Friday, April 26, 2013


After four full days of work, which means constant moving and carrying large items, I'm so excited to have today off just to relax! I love working and making money but unfortunately, I get exhausted physically and emotionally so easily. I had to travel over an hour to work each day this week which isn't bad at all but the traffic on the interstate I had to take was miserable due to roadwork every single day. I got up a little late on Wednesday, rushed out the door, and when I got to the entrance ramp to the interstate, it was closed off. Then I went to the other ramp in town that led to 64 and it was closed off too. Haha. I'm terrible with directions so basically, I didn't know how to get to work. I honestly don't even remember how I got there but I eventually did. After all the traffic shenanigans and being stuck in some type of traffic every day, I was ready for today. :) So this is my day to sit in the yard, drink coffee, and be lazy. I'm so excited.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The best part about getting to style and photo assist is that I get to work at a different location almost every time I'm scheduled. We were in Gordonsville this week and the drive there was breathtaking, as usual. I've taken that road to work in the fall and winter but seeing it this spring tops everything. Once you get onto Route 231, it's a long, curvy road full of green trees, wildflowers, farms, and vineyards. Every driveway has an elegant gate asking for a pass code and the homes' front yards contain horses, bright green rolling hills, and fences that go on for miles. It's obviously a wealthy area which makes for a fun drive. I tend to turn up the volume of my music, ride with the windows down, and survey every home I pass. At 7:30 a.m., there's nothing quite like the warm, morning light streaming through the trees, casting long shadows on the road and dewy grass. It's a trip a always look forward to making.

Monday, April 22, 2013


This week is going to be insanely busy. I have work from 8-5 every day and I have to travel over an hour to work so I'll be getting up quite early. I know I'll be tired by the time the weekend comes but I am so excited to be getting out of the house to do some style assisting! It's so fun to learn from a stylist because most of wedding photography is styling!! 

Today I was thinking about the three weddings I am so blessed to be shooting this summer and I got so excited about the details and the styling I'll get to do. I am already thinking about what I can do with the dress, shoes, jewelry, etc. I don't know why, but shoes, especially, are something I get so excited about! In another life, I'm going to be a shoe designer or at least own a shoe store. Haha! 

I bought a new pair of heels a couple days ago at T.J. Maxx and as I kicked them off in my room after trying them on for the third time, I just had to do some simple styling and take a photo. I mean, who doesn't love shoes?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Living In the Now

This week at Small Group, we talked briefly about living in the now. I mentioned how I tend to look forward to the future and how my mind is constantly dreaming up a life of happiness. I don't necessarily plan my future but I definitely have a picture in my head. Not good. Haha. That's just asking for disappointment.

Bethany reminded me that God wants us to fully embrace NOW, the season that we are in. Life changes so fast that we shouldn't be doing anything but living in the moment and appreciating what we have. That time that I look forward to in the future will come. But four years ago, I was looking forward to today so why am I still waiting on something when it's right in front of me? That conversation just hit me hard and I'm so very thankful I have such beautiful friends with beautiful hearts who help me understand a little more about life, God, and myself each day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


According to Urban Dictionary, a selfie is: A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person's arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Facebook to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.

HAHAHAHA. That made me laugh so hard. Selfies are clearly looked down upon. I think they're looked down upon because it's not rare for someone to post five pictures of themselves every day on Instagram or Facebook. It gets annoying, especially if the photo is taken in the same spot every day, with horrible lighting, which brings me to the reason for this post. I take a lot of self portraits but most of them aren't taken with my iPhone and I have reasons for doing them. It's possible to take self portraits that aren't looked down upon. You just have to do a little work.

I take self portraits because I'm a photographer, because they help me learn body angles and poses, because I can teach myself about light, because I do outfit posts on my blog, and yes, because it's fun! So today I have some tips!

