When a client starts their email inquiry with, "I've been following you on Instagram for a while and absolutely love your style of photography!" you know it's going to be a really good session. Micaela and Hunter met five years ago while he was doing some work on her grandmother's house next door, and the rest is history. It was the sweetest story and so fun that they wanted to celebrate five years of dating with a portrait session! They both had such a calm and genuinely kind demeanor that was made my job easy. (My boyfriend) Hunter and I had such a blast exploring downtown Greer with these two, and they were so patient as I tried out my new step-stool and reflectors that just came in the mail! Happy Monday, friends!!
Hunter is a big Georgia fan, so we got to incorporate some team spirit in a few shots!
I've been really excited about this post! I finally have all the photos I took in Iceland with my professional camera edited and ready for you to see! This was such a great graduation gift, and a place I had been dreaming about visiting for a long while. It finally became a reality, and I'm still in shock that it actually happened. Read on for what we did, some cool pics, and a lil video that I put together at the end. Enjoy!
We were set to leave on an 8 pm direct flight. We made it all the way up the coast of Canada, and they had to turn the plane around to land the plane in Boston due to unexplained technical difficulties! It was a little scary at the time, but it turned into an overnight at a five-star hotel and $120 in food vouchers in Boston, and an unplanned day trip!
Day trip to Boston!! We took the train into the city and walked around, went to a fresh market, and sat in the park before using up our food vouchers at the hotel restaurant! Then, we hopped on another 8 pm flight bound for Iceland. This time without a hitch!
Arrived in Iceland 6:30 am their time but 1:30 am our internal clock time. Needless to say, we were TIRED! What better way to fight off the jet lag than a nice dip in the premier local hot spring, The Blue Lagoon? We headed there first, and it was absolutely amazing! We spent the rest of the day settling into our condo, taking a look around the city and grabbing a bite to eat at Rok before going to the top of Hallgrimskirkja for a spectacular view of Reykjavik. We slept well that night!
I spent the morning at the National Museum of Iceland learning all about the island's history and culture before grabbing a bite to eat at the University of Iceland cafeteria and taking a peek in their gift shop. It was a very cool campus! Then, we headed out for an afternoon adventure! We drove to Geysir (also a clothing brand in Iceland) and saw an active one called "Strokkur" (Icelandic for "churn") erupt before our eyes. Next, we headed to the most breathtaking (and very cold :)) place. It was a waterfall maybe even more majestic than Niagara Falls called Gullfoss which is Icelandic for "Golden Falls". The pictures don't do it justice. After that we head back to the Geysir Hotel for dinner!
This was arguably my favorite day! We saw so much as we traveled the Ring Road to all the iconic sites along the Golden Circle. We started out at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. So pretty! And we enjoyed donuts and coffee/tea at a little pop up stand by the falls. Next, we stopped at a little building on the side of the road that was showing informational videos on Iceland's active volcano, Eyjafjallajokull. This baby erupted back in 2010, and you might remember it from a few scenes in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Sounds nerdy, but man, it was a very cool video and so interesting how it affected all of Iceland and could happen again at any moment. Along the way we stopped to see wild Icelandic ponies, and everywhere I turned there were these adorable sheep and little lamb that I wanted to take home with me (just wait till you see). They were too cute!
Next, we stopped at probably my favorite spot in all of Iceland. Skogafoss is hard to beat, especially since you can take stairs to climb what otherwise would have been a treacherous hike to the top of the falls. You get a phenomenal view of the scenery, and it's unlike any other place I've visited.
A big way I actually found out about some beautiful places in Iceland that I wanted to visit was from watching a Justin Bieber music video of his song "I'll Show You." Don't judge me! I'm not a huge fan, but the video is amazing (minus the scenes of Bieber in his boxers lol). Dyrholaey was one of the places we wouldn't have known to visit if it hadn't shown up on that video as Justin sat on the cliffs. Sadly, our car didn't have four-wheel drive, so we could not make it up the terrain to visit that exact spot or see the lighthouse, but we found another spot to enjoy the view closer to sea level. This was by far the COLDEST part of the trip!! Since Vik, Iceland was closeby, we made a quick stop there to walk on the black sand beaches and enjoy the small-town charm (and beautiful church!) before heading on.
