C/O

CELEBRATE THIS VALENTINE'S DAY BY CELEBRATING OTHERS

Valentines-Day-with-Jord

Valentines Day is just around the corner. Can you believe it? Do you celebrate Valentines Day? Do you celebrate Galentines Day? Tyler and I have never really celebrated Valentines Day, it's just not a day we've ever thought much about... until last year.

Remember the days in elementary school when we had Valentines Day parties and everyone got a Valentine, whether or not, they had a "sweet heart." Tyler and I have decided that's how we want Valentines Day to be. Less about us, or couples, or sweet hearts, and more about everyone. Last year instead of buying gifts for each other we picked out two of our single friends and surprised them with ice cream. It was so fun and it was way more fun to give to our friends, then to get something for each other.

Valentine's Day can be so exclusive, right? Well, this year I want to encourage you to give gifts and surprise all the people that you love; single friends, married friends, everyone.  One thing I've thought about this Valentine's Day was single moms. My mom is single and I'm sure she easily let's Valentine's day pass her by without thinking much about it. But then I thought how wonderful and special she would feel if she received something on Valentine's Day, so that's exactly what we're doing. We're sending her a little something special to brighten her day this Valentine's Day.

We want Valentine's day to be more about celebrating our love for all our friends and family.  And I would love it if you had the opportunity to brighten someone days or brighten your own day! 

With that, I've partnered with JORD to giveaway a limited quantity of e-gift cards worth $25 each for this Valentine's Day! If you've had your eye on one of these lovely wood watches, be sure to enter to redeem your gift code, they'll be good through the end of March! Entering is easy; just click here! All you have to do is enter your email and your favorite JORD watch. Once you hit enter, your code will be emailed directly to you!

THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS
THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS
THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS
THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS
THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS
THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS
THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS
THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS
THE PERFECT VALENTINE'S GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR OTHERS

Gift giving is one of my favorite things ever and I love that Valentines Day can be about giving gifts to make others feel special and loved. Don't forget to redeem your e-gift card, they'll be gone soon! What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate Valentine's Day? Who are some of the people you'll be celebrating? xoxo. Samantha

ROAD TRIP ESSENTIALS : PACKING YOUR CAMERA BAG

It's time to pack all of our favorite things and get ready for this holiday season! Ever since Tyler and I have been married we have traveled over the holidays... and I have become an expert packer, ha! ;) I'm not really sure if I'm an expert, haha, but I do know what works best for me. This season I am pretty excited about packing all my gear in my JoTotes Gracie bag and I'm over the moon that it fits everything I need. If you stopped by on Wednesday, then we got to chat about the things I needed out of a good camera bag and one thing I'm loving most about this bag is that it's inconspicuous. I can fit all my important gear inside without my bag necessarily screaming that it's full of gear. Another thing I'm loving is that theGracie bag is perfect for road tips. I can carry it on the go, it pairs perfectly with outfits, and it's easy to carry.

WHAT FITS IN MY GRACIE BAG

  • D300s, 35mm attached
  • D700, 50mm attached
  • Nikkor 55-300mm
  • Gorilla pod
  • Mini Ipad
  • Posing sketch book
  • Lens cleaning wipes, lens brush, and lens cloth
  • Sunglasses
  • Zip pouch full of goodies
  • Phone

The D300s (plus lens), the D700 (plus lens), the Nikkor 55-300, the gorilla pod, my sunglasses and my zip pouch all fit in the main body of my Gracie bag. The Gracie bag also has lots of pockets which house all the other goodies. The mini Ipad fits perfectly in the front zip pocket. My posing sketch book fits in one of the inside pockets and the two large pockets hold my phone and I could also fit some snacks in there too.

Guys, the JoTotes Gracie bag is so great! I want y'all to get one too! There are so many things about it that just work for me, swoon. Guys, what are you packing in your camera bag? What is your favorite camera bag? xoxo! Samantha

FINDING YOUR PERFECT CAMERA BAG

LOCATION: Pleasantville, NY // DETAILS: Gracie Bag c/o Jo Totes || Blue Plaid Shirt (Similar) || Skinny Jeans (AE) || Boots (Timberland)  || Mustard Scarf (Northernly

It's time to talk camera bags, friends. Nearly all of my bags have to fit a camera inside, even if they aren't specific camera bags because I'm always taking my camera with me. And while fitting my camera into every single bag was working, it wasn't ideal. I'm kind of picky about camera bags, mostly because I want a camera bag to fit all my gear, but I also don't want it to be too big, it's that minimalist inside me.

Over the summer we picked up are hiking camera bag, which we absolutely love. It's perfect for all of our hiking trips and carries all of our gear. There was only one thing that wasn't working about our hiking bag... I couldn't really pair it with fun dates and it didn't work that well during photo sessions either.

