Dorey Park Family Session

I’m so happy to share this post because I’ve known Caitlyn since high school. And when she said she wanted a session for her and her kids, I had to say yes! Cydney and Dalton are precious and probably the most outgoing and loveable kids ever, and Caitlyn’s older step-daughters are sweet and gorgeous! Dorey Park was so pretty the morning of the shoot and it doesn’t look like it was that cold, but believe me, it was freezing! Everyone was good sports about it, and we made it through with some awesome shots!

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APPLE BLOSSOM FAMILY SESSION

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Apple Blossom Family Session

This post has been a long time coming! But as promised, here are my favorites from the Kendrick family session (which is pretty much all of them!) When Allie told me she wanted some pictures of her family, how could I turn her down? They’re so sweet and I think we can all agree that the baby with the big blue eyes stole our hearts, right? I’d never been to APPLE BLOSSOM PLANTATION before, but I wasn’t disappointed. And that sun! And that glow! Ahhhh! So, so, excited about how these photos turned out!

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MARTINEZ FAMILY SESSION

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Martinez Family Session | York River State Park

Hey y’all! I feel like life’s been crazy lately. Well, actually it HAS been crazy! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged a session, but I promise you this one is worth it. Sometime over the summer, Alyssa contacted me about a session to celebrate her little girl turning TWO years old! Of course, I’d seen pictures of Mila on Facebook, but it was so sweet to get to meet her, and see her mom again. It’s been about ten years since high school! How crazy is that?

So after some frantic texts (on my end, because I can be a control freak who doesn’t like plans to drastically change) about a new venue for the photos, we found York River State Park, where I’d never been, but was so excited to see! I met Alyssa’s husband Luis for the first time, met little Mila as well, and then the rest is what you’re about to see. Enjoy! Sidenote: I am obsessed with all of the pictures with Mila and the flowers. I could write a book called “Mila and the Flowers”!

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Megan + Scott’s Maymont Maternity Shoot

Happy Tuesday everyone (And first day of August! Wow! Are we here already?) You may have seen a post on my old blog in May where my coworkers and I held a GENDER REVEAL for Meg + Scott on their back porch. It was an impromptu little party, with balloons and poppers and cute baby decorations. And spoiler alert if you haven’t read the post; it’s a girl!

As you probably guessed, Meg and I work together and since meeting her we’ve become fast friends. She’s unfailingly kind and sweet, so easy to talk to and get along with, and I explicitly remember talking about babies with her when our friend and coworker, Allie, was pregnant with her second son. Meg would say she had baby fever and wanted to start a family soon. And then I remember when she told me she was pregnant. I thought I was going to cry! Actually, I did tear up a bit–I was so incredibly happy for her! And when we started talking about babies more and more, the subject of a maternity shoot came up and then it became real, and we picked a time and place and I’m so so so excited I finally get to share these pictures with you. It’s been so hard picking my favorites because I honestly love them all and wanted to post all of them! As CAROLINE KALENTZOS of POSH PR says, “Boss Lady Decision Fatigue” is real and it is strong.

Despite the July heat (and when I say heat, I mean heat + humidity! It was so humid during the shoot, and it even rained on us at the end, but THANKFULLY it waited until we were just about wrapping up), we got through shooting pretty painlessly. And it felt so good to shoot at Maymont again–it’s been a while since I’ve been there just because when I was first starting out as a photographer, that was my go-to place, and I’ve been trying not to use it as a “crutch” so to speak. But when Meg and I were discussing places, with her and her husband having only lived in Richmond for about a year, I knew I had to take them to Maymont and I’m so glad I did!

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Can we all just “awww” at the way he looks at her?

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But seriously, the one below on the right is my absolute favorite!

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And we had to close out the shoot with a picture with Meg’s niece and nephew!

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Being the “Fixer” Friend

As a person, I like to think I have a big heart. While I don’t always cry at movies or at sad or sappy articles like some people do, when it comes to my friends and family, I always want to help. So when a friend has a problem, I always strive to be there for them. I’m always willing to lend a hand or some advice. (I don’t think I’m the greatest at advice, BUT I am a great listener, and sometimes that’s all you need.)

But when there’s a problem that isn’t fixable for whatever reason–because it’s bigger than me, or because it’s not the right timing–I feel so helpless. Like when my friend has work troubles or personal troubles and they’re sobbing on the other end of the phone, and I can’t do anything other than say, “It’ll get better,” I feel so helpless. I know it’s not my responsibility to fix everything. I can’t fix everything and I know that. And I also know they’re not expecting me to fix everything–they just need an outlet, somewhere to rant, or a shoulder to cry on. But sometimes it just hurts my heart that I can’t do more to help.

