For when I have free time


I rarely ever have any free time, but this past week has been nice and I’ve been able to do things for me for a change. One of the things I love to do in my free time is paint. Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m the crafty one in the group so it’s only natural that I have a whole supply of canvases, water colors, acrylics, and brushes in my house. Painting is a visual inspiration for me because I like being able to make an idea into something you can visually see. Sometimes I’m worried about how it’s going to look and I overthink it. I originally had no clue how to paint flowers but I decided to figure it out and I knocked this out and had fun doing it. Painting fun stuff like this and gifts for friends is my go to when I need a stress-relief. It’s something about the details, colors, and overall idea that makes me feel better when I’ve had a tough week.

I find most of my visual inspiration for paintings through my Pinterest account. It’s so fun being able to see stuff come to life and then hang things on your wall that you made and look at them everyday.


Charleston Charm


Charleston, South Carolina just happens to be one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been to. The first time I went was this past May in the middle of a tropical storm. Even walking through the flooded streets with layers of rain gear on I fell in love with that city. I was able to go this past Saturday for another visit. My favorite part about the city is the historic aspect to it that has so much culture. All of the fun colors and fancy houses make for a nice sight too! Charleston is such a different environment and being there for a day is very visually inspiring for me because I love the classic historic southern feel that everything has. This window is probably one of the most photographed windows in Charleston. It’s a cute blue house on the corner of rainbow row that always has flowers blooming, so it gets a lot of attention. There are so many cute nooks and crannies to the city and it’s easy to get distracted by all the beautiful details. Every time I go to this city now I find something new that I love.


SCPA Awards

This past weekend I was an “official” photographer at the South Carolina Press Association’s annual meeting and awards. I’ve been working for them for almost two months now and helped prepare all of the printed and digital material for this meeting. I was able to see a ton of award winning work and amazing photos. I feel a lot more comfortable and familiar with the journalism industry now that I have met so many people from around South Carolina and seen their work.

To photograph this event, I mostly used my 50mm lens and 18-55mm zoom lens along with a flash even though I brought more. The main area had a good amount of natural lighting, that’s where the displays are. The hardest places to take photos were the informational sessions and the ballroom where the lunch and awards were given. It was dark and had a yellow tone with high ceilings. For the awards I used the speedlite flash and I’m so glad I was familiar with it because I wouldn’t have been able to get any photos without flash. I shot on shutter priority because that’s what Bill recommended to make sure people moving were in focus. I’d have to agree with him now because when people are accepting awards so quickly I want to have control of the shutter speed. I kept it on 1/60 of a second to allow the most light I could. My ISO was mainly 800 or 1600 in the ballroom where it was dark.

The other photographer there, Gwinn Davis, was a really great professional photographer. I was only able to talk with him briefly but he had a lot of questions for me as did I for him. We talked about things like camera settings and using a diffuser on the flash to fill in shadows. I’m excited to see what his photos look like and learn from them. They probably won’t be posted for awhile because he’s traveling with the basketball teams for March Madness. Jen from the SCPA is going to put me in contact with him because he said he’d be interested in talking with me and I think he is a great person to learn from and network with.

The worst part about this assignment was how nervous I felt going into it. I felt a lot of pressure because it’s obviously a big event and I didn’t want to let anyone down with bad photos. Not all of the pictures turned out but it was definitely a learning experience. I am really thankful for the opportunity and I’m excited for my next.

“Brunch so hard”


Something that has been very inspiring to me lately is food and the presentation of it. I started following some new Instagram accounts to find great local places to eat and new things to try. Some of my favorites are @colatoday, @foodieofraleigh, @golocola, and @colatownfoodie. I’ve seen a lot of great food photography. I think food photography and the overall presentation is important because it allows you to change the way it will appeal to customers and viewers. Your food could be delicious, but poor presentation will make it appeal to no one.

This photo is not from a local place, but from someone I follow on Instagram named @laura_elizabeth. This was from her recent brunch with a friend. I really like the presentation of it and how she used an aerial view. Normally I just mindlessly scroll through Instagram, but this photo really caught my attention. It doesn’t look too neat which makes it look less staged and the hands make it look like an active scene. This photo is so appealing it makes me want to be there and try the food with them. It shows more than just the food, it shows almost an entire atmosphere with very little space and you can easily pick up on the ambiance by the rustic table, warm colors, and food presented.

hidden treasures


This past weekend I went to Asheville, NC with my sorority for our spring retreat. I spent most of Saturday in downtown Asheville exploring with some of my friends. We went to the historic art district part of Asheville and found tons of galleries with fancy, beautiful, expensive paintings and sculptures. We were so amazed when we learned that one street over from all of those galleries was a huge plot of land with abandoned buildings reserved as a free art space. The graffiti was allowed and there were some limitations but it was a really cool sight to see. There were tons of buildings covered head to toe in graffiti. The colors were so bright and the art was so fascinating to all of us. We walked around and explored for awhile but it was so cold we ended up driving around to see the rest. I just like the concept that graffiti and gallery art could live in tandem in the same district. It was inspiring to be surrounded on all four sides by such creativity and expression.

Also, fun fact: I designed the t-shirts that all of the girls are wearing which was really cool because they loved them and they turned out great.

Columbia, SC: The Soda City Market


The Soda City market on Main Street is one of the most popular local events held each week. It is known as the place to find the “brain, body, and belly” of South Carolina. It’s called the “Soda City” market because of Columbia’s nickname being “Cola” and the city previously having bottled soda plants back in the day. It features local shops, food trucks, musicians of all ages, artists, farmers, and business owners. Here you can find the perfect gift for a friend, hear unique music, get your groceries, and have a delicious and inexpensive lunch all within two blocks. This event is held every Saturday morning, rain or shine in the heart of downtown Columbia. Here are some of my original photos of the event on February 18th, 2017.

Experimenting with External Flash

This week we had a portrait photography assignment. I took photos of a student named Morgan Grier in five points. I love taking portraits of people in general and Morgan is a pretty photogenic person. These are two of my favorite pictures out of the 100 or so that I took. In the full body photo, I like her pose and how you can see down the whole strip of sidewalk. I used the external flash to give extra light to her face because she was under a tent covered sidewalk. My settings for this photo were f 5.6 at 1/80 and ISO 800. With the photo of her outside of starbucks I like how her face is directly lit and the colors in the background.The orange lights give it a warm tone and the blue sky with the dark clouds adds to the mood. I wish the photo was a little sharper but I think I did the best I could. My settings for this photo are f 4.0 at 1/50 and ISO 6400. I boosted my ISO because it got so dark outside, but it made it harder to get a steady shutter speed. I had to try and hold the camera really still because I didn’t have a monopod. I love taking portraits of people and showing their personality. Using the external flash overall was a fun experience and I like using it but I definitely need a lot more practice for it to be effective for my photography. There a still a lot of things I don’t know about using it so I’ve got a lot to learn but I’m excited to practice more with it.