Winters can be hard for an extroverted wedding photographer like me. Fewer shoots, fewer weddings, fewer vendor soirées, altogether more time by yourself... and not always having a full 40 hours of work to fill your week. Going from 80mph to, essentially, a slow crawl... well, it's an adjustment to say the least! Having Matt working from home with me has definitely helped, but around this time of year, I start wishing for more opportunities to be around more PEOPLE. 👯♀️ So I did a thing- I joined a co-working community! Tuesday was my first day and I'm already loving it! It's just for one day a week at this point, but I'm already excited to go back next week. 👩🏻💻 When I left my 8-5 for good almost SEVEN years ago, I was so dang pumped to be my own boss that I didn't realize how much I'd miss being around other people. Has the tradeoff been worth? ABSOLUTELY. I wouldn't reverse that decision for anything! ✌🏻 But being around other humans in a work atmosphere? I'll admit I've missed it. And for me, working exclusively from home is proving to be increasingly distracting. So Matt found me the perfect co-working space 15 minutes from home, complete with speedy wifi and snacks and an endless supply of coffee, and I cannot wait to see what comes of this new environment! Even after one day, I'm already loving the increase in productivity and focus. Let's see what happens after week #2! 💪🏻 Photo by @juliepaisley, hair & makeup by one of my favorite Parisian artists, @trinejuel!
Is it weird to have goals for my brides? Because I am unabashedly crossing my fingers that one of my 2019 girls is planning to don a pair of @bellabelleshoes for her wedding day or engagement session. That intricate beading is to die for!! • From our France workshop, @thesignatureatelier by myself & @katherinebignon! Planning by @lovinconcept Florals by @floresie Custom gown by @katherinebignon Venue @chateaubouthonvilliers Hair + Makeup by @trinejuel Shoes by @bellabelleshoes Film lab @thefindlab
It's #tututuesday, and I'm feeling like it's time for another #abbygraceballerinas shoot. These sessions breathe so much LIFE into me as an artist. I absolutely love capturing weddings- it's the entire reason I became a photographer in the first place! But in order to be able to approach weddings with fresh eyes instead of simply lather, rinse, repeat-ing, I photograph ballerinas to connect me back with my own unique approach as an artist. • Photographers, I cannot emphasize how important it is to have your own personal work! Mine is ballet and travel- maybe yours is watercoloring or designing interiors. Maybe it's graphic design or yoga or macaroni art or sewing your own clothes, or something completely different! The important thing is that you identify what fills your creative tank. • What leaves you feeling full to the brim of inspiration, what brings you immeasurable joy for reasons you maybe can't describe? *What gives you that heady feeling of limitless possibility?* • Find it, whatever it may be, and make it a point to create space in your calendar for personal work. Your own clients and heart will thank you, and so will your newly-refreshed sense of inspiration. • With the gorgeous @annabelle_adams999 at @skyeballetcenter, beauty by @nofilterglam. • #ballerinasofig #theballetscene #worldballetproject #worldwideballet #balletphotography #beautifulballetgirls #pointeshoes #enpointe #loveofballet #mypointemoment #balletpost #ballerinaproject_ #apinkballerina
There's something about holidays that require showing an over-the-top amount of affection that have always made me feel slightly rebellious. Like no, I will NOT go purchase an expensive box of chocolates JUST because it's February 14th- stick it in your ear, Hallmark! 💪🏻 Perhaps this is why Matt and I settled on Chinese takeout and a Redbox movie as our Valentine's Day tradition- it's my way of sticking it to the man! ✌🏻 Tonight, you won't find me all dolled up in a Michelin Star restaurant- instead, I'll be curled up on the couch with Matt with takeout from @bigbowlbuzz and whatever movie he's picked out on his way home from the grocery store. It's my favorite ritual of ours! Anyone else have a fun 2/14 tradition? ❤️
I like to have fun during engagement sessions, which sometimes breaks with what my clients might be expecting- wait, you mean this isn't going to be stiff and stuffy? NOPE. I'm going to throw at least one Will Ferrell quote at you, three Parks & Rec references, and you can bet that, at some point, you'll laugh heartily at my expense. And I am totally, 100% ok with that, because it means I get the chance to capture photographs like this one! 💕 Photographers- looking to up your game when it comes to not just engagement sessions, but also lighting, film, weddings, travel, editing, and more? Check out the link in my profile- @thebundleco.co Photography Bundle is on sale now through tomorrow night, featuring 21 (yeah- TWENTY ONE!) courses from some of the industry's top educators like @marymarantz, @nancyray, @juliepaisley, @jenhuangphoto and so many more (including my Engagement Course)! A total of 21 classes worth nearly $4,000... for $98.50. 