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Tax Day Giveaway!

Happy April 15th! AKA….TAX DAY.

Not typically something to celebrate, or even really a happy day…but this year I’m feeling thankful for this day because 1) We’re still alive. and 2) Since today is April 15th- that means tomorrow is NOT. And we can stop thinking about taxes…at least for a little while (until our next quarterly is due).

Being a small business owner makes taxes even more DAUNTING…and something that I honestly dread. But, God was SO good to us this year- as he is every year…no matter what our tax return says. And I think that’s something to celebrate, am I right?!

So in celebration that tomorrow is NOT April 15th- I’m doing just a little giveaway:)I recently came across the fabulous site, Click and Blossom- and it’s FULL of fun doo-dads for photographers and business owners alike. I love all of their adorable mugs- so I’m gifting one of you with one of these two pretties:

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Photos by CLICK AND BLOSSOM

Entering is super duper easy- just comment below with when you officially finished your taxes— or if you’re filing for an extension this year (we did last year!).

I’m also hosting this giveaway on Instagram (only picking one winner)- so feel free to follow me there (@photosbysarahbeth) and comment instead- either way:)

I’ll announce the winner tomorrow- April 16th (not tax day;))

HAPPY APRIL 15th!!!!

April 15, 2015 - 3:09 pm

Meghan Clark - Can we comment on the blog and Instagram? ;) Those are super cute mugs! We finished our taxes March 16th (after having to locate a missing SS card!) so we could make sure Dan’s work travel wouldn’t interfere with getting them done ;)

April 15, 2015 - 3:17 pm

Blaire Elizabeth Ring - We filed March 4th-ish :)

April 15, 2015 - 3:19 pm

Heather Rowles - I filed April 8th! Mostly because I’m lazy.

April 15, 2015 - 3:23 pm

Amanda Schmuck Iorio - Husband filed ours back in March.

April 15, 2015 - 3:30 pm

Jennifer Williams - I finished last night around 5:00pm… used Turbotax for the first time…in my pjs…then celebrated with Cafe Rio tacos and the Penguins movie… my kitty also helped with taxes as she sat in my lap while I did them. =]

April 15, 2015 - 3:31 pm

Paige Karanovich - I’m spoiled and my step-dad filed them for me! All I had to do was sign and send them off. They should be post-marked with a date of March 31!

April 15, 2015 - 3:35 pm

Tatyana Veren - Did ours at the beginning of February! I love nothing more than getting those babies over with ;)

April 15, 2015 - 3:40 pm

Annie Minicuci-Tobias - Thought we finished our taxes last month, but ended up having to file a last minute amended return! Just put the envelopes in the mail about an hour ago. *phew

April 15, 2015 - 3:42 pm

Amy Browne Morantes - We filed and have our refund safely in our account, minus the cost of one basketball camp. Traditionally that’s how we pay for Jack’s summer camps! Glad you got yours done…thankfully this is one of the things Juan takes care of!

April 15, 2015 - 4:02 pm

Sarah F. - I filed at the beginning of March. I wouldn’t let myself read the new book I had just gotten until I filed. I’m a small business owner myself and I know just how daunting the whole tax thing is now that I’ve had to do it for 2 years. They key is to keep up with your paperwork throughout the year so it isn’t all just sitting in stacks of receipts and such.

April 15, 2015 - 4:56 pm

Sarah Houston McGuckin - I finished my taxes TWO weeks ago && I didn’t spend a fortune filling them this year! Yay!!

April 15, 2015 - 6:17 pm

Laura Wade - We finished back in February! Was eager to get that return, but come to find out, we had to PAY taxes this year :( Not too much though! That’s what you get when you move in the middle of the year so between the two of us, we had 4 jobs plus extra income claimed from side jobs… egh.

April 16, 2015 - 5:15 am

Fallon Alley - Finished in March! ♡

Jessica & Darby | A Comic Book Inspired Engagement Session

If I could shoot engagement sessions everyday, I would ask you to sign me up right away. I LOVE shooting them- because it means one on one time with two HAPPY, soon-to-be-married lovebirds- it’s just smiles and laughs for hours, and who wouldn’t love that? I always leave engagement sessions in an even better mood than when I began, and always always thanking God for my job.

Driving home from Jessica and Darby’s engagement session was no different- I left in the BEST mood, inspired, and just happy! I’ve known Jessica since before I can remember, and it was SO good to finally meet the man whom she loves, and will marry in just a few short months! These two are the perfect pair- the best of friends- and I absolutely cannot wait to see how God works in their marriage. It’s going to be such a tremendous blessing to witness– and capture!

There are so many reasons why these two are an incredible match- their friendship is so strong, and their love for God so deep…and their mutual love for comic books? THE COOLEST CUTEST THING. When chatting with Jessica about where they might potentially like to have their engagement pictures- she mentioned their love for comic book stores, and how cool it would be to have pictures together in one. YES.

