Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unknown Artists: Marah In the Mainsail + Sara Watkins

I'm always looking for new music because to be completely honest, if I'm in my house, I'm probably listening to music and that calls for new finds on a daily basis so I don't get tired of it. :) Music is something that calms me down and brings out my true emotions. Most nights before I go to bed, I plug my Altec headphones into my iPhone and shuffle through my most recent music.

This week, I have a new favorite artist and a long-time favorite artist to share with you. First is Marah and the Mainsail. Madeline told me about them when I asked for music recommendations on my Facebook page last week and they're fabulous. Their two singles, "The Traveling Man" and "Criminal" are available for whatever you're willing to pay so check that out!

I'm also loving Sara Watkins more everyday. She's not an unknown artist at all but you probably wouldn't know she was the singer for Nickel Creek. Now she has two of her own records out and I have listened to them both so many times in the past month. Her voice and talent on the violin draw me in.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


This week has not been one I care to elaborate on but I think it will help to share what's on my heart. By no means do I want this post to come across as a complaint. I rarely complain on this blog and last week when I received a harsh anonymous comment calling me a mean name and telling me I did complain too much, I spent a few minutes thinking about that. Sure, I may share too much on Twitter but why the person targeted me in particular, I'll never know. Why would someone be bold enough to say what they said but at the same time, be so cowardly as to not leave a name? I started to hurt for those who have nothing else to do but tear people down through the internet. It's sad and I pray for the heart of the person who left the comment. I am one that can handle meanness but others may not be. Others may be too weak to realize it's only insecurities in someone making them do such horrible things. I just wanted to address that before I go on and say to please think before you speak (or type). We all need to, including myself when it comes to social media. We are portrayed differently in words than we are in person and that's never a good thing. We do not know someone because we follow them on Twitter or because we're "friends" on Facebook and we definitely never know what someone is going through by reading a tweet with 140 characters. And speaking of which....

It seems like lately, the minute life starts to look up, I'm torn at my weakest link. This week, that link is my dog and I'm going to attempt to share the story because my blog is a place where you get to know the person behind the camera, not only the people in front of the camera. I am a real person who experiences real life, so here goes.

We have a nine-year-old long-haired dachshund and if you know me or follow my blog, you know he's my best friend. It sounds crazy, but he is. He loves me in a way that a person can't and I'd do anything for him.

Well, last week, we took Bentley to the vet because one of his nostrils was clogged and he couldn't breathe out of that side. You'd think he had a cold or something but unfortunately, dogs don't get colds that just go away after a certain amount of days. The doctor gave us some medicine that he said would help open up the nose but it's five days later and it seems to have gotten worse. And not only that, but his eye has a film on it and it just isn't looking good. We called the vet yesterday and he said it could be a tumor behind his eye, a polyp in his nose, or various other things. To find out, an MRI most likely has to be done and since Bentley has already had two spinal surgeries, the thoughts of doling out more money, knowing we may only find out he has cancer, isn't very hopeful.

As you can imagine, my mom and I are upset. Losing Bentley, who has literally never left mine or my mom's side through all that we've been through, is going to be miserable, even if it isn't for another couple years. The thoughts of waking up and not having him to hug and squeeze make me want to cry for days.

Maybe there's a cure for Bentley. Maybe we're just reading into things and being our usual worrisome selves. But prayers would be appreciated, whatever happens. I know God will keep us strong and prepare us for the worst but if we're looking on the bright side, we pray there's an easy fix. There would be nothing better than having my dog back to normal. Thanks for reading, friends, and I hope you'll go hug your animals right now because they deserve that and so much more with all the love they exude.

I just found this verse and it brings me comfort. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9

For all you photo geeks out there, this was shot at f/1.2. :) I love me some background blur.

It's been a big coffee week and I've had fun photographing it. Can you tell?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Keeping Myself Entertained

After three full days of rain, today is absolutely gorgeous, with what's left of last night's quick snowstorm melting away. The sky is as blue as it's ever been and the bare trees cast long shadows across the street. I'm sitting comfortably on my bed, the light shining on my hardwood floor, and the blanket I'm crocheting is sitting on my lap, keeping me warm. 

Lately, I've been consumed with photography and all things business. I haven't stopped thinking about weddings and how I can prepare myself for them. It's been exhausting and I definitely needed a break. That's why today I had planned to go somewhere with my mom. When that didn't happen and plans changed, I didn't know what to do. So I made a little list of things I can do when I'm bored. Hopefully this will help some of you out who are in a winter slump.

