For some these images may seem like a simple new baby announcement but they are SO much more than that. These picture represents a journey. A hard, beautiful journey filled with love and hope and one that I’ve gotten to be a part of as a friend and photographer since the very beginning. Amanda was the first person I ever took pictures of “professionally” and has since trusted me with her biggest milestones. I say professionally in quotes because I had never, I repeat, NEVER taken pictures of people before Amanda asked me to shoot her engagement pictures. I sometimes can’t believe she trusted me with this and then later when she called me to do her newborn session, my FIRST newborn session! She saw something in me and pushed me to start something before I even knew to try. From maternity to newborn, to a cake smash to the moment when she called me and told me she was pregnant again after years of waiting. Years of what I can only assume was hope and prayers and deep heartaches and now she is expecting her second baby, a GIRL!
We originally had her session scheduled later in the day and her brother and sister in law’s session happened to be earlier that morning. I was sitting in the airport getting ready to leave Mississippi when Amanda called to ask for a favor. She told me her big gigantic news and that she was hoping to surprise her brother and sister in law with the news at their session. We decided to move her session up before her brother’s so we could claim we wanted a whole group picture for the grandparents. It wouldn’t be suspicious because we had already flirted with the idea of doing this before. So, that morning we woke up extra early to meet and the result was extra special! She had a little sign made up saying that Cole would be a big brother and we had to pretend it said something else so he wouldn’t run around shouting the news to the hills just yet. 🙂 I think we came up with “Cole is the BEST!” as a way to get him excited for the sign and to keep the secret a secret.
When the time came for the surprise I have to say I was super nervous! Mostly because I was feeling emotional for them and I knew I wanted to get these images just right for Amanda and Jamie! The moment was emotional for everyone and I’m so honored that Amanda once again trusted me to capture it. Being a photographer may have started as a hobby, then turned into something small but now it means getting to capture moments like these and being a part of the each family’s individual journey. I am so grateful for Amanda for really kicking this whole beautiful journey off by sharing her own beautiful journey with me. I’m so THRILLED for them and their upcoming baby and I’m soo THRILLED to be sharing these images today!
How do you normally like to wake up? Peacefully to soft music maybe? Maybe slowly opening your eyes to the sign of sunshine peaking through the windows? What about being woken by your partner screaming with excitement and jumping up and down? No? Really?
Well this is how Sterling woke up on Sunday morning. You see, I LOVEsnow. Part of me thinks it’s because I have a December birthday that I’m keen to love winter things like snow, snuggling in doors, ice skating etc. I’m sure this isn’t actually why I love these things but just go with it… In any case back to my point – I love snow. When it snows even just a little bit I SCREAM out of excitement and become a small child all over again. When I was really little and we would be getting into the car to go to school I would see all of this white stuff on the grass and FREAK out that it was snow getting so excited! You’ll imagine how confused and deflated I felt when I found out it wasn’t actually snow but really just frost… 😦
So after I finished jumping up and down with excitement my next words to Sterling were “Get up get up!! It’s time to have fun!” and then instantly followed by “Can we get dressed cute and go outside to take pictures with the tripod!?” I’m telling you this — he is a really good sport. 🙂 He had a cold and would have rather kept sleeping but instead at 8:30am he got up and went through a few outfit changes and humored me while I set up the tripod in the snow to get the best picture. 🙂 We’re starting to get this self portrait-tripod-timer thing down to a science and it went even faster this time around when I decided to try Abby Grace Photography’s suggestion of switching over to manual focus mode. Made a HUGE difference! Instead of having to refocus each time and crossing our fingers it got the right spot – I was sure that it was focused every time (well as long as Sterling stayed in the same spot). Now on my wish list is a wireless remote so I don’t have to run back and forth after clicking the button with the 10 second count down. 🙂
Enjoy some of our pictures from the snow – I’m just slightly obsessed and now have to decide which one(s) to frame!
