info from the grooms perspective... you get the idea.

You can read in extent in the "About us" section but the gist of it is two brothers wanted a registry that covered more than kitchen and bedroom.  They wanted.  Life essentials.   So if you are tired of looking at bed spreads and want a bit more personalized options hope over and see if you just might need one more registry (cause can you have too many?)

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lessons that need to be learned!

Lessons learned about booking Babymoons | Looking to the joy | Durham Wedding Photographer I was raised around motorcycles all my life.  It is a thing in my family. Chris and I are literally the only people in my family without motorcycle licenses in my family.  I can't recall the first time I rode on one or the first time I was around them because they have always been there.


All that to say when we planned our last little trip away/babymoon for this past Thursday and Friday, I should have realized it was bike week at Myrtle Beach.  This trip was much different to our first trip there, which was winter and very little people, but all the same fun.

Things I learned this trip: Don't trust resort websites... or at least the one we booked with.  I decided to be adventurous and try a different place then last time.  I looked at a whole bunch but landed on this particular one... to say the website was misleading would be more than an understatement!  Past the initial irritation of feeling duped, mainly me cause let's face Chris just rolls with any and all punches.

To give you a taste of what I mean: We parked in the underground garage to avoid the heavy rain but it leaked so much that it didn't make a difference.  The room smelled of a cocktail of mold and musk... And we are pretty convinced that the tile floors in the bathroom and kitchenette area were literally sweating... we dried them with towels constantly but they never quit being wet.   We were greeted early our first full day by a knock on the door from the Orkin man... yes, that did happen.  

In the end, we had an amazing time.  We spent very little time in our room.  Poor Chris was stuck on the beach and in the pool pretty much all day everyday we were there!  (PS: yes I am a pool/water rat and the moment our neighborhood pool opens up I will be swimming laps there at least once a day!) And of course we hit up our favorite mini golf course: the amazing MINITOR GOFF!  (I mean I have a life time membership of free play... how could we not?)

 It was a perfect trip to sum up our silly playful lives.  We have been so worried about how this baby will change us and our life but if we keep an attitude of being grateful for all God has given us and look to the joy instead of irritation we will be more than fine!

So my advice to those of you thinking about making a trip away in the near future:

Don't believe the company website...or at least not fully
No matter what: if you are determined have a great time it really doesn't matter where you stay!
Remember at the vary worst: you are still on a mini vacation enjoying moments alone with someone you love

Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Embracing Your Crazy and other LOVES

Crazy is what makes us beautiful | LOVES for the week | Durham Wedding Photography With a deep breath I can't help but admit that I am a wee bit crazy.  I mean from the outside I usually put up a presentable front but in my head there is a small child play with water way too close to the electronics.  It has taken me a while but I can now accept that my brand of crazy is me.  Some people hate it while others at least tolerate it.  I find this reassuring.  No one can have everyone love them and honestly you'd be the stuffed animal of people if they all did.

So here is to having a few colorful thorns that make you: YOU!  And a huge thanks to all who love our crazy... and all the other LOVES this week:

Any body of water large enough to submerge my rather round self
Air conditioning because whoever invented it was one of the best ever
Our final trip alone before we will never really be alone again
Embracing what makes you crazy/unique
The beach: I know you have sand but you also have water!
Pail skin:  I'm basically reflective material....
A finished To Do list
LAZY RIVERS: yes, I am large and in charge and I think that means I get to float the day away with a fruit beverage in hand... even if it is virgin :D
To taking time to enjoy the moment even if you kind of want it to pass

What do you LOVES this week?

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Confessions from a people watcher

Confessions from a Wedding Photographer | The joys of people watching | Durham Wedding Photography I deeply enjoy people.  I can definitely be caught people watching anytime I'm alone.  The process of getting to know someone is interesting and challenging... though admittedly difficult at times.  But I think most people, even those you don't like off the bat, have such interesting lives that have brought them to "this" moment.  I'm definitely guilty of meeting up with a someone or a friend for coffee and not realizing that 4 hours has passed because we are just let the conversation ride.

