Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bare Naked Truth

I've been reading this book by Timothy Keller.  And it had a quote in the second chapter that hit home to me in many different ways.  The quote is from CS Lewis:

Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art no man who bothers about originality will ever be original; whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before), you will, nine times out of ten, become original without having noticed it.  The principle runs through life from top to bottom  

This hit home with me.  Often I sit in front of a blank screen to write these posts.  I started writing because it helped me in my process of growth to confess where I was, what I was dealing with and allowed me to rave about all my amazing clients.  But something happened I started caring... Which in a lot of ways can be great.  

When you care for people great things can happen, lives can change.  But when you are altering your behavior because of your fear of how you will be perceived... not as much.  I want to be charming, witty and come across like I have things put together.  I want to be real... but just enough that you identify but not enough that you doubt me and won't hire me...

How can you have partial honesty?  I have never gotten this.  I am an extremist, as anyone who knows me well tell you clearly, I struggle with finding middle ground.  I don't eat a serving of ice cream (but really who does? If you do please teach me your ways!!) instead I struggle with a desire to eat the entire container.  

But it is a bit terrifying to put yourself out there... fully...  Isn't it unprofessional?  Do my potential clients really want to know my doubts and fears about myself?  Do you all want to read about my struggles?  Instead I found myself more often then not feeling the need to pile on inspiration: we all have enough downers in our lives?  I mean just watch three seconds of the news and it can be enough to take a chip off a perfectly awesome day!

But is that fair to say that I'm honest but be... only half way there?  Do you want to have only my inspirational post?  Do you want to know the down and dirty?  It seems a little untoward... but is it needed?

We all struggle.  The real question is do you like bare honesty... do you desire it?

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Carats and Cake

For those of you in the midst of your planning and looking for inspiration and getting the look you really love to become a reality, I found a site that might be just what you're looking for.  It is a site powered by couples.  You know when you see something on Pinterest and then you can't figure out where it came from and you dive into the depths of the internet and to no avail do you find where you can reduplicate it or order another...

Well, Carats and Cake is a site where newly married couple upload pictures of their wedding along with a list of vendors so that if you like what you see you can get connected directly to a local vendor.  How is this different then any other wedding blog?  Well, first it is powered only through real weddings.  It is also able to be filtered in many different ways.  First you can filter it based on your location, making it more specific to your area and helping you not fall in love with a venue that is three states away.  Another super unique and fun filter is it allows you to see only the results of your friends or friends of friends.  It allows you to get all the nitty gritty on that wedding you attended not that long ago that had that to die for cake!

I think it is a really neat take on not just your standard wedding inspiration site but take a look and see if you agree!

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Adventures in Spending money

I'm not a relaxed person.  Don't get me wrong.  I can chill out.  I can unplug but I'm not the "chill" type.  I pretty much always have something brewing inside.  I have been shooting weddings as a business going on four years and I still get nervous before every shoot.  I double and triple check my equipment.  I study my timelines and emails for any and all information.  I don't walk into any client meeting without at least one pep talk.  That's me.

(photo of an amazing book of pictures of Iceland: Looking for inspiration!)

I share that to say I don't make brash decisions.  I think thing through.  Don't get me wrong I can make a quick decision in a situation that calls for it but I'm not the chick that walks in to look at furniture and then ends up buying something.

A dear friend of mine was telling me about her up coming trip/adventure.  She was going to Iceland, a place she has dreamed of going to for a long time yet is just now getting the chance to go and see.  She was showing me pictures of the places she had on her check list.  The equipment they would need since they are going in winter (I mean if you're not hard core...). When she stopped and said, "Why do you keep offering your stuff up: You're coming with me right?"

I laughed and said, "Oh yes of course I am?"  Yet somehow two days later I had bought tickets on her same flight.  The past 7 years of our marriage my husband has asked me to buy all the number of trips I looked up and considered yet I never have.  Excuses about timing, family or anything I could think of but basically it would come down to the money.  I don't like spending money.  It makes me nervous.  Too many years of living without previously just hits this "MUST SAVE ALL THE MONEY" button and it's hard to let that go.

