Category Archives: Personal

Clean out a corner… {Asheville, NC Boudoir Photographer}

“Clean out a corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.”

-Dee Hock


with love,


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Success, Failure, and that Ugly Comparison Demon! {Asheville, NC Boudoir Photographer.}

Sometimes, I see images of women that are SO beautiful. Beautiful enough to leave me feeling like anyone who ever looked at my face full of freckles couldn’t possibly see anything that would interest them. Or I see a girl wearing high waisted pants and looking GOOD in them! The looming doubt that comes with that can last for hours. The game of comparisons is a game that I’ve played very well.

Perusing the art of a photographer that I admire and in turn feeling like everything I’ve ever created might as well be covered in mud because that’s all I see when I look at it.

However silly those examples may seem to you, we all have our things.

Maybe there’s someone at work who just keeps doing so well that you don’t feel like you can keep up. Perhaps you’re shy and you know someone who can make new friends like it’s as easy as breathing.

Whatever our particular comparison demon may be, here’s the good news…

There’s plenty to go around! 

Plenty of everything. Someone else’s success does not equate our own failure. It doesn’t have to.

But, it can.

If I look at Jane Smith and think to myself, “There is no way I will ever be as good of a frisbee thrower as her. Well, then I never will be.

But, if I look at ‘ole JS and say, “How do you throw your frisbee like that?” Well, that’s an entirely different outcome now isn’t it?

The same goes for beauty which we can not change necessarily. But, I can’t think of a time where I’ve thought wow, that person is beautiful, but, that person is SO MUCH MORE beautiful.

Why is that?

Because there’s beauty that can be found in every single shape and form. Perhaps for Jane Smith it’s her bright eyes and shiny hair. But, for you it might be your lips and the way you hold yourself.

The thing that I hope we can all take away from this is the mere principal that we’re much better off celebrating the success of everyone instead of being threatened by it. There’s just so much to go around!



with love,



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This is the Good Life! {Asheville, NC Boudoir Photographer}

I’m sitting in my favorite coffee bar. Drinking my favorite drink. Watching the rain pour outside.

Honestly, I’m nursing a bit of a hang over from the weekend and I’m having to do work on my day off.

This should be a bad day.

I don’t know if it’s the pitter patter of rain drops outside, the cozy feeling among the customers today who are hunkering indoors, the sweet friends I have here, or the music.

Likely, it’s the combination of all of those things. The combination of all of the good things in life.

Here are a few of the things that I’m particularly inspired by this week…

1. My Floral Notebooks by Rifle Inc. 

I’m a pen and paper kind of gal. I realize that a lot of people have taken to the digital world a little more quickly than I have. However, the thought of typing a list on the computer, or pouring out my thoughts by clanking keys, well, it’s just not appealing to me. I keep EVERYTHING in these little books. They came in a pack of three and are just so pretty. Everyday I look down at it on my desk and it makes me smile. I love floral prints, especially against my white desk.

{It also makes a great addition to my instagram photos, so…}

floral journal


2. My new Pen Holder!

While we’re talking about my love of floral…

My lovely friend and co-owner of The Goods Asheville helped me layout my office. She recommended that I get a vintage tin can to hold my pens. During our meeting, my lovely bride Allie from this wedding came by! I told her about my need for a vintage can and the next week when she came by to pick up her final package she brought this with her! I’m IN LOVE with it!

floral can


3. My Morning Coffee! 

I finally got my coffee set up moved into my new office! It’s allowed me to make my morning cup after I’m already at work. I’ve really enjoyed that peaceful beginning to my work day. Just taking the time to handcraft a great cup of coffee before delving into the depths of work that day!



4. Making the Wedding Album! 

Last weekend I made my way to Raleigh to photograph Luna, the beautiful baby of one of my couples. I so enjoyed that in itself. But, the icing on the cake was perusing their wedding album and finding out I made the cut! I adore you Emily and Sergio!



5.  Making things from scratch. 

I have tried so many different eating methods in my lifetime. Different restrictions. From low-carb, no carb, vegetarian, weight watchers, 6 meals a day, 3 solid meals a day, etc. But, the only thing that I REALLY believe in is eating real food. My opinion on that is un wavering and I stand behind it. So, I’ve been putting my focus in that place and I’m really happy there. Last week I made spaghetti sauce from scratch. The week before that I made my own barbecue sauce. Above the health benefits of not eating preservative or sugar-filled foods, it’s just plain nice to put some thought and intention behind my food. It’s also a self-esteem boost to make something that you have just bought in a jar your entire life.