I had the best time photographing these two, laughing along with them with comic jokes (I got a dad and a brother both SUPER into comics!), and afterwards strolling around Brookside Gardens where Jessica has so many childhood memories!

Jessica and Darby- thank you so much for blessing me with the opportunity to capture such a wonderful time in your lives! I’m counting down with you to July!!!!

2015-04-09_00202015-04-09_00192015-04-09_00222015-04-09_00212015-04-09_00232015-04-09_00242015-04-09_00332015-04-09_00252015-04-09_00292015-04-09_00302015-04-09_00262015-04-09_00322015-04-09_00282015-04-09_00272015-04-09_0031Happy Friday, Friends! TGIF!

April 10, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Jennifer Williams - I LOVE THESE SO MUCH! So happy for you Jessica! How cute. Great job Sarah.

A Winter Fairytale Bridal Inspiration Shoot

Styled Shoots are among my favorites to shoot…and yeah, I have a lot of favorites (weddings and engagements are also my favorites!)- but styled shoots remind me that it’s a good idea to shoot just for the love of photography. Styled shoots give you that freedom to create whatever you would like- they allow you to think outside the box- to dream! And I love that it’s never a solo dream- it’s a collective one!

I love being able to connect with not only other photographers- but other creatives in the industry! I don’t have “co-workers” in the typical sense- but I do in the creative sense, and that’s so wonderful to me! I always love collaborating with florists, and hair and make-up artists, venues, and dress boutique owners, etc….to bring visions to life! Teamwork makes the dreamwork, my friends!

This particular styled shoot that I’m about to share with you is one that I’ve been dying to share for a while- but kept holding off until submissions were accepted. BUT, that can sometimes take a while- and I decided to go ahead and share because 1) Winter’s pretty much gone! and 2) I can’t wait any longer. and 3.) The other creatives that collaborated on this deserve to be recognized!

My dear and GORGEOUS friend, Erin agreed to model for me while I was back in the states in December for a bridal portrait inspiration shoot…knowing how absolutely lovely she is, I thought she would be the perfect inspiration for a “winter’s fairytale”…I wanted this shoot to be light, airy, cool, and with a touch of whimsy. I found the PERFECT vintage lace and tulle gown via Ivy Retreat (check out this girl’s shop- it’s incredible)- and from there I collaborated with Sophie of Blossom and Vine Farm for the perfect winter bouquet (which she NAILED), and the amazing ladies of Alison Harper and Co. for a whimsical hair and make-up pallet. My mom then provided the vintage details- and I’m so thankful for the way she always brings those finishing touches to make it all come together (love you mom!)..These ladies made the dream come to LIFE. And I’m so so excited to share…

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Model | Erin Moore

Vintage Gown | The Ivy Retreat

Florals | Blossom and Vine Farm

Hair & Make-Up | Alison Harper & Co

Vintage Props | My MOM! Sue Adams

Venue | Burke Lake Park

 

 

 

 

April 9, 2015 - 2:48 pm

Lauren Swann - These are gorgeous!!!! Love the florals in her hair especially!!

April 9, 2015 - 5:57 pm

Kelly Ewell - What a pretty winter bouquet and I love that it carried into her hairpiece too!

April 9, 2015 - 7:46 pm

Emilia Jane - Beautiful shoot!!

April 10, 2015 - 4:09 pm

Kay Main - Beautiful! The model and the photos! Great job, Sarah!

April 11, 2015 - 2:20 am

Renee - What a dreamy shoot! I just love how you used that crochet blanket!

April 14, 2015 - 9:37 am

Nastja - So beautiful <3 I love the bouquet!

Coffee Chats with Sarah Beth | A New Mentoring Opportunity for Photographers

The idea behind this blog post has been one I’ve been playing around with in my head for a few months now. Joey and I often brainstorm about ways to grow my business, and also connect with other photographers and creatives. And lately, we’ve been talking more and more about ways to SERVE other photographers and creatives- I’ve been so positively impacted by seasoned photographers so graciously willing to answer my questions and serve me- that I feel called to pay it forward and do the same!

In our brainstorming, Joey came up with a wonderful way to serve newer photographers- one that I am super excited about but wasn’t quite ready to share yet because 1) We’ve been out of the country and 2) I was a wee bit nervous… As I think a lot of photographers and creatives are when they start to think about offering mentoring. Thoughts and fears swirl around in your head pretty much all dealing with if you’re good enough– and what others might think: namely, other photographers and creatives.

