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Photography workshop

2016 Holiday Guide


2016 Holiday Guide

Merry Christmas Everyone! I thought it would be so fun to put together a little style and holiday gift guide this year to give you (or your spouse) some great gift ideas and tips on holiday styling from Nicole and some photo related gift ideas from me. I asked Nicole to give us the scoop on some of her favorite trends this holiday season to have you looking amazing at your parties and get togethers as well as a few gift ideas thrown in the mix as well from she and I both! So, without further ado, here we go!

We'll start with Nicole's picks for this holiday season's trends. Get your pen and paper! You're gonna want to take notes. :)

 Fashion this holiday season is rich in color and full of texture and movement.  Leather, sequins, velvet and lace are among the many options.  Pieces in these fabrics can be real statement makers!  It’s important to style them with something that will keep you looking on trend without looking over done.   Try pairing a classic sweater with a sequin skirt or pants to create the perfect balance.    Layer a leather jacket over a romantic lace dress for a fun bit of edge.  Pair leather pants with a flannel top or classic sweater.  Add bold earrings and knee high boots to an understated sweater and denim outfit.  Lastly, if your outfit is looking a little bland, add a pop of rich festive color with your handbag, shoes or lip and nail color.

Here are some suggestions...

1.  Kat Von D lipstick to add that pop of red!


Try this

2.  Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac is such a versatile bag.  You can wear it as a clutch, cross body or shoulder bag.  They come in a ton of styles and colors and 2 sizes.  The right amount of edge and boho in one bag.

3.  Kendra Scott lariat or any lariat style necklace is the perfect accessory to wear with a low, v-neckline.


Try this

4.  Kendra Scott Elle Earrings come in many colors and are a perfect statement earring to add to an understated outfit.

5.  Lucky Brand Hoops add sparkle and edge to any classic style sweater.

6.  Swedish Hasbeens Bordeaux or Oxblood color shoes or boots are a gorgeous way to add a festive pop of color to an outfit.


Try this

7.  Silence and Noise Metallic Jacket is one of so many options when considering a leather jacket.  Leather jackets add a layer of warmth, edge, color, etc.  I could go on for days why I think every woman needs one in her life.  

And if you're looking for some new makeup or accessories to update your look or need a  gift idea, here are some of Nicole's top 10 faves...

1.  Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics eyeshadow palette is my everyday, go to palette.  A little tip:  depending on your eyebrow color, there’s a couple shades you can use to fill those in. 

2.  BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector is a universally flattering highlighting product.  It can be used on all the areas you want to highlight.  Pop a dab of this in the inner corner of your eyes, to instantly open and brighten. 

3.  TOCCA Stella perfume…where have you been all my life?  Blood orange and soft florals make this my everyday, all day scent.

4. Maybelline Fit Me Poreless Foundation is a must try if you have combination/oily, large pored skin.  It’s so affordable, yet offers the same results that much higher end brands offer.  Plus you save even more since you don’t need an additional powder to finish.

5.  Dior Addict Lip Balm is AMAZING!  It’s definitely a splurge item, but sooooooo worth it!  

6. Sephora Favorites Perfume Sampler is such a great gift idea.  Get one for yourself while you’re at it!  They are super fun!

7.  Swedish Hasbeens Clogs range in many different styles, colors and heel heights.  Stellar quality, incredibly comfy and simply gorgeous.  Amazon always has great prices ranging from $30 and up.  

8.  HOBO Lauren Wallet has been a staple of mine for years.  This beauty can also be used as a clutch for quick trips to the store or a date night.  

9.  Rebecca Minkoff Gold Facetted Earrings are my everyday earring.  They are understated and edgy.   I’m a big fan of this designers jewelry and handbags!

10.  Trader Joe’s Lavender Salt Scrub is soooooo amazing.  If you’ve never checked your neighborhood TJ’s bath and body products shelf, you should.  This product is one of many worth trying.  

For the photography lovers!

 If you're looking to treat yourself or someone you love this Christmas with a photography related gift, I've got you covered. Just read on...

For anyone, friends or family....

In my opinion, there is nothing like holding a beautiful print in your hand, or seeing your images displayed proudly in your home or work space. For this I love prints, calendars, or photo albums by Artifact Uprising. I like to wrap gifts for family members in kraft paper and tie their square prints on with twine for a personal touch. You can even print your iphone photos straight from their app. The print quality is great and I love that they are printed on thick Mohawk Eggshell matte paper. Think cardstock. They are just gorgeous. 

For the budding photographer...