34. THIRTY FOUR! I had 34 sessions this year and worked with the most AMAZING families! From mommy and me minis, to 1 year cake smashes, all the way to holiday minis this past fall, I was so blessed this past year! I worked with people who are so creative, kind, funny, warm and let me be my full wacky goofy self. It was the best! Read More »
Yall! Could this job get any better? Looking through the newborn images from this past year it feels like “no way!”. I LOVE working with newborns and I especially LOVE the newborn sessions from 2018! I can’t even believe there was a time when I was turning down newborn enquiries. Yeah, I was! I was SO intimidated by these tiny humans! Plus I didn’t think I’d be any good when I couldn’t run around with them, couldn’t make up games and silly phrases to get the smiles and instead had to be careful and quiet. Quiet isn’t normally in my nature…. but once I took on my first newborn session it was love! Read More »
This week is “Best of” week and I’m kicking it off with the sector of my business that meant the most to me this past year. I’ve always loved working with seniors but this year I had the privilege of working with three seniors who were past students of mine when they were 7th graders! While I get to work with amazing families, newborns and people who become friends, getting to work with girls that were students of mine by far tops the charts. Read More »
Woo lawzy it has been a hot second since I’ve posted here. 2018 was a serious whirlwind and life is finally starting to slow down (thank goodness!). During December I let myself relax over the holidays so I could totally process the year and prepare for 2019 in mind and spirit. I’ll tell you honestly, as great as it was to step back for a bit there was a big part of me that felt guilty like I was falling behind. Even though part of me was distracted by this feeling of neglecting things I wanted to get done, 90% of me was able to have really intentional reflection about 2018. Good LORD was this needed and here’s why. Read More »
Oh hey Richmond, miss me? Well I MISS YOU! So much so that I’m doing not just one day of minis but TWO days of Christmas minis in Richmond this year. 🙂
I posted back on Instagram a few weeks ago about where to do the minis and the response was overwhelmingly for Richmond! It happens that I’ll been in town two weekends in a row for other sessions and it worked out perfectly to host my minis on those weekends! I CAN’T WAIT! I am so excited to see some familiar faces and especially the littles!!
So what do Christmas Minis entail? It’s 30 minutes with a guaranteed 15 images. It’s perfect for busy families who really want fresh new images but don’t always have the time for a full on session. It also great for those who are looking for a few images for a holiday card! These sessions are always some of my favorite of the year. I get to see some of my favorite people! It also ends up being just the right amount of time for the littles before they are done, which let’s be honest can happen with longer sessions.
Because I’m traveling in from Maryland there are more limited spots than in years past. So if you are interested let’s book it and get you a time slot! 🙂 The details are below, go on and grab your spot! You can email me at email@example.com ! I CAN’T WAIT to see you!!
Check out some of my favorite holiday mini images below!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you! If you use this code when you contact me to book I’m going to put you in the drawing for 20% off! The drawing is going to be on MONDAY (yes Monday as in the 24th!) Use code “HOLLY JOLLY” when you contact me and I’ll put you in the pool to get 20% off your session. Only one person will win 🙂
HOLY shizzz this session was amazing! I got in the car with Brandy and as we pulled out of the driveway she hollered over to Chris her husband about loading up the horses cause we were going to Renee’s. The name sounded familiar but it wasn’t until we started approaching the location that I realized where we were going.
At first I thought Renee’s was a place where Carryn rides, but it wasn’t, it was a gorgeous piece of property of a nearby neighbor, Renee. As we pulled up I realized where we were going, this was the infamous farm. The farm that used to belong to Sterling’s grandmother, where his mother and aunts had lived when they were younger, where Sterling had grown up exploring nature. It’s probably one of his most cherished places and I was seeing it for the very first time.
We pulled up to the property and started looking around. I felt kind of weird actually being there without him, as if I was imposing on his memories and special place. Those feelings quickly faded when we came up a familiar site. A large red barn was right in front of me, beautifully perched up on a hill, the same site that we have framed in our house.
