The best of 2016

Wow, what a year it has been. It seems like just yesterday I was graduating high school and had my whole future in photography right in front of me. The past 2 years as a whole have been significant for various reasons. But the main one I want to focus on, is photography. Every single photograph I have taken has changed my perception of the world. My eyes are continually drawn to the ever changing light. My perspective is now constructed of light edges and dimensions. Through my travels, these cognitive experiences continue to shape my life. My camera = an extension of me.

So many people I have met over this past year have asked me, "What makes you happy?". And every time without fail, it's photography. It's the one thing in my life I am sure about- more than sure- like 1,000,000% sure. I haven't found a greater happiness than when a camera is in my hand. For that alone, I know my love for this job shows in my work. It's an amazing feeling when people start to recognize that too. That glisten that shines in my free expression, the one without any limitations. If there's something I've learned this year, it's that I have the power to make a remarkable light in every thing I do and overcome (both in this life and my career). Looking back on all the experiences I've had this year, all the new faces I've met, and how much my work has evolved, it's truly hard to believe. Sharing with you some of my most intimate + heart-warming shots makes everything worth those sweat + tears. I have a good feeling my Wedding + Photography empire will be BOOMing by this time next year. (; 

Please stay, and have a look at my year:

See you next year...! Xx,

All in Those Southern Details... | Samantha + Patrick

Well, let me start by saying that there are almost too many things I love about my job. I have a very special + spectacular view point through my lens. It is important to me as your wedding photographer, on the biggest day of your life that nothing goes un-noticed.

I am OBSESSED with details and small things people may pass by. I am intrigued by the edges of the ribbons on your flower bouquets + the sparkle in your grooms eyes as you walk down the isle. Let me show you a couple of photos from Samantha + Patrick's wedding day that I absolutely adored. 

Her Details:  

There is a story behind every image. This photo in particular {above} shows off Samantha's stunning + unique bouquet. Not your average overly stuffed flower bouquet; Sam took family heirlooms + vintage jewels and created a stunning masterpiece. I have never seen anything like this before + it definitely grabbed my attention. This is a fun + inexpensive way for Bride's to have something different + something special that your family can appreciate forever. 

Samantha's wedding earrings were purchased at boutique in Brooklyn that she payed $25 for. This is pure indication that you do not have to break the bank for your wedding day. Look around at your local little shops + I am sure you will come across at least a few items that you will love for a bargain! 

His Details: 

Patrick is a HUGE Tennessee Football fan + had the most hilarious beer-koozies! You can purchase these on Etsy or Amazon! Super affordable + cute way to incorporate something fun into your wedding day for him. 

Ceremony Details: 

Rose peddles on rose peddles... What could be better? This rustic outdoor ceremony was absolute perfection. The isles were lined with sleek chrome lanterns + chalkboards that read details about the Bride + Groom. Mirrors were hung all over the main walkway to the seating which reflected the golden sunshine and peaked through the many trees surrounding the entirety of the ceremony. It couldn't have been more darling. 

Reception Details:

Wowww! Where to even begin?! My eyes lit up with pure excitement as I entered the reception area in Drakewood Farms. Safe to say my secret interior designer fantasies all came true. Golds, rich reds, oranges, pinks + greens + blues were lined on every table. {Such an interesting combo of colors, but it worked!}. Different fine china for each table setting also gave this farm-to-table vibe an extremely 'homey' feel. Gold glitter table runners were placed underneath a white lace runner + it added the perfect amount elegance to tie everything together. 

Along with the joy of your wedding day, comes with remembering loved ones that you wish were there. Samantha + Patrick had a beautiful display of old family photos of relatives + family that were placed on an all lace table near candles in honor of those who could not be there. This is becoming more + more popular to do on your wedding day + it is a very loving thing to have displayed, where there is the most LOVE on this day. 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading + seeing some beautiful details from S + P's wedding day. Stay connected with my on Instagram for more! 

Alexis Xx

 

 

A Taste of The Windy City

One of the highlights of every trip I take is experiencing the culture of that city. I have been to this well-known city several times before, but each time I visit there is something new I learn -- making me fall even more in love with it! 

 People travel all over to come to this farmers market in Illinois. There are some of the best local farmers from all over the city that make fresh grown produce + juice that is amazingggg! You can find out more at:  Logan Square Market

People travel all over to come to this farmers market in Illinois. There are some of the best local farmers from all over the city that make fresh grown produce + juice that is amazingggg! You can find out more at: Logan Square Market

Above is the ever so scrumptious wheat grass shot that is perfect for detoxing. Fresh greens pressed by hand in a metal grinder that compresses the greens to get all of those nutrients out. Wheatgrass juice is an effective healer because it contains all minerals known to man, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, I and K + it is extremely rich in protein. Perfect for my long weekend of photo shoots or for when I fly. 

