Another Back Injury for Ollie?

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Another Back Injury for Ollie?

We are praying that Ollie doesn't have another back injury like he did two years ago. I noticed that he wasn't wanting to jump and his energy level was low. Just like it started two years ago. Then he yelped when I grazed his back. Concerned, I immediately put him on crate rest and made an appointment with the vet. More than likely they will prescribe steroids and/or pain meds. The most important thing to remember is to keep Ollie on crate rest and absolutely NO jumping. Sometimes these things can be resolved with steroids, and we are hoping he won't need to have another surgical procedure. Updates to come!

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Rustic Farm Wedding | Ashleigh + Ryan

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Rustic Farm Wedding | Ashleigh + Ryan

Private Estate Palm City, FL

Six months ago, the barn in which Ashleigh and Ryan's wedding reception was held was not even there. In fact, the whole area was a pile of rocks and dirt. The venue wasn't a "venue", it was an empty field with tall pines along a dirt road. Ashleigh's desire to marry on the property slowly began the transformation of her parent's vacant property.

The land, nicknamed Three Daughters took on a bit of a metamorphosis. Rock by rock, Ashleigh's family began to work on making it a place that they could see their daughter getting married at. Six months of intense labor and sun drenched days in the sun, the land was transformed to a wedding venue. A new dock, a rope swing, sod, sitting areas, and an entire barn were built! It was a true labor of love. 

On Saturday Ashleigh, Ryan, and their guests delighted in the newly renovated property as the couple wed on the dock overlooking the pond. It was a perfect spring day for a farm wedding. 

After the ceremony we had some time for photos and we had the whole place to ourselves! I always gush over warm late afternoon light and was so thrilled that we had some of it to enjoy!The evening concluded under the newly built barn where the guests enjoyed signature cocktails and amazing food! 

Ashleigh and Ryan, thank you for giving me the privilege of documenting your beautiful rustic wedding! It was such a special day and I was so happy to have been a part of it!

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To see more from Ashleigh and Ryan's wedding, click to watch their slideshow!

Thanks to these amazing vendors:

VENUE: Private Estate, Palm City

COORDINATOR: Allison Lewis of The Golden Pineapple Event Company

HAIR/MAKEUP: Ronnie Green and Gia Anderson

FLORIST: Harbour Bay Florist

OFFICIANT: Joe Collazo

CAKE: Sandra Durbin of Sandra's Cakes

CATERER: Laura Ashley Catering and Events

VIDEOGRAPHER: Joseph Korecki

DJ: Thomas Edunk of Accent Sounds Entertainment

PHOTOGRAPHER: Kristen Browning Photography + my fabulous second shooter Kimberly Smith Photography

 

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One Tool That I Am Using To Help Ease Tax Season

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One Tool That I Am Using To Help Ease Tax Season

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MileIQ

Tax season! For most photographers it's the bain of our existence! Hey, it's not my favorite season, that is for sure. Most creatives are right brained thinkers which means that their organizational skills are usually not always the best. We are too busy dreaming big dreams! But, the fact of the matter is, sure we are living our dream but we are also running a business. And running a business requires that we use the other half of our brain. Well, pop my bubble why don't you?! 

Recently, I ran into a rut with mileage tracking. Who thinks about mileage? I know I don't! I've gone through several ways of trial and error trying to figure out which way of record keeping is best. Every time tax season rolls around I make little changes to my system and the way that I keep track of things to make it easier for the next year.

For mileage, I used to hand write everything every week on Fridays. I would glance back at my planner and see where I had gone that week and then I would open up google maps in my iphone and enter the locations. From there, I would get the mileage and write it into my spreadsheet. This worked fairly well until we hit the holidays. From December to January/February, I practically did NOT record any mileage! Why? Because life got super busy for me! 

The holidays are typically a busier time of year. Once January rolled around, I was already caught up in getting my 2018 year started and hadn't given mileage a second thought. Finally, once I started gathering all of my tax documents to turn into my accountant, I realized that I had completely forgotten to track my mileage! Ah! For the next couple of hours, I scoured back through my calendar and began taking record. 

