|Hi, I'm Julie ... artist, photographer, potter, etc. I am so happy you are here! I consider this blog my creative journal where I can share my recent work, ideas and dreams, and lots of little details about my life. Please make yourself at home. Whether you are a bride-to-be, a photographer, or just a visitor, I hope you will find inspiration here and even become a friend.|
So this is going to be a huge post. I want to begin by sharing just a little bit about my plans for the coming year. When I began my business in 2006 I had no idea what I was in for! It has been such an adventure! Every year I love what I do more and more ... and each year I learn more about myself as a business person as well as an artist. My "job" is to observe and document life's most beautiful moments ... and I am blessed with this task. However, I have to say that 2010 was a really hard year for me and my business. While there was a lot of positive growth, there was also a lot of opportunity for me to grow from mistakes. Those lessons are often the hardest to learn. As a result I am looking at 2011 with a fresh perspective. This year is going to be full of changes for me and these are changes that I will welcome with open arms.
The first major change is that I will be getting married in April and moving to Lexington, KY. I am so happy to officially announce this here! Lexington will not be our permanent, long term home. But for now its going to work out perfectly for both of us and I am excited to share more with you once the details come together.
Major change #2 is that I will still be doing weddings in Knoxville - its only 2 hours away - but I will be taking a very limited number of clients this year. In fact, I only have three spaces left available for the whole year.
The third, and perhaps, most difficult change is that I will not be taking any new portrait clients for 2011. I am also limiting the number of portrait sessions (families, kids, babies, etc) that I will do with current clients.
The final major change (that I know of) is one that I am really excited to talk about but can't share too much about yet. One of the main reasons I am taking few clients and slowing down with sessions is because I want to be able to devote more of myself to the clients I have. I don't want to just take photos and crank out disks. I want to invest more of my time creating art. The busier and busier I have gotten over the last few years the less and less satisfied I have felt with my work. I want to have the time to get creative ... to work with my hands ... to have new ideas and develop them. I will be doing more than just photography. Very soon you will see lots of changes in my website that will reflect some of these ideas and I am so excited to see where it goes from here!
For my first blog of 2011 I'd like to make it all about me! Its been a long time since I posted anything too personal and that's something I want to do more frequently. And since I didn't make time to do it at all in 2010 ... this will have to be a big re-cap!
So ... here we go.
I began 2010 with a lot of traveling. In January I took a very exciting trip to San Diego, California - one of my favorite places in the world! I visited with good friends and attended the Jessica Claire photography workshop. It was refreshing and a wonderful way to start my year.
In February Nick and I went to NYC - another one of my favorite places in the world. We were so busy the whole time we were there ... visiting friends and family. My favorite part of the trip was seeing my friend Alli in the Broadway performance of HAIR! It was amazing.
I also got to visit with Travis one of my best friends from college. He was so generous to let us stay at his Brooklyn apartment. It was SO MUCH FUN and every time I visit New York I want to move there.
This next picture is so funny. So ... Nick and I were going to spend a day with my niece and nephews and we decided to get creative. It was so cold outside so this photo shoot was very quick. We spent more time making the costumes than taking the pictures! But I loved that day.
The next two images are just a couple of the renovations that Nick completed this year with his partner company BrokenFork Design. They do amazing, creative work and I am so proud of him!
In April 2010 we took a trip to Ocala, FL to visit with Nick's Aunt Colleen and his cousins Erin & Ryan. This is Bridget ... and the best smelling orange tree in the world.
Colleen lived in a tudor style home that she named Rose Cottage. It was beautiful!!! I am so glad we visited because she sold the house later that year.
My neice Emma turned 3 in May. I had the bright idea to do some photos with balloons. There were some pretty hilarious moments getting those balloons in the car. If I tried to tell the story here it just wouldn't seem as funny. Don't you hate that. Just suffice it to say that it was probably my biggest laugh of the year. Really.
I love pottery and I really didn't get to make as much time for it this year as I would have liked. I did however work on making my first plates in May . Nick helped me to glaze some of these.
The whole first half of the year, my darling Sadie girl was very sick with ear infections. I tried everything and nothing would help. Finally the time came to make a tough decision and I decided to put Sadie through a very invasive surgery to have her ear canals removed. She did wonderfully through the procedure but had some complications the following week. The healing process was slow and difficult. Poor, sweet girl.
In May, Nick and I went to Michigan to visit his family. Here is Nick with his Granny and Papa. Aren't they the cutest ever?! We got to see them again at Christmas and they are so sweet! They tell me that they keep up with me by reading the blog.
(Hi Granny and Papa!!! Thank you so much for all the gifts!! Nick LOVED his record player and those candlestick holders were absolutely beautiful!!!)
This is Nick's family (left to right) Andy, Maureen, Steve, Melissa, and Nick.
Oh, and today is Melissa's birthday - Happy Birthday to her!
