things i love (photography + non-photography)

Hi friends!

This post is mainly me just talking about myself and my life as well as throwing in some photography tips along the way.

I can’t make myself write a blog post solely dedicated to photography tips, because I still have no idea what I’m doing. So here I am combining it with some insight into my life :-)

Here are some things I love:

My Sole Society bag.

This IS a photography related item, but it can be used for much more! My bag is called the Millie and I LOVE it.


There are three pockets. One on each side closed with a magnet snap, and the main opening in the middle closed with a zipper. I used mine to carry to work. It held my camera and lenses in the middle, my laptop on one side, and my charger and hard drive in the other pocket. Now that I’ve changed jobs, I can’t wait to use it more often for everyday type things and travel :-)

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This one is also a photography related item. I’m pretty sure everyone knows VSCO. I LOVE VSCO for mobile editing. It’s the only app I use to edit my pictures on my phone (other than LR) because their filters most closely match my photography style. Since my Instagram feed is photography and personal photos combined, I try to edit my personal photos the same way as my photography (maybe I'll do a blog post on how to create a cohesive Instagram theme and mobile editing soon).

My favorite filter is either A6 or HB2. Actually, when I first started photography I found a LR preset mimicking VSCO’s A6 filter, and I used it for EVERYTHING.

Which brings me to the next thing I love…

My Lightroom Presets!

I use Tribe Archipelago LXC presets.

Ok, so here is where I get to explain my “style” of photography.

At first, I was really drawn to dark and moody photos. I tried to mimic that kind of editing style. Turns out, that kind of editing doesn’t really work for me across the board. I see it working well with couples and portraits, but it’s hard for me to see the dark and moodiness in weddings or family portraits (disclaimer- that’s just MY personal opinion).

So, for a while I tried to swap into the more light and airy editing. This style is super popular right now, and its goal is to mimic film photography. I tried that for a bit, but then realized that I didn’t enjoy it because I ENJOYED it, I only liked it because I saw really popular photographers using that style. That’s their style, but it’s not mine.

I began trying to decide what MY style was, instead of just copying the styles of what I saw other photographers doing… and ladies and gentlemen, I found it!

Part of my style is posing – I do not like poses. Sometimes I use them, because they are easy. MOST of the time, however, I try to capture natural and authentic emotions and movement. That, in my opinion, is what photography is about – capturing your subject in their true form.

(I may write a more in-depth post about this later)

Anyway, here are some before and after’s using these presets…


This one is personal and kinda silly, but I LOVE water. I drink water like all the time, mainly because I have chronic allergies and I HAVE to drink water or my voice doesn’t work right. I always have a water bottle with me EVERYWHERE I go.

Also, cute water bottles are fun to carry around everywhere. Makes people thing you’re a ~health~ person.


I got this water bottle from TJ Maxx for around $10. They have the best water bottles there.



This one is a personal one as well. I’m not athletic. I’m not competitive. I’m not a super active, high-energy person. I like to eat. I like to nap. I like to lay on the couch and do nothing. I’ve never had a problem with my health or weight, but since high school I have always tried to get into some exercise routine, and every time I’ll last about a month.

Until now!

In March, I started walking my dog, Zoey, at the lake. She LOVES walking, and it was good stress relief for me. After a few weeks of walking Zoey a few days a week, I began running a few days as well as walking Zoey a few days each week. As the weather started warming up, Zoey wasn’t able to walk as far without getting tired, but I was already in the habit of being active a few days a week, so I just kept running by myself. I’ve gone a few months of running 3-4 days a week, and I am starting to turn into one of ~those~ people who love running. Someone I never would’ve imagined I would be.


Maybe I’ll write another blog post on that later.

One thing I’ll say right now (and maybe I’ll go more into in a future blog post) is that if you NEED or WANT to get active – whether for health or weight related reasons, it is all completely about your attitude. In the past, I viewed exercise as something I HAD to do, because I was unhappy with the way I looked. When I started walking Zoey, I was doing it because I enjoyed it. And then I kept walking, and also began running, because I started to love the way it made me feel.

Any form of exercise must be viewed as something you enjoy – a celebration of what your body can do, not punishment for what it can’t do (or doesn’t look like).


Now that I’ve mentioned her, the next thing I love is…


I’m obsessed. Zoey visited my blog a little while ago and wrote about what it’s like to be her, that you can read here.

She is the perfect little companion, the best practice model, and the most trustworthy secret keeper.

Yes, I am absolutely a weird dog mom person, and I don’t care. Zoey is my best friend.

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So those are just a few things! If you’ve made it this far, pat yourself on the back. Thanks for caring about what I have to say.

I’m trying to blog more about my life and photography journey, so be looking out for some more posts soon :-)