- Go on a bike ride. It doesn't have to be grueling or long; just ride around your neighborhood.
- Explore a new coffee shop. A friend told me about a place called the Mudhouse in Crozet and now I am dying to spend a few hours there, reading and reflecting.
- I know it's not one that sparks much creativity, but watch Netflix or catch up on a recent show.
- Walk your dog. I've taken my dog on a few walks lately, just he and I, and it's been surprisingly fun. If it's cold, just put on a hat and gloves. It makes all the difference.
- If you're a photographer, take pictures. It can easily become a chore if you do it too much but if you get a great shot, it's really rewarding.
- Listen to music while getting on Pinterest or Tumblr. 
- Crochet or knit something! Like I said, I'm making a blanket and it has occupied my free time and helped me to look forward to when it's done.
- Drive somewhere. I used to hate driving alone and I used to hate going places alone but now, getting in the car, going somewhere new, and parking the car to walk or take pictures is one of my favorite activities.
- Read. Find a good book, cuddle up in the corner of your room, and read. Get some tea or coffee if that will motivate those who aren't huge fans of reading.
- Go shopping. You don't have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Sometimes I think when I go shopping I have to buy everything I like but just go knowing you're only going to get a couple things you really like. That seems to stress me and my bank account out less.
- Cook or bake something! I made cream puffs yesterday and it was so much fun, especially since I got to eat them.
- Go to the theater and watch a movie. This is something you could do alone or with a friend. I considered going to see Zero Dark Thirty today alone and I still might.
- Write in your journal. I've been doing a lot of this lately. I write about my day and what's on my mind and usually I feel a lot better afterwards.

Hopefully that strikes an idea in those of you who need something to do but if not, I'd love to hear about how you occupy your time!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meghan + Austin | Washington D.C. Maternity Photographer

On Saturday I got to travel to D.C. for a maternity session with Meghan and Austin! Austin took us into the city and once we found some good parking, we rocked a two-hour shoot! We shot by a couple of the monuments, got as close as we could to the White House, and discovered new places in the city that made for fun pictures! 

There weren't many people out at all which made our lives a bit easier but it was still an adventure! People stopped to take pictures of Meghan, I cut off a few runners, and we made a squirrel friend who almost let us pet him. :) It was a wonderful day and the weather was perfect for us! It was an overcast morning and then the glorious sun came out towards the end, giving us a variety of lighting options!

Meghan and Austin are so kind and I had a great time getting to know them and talking to them about their soon-to-be little girl who is due in about two weeks!! Meghan was a trooper for doing all the walking we did and thankfully, the baby wasn't born on our shoot! Haha. 

Meghan and Austin, thank you both for allowing me to photograph you. You are going to be incredible parents and I'm so excited for the life that you have ahead of you! Enjoy these special maternity photos that you'll be able to show your sweet girl when she's older!

This one's a favorite! Love the framing of those columns!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dreams, Not Resolutions

I'm not a huge proponent of resolutions but that probably has to do with my personality and my struggle to actually do the things I say I will. This year, I'm not calling them resolutions but rather, dreams. That way, they sound more like fun goals I really want to strive for and not just something like, "Work out more," because we all know I don't want to do that. Hahaha. 

I was thinking about dreams and I realized that I mostly want to travel, even if that means only a four hour drive to a place I've never been. I have only been out of the country once and I haven't been west of West Virginia. I finally feel somewhat comfortable being away from my home and it seems like the perfect time. There is no better time to travel than when you're young. I am living at home now, am able to save my money, and instead of buying new shoes every six months, maybe I could spend that money on a trip to Los Angeles, New York, Colorado (right, Bethany?), or the beach. So my main dream is to visit at least one new state this year. 

Before things hopefully start to get busier with my business, I want to explore and go places just because I can. What is one of your dreams you'd like to come true in the next few years? It can be personal or business-related.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Home Is Where the Beach Is

Where do I feel the most at home? At the beach, of course. I feel the most at home at the beach and I've never even lived there. There's just something about the slow pace of life, the rolling waves on the shore that I can hear all the way at the beach house, the walks on the hard, cool sand at low tide, the sunrises over the ocean and the sunsets over the sound, the movie marathons, the games that you play to keep occupied because the town is so small, the good food, and the laughter. It's like life stops for the week when I'm at the beach and I feel energized and relaxed when I come home and return to the steady income of emails and Facebook notifications. I'm thankful for friends and the opportunity to spend time with them over break.

What have you done in the past few weeks?