LRP “Yes!” List : part 1

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Ahhh, y’all, this is a post I have been wanting to write for months!!!  (And if you’re sitting there like, what the heck is a “yes!” list (and did you just make that up, Lindsey)?! – yes, I did make it up and I promise I’ll answer that question for you!)

I have been blessed with the absolute sweetest clients and some of the most enjoyable weddings and sessions over the last couple of years, and I am SO, so grateful for that! I have absolutely loved getting to know each of my sweet couples and families, and having the privilege of capturing moments they will treasure forever. Some days I can’t even believe how fortunate I’ve been to have worked with people I really truly adore and would now consider friends! How fortunate I am that they trusted me enough to invite me into their stories and allow me to capture glimpses of their lives together. Their trust in me has allowed me to learn and grow as a photographer, and I am so incredibly grateful for that!

As I’ve grown more confident in my aesthetic style, and as I’ve grown comfortable in my own creative skin, I’m finding that I’m wanting to push the boundaries of my comfort zone a little. I’m finding that the little creative corners of my heart pitter-patter at the thought of capturing stories in ways I may not have done before!  I’ll randomly find myself thinking, “Gosh, if I had the opportunity to shoot a __________, I would just love to say ‘yes’ to that!!!” And it occurred to me a few months ago that I should totally share this “Yes!” list of mine on the blog!

So, today I’m sharing five types of sessions/events that have been on my heart over the last few months! There may be couples and individuals out there who would really be blessed and encouraged by one of these 5 types of sessions/events, and I would just love to be the photographer they trust to capture these moments for them!

So here’s part 1 of the LRP “Yes!” list:

1. styled newlywed session

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This one has been so strongly on my heart! Y’all, weddings are expensive. And the reality is, 8 to 10 hours of coverage by a professional wedding photographer is an investment that not every couple can make for their wedding day. But I think every couple deserves to have beautiful “wedding” portraits to be able to display in their home and put in an album for their babies and grandbabies to treasure one day! A styled newlywed session is the perfect way to do this! It is an opportunity for a newly married bride & groom to wear their wedding day attire one more time (maybe even get hair & makeup done and pick up a bouquet reminiscent of her wedding day florals!), and spend an hour or so flirting and giggling and slow dancing in front of the camera. They’ll walk away with beautiful portraits their families will treasure, for the investment of an anniversary session!

While a newlywed session is truly not a substitute for having a photographer there on the wedding day to capture each of the carefully chosen details and the many sweet moments that transpire as the day unfolds, my heart for this session is that it would be a blessing to a couple whose wedding day passed without any (or maybe very few) bride & groom portraits that captured their relationship in a way that is timeless, joyful, and authentic to them.

2. small business owner session

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I absolutely loved photographing this team head shot session for the amazing ladies at Chantilly Lace Bridals back in March, and it’s made me realize how much I would love to capture images for other creative small business owners (#bossladies!) more often! This could be anything from just a head shot session, to a combination head shot + lifestyle or behind-the-scenes session showcasing what the everyday looks like for a wedding planner, blogger, shop owner, calligrapher, or fellow photographer! If you’re a fellow small business owner in some sort of creative or wedding-industry field and you’ve found yourself needing fresh, authentic images of you and your process, then let’s definitely chat soon! 😉

3. anniversary session (20+ years)

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Y’all, this is another one that has really been on my heart! A marriage that has stood the test of 20, 25, 30 or more years is such a treasure and I feel so strongly that it is something that should be honored and celebrated. It may have been years or even decades since a couple at this point in their love story has been dressed to the nines and spent time in front of a camera, just the two of them.  This is the perfect opportunity to dust off his best suit (or invest in a new one!) and rent a show-stopping gown from Rent the Runway, to mark the milestone of 20 or more years of life side by side!  What an incredible honor it would be to capture a love story 20 or 30+ years in the making!

4. personal stylist session

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If we’re friends on instagram, you probably already know that personal style is another creative outlet for me.  So the fact that I would love to photograph a session to showcase a personal style brand + merchandise for a fellow small business owner who sells clothing / accessories (think Lula Roe, Stella & Dot, etc) probably will not surprise anyone!  I think it would be so fun to be able to get a little creative with this and highlight multiple different outfits or items over the course of a session, and provide images this consultant could use on her website and/or social media to promote her products!