The final two spots were to visit a glacier and the iconic plane wreckage of a DC 3 American Navy plan that crash landed in the middle of Icelandic nowhere (seriously) in 1973. It was a very cool sight to see after the 45 minute walk to get there one way. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into, but it was worth it!
Look at this awesome house build into the side of the mountain!
Before hopping on the plane back to America, we stopped at a local geothermal spa for a relaxing soak. It was a such a great trip! I took quite a few videos while we were traveling and tried my hand at a little bit of video editing. This was a first for me but ended up being so fun! Not planning on adding video to any of my wedding packages soon, though. ;)
Happy Wednesday, friends!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again... Allison is just the sweetest! Going back through and editing her bridal portraits made me so happy to relive this day. If the definition of a #nicholelaurenbride were to show up in the dictionary, I'm fairly certain Allison's picture would be right there next to it. Through every part of the wedding planning process she showed so much grace and joy, and on her wedding day, she was just the perfect bride and so encouraging and easy to work with. I'm really excited to share her bridal portraits with you! And come back later in the week for her and John's wedding images on the blog!! Ahh! I'm way too excited for that!! Also, I think Allison's session has this Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice vibe to it, and I'm in love. I can just imagine, the soundtrack to that movie playing in the background while you look at these photos. So in case you want to do that and see what I mean, pull up "Dawn" from Pride and Prejudice, and start scrolling! :) Happy Monday, friends!
Juliet and Tyler are just one of those couples that makes you feel completely comfortable as soon as you meet them. Their interaction with each other is so natural and effortless that you can't help but love third-wheeling with them, and I think that's why this worked out so well. I had so much fun "third-wheeling" it at their engagement session, the meetings we had to plan, and eventually the wedding day!! These two shared such a special day with an intimate group of friends and family supporting them, and it was such a blessing to witness. When the day came with a little unexpected colder weather (in May!), everyone pitched in to move the outdoor reception indoors, and it was just as magical. Not only was the day super beautiful, but Juliet had the most gorgeous bouquet! And if you know me, I'm such a sucker for pretty pink flowers. Enjoy these images of two genuinely kind and personable people. And be sure to scroll to the bottom to see all the vendors!
They had such a sweet first look!
When catching the bouquet looks this serious!! :)
Photographer: Nichole Lauren Photography
Floral Design: Willow Florals
Dress: The Dress
Venue & Catering: Embassy Suites at Verdae (The Terrace)
Wedding Planner: Kate Hicks of Embassy Suites
DJ: Complete Wedding Greenville
Videographer: Katie Leigh Media
Bridesmaids Dresses & Groomsmen Attire: Dmitra Designs
Second Shooter: Rebecca Hicks Photography
Preparing for portrait sessions can be tricky and may even seem downright intimidating. I know. I want my clients to be prepared, so today I'm introducing a new Client Education blog series. And it kicks off today!! I'm answering the most frequently asked question, "What should I wear to my session?"
If you're anything like me, you might take one look at your closet and think, "I have NOTHING to wear!" or "Maybe I should postpone the session until I hit the gym a few more times." I know exactly what you might be going through, and we've all been there! That's why I put together these 3 tips for for helping you look your best in portraits. This isn't rocket science, but if you pay attention to the little things, they will pay off big time in the outcome of your portraits!
1. Make sure the clothing you pick keeps you the main subject of the portrait session.
Distracting pieces/colors or clothes that don't fit quite right may take away from the purpose of the shoot. Avoid clunky jewelry and or uncomfortable shoes. You want to aim for a tailored look! Flattering clothes will make you feel great and look great, too! And everyone has their own taste when it comes to style, so you do YOU! It makes it that much more fun!
2. Try everything on in advance
I suggest, whatever you decide to wear, that you try everything on (including shoes, accessories, and even makeup and hair) several days in advance. That way you can get a feel for whether or not you would enjoy taking photos in that outfit beforehand. Walk around a bit, sit down, stand up, head outside and see what it feels like out in the elements and think through the weather, location, and situation. Seems like a simple thing to do, but it makes a world of difference and will help you feel more confident when the day of your shoot rolls around.