Some of the best things in life are the most colorful! 

Here's a little piece of encouragement + happiness to add to your day... I hope you've enjoyed this weeks blog post! Stay connected with me on Instagram + Twitter + Facebook to hear about exciting discounts for Lifestyle/Wedding/Portrait sessions & new blogs! 

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P.S. an exclusive sneak peek of Samantha + Patrick's Wedding at the beautiful Drake Wood Farms will be featured on October 17th...! Can't wait to share all the beautiful details with y'all.

Leave me comments + feedback for what you would like to see next time in Nashville!

Visualize Yourself Reaching YOUR Goals : As a Professional

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                             Your mind is an incredibly powerful thing; it is more powerful than you are even aware of. Learning about cognitive ecstasy, the importance of getting enough sleep, + how to create positive feedback loops in our heads throughout the day is crucial. Here are a few things I swear by for my daily health = wealth lifestyle! The things I will share with you in this blog help me not only in my personal life but also in my career as a pro photographer.

BLOG AIM

Dear Me,

  • Try something new today.
  • Take a walk outside, and let nature calm your mind. 
  • Make a to-do list. You'll feel encouraged as you cross off items. 
  • Get more sleep. Sleep deprivation could be making you less motivated
  • Take a small step. You don't have to immediately immerse yourself into a project and see it until completion right away. Just make baby steps, and take it one day at a time.
  • Wake yourself up from your slump with a cold shower.
  • Have a reward system, so you'll have something to look forward to.
  • When doing a task you don't want to do, play energizing music {my go-to MIX) to help you get through it.
  • Get the hard stuff done first thing in the morning. Once you're done with the most challenging projects, you'll be able to tackle the others with ease.
  • Prepare early so you're not in a rush. For work or personal stuff -- when you're late all the time or feel rushed, this may stress you out and kill your motivation.
  • Push yourself. Realize that getting things done means giving yourself a little push sometimes.
  • Grow your willpower. Read The Willpower Instinct for how to do this. If you're just in need of a good read, pick up BluetsI highly recommend it.
  • Make motivating yourself into a habit. Keep posting post it notes of inspiration all over your walls until you get sick of seeing them. Read The Power of Habit to help you learn how to rid of bad habits.
  • Focus. Doing too many things at once can overwhelm you, so drop the multitasking and focus on one thing at a time. Just one thing, Alexis(!) 

Most importantly, don't lose sight of who you are inside. Your soul + heart; that person deep within every crevice that makes you one of a kind. The next few years may seem like an eternity trying to hurdle your way over the beginners hump that is freelance work. A day will come where you will thank yourself for all of those non-stop, eye itching, late night, tireless nights. You have a DREAM; a dream that you never thought you could pursue or even attempt to do as a career -- AND guess what? You did it!!! People tried to bring you down; they tried to take that passion away from you + you didn't let them. Cheers to that! The ones who see you wanting to fail, have a battle they have to deal with within themselves. Live by the phrase 'mind over matter'; in every situation that brings you to a new challenge. Don't you dare lose sight of what's right in front of you that you have love for. People, projects, jobs; never give up on that.  

Make yourself proud. 

Make yourself hungry for more success. 

From a time past...

 Your younger self

I decided to show-case so beautiful thoughts + inspiration from some of the people that have touched my heart the most in my life!      Here's what they have to say right here: 

