May Recap + June Goals

May, what a gift you were to me.  Where early spring brought challenges of anxiety, an emergency business overhaul, sadness, and deep, difficult, but freeing spiritual work, you, May, have brought me this:

  • laughter
  • a settled feeling of joy 
  • knowing that I am known and loved
  • feeling empowered from taking a stand (even though it felt like crumbling)
  • feeling more like my true self
  • sunny summery skies and beautiful thunderstorms

In early spring I pulled a plug from my business and stopped taking new clients.  Then, when things were still really rough physically and emotionally, I decided to let several of my clients go from their contracts (#humbling).  This space allowed me time to assess the direction of my life, assess the things I was running from (using mainly my business as the excuse), and to heal.  Like really, deeply, quietly and slowly heal.  I'm still healing.  It's not glamorous, it's not an envy-causing or identity-boosting image on Instagram.  It's not 100 likes, or a new thing I'm doing.  It's just real, beautiful life with the real people I love.  

So, here's a little recap of some of the goings-on of a healing May:

  • 6 weddings
  • 1 senior photo shoot in Beaufort, NC with my HAMU besties, Joanne and Michelle
  • A little bit of rest time in Beaufort tagged on
  • Reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequest
  • A date night with my man to Foundation & Brewery Bhavana (both are a must-try!)
  • A date afternoon at Jubala - we love the one on Hillsborough because it's close to our house and has a great view of the Belltower
  • A trip to Lake Gaston with the Ray family, which was SO sweet and restful and green!
  • I was nominated for Southern Weddings Best of the South Wedding Awards (The Pineys!) for Best Hairstylist!  WHAT!  I am so honored!  If you haven't voted yet, it would mean so much if you would vote for me here!  Voting ends June 9th.  

 

JUNE HAPPENINGS

  • I'm turning 30!!!!  Woohoo!  I have no idea what is going on other than that John told me to save an entire week with no plans.  
  • 4 weddings
  • 3 trials
  • Enjoying home
  • The Piney's will be announced!

How has your start to summer been?  Anything you are planning for or looking forward to in June?

With lots of love,

Sam

 

Three looks for the Everyday Girl

It is so important to play and create things for fun when you are in the visual arts.  I had been finding myself scouring through images on Pinterest and noticed a bit of a gap between what I was naturally consuming (lifestyle - beauty, food, sacred moments) and what I was producing (bridal).   I was itching to create looks for my own portfolio that were non-bridal, but still extremely soft, romantic, and still within the realm of being achievable.  I envisioned a very simplistic backdrop with great light to let the hair, makeup, and personality of each girl take center stage.  I knew I wanted props, but only just a few. 

I love working with brides.  It is definitely a niche that requires a lot of warmth, listening, understanding, skill, patience, and love of the occasion.  Many times I feel like instead of styling,  I am treading in a sea of wedding-day-timeline matrices,  switching around schedules like domino pieces, and making sure everything will get done well and on time.  

One of the best pieces of advice that I have received is to create the art you want to see (thanks to Austin Kleon in his booklet Steal Like an Artist).  Some of my favorite ways to relax on my days off are to go to the farmer's market, get a cup of really really good coffee, and snuggle up with a book.  So I had this idea to create looks I would want to wear, for activities I enjoy, with a hint of romanticism.

I am so thankful that Nancy of Nancy Ray Photography said yes to this.  Quick background:  Nancy and I met in 7th grade and were best friends by 9th grade.  Even then, she would tell me "Sam, I want to be a photographer and have a studio in my house some day," and she would read books on photography technique.  That's Nancy for you, you guys.  She would always invite me to get in front of the camera as a guinea pig and for that reason too many blackmail photos and also my favorite life images exist.  

Brooke and Priscilla of the Mim's House were gracious hosts, and I am so thankful!  The Mim's house has beautiful, historic walls and great light, with plenty of space indoors and outdoors for all of us to move around.

Katie, Hannah Grace, and Kristin were so amazing to hop on board and let me create looks on them.  We chose items of clothing from their own wardrobe to keep things authentic and simple.  No false lashes or smoky eyes for this one.  Just real life!

 

I am so proud of the way these images turned out.  Nancy had the suggestion to go ahead and submit them, and Style Me Pretty Living was so wonderful to publish the hairstyles in particular with some tutorial steps from myself.  I hope everyone has enjoyed them!  And seriously - if you try one of these looks, can you tag or message or let me know somehow?!  I'd love to see!

A very special thank you to Nikelle of Wylde Flowers for her lovely bouquet, Stephanie Drummond for assisting in creative direction & styling, Aislinn Cobb for helping look after Kristen's beautiful kiddos, and my husband John for being there and cheering me on!

With blush & bobby pins,

Sam