Okay I figured it was time for a personal post this time. It’s been a little while and frankly I’m just in that kind of mood. So I have seen several professional photographers post monthly favorite blogs and I have gotten inspiration from close friends and fellow photographers of mine. As much as there has been going on lately, I know that most of my many clients have come to really enjoy getting to know me personally and follow my blog. There have been clients that said they hired me not only because of my work but because they loved how they felt a personal connection with me from reading my posts. I feel the same way sometimes when I am hiring someone to do something for me. I want to feel like I know people as well as possible, so I am excited to share some of the things that have been making me smile over the past few weeks.

RELAX – So the month of August has definitely been a crazy month for shooting and most of all for traveling. Matt and I have traveled every single weekend so far this month, each time to a different lake house of either our friends or family. This past weekend we headed up to Sand Lake to our friend Tim’s. It’s one of our absolute favorite places to be and we’ve been partying up there for years. It was Matt and I and our big group of friends that all head up for a weekend on the water. It’s the one place that we go where I really feel like we get to relax and not think about anything other than what we are going to drink and what toy we are going to ride. We had 3 Sea Doos, 2 stand up jet skis, a super sexy malibu wakesetter, and a keg. We were set. On top of it all… we get to watch the most amazing sunsets on that lake. I don’t think that there has been one time in the last 6 years where there wasn’t a great sunset while we were there.

LISTEN – It’s not any breaking news that I listen to A TON of music. ALL THE TIME. I almost can’t do anything without having music playing. Lately Dave Barnes has found his way into my headphones quite often. His words and tones have been really good medicine for me and it has been good for everything from when I need to de-stress and reflect on all the crap to when I am editing a bazillion photo shoots and need motivation. It instantly fills my whole house with a really warm feeling when his voice comes on. Music is such a part of who I am and my soul so I have a feeling that there will most likely be a “Listen” category in all of my Rave Lists.

SHARE – If you don’t know what Instagram is…. or haven’t at least heard the word.. then there’s really no excuse and I can’t help you.. For everyone else, you obviously know about this fabulous smart phone app that has everyone addicted. I have been using it for a while now and it’s just been something that I liked and when I felt like making one of my photos look kinda cool I would use it.. but over the past month I have been obsessed all of the sudden.It’s a super quick way for me to share my photos on all of my social accounts without having to post it to each one. I love being able to share my images and memories with friends instantly and enjoying theirs as well. I love getting a little glimpse in everyones day and how they are seeing the world. I feel like I have had so many incredible experiences lately and I have been having trouble controlling myself from sharing everything I see.

STYLE –  I may not be the prissy, designer bag carrying, UGGs and a skirt wearing (GROSS!) kind of girl… but I admit I am a sucker for a killer pair of shoes! Fall is on its way here… as sad as it is, I know we can all feel it. Upside… BOOT season. I have been craving a pair of these kickass madden boots. In a lot of ways, I can’t wait for Fall and this is one of the reasons. You will very often see me in a pair of boots and a leather jacket. So I may not look like I’m ready to sit down for tea but I’ve been told I pull of the whole sexy chick thing pretty well 😉

GIVE – We recently went to grand rapids to see a certain band that we like (you’ll read about it in the next section) and hung out with them a little. Their Merchandise manager, Brock is a really cool guy and has started up an amazing non-profit organization called A DREAM 2 BELIEVE that he is president of and its pretty fantastic. Just like the popular brand, TOMS, where when you buy a pair of shoes they give a pair to someone in need, A DREAM 2 BELIEVE gives a shirt to a child in need for every shirt sold. Not only is the merch really sweet, but it’s run by and supported by great people. I have bought mine and I can’t wait to get it in the mail and wear it… YOUR TURN!! Please check them out at ADream2Believe.com and find them on Facebook and Twitter!

CONNECT – Usually these guys would normally make it into the LISTEN department but tonight it’s a little different. If you haven’t heard of the band THE CAB, then you’re missing out big time. I started listening to them over three years ago when they were playing in the basement of Clutch Cargos in pontiac and there were MAYBE a hundred people there.  I’ll never forget when Matt and I started dating and it hadn’t even been a week yet when we were sitting in his car out in front of my moms house with “I’ll Run” playing through the car stereo. We both agree that we fell in love that night listening to their music. Since then Matt and I have literally NEVER missed a CAB show. If they come to Michigan, no matter what city or how long the drive is, we are there. I had been lucky enough to photograph some of their shows and get a chance to talk with them casually here and there. When Matt and I got engaged last year we knew our song would be I’ll Run and we are hopeful that it works out that they may be playing our wedding. We went and saw them play in Grand Rapids a couple weeks ago and after their set I went outside to make a phone call and ran into Alex. He stopped and gave me a hug and asked me what I was doing all the way in Grand Rapids, I was shocked that after how many people they meet and talk to that he would still remember me. We ended up going out to dinner with the rest of the guys and the crew and then partied on the bus with them for a few more hours. It all really felt surreal to me and at the same time it felt like we were just hanging out with friends. It was such an amazing night and it was a buzz that didn’t wear off for a while. We have watched them sell out bigger and bigger shows over the years and now they are getting ready to go on a world tour with Maroon 5 this September. We literally are watching each other dreams come true and its absolutely unreal. I really can’t find words to describe how amazing the guys are to their friends and their fans. We watch them stay after every single show for hours and meet every single fan, they stay up all night answering fan mail, and they make every person who comes in contact with them feel good. Everyone has shit they go through, for lack of better words. That night really couldn’t have come at a better time for me, I was in need of some good energy. It was so uplifting to be around these guys who are so positive, caring and considerate and most of all welcoming. I found myself on this high and I love the connection we have made with them.      A, M, J, D, C – we are so grateful for all of the hard work and passion you guys put into your music and your relationships. I can’t begin to tell you how excited, proud, and happy we are for you and everything you’ve done.  We look forward to every time we get to see you and we have had such an incredible time. This tour is going to be killer and all I can say is to be mindful of each moment. Soak it in and remember it forever. Thank you guys for the love and all the experience. We consider you guys friends of ours and you should know that we will always be here and that you have family here in the mitten 🙂