fox hole kingdom

We'll Say We Tried // Spady Sunday

I’ve learned, as I’m sure you have, too, that life is all about stages. First, you’re learning to walk, talk, crawl, and do all of those exciting little things. Then you move onto the different stages of school, then college, marriage (sometimes), kids, etc. Each phase has its own unique challenges, and its own unique joys as well.

Right now, Nathan and I are in the young-and-married-with-no-kids phase. We both have jobs which we are really thankful for, and on top of that, we are dreaming big with my photography work and his band. They’re not only fun hobbies, but long term goals to strive after and achieve. Both give us something to do on the weekends, and a ton of satisfaction.

The other night, I was thinking about how blessed we are to be able to pursue hobbies while working and earning a living where all our needs are met. And as they often do, my thoughts drifted towards the future to when (Lord-willing) we do have kids, and what we will say about this time in our lives.

Neither of us knows what the future will hold. If you’d asked me 5 years ago where I’d be today, I would not have given you the right answer. So 5 years from now…who knows? What I do know is this: we’re running after our dreams and not looking back. Whatever that means, we will have to find out. But more important than going on a 2 week long tour, or booking xxx weddings in a year, or whatever other successes we do or don’t see, we’ll say we tried.

We’ll say that we stayed up late and got up early to do what we love. We’ll say that we spent our free weekends practicing our craft so we could be the best that we are able. We’ll say that even when we got discouraged or tired, we kept pressing on because life is so much bigger and bolder than we could have imagined.

And at the end of the day, that’s what gives us joy. Not that we’ll be able to list our accomplishments in 5 years, or talk about all the failures. No, what gives us joy will always be knowing that, succeed or not, we tried. And we tried hard.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Fox Hole Kingdom Indie/Alternative Band | Maria Grace Photography
No matter what happens, we'll always be able to say we tried | Maria Grace Photography

Our Kind of Love // Spady Sunday

I wrote a few months ago to celebrate Nathan’s and my third anniversary. At the time it just flowed naturally, but the reaction to it was hilarious. So many people were expecting a mushy blog about how we have come so far and conquered so much in 3 years. I could absolutely write that blog, because it’s so true that I love him with all my heart, but in general, that’s not US. So I thought I’d explain a little bit about who US is.

In a lot of ways, Nathan and I are a typical couple. We love each other, we like each other, we have the same sense of humor, and we have a ton of inside jokes that are way too embarrassing to talk about :) But our unique personalities have really come out in the last three years, and especially this past year. 

Many of you know that Nathan is in a band, and of course I run a photography business. If you run a small business, you KNOW how much that changes our relationship. Since we both work full time, we spend our evenings working on band & photography things. A lot of our conversation is on how to best utilize social media for our respective uses, and the weekends I have spare time apart from weddings and portraits are spent at Nathan’s gigs.

There are definitely some difficulties that come out of this. Our time with each other is a very valuable commodity, and we really have to make good use of it to maintain a healthy relationship. I don’t think I could tell you the last time we sat down and just watched a movie together, just the two of us. That sounds crazy, but it’s true. We use the little time we have to the fullest - when we’re both going somewhere after dinner, we’ll have a full conversation while we eat. When Nathan has band practice all afternoon and I’m volunteering all morning on Sundays, we try to spend a good chunk of time in the evening together. Nathan plays bass while I edit. In the same room. That’s how a lot of our time is spent together.

Over time, though, we both have come to love what we have going on. Sure, it can be difficult to be intentional about being together. One of our biggest challenges is that we never want to hold the other person back. We both understand how driven the other is, and so it’s hard to ask the other to stop what they’re doing to spend time together, if it’s something important. I think this is the reason it works. If I was coming home to make dinner and just be, and Nathan was into his band stuff, it would be difficult for me to understand. And vise versa. If I was shooting a wedding all weekend and then coming straight back to write a blog while Nathan just hung out at the house, he would have a hard time getting it.

And yet, it works. It just does. We have to work at it, and we have to be wise with our time, but I love it. I love that I have to work on a laptop without wireless while the guys set up their band equipment. I love that Nathan will call me on a random weekday and ask if his band buddies can come over for dinner. I love that we can be so grateful for the time we do have together, because the time in between is busy. So we cherish it.

It might be strange, and it might not work for everyone, but it works for us so well. This past year has brought us closer than ever, and I honestly would have quit photography awhile ago if not for Nathan. We complement each other and build each other up. We’re still figuring out this whole marriage thing, but we’re loving it while we do. Our marriage may look different to some, but that’s us. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.


Fox Hole Kingdom Press Photos // Hampton Roads Photographer

Something I've learned over the past few years is how important it is to take time to do things for yourself. For me, that's much easier said than done. I think a lot of you can relate. Every time I sit down to do nothing I end up thinking of something else to do. Running a small business is a never ending project, and there is ALWAYS something I could do instead of resting. So I have a long ways to go on learning how to just stop and be for a little while.

One thing that has become important to me is personal projects. Whether that's working on something around the house other than cleaning (I've got a little project in the works now!) or taking pictures of something outside of my comfort zone, these are things that stretch me both creatively and personally. If I didn't take a break from the normal every once in awhile, I know I would get stuck in a rut. This definitely applies to my photography!

Even though I haven't been in business too long, I know that it can become easy to start going through the motions and doing the same thing that you did before. You KNOW you can do something well, so why not just do it like you did last time? However, this is not how I will ever become better or serve my clients as well as I should. For that reason, I try to do things that expand my horizon of creativity.

In the past year, that has involved taking cover shots & press photos for the band Fox Hole Kingdom. I do take pictures at all their events I can make it to, but what has really pushed me outside of the box I can find myself in is taking posed shots, trying new editing and lighting techniques, and working with a larger group of people than just a guy and a girl. Honestly, this is so enjoyable to me. I really have to think through each picture and how each individual person looks. I have to put a LOT of thought into every pose, and my editing techniques are drastically different with band photos than with an engagement session.

I thought I'd share some of these today! I always have to keep these under wraps until FHK releases them first, and now I can finally share! Side note - check these guys out. They're awesome! Right now they're on a mini tour and I'm so excited to see where their music takes them.

Fox Hole Kingdom in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom bassist in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom electric guitarist in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom drummer in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom in Downtown Smithfield band press photos
Fox Hole Kingdom; black and white; train tracks' band press photos
One of my favorite pictures that I've ever taken! The light was just amazing

One of my favorite pictures that I've ever taken! The light was just amazing