For the Love of 2016

I had an amazing year last year, so far as the beautiful clients and weddings I was honoured to capture! Here are some of my most favourite images from the beautiful wedding season I had, as well as some fun family, and special maternity images! THANK YOU to all of my new and returning clients for giving me fabulous year in photographs. I look forward to serving more of you this year!

My Spring & Summer Brides

In this very blessed second year of my business, I was beyond thrilled and excited to be the photographer telling the stories to the following spring and summer brides! I was fortunate enough to see two beautiful elopements in the outer banks, attend a tea party mad hatter style, shoot in downtown Richmond at an old railway, plant a tree in a storm on arbor day, capture seriously romantic DIY country weddings, travel to Ohio for an old friend, capture beautiful brides saying I do, go out on a cruise of July 4th, ride on some awesome golf carts to get the perfect shot, literally see a “shotgun” wedding and watch a sailor come home from deployment and finally get his girl! To each and every one of my spring/summer brides, I dedicate this blog to you! DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Wedding-111 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Tom&Marina-101 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Maggie&Jeff-762 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Wedding-13 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Wedding-12 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-WedPic-1 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Engagements-1 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Katelyn&William-1 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-AndyRobynWedding-1 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Wedding-506 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Barbara&Ed-18 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Barbara&Ed-16 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Wedding-1 copy 2 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Mina&Kevin-4 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Mina&Kevin-3 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Mina&Kevin-1 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Wedding-255 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Wedding-227 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Tom&Marina-150 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Mr&Mrs-103 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Laighann&Tim-6 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Laighann&Tim-1 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Heather&JP-17 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Dana&Glenda-5 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Dana&Glenda-4 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Bridals-2 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-Tom&Marina-117 copy DebbieLaughlinPhotography-SpiritofNorfolkWedding-369 DebbieLaughlinPhotography-SpiritofNorfolkWedding-80

Investing In Me | The Abbey Kyhl Evolving Workshop, Virginia

Imagine my favorite photographer/business owning/mother, whom Ive followed for a long time, who inspires me, and writes blogs to encourage, shoots incredible images, teaches other photographers the fine art of balance…are you imagining? Then, imagine her here. In my present home town, after MY husband picked her up at the airport, and finally imagine MY excitement, at getting to spend two overwhelmingly amazing days in her company, and her assistant Jacki, as well as in the company of some equally eager-to-learn photographers, and you have imagined my experience at the AK Crew workshop, Virginia, hosted and run by Abbey Kyhl.
Last month I spent the days counting down until I was sitting in my chair, incredulously looking at how NORMAL she looked! LOL. She was real. She was here. And she brought to me the hands down best experience in workshop form that i have EVER been to, without a doubt the best investment I have made for my business growth, and I will even say that quite honestly I grew personally.

As she talked about how I can take back control of my time, return to a life of planned FREE TIME, of being a better wife and mother and friend, I became emotional. I was hearing someone tell me, and encourage me, to be the woman I am FIRST, to make myLIFE my passion, and not my business, and that I would STILL be able to provide amazing client experience to the business I love so so very much! She made it okay that business should not be your passion, if it was, you would put it before absolutely everything that you already had going on within your life, and forget about some important things, some special family time, or some other memory because you felt somehow that your business would fail if it didn’t get 100% of the best part of you. I was making it 100% priority, and taking on so much, that I was neglecting even more.

Now, I LOVE LOVE what I do. Being there for the most important events in people’s lives is an honor, an honor. I get excited by new shoots, seeing the final images, looking at the canvases and prints chosen by my clients. However, Abbey was right, my life should be, and IS, my passion!

I do NOT have enough space to cover exactly how inspired I was, and all that we covered from business systems to social media, to even un-friending people on Facebook, and the freedom you would have to enjoy life again, and still maintain a successful small business. I am so ready to begin implementing all of the things I learned, and I have already begun. Re-branding is underway, forming stronger client interaction has begun, and deciding what my specialties shall be is next. I am so ready to bring you the next chapter of Debbie Laughlin Photography, so ready to bring my family and best friends a whole new refreshed Debbie.

If you are a photographer, I strongly encourage you to join the AK Crew and look into these workshops! I am not exaggerating when I say it WILL change you!

Abbey – THANK YOU so very very much, for bringing your knowledge to us, for making sense, for supporting us even now after the workshop. I cannot wait for the next one…

Enjoy the following images from the styled shoot portion of the workshop, styled by some amazing vendors!!!

Planning, Design + Styling Michelle Amarillo Event Planning | Florals + Styling Studio Posy | Dress Maya Couture | Stationary The Girl Tyler | Makeup Beauty + Baubles | Hair High Voltage Hair by Crystal Casey

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“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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My New Year Resolve…my new word for the year too..

Ive been trying to think of the word to be encouraged by, for the whole year. Just one word, to motivate and excite me, to overcome things with, to challenge myself with, and to hopefully all around make me a better person. After all, with each new year comes new resolutions and promises to oneself about the “New You”. I however, have spent the past 5 years learning to love the old me. And you know what, Ive decided Im not so bad afterall! I have met challenges, had my heart broken, single parented my way through a bevvy of draining and rewarding parent-trocities and really learned to trust more in myself and faith. It worked for me. I got through it. I even got a “happy ending”, by marrying someone who treats me like a princess!

So, rather than find a new me, Id like to keep bettering the REAL me. To hone my photography craft to the next level, to take my business to new markets, to be a better mother, a more patient person, a better friend, a deeper Christian and a more content Debbie. My word is Refine.

v. re·finedre·fin·ingre·fines
 verb \ri-ˈfīn\

: to remove the unwanted substances in (something)

: to improve (something) by making small changes

v.tr.

1. To reduce to a pure state; purify.
2. To remove by purifying.
3. To free from coarse, unsuitable, or immoral characteristics: refined his manners; refined her speaking style.
v.intr.

1. To become free of impurities.
2. To acquire polish or elegance.
3. To use precise distinctions and subtlety in thought or speech
This will guide me in all areas of my life. Not just personal. Not just photography. Not just in faith. Because Im not just ONE of these things. Im ALL of them.
I have grown sadly accustomed to comparing myself personally and professionally to those around me who, on facebook anyway, certainly appear to have it all together. However, I know there was life before Facebook, and while I commend these people for having such a great outlook and command over a mulitude of things, I am “old enough to know better” and see beyond a social media status to accept its not all bubbles and kittens.
I also resolve to start a blog, a series of 4 or 5, on being a seasoned mum. Baby balancing in a chaotic life is crazy enough, and focus tends to be on actual important physical needs. However, our offspring do not remain cute energetic toddlers and infants forever and I know there are mothers,, and fathers, like me out in the http://www.com universe who may learn from, or commiserate with, some of the challenges us hard working (in all senses of that word) mothers of children/teens/young adults face, that we cant get past with a visit to Toys R Us. First blog will be posted tomorrow, and I hope you come back to read, with totally honesty, how it is for this business owning mother of two, and step mother to one, deals with the challenges of blending families, juggling personalities and maintaining control of her sanity, all while being a great wife and whole person!

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