1. Figure out which remote works with your camera and get one! I have the RC-6 that works with my Mark II and it's so nice because I set my camera to the remote setting, I tell it where to focus, I hit the button on the remote, and voila! Also, don't forget to hide the remote when shooting. You've probably noticed that I'm terrible at this.
2. Buy a tripod. You can't really do self portraits without one. Get a nice, sturdy one that will hold your camera and lens safely if you are taking horizontals.
3. Pick a good time of day! Just like photographing your clients, unless you're going for something different, an hour or two before sunset is perfect!
4. Play around with light! Shoot with your body facing the light, shoot backlit! You never know what might turn out!
5. Take horizontals and verticals, faraway and close up! Variety is good. 
6. Change lenses. I tend to be bad at this but different lenses will give you different looks.
7. Don't shoot too wide! If I shoot at f/2 or even f/2.5 when my camera is doing the focusing, it's never going to be in focus. Unfortunately, shooing at f/3.2 is probably best for self portraits, unless you're some focusing genius.
8. Move around!! I usually do portraits in my yard but I never want them to look exactly the same so I move around a lot.
9. Wear a cute outfit! You'll feel much prettier and you'll have more fun if you're wearing something you're excited about.
10. Put on makeup! Makeup enhances your beauty and will cover zits and help your eyes and lips pop.
11. Do weird poses that you'd never have a client do. My favorite self portraits are the ones where I do the strangest things! Haha.

And now...... Get ready for the evolution of Meredith. Hahaha.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Pursuit

I'm very much the type of person to be thankful for each and every day. Life isn't easy and because I really never know what to expect each morning when I wake up, when there are good days, to me they're more like incredible days. I think that's God's way of showing me that I need to be grateful for the simplest things and that I have to stay humble. 

The winter was slow for my business, as it is for many photographers but I think it was harder for me because I dropped everything to pursue photography and it didn't seem like much was happening. I prayed and stayed patient and trusted in God with my whole heart, knowing whatever his plan was, it was a good one. Since spring has come around, I see an exciting journey ahead of me! I don't really know fully what it is but I am so blessed to be doing something I love and hanging out with wonderful photographers all the time. I'm constantly learning and when it comes to photography, I actually want to learn, which is a new concept for me. Hahaha! Photography is something I get excited about each morning!! What more could I ask for?! 

A lot of my friends are in college and some of them know what they want to pursue and some don't. I know how frustrating and scary that is because I was there. Before I got my very first DSLR, I literally had NO idea what I would end up doing and not having a plan was my worst nightmare. Although I think I know what I'm pursuing and I want to think it's photography, I really don't know where I'll end up in five years and that's the amazing part about trusting in the Lord. Each day I wake up, I know there will be trials but I know that they won't last forever. God has my best interest in mind and that's the most freeing thing in the entire world.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Like: Modelland + Chipotle

