Limbo Jewelry: Dobla


When I moved to Austin everyone told me I had to check out this little store on South Congress called Limbo. At my first Austin job I began making candle deliveries to the little shop and I quickly understood what everyone was talking about. The people there were incredibly kind & the shop boasted an array of things that you feel like you have to have. 

Quickly I became friends with Limbo Jewelry on social media and I'm not alone when I say that I absolutely love them. Their jewelry completes any outfit and their Colab Tri Earrings are my go to for everything. 

I'm so excited for the launching of their Dobla Collection! It's a collection is inspired by Japanese origami and contemporary architecture and you guys-- it's absolutely stunning. I have a sneak peek for you today below & if you follow me on Instagram you already know about the giveaway I'm doing! If not-- hop on over and enter to win this gorgeous gold earring & necklace set for the Dobla Collection! The collection launches on May 25th and if you're local to Austin, you should come join us for the launch party!

Happy List // May 17th

To keep my head and my heart in check I like to make lists about the good stuff in the everyday. I make a practice of trying to not take anything for granted and this help. Here's my happy list for today. 

1) these flowers. 
2) that inspiration is everywhere, even (especially?) in trader joes
3) friends that tell you repeatedly that you are enough.
4) people who tell you your bad ideas are bad
5) coworking
6) the color blush
7) patterned soft pants
8) cool projects with cool people
9) dance music
10) headshot sessions
11) the Blacklist even though it is stressful
12) Tucker's guitar playing prowess
13) mail
14) getting to work for myself
15) plants even though I can't keep them alive
16) this little blog
17) that I know how to wash my face now
18) burritos
19) vegetables
20) i learned to make risotto
21) dog training
22) the rain
23) going on walks
24) margaritas
25) list making
 

26) journals
27) clients that understand your vision
28) friends that tell you it looks like you've lost weight
29) comedy
30) my fantastic friends
31) almond milk
32) being able to pay bills
33) coffee
34) birds chirping
35) my pup Hank
36) records
37) pencils
38) anniversaries
39) Guy Clark's life
40)  hydration
41) new suede pointed espadrilles
42) emails
43) wine
44) cooking
45) birthdays
46) meeting new people
47) papermate fine tip markers
48) instagram
49) creative community
50) churros

A Normal Girl's Guide to Freelancing // Part two: Find your village.


See this photo? From left to right here's how I met each person: April emailed me, I emailed Nicole, Pei and I met at a networking event, Katie and I went to the same conference but didn't meet up until after she emailed me to work with me, and I've known Stephanie for over 12 years. I consider this group of women my village. 

Of every aspect of working for myself this is the most important to me personally. When I moved to Austin and I started trying to work for myself two things became very clear. 

1) I can't do this alone. 

I am such an extrovert. I thrive most when I am part of a team. I work best sitting across from someone with a pot of coffee and a plate of donuts between us, which is exactly how I'm writing this right now. I began searching for friends via all the mediums I possessed, which at the time was basically Instagram & then mutual friends on Facebook. I decided I had nothing to lose and that if someone thought I was crazy because I emailed them and asked them to coffee... well that was their problem and not mine. So I sent the email. I befriended people on Instagram. I talked to people at the coffee shops I was frequenting. If I recognized someone from the internet I would say hello. These are all tricks that are not confined to moving to a new place-- you can use them now. Do you know that cool girl that lives in you city and seems to know all of the coolest spots? Email her! 

2) I realized that marketing yourself online means nothing outside of personal relationships. 

Having an online presence can be incredibly beneficial to a business. About a third of all of my inquiries come from Instagram which is AMAZING. But do you know where the majority of my bookings come from? Friends of friends. Someone who saw some great work I did for someone they adore. Generally this person will then keep me in mind until they have a project for I can work with them on. Yes, a lot of these people do get referred to me through social, but it isn't because I say 'hire me, hire me, view my complete portfolio.'  For the most part I post photos of food or me dancing or who I'm hanging out with on my Instagram feed. I keep the work at a minimum unless it's what I've been staring at all day or it's something I'm really really proud of. 

