Thankful for life and work!

>> Monday, September 28, 2009

Where do I begin? My website has finally launched, I survived what could have been a horrific car accident with one of my best friends, and the Okra Strut has come and gone. Now I'm sitting outside on the porch enjoying the wind and cooling weather.

Today I opened a business checking account and started to document all of my expenses/profits in a budget book. Still a lot left on the to-do list, but it's great to be crossing things off!

I was sad to see Sarah go, but I am excited for all of her adventures to come. Perhaps I'll have an influence on her future destination choices :).

The car accident happened on I-26 near the Newberry exit. If you're from around Columbia you probably know this is an area that is notorious for dangerous wrecks. Even though Sarah wasn't driving very fast and was paying attention to the road, we hydroplaned at the bottom of a hill and managed to cut a 90* turn into the median of the interstate. Thankfully the steel wire barricade stopped us from crossing into oncoming traffic at over 65 mph. The state's decision to install the barricade is probably their smartest yet due to all of the fatalities that occur around that area of the interstate.

Thankful we were in a sturdy SUV and not one of our puny civics!

After about 4 hours we were back on the road in our Kia Sedona minivan. I went ahead and texted Haley and Jordan to see if they would rather do dinner than lunch.. I think I was still a little in shock that we would be driving across the country after barely escaping death!

While on the road we listened to the Clemson game, and bc of the rain delays during the game we managed to make it an hour into Tennessee before it ended! It seemed to be a long day for my friends at that game as well. Once we crossed the border into Tennessee we realized we were exhausted and made the smart decision to hang out with Jordan and Haley for the night instead of making the rest of the trek to St. Louis. We listened to some live music in a coffee shop in East Nashville and had some very tasty margaritas and mexican food. I had an absolute blast and by the end of the night the girls had me convinced that I needed to move to Nashville. Who knows what life will bring.. we shall see!

One benefit to stormy weather is the cool clouds that form shortly after

I was excited to get to see lots of corn fields and barns in Kentucky and Illinois. Evidently the mid-west can be very beautiful :)

Once we finally reached St. Louis we were ready for good food and soft beds. Thankfully, we found both. Sarah checked into her place and moved in pretty quickly and we made our way downtown to check out St. Louis. I quickly learned that the city is full of beauty as well as poverty. Close to the rows of abandoned factories and houses downtown were some modern projects that are designed to appear as higher priced community units. I've heard of cities using this technique in my planning classes but still don't see much evidence of it in the South. I'm honestly not sure how well they work, but it's interesting to see they do exist.

Our second night (after some much needed rest) Sarah and I ventured down to the Loop close to Washington University's campus. It's a long 3-lane street that is full of theaters, coffee shops, bars and organic retail. I have to admit I was pretty excited... mostly because I knew we were about to find some really good food.

Beginning of "The Loop"

Deep dish. Yummm

Our old roommate's childhood friend met us out that night for pizza and later took us on a tour of the city park (largest in the U.S.) and the low-income neighborhoods surrounding the region. Her church is located in an area that is convenient to both the higher income and poorer areas, and evidently seems to be doing a good job of integrating the neighborhood.

After gorging ourselves on pizza, we made it downtown to check out the arch and unfortunately (due to a very uninformed visitor center employee) we were unable to make it in time to head up to the top. I still got some decent shots of the arch from our side of the river. It's definitely huge!

View from the ground

We had a great couple of days in St. Louis and Nashville even though there was plenty more to be seen. It was probably best that I came back on Tuesday because I needed the next full 3 days to get ready for the Okra Strut. I'm glad that I decided to challenge myself enough to learn how to cut a mat, but I realized quickly that it's not nearly as easy as it looks. Perhaps next time I'll give myself a little more time to relax :)

At my booth at the Okra Strut. Definitely could have used some more decorative items, but it wasn't a bad setup for a first show

I had a ton of fun getting to know the other vendors. It seems like these events really are like a small community for local business owners and entrepreneurs. Granted, the lady next to me said she would never do the Okra Strut again, but I think most people really get into all of the insanity that is involved.

Many thanks to my mom for helping me to pull it off on Saturday! I'm glad I did it, but I'm also glad it's over. My prints are finally for sale on smugmug as well! Check them out if you get a chance :)


All in the family.. fun times with Kateyln

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

Sarah has started a blog- I'm so excited! Definitely check it out to learn about her many travel nursing experiences to come!

