Carolina’s Finest

This post is a week overdue, but better late than never.

A week ago I was ending my lovely beach vacation with my Grandmother. We decided to go to a beautiful park called Brookgreen Gardens. It was a photographer’s paradise.

There are so many animals, statues, trees, and flowers that it kept me occupied well into the afternoon.

Bellow are some of my most favorite shots, though certainly not all of them! And as always, please feel free to look, share, and comment (my personal favorite!), but don’t copy or steal my work!

This is a Carolina Fox Squirrel. What really got me was the huge size of this guy! You can’t tell too much from the shots that I got, but he was the size of a small dog. No exaggeration.




The swamp birds (above) weren’t all that beautiful in my opinion, but the intense eyes and the crisp clean appearance of their feathers against the green did create pretty captivating subjects.

ImageMy most favorite animal to watch was the otter. However, this pair of pups wouldn’t be still long enough to let my camera focus, so the pictures were limited. However I could sit and watch them for hours. They were just so happy, and frequently showed off with back dives and rolls in the water.

The butterfly house was probably one of my favorite shoot locations. There were butterflies everywhere, as is to be expected in a butterfly house I suppose. I was fascinated by the ones that were sucking the juices out of oranges and cantaloupe, so there are a few shots of that bellow. I also had to be sure to capture the moment when a yellow butterfly landed on my Grandma’s arm. (Yellow butterflies hold a special significance to her in particular.)


Can you say heart attack? This snake was NOT in an enclosure, but instead, was laying on the side walk sunning himself when I rounded the corner and almost stepped on it! Pretty sure you could’ve heard my scream throughout the whole plantation. However, after I realized it wasn’t poisonous, my heart rate returned to normal and I shot a few photos before he slithered away.





ImageAnd of course you can’t walk through gardens without taking pictures of all the flowers…or the characteristic oak trees with the lovely twisted branches and draping Spanish moss.





I decided to spare you from viewing the pictures of the statues, which most people don’t get, but I couldn’t resist including these. The last one is my favorite though – the red bird made the shot. :)

I hope that you enjoyed the small sampling of my work! Coming up next on the blog: My first engagement shoot results! So stay tuned everyone. ;)


Life’s a Beach

Today is day 4 of my beach vacation. And I’m in heaven.

After endless school assignments, and the past  two weeks totaling 95 hours at work, I could not be happier to finally have time to relax.

It’s just my grandma and I, but it’s our first time taking a beach vacation since my Papa died back in August. It is bitter sweet coming here and not having my blonde-haired, blue-eyed grandfather with us…the last time I ever saw him alive he was rinsing sand of the bottom of the cooler before heading back home.

However, my Grandmother and I have found things to keep us occupied. Movies at night, sand and sun in the day, and even a nature walk.

Since this is the last week of my photography class, I have also been working on shots for my final exam portfolio.

Bellow are a few wildlife shots that I took in Huntington Beach State Park. All shots are in the original RAW format without editing or touch-ups. Please look, share, and comment, but please do not copy or steal my work! Thanks!ImageImage








Hope you enjoyed!

…And now, back to my beach chair! ;)

Keep Calm and Swim On

I am strongly convinced that I have one of the most enjoyable summer jobs.

I get paid to swim, and to encourage and train others to swim all summer long. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t jump in the pool – and I love it.

But swimming has more perks than just being a good way to cool down on a hot summer day. Lap swimming burns around 500-700 calories/hr! Because swimming is a low impact, cardio sport that targets all major muscle groups, swimming is one of the top ways to lose those unwanted pounds.

This summer, I am teaching an average of 30 hours of group and private swimming lessons each week! Although teaching a child to swim for the first time is extremely rewarding, my personal favorites are the adult coached workout sessions. I just finished up a few weeks of classes with a lady who needed training for a triathlon. She did amazing! And she’s already back for more!

However, what many people don’t realize is that you don’t need a swim coach in order to hit the pool. You can find many swimming workouts posted online that you can print out and take with you!

Bellow I’m giving away one of the beginner endurance sets that I use when coaching one of my adult triathlon workouts. Yes, for free! So now that you’re without an excuse, get off the couch and go swim!

Warm up: 3x100m

Drill: 1x50m, 1x100m, 2x150m, 1x100m, 1x75m

Cool down: 3x75m

Total: 1,150m

*Note:  A standard pool is usually 25m. 3x100m would read “three sets of 100 meters” (That’s 12 laps total in a 25m pool).

What about you? Are you a swimmer? Coach? Do you just love to swim? Hate it? Did you take the plunge and try the workout? I want to hear about it!


Photography 101

Being the ambitious person that I am, this summer I decided to take 9 online credits toward my undergrad degree.


A simple question deserves a simple answer.

I’m ready to be done with school. As soon as possible. So I’m squeezing 6 years of school requirements into 3.5. Sometimes it seems like a little much, but so far it’s working out ok. I’ve got to keep my mind occupied somehow while Paul’s away! ;)

For my first 3 credits (well, all of them really) I wanted something super easy that could give my GPA a little boost with a solid effortless A. So I went with a class entitled Fundamentals of Digital Photography. Since I have quite a bit of experience and know-how in photography, thanks to the influence of my amazing mother, I figured this was a good option. I never expected to learn as much as I have! Yes, there have been some days when I’m sick of having to run outside and snap a few pictures, but overall I’ve actually enjoyed the class.

Bellow I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the 6 graded portfolios I’ve compiled over the past 3 weeks. You may look, share, and comment, but please do not steal or copy my work. Thank you in advance! As always feedback is welcome.

Also, be sure to check out my mom’s professional business site at!