I've had the honor of meeting some pretty cool people by working for myself. I do not take that for granted because for me, that's everything. I'd much rather meet someone face to face and find out that we get along on a human level before I take on their project. I think that's how most people work best.

And networking can be great for this! You can meet all kinds of people at events meant specifically for networking. They can be your new BFF or they can be someone that might hire you down the road. One time at a networking event I had a 30 minute conversation with the marketing director of a company here in Austin and I learned so much about the restaurant scene here & where to get the best margarita. The information was so valuable. I just walked up to her and complimented her haircut and now we're BFF's on Instagram. Has she hired me? No. Do I friend love her? Yes. 

Don't be afraid of networking. Go to networking meet-ups! Host them, if you can! Be someone who can introduce a CEO of a great company to a graphic designer that you're creative BFF's with. That's who I want to be. Sometimes networking can be just as much about getting someone else's name out there as it is about getting your own name on someone's desk. 

And as a caution please please please don't use people to propel yourself further. Everyone deserves to be treated like a human being and no one want's to be used. The point of networking is to meet people. Is there job potential there? There always is when you meet new people in the creative field, but that's not what it's all about. Help propel other people. Build your village & be a part of helping other creatives succeed. When one of us secures a win, we all do. 

Amazing graphic by Libby Vanderploeg

Dulcis Almond Milks


I'd like to start out this post by saying that I am not normally an alternative milk fan. I don't eat almond milk in my cereal. When I go to a coffee shop a soy cappuccino is never my drink of choice. I've never met an alternative milk I've liked as much as organic cow's milk. I have a lot of opinions about this stuff because my husband is a barista and a coffee trainer and that makes me have opinions about things like milk and milk substitutes.

And then walked in Sarah Velasquez... the patron saint of almond milks.  The milk that she makes is heavenly. She has a turmeric almond milk that tastes like Christmas. If I was given the opportunity 10/10 times I would choose an iced almond milk latte with Sarah's turmeric almond milk over a cappuccino any day. It's seriously fantastic. 

Sarah is officially in the process of launching Dulcis and I'm so proud of her. When she asked me to photograph her products I was elated. She's made a product that is truly delicious and equally good for you. If you are in the Austin area and you have any sort of lactose allergy or you're a fan of almond milk you should order some from her because man, it is good!

To order email sarah@dulcismilks.com!

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Rancho Relaxation


Lately I've been trying to be really good about balancing work and living. Work and life have always been a pretty easy balance for me. For example: I can work while I hang out with my husband. I can work while my dog plays outside. I can work constantly and still have my life. I'm really good about that. But what I'm not good at is taking time off and pressing pause and actually enjoying real life. 

Deciding to get good at that was one of the best decisions I've made. Tucker and I also recently decided to see more of Texas and one of the spots on our list was the tiny town (population 90) of Round Top mainly because of the pie. 

Rancho Pillow is a fantastic getaway from the buzz and bustle of Austin. It is as serene as it is secluded and the loudest thing you hear there is the mooing of the cows that live in the field behind the Love Shack. It's an absolutely stellar getaway from whatever you might need a break from. For me I was running to some calm and some peace of mind. I was able to relax in the saltwater wading pool, walk around in my swimsuit and enjoy the sun. The place is an absolute treasure and I'm so glad I got to share in it. The whole place is truly special. 

Thanks for the Topo, the salty hair, the poetry library and the fun Rancho Pillow! 

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May Goals 💐


It's May! Does this mean all the rain we had in April is about to pay off? I sure hope so. I'm ready with camera in hand. It's that time of year where all I want to do is be outside and eat churros. Actually, that's most months but who's counting? It's pool weather, sandal weather and warm-skin-and-wet-hair weather which is my favorite, y'all.

A new month means new goals and you better believe I'm excited about it. 

