Allison & Travis | Murfreesboro Maternity Photographer

I love, love, love being called to document my couples’ stories – those that start with engagement photos & beautiful weddings only sweeten as there are little ones added to the mix. That’s where Allison & Travis are now – patiently (or maybe not quite) awaiting the arrival of their little Thomas.

I can’t wait to meet the little guy, myself but while we waited we got together to document this time in their lives. This season of pregnancy that undoubtedly feels never-ending to Allison, but in reality goes so fast. What a gorgeous mama, right? Although it was SO cold, we made the best of it, got lucky with some beautiful winter light & shot fast! Enjoy a few of my favorites!

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FAQ | How Do You Travel with Gear?

Welcome to another round of FAQ! This time its a question I get whenever someone notices that I’ve been to such places as New Mexico, Haiti, California, South Carolina & Iceland.

How do you travel with your gear?

Short Answer: On my person, always.

When it comes to traveling I’m always game & because its part of who I am – I always want to document it. While I firmly believe the best camera is the one you have with you & sometimes that means an iPhone wins the day – when I can plan to have my real gear with me, I do so. However, this often means thinking through the best way to protect & transport my gear through airports, crowds, & a variety of outdoor environments.

Anytime I’m given the option I keep my gear on my person or within reach. This means I don’t ever check it voluntarily. It means I rarely leave it in hotels etc, even for the day. Throughout the years of traveling I’ve used a variety of bags to accomplish this – from my rolling ThinkTank which is carry-on sized for domestic flights (but a beast to maneuver into the overhead bins) to my most recent (& favorite) backpack – the F-Stop Kashmir. I decided a while ago that with the exception of destination weddings (where I require my full kit) a backpack was the way to go for me. I like the maneuverability of a backpack & having both hands free.  I’ve used several options – a couple LowePro’s served me well for a while but I’ve moved onto the Kashmir now & its customization options + day-pack options + ultralight material without sacrificing ruggedness, make it ideal.

Jamin & I in Iceland – hiking on a glacier with Kashmir 🙂

When thinking through traveling I consider where I’m going & what I’ll be photographing. I try to bring the *right* gear & not much more. Ample CF cards & a way to back-up data is also vital. After that its all about protecting the gear from the inevitable bumps & bruises in a well-padded bag or pack, being aware of physical stressors your environment might put on your gear & then keeping it within sight at all times.

While I personally have never had any issues while traveling I’ve heard multiple horror stories of people unzipping bags & snatching pieces of gear from streets & even walking through crowded airports. One of the security features of the Kashmir that drew me to it is the zipper for the camera compartment faces my back – so I have to either take the bag off or buckle the hip belt & swing the bag around – to get to my gear. Some people would hate this but for me it provides peace of mind. As an added measure I can zip the inner padded compartment if need be which would put two zippered compartments between my gear & the outside world. I can also zip & remove that compartment if I needed to, which is an awesome feature in the event that I need more of a day pack & less camera bag. Plus its pretty comfortable with the waist belt & padded straps.

When flying I make sure to pay attention to the carry-on dimensions & weights but thus far I’ve never had an issue (not even with WOW Air flying to Iceland which is notorious for being super strict). I’ve only ever been asked to gate check my gear once & when I explained (kindly but firmly) to the flight attendant the amount of gear & money inside the bag & that I would need their name & contact info – they found someone else who was willing to gate check ;). Most people don’t want to be responsible for your gear – they get it.

Inside hotels, hostels etc I don’t leave my gear lying around if there’s going to be other people in & out of the room. I keep the bags zipped & out of sight as much as possible or at the very least neatly packed. I try not to draw attention to the expensive gear – especially in lower income areas or countries as this could be a temptation.

I do my best to be cognizant of the environment & carry things that will protect or help me minimize the wear & tear on my gear.

In Iceland – moisture is a problem – so a few months before we left I started collecting the packets of Silica Gel that often come in shipped packages & I tossed them in my camera bag. These things are designed to absorb moisture & they did! I through my extras in a zip-lock & traded them out when they got full. In a place like Iceland there’s no avoiding the water – it comes down, comes up & comes at you – so you just gotta find a way to deal. Professional level cameras are built tough so while I try to manage direct water exposure – they can actually take more than we think. Also in Iceland the cold was an issue – it zaps batteries & can cause fogging issues when going from a warm vehicle to the icy outdoors. I carried my extra batteries in the interior pockets of my coat – as close to my body heat as possible & tried to lessen the number of times I went from heat to cold & back rapidly. This is also one of the reasons I put filters on my lenses – so that when condensation happens its happening on the filter, not on the actual lens.

In Haiti heat was an issue – there is no getting cool in Haiti so I didn’t have to worry about the fluctuations so much but it was just hot & damp. So, again I put Silica Gel packets in my camera bag.

In Charleston sand was an issue. Any photographer will tell you that a couple grains of sand in the wrong places can ruin your whole day & possibly your whole camera so its a big concern. I did my absolute best to not change lenses while on the beach & avoided sitting my camera down on the sand for any reason.

Beyond that I carry good insurance! Because you can’t prevent everything & worrying too much will suck the fun out of any adventure! My business insurance is through State Farm & I have theft protection. Thankfully I’ve never had to test it but it provides peace of mind when I’m gallivanting around the world.

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Bae Maternity | Stones River Maternity Photographer

It just doesn’t get any more gorgeous than this mama-to-be! Kat & David trusted me in sub-freezing temperatures & walked across a battlefield & out into overgrown fields to document this season of anticipation in their lives! I think you’ll agree it was worth it! Enjoy a few of my favorites!

