An Autumal Inspired Oatlands Plantation Style Shoot { Leesburg, VA }

Happy April!! I can’t believe Spring is here… the days are flying by!

This past Easter weekend was spent with family and a fun styled shoot before the Spring Wedding season kicks off. What a fun day it was being creative after a long, cold winter here in Virginia. It was still a bit windy and the flowers haven’t started blooming just quite yet.. but Spring is in the air.. I feel it! I cannot wait for cherry blossoms and flowers blooming everywhere.

Ashley Boyan put on this beautiful Autumal themed shoot at the beautiful Oatlands Plantation. It was gorgeous! On a wedding day you don’t always have time to capture beautiful details so it’s fun to get creative and work with vendors and other photographers you may not know. Everyone was so sweet and it was fun to meet new friends.

Here are some of my favorites from the day. Thank you to all the vendors who made this shoot beautiful! Enjoy!

Venue- Oatlands Plantation

Styling- Ashley Boyan Photography

Cake- Fluer by Flour

Hair and Makeup- Sue Minskey Beauty

Dress: Carol Hannah Bridal

Florals: Cape May Flower Co

Calligraphy: MMC Bride Calligraphy

Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

Rentals: Jefferson Rentals

 

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Highway One, Carmel & Big Sur { 2018 Travels,}

Have you ever traveled to a place where the landscapes took your breath away? Carmel and Big Sur were on my bucket list.. so when we booked Napa again this year, Andy and I went a few days early to drive through the Northern Coast of CA from San Francisco to Big Sur. It was amazing! 

DAY 1 : We arrived at the airport around 11:00 a.m and rented a car and drove straight down Highway 1 along the coast. I usually plan everything, but Andy picked this cute little restaurant, Barnalicious in Half Moon Bay that had the best farm to table burgers and fries! After lunch we stopped along the way at a  few scenic spots below.. when I saw this field of yellow flowers I made Andy pull over immediately. So gorgeous. We stopped through the beautiful town of Monterrey, then it was on the seven mile drive. So worth all the gorgeous views! We finished the day at our quaint hotel Playa De Carmel and had a nice Italian dinner in town. I feel like we packed in a lot that day! We crashed at 8:00 p.m that first night exhausted from the 3 hour time change.

Day 2: Big Sur, California 

We started the morning with the champagne breakfast buffet at our hotel. So yummy! I loved walking the grounds in the morning and seeing everything in bloom. I loved all the bouganvilla. Then it  was off early to drive Big Sur. I loved stopping at the Bixby Bridge, and the windy roads ( with no guardrails in spots) definately had me gripping the seat handles! It was worth it once we got into Big Sur for the views and lunch at wine at Nepenthe overlooking the coastline. We also stopped at the Big Sur bakery for a yummy blueberry croissant. We also explored Pfeiffer Beach and McWay Falls and took our time taking in the gorgeous scenic views.

We ended the day back in Carmel to do some wine tasting at Folklore Vineyard before meeting up with our friends Michelle and Daren, who drove up from Southern CA. We had a great night catching up at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch and looking forward to our weekend in Napa. The views were amazing and the food so good.

Folktale Winery was worth the visit for the rose’ and can we mention the decor?

This cute little Mission I stopped at for a few photos…Dinner at Mission Ranch.. love the views with the sheep in the pastures and that fog in the distance.Day 3: Walking tour of Carmel

On our last day in Carmel we woke up early around 6 a.m to do a walking tour of Carmel.. I love this quaint little town and needed to explore more before we left for San Francisco. My heart didn’t want to leave.. every little alley way is filled with the cutest architecture and succulents everywhere.. reminded me a bit of Germany. It was a rainy, dreary morning and nobody was quite awake yet, so we had the town all to ourselves. I love all the little inns downtown. If you haven’t been you need to put it on your bucket list.. one of my favorite little towns in California.

Next up.. San Francisco, the museum of Ice Cream and our adventures in Napa!

(Taken with the iphone 7 plus.)

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Alex & Craig { Walter’s Overlook Wedding, MD}

This month has been off to a crazy start. I had so many plans to implement to my business this month, but the flu hit me hard and so I’m a little behind in blogging and sharing this month, but I’m looking forward to several Spring weddings coming up and hope to share more soon. I’m also looking forward to a trip down the CA Coastline in early March to Carmel, to Big Sur to Napa and plan to share those travels as well.

This past Fall I second shot for one of my good friends, Daisy of Daisy Saulls Photography. It’s always so much fun to work together, I think having someone you trust and know as a friend makes working together so easy and fun. I was able to second shoot with several of my photographer friends in 2o17, which is always nice when I don’t have a wedding of my own to be able to fill in and do what I love! It’s also nice to bring a different perspective to the main photographer as well.

I had never been to this lovely venue in MD, but wow, is it gorgeous! I loved the big Oak tree with the wheat fields in distance. The Bride, Alex’s attention to her ceremony and reception details were stunning! I love how she meticulously strung all the flowers from the ceiling, when we walked into the reception we were just in awe of how pretty it was! Also doesn’t the bride remind you a bit of Jessica Simpson? Hello Gorgeous! Her peony boquet with the soft wispy flowers may have been one of my favorites!