1) Go to the beach.
I didn't go to the beach but I'm calling this one accomplished for this reason: Tucker and I did take a trip this month to Rancho Pillow & I'm scheduling a trip to the beach with some girl friends in May. 

2) Dance more for exercise. 
You guys! I did it! I danced nearly every week. I danced in my back yard, in our bedroom while putting up laundry, and I even made it out to a Zumba class. Hi five me!

3) Commit to a blogging schedule. 
If you're reading this you probably already know that I accomplished this one too. What. Even. 

4) Work smarter. Rest harder. 
I went to the pool. I started a book. I set some work blocks and I gained some peace of mind that I desperately needed-- that you don't have to look busy and stay busy on work exclusive things. Sometimes you can be busy by the pool and that's just as important as being busy answering emails. 

5) Use Myfitnesspal for the next 30 days. 
Did it. And I'm not trying to brag or talk about it yet, but I definitely lost 10 pounds doing it. 

So what's on my plate for May? With all that I accomplished health wise in April I want to keep up the momentum. For the first time in my life I feel like making healthy choices feels good and right about 85% of the time... and that's enough to move me in the right direction. My goals for May look like this: 

1) Budget like crazy. 
2) Figure out how to wash my face. 
3) Sell some camera gear.
4) Rest well (and maybe go to the beach.) 
5) Schedule smarter.

What's on your May goals list? I want to know! 

Fleet Coffee Co.


The east side of Austin, Texas has gotten a little bit more caffeinated and a lot more awesome now that Fleet Coffee Co. is open for business. I'm a little bit partial because Lorenzo Perkins and Patrick Pierce, the co owners of Fleet, are good friends of ours, but I'm clearly not too partial because every one agrees that it's a little slice of coffee sunshine (for example here and here!) Their coffee and menu is spectacular and the teas are my current go-to.

To me this shop is everything I hope for when I visit a coffee shop. Parking is easy. The menu is uncomplicated. The baristas are easy to communicate with if you have any questions and the drinks are all incredibly well thought out and delicious. 

Go check it out! 2427 Webberville Road in East Austin. Drink a morning ritual for me!   

A Normal Girl's Guide to Freelancing // Part one: How'd you get here?


Phew. I've been wanting to write this post for a while now and I've had no clue how to start. My greatest fear with this is that I'll come off as a know it all or as someone who knows nothing. Well let's start with the basics: I know some things and I'd love to have a platform to relay those things to you. I don't know if you know this about me, but I got thrown into freelancing and everything I've learned I learned from the internet or friends that were willing to tell me their stories. Let's back it up a little bit with my own. 

In 2013 I graduated from college with a degree in Advertising and Marketing. The world was full of possibilities and I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with my life but I knew I could do anything. Armed with a couple of dreams (one day working for myself, maybe?) and what I knew I was good with (using my iPhone!) I began gradually gaining social media clients. I did small time consulting and managing 20 accounts for 5 different clients at one point. Things were crazy, and I knew that I was going to burn out fast if I was working everyday of every week. 

Fast forward to 2014-- I'm still managing social media and it's fine. In my book fine is my enemy. What's the point in fine? It's almost better to be bad or good because at least you have a clear trajectory of where to go. I was in a rut and I consulted my darling, darling husband and he told me that he thought I might be a good photographer because I seemed really happy with a camera in front of my face. I told him he was crazy. He wasn't. We ordered my camera in January and I began to shoot anything and everything I could. For a year I balanced a retail job, social media clients, a part time gig as the community manager of the coolest coworking space ever, and a person who took photos. I refused to call myself a photographer. That was far too scary, right? Wrong. Around March I took the plunge, bought my website and started signing my emails photographer. That, to me, was one of the hardest parts of this whole shebang, actually saying it out loud to people. 

