September 20, 2017

Staying Focused as Summer Ends

The hustle of fall is upon us. 
Schools are starting back, projects are in full swing, and even though vacation is over, sometimes it's hard to get our brains back into gear. Here are a few of my favorite ways to have focused mind when I'd rather be on the beach sipping a mai tai. 

Staying Focused as Summer Ends

1. Create a Clean Workspace 
If you can manage it, make that space dedicated to your work only. Clear out all the excess and distractions. Set yourself up for success by knowing that little corner is only for focus and peace. 

2. Breathe
Once you're in your new space, take a beat. Close your eyes and breathe in the day (stress, peace, busy, easy, whatever). Accept the moment for what it is and be present. Then give yourself a pat on the back for taking care of what needs to get done and not scanning your blackhole of a phone. 

3. Pray
This helps me every time I get started on work. When my soul feels grasping, striving, or unfocused, this simple and humble action never fails. Say a little prayer before you begin, something like, 'Jesus help me as I start this workday/project/study time. It's all for you.'  For me, that simple heart-check prevents feeling callused or egotistic as I carve out time to get things done.  I love meditating on this verse as I get started: 

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

4. Make Goals
Whether you're a to-do list person or not, writing down some achievable goals for the day or week will help you stay focused on the task in the moment. It's feels a little silly, but somedays I actually schedule in 'go get coffee.' Making time for myself is a priority I don't want to lose sight of in the midst of the hustle. Checking that off among other more serious to-dos makes me feel more level headed. I'm not just a worker drone, I'm stewarding each part of my life. 

Everyday is different and having grace for yourself is the best tip I could give. It's the hardest thing for me to learn, but the less I take myself seriously, the more fun everything becomes. 



September 13, 2017

Making your Wedding Day Unique

So, you're looking through wedding blogs and planning your big day. You're talking with your mom, your girlfriends, and it seems like everyone around you has an opinion about 'must haves' for your wedding. Not to mention all the little details you have to think of-- it can start to feel like a lot! So, in the midst of just getting the basics decided on, how do you put the 'you' into your wedding? 

Here are a few of my favorite details that make your special day just that-- special. Each of you have some quirks (if you haven't already learned) and it gets so much more fun incorporating them into the day. 

Find a Ring-Keeper

This little bling tank not only showcases the rings, but your attention to bring beauty even in the smallest details. Also, makes the rings more difficult to "lose" for that token hilarious groomsman.

Delicious Details

While so many of the details are in the decor, think of ones your guests can enjoy! I love this idea for a champagne bar at your reception. Choosing different toppings and flavors can make your guests feel like a participant in the beauty you've planned. 

'For That Special Someone'

I bet if Elf would have found these panties in the store, he totally would have bought them. Don't forget the wedding night in planning your details! 

Hidden Happiness

Bright shoes and socks are nothing new, and I'm so happy to jump on the bandwagon. You'll find them as one of Pinterest's favorite ways to add a pop of color into your traditional wedding. 

No matter what your wedding theme is, make it fun! Because you're fun! 
You and your future spouse have so much originality to create something really beautiful together. It's not only a party to celebrate your 'I do's, it's a celebration of two people becoming one. What greater way than with an amazing party that is totally you?! Add some fun in with decisions like how much toilet paper you'll need.



September 8, 2017

Endless Summer

Times they are a changing. Summer is winding down and so is the sense of carefree, no-plans, spontaneity. Routines are coming back into swing and our days become more focused. And though you might miss the freedom in warmer days, there are still ways to keep that summer feeling as you drift into fall. 

The other evening I put down my phone, grabbed my camera, and went for a walk. 
It was just before dinner and I wandered around the neighborhood. This is how I spent much of my time as a kid and teen. My camera would fill up with photos of flowers or fading light or a fuzzy caterpillar I found. More than I loved the end result, I loved the posture of my heart then: being still enough to notice the beauty that so many may have easily walked past.

As each season changes, I find myself reflecting. 
Autumn comes with a new push for photography for me. Busier days and scheduling out my time to stay focused and efficient. I'm planning so many shoots and so much excitement is building in my heart.

Still, I hope I can always find the time to set aside my 'to-do's every now and then for the peace that comes with going for a walk. That's the magic in summer: freedom to play. So, I give you permission. Go play. In all your busyness, always find time to be silly, thankful, and to let go. 



September 1, 2017

In Defense of Sunrise

Let's talk about light. There are so many options for your portrait session: indoor, outdoor, sunrise, sunset, or middle of the day... there are a lot of options and even more opinions. Here's the skinny about outdoor light for your upcoming shoot. 

If you're booking a portrait session the time of day is definitely a factor to consider. 

Mid-day is generally the least flattering light. There are ways to work around it, but usually it's the warmest and most in-your-face kind of light. If you can choose when to be photographed, keep reading.

Most often, your photographer will point you to sunset time. It's the golden hour, where everything looks like a fairytale. You're glowing with light and your day is winding down.

Still, with all the enchantment of the fading evening, I love shooting in the mornings. There's an energy and possibility in its air. If you can brave the early wake-up, shoot at sunrise. Go to sleep early for one night and give a try. Those soft morning colors and the quiet that comes with it, that feeling like you're the only one awake brings such a closeness in sessions. Like you have a special secret that the whole world is missing out on while they snooze.

I'll shoot a sunset session any day of the week, but ask me about a sunrise one and I'll get little jumping monkeys inside of me. Because it's just that good.