Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trendy Littles Tuesday// Summer Leggings

Happy Tuesday and Trendy Littles Tuesday! I have been loving dressing Harper this summer in all these adorable warm weather frills but I still love a good legging on the not so hot days. They are so comfy for your busy babe but are still sooo cute!! Plus, they will last you all year round which is a total win for me. I love any piece of clothing that is versatile for a growing toddler. I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of already planning and searching for fall pieces too (eek, I know) so I feel like a good printed legging is a great transition piece into the cooler weather.

Pixie Clip//Old Navy top (sold out)//White Leggings// Neon FP Moccs

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Recap

I'm chalking this weekend up as a goody! I spent so much quality time with Harper and my heart is so full right now. I know that sounds weird to say because I am with her 24/7 but I really tried to do nothing but be present with her all weekend instead of working and doing other stuff that doesn't give her my full attention. We hung out with Dad on Friday and had a Target date and a chill night. She even fell asleep on me when I thought she was still sitting up just hanging out with us. It was perfect. Saturday we just spent the day together and went to the park and played before I had a photo shoot then it was back to cuddling and snuggle time. And then Sunday we went to a new pool we have never been to and we had so much fun! It was the greatest pool. It's literally 5 minutes from our house and the whole pool is basically a walk in and the deepest it gets is 1 foot so its literally perfect for toddlers. I don't have to worry about her going to deep and the deeper parts is on the other side of the slides and water park thing and she was scared of it so it worked out great. LOL. We are going back again this week because we both had such a fun day! It was a great summer weekend and we can't wait for this weekend because Daddy will be off the whole time, YAY!

We picked up some good merch at Target ;)

The tude on this girl kills me. She is a girl for sure!

Taking her own selfies. She thought it was hilarious.

Thumbs up for the pool! 

I found princess Belle!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Starting a new {photography} business. The First Year.

Hello sweet friends! Today I really wanted to talk about photography and business "stuff" that goes along with it. I get asked a lot of questions about how I started, what camera I shoot with, and other photography related questions so I thought I would answer them all in one blog post! Now before I get started I just want to clarify that I am in NO way an expert on this. I am completely self taught when it comes to photography but I feel like I have learned and taught myself a lot in the last year and I would love to share my tips and tricks to starting up your photo business.

A little backstory on how I got started; It all started with Harper of course. I was obsessed with taking photos of her 24/7 and all I had was my iPhone. I would literally setup "photo shoots" and take them with my iPhone and people would ask me if I got a new camera, nope, just the good ole phone camera. I even bought photoshop before I ever had the camera! I had been wanting a DSLR for so long but we could not afford it so my Dad generously bought me my Canon Rebel T3 with a kit lens and thats where it all started. I was obsessed with learning everything about it. I read the manual from beginning to end and played with it all day long. I started shooting on AV but very quickly wanted to master manual so I set out with my little model and figured it out fairly quickly. After a few months of learning on the kit lens, I upgraded to the 50mm 1.8 and I fell even more in love with photos and it just sparked this insane passion in me! I was smitten with photography. More than I could have ever imagined. It was all I could ever think about. Lighting, locations, camera settings, all of it was becoming an obsession. I finally asked some Facebook friends if they would let me take some photos for them to maybe start up a portfolio and I was overwhelmed with responses. I took off super fast with my shoots and I decided to turn my little hobby into something bigger! In the first few months I was already swamped with shoots and I couldn't believe it. People really wanted me to capture moments for them. It was amazing! It has now been exactly a year since I asked that Facebook question and I am so blessed to have found something that I LOVE to do!

First off, I am still shooting with my Rebel and 50mm 1.8. I know a lot of times people get caught up in gear and having the best of everything but its not about that. I can do some pretty amazing things with my entry level DSLR and one prime lens. I defiantly think I have outgrown my camera and it is time for me to upgrade to a full frame body but right now I just cannot afford that so I have completely mastered everything about my rebel and I think I rock it! So, it's not about what camera you have, it's about you skill level and passion that comes through in the photos. Not the gear. And also learning photoshop. You can not charge people hard earned money for mediocre photos. Yes I strive for perfect SOOC (straight out of camera) shots but I love editing and really making them pop in photoshop. I could not live without it.

Start a Facebook page. Facebook is one of the best (and sometimes worst) forms of free advertisement. Without Facebook I wouldn't get probably 90% of my clients. Facebook is great in that way. People see my images and become interested so they "like" my page so that brings in new followers which generates more business. But also Facebook changes their settings a lot especially for business pages and it can really hurt our pages. They hide posts from our fans and it can be really frustrating so I have had to think of other ways to promote myself.

Business cards are a must! I am so happy I received these gorgeous business cards from Tiny Prints because they are such a great promoting tool for Me. I give them out at the end of my sessions and just randomly to people so that they will hopefully call me when they need their photos done. I made sure to include some of my favorite photos and all of my information including name, number, email, blog, and Facebook page.

Personalized Business Cards

Stay organized with your business and photos. The only way I can function day to day is to be extremely organized! I have so many sessions from day to day that I write everything down in my planner and phone calendar. I also love writing notes about sessions like themes or style and what the client is asking for because I try to stay on top of every little detail to make every session perfect. You also have to find a way to keep all of your client photos organized because they can become overwhelming. You will defiantly need an external hard drive and I would organize that like crazy. I literally have a folder for every single session I have ever done. I would hate to lose client images or something happen to them so I try and keep myself well organized with the photos and just my life and business in general. Trust me, this is a huge one. You will be kicking yourself the first time you forget something important for a session or forget one all together! Thank goodness that has never happened to me but I am extremely paranoid. ;)

Personalized Notebook

You are never done learning. Read, and read, and ask questions, and research, and learn more every single day! Just when I think I master something, I learn something new and I love that aspect of photography. Whether it be from my camera to my editing I am also learning and growing and that is so exciting for me. I am so thankful to have a wonderful friend who I consider a mentor that I could ask questions and advice for anytime. I learn so much and am so inspired by all of the amazing photographers that I follow on Facebook from all around the world. You cannot believe how much talent is out there but it is so amazing how creative and talented people are. I need that inspiration from others in my life when I am feeling down about my work and it really pushes me to work even harder to become a superstar when I see others achieving their photography dreams!