I call this being the “fixer” friend. The desire to help or fix or resolve any issues loved ones’ lives. And it’s definitely me.

As I talked to a friend this past week about some issues she’s been having, I sat there wishing I could snap my fingers and everything would be okay. Every worry that she had or obstacle she was facing would instantly be gone and there would be this huge bright light at the end of the tunnel. But life doesn’t work like that–and it’s not designed to work like that. Sometimes you really need to give it all to God and let Him work it out. It’s hard. It’s incredibly hard to just lay everything in front of Him. And as the “fixer” friend it’s hard to sit back and watch the people you love go through something that you can’t touch even in the slightest. But sometimes, that’s what you have to do.

So for all of my “fixer” friends out there. It is OKAY. It is okay if you don’t have all the right words to say. It is okay that you can’t fix the problem for them. You can’t put a band-aid on it and pray that it will heal up the scar. You CAN, however, be there to lend an ear, or a hand, or a shoulder, to take them out for queso and margaritas and a movie. To take their mind off of it for a little while so they can get a little peace. No–it doesn’t fix everything, but it will ease their minds for a little while and hopefully let them think more clearly about any decisions they need to make. Sometimes they’ll want to talk about it, and sometimes they won’t. Whatever they choose, don’t press the conversation, let them lead.

This got a little deeper and rambling-er than I meant for it to get, so I hope I didn’t lose anyone! But I just want to tell everyone out there kind of on the same page as me that you’re not alone, you’re not the only one who feels like this, and that you simply BEING there for friends means more to them than anything else. So the next time you find yourself in this type of situation–don’t let it wear you down. It’s hard to let those feelings go. Trust me, I know. You might feel like a bad friend, or a failure, or helpless. But don’t let it. Just be there. And be all there. Listen. Advise. And let God do the rest.

Hatteras Island, NC

 

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Hey y’all! This is exciting, right?! An actual blog for my actual photography. Why am I saying actual so much? I have no idea. Probably just because I’m really excited. This year has been absolutely amazing! I shot my first wedding since 2013, bought a new lens for my camera, attended my first styled shoot (EEP! I can’t wait to share all of the pictures with you!), and TA-DA established this big girl blog. My old blog was more for personal use, this one is purely for my business, with a few little side posts thrown in every now and then.

Such as this one. As I write this to you, I’m still reeling over the past week. Last Friday, I packed up (probably a month’s worth of clothes) and hauled it all to my bestfriend (yes, one word) Gentry’s house. You’ll hear me talk about her a lot. She’s basically my sister and we’re joined at the hip. It’s cool. And on Saturday morning, at 4:30 am we headed to the beach! I’d only been to Hatteras Island once before and it’s been about ten years, so this was awesome. We crammed six people and three dogs into a cute little house, drove out onto the beach every day. I got a major sunburn, but now it’s soaking in and my normally-porcelain complexion is a wee bit tanner. My mom even says I look so different now that I have a bit of color to my face. I just hope it stays around for a while!

While I was down there, of course, I took my camera, but I really tried not to have it out all the time. I really wanted to just have a laid back week. But I got some good shots, took some pictures on my phone, and while I was relaxing, even read three books. Three! Okay, to be fair–I finished one I’d been reading while I was at home, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I’m rereading the series for the third time. But after I’d finished it, I read Lauren Graham’s book Talking As Fast As I Can. It’s a really cute memoir of her acting career, especially reflecting back on her show Gilmore Girls, if you’re really into it as much as I am (hint: It’s my favorite show). And then, I moved onto Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. All I have to say is AMAZING. And I will be watching the movie as soon as it comes out. And then on our last night, we went to Quarterdeck for dinner and as we pulled into the parking lot, I saw one of my co-workers there with her family. We both knew we were on the island the same week, but for us to actually run into each other accidentally–small world!

So… if you’re still here after all of my rambling, please enjoy these pictures from the week, the first few are with my camera — the ones I like to call professional — and then the last few are iPhone pictures.

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Look at my beautiful sister from another mister!

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We were laughing because of the mini-shoot on our deck. Someone mentioned the “engagement ring” shot and then… well, this happened.

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We never pass up the opportunity to take a selfie!

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And sweet Miss Stella loved her vacation. No matter how tired she got, she still wanted to play ball in the waves.

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We headed to the point to check out this new Shelly Island that’s getting so much attention. We wanted to wade across but after hearing about the sharks and the strong current, we figured “mmm betta not”.

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And pardon the Honda, but I fell in love with these rainbow houses. I’ll move into that teal one, if you don’t mind.

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