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    Seven.

    Seven years (and one day) ago today I wrote my first blog post.  I remember it so vividly because, ifView full post »

 

Seven years (and one day) ago today I wrote my first blog post.  I remember it so vividly because, if I’m being honest, I felt like a complete idiot.  Who was ever going to read this?  Why would anyone care what I had to say?  I didn’t even have a website or a business for that matter.  Just an idea and an intense drive of what my life could be like if I continued down this path.  Something about starting this blog (or I should really say that blog because oh how things have changed) felt real.  It felt like the first tangible step towards something I was building.  I remember being holed up in an office working for someone else…dreaming constantly about what it would be like to work for myself.  Getting giddy butterflies every time I would think about anything to do with this dream I was chasing.  When I think back on it now…it was such a euphoric feeling.  The unknown.  The possibilities.  The excitement.

 

It’s funny how things evolve.  Or maybe I should say how people evolve.  Because if I think back to that me seven years ago…I’ve made it to that place I dreamed so hard about.  Working for myself.  Having built a business that I whole-heartedly love.  Shooting weddings for couples that I seriously can’t believe I get to work with.  Documenting adorable families and living life on my own terms.  It can be surreal to think about but at the same time as I sit here now, that feeling is still very much the same.  My blog has become something completely different than I ever thought it would.  It’s been a place for me to share photos with the world but also look back on my life.  To remember how I felt in certain moments so I never lose perspective.  My business is (for the most part) a well-oiled machine but the funny thing is I still have that crazy feeling like I have to build something.  To keep pushing towards something bigger than myself and never become stagnant.  To go after the somewhat unattainable.  Because I think that is what being a small business owner is all about.  Forever striving for something better.  Changing and evolving and working endlessly towards a bigger purpose.  I think without that feeling I would have never and will never be successful because it’s that burning in the pit of my stomach (which could possibly just be anxiety) that pushes me.

 

Last night, I laid awake in bed for hours because it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  My mind was racing and I all I could think about was worry.  But as I sorted through my thoughts I realized that’s what this is.  Drive.  Determination.  That same excitement I had seven years ago (and a little fear) of the unknown possibilities ahead.  And while it can be a little debilitating at times, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Because it’s what keeps that little fire in me going, and makes up everything that I am.

 

 

So there are smiley babies…and then there is Nora.  Something tells me she is going to be a star because the girl knows how to work a camera!  She very rarely took her eyes off me and would literally smile every chance she got!  It was honestly the cutest thing ever.  And on top of it all, I got the chance to hang out with one of my very favorite families.  I’ve had the privilege of documenting Erin and Blair’s family as it continues to grow.  From their first pregnancy to Nolan growing into such sweet little boy to Nora making her entrance into this world.  It’s always my favorite when I get a chance to see them and capture all those special little life moments.  And it doesn’t hurt that they make extremely cute babies.  🙂

 

But enough from me.  Here’s a little look at Nora’s 6 month in-home lifestyle session.

 

 

I’ll admit it.  I typically make a huge list of all the things I am going to accomplish during off season and as the days click by I accomplish none of them.  Something about the fact that they don’t HAVE to get done messes with my brain.  Update website…or spend three hours flipping through Facebook.  I mean there’s an obvious winner in that scenario.  But something about this year really lit a fire under me and I have been quite the little productive over here.  Don’t get me wrong.  There have been plenty of days that I have stared at my computer screen until I finally gave up and went to watch the Bachelor.  Days I’ve decided shopping for things I don’t need trumped…well…everything else.  But more days than not I was cranking away at some stuff that has been looooong overdue.  The most exciting of those things being my brand spankin’ new Wedding Guides!!!!  I’m not going to lie…these were SO much work.  Turning my 7+ years of wedding knowledge into something that is cohesive and informational was incredibly hard.  But I did it and I am SO excited at how they turned out!  And I’m even more excited for all my 2017 couples to put them to use this year!  I realize I’m over-sharing these bad boys but I am just SO excited that these are finally finished!!!