Don't you hate that feeling of playing "catch up"? For a business owner, there is nothing more displeasing than having to spend MORE of your PRECIOUS time rifiling through your records to gather the information that should have been part of your weekly system. That is when I decided that at this point in my business I needed to fine tweak my system and find a better way.

I had heard about mileIQ before, but had never implemented it. I decided, as one way to automate a redundant task, using mileIQ just made sense. Now, I literally do not have to think about it. It does all the work for me. Its a super cool app that tracks all of the drives that you take. It IS up to you to open up the app either daily or weekly (or whenever you'd like) and specify whether or not the drive was for business or personal. There is a little notification that pops up when new drives are logged which will help you remember to go in and categorize each drive. If you are interested in trying mileIQ AND getting 20% off, here is the link! 

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Baby Easton | 12 Months

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Baby Easton | 12 Months

I still cannot believe Easton is a YEAR old!! It's incredible. This year has gone by so fast. It was super hard, but yet it went by like that.

This post is coming at you super late! (A lot happened in February)

That being said, Easton turned 12 months old 2 weeks ago! He subsequently got the flu on his actual birthday! Poor fella. He ran fevers all night and for about 48 hours after his birthday. A first birthday that we will never forget! Thankfully he survived it. More importantly WE survived it. A sick baby is no joke! They need you when they are sick! A couple of days later he ended up getting an ear infection. 

Before it gets any later I wanted to list out some of Easton’s milestones since turning 1 year:

  • He claps his hands all the time
  • he knows how to high-five,
  • he loves playing tug-of-war with Ollie
  • he says "maa" for more when he wants more food
  • he mimics what we say sometimes, like full sentences the other day he said "there it is!" after we said it
  • he loves to look at airplanes in the sky he loves to look at the trees outside
  • he loves to hold my hands and walk in the grass
  • he loves to play with sticks and rocks and do all kinds of little boy things
  • he is getting more persistent with his wishes and will protest when he doesn’t get what he wants
  • Naps are starting to become a real struggle, he is on the brink of transitioning to one nap, I think. He still a little young so I’m trying to maintain two naps a day but it’s getting harder!
  • He’s not quite walking but he is cruising along furniture
  • he loves to empty out all of my drawers and Tupperware and scattered all over the floor! My house is never clean anymore! There is always a little mess somewhere if not everywhere… Welcome to toddlerhood so they say! 
  • walks around with his little walker!!
  • got his first bike helmet and enjoys bike rides with us now :) 

I'm so happy to have documented a portion of his first year on my blog. It's nice to know that I can go back later and re read about his little milestones and smile.  Happy birthday sweet boy :) 

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The Cruz Building Wedding | Andrea + Derby

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The Cruz Building Wedding | Andrea + Derby

If there was ever a wedding with SO many moments, this one is it! From the moment that I began shooting, moments just manifested! Andrea and Derby got ready at the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables, Miami and the energy in Derby's room was so upbeat and energetic. I soon learned that Derby was just as energetic and upbeat as his groomsmen, it was certainly a fun group! 

The ceremony was held at Andrea's church, where her father is the minister. To Derby's surprise (and sheer amazement), Andrea seranated an original song for her groom! How she EVER pulled that off without crying, I will never know! Derby was floored and tears began to flow immediately. I am so grateful to have not only witnessed such an amazing personal and initmate moment, but to document it for the couple. 

Later, we headed to the Cruz Building in Coconut Grove, Miami for their reception. The grand, three story venue made it the perfect place for Andrea and Derby. The moments continued on, father daughter dance, mother son dance and toasts! 

This wedding was special to me because I documented for my dear late mentor, Frank Donnino Photography. I was honored to shoot alongside of team member Gwen and Frank's son John. Andrea and Derby thank you for giving me the honor of documenting your day for Frank. I know that he would be proud! 

 The room was crowded with groomsmen getting ready as was typical on wedding days. But here, in this little corner we found a beautiful pocket of light for Derby to sharpen up.

The room was crowded with groomsmen getting ready as was typical on wedding days. But here, in this little corner we found a beautiful pocket of light for Derby to sharpen up.