I get asked all the time what camera to start with and what lens if you are wanting to start learning to take better photos of your kids. I am a Canon girl so if you're going to go with Canon, I recommend starting out with one of their Rebel series cameras. I also recommend skipping the kit lens (the lens that comes in the bundle) and purchase a body only then buy a "nifty fifty" aka the 50mm f1.8. This lens has a fixed aperture and is a great economical lens to get started with. It's fast, sharp, versatile and will give you that nice creamy background you like seeing in photos since it's aperture opens up to 1.8. 

So, now you might be asking yourself what does that mean? What's aperture? How do I shoot in manual mode? What's exposure? How do I take good photos of my kids? Well, I'll be covering all that and more in my Photo Class for Mamas. My first class will be end of January and I should be emailing newsletter subscribers first next week to get you more info and book spots. Yay! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get all the info when it drops. This is a great gift idea for mama so she can learn to use her fancy camera. :) 



Another favorite of mine for everyday photographers is my Darby Mack camera bag insert. I take my camera with me when we're out a lot. And if you're like me, you don't want a big old bag that screams "I have an expensive camera in here!" haha! But at the same time, you want your gear to be protected. This bag insert is perfect because it protects your gear and you can slip it into any bag, even your diaper bag. I've had mine for a couple of years and it has held up beautifully. I love that it has room for a camera with a lens attached as well as another lens, sd cards and batteries. 

For everyone....

There is nothing like giving someone the gift of memories with their family. Whether it's a family session, an in home Beautiful Everyday session or a newborn session, the photographs of your family are a gift that will always increases in value to you and your loved ones over time. So, if you or someone you love has been wanting a session with me and or styling with Nicole, you can purchase gift certificates in any amount. 2017 is booking quickly so I'd love to see you in the new year!


I hope these tips and suggestions have been helpful and feel free to pass them along to someone who might be on the lookout for a gift for you! We won't tell. ;) Have a great Christmas season!




Wildflowers Workshop


Wildflowers Workshop

"Some journeys are direct, some are heroic, some are fearful and muddled. But every journey, honestly undertaken, stands a chance of taking us toward the place where our deep gladness meets the world's deep need." Parker Palmer

For years it has been a dream of mine to go to an in person photography workshop to learn from one of my favorite artists. After a few years in the business and my husbands sweet encouragement, I searched for the perfect one to meet my needs and landed on the Wildflowers Workshop led by the incredibly talented Joy Prouty. I have followed Joy's work for years and it has always resonated with me. Her ability to evoke deep emotion in her imagery is really incredible and I love her complete honesty and transparency in her personal work. I identified with her so much as a believer, mother and wife that I knew it would be a good fit. And it was. I went to this workshop really seeking insight on balance as a creative, a business owner and a mother and left challenged and stretched in all these areas. Although we had two shoots while there, this workshop wasn't very much about the technicalities of shooting but more focused on our artistry and developing that, which was exactly what I needed. I was challenged to shoot the things that make me feel alive as an artist. And although, I feel like over the past year or so I've begun to focus my work in that direction, my time at this workshop really breathed new life into this pursuit in my work.

My time with Joy made me look a bit more closely at what I love to shoot. What makes me love to pick up my camera and in turn create beautiful imagery. My photography journey has evolved quite a bit since I started my business 3 years ago. I have figured out that I am passionate about shooting families, but not always the perfectly posed traditional family portraits. Rather, I love to spend time with my clients, connecting with them, learning their stories, and photographing the season of their family, no matter what that may be. One of the things I wrote down in my journal that weekend that Joy said that I have gone over and over again to myself is that you cannot compare one persons beautiful with another person's beautiful. Sometimes life is not always golden sunlit fields and perfect smiles(sometimes it is!). Sometimes life is a sink full of dirty dishes and a tangled mess of hair and to me that is just as beautiful and equally deserving to be captured. So, as I embrace that, the joys and messes of these beautiful, imperfect lives we live, I hope you'll join me as my business grows and changes as I develop as an artist.

I am so thankful to Joy and the 16 other photographers I met for shaking up the creative in me. For encouraging me, challenging me, and giving me so many things to think about. Over a month later, I'm still mulling over all the things we discussed. I am really excited for all the wonderful things that are ahead for my work and for my clients. A few changes are already in the works and I'm excited to share them with you in the coming weeks. If you are a photographer considering Joy's workshop, DO IT. Just do it. If you aren't a photographer but love beautiful photographs, you should really follow her work. Here is her website. Go get a cup of coffee, a warm blanket to snuggle up to and enjoy. :)

Here are some pictures from my weekend in Austin....


And here are a few iPhone snaps of my weekend...

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