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Personal Lifestyle

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodel

So this blog has nothing to do with photography but I wanted to share anyways. I have always loved looking at remodel blogs and thought maybe sharing my own would be fun.

Just a little back story on our house. My husband and I bought our first house in 2012. It was the first and only house we looked at, which made my husband a little hesitant, but lets just say I can be pretty persistent when I want something.

We knew we would change a lot about the house and planned to start as soon as possible. Well, the weekend we moved in we found out that we were pregnant! Excited we were but....we only bought a 3 bedroom house and already had 2 kids. So the remodeling had to get put on hold and we built an addition instead to make room for our growing family. The addition gave us another bedroom and a very large multi-purpose room which we use as an office space and playroom.

I mentioned above that I am pretty persistent when I want something right? Well after the addition I decided I couldn't live without a swimming pool. So.....we got a swimming pool. 

So needless to say, our home remodeling didn't get started until 2017. We started with the laundry room, half bath and kitchen. I am so happy with the way they all turned out. 

Our kitchen is small and we didn't have a pantry before the remodel. There wasn't much we could do to make the actual space larger but we definitely succeeded at gaining a lot more cabinet space. We plan to replace the windows you see in the dining room with interior windows but that will be a little while since we have just started another huge remodel project in the living room. More on that soon!

Here are some before and after pictures. I am so in love with the way it turned out!

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Charleston SC | Anniversary Trip

Charleston SC | Anniversary Trip

My husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this past March. We don't usually make a big deal out of our anniversary but we do use it as an excuse to travel when we can. So this year being the big 5 we decided to travel some place we had never been. We tossed around Key West (I have been but my husband has not) and some other ideas and then we settled on Charleston SC. It was the perfect choice for us. When we visit new cities we love to shop and explore. There was plenty of that in Charleston. We rented an Airbnb which was adorable and close to everything. There are tons of places to shop, eat, sites to see and so much more. This city has it all!

Usually I don't bring my big girl camera on trips with us just because it is a pain to lug around but I was shooting an engagement session in Savannah GA on the way home so I had to bring it. We were too busy taking it all in that I didn't take as many photos as I intended to but here are a few that will give you a small glimpse into this gorgeous quaint little city.

Enjoy

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PROJECT 52 MONTH TWO

PROJECT 52 MONTH TWO

It is almost the end of March and I am just now posting my February images for my Project 52. I know, I know, a little late but hey I figured as long as I didn't wait until April I wouldn't be totally embarrassed. March has been such a busy month!! I shot a family session for a family visiting from Sweden, that was a blast! My husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary at the beginning of the month. We traveled to Charleston, SC to celebrate and at the same time I shot an engagement session in Savannah, GA. Well of course I ended up sick as a dog on that trip! Did I mention that Charleston and Savannah are both must see cities? Well they are, if you have not traveled to both of these cities add them to your list of must see's. They are amazing!!!! My full time job has kept me on my toes this month also, but we won't get into that because that's boring!!! I also shot a wedding with my amazing talented friend Elaine and Elaine K Garland Photography, a gorgeous Syrian wedding! Syrian women wear the most amazing dresses I have ever seen! I felt like I was at Grammy Awards or something. Oh and I did my first real estate session which turned out pretty good. I was happy with it considering the widest lens I had was a 24mm. My 12 year old son came in 1st place and 2nd place in the half mile at his last 2 track meets!! Super exciting! Now next week is kids spring break and family in town.

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I need a vacation from March! Don't you think? Anyways now that I just broke down a small portion of my crazy busy life please enjoy my February Project 52 images plus a few extras.

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Downtown Dunedin Headshots - Community Over Competition

Downtown Dunedin Headshots - Community Over Competition

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There is a lot to be said about all of these amazing ladies. I will start by saying they are all talented, smart, creative, kind, inspirational, caring, genuine and the list goes on. Without photography I may have never met these amazing ladies. They are all one of kind and I am thankful for each and everyone of them. In this community we are a team, we want to see each other win and create amazing things. This team of creatives has taught me so much about myself and who I am as an artist. They have encouraged me and inspired me to always be the best version of myself and I can only hope to give back to them what they have already given to me. Some of us were able to get together one evening in Downtown Dunedin to exchange headshots just for fun. We had gorgeous light and subjects! Enjoy!

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My First Months Project 52 Results

My First Months Project 52 Results

I see a lot of photographers do Projects 365 which is where they take photos everyday for 365 days and the idea is to have 365 images at the end of the year. Having an image to document my everyday for an entire year sounds amazing but also sounds like a failure waiting to happen and if there is one thing I hate to do is fail so in that case it sounds like a super stressful year. With that said I decided instead of a Project 365 I would do a Project 52, so I only have to have 1 image a week. So far this project has been a success and of course I have ended up with more that 1 image a week, which is fine by me. The project has forced me to pick up my camera for personal use at least once a week and I absolutely love it. I am growing in my photography at the same time as capturing truly memorable moments in my life. My kids on the other hand are already sick of it but nothing a little bribing can't take care, always have M&M's on hand and life is good!

Photography has taught me that the saying "Life Begins at the end of your Comfort Zone" (-Neale Donald Walsch) is so true. I have been taken far out of my comfort zone and I am loving every minute of it.