I find myself way less entertaining.  I don't think it is because I have anything less to offer but simply: I know my story... old news.

So if you're looking for a new friend and you're ok with me drinking what is literally a milkshake of a coffee beside you then sounds like we got the makings for a date!

Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Destination Wedding in the USA?

Destination Wedding without Passports | How to find your perfect venue | Durham Wedding Photography Wedding planning can be so difficult.  Budgets, family, work, school... it can get overwhelming.  When I come across a website that seems to ease that I can't help but skip a bit.  This particular website is great if you are planning a destination wedding within the USA.  It only services the three most popular states for destination weddings in the USA: New York, California and Hawaii.

It helps you narrow down to the perfect venue based on you number of guests and your budget.  You can even limit your searches to a more specified area within those regions, in case you've already picked out your favorite wedding spot.

So, if you've looking to travel for your wedding but want to keep the Passport packed check out and see if you find exactly what you were looking for!

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Striving to Survive

I don't have it together | Facing your business fears | Pregnant and a business owner I'm feeling the heat already.  In many senses.  I have about 6 weeks or so till things change a "little bit".  The combination of the heat, my size and the looming deadline of the baby's due date to get all my goals done makes me want to scream a bit.

Not that it helps but I figured maybe it would let off steam.  It's not so much that the goals are difficult or the heat is yet overwhelming but the constant looming of complete and utter change is terrifying.  I mean, maybe I'm the only pregnant person in the world who feels this way but I'm more than overwhelmed at all the changes that are happening.

Part of me doesn't want to wish away the last 6 weeks but my back is throbbing with pleas of mercy.  The temporary hurt of my back is not enjoyable but seems way more tangible and manageable then the existence of another human being that will forever change how life works.  I get it is a little late to be wondering about all this but I'm not saying this is the first time I'm just saying the impending nature of the end just makes it all more imminent.

Photo thanks to

I would be lying if I didn't question what would happen next.  Wonder at how having a child and my own business will work.  Wonder at what I will have to sacrifice?  As much as I'd like to say the superwoman in me will come out and nothing will be cut I can't help but know the truth... something will have to be trimmed.

I'm terrified to loose the momentum I've been building in my business... terrified to be be looked over because of the complication of pregnancy or having a new born.

I know dreams don't happen without work... without strife... without struggle.  And if they do we don't appreciate them as much when it happens but part of me really wants the Disney reality.  Can't a sing and birds dress me while mice clean my apartment?  Can't I stroll gathering berries and get fairy godmothers who will make all my dreams come true?

Instead I sit here, knowing the truth and with a deep breath I plunge into today.  Half a smile wedged to my face as I determine I, much like Gloria Gaynor, "will survive" and maybe even better yet strive!


It's time to wade on towards our goals.  What will you do today to make yourself a step closer?

Live. Love. Loud.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Comics and Ads are current events too!

So behind the times | Shaq Shake | Durham Wedding Photography I'm the worst at world events.  Like literally... I'm terrible.  I finally find something out and I'm all shocked and everyone is looking at me with a bewildered facial expression and then they announce that this horrible/shocking/life altering event definitely happened a week ago... (often longer than that but I figured I'd be nice to myself and lean towards the shorter side :)

I blame the fact that I refuse to watch the news, it is just to depressing, and I only pretend to read the news paper (unless Ads and comics count as current events) like a prop in my seemingly ever changing story/life.  I like to know what's going on but not enough to go and search for it.  More often then not I figure Chris will inform me when something happens that I really should know about.

That said: this goes for both important life events and silly.  That said I totally missed this amazing thing on the internet until now so I thought I would share the love!

HAPPY MONDAY!  (It really just gets more funny as you watch it longer...

Live. Love. Loud.

Friday, May 9, 2014

LOVES-in on May

What do you LOVES this week? | Looking to the Brighter side | Raleigh Wedding Photography Yet another week passes.  This week passed with such speed.  Chris and I had the joy of celebrating our new kid (eeek, not sure if I'll get used to that) with friends and family.  We couldn't have had a better day if we had set the temperature ourselves.  It was relaxed and filled with fun fellowship but who knew standing could wipe you out that much!?

