I officially fail and am really confused about what month I should be doing the Friday Five today. I think it’s my November wrap up, but I’m so thrown off because of the holiday last week. So I guess we’ll just go on with it! November was here and gone in the blink of an eye, and I’m already flabbergasted (love that word) that we’re through the first week of December. I have no idea why, but every year I think that December will be relaxing and slow and will mean so much extra time to do fun holiday stuff and spend extra time with my family. Every year I get more and more wrong. I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities that have popped up last minute, but sometimes I wish I could swap them for after the New Year so that I could be 100% present with my family during the holidays. But, it’s a great opportunity to learn how to soak in all of the busyness and excitement of the holidays while also juggling lots of work! All great things…I can’t complain!
Without further adu, here are my favorite Instagrams from November…
And some of my favorite things about November/December coming up…
1. Oysters: Dustin and I LOVE oysters. He eats ‘em raw, but I love them steamed and/or oysters Rockefeller or like we had them at the Old Oyster Factory at the beginning of the month, with baked cheese on top. NOM. One of my favorite things about entering the months with “r’s” is that it’s oyster time once again. We were lucky enough to have them not once, but twice this month. Such a treat, and I can’t wait for us to have a weekend to steam them on the back porch :)
2. Hilton Head and Asheville: In November, Dustin and I went on two really fun getaways. At the beginning of the month, we decided on an impromptu trip to Hilton Head Island for the night. We had a really nice dinner, went out with his sister, and the next morning had a yummy breakfast and did a little shopping on the way out. It was totally spur of the moment and so fun. Then in the middle of the month,we took our planned belated 1st Anniversary trip to Asheville. The dogs got to go so that was fun. We went ziplining on Saturday, hit up a really awesome little flea market, ate lots of yummy food, and hiked up to Chimney Rock on Sunday with the dogs. This kind of stuff is so good for the soul and I can’t wait for our next little adventure :)
3. Landon time!: Around Thanksgiving, I also got some extra time with my buddy. Since there were a lot of weekends this year where I missed him (he was here but I was traveling for weddings), it was so fun to make up for lost time, just the two of us. We played a lot of games, and also spent a day at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. We fell in love with this koala bear, had fun watching the elephants, and just overall had such a great time. I’m so fortunate to have that little man in my life and really grateful for our relationship and how most days, I get to be more of a friend than a mom figure. Fortunately, that makes me cool…for now haha :)
4. Surprise Thanksgiving: Although we’d been planning to spend Thanksgiving in Maryland, my mom had NO idea. We walked into her house around 11am Thanksgiving morning while she was rushing around preparing for dinner, and she literally lost it…it was the sweetest thing ever :) I’m really grateful for my awesome husband who came up with the idea to surprise her and made me keep the secret. It KILLED me to pretend like we weren’t coming when I knew we were! But it was definitely worth it to see her face!
5. End of year: Even though I can’t believe how quickly 2013 has gone, I always love the end of year business stuff. The business nerd in me loves looking back at my numbers and analyzing how I did and where I could tighten up or afford to take more risks, evaluating my goals, determining what worked and what didn’t work, and setting new goals and making new plans for the new year. Next week will lend a couple days for me to do all of that good stuff as well as start really preparing for my blog face lift that is right around the corner. It always feels so good to tie up the end of the year in a nice little package and really be ready to hit the ground running at the start of the New Year.
Happy December, everyone! Soak in every second with family and friends that you can :)
It’s insane to me that we’re welcoming the first day of the last two months of the year. It’s definitely that time where things are winding down, I’m looking back at 2013, planning for 2014, and prepping for the holidays. I’m sure every year that passes will continue to be the fastest year of my life, but this year has gone by in the blink of an eye. I’m so excited that now that it’s November, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not far at all. I love spring, summer, and fall, but the holidays are so extra special. There’s nothing better than an excuse to cook and bake more than usual, burn cider/pumpkin/apple/fir smelling candles, cozy up with the ones you love the most, and shop for friends and family :) Especially after this whirlwind of a year, the holidays are going to be extra special this year!