I was a little obsessed with B&W images this month but something about them speaks to me. I feel like they tell my story best, not everything is always bright and colorful but life keeps moving forward (at a very fast pace, I might add).

Thanks for stopping by!

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Westchase Photographer | Rilee goes to middle school!

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My baby boy is off to middle school!!! I wanted to capture him just as he was before beginning this next chapter in his life. We ventured over to Westchase, Tampa area to have a quick photoshoot. He was a trooper! Here's to wishing everyone a fun and successful school year!

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Dunedin Child Photographer | Rain Rain Go Away

Dunedin Child Photographer | Rain Rain Go Away

Those of you living in Pinellas County or surrounding areas know that we have had rain everyday for what seems like months (probably only weeks but still). I got a new lens last week and I was so anxcious to play with it (my fellow photographers can relate to that) but with all of the rain I couldn't get outside to really play with it. We got a break in the rain for about all of 2 hours a couple weekends ago so we went out for ice cream, perfect setting for playing with my new lens :) We walked around a little and then cooled off from the humid weather with ice cream. My daughter had never had an ice cream cone before, as you will see she LOVED it! It was running down her arm, it was in between her toes and all my husband kept saying is "I am not cleaning her up, you are!" Watching her enjoy this ice cream cone was well worth the long bath afterwards.

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Photographers shooting Photographers

Photographers shooting Photographers

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I have so many more blogs to do to catch up with all that has been happening on my photography journey. This one should probably come second to some others but who said I was a follow the rules kind of gal?

In a future post you will find out that I have some super awesome photographer friends who, like myself, believe in creating community over competition. This post is about one of those friends.

Samantha from Samantha Hayn Photography LLC and I got together one night at her "secret spot" where she loves to take photos. As you can see from the images, the lighting was to die for. It was so unbelievably hot and we were racing against the storms that were rolling in all around us.

There is just something to be said about shooting with fellow photographers, they get it, they understand why you want to stop and take a random photo, they understand that you want natural poses and laughs, yet they still struggle to give them to you (I am so guilty of this). Samantha and I definitely laughed as we were pouring sweat and getting eaten alive by giant dog size bugs. All in all we had a BLAST! Hope you enjoy the images I got of Samantha! Check out her fan page: https://www.facebook.com/samanthahaynphotography?fref=ts

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Clearwater Beach Photographer | Farewell Beach fun

Clearwater Beach Photographer | Farewell Beach fun

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My family and I frequent the beach and it is definitely our happy place. For many years we have taken our kids to the beach every other Saturday (the weekend we have my step-son). We love to go around 5:00 pm so we can walk in the sand, sometimes swim in the ocean, get drinks at the Palm Pavilion, have dinner, the boys often skateboard, and we just enjoy the company, peace and relaxation of being at the beach.

I say this with a very sad heart but my husband's son will be moving to TN this weekend. So although we could most certainly continue this tradition it will not be the same without Aiden. There will always be someone and something missing from our fun family beach night. We are all heart broken to see him go but know we will still get to see him often and are excited to see what the future holds for him.

So a tribute to Aiden's last Tuesday with us I decided to take the kids to the beach, while my husband was bowling and get some pictures to remember our favorite family place. I hope you enjoy these pictures as I enjoyed our family moments together as well as taking them.

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Welcome to my blog!

DSC_3454 Welcome! Thank you so much for taking the time to come over and read a little about me and my photography journey. I will try not to bore you!

I am a self taught photographer (with the help of the internet and the other amazing photographers I have in my life). I got a camera and I have pretty much never put it down since.  I find myself taking pictures of stuffed animals when my kids are napping (yes I am obsessed). I just love to keep learning. There is and will always be so much to learn about photography and for the first time in my life I have found something that I enjoy reading about, practicing, and pouring my heart and soul into.

I love to look back at the images from when I first started this journey to now and compare how far I have already come. It's what keeps me going and pushing me to learn so much more.

Photography has also landed me some pretty amazing new friends (blog post to follow on this).

Growing up I never had that one thing I wanted to grow up and be. I never had that passion for anything and I never would have thought it would come to me later in life, I had just settled for what my life had to offer. Which don't get me wrong my life was not bad before photography but photography has given me so much more! I actually know what it feels like to have that deep passion for something (I finally know what I want to be when I grow up :)).

I hope as my kids grow up watching me and my husband both work hard and strive for greatness in our passions they will find theirs at a younger age then I did. I hope I can inspire them to go after what they want and not be afraid to put themselves out there.

That was my biggest fear starting this. I would take photos and I would think they were great, but I was so afraid to share them. I was so afraid that I would not get the reaction I was hoping for and didn't like that feeling of vulnerability. It was scary and actually it still is but I am learning to overcome that and just put myself out there. Even if I get crickets after uploading an image on Facebook. Instead of discouraging me I feel like it encourages me to work harder to grad the attention of my audience.

So not only do I have some amazing images of my family, I get to provide families with amazing images and I get to challenge my apprehensive personality.

I hope all will enjoy my images and I hope I get the chance to capture some of you too :) This site is a work in progress and I will be creating more blog posts to fill my categories in the upcoming days.

Thanks for stopping by, I will leave you with some images I took with my daughter today while taking a little break from working!

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