As a person with a marketing degree and 10 years of branding experience, I’ve tried to focus in on the types of subjects I want pursue as a photographer. I know the importance of having a strong brand that speaks to the type of customer I want to attract. I know that it would be ideal to focus in on one “type” of photography – be it weddings, engagements, pets, headshots, businesses, newborns, etc.
But as a photographer, I can’t help but follow my heart. I want to capture all sorts of things, I go where my passion lies, I do random jobs that may not have an obvious connection. I probably confuse my potential customers, but I love capturing little slices of life, like stills from a film as a new friend recently observed.
So when one of my best friends gave birth to her newborn, Samantha, there was no doubt about capturing this time in her family’s life. Not to mention, this little human now has claim on the room that I used to rent in this very home. I remembered the sunshine through those very windows and the laughter echoing the hallways from a woman who is now a mother.
While I can only imagine the bravery it takes to bring a child into this world, the toll it takes on a woman’s body, and all of the sleepless nights, I hope that these photographs give my two dear friends a glimpse of how I see them as parents. They are strong, yet gentle. They find humor and laughter in everyday moments, especially when they need it the most. And as two people who always put others before themselves, I know this child will never doubt their love for her.
While I may not focus on wedding photography, it is hard to say no when Amy & Will are friends AND the wedding reception is at one of my favorite music venues, Merriweather Post Pavilion! The bride, groom, and I all graduated high school across that stage. We have since spent many a summer at concerts there and now have celebrated their marriage!
We escaped the impending snow warning (yes, in April!) and the two said their vows at a their family church before heading to Merriweather. The day was filled with nothing but love, laughter, and lots of dancing (oh, and Mission BBQ, genius). Thank you to Amy and Will for inviting me to be a part of their day. And now for a sneak peek of their photos:
When I tell people I am a photographer, the #1 question I get back is if I do weddings. To be honest, I have shied away from them in the past in an attempt to save my weekends for my friends and family. Not to mention weddings are very long days on your feet that can lead to quick burnout. I don’t know how dedicated wedding photographers do it!
But recently, I have been noticing an increasing demand from couples who want personalized ceremonies without a large audience. I get it, wedding planning can be daunting, emotional, and expensive. Some couples are choosing to define what an “elopement” means for them, with smaller, more intimate ceremonies. Be it City Hall or a coffee shop, these smaller ceremonies can be beautiful and meaningful, yet simple and fun. Additionally, it enables the couple to not have to pick between getting married and other priorities in their lives, like a down payment on a home, starting their own business, or traveling the world.
To me, the idea of keeping it small is incredibly romantic. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good party, but being one of the few people witnessing a marriage ceremony and capturing those moments really brings joy to my heart. In a world of wedding favors, bridesmaid dresses, and Save the Dates, I wanted to highlight a few Baltimore businesses that can make a smaller wedding day just as breathtaking.
Luckily, these other local businesses were also excited at the idea of meeting the needs of these couples and we were able to put together a Baltimore Elopement giveaway this past February. We all came together on April 1st to celebrate Rachel & Daryll, two fools in love.
A big thank you to the vendors who participated in the giveaway! I look forward to working with each of them again and would highly recommend them for your Baltimore elopement:
And a big thank you to Rachel & Daryll, who were ready to step into this day with me with a month and a half notice. It was amazing to meet and celebrate with those closest to you. Plus, serious shoutout to Daryll’s sisters who really know how to sing and play the ukelele!
Without further ado, here is a sneak peek of Rachel & Daryll’s intimate wedding in Fells Point and Woodberry, Baltimore.
If you are interested in photography for your elopement or intimate ceremony, let’s have coffee and chat more!While I am based in Baltimore, I am also available to travel or hike to that favorite vista of yours, I’m all about making it your own. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated September 2018: This is not sponsored by Parabo Press and all opinions are 100% my own as always. But I do recommend them AND they are offering my followers $10 off their first purchase of any prints or display by using the code BECKY. The order must be over $10 and does not include shipping. This DIY uses the 4″ square prints, but you could also upgrade to the 5.5″ squares or any of the washi tape to hit the minimum order. Offer expires 11/18/18.
You can also get 5 free 4″ square prints with free shipping, that means it’s totally free. Use code OURSQ before 10/31/2018 to start your own IRL Instagram feed!
Hello everyone! As some of you might know, Chris and I moved into a new house about two years ago. We were considering rehabbing a row home in Baltimore, but all of the row home shells were getting swiped up before they even hit the market. While frustrating, we took that as a good sign for the neighborhood and expanded our search to partial fixer-uppers and turn-key properties. Our realtor was great and was ready to jump on any home we found (shout out to Andrew with the SURE Sales Group!). We ended up finding a newly gutted and rehabbed home in our ideal area, complete with a historic tax credit, parking and a rooftop deck, all of the Baltimore must-haves for us. While I couldn’t live out my own Chip & Jojo Fixer Upper dream, with the house being recently rehabbed, all we needed to concentrate on was decor!
