Monday, February 28, 2011

Goals | March

(Photo actually taken at a Starbucks in Ireland, because I only have my phone with me today...)

As I sit in Starbucks just a few minutes from my apartment on this decidedly warm, but ever-growing-gray day, I've been getting some emails sent out and making lists of things that need to be done. I've already been to and from the accountant's office to pick up county tax forms that need to be mailed by tomorrow, to and from the Post Office to mail them, and to the UPS office to return some adorable shoes that were unfortunately too big (but don't worry, I'm getting them in a half size smaller and all will be wonderful with Tori's shoe-world again :). It's a typical Monday for me in the sense that no Monday is ever quite the same. I have yet to figure out a good weekly schedule, and even when I think I have, inevitably things come up that need to be done on Monday that weren't planned for. Perhaps I'll just keep Mondays my "miscellaneous" days so that no matter what, it's always on schedule.... Not a bad idea, right? I kind of like the ring that "Miscellaneous Monday" has to it...

At any rate, back to me sitting here. In Starbucks. Where I happen to be wearing my favorite bright yellow skirt, with bright coral colored nails, favorite antique-store-find teal ring, and semi-bright teal shoes - all of which is irrelevant information except for the fact that sometimes I just need to be happy and inspired by what I'm wearing, and today I am. Which is especially nice since the sun isn't shining, and rain is starting to fall (or downpour). So, I'm happy for the wardrobe choice I made today, and sometimes its those little things that make an otherwise miscellaneous and gray Monday, a happy day in its own right.


But, to the REAL point of this blog post. While sitting in this aforementioned coffee shop, I was inspired to take after a fellow local photographer, Katelyn James Alsop, in crafting a monthly list of goals - both personal and business - and making it a point to share them at the beginning of the month on here, and then follow up at the end to see how I did. Of course the point isn't that I'm a failure if I don't get them all done, it's to just give me motivation and organization for the thoughts/goals that go through my head but often get jumbled and forgotten if they're not written down. Katelyn's model is great, and I always enjoy reading about her goals and accomplishments, so I figured, why not just follow suit? So, thanks for the inspiration and motivation, Katelyn. :)

Thus, allow me to introduce my list of goals for March (which, if you didn't realize, starts TOMORROW! It's crazy how this year is flying by, already...). Keep in mind, I prefer attainable goals, so, in plenty of ways I'm aiming low. But hey, it's a place to start, and the hope is that things will progress as the months progress.

  • Workout 4 times a week
  • Research "couponing" and try to come up with a system that will work for me
  • Hang the bulletin board I recently made & decorate with photos
  • Make at least 4 meals without the input/help of my husband (who is much more of a foodie than I am, and very talented at cooking, so its easy to rely on him to come up with meals - but instead, I want to start trying to impress him. :)
  • Have "girl time" with different friends at least 4 times
  • Order my wedding album
  • Finish writing all wedding Thank-Yous
  • Mail Thank-Yous
  • Catch up on editing & posting personal photos (from all the way back in November/December)
  • Get a tan while chilling on the beach in FLORIDA with my sister and cousin :)
  • Sort receipts from January & February
  • Blog at least 2 times a week (yes, aiming low...hopefully I'll get faithful with at least THAT and then move onward and upward)
  • Sort at least 3 weddings and pick favorite photos
  • Submit at least 3 weddings to be featured on wedding blogs
  • Finish picking photos for my sample wedding album
  • Order sample wedding album
  • Research workshop/conference opportunities coming up this year
So there we go! I think it's a pretty decent, yet attainable list, and hopefully at the end of this month I'll be able to say I accomplished most or all of it. We shall see.... :)

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you enjoy the last lingering moments of February, 2011!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Personal | The Civil Wars

It's probably a fair bet that you've heard of The Civil Wars, by now. Even if only in the last couple of weeks, as they've hit instant and massive success on iTunes (and pretty much all-platforms-musical) with their debut album "Barton Hollow". And for good reason, too. Because they, and the album, are incredible.

With the risk of sounding like a musical snob, though, I have to say that I'm proud to not be a bandwagon-jumper when it comes to this brilliant duo. Because of the fact that 1/2 of the band happens to be Joy Williams (former CCM star of whom I was a fan), my interest was piqued the first time she mentioned this "musical project" she was doing on the side with this guy named John Paul White. They called themselves The Civil Wars, and they sang smooth, folksy tunes with harmonious perfection. It only took one listen for me to be sold. And for these past 2-ish years, I've been waiting with baited breath for a full album to come out.

