spady sunday

My Sunday-Monday Switch // Business

I've come to appreciate consistency and constancy so much over the past few years. I used to be completely fly-by-the-wind in my approach to everything. The only thing I was consistently good at in high school was showing up late. I'm not joking when I tell you that the guidance worker did not even turn around to greet me anymore - she would just say hi to me by name, and ask me to sign in. My how things have changed!

One step I took this year was to blog at least once a week. There are some photographers and creatives that blog every day, but I do not have the time to write quality blogs on a daily basis, and I'd rather deliver something I'm proud of than deliver a lot of somethings that I had no inspiration for. In 2015, I would like to blog at least twice a week, and hopefully even more!

That said, one important thing I learned this year was to take a day of absolute rest and doing nothing. That has become my Sundays - in the fall and winter I spend time watching football, and in the spring and summer I bake or go to the pool or whatever I feel like. I originally chose to post a weekly blog on Sunday because I knew I had time to write it. Now that I make sure to finish it on Saturday rather than writing on Sunday, though, it doesn't make much sense to continue with this schedule. I want to completely relax and let go of business ideas on Sundays so I can be refreshed for another week by the time Monday rolls around.

Because of that, I am now changing my weekly blogging time from Sunday afternoons to Monday mornings. I also plan to blog at least one other time during the week, so keep an eye out for that! And I need a new name for my blog. Spady Sunday worked well before, but I need something exciting for every Monday!

So here's the giveaway...come up with a fun name for my weekly Monday blog and if I choose yours, you win a $10 Starbucks gift card! Just comment on this blog with your idea and your email address, and I will be in touch with the winner when I choose someone. Thanks so much for reading each week, and I look forward to an even better year of blogging!

Monday blogging and a giveaway

One Year Ago & A Big Announcement! // Personal

It's hard to believe, but one year ago today, I was being rolled into surgery for the first time in my life. I had dislocated my shoulder in a crazy accident, which is a lot more painful than it looks like in the movies. My labrum was torn, and what started out as a fun trip on our longboards to get frozen yogurt turned into a few very, very difficult months. You can read about it here, here, and here.

Call me dramatic (and I know I am), but I remember thinking about all that could happen during surgery. I remember having a brief panicked moment where I realized that people can die on the operating table, and what if I was one of those people?! Thankfully, my surgeon was incredibly skilled, and the outcome was as good as he could have expected.

A year later, I can do about 90% of what I used to. I can carry things, I can move my arm in almost every direction I could before, and my shoulder generally doesn't hurt. While I do have more limits than I used to, overall I am truly thankful and amazed at how far I have come.

The biggest thing Nathan and I learned in the last year is that even during life's interruptions, everything carries on. There were 2 months in 2014 where I couldn't even dress myself, let alone cook, clean, or do anything else, and yet here I am. I survived, and now it is all becoming a memory to me. That time was also so important, because it was the first time in our marriage that Nathan and I started to seriously consider having a family. 

And that, friends, brings us to today. So here's the big (or going to be big one day!) announcement: Nathan and I have started the process of adopting a child! We are extremely excited, and nervous, and a lot of other emotions. We are still VERY early on in the process - meaning we haven't even decided on an agency, the state, etc. We just know that we are going down that path, and are starting to make calls and attend meetings, after doing a good bit of initial research!

I was going to wait just a little longer to talk about this, but here's where I need your help. If you are the praying type, then pray us up! Any and all prayers are so appreciated, and mean so much to us. And if you have ANY experience with adopting, fostering, or anything else - we need you! We welcome advice on how to do all this, because right now it definitely all seems a little daunting. So please shoot me an email ( if you have any words of wisdom!

Whew. So there it is. Thanks for sticking with me not just through this blog, but through the last months and years if you've been reading for awhile. While I want this to firmly remain a photography blog, I do want to keep you updated on my life, the adoption process, and everything else going on. So expect some regular updates!

Thank you again for your prayers and your support. We can't wait to see what the future holds!

The big adoption announcement!

What I Learned from Jasmine Star // Spady Sunday

I am so blessed. I just have to acknowledge that publicly every once in awhile. I am blessed to be able to go to workshops, blessed to be a photographer, blessed by a husband who not only allows me but PUSHES me to do everything I can to be a better person, and blessed to have met people like Jasmine, who pour so much of themselves into everyone around them.

I honestly cannot remember the first day I heard of Jasmine Star, but I have been following her work for quite sometime. She is a top notch wedding photographer who not only takes amazing pictures, but gives away so much of what she has learned through the years for anyone wanting to grow their business on her blog. So although I do not remember the first time I looked at her images, I remember exactly where I was when I saw that she was making the trip from California to Washington, DC, for a workshop.

I remember calling Nathan and telling him and I remember what he said to me: Do it. I protested a little because it is a big investment. He did not care one bit what I thought: Do it. Do it. Do it.

So I did. I signed up, and we celebrated together like two goofballs. Fast-forward to June, and I was on my way into downtown DC to meet her and learn from her everything I could pack into a 12-hour day.

I have a lot of notes from that day, and I am honestly not ready to share every single detail yet, because I plan to incorporate a lot of what she said into my business. But I learned that my voice - my branding - is present from the first time someone comes across my Facebook page to the last email I send in preparation for the wedding. I learned the importance of continuity in EVERYTHING I am doing. I learned to think about every. single. cost. involved in what I do, not to pinch pennies or be stingy, but to be realistic in thinking about how to budget in a wow that allows me to both wow my clients and continue in business.

Our main goal, Jasmine said, is to make people feel something. About you, about your business, about the session you just had with them. Make them feel. In the words of Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Above all, the thing that stuck out to me most was when she said to find people who blindly believe that you can succeed (even more than you do). You are those people. You who read my blog faithfully, who like my work on Facebook, who send me encouraging emails and leave the sweetest comments, or compliment me in person. You have believed in my ability to succeed, even beyond what I can. And for that, I am truly, truly grateful.

I am so thankful for Jasmine, and would take her workshop again in a heartbeat if I could. Look for some big changes coming up soon for me - things that will hopefully surprise and delight my clients while keeping me organized and maintaining manageable goals and expectations. Jasmine, thank you for ALL you taught me, both before the day I met you and then over the workshop and dinner that night when I peppered you with questions. I am truly grateful for you, who believes in my ability to succeed and gives me tools to help me along the way. Much love to you and JD!

Jasmine Star Workshop in Washington, DC
Jasmine Star with Maria Grace Photography