5. romantic elopement

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Can I just say that I think elopements can be super romantic?! (And they can be super elegant and classy, too – I mean, check out this stunning NYC elopement captured by Abby Grace Photography. All the heart eyes, am I right??) When a couple has decided to elope, their priority is clear: they just want to be husband & wife. They’ve chosen to forego something that our culture holds in very high esteem (a “traditional” large wedding celebration) in favor of an intimate gathering with all of its focus on the most important element of that day’s events – two becoming one. And honestly, I think sometimes these couples question whether it’s “worth” having a professional photographer capture their day. I might be a little biased, but my answer would always be a resounding “YES, it is worth it! YOU are worth it.” This is the beginning of your life together. The first day of your forever. The day you will tell your children and grandchildren about for years to come. The day you were a bride and a groom. And it deserves to be documented. I am in the process of creating a wedding package just for the couple who has decided to elope – who have chosen to have an intimate ceremony (with fewer than 15 guests and without a formal reception), that they know they want to remember for the rest of their lives. Friend, if that’s you, hop on over to the contact page and send me a little note so we can talk about your wedding day!

If you’ve stuck with me to the end of this post, THANK YOU so much!!! I can’t tell you how honored I am that you would spend a few minutes catching a glimpse of what’s been on my heart lately. I’m guessing you may have even stuck with me because one of these types of sessions is something that’s been on your heart, too – if so, tell me about it! I would absolutely love to chat with you about your session. Or maybe you know someone else who would be so blessed by one of these! Feel free to share this post with them!

And friends, if you enjoyed today’s post, you might want to stay tuned for part 2 of this “Yes!” list – a list of specific locations (some right here in southwest Virginia, and others a little farther away) that I would love to showcase during a session!  Can’t wait to share those with y’all!

mary beth & hunter {dublin, va wedding}

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When I first met Mary Beth & Hunter, I instantly felt like we were friends.  They are both so genuinely warm and friendly, and I found it so easy to relate with them!  We chatted about everything from how they had been attending the same church for years, to the beautiful family-owned residence where they wanted to have their wedding reception, and the conversation just flowed so naturally that it hardly felt like a business consultation at all!  I was able to get to know them even better when we met up for their engagement session, and I have been fortunate enough to shoot newborn sessions for two of their family members during the last 6 months – so by the time their wedding day arrived, I was so fortunate to already know 4 of their bridal party members personally!  It was kind of like a little reunion and I loved every minute of it!!! 😉

Mary Beth & Hunter were married in their church, where they have both attended services for years (Mary Beth’s parents have been attending the church for 40 years!!!), and celebrated with their friends & family afterward at a beautiful, privately-owned residence.  I loved how personal their entire wedding day felt – their pastor shared parts of their story during the ceremony, their entire bridal party was SO full of joy for these two, and Mary Beth’s besties even wrote and performed a rap to Usher’s “Yeah!” during toasts at the reception!  It was one of the most fun wedding days I’ve had the pleasure of being part of, and I think that says so much about Hunter and Mary Beth.  They are two people you can’t help but have fun with, and I’m so excited that they are now Mr & Mrs!

Congratulations, Mary Beth & Hunter!  I hope you enjoy re-living your wedding day as you look through these images!

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I absolutely adored the gorgeous lace detailing in Mary Beth’s dress from Chantilly Lace Bridals!

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And then it was time to get married!!

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Mary Beth and her dad exchanged the sweetest moment when he gave her away – one of those moments that had me tearing up a little behind my camera!

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After the ceremony, we took family photos, full bridal party photos, and bride & groom portraits at the residence where the reception was getting started, and it was just the most gorgeous scenery – tall old trees and rolling hills!

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I loved their personalized gold cake topper!

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Mary Beth’s uncle owns a winery, so OF COURSE Davis Valley Winery beverages got the party going! 😉

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Aaaand here’s the rap I told you about…

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And just as the sun was setting, we were able to sneak out for a few more bride & groom portraits – and they were SO worth it!!!

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These two laugh ALL the time when they are together, and I loooove it!

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I love twirling shots because they make for some of the sweetest moments… see below.  😉

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Mary Beth & Hunter had SO many amazing friends and family who shared their talents (like floral arrangements, day-of coordinating, and cake decorating!) with Mary Beth and Hunter on their wedding day, and it’s easy to see how loved these two are!  So many thank you’s to all of the friends and family who worked together to bring these gorgeous details to life!

