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  1. Find the perfect outfit. Remember, perfect doesn’t equal expensive. My favorite places to shop are Target, Old Navy and Charming Charlie. Having trouble figuring out what to choose? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Visit my Pinterest board for outfit ideas for the whole family.

  2. Pamper yourself. This one is my favorite! My home goes into full blown spa mode the night before a photoshoot. Here are some of my favorite (affordable) products that I love. All of these products can be found at Target for under $20 dollars. See images below.

  3. REST! REST! REST! It’s no secret that our face can tell others how much we’ve slept. If you can, do your best to sleep on average 8 hours per night for three nights leading up to your session. Don’t forget about our best friend H2O. Keep as hydrated as possible to keep your skin hydrated.

Do not copy anyone. Be authentic. Be YOU in everything you do and people will show up.
— Anya Obolonskaya

Today’s featured artist is Anya Obolonskaya!

Anya, tell us about yourself!

Hi there! I'm Anya, I'm newborn and family photographer based in NJ with a studio overlooking Manhattan.  I love active lifestyle and have a secret passion for bodybuilding competitions. 

You can even find a few photos of me competing that I shared on Instagram last year. I love styling of the photoshoots and if I wasn't a photographer, I would probably become a stylist.

I love coffee strong, octopus grilled and chocolate to be 45%. On the weekends me and my husband like to explore new airbnb locations in the woods and get as much "forest bathing" as we can .

What inspires your work? 

Originally I came to photography world after a few years of working in advertising. My photography career started from the non-profit project I created "You deserve magazine cover". The goal was to

inspire men and women to love their bodies and to showcase that we all have so many things to be proud of. 

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started your craft?

 The biggest lesson I have from being a photographer  is that every moment is too precious to lose. I started to print photos for my family (it's just me and my husband so far).

Digital files are cool, while looking at albums is just priceless to me. 


What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Do not copy anyone. Be authentic. Be YOU in everything you do and people will show up.


Who’s your favorite FRIENDS character and why? 
Easy! Thats Phoebe. She just owns who she is. I love that. I think we all a little quirky in a way and it's so powerful to accept it vs. trying to fit in norms of society.

As long as you are loving, kind person towards others, there is no reason to pretend to be perfect.  It's silly but we even make up songs at home when we are trying to make fun of something , using motive of her song "Smelly cat" :)

Anya, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Anya’s journey.

Artist: Anya Obolonskaya

Instagram: @anya_artfitphotography

Website: www.artfitnessflow.com

Be brave and put yourself out there.
— Katrina Patterson

Today's featured artist is Katrina Patterson!

Katrina, tell us about yourself!

Hi! I’m Katrina. I’m a wedding videographer & lifestyle photographer based out of San Clemente, CA. I love capturing raw emotion in couples and encouraging them to be their natural, silly selves! Creating art with my camera is one of my favorite things in the world. Some other favorites of mine include pizza, building Ikea furniture, going on adventures with my husband, olives, browsing art museums, Boba tea, ocean waves, cookie dough, and the idea of minimalism.

What inspires your work?

Love, music, and nature. Love, because the little ways all couples love each other differently is so precious and inspires what I capture of them. Music, because when I listen to music I see visuals, it's just how my brain works. It has nothing to do with the words in the song, usually just the energy and mood, so sometimes after I listen to a song that I love it inspires me to go out and shoot the visuals I saw in my head. And nature, because its raw uncut beauty in and of itself.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started your craft?

I've learned to trust my creative eye. And try every creative idea that I have even if I think it won't turn out "good" because either way, I always learn something valuable along the way. It's important to know both what works AND what doesn't.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Bring your camera everywhere and create! You have to shoot a lot to learn a lot. Be brave and put yourself out there. New photographers/videographers often commit to work they're not ready for yet or don't stretch themselves enough out of their comfort zone. Find the balance between the two and GO! <3

Who’s your favorite FRIENDS character and why?


That’s easy, P as in Phoebe, H as in Hoebe, O as in Oebe, E as in Ebe, B as in Bebe, and E as in.. Ello there mate! Because ALL my favorite FRIENDS lines come out of Phoebe's mouth. She's the funniest.

Katrina, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Katrina’s journey.