1. Starbucks - Could it be more obvious? If you follow my blog or my Instagram or my Twitter or you know me in any way, I seriously have an addiction. It's not just that I love Starbucks, which I do, but I literally have a caffeine addiction at all times. Haha. I'm working on it.
2. Double chocolatey chip frappuccino - What a name. This goes with what I just wrote about Starbucks but I need to make a separate bullet to express how this is what's helping me with my addiction. HAHAHA. This frappe has no coffee. Plus one for my addiction. Minus one for my health and bank account.
3. Journal - Journals are really special for me. I'm the type of person who desperately has to write out my feelings all the time. It just makes me feel better and I'm thankful for journals that I can carry around and hash out my feelings in.
4. Dark chocolate covered almonds - Yes, dark chocolate. They're pretty darn good.
5. Pomegranate blackberry tea - This stuff is so delicious. It's been one of my favorite drinks for many, many years but just recently have I been buying it by the dozen. Not really, but kind of. Haha. Martin's is the only place near us that sells it so I tend to make a trip there every week. :)
6. Flowers - Man, spring is here and my heart is bursting. I really don't know why I'm so excited but I'm realizing more and more how I just want to be outside and how winter kept me from doing that. I love to see the flowers bloom and add color to everything that has been brown for so long.
7. MyFitnessPal - This is an application I have had on my iPhone for a long time but could never get in the habit of using. Basically, it tracks your calories and exercise and weight loss if that's what you're using it for. I don't use it as much to track my weight as to just see how many calories I really do take in every day. It's scary but it's so helpful because I understand why I gain weight and what foods are doing it. 
8. Claritin-D - What would I do without my Claritin? The pollen is definitely out and about in the air and it's possible that I would just collapse and die if allergy medicine didn't exist.
9. Modelland by Tyra Banks - Yes, really. I just started this book and so far, I love it! I thought it would be silly and that I wouldn't enjoy it but I really do! But then again, my favorite genre is teen romance... Anywho, Tyra is actually quite a talented writer.
10. Running - This is another app and it's called Running. It's a Nike app and it tracks your runs and how many calories you burned. Can you tell I'm into health? Haha. Actually, I just like to pretend. I'm really not that healthy. Hahaha.
11. Canon 1V - WOOO! I just got this film camera and it's so glorious!!! I'm about to send off my first roll of Fuji to a lab and I cannot wait to see my images! 
12. The Bachelor/Sean Lowe - Oh God, what is happening to me? Oh, that's right. I'm obsessed with reality television. Hahaha. I just started watching the latest season of the Bachelor and I don't understand why there aren't more guys like Sean. WHY, WORLD?! 
13. Chipotle - Mhmmmmm. I went to Chipotle for the first time last summer with my good friend Melo and ever since, I've been in love. That's all. I just really love food.
14. Mountains - I'm so thankful for mountains. I don't love the town I live in but the mountains make it worth it! I need to go on a hike and visit my mountains.
15. Keeping Up With the Kardashians - Here I go again with my reality t.v. I think I'm stooping to some terrible level in life. But actually, after watching all the Kardashian shows, I really respect their family. They seem like cool people. I'd love to meet them one day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Outfit XII

I love maxi dresses. In my opinion, they work really well on anyone. For a while, I had this idea that only tall people could wear them but that was because every maxi dress I picked up was five feet too long for me. Haha. I pretty much ignored them as an option until I was in North Carolina a couple months ago wandering around Marshall's with my mom. I saw this beautiful dress that was made out of really nice stretchy fabric (so comfortable!) and had my favorite colors in it! I grabbed it even though I didn't think it would fit. I went to the dressing room and surprisingly, it was only a couple inches too long! WOOO. With some heels, I knew it would be perfect. :) So I bought that wonderful dress and Monday I had some down time and went out to take some self portraits. :) All images were shot with my 5D Mark II and 85mm 1.2L.

Dress - Marshall's (London Times)
Earrings - Target
Shoes (not shown) - Clarks

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pushed and Challened

I don't know about you but there are certain people, pictures, and things that really push me to be a better photographer. When I hear Jasmine Star talk, for example, I am inspired by her and want to work harder. When I look at Michelle Moore's work, I always get the urge to have a photoshoot (and get better at using a reflector). And oddly enough, when I look at my Instagram feed, full of photos taken by people with twenty thousand or more followers, I am pushed to be a better photographer. When I want to be better, I try to be better and when I try to be better, people notice. That's a good thing.

I read something the other day online where Jose Villa said, "Everything you put out with your name on it should be amazing." Wow. That is totally terrifying but totally true. And ever since I've started following really incredible Instagrammers who think before they take a shot on their iPhone, I've been pushed to do the same. Nooooo, I'm not a professional Instagrammer like some people I follow, but no, I'm not going to post a blurry shot of my friend eating cake in the dark. Hopefully no one has done that. It was just a random example that popped into my mind. Haha.

But it truly is fun as a photographer to limit what I put on Instagram. I like to be challenged, always asking myself before I post something if I think it will get more than fifteen to twenty likes (that's just a good number for me with the amount of followers I currently have; it may be completely different for you). That's been my goal for a while now and when I don't get fifteen likes, I know the photo probably shouldn't have been posted. It's a weird way of learning because it makes me sound a little bit like a snob but everything I put out on the internet should be professional and at least kind of interesting. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, my blog, my website, my comments on other people's blogs, etc. are all seen and associated with me. I know I want what I post to allure photography clients and whether we realize it or not, people are very good at reading us by scrolling through tweets or blog posts. People will have an opinion about us within a couple minutes and online, because it's so easy to make irrational decisions, we need to be careful. 

