WHATTAYEAR! 2019 brought so many lovely people into my life, just as each year does. Being a part of someone’s wedding day is such an honor. I can’t thank people enough for entrusting my vision and letting me be a part of the celebration. As a lovely compliment to the wedding work this year, it was awesome photographing and being a part of The Scout Guide again and the release of Volume 2! So many WONDERFUL business owners here in Huntsville, and it incredible getting to know them and photograph them in a creative light! I just get such a thrill capturing the lifestyle editorial to help elevate someone’s brand. I was very fortunate to have that opportunity several times in 2019.
While we didn’t travel to as many places this year (although Vermont, Portland, and Charleston were SO incredible), it’s totally fine by me as it gave me a chance to really get my NEW STUDIO up and running. I went from roughly 200 square feet to a little over 1,000 square feet at Lowe Mill. This gave me the opportunity to have a dedicated shooting space, meeting space, and an office area. Basically, I get to flex more creative muscles having this new space. If you’ve visited, you’ll have also noticed the main talking point that draws people in the doors – the Airstream. While I bought it years ago, the plans have still been the same: to turn it into a darkroom. This year I’m hoping to apply for some grants to help me get it past this shell of an Airstream, and into a working space. I think it’s so important to continue educating folks on the importance of film photography, and I have ideas in place to host “photography camps” to help people learn the art of film. While that’s more of a long term goal (unless funding happens sooner than I think), for now, it’s a super swanky storage space for me and definitely a conversation starter.
Of course, having an Airstream as a dedicated darkroom only led me to covet a camper of some kind for us to enjoy recreationally. One late night perusing fb marketplace I stumbled across the CUTEST camper – a 1957 ALJO! I didn’t know how much we needed it. One quick message to the seller later, and the next thing I know we are headed to Chattanooga to meet it. It was easily love at first sight! Andy pretty much knew we were headed up there to purchase it…not “just to look” – he knows me so well, but I also know him so well. Occasionally, I’d show him campers on marketplace and he’d make a face at them or mention how much work it would take (true statements, especially with the shell of an Airstream still looking at me ha). When I flashed him the images of the ALJO, his face lit up and he made an excited “oooo” – I knew right then it would be ours. After our first camp trip, we named her Butterbean (after a friend’s suggestion…I couldn’t stop giggling, and you’ll see how much she resembles a lil bean).
Another big purchase for me this year was a camera from my bucket list: a Hasselblad 500c. This is the camera that was built to go to the moon. It’s so delightful to use and makes the perfect KERPLUNK when you fire the shutter. This investment made me start rethinking wedding photography. It’s got my gears turning and giving me something to focus on in the next few years. Vague? Yes, as some ideas are still in the early stages and I think it’s important to not spill every detail of everything in my life you know?
One of my goals in 2019 that I’m happy to talk about ways to increase my coverage of elopements. While I am thrilled to encapsulate any way a couple chooses to express their love for each other, I wanted to create an easy way for folks to get married. Ready, Set, Elope was born after a brainfart developed into an actual idea (love when that happens – ha)! Together with some of the best vendors in Huntsville, we provide an easy and gorgeous way to get hitched! We had several couples take us up on the idea and it was just as glorious as I hoped it would be! I can’t wait to cover more elopements this year as well!
I’ve made a small list of goals for 2020, but I’ve also come to the realization that it’s not a race. I want to continue to create images for folks and maintain my work/life balance. I think I hit a wonderful stride in 2018 that’s carried through last year…and I hope it does in 2020 too. My husband and I added a couple of wish list spots to visit, and I’d much rather focus on goals like that than “making X per year” or “shooting X number of weddings per year” – I’ve worked hard on pricing myself accordingly, and I don’t want to work every weekend…or even every day I’m at the studio. I want to make a comfortable living without having to break my back to do so. I covet my “downtime” and it really just ensures I’m that much more excited to photograph the folks who want to hire me. Leaving the rat race years ago was the best decision ever. I’ll continue to cheers to that each and every new year!
This leads me to my final paragraph where I gush about how amazing my clients are – seriously, the laughs and tears I get to photograph are so meaningful. The families and friends I meet at weddings treat me like we’ve known each other for years. That level of trust is remarkable and I’m so so thankful. I’m also extremely lucky to be a part of an incredible industry of professionals! I love love love working with vendors I can completely trust and KNOW that they take equal care of our clients. It’s so amazing being able to laugh and socialize with some fabulous talent that Huntsville has to offer. Jeez, I just can’t wait to see what frames I take in 2020. I look forward to what develops for me this year (pun intended – yay film)!
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite frames from 2019!
Ashley & Jesse’s Backyard Wedding
Tonya & Corey’s Lowe Mill Elopement – using the Ready Set Elope services!
REMEDY for Vogue!
Holly & Logan’s Anniversary Session
Danielle & Jordan’s Botanical Gardens Wedding
Michelle & Heather’s Lumberyard Yacht Rock Reception
Spring on Film!
Mini Flower Session with the Dinger Family
Mini Flower Session with the Busick Family
Summer on film!
Sweet City Micros
Olivia’s Senior Session
Shirley’s Yoga Portraits
Leah & Nathan’s Green Mountain Wedding
Lindsey & Cliff’s Natural Bridge Engagement
Relationship 365 Lifestyle Branding
HASSLEBLAD – first test roll