And thank you to the professional vendors who provided top notch service for these two and their guests!

Chantilly Lace Bridals

Hethwood Market

Ryan of RSI Entertainment

And a special thank you to Megan Myers for second shooting with me!!!

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Mary Beth, Hunter, thank you again for allowing me to be part of this season in your lives – it was an honor, and I had SO much fun celebrating with you!!!  (and I hope Jamaica was amazing!)

Big hugs to you both!

 

mary beth {bridal portraits}

mary-beth-bridals-featured_0001Can I just say that one of the hardest things about shooting bridal sessions is keeping the images a secret until after the wedding day?! I have SO been looking forward to sharing some of Mary Beth’s bridal portraits with y’all, and now that Mary Beth and Hunter are MARRIED (eeep!), I can finally share my favorites from her bridal session!

We took Mary Beth’s bridal portraits at the family estate where she and Hunter would celebrate with all of their friends and family at their wedding reception just a few weeks later!  Despite a LOT of rain on the day of our session (it literally downpoured less than an hour before we started shooting!), Mary Beth opted to continue with our session and she had the absolute BEST attitude about it!  “We’ll make the best of it!” she said to me.  And I think that says so much about her character!  In this life, we are going to encounter circumstances that aren’t ideal, and the way we choose to carry ourselves in the midst of those circumstances can make all the difference in how we come out the other side.  I don’t know about you, but I want to surround myself with people like Mary Beth – people who choose to see the good and make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

… And I just have to say, the rain most definitely did not ruin our session!  I absolutely love the way Mary Beth’s images turned out!  We started with a few shots inside this beautiful old home (and her sweet pup Ellie joined us!), we maximized our shooting opportunities on the gorgeous front porch (y’all, the porches on this house – oh. my. goodness!), and the rain eventually did subside and we were able to get some really stunning images on the front lawn during the last 30 minutes of daylight!  But don’t just take my word for it – take a look through my faves from Mary Beth’s session!

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A little obsessed with the gorgeous lace on Mary Beth’s dress!!

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I love these shots with Ellie!

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These next two shots are two of my FAVES!

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Ahhh, this next one is a fave, too!

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I looove both of these next shots, but especially the one on the right!

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Ahhhh, this next one is another fave!  So timeless!

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I love how bridal sessions give me another opportunity to play with detail shots like these images of Mary Beth’s gorgeous ring!

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Mary Beth, you are a gorgeous bride!  I had so much fun celebrating with y’all this weekend and cannot wait to share my favorites from your wedding day on the blog soon!!

Big hugs to you both!

rachel & matt {rockwood manor wedding}

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One of the things I love to hear about when I am meeting with a couple for the first time is how they met and started dating – the early parts of their romance!  It actually rained on the first three dates Rachel and Matt had together – so it was only fitting that there were a few sprinkles on their wedding day, am I right?!  😉

No bride wants rain on her wedding day, but this is especially true for brides who really want an outdoor ceremony!  Rachel had envisioned their ceremony taking place on the front lawn at Rockwood Manor, and although the threat of rain had us all guessing for a while, it (thankfully!) held off (with the exception of literally 5 sprinkled drops during the ceremony!), and they were married on that beautiful front lawn, just like Rachel had hoped.  And, just like every other carefully chosen detail of their day, their ceremony was elegant and classy and absolutely gorgeous.

But I have to say, I think the best part of this day was the sweet moments these two savored once they were officially husband & wife!  Just like during their engagement session, these quiet, romantic moments came so naturally to them, and I just adore them for it!  They would hold each other close and Matt would smile that smile that is just for her, and Rachel would giggle and nuzzle in closer to him and they just made my job an absolute dream.  And now I’m going to stop telling you about it so you can scroll down and see for yourself!  😉

Rachel, Matt, thank you for inviting me into this season of your lives – it has been so fun getting to know both of you, and it has been such a pleasure to be the one to document your relationship.  Y’all made my job so easy!  I hope you enjoy reliving your wedding day through these images, and I hope they always remind you exactly how it felt to officially start your life together!  (And I hope you are having an absolutely AMAZING time in Hawaii!!)

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So I have to brag on Rachel for a second – she did all of her own florals, with no formal training, on the morning of the wedding day!  I don’t know how she did it – but they are absolutely gorgeous, aren’t they?!

