Friday Five: January

Categories: Personal.

The first month of 2015 is officially coming to an end. You know how they say “the days are long, but the years are short.” …well I think it’s true: ) So, January was a good month…lots of time for rest and off-season projects and I’m excited about all of the great things ahead this year. The start of a new year always feels refreshing…I spend a lot of time thinking about the year past, what worked, what didn’t work, what I want the upcoming year to look like, and how best to get there. I think goal-setting is important and I always building a concise little list of things I’d love to accomplish in the new year.

Anyways, that’s my little ramble to start the year, but lets get to the important stuff :)

1. House Update: The house is coming along! Slowly but surely. December and January was a lot of behind-the-scenes decision making and many small victories that just aren’t tangible, so not much to write home about. HVAC was installed, appliances were purchased, big things like our clawfoot tub and farmhouse sink were ordered and the sink has come in (never knew I could love a sink so much! and PS. that sucker is HEAVY), and we’ve been getting drywall and insulation bids. Electrical and plumbing starts in just a few days! So hopefully before long the house updates will have their own posts as things become easier to actually see :)

2. Ebates: My fellow Ebaters know that February means cash back month. At least I guess everyone gets their cash back at the same time? I always feel scam-y/spam-y talking about Ebates but you know when you discover something awesome and you want everyone else to be able to enjoy said awesome thing too? Well Ebates is one of them and all of my friends who have signed up always say “whoa this really is awesome and really is real.” Simply put, you get a percentage of purchases made online back. $1.30 here or $3.59 here adds up my friends! Since we’ve bought a lot of stuff for the house online, it’s been great to be able to take advantage of cash back that way. If you want to sign up, you can use this link here. It’s legit, pinky promise! I’ve been using it for over a year!

3. iPhone Notes App: Does anyone else use this simple app for all kinds of lists? I love lists so I have many different specific lists I keep up with on my iPhone for when the time strikes. You know…gift ideas, my favorite Shark Tank brands, a “wish list” (articles of clothing or furniture I want to be on the lookout for), recipe’s I saw on TV and want to try, house contractor recommendations. All kinds of goodness. Are you the kind that if you don’t write it down, you won’t remember it? Cuz I am!

4. 58 Years. On Sunday my Grandparents will celebrate 58 years of marriage. Truly incredible. Back in November we celebrated their birthdays (86 and 90, just a few days apart), and their upcoming anniversary with nearly 150 of their closest friends. My grandparents are SO loved by so many and it was such a great day celebrating all of their many accomplishments, both individually and together. But nearly 60 years of marriage…that’s amazing. Last year in preparation for the party, my mom pulled out their wedding album and some of their favorite wedding images and they were so classic and so inspiring. I’ll have to do a separate post on some of my favorites this month :)

5. Our Chickens: We haven’t bought eggs since the beginning of November and I think that’s awesome and Friday Five worthy. They are finally paying for themselves. And they are also hilarious. They run to me at dinner time like dogs and it makes me laugh every. single. day.

My favorite Instagram‘s from January!



Categories: Personal.

It’s been a while since I’ve had this sweet kiddo in front of my camera, so I carried it out to the barn with us this weekend just to snap a few. There really is no greater joy than being this guy’s bonus mom. I’m so fortunate to get to watch him grow up and be a part of shaping him in the awesome little man he is becoming. I’m so glad he and his dad chose me :)


A Photo Book Obsession

Categories: Personal.

I’m a photographer, so naturally I’m obsessed with remembering every little detail of our life. Modern technology has made this a million times easier for everyone. They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and I have to agree. Having a camera phone is amazing…it allows us to document things we never would have with a traditional, larger camera. So of course being such a big family person, I try to be really dedicated to documenting the big and little parts of our life as a family. I still try to take my bigger cameras out a few times a year for our family stuff; whether that’s my digital or my film, I like having more professional, technically correct images too. And of course, it’s always still important to get in front of a professional’s camera every few years or so, whether you are a professional yourself or not :)

Regardless of whether your day-to-day family images are professional quality or from your cell phone or tablet, letting them live in digital form doesn’t do you any good over the long term. The best way to celebrate these snippets of our life is through the printed form…prints in our home, or even better, collections of photo books. I’m a wee bit obsessed with creating a photo book for whatever occasion I can. Right now we have our engagement and wedding albums (through professional book companies), a yearly book from 2009 & 2010, 2011, 2012, and a book from our Topsail vacation and our California vacation. Our 2013 and 2014 books are on my big to-do list and I hope to get to them soon! I also gifted a few photo books for Christmas and they were a huge hit and something I know my family members will cherish for a long time. I also can’t wait until our house renovation is done and I can put together a book showing how extreme the journey has been.

There are so many options for where to have your books printed, but as long as you’ve having it printed, there is no right or wrong answer. Some of my favorites include Artifact Uprising, Shutterfly (for our yearly books because the pages are thicker and hard to bend…good for little’s one day), and MyPublisher (for our vacation books because their designs are so clean, the design interface is super easy and fast, and these books are very affordable). I’ve kind of played around with a few different companies and have landed on these working best for us for now. I also know people who love the Instagram book service Chatbooks, and those who swear by Blurb.

But at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you have your images printed in one way, shape, or form. You never know when technology might fail or your beloved images on your phone or computer could disappear. I know that in the future as our family continues to grow, that these books will become even more valuable and will be well viewed and loved. Can’t you just picture our grandkids flipping through these books one day? Or showing our kids’ girlfriends or boyfriends all of their embarrassing baby pictures? Or having a big ole collection of books in our home, spanning decades? There is truly nothing better than sitting down and flipping through these amazing memories and I’m so excited to have these treasures as the years go on :)


A Rice Mill Wedding

Categories: Weddings.

What a perfect summertime throwback! I loved re-visiting this Charleston wedding I assisted Paige Winn Photo with back in August. Kim and Hunter planned such a fun wedding at the historic Rice Mill building and a good time was had by all. Despite the hot temperatures and rainy weather, nothing kept these two and their friends and family from having an amazing evening celebrating their new marriage.


Becoming an Artist

Categories: Personal.

“In large measure becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal,
and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.”
- David Bayles

the stono river by charleston wedding photographer britt croft

The Stono River photographed by Charleston wedding photographer Britt Croft.