I mostly hung with the guys to capture them getting ready until the ceremony started. What a fun group of guys! I loved their sense of humor with the cardboard cutout of FUN Craig! Lol! Here are some of my favorites shots from the day. Thank you Daisy for letting me be part of it and allowing me to share!

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2018 Personal & Business Goals

I can’t believe we are already a month into 2018! One of my goals is to be more present on my blog and share more of my life this year, so here are some of my goals for the New Year…

Personal Goals:

  • Take more personal photos. As a photographer I find myself never wanting to pick up my camera if I’m not shooting professionally. Unless we are traveling, I love documenting.. but I have been really bad at this and will strive to be better this year.
  • Share more of my personal life on this blog. I love reading and knowing what makes other unique. So why not share more of myself as well? I love documenting travels but would love to share another big passion of mine, which is home design and decor. If you have something you would love to see feel free to leave a comment below.
  • Travel to one new place I haven’t been. I did this the last few years as well, and It’s been amazing! I tend to be a beach person and always pick the beach almost every time. While I do have a beach trip this year to one of my favs, Seaside, FL, this Summer, I’m also going to plan one non beach related trip. Iceland, Banff, and Maine are high on my list! Our next trip up is Carmel, CA and back to Napa. So excited to spend some time with good friends and experience  the beautiful CA coastline.
  • Continue working out 5 days a week and eating healthy but also having balance and eating what I want without feeling guilty. I have found it’s not always what you eat but portion control and daily exercise. I love waking up and putting myself and my health first.
  •  Be a do’ er and not just a dreamer. I recently met up with some photography friends and we discussed that this is an easy pattern to fall into in both our personal and professional life. Personally, home projects are next up. We decided Winter is perfect to get projects around the house done. We finished shiplap in our eat in kitchen and next up is framing our bathroom mirrors. It feels good to feel accomplished and mark those things off your to do list.

 

Business Goals:

  • Learn something new in this off season. It’s always good to never stop learning. Whether its an online course, workshop or for me learning more about off camera flash. I’m going to push myself to keep learning.
  • Blog at least a four times a month. I think it would be too much to even say once a week, but 3-4 times a month is an acheivable goal!
  • Capture more real moments for my clients. It’s not just about the perfect shot, but the moment behind it.
  • Create more of a work schedule. It’s so easy owning your own business to get distracted. I found myself scrolling way too much on social media..before I know it hours are gone from my day.
  • Keep networking and getting to know other creatives in this industry. This past year, I made several close photographer friends and its so nice being able to share life, second shooting for each other or just bouncing ideas off each other. It’s so invaluable to network. My faith was strengthened so much this past year finding other like minded business women with similar interests.
  • Most importantly, keeping God first in my business and personal life. At times it’s easy to look around and think I need to book X amount clients or weddings but I have faith that God will give me the clients I am meant to have and to serve them well.

Hope your 2018 is an amazing year and you push yourself to be even better than you were last year! XO…

 

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St. Simons & Jekyll Island { 2017 Travels}

At the start of each new year I like to take time to reflect on the past year and be thankful for the lessons, the memories, the amazing repeat clients I had and the new ones I gained. I feel grateful God gave me health and happiness this past year, and the gift to be able to share my talents with others. I believe all of us have them, we just have to find what those gifts are. 2017 was a great year. I felt like I really learned to trust God more and saw him doing amazing things in my business and personal life. It’s easy to look around and compare your life to others and when I do that I realize that my life looks a lot different. I tend to get overwhelmed easily so when I find myself wishing to be more and do more I hear God whisper what he has for me is enough so my word on my heart for this new year is Trust. Trust that what he has for me in 2018 is enough.

Some of my favorite memories this past year were experiencing new places, from Napa, to the Outer Banks to Turks and Caicos, a couple FL trips along the way to ending the year in St. Simon and Jeckyll Island. Travel always makes me feel alive and renewed. I’m already thinking of a new place to visit in 2018 and it’s going to be something very different than the beach!

We ended 2017 taking one last road trip on our way to visit family in Florida and made a quick overnight stop in St. Simons Island. St Simons Island is the kind of small town that if you blink when you drive through you might miss it.. but it’s filled with so much beauty and southern charm. Coastal towns make my heart happy. There’s just something about the sea air, Island Moss and my feet in in the sand that I never get tired of. When we arrived we had lunch at Palm Coast, the cutest little Coffee and sandwich shop. We explored the town and I found the cutest beach shop called Simons for antique home beach decor while the kids enjoyed the local fudge shop. We stayed at the Inn at Sea Island which was so cute and affordable off season. It is a sister hotel to the famous Cloisters ( Which I never did end up visiting, next time! ). We ended the day with seafood at the King and Prince Hotel and made plans to visit Jekyll Island the next day. This was a highlight of the trip. The beach is covered in huge, amazing pieces of driftwood and shells. It’s a photographer’s dream. You just have to go and see it to experience it for yourself! I would love to go back to Jekyll Island again. You feel like you stepped back in another era. It’s full of so much beauty and history. We finished the day having lunch at the Wharf on the water and exploring Jekyll Island Club Resort. Beautiful!

If you are ever heading through GA to Fl make a pit stop in St Simons Island, you won’t regret it! Here’s to an amazing 2018 filled with new memories and experiences!

 

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