I got to top of a fantastic weekend by enjoying another beautiful day shooting an engagement session with the adorable Brittany and Chris which was a blast and I can't wait for their wedding this fall.

And this weekend marks a day set aside to thank the Mother or mother figures in your life... Chris turned to me this week and announced that I join those ranks this year.  Not sure if it counts yet but it is still strange to think.

I'm feeling a bit rosy today can you tell, I blame it on the walk I just returned from or all this beautiful weather but whatever the case it is a perfect day to share our LOVES:

  • Days with nothing to do but relax
  • The worlds best week in weather
  • Just about 2 weeks till my pool opens!
  • Editing the day away with a beautiful iced coffee in hand
  • The beautiful feeling of crossing something off your to do list
  • Here is to another great week!
  • A day to remember to thank the Mother/mother figures that have sacrificed for you

What are your LOVES this week?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Motivation shoulnd't be so hard

Keeping motivated | Productivity when just plan tuckered out | Durham Wedding Photography Keeping up motivation is difficult.  Wow, I know I just blew your mind with that one.  But people always say things about actions are needed to make dreams reality... and it's all true.  It's like weight loss.  We all know how to do it.  You eat better and exercise.  The reality of implementing that into our lives... not so easy.  That's how motivation is for me.  I know I need to take actions each day towards my goals.  But as big as my dreams are and as much as I desire them it is still a fight... let's face it binge watching our favorite TV show sounds way more fun then sitting down to another to do list.

The best advice I was given in regards to my business was, "If you aren't willing to struggle to achieve your dream then maybe just leave it to your sleeping hours and leave it the enjoyable fantasy."  It is something that is important to assess.  Every dream you have incurs a level of struggle and work.  Does your desire out weigh that amount of effort?  If you're not willing to put your back into it then maybe your dream should stay a dream.

It's a hard truth to face.  "Maybe I'm not willing to go and get my dream" ... not an easy thing to admit.  Over the process of my business I had moments of doubt... I still do.  Moment so "is this really worth all the effort?"  In the end, despite the at times seemingly continuous uphill battle, I always find my joy.  It is never the work that takes me to doubt, it is the weighting, lack of clients, the struggle of owning your own business... but when I get to working with and getting to know clients, getting behind the camera and editing I find my joy... my passion.

What's your dream/ passion?

Whatever your dream is:  I encourage you to find your joy.  The struggle for motivation won't go away but if you take a moment and remember why you wanted it in the first place you might just find your joy again.  If you can't find your joy... why are you struggling to achieve something you no longer take joy in?  When I was a child all I wanted to be was a cashier.  I went to a children's museum and took over the cash register in the play grocery store and didn't leave it till my mother announced it was time to go... I loved my silly dream.  It didn't take long for me to loose my joy... it is a silly story but the point is letting go can sometimes help you find something even better.

Live. Love. Loud.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Raleigh NC Engagement: Brittany and Chris

Raleigh Engagement Photos | Lynchburg VA Wedding | Durham Wedding Photography In true Brittany fashion she knew what she had found in Chris before Chris knew a thing.  They worked together and Brittany had seen his charming smile and easy going personality and had been smitten.  It took a mutual friend throwing a Superbowl party for the two of them to be brought together.

Years have passed since that fateful party and the joy they have with each other has only grown.  It was  a joy to watch these two in love.  Chris with his adventurous heart and Brittany with her logic... the two complimented each other gracefully on the beautiful May day.

As we started the walk, Chris turned to me and announced he was no good at pictures.  That he always felt cramped, tight and forced when posing.  As he shared his concerns I watched his face, the concern he had for Brittany getting the pictures she wanted was so sweet.  I told him I totally understood and most everyone feels a little awkward "How do I walk normally?" in front of the camera.

As you can tell he was at ease but that I think has a lot to do with getting to hold beautiful Brittany!

I'm so overjoyed to shoot your wedding in VA this fall!

Live. Love. Loud.