What Not To Wear

>> Saturday, January 30, 2010

What do you do on cold, rainy days? I'd like to say I'm really productive. Like, my goal for today was to cut 3 32x40 mat boards and straighten my room. Instead, I cut 1 mat board and ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill and watched 2 episodes (2 hours total) of What Not to Wear.

Maybe some good can come out of my lack of productivity since I've realized.. once and for all.. that I need to listen to Stacy and Clinton and pay more attention to my appearance. Sure, I have plenty of cute outfits.. but do I wear them on a daily basis? No. Even worse, I have like ZERO accessories! There's a reason for that.


This is all of the jewelry I own, minus 2 rings that I never wear. Very sad indeed.

I grew up believing you only buy things you absolutely need. My family owns a business and for most of my life I remember them passing over life's luxuries for the better deals. For example, I was 15 when my parents bought our first car with automatic windows. My mom and I were so giddy we jumped in the '93 blazer and drove it around the block to test it out (that was in 1997).

Because of several unfortunate events, my parents had to take on much more debt than they expected and lost all accumulated savings by the time I was born. Needless to say, it takes a while to get back to a "secure" point and we went without spending until I was at least a junior in high school.

Fortunately for my parents I was somewhat of a tomboy until about middle school so I really didn't bug them too much about clothes or jewelry. By the time I was 17 I was saving money to buy airline tickets to visit my friends around the country. I figured if I could spend money on anything it would be travel... and almost 10 years later not much has changed :)

As far as jewelry goes, I am clueless. I usually don't like the way necklaces look on me (I really only had one that I liked and it's long gone). Earrings are fun but I tend to lose them too. I don't even try to mess with bracelets!

My clothes are pretty simple. I very rarely wear patterned tops so I know jewelry would help to dress up my outfits. Scarves were a good alternative for this winter but I still only wore them out on occasion. I don't know if my problem is laziness or practicality.. or both.

Well, I guess it's finally time for a change. My friend, Kristin, was thrilled when I was set on buying my Steve Madden boots after trying them on in a department store in Charlotte. I still managed to buy the shoes for $20 less online, but in actuality I spent WAY too much on them and should have probably made that purchase when I had more money saved. I guess the trick is finding the balance.

I have nice enough work clothes so I generally get by fine, but now that I'm doing photography I realize my everyday appearance is more important. Most photographers are SO cute. Let's face it.. this is an art.. not just an industry. Tia Nicole Photography is a "brand". While I don't want to place too much emphasis on outward appearances, I know that I have a pretty strong personality and no one would ever know that based on the way I dress. It's just sort of boring. I could spend a tad more money (okay a lot more money) and it would make a huge difference.. but I still have to get past the idea that I could "survive" functionally with much cheaper clothing. Case in point.. I could survive eating fast food everyday instead of whole foods.. but I definitely know healthier food is well worth the investment.

So, blog followers and friends, please hold me accountable. Maybe even give me a tip or two. I'm going to try to use websites like etsy to look for cool (maybe used) clothing so that I don't have to completely sell out ;) Only problem with online shopping is that I have a very random body type and outfits never fit the way they should.

I'll end with a photo of my dinner tonight. I'm going to really miss my mom's cooking once I eventually move out. Yum!



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SOTU.. and other stuff

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

If any of you read this blog and would like to get more involved in an awesome photography organization in Columbia, go here. I've started a Help-Portrait group for our area since one didn't already exist. Also, Jeremy Cowart sent an email saying that HP would like to have a an art sale for Haiti on Valentine's day, which just happens to be the day I'm putting up my work in Cool Beans (how random is that?). So, I'd like to get more people to join Cola's Help-Portrait and invite them to add some work to my collection. You can request any amount of proceeds to go to Haiti and I will include a note under the piece with your name, website (if you wish) and donation amount.

There's a chance I could be leaving Columbia eventually for a full time job, but hopefully someone will want to step up to the plate to take over when that happens.

I hope most people were able to see the State of the Union last night. It helps to at least watch for the sake of public awareness, regardless of your political affiliations. Obama has power to inspire, let's just hope that he can accomplish a fourth of his major goals for this next political year. I know small businesses would especially benefit in the elimination of capital gains taxes.. something my dad was excited to hear Obama mention. Whether or not that would ever pass in the House is doubtful. The administration (and the American people) might face even more difficulty since the Supreme Court has now made it possible for corporations to pay for votes.. something that has been highly looked down upon forever. (Seriously, where did that decision come from?). I think it's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.. but if it were destined to happen I wish it would have taken place a couple years ago so that Steven Colbert could have finished his campaign with Doritos. Now that would have been an interesting campaign to watch to the end!

