Monthly Archives: March 2012

Mar
28

Happy Birthday Riley!

Categories: Pets.

I truly can’t believe another year has gone by so quickly. Three years and 10 months have passed since this little gremlin came into my life and I would truly be SO lost without him. He is my soul-dog, the smartest dog I’ve ever known, has enough personality to literally be more human than dog, and absolutely completes me.

Last year we had a small little birthday celebration for Riley at my mom’s house, and those are some of my favorite images, so I knew I wanted to do something special for his 4th birthday. We were supposed to be in Maryland last weekend so that Riley could celebrate his birthday with my mom’s puppy Sophie, and my brother’s dog Archie, but since that trip was put off, it was just Riley and Lexi. Maybe we’ll have another round of birthday celebrations in a few weeks ;) By the way, the cute little cake that he and Lexi LOVED was from The Bone-i-Fide Bakery in Aiken.

Happy birthday my boy! I love you so much :)
Lexi’s turn…she’s such a lady :)

Riley? All boy. “Gimme foooood.”

Mar
27

I Shot It

Categories: Business & Photography.

I learned about I Shot It from one of my favorite photographers: Illona of Scruffy Dog Photography, whose work I have followed since the beginning of my own photography journey. As a judge, Illona was promoting the contest on her Faceook page. On a whim, I figured what the heck – the dog photo contest has such a reasonable entry fee and the money at stake is awesome – so why not give it a shot?! I picked a handful of my favorite dog images and submitted them just before the deadline. There were over 900+ images entered when it was all said and done, so don’t you think I was pretty surprised to get an email from I Shot It noting one of my images was given a “Mark of Excellence”?! Sure was!

westie on chesapeake bay beach
I am so proud to announce that one of my favorite images of all time was awarded 12th in the contest. No money, but hey, that’s okay. There were some truly amazing images submitted from some truly amazing photographers and the honor to be among them is more than enough for me :) Click here to check out the other beautiful photographs.

Photographers, I’d definitely suggest checking out I Shot It. It’s a really great concept and not your typical “photography contest.” Thanks Illona and I Shot It for such a great opportunity, and congratulations to the other runner-up’s, and of course the winner of the grand prize of over $1,700 for her amazing energetic black and white shot of her dog Noodles.

Mar
23

Just A Day

Categories: Personal.

Back when I was working under my other business name and was using the old blog, I did a blog reader survey. One of the questions I asked was, “What would you like to see more of on the blog? Any particular topics or posts?” or something along those lines. One of the responses was “What’s a typical day like?” and it really stuck with me. I have no idea if the person that requested that still keeps up with my work but I finally did it and today I’m actually excited to share these pictures :)

Back then, I was still in college and living in an apartment close to school and an hour and a half from home (I’d drive home every weekend for family and my horses, or fly to go see Dustin), so my day-to-day life revolved around Riley, being buried in college work in my apartment, hanging out with my brother, and trying to build a business. I thought there was nothing interesting about that (except my brother, he’s really interesting and totally worth sharing about lol!), but I didn’t really feel it was all worth sharing then.

Well, not much has changed haha. My life revolves around dogs, horses, and still trying to build my business. But I did the “day in the life” project anyways. I was supposed to be driving to Maryland yesterday but had to postpone due to weather that isn’t conducive to pretty engagement sessions lol, so yesterday was kind of a “wing it” day. I had tons to catch up on but really didn’t do anything exciting.

Really, though, I should just let the pictures do the explaining…

…my day usually starts between 7 and 7:30 when the dogs creepily stare at me while I’m sleeping until I let them out. I’ll do more explaining about our farm soon but this is my attempt at a panorama from the deck of the house we currently live in on the property. Our driveway goes around the entire perimeter of the property but from our house we drive from the left side of this field, around the back, and the main barn is basically smack dab in the middle of this picture behind the trees. In the winter when the trees are bare you can see it easily from the house.

Then I grab some OJ (not a coffee person) and catch the local weather and some of The Today Show :) I’m kind of a Today Show snob. Good Morning America is lame to me. The Today Show is where it’s at. The weather is especially important because it determines where I will put the horses out for the day. Riley does this on the ottoman…

…and Lexi does this off the deck. She’s always on the prowl for something.