 Looking dapper, for sure. I love Derby's unique cufflinks, they are gears!

Looking dapper, for sure. I love Derby's unique cufflinks, they are gears!

 This photo just encapsulates Derby's personality and the vibe of the day. This group was FUN!

This photo just encapsulates Derby's personality and the vibe of the day. This group was FUN!

 I have one addiction on wedding days: the ring. Isn't this yellow stone beautiful?!

I have one addiction on wedding days: the ring. Isn't this yellow stone beautiful?!

 Putting the finishing touches on Andrea's lip.

Putting the finishing touches on Andrea's lip.

 Again, more amazing light. Is Miami light better than everywhere else?

Again, more amazing light. Is Miami light better than everywhere else?

 This is always a special moment for the bride's mom. I love that Andrea's sister is helping her too!

This is always a special moment for the bride's mom. I love that Andrea's sister is helping her too!

 The moment when the bride came out of the elevator and her entourage lost their minds over how gorgeous she looked!

The moment when the bride came out of the elevator and her entourage lost their minds over how gorgeous she looked!

 This moment right here. On a wedding day you must be ready to photograph on a moment's notice or you will miss it. 

This moment right here. On a wedding day you must be ready to photograph on a moment's notice or you will miss it. 

 Her girls carried her dress for her so it wouldn't get dirty.

Her girls carried her dress for her so it wouldn't get dirty.

 Andrea sang flawlessly as she came down the aisle to meet her groom.

Andrea sang flawlessly as she came down the aisle to meet her groom.

 The reaction on Derby's face when he saw Andrea for the first time was priceless. 

The reaction on Derby's face when he saw Andrea for the first time was priceless. 

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 Beautiful performance; he sang the Lord's Prayer.

Beautiful performance; he sang the Lord's Prayer.

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 The moment they have been waiting for...married!

The moment they have been waiting for...married!

 Such beautiful architecture here at the Cruz building.

Such beautiful architecture here at the Cruz building.

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 Andrea and Derby's first dance together as husband and wife was touching.

Andrea and Derby's first dance together as husband and wife was touching.

 So much love.

So much love.

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 They made Derby's father get out there to catch the garter! 

They made Derby's father get out there to catch the garter! 

Here is a slideshow with MORE images!

Thanks to these amazing vendors:

WEDDING COORDINATOR: Annesia Pyfrom

FLOWERS: Terra Flowers Miami

CAKE: Edda Cakes

DJ: Dj BoogieG305

MAKEUP: SitiArt LLC

HAIR: Michelle Whitaker

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Konchellah

TUX: Jc Penny's

PHOTOBOOTH: Yuliia Embon

DRESS: Boca Raton Bridal, The designer Martina Liana

VENUE: The Cruz Building

CHURCH: Bethel Church

 

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Downtown Stuart Engagement Photos | Meghan + Charles

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Downtown Stuart Engagement Photos | Meghan + Charles

They were the first couple of mine who ever wanted to be photographed in a coffee shop. I consider Coffee Blue Door my second home and was ecstatic. I met Meghan and Charles this past week for their engagement session. I am so happy to have gotten so many wonderful images and now I get to share them all with you!

Meghan and Charles escaped the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. come down to south Florida and tie up some loose ends wedding planning and to enjoy a relaxing day with me! We took all of their photos in Downtown Stuart, one of my favorite places to shoot. There are so many cute little areas that just beg to be backdrops.

I could help but admire Meghan and Charles’ chemistry together. They are each other’s “other half” in the sense that they completely compliment one another. I cannot wait for their wedding this fall! Here are some of my favorite images from our session!

 

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Up the Creeks Farm Wedding | Alexandra + Holt

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Up the Creeks Farm Wedding | Alexandra + Holt

The massive oak trees scaled the lawn and the moss gently swayed as it tossed back and forth by the breeze. There, in the distance was a farm house where Alex and her bridesmaids where preparing for the big day.