Now How to Decorate Our New Home?
If you haven’t noticed yet, I LOVE taking photos, especially while traveling. For me, it is tough to decide what to hang on our walls because I want to display and remember it all! I love gallery walls because you can hang many pieces in one area, but I was quickly finding I was running out of wall space… welcome to living in a row home. Then the idea came to me, an Instagram wall!
Our guest room, pre-Instagram wall, Sydney the dog thinks it needs just a little more love.
Our guest room was one of the last spaces we decorated. It’s not that I don’t love hosting guests and making them feel comfortable, I just changed my plans with the space as we were trying to use our extra bedroom as a guest room/gym/storage/eventual office when there might be little Stavelys running around and we cannot have a dedicated office (not yet, y’all). City living at its finest. We ended up purchasing two twin beds and putting them in an L shape to give it a living room/loungey feel, while still accommodating 2 guests AND leaving enough space for Chris to jump around with P90X AND room for my bike on a trainer. Inspired by the always fabulous DesignSponge.
Since we went the direction of two twin beds, we had this extra pallet headboard that Chris had created for our last home. While he was ready to give it up, I really liked it and figured we could repurpose it into wall art. A quick chop chop with a circular saw and we had the perfect size to hang over the dresser in the guest room. I had seen a ton of ways to display your Instagram photos on Pinterest and a friend had recommended Parabo Press, so we were well on our way to have our own IRL Instagram feed.
How to Print Your Photos
The Parabo Press app is super user friendly.
The prints get shipped with cardboard in a plastic sleeve to protect your prints from all that happens in transit.
It was my first time using Parabo Press and they could not have made it easier. You can use their app or their website to connect your Instagram feed and quickly choose the 25 prints you want. You can also upload from your camera roll, Dropbox, Google photos, or Facebook if you want different photos. Our guest room colors are slightly muted, vintage reds, whites, and blues, so I chose photos based on those colors.
The photos arrived in a package that protected the prints from bending and rain to ensure they looked their best. There were even some adorable surprise prints that could be used as “coupons” for Mother’s Day. I love a company that goes the extra mile.
How to Create the Instagram Wall
Then I got to work on my IRL Instagram feed. I wanted them to be a grid format (like IG), so I measured out the space I had and how many 4″ prints I wanted going across and down, opting for 4 across and 5 down. I decided to use mini-clothespins from Michaels to hang the photos because I thought it looked cute and they easily give me the flexibility to swap out the prints whenever I want.
I used a ruler and marker to measure and mark where to glue the clothespins. I ended up doing 2″ between each print, which meant 6″ from clothespin to clothespin (both across and down). I left a little extra space on the bottom because typically I have a lamp and clock on the dresser and I didn’t want the prints to be completely blocked.
Now two years later, it’s safe to say are ALMOST done decorating… but let’s be real, decorating your home is never done. I like to think it’s a constant work in progress as you find different ways to make a house feel like your home. Plus, I love bringing back art and printing photos like these from our travels so that we can constantly be reminded of our adventures together. Travel is great in the sense that you ultimately get 3 different experiences, from the anticipation and planning to the experiencing and exploring to the memories and taking what you learned into the rest of your life.
I recently had the pleasure of capturing engagement photos of two of my good friends, Carolyn and Adam, who are getting married next June. When chatting about spots for photos, they were hoping for a balance of some outdoors and some in the city. I was super excited when they completely trusted me to go wander in the woods to find a reservoir that none of us had ever been to. Loch Raven Reservoir was very gorgeous in early October and we already want to go back for more adventures. We then wrapped up the session with a gorgeous autumn evening in Fells Point, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Baltimore.
I first met Carolyn in middle school, as she was good friends with my sister. In college, I was lucky enough to live with Carolyn, along with a few other amazing ladies, and we have been pretty inseparable ever since. Carolyn is one of the most loyal and incredibly caring friends I have, always willing to put everyone before herself. She is upbeat, friendly, and ridiculous, needless to say time with her is never boring.
Adam and Carolyn met through some mutual friends. After months of Carolyn talking about how rugged and handsome our friend’s friend was, all they needed was a not so coincidental table assignment at a wedding for their romance to truly start. From there, there were many weekend trips back and forth between Maryland and Connecticut, with Adam eventually making Baltimore his new home with Carolyn.
While I did not know Adam previous to their relationship, I can say I’ve never seen Carolyn so happy and in love. I believe they truly complement and balance each other. You can tell they care deeply for each other by all that they do for each other and with each other, all with a great sense of humor about life. Also, I love that they are just as happy to curl up on their couch on a Saturday night with their dog, Winston, as they are up for sailing around the Caribbean (where they also got engaged, not romantic at all, right?). I have so many other details I would love to share about them here, but I need to save some details for my maid-of-honor speech!
Without further ado, enjoy some moments with Carolyn and Adam below. Happy Engagement!