I don't see how the average American has any voice at all anymore. How citizens are considered over the bribes and persuasion of lobbyist and corporations is beyond me.

What are your SOTU/political thoughts? I'll welcome anything.. just please don't refer to Obama as Hitler or Jesus and we'll be good :)

On a lighter note, I'm attending a workshop on how to shoot babies and children this afternoon :) I also have a photo shoot with our photography group leader, Keith Haig, and his wife on Sunday that I'm very excited about! The high is only supposed to be 44* (eeek..it's 66 right now!) but it should be a lot of fun. Especially getting to try out my new Steve Madden boots! ow oww!!

I'll end with a random photo that makes me happy. C'mon warm weather and flowers!


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Art show time again!

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So, back in November I trekked around Columbia to various coffee shops and venues trying to find anyone that would take my extra prints off of my hands. Turns out this isn't the greatest city for local art and all of the 3 coffee shops in this city only do exhibit showcases.

I was delighted when the manager of Cool Beans asked me to be the exhibition artist after flipping through some of my Charleston photos. The coffee shop was booked for 3 months but I figured there was no harm in agreeing since I had some time to prepare.

Well, it's now January 20th and the big day, February 14th, is right around the corner! I must say, it's nice to actually know what I'll be doing on Valentines day for the first time in forever.. haha.

I'm mostly displaying my South Carolina photos as well as a couple other randoms. I know you're supposed to have a theme for stuff like this.. but my theme is that I have no theme. Every photo is special to me for a different reason and, honestly, I might not ever have a "style". I'm starting to be okay with that.

Here are a couple that I recently took that I might be adding to the stack. I don't know if I'll have much time to get any more since I really need to start ordering prints soon... but now that the weather is nice I might get lucky :)


This is the violin I've had since the 5th grade. I don't know how it has just now occurred to me that I should get some photos of it. Somehow I cherish these photos like they're photo of my child.. haha. Maybe I should start spending time with my Linly again ;)

I run the Riverwalk a lot and finally thought to bring my camera one night last week. Glad I did!

If you want to check out some of the other photos I might be selling (still narrowing down) check them out here. Better yet, let me know which ones you really like and that will help me make a final decision :)

My work should be up Feb 14th through March 28th if you want to stop by. Thanks for all of the encouragement and support!!

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Helping Haiti

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

** Please buy my prints! I still have 2 available. In case you were wondering, none of the prints are over $25 and the full amount (ex., all $25) will be donated**



Still thinking about precious Haiti. I mean, how can you not? I went to a church last night that I actually liked- http://www.riversidecommunitychurch.org/. It's a new church and has about 40 intelligent, engaged members who are from all parts of the U.S. Of course we talked about Haiti.. but the Pastor unraveled the current situation in a way that brought all of us back to earth. If you talk to enough people, you realize there are many connections to Haiti within our country. Just during one service we prayed for about 3 individuals living in Haiti who were dear friends or family of the members. Some were praises for their safety, others were prayers for the family members of those who have passed.

These are difficult incidents (obviously) and often are successful in stirring our daily routines to take some time to pray or contribute however possible. Unfortunately, Haiti had been in need of dire help before the quake and was a country that few people knew about. I know there are many developing countries that have large populations of starving people.. and it's easy to look at the mess and say it's too big and not worth our efforts. However, it is simply not true to believe that an individual person can not make a difference (read Three Cups of Tea). You might not have the means to live abroad and start a few schools, but simply becoming aware and educating the next generation is a great contribution in and of itself.

Riverside church is working on organizing a group to visit Haiti. It might take a year before the trip occurs, but it's definitely in the works. When the Pastor mentioned the mission I felt a very strong urge to join. I have no idea what I'll be doing in a year, but if I am still doing photography I will want to be there. Being unemployed and not having a direct vision for your future makes these trips seem so much more important. I want to be useful again.. and if nothing else I can use my camera to educate my friends and family on the daily life and recovery in Haiti.

For more specific information on events on the ground, visit Mark Stuart's (Audio Adrenaline lead singer) non-profit, Hands and Feet. The website is updated frequently and discusses how contributions are being accepted and applied (in case you need some optimistic news!).