Obstacles in life are put there to separate those people who will give up and those people who are willing to persist and be patient.
Work harder than they ever thought they could to achieve what others thought were impossible. Keep in mind that there is a right time for everything whether it is a job or the love of your life or anything you dream about. Things don’t always just fall into place. Life happens with hard work mixed with good timing.
— Mama Mostaccio
I would tell people to believe in their dreams and to know how loved they are. That there is someone bigger than all of us who cares for us and wants the best for us. When making decisions, being obedient to that sense of peace or lack thereof will bring you more happiness than you could ever imagine.
— Nicole Mostaccio
Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 12.33.22 PM.png
Definitely never look at the ground when you walk, always have your head up. Look for the good in every single situation because there is always good, and always something to learn from and grow from. Keep your head up & don’t let your tiara fall!
— Olivia Perry
Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody — love what you’re doing with your blog!!!
— Racel Jones
It’s all alright in the end. If everything isn’t alright, it isn’t the end. Times unfortunately get tough, but there’s always a brighter tomorrow. Sorry for the cheese — Always having something to look forward to also helps me push through as well.
— Flethcer Moore
When something gets challenging in life you always have to remember, no matter what the circumstances are, to carry yourself with confidence, dignity, and respect! Confidence to hide weaknesses, dignity to show pride and self-respect, and respect towards yourself, others, and the environment. All three create a wildfire that cannot be stopped to lead a positive and progressive lifestyle!
— Kayla Greco
In life there are no coincidences. Every place we go and every person we meet is never by chance. Everything happens so that our lives can be enhanced.
— Kaitlin Pointer
There’s nothing like surviving your mental war. There’s nothing like forgetting you’ve ever fought before.” -the dead tongues — can’t wait to check out the blog!
— Matt Phillips
If you have something that you want to do, but it scares you, always at least try to do it. If you fail, at least you tried and you won’t leave yourself wondering “what if” after it’s too late. But if you’re going to do it, go all in and make sure you have good people that you love standing on the sidelines to support you. Also, everything happens for a reason. That’s huge.
— Kayli Baker
People don’t change unless they have a reason to. And sometimes it takes something traumatic or the fear of loss to induce that type of change. People don’t always change because they want to, they change because they have to. Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and forgiving heart. Be the one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them. I always look at quotes and stuff on the Internet and I always find amazing things that really touch me. I saw this on and thought it was really great.
— Kristin Peacher
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”-Led Zep — favorite
— Becca Cuntala

This concludes this weeks blog! Stay connected with me by following me on Instagram. I will be posting more about my preparations + journey to one of my favorite cities EVER on there until September! 

The Heart of the Matter

I am here to tell you that there will be days you won't be able to get up or want to do things. You will want to stay in a space of conformity. A negative place that you live in inside your mind and in your life. This will definitely impact your work, and your value you have to share with this world. I am here to tell you that everyone has those days. Everyone goes through that, it's how you chose to deal with it that makes you the person you are and come out the other side as.

I would never be able to do what I love without the people or ideas that glue my everything together. FAMILY, photography, music, art, friends, sight-seeing, learning, and planning are what keep my mind organized during times of frustration when it comes to my work. Every now and again I get in a rut -- a photographer's writer block if you will. For me when this happens, one of my main sources of inspiration is my heart: my family. They pushed me to become the woman I am today. For that, I can say that I am educated, fulfilled and happy. 

Another thing near to my heart is always remembering where I was raised. I am most grateful for are my roots -- my northern, small town roots to be exact. "Y'all" was never apart of my vocabulary; however, living in Music City for the past three years has changed that for me. There are people you meet along the way that change you, in the best way! I have grown so much both as a person and as a professional since residing in this sweet state. I may never get used to not having a beach in my state or how different the accents may be -- but I sure do love it! I love knowing that no matter how much I grow, no matter how much changes within myself and my life, those little things never will. When I meet people from New Jersey or New York here in Nashville, my heart swells a little. It is probably the most comforting and reassuring feeling I get from living in this big, very intimidating city called Nashville. It's a small world after all.

If you know me, you know I LOVE green juice + traveling. Take a peak inside my personal Instagram:

I can't wait to plan the next trip, and to see the next new things. Since living in Nashville, I have found out that I am quite the adventure junkie. Never did I really delve into that piece of me until living in Tennessee. It's the most fun thing for me to take my camera out and just roam around all day and take pictures of what I see in that moment. Who wouldn't love doing that? Come on?!

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Thank you so much for visiting + staying connected with me... Next week I will be sharing with you a sneak peek of a collaboration project I'll be hosting in Chicago, IL with my  brilliant other 1/2, Samantha Mostaccio. Peace + Love! Xx

The Method to my Madness

Let's be real for a minute. We've all had those moments where we feel scatter-brained or unorganized. My life can sometimes feel like a whirlwind of chaos -- surrounded by tornados of paper work, photos, gear, etc. Balancing my personal life as well as being a freelance photographer can be very tough with all of the moving parts! Being organized + knowing what goes where will make your work flow easier. Here are my essentials that get me through my day / shoot. 

What's in my bag:

Music is key whether I'm on location or just going to the gym. Good music gets me excited + mentally prepared before I have a session. It's like my ritual. I blast this playlist whenever I need an energy boost + encouraging vibes. My all time favorite artists are here in this mix I created below!  

