Be Flexible

This wedding is one of my favorite experiences second shooting with Lindsay Fauver. It was an extraordinary day, beautiful weather and right on the water in Woodbridge, VA. Driving up to Woodbridge was like a breath of fresh air. One thing I do not miss about Northern VA is the traffic, but there is so much water, greenery, flowers and the weather is wonderful (and those things, I do miss). Norfolk is more of a city and a Naval base, so there is a lot of gray around here.

Another thing I learned about second shooting is the word “flexible”. Once you get to the point where you realize that you should be a blessing to your primary photographer (see earlier post here), then you can be flexible to be whatever you need to be in the moment. ย Sometimes a second shooter isn’t necessarily there to capture a particular moment that the primary can’t get, but they’re there to serve as an assistant to the main photographer or even as an assistant to the bride. As long as you’re not focused on yourself, you can be flexible and help make the day smoother for the woman who is committing the rest of her life to a man or to the photographer who is preserving those moments forever. And that my friends, is a special and unique job.

As a second shooter, you mind find yourself: grabbing water for anyone who needs it, fetching left behind bouquets, finding important people, reconstructing boutonnieres, scouting out first look or portrait locations, taking detail shots, setting up equipment, fetching equipment, holding a flash, etc. These things aren’t necessarily things that you picture yourself doing when you sign up to second shoot for someone, but they’re so fun! When your attitude is not focused on yourself and how you are going to better your portfolio, you can have so much fun making sure the day is going smoothly for everyone else! I had a great time at every weekend that I was able to second shoot at and I will always be thankful for each and every experience.

I hope you enjoy this wedding set in Woodbridge, VA! Check out Lindsay‘s full post from the day here.
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โ€œGo confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.โ€ – Henry David Thoreau

There is always something to be learned from second shooting. Each wedding is unique as you learn and watch from your primary photographer.

At one particular wedding that I assisted Lindsay with this year, I realized that one of my biggest problems is that I wasn’t confident. Nothing about the way I carried myself, the way I spoke or the way I did anything conveyed that I knew and considered myself a professional photographer.

When you lack confidence, you begin to doubt yourself. When doubt creeps in, you start fumbling over your words, saying the wrong thing or missing details.

For the longest time, I refused to refer to myself as a professional photographer. I think a part of that was because I was afraid of what responsibilities and expectations come with that title. What it mainly comes down to is that… I was afraid.

However, this year… I am no longer going to be afraid of failure. This year I started calling myself a professional photographer. This year, I am going after my dreams. This year, I have begun the necessary steps I need to in order to make it.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my journey thus far. I can’t wait to see where God is going to lead me in 2014.

Here’s another wedding from my year serving Lindsay Fauver! Check out her full blog post from the wedding here.
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Scott and I were at a meeting earlier this fall in Lynchburg when we spoke with one of the pastors from a church I interned at last summer. He told us about the ups and downs of ministry and gave us one important piece of advice: take time to getaway.

From that moment on, we talked about it and became serious about taking some time out of our schedule for us and for us to focus on God as a couple. That’s where Groupon comes in. We love Groupon because they have amazing deals for people who are on a budget! A couple of months ago, we found a Groupon for a two night stay in the Outer Banks in North Carolina which is only about an hour and forty-five minutes from where we live. We researched a few other options and decided this one was the best for us! We stayed two nights at Oasis suites.

It really was a rejuvenating time and I am so thankful for rest. I hope you enjoy some pictures from our little getaway in the Outer Banks!


We began our little tour on the North part of the OBX, Corolla. We drove to the lighthouse to check it out and it was closed… but still beautiful!

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After exploring around the light house, there was a beautiful nature trail where we walked down to the water.
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Being inspired by Abby‘s recent post, I totally set up to do some selfies while we were in such a gorgeous location! We had two great results!2013-12-16_0008 2013-12-16_0009

Next, brides… make sure you check out Oasis Suites if you’re thinking honeymoon right about now. The room was BEAUTIFUL and HUGE! We didn’t even have the honeymoon suite. Here’s a peak at what we enjoyed ๐Ÿ™‚2013-12-16_0010 2013-12-16_0011 2013-12-16_0012 2013-12-16_0013 2013-12-16_0014 2013-12-16_0015

Groupon isn’t half bad ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday, we went on an excursion on Roanoke Island! Neither of us had ever been there, so it was awesome to learn about all of the history. We even went to a national park and watched a 17 minute video on the Lost Colony!

