My sister, Kim, was headed to NOLA for an interview, and we decided to join her and tour the city. Of course my goal was to have a photoshoot with a couple while I was there, and that session is already up on the blog if you want to check it out. We spent the rest of the time exploring jazz clubs, touring the historic sections of the city, and eating all the beignets.
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I do my best to stay out of politics publicly because I run a business. Every single one of my clients have different opinions, and I respect those differences. The fact that our country has the right to free speech is something to be celebrated. People won't always agree, but I hope and pray that we all continue working together to better the world we live in, and to help the people around us. Regardless of political affiliation, I believe that goal is always what we aspire to.
People have a lot of intense feelings right now, on both sides of the aisle. No matter who you voted for, I want to reiterate something that I hope has always been clear. My place of business is, and will always be, a welcoming, safe space to everyone, no matter your color, place of birth, gender, sexuality, or religion.
Love & peace,
House update #1
If you've been following my blog or my facebook page, you probably heard that my husband, Jon, and I just bought a house (with the help of our awesome realtor Vince Sullivano). Yesterday we passed the first month mark, so I felt like it was time for an update! You can check out the first announcement blog here.
We knew the house needed some love & care, but I don't think we realized quite what we were getting in to. The house is 95 years old, and it wasn't well kept. Every single room needed patched and painted, along with other minor projects. We did the majority of this work on our own, with the help of awesome friends & family.
The exterior needed work too. The very first thing we did was repair the roof, remove lots of overgrown landscaping, replace a retaining wall, and get new sidewalks poured (we outsourced all these things - the contractors are linked). This work is still in progress, so I'll share pictures during update number 2!
Today I want to share the first floor, and the den on the second floor. We've (almost) completed the living room, dining room, and entry way! Eventually we'll get around to painting the kitchen cabinets. Maybe next year.
I can't wait to share more with you soon! It has been slow going, since October is an extremely busy month for photographers, but we'll get there eventually. The next projects are finishing off my office (which is currently our catch-all room & closet; alllll the boxes are in there), and getting our bedroom finalized. I've heard that building Ikea furniture brings couples closer together.....right?
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I have exciting things to tell you! This season has been a whirlwind of weddings, seniors, and family shoots, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down (which I am so grateful for!). On top of all that craziness, my husband and I just bought our first home! Woohoo! We're in the process of doing some cleaning and renovations. The house is almost 100 years old, and it needs a little TLC.
So that is the main purpose for writing today! Most of you are friends with me on social media, so you probably already know. But for those of you who are new here, I just wanted to tell you why it may be taking a little longer for me to respond to emails, texts, and phone calls. I promise I care deeply about your shoot, and I WILL get back to you as soon as I put down the paint brush and check my phone. All shoots & weddings will be delivered on time, guaranteed; so don't worry about that!
Some people have asked for pictures along the way - and I have to tell you that I got too excited about the project, and forgot to take before pictures! Oops! So unfortunately, I won't have before pictures to share. Trust me, it wasn't a pretty sight. Hopefully the after pictures will more than make up for it!
That's all for now! I hope your autumn is going great!
PS: I am also starting to book Holiday Mini-Sessions! There are only a few spots open, so call me if you want one!
My mom and dad were invited to attend my cousin's wedding in Chicago a few months ago. My Dad decided it was too far for him, so my mom called and invited me. Of course I was ecstatic and eager to go with her. For one, I love weddings! There's a reason I am a wedding photographer. My cousin Casey, and his beautiful (now wife) Aarathi were having a traditional Indian wedding, and we were invited to both the sangeet and the main ceremony. I've never attended or worked a Hindu wedding, and I was excited to be there and celebrate with them. Second, we decided to go early and tour downtown Chicago. I hadn't been to Chicago since I was a part of the St. Patrick's Day parade in high school, plus I was ready for a vacation!
Thanks for stopping by. This dreary Pittsburgh weather, combined with other depressing news (election - boo!) have had me feeling a little down-in-the-dumps lately - like a lot of people I'm sure. Times like this, along with working two full-time jobs, and lack of sleep, start to wear me down. Wedding season is picking up, and senior portraits sessions are just beginning to start. I'm beyond excited for it (seriously - so so excited!), but it can be exhausting at times.