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So after you've organized your essentials + made a checklist {which by the way is one of the most important things on a big production day} double check to make sure you have ALL of those things. I'm telling you there will be a day that you forget a really important piece you need + you will wish you double or triple checked your list. Personally, I find it helpful to have pictures of my gear / accessories with labels to mark off what I have on me. Here's an example: 

Letting you in on one of the best products I ever got my hands on since going pro. Believe me, it's worth the investment.

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                                                                    Camera Strap

Here's the deal -- our world can be a very negative place. Positivity + love + laughter + light is what this world needs right now. The more you do for others, the better you will feel about yourself. At the end of the day, you have to be proud of who you are + what you do in your life. I'm a firm believer that what you view + read has a direct impact on your mindset. Keep it happy! "Happy Hour" will be a new segment on my blog every week, which includes words of affirmation to give you hope + to never give up.

Whatever career path you choose, whatever friends come + go, always know the most important thing is to be happy with yourself + sing that wisdom to others. Believe me, even just a smile can lift up someones soul! 

Hope y'all enjoyed my tips + tricks to a successful business + life! Check back next Saturday for a an exciting project I've been working on! 

 

 

Let's talk about F I L M.

The history of the camera can be traced much further back than the introduction of photography. Cameras evolved from the camera obscure, and continued to change through many generations of photographic technology, including daguerreotypescalotypesdry platesfilm, and digital cameras

I love life. I love living in the moment -- a big piece of that for me is experiencing it both consciously + subconsciously. I try my very hardest to take advantage of every single moment. I have come to the conclusion that is the reason I am a photographer. I love looking back on my life and seeing what I have gone through, and what I have accomplished. Good or bad, I want to see it. I want to learn constantly and evolve within my life through my art. Time is inevitably fleeting. Moments and people fade away. I understand the feeling of a piece of myself floating away and that's why I love photography. As I evolve, I am able to gain those pieces of me back that aren't exactly there anymore to come back for a moment in the present time.

 Film photos are so raw; so real. Every imperfection isn't touched. Every defect from the lens that makes the image naturally 'grainy' + rustic.

Film photos are so raw; so real. Every imperfection isn't touched. Every defect from the lens that makes the image naturally 'grainy' + rustic.

 I have recently fallen in love with this form of photography. It makes me think and process. I have a great appreciation for the 'photo-creators', the artists, the dreamers that used the film camera centuries ago to create their vision. 

I have recently fallen in love with this form of photography. It makes me think and process. I have a great appreciation for the 'photo-creators', the artists, the dreamers that used the film camera centuries ago to create their vision. 

 Puzzles surround me everyday. Pieces I have to put together & try to figure out. That's life. We all have things, people, and elements around us we have to put together. To make something out of it; to make a message or to learn something for ourselves. 

Puzzles surround me everyday. Pieces I have to put together & try to figure out. That's life. We all have things, people, and elements around us we have to put together. To make something out of it; to make a message or to learn something for ourselves. 

 Applying a kind of  light  to my images and to my life is what carries my spirit. It's what sets me into a senseless, beautiful imagination. To create and feel the sun God made on my skin -- when I can feel that same warmth when I look at my images, I know I have done my job. When I am able to make you feel something, to make you think. That is my purpose.         #NashvillePhotographer #NashvilleBlogger #AIMBlog      Come back again soon for fresh + new content... Feel free to leave me feedback! Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by! 

Applying a kind of light to my images and to my life is what carries my spirit. It's what sets me into a senseless, beautiful imagination. To create and feel the sun God made on my skin -- when I can feel that same warmth when I look at my images, I know I have done my job. When I am able to make you feel something, to make you think. That is my purpose.   

 

#NashvillePhotographer #NashvilleBlogger #AIMBlog

 

Come back again soon for fresh + new content... Feel free to leave me feedback! Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by! 

CMA - 2016

 

W O W. . . What a place I live in. The creative energy that surrounds the annual CMA Fest in Nashville Tennessee is an experience that is difficult to put into words. I am so blessed I had the opportunity to capture artists like Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Lady Antebellum living out their passion for music.

Such a beautiful memory in the books that I will remember for as long as I live. 

 Little Big Town preformed their new hit 'Miracle' to the 70,000+ people at Nissan Stadium in honor of the tragic Orlando shooting that took place on 6.11.16. Being front + center on the second platform, watching LBT sing + hearing the crowds silence was simply, remarkable. The feeling of so many people near you that were just completely silent in respect of those lost made my eyes swell + my heart felt like bursting. I felt a knot in my stomach trying to comprehend the unbelievable; the wicked we have around us on this beautiful Earth.  It was within that moment I realized how lucky I truly am. To have family + friends that support me + believe in my dreams of making the world a better place with my pictures.   

