YOOOO! Happy New Year’s Eve!!!

So, I had this great idea to blog for the last 17 days of 2017 and each day would be something we are grateful for; 17 Days of Gratitude! This was a perfect project for me because I had started using a new software to make blogging easier and I needed to practice it, so, Matt & I wrote out an outline of what each day would be and what the topics would be and what the accompanying photos would be and it started off GREAT! & then, I had a medical thing (I’m fine, but it caused me to sleep a whole day away) & THEN the software STOPPED WORKING! On Christmas Eve. So, my support request didn’t get a reply until yesterday. & it’s STILL not working & while, YES, one CAN blog without this software, y’all don’t know the love-hate relationship & real struggles I have had with blogging photography, specifically. Shit always goes wrong. SO, I just stopped. And I’ve been low-key bummed about it because I felt like I wasn’t following through on my challenge, but I was actually being super productive elsewhere, so, REAALLLY, I’ve gotta give myself a break. You know!?

ANYWAY, I went to create my Instagram Top Nine today & realized if I post a little about each of those photos, it would round out the year at 16 “days” of gratitude lol. SO CLOSE! I wanted to do an end-of-the-year post anyway, so, here it is with each photo representing a day. First, check out the top 9:

35,283 people double-tapped our photos & we think that’s pretty freaking cool.

WHAT A YEAR IT’S BEEN!!! If you’d have told 5-years-ago-me that I’d be running my own (profitable!) business that allowed me to work from my pajamas on the couch 70% of the time with Gilmore Girls playing in the background, I’d have told you to shut the front door. Just shut it! But… here I am. Life is crazy. I write this comfortably seated on the aforementioned couch (shout out to Rooms To Go… real talk, this couch is the BOMB.), which seems only right, since I probably edited every one of these photos right here. We have some SUPER exciting news coming in the beginning of the year that I know will have me on this couch less (le sigh), but will be so exciting for the business.

I’ve learned a LOT this year and I’m so incredibly excited to take what I’ve learned and carry it into what will be the best year yet: 2018. 18 is my lucky number, in case anyone was wondering.

ALL RIGHT. We have family coming over to celebrate NYE supposedly starting 17 minutes ago (17 woahh), so I gotta get this going!! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!! If you’re here, thank you, if you’ve ever liked an Instagram or FB post, watched our Instagram stories, commented, called us, worked with us, referred us, told us you think our photos are rad: THANK YOU!!!!!!! We only plan to keep getting better. 🙂 <3

Gratitude — “day 8” — Proximity to Paradise
When I asked Matt to give me some gratitude topics, he barely had to think before he said, “proximity to paradise!” He’s lived here in beautiful, sunny, Naples, Florida since he was 5 years old. I’ve been here for 5 years. We pretty much only find ourselves at the beach for photo shoots & then talk every once in a while about how we should spend more time at the beach. I dig the west coast of Florida (where we are, for anybody unfamiliar with Florida’s geography) soooo much more than the east; watching the sun set over the ocean is the best. So, this was our top IG post for 2017 with 525 likes. Matt took this one. For a math-professor-hobbyist-photographer, not half-bad, right?! 😉

Gratitude — “day 9” — Cute families
Honestly though, we get to work with so many cute families and it NEVER gets old. To be able to capture photos of young families, especially, I love so much. I think about how they are going to have these awesome photos to show their baby when they’re not babies anymore and that’s so cool. I wish that there were more photos of me when I was a kid… I think that motivates me, too. People have told me time and time again since I started doing photography that I have to specialize in one thing that I’m best at… but, I don’t think that’s true. Families, babies, lovers… Send all of the happy people to us!!! We specialize in raw, loving emotion over here.  I took this one!

Gratitude — “day 10” — Trusting clients
When clients truly TRUST us and our vision, only good things can come of it. Catrina & Jason were referred to us by a friend of Catrina’s Mom who had seen us do a presentation about our work. After one great conversation with her, she hired us. At a bridal show a few months later, she came to our booth to introduce herself & then the 4 of us all officially met for the first time at their engagement shoot, which went SO well. I’ll be blogging that separately at some point. Anyway, Jason claimed he felt awkward in front of the camera, which can not be discerned in ANY of the photos. These 2 are a dream to work with & we are so grateful that they trust in us. I took this one!

