Gallmeyer Pumpkin Patch | Mini-Sessions

Hey friends! Last weekend my aunt asked me to do some mini sessions with some of her clients and I have to say for a very muddy day, these turned out pretty good. It was a beautiful day (I’m talking, perfect weather — not too hot, with a nice breeze) and the blue sky and the pumpkins! I loved it. We planned out 30-minute sessions, but I don’t think any of the families actually used up their whole time. I think by the end of the day I was only with each one for ten to fifteen minutes before they said “thank you” and moved on to search for the biggest pumpkin in the patch. But in that time frame, I managed to get some cute pictures and without further ado…


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Girls’ Weekend | Charleston, South Carolina

Hey friends! Long time, no talk. Spring break is coming to a close and I’m super bummed. But I wanted to share some fun pictures from this past weekend’s trip to Charleston with my best gal pals to celebrate my 27th (oh Lord, I’m old) birthday! It was a great few days. We actually rented an AIR BNB which turned out to be the best decision ever. I highly recommend it. We got a full three bedroom house for the same, if not lesser price than a hotel, of which we very quickly made ourselves at home. We were close to downtown, close to the beach, and most importantly, comfortable! It was so much fun being able to share Charleston with my girls, and they even humored me a bit and played models while we explored downtown and visited the Angel Tree.

I’d also like to say that my friends are hilarious–I kept a log of some of my favorite funny quotes from the trip. So, I figured I’d share them with you!

“I just need a man who looks like he could dig a ditch with his bare hands.”

“He always says ‘This is the remix to ignition.’ But was there ever an original ignition?”

“The apostles were like ‘Jesus, we’re out of wine. We only have water.’ And Jesus was all, “I got you, fam’.”

“Narwhals are real? I thought they were mythical like unicorns!”

If you haven’t visited Charleston, you need to go! Pack your bags right now and hit the road, it’s only 6 hours from Richmond. You spend more time sitting in traffic in your commute to work in a month. Until you get there, here are some pictures to drool over the beauty of Charleston and of course my beautiful friends!


Goal Digging 2018

So at the beginning of the year I posted about my NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS. It’s been a little over a month and I just wanted to check in with how I’m doing. My power word for the year is FLOURISH. And in the last month I feel like I have flourished a little bit. I’ve been learning from my KJ All Access subscription. Which is amazing and if you’re an aspiring photographer, or even an established photographer, you should look into it because it never hurts to pick up on tips and tricks and keep learning as you grow.

My first wedding of 2018 is done and blogged and just about ready to be sent off to the bride and groom. I’ve gotten a few inquiries for more weddings and booked some family sessions for the coming year and I CANNOT WAIT for those!

My blogging and business goals could use a little work. But that’s what these check-ins are for.

But I did want to tell y’all about one more goal I added to my list for the year. My reading goal. I didn’t decide on this until after my original New Year’s post. I was finishing up a book I’d been reading before Christmas… okay, it was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and yes, it was my third time reading it. But when I’d finished, I was completely overwhelmed by how much I loved reading. Anyone who knows me knows I had my nose stuck in books when I was younger. I loved to read, especially during the summers when I had absolutely nothing else to do. And then I realized I didn’t read much anymore except for summers when I went on vacation.

So I made a plan for myself… thirty books this year. That averages about two books a month except for the summer months of June, July, and August where I add two more books because I’ll have more free time to do so. Maybe I’m overreaching, maybe I’ll go above and beyond my goal. Either way, I want to try and just read more. And so far I’ve read three books and am on track.

So anyway, I just wanted to give a small insight into how I’m doing on my goals. And also just a little recommendation–if you’re a woman trying to break out into business, or if you have an established business, or even if you don’t have any interest in having a business, you should read Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba (pictured above). It’s a short and easy read. I finished it in two days and highlighted a lot of important words of wisdom and advice. It doesn’t just help in your business life, but in your personal life as well and features some pretty inspiring women. I’m willing to lend my copy if anyone is interested!


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Alicia + Josh’s Winter Wedding

When the idea to shoot Alicia and Josh’s wedding first came about last year, I was ecstatic because number one, I’ve known Alicia’s family my whole life and number two, they know how to party. And I was completely right! The whole day was so much fun. Gen and I are still talking about it. From the second we got there to the second we left, we had a blast! So now, after so much agony over which pictures to share, I’m so excited to FINALLY share their wedding on the blog!


Catering: BROCK’S BBQ

Blocking Out Negativity

I wanted to speak on this a little bit because it’s so important to address this at least once (or fifty) times when you have a blog–especially in this creative line of business. And this doesn’t just apply to the creatives, but to everyone. Because everyone, at one point or another, is subjected to negativity–whether it’s from others around them, themselves, and even friends or family. Negativity happens. We’re humans, so every once in a while someone is going to voice a negative opinion, or not like something you’ve produced.

That’s okay. Well, really, it’s not okay. In a perfect world, that wouldn’t happen. But unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. There will always be critics. There will always be someone playing “devil’s advocate.” And there will always be unhappy people just wanting to bring the happy people down. It’s not fun. It hurts. It stings. And it makes you just feel downright crappy.

But don’t let it get to you. I know, I know, you’re rolling your eyes and mumbling about how it’s “easier said than done,” but I promise you, all you need to do to block it out is your own positivity. I haven’t always had thick skin. In fact, it’s only recently that I’ve begun brushing off the negative comments. Because I came to a point in my life where I realized those comments don’t matter. They just don’t.