Despite the easiness of instant posting and the horror that that can bring, I'm very thankful for social media and Instagram, especially. The people out there who took Instagram to a whole new level and created a job out of it are my heroes. You all inspire me because if you can take a photo on your iPhone that's better than many photos taken on a DSLR, I know I have work to do.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Digging Deeper

Hi friends!! Happy Friday! I'm sorry for the lack of photos lately. I've been busy and the cold weather hasn't been incredibly fun to be out in. In fact, this winter has been the hardest winter for me. I usually look forward to my jeans, sweaters, boots, and hats, but I feel like the cold wind, rain, and April sleet knocked me off my feet. Snow is a beautiful thing and I enjoyed every bit of it until we started getting storms in late March and April. Haha. I'm really realizing that I'm not a winter baby. I'm a spring, colorful, warm, ocean baby. :) I'm ready to actually enjoy taking my dog for a walk and being outside without my coat that continually creates static in my hair. It's really a nuisance. Haha.

But anyway, onto the real stuff. I read a post the other day that Sharon wrote, a photographer whom I've never met but have admired for a long while. Sharon was actually the very first photographer that I blog stalked to comment on my blog. That was about three years ago when I was posting photos that shouldn't even be called photos. Haha. But she encouraged me. Her simple comment is something I'll never forget. Since then, I've admired Sharon so much and as strange as this might be considering I don't know her, I've watched her photos gradually get better and better and better. So the other day she posted about the moment when she finally realized that she needed to photograph only what she truly loved, rather than shooting everything because she needed to make money. When she decided to do that, I could tell her work changed, as I'm sure others could too. There was more passion in her pictures and honestly, the quality improved greatly! 

Sure, photography is what I love, but I need to dig deeper. What kind of photography do I love? I've been thinking about it and right in this moment, I get the most excited about portraits. I haven't shot a wedding and more than likely, my favoritism will be equal between portraits and weddings, but right now, portraits have my heart. There are a few photos that I always seem to come back to and never stop loving, which is what tells me I like portraits the most. Today I thought I'd share with you a few of those images.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Online Galleries

For every shoot I've ever done, my means of delivery of the photos has been through a DVD. I never minded burning a DVD and sending off the photos, especially after I bought some cute packaging but then I discovered online galleries. What a relief. What a time saver. What a pretty way to share my photos. What a great way to make print sales. What an easy way for people to share the photos, as they are accessible on any computer. Genius. 

I've been using Shootproof for a few months now because this little thing called PASS wasn't out yet for the public. I like Shootproof. The price per month is affordable and it's easy to use. I had trouble convincing myself to even download a PASS gallery because the price is a little hefty and I wasn't sure what all the fuss was about but then I just did it. I imported the photos and I felt like I had joined the club. My very own photos were viewable in a beautiful format and I am officially recommending it to you all! As someone else said, "It's like Pinterest on crack." Haha. Pretty much. 

So today, I share my very first PASS gallery with you!! You get the chance to see every photo I ended up saving on this photoshoot! How fun is that? :) Do you like PASS? Would you rather burn a disk? Share your thoughts with me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Dress

This may come as a surprise but I'm not one of those people who is planning my own wedding as a teen. Haha. Well, my teen years are almost over but I've still never been that person who knows exactly what flowers I'm going to have, where I'm going to get married, what month, how I'll do my hair, who the photographer will be, etc. I just don't think about it. BUT, the one thing I do LOVE thinking about is the wedding dress. Who doesn't, though? Pinterest and magazines are great sources of wedding dress inspiration and it's interesting to look at people's wedding boards because everyone has a different style and opinion. So today I thought I'd share a few of my favorites that I've seen online.

Do you have a favorite of the ones below? Let me know! If not, post a link to your favorite wedding dress. :)