Melissa and Allie

“Hey! So how do you feel about doing some more pictures for me?”

Last November, I read those words and got super excited.

See, a few years ago I had done some pictures for Mel and her puppies, a beautiful grayhound Frisky and the well-mannered and quiet Oakley, a sheltie. While all sessions with dogs are amazing and fun because animals just make things better, it was also fun getting to explore Oaklands Park. Mel also was a great conversationalist. 

So when she contacted me in November, I was on board with everything she envisioned for her shoot. Graduation announcements? Sounds good. In Murfreesboro? Sounds good. Early January? Sounds good. Get some pics of you and your favorite horse? 

SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!

Since the holidays are always a hectic time, we agreed to meet up in December just to get a feel for the location as well as let me meet the horse and talk more in depth about some ideas for shots and what would be possible. I made a special priority to remember to wear my sneakers!

That day, I found out two very important facts. 

The first was that your gps will lie to you everytime you say “Oh, I’m running ahead of schedule!” 

The second was that Allie loves peppermints.

So we set up a tentative schedule based on the weather (Because as we all know, outdoors and Tennessee is a chaotic mess), and we would see each other then.

Luckily, the weather was on our side for those days, and even better, I bought myself some boots to be able to walk through the leaves with ease. 

Allie was a total sweetheart the whole time, even though she was very confused as to why she wasn’t in the barn during feeding time. She loved my camera and wouldn’t stop trying to improve my poses. She did, however, deign to do it our way. 

All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and I am so grateful to Melissa for letting me participate in her journey. 

Speaking of, Mel isn’t just a (fantastic) repeat client. She doesn’t just have a special interest in horses, but is heavily involved in the dog community, has some pretty good insight into the farming world, and is someone I am proud to call a friend.

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Mel. You’ve earned it.


Small Business Shout Out!

I truly love this area. 

That’s the reason I started Living Local and “Small Business Shout Out”, a monthly way of supporting other small businesses and entrepreneurs who make a difference in this community. 

 Today, I’d like to focus your attention on a 2 time winner of the Ruthies, which is pretty awesome considering she’s only been in business since March. Coincidence? I think not.

Annelise Werme owns Serendipity Massage and Wellness. Formerly a nanny, administrative assistant, and office manager, Annelise now spends her days in her cozy little studio in the heart of Murfreesboro. In 2015 she won the Ruthie Award for favorite Massage Therapist, and this year she won it again, as well as was a finalist for Favorite Place to Get a Massage.

During our photoshoot, in between us confessing our socially awkward ways and discussing the amazing window, Annelise mentioned something that resonated with me. She said that for a long time, she was in survival mode, but now she’s in recovery mode, and it’s something she’s very conscious of with her clients during their sessions. While she offers different massages (thai yoga, Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal), she customizes them intuitively, which has led to some very grateful clients and glowing reviews. She also offers chair and mini table massages and ion cleanse detox foot baths.

The embodiment of her business, Annelise is empathetic, and wants nothing more than to help her clients feel safe, comfortable, and cared for. She has a lot of goals and ideas for her business, and if you’re like me, you can’t wait to see where she goes next!

You can find Annelise at 201 W. Main St, Suite 205, Murfreesboro. On the first Wednesday of the month she offers chair massages ($1/minute) at Cultivate Coworking. Find her on facebook or email at anneliselmt@gmail.com.


Busy as a Bee

Who’s excited for Halloween!?

We have outfits ready here, for the most part. I got badgered by the kiddos to dress up, and outvoted as to what my costume would be. 

What are you dressing up as?

I’ve been rather quiet for a bit, but that’s because I’ve been working away at so many goodies for you lovely folks!

First off, we have something I mentioned in my newsletter (What do you mean you haven’t signed up for it yet?), Living Local! 

Living Local is where I highlight our wonderful community and all the awesome people within it, from the small businesses who go the extra mile for service with a smile, to  non profits who have hearts of gold, even the wonderful locations that give us a place to gather. I hope you’re as excited as I am about this, because next week will be the very first installment!

The other thing I want to bring to your attention is Sollie Studio’s referral program.

If you spread the word about Sollie Studios, and your friend mentions you when they book a session, you get a credit towards a session. 
For portrait sessions, you get a $25 credit. 
For event or wedding sessions, you get a $50 credit.

Credits can be added together and put towards prints, sessions, and products. They expire after 12 months, and can be redeemed at anytime prior to that. 

Anyways, I hate to cut this short, but I have pretty fall weather to enjoy after housework (And more coffee!). I will see you next week!


That time I did a photo project

Four years ago, I attempted something incredible.

I was going to do a picture a day for the entire year. And since it was a leap year, that meant 366 pictures.

This was going to be fun.

And it was. I was so excited to start off. I took my camera with me everywhere, and carved time out to actively get the shot.

The only limitations I gave myself was that it had to be done and saved to the folder in the 24 hour time frame, and I would upload whenever. 

It was fun and exciting.

But I didn’t finish it.

I did get about halfway.

But you know what? 

That’s okay.

I learned a lot from that project.

And when I look back at them, I have insight.

Insight on not only what happened, but how I saw it.

Sometimes you don’t get closure on a chapter in your life, sometimes you don’t finish something, sometimes life happens and you just move on and deal.

But that is not a reflection on you, it does not mean you have failed, only that somethings are unfinished.

And as long as you wake up in the morning, there’s a chance to start again.

September 2016 is National Suicide Prevention Month. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out.


Relax! A mantra on Children Portraiture

Kids are fun.

Good or bad, they are going to share their opinion. Sometimes, it’s so nice you have to laugh. Other times, it’s humbling. Most of the time, it’s funny and refreshing.

Children sessions are one of my favorite sessions. The kids always let their personality shine, whether that’s tiny smiles or goofball poses. 

However, parents, I have a message for you:

Relax.

No, really, it’s okay.

I get it, I’m a parent myself, so I understand how stressful day to day life is. There’s always going to be a night without sleep, a day where Murphy’s law happens at the worst possible time, a child who went to bed loving the outfit and woke up wanting to burn it with fire.


Parents, Repeat after me: It’s okay.

Child doesn’t want to wear the new outfit? It’s okay.

Children suddenly can’t stand to be within eye sight of each other? It’s okay.

Child somehow found the one sharpie in the universe and is now a work of art? It’s okay.

We’ve got this.

Remember that toy where there’s different shapes in the box and you could put pieces through them? What saying went along with that?

You can’t force a square peg through a round hole.

Your child is awesome. They will have fun during their session if they are allowed to be themselves. There’s no pressure at these sessions to be picture perfect.

They already are, just the way they are.

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