I attended a workshop last week focused on branding and business for creatives. It was one of those things I looked forward to for a while, had high hopes for and went in with my head held high. This world of glitter hearts and love and shiny amazing things that I found myself in two years ago has been such a blessing, but it's a place that I've suddenly found not fitting quite right. Like those awesome pants you buy on sale that fit perfectly except for the length or the size of the pockets. Those small details that make you question the whole. 

You see, I just turned 29. Well, I guess I've been 29 for just 30 days now and holy cats, does it feel uncomfortable. 29 is so close to 30 and no, it's not that 30 scares me. I'm actually hoping to welcome 30 with arms wide open. It's that this number represents a sort of passage, a kind of growth. Personally, professionally, in all the ways that matter most. 

At this workshop, and actually, in most of my daily life, I find pride and accomplishment in being the age I am and what I would deem a success. This business sort of happened upon me seven+ years ago and I can easily say I found myself in creating these images that make people so so happy. I went from being that awkward kid in high school to being this business woman who's slowly / quickly sometimes making a name for herself in this industry.

When I made the decision only a short two years ago that bar + bat mitzvahs are the events I want to photograph for the rest of my life, it was like someone turned on the light in my heart. Documenting these events is like looking into one of those fortune-teller globes; these kids hold so much promise. I could be in the midst of future presidents, doctors, lawyers, teachers who are going to impact other kids forever. Their future is unknown and SO SO bright. And for as much as I hope the world for them, I also realize who I was always meant to be when I'm in the midst of them, dancing and eating cupcakes and wearing glowsticks on their heads. Feeling the beat of the music and laughing and making memories with their friends. 

On Tuesday, I thought I had it all together. 

At day's end on Tuesday? Total mess. [Slight disclaimer: my mess came in the form of a call home to Mom, reassurance and a slight kick in the pants. See also: Ben & Jerry's pint of strawberry cheesecake]

After the ice cream was gone, I realized something quite remarkable: I had already known I needed to make a change. But that tug in my gold-glitter heart became an unavoidable pull. For as much as I'm growing more every day into who I'm meant to be, these kids are too. The word is spreading and the events get bigger and bigger. I photographed 5 past clients for their senior portraits this year. These kids are growing up! (Insert sobbing / proud me here)

It's time for this cute gold glitter heart-filled world to grow up a bit and change into something a bit more sophisticated, a bit more classic but still 110% me. 

I want to assure you I'm not going anywhere. I'll still be blogging, still be working (oh goodness, the number of families I'll meet this month is AMAZING!) and come early 2015, I'll be a little bit older and a little bit more me :) I say this always and I never want to not say it: your trust and faith in me to continue doing this work pushes me to do even better every time. When your business is YOU, there are decisions you can make that are both personal and professional. This brand refresh is both of those intertwined. And for the record? I know you're all going to love it even more than you love this look + feel. 

As always, you all rock my world. The amount of people I connected with yesterday at a bar + bat mitzvah event fair was astounding - I wanted to hug all of you! I hugged a few, passed out more chocolates and am crossing fingers they call to book me into 2016. The families who have booked for this fall's mini session dates? You make my heart sing. This business feels like a team effort much of the time - I'm putting myself and my work out into the world; you're receiving it with open arms and spreading the love.

Thank you. I'm forever indebted and in love with each and every one of you.


There are big great awesome fabulous things ahead in the next month over in this part of the Internet. Things including photos you've never seen, stories you haven't heard yet and honesty with integrity. And the best part? Everything will be wrapped up in this cute little package I can't wait to share.

But before all that goodness, it's time for things to get real, folks.

Here's where that honesty part comes in.

Life, sometimes, is hard.

Shocking concept, I know. And this is not a moment of complaining or negativity or any of that. It's a moment, a series of moments, when God literally knocked me to my knees because things had been going so well (yay!), that I sort of forgot to thank the giver of the goodness.

This moment came when I picked up a brand new member of my Apple family (Hi Sheila!), only to go back to the car to bring her home and the ignition on my twelve year-old car was locked up. Or something. I've never claimed to be a mechanic but I'm really good at describing all things car-related. Sort of. Regardless, it didn't start and I was stranded. On one of those really hot days. Mmmhm. I love heat!

But then this funny thing happened when everything that was going wrong suddenly started to reveal a silver lining, piece by piece. I called my Mom, because what else do you do when things go wrong? She worked close by, so she gave me a ride home. I called my mechanic and they got the key in the ignition again. I needed a car and Dad said to use his. I had friends sending up prayers on my behalf at the drop of a text. And then there's Sheila, who came with a promise to make work a lot easier and more accessible.

And at the end of the day, I learned to let go and let God. His plan is so much bigger and grander and more awesome than anything I could ever dream to put together. Even with the help of Sheila,  my Russel & Hazel stationary set and Pinterest, I could never style anything this cool. Just when our trust in Him starts to wane and wander, He's right there to remind us to just keep on keepin' on.

Hats off to God, to his awesome plan and to the fact that at the end of the day, we're just really blessed.


source: southern charm