FINDING MY PERFECT CAMERA BAG REQUIRED...

1 |  LOTS OF SPACE : I knew I wanted a bag that was large enough to carry all my gear. I needed it to fit at least two camera bodies with lenses attached and a third lens, plus any other odds and ends.

2 |  ABLE TO WEAR CROSSBODY: I needed a bag that I could wear crossbodybecause during photo sessions I need to be able to easily access my bag without having to pull my bag of my back.

3 |  TRAVEL FRIENDLY : I wanted a bag that was travel friendly; fitting all my gear, plus other travel needs. I wanted to be able to wear it as a purse, hiding the fact that I was carry around a bunch of gear. And I wanted it to pair seamlessly with everyday outfits.

4 |  PROTECTIVE : A good camera bag is going to protect your gear and be versatile. I wanted a bag that I knew would do solid job of protecting my gear and providing lots of versatility inside the bag with adjustable inserts.

All those things came together for me in one amazing bag. TheGracie bag by Jo Totes. The Gracie was large enough to fit all my gear without feeling too big. It arrived with a crossbody strap, plus shoulder straps. It is amazingly well made, sturdy, protective, and has lots of adjustable pads.

One thing I really love about my Gracie bag is how well it pairs with everyday outfits. It's absolutely beautiful and it doesn't necessarily scream "hey! there are camera's in here!" haha! I also love how perfect the size is and I'm so excited to be traveling with it during this holiday season. Come back on Friday to see how I packed it for our travels and I'll share with you everything I fit inside. Are you in the process of holiday shopping? Grab a Jo Tote forthe photographer in your life! Have any questions about my Gracie bag? Let me know, I would love to answer them. xoxo! Samantha

TIMING THAT SUN-KISSED LIGHT

LOCATION: Chappaqua Train Station, NY // DETAILS: Her Sully Watch c/o|| Red Pixie Pants ||   Grey V-Neck  similar)   ||   Jean Jacket (similar) || Grey Chucks Him Delmar Watch c/o||  Blue Button Up (similar)  ||  Caramel Trousers ( similar) ||  Leather Boots (similar

I'm all about timing when it comes to taking photos and the importance of staying in a specific time frame when doing photo shoots. Every time we move I reassess where we live, how the trees and mountains are and the strength of the sun. I never thought I would think about the strength of the sun, but when I went from the Missouri to Florida and then from Missouri to Southern California I could definitely see a difference in the sun. But let's get back to timing.

CATCHING THE LIGHT

When I think about timing I think of two different things. The first thing is keeping track of the setting sun. Whenever I do a shoot, I always check online for the exact time the sun will set in my region. For the most part, I know that the sun is going to set around 6:00pm, but I still check, because I also know that the sun will be setting at a completely different time a month from now. When I know the time of the setting sun I know that I want to start shooting a solid two hours before. I like to spend a good solid hour and a half shooting and I've learned that in this area the sun will fall behind the trees before it actually sets and I'll lose the light.

Not only do I keep track of when I want to start my shoot, but I also keep track of the time and light during the shoot as well. For this particular shoot we left our house at 4:30pm and started shooting a little before 5:00pm. As we shot I kept track of how the sun was setting because I wanted to make sure we still had enough light to take photos of Tyler. As the sun moves during a photo shoot I tend to move as well so stay with the light.

THE IMPROMPTU MOMENTS

The second important thing about timing is to catch those beautiful impromptu moments, the ones that can't be timed. In every photo shoot there are moments that naturally unfold and as a photographer it's important to let those moments flow naturally and catch the little things that happen that aren't posed or directed. For this particular shoot Tyler was rolling up his sleeves, nothing that I would think to photograph, but when he went to un-bottom his sleeves I saw it, a beautiful natural moment. It is one of my favorite photos of the shoot as well.

STYLE AND TIMING

Guys, I love bringing together style, timing, and functionality. And what better why to do all those things then with our Jord Wood Watches. Really quick, guys, we love these wooden watches. They are amazingly light weight and so unique. We love how they add a pop to our style and keep us on track during our shoots. The uniqueness, quality, and custom care are probably my favorite thing about these watches. I love how unique and different our watches are, they are full of rich tonal color and they have such unique shape and detail. They are great quality and each watch arrives already custom fitted.

Friends, timing for photo shoots is so important, especially if you are wanting to capture that golden light during sunset. It can be really tricky at times, but with lots of practice things get easier and tackling well timed photo shoots start to happen all the time. :)

How do you stay on time during photo shoots? What is your favorite time to shoot? 

related : 9 Tips For a Great Photography Hike