Since October was a great month full of incredibly sweet couples, beautiful weddings, quality time with my boys and furbabies, and no airplanes (woohoo!), here’s a look back at some of my favorite Instagram’s…
1. Blog Facelift: I’ve known it needed to happen for over a year now, it was just a matter of making everything come together at the right time, but I’m so excited to share that at the start of 2014 the blog will be getting a big facelift. It’ll be transitioned into a blogsite, meaning my main portfolio website will go away and I’ll have one singular internet home for BCP. I know this will be such a good change for my business and a great opportunity to revisit the design elements and mature the blog a bit as I’ve fine tuned what I’m shooting and who I’m shooting for.
2. November: November is going to be such a fun month for us. After somewhat being passing ships in the night, I’ll finally have some quality time at home with Dustin on the weekends and we even have a few little getaways planned. I only have one weekend of out of state travel, and that will be a good weekend too, but I’m so excited to have FOUR other weekends to be home. November is also a big month for Clemson & Carolina fans, so we anxiously look forward to that Saturday, and of course there’s Thanksgiving, the unofficial start of all things Christmas, some family birthdays, and cool, crisp weather perfect for riding. The only thing I’m not feeling is that time change situation haha.
3. Slowing down: I always feel like my mind is going 500 miles a minute or I make silly little mistakes too often because I’m not taking my time. A big goal for this year has been to learn to let go and slow down, and I did well for a while, but now it’s time for a refresher so that I can carry those efforts through to 2014. In November I’ll be making more effort than ever to slow down, listen, and be positive.
4. Goals!: It’s game time for tying up those loose ends and focusing on my undone goals for the year. It’s been a great year and I’ve accomplished many of my goals, but I still have a handful I’d love to cross off the list before 2014 arrives. We shall see! One big goal that I finally started on, after TWO YEARS, is designing our yearly family photo books. I sat down one night to design 2009/2010 and it was so fun re-living the early stages of Dustin and I’s relationship and seeing Landon so little. We also got Lexi in 2010 so there was lots of puppy pics to awwww over :) You can see a peek into that book here and here.
5. #ForWeddingPhotogs: If you’re a wedding photographer, you have to see this. One of my two friends from Colorado discovered this (can’t remember which, haha sorry Katie’s) but I’m steady laughing over them because they are SO. TRUE. So thanks to whoever maintains this Tumblr and keeps me entertained.
Happy November! Make it the best one yet :)
Every year since we’ve lived here the field behind our farm has been planted with something different. In 2011 we had peanuts, 2012 was soy beans, and this year we got cotton! Growing up in Maryland, I honestly had no idea cotton was still grown. I totally thought that cotton was machine made in a factory these days, so when I first saw these fields full of fluffy white stuff, I was so confused. “Honey, that’s cotton” is what Dustin said. “Cotton what?!” Yup, completely unbeknownst to me, cotton is still grown. Call me a dumb blonde, a yankee, whatever…I had no idea! So rightfully so, I’m obsessed…for a few reasons. One, because it’s so cool and such a southern thing. Two, because it literally feels like a cotton ball so I’m completely amazed. And three, because it looks like a snow covered field which reminds me of home. I’m going to be so sad when they finally pick it!
Since I know that day is coming quick (I’m hoping not too quick since I still want to squeeze another shoot in!), I had to get the dogs out there. We had pretty, warm fall light last night and this was the first time in a long time I’d picked up my camera just for me. I can’t even remember the last time I took pictures of my own dogs! So enjoy Riley and Lexi in the cotton, and some other random barn odds and ends :)
Yikes I can’t believe we are 3/4 of the way through the year! We are about to enter the last quarter of the year and I can’t believe it! I feel like September flew by in the blink of an eye…but that’s probably because it did. So of course, it’s time for my favorite Instagrams of the month and five things on my mind/that happened/I’m looking forward to/or I just feel like talking about…
1. Fall!: Fall is my favorite season EVER! I love when the seasons change and the weather gets cooler and it’s impossible not to spend more time outside than usual. Weather like this encourages me to walk to the barn in the mornings and evenings, leave the back door open, wear hoodies, and snuggle under blankets on the couch. Temps have been in the mid 80′s here and it’s been perfect. I’ve been burning my pumkin and apple candles and filling the house with my favorite smells, and next week I hope to pick up a few mums and pumpkins for the porch :) Love fall!