 

 

I also gave my site a little facelift which was pretty eye-opening because I can really see my style come through in all my weddings (not just the ones with glowy sunsets).  It’s a hard process to figure out who you are as a photographer and what your “style” is but I feel more confident than ever going into 2017 that I know exactly what that means to me.  And I *hope* that shows from the outside in as well.  🙂

 

 

Off season isn’t over by any means but with warm weather on the horizon the lazy weekends are soon to be few and far between.  Which means the time for all the “extras” are coming to an end.  Part of me will miss the slower days but a much bigger part of me is super stoked to start it all back up again.  The first stop being my Spring Mini Sessions!  It’s not too late to grab your spot if you want to sneak in some family photos before the craziness of summer begins!

 

 

I’m off to conquer the busiest week of my life (okay that might be a bit dramatic) before we leave for vacation on Saturday!!!!  T-minus five days…but who’s counting.  🙂

 

Yesterday, I was driving back from Chicago down a very long stretch of 65.  A lot of people consider it the most boring drive ever but I kind of like it.  The endless fields and nothingness.  It’s like something about the emptiness allows my mind to take a deep breath.  Sometimes, yesterday included, I turn the radio off and just think.  I think about what I want out of life and how I’m going to get it.  Sometimes I think about all the things that are stressing me out and just let myself be in it.  My therapist told me once that I have to learn to sit through it.  The pain, anxiety, stress…as someone who wants everyday to be the best day ever, it’s a challenge.  So these drives give me that.  A little time to sit through it.  To let it work itself out and have some real, uninterrupted time to just be alone with my thoughts (which can be pretty frightening).

 

Yesterday was especially introspective because it was exactly one year since I packed up my life and moved it to Indy.  I made that same, long drive with a car full of things that somehow made up 11 years of living.  I felt this heaviness in my chest that I wanted so desperately to go away.  Was I sad I was leaving?  Was I scared at the unknown?  Was I sure this was right?  Whatever it was…I knew that drive was the beginning of a whole new chapter.  And virtually, a whole new life.

 

But yesterday wasn’t just one year since I moved.  It was also 5 years since I started chemo.  March 6th.  The day I walked into that scary place with my insides twisting and turning themselves inside out.  I knew I had to be there but I wanted so desperately to run away as fast as I could.  A million questions were running through my head.  Why is this happening?  Was I making the right choice?  Will it hurt?  It’s strange but I can literally remember everything about that day.  Every feeling and every minute like it was yesterday.  I was scared.  Like really scared.  But I smiled and hung out with my people and pretended it was all going to be okay.  I also remember the person I was when I walked in there…and what a different person walked out.  It’s bizarre to know 5 years have passed.  And still to this day I constantly go back and forth between it wasn’t that big of a deal and holy sh*t I had cancer.  Honestly, most days I just feel like I did what I needed to do and got through it.  And other days I feel like a superhero.  But despite what day it happens to be…it completely changed me.  And ultimately, changed whole trajectory of my life.

 

So yeah.  March 6th.  Just another day for most people.  But for me it’s a reminder to be unstoppable.  Not because I’m some incredible person but because I can.  Because when shit hits the fan that’s when you get to see who you really are and I’m willing to bet that person is way more of a bad ass than you could have ever imagined.

 

 

**I know the 5 year mark is a big deal for cancer survivors…but I’m not quite there yet.  June 19th is my official “cancer free” date and it will be here before we know it!!**

 

Usually I would be jumping up and down at the idea of Spring being right around the corner…but this very strange winter has basically been a Spring so I feel like I’m all screwed up!  Either way…this girl is ready for some warm weather and longer days!  Helloooo patio happy hours!  I’m holding out hope that the reeeeeally cold weather is done because otherwise all my flowers are going to die and as someone who has a black thumb…I need all the help I can get.  Anyways…with Spring being right around the corner it felt like the perfect time to do mini sessions!  Mini sessions are a great way to grab some quick photos of your family (or yourself or your dog or whomever you want pictures of!) without breaking the bank.  I have 7 slots available and you can claim yours here.  All the details are below but let me know if you have any questions.  I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!!!

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 2ND

West Park, Carmel

20 minute session

$200

BOOK MY SESSION!