July Carney Monthbook | Gainesville Family Photographer

pretty drinks

This month was a busy one for Wayne with school and for me with work. Well, mainly just one week was jam-packed, while the others felt a lot like the rest. The days feel long because it feels like we are reliving the same day on repeat, for the most part. There was some celebration and inspiration that happened this month that added some excitement!

The opener for the month was a big Fourth of July celebration with our quarantine crew. We made a pretty large spread of hot dogs, hamburgers, and an epic red, white and blue charcuterie board. This year felt a little different due to the realities of social injustices and inequality for black lives. To be honest, the holiday felt a bit sour. While I am thankful to be an American, I want to see better for our country. You can love America and desire more for it.fourth of july decorations

I feel like I am Selah in the picture on the left … and 2020 is Ethan.

fourth of july family

Peep the CUTEST Fourth of July pocket tee and romper from Baug-haus!

Date nights! Probably one of my favorite quarantine dates yet happened the night after the Fourth of July. It was simple but incredibly romantic. We picked up Chipotle and sat at a nearby park to eat together. Afterward, we went to my favorite parking garage in town and drove all the way to the top where you could overlook downtown Gainesville. Wayne and I stood by the ledge and shared a lot of hard conversations about where we feel the Lord is leading after his graduation. I even said, “One year from now, our lives may look completely different! Who knows where we will be!” While it felt a little overwhelming not to have any idea where the Spirit is leading right now, we ended the conversation hopeful and excited because we feel like we are presented with a blank slate. Right after the conversation, we look out and find FOUR different firework displays across the city. BEST SEAT! We had the place to ourselves and got to watch the night sky light up.

COVID date nights

Another date night we picked up Mexican and went to a nearby field that had street lights so we could have an evening picnic. This date didn’t last long, because the food was subpar and the mosquitoes were rampant.

The socially distant photo sessions continued! Goodness, wearing a face mask in the middle of the Florida summer heat, while bringing a camera to your face is ROUGH. But I am so, so grateful to be shooting and I would much rather be safe for our clients. Below was when I got to explore a new site for shoots!

Bathing suit maternity

The next day I met these two cuties downtown! I forget how majestic the  Hippodrome is.

Downtown engagement photos

Wayne had his exit exam this month so Ethan got a lot more snuggles with Tori as Mommy and Daddy worked more. Thankful to have her in our lives as their nanny while Ethan is out of daycare, but I’m more thankful to have her in my life as a friend who will meet me where I’m at! Even if that means a 6a coffee date because sometimes that’s when I’m free and the littles are asleep!

Wayne passed his PT exit exam and has one LAST practical before he graduates in August. We have been waiting for this date for FOUR YEARS! Dr. Wayne Carney!! This month felt like a slow crawl towards the finish line. Crawling, but moving! Almost done!

Selah turned 11 months and her most monumental milestone this month was that she took her first steps. She really isn’t interested in trying unless you have a puff or a bottle in hand. Along with the first steps, she has learned to shake her head no and recognizes the word “doggy.” Ethan had some milestones too! He learned to spell a few three-letter words. As Wayne works from home part-time, he uses his extra time to teach Ethan. 

covid family portraits

I learned that Ethan isn’t a picky eater if you give him a salad packed with all the toppings. Here he is with his spinach, avocado, peppers, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and chicken (he prefers without dressing… WHAT!).

COVID weddings! Kim and I masked up and shot a micro wedding, which is really popular now and consists of a celebration of 50 or less. The tables were all 6 feet apart and guests were required to wear masks. Before the wedding, Kim sent me off with coffee and snacks… because she knew. 

I got a lot of playtime behind the camera with three inspirational shoots in one week. To say I was EXHAUSTED is a severe understatement. The day after the wedding I photographed two shoots that a new friendor, The Shindig Co, put together. I got to reunite with my flower fave BAUGhaus to make some magic.

behind the scenes of a photographer

bride in a field

bluch centerpiece

…and I got to photograph one of my fave vendors in town!

In the next two days, I drove 11 hours between three towns in order to pick up essential items for the following shoot.
WELL. WORTH. IT.

Joyful Black Bride

Tori and I had office breaks to pick up boba tea like the old days. We also had office breaks where we ended up lying on the driveway because of exhaustion. We took some much-needed mental health breaks this month!

I love having Kim as our Associate because I have a friend with me at all weddings, but I also love having Kim as an Associate because… I’ve got a personal family photographer! Kim and I traded family mini sessions this month and it went so smoothly. We started out with Kim’s family. 

Covid family portraits

kids dancing

Then we moved to mine. This shoot really was the least amount of stress I have ever experienced on the other side. The week of family pictures was right around my crazy week, so my family didn’t go shopping for a new outfit… or even think of outfits from our closet ahead of time! We ended up with more casual outfits 30 minutes before our shoot! And I am really happy with the results. The best part… it was in Kim’s backyard! This is making me even MORE excited for fall mini sessions this year!

bw photos of family

Being in front of the camera with my family reminded me of a few things:

1. You really don’t need more than 20-30 minutes with children (hellooo, minis!)

2. Even as a photographer who knows all of the “poses” and looks, I need to be directed. It is helpful to remind myself of the perspective of the client… and it is helpful not to rely on my tripod for personal pics!

3. Wear what makes you feel confident. For some, it is more formal outfits, while others prefer something more casual. I didn’t take the time to go shopping prior to the shoot, but I am really glad I was forced to pick something from my closet. I chose something that felt comfortable and made me feel confident. This was the first time I genuinely felt at ease and myself at a shoot, which made taking direction from Kim a lot easier.

4. Trust the photographer when it comes to posing. Kim suggested I get on Wayne’s back for a shot. I normally don’t pose like that with Wayne, but we went for it! It was comical trying to jump in my wedges and skinny jeans and that led to my most treasured image. It’s blurry and I kind of really dig it. It reminded me of the moment and the joy behind it. I love it so, so much. 

piggy back engagement pose

I had the sweet pleasure of photographing an elopement for some friends from our church. It was just them and their immediate families under the shade of some beautiful moss. Because Florida is Florida, seconds after this image was taken…

COVID Elopement

THIS happened…

rained out photographer

My cousin and her husband drove through Gainesville and we met up at Target with with our masks, so that we could see each other. We circled Target twice as we caught up on recent life stories. Hanging out has a whole new meaning these days.

At the end of the month, I got a really sweet surprise! My tomatoes are turning red! Made my day. I even got more growth on some pepper seeds I planted. I am loving the hope found in gardening. I am finally going to be able to eat from my tomato plant next month! 

covid gardening

covid gardening

Looking forward to the next month with a heart full of hope!

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