Find friends in the industry and actually hangout with them! Not everyone with a camera is a threat to your business! One of the best things I ever did for myself was to find colleagues who were just as passionate about their profession in photography as I was. It is so nice to be able to share highs and lows with them and talk about photo stuff with someone who understands. Sure, you could think of them as "competition" but when you find the true gems who support you and you support them no matter what, its not that way at all!

And lastly; Do not give up!! I have been on a roller coaster ride this year with the ups and downs of starting my own business and finding a new passion for something so amazing! It has been one of the most rewarding and at the same time challenging years of my life but the greatness from my new career totally outweighs the hardship. I am so proud of myself for what I have accomplished in one short year and I cannot wait to see where I am in the next year or five years. I have big dreams for myself and I will not give them up no matter what!! I am determined to be the best photographer I can be and capture beautiful moments in life, because that's really why I started anyways.

I hope that helps someone out there that is thinking about starting a career in the photo business. This is just my "one year of business" perspective but woo, has this year been a whirlwind!? Thank you so much for all the support and encouragement from my family and friends too because without them I would not be where I am today!! XO

Please email me or comment with any other questions!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five on Friday

Well apparently the "5 on Friday" linkup is on a summer vacation and I had no idea... Eeek! So embarrassed. But I already wrote the post so lets just pretend I'm not a dummy, Ok? Ok, thanks, love ya. XO

Hello Friday! You rock!! Friday's just seem so chill to me for some reason. They are usually an errand play kind of day for us because Daddy is still home from his "weekend" and we have a family day of sorts. I haven't done a 5 on Friday post in awhile so lets jump on in ;)

We've been trying to have as much summer fun as possible! This summer has been extra fun because Harper finally gets to enjoy doing all fun things like going to the pool, snow cones, going to the park daily, and lots of outside time. We know that our warm sunny weather won't last forever so we really try to make the most of these few short months. I can't believe it is almost August already but we still have sooo much more in store for us!

NERD ALERT! I got new glasses, haha! OK, I have had glasses since I was 7 years old and I wear contacts 90% of the time but I finally got NEW glasses and I love them! My ones before had been destroyed by a certain little girl we all know (wink) and were literally being held together with tape that I would have to doctor up weekly. Not a good look. But, thanks to America's Best I could get two pairs of glasses for 62$! Amazing right?!? You do have to join the eye care club I think which is 100$  for free exams for 3 years which is another amazing deal, so amazing that my whole entire family has joined and we all have new glasses and contacts, woo hoo! Exciting stuff right?! hehe. Funny thing is my mom and I actually both picked out the exact same pairs, so were complete twins and its funny, and weird. LOL.

I finally joined the cool club and tried Jamberry Nails. If you haven't heard of them they are little nail sticker things that last a really long time. I've had this decorative one on for over a week now and they are still going strong. I do have to stay they are kind of annoying to put on but I guess the time it takes to paint and dry your nails completely would be about the same as applying these so I guess its worth it. If you would like to order contact Alex!

I'm pretty much smitten with my new Freshly Picked carryall and Harps matching moccs!! My Dad so generously bought these little amazing prezzies for us. Actually he originally ordered the butterscotch moccs and the matching bag but FP was having some issues so I picked this color instead and they also sent Harps this matching pair along with the pair my Dad had ordered for the problems. They really are the best company out there and we can not thank them enough!! This really is an exquisite bag and I am obsessed with it. Thanks Daddy!!

I recently shot some awesome new arrivals over at Foi and they are some amazing summer pieces! Tons of new rompers, dresses, flirty tops,  and they have the "Vogue" tees in a blush color which is so cute! Go check them out before they are gone!! :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!! XO

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Recap

Friends!! Can you even believe it is the almost the end of July already? Oh my goodness, the year is FLYING by. Crazy! We had another wonderful weekend, this time a little busy than normal which means I am even busier at home doing stuff that needs to get done but it was so worth it! We ate lots of bad food, went to a gender reveal party where Harps played with tons of kids, we had a little play date all day with my friends son Traegan, and than we went to the Blue Angels air show and had one of the best Sunday funday's in awhile! I got soooo burnt at the air show because we were literally out in the sun for over 5 hours so I am hurting today but it was worth it. So. Much. Fun!

I'm loving our new neon green moccs from Freshly Picked.
Off to a party, BYE!! ;)
Hanging with her girlfriends!
Water table fun with Traegan!
Silly selfies with Mommy!

Family selfie! We're missing daddy though :( Love you Daddy!
I was kind of obsessed with her in these ear protector things. I thought it was the cutest thing ever! And holy crap, was it loud... Eeek. It was actually kind of scary I even had to get some ear plugs, really cute right?! HA!

Harps and her Gram. <3

All I wanted was a pic of us with the planes flying by so everytime they came our way I would grab H and pose but my Mom totally failed on that job.. Wah.
See what I mean... HAAAA! 

So proud to live in this great country and I am so grateful for all the service men and women around the U.S and world you work so hard to keep us safe. I am truly inspired!