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I absolutely loved the combination of the blush and peach florals with the girls’ dusty blue dresses!

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And then Rachel’s earrings?!  LOVE!

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You should probably be sitting down for this next shot – because Rachel is STUNNING!

I literally. can’t. even.

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I’m a little obsessed with this detail shot that my second shooter (who also happens to be my bestie) Megan got of the girls’ bouquets, on the right.  GAH!

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Seriously, those bouquets, though.  All the heart eyes.

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The guys all looked so sharp in their navy suits!  I love that Matt’s whole side of the bridal party was family – his dad, brother, and cousin!

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I also love that they were all such good sports for their photographers!  😉  haha!  thanks for that, guys!

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And then it was time to get married!

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Can’t you see why Rachel had her heart set on this spot for their ceremony?!  So pretty!!

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Husband & Wife!!!

(and I loved Megan’s angle on the kiss, too!  y’all, this is why you want two photographers at your wedding!!)

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I absolutely love Rockwood’s grand porches, and of course we had to grab a few epic, wide portraits of Rachel and Matt on the porch steps!  Tell me I’m not the only one who swoons over shots like this next one on the left?!

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OH, these two!  With their super romantic moments like this next one!

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I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of obsessed with this next shot.  There always seems to be one unassuming moment from each session or wedding that will sneak up on me and kind of steal my heart.  It won’t be anything grand or epic – just a sweet little in-between moment that is so natural and genuine – and I think that’s why they get me.  It’s that authenticity, that in-between-the-big-moments kind of sweetness, that I absolutely love to capture!

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LOVE this next shot of Megan’s!

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Then it was time to join the party!  I loved the blush, ivory and gold reception decor!  So elegant! blush-and-gold-wedding-receptionvirginia-estate-wedding_0058blush-navy-gold-wedding-receptionvirginia-estate-wedding_0060virginia-estate-wedding_0061virginia-estate-wedding_0062virginia-estate-wedding_0063

We had just a few short minutes to sneak Rachel & Matt outside during the reception to take a few more portraits in the vineyard before the rain really started coming down – and I’m so glad we did!  These are definitely some of my favorites!!  (I mean, really though, how can you go wrong in a vineyard, am I right?!)

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We seriously only had about 5 minutes before the rain started really coming down, so we headed back inside for father-daughter and mother-son dances!

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And then JC got the party started…

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… and they were still going when Megan and I left!

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A thousand thank you’s to the amazing vendors who worked together seamlessly to make this day perfect!

Amina of Simplicity Event Planning

Pumpernickel Pickle Catering

JC of Castillo DJ Services

Rockwood Manor Bed & Breakfast

David’s Bridal

And a super special thank you to Megan Myers for second shooting with me!

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Rachel, Matt, it was such a pleasure being your engagement & wedding photographer!  I am so happy for y’all!  Congratulations!!!

Big hugs to both of you!

 

edmonds family {newborn}

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I am always so flattered when I get an inquiry email from someone who is family to one of my current or past clients!  It’s such an honor that they would think of me for their own session, and it’s so fun for me to get to know and serve the extended family of clients I already love!  So when Lindsey contacted me in March about scheduling their newborn session just a few weeks before I would be photographing the wedding of her brother and future sister-in-law, Hunter and Mary Beth (eep! cannot wait to celebrate with everyone!), I was SO glad I had an opening for them!

Lindsey and Josh met through work, settled down and got married after about 3 years together, and now, roughly 3 years into their marriage, they’ve started their little family.  (Or, maybe I should say they’ve grown their little family – their two pups are some of the sweetest fur babies you’ll ever meet!  I was SO excited when Lindsey told me they wanted to include Lola and Tucker in their session!)

Lindsey, Josh, thank you for inviting me into your home for the morning, and into this precious season of your lives!  I so enjoyed getting to know y’all and I cannot wait to see you and little Major again in just over a week!  YAY!  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some of my favorite images from your session!!

(I have to start with one of my favorites of Major!  So precioussss!)

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And of course, a few with these sweet pups!

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Lola looks so regal in this next shot on the right!  I love it!

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itty bitty fingers & toes!

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Sweet Tucker!

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I LOVE this next shot of Lindsey and Major!  So sweet!

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Can I just say that sometimes the most unassuming places in your house will have the most GORGEOUS light?!  Like the hallway at the top of the stairs where the light streams through the big picture window that sits over your porch?!  Gah!