In 2015 I began a new life with Tucker in Austin, Texas. We landed here on January 2nd having left everything we knew well and loved dearly behind on the East Coast. My thought for Austin was that I'd just go ahead and try to find a job community managing something, or go back to an exciting life (really, not sarcastic) of working retail. It takes a while to land a job in a new city, so in the meantime I was still snapping photos and working at the coolest shop in Austin making candles. I began reaching out to people because I desperately needed friends and when they'd ask me what I did I would sort of stutter through the facts: unemployed/candle maker/photographer/social media manager? I wasn't all too sure of what I was these days. Eventually this explanation to this earth angel landed me a gig shooting the most incredible retreat ever: Texas Style Council. I met so many people and after that I had a steady stream of work. About three months passed and it was July when I realized that this was my full time job now, if I wanted it to be. 

I'm telling you this story because I feel like it's very easy to assume that everyone goes about going freelance the same way. They make a plan, they save a bunch of money, and they go for it. That's not how I did it, even though I desperately wish I would have and could have. I'm telling you this because I think whether we planned for this or not we can all succeed. 

It is now 2016. I've been working for myself for just over a year now and generating my own income. Saying this out loud feels like the coolest thing in the whole world, but also the most vulnerable because it means I'll have to admit I don't have it all together. I really don't. I'm definitely figuring it out and I want to share that with you because maybe you're figuring it out too. 

So this is my story! I'd love to hear yours and I'd love to know what you want to know about? I solemnly swear that if I don't know, I'll find out for us. Comment below and be sure to leave your website. We're all in this together! 

Kettle & Brine


There are a few places in the world that could drain my wallet faster than Kettle & Brine. Everything there is perfectly wonderful and too practical to deny bringing home with you. You could fill a kitchen to editorial perfection in the place. I swear. I had the pleasure of photographing Kettle & Brine for the December 2015 issue of Tribeza.

a happy list for a rainy day

I had a ton of ideas about what I was going to write about today, but instead of any of those I'm just going to write out a list of things that are happy because y'all, this rain is getting me down and I'm fighting it tooth and nail. 

  • walks around the neighborhood with Hank
  • drinking lots of water and feeling accomplished because of it
  • sweating
  • warm socks and warm toes
  • happy clients with happy emails
  • tons of vegetables to try to figure out what to do with
  • meeting new friends for coffee
  • coffee in general
  • piglets
  • cat videos
  • cute pet specific Instagram accounts
  • grace and forgiveness and the fact that as humans we can offer those things to one another
  • marriage ::kissy face emoji::
  • friends who feel like family
  • women who support one another
  • budgeting when you make it work for you
  • grace for budgets that fail
  • baking things
  • margaritas
  • flowers (which in my mind exist because God is similar to Bob Ross and thought the world just needed some splashes of color just here and there)
  • planning dates
  • setting goals and accomplishing them (15 gut wrenching days of logging in myfitnesspal down!) 
  • being outside even if you need an umbrella
  • sleepy puppies
  • house plants
  • books
  • pizza
  • kindness
  • the fact that rain makes flowers grow

Swoon City // 4.14

Wow! What a week it's been! This week my incredible mother-in-law was in town and Tucker and I got to show her all around our favorite parts of Austin. We ate so much deliciousness and got to see some parts of the city that we rarely get to. This place is so big and I feel like there's always something new to discover. That's one of my favorite parts about living here and I'm always so excited to share in that with other people. 

So I decided to start a little re-occuring post because every week I find SO MANY awesome things that I want to share with everyone I know on the internet or otherwise. Here's the stuff that's caught my eye this week.


rise & grind

Interlaced Goods has this new fantastic mug out that's perfect to sip coffee or tea from, especially when you've got a rough case of the Mondays (or Thursdays!) Interlaced Goods is expanding it's current line of products and your purchase of this mug will help her do that. So go buy it already, it's only 15 bucks shipped if you use code: CHELSEAHEARTSINTERLACEDGOODS! 


with love from...

Love Ding is officially launching it's online store soon, but rumor has it you can shop now and get the jump on everyone else! I've got this pendant lamp and this pillow in my shopping cart! 

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giving to get

I'm head over heels from this necklace from The Giving Keys! If you're local to Austin you can shop a great selection of The Giving Keys at Kiki Nass off of South Lamar! 