We will be heading to St. Louis in exactly 5 days, I have to order all of my mats today for the Okra Strut and the final website images have to be submitted to USC's business school at 9 am tomorrow.. eek! I'm a little anxious but loving it!

Last night my cousin, Katelyn, and I tromped around downtown Columbia to see what we could get into. Turns out there's a neat antiques building on Huger Street and a cottage house near the Vista that are both perfect for shoots in the late afternoon sun. Katelyn wore a very pretty black, linen dress that unfortunately took a hit against the (what seemed like) chalk paint on the antiques building. I learned quickly that it's probably smart to test out sites before asking my clients and friends to lean all over them ;).

We got a few shots in at the Riverwalk but it was a little too dark due to the clouds and setting sun. Still a great place to end the night.

Overall it was a productive night and I enjoyed getting to spend some quality time with my sweet cousin! Seems like the only place we really get to hang out is at Clemson games... but I'm very happy for those opportunities!

Here are some of my favorites... though it was VERY hard to decide! No lie, Katelyn had about 114 amazing shots.. which turned into a beast of an editing session! This girl has a natural gift ;).

@ the Cottage House

Love her laugh!

Antique store

And now a slide show for all the other shots I like:

Thanks Katelyn!!


business cards!

>> Friday, September 11, 2009

I got a preview of the website today and I think it's coming along really well. I have a few more things to do over the weekend and then it should be up and running in a couple of weeks.

Last night I ordered all of my prints for the Okra Strut and then purchased my one-way ticket back from St. Louis for my road trip with Sarah! Lots of exciting things going on.

Here's what the business card will look like (front and back):

Hopefully I'll get a couple more shots this weekend. Or I might just give up on the idea of getting shots in Columbia and wait until I'm inspired enough to do so :). I can't wait to shoot in St. Louis.. so that's something to look forward to.

Off the subject... last night's game was absolutely devastating. But, I'm proud of Clemson for working hard and coming back. Hopefully this game will be a wake-up call for the rest of the season.

The purple in my business cards/website is officially dedicated to my tigers! ;)


Finally time to blog

>> Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's been a great couple of weeks! Even though I've struggled to make it happen I've been able to get in several photo shoots. It turns out dogs are in abundance so I've been able to get plenty of those shots. Rylynn of course is always available.. This is one of her many cute little faces:

We also got to play around the pond for a bit with Pearl and Ruby. I then got some quick shots of Bindhi (great dane) and Hector (doberman) the morning of the Clemson game since I ended up staying in Greenville for the night after taking shots at Pretty Place. It was great to get some quality time in with some dearly missed friends!

Getting a still shot was not going to happen that afternoon

Pretty Place at dusk

Why a 185 lb dog could be so nervous, I will never understand

I've reached crunch time for the Okra Strut and website. Finally got most of my pictures in (there will be some significant gaps) for the people who are working on my website and finished uploading photos from the Preston and Cooper photo shoot to smugmug. My macbook has reached absolute full capacity and I had no other choice but to let it be slow until I could finish my work and move it to the external hard drive. There's probably a better computer out there to do this kind of work on.. but I guess I'll learn as a I go.

I had a blast taking photos of the Taylor's yesterday. They're connected to the Congressman I worked for in DC so I thought that was random and kind of cool. They have the perfect little place for an afternoon photo shoot and I loved being able to enjoy the outdoors with their 2 sweet little boys.

Cooper loved the camera on the floor shots.. such a cutie

The boys brought me flowers any chance they could

Playing in the sweet feed bucket

It was a long day outside and the sun was getting to the boys. They did a really great job, though!

Thanks to Julie and Heath for letting me follow them around their property and hang out with their precious boys.

The Okra Strut is quickly approaching on Sept. 26, meaning I need to order my prints today in order to have them matted and ready. Would love suggestions for favorite photos to print/sell. Leave comments or give kudos on my smugmug page if you get a chance!


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About Me

My photo
Tia Nicole Photography has launched this summer after many practice photo sessions and the encouragement of some dear friends and family ("Life Through Tia's Lens" was a recommendation of my good friend, Kristin, who has been an avid supporter the whole way through!). This blog has documented the process from the beginning and also dates back to some older rantings during grad school and football seasons. Feel free to get to know me and my work. I like to focus primarily on natural shots, true emotions and beautiful landscapes. I also absolutely adore kids and pets so you will find a good bit of my work in these areas. Feel free to contact me anytime! I love blog comments!

My pup, Rylynn!

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