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Another FAVE – this next frame of Josh and Major!

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Aaaaand another fave.  This sweet little face, though!!  All the heart eyes for this little guy, am I right?

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And I love, love, love this next one, too.  Lindsey, you’re a gorgeous new mama!

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Check out these smooshy cheeks and lips.  Oh. my. goodness.

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We made sure to spend some time in the nursery, and y’all – Josh and Lindsey did such a great job with this room!  Just wait until you see the cityscape Josh painted on the wall!!

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Seriously, how amazing are those buildings painted on the wall?!  I was so impressed that Josh did this himself!!

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I love this next shot of Lindsey on the right!  So many faves!!  (And peep the bat signal in the cityscape in the photo on the left, too!)

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I have to end with one of my favorite frames … of these sweet pups!  How stinking adorable are they, side by side on their bed?!

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Lindsey, Josh, thank you again for allowing me to document these sweet moments for y’all.  I hope these images always remind you just how this precious season of life felt!

Big hugs!!

#lifewithteamrickards : our master bath remodel

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This is a different sort of post for me to share, so I hope y’all enjoy it! And I should preface by saying that I am most definitely NOT an interior designer, nor am I aspiring to be one! I’m just a photographer (and a mortgage loan officer) who loves to play with colors and textures – and I happen to have married a man who is pretty stinkin’ handy! So I debated whether or not to share this process with y’all, since it’s not exactly in my wheelhouse and I can’t promise that home remodel projects are something you’ll see regularly on my blog … but I have to say, there were so many sweet friends who followed the updates in my instagram stories, and who would ask me about our progress every time they saw me, that I felt like there might be some people who would really enjoy seeing the finished product on the blog! So here we go!

First, for some reason, I feel like I should mention that this remodel wasn’t exactly planned. In fact, we’ve planned & completed a lot of home improvements during the 5 years we’ve spent in our little bitty house, but our master bath was never on the to-do list! Sure, we weren’t in love with it – it wasn’t exactly finished the way we would have done it (I never cared for the floor tile that was in there, Jason never liked the vanity, the trim didn’t match the rest of the house, etc), but it wasn’t awful. A fresh coat of paint would have done wonders for it. So I always thought we would remodel our guest bathroom (because y’all, it’s pretty hideous) before we ever touched our master bath. However, as homeownership goes sometimes, we had an incident with some damaged tile in our master tub/shower that left us with only one option: re-tile the tub surround.

In and of itself, ripping out the old tile and drywall and installing water-resistant hardie-board and new tile wouldn’t have been too terribly big of a job. But if you’ve ever met my husband, it probably doesn’t surprise you to hear that he is an all-or-nothing kind of guy. So, when we started to assess what needed to be done with the tub surround, he says to me, “You know, while we’re doing this, I could always get rid of this floor tile you’ve never liked and we could put some new flooring in here.”

You know, because taking out the toilet and the vanity and jack-hammering up the floor tile really doesn’t add that much work/time/budget to the project, am I right?

[if only I could insert all the laughing-till-you’re-crying emojis in a blog post. they would go here.]

So here’s what our bathroom looked like the day I “moved” us out of it and into the guest bathroom:

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Yes, it pretty much looked like this when we bought the house.  The beadboard was unfinished, the light fixture was bare-bulb, the trim wasn’t uniform.  I do have to take responsibility for the paint samples on the walls, though – they were my doing.  And I should also probably admit that most of them have been there for, like, 3 years.  Don’t judge.

Here’s a glimpse into what it looked like after demo day:

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After tearing everything out, the next step was to install hardie-board, which (as I understand it) can be used as a more durable, and water-resistant, alternative to drywall.  Which you definitely want behind your shower tile!  The orange section is the insert we purchased to frame out two built-in shelves in the shower!  It did slightly increase the budget and the labor time, but now that it’s all finished? worth. it.

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We (and by “we” I pretty much mean Jason) then coated the hardie-board with a waterproof film (that’s why it is a dark green color in the next image) and then it was finally time for the boys to start laying tile. (Thank goodness for best friends who are also experienced tile layers!) Technically, they first mapped out the pattern I wanted and then they started laying.  (See below. They’re so smart.)

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Mona was super curious about this whole thing.  Why is there so much noise coming from this room?  Where did all the things go?  What are all of these smells?  And WHY won’t you let me in there to check it out??

