2015 Year in Review

When I decided to do a “year in review” blog post, I did not realize how much content I was going to end up including. That being said, let me just go ahead and forewarn you that this is a particularly long post, and if you’re not interested in long posts or a combination of personal and business-related accomplishments that have happened over the course of the past year for me, you should probably just leave this post.

Now that I have deducted my audience to about 4 people, I’ll continue! This year was full of so much love, happiness, hardship, and, most of all, growth. I grew as a person and as a business owner. The following is my highlight reel of 2015, in both the personal and business aspect.

JAN14: I photographed my very first newborn session, for baby Jonathan Ryan. This session made me realize how much I love in-home sessions. They’re so personal, casual and beautiful. Photographing the little nuances that people don’t realize are special until they see them frozen in time just makes my heart so full.
: I photographed my little sisters senior photos. Alex is basically a mirror of me, only 7 years younger, so this session felt like we were just hanging out. Every time I see these photos, they remind me how much my sister means to me. Love you, little one.
JAN27: Around this time, I started a 8ish week mentor-ship with Alyssa Morgan (of Alyssa Morgan Photography). She filled my brain with huge amounts of knowledge about being a wedding photographer in this very competitive industry, and being your own person. I learned so much from her, but if there’s one thing I could take away from spending time with her twice a week, it is that I must put a higher value on myself and my services, and if I do so, my clients will follow suit.

FEB2: While looking for our wedding rings, Greg and I met Samantha at Helzberg Diamonds, and besides selling us our gorgeous wedding rings, she also asked to take one of my business cards, and later contacted me about a 1st birthday session for her son, Jonathan. This was another at-home session (are you seeing a trend here?), complete with a handmade rainbow cake for the baby to attack!
: I ran my second half marathon, the Donna Half Marathon, in 3 hours. This is one of my favorite races to run, and next February I’ll be running the full marathon!
: I photographed Michelle & Evan’s engagement session in Walter Jones Historical Park, on a gorgeous afternoon. This engagement session flowed with ease, and I had some gorgeous models to work with!
: My maid of honor, Angela, threw the most gorgeous, fun, and personalized bridal shower for me, and I am forever grateful for her and everything she does. The shower was complete with a bloody mary bar, a photobooth, and a toilet paper dress contest. I loved every minute of it, and I can’t wait to return the favor in the coming year. More on that later.
FEB28: I had the pleasure of attending/photographing Kimberly’s gorgeous bridal shower. She has the sweetest friends and family, who surrounded her with love (and not to mention, fabulous gifts!).
: I was honored to second shoot for Alyssa Morgan twice this year, and this was the first wedding I photographed with her. London & Dave had a beautiful backyard wedding, and even though the wind made the weather a little chilly, everyone was warmed by the overflow of love in the space.
: The other second shooting gig I scored with Alyssa was Lillie & George’s Casa Marina wedding in Key West. This was my first trip to Key West (what a road trip!) and it was a fantastic time, photographing with Alyssa, being in good company with the bride, groom, and wedding guests, and exploring a new place.
: For my bachelorette party, we took a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas, and I will say this is the best idea for a bachelorette party if anyone is currently planning one. My girls made it the most special weekend, I’m forever indebted to them for how awesome they all are.
APR18: A week before my own wedding, I had the pleasure of photographing Jan & Michael’s beautiful Casa Marina afternoon wedding. The two were married in the exact same spot that I would be getting married in 7 days later. It was so wonderful to get myself acquainted with the area, while also documenting the love of these two sweet people.
: The day that I married the love of my life. Everyone had a wonderful time, everything went off without a hitch, and after two and a half years of being engaged, we could finally call each other husband and wife.
: The morning after our wedding, we were up by 7am and headed to the airport to embark on our honeymoon adventure to Lake Tahoe. It was the furthest west we had ever traveled, and boy, it did not disappoint. I didn’t want to leave. We stayed in the Hyatt Recency in Incline Village and had the royal treatment. We “hiked” (aka: walked around in woodsy areas), went horseback riding, drove to San Francisco, hung out in a hot tub in 50 degree weather, drank spiked hot chocolate while making s’mores, and ordered lots of room service. I would go back in a heartbeat.
MAY2: When we came back from our honeymoon, we promptly made plans with our friends to watch the Kentucky Derby and wear silly hats, because even though we had a great time in Lake Tahoe, we missed our friends dearly.
: We attended our first wedding as husband and wife, Kim & Jason’s Ribault Club wedding! They served brunch for dinner, had customized mugs, and a super fun photobooth. Congrats Kim & Jason!
: A couple days prior to my little sisters 18th birthday, she and I decided to get sister tattoos. The text is a line from Avicii’s “Hey Brother,” and even though it hurt quite a bit, it meant so much to me that she wanted to get her first tattoo with me.
: My little sister graduated high school!! I was so proud of her in that moment. She is now attending her dream college, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and having the time of her life being a little smarty pants.