But I did.  At least this one time.  I clicked the "buy now" and we are set and excited.  Come February we are taking our winter trek to Iceland.  So any of you adventures who have advice lay it on me!

Also if you know of someone getting married in early February in Iceland let a girl know :D

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tribute to Work

My mind wanders from topic to topic.  It is like a sea roaring for adventure after just one too many days of calm.  With every passing moment I feel pulled in a different direction ready for action but unsure of what that means.  It is that moment of calm anticipation of what comes next.  My mind races through the possibilities, what might be in front of me but to be honest the options are limitless. 

That feeling of uncertainty of what comes next is one of the reasons I fell in love with Wedding photography.  On a wedding day anything could happen at any time and rolling with it and enjoying each moment is the best part!  .  You can't just show up and phone it in.  You have to be on your toes ready.  

I can't tell you how many times the timeline for photos has shrunk by more than half and yet the list of photos seems to keep growing with new requests.  The moment when the bride forgets her____ you name it and everything gets pushed.  The endless supply of family drama that can creep up...  Think of it like an obstacle course. You don't need to get bogged down in all that stands in front of you but keep your focus on the end goal: you'll be married!  Or in my case: I don't need to see all the issues but instead the solutions.  It is like an ever changing equation... and yes I'm a math geek!

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Birthday Photos #mylittlemoongirl

It has been a year.  A year of crying, diapers, toys strewn about... It has been a year?  It is one of those things that I just don't get it.  Part of me feels like it has been a lifetime since  I didn't have a kid but all at the same time it seems to have passed quickly... How is that?  It doesn't really make sense... It doesn't but it is how it feels.

Luna enjoying the batter (yes, there were no eggs! :D)

So much of my life has changed.  The self sacrifice is more then I could have fully comprehended but even more so is the desire to do whatever it takes to be there for her is even more baffling to try and describe to those who don't feel it.  It is a love so deep that... I don't know.  I love my husband.  No doubts, no questions, no issues.  I am more and more grateful each day to have linked our lives together and I would give my life for him no questions asked but with Luna... I don't know.  It's more.  That's all I  can say to describe it...

I cannot help but thank God for allowing us the joy of Luna... So today I share the love with a few shots from her birthday.

We didn't have a party, I know I'm a terrible mom... read me the riot act but for now I figured a day spent doing her favorite things would be just as good!

Eggs, pool time, her first sweet treat and extra time outside made for a day centered on Luna's interests!

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Video Game Wedding and Second Shooting

I sat in my car letting the music on the radio fade away as I took yet another deep breath.  My eyes slid shut as I visualized the day.  I shook away the tremble in my right hand as I went to turn off the ignition.  In just a few minutes I would make my way out of this parking garage and second shoot my first wedding...

So much of the start of my business worked backwards.  I never really shot weddings as a second shooter...  It wasn't my intention to skip this amazing learning step but it just happened.  I was young and in college and friends desperate to have a photographer for their wedding but had no budget  turned to me, their friend who had taken some portraits and what I called "nature photography" but was basically what looked like most every Instagram feed you can find these days (sunrises, a shot of feet in sand... you get the idea)...  my business bloomed from the blind and amazing trust of some desperate friends.

Last year I shot as a second shooter for the first time.  It was such a neat experience and nerve wrecking experience.  I was so nervous to start the day.  I was afraid that I would fail my lead photographer Neito Photography.  Our styles were so different I wasn't sure if my work would even help him but I wanted to learn and he was willing.  

As is always true with me: My body was a pile of open nerves as I made my way to the hotel room to start the day with detail shots but the moment I pulled my camera to my face peace washed over me: I was home.  The day progressed with ease.  It was a nice change up to see how Chris served his couple completely and how his laid back nature worked with his style of photography.   It was fun to see him work with his couple in the beautiful downtown of Raleigh, taking advantage of some of the unique architecture that is displayed there.  

