Category Archives: Personal

I hope you had the time of your life. {Candid children’s photography by Songbird Photography}

Hello there.

children's photography
Have I told you how very much I love being an auntie? A few weeks ago, while my Sissy and Broseph were on vacation, I had the joy of watching the boys. Somewhere between dropping the parents off at the airport and Gabey Baby going swimming in a public bathroom’s toilet, I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?”

But, we made it work. Not only did we make it work, we thrived. We had an enormous amount of fun and snacks and giggles and playtime and learning and snuggling and adorable moments of which I tried to capture.
children's photography

Seriously, I love just spending time with kids and families in their natural habitat, photographing them just doing their thing. Like… I LOVE it. Nothing makes me happier.

One day, maybe, this is all I will do. Maybe you will welcome me into your home and we will have a session over animal crackers and playtime. One day, some day.

But for now, I will keep my day job and cherish moments like this with my family, my friends, and my clients (who basically become my family and friends), share them with you, and take every chance to capture honest moments with authentic emotions during our fun times together.

children's photography

Until next time-

South Carolina Portrait Photographer

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Orange Fanta on the Hilltop

You may or may not know, but I recently traveled to the lovely Nicaragua with 6 high schoolers and another adult for 10 days. We worked primarily with youth leadership development programs (aka partnered with a local church and helped their youth leaders create programs for the city and invested in them emotionally, spiritually, and relationally to be stronger, more authentic leaders). That being said, there was a morning when we woke at 3 am to feed the local homeless teens and plenty of ministry, service, and lessons in faith and humility.

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My moment of humility came when I was picking up sticky juice pouches of the ground at a school for children who have learning disabilities, are deaf, or need more specialized attention. My moment of pride come from seeing my students serve a community with compassion, positivity, and authenticity. To see them face their fears, step out of their comfort zones, and take a step into the woman they were created to be. That was a pretty good high.

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A lot of beautiful things happened in those 10 days. We saw salvations, healings, and emotional breakthroughs. People let go of their past and pressed on towards a promising future. Students crossed a cultural or language barrier to be one body for the kingdom. Leaders let their pride and agenda fall to the wayside to learn about flexibility and collaboration. Locals and non-locals learned to find common ground, even if it was with the help of Google translator or what felt like the longest round of charades.

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Of course, none of us would be here without the help of others. I have a wonderful community of support (both financial and prayerful) who brought myself and these students to the land of lakes and volcanoes. A place where the stoves always have a pot of gallo pinto, the showers are cold (or room temperature at least), the people are kind, and a small team from America received the best hospitality they could have dreamed of. Thanks to everyone who was generous to grant us financial or thoughtful support. We couldn’t have done this without your help and God’s hand. We hope to have left the city of Matagalpa a little more inspired or challenged. We know that’s how we felt as we sat on a plane, exhausted, pumped with coffee, plantains, and a small sugar high from the tres leeches cake the night prior.

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And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9-11

Money Talks {South Carolina Family Photographer}

Dear Valued Client,

I know you work hard, play hard, and live well.  I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but I do want to have an honest conversation about money- specifically how it may affect our relationship moving forward.

Great family photography

In efforts to make sure I have a stable business, I had to make some changes to my pricing structure for this year.  After hours of research and mathematical equations, I realized that my earlier model was not sustainable, profitable, or the best use of our time. Because I want to maintain the platform for affordable photography (which in this industry varies based on your location, but in my book, should be something you could save up for in a month) that captures authentic moments between loved ones, I had to take a good hard look at expenses, check my gut, and crunch some numbers.

Great family photography

After all that time, deliberation, discussion, and prayer, I came up with 4 package options to meet a variety of needs and budgets.  The quest to create an affordable option that encourages repeat purchases within a year and provides a livable wage was challenging.  I want to thank you in advance for your understanding, consideration, and support.  While I hope the new pricing model does not discourage you from future bookings, I do hope it helps you understand the value in our sessions and my approach to try and build the business successfully, so I can continue to photograph you and your loved ones for years to come.  A house cannot stand on a shaky foundation and neither can a business.

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For more information about pricing and discounts available, you can click here.

Thanks again for your time, understanding, and support for Songbird Photography.  Looking forward to our next session together.

South Carolina Portrait Photographer

Tis the Season {Charleston Area Photographer}

The year 2014 is going to bring all sorts of great things.  I am confident of that.  At this point, I don’t know if it will bring me full-time business, a new job, better relationships, another puppy (yes- conversations about this are in the works), or more home improvement projects. No matter what, I know it will bring something new and exciting.

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Last year, it was a trip to Germany and a new house.  This year… who knows.

Newlyweds in germany, lovejoyvoyage

So here is to a season of uncertainty, a winter that has felt like a spring, a spring that will feel like a summer, and a year that will be awesome.  What kind of things do you do when you’re unsure of what is next?

Things I am Thankful For {Carolina Portrait Photographer}

When you are around the Thanksgiving table, do you ever play the game where you get to say what you are thankful for?  I do.  And then I get sad because my turn is over and there is still so much to say.  So.. you’re welcome.  Here is my unfiltered list of gratitude, in no particular order.

