Friday, December 14, 2012

Friendship Through the Seasons + First Giveaway!

Hi all,
PHEW! Let me apologize for disappearing this week, definitely wasn't my intention at all. This was my (almost) final week of school! Final full week, I should say lol :) I finished two classes on Tuesday and two today (including my hardest class, yeehaw!!!)! Only one left next Monday and there's a lot to be done in between then haha. Anyway, I just wanted to apologize again for disappearing unplanned. Threw a little kink in our celebrating, huh!? But we're right back with it today!

Happy Friday!!

Today is Friday, December 14, there are only 11 days left for you all to get your shopping done, cookies baked, and pre-Christmas festivities done! Today, for your Friday enjoyment, I want to introduce someone that is very special to me. About 2 1/2 years ago, I met this wonderful lady on a Facebook page called the RA Chicks.  At 25 (26? I lost track!) years old, she has had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis for the majority of her life. She suffers fights fiercely her scary health problems like a champion. Now Mallory's health problems do not define her - she doesn't let them. She's made a career for herself out of her love of photography. She is a fabulous photographer (as you'll see in just a short while)!! Just in the short time I've known her, she's overcome so much. I am incredibly happy to say that I know her and SO proud of everything she's done :) She's definitely one of my role models. Please welcome my good friend, Mallory!

Hannah: Mal :D I am so glad we finally got to do this! Actually I'm thankful you had the time to fit me into your busy schedule this holiday season! Now, right onto the interview. When does the Christmas season officially start in your household? What is the first thing done that marks the start (i.e. putting up Christmas tree, baking first gingerbread men, etc)?
 Mallory: The day after Thanksgiving officially marks the Christmas season for us.  Usually that Friday, I decorate the house and by the weekend, our tree is up.  We have a tradition of watching Christmas movies, while the tree goes up; starting with Christmas Vacation is a must though!

H: Ahaha! I remember you telling me that before, I'm not sure honestly if I've ever seen the entire movie Christmas Vacation :O In a Christmas fantasy land – who would be the famous figures, past and/or present, at your dinner table and why?
 M: Oh goodness, this is a hard, but fun, question!  I’d have to say, J.K. Rowling, because she created my most favorite book series of all time, and I’d love to sit and talk with her about how she came up with such an incredible story.

H: What did you ask Santa for this year? *wink*
M: I’m saving up for a second camera body and a specific lens, that I really need to progress in my work.  So, I’ve asked Santa for those, or some help in getting them! J

H: Oh good! I can imagine how exciting that would be to receive that gift :) What have been some highlights of 2012 for you?
M: My business took off really well this year, I had way more bookings than last year, and I already have a bunch of Weddings booked for next year.  I started Wedding photography this year, which is something I originally hadn’t planned on getting into.  I’m so glad I said yes to that first couple (and many more after), because I really had a blast at the Weddings I photographed.  Each and every session I’ve had, I’ve grown in my photography, so the clients who had faith in me capturing their memories, it helped me gain confidence that what I’m doing, and further confirmed this is what I absolute love to do. 

H: Oh you photograph some beautiful brides. Well they're all beautiful, but you know what I mean! Haha everything looks so good through your lenses. What has been a couple of your favorite shoots so far?
M: Oh you had to ask that, ha-ha, I seriously love them all! But, I’d have to say the Wedding I did in October that took place in a converted barn is one.  Their style and personalities were so like mine, that I just had such a blast not only with the couple, but capturing all the little details of the day. 
I’d also have to say, the free session I volunteered for, for this organization known as Inspiration Through Art.  I offered my time and talent to a little boy with Down syndrome, and his family.  I just love helping others when I can, so when I was able to use my talents to help someone, I was thrilled.

H: Of course I had to ask that :P Oh I loved that one too! He was just adorable. Does not having a studio make it more difficult or more fun/creative for you?
M: Honestly, it’s both.  It’s more difficult, because weather can play a huge role in having to reschedule sessions, and the winter is my slow season.  Just now, an engaged couple and I have had to reschedule three times due to bad weather.  If I had a studio, I wouldn’t have to worry about rescheduling, and I could be busier in the winter.
On the other hand, I adore natural light and natural backdrops.  The earth is such a beautiful place, and we have so many different types of areas to do any type of session.  It really gets my creative juices flowing when I see a potential new location. 

H: Very true, on both sides. I think you do fantastic without one, but like you said, that's very discouraging to have to keep rescheduling. I think it shows how much you love shooting in the outside through your pictures though. What advice do you have to entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?
M: Never give up.  Seriously.  Everyone has down times, where business is just really slow, it happens even to the most successful.  I would get sad and just hoped for more bookings, but I never put my camera away.  Every day, I went out photographing something, whether it was nature or my cats, or stuff around my house, I always made sure I photographed something, so I’d still be learning and growing.  I started baking a lot more, and then photographing my food using different types of lighting.  I learned a TON about lighting, just by working with it.  I did so well, I gained a fan base on Facebook of people who ask for more of my “food-tography” all the time.  No matter if its photography, cooking, painting, sewing, whatever your business entails, never, ever give up if it’s truly what you love to do.

These are some “short answer” questions. You can answer them in as few words as possible – even simply one word.

Favorite Christmas book read this year? Movie seen?
The Nutcracker and Christmas Vacation (for the 20th time, haha)

Last Christmas song you heard?
I recently heard “Shake up Christmas” by Train for the first time, LOVE it.

Favorite food to make or eat during the season?
 Oh boy, I love to bake and I especially love to make and eat Pumpkin and Apple Pie.  However, I think my favorite is the week after Christmas my best friend and I get together for a Bake-a-thon and always bake some really fun cupcakes! 

Favorite place to spend Christmas day?
Doesn’t matter where, as long as my loved ones are with me, it’s always an awesome time.

How can interested clients or people interested in following your work connect with you?
Please visit my website:
Or come by and visit Facebook page, and give it a Like, I enjoy meeting and interacting with new fans:

Anything else you would like to say? J
 Thank you, Hannah for allowing me to come on the blog!  I had a blast, and look forward to seeing the other interviews you have on this blog. J

Oh this was so fun, Mal!! THANK YOU, again for agreeing to do it! I'm hoping that you get some new "fans" out of this :) She just made it over the 2,000 mark, but she'd love to continue to meet people and spread the word about her business.


In honor of the busy life Mallory (and I!) lead, I'm giving away a cute snowman notepad with pen (similar to the one shown)! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, I'm trying Rafflecopter for the first time, so bear with me. I think it should work just fine, but let me know if you run into any problems!

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Friday! Next week we'll be having more interviews, more giveaways, and more fun! See you soon,

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