3. Wear something you feel wonderful in!
What do you love about yourself? Pick clothes that show it off! When your personality comes through in a portrait session, it's literally the best thing ever! This, however, might not be the best time to experiment with a "new look" or a style that isn't quite you. Simple and classic is always best and brings out your features better than a crazy or overly trendy outfit.
Need some inspiration? I may be a little biased, but my clients always seem to show up in the cutest/most handsome outfits. Win for me!!
Ready for even more portrait session prep? See a featured engagement session or a featured senior session for a better idea of what to expect on your session day! And stay tuned for more from my new Client Education blog series!
It didn't take long after this cute couple walked up to my booth at the bridal show this past Fall for us to become fast friends. They were so sweet and super fun to be around right from the beginning, and I knew I just had to have them as my clients. We met on a sunny day toward the beginning of the summer are this adorable little garden in Downtown Greenville to do their engagement portraits. They were pros in front of my camera and made my job so easy with their genuine smiles and love for each other. I'm so excited for their wedding this coming Fall!! Enjoy these images of a beautiful, fun couple.
Starting my third year of business comes with so many interesting feelings. I've gotten much more experience under my belt and feel like I now can focus more on refining my style, serving my clients well, and giving back to help others who are in the place I was two years ago. I want to write more posts about topics I had questions about when I was just starting out, and I hope they will be a resource for budding photographers. So today, I want to share my number one business secret (and a freebie!!) with you that I practiced from the very beginning and that radically changed the way I approached my business. It's something you can do too. Here it is:
"The secret of my success was and still is how I reflect on my service."
It might sound cryptic or maybe even a little silly, but in all honesty, the person I learned the most from when I was starting my business was myself. And I don't mean to say I knew all the answers...far from it! There were and still are so many seasoned photographers who poured into me to help me get to where I am today. I couldn't have done it without their guidance and a commitment to reaching out to others for education. But, when it came down to it, a lot of what I learned about photography and serving my clients came through trial and error. It came from being aware of what I did during sessions, to market myself, and how I would edit...figuring out what worked best for me and what didn't work so well. Sounds simple, right?! And let me tell you, it is! And it was the best thing I've done for my business! Here's the scoop!
"I organize my business in three ways: a master Day Designer planner for all my activities, a monthly paper calendar for just my photography appointments, and a tabbed three-ring binder for session notes."
My three-ring binder used to be a basic college-ruled notebook that I would just journal in after each session or take other random photography notes in. That quickly changed into a template I wrote out in that same journal to rate myself in a few areas after each session and log info about each session. Recently, I laid out my template in a PDF format to print out and store in a three-ring binder for easy access and organization.
"Now, after each session or wedding, I write about my experiences and rate myself as I reflect on how I think the day went."
Before my next session or wedding, I flip back through my notes to pinpoint areas I want to keep doing well and other areas I want to strive to improve myself. You guys, this has literally been a game changer for me. I can't tell you how helpful and also encouraging it has been to go back and look to see how far I've come from my very first session. I hope you'll consider implementing this in your business because I think it'll make a world of difference for you. To get you started, I'm leaving a link for you to download my session note-taking template. I hope you'll find it helpful! And If you use it and notice a difference, I'd love to hear about it!
Enjoy this free download of my post session note-taking & reflection template!
I met up with Allison and John a while back at Starbucks, and I instantly knew I would love to shoot their wedding. As they shared their drink, sipping back and forth, hand in hand, there was this quiet calm and assuring love you could just feel from being around them. They were both so genuine and open as they told me the story of how they met and began to date, and it honestly was one of the sweetest and most honest stories I'd ever heard at a consultation. They were not afraid to share their heart and their story with me, and it made me feel super special being invited into their lives! I think this is hands down my favorite part of my job (is it really even a job though when it's this fun?!). I LOVE the stories each of my couples brings with them. I feel SO honored when a couple asks me to be part of one of the biggest days of their lives because it lets me play a small part in some of the sweetest love stories! Cannot wait for you to see this super sweet session!
AH! This one is a favorite! ALL the heart eye emojis! Sometimes black and white just says it best!!
I love travel and adventure. I love seeing things from new perspectives. I love to find good food in exciting places. And I love making moments last for as long as possible.
Follow along for behind-the-scenes on Instagram!