Artist: Katrina Patterson

Instagram: @kapmedia.co

Facebook: Kapmedia.co

Website: www.kapmedia.co

Comparison is the thief of joy.
— Katherine Bowes

Blogging with Friends was created to feature fellow artists and their craft. Each week will feature a different artist for us to learn from. Today's featured artist is Katherine Bowes!

Katherine, tell us about yourself!

Hi friends! I'm Katherine Bowes (rhymes with rose, nose, toes... you get the idea), and I am a Minnesota-based destination wedding, elopement & lifestyle photographer for laid-back, adventurous couples. I love love and I don't think beautiful photographs should be reserved for engagements & weddings - I want to capture love stories at any & all stages! If I weren't a photographer, I'd probably try to be dog-rescue-woman-of-the-year, full-time-earth-warrior, or personal-trainer-who-supports-pizza-for-breakfast. I am married to my best friend & husband, Buddy (yep, that's really his name), and we have two fur-kids; a dog, Louie, and a cat, Miss Meow. I love iced coffee, board games, and spicy food; I live in crewneck sweatshirts; and nothing makes me happier than blobbing on the couch in comfies after a long day of playing outside.

What inspires your work?

My work is inspired by the couples I meet & the love that they share. Whatever feels natural and sincere to their unique love story is exactly what I want my work to emulate. Sprinkle some Mother Nature in there and I'm in my happiest, most creative space.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since starting your craft?


COMPARISON IS THE THEIF OF JOY. Always be looking to grow and improve your craft, but do not compare yourself or your work to others at any stage of your growth. It will eat you alive.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?


Practice, practice, practice. I notice that with every session, I improve and I like my work a little bit more. I improve in client communication, session fluidity, shooting techniques, editing, and confidence! If you don't have people coming to you yet, reach out to others! Offer discounted sessions to friends, family members, or even acquaintances, and partake in styled shoots to grow your portfolio in order to market toward your ideal clients.

Who is your favorite FRIENDS character and why?

Ahh! It pains me to only pick one! But if I absolutely have to, I choose... Chanandler Bong! He's the funny one who is always there to give his friends some comedic relief, he feels like a failure even when he, in fact, has his life together better than he thinks (hi, relatable), he's married to Monica (a close second favorite), and last but not least... THE Chandler dance. 

Katherine, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Katherine’s journey.


Artist: Katherine Bowes

Instagram: @Katherine.Bowes

Facebook: Katherine Bowes Photography

Website: www.KatherineBowes.com

The only way to get better at something is to do it over and over again.
— Dani Agnew

Blogging with Friends was created to feature fellow artists and their craft. Each week will feature a different artist for us to learn from. Today's featured artist is Dani Agnew!

Dani, tell us about yourself!

I'm Dani, a Northerner at heart and a Southerner by location. I have two mischievous kiddos who keep me on my toes and make my days full - of both love and exhaustion. 

Jesus is my homeboy, and my faith is not only written on my heart, but also on my wrist - true tattoo story. He's the one who's given me my creative energy and this life with which I'm determined to capture all the good in, so the praise and credit is all His. 

On a good day, you can find me at the closest gym that offers a boxing class, eating tapas and drinking Prosecco at farm-to-table restaurants, or on a plane jet setting off to my next adventure, as I am forever trying to cure myself of wanderlust.

And if I'm not aching from too many squats and round houses, full from too much vino and pot de creme, or jet-lagged from a spur of the moment getaway, then I'm faithfully behind my computer, editing photos, listening to the latest indie jams, and keeping the #momtreprenuer hustle alive.

What inspires your work? 

Real life moments! I'm a little bit obsessed with all the moodiness. I love creating deep, rich, bold images, bursting with classic authenticity and genuine emotion. I believe that the way a photographer edits their photos gives a small glimpse into their personality, so there's no light and bright over here! This is one moody, deep thinking, emotionally driven, perfectly imperfect, uniquely unposed, and tells it how it is unfiltered kind of girl, who visually tells people's stories through the lens of real life. And real life is not defined as light and bright to me, it's full of shadows, angles, bold passion, and discovering beauty in the darkness.        

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started your craft?