It was neat getting to spend time in a place that is such a huge part of Sterling’s life but that paired with getting to spend time with the Mullins and take these images, made for a perfect night. The Mullins are my kind of people. The first time we took pictures together I needed to get to a higher ground and so climbed up on the shoulders of Chris who didn’t skip a beat. Brandy is a country girl who will do anything for her kids and she has amazing taste. We’d make one hell of a styled shoot duo if I was in the Charlottesville area. For this session, we brought over a trailer with not one but two horses and the whole family joined in to help. At one point I was standing on top of Taylor’s (Carryn’s sister) boyfriend’s car. These people are all in and I LOVE it!
The best part of the whole session was the last few moments in the field with Carryn’s horses. The light got softer, the horses came out and Carryn blossomed. This is her happy place. She is 100% herself when she’s with her horses. She’s confident, carefree, beautiful, soft and strong all at the same time. She SHINES in these images in the field and they are some of my favorites ever.
This horse is BEAUTIFUL! They got him from Chincoteauge!
When I taught Malone in 7th grade I have to admit she was one of my faves. As a teacher you’re not supposed to have “favorites” but while you love all your kiddos for individual reasons, there are some that stick out through the years. There are always ones that you hope come back to visit and catch you up on all their new adventures. Any teacher will tell you that getting to catch up with old students is one of the best parts. It makes up for all the late nights, weekends spent grading, and endless emails. You grow to love your kids and seeing them as young adults who have grown so much but still have a lot of that 7th grader in them is such a joy! Read More »
We have been married officially ONE YEAR and one week 🙂 After all of the moving mess we knew that for our one year anniversary we wanted to do something low key. We wanted to be able to come home and sleep here but also have an adventure. So we decided to do something we both really love – explore a new place and be outside! We decided to take the Saturday and head down to Harper’s Ferry for the day so we could explore the town and then hike!
That morning we woke up – dropped our dogs off at my parents and headed down to Harper’s Ferry. It is an precious little town! So precious in fact that you have to park pretty far away and take a bus in because there is so little parking downtown – which honestly I think is really cute! The bus is free and even plays bluegrass music and tells you about the park and the town. We walked up and down the main street, visiting each quaint store and then had lunch. We ate at Almost Heaven which was filled with West Virginia gear everywhere! For a down home place it was kind of pricey but we did really like beer cheese fries and tasting local West Virginia beers. While in town we picked up our first ever “National Park Passport”. It lays out all of the national parks and historical sites in each region of the United States and then as you visit each place you collect stamps. We are officially determined to see as many places as possible and make it (at least) a yearly tradition to explore the great outdoors!
After lunch it was off to our hike. We crossed the river on an old rustic train bridge that has a walking path on the side. This bridge is actually part of the Appalachian Trial which was pretty cool! Once we got to the other side we decided to do the Maryland Height’s Overlook because it’s the highest point that overlooks both rivers and the town. It’s a five mile hike round trip and we had just enough time to do it.
The trial was awesome! Very well kept, wide and not too steep which I really liked. I really don’t like heights so I was a little nervous to get to the top. The nice thing about this particular overlook though is that you can’t see the edge of the cliff or the drop off unless you go to the edge. So I got to comfortable enjoy the sites without being terrified the whole time.
The hike took us about 2 hours round trip and it POURED in the middle! Fortunately we were under a great canopy of trees so while we did get wet, we didn’t get nearly as soaked as those in town did.
What was so nice about our one year anniversary was getting time to just be together, uninterrupted by social media. We spent the whole day just exploring and talking and it was a perfect slow down to the otherwise crazy fast paced summer. Our first year of marriage may not have been especially glamorous but it was just perfect. We spent a lot of time with great friends, traveled some, enjoyed being with our families and found a stronger connection with God. We found a church that we fell in love with, took on new adventures and dreamt up great big plans for our future. We took chances, cried a lot (mostly me), laughed more and now are leaning on each other more than ever. Our journey together has never been perfect but it’s taught us a lot about what true love really looks like (at least for us).
Sterling – You are more than just my best friend, you’re the love of my life and my favorite human. Thank you for walking this journey with me – even when I ugly cry and blow bubbles to calm down… You’re my biggest fan and my greatest role model of what being a good christian, friend and family person looks like. I know you’ll be just as goofy, fun, sincere, and lovely when we’re 80 as you are now, which is why I’m glad you’re mine. 🙂