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Below is the theatre where the perform a dramatic performance of the history behind the Lost Colony.


We could not go to the beach without throwing around the baseball! About a year and a few months ago, Scott first began to show me how to play baseball, right there in Nag’s Head! We were overdue for some beach throwing ๐Ÿ™‚

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Below are Scott’s pictures of me on the beach… He IS a photographer afterall!2013-12-16_0034 2013-12-16_0035 2013-12-16_0036 2013-12-16_0037 2013-12-16_0038

We finished up our Saturday on the Dunes where we sat and almost watched the sunset… but it got a little cold! So we went home a tad early ๐Ÿ™‚2013-12-16_0039 2013-12-16_0040


I hope you enjoyed the pictures! If you have any questions about the places we went, don’t hesitate to leave a comment, you should definitely check them out ๐Ÿ™‚


Why Second Shoot?

Why should you second shoot when you start out in photography?

When I first heard that you should start out as a second shooter, I wasn’t sure what to think. First of all, it’s a veryย vulnerable thing to start out assisting a photographer who has years of photography experience and has a camera 1000 times better than the one that you have. Second of all, I had no idea where to even begin to look for someone to second shoot for.

When I started getting serious about starting my business, my friend Becky recommended that I contact Rebekah Hoyt. Rebekah was so incredibly sweet to me and allowed me to join a network of photographers on Facebook. Once I got connected, I posted about being interested of second shooting and that’s how I got connected with both of the amazing ladies that I had the privilege of shooting for this year.

I learned so much.

The deal I had with both photographers was that I would shoot for them and they would help me hone my craft and become a better photographer from reviewing the images I shot at the weddings. It’s one thing to read blogs about how to get better at photography, it’s a complete different thing to work with someone and them give you pointers on what you’re doing right and what you could use improvement on. I think that my photos have changed so much over this course of this year and I credit a lot of that to the experience of second shooting.

Another helpful thing from second shooting is to see what it means to be a professional photographer. So many people believe it’s just showing up and taking pretty pictures, but it’s so much work beyond that. For anyone who has planned a wedding or been to one, there’s a pretty strict timeline that has to be stuck to throughout the day. Working with a professional photographer as a second shooter really shows you how to make the most of the time that you have with the bride and groom on the wedding day. Without some of that experience, I believe I would be very lost and confused!

This year I was incredibly blessed to second shoot for not only just one photographer, but I also got the chance to shoot also under Kelly Ewell of Kelly Ewell Photography. Check out her photography page here.

Kelly as amazing to work with. Her level of professionalism with her clients was inspirational and her photographs are breathtaking. Not only is she an amazing photographer, but she’s bi-vocational so she keeps up with another job as well! She’s definitely someone to start following if you haven’t already. Please enjoy these images from the wedding I was blessed to second shoot with her. Check out her full blog post of the wedding here.

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a workshop with some of the best in the photography business. During the drive to Charlottesville with my friend Maria, we both sat in awe and shock of what we were actually doing. We were going to learn from Justin and Mary Marantz. Was this for real? Are we really and truly finally chasing after our dreams?

I couldn’t have been more blessed by the workshop hosted by Justin and Mary. They were incredible. Mary is an incredible speaker and general and that woman has some serious heart. Any bride that selects Justin and Mary as their photographers is incredibly blessed with people who really believe in preserving memories but also have the skill to do it well.

At the beginning of the workshop… Mary started out talking about the “why” behind our business. Why do we do what we do as photographers? Why do we take pictures?

I really thought about this for a long time, because I will never be able to serve anyone well as a photographer if I don’t have a mission or a purpose behind my photography.

