It’s David who brings us this shoot to the blog today. Music has always been an important part of both my (Ashley) and David’s worlds. Grant is an awesome musician who is currently the bassist for Delta Rae. David did a relaxed shoot with him in his home – I love the vibe of the morning light and easy music playing in Grant’s own space.
David and I want to share more of our selves with y’all on the blog. We know that not everyone is on Instagram or Facebook, and those outlets tend to be where I share many of the details of our day to day life. For 2015 I am going to do a monthly recap of what went on in our worlds each month. It will be the highlights – personal and business, fun and serious – to help you get to know us better.
Starting at the top, reading each row like a book…
* New Years Day we did something we never do – go see a movie in the movie theater. With friends. And then we ended up in the same movie as another group of friends. It was just so wild and super fun. I love it when things like that happen.
* New Years Eve/Early hours of New Years Day – we rang in the new year with lots of old and new friends over an oyster roast, fire pit and sparklers. David’s family has been ringing in the New Year with an oyster roast a long time. Now we have brought the tradition to Raleigh! From what I can tell (and how much we had to clean up the next day), a good time was had by all.
* I have always loved musical theater. I went to a high school that had an awesome arts program so I was surrounded by people with immense talent. I got to see one of my friends play Elphaba in Wicked when it toured to Durham. Laurel absolutely blew us away with her powerhouse voice and talent. To see her in this show is to be “changed for the better”. A few of us that went to high school with Laurel met up with her after and actually got to go backstage!
* One of my favorite things at the beginning of the year is to sit down with David and evaluate the previous year, and then plan & vision for the new year. We always do this at some point in January, knowing we will have a couple of months to change/implement any new plans we have before things take off in the spring. We have used different resources over the years to help us in this process. This year we used a combination of Lara Casey’s blogposts mixed in with stuff I’ve pulled from here and there. One thing that is really helpful for us, me in particular, is to pick a word for the year. We looked at last years words and how they affected what we did and didn’t do in 2014. In 2015, my word is FOCUS. I want to truly focus on the things that are most important. I don’t want to get distracted by the junk that makes me anxious, hurts my feelings, stifles my creativity, and keeps me from doing my best work and being my best self. I want to focus on my friends and family – spending quality time with them and always showing them love. And wow, I need to focus on myself. My own health and well being. I love to work, I love caring for others, I love always being on the go…. but then I put myself so far down on the list that sometimes I don’t even see myself on it. I need to take better care of me. I made movement in that direction in 2014, but I want to be more focused in my self-care in 2015.
* With a slower winter schedule we have been able to spend more time with David’s family (most of which live 1.5-2 hours away) which has been so lovely. We see my family quite often since they live closer, so its been great to pour some energy and quality time into David’s family. All the “kids” in his family are now grownups, most of which are married and having babies, so the landscape is changing but in the most wonderful ways!
* Thabiso, my adopted little brother, has been doing so well catching up in school. His teachers and tutors have really ever seen anything like it, and are so proud of the hard work he does. He is smart, but most of all he is determined to catch up and soak in all the information he possibly can. He is eager to please and is so kind. He won two awards at this school assembly and while I couldn’t seem to get a picture of him holding them and looking proud at the same time, I think this shot tells the truth. He was feeling good about himself!
* Speaking of that focusing more on taking care of myself stuff, I took a walk. I know, what a silly statement to try to make sound like a big deal. But. This was the first time in a very long time that the idea popped into my head to take a walk when I had hit in a wall in my working. I wanted to take the walk, I was ok doing it by myself and no one had given me the idea to do it. Since then I have enjoyed several walks under those same circumstances and it has felt good making these decisions for myself. So that first walk I noticed my long shadow in the setting sun and how it reminded me of the ancient goddess sculptures. I felt that empowerment, y’all. It was good to my soul.
* The last two images are both from The Carolina Inn 20th Annual Bridal Showcase. We have participated in this show in the past as wedding and portrait photographers. This time around, through a collaboration with the Inn, I got the wild hair to do a strictly boudoir booth. I will be posting more about this partnership with the Inn on our boudoir blog soon. I am going to be honest – it was an interesting experience at the bridal show. I am so proud of how our booth turned out, and I could not have done it that day without our amazing admin assistant Leah! Thank you thank you Leah (and Jason for helping at the beginning and end of the day)!! I am so passionate about the message of boudoir – empowering women by helping them see their unique beauty through my lens, by their taking a risk and doing something they have never done before. There are many people, especially in the south, that do not understand what boudoir is and I did come up against some negativity. Don’t worry friends, it’s not slowing me down or stopping me!
Oh the annual Humber Dinner at the North Carolina Museum of Art! What a fun event to photograph every year! The styling and decor is always SO gorgeous and SO perfect – Jennifer and her team create these whimsical themes that vendors such as Watered Garden (nails it with the flowers) and CE Rental (always has the perfect linens and settings to work with) help them execute perfectly. It’s so much fun to see what they come up with year to year (you can see last year here and the year before that here) and this year’s holiday sweets centerpieces were just too fun!