#modclothirl

Modcloth is having a pop up in Austin and everything is wonderful and nothing hurts. Also Nicole, Mia and I tried on matching wedding dresses. Life rules and Rachel Lately blogged about the pop up wonderfulness and the fantastic Laura Morsman photographed the whole night. 


it's a party in Central VA

Some of the most brilliant minds in America have combined forces to make an incredible music festival happen. Lynchstock Music Festival is a celebration of life, music, art and community and you'd be crazy to miss out if you're close enough to join them. It's in Lynchburg, VA, tickets are on sale here and you should probably watch this awesome video to get ready.  


yes, that anthropologie...

Sometimes your friends are just too dang talented and there stuff gets sold in Anthropologie! Get down Poppy and Fern! Get down with your bad self! 


Bricolage Curated Florals


If you know me at all you know I love flowers. I also love people. It should be no surprise to you at all that occasionally I seek out people that love flowers and ask them to let me take their pictures. The incredibly talented Samantha Jensen of Bricolage was one of the first Austin florists I met. Since about April or May of last year Sam & I have tried to carve out some time to get together and shoot photos and it got pushed back. 

A couple of months ago, Sam moved into her new studio space. It's one of the most gorgeous interiors I've ever photographed. It's full of natural light. It smells like greenery and whatever flower might be blooming from her latest haul of stems. It feels like home and it's Sam's personality to make you feel like you're fully welcome in her studio home. You want to kick your shoes off and stay a while. When I shot these photos the session was sandwiched between two others, but I could have lingered all day with some coffee in my hand. What I do recall though, is finding out some of the best business news of my life and getting to share it with Sam in during our session. We'd talk about something else for a while and she'd interject with "Sorry, I just can't believe so and so hired you! That's so freaking exciting." 

Sam is an incredible florist, excellent at making a cup of coffee, and an advocate for small businesses. She's always encouraging and more than her talent, which is vast, she's someone you want on your team. Enjoy getting a peek into her studio and if you're ever near her place on 6th street, knock on the door and say hello. 

These photos were published in the April edition of Tribeza (available on stands now!) and online

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How to do Something that You've Previously Failed At


I'm the queen of getting really excited about things and then losing sight of that energy after a week. Actually, I think everyone is. I think failure is a part of the human experience. But unfortunately when you've failed at something, it makes it incredibly difficult to try again. 

In 2011 I started exercising regularly. I had a gym buddy. I was eating well. And I lost about 30 lbs in a couple of month. Until that point I had never actually seen what treating my body well could do. It was my longest stretch of keeping with something active for quite some time. I felt invincible. And then somehow my gym buddy and I stopped going to the gym, I let my diet slide, and my black bean brownies became normal brownies again. I felt like I failed.

Fast forward to a week or so ago. I realized I'd gained some weight. I felt overwhelmed with the prospect of starting up a fitness program that worked for me. Even writing about this now feels like putting salt in a paper-cut. It's so freaking uncomfortable. 

After an event I was a part of last week I stayed after and chatted with some girls and we started talking about weight gain and body image. And I told them about my recent discovery and the conversation that followed made me feel utterly not alone. 

The next day I told another good friend about it and we talked about how hard it is to start fresh and make positive changes in life. Especially concerning body image or mental health.

It is hard. 

I feel the same way about my anxiety. I know the things that work for me. I know I cope a lot better if I spend some time outside and I drink a lot of water. I know my brain works better. But most of the time I fail at those things. 

I think one of the biggest things for me is that I'm always afraid of failing (again) and disappointing myself. I am an incredibly introspective person most of the time. I spend a lot of time analyzing and overanalyzing myself, the people around me, my dog, and my inbox. At any given moment I know exactly what I need and exactly how to get there. My anxiety makes that feel muddy. It makes me feel like I can't move and even if I did I couldn't fix how I feel. 

