Back that thang up…

No, not that “thang.” The other “thang.”

The unthinkable happened yesterday. I lost my phone! I’m not someone who is tied to their phone and I enjoy unplugging, however, losing it wasn’t part of the plan. I have insurance on my phone, so while it would be a pain to replace it, it’s something I could do. It’s not the phone I care about; it’s the things on it that make it irreplaceable–photos and videos from the past two years. Those are photos of my pregnancy and Hartley. Photos that go back to when we prepared her room and when we brought her home from the hospital. Those are irreplaceable images that I can’t get back.

I always back up any and all images I take with my camera including both personal and client work (and then I back up the backup), but for some reason I hadn’t gotten around to backing up my phone and while it was set to back up data like phone numbers and text messages, it wasn’t set to back up photos and videos. Ya’ll, I’m a photographer. I know better!

Thankfully, I found my phone this morning, (turns out I had left it in a board meeting room and the head of maintenance picked it up and turned it in to the board clerk) but I learned a very valuable lesson-BACK UP YOUR PHONE! Seriously, just do it. And especially do it if you have children. So many of life’s moments are captured on our phones. Gone are the days of taking stand alone cameras everywhere. We just pull out our phones and snap a photo or record a video. What would you do if you lost all of those? What would you lose? I would have lost so many photos that I can’t recreate.

Photos like these:

 

They’re not award winning photos, but they’re important moments that can’t be recreated–all 1,600+ of them.

Needless to say, the first thing I did when I got home was back up my phone! I took the mini SD card out and downloaded all of my photos and videos onto an external hard drive. Then I set my phone up to back up all of my images to Google Drive. If you haven’t done this yet, do it. If you don’t use a mini SD card in your phone, you can plug your phone into the USB port on your computer using the charging cord and download them that way. It takes so little time to save your photos and videos.

Here’s some information on how to set your phone to back up your images and videos via the cloud:

To back up to Google Photos with an Android or iPhone:

I found this to be the easiest way to back up my photos. It’s as simple as downloading the free Google Photos application from the Play Store or Apple Store. Once installed, start the app and grant it permission to access your photos by following the on screen prompts. Tap backup and sync and all the photos will be backed up to the Google Photos application allowing you to access them from anywhere. Google Photos has unlimited free storage for smaller photos or you can purchase additional storage for your full size pictures.

For an iPhone:

Disclaimer here: I don’t have an iPhone, but apparently there’s something called iCloud which is similar to Google Photos, but is already built into iOS. You automatically get 5GB of storage free, but can pay per month for additional storage. To access it, connect to WiFi, tap settings, then iCloud, then Backup. Turn on the iCloud if it isn’t already on and tap Back Up Now.

I’m sure there are other programs and apps to back up images and videos so feel free to post in the comments if you have one you love. Now go back that thang up!

 

 

Spring Wedding Inspiration | Part Two | Stevenson Ridge, Spotsylvania, VA

If you caught the previous post, you’ve already had a glimpse of this amazing spring wedding inspiration shoot at the beautiful venue, Stevenson Ridge.

The shoot was so beautiful and had such amazing elements that I’ve broken it into two separate posts. This second post features not only the pink and blush details and amazing florals of the main table, but also stunning couples portraits of Amara and Michael. These two are so sweet and actually just welcomed their third child. Amara made a beautiful bride in her Borrowing Magnolia dress with a handcrafted belt and headpiece by KnR Handmade. The pieces added just the right amount of sparkle to the gown. Florals by Petal by the Shore added pops of color and complimented the romantic overall vibe of the shoot. Michael wore a classic black tux and bow tie with a pop of pink provided by his boutonniere.

The beautiful woodsy backdrop and dock area of Stevenson Ridge made the perfect setting for the romantic shoot.

Vendors:

Nilo Burke Photography (Host/Planner)

Stevenson Ridge (Venue)

Borrowing Magnolia (Bridal gowns)

Rent the Runway (Gold sequin engagement gown)

Men’s Wearhouse (Tuxes)

Petals by the Shore (Flowers + Design)

Beauty by Sue (Bridal hair and makeup)

Giovanna Vaz (Bridal hair and makeup)

Sweet Reasons (Cake + Cupcakes)

Snazzy Lime Design (Stationary)

The Mrs. Box (Ring box)

Kelly & Katie (Bridal shoes)

KnR Handmade (Bridal jewelry and accessories)

Southern Grown Vintage (Gift box)

Sponsors of the event:

Brandilynn Aines Photography

Mini-Backdrops

Southern Grown Vintage

Spring Wedding Inspiration | Part One | Stevenson Ridge, Spotsylvania, VA

There’s nothing I love more than spring and this spring wedding inspiration styled shoot hosted by Nilo Burke had me swooning, so much so that I’ve broken it into two separate posts.