The house, adorned with vintage furniture and fixtures welcomed you in with a true sense of southern hospitality. Perfect for a girl such as Alex who was from Alabama.
Holt was joined by his groomsmen who kept the mood light and even had me laughing. They sure are a funny group of guys! Holt is southern to the core and that is one reason why Alex was drawn to him.

As Alex’s dad walked her down the aisle, Holt’s expression beamed. He was so taken away with her beauty, it was so sweet to watch!

After the ceremony, Holt and Alex had a private moment together down by the creek where they shared personal vows with each other. Nothing could have been more beautiful than this scene. The sun was low in the sky and the band was playing far in the distance. There, underneath one of the many oak trees, both Alex and Holt shed tears as they recited their vows to each other. Holt gently wiped away tears from Alex’s cheek, such a tender moment.

The day concluded with their reception in the boat house. I adored their details and of course, the rustic atmosphere fit Holt and Alex’s vision to a T.

Alex and Holt, thank you so much for inviting me to document your day! Your wedding at Up the Creek Farms was beautiful and I enjoyed capturing these precious moments for you!

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To see more of Alex and Holt’s day, click to watch their slideshow!

Thank you to these amazing vendors:

VENUE: Up the Creek Farms, coordinator Briana Hoover

HAIR/MAKEUP: Divine Beauty

FLOWERS: Up the Creek Farms
CATERING: Executive Catering
CAKE: Cakes So Simple

BAND/DJ: Blender Live Music

 

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House of Refuge Engagement | Alyssa + Pierson

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House of Refuge Engagement | Alyssa + Pierson

The more I photograph at House of Refuge, the more I fall in love with it. On Saturday, I had the pleasure of photographing Alyssa and Pierson's engagement session at the House of Refuge. It was such a beautiful day. We were so blessed to have gorgeous light and perfect weather! Definitely not something that is always promised here in south Florida.

I was so excited to meet Alyssa + Pierson, they are a beautiful couple. Alyssa grew up in Stuart, so she was naturally fond of the beach. Pierson is tall, laid back and loves to surf. The two of them together=a perfect match. They photograph beautifully and have perfect chemistry. I am so honored to be photographing their wedding this winter! 

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Abacoa Golf Club Wedding | Cara + Brandon

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Abacoa Golf Club Wedding | Cara + Brandon

My heart is FULL after Cara + Brandon's wedding this past Saturday at Abacoa Golf Club! There were so many beautiful details with an emphasis on the FLORALS! Just wait till you see Cara's bouquet! It was STUNNING. 

The day began at the Wyndham Grand in Jupiter. We started off photographing Cara's details. I was so happy when her florist supplied us with fresh rose cuts! Come to find out, Cara's coordinator Allison requests that extra clippings be provided just for detail shots. She clearly knows the way to a wedding photographer's heart :) Back to the roses. They were huge and still had dew! Of course, this meant that I photograph Cara's engagement ring in the rose!! Perfection.

Next, after Cara had gotten her dress and jewelry on, we headed over to meet Brandon for their first look. Brandon looked so handsome! I love approaching the groom just before the first look. They are usually a little bit nervous, but they are always SO excited to see their bride. Prior to the first look, my (fabulous) second shooter, Kim got some great shots of Brandon as he waited patiently for Cara. One of my favorite images of the day was Brandon's reaction to Cara, embracing her in a huge romantic hug! 

Afterwards, we headed outside for some portraits. Having a first look lent to plenty of time for relaxed portraits of Cara and Brandon. Their ceremony was held at their church in Jupiter Farms. A lot of the congregation attended and it was so great to see them show support for Cara and Brandon's marriage. Cara looked stunning coming down the aisle. As soon as she entered, her bridesmaids became emotional. I've never heard bridesmaids break down into tears as the bride came down the aisle. I wasn't sure if Cara heard them, but they were right behind me. It was so moving! They love their sweet bride!

The day concluded at Abacoa Golf Club for the reception. It was at this time that we took the bridal party outside for portraits and Cara put on her flower crown. The entire bridal party were so easy to work with, I just loved their laid back personalities and willingness to hang around for photos! :) You can tell that they love Cara and Brandon!