Little Big Town preformed their new hit 'Miracle' to the 70,000+ people at Nissan Stadium in honor of the tragic Orlando shooting that took place on 6.11.16. Being front + center on the second platform, watching LBT sing + hearing the crowds silence was simply, remarkable. The feeling of so many people near you that were just completely silent in respect of those lost made my eyes swell + my heart felt like bursting. I felt a knot in my stomach trying to comprehend the unbelievable; the wicked we have around us on this beautiful Earth.

It was within that moment I realized how lucky I truly am. To have family + friends that support me + believe in my dreams of making the world a better place with my pictures.   

The following moments were pure ecstasy in the engagement they had with the crowd. Celebrating freedom + LOVE for everyone is so important + should live within everyones spirits. 

"What divine timing it is that we had this new song come out + have this terrible tragedy. This song was meant for them." - Karen Fairchild 

 "HEY pretty lady with the big camera!" - Guitar Men   "SMILE!"   Result: Awesome. 

"HEY pretty lady with the big camera!" - Guitar Men 

"SMILE!" 

Result: Awesome. 

 The man, the myth, the guitar playing legend -- KEITH Urban! What an incredible performer + man he is. He played some of his top hits for everyone like Wasted Time, + Fishin' in the Dark to name a few.  

The man, the myth, the guitar playing legend -- KEITH Urban! What an incredible performer + man he is. He played some of his top hits for everyone like Wasted Time, + Fishin' in the Dark to name a few.  

 The final bow on my first CMA Fest... counting down the days until 2017...!

The final bow on my first CMA Fest... counting down the days until 2017...!

Brent + Alanna Wedding

 

This Fayetteville Tennessee wedding was absolutely stunning! The couple's love was undeniable and could be felt in every detail of the wedding. From the grooms reaction during the 'first look' to the brides tears of joy as they left the reception -- this day was straight out of a story book. All of these ingredients made my job much easier. Located at the Howell Hill Church of Christ followed by a gorgeous reception just walking distance away.

It was an honor to capture this couple's wedding day that they will remember forever. 

Hope you enjoy viewing the photos from this unforgettable day. 

 These details made me in a word: SWOON! Head-over-heels in L O V E with every aspect that created this day. 

These details made me in a word: SWOON! Head-over-heels in L O V E with every aspect that created this day. 

 The woman in white finishing the final touches before the walk down the aisle. Pretty moving moment; both Alanna's adoptive mother + birth mother were there by her side the entire time.

The woman in white finishing the final touches before the walk down the aisle. Pretty moving moment; both Alanna's adoptive mother + birth mother were there by her side the entire time.

 Feeling: Happy. 

Feeling: Happy. 

 Other feelings: P a r t y! 

Other feelings: P a r t y! 

And that's a wrap on this day! Stay tuned every Saturday at noon for more blogs. 

Alanna Edwards Bridals

 

We spent the afternoon downtown at the Frothy Monkey in Nashville, Tennessee. The way the morning sunlight hit her dress through peaks of the window frames captured the beauty of a bride-to-be. 

 One of the things I am most compelled by on the wedding day is the details. They may be missed by some, & that's why I am there to catch them. Every beautiful swirl in the hair, every inch of lace, & every tear in your mama's eyes. I LOVE this aspect no matter what I am taking pictures of. The details. 

One of the things I am most compelled by on the wedding day is the details. They may be missed by some, & that's why I am there to catch them. Every beautiful swirl in the hair, every inch of lace, & every tear in your mama's eyes. I LOVE this aspect no matter what I am taking pictures of. The details. 

 The light in this 'studio' was phenomenal. So dreamy + warm.

The light in this 'studio' was phenomenal. So dreamy + warm.

 Spin your h e a r t out, it's love! 

Spin your h e a r t out, it's love! 

Brent + Alanna Engagement

 

It's every photographers dream to shoot the perfect couple in the perfect location. We always try to push ourselves creatively. We are always scouting and taking mental notes of places we want to photograph. This was no different when we departed to the tiny town of Tullahoma, defeating the overcast & spurts of cold raindrops. Their excitement complimented mine & we spent the following hours making something beautiful. This reassures me that no matter what, no matter how hard this job can be sometimes, that hard work pays off.

So grateful I was able to share this session with y'all.

Amelia Earhart inspiration! ^