So, you can only imagine how excited I was when I found out that just a little over a week after said album released, they were going to be playing a show in Charlottesville, VA at The Southern - only about an hour away from me. There was no way I was going to miss it, and after just a little coaxing, my darling husband agreed to take me and even turn it into a Valentine's weekend in the adorable Charlottesville area. I call that a win-win!

Upon arriving at the venue I ran into several girls that I know (a few fellow photographers, even) and it was the perfect night of fun, fellowship and positively magnificent melodies. The Civil Wars are rightfully being deemed one of the best new things to hit the music scene, because they sound flawless live and are delightful in all ways. If they're coming ANYWHERE near you on tour, do yourself a favor and go see them. You'll be eternally grateful that you did.

Anyway, what good would an amazing concert (with a front-row spot!) be without pictures? Not as good, that's what. So, here are some shots from the show.

The magical night was started off with the catchy tunes of Indie singer Lucy Schwartz who I can also say I'm now a fan of.

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Lucy was cute, talented, entertaining, and very enjoyable. A perfect opening for the main event....

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Though they've apparently never played, nor been to, Charlottesville before, it was a very welcoming crowd that clearly were already familiar and in-love with their music. It made for some great crowd interaction, sing-alongs, and a happily surprised Joy & John Paul.

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Joy is talented in a number of ways - she can sing anything, play multiple instruments, annnnd move around stage with graceful balance in some killer heels. She's basically my hero.

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Also, she has the most beautiful, genuine, infectious smile and laugh. A perfect pairing with her name.

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John Paul got referred to as "Johnny Depp" by my husband all evening. He's probably not the first person to recognize a slight resemblance there, though I tried to keep Aaron from loudly calling him that in between songs...

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You can tell they have so much fun together - and that translates into great musical and stage chemistry.

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I'm SO incredibly happy they came to this area and that I had the pleasure of seeing them. It ties for the best concert I've ever been to (in great company with Brandi Carlile & MuteMath/Eisley) and what makes them even more fabulous and loveable is their sincere down-to-earth-ness. They're real people, not celebrities (though their status is quickly becoming that) and that's a refreshing quality I hope they always hold onto.

In summary, if you don't already love them....go ahead and start. They're becoming popular for a reason - they deserve to be.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Portraits | Inspired by Audrey Hepburn

Ok, so, I realize I'm not the first photographer in the world to style a shoot after Audrey Hepburn. She's iconic, after all, and her look has made a tremendous impact on fashion and photography...and movies and Hollywood and culture as a whole. That kind of success and status is BOUND to be copied time and time again. But! When you have a friend who has, more than once, been told she resembles this famous actress, it's impossible to pass up an opportunity to play with that resemblance. (Especially since, lets face it, we all love Audrey!)

So, at the end of last summer (yes, it's taken me THIS long to catch up on personal photographic projects) Tara and I went to the house and property of some very dear family friends of her's. They had wonderful old cars they let us use, not to mention fabulous hats, coats and accessories that added wonderfully to the look. And, most of all, Tara herself has the positively stunning features and beautiful confidence in front of the camera that made the results of this shoot so gorgeous. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

These were the particular styles that primarily inspired this shoot:


(I know there are a ton of photos - but it was so hard to choose favorites that I decided to share almost all of them with you. Hope you don't mind...)




I love how Tara is so good at rocking the serious/model look AND natural smiles and laughter. :)




It was so much fun to have a fabulous classic car as a prop!











Just LOOK at her eyes! I can't even stand it. So big, so beautiful. It's one of the many reasons I love photographing her. They're so expressive and gorgeous.











I love how dramatic she's willing to be for the camera. :)



Again I say....those EYES! Just breathtaking.
















Tara is a wonderful pianist, so it was fun to grab a few shots inside with her playing the piano for a bit.



And lastly, we had to throw in a couple zany shots specifically inspired by Audrey in "Funny Face".


I absolutely love having such a dear friend in Tara and that so many of our times together involve tea, classic movies, vintage dresses and much laughter. It's a pretty winning combination, if you ask me. :)