Ashton & Madison

An engagement session at the First Landing skate park in Virginia Beach. 

Ashton and Madison were the much deserved winners of my engagement session giveaway! They told me about how their first engagement session didn’t completely go as planned so I was excited to deliver Madison her dream photos. 

Their session was in First Landing state park in Virginia beach. The forecast a few days before had us a little worried about rain but my instinct to not exactly trust the weather report didn’t let us reschedule the session. The weather ended up being incredible. We were blessed with sunlight, some cloudy weather, and a sunset throughout the engagement shoot. Once we got there, we took a long walk to get to the area that Madison and Ashton envisioned in their head. From there, we took photos as we made our way back to our cars. I like to start far and slowly make my way back to where we began, it really helps with our we use our session time. I also took this time to get to know Madison and Ashton, getting to know my couples is honestly one of my favorite parts about being a photographer. Every client is so unique and has a totally different story.

Ashton and Madison told me they met through mutual friends and the rest is history. 

They took a vacation overseas a while ago and Madison told me that she was sure Ashton was going to propose to her. She even got a manicure to make sure she was ready! Luckily, Ashton had something even more romantic in mind. 

He ended up not proposing during that vacation which completely threw Madison off. BUT Ashton took her camping in the mountains and popped the question. Instead of roughing it in the woods, he took her to a charming resort to celebrate. That sounded like the perfect surprise to me! I loved hearing about it. Everything they told me about their relationship is so sincere and is close to their roots.

Congratulations Madison and Ashton, I can’t wait to see how your wedding day comes out.

Staying Motivated in a Moment of Rejection

Today was a little discouraging - so what?


There are very few things that excite me more than an inquiry popping up in my inbox, besides really good coffee and seeing my dog when I come home from school. I think I check my school and photography emails more than I check my twitter feed. 

I was waiting at a coffee shop that I haven't tried before.  I wanted to get some stuff done like pay my very overpriced electricity bill and get rid of my amazon bill due to my online shopping addiction. I'd like to say I was pretty productive today. I was also looking forward to meeting a potential bride here today, but I got an email I never like seeing. She found another photographer who was a better fit. That was my moment of discouragement for the day.  Talking to a new client over a cup of coffee was supposed to be the highlight of my day. I could either do two things; be bummed about it and go home or turn this into a learning experience. I took my 5 minutes to feel sorry for myself and then went right back. I ended up staying at the coffee shop sipping a really huge (it was the smallest size) hazelnut latte and what do you know - 3 more wedding opportunities came my way! 

When someone tells you they've decided to go with someone else whether it be a different trainer, mentor, or photographer, take this as an opportunity to learn. How can you use this experience to make your business better? Or your client's experience better? Or even carry yourself differently? If you can't change the situation, then change yourself. I learned that helpful tip from a new podcast. (I'll talk about that later). I wish I could give wiser advice on what to do in the moment of rejection but I'm still learning myself, as a 20 year old student. 

There's a few things that I'd like to improve on as well. I'm working on better tailoring my emails to be more informative and more interesting by starting to create more email templates yet still be able to keep them personable. With that, I'm also creating a client welcome guide! So exciting! The guide is going to be magazine style, including pages on what to expect from a photo session with me, how I describe my shooting and photo style, tips on what to wear to a session, and a bunch more. Every day my goal is to improve one small thing to contribute to the bigger picture, my passion and business. 

As I mentioned, I've been listening to podcasts to help better myself and my business every morning while I do my makeup. Check out "The Daily Boost" or "The Happy Melly Podcast" on spotify for a little inspiration every morning. Check them out for a quick pick me up in the morning, you could even include a motivational podcast on your morning commute!

But anyways, what did I learn today? That this is going to happen to me a bunch of times and the only thing I should take away from rejection is the positives.