Then we head up to the barn. Sometimes we walk, but the dogs are really bad about pummeling each other first thing in the morning (see right-hand picture) so usually our walks get out of control and I end up yelling at them more than enjoying the walk haha. So typically we hop in my car and drive up.

Then it’s time to feed the horses. When they’re done, they give me faces like that (“Okay time to go out now!”).

I turn them out and when I get back to the house, sometimes this is what I see from our kitchen :)

…annnnnd by 8:30 or 9 it’s time to start working. I try to make myself to-do lists the night before but it doesn’t always work. My life has been a whirlwind the last 2 weeks so my office is currently a tornado of post-it’s (I love post-it’s obviously lol).

Working hard or hardly working?

On a day-to-day basis in the office, I do things like manage finances, wrangle my inbox, write blog posts, fulfill client orders, edit, manage advertising and marketing work, etc. etc. Pretty boring and redundant. Every day is slightly different and flexible for the most part, which I like, but a lot of days I am sort of drained from looking at my computer so much. Usually once or twice a week I’m on the road somewhere (Aiken, Charleston, HHI, etc.). I’m trying to get better with managing my time but it’s constantly a struggle. Bit by bit I’ll get better.

Mid-day I try to get outside for just a few minutes. The dogs go out and lounge around a little and sometimes I’ll leave the back door open so that they can come and go as they please while I go back to my office and wrap up to get ready to run errands.

The horses were hanging out close to the house at noon yesterday so I teased KC with a carrot :) She makes the best faces haha (that’s a fly mask, btw). I grew up with my horses living at home but our pastures were on the other side of the property, so now I don’t think I’ll ever get over being able to walk out my back door and see my horses right there.

Around noon I usually run errands. Grocery store, post office, bank, etc. When I got home from the grocery store yesterday I really wanted to eat lunch outside (because now I had food in my house! Yay haha! So pathetic), but it was pouring. Lexi and I were sad and it meant more sitting at my desk and staring at my computer. Boo.

Dustin suggested that if I start working at 9 I should knock off around 5, but yesterday I just didn’t make that happen. It was 6 before I was done because I was hung up on a bunch of stuff I didn’t want to deal with today lol. Glad I got it done but I’d really love that hour to just do whatever the heck I want, catch up on laundry, tie up loose ends in the house, or just be outside. So 5pm quitting time (office door closed, computer shut down) is my new goal. Anyways, at 6:30 I headed to the barn. This is a new favorite picture of Lexi :) Like I said…ALWAYS on the prowl for something! Lately she’s become obsessed with Landon’s ducks that hang out around the barn in the mornings…I guess she thought they’d be there that afternoon.

Riley just wants to keep a tight eye on me and wait for me to give him the sign he can get out of the bed of the truck.

…then it’s time to clean stalls.

Obviously I have supervisors. You know, to make sure I’m not missing anything.

Then I’m throwing these on (helmet, paddock boots, half chaps) and tacking up KC. I’ll blog more about my horses one of these days, but growing up I horse showed a lot. Now that I’m an adult in the real world, horse showing is just not in our budget. So for now I just get on and have fun. Now that the days are longer I’m trying to ride more, but if I don’t ride, then I try to run with the dogs. I think it’s important to “sweat every day” but I’m not going to lie…I don’t ALWAYS sweat every day haha. Again, trying to get better! I sleep SO much better if I exercise and there’s nothing like the feeling of sore muscles to me :) Love it.

(Lexi’s duck says hi).

See that middle picture? She’s trying to be sneaky and check my trunk for cookies/mints/carrots before we head out. She was a super good (lazy) girl, so after our ride she got a mint and a carrot :)

After I ride and take care of KC, I feed, try to brush everyone if I have time, and last night the dogs got baths. From here, the rest of my evening is pretty lazy. It was about 8pm when I left the barn last night, so then I head to the house, the dogs and I have dinner, and just enjoy the rest of the evening until bed. This is becoming my new normal now that Dustin is in Oklahoma for work for a few months, but of course every evening I miss the daylights out of him. Really, though, I’m just so thankful I have all of these four-legged little monsters to keep me going when he and Landon aren’t here :)

So that’s a somewhat “normal” day!  Weird? Boring? Not what you thought? I’d love to know! :)

Mar
22

Skye

Categories: Seniors.

