My Beautiful autumn 2014 bride and grooms!

I love autumn! Im a November baby, thats one of the reasons, but come on! Its beautiful! The leaves change, the weather is perfect and everyone seems happier just looking forward to the Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons. Weddings filled my calendar! October was my busiest wedding month for the second year in a row, and I see why. My own wedding was celebrated in that month too. Late september and my 40th birthday on November 1st were also wedding dates for me! More DIY prettiness; two more ladies celebrating; beautiful drives to a winery, to Richmond and Charlottesville; a nor-easter storm to contend with and the prettiest backyard wedding Ive been to complete with a sweet “first look”! I also got to attend a beautiful styled shoot & workshop hosted by my favorite photographer (read about that herewhich has really impacted the way Im looking at my business now! 2015 will be better than I could have dreamed! Its thanks to mentors like that, and clients like YOU, as well as beautiful weddings like these!

I have one last pretty wedding this year, coming in December, but for now, here are some of the images I just love from autumn!

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The Elizabeth Sessions ~ Happy Birthday, Mum

May 9th is today. And had God had a different plan in mind for my life, today I would be celebrating the birthday of my mum, Elizabeth. Instead, I mourn her, as I always do, as she passed long ago when I was a little girl. Nothing ever makes up for the time I will never know, the hugs I will never feel, the fights I will never get to have, the moments she has missed or the tears that still flow when I need a real mum to talk to, in a way only mothers can be there for.
On Facebook, in remembrance, people change their profile pictures into one of their loved ones who passed. I can’t do that. I have exactly two images of my mother: a black and white one of her on a bench, and a passport image of her and my dad before they broke up. I wish I had one of her and I. In fact, I wish I had more, of her in general. Or of her with my children or of her with my new husband. Or again, just of her. I don’t. I realize more and more with each client I meet in my business the absolute importance of having photographs to pull memories from. To cherish and to remember. I don’t. **Id usually insert a sad face here and a gratuitous tear, but I won’t. The memories i DO have of her were great. Fun. Childish, but happy. Short, but very, very sweet.
As much as I, like many people, cringe at the thought of being in FRONT of the camera, I am determined to leave behind better memories for my own daughter. And memories that include photographs.
Every year on her birthday I do something; play a song she liked, or read from her bible, or go shopping with her memories to buy a little thing that would remind me of her. This year ~ something different.
I am offering a mother and daughter mini session event, at a very low price of $75. The precedes going to a charity, Adopt America Network, so that we can help create homes for children with no families, here domestically.
The date of these sessions will be May 25th, starting at 4 and going till 7, in slots of 15 minutes each. These won’t last long! Please email me at debbielaughlinphotography@live.com or contact me on Facebook or via my website to reserve your spot and get a digital album of images with you and your mother!
I really hope she is up there looking down on me smiling (Im hiding my cherries mum…) and knows that each and every day, I wish she were here.
Happy Birthday, Mum xoxoxDebbieLaughlinPhotography_ElizabethSessions-9
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2/13/13| Personal

Before you tell me Im using the wrong date, Im not. Not in the sense of the way Im going to use it in this post. Im aware that today IS indeed 2/13/14.. One whole year after the date in the title, and therefore, One whole year after the REAL date of my wedding. Yes, its true, and I am sure this comes to a huge surprise to some of you, as we made the decision to NOT tell everyone. Even some of our friends and family members. We celebrated very happily a wedding celebration in October, of 2013, and my dad flew over from Scotland, and several people flew in from Aaron’s home state of Texas.  Was it shotgun? no. Was it rushed? no. Were we lying to people? No… So why? Three reasons: Lauren, Caitlin and Rory.  Blending a family comes with a new set of rules. Raising girls comes with challenges as it is. Trying to raise young women of faith makes these things even harder. We are trying to be examples. Right and wrong… I lean on a lot of my own mistakes and things Ive learned to try and make better the decisions that face my daughters. Does it always work? No. Is it my fault? No.. What I CAN continue doing is leading by examples. Good ones. And being that faith and my desire to be a better Christian woman is so important to me, when it came to dating as a single mother, I tried very hard to be open with the girls. All the while acting and conducting myself accordingly in what I thought was how I should be! I let them see my heartache, and tried through that to say to them thats its ok to hurt, and you can get through it. That we don’t always get the life we think we want in that moment. I didn’t like them seeing me eating mass quantities of ice cream and crying, but as a mother, it was very real. As was letting them see when someone treats me well, because as my engagement to Aaron proceeded, I wanted them to see how they too should hopefully be treated one day. I tried to be the fiancee that I hoped would encourage the girls in the promise of love, and so because of this, and a good deep talk from my pastor, Aaron and I decided to make the big “move” in together, and to do that “right”, we also made the decision to marry.