    1. I am thankful for my hubby.  He is funny, and lovely, and always so kind to do the dishes and let me watch my favorite show while it is halftime.  I feel like we have a whole adventure ahead of us and I can’t wait to go through it together, with a bag of Doritos, our pooch, and some giggling along the way.

      Photo courtesy of Kristin Burke Photography

    2. For people who make me a better person.  Whether it is through my small group with a bunch of teenage girlies, my prayer warriors, the Bull Street Four, or my best friend, I am so incredibly indebted to them.  They refine me, remind me, and always challenge me to continue growing, loving, and pursuing the things that God has called me to do.
    3. My dog.  May girl is so sweet and wonderful to me; she sleeps on my toes at night so they stay warm and always greets us with a smile (or some dirty toy, which is just as wonderful  an offering).Family photographer, charleston, sc, songbird photography
    4. My inherited family.  Kyle’s family is pretty great.  They are easy-going, accommodating, and love to just hang out.  I always appreciate that our time together is all quality time… you know, teasing each other, sharing old stories, playing games and eating cheese.  There always seems to be a lot of cheese and wine when we get together.
    5. My parents.  You can see why by clicking here.Family photographer, charleston, sc, songbird photography
    6. For the joy in my life and the love in my heart.  Loving people doesn’t come naturally to me, but I am grateful for a Creator that fills my heart with it every day.  I always wanted to be a wise, happy person.  I am thankful for every moment that brings me closer to that and takes me further from foolish and cranky.  Having a Savior really makes a difference (I am super grateful for that too).
    7. For food.  I really like it.  I am really glad to just put on a pair of stretchy pants and eat my way through a city… or a house.  As a result, I am super thankful for Thanksgiving so I can celebrate all things culinary with the Carpenters this year!
    8. My Sissy, Broseph, and Malachi.  They are always wonderfully welcoming and reaffirming forces.  There is nothing like having a person in your life that will end every conversation with an “I love you” and start every visit with a 10 minute squeeze.Family photographer, charleston, sc, songbird photography
    9. Quiet moments in the morning.  Typically, I like noise.  I can’t stand silence and talk through a movie.  I can’t help it… I think conversation is the beat of life.  That being said, there is something wonderful about quiet times in the morning with a cup of joe in one hand, a journal or scripture in the other, and the hope of the day to come.  It is in those moments that I get clarity and vision, things incredibly necessary in my scattered, busy brain.
    10. My camera, Click-Click.  I come from a line of storytellers and creatives.  Having Click-Click in my hands helps make up for what my voice can’t say and my hands can’t create.

Happy Birthday to You! {Charleston, SC based children’s photographer}

Dear Malachi,

You are amazing.  You bring so much joy and wonder and fabulousness into this world!  I am so thankful to be called your Auntie Sissy!  I pretty much feel like every sentence in this post should end in an exclamation point to try to capture the excitement I have right now!  You are wickedly fun, ridiculously cute, and wildly entertaining.  May your hair continue to turn a little more red and your smile never stop:)

Happy 2nd birthday Malachi Liam.  Thanks to you and your parents for making our lives a lot sweeter!

Children's photography

World, Meet My Parents {Southeastern Portrait Photographer}

I don’t know how to start this.  Half of me is exploding with joy and love for these two people and the other half wants to write something very kind, poetic, and straight from a daughter’s heart about the lovebirds I call parents.Couples photography by Songbird Photography

So, when in doubt, I go to what I am best at, making lists.  Ladies and gentleman, my top 10 favorite things about the Herrells:

  1. They are super loyal.  When you are in with the Herrells, you are in.  Holiday shirts and all.
  2. They have been married for over 40 years.  I know my folks have gone through the ringer in their marriage, but at the end of the day, they still snuggle, laugh, and eat out like they are dating.
  3. They still dream together.  Most recently, they are dreaming about retirement with a house on the lake.
  4. Their stories of yesteryear.  I love to get my dad started telling stories about them dating, he gets animated, her eyes start to roll, and the same story gets better and better.
  5. They once got in a fight and my dad said to my mom, “You make me see red” because he was so angry.  He came home and she dyed her long hair bright red.  It’s been a shade of ginger ever since.
  6. My mom is stubborn and nurturing.  My dad is the world’s best storyteller and has a keen sense of leverage.
  7. They were the first to invest in my photography business and continue to be my top supporters.  They bought me my first camera and the only pictures in the house are ones I  have taken; it’s really sweet to have my own free gallery.
  8. They would give me the world if they could.
  9. My dad is such a smart and hard worker.  He taught me everything I know about managing money, saving, dedication and a good work ethic.  In my eyes, there is nothing he can’t do.
  10. My mom taught me how to care for people.  She has a side to her that is committed love and compassion.  When I get upset, she’s the only one who can calm me down and make me realize the world isn’t going to end, I just have to remember to breathe.

Couples photography by Songbird Photography

I’m sure everyone loves their parents.  I feel fortunate enough to actually really like mine too.  From Tuesday nights watching Gilmore Girls, to playing hooky to see the newest space themed movie with my dad, my parents are my pals, my support system, and this week, the best models a gal can ask for.