Last fall when I shot Skye’s senior session in Southern Maryland, I was still using my old blog so sadly Skye hasn’t been featured on the new blog yet! It’s time to change that, because everything about her senior portraits is STUNNING. Her, obviously, the amazing location on the Patuxent River, warm October light, and her beautiful outfit choices.
LOVED this dress Skye chose to wear! Look at how pretty that detail is :)

Uma Thurman or Blake Lively? Either way, Skye is gorgeous and equally as fun to work with as she is pretty!
If you’re in interested in senior portraits this spring or summer, give me a shout! I offer some awesome senior products and have recently changed my pricing structure so that you’re walking away with several products to share with family and friends and a DVD of all of the final high-resolution files. Contact me for details!

Mar
21

Wedding Wednesday – Where Are We At?

Categories: Personal.

I haven’t blogged about our wedding for a little while now. In January I talked about being at the 9 month mark, and in February I talked about keeping it all in perspective. Here we are now at almost 6 months to go and at our one year mark of being engaged this Friday. Wow, time REALLY flies!

Since February, a lot has happened. On my trip home to Maryland, I found my dress!! I can’t wait to blog more about that in detail over at A Lowcountry Wedding where I’m a guest Lowcountry bride, but for now I’ll tell you that I was NOT looking forward to this process. I didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted, and I felt like being short and petite but having an athletic build would make me look completely swallowed in a bridal gown. I also didn’t want to spend a fortune since we decided our splurges would be the venue, photography, and food. Well, I am happy to say that I am THRILLED with my dress, I cannot believe how AMAZING I feel in it, and I can’t WAIT to put it back on! I know that’s a lot of capital letters…but I am just so incredibly excited to spend all day in that dress!

We’ve also started digging into some DIY projects and throwing our personalities into the event. I’ll definitely blog more about our projects later, but one of my bridesmaids came to visit me for a few days and we got a little start on a few really fun and mostly easy projects :)

Last Sunday, my mother-in-law and I went to Charleston to check out some hotels and rehearsal dinner options. We found a beautiful hotel about 8 miles from Pepper Plantation and will likely block the majority of the rooms there. I’m so excited for my friends and family from up north to come to Charleston…there’s so much to do whether it’s downtown, on Sullivans Island or the Isle of Palms, shopping and eating out in Mt. Pleasant, or checking out beautiful beaches like Folly.

Unfortunately, we have had a minor kink in the process because Dustin just took a job in Oklahoma for the next couple of months. He should be able to get home once a month, but it puts our April 11th engagement session plans on the back burner until we figure out when he is coming home and when Katelyn is available. I was SO looking forward to this for so many reasons…of course to work with Katelyn, but also because we have hardly any pictures together since I am always the one taking pictures. I was also so excited to have Katelyn come to our farm because it’s just so beautiful in the spring, and I knew I wanted to use one of our favorite pictures for our Save the Date. So we will get to the engagement session when we can, but one of my bridesmaids and I came up with a clever alternative to what I’d hoped for our Save the Date’s and I can’t wait to share them after they go out in the next 2 weeks :)


I think the bridesmaid dress debacle is almost under control. Notice the emphasis on think and almost. I swear, we are having the hardest time finding something in the right shade of blue that offers some variety and balance for different shapes and sizes. We were pretty set on these in Matisse Blue, but now that one dress has come in, we’re afraid the blue is too teal :-/ Ahh! Can’t wait to finally have that taken care of.

Otherwise, I really need to start nailing down flowers, a month of coordinator (seriously I think one of my biggest regrets is not hiring a planner for the whole process…shame on me), invitations, wedding bands, and the honey moon. One step at a time! I can’t believe we’re less than six months out! :)

For any Lowcountry brides who may be interested, here are the vendors we have booked thus far:

- Venue: Pepper Plantation

- Photography: Katelyn James

- Catering and Beverages: The Crazy Dutchman

- Music: The Party Music

- Dress: Casablanca