3 Myths Around Starting a Photography Business | Hampton Roads Photography Educator

Raise your hand if you've ever thought...

"I would love to own my own business... I need more flexibility for my family."

"How are these photographers managing all.the.things!? They must be way more organized than me."

"What if I could make side income for my family doing something I love?"

"I'd love to run a photography business, but I'm just not "there" yet with my skills."

Friend, I am raising my hand with you. About five years ago, I was in the beginning stage of my dreaming. Wondering if I could provide for my family even if I wasn't where I wanted to be yet. If your arm is falling asleep because it's still raised - this is for you!!

I made a short video where I talk about 3 myths we tell ourselves around starting a photography business. I hope it inspires you to take that next step, because you have SO much to offer. 

Here's a brief summary of what I chat about in the video: 

Myth #1. Everything has to be perfect and then I'll start my business!

Truth: Nothing is ever going to be perfect. If you wait for perfection, you may never start. Focus on slow progress instead and moving in the right direction.

Myth #2. There's too many photographers in my area - it's already saturated!

Truth: Every market is different! There is a photographer for every person. Focus on using your gifts to bring more beauty into the world. Your talents and vision are needed!

Myth #3. I'm not good enough yet. Who would hire me?

Truth: Change your mindset! Quiet those self-defeating thoughts. You are unique and have so much to offer! 

I hope this encouraged you today! Let me know in the comments if owning a business is a goal of yours. Maybe you're in the beginning phases of building a portfolio and feeling totally overwhelmed. Just try to do the next thing on your list. Focus on your own path and remember you're not alone on the journey!



Exploring Downtown Portsmouth's Historic District | Hampton Roads Maternity Photographer

When I discovered that soon-to-be new mom, Mollie, was a die hard Disney fan.... I knew she was a quality person. Hahaha! But really, these two are such a joy! They are new to the area after spending several years in sunny Florida. Both are patiently waiting on their first baby and I am so excited to capture this time for them! 

Mollie chose Downtown Portsmouth as the backdrop for her maternity session and we had fun exploring. I love that you can take a few steps and have a completely different pocket of light, buildings and atmosphere. We certainly had enough to choose from. I love when a couple is up for anything with their maternity session and let me experiment and try different locations. 

Soon, I'll be getting word that baby has arrived and we'll be scheduling their newborn session. I can't waaaait and I know they are SO ready to become parents! With their ease and obvious love for each other, they've got the tools needed for adjusting to life with a newborn. Having a sense of humor about life helps when you're sleep deprived! ;) 

Thank you Mollie and Colin for trusting me to tell your story! 

...until you have a baby, you don’t ever realize how much you were missing one.
— Jodi Piccoult



Bringing Home a Baby Girl! | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

There's nothing quite like visiting new parents in their own space and telling their story.

I always love hearing about their experience, how much they're sleeping and how siblings or fur siblings are adjusting to the newest addition. Maybe it's the Mom in me, but I love to meet them where they are (with a Starbucks treat in hand!) and just let them talk for a bit. I learn SO much about them as a couple and their unique experience of bringing life into the world. What a gift! So thankful for this work and the families who open their door and trust me.

I loved spending the morning with Kasey and Jeff. They are so laid back and seem perfectly matched. This is one blessed baby girl...

I want to document the brief period where our daughter will be so small. They grow up so fast!
— Kasey

I love a wakeful and contemplative newborn. Watching them take everything in makes me stop and notice too. Because - ceiling fans ARE amazing, right!? LOL! ;) 

"Can we keep her, Mom?" #fursibling :) 

March is a full month of maternity sessions and newborn due dates! So excited to meet some new Mommas and visit with others. If you're due this Spring/Summer - drop me a message (please include your due date) and let's plan your session!

I can't wait to tell your story next ;) 

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Focus on What You Love | Photography Tips

At some point on your photography journey, you will hit a wall. Some sort of creative roadblock that leaves you feeling uninspired, frustrated or just... meh.

I'm not saying this is guaranteed at all, but I don't think I've met a photographer (or any artist) that has just glided seamlessly through his or her career. In fact, the BEST photographers out there have gone through phases or transitions and come out even stronger on the other side! I try to remember this when my well of creativity is running low. 

So how do we push through and find inspiration to pick up the camera again? It's not always this simple, but I try to re-focus on what I love. 


Forgive the pun, but when we shift our artistic focus back to what really matters - it can really light us up! So, first things first. Ask yourself a couple questions:

1. What do you love to photograph? List them all. The options are endless!

You might love photographing your own kids, the backyard wildlife, beach sunsets, expectant moms or that new cookie recipe you tried last week. 

2. Which of these haven't you photographed in the last 3-6 months?

Has it been awhile since you focused on your favorite subject? Is there something you love, but haven't tried yet? Make a note of it. If you are in business, have you been head down in client work and missing your family's day-to-day? I've been guilty of this, so I tend to focus during the Winter months on images I want to create of my girls.