: My wonderful best friend Angela got engaged to her love, David! They were in Savannah for their anniversary, and when they checked into the hotel, David promptly started the weekend off right by asking her to be his wife. Then, when they were back in town, we obviously got together for a girls night, complete with copious amounts of champagne. So excited for you two to get married October 1st, 2016!!
: In the midst of the summer heat, me and some of my awesome friends did what we do best and headed to Kevin’s parents’ townhouse in Destin! Kevin, Kourtney, Kris, Rita and I enjoyed Crab Island on the boat during the day and a couple bars in Baytown Wharf at night.
JUL18: I put on my first bridal shower as Rita’s Matron of Honor! It was a travel themed shower, held at Blackfinn Ameripub, and we sipped on unlimited mimosas while we played silly bridal shower games and watched Rita open presents.
: My little baby girl turned 7! Little Sadie makes my heart so full, I don’t know where I would be if she hadn’t come into my life as my 18th birthday present. For her 7th birthday, she received some new toys and got to have wet food for dinner šŸ™‚
: I photographed my second newborn session, another in-home session, with Megan & Andrew and their new baby, Emery Dean. Megan & Andrew hired me to be their wedding photographer for their Friday Musicale wedding last November, and I was so glad to hear that they were expecting and wanted me to photograph their handsome son.
: I headed to Savannah with Rita and 7 of her closest friends for her bachelorette weekend! The weekend was full of delicious food, shopping, and bar hopping. It was the perfect way to celebrate Rita being (technically) a single lady for a couple more months!