6. My new dry erase boards!

My original plan when designing the office was to have a long magnet board along the length of my desk. But, that presented me with a lack of space for my to-do list. I thought I may just write it on paper to hang on the magnet board. But, while I was perusing Ikea last week I found these guys! I love them because they not only serve as a place to hang papers that need to be dealt with but, they also allow me to write and change my to-do list everyday!

Also, they’re transparent and mirror my new website that you will hopefully get to see very very soon!  



7. Affogatos!

An affogato is a double shot of espresso over a scoop of ice cream. Yep! The first time I had one of these we were couchsurfing on the coast of Italy. Our host made us one with a stove top espresso maker and I was in love. Needless to say what I had there is very different from the craft specialty level affogato’s I’m getting here. While the flavor is better here, the sentiment carries over from Italy. I love the sweet ability to reminisce over that hot night.



8. Seeing my words in print! 

I have a gift for down playing when good things happen to me. Especially when I worked hard on something. I’m much more comfortable celebrating someone else’s accomplishes than my own. But, last week two articles that I worked very hard on were published in WNC Woman’s Magazine. They commissioned me for the job last year and I had an amazing time putting together the pieces. Then, last week, I saw them printed for the first time. Now, I’m used to seeing my pictures published and shared. But, my words. To see my words printed. Well, that was different. I couldn’t hide my joy and I certainly over shared. But, there’s something special about that for me.

I’ve had pieces published in the past, but, as I said, I’m not very good at celebrating that sort of thing. For some reason, this time was different. It felt like it meant something, and I’m hoping it’s a bit of foreshadowing into my future.

You can read the articles here and here!

Hip-Hop-1-682x1024with love and the good life,


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My Week and the Importance of Believing! {Asheville, NC Boudoir Photographer}

Every morning I do my best to write three pages of free-thought. I learned this discipline from The Artist’s Way. It’s helped me to unclog creatively and in many other areas of my life. Earlier this week as I was writing my morning pages I ended with this sentence:

“I believe self-awareness is the key to good decisions. Self-ignorance is the gateway to poor ones.”

I think that can basically sum up my life. I’ve spent so much time working on being just right. But, the harder I strive for perfection the more likely I am to fail.

But, the moment that I take a look and ask myself what are you doing well?

Then, congratulating myself on that and moving on from there to what I can improve on.

Well, that’s where the real goodness lies.

That’s where I am able to take leaps and bounds.

Because not only am I aware of my shortcomings and the areas in which I need to improve.



I’m also aware of the areas in which I thrive. I’m able to take those leaps and bounds because I believe in myself.

Because, just like that tiny train, I think I can.

I think I can.

No matter what anyone else sees or believes. I have to first believe in myself.

That’s something I’ve lost sight of this week.

Believing in myself. Knowing that what I do makes a difference and has a purpose.

Knowing that no one else can do what I do or be who I am.

That I have an obligation to offer my whole self to the world and to do everything I can to be more.

Today, if no other day exists. At least I know I will have taken an assessment and patted myself on the back. Because I can’t wait on someone else to do that for me.

Jo (1 of 1)


with love,


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Raleigh to Charlotte to Home! {Asheville, NC Wedding and Boudoir Photographer}

I realized recently that some of you get WAY too much of me. If you follow me on instagram, twitter, personal Facebook, and business facebook then you may know more than you’d like to about my life. Then I realized that there are so many of you that aren’t following me on those things. That may have no idea where I live, what I do besides photography and more.

So, I thought it would be nice to take one day a week when I can to just write about what’s going on in my life. Nothing dramatic. Nothing too lengthy. Just a general life update.

I’m going to start with the basics.

-I live in Asheville, NC {and I love it!}
-I live with 3 wonderful boys. {Kyle my husband and our two roommates Tyler and Eric.}
-We write a blog together called The 20 Somethings {fashion, food, drink, home, and more!}
-Kyle and I have been married for about 3.5 years.
-I’m primarily a wedding and boudoir photographer.
-I’m a serious coffee drinker. {Like, I read blogs about it.}

Now that you are abreast on the big stuff. I’ll give you a little update on where I am now.

Today, I’m physically in Raleigh, NC. I came down to photograph a beautiful newborn baby and a boudoir session! I was also able to spend some nice quality time with two of my very best friends, see two of my favorite wedding couples, and visit with a family that I adore.

I’ll be heading up to Charlotte very soon to make a little visit to Ikea for some office furniture and other office-y decor type things. Currently, my office looks as if I am squatting in it. So,it’ll be great to get things in order so I can share more of it with you lovely blog readers.