3. Take a mental image of what you want to capture. Close your eyes and imagine the completed image you want to take. It could be a series of pictures, but I want you to really grab it in your mind. Stay flexible though, we know things don't always happen how we envision. And aiming for perfection can sometimes set us up for disappointment. Especially when we're trying to get our toddlers to comply, haha!

4. Plan to make it happen! Even if it feels like homework, do it anyway. Stretch yourself and remember how much you love this subject - whatever it may be. 

The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.
— Ansel Adams

I hope this was encouraging for you! If your creative juices have been feeling dried up, just know you are in good company. We're all on this journey together! So lean in and set your lens on what you love.

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!



P.S. If you're looking for more inspiration and tips, sign up for the EAP Education Newsletter! A fresh one is hitting inboxes this week. Click below to sign up! :)

Cozy Lifestyle Maternity Session | Hampton Roads Maternity Photographer

When I found out that first time Mom, Kristi, was envisioning an at-home maternity session - my photographer heart leaped! I know, it's so nerdy, but my brain was already pinging with ideas.

For every session, I send my families a short questionnaire so I can get to know them better. This one step helps me plan for their session and I get a sense of who they are as a couple. I really appreciate when they share a bit of their story with me - it adds to the excitement of being able to document our time together. After reading Kristi and Chris' questionnaire, I am so honored to tell their story!

Now, can we talk about nursery goals because O.M.G. Kristi has certainly outdone herself with this gorgeous, neutral-toned nursery. Their sweet baby boy is ready to be welcomed with open arms AND the cutest outfits ;) 

Maternity sessions are such a wonderful way to show kids how deeply they were loved, even before they arrived. I know they will print and keep these memories to show him for years to come. What a gift! <3 

We couldn't resist getting a shot with one of Kristi's recent reads! :) So fun!

Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
— Elizabeth Stone

Cannot waaaait to meet baby boy! Yay! :)

If you're expecting, I would love to document this special time in your life. I am booking maternity and newborn sessions into July right now, so it's never too early to inquire. Drop me a note and let's chat! xoxo

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5 Reasons to Love a Capsule Wardrobe | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

Okay, I know what you're thinking...

But before you roll your eyes at the term 'capsule wardrobe' - keep reading! ;)

I first learned about a capsule wardrobe in 2016 when I watched a TED talk by author, Jennifer Scott. If you haven't seen it, she discusses her process and what a capsule is. You can watch it HERE! As I often do, I stumbled down the rabbit hole of the internets and began reading whatever I could find about capsule wardrobes. 

capsule wardrobe - noun. a collection of clothes and accessories that includes only items considered essential

At the time, I had been working at home for several years and my 'nice teacher clothes' were still collecting dust in the closet. I had all those awkward in-between sized clothing from after pregnancies (Moms - you can relate, right?). I only wore about 10% of what I actually owned! Mount Washmore was growing higher and I was tired of digging through it to find that ONE t-shirt I wanted to wear. 

It was time for a change.

After several seasons of working and reworking my capsule wardrobe, I am so thankful I committed to it. I don't have a specific number of items I keep, but I do have only my favorites hanging in the closet. Off season items are packed away so I don't have to see them until the weather changes. It's like seeing old friends when I take out my Spring scarves after a long Winter of jeans and boots!


Here are 5 reasons to love a capsule wardrobe!

1. Cleaner closet and streamlined drawers. - If you're wanting to declutter, your closet is a great place to start! Connect with your inner Marie Kondo and find the joy. 

2. Always wearing favorites. - I don't have many days where I don't really love what I'm wearing. There's no filler outfits, so I feel confident in what I'm in! 

3. Way less laundry! - I mean, isn't this reason enough!? 

4. Investing in choice pieces. - Since I'm shopping less, I can save up and invest on better quality pieces. I find Winter pieces to be more of an investment, like heavy coats, wool sweaters and boots. It's my hope to purchase these items once and not have to replace them for several years. 

5. Saving time. - Imagine how much time you'll reclaim by not trying on five different outfits before your next date night! Moms struggle with decision fatigue already - make this part of your day simple.


I wear mostly blues, greys and stripes - I'm not the most exciting or a fashionista by any means. But, I'm okay with that.  :)

I'd love to know if you utilize a capsule wardrobe! Share your experience or tips in the comments.

Chat soon!



In-Home Lifestyle Family Session | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Sometimes, in the middle of big life changes, it's easy to lose sight. To see the stress and difficulties instead of the blessings. I'm so guilty of this at times! Although I try to keep an optimistic look on life, I can become distracted by all the little setbacks and complications.

This is one reason why I love photography. Forgive the pun, but it allows me to see the big picture. What really matters in this life? Our connections and relationships to one another.

Nothing brings that to the surface more than in-home family sessions! The Baker family contacted me this Fall, during a busy season of life. They were about to move and are expecting their second child. Talk about big transitions! I loved that they chose to focus on what matters and document a morning at home as a family of three (soon to be four!). 