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Somewhere along the line, I realized my life would be so much easier if I just saved my insta stories and snap chats instead of trying to remember to break out my big girl camera every time we made progress.  So if you followed along on insta, some of these next images might be familiar to you!  😉

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The shower tile was by FAR the most time-consuming part of this project.  Those little subway tiles (plus the mosaic border and niche shelf) really are a lot of work, but just wait until you see the finished product!  ALL the heart eyes!

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I thought for sure I would want to go with white grout, but when we compared the white and gray side-by-side, it was a super easy decision – the gray looked amazing with that mosaic tile!

The floor went in super quick (yay for big tiles in a teeny space!) and it finally started to look like a real living space again!

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Next thing I know, fixtures were going back in, we decided to replace the old vanity with one that was much more functional (one word, y’all – drawers!), paint started going on the trim & walls, and THEN I made one of the most fun purchases of the whole project – these little specialty knobs for the vanity!

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… And then, finally, roughly 3 months after starting this project, we moved back into our master bath. All the praise hands, y’all. And I have to say, even though it wasn’t planned … and it felt like it took forever … and we splurged a little on a new vanity … it was worth it. I’m SO, so happy with how it turned out. Honestly, it’s kind of my favorite room in the house now – at least from an aesthetic standpoint. When we first moved into our house, we painted a lot of bold colors on our walls, but with this bathroom, I wanted something different. Something light and clean and simple and soothing. And I wanted it to be as functional as it could be. And I wanted it to fit well with the 1940’s/1950’s cottage character that is so evident in our house. And I feel like we 100% accomplished that.

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(Also, for the first time ever in my life, I’m officially obsessed with a paint color. Like, y’all. I just might repaint the whole house this color. In case you’re curious – it’s Benjamin Moore “grey sky” and it does have just the tiniest hint of blue to it.)

This cute little faucet on the sink was the only hardware we re-used from the old bathroom.  Because, it doesn’t get much more 1940’s/1950’s cottage than this little faucet, am I right?

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I’m still a little bit obsessed with this mosaic tile from Home Depot.  It’s a mix of frosted, clear, and textured glass, and marble pieces.

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Found the cutest little faux crystal shower curtain hooks at Target and felt like they would perfectly compliment the knobs on the vanity!

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I love all of the textures we were able to bring in here – like the plush mats I found at TJ Maxx!  So soft!

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We have dark-stained hard wood floors in most of the main level of our house, but we have natural slate tile in our kitchen and mud room.  I really wanted this space to feel like it “fit” with the rest of the house, but putting hard wood in this bathroom wasn’t really an option because of the concrete floor.  And as much as I love the colors in the slate tile in our kitchen, I really wanted a hard wood look in this bathroom.  So we decided to go with Home Depot’s Marazzi Montagna Gunstock 6×24″ tile, and I have to say, I absolutely love how they turned out.  They look great alongside the wood floor in our bedroom, and they really ground the bathroom because of how rich and warm the color is!

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Now, for one of my favorite functional-and-pretty parts of the new bathroom – our niche shelf!  This little accent was hard for me because I wasn’t able to find any images online of exactly how I wanted it framed out.  I knew I wanted some sort of border around it, but figuring out what trim pieces we needed, and how exactly we were going to lay it all out, was a little intimidating.  But I’m super happy with how it turned out!

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The wall space above the commode was the perfect spot to mount some artwork, and I debated whether to find a cute canvas at TJ Maxx or Target, or print one of my own photos from one of our past vacations.  I decided to go with printing an image from our Myrtle Beach trip last year, because (a) who doesn’t want to see one of their favorite places every single morning? and (b) the colors in this image were a perfect compliment to the new color scheme in this room!

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More fun textures – the shower curtain (TJ Maxx) and those vanity knobs!

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These little decorative ledges are from Home Depot, the candle is from TJ Maxx (I wish there was a way you could smell it! Haha! So refreshing and calming!), the vase/caraffe was a $3 Target find, and the silk florals are from Michael’s.

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Found this little glass accent at TJ Maxx and decided it would be our new toothbrush holder!

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And that’s it!  After 3 months of construction (and roughly another month of me perusing Target, Michael’s, and TJ Maxx for decorative details I wanted to bring in), it’s finally finished!  (Aaaand now I want to repaint the whole house this color.  For reals.)