I know this is a lot of feelings for one blog post, and to be honest I may not ever press 'post' on this, but I wanted to get it out there even if it lives in my drafts forever. 

Making changes is hard. 

Really hard. 

I feel like I can't do it most of the time, but if the roles were reversed and I was talking to you, I'd tell you you could definitely do it. You can climb the mountain. You can send the email. You can close your eyes and jump into the water. You can do it because your mind is sometimes just a stumbling block. I'd ask you to tell me about something great you've accomplished and say see! Look at the greatness you achieved! You've definitely got this! And then if you did fail I'd cover you in grace and I'd tell you that everyone fails. Failure is part of being human even if it feels weird and uncomfortable. I'd tell you that if you've failed in the past you should definitely try again. 

I'm going to try really hard to take my own advice this month.

 

Dago + Nicole // In Love


It's an absolute honor to get to do what I get to do if you really think about it. I started pursuing photography full time because I knew how vulnerable it could be to be in front of a camera. To get to photograph love between two people, and to have them invite you in past smiles and hugs is truly something special that I pray I never take for granted. Nicole and Dago are two of my dearest friends. I've thought for days about how I was going to write about them. I wanted to articulate their story well. I wanted to tell you how they met at St. Edward's University and how they weren't ready for each other when they did meet and it took them a while to get there. I wanted to tell you all about their life, their podcast and their cat Contessa. I wanted to tell you about how Nicole was my first friend in Austin and when I felt utterly and totally alone in a new city I loved dearly, she befriended me and connected me and made me feel like I was cool and important. I could tell you that they are completely and totally in love, choosing one another every single day when they're having fun or when they're bored and watching cat videos online.

But I realized this morning that those are just a few of the most important things I could tell you about them. No embellishments I could add could make that story better. At the end of the day Dago + Nicole's relationship is more about the connection between them that I feel like you can see in these photos. It's the way they can't keep a straight face and they always think the other is funny. They are the sum of their gorgeous story, yes, but that's not what will keep them together in the long run. What I know of love is that it's always been more about connection and communication and laughing at the same jokes and loving the same cat and eating pizza bites on couches that are falling apart and on new couches too. 

Love is beautiful, even and especially when it's what you've been doing for a while now.

April Small Goals


I can never actually believe that the month is over when I sit down to right these. 

March was the fullest/craziest/best month I've had since moving to Austin. It was packed to the brim with SxSW, handling doggy drama, making our new place feel more like home, a bunch of fantastic workshops, talking about Instagram at a Bossbabes Event, and of course eating a ton of good  food

For March, I set super easy goals!

1) Send my portfolio to a major US publication. (Maybe already accomplished this one upon writing this blog)
Did it. I haven't heard back but I feel pretty good about the fact that I put myself out there and applied. 
2) Print out some of my favorite work for the past year.
I didn't actually do this, unless you count printing out my Marfa trip for my art show at Kiki Nass! 
3) Attend SxSW & work with a dream client or two (coughcough
Y'all. Sigh. SxSW was an absolute dream. I got to work with both 3M & Mashable. This past week Forbes wrote a piece about 3M's fantastic innovation! I got to meet a ton of great people, and I got to see a bunch of great musicians. All in all SxSW was a dream, a very sleep deprived dream.
4) Clear off my laptop.
Did it! It already needs to be cleared off again though. 
5) Have fun. 
I had so much fun in March. I even went to a tea party. How's that for fun? 

For April, I'm not being so easy on myself. 

1) Go to the beach.
2) Dance more for exercise. 
3) Commit to a blogging schedule. 
4) Work smarter. Rest harder. 
5) Use Myfitnesspal for the next 30 days. 

What are your goals for the month? 
 

Bundrick's Traveling Tea Parlour


This morning a few friends and I fulfilled one of my life long childhood dreams. I've always been interested in have a real life, adult tea party and well... today we made that happen. Bundrick's Traveling Tea Parlour is, as their website so wonderfully puts it, "Austin's most amazing outdoor tea room." It's open for afternoon tea and it's just about the most darling thing in the entire world. 