There was no big dress and bridesmaids, I was at my church with some people close to our hearts, though a few were missing. We told my 19 year old, who was there at the ceremony, and in telling my 12 year old, we were met with mixed emotions and confusion, BECAUSE there was no big dress or bridesmaids. She still believes that was “civil” and our REAL wedding was October 5th, with all of the trimmings.

For us, in that moment, it was what we knew in our hearts was right. It wasn’t about the guests, or the fairy tales. it was taking the commitment and the love we had for one another, and our family, seriously. It was us trying to walk the walk in front of the ladies we are trying to raise. It was for US, it was real, and it WAS 2/13/13.

I could sit here and say sorry to everyone who didn’t know, but I can’t. I believe in my heart it was right, and it was for us. And thats exactly how it was celebrated. Now, now its time to share with everyone else.

I loved the event that was our wedding day, in October. We finally go the fun and the frills and the families together. It was personal and intimate and mostly DIY so we could enjoy something tailor made to our loves and our families combining. I think we both feared people wouldn’t show up if they knew they already missed the big premier!

Marriage is hard enough, without complicating it even more. So as everyone gears up to celebrate Valentines Day tomorrow, we are sitting here reminiscing about this day one year ago. Our commitment to one other then, is as strong as it was in October, and just as dear to us today.

Happy Anniversary, Aaron. _MG_2147-3053996259-O _MG_2153-3053996846-O

Thank you to Holly at Shutterly Sweet Photography for these images!

“The Greatest Love On Earth!” a styled shoot

I am very proud to FINALLY announce, alongside Jennifer Krieg Photography, I will be hosting a beautiful styled shoot, for photographers of all levels, using a circus inspired and “Water For Elephants” themed design throughout! The event will be filmed by Holly of Shutterly Sweet Photography, so we can forever remember this event!

This styled event will be taking place on February 23rd, 2013, on a scenic and secluded private farm, Southern Gaits Paso Fino Farm. This location is a picturesque horse farm, with well over 30 horses of all colours in our background! There is a gazebo, a lake and an array of shrubs, in the winter look. Also, a swing. How fabulous we get to seat a bride on one of those!

We are so fortunate in that we will be joined by some amazing and talented vendors, who will be providing floral, hand crafted background pieces, hair and make up, paper products and our cake! We will feature a bride and groom, as well as bridesmaids, a best man, and some small children as our “extras”. We will even have the honour of using one of the prettiest white Paso Fino horses I have seen!

We will have several stations and photography opportunities available. We will be offering complimentary head shots to all participants also. Following the shoot, we will have a champagne and desert gathering in the stables, to toast what is sure to be a wonderful success!

The investment for the event is $150, with a $25 discount available if you sign up before January 18th. Please follow the link below to view our page and invest! Following confirmation of your participation, you will be added to a private Facebook group, where you will see sneak peeks posted as they are finished or in progress, and vendor information for the event! I am SO SO very excited about this and hope to see you there!!!!

Information available, as well as ticket investment, through this link: http://debbielaughlinphotography.com

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Empty frames and full Laundry Baskets – Personal

Being a work from home business owner, I had at first though it would offer me much more time to be super home maker extraordinaire! Laundry would be done Mary Poppin’s style and forest animals would hang by the windows and doors as I happily swept and whistled while I

worked! I dont like admitting Im wrong, but boy was I ever. Though I do admit to whistling (and singing off key and badly, but with enthusiasm) while doing my work, and loving what I do…the severe lack of Bambi and Thumper, the piling up of clean, and sometimes unclean clothes, and frustrations with the ever growing unwed and newly divorced socks has quite firmly instilled in me how hard it is to keep it ALL up!!! I also am usually camera shy, and thought Id have the wonderful ability to capture by self timer a fabulous shot of myself and my fiancé and photoshop all my wrinkles, lines and blemishes, thus transforming me into a picturesque hot super model of stay at home perfection. I glance around the house and see the myriad of empty frames and realize thats an improbability! I also have to work at a consistent rate during the day, instead of being distracted (Squirrel!) by everything else, and the thought of “I can do that later”. Later turns into late nighters, and last night my hubby-to-be came in and kissed my cheek and said “Dont forget about me!”. 