They finished breakfast, played, created, read books and made music together. We documented all of their son's favorite activities and his first bedroom. It was such a sweet morning! 

For in-home sessions, it's a great idea to have a short list of activities to do. Whatever your kids love, let's do it! They tend to forget my camera and enjoy making memories with you. Those are my favorite types of images to capture!

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
— Maya Angelou

Are you in a sweet season of life or about to go through a transition? In-home sessions are a great way to document your family just as you are. No perfectly polished or styled home required! I mean, I'm no Joanna Gaines - so I don't expect you to be either! Let's capture what really matters.

I have very limited weekend availability February-March. Drop me a note to get on the calendar! :)

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3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Images | Photography Education for Moms

I love that photography is a continual journey. One where you're constantly learning something new and asking more questions. Pushing yourself as an artist is one of the best ways to improve your skills!

Unless you do something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you will never grow.
— Ronald E. Osborne

Here are 3 easy ways you can improve your images today! Can't wait to see what you create. :)

1. Skip the center framed pictures. When you begin paying attention to image composition and framing - you start to notice it everywhere! Consider famous paintings or photographs - they are rarely with the subject in the very center of the image, looking at the viewer. Sometimes this can be really soulful and powerful. But, I would encourage you to think outside of the box with this. Not sure where to start? Open up Google and search: Rule of Thirds. This popular photography 'rule' helps you understand composition a bit more. 

This image from The Office (who's binging episodes on Netflix with me?!) is a great example of the Rule of Thirds! #lovehim

 Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

2. Look for even light. Shadows are fun and dramatic light can be amazing to experiment with! But, when first starting out, look for even, flat light to photograph your subjects in. I will sometimes use the back of my hand when finding light. I move it around to observe where the light is falling and if it's uneven. This will help with proper exposure in camera. Too many variations of light can be frustrating when learning manual mode - your meter will be hopping around like crazy!


3. Get eye level. I love exploring angles, it's a powerful tool to use when photographing families. But, my favorite way to capture the portrait of a child - is on their level! I am pretty tall (like Amazon 6'1 status lol) so I always drop a knee when photographing little ones. Next time, get low when capturing your kiddo and see what a difference it can make!


That's it! Now, get out there with your camera and start clicking, friends. :)

Want more tips? The EAP Education Newsletter is hitting inboxes this week! Sign up below for more updates, inspiration and photography support. Chat soon! xoxo

2018 Reading Goals! | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

If you've known or followed me for any extent of time - you may know about my love for reading. It brings me so much joy and honestly, I think it makes me a better person. I read for entertainment, education and inspiration. I love reading books that feed my soul! 

In 2016, I set the lofty goal to read 50 books. This was a HUGE leap for me. At the time, I was working from home and had a preschooler and Kindergartner. My free time was seriously limited and I made a real conscious effort to prioritize reading over television or mindless internet scrolling. You can read more about my books and experience HERE!

Last year, I decided to pull back some and read 25 books. I cut that previous goal in half, and it really let me enjoy and linger over certain books. I even surpassed my goal, devouring several books right towards the end of the year. 

I haven't blogged about reading since last Summer (oops!) but you can read it HERE if you're interested in my 2017 reads!


This year, I'm going to stay pretty similar to 2017's goals. I have the goal to read 30 books in 2018! I am giving myself permission to tweak this number up or down, depending on how my schedule changes. These are the first reads of the year pictured above - and with all this snowy weather I've actually gotten off to a great start!

Reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes place for that.
— John Green

I will continue to use my hashtag on Instagram, #EAPreads - so follow along to keep up with the latest! If you are on GoodReads, come find me. I love using that app as a way to track what I've read and what I want to read. Their reading challenge is so motivating! I love to see that progress bar bump up with every book I finish. :) #nerd

I'd love to know what you're reading. Are you strictly non-fiction or do you love a good drama?

Happy Reading, friends! 



New Baby, New Year! | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

This sweet girl was born just ONE day after Christmas. I mean - how lucky can you get?! I kept laughing with new parents, Dustin and Liz, about how Zoie is going to always have an epic birthday week.

Starting off with Christmas morning, then her birthday and New Year's! Gifts and family time and a full week of celebrating. It made me smile to think about what a blessing she already is and how every year will be even more sparkly and magical.  Christmas and Birthday magic combined to make a pretty epic week! 

As I waited to hear the word about her birth, I remembered VA weather can be pretty unpredictable. I am so glad I was able to meet her family before this epic snowstorm arrived! Her puppy sister greeted me at the door and was ready to cuddle and show off the new baby. :) I love me some fur siblings!! 

Sharing a few favorites of our morning together. Welcome to the world, Zoie! 

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.
— anonymous

Talk about nursery goals! I could tell they enjoyed putting this room together - every detail was so personal and thought out. 

I secretly love a wakeful and alert newborn. They are so soulful and precious. 

Even when watching a ceiling fan, haha! ;)

Are you expecting in 2018? I would love to capture this time for your growing family! Drop me a note below with your due date and let's chat. :)

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