Cara + Brandon, thank you both for giving me the honor of documenting your day! I am truly humbled! I had a wonderful time photographing your wedding and you two truly made me feel right at home! I wish you many years of wedded bliss! :) 

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CREDIT TO VENDORS + CREATIVES:

GETTING READY: Wyndham Grand, Jupiter @ Harbourside Place

CEREMONY: Beacon Baptist Church

RECEPTION: Abacoa Golf Club

DRESS: David's Bridal

MAKEUP: Team Beauti

FLORALS: Simply Flowers

CAKE: Two Fat Cookies

WEDDING COORDINATOR: The Golden Pineapple Event Company

VIDEOGRAPHER: Dana Lynn Photography

DJ: Kenny Mondo Productions

PHOTOGRAPHER: Kristen Browning Photography + second shooting Kimberly Smith Photography

Here is a slideshow of their day!

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Jupiter Beach Resort Wedding | Jackie + Derek

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Jupiter Beach Resort Wedding | Jackie + Derek

Gusts of wind howled off of the ocean and the palm fronds swayed the wind swept over them. Luckily, for Jackie and Derek, they were still able to have a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony at Jupiter Beach Resort that was moved to the terrace. And, we were able to escape some of the wind and shoot some amazing outdoor portraits! Yay!!

Jackie and Derek had a first look prior to the ceremony which allowed us plenty of time to take photos and their day was not rushed in the least! I'm so happy when my clients can actually relax and enjoy their day and not be crazy pressed for time. Jackie looked so gorgeous in her form fitting gown. One of my favorite things was her elegant up-do! Jackie, you made a beautiful bride!!!

Following the ceremony, Traxx Entertainment provided excellent entertainment and had guests out on the dance floor continuously! It's always a pleasure to work with them.

Jackie and Derek, I cannot thank you enough for giving me the honor of photographing your wedding day. You two were amazing! I wish you all of the best in the years to come!!

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Vendors who helped make this day amazing:

Venue: Jupiter Beach Resort

Dress: Maggie Sottero

DJ/Entertainment: Traxx Entertainment

Florals: Harbour Bay Florist

Cake provided by Jupiter Beach Resort

Photographer: Kristen Browning + the wonderful Kim Smith assisted me!

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Easton | 11 Months

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Easton | 11 Months

11 months old already! 

WOW. 

I cannot believe how FAST Easton's first year is going! I am so behind on his monthly updates! Life has been BUSY! 

Since  my last update, Easton has had so many changes. 

Here are some of his milestones to note:

*He is eating SO well! He has been eating three meals a day since about nine months. He prefers fruit over anything else! He still loves to eat meat and he loves cheese! Veggies are hit and miss, but I am continuing to offer them.

*The "cruising" has begun. Easton will stand up and cruise along the furniture and balance himself without any assistance for a few seconds. Yesterday he faceplanted into the floor and hit his newly erupted front tooth on the wood floors of our home. I felt so bad! Thankfully he is alright and the tooth is fine! 

*Sleep is going well at night! Naps are still hit and miss! But, whatev's.

*The other night at dinner, he said "hungry" CLEAR. AS. DAY. Jeremy and I looked at each other in disbelief! He also tries to say "more", but it comes out "ma". Water is "bar". By the way, his favorite drink is water, he sips it really well now from an open cup! I havent gotten him to use a straw yet, but I need to start working on that.

*He LOVES playing fetch and tug of war with Ollie! I have to really supervise the two of them because they really get into it :) 

*His new favorite activity is his red wagon. He lights up everytime he goes for a ride! 

*One of his favorite pasttimes include looking out of our bedroom window. He will stare at the trees and the neighbor's house forever! 

Here is a precious photo of Easton from yesterday!

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What to Wear to Your Engagement Session

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What to Wear to Your Engagement Session

 

I rummaged through my closet, shuffling through every piece of attire that I owned thinking to myself, "Eh, why didn't I just make myself one of those capsule wardrobes so this decision could be easier?!" I promised myself that I would. But, it was irrelevant now, because we had to meet our photographers at the park in 15 minutes and I still had to choose what to wear. Feeling pressured, I grabbed a dress off the hanger, and hoped for the best. Turns out, our family photos turned out beautiful and I was very happy with my choice of outfit. But, I could have saved myself the trouble had I planned better. 

