Raleigh Wedding Photographer | The AKP Retreat and 2017 Reflection

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2017 and all that jazz...

            Y'all. I may be a couple of weeks late to the whole "It's a New Year, let's reflect!!" party, but if you'll just indulge me here for a sec...

2017 ROCKED. As in, personally, it rocked. I know a lot of people who had a rough year last year. Between cancer battles, pets dying, spouses being shmucks, and jobs falling through, it was hard. In fact, my own year wasn't with out it's own struggles. I gave less than 110% of my teaching job, which is SO NOT LIKE ME. I had multiple panic attacks about said teaching job. I was forgotten about by one of my dearest friends, and there's now a giant void in my heart where she used to be. I'm sure I'm also to blame, but confrontation and uncomfortable messes are not my strong suit. My office STILL has blank walls and my house has yet to own curtains or non-builder paint. My kids rooms are atrociously messy, my youngest only eats waffles and mac and cheese, and my workout regimen doesn't exist anymore. And I suck at remembering to play fetch with the dog every day at lunch. Or putting down my phone.

BUT... there were SO MANY POSITIVES!!!

* I traveled to Colorado with the family and Bermuda with the hubs, both completely different and equally as awesome.

* I SAW HAMILTON IN NEW YORK CITY!!!!!! I also saw Dear Evan Hanson and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and realized that James van der Beek is WAY cooler in real life and Ryan Seacrest really is a nice guy.

* I went with my sister to Park City, Utah and zip-lined in the Olympic park, and to Salt Lake City, Utah to see The Book of Mormon... because, you know, why not? 

* I created stronger friendships with the wonderful people so close to me, both personally and professionally! 

* I spent waaaaay more time with my littles than before, whether it be for sporting events, after school activities, or snuggling before school. It. Was. Awesome.

* In 2017, my work was first published! It then went to be in 10 different publications, both online and in print!

* I was a finalist in the Shoot and Share photo contest with 2 pictures of mine being in the final round, holy smokes...

* In one year, I worked with 92 families, had 14 engagement sessions, 12 weddings, 7 Mitzvahs, 26 business/headshot sessions, worked with 9 graduating seniors, had 11 lifestyle newborn shoots, 5 maternity shoots, 4 styled sessions with other professionals, and taught 15 people how to better use their DSLR camera. No wonder I felt busy!

* And my favorite one... ahem.... In September, I officially went FULL TIME in photography!!! HOORAY!!!!!!!!!

This past year.... I REALLY LIVED (and loved!!!) MY LIFE!

 Photo by: Emily-Melissa Walker

Photo by: Emily-Melissa Walker

         The AKP Retreat

 Photo By: Images by Amber Robinson

Photo By: Images by Amber Robinson

         This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of a photographer's retreat. It was called the AKP Retreat and was hosted by Ashton Kelley Photography. Girl photo bosses from all over the country got together in Destin, Florida to learn, have fun, and be creative. It was amazing to see how everyone does things so differently, from editing to business techniques to even getting their headshots done! And while I didn't get to know everyone as much as I would have hoped, it gave me a LOT to think about. I reflected hardcore on my 2017 while walking in the freezing cold to get iced coffee by a foggy beach that I couldn't quite see. This retreat solidified for me that even though I'm unique... that's ok! My style, my way of doing things, even my crazy personal antics... they're completely different than everyone else's. And that, my friends, was totally worth it to discover that single fact. I am unique. 2017 helped make me feel strong and passionate about who I am and where I'm going. This retreat was exactly what I needed to start 2018 off to an amazing start. And I went out of my comfort zone and wore a sparkly dress. A SHORT sparkly dress. With no back. And no, I am not showing you!

 

2018 is going to be a fabulous year!!!!

Who's with me????!!!

 

 

Below are some gorgeous images from our styled shoot in Destin at the AKP Retreat. Scroll down further to see all the amazing vendors that contributed!

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 Photo by: Jessica Hunt Photography

Photo by: Jessica Hunt Photography

Vendors:

Photography: (unless captioned otherwise) Rose Trail Images 

Event: AKP Retreat hosted by Ashton Kelley Photography

Venue: Destin Bay House

Design and Florals: Simply Gorgeous Events by Lara-Jill

Paper: Rock Paper Sisters

HMUA: Powder and Paint

Cake: Blue Lace Cakes

Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

Ribbon: Illume Silks and Adorn Company

Runner: Green Earth Studio