February Goals – 2019

I love February!  You know why?  Because it’s shortalexandra michelle photography - flat lay 2019-2 (like me I guess).  It may sound weird but I love the fact that it is a short month with exactly four weeks.  It’s the kind of month that can go fast if you want it to but can also motivate you to get a lot done because you don’t have a lot of time.  I don’t know about you but I work much better when I’m under a time crunch.  If I have endless time and no real due date then I will procrastinate forever!  But give me a due date that’s coming up quick and I’m bustin’ my buns to get it done.

Looking back on January I had a really productive month.  I got a lot of my goals done for the month and started working on lifestyle habits that I can keep up in the months ahead.

For this month I’ve got some big to-dos that need to get done!  So without further ado here is my February Goal List both personal and business related.

February Business Goals

  • Map out my February blog calendar and plan out Friday personal posts to maintain consistency.
  • Update Welcome Guide and Interest packet for Newborn Photography clients
  • Blog at least 2x a week.
  • Build a stock folder of creative flat lays
  • Book at least 5 sessions for this upcoming spring!  EEK – I have one so far for the end of February and one this weekend but I’m ready for more!
  • Take fresh headshots
  • Complete my Katelyn James Business Course homework this month on Community Marketing and watch all the videos!  <<My favorite goal because it’s so easy to do since it’s FUN!

February Personal Goals

  • Visit friends in Richmond (check!)
  • Host a game night
  • Continue to meal prep my breakfast and lunches on Sundays for the week
  • Continue my gym routine of 4x a week and cardio at least 2x a week. (so far so good)
  • Find a church to go to at least 3 Sundays a month.
  • Journal 1x a week + Write the Word Journal 3x a month
  • Get our cars inspected so we don’t get fined…. (yuck)
  • Love my friends well with a valentines treat!
  • Get a hair cut!  (it’s so needed!)
  • Stick to our cash budget (this has been a GAME CHANGER for us and one day I’ll blog about it)
  • Organize pictures for family albums into folders on my external hard drive so I can start album designing in May.

That’s all folks!  I’m working hard this year to be strategic about my year-long goals and how I break them down.  For instance, I’m trying not to just say make family albums with pictures from the years past!  Instead, I’m picking specific months that make the most sense to get those things done.  This has helped me so much so far to not feel like a failure with my goals!  In the past, I would make a bunch of goals and feel like I had to get them all done right away without giving myself all 12 months to spread out my progress.  PROGRESS over PERFECTION people!  Sing it with me now!

What are your goals for February?  Do we line up on anything?

Brown Family Newborn

Brown Family Newborn

— Richmond, Virginia —

Y’all!  I couldn’t be more excited to share with you the Brown Family’s newborn session!  I’ve gotten the pleasure of working with this family over the years and have loved getting to know Mr. Joseph!  He is quite the ham!  Seeing him with his new baby sister during this session was nothing short of adorable.  He was so sweet, calm and gentle – it’s obvious he’s going to be a GREAT big brother!

What was also fun about this session was that Joseph was such a good helper!  He helped me set up the bean bag with the blankets, held the blanket up to reflect light on baby Elizabeth and even showed me his camera skills – he’s really good!  He also was really understanding of when the focus was on his sister.  Sometimes siblings have a hard time with this during sessions because they are used to being the focus.  Not Joseph though, he was patient and such a good listener!  His sister, I have to say was equally wonderful!  She slept the entire time!  This basically NEVER happens and she was a CHAMP!  She slept through outfit changes, us putting bows on her, hats on her, she fell right back to sleep each time like a pro.  My favorite images if you can imagine were the ones of her gorgeous floral bow ::SWOONING::  Note to self – when I have a baby girl one day this floral bow is a MUST HAVE!  

I just love these images and this little family!

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Picking a Newborn Photographer

How to Pick a Newborn Photographer

— Ask Anything —

The reality of this blog post is that I could be writing it about any type of photography, newborns, family, seniors, weddings etc. etc. etc.  But recently I’ve had my mind on newborn photography and I got thinking about what I would one day want (not pregnant PS.) in a newborn photographer.  Would I want to have a lifestyle session?  Would I want fresh 48 images?  Birth photography!?  These are all options that I honestly don’t know the answers to, and since I’m not pregnant I don’t really have to think about it too long.  But if you are pregnant, you may be thinking of these questions, or maybe not.  I’m here to help you know what you probably should consider. Read More »

Rafferty Family Portrait Session

Rafferty Family Portrait Session

— Frederick, Maryland —

When we were debating whether to make the move up to Baltimore, one of the points on the pro/con list that came up with that this business had started in Richmond and had a large client base there.  Ultimately when we decided to take a chance and move, I have to admit that I was nervous about the future of this business.  I didn’t know if I’d be able to get clients in Baltimore or even if anyone up here would be interested.  And then we announced we were moving and I was blown away with gratitude when Krystal contacted me almost immediately.

Krystal and I were sorority sisters at JMU but hadn’t been in touch for a few years since we had graduated.  It was such a wonderful surprise to find that she had been following along in my photography journey!  Not only that but she wanted to schedule portrait sessions for her family!   She told me she was pregnant with her third baby and wanted to ensure she could get photographs of their family in this precious stage in life.  It was a great feeling, my first session in Maryland was going to be with an old friend who I already knew and felt comfortable with!Read More »

My (new) Word of the Year – 2019

Alexandra Michelle Photograpy - January Snow - Baltimore Maryland-17.jpgMy new Word of the Year – 2019

— Personal —

It’s FRIDAY!  Which means it’s time for a personal post!  I’m trying to be more personal here and show more of myself, what I love, who I am (etc. etc.) so I’ve decided that on Fridays (as best I can) I’m posting personally to have a little FUN up in here.  SO that being said today I’ve got to share about my Word of the Year for 2019.  Palm to the face moment that it’s taken me until the end of the month to do this… But hey – Grace over Perfection!

Some of you may know my word of the year if you follow me on Instagram because I posted it on my story a few weeks back.  And since then I’ve changed it.  Yeah – I did.  Because I can.  🙂 Read More »

Fall Pregnancy Announcement

For some these images may seem like a simple new baby announcement but they are SO much more than that. These pictures 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! Read More »

Let it SNOW – A look back on our January snow day!

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 LOVE snow.  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!

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Best of Newborns – 2018

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 »

Best of Seniors 2018

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 »