I don’t want to get preachy and I don’t want to try to sound all inspirational. I just want to be real with you and tell you what’s worked for me–in my business, in my personal life, and just in general. Here are just a few things to consider and think about the next time you’re exposed to a little negativity:

The first thing I always consider–Do you know this person? If this is some stranger posting on social media, forget about them. Did they post a rude comment on your Instagram? Delete the comment, block them if you need to, but just move on. Is this person an acquaintance? This is probably the hardest one because you may see this person on a semi-regular basis, or run with the same crowd, and you don’t want to make waves, but still, don’t want to be subjected to continuous negativity. How you respond just depends on your personality. I’m the kind of person who tends to grin and bear it. I hold my tongue, but in my mind, I know that I’m worth more than their comments and know that I’m proud of what I do no matter their opinion.

Continuing on with the first thing to consider, is this person close friends or family? If you tend to be on the quieter side, this one might be scary. This hurts–this hurts when negativity comes from those you care most about. Family and friends should lift you up and support you. But there are a few things to consider too when confronting negativity from the ones you really care about. First–you have to decipher if this is negativity or constructive criticism. And when you have a creative business that you’re so proud of, sometimes you have tunnel vision and it’s hard to hear others’ opinions. But hear them out. They’re saying this because they love you and want you to succeed. If you really don’t like their criticism, then you can politely let them know. But don’t automatically assume it’s negativity. Now–if you’ve taken the time to think about it and you find that it really is negativity, then this is a great opportunity for you to speak up. It’s hard. It’s so hard to press back against them, especially if it’s someone you really love. But here’s the thing–you standing up for yourself and just saying a simple, “This is who I am and this is what I love. You may not like it or understand it, but if you love me and support me, then you will have to respect this aspect of my life as well,” will not only make you feel better and stronger but also cause whoever you’re talking to think.

I know, I know, easier said than done. But friends, I promise you, you can do it.

Another thing I consider when exposed to negativity is just thinking about where it’s coming from. Because almost always, negativity comes from a place of hurting. You know the phrase, “misery loves company”? Well, it’s true. Hurt people hurt people. It could be coming from a place of jealousy, or neglect, or just pure unhappiness. But wherever it stems from, you need to know it is not your fault.

And finally, the most important thing I consider on a daily basis–how am I talking to myself? The way you speak to yourself matters so much more than the way others speak to you. Because you can brush off others’ negativity. And you can stand up for yourself. But the way you think about yourself and speak to the person in the mirror, that’s the voice that’s going to make or break you. So think positive things. Speak words of affirmation to yourself. This goes for anyone, whether you’re a business owner, or a stay at home mom, or a student, or a normal person with a 9 to 5. The way you see yourself matters. And it affects how others see you as well. If you wear that confidence. If you let yourself be happy, that will radiate to those around you and stop the negativity before it even happens. So the next time you think you “screwed up”, don’t think about how bad the situation got, focus on how you made it better, how you fixed it or can fix it. The next time you look at your beautiful face in the mirror and point out that one big flaw about yourself you can’t stand, ignore it and focus on the things you love about yourself.

Life is too short to be unhappy. Life is too amazing to let others get you down. I really hope I could give you just a little perspective on keeping things positive. And I hope you speak to yourself a little nicer and let those negative comments just roll off your back. Because you are worth so much more than that.

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New Year, New Goals

Happy new year! I can’t believe 2018 is already here! This past year went by like–snap–that. And it was a pretty good year for me. I started by photography back up again and really started to get serious about it as a business. I booked some awesome sessions this past year and for the coming up year I have some things booked–with my first wedding of 2018 coming up in just two weeks! I’m beyond excited, and beyond ready. I’ve been itching to take pictures since I finished editing my last session for 2017.

So with the new year obviously comes resolutions. And if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably already seen my POWER WORD for the year is “flourish”, and so all of my goals for 2018 revolve around growing and flourishing in my business, as a photographer, and as a person. I have a long list of ways I want to flourish this year so I won’t list everything out, but I did want to share my BIG goals.

For my business, obviously I want to grow and book more sessions, but the only way to do that is to enhance my presence on social media. I want to be present more on Instagram, Facebook, and most importantly this blog. When it comes to blogging, my posts are few and far between but that is changing this year. I will post more frequently, even if it is more personal posts than photography at first.

As a photographer, my biggest goal is to just learn–from my own experiences, from other photographers, from webinars (and I’ve been signing up for every free webinar I come across!), etc. I want to grow and develop my style, as well as my equipment.

And finally, as a person, I want to grow as a Christian. 2017 was about my relationships. I got back in touch with friends I haven’t seen in forever, cultivated my close friendships, and even went on a few dates (but that’s another story for another time). But 2018 is about my relationship with God. I’ve neglected church, neglected praying, neglected reading my bible, and that all changes this year. I even purchased THE STORY OF REDEMPTION BUNDLE from The Daily Grace Co to help me dive back into it. And I’ve already made a list of the other bible study books I want once I finish this one.

So here I go into 2018 with big goals, big dreams, and a newfound motivation to GET STUFF DONE. Farewell, 2017. You were good to me, but 2018–as my coworker told me yesterday–will be “twenty great-teen.”

Kara & Sahied | Willey’s Christmas Trees Sweetheart Session

I’m so excited to share Kara and Sahied’s sweetheart session today! When we were talking about doing a session for them, I mentioned a Christmas Tree farm and Kara completely ran with it! I’d never shot at one before and Willey’s was probably the best place ever. We found a cool spot in the back, out of everyone’s way, and the employees were so sweet to us and completely let us have free reign! We did head out after we got all of our pictures in and took a few at Short Pump Town Center, but the photos at the tree farm are my absolute favorite. Kara even brought stockings with a “K” and an “S” on them to hang on the tree for decoration. The whole session was pretty magical, and now I’m itching to do another one!


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