Later, friends. Happy MLK day!

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2 Print Sales for Haiti! Please help

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

First, I am really disappointed in Pat Robertson (not that I ever cared about him that much to begin with) and I truly hope that the world isn't reading too much into his ignorant statements. For any of you who saw the youtube video where Robertson claimed that Haiti made a pack with the devil (and therefore somehow deserved the devastation that happened to them), know that 99.8% of the religious world thinks he's absolutely insane. Donald Miller provided a well thought out response to his statement that was void of anger, which I find impressive, and is worth the read if you are interested.

OK, now that is behind me, I am offering 2 of my matted prints for sale in order to be able to give to Haiti (100% of the proceeds). I would offer the framed prints too but I unfortunately need them for an art show that's coming up in a month. I've already given $10 by texting "Haiti" to 90999, which adds the charge to your next phone bill. Sadly enough that is the only amount of money I can swing right now without going into debt since I am paying student loans and other bills while working a low-income hourly job. I'm glad I can at least offer prints since they hold value and have been paid in full.

Please let me know if you are interested. Check out http://tiawilliams.smugmug.com/Merchandise/Framed-and-Matted-Prints to see which matted prints are still available. If you are outside of Columbia I can add an affordable shipping charge and we can set up a transaction through Paypal. Once they are sold (you can purchase only 1 if you would like) I will submit the money to an appropriate charity, probably the Red Cross or an equally legitimate group unless you have a preference. You will then receive a forwarded confirmation from the charity by email.

This disaster has been overwhelming and it has affected me more than I ever imagined. I have good friends who spent a couple months in Haiti building homes and schools and I truly hope their work wasn't in vain. Poor Haiti can't seem to catch a break. I think it's also made me realize that my worry over finding a job is miniscule compared to the difficulties that come with living in the poorest country in the world. I know I would at least be able to get some kind of health care in the case of a tragedy, regardless of the bad state of our economy. I couldn't imagine being approached by the many Haitians that are carrying their injured relatives and friends in search of any kind of medical treatment. It just breaks my heart.

Pray for Haiti. I fear the worst is yet to come. Once the world stops paying attention and goes back to worrying about political scandals and celebrity gossip, Haiti will still be (slowly) rebuilding and fighting disease, crime and propaganda.

If you would like to buy my prints, feel free to call me at 803-513-8921 or email at tianicole.williams@gmail.com


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Thoughts on 2009

>> Monday, January 4, 2010

Maybe, just maybe, big changes are ahead for me in the near future. I will blog about it as soon as that happens... if not, assume I'm still trucking away in Columbia as usual :)

It seems only necessary to recap a year.. even if it wasn't my most favorite year. I think it helps because you tend to realize that it was a lot better than you remembered. Psychologists say that it's much easier to remember good memories than bad ones.. and I think that's true. In all, I had a really hard year in terms of stress and uncertainty.. but I have a hard time recalling actual negative events (besides the major occurrences). Guess it's a good thing those memories fade so that we can move on.

Before I start, I want to mention one of my high points of 2010. Today, for the first time, I had a hummus sandwich. It's a little crazy that this is my first considering that I LOVE hummus and eat it as much as I can. I honestly think I've gone so long without said sandwich because I have this thing about needing some sort of protein (more than cheese) in all of my sandwiches.. otherwise I feel like I might as well have had a salad. If only I could pay half the price for a sandwich without meat I might be more inclined to buy them (I'm way too practical for my own good!).

Anyway, random divergence. I'm bulleting high and low points since that seems to be easiest to read. It kind of takes the fun out of the storytelling process.. so I'm sorry in that sense. I'll also include some of my favorite photos of the year :)

2009 Lows

  • Getting in my first major car accident (surviving with Sarah was a high!)
  • My uncle passing away right after Thanksgiving
  • Bouts of loneliness and uncertainty
  • Working on my paper endlessly.. even in Prague
  • Having to live in a city of 'cocks'... jk... kinda ;)
  • Biking to work in the snow in Blacksburg... really stupid idea
  • Watching friends move away.. or move into new phases of their lives
  • Realizing I'm almost 30... how scary is that?
2009 Highs

