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Hi! Thanks a million for visiting my blog! This is a place for my business, photography, ideas, inspiration, life stories and, of course, mounds and mounds of pictures. If you're looking for information about my photography services, i welcome you to view some of my most recent work here and then click on the portfolio link above. If you're looking for a place to have fun, relax, feel happy, and be inspired, stick around and grab something to drink! May I suggest the "what I'm sippin'" list of favorites to the bottom left?

A New Way To Blog: Session Groups, Garrett County MD Photographer

The JFP “Business Bootcamp” was in full swing last week and it’s continuing this week! I have 85% of my tax prep done for 2014 and I’ve cleaned and added to my office. I’ve starting putting together a new system for client activity and I just came up with a new way to blog!

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that I’m a little behind on blogging portrait sessions and weddings. Next in the queue are sessions from September…but it’s March! Why am I this far behind?? Is it appropriate to blog a late summer session in later winter?? Who the heck knows! But what I know is that I am not fond of this…I don’t want to be this behind!

So in an effort to play catch-up, and hopefully be caught up by the time my busy spring portrait season rolls around in just over a month, I am going to try something new…session groups! Instead of blogging each session individually, I am going to put them into groups and blog a few at a time. Weddings will still be blogged individually and I may pick a few sessions that deserve an individual highlight, but you’ll be mostly seeing sessions in groups…at least for the next month. I considered skipping over the end of summer and part of the fall for my blogging calendar, but I didn’t want to leave anyone out. I know some of my clients get excited when they’re blogged and I get excited about sharing their sessions, too! So if you’re wondering why things look different in the near future, you know why! :)

Here we go with the first group!

Jamie and Kevin! I did their wedding a few years ago and they cam back for more! They so wonderfully decided to take a road trip and visit my backyard for their session. It was so nice to reunite and see what they’ve been up to since the wedding. And of course I was flattered they wanted more pictures by me. :)

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So lucky we captured this warm sunset light!

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They’re cute. :)

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As the sun set over the horizon, we captured some beautiful, colorful sunset portraits. The first one is a personal favorite from my portrait sessions in 2014…

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Now we have Zander! Last summer, I was in search of a family of three that would be willing to let me photograph their 2-3 month old baby in their house. I wanted to show future clients that newborn sessions don’t need to take place immediately after baby is born, and I needed some examples. With the lifestyle approach in mind, I gifted Zander and his family this little session so I’d have an example to share, and so I could prove to myself that an older newborn baby could handle a newborn session.

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Mr. Zander was awake the whole time, but he was happy and awake!

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I love the outdoor portraits we captured…

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And lastly for this post of “session groups”, my friend Casey and her daughter Samara. Casey wanted some updated portraits of Miss Samara and decided she’d be in the pictures, too! They met me in my backyard just as summer was turning to fall and I love what we captured!

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Samara did SO WELL for only being five years old. :)

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Casey and Samara like to have tea parties together, so it was appropriate we include that in their session…

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Another session favorite from 2014 for me!

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This is a good one, too. :)

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Mommy-daughter cuteness to end the session…

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So how did my first round of “session groups” go?? I’m really hoping this will put me up to speed with my blogging so that when April rolls around I can blog each session individually quickly after the session takes place…just like I used to. The JFP “Business Bootcamp” is all about simplifying and organizing, so here’s to making that happen!

OBX Extravaganza 2014: Outer Banks NC Photographer

Brian initially made friends with this “Hagerstown group” when he moved to Hagerstown immediately after graduating college in 2006. We got married in 2008 and moved just over the MD-PA border, about 30 minutes from Hagerstown, so getting together with this group was still very doable. Everything from Harry Potter at an IMAX theater to tennis-ball baseball at the local park and weekend trips to Deep Creek Lake, we did it with this crew! So many good times. :)

We stuck around the “Hagerstown group” until 2011 when we moved to Morgantown, WV for Brian’s work and to be closer to family. So instead of 30 minutes or less from these guys, we were 2.5 hours. We’ve since moved back into Maryland, but are still about an hour and 40 minutes away. Definitely not as conveniently close as before, but that hasn’t stopped us. Our friendships have remained, and while we don’t see these friends as often as we used to, we’re so thankful that the friendships are still there.

So when the idea of going on vacation with this group came about, we knew it would be a blast! A week at the beach in a beautiful vacation home with some of our best friends!?! YES! But with six kids under the age of 3.5? Could we do it? YES we did! And we dubbed it Outer Banks Extravaganza 2014.

While there, I gifted everyone a mini portrait session on the beach! How could I not? Who doesn’t love an opportunity for family beach portraits!? I know I wanted some for our family. :) Here’s a look at the family portraits captured in two separate evenings in about an hour’s total worth of time…

First up, Chris, Kelly and the youngest member of our group, Caleb! Little guy was only a few months old…

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A favorite!! :)

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Kelly and Caleb! I love mama-baby portraits. :)

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This was round one for Jamie, Dennis and Paisley. They weren’t sure of Paisley’s mood, so we were ready for evening #2 if need be…

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Check out that happy girl smile!