2. Wedding season: We’re more than halfway through the year and with the bulk of the rest of my 2013 weddings taking place in October, I am really excited to have some more free time in November and December. Of course that’s a busy time for portraits (if you’re interested, book NOW because I’m full through mid-November!) but it means I can get back into the zone of working more on the business. I actually like doing the boring business stuff just as much, if not more, than I enjoy shooting. I love evaluating my year thus far, figuring out what I can improve or change, and tidying up my workflow and never-ending to-do lists.
3. Family time: And, more free time means more time I can dedicate to those two handsome guys you see up there. We spend a TON of time outside as the weather gets cooler and there’s so much I look forward to doing together this fall. I love those two so much and am the luckiest girl in the whole world to have them in my life.
4. Haley pup!: This past week my friend Ariel’s dog has been camping out with us while she’s out of the country. Having a temporary third pup is always fun (although crowded on the bed…ahem) and I’ve loved getting to know this crazy little girl’s personality. She has the cutest ears in the whole world, watches TV, looks at herself in the mirror, cocks her head side to side when she hears a high pitched noise, and howls when she wants something really, really bad. Absolutely adorable. She went back home yesterday and we’ll definitely miss her!
5. Glasses: Sooooo I got reading glasses last week. For the last 2-3 months my eyes have been really bothering me…I think staring at a computer screen all day nearly 5 days a week just does that. I got a pretty mild prescription but WOW it’s making such a difference! My eyes feel brand new :)
I know we always say that we can’t believe it’s so-and-so month but I really cannot believe it’s been over 6 months since I attended Making Things Happen. It was really exciting when my alert went off on my phone last week reminding me about the “6 month check up,” and I thought it would be fun to blog a little bit about my progress.
My Making Things Happen journey was pretty personal so there’s a lot of things I won’t talk in a lot of detail about but there are some big changes that have taken place in the last 6 months and I don’t think that I would have had the proper tools to put them in place if it weren’t for MTH. MTH was one of the best investments I made this year because not only did it strengthen my business, but it strengthened ME…and I can’t have a strong business without a strong core. Just like everything else in life…you have to be whole and fulfilled on the inside before everything on the outside can work the way it’s supposed to. Obviously I’m far from “whole” on the inside, but I can feel the positive effects of the changes I’ve made and it’s been amazing.
I’ll be honest…I’ve had my MTH notebook sitting next to my computer for MONTHS. Like, since May, probably. I’ve been meaning to read through and give myself a refresher and remind myself where I was at in March, but I never could do it, because I was so afraid I’d not be where I wanted to be. Well tonight I opened it, and it was a good way to see what I have accomplished, and also to give myself a gentle nudge to finish the things I may have started and not finished…or not even started yet.
One of the biggest and most notable changes I made in my life involves social media. I’m still working on this one, but I haven’t looked at my FB news feed in MONTHS. I’m sorry friends, but unless we text almost on a daily basis (I could literally count those people on one hand), I don’t know what’s going on in your life, and I’m totally okay with that. It’s TOO much information, guys! Maybe not for you, but it was for me. I don’t need to know what everyone is doing or ask myself why I’m not doing the same things as them or this that and the other. Useless information I no longer get :) Yes! I also unfollowed a LOT of people on Twitter and Instagram. You have to get rid of the negative to have room to fill with more positive. I haven’t had work email on my phone for a long time and I stand by that working for me…it’s there if I’m travelling and need to turn it on, but it doesn’t constantly ping and my mind is NOT on it when I’m not looking at my inbox at my computer. And, I don’t use social media on the weekends. Every once in a while I slip up, but for the most part, Friday afternoon to Monday morning are totally social media free and it’s amazing…definitely something I plan to continue for a long long time. I love not needing to take my phone everywhere I go on the weekends because I don’t CARE what’s happening on it.