Becoming an overnight success is bullshit! I've learned just how much hard work, hustle, and patience is required to learn something new and to open a business. Inquiries come in waves, so be thankful when they do come, and be gracious with yourself when they don't. Focus on other aspects of your life as you're putting in the hard, slow work to be successful, as success just doesn't come in the form of work and business. Also, setting goals and not being scared to raise your prices is crucial, as you'll never truly succeed if you don't keep pushing and keep valuing yourself more than your clients value you. You teach your clients how to treat you and how to respect your work by first being respectful to your own time and energy.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Don't be fearful of the unknown, NEVER play the comparison game, and shoot as much as you can!

Starting something new, especially a business, is scary stuff. You have no idea how it's going to go, or even what to do most of the time. Never let that fear hold you back from starting something you desire to do though. The worst thing that can happen is usually never even that bad, and on the flip side, what if you succeed in an amazing way? You never know what will happen if you don't push past the fear and try.

Every artist is unique, and it's pointless to compare yourself to others. Use other's work you admire as a motivator, but don't hold it as a benchmark against your own. There will always be artists "better" than you and "worse" than you. Focus on you and only you, and use your energy to make yourself the best you can be. Also, take the dreamy images on Instagram with a grain of salt ... you don't know the whole story behind them, and you might be pleasantly surprised and shocked if you actually did! Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
The only way to get better at something is to do it over and over again. So just get out there and shoot, especially things you're passionate about or want to break into. Utilize your networks, and be intentional with who and what you shoot if you're trying to scale your business. Definitely offer free shoots and giveaways at first, but also walk that fine line carefully with underestimating how much you are worth, cause we are always worth WAY more than we think we are.

Who’s your favorite FRIENDS character and why?

Damn, I'm so bad at these games. I love them all! Unfair question! I even took an online quiz to see which character I was, because I thought maybe that would help me narrow down an answer, and I got Rachel, which I don't even agree with! Pretty sure I'm a Monica, but I suppose the Internet always knows better ;)

Dani, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Dani’s journey.


Artist: Dani Agnew

Instagram: @dani_nicole_photography

Facebook: Dani Nicole Photography

Website: www.daninicolephotography.com

Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.
— Breeana Kuhlmann

Blogging with Friends was created to feature fellow artists and their craft. Each week will feature a different artist for us to learn from. Today's featured artist is Breanna Kuhlmann!

Breeana, tell us about yourself!

My name is Breanna, I am a lifestyle photographer from Baltimore. I also help businesses and entrepreneurs get found on line with SEO. I constantly balance all the things, just like so many of you. I have 2 kids, a husband (that counts as a kid), and a dog )that counts as 2 kids). 

What inspires your work? 

You know the phrase, 'remember why you started'? I started a photography business a few years ago after my mother passed away and I realized every picture I had of her brought a memory. My business has grown so much over the past few years and when I get lost I always remember why I started.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started your craft?

Oh geez, just one? The biggest thing that has helped me focus was realizing just because I can, doesn't mean I should. 

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

No matter what kind of business you have, if you have a website you need to put some effort into search engine optimization (SEO). AND, always remember why you started. 

Who’s your favorite FRIENDS character?

Phoebe, and Chandler Bing is a close second. 

Breanna, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Breanna’s journey.

Artist: Breanna Kuhlmann

Instagram: @breekuhlmann

website: www.breannakuhlmann.com

Do work that inspires you because people will feel your passion.
— Emmalaine Berry

Blogging with Friends was created to feature fellow artists and their craft. Each week will feature a different artist for us to learn from. Today's featured artist is Emmalaine Berry!

Emmalaine, tell us about yourself!

Hi! I'm Emmalaine, I live in Oakland, Ca and was born and raised in the Bay Area. I have a day job working with visually impaired infants which is such an amazing job. I love getting to work with families and supporting them through the ups and down that arise from having a special needs kiddo. 

When I am not working I love to go on hikes and spending time outdoors. I love to bake, especially pies, but HATE cooking, my fiance does that! We spend a lot of time with our cats binge watching bad reality tv. 

What inspires your work? 

I became interested in photography when I was a nanny but have always been artistically inclined. Photographing families and children has combined my love of art with children and it has been the more fulfilling artistic endeavor I have taken on. I feel inspired by family dynamics that make each family unique. I love getting to capture moments of joy and connection between people and getting to know what makes them tick. 