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We also took one large group picture that evening. I think it turned out pretty good for five families with six kids under the age of 3.5!

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Later that evening, we experienced a beautiful sunset! The next two were taken from the yard of our vacation home…

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Now for evening #2 of portraits! Here’s Bekah, Steve and Baby Ben in front of our vacation home…

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Such beautiful glowy light! Got got lucky with some beautiful weather!

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Oh my goodness, Ben’s face! Looks like he’s winking for the camera. :)

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Jamie, Dennis and Paisley again! You just never know what an 18-month little girl will give ya when it comes time for pictures. ;)

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How cute is Paisley’s romper!?! Jamie dresses her so well. :)

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LOVE this family picture!

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Now it’s time for Jess, Matt and Natalie!

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Jamie, Dennis and Paisley…again. :) You should have seen me on the beach taking these pictures. I just went back and forth between families! Whoever was in a happy mood got their picture taken!

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Look at Natalie’s smile! Beautiful!

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Then it was our turn! We hadn’t had “nice” family pictures taken since Jack was born. So thankful I could hand over my camera to Steve and trust him to snap away!

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We have a picture very similar to this from Emerald Isle in 2011 when Ally was just eight months old. So neat to see that she’s a little girl now and that we’ve added Jack to the family, too. :)

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Oh the faces…

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Excuse the slobber on Brian’s shirt and Jack’s terrible come-over. Jack got buzzed shortly after we got home. :)

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A few captures with the sand dunes…

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Whew! That “session” was a lot of work. Walking barefoot in the sand, trying to handle six kids and trying to get all of them to smile…and trying to make sure I myself got into some pictures, too! A little exhausting, but totally worth it for this most awesome group of friends. :) Thanks for a great time at the beach guys! Let’s say we do this again when all kids are last five years old!? ;)

Business Bootcamp

Well, it’s the off-season, folks. Or at least it’s supposed to be.

Most photographers that I know have an off-season between December and March. Unless they have an indoor studio, they just aren’t shooting as much through the winter months. The majority of couples get married during the warmer months and people don’t normally want outdoor pictures of their families when there’s a good chance of freezing temperatures with no greenery.

I’ve happily welcomed the off-season each year I’ve been in business. After shooting 20+ weddings, 50+ portrait sessions AND working for yourself, by yourself in about eight months, you need a break. A time to maybe shoot less and work more on the back-end things of the business. Or just sit in your sweatpants eating bon-bons and watching re-runs of your favorite TV shows. HA! Who actually gets to do that?

So far this year, JFP’s off-season has been BUSY! Busy is a good thing, sometimes. I had major plans for this off-season…work on all the “little things” and projects that I don’t get to work on as much during the year. And I wanted to do that at the start of the new year. Well, we’re more than half way through February and I still haven’t found a true off-season when I’m able to work on such things. Until now!

After evaluating my calendar last month, I decided that the last two weeks of February would be set aside for “Business Bootcamp.” Between this past Monday and next Friday, I have no sessions or meetings. Almost 100% of my work time will be spent in the house either on the computer or in my office (I’ll escape to a coffee shop or two as well…I need to be around people!). I have ideas to make JFP better and make it run more smoothly. I’m on a mission to keep GOOD balance in life and business in 2015 and going through this bootcamp will hopefully help. I’m going to implement systems and organize. I’m going to do tax prep and put my office together (maybe even order some canvases for the walls!). I’m going to dream a little and explore new ideas. I might even find some time to do a few blog posts and catch up on that. Overall, I’ve got a lot of weight on my shoulders and I need a little bit of a slim-down. Bootcamps are good for slimming down, right? :)

I’ll be honest, I’d much rather be shooting and editing and corresponding with clients. But it’s just me here at JFP and if I’m not proactive into making it better, I’ll fall behind and the biz could really suffer. Things are good right now for the business, but I know they can improve and hopefully tasks will get easier for me. I only have three work days a week so I need to make sure I’m making the most of my time when I have it.

So here’s to my Business Bootcamp and the hopeful improvement and organization of JFP! I’m doing this for my clients, myself and my family, and I’m excited to see the end results!

I just finished editing the final session in my queue and it’s a doozy! Snowy engagement session in one of the prettiest parks in Maryland with a super fun couple!?! YES! Our temperatures are finally going back up to normal this weekend, so until then, enjoy a peek into my most recent portrait session…

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And while it’s not part of the Bootcamp, JFP is going through a brand refresh and will soon have a new look with a new website and blog! I did some thinking at the end of 2014 and felt as though the JFP brand and look wasn’t “fitting” anymore. My photography has evolved and improved, and my business has become more credible, professional and high-quality, so I need a look that reflects that! I’m not sure exactly when everything will be done, but I’m excited about what my designer Krista and I are putting together so far. I’m thinking I’ll be ready for a launch sometime in early spring! Stay tuned!!! :)