Nilo chose the beautiful Stevenson Ridge as the location for the shoot. The popular Spotsylvania, VA wedding venue has everything a bride could want–historic homes, an indoor reception space, wooded areas, a pond, a dock and more. It’s a very versatile venue and offers something for everyone, perfectly complimenting the romantic style of Nilo’s vision.

The romance was amplified by pink and blush tones, sparkling jewelry and headpieces, a blush sequin bridesmaid’s gown and beautiful dresses from Borrowing Magnolia. Pink and blush flowers were provided by Petals by the Shore and added the perfect pops of color.

In addition to a variety of details and a gorgeous tablescape, the shoot featured a stunning bride, an anniversary couple and a bridesmaid and groomsmen. A second bride and groom were also included, which will be the focus of a future post.

I hope you love this gorgeousness as much as I do.

 

Vendors:

Nilo Burke Photography (Host/Planner)

Stevenson Ridge (Venue)

Borrowing Magnolia (Bridal gowns)

Rent the Runway (Gold sequin engagement gown)

Men’s Wearhouse (Tuxes)

Petals by the Shore (Flowers + Design)

Beauty by Sue (Bridal hair and makeup)

Giovanna Vaz (Bridal hair and makeup)

Sweet Reasons (Cake + Cupcakes)

Snazzy Lime Design (Stationary)

The Mrs. Box (Ring box)

Kelly & Katie (Bridal shoes)

KnR Handmade (Bridal jewelry and accessories)

Southern Grown Vintage (Gift box)

Sponsors of the event:

Brandilynn Aines Photography

Mini-Backdrops

Southern Grown Vintage

Building a Gallery Wall

For the past several months, I’ve been collecting frames to build a gallery wall. I knew where I wanted it and what I wanted it to look like, but actually building it was another story. For one thing, I didn’t have the right combo of photos to fill the nine frame setup I envisioned.

That changed in November when I contacted my friend Amanda with Mermaid Lake Photography and had family photos taken in December. They were beautiful and perfect for my gallery wall vision.

I selected nine of the images and had them printed by Mpix in black and white. The frames I selected were gallery frames from Target that are sized for an 8×8 photo, which is a size Mpix offers. (Ignore the terrible quality of my cell phone pics below)

I placed the photos in the frames and then pre-arranged them on the floor before hanging them on the wall. To get them evenly spaced on the wall, I used a measuring tape and a ruler. I’m pretty intense about things being even so that took a little time. I used the backs of the frame boxes as templates before placing the actual frames on the wall. To attach them, I used my old stand by, 3M Picture Hangers. They’re the velcro strips and they work great, plus they don’t mess up the walls which I love. It’ll also be easy to take them down and switch out photos as Hartley gets older and our family changes.

 

All in all, the entire project was around $150 (not including the photo session costs) and ended up amazing! If you don’t already, print your photos. Children today are going to have their memories living only on electronic devices and that’s not as stable as having them printed. All it takes is one phone or memory card breaking and the images are gone. Don’t make that mistake.

If you’re interested in creating your own gallery wall, here’s a list of products I used and a cost breakdown:

 

Winter Wedding Inspiration | Raspberry Plain Manor, Leesburg, VA

There’s something about winter light that I love and Raspberry Plain Manor in Leesburg, VA is full of it. Although it feels like we don’t get many hours of sunlight in winter, what we do get is glowy and gorgeous especially in the afternoons. This shoot, organized by Shannon Ensor Photography, definitely took advantage of the winter light and offers tons of winter wedding inspiration.

The shoot was held at Raspberry Plain Manor, a wedding and event venue in Leesburg. The brick manor with massive white columns was built in 1916 by John G. Hopkins. A previous home was built on the property in 1771 by Thomson Mason, the brother of George Mason, but was destroyed in 1910. The current home has been sold several times, most recently in 2016 to Rose Hill Manor owners Antonio and Bobbi Jo Cecchi.

The manor features a gorgeous event space that has tons of windows, something this window-loving girl can’t get enough of. The windows allow for a view of the rolling hills behind the home, something that’s easy to forget is part of Leesburg if you just stay in the commercial areas. The grounds have several gardens which are perfect for portraits.

This particular shoot featured berry tones with shades of white and gold to create a romantic winter feel. The bride wore a beautiful white dress with a full-length veil while the groom opted for a classic black tux. The florals featured shades of pink and red along with purple berries.

 

Vendors:

Venue: Raspberry Plain Manor

Styling: Ruie + Grace

Hair and Makeup: All Aglow Beauty

Florals: Intrigue Design and Decor

Coordination: Birds of a Paradise Events

Stationary: Chelsea B. Design Studio

Host: Shannon Ensor Photography