Led by our good friend Irvi, we stopped by to enjoy Bundrick's afternoon tea service. We sipped on various pots of tea while it rained around us in 64 degree weather and it could not have been more appropriate weather. We did end up having to leave a little early, but that's not a big deal because I'm sure all of us will be back to again soon. 

To check out Bundrick's visit this website for hours and offerings. The traveling trailer is located off of 7th Street and Navosta under a big pecan tree in Austin, Texas!

Instagram Like You Mean It


I get asked pretty frequently about how I have managed to build a community around Instagram, and to be honest I feel like my answer is NEVER what anyone expects.

Generally the exact questions people ask are something along the lines of  "How did you get so many followers?"

 "Do you like get tons of free stuff?"

"What hashtags should I use?"

I am in no way the leading authority on Instagram. I don't have that many followers and to be clear here and going forward I'm not dissing anyone's use of Instagram. I'm one of the few people who genuinely loves most facets of the app. I love that there is a way that people can make money off of their honest opinions of products, even if that gets abused from time to time. I love that if you build a following and a community, naturally you can build a business. I love hashtags and I use them frequently. 

But I feel like sometimes when we ask questions like this we're missing the point. The best part about Instagram is building and being a part of communities. It's being able to support your friends, your favorite businesses, and your local (and sometimes global!) community. 

You can definitely build a successful business and community using Instagram, I promise you that. But the groundwork of implementing tips and tricks is knowing that it does matter whether or not you care about the people you follow and those who follow you. 

Now there are definitely tricks, don't get me wrong! And I'll happily share some now, but know that my experience is rooted in the fact that I love your selfies and I'll like every photo of your lunch and/or your feet on different cool floors. 

1) Using hashtags to group your photos with other photos that are similar to yours can be great! This will bring like minded people to your page who just might love what they see and follow along. People say that using hashtags is dead, but I still enjoy it so I do it whether that's true or not. 

2) Styling photos is never a bad idea. Re arrange your coffee & your planner as many times as you want! No one cares and everyone does it. 

3) Take photos in good, even light. You guys. Everyone can spot bad lighting. Good lighting helps unless you're going for a grainy look. 

4) Try taking your photo a few different ways!  Frame it, reframe it, style it once or twice, frame it again. Mix it up and then you'll have something to choose from. 

5) Edit in A Color Story, Afterlight or VSCO! Make your photos look exactly like you want them to. And if you're into making your photos all look similar, you can develop a formula in these apps. 

6) Only work with brands that you like and tell people why you like them when you post, whether it's sponsored or an unsolicited endorsement. 

7) On that note, don't be afraid to make a media kit and pitch brands that you'd like to work with! They may say no, but if you're into it you can definitely try!

8) If you like someone, like really really like them, on Instagram, say so! Interact with people you like. Comment on their posts. 

9) Tell all your friends about accounts that you really love. All of my favorite accounts from people I don't know in real life have come from someone saying "Hey, do you follow...? They're a film photographer from a different part of the world and I think you'd really like them." And my friends are right. I do really like them. 

10) Don't take any of it too seriously and enjoy your real life too. Instagram is great. Let it be fun, let it be a place where you can meet new people, and if you're ever feeling insecure just log out for a little bit, know everyone feels insecure sometimes,  and go do something that makes you happy.

 

Birch & Brass Dinner for Lauren Kelp // Summer 2015

I'm finally getting my groove back with blogging and I realized that I haven't showed you this dreamy session that I did in collaboration with Birch and Brass, Wondrous Whimsy, and Slavonk & Hortus for Lauren Kelp from the past summer. You can also see Birch & Brass's excellent write up about this dinner here

Last summer was my first in Austin and thankfully it was a mild one. That doesn't take away from the fact that it was still so hot out. That doesn't stop Austin from doing things outside though. We still do everything normal people with mild summers would do, including dine al fresco. The heat isn't a deterrent. I love how much Austin loves the outdoors and I'm so grateful to be here in the heat. I feel like these photos take me back to that hot summer night & make me want to pour everyone a round of sweet tea. 