But THEN a new movement started to grow- one where photographers started speaking out about encouraging one another, instead of constantly competing- about building each other up instead of stewing in jealousy. #communityovercompetition came about- and I gained the courage to share this new mentoring idea! So share I will…

During the upcoming year- I would LOVE to make it my goal to connect with as many newer photographers as possible, and encourage them the way that others have encouraged me. This industry can be so so hard- as can any industry revolving around your passion, and any industry involving a good bit of competition. It is incredibly difficult to run your own business- it’s taxing emotionally, spiritually, and physically- but it’s that much less taxing if you’re able to share those seemingly HUGE burdens with friends and family…and other photographers in the same boat as you!

So for the 2015 season, I’ll be offering time during the week days for “Coffee Chats with Sarah Beth”- a time to connect and chat about all things photography and business over coffee/cupcakes/cookies- and all other things yummy. Instead of paying a mentor session fee, just buy me a iced caramel latte and we can call it more than even! I want this to be a time of questions, encouragement, and prayer if you’ll take it!

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So if you’re a newer photographer- and you feel overwhelmed and have lots of questions unanswered in the world of photography– or if you’re doing just fine and are just looking for a friend and some encouragement- I would SO love to be that friend!

This idea could evolve over time into more of a mentorship program- and might not always just involve coffee as payment haha (girl’s gotta pay the bills)– but for the 2015 season- this is how I would like to approach things!

I don’t have any set times in place right now– but these “Coffee Chats with Sarah Beth” will start taking place the end of May on weekdays near Springfield, Virginia. If you’re interested and want to possibly set up a time– or if you know a newer photographer who might be interested in chatting- just shoot me an email at photosbysarahbeth@gmail.com. I would SO love to hear from you!

 

Happy Wednesday!

April 8, 2015 - 3:33 pm

Rachel Word - LOVE THIS!!

Weekend/Week Wrap-Up

Let’s be honest…I’ve been a little TOO lax when it comes to blogging lately. I’ve gotta million pretty good excuses, but none of them are really good enough…especially when there are lots of other photographers and creatives blogging their brains out- and pretty darn consistently at that. So I promise to consistently promise you consistency- and work hard to achieve it…good enough promise for now?;)

Anywho- it’s been quite some time since I blogged a weekend wrap-up. And lots has happened since the last wrap-up, so rather than try to wrap-up the last couple months– I’ll give myself a little grace and just start with the last week.

As you may have gathered via my instagram and facebook, I was back in the states for about 10 days for an amazing wedding, a few engagement shoots, and a styled shoot day with my interns– all of which I can’t wait to share! I’ve already shared Janice and Ryan’s Old Town Alexandria engagement and Maria and Eric’s Downtown Annapolis engagement- so if you haven’t already checked those two out…go ahead and click those links!

As soon as I returned from the states, I was greeted by Joey at the airport of course:)and his parents for a week of exploring more of Bogota- and trying my hand at tour guide! You’ll have to ask them to see if I succeeded- but just remember: I’m not fluent in the language- I deserve a little bit of a handicap…right?

It was wonderful to be able to spend some time exploring more of Bogota together- we revisited a few places, but also saw a few new places! And you know I’m always game for taking more pictures- and in a city so full of color- there’s always new pictures to be taken:)We also were blessed to all spend Easter together! Last year Joey and I were family-less for Easter in London- and spent the day with our good friend Lindsay, and this year we of course spent it all together at church together in Bogota- it’s a huge blessing to have family together for holidays!

Enjoy some snapshots from our week of exploring!

First Up: Exploring the Old City- La Candelaria

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Next Up: Monserrate- a mountain that sits a few thousand feet above Bogota. We didn’t hike this time- so we instead took a cable car. I’m deathly afraid of heights…so this was SUPER fun…;)

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The Salt Mine of Zipaquira- this mine is still in operation, and also includes a Cathedral. Beautiful place to be just before Easter!

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Andres Carne de Res of Chia- I’d been dying to try this restaurant for a while- and was so glad it was a good spot for us to get lunch after Zipaquira. There are few different locations- but this is the original..The ambiance and decor is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before- and the pictures absolutely don’t do it justice! I could have explored for HOURS. And the food was good too:)We were greeted about 30 minutes into our time at Andres by a mariachi band who welcomed us to Colombia and gifted us with sashes. Too fun!

2015-04-07_00212015-04-07_00192015-04-07_00222015-04-07_0020Easter Sunday!- As I said, it was so wonderful having family to celebrate the most holy of days with. Thinking back on the past couple Easter’s- I’m overwhelmed at what a gift it has been to celebrate our risen Savior with believers ALL over the world!

2015-04-07_00232015-04-07_0024Happy Belated Resurrection Day! And Happy Tuesday!

April 7, 2015 - 3:17 pm

Alicia - Colombia makes Washington, DC look sad and bland — so.much.color there!! Also, you and Joey are the cutest :)

April 7, 2015 - 6:12 pm

Sue Adams - I love the salt mine Cathedral :)

April 8, 2015 - 12:09 am

Jane Mitcham - What are the cups stacked on sticks???