I’ve noticed that the pictures that I take during weddings that I love the most are the ones that are emotional and heartfelt. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be creative to work with couples and pose them to have beautiful couple portraits. But let’s be honest folks, there is nothing like the picture of a bride and groom dancing their first dance together as husband and wife, or like the picture of a father dancing with the daughter that he’s just given away to another man. It’s incredibly special and it’s unique. For me, I believe the reason that I want to document photos is because I love life, and I love people. I want to be able to preserve those incredibly special moments for people so that they can look back in 50 years and say… wow, look at how happy I was when we had our first dance.

So.. that’s my why. I want to be able to preserve a moment in time for my clients. Justin and Mary gave me some new tools in my belt to help me do that even more authentically. I’m so excited to be able to use the tools they gave me to help my clients express themselves even better!

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day:

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Here’s a few shots of my friend Maria who is also starting her business in the Hampton Roads area! You should definitely check out her post here.
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Bobby and Lindsey are engaged!

Scott and I got up very early to meet Bobby and Lindsey for engagement photos. Lindsey and I had been talking about photography and she loves the look of sunrise sessions, so that’s what we aimed for! We targeted the sunrise and we met right as it was supposed to be rising.

One problem… it was actually kind of raining when we got together.

Fortunately, by the time that Lindsey brought us to the BEAUTIFUL farms of Virginia Tech, the rain stopped and the clouds created a really beautiful atmosphere for their pictures. Plus, at the end of our shoot, the sun came out to play, so we got to add in a little bit of that as well!

We started at a place on a farm that overlooks a lot of beautiful land… it was incredible! Lindsey knows all the beautiful places. From there, Bobby and Lindsey did their thing! They were excellent clients because they are SO IN LOVE! They were complete naturals. After spending time with them it was so obvious that they’re so excited to get married in 2014. Spending time with them was so refreshing and fun. I really believe that a lot of these pictures really capture Bobby and Lindsey. I hope you swoon over them as much as I did while editing!

Here are a few of my favorites ๐Ÿ™‚

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Donna & Brandon are engaged!

Scott and I drove into Blacksburg ready and excited for the weekend! Who did we get to spend time with first? This lovely couple. If you’re around these two… there is absolutely no way you will not laugh. They are probably in my category of funniest people I know! And… they’re perfect together. They both have the same type of humor and that makes everything click. I’m so excited for these two to get married and experience the joy that God has for them! I hope you enjoy some of my favorites from their Blacksburg engagement session.

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As many of you know, Scott and I have moved to Norfolk to work in collegiate ministry at Baptist Collegiate Ministries on campus at Old Dominion University (and I am also at Christopher Newport University). We seriously love our jobs so much! We’ve had such a good time getting to know the students. One of my favorite things in ministry is just getting to know and spend time with ladies at BCM. I love to grab coffee, walk around, see pretty scenery, discover new places, or even run errands with them. One particular afternoon, my friend Cori and I decided to adventure to downtown Norfolk to try out a coffee shop and then we went to a beach that’s only 10 minutes from where I live to grab some pretty pictures of this gal.

I’m so happy to call her my friend, she’s amazing and has a deep love for the Lord and for people. I hope that you enjoy this beautiful girl as much as I do!2013-10-17_0001 2013-10-17_0002 2013-10-17_0003 2013-10-17_0004 2013-10-17_0005 2013-10-17_0006 2013-10-17_0007 2013-10-17_0008 2013-10-17_0009 2013-10-17_0010 2013-10-17_0011 2013-10-17_0012 2013-10-17_0013 2013-10-17_0014 2013-10-17_0016 2013-10-17_0017 2013-10-17_0019 2013-10-17_0020 2013-10-17_0021

The Clark Family!

Scott and I are so thankful to have friends like Ray and Becky. We’ve been friends with them for awhile, and I even did some of their engagement pictures 2 years ago! They’ve been invested in my photography business from the very beginning. I couldn’t tell you how honored I was when Becky’s mom called me to ask me if I could take a few pictures so that they could have an updated family photo! They came in to visit their youngest son here at ODU, so we hung out with them at the ODU game and spent more time with them taking photos on Sunday morning before church. Enjoy some of my favorites!!!

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