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Amelia Vance | Murfreesboro Newborn Photographer

Every time I photograph a newborn I think ‘If only we could remember these times as we grow – we’d never doubt we are loved.’ This has never been truer than for little Amelia – she is clearly adored by not only her parents but by her big brother! I had such a great time with the Vance family the day after Christmas, enjoy a few of my favorites.

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2017 Bucket List Update!

Reviewing my ‘Bucket List’ used to be a yearly tradition I looked forward to. Then – well life happened & it got pretty dark for a while & lots of traditions I loved fell by the wayside. But given the changes that 2017 brought I thought this was the time to bring it back! So… in honor of my 34th birthday tomorrow (yikes) I’m reviewing my bucket list.

The numbers that were marked off or altered since my last review are: 3, 8, 10, 11, 21, 60, 64, 67, 70, 73, 74!

 

Bucket List

  1. Visit all 50 US states (35 (up from 30) down, 15 to go)
  2. See 5 out of 7 continents (1 down, Stood on Eurasia, 4 to go)
  3. Skydive  jumped again this year with my future husband & it was every bit as awesome.
  4. Praise God from a Mountaintop.
  5. Witness a falling star
  6. Have Boudoir shots I’m proud of
  7. Learn to make Gran’s biscuits – working on it
  8. Witness the Northern Lights  Iceland – 5 out of 7 nights – they did NOT disappoint. 
  9. Write a love letter to all my loved ones
  10. Fill my home with mine or my Grandy’s art.
  11. Turn my passion into a career (getting there, getting there)
  12. Get my passport stamped before I’m 30.  Did this in Honduras
  13. See Ground Zero (NYC Blog Post)
  14. See the Statue of Liberty
  15. See the Eiffel Tower
  16. See our Nation’s Capitol
  17. See the pyramids
  18. See the Great Wall of China
  19. Experience Arlington Cemetery
  20. Experience utter silence
  21. Restore my relationship with my little brother. 
  22. Build/Buy our dream home (looking this direction in the coming years)
  23. Be completely debt free (nearly there)
  24. Sing my heart out in front of a crowd.
  25. Experience the sunrise by choice
  26. Get fluent in ASL
  27. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
  28. Live in a place where English is not the native language
  29. Go on a cruise 
  30. See a kangaroo & a koala in their natural habitat
  31. Make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem & Jesus’ tomb
  32. Skinny dip w/J.
  33. See a whale in the wild
  34. See the launch of a space shuttle
  35. Learn how to take a compliment
  36. Experience New Years Eve in NYC
  37. Write a will
  38. Donate an organ to someone in need
  39. See a concentration camp & never forget
  40. Ski a double black diamond run
  41. Read the Bible front to back
  42. Experience a successful marriage (seems like 2018 & beyond will be the year).
  43. Finally finish & receive my passport
  44. Make a substantial donation to a charity, anonymously.
  45. Swim with sea turtles. (2018 will be the year – I can feel it)
  46. Experience a sea turtle hatching & racing for the ocean
  47. Attend my High School reunion & be proud
  48. Forgive myself
  49. Join the Mile High Club
  50. Kiss an older stranger just to see his reaction
  51. Send a message in a bottle
  52. Drive down Highway 101 (West Coast Hwy)
  53. See the Seattle Space Needle
  54. See/photograph a tornado in real life (from a safe distance I hope)
  55. Experience a real-life ghost town
  56. See Rockefeller Plaza (NYC)
  57. Get my motorcycle license
  58. Get my handgun carry permit
  59. See Gettysburg
  60. See Fort Sumter B-Day trip w/Mom to Charleston
  61. See Pearl Harbor (2018 hopefully)
  62. See the Serengeti
  63. See a lighthouse (St. Augustine)
  64. See the Golden Gate Bridge  The Bridge & Yosemite
  65. See the Brooklyn Bridge
  66. See Central Park in NYC
  67. Publish the photography of a wedding
  68. See an Opera
  69. See a Broadway play on Broadway
  70. Ride a mechanical bull
  71. Go Zorbing
  72. Experience zero gravity
  73. Go on a mission trip to a foreign country  Haiti – which changed my life forever.
  74. See a live volcano
  75. See the Grand Canyon
  76. See Las Vegas
  77. See New Zealand
  78. Dog-sled
  79. Experience the rain forest (Belize)
  80. Attend the Olympic Opening Ceremonies
  81. See the giant Sequoias
  82. See Old Faithful
  83. Spend a whole day doing nothing, with zero guilt.
  84. Photograph the Galapagos Islands.
  85. Create photographs that matter
  86. Ride in a helicopter
  87. Zipline through the forest
  88. Shoot a wedding in another country
  89. Lobster Fest in Maine
  90. Take a Ferry ride. 
  91. Run in the Color Run.
  92. Finish a 365 Photo-a-day project.
  93. Swim in the Nile.
  94. Swim in the Amazon.
  95. See the Great Pyramid of Giza
  96. See Stonehenge
  97. Stand on the Equator
  98. See the Colosseum
  99. Photograph the Lantern Festival in China
  100. Camera Trophy of a Moose
  101. Camera Trophy of an Elephant
  102. Camera Trophy of a Lion
  103. Camera Trophy of a Tiger
  104. Camera Trophy of a Buffalo
  105. Camera Trophy of a Whale
  106. Camera Trophy of a Sea Turtle
  107. Photograph the Grand Tetons
  108. Visit all 59 National Parks (7 out of 59 thus far)
  109. See the Southern Lights

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  • GranDecember 27, 2017 - 2:56 pm

    Wow. That is quite a bucket list. My wish for u is that you accomplish each one of them. Love ya!!!ReplyCancel

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