Some sad news. On June 28, 2010 my dear friend Jamie passed away. This is a photo from her wedding of us and some of my best friends in the world. Losing Jamie was shocking and tragic. I miss her dearly.
Cole, Eli, Thomas and Emma at the zoo.
This was fun. Nick and I visited Nashville last summer and we were driving by this field. The light was perfect and it was just beautiful so we pulled over on the side of the road and did a little photo shoot of each other. We are just spontaneous photo taking people. It was SO hot and itchy (I hated how it was last summer!!) but I really love these photos of us!
Another one of Nick's projects that was completed last year.
Oh, one really exciting and new thing that I tried last year was being a member of a CSA (community supported agriculture). I had a membership with Mountain Meadow Farms and I loved it. Every week I got to pick up a fresh box of seasonal fruits and veggies. I always had enough to share. I got to try things I had never had before and I learned new recipes. I will definitely do this again this summer!
The highlight of my year was definitely in September when Nick took me on a weekend surprise trip to Charleston. Let me just say that I wish I could relive that weekend over and over again. I'll let the pictures do the talking.
You can read the engagement story below and click "play" to see the design for the book that I made Nick for Christmas.
We attended the World Equestrain Games in Lexington. We saw the jumping event and it was so much fun.
For my birthday I took a little day trip to Biltmore with my mom and dad. We rode bicycles and ate delicious food.
The Garden House ... another one of Nick's renovations!
For Halloween Nick and I spent the weekend at Cumberland Falls State Park. It was so nice to be somewhere quiet and peaceful.
Bonfire with my family! Fall is my favorite time of year!
And here is my sweet Sadie lady! She healed up from the surgery and then had another bout with infection. She almost didn't make it but I am happy to report that she has been infection free for two entire months. She is feeling very good these days and happily snoring at my feet this very minute. She is full of love and she brings me so much joy. She completed obedience training in October and passed her test with flying colors! I am so proud of her and every day that I have with her I consider a blessing. I love my girl.
I also love my Bailey boy ... he is so handsome!!! Independent, smart as a whip, and extremely protective ... Bailey watches over the whole house and makes me feel safe at night. He is my true companion.
This is Basil. Have you ever seen a cat drool? Basil drools when you give him attention. He begs for attention ... and if you ignore him he will pounce on you.
And this one is Little Mouse. He is a fancy, fluffy boy. He is more independent than Basil. But he is quite playful and very curious.
For Thanksgiving my mom helped me do dinner at my house. All my family and best friends came. It was one of my favorite days of 2010. Unfortunately there are no photos from that day because I was too busy to take any. We actually had our Tennessee party the Saturday before Thanksgiving so Nick and I could travel to Michigan on the actual holiday. Nick's is very lucky to still have his great grandparents. His great grandmother who he calls "Ma" is 93 and she is the sweetest lady ever. She loves to show pictures and tell stories but my favorite thing is that she calls Nick "Nicky" and that is just adorable. For years Nick's family has celebrated Thanksgiving at her house and I was so happy to get to be there this year.
This next photo is so special to me because one of the things I love most about Nick is how much he loves his family. He always wants to visit with everyone when we go to Michigan and he just loves to sit and chat about anything for hours. While everyone else was busy doing dishes or watching ball games ... this was Nick spending time with Ma.
Christmas for us was a little crazy. We really wanted to spend Christmas together but didn't want to have to choose to be with only one of our families. So we did both. On Christmas Eve we went to my brother's house. My youngest nephew Eli said the blessing and specifically thanked God for my sister Camie and her boyfriend Matt. It was really random and hilarious. Eli is so funny! That night Nick and I managed to drive to Lexington despite the weather. Then on Christmas morning we were up early and on our way to Michigan. We made it just in time to to have dinner, exchange gifts, and play trivial persuit with his mom's side of the family. It was so much fun. Don't hate me but I don't have any Christmas photos to share!
This is my Mamaw and Papaw. Nick and I love to go to their house and cook for them. We spent New Years day with them eating stuffed peppers, black eyed peas, corn bread, hog jowls, and greens. We also played rook which is one of my favorite family traditions. This photo is actually from 2009 because I don't have a good one from 2010 - shame on me.
Okay, now I'll end this mega post with some images from our engagement session with the amazing Jennie Andrews
Nick and I love to ride our bicycles at the forks of the river greenway ... so I thought this would the perfect setting for our session. Jennie was so full of energy and kept us laughing the whole time. I loved our pictures long before we ever saw them just because I had such a good time. That day is such a good memory and this is exactly how I want to remember our time together as an engaged couple. This session was such an important experience for me because being on the other side of the lens gave me a lot of insight into what my clients feel. Jennie taught me so much and she didn't even realize it. I admire her so much and love what she did for us.
Alright ... its super late and I am sure there are going to be a ton of typos in this post, but I don't mind too much. I am done with 2010 and really excited about moving forward! I can't wait to share 2011 here with you! Stay tuned for a lot of really exciting new things!