As I'm wrapping up my maternity leave (as much as a small business owner can take maternity leave) and wedding season is upon us, I wanted to share a little behind the scenes look at what life has been like the past few weeks. In early July we welcomed our baby girl, Mila. Our hearts, home and hands have never been more full. We have had late night feedings, approximately one million loads of laundry, a few boxes of diapers, hours of sweet snuggles, a few accidental smiles and lately more intentional smiles. As far as babies go, we think we got a good one... even when she scrunches her face and it turns bright red before letting out a cry. Our house has been a revolving door of family that can't get enough of her and graciously babysits so we can have a few date nights ...and help me see the outside world a bit. In the last few weeks I've learned more about myself and what I'm capable of than I ever expected. Life with a newborn is like living in the movie Groundhog Day... but on a three hour cycle. For someone that is used to a great deal of independence during the day, that is a challenge.
So the news is out. This tiny nugget of joy that we have kept close to our hearts has been shared to the world ...OK I know the entire world doesn't know (or care), but at least OUR world knows. Our whole life is being disrupted in a few months and if you had asked me if I was ready for this 5 years ago, hell even a little over 2 years ago, I would have said "NOPE". That's the funny thing about not getting what you want when you want it - it tends to makes you want it more. I always try to be as authentic as possible in how I communicate with any audience, although typically it looks like images of beautiful people in some of the happiest times of their lives, but this story's happy ending (or beginning) started right here in this picture. I have no idea why I took this picture that day, but I did and I'm so glad I did. It reminds me of this journey we've been on...
I have spent the past [almost] five years as a solopreneur with Jill Doty Photography. It has been my brain child, the fruit of all my labor and my baby. As I have grown personally and professionally, I realized it was time to add a team member to this business of mine. The process has been a rough road to find just the right person to help us grow, and we cannot WAIT to bring her on this July.
You know that time period between Christmas and New Year when you don't know what day it is or what you're supposed to be doing? For me it is a time to recharge and reflect back on the year... and stay in my pajamas while soaking up the last few days of decorations and twinkle lights. 2017 was a jam-packed and wonderful year for JDP - 25 weddings, a mini session marathon benefitting the Atlanta Humane Society, countless hours in the car, two winter storms, three rainy days, two wedding dogs, eight church weddings, six outdoor ceremonies, almost 300 friends standing beside the bride and groom, and thousands of images delivered to to be enjoyed by the countless family and friends that made these wedding days so much fun.
For the past year I have had a desire to give back using photography weighing on my heart. My schedule always seemed to fill before I could make plans, but this year I made it a priority. I came up with a way to combine several things I love - my couples and families, helping animals, and photography. So I hosted a day-long mini session marathon for my past brides and families. Together with these amazing people (and their fur-kids), I am THRILLED to announce we raised $2,000. This money will go towards helping the Atlanta Humane Society do what they do best - rescue those that need help the most. The incredible people that work and volunteer at AHS were very generous in allowing me to come and visit and meet some of the animals we helped (Christine is the best!). They do hard work - emotionally and physically and I am so thankful for them! If you would like to donate to AHS or volunteer, I promise you won't regret it! ...and if you would like me to send you pictures of dogs that are available for adoption each week - let me know, I can do that too! They have several ways to help - monetary donations, purchasing items on their wish list, sponsoring a dog or cat, or even fostering. If you have room in your heart and home, I encourage you to go visit one of their campuses and fall in love with these sweet babies yourself!