  • Getting to be a part of my best friend's engagement
  • Prague!
  • Making new dear friends while in Prague.. getting schooled on some new card games
  • The day I decided to go ahead with my photography business
  • Reconnecting with Janet and starting a photo forum with some great girls
  • ACC championship game with Kristin
  • Running with Rylynn
  • Engagement photos with Kris and Kelly
  • St. Louis and Nashville with Sarah
  • WF and UVA games at Clemson
  • Trading in the worst phone on the planet for a blackberry (Low: it doesn't work in my house)
  • Finishing my major paper and having my advisor tell me 'job well done'!
  • Skiing at Showshoe with some great Charlottesville folks
  • Long runs around the horse pastures in Blacksburg
  • My first 'real' (7") snow storm!
  • Biking around Charleston for photos
  • The day my website launched
  • Chatting with vendors at the Okra Strut
  • Discovering The Soup (Low: becoming addicted to too much trashy television! ;)
  • Reading What is the What
  • Meeting Christina for the first time at Cool Beans and visiting the Ansel Adams exhibition!
  • Getting to know Sarah better... following her on photo shoots
  • Falling in love with Meryl Streep
  • Help-Portrait!
  • How much joy photography has brought me in inspiration and love for humanity (it's true.. didn't mean to get sappy ;)
  • ...and how much photography has made me realize I really do LOVE kids
  • Summer thunderstorms
  • Road tripping to Savannah and Gainesville with Sarah.. buying my new favorite bag that I'm sad is falling apart
  • Getting to spend time with the world's coolest brother (Low: we went all summer without playing 1 game of tennis!)
  • Discovering the riverwalk
  • Random last minute trip to Ashville.. falling in love with a certain coffee shop
  • Listening to jazz at Speakeasy with friends (who knew Columbia has a fun bar?)
  • Fun nights out in Blacksburg in the freezing cold
  • Days on the lake with the fam and Rylynn
  • Babysitting Ouita and watching her grow from an tiny infant to almost talking!
  • Swinging with Ouita.. listening to her laugh
  • Living with my fam... even though it's definitely taken lots of adjustment. Still, can't beat my mom's cooking!
  • Bryan and Sarah's wedding... such a fun end to the year!


So.. it seems like the psychology studies are true! I honestly did spend a ton of time trying to think of specific low points.. but I wasn't able to get too far. Meanwhile, the high points came easily.

What are some of yours?


One of my favorite shots from home.. also one of my very first shots of the summer

This is my favorite shot at home :)

I love everything about this shot.. especially Kayden's tiny fingers holding on to her mom and dad.. it just melts your heart

It's really hard to choose a favorite photo from Kris and Matt's engagement session.. but this one has definitely grown on me over time.


Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2010 treats you well :)

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Wedding of the year!!

>> Sunday, January 3, 2010

The time has come! I am blogging about my first wedding as a second shooter and I couldn't be more excited. My dear, dear friends, Sarah and Bryan, were married on New Year's Eve and I was lucky enough to be part of the day. I honestly couldn't say nice enough words about these 2 people. The wedding was perfect and truly reflected the great people that they are. If you were wondering whether or not you can have a beautiful wedding on a budget.. it is very much possible. Then again, everyone might not be as naturally talented as this group of people ;). Sarah and Bryan collected friends and family to sing, dance, read scripture and poetry. It was colorful and creative.. putting broadway to shame ;)

Sarah introduced me to photo editing and lots of other photography tricks. She's amazing and has a wonderful style. Her love for people and life is evident in every photograph.

Bryan and I go way back. We met at DCF while he was in grad school and I was in undergrad. I honestly couldn't think of a more loyal friend. He truly loves his friends as family and he's been there for me in so many ways.

I couldn't imagine a better partner for him than Sarah. They are both smart, engaging, open, humble and believers in community. I seriously just can't say enough!

Here are some of my favorite photos from the day. Of course it's always hard to choose when you have so many. I was in charge of the photo booth guest book during the reception so I don't have many bride/groom photos after the wedding. Still, it was really fun to watch the guests get into the photo booth photos! Definitely a great idea for anyone planning a wedding ;)


Love it! This wedding party had a ton of fun.
ADORE the shoes!
Sarah! You are SO beautiful!
Bryan is so excited about the first look :)

B's best man, Chad

I'm a big fan of the bride and groom meeting up before the wedding
Handsome fellows
Happy married man!
I'm a huge fan of the cupcake tower idea.. and it was SO yummy!

The party winding down.. I love DCF weddings!
Mr. and Mrs. Mudder!
sweet mom and memaw!


Sarah and Bryan, you both are WONDERFUL. Enjoy your life together!

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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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