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Thank you so much for sticking with me, friends!  I’d love to hear your thoughts (or questions) in the comments!  Did you enjoy this post?  Have you ever taken on a job like this?  Any questions/advice for future remodeling projects?!

3 things to consider when choosing your session location

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First, let me reassure you that it’s totally OK if you know you want to book a session but you don’t have the slightest clue where you want to have it! That is normal, and I promise, it’s going to be easier than you think to decide where you’d like to have your session! For almost all kinds of session that I shoot, there are three things I recommend considering when you are choosing a session location, and I’m super excited to be sharing them here on the blog today!

(Side note: the only kind of session that these tips don’t quite apply to is a newborn session – if you have a brand new little family member on the way, today’s post will be helpful in prepping for your maternity session, but you’ll definitely want to read my 6 things to know before booking your newborn session post, too, if you want to know what to expect when it comes to newborn sessions!)

If you’re thinking about booking an anniversary, maternity, family, or high school senior session (OR if you’ve booked a wedding package [YAY!] but we haven’t yet scheduled your engagement session), I hope that after reading today’s post, you’ll feel more confident when it comes time to choose your session location!

So, here we go!

The first question I always encourage my clients to think about is this:

1. What kind of feel do you want your session to have?

(I know that sounds incredibly abstract, but stick with me here!) What I mean by that is, when you think about your session and the images you’d like to have from it, does your mind immediately picture a wide-open, natural setting? Or do you picture a downtown street wedged between old buildings that are just brimming with character? Do you want a specific natural element in your images, like trees, fields, mountains, or water? Do you want a setting with a modern, urban feel or more of a timeless, classic vibe? I know LOTS of great session locations in and around the NRV, so if you can put your finger on a specific “feel” or element you want included in your session, we’ll be able to narrow down our choices to a location that has just what you’re looking for!

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Emily and Hunter knew they wanted a summer engagement session with a relaxed, natural feel to it, and Alta Mons Camp in Shawsville was the perfect choice!

Once you have an idea of what particular element or feel you want for your session, the next thing to consider is this:

2. Do you already have outfits in mind?

If so, you’ll definitely want to take those into account when choosing a session location. Your images will feel most cohesive and sophisticated when your location compliments your outfit choices. If you have a glam, sparkly cocktail or evening dress in mind for yourself and a sharp suit in mind for your man, then a downtown session will probably compliment your outfit better than a farm session. Or, if you have a romantic, flowy maxi dress picked out for yourself, a sophisticated slacks + blazer combo ready for your hubby, and equally dapper ensembles for your littles, any natural setting (mountains, fields, water) will highlight those perfectly!

View More: http://kaitlynphippsphotography.pass.us/jasonandlindsey

When Jason and I booked our anniversary session with Kaitlyn Phipps last summer, I knew I wanted to wear this flowy chiffon dress, so I chose a location that I knew would compliment it (and let’s be honest, I also love the combination of mountains + water)! all. the. heart eyes!           // p.s. I haven’t had the opportunity to shoot a session at Carvin’s Cove myself yet, so if mountains + water are your jam, then let’s get you on the books, friend! 😉

This last question is kind of a bonus question – it doesn’t apply to every situation, but when it does apply, it can make your session that much more special!

3. Is there a location that holds sentimental value for you?

and that is appropriate, based on your answers to the two questions above? Is there a location that would make your session even more meaningful to you, now and 5, 10, 15, or 20 years from now? Perhaps the home or property where one of you grew up, or the college campus where you met? Is there a park you love to visit as a family? Or even a vacation spot where you make some of your favorite memories every year? (I love to travel and shoot in new locations!) How do you feel about having your 5- or 10-year anniversary session at your wedding venue? Any of these types of locations could make your session even more meaningful, as long as it provides the feel or element you loved from question 1, and it compliments your outfits from question 2!

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We shot Rachel and Matt’s engagement session on property that has been a rustic mountain retreat for Matt’s family for years – so not only are their images gorgeous, but they will always have special significance to Matt and Rachel because this location was an important part of Matt’s life!

Friends, I hope this post has been helpful to you!! I hope it has inspired you as you think about where you might want to have your next photography session! Let me know in the comments what was especially helpful – or if there was something you were hoping to learn that I didn’t include! (Your questions might be the inspiration for future blog posts!) And friends, thank you so much for sticking with me to the end of this post! You’re the best!!

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