🙌🏼 No, that's not a typo. Less than a hundred bucks. 💰 Link in profile for the full list of courses and to snag your bundle by tomorrow night! 💪🏻 Wondering if this is too good to be true? Shoot me a DM. I'll be honest- we almost didn't participate in the Photography Bundle, but after hearing from so many of y'all who've jumped on it AND after having a chance to dig into the content myself, I'm so darn glad we did! This is one of the BEST values I've ever come across in my time as a photographer and is such a blessing to any artists out there desiring to grow, but who don't have thousands of dollars in their 2019 education fund! ⏰ Link in profile, and like I said- don't wait on this one. It expires tomorrow night! 👏🏻 #wearethecreativeeconomy #tuesdaystogether #creativepreneur #createcultivate #calledtobecreative #creativeatheart
The moment I knew Matt would never be a photographer: • Babe, can you take a photo of me with the Louvre in the background? I'll pre-focus for you and everything, and just make sure you get my feet in the photo as well. • Two weeks later I get my film back: • MATT! You literally got everything BUT my feet!! How did this happen?! • Oooh I thought you said you WANTED me to cut your feet off... 🤦🏼♀️ Here's to working alongside your spouse, cut off feet and everything. Happy Friday, friends!
The off-season is this weird time when I don't always have 40 hours worth of work to do each week, and I've gotta be honest- it's uncomfortable. And that discomfort is so convicting! One of my FAVORITE takeaways from #creativeatheartround8 was @shaycochrane's mic drop-worthy sentiment: hustle is [often] laziness in disguise. • Maybe I'm the only one, but I struggle with feeling like if I don't spend a FULL eight hours at my desk, that I'm not being productive, and I'm realizing just how much of my worth I put in business-related productivity. • But you know what else is productive? Spending quality time with friends. Or filling up my creative tank by doodling with a calligraphy pen. Or quilting. Or calling it a day at 2pm and going out for a movie date with Matt. Or napping. Or traveling to places that inspire me. • I've shared this vision thousands of times from the stage, in webinars, with our coaching students: we desire to create a business that enables a LIFE we love, *not* a life governed by the business' needs. And yet somehow, I still sometimes find myself in the trap of thinking that work is the only-est, most important thing in my life. • But the fact of the matter is that I have other roles in my life that are equally, and often MORE important: being a wife, a daughter, the need to care for my own body with exercise, helping lead worship at our church, being a good and present friend... and on, and on. • Our work, it matters. It matters a lot. I wouldn't do it if it didn't! Our clients and students mean the world to me. • But I guess what I'm trying to say is that... work is not the ONLY thing that matters. And if we're constantly giving a Yes to work *at the expense of* those other roles in life we wish to fulfill, we're missing out on the very things that make life so rich in the first place.
One of my personal projects this year is to take a new, DIFFERENT self-portrait every month. About January's edition: ❄️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nothing makes me feel closer to my Granny than wrapping myself in one of her quilts. She was creative and resourceful, both characteristics on full display any time she pulled out a needle and thread. I'm so lucky to have numerous quilts that were made by her, but my favorite is our wedding quilt that she and my mom worked on together (see above- I was audacious enough to ask for a Double Wedding Ring design, aka one of the hardest patterns out there. Classic Abby)! ❄️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Late last February I was sitting with Granny in my grandparents' living room up in the mountains of Virginia, when she looked out the window and said I'd have loved to see snow one more time. It was a sweet but sober moment- we knew she didn't have much longer, that as the cancer grew, her time was coming to a close. ❄️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But then sure enough, they got not one, but TWO big snows on the mountain- it felt like a kiss from heaven, meant just for my Granny! Just a few weeks after the last flakes melted, she went home to be with Jesus. ❄️ Our first snow of the year was just two weeks ago, and for as long as it fell, my thoughts were of her. So I donned my Hunter boots and a warm pair of gloves and took a walk along the trail near our house with my quilt to keep me warm. I just wanted that moment for me, to be out in the snow, to hear the whisper of those falling frozen flakes, to wrap myself in layers of fabric that were lovingly pieced together, painstakingly hand-quilted by her. ❄️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I miss her so much. But there's something about the snow that makes her feel just a little bit closer 💕