One thing that I love about my job is how much I travel for what I do. I realize there are photographers out there that have been able to not travel as much. But, I do travel really frequently. Some days I’m tired. But, for the most part, I’m honestly really happy to take a little trip out of town to do what I love. It’s also a great excuse to try new coffee shops. Offices away from the office.



with love and life,


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Lessons from My Mother! {Asheville, NC Photographer}

Hi there lovely blog readers. I am taking a relaxed day working solely on my website before shooting a park maternity session tonight! I spent most of the day in the comfort of my favorite coffee shop {hi there High Five!} Now, I’m finishing up what I can from our cozy living room with the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars playing in the background.

Learning the art of balance is something I’m continually working on. Today, I needed this. I’ve been working all day at the office lately and then coming home and working on my website at night. I woke up this morning and just thought, you have to work today, but, it doesn’t have to look like you think. Do something different. Change your pace, and make it more fun!

It reminded me of when I was a little girl and my mom would have us all clean the house.

I can only remember a handful of times when she just asked us to directly clean something. Typically, she would make a game out of it.

We’d play house cleaning rummy.

My mom, my brothers, and I would play a game of rummy.
Then whoever didn’t win would pick one tiny chore off of a big list of things that needed to be done. {The winner got to sit out.}
Eventually, all of those tiny chores would add up to the entire house being cleaned.

Everyday, If we could only show ourselves the same grace that I was shown by my mother.

Time to do tasks slowly.
Freedom to make them more fun.
Understanding if they can’t be finished on time.


with love and grace,



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Leap after Leap in the Dark! {Asheville, NC Photographer}

 “Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little.
The artist  never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.”

-Agnes De Mille


with love,


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Simply Living! {Asheville, NC Wedding and Boudoir Photographer}

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the idea of living simply. It’s a priority that I had years ago that somehow got lost along the way. If I’m being honest, the majority of my days have been spent out and about. It’s not uncommon for me to leave the house at 7am and return home at midnight. Eating all of my meals away from the house, having coffee out, meeting friends for drinks, going to the movies, etc.

While that’s nice to do every once in a while, this has become the normal for me.

In this state of being, there’s not much time for peace. Not much time to absorb all that creating a home can mean.

While I don’t see any problems with going out with friends or enjoying a nice dinner out, I have decided to make it a priority to also enjoy the little things here and there.

To make more coffee at home, to appreciate the process of cooking a great meal, to eat with intent, to take leisurely walks with my love, and to breathe in everything that a life lived simply has to offer.



with love and the simple life,


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Courage is… {Asheville, NC Wedding and Boudoir Photographer}

Courage is nothing more than taking one step more than you think you can. – Holly Lisle


with love and courage,


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Meeting Life with Enthusiasm! {Asheville, NC Boudoir and Wedding Photographer}

This  morning when I woke up and started getting ready for work, Kyle asked me why I was leaving so early. I responded with, “I need to get to work.” His response is, “why?” I know that in his mind he’s thinking, “But, you work for yourself, do you have a meeting this morning, is anyone waiting for you at the office?” Instead of my usual response of, “I have so much to do, I need to get in and get to work on it or I’ll be there until 9 tonight… blah… blah… blah.” I responded with, “I like my job, I’m excited to get to work!”

This response wasn’t planned and it was certainly unexpected, and certainly true.

You see, there’s something about our society and my brain, that makes me feel like I have to be stressed out to be successful. If I’m not constantly worried about everything that needs to be done or acting daunted by the tasks waiting for me, than I must be lazy.

But, that’s just not true. There’s nothing wrong with meeting my day with enthusiasm. Perhaps the endless cheerfulness could be annoying. But, at the same time, motivating. There’s nothing daunting about having a job that I love. I want to take the way I think about my life/work/health and turn it around.

To meet my day with enthusiasm.

This same principle applies to all areas of my life. I love to eat healthy and to work out. But, I often feel like that’s strange so I’ll tell myself that it’s hard and that I wish I had junk food. Even though, I feel 100% better eating healthy and I actually just like that food better. Treating my healthy meals with enthusiasm and looking forward to my work-out has continually proved to be successful. If I think about doing the dishes as a daunting task then it’s going to be a painful process. But, if I think about it in terms of how good it feels to have a clean kitchen, then, that makes it an exciting thing to finish up.

I know it seems simple. But, my response to Kyle this morning made something click inside of me.

If I can’t live life with an eagerness to be here, then what’s the point?

Do I want to look back in 50 years and see a stream of needless complaints and stressors? Absolutely not.

What are some things that you could meet with enthusiasm today? Share with me in the comments below or on facebook! I’d love to hear!



with love and enthusiasm,


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