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started your craft?

How to utilize light, I feel it is what makes photographer's photos different than your average iphone photo. The amount of time I spend studying what light I like and how to translate that to photography is ridiculous. Lighting sets the mood for the photos, lighting tells stories.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?


Confidence is what will make you successful. Confidence is something that I think most artist struggle with: "Is my work good enough? Am I good enough? Is my editing what people are looking for?" Honestly, I am still working on this but know that you ARE good enough. Not everyone is going to like your style and thats ok! Do work that inspires you because people will feel your passion. 

Who’s your favorite FRIENDS character and why?

Clearly Phoebe! She is kind and funny and full of passion and is always there for her friends but also clear about her own needs. Everyone should be like Phoebe

Emmalaine, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Emmalaine’s journey.

Artist: Emmalaine Berry

Instagram: @emmalaineberryphotography

Facebook: Emmalaine Berry Photography

website: www.emmalaineberryphotography.com

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Work hard and tune out the people who are questioning your entrepreneurship path.
— Sarah Delgado

Blogging with Friends was created to feature fellow artists and their craft. Each week will feature a different artist for us to learn from. Today's featured artist is Sarah Delgado!

Sarah, tell us about yourself!

My name is Sarah Delgado. I am a 20-something-college-grad living in her childhood bedroom, working her tail off to make her dreams come true. I am a photographer, graphic designer, dance teacher, personal assistant, babysitter, and full time Gilmore Girls addict. Living in Orange County, I visit the Disney Parks more than the average bear, and enjoy nothing more than people watching on a Mainstreet USA with a churro in hand. 

What inspires your work? 

My work is inspired by real life. I want to capture the true connection my clients have with each other and strive to be able to tell their stories through the images I make.


What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started your craft?

The biggest thing I've learned since starting my craft is to work hard and tune out the people who are questioning your entrepreneurship path. I am a people pleaser and it is very important to me to get positive feedback from the people around me. I used to use this feedback as a guidepost for my decision making, but have since learned to make the decisions that are best for me and my business. 

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Baby Steps are still progress. When I started my business, I wanted everything to happen all at once and put a lot of pressure on myself to make it all perfect. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither should your website ;). Take some time to make things great, and celebrate the little victories. 

Who’s your favorite FRIENDS character and why?

Okay, so I think about this a lot actually (probably more than I should). Phoebe and Chandler are my favorite comic relief. They make me laugh the hardest. But Monica is my girl! I fully connect with her OCD qualities and I strive to have my life as organized as hers is. 

Sarah, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Sarah’s journey.

Artist: Sarah Delgado

Instagram: @sd_creative_

Facebook: @sarah delgado creative

website: sarahdelgadocreative.com

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Community over competition.
— Michaila Chodur

Blogging with Friends was created to feature fellow artists and their craft. Each week will feature a different artist for us to learn from. Today's featured artist is Michaila Chodur. 

Michaila, tell us about yourself!

I am a Wedding Photographer based in Ontario, Canada! If you were to ask me my favorite food, it honestly changes all the time. Right now it would have to be Taco Salad! SO YUM! I am also an avid world traveler and I used to live and work in London, England for 9 months - and then I backpacked Europe for 3 months! In total, I have traveled to 20 countries. I am open to destination weddings and my DREAM destinations for weddings are anywhere in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Australia!

 What inspires your work? 

My wedding photography is inspired by couples who are head-over-heels in love with each other, who love to laugh together and show affection, and who cherish family heirlooms.

 What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started your craft?

The biggest thing I've learned since starting photography is to be my own person! I had to stop comparing myself others. I have found my style and my clients hire me for ME. 

 What advice would you give someone just starting out?

My piece of advice I'd give to someone just starting out would be: Don't worry about comparison. Each photographer is unique and each photographer has their own style. You will find yours eventually. Support other photographers in your area and be positive. Community over competition. 

Who’s your favorite FRIENDS character and why?

This is going to sound bad, but I've never actually watched FRIENDS so I am not familiar with the characters! *Cue Game of Thrones* "SHAME. SHAME. SHAME."

Michaila, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Michaila’s journey.