This couple had taken years to gather all the decor for their video game-zombie-Halloween wedding.  It was like a pinterest board had come to life!

Each place you looked there was something else.  The bride's attention to detail was amazing!

I was swooning over the amazing details she found at many cute etsy shops!

And how could this video game loving couples' photobooth be complete without the amazing details of Link's sword, shield and bomb?

Why yes their cake topper was the couple fighting off the onslaught of a zombie army!

It was a amazing to get to see the years of hard work and planning come to a reality in this amazing fantasy wedding but it was even more of a  joy to get to watch this beautiful couple start their life together!

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Insanity in Motherhood

I sit on my couch with my laptop across my legs as I lookout into my living room.  The house looks pretty good considering the tornado that is Luna lives here.  There are a few items across my formal settee (yes, I did have an adult home at one point), there is a laundry basket that has for the day at least made it's home near my daughters basket of toys.  I ignore it all to talk with you!  Why?  Besides the pure bliss of not cleaning up?  To tell you the tale of the things they don't tell you.

My amazing sister came to spend some time with me earlier and it got me thinking about all the things that people leave out when they tell you about having kids.  They don't forget about the sleep, or the stuff, or the bodily fluids but they do forget some key factors.

My brain is shot.  I remember when I didn't have to have lists or lists for my lists.  I remember when I could focus without effort or what seems like determination that only God can delve out.

Maybe I'm alone in this feeling but if I don't take a day to plan out my days then nothing happens.  I can't just remember to do things... EVER?!?  Why?  I don't know I feel like as a part of the Luna coming out took my brain.  I could still think and function when pregnant but after... now?  I mean I sit there in front of the fridge with the door open contemplating why I'm standing there only to realize a few minutes later that I was going in to grab water.

I feel like a crazy person. I want to be able to remember what it is I need at the store (when it is less than 5 items) without having a list!  I feel like that isn't a huge wish... I feel like that should be doable.  I want to be able to not loose my train of thought...

What was I saying?

But for reals it is almost that bad at times.

So here is to a world that one day we get our brains back!  And here is to the wonder of our kids that we love enough to deal with going partially insane :D

Live. Love. Loud.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Stylish Dresser

I miss living with girls, my sister specifically.  I get lost without opinions at times.  Not on big things but more the day to day.  Should I get these shoes?  How does this look?  I get lost in it all.  There are so many options that I feel like Alice falling down the hole and opinions make it solid.

When you're planning your wedding day all the more do you want each detail to be perfect.  You crave to look great and have a wonderful time and... it is your day: YOU WANT ALL THE THINGS and why wouldn't you?

I found this neat fashion blog that specializes on wedding style.  How to find your perfect wedding day look, or the best bridal party looks based on location.  And on top of all that just waiting to be looked over they also offer stylist services if you wanted to take the step further!

But don't take my word on it look over at what Julie Sabatino has to offer over at the Stylish Dresser.

Live. Love. Loud.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Independence Day

I have to smile every time I think of Fourth of July (or being truly historical: the 2nd :D).

The childhood memories of laying on a blanket facing the endless stars as my chest bounded with each rainbow explosion overhead.   I mean really as  child there isn't much more magical then the grand finale; burst after burst seemingly endless color for that small moment you wonder if it will never stop.

The invitations to cookouts where you now you will eat your weight in watermelon and enjoy at least one amazing grilled meat.

The focus time with friends and family as you sweat in the heat of the summer so that the next generation of kids can have memories of fireworks

The celebration of our country... the crazy story of how it came to be and what that all means for us...

So to you all:

Happy Day That Allows Us to Have Our Life Today Day!

While you're out celebrating remember to eat a bit of watermelon for me :D

Live. Love. Loud.