Every bride often finds herself in the same dilemma after she books her engagement session. The choices for what to wear are endless. Today, I hope to help those who find themselves in a clothing crisis with four wardrobe tips by none other than, yours truly. 


Tip # 1 Neutrals

Time and time again, I will say

keep

it 

simple. 

Neutrals are the number one way to compliment your skin tone and bring the attention you in your photos. If the very first thing you notice when you look at your engagement photos is the glare from your highlighter yellow dress, then so will everyone else :) Flashy, bright clothing will become a distraction in the photos. You cannot go wrong with neutrals!

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Tip #2 Flattering

This is a good time to set aside a couple of hours to hit the shops and try on different outfits. Take the time to find something that will compliment your body type, and don't get frustrated if you cannot find it right away. Plan ahead so that you have enough time to shop. 

My biggest struggle is finding clothes that fit my 5 foot frame. I am constantly having to put things back on the rack because the pants are too long, or I have a train when I wear a maxi dress! Take a friend with you who can give you honest feedback. They will even choose clothes that you wouldn't normally try on and sometimes those outfits work the best!

In the images below, I loved how this long maxi dress fit Kate. She pulled it off beautifully!!

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Tip #3 Variety

I always encourage my clients to bring a change of clothes to their session. Particularly one dressy outfit and one casual outfit. Variety is fun! First off, its fun to get dressed up for photos, so take advantage! Secondly, if comfortability is more your style and most days you and your beau can be found in jeans and a t-shirt (like me), there are some really cute ways to pull that off and still look great for your engagement photos!

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Tip #4 Patterns

Go for patterns. But if you choose to wear a pattern, let your fiance wear a solid that will compliment the pattern. In other words, only one person should wear the patterned outfit. Having two outfits in the same photo that are "busy" will be super distracting! See examples of how my clients successfully wore patterns below!

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I hope that these tips have been helpful! And if you want to go one step further, talk to Marianne Humburg, she is my friend and she is an amazing wardrobe consultant! She has great style and would be happy to help you!

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Sarah + David | Engaged

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Sarah + David | Engaged

Sarah and David's story begins in elementary school! That's right, they have known each other since they were children! Amazing, right? It's so rare that I have couples who have known each other that long! It's happened before, but it is definitely a rarity. 

David and Sarah are planning on moving to the area after Sarah graduates from school. She is currently studying for P.A. school under neurologists in the area, something that I admire about her! David just adores her! Oh, he is truly in love! He proposed to her at the same elementary school they went to as kids! Howwww sweet!!

Here is a snippet of our session!

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How Having a Baby Changed My Business

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How Having a Baby Changed My Business

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Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with a photographer friend over coffee. As I bounced Easton on my lap and struggled to feed him, I felt obligated to apologize for not being 100% focused in on our conversation. This seemed to be an illustration of the last ten months: balancing a baby and a life. 

But, she graciously said it was ok and she totally understood. Over the course of the next few minutes, our conversation led us to this topic: how a baby affects your life and business. I admitted to her that before I got pregnant, I was worried about what having a baby would do to my business, my baby at the time.

I feared that I would not have time to put forth the effort to run a business, that I would somehow lose my ability to remember how to use my camera, that I would drown in a sea of to-do's while trying to sustain another human being. As a result, my ultimate fear was that all of the work I had put into my business would vanish. 

I feel like these are all legitimate fears that people have prior to starting a family. Life is never the same after having kids, it changes. It's a GOOD change, but it is so different than what you have been used to.

Now that I am a mom and a business owner, I can tell you it is not as scary as I had imagined. The Lord has given me so much grace and resources(a gracious husband, grandma's and friends) to allow me to continue to do what I love and serve others. And in the process, I have changed too. And with that, here are some of the ways that having a baby changed my business! 

- My time is more valuable now

Each moment of the day has purpose! My day is pretty much ran by a baby. Feedings, diaper changes, play time. It leaves little time in the day to get things done. But, when nap time rolls around I stop at nothing to make sure I am checking off things on my to do lists!