Painted Planter Party at The Paper + Craft Pantry


One of my favorite creative outlets is making things with my hands. That's why Pei from The Paper + Craft Pantry and I are friends + we get along so well. She asked me a few months back if I'd like to host a monthly DIY party with her and I, of course, said ABSOLUTELY. We usually do a simple craft that can be accomplished in an hour, and it's always available at a super affordable price point. They sort of operate like a crafty happy hour. 

Last night Pei and I hosted 19 fabulous women & one of their incredibly supportive boyfriends in an evening of painting tiny terra cotta pots & planting little succulents. More than anything the whole experience is relaxing and fun for everyone. We had sangria + cookies, we listened to a playlist that had the perfect amount of Justin Bieber sprinkled in, and we had a blast! Thank you to everyone who came out to party plant style with us :) 

This week I'm hosting three workshops back to back and if you're not doing anything tonight, you should come make beaded necklaces with me at Whole Foods! 

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All The Flowers (and other plants) I've Loved: 2014


Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, Virginia

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, Virginia

Golf Park Coffee // Lynchburg, VA

Golf Park Coffee // Lynchburg, VA

Old Slave Mart Museum // Charleston, SC

Old Slave Mart Museum // Charleston, SC

Rainbow Row // Charleston, SC

Rainbow Row // Charleston, SC

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, VA 

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, VA 

Fresh Market // Lynchburg, VA

Fresh Market // Lynchburg, VA

On the lake near Maren's home // Lynchburg, VA 

On the lake near Maren's home // Lynchburg, VA 

Clay Street // A Dayspring Card (JK Lynchburg, VA)

Clay Street // A Dayspring Card (JK Lynchburg, VA)

Irvington Spring Farm // Lynchburg, VA 

Irvington Spring Farm // Lynchburg, VA 

Irvington Spring Farm // Lynchburg, VA

Irvington Spring Farm // Lynchburg, VA

Irvington Spring Farm // Lynchburg, VA

Irvington Spring Farm // Lynchburg, VA

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, VA 

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, VA 

Irvington Spring Farm // Lynchburg, VA 

Irvington Spring Farm // Lynchburg, VA 

Ashley Drive // Lynchburg, VA

Ashley Drive // Lynchburg, VA

Near a dinosaur exhibit // Somewhere on the coast of North Carolina 

Near a dinosaur exhibit // Somewhere on the coast of North Carolina 

1017 Court Street// Lynchburg, VA 

1017 Court Street// Lynchburg, VA 

Clay Street // Lynchburg, VA

Clay Street // Lynchburg, VA

In a park // Charleston, SC

In a park // Charleston, SC

The French Quarter // Charleston, SC 

The French Quarter // Charleston, SC 

The French Quarter // Charleston, SC

The French Quarter // Charleston, SC

The French Quarter // Charleston, SC

The French Quarter // Charleston, SC

The French Quarter // Charleston, SC

The French Quarter // Charleston, SC

A food truck // Lynchburg, VA

A food truck // Lynchburg, VA

Catherine's Flower Shop // Lynchburg, VA

Catherine's Flower Shop // Lynchburg, VA

Someone's wedding bouquets // Lynchburg, VA

Someone's wedding bouquets // Lynchburg, VA

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, VA

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, VA

Lynchburg Community Market // Lynchburg, VA

Lynchburg Community Market // Lynchburg, VA

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, VA 

Petal Flower Company // Lynchburg, VA 

TOOLRY // Lynchburg, VA

TOOLRY // Lynchburg, VA

TOOLRY // Lynchburg, VA

TOOLRY // Lynchburg, VA

TOOLRY // Lynchburg, VA

TOOLRY // Lynchburg, VA

Court Street // Lynchburg, VA

Court Street // Lynchburg, VA

The Alamo // San Antonio, TX

The Alamo // San Antonio, TX