Artist: Michaila Chodur

Instagram: @michailachodur

Website: www.michailachodur.com

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You aren’t always going to be everyone’s favorite AND THAT’S OK!
— Jillian Batson

Blogging with Friends was created to feature fellow artists and their craft. Each week will feature a different artist for us to learn from. Today's featured artist is Jillian Batson. 

Jillian, tell us about yourself!

Hey there! I’m Jillian, a photographer currently based in Louisiana but moving to North Dakota late this year! Totally opposite sides of the country but cheers to new adventures, right?! If I’m not with my family, then I’m probably at the Michaels craft store. No, I’m not crafty AT ALL but I love going to look at all the things that I know I’ll never make. I also LOVE supreme pizza simply because I’m terrible at making quick decisions so what’s easier than saying I want it all?!

What inspires your work?
What inspires me with doing photography is honestly the extreme freedom I have to create anything. There’s no boundaries and I love it.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since starting your craft?
The biggest thing that I’ve learned with photography is that you aren’t always going to be everyone’s favorite AND THAT’S OK!

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
My advice for someone starting out is to be patient with yourself and don’t compare yourself to other photographers.

Who is your favorite FRIENDS character?
My favorite friends character is most definitely Phoebe! She is so confident in her self and she doesn’t let other people change opinion on things. She embraces her inner weird like no other!

Jillian, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Jillian’s journey.



Artist: Jillian Batson

Instagram: jillianbatsonphotography

Website: https://batsonjillian.wixsite.com/mysite



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Do the dirty work to get to where you want to be.
— Rachel DesJardins

Blogging with Friends was created to feature fellow artists and their craft. Each week will feature a different artist for us to learn from. Today's featured artist is Rachel DesJardins. 

Rachel, tell us about yourself! 

Hey there! Rachel here. I'm a creative and an enneagram 6. I love carbs, Grey's Anatomy and Friends, and I have a problem - I buy too many plants. During the week I'm snuggling with my pug-spaniel answering emails and picking up new crafts, and on the weekends I get paid to party and eat good food (aka - photographing weddings). 

What inspires your work? 
I have two different avenues to my work. My weddings are inspired by my couple's stories, their plans for the day, and capturing the moment how it happened, not how Instagram trends say it should happen. The other avenue is my creative work. My sister (going to school for dance) and I work together to create stimulating visuals through her ability in dance and my knowledge of color, depth, and movement. We recently started The RALLY Project where we share the ins and outs of these different scenes - or Projects as we call them. We are currently sharing Project 1 and working on Project 2 behind the scenes!

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since you started your craft?
Here is the thing. I'm a big advocate for doing the dirty work before you are rewarded with a successful career. I had an internship that was unpaid for a semester during school. I got paid $400 to shoot my first wedding and nobody is complaining. I deserved to work for less because my knowledge base was small and I was gaining experience. Now that I have 5 years under my belt, I'm confident in my abilities and my value to the industry. I needed to fail a few times to be where I'm at now. Just this year I was able to take my business full time and pursue it with my whole heart - no 40hr corporate job to get in my way! THIS allowed me to open my creative avenue of work. The balance is perfect where I can feel I am serving others through my weddings photography, and equally serving myself through having this new creative outlet. 

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
I can only encourage new artists to pursue what they love because their love can be their career if they find the right ratio! Do the dirty work to get to where you want to be. Work that full time job and do what you love on the side. And then when the time comes - leap and the net will appear.

Who’s your favorite FRIENDS character and why? 
OH MY GOSH. LITERALLY THE PERFECT QUESTION. I've watched Friends from start to finish 3 times and I've watched tons  just randomly from time to time when I'm in the mood for a specific episode. Go ahead, give me a quote and I'll give you the context. There is nothing I love more than Friends (and maybe a small handful of other things like photography) I feel a little weird picking who my favorite character would be - it feels like trying to decide who your favorite child is - they are all my favorite. I think if I had to choose, my favorite character would be Monica - because she understands that rules are good. : )

Rachel, thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit of your story with us! Click on the links below to follow along on Rachel's journey.
 

Artist: Rachel DesJardins

Instagram: @desjardinsstudio @therallyproject

Website: rachel-desjardins.com