Monday, February 27, 2012

Aging Gracefully

Happy birthday to my wonderful Dad. 

I really do feel most blessed when I am around my family. All nine of us got together for my dad's birthday on Sunday. Chris and Heather made BBQ chicken, Stephanie and Ryan made pineapple casserole, potato salad and green bean casserole, and Jacob and I made an italian cream cake (or I made it and Jacob slept).

It is only fitting that I tell you a little about my dad. He grew up raising tobacco in the country, eating biscuits and fried chicken. On his journey of becoming a city boy, he started working in IT at RJR, married a girl from Pennsylvania and he is now retired after more than thirty years of working. He is a cowboy at heart and we play that up every chance we get. He is the most selfless, joyful, humble and giving man I know. He challenges me everyday to be more like Christ in the way that he treats my mom and everyone that surrounds him. What an amazing blessing in my life to have a father like him.

Heather most definitely is needed in our family because she is always on top of party planning. She put together all of the decorations, complete with a child's hat that was worn throughout dinner.

There really is nothing better than spending time with family.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Business | Rebecca & Co.

The creative and talented, Tom Temple, approached me about a photography opportunity a couple of months ago. Tom is designing a new website for Rebecca & Co and was in need of some pictures of the store. Feeling a little bit intimidated but mostly excited, I took the opportunity to try something outside of my comfort zone.

I would describe Rebecca & Co. as an upscale boutique that focuses on customer service and fashionable women's clothes and accessories. Their staff is extremely sweet and I really enjoyed being able to work with them.

The building used to be a gas station before Rebecca & Co made it into a boutique. How awesome is that? It just might be my favorite thing about Rebecca & Co. It actually might even trump their great selection of jeans (and those of you who know me know how much I love jeans). In fact, when I told my friend about the photo shoot, she suggested that they should just pay me in jeans.

I am obsessed with this dress. It has so many great details, but the whole design is simple. Wonderful!

Keep checking their website,, to check out Tom's amazing work. Also, stop by the Winston location on the corner of Robinhood and Reynolda. You are sure to drool over almost every single item that they have. I know I did.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dead Last

Sunday was the first snow of 2012. It was also one of those days where you sleep through your alarm, wake up late and have a bad headache half of the day as a constant reminder of your laziness. Never again, laziness, never again.

I was home alone most of the day so I turned on the fire (yes, turned it on... lame, but efficient), made some homemade hot chocolate, snuggled up in a blanket and watched a movie that I dangerously went and got in the snow earlier that afternoon.

Things that I started to write about then decided not to:

  • Almost every single pair of jeans that fit me 9 months ago are now cutting off my circulation
  • Jacob's Valentine's present of a camera from the 1950's
  • The process to perfection of my CD Case
  • The fact that when I don't eat dinner with Jacob, I end up going to my college routine of Ramon Noodles or Hot Pockets
  • Discovering an almost uninhabited Wal-Mart near our house
  • Falling up the stairs at work in front of a co-worker

All of these subjects got the boot. They were either just too sad and made my life look miserable or they were way too boring. I do, however, see a connection between bullet point four and bullet point one now that I am typing it out.

In light of bullet point one, I have been trying to talk my friend into doing a 5k with me. Yes, just 3.1 measly miles. 

[side note] I actually used to run cross-country in middle school... it was a sad display of an extremely skinny girl huffing and puffing. I once came in dead last. Yes, dead last out of about ten different teams which were made up of about twenty people each. The guys even started after the girls. To save some humiliation, though, I had previously rolled my ankle but the girls could not compete unless they had one more person so I had to run.  The whole entire course was in the woods except the last 200 yards. It was an open field where everyone stood around and watched people finish (lucky me). I exaggerated my limp-run for the sake of my pride for those last yards. Horrifying, I tell you. 

Anyway, my point is that after checking out my friend's blog, I found a race that I am super excited about. She was never a runner, but now she has ran a lot of races which leads me to believe that I can do it as well (even after being traumatized). If you have never heard of the Color Run, please, please, please watch this link that she posted on her wall:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Looking Back

I have come a long way from where I started.

Charlie is staring at me with one eye (the other is behind a frame) as I lie here in bed. The last couple of minutes has been a flip-flop of scrolling through old pictures on my computer, being jumped on by a dog and having my hand get a surprise lick when it gets too close to the edge of the bed.

I got my first camera in middle school. I had been asking for a camera for so long and my friends had some pretty nice ones. When I finally got one, I knew right away it wasn't what I wanted (I know, I must have been a snob). I distinctly remember my Dad telling me that it was good to have as a practice camera. A practice camera??? The screen is the size of my thumb nail and there are only three megapixels!!! I'll be honest, the camera was a piece of work, and I say that in the kindest way possible. Now that I have some years on me (only a couple, but it is enough), I know he was right in getting me that camera. I am sure I threw it around and didn't really appreciate it. It also helped me build character when my freinds would make fun of me and my camera. I still have it and I think I will always keep it as a reminder of where I started and where I am now.

I started taking pictures in high school of friends who asked me to shoot their senior portraits. That turned into taking engagement pictures, then more engagement pictures and then bridal pictures-and now, weddings and making videos of those weddings.

As I was scrolling through all my old photos, I thought it might be interesting for you, and extremely humbling for me, to recap where I started with photography and how that has led me to where I am now. I, personally, think it is really interesting to see how much I have learned about the balance of technicality and creativity, lighting, exposure, equipment and styling.

My senior year of high school, Allie (yes, this Allie), was the first one to ask me to do an actual photo shoot. I was so excited. I used my Dad's Canon Rebel, which also made me really excited seeing as I used that piece for quite some time to take pictures.

And this one is just for fun...

My next photo shoot was in 2008 and it was Allie and Joe's engagement photos. Once again, they asked me to take their pictures! I think I owe Allie for continually believing in me. This was my sophomore year of college.

Not long after, Emilie, Jacob's sister, graduated from high school at the end of my sophomore year and I took her senior portraits.

In 2009, I got to edit Allie and my sister's wedding photos. This experience taught me that it is a lot harder to edit photos if you did not take them yourself. I have a set style in mind when I shoot and it just feels wrong to edit someone else's picture.

My brother and Heather were next to ask me to take their engagement pictures. I did two different sessions with them because I was not completely satisfied with the first.

And then my Dad and I took a trip to Charleston in April of 2010 to take her bridal portraits. I think this is when I really started to understand composition.

In October of the same year, I took family photos of Jacob's brother's family.

To end 2010, I took pictures for Brian, my best friend's (Sarah) boyfriend, who attended North Carolina School of the Arts. I just also have to say that I love these people. She is one of those friends that you can pick up right where you left off, no matter how long it has been since you have seen or talked to her. She also has the same sense of humor as I do which is rare to find, especially for us.

In 2011, I was busy trying to finish school and graduate, plan a wedding and get married, fight mono, build a house and move. I did find time to take college graduation pictures for Katelyn, though.

Once again, Allie got me a job taking pictures at her company, Salem Printing.

After two or three years, in November of 2011, I had finally saved up enough money to purchase my own camera. And boy, does it make a difference. I was then able to take Marcy and Daniel's engagement pictures in November of 2011.

And in January, I took their wedding photos and went on to make my first video ever.

I did a shoot last week at Rebecca & Co. and I have weddings, engagements, bridals and family portraits all booked for the next couple of months. I look back at where I started and where I am now and I can't help but to be completely humbled and grateful to the Lord for his many, many blessings in my life. My life is never perfect, but it is good and I feel satisfied knowing that I am a child of the mighty King who takes care of me in every way.