Gratitude — “day 11” — Matt’s eyeballs & our ability to make all the babies smile

I already wrote about Matt & my eyeballs in greater detail here, but that’s what I think about with this shot, because I LOVE IT. He did this shoot by himself because I was on another shoot & the fact that I know I can trust him to deliver a consistently beautiful image that looks like a photo I took, is truly one of the biggest blessings to the business, and in turn, me! Also, I have yet to find a baby or child we can’t make laugh, which is a skill I’m grateful to have for what we do (duh!) Obviously, Matt took this one.

Gratitude — “day 12” — Inspired & Creative Inspiration
I am just SO glad that I learned to embrace my creativity. You read so much about how we’re all born creative and lose it as we get older because of whatever myriad reasons. I think in high school and shortly after, I went through a few years where I stopped writing, reading, drawing and really doing much to inspire my creativity. When I look back on those years, while I was doing well by societal standards (great job, relatively happy), I was 0% fulfilled. Okay, maybe not zero, but you get it. I arrived to this photo shoot to take photos of this beauty & her Momma. Mom asked me if I wouldn’t mind taking a few of just Lauren & with her outfit, hair, smile & the sunset??? There was no question. She was down to go sit on the rocks and get wet and just have fun with it. So glad I didn’t totally scare her away as I screamed in giddy excitement at how gorgeous she is from behind the camera! At one point, she laughed and said, “Omg, you’re so stoked you’re exciting me!!” haha. Love it.

Gratitude — “day 13” — My eyeballs & my mentor, Felix
I went to school for photography & learned a lot there, but the best thing I got from it were the lasting friendships I’ve made, one of those is Felix, who was my wedding instructor and ended up being my mentor. He’s taught me SO much of what I know. One of those things was to find the moment in the photo. Always play with the crop. I’ll never forget the photo he showed it to me on, too. It was one of my first engagement sessions and I asked for his critique. There was a photo that I wasn’t crazy about and he said, “well yeah, it’s not great as it is, but what about like this???” & cropped it in a way that I hadn’t even thought of. So, now, it’s one of my absolute favorite things to look at each photo with real intent and find the best moment. THIS photo had been kind-of-crooked-and-kind-of-too-dark and far more cropped out, but I saw this and I fell in love with it. I am preeeetty sure I took this one.

Gratitude — “day 14” — The client/friend line
Dude, our couples are our friends. Many of our families are, too, don’t get me wrong. But, I chose this topic for this photo because Sam & Mark started as family of friends of ours who immediately turned into friends and who I know will be friends forever. We are so grateful to have a “job” where we get to work with friends… People we LIKE! By the end of a wedding, we have spent so much time with our couples helping to plan, taking engagement photos, designing the engagement album, hanging prints in their homes, visualizing & dreaming about their day & then the entire day of, that I feel like if we don’t feel like we’re friends, we’re doing something wrong!!! I thiiiiink I took this one, too… Toss up though.

Gratitude — “day 15” — Getting to work with amazing vendors
A wedding day is a LOT of people coming together to make an incredible day happen, and for this particular wedding, Casey & Nate’s, we were brought into their lives by a coalition of vendors that unfortunately no longer exists, but brought together an incredible team to make it all happen. Blog post to come where I’ll shout them all out individually. Until then, just know I’m grateful for awesome vendors who we get to work with at weddings. 🙂 I took this one!

Gratitude — “day 16” — EACH OTHER & our supportive community of friends & fellow business owners
So glad that this ended up being one of the top 9 even though it’s one of the most recent posts we’ve done. Our friend Eddie from Sugarshack Sessions has been working on some videos for us & he snapped this shot for us during one of our shoots. While I don’t normally love the posey-smiling-at-the-camera-shot… I MEAN, COME ON. So good. Eddie has been a friend for a couple of years now and he is just one of a network of creatives who we are so grateful to have as inspiration & support & to cheer on as they continue to kick ass!!!

The other morning, I was in a crappy mood, not sure why, and Matt amped up his good mood to compensate. I said, “you’re in a great mood this morning…” & he said, “well, you’re not, and we know that we don’t do well when we’re both in moods, so I got you, babe.” I am the most lucky to have this guy by my side. He helps me when I need inspiration, when I’m already inspired & when I don’t even know that I need it. I try to tell him every day, but I am so grateful for him & I love him so much it actually hurts sometimes.

Thanks for sticking around. 🙂 I hope you’ll take a few minutes to think about all you have to be grateful for, and please, share if you feel so inclined!! Once again: HAPPY NEW YEAR!