Do I miss the days of laying on the couch watching reruns of Law and Order (Criminal Intent is my favorite!)...Yes! I miss those longggg periods of rest. But, I know that this season in my life is short and it won't last. Having a baby definitely makes you more aware of how you are spending your time. 

You've got to roll with the punches. I used to have schedule out my days by the tasks I would be doing hour by hour. And I used to say to myself, "I'll get this wedding culled in 1.5 hours". But now, things are done in chunks of time. And if the wedding doesn't get culled in 1.5 hours, it's ok! It will get done. In fact, most of the time I will edit weddings once Easton has gone down for the night, or I will wake up before he wakes in the morning and work. I basically work around him. 

 I finished out my 2017 year and I never once got behind on a deadline!! {The Lord had always been good to me and allowed Easton to sleep at just the right times for just the right amount of time for me to get the work done.} Blog posts still go up, and the gallery is still ready and everyone still receives their photos on time! I still think that my clients deserve the BEST, and having a baby does not change the way I serve them! I make every effort I can to see that they are getting more than what they deserve.

- I'm no longer a work-a-holic 

Let me start by saying, my business and my clients are just as important as they were pre-baby. Never have I felt that service to my clients should take a back seat. They are the lifeblood of my business and I absolutely LOVE serving each and every person.

Now, let me say this: My business used to be my baby. I had a tendency to work non stop and not come up for air some days. It was unhealthy for me and my family at times. Not to mention, it can become and idol in my heart if I do not keep it in check.

But there was a shift in my thinking after Easton was born. Those work-a-holic tendencies? They were forced to go! This is how the Lord sanctifies. He weeds out the things that prohibit your heart from being aligned with His word, it's a beautiful thing!

I feared that if I wasn't doing some kind of work, my business would suffer. But the thing was, a lot of my time and energy was being exerted in the WRONG things. I "felt" busy, but I wasn't being productive. There's a difference. (That is a whole other blog post in itself!)

After Easton, I realized I had unintentionally cut out the fluff. Instead, I only worked on things that actually were productive. Because I didn't have the ability to have extra time on my hands like before, I was forced to only concentrate on those things that truly mattered.

This has actually helped me stay more focused in my business! I don't have time to "kill" anymore, so I do the things that need to be done and I go on to the next task! 

- I Do Not Overload Myself With Too Much

Because Easton is so little and needs so much of me, I have to be careful to what I say "yes" to. I know that I cannot shoot a double header weekend, or have more than 2 portrait sessions per week on weeks that I have weddings.

With the amount of work that is involved, it wouldn't be fair to my clients and it wouldn't be fair to my family. I want to be able to give the best of myself to not only my clients, but to my family as well! So, I just have to be careful with the amount of work that I book. 

- I love shooting more than ever now!

Because I am at home so much, getting out and shooting weddings and portraits have actually brought me MORE joy than ever before!

I love to get out and just create.

Being cooped up in the house too long will give you cabin fever and give you an excuse to binge eat whatever you can. But now, my work has more intention and purpose behind it than it did before. And I love that! 

I hope that this post is encouraging to my fellow lady entrepreneurs who are considering starting a family! In the end, having a baby wasn't the 'end of my business', like I had feared. It is actually growing and I am continuing to serve my clients well! 

 

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Best of Weddings | 2017

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Best of Weddings | 2017

2017 was quite the year! The birth of our son, Easton took front and center stage in my life. I’ve never experienced anything like motherhood before! Lots of joy and a few tears, but all together nothing short of amazing. 

My year was full of beautiful, wonderful clients with beautiful weddings. I am so grateful to them for entrusting me with the job of photographing their wedding day! What a distinct honor it was! 2018 is going to be full of even more wonderful clients and gorgeous weddings, and I am looking forward to it! 

But before we step into the new year, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of my favorite wedding images of 2017!! Here is to a fabulous year in weddings! 

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Meet Peyton | High School Senior

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Meet Peyton | High School Senior

It was a beautiful afternoon to photograph senior portraits! 