AUG25-27: About a week after being in Savannah with Rita, I headed back up there with Greg for a little vacay to celebrate his golden birthday. This Savannah trip was a little less rowdy, and a little more relaxing.
AUG28: This was Greg’s actual birthday! This day was bittersweet this year though, because this was also the day that one of my best friends was moving to the other side of the country. Rita’s now husband (fiance at the time), Ryan, was accepted into the University of Oregon for their masters program, so they needed to move to Oregon. This was the first time I had to deal with someone so close to me move across the country and it was (and still is) really hard. I hate that I can’t just drive 10 minutes to her apartment and lay on her couch and binge watch TV with her. But we have phone dates every Tuesday, and that will work for me until we see each other next. Greg and I are currently planning an Oregon trip this summer, and just thinking about going there and seeing her makes me want to get on a plane right now!
SEPT7: I was asked to photograph the bid day for University of North Florida’s Delta Gamma, and it was such a fun experience. I was in the sorority when I was in school, and being around that atmosphere again just reminded me of the wonderful friends I made and the experiences I had while involved with the organization. I photographed the new members running home at the school, and then later in the day, the bid day celebration that was held at the Skate Station in Orange Park.
: I had the opportunity to second shoot with Paige (owner of True Era Photography) in two weddings in the month of October. The first wedding was Ivana & Ethan’s Palencia Club Gatsby themed wedding, and it was such a good time! The couple was so sweet (and gorgeous) and the vibe of the wedding was fun until the end of the night.
: We headed to Pine Mountain, GA for the weekend for Rita & Ryan’s wedding! This was my first time being in a bridal party (much less being MOH), and even though I was initially stressed out about making sure everything was perfect, it all went off without a hitch and it was wonderful to just spend time with Rita again. Congrats again, Rita & Ryan!!!
OCT 17
: This was the second time this month second shooting with Paige, this time for Jessica & Stephen’s downtown Jacksonville wedding. This wedding had such an adorably nerdy flair, with books in the centerpieces and each table named after a literary couple. The ceremony’s recessional was the Game of Thrones theme song!!
: This marked the beginning of my first double header (two weddings in two days, back to back), and the day of Michelle & Evan‘s gorgeous Mansion at Hilliard wedding. I had been working with these two for quite some time, and to see everything come together and finally photograph them as husband and wife was a true moment of happiness for me. They’re so infatuated with one another, and it really showed that day. Congrats Michelle & Evan!!
: Early in the morning, I made my way to Melbourne Beach for Erin & Nick‘s Crowne Plaza wedding, right next to the beautiful ocean. The wedding itself was seaglass themed, with beautiful blues and greens scattered around the ceremony and reception sites, not to mention the gorgeous bridesmaids ombre dresses! I’m truly happy for these two, they are a kickass couple who knows how to have a good time. Congrats Erin & Nick!
: I turned 25! Greg took me to our favorite restaurant to celebrate big moments, Seasons 52, followed by drinks with our awesome friends at Sidecar, a craft cocktail bar in Riverside.
: I had the honor of photographing Hallie & Sanders in Hanna Park before their quiet ceremony on the beach, and let me tell you, these two exude love for one another. They couldn’t take a bad picture if they tried, and their personalities meshed well with the feel of the park and beach. This session was just absolute perfection, it brought me to tears while I was editing the photos. I love you guys, congratulations Hallie & Sanders!
: This day had two awesome things happen. Not only did Hallie and Sanders get married, but another of my awesome friends, Sammie and Warren, got engaged!! Sammie ran the Savannah Rock & Roll Half Marathon as part of our marathon training plan, and after she crossed the finish line, Warren was waiting for her with her beautiful engagement ring and asked her to be his wife. The photo below doesn’t belong to me, this is courtesy of Sammie’s dad, who was hiding a few feet away photographing the whole proposal!
: This was the beginning of my adorable holiday mini-sessions that I photographed this year. To kick off the season, Sammie and Warren hired me to photograph them and their adorable puppy-son, Winston for their Christmas cards. Winston was such a ham, he was surprisingly cooperative for the photos for a year and a half old puppy, but between photos he would sprint around the dog park we were in. By the way, would you ever suspect these were taken at a dog park?!
: Happy Thanksgiving! Also, happy race day! This was the day of the Subaru Distance Classic Half Marathon, where I reached a personal record and finished in 2 hours and 20 minutes. For comparison, the Donna Half Marathon that I ran earlier this year in February was finished in 3 hours. I was so happy to have shaved 40 minutes off my half marathon time! I was also excited to eat all the food I wanted, considering I had burned about 1300 calories that morning.
: Back to holiday mini-sessions. This one was with Brittany, Corey, and their two adorable children. I met Brittany and Corey at Michelle and Evan’s wedding, and Brittany later contacted me about a mini-session, which I was so excited about! We met in Riverside Park, and the weather was perfection for a holiday session. Brittany brought some props for the kids to wear, and they were just so darn cute.
: Rounding up the year and the end of my holiday mini-sessions was Angela & David. I met them at their apartment in Riverside to do an at home session, documenting them decorating their tree and drinking coffee out of festive mugs, and then they got spiffed up and took some photos in front of their decorated front porch. Thanks for ending my 2015 on a good note, Angela & David!
All in all, I would say 2015 was full of awesome people, fun adventures, and good times. Here’s to next year being just as awesome!!