I also set boundaries with my distractions…this is always a work in progress and every once in a while I need a “tune up” but for the most part, I check email and my FB business page just 3 times a day (AM, noon, PM before I am out of the office) and otherwise I am logged out of it so it’s not easy for me to pop it up when I’m feeling “stuck” with whatever task I’m doing. Less distractions means less time it takes me to get my work done which means more time doing what matters or getting things done outside of the office. My Simplified Planner has also helped keep me on track with my various obligations…from my business, to the farm, to our house reno, to vacations/trips, to bonus mom duties…it’s all organized in one place. Another big thing I did was set more boundaries with people who filled up space in my head and not in a good way. That has made all the difference in my self confidence and I’m so much more centered on creating and doing for me and, most importantly, my clients, not the industry or the people in it that some may feel like you need to impress. I’ve streamlined a lot of things about my business and really have gotten what feels like a good system down. I’ve learned a lot about where my strengths lie and where my weaknesses are, and I’ve really made some big realizations about the meaning of my brand. I’m in the works of giving the blog a face lift early next year to better identify with the more grown up me, and move on from where my business was 2 years ago when I was just starting to walk.
I’ve realized that real life is so much better than the glorification of busy. My husband and my step-son, our dogs, horses, farm projects, riding, spending time with my friends and family, my marriage, sunshine, face time, reading, doing things intentionally and being present is so much better than Facebook, Instagram, email, “being busy,” my phone, reading blogs, Pinterest, following other photographers, stressing about bookings, wanting’/needing FB/blog comments, having a “ton of followers,” screen time, or telling the world what I’m doing/why I’m awesome/how booked I am/how busy I am via any online platform. The latter does not matter and will not be the stuff that makes me happy in the long run. This year I’ve made so many memories with my family, spent so much time with my friends, went on the most amazing vacation, I’ve ridden more in the past 2 months than I have in a long time, and we’re steady chipping away on making our “project house” a home. Those are the things that matter :)
On the whole, I’m so grateful for what I took away from the MTH experience. I wish that I’d made more friends and had experienced a little more of an intimate environment while there (and that I wasn’t the sick girl!), but I do think I’ve learned to be accountable to myself and that this 6 month check up will give me the swift kick in the pants I need to be even more accomplished over the next 6 months. I learned a lot about productive goal setting and how to efficiently tackle those goals. I feel like my MTH notebook is a little version of my “life” bible and I should really open it and read it a lot more often. There is so much of me and so much wisdom from Gina, Emily, Lara, and all of our guest speakers on those pages. It was a truly valuable 2 days and I really hope that given another 6 months I’ll feel I’ve progressed and changed my habits even more toward where I visualized going at the end of the experience :)
Although I have deep roots in Maryland where I grew up, I am absolutely in love with all things southern. I live on a farm in a small town in South Carolina with my handsome husband, my beautiful step-son, our two yellow lab fur-kids, and three spoiled horses. My blog is a journal of sorts. It’s where I can share all about the things I love so much: my family, our life together, and of course all of the amazing and wonderful people and pets whose story I get to tell.
I love collaborating with laid-back and down- to-earth couples who appreciate the value their wedding images will have for the rest of their lives, and I believe in unique weddings that are truly designed around two people and who they are together. I strive to create images that are emotional, organic, fresh, and genuine, but that will remain timeless twenty, thirty, or sixty years down the road. I believe in printed images, developing friendships with my clients, and having a completely relaxed and enjoyable wedding experience. Each and every story I get to tell is unique and I truly enjoy sharing all of the little pieces that together form this beautiful relationship.
I am currently booking weddings for 2013 and 2014, so please get in touch below to start the journey of documenting your love.