After a couple of scheduling conflicts, we finally got to get together for Peyton's senior photos! I was so excited to photograph Peyton again! We had previously met at a shoot that I did for All For Color/Sloan Ranger. And, we actually go to the same church! Small world! 

Peyton is a senior at Community Christian Academy and she works at Chick Fil A, one of my favorite places!! She's got a super sweet personality and a gorgeous smile! Doesn't she look like Drew Barrymore?! Anyways, here are a few of my favorite photos from our session!!

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Kristy + Mario | Beach Ceremony

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Kristy + Mario | Beach Ceremony

Hutchinson Island Marriot

She may have been a little nervous to walk down the aisle, but you wouldn't have been able to tell through her smile that was gleaming at Mario. As soon as she saw him, her eyes lit up...and so did his! 

Kristy and Mario said their vows under a clear blue sky. Close family members and friends sat to witness their wedding. The surf pounded behind them as if it was cheering for them too. After their ceremony, Mario danced down the aisle with his wife on his arm, it was such a joyful time! 

 Congratulations to Kristy and Mario! I am honored to have documented your ceremony for you and I wish you all the best!! Special thanks to Frank Donnino for adding his talent to their day!

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Cara + Brandon | Engaged

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Cara + Brandon | Engaged

Hobe Sound Wildlife Center

I met Cara and Brandon at Hobe Sound Wildlife Center, where I've shot many times before. The lighting is never the same, and on this particular day, I was very pleased!  I'm so glad it held out because a week prior, it was a total downpour and we were forced to reschedule! The perks of shooting on location :) 

Not only did the weather hold up perfectly for us, it also gave us some of the best end-of-the-day late fall sun. The kind that softly streams through the trees and slowly creeps down on the horizon illuminating a golden glow that makes you feel warm and cozy. You following me?!

Cara and Brandon have got the best chemistry! She glows when he hugs her, and laughs when he whispers sweet nothings (jokes, of course) in her ear :) Brandon is genuine and laid back, I can see why Cara fell for him! I am so excited to have the honor of photographing their wedding next year!!!

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Jupiter Island Engagement | Vanessa + Juan

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Jupiter Island Engagement | Vanessa + Juan

I've known Vanessa for like 20 years! We met in middle school and I have always thought of her as such a kind person. She is compassionate and friendly, so naturally, when I met her fiancé, Juan, I was happy to see that he brings out the best in her! These two kept each other (and me) laughing the entire time! 

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect afternoon on Jupiter Island. It was absolutely perfect. The lighting was spot on, too! Here are some of my favorite images from our session!

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Jessyka + Jesse | Tradition Town Hall

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Jessyka + Jesse | Tradition Town Hall

She was flooded with all kinds of emotions as she sat there to get the finishing touches done to her hair. She just couldn't wait to see him. The only person she wanted was him. The minute Jessyka saw her groom, Jesse at the end of the aisle, all of her jitters melted away. 

Jessyka and Jesse got married under a cloudy sky.  The tears flowed just as much as the rain poured. It was so emotional becuase, for Jessyka, she wasn't just saying her vows to Jesse, she was also saying her vows to his daughter, Jazz. Jazz was nine years old and the apple of his eye, and now, Jessyka's too.

My favorite thing about their wedding was how unique it was! Their theme was based off of comic book super hero's! The bridesmaids carried bouquets made out of comic book paper! How cool!

After their ceremony, we took a few portraits around the grounds. For a brief moment we got graced with beautiful sunlight that lent to wonderful backlit portraits. (My fav kind of light!)

Jessyka and Jesse, I wish you the very best! May your marriage be blessed with deep love and laughter!

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One of my favorite moments of the day was when Jessyka's father saw her for the first time. Best father-daughter first look ever!

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Vendors Who Helped Make This Day Amazing:

DRESS: David's Bridal

HAIR: Brianna Johnson, Miracle on 34th Street

MAKEUP: Alek Primm

VENUE: Tradition Town Hall

CAKE: Magnolia Cakes

PHOTOGRAPHER: Kristen Browning + Frank Donnino

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