Our Vacation at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

Happy Monday/back to reality! We spent the last week at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, which is located on Miramar Beach near Destin, Florida. It was one of the best weeks of my whole life, truly. We were up at sunrise every morning, first in line for the breakfast buffet (more on that below, but it was so delicious!), first at the beach to get our umbrella and baby tent setup (Emi napped every single morning in it!), ate the best lunches at Barefoot’s by the pool, snoozed hard in the afternoon, then were back out for more fun around 3pm. Around 5pm, we’d head back to the hotel, all take baths/shower, then get dressed and eat dinner, either at the resort, or taking the free shuttle to Baytowne Wharf nearby. We were relaxed the whole time, and I couldn’t imagine it going more smoothly. I have some tips for beachin’ with baby below as well – we learned some things during our first time doing it! Isla was about 20 months old when we took her to the beach the first time, so her eating the sand was not a concern of ours! Ha.

Our Family Beach Photos

I have always loved beach family photos – the lapping blue, reflective water, the dreamy sun setting in the background, the white sand, the wind tousled hair. We have never had the opportunity to have a beach session, so when we booked our trip to the Hilton Sandestin, I started searching for a photographer immediately. I could not be more excited about finding Lauren Folk of Folk House Creative Co., because y’all, she is not only super talented, but a dream to work with. She seriously captured our small little family perfectly, and I will truly print and treasure these photos forever. I am so grateful for Lauren! If you are traveling to the Destin area, I cannot recommend her enough.

There is so much joy in these photos. Sweet Emi was very much ready for bed, but Lauren somehow managed to appear less tired than she really was! That babe was asleep less than ten minutes after we wrapped them up, but Lauren (and Isla) had her grinning with their smart posing and silly faces (well, Isla’s!). Without further adieu, a narrowed down, but still expansive, selection of favorites from our session.

Courtney’s Motherhood Session

Prepare for photo overload, because last week, I took photos of my sweet friend, Courtney Brown and her ridiculously gorgeous kiddos, and I absolutely could not narrow down my list of favorites. Alas, I’m sharing at least half of them with you! Ha. Courtney has captured our pregnancy announcement, Emilia’s newborn photos and most recently, a few ‘motherhood’ sessions, which I will be sharing more of soon. As moms (and photographers), both Courtney and I are nearly always behind the lens, so we thought it would be a good idea to trade off taking photos of each other with our kids. Motherhood type sessions are more laid back than family photos, as there are really no perfectly posed shots needed.

Courtney gave birth to sweet Beau last month, and goodness gracious, he is handsome! His older sisters, Riley and Avery, are totally smitten with him, and it’s so sweet to see them all interact. We met at the most gorgeous park in Midtown, and despite it being literally 100 degrees, Courtney looks like a dream! She is rocking this mom-to-three-kids thing. Doesn’t she look amazing? We snuck in some breastfeeding photos at the end, which I didn’t share for her privacy sake, but they might be some of my favorite-favorite! It’s rare to have those intimate moments captured on camera.

Also, you may notice some changes around here! Last week, I received my new logos for Snapshots & My Thoughts and for my photography business, Snapshots by Ailee Petrovic. They were designed by Amy, the owner of Papellerie, and I could not be happier with them! On Friday, I uploaded them to my sites, then sat around staring at my blog for awhile with it’s snazzy new logo and thought to myself, “I need a new blog design.” Fast forward a day, and I am at my computer coding away! Ha, or Googling pieces of code and fiddling with customizing blog templates. I hope y’all like it! Now to update my photography website – it definitely needs a refresh. I still need to fix a few kinks here and there, but what do y’all think about the re-design?

Now, feast your eyes on pure motherhood sweetness.

Cousin Love

On June 4, Isla turned three, and less than a month later, on July 2, her cousin (second-cousin, but we call and consider them cousins!), Ana, turned three! We thought it would be fun to take some photos documenting them at three years old, but once the ball got rolling, we realized it would be more fun to document all of the cousins together, since we don’t have a group photo with Milly and Emi in it. 

We met in the blistering 90+ degree Houston summer, surrounded by cotton candy, balloons and cake pops, to capture these seven kiddos: Mila is 5, almost 6; Lazo is 4.5, Isla and Ana are 3, Emi is 5.5 months and Milly is 2.5 months! It truly does feel like Mila was just born, and suddenly, she’s going into first grade? Where has the time gone. 

I have to give a shoutout to my amazing friends, Esther and Megan, who helped make these photos happen, given that I gave them one week heads up on dress/romper and bow orders! These matching cuteheads dresses and rompers (for the babies) are my favorite (and Isla’s too!). And the matching pink Willow Crowns bows couldn’t be more perfect. Lazo looked dapper in his bow tie too, of course!

I cannot wait to watch these six (hopefully more to come!) sweet babes grow up together! 

You Can Buy My Lightroom Preset!

I recently sent one of my best friends, Meredith of Cake & Confetti, my Adobe Lightroom preset and she has been encouraging me to sell it ever since. As an FYI, a preset is a pre-determined position for all (or some) of the of sliders in Lightroom. With a click of a button, you can get all of the settings I use for editing my photos.

I honestly doubted myself and thought nobody would want to buy it, but after asking my Instagram followers on my Story a few days ago, I was proven wrong – people were actually interested!! I stayed up late that night packaging it up and making a one-pager document with details on how to install it and things to adjust.

The next day, I made it available on my website, and I anxiously refreshed my shop page, doing a happy dance around the living room every time one sold! Then, people started tagging me in their stories, showing before and after photos – without and without the preset applied. It made me so happy that I cried! I love what I do, and I love teaching others how to do the same. 

The most commonly asked question I received after posting details about the preset is: Do I need to have the Lightroom Desktop App vs. Mobile App? The answer is yes! Here’s my pitch: If you like to take photos of your kids, fur babies, travels, etc. then it is so worthwhile paying for! Adobe Lightroom AND Photoshop is only $9.99 a month – that’s just $1 more than the cost of two Starbucks Frappacinos. Plus, it’s a subscription service, so you can cancel it when you don’t want to use it anymore. I honestly think that it’s a service everyone with a DSLR should have. 

The preset costs $40, but until midnight tomorrow, Thursday, June 22, it’s going to be on sale for $30 (no code needed). After that, it’ll return to $40. I highly recommend that you buy it now! Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have and send me before and afters if you love it as much as I do! 

I shared some before/after photos on my Instagram story over the weekend, but wanted to share a few more and the small additional edits I did to get to the final photo. A quick note to anyone who purchases it (and this is covered in the one-pager you receive) – the preset typically requires no Temperature/Tint adjustment if the photo is taken outside. You may have to adjust these two if you take a photo inside (see last example below), because I don’t know what your lighting conditions are! Make sure to play around with those settings if it doesn’t look like the photos below.

Buy the preset now!