Luckily, I have a wonderful support system that saves my sanity daily. Today I want to take a moment to be grateful for that. I couldn't do anything without my amazing husband. When my alarm went off this morning, I didn't want to open my eyes, let alone get up and ready for the day. But then I smelled coffee, and a homemade latte magically appeared in front of my eyes (or so it seemed). He kissed my head, and left for work.
Jon does this for me almost everyday. He always makes sure I have coffee (a necessity for me!) before he leaves the house - usually while I'm still in bed. Back when I first started this business, he let me put countless (unpaid) hours into it, helped me buy equipment, and believed in me, even when other people thought that it would just be a side gig - never a real job. He even models for me when I need someone to help me test new lighting/locations.
I'm sure that you have those people in your life too; the friends and family that are there for you no matter what, and support your dreams no matter how far out of reach they may seem. So today, take a moment to thank them for what they do. They probably don't even realize how much they help us, and how much those little gestures mean - like making coffee in the morning. Thank you!!!
PS: Drop me a note in the comments about your biggest supporters and the little things they do to help get you through!
It has been almost a year since I decided leave graduate school. I realized I never really talked about what was going through my head then. Most people probably thought the transition was smooth (I’ll give you a hint – it wasn’t). From the outside looking in, I can understand how everyone might assume it was an easy choice to make. But I went from having my life planned out exactly – earn my doctorate, open a private practice, etc, etc – to having no idea what the hell I was going to do, and it was absolutely terrifying.
Throughout my life, I always had a plan. Granted, the plan changed from time to time as I got older and more realistic, but there was still always a plan. Go to college. Go to grad school. Get married. Get my dream job. It was pretty straightforward with not a lot of risk. There were definitely bumps along the way, but everything had pretty much worked out the way I had always pictured.
When I got into grad school, it was a wonderful moment. My co-workersover at AVS (hi guys!) laughed at me as I jumped for joy when I read the email, and then ran around the room not knowing what to do next. It was all a happy blur. My wonderful husband was very supportive and I started school in a state of excitement.
While I was attending, the excitement started to fade a bit. School wasgreat, and informative, and I was able to devote more time to running my business since I was no longer working full-time. But there weredifficulties (mostly financial) as well. Towards the end of the first semester, I starting having my first doubts. During the second semester I realized that I couldn’t continue if I didn’t find another way to pay for school. I would have been in debt my whole life if I had continued. I applied for every single assistantship on campus, and didn’t even get an interview for a single one. Once I heard back from the last position I had applied to (another no), I went home and told Jon (my hubby) that it was time to leave the program
I was terrified. There were so many nights during that third and final semester that I almost couldn’t breathe because I had absolutely no clue what I was going to do next. I didn’t have a full-time job (a first in a long time), I didn’t have any job prospects besides my own, barely-off-the-ground photography business, and now I was facing $60,000 in student loans, for a Master’s degree I’d probably never be able to use since I dropped out of the doctoral program.
My world was off kilter. For so long I had this image of myself, and in that one decision, it changed entirely. All the plans I had worked long and hard for, meant nothing (or at least that’s what it felt like). During the first month after I left school, I did the minimum. I didn’t have the motivation to do more. Why be motivated and make plans when they don’t matter? I applied to over 300 jobs, and heard back from two – both of which said no.
During that time, I started focusing on my business, since that’s all I had to do during the day. Applying to more jobs became depressing and I’m pretty sure I watched every show on Netflix. However, when I started focusing on my work, magical things started to happen. I became very invested in the business, and the effort showed. I began throwing myself into photography and business education. Within a month of putting in that extra effort, I booked my first wedding, and then six more. I’ll always be grateful to that first wedding (Debbie & Tom), because they gave me the push I needed. They took a risk on me, and showed me that maybe it was time to take a risk myself.
Looking back at this past year, I never could’ve guessed that this is how it would work out. I opened up a storefront studio for my own company, and (finally!) found a full-time job with an amazing firm. Taking my business full-time was a huge risk. There are still some nights when I regret leaving school to do this, because it was safer then. There are still some nights when it is hard to breathe because the bills are piling up and referrals are nonexistent. But then I get an email from a potential client, or I pack my bags for a wedding, and I remember that I wouldn’t change a thing.
So if you are thinking about taking a risk or making a change, do it. It is scary, really scary, but it is also exciting and rewarding.
Plans change. People change. It is okay. You’ll adjust and be better for it.
Thanks for reading,