So, a new month, a new business quarter, a new school year, and new goals:

Working hours will be set. 

Gym time needs scheduled, after all, Im exactly 9 weeks from today away from being one of those frame filling brides!

I will find those socks that are unpaired! WHERE can they go!

I will schedule photographs for my sweet Aaron and I, by a photographer I admire, and admit its a good thing.

I will accept Im not Elle McPherson!!! I am who I am and I will try to look at myself in a less negative way when I see me in pictures!!!

I will get my red curtains up to match my cute little office space that, although busy , and in no way fung-shued, its all mine and I love it! 

I will WILL WILL mail these invitations sitting on my desk!!!!!

I will follow up with myself and all of you at the end of this month to see if I can do this successfully!!! Wish me luck or give me tips. Insert frivolous “youre beautiful” comments to pump me up for my pictures to be, and accept my thank-yous for listening to me ramble!!

For now I leave you with the pictures I have: A fun couple shot courtesy of my fun friend/bridesmaid  Carly, the black and white head shot by Bethanne Arthur Photography and my in the grass pose by Tiffany Joyce Photography! Plus a look at my cute little office area, with a shelf made by my handsome guy!

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My name is Debbie, and Im a …..

As my blog says, and as you who know me know, my name is Debbie…and I am 38. Im from Scotland. I have two daughters. I am engaged to a sweet guy. I love red. I sleep to horror movies. I have a weakness for coffee, chocolate, corn flakes, hot wings, cheese and wine – sometimes all at once.  My name is Debbie…and I take pictures. I do. I edit and work from home… in my “office”, where George Michael and Culture Club can play without mockery. Where I can mosh if I want to. Where I smile at “my” bald Chris Daughtry picture from where I met him!  Where I run away if I see spiders. Where I wear footsie pjs without shame, and watch Gilmore Girl season after season. My name is Debbie, and yes, I take pictures…yet why is it SO hard at times for me to say, My name is Debbie and Im a PHOTOGRAPHER. After all, I AM. 

People in this business who are new, “newbies”, or starting out, sometimes keep themselves of the new list for a long time. I know anyway that I do. Photography is an art form, and Im there in some of the most private or special moments in the lives of those I capture. I shoot homecomings, new babies (though thats an art form I refer out! Its a tough specialty! Not my strength) engagements, stolen kisses, first kisses as husband and wife. Im first to know gender of babies after the couple! I see tears in Dads eyes, smiles in moms, winks from wives. Hands being held, bubbles being blown and hair as the sun sets a glow on it. I love it. I love what I do, the moments I bear witness to, and the stories I get to tell from my own viewpoint. 

Im learning, and Im growing, and I am not the wise old girl on the block, but Im not just starting out. Theres the fear of criticism, but there would be that fear no matter how amazing and seasoned you are. Not everyone will love my work, but my clients do. I walk into houses and I see MY pictures in frames, on walls and hung with love. I look at facebook and see 15-20 profile pictures that I shot. I couldnt be more thrilled! I see the “likes” on my business page grow and grow, and its exciting! It makes me try harder and work smarter, and give up my evenings to do what I want to do!

Im inspired by old movies, by 80s movies, by art, and books with stories of love and dreams and imagination! I had a tough childhood which I will save for another day, but it made me who I am, and to know where I want to end up. Im working on a book too, because storytelling wether scripted or pictorial IS what I want to do! Its where my passion lies (outside of my family and aforementioned snacks and wine!).

People ask me to shoot. Its a dream. Gone are the days of me always asking “Can I take some pictures?”, unless Im doing it for something special for my soon to be launched site then I DO still ask!! Im thankful for a community full of “newbies” like me, who lean on and support one another. WHo help you through rough spots and compliment and give credit on your great days! Im inspired by great women who mentored me, Tara Liebeck and Amanda Hedgepeth who both take time from their crazy busy schedules to give back and invest time in us. After all, if I want to be better I need to learn from the best, and those two ladies are AMAZING. I cant say that enough.

 I finally need to take the training wheels off, and put away the life vest and take a big deep breath and say FINALLY: I am Debbie, and I AM a photographer. I am, I am. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage