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Tell It On Tuesday

So, I am sitting at Starbucks, which has free wi-fi now (Woohoo!), waiting on Will to get done with his first meeting as the Assistant Store Manager here in Joplin. I am so, so excited for him! As most of you know, we both have gone through a lot this past year (along with our families). So this opportunity coming along makes us ecstatic. It is definitely a change because Joplin is about an hour from Springfield and, as of now, we are *not* moving. This means quite a lot of commuting but it is worth it. :)

One of my best friends and my dad both live here so that is something that feeds the urge to move here. Sure, my current town is alright. It is filled with creative people and it is a great place to settle down. I am just not satisfied there. I hope that this change is the beginning of quite a few in the right direction. We have tons of ideas up our sleeves that we are slowly making happen. It is a really exciting (and a little bit scary) time for us and I am very hopeful. :)

I have kept a not-so-little decision secret from you all for a while and so I feel now is the time to share. :)

In the next couple of weeks, I will be starting a journey completely different than I ever have before. I will be working more for myself for the first time ever. I am excited, I am scared, and I am inspired by this. The main focus of my life will now be photography. Sure, I will have my “normal” every day job at Forever 21 (which I LOVE). However, most of my time will be spent thinking, brainstorming, and working toward achieving my dreams. What are these dreams? Well, if you have paid attention you will know that my main dream is to become a full-time photographer.

I don’t just want to be a photographer. I want to inspire people by capturing the beautiful things, big and small. And the overlooked. And the ugly. And the sad. Happy. Funny. ALL of it can inspire, teach, and help grow.

There are a few ways I plan on doing this. Of course, the most obvious is by taking photos for people who hire me. That is one area that you can help with. I am open to traveling anywhere in the US, as long as the trip will provide what I need financially. That means if I were to travel to a different state, I would need X amount of shoots scheduled to get me there, feed me, and give me a small bit of profit. :)

Other ways will be shared in the coming months. You know, as things continue to work in our favor. :))

The best part about having made this decision, is that people starting contacting me literally within a couple days, even before I started talking about it! It was such a great confirmation for me. My weeks keep filling up and I feel more and more confident in the photos I am giving to people. I have also started working with some ministries and organizations to utilize the huge heart God gave me for others. I feel like this is the perfect time and place in my life for this to happen. I would love to continue to make this work so my dream can become truth in my life. I would also love if you would help support me in this. You can do this easily by simply continuing to come here and join me as I move along in my life. Spread the word about my photography and help me get shoots. When I share the final part of my pursuit, help me in ways that you can. Every one of you is so important to me, which is why I share this with you. :)

I just posted quite a few new photos here. Please check them out and leave comments telling me what you loved, or offering suggestion. It also would mean a lot for you to add me here, or here, or here. :)

I seriously love you guys more than I could express and hope you know how grateful I am for those of you who have been faithful friends, even when I haven’t been able to keep up with you as much as I would like.

Anyway, I will stop before your eyeballs fall out of your head from too much reading. Be back soon! Hopefully by Thursday! :)

love, love, love, scout

Source: one: me; two: here; three: me; four: me; five: me; six: me; seven: here

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I honestly don’t have anything good to say. I just felt the need to say hello. :) I will share with you (since it is Tuesday) that I have decided to make a few itty bitty life changes. Some that most people wouldn’t care or even think about, but that is kind of a big deal to me. One of these changes is to not wear makeup any longer. It was really hard for me to add this to my list. I am on day 5 of a bare face. I can already see it was a good decision. :)

I just want to start back to basics. I want to learn to love myself again, whether I wear makeup or dress as cute as my friends. I don’t want to work at getting people to like me or feed me compliments. I just want to be. And I want to feel good about it. It is time to love the simple me again and not be so concerned about trying to make a better outer shell of myself. That way I won’t be so distracted that I miss the other beautiful things in life. See the simple beauty in everyone.

You may wonder where this is coming from. What sparked this? Well, it has been on my heart for a while. I have noticed how consumed I had gotten with being a certain person to achieve a certain “thing.” I didn’t change sooner because, well, I knew it was going to take a lot of effort. About a month ago, I was informed of some changes taking place in the very near future that affected me directly. My life will be very different starting about mid August. It will be the start of many new things to come so I figured this is the best time to start living the way I want to. :)

This is obviously not something that I think everyone needs to do. I don’t plan on going crazy with this simple living stuff. I just need to gain a little perspective. I think it is healthy. Anyway, that is about all I am prepared to share at this point. I will be sharing a little bit of career news for you in the next few days. :)

Lastly…

I think it’s time to cut the bangs.

love, scout

I just can’t seem to keep up with everything lately. I always say I will be back here and then disappear. I am sorry. I am trying! :)

Life has been busy. I have been traveling to and from a few different towns A LOT. It’s been fun but tiring. I have been a second shooter at, not one but, two weddings and done a couple other shoots.

I have also spent pretty much every day, that I am not working, with the family. It’s been so crazy!

I kind of feel like pulling my hair out at times. haha

In all seriousness, I am loving life as much as I can. I am itching to get out a shoot more professionally. Praying and hoping it can happen! I am actually doing a couple of packages/specials for my sessions. So, if anyone is interested, shoot me an email [erinsundayphoto(at)gmail(dot)com] and we will talk. :)

I guess this was just a random “update you” post. Hopefully the next one will be better.

love, scout

My friend, Julia, came to stay with us that last few days of May. She is an amazing photographer and we were lucky enough to have her snap a few photos of us while she was here. We were both very excited because these are the first real photos we’ve had taken of us together.

I am so grateful for her visit here. We joked around while she was here saying we were like twins, but I truly feel as though I now have another sister. :)

You  all can find her here:

Flickr

Website

Twitter

Blog

She is great and I think you will like her as much as I do. :)

In other news, I am going to try very hard at becoming more present here. I want to start back with my daily posts again. I’ve missed you guys. I hope you all have done great things while I have been away!

love, scout

P.S. I also have a Formspring now. Feel free to ask me all the questions you want! :)

**WARNING: There will be random photos throughout this post that I found on weheartit. They serve no other purpose on here other than to keep interest for those of you who are more visual. … You are welcome. :)

So, a couple weeks ago I opened up the floor to questions from you. I gave you total freedom to ask whatever you wanted. Here are answers to the questions I received (sorry if I missed some!)…

Tasha asked:

“Can we be friends?”

– Of course! I am always up for making new friends. If you are ever nearby, I would love to meet you! I love your website and blog. They are adorable. I am adding your blogs to my reader. :) (Psst…If anyone else wants me to follow your blog, leave me the link!)

Cat asked:

“If you had to describe yourself as an animal…what animal would you be and why? :)”

– Oh geeze! I don’t even know, actually. I guess my first thought would be a bear cub. At first glance, I probably look cute and harmless. However, if you try to get too close for comfort or give me trouble, I can be pretty dangerous. Also, I have friends and family nearby who are always ready to coming charge in my defense if I need it. Does that work? :)

Miss James asked:

“How’d you get to be so damn cute? ;) XO.”

– Well, probably by wanting to be just like you. ha! I am kidding, but that means a lot coming from you. I love your style and cute life. I think you balance everything really well (from my perspective). It is definitely something I admire in you. :)

I have rarely seen myself as “cute.” Especially growing up. I was a really big tomboy and never tried to be cute. In just the last couple years, I started wearing dresses and caring more about my appearance. Then, all of a sudden, people were wanting to take my photos, guys were approaching me in a much different (but not always gross) way, and I was being complimented on my looks all the time. Most people would assume that this gave me confidence, but it worked the completely opposite way. I was embarrassed and felt like people would assume that is all I cared about or that was all that was to me. You know, probably the stuff I should have gone through in 7th grade. ha! In the last few months I have recently found a pretty good balance in my outlook of myself and am learning to not care what others think of me. It is definitely making me a much happier person. :)

Becca asked:

a) “What is your favorite time of day?”

– I go back and forth on this. I really enjoy early morning when I am able to wake up and get an early start. It makes me feel ahead of everyone else and SUPER productive. I am usually in a really good mood when I can get a lot done in the morning. Unfortunately, I am a night owl. Most of the time, I can’t fall asleep right away regardless of how tired I am. I have found that I feel most creative late late at night. There is something really inspiring to me about the quiet that exists while the world is asleep. I also have been in love with staying up just to see the sun rise ever since I did so in the desert. It was one of the most beautiful things I have seen so far. So, I guess I would consider myself pretty fortunate no matter what, as long as I am able to get some stuff done. :)

b) “If you could only wear three outfits for the rest of your life, what would you pick?”

– I guess I would choose first and foremost my comfy outfit: my USMC hoodie over a t-shirt, running shorts under sweats, and Asics running shoes. (photo here) Man, oh man. I love that outfit. haha Next would be the casual but cute outfit: my new grey skinny pants I bought from Forever21, a teal tank top I got from Target, a cardigan from F21, and some black flats. Last would be a more dress-ish outfit: My bright yellow floral sundress with a blue cardigan over it (in case I get cold, which is always) and some brown sandals. :) Maybe I will take photos of the rest of these later. Who knows? :)

c) “What is your daily schedule like?”

– I don’t really have a daily schedule. haha Every day is completely different. There are things I do every day, like shower, brush my teeth, eat. You know, the essentials. :) I would love to get to where doing a photo session (or two or three or…) is part of my daily schedule. (HINT, HINT, WINK, WINK)

d) “What would your dream house be?”

– One that is MINE. I would love an old plantation home in the South. I love the sense of history you get. Plus, there is always a chance for ghosts. :) As much as I have slowly become a city girl, I would still rather live out in the country and commute to the city.

Michael wrote:

“uh…ya. My name’s Mikal. First time caller, long time listener. I got a question.. Do hampsters really know or not they have stylish hair doos? I have been quite troubled about this for some years now. Love your show!”

– I have honestly never paid attention to hamsters or their “hair doos.” I will certainly look into this and try to get back to you. Thanks for listening. ;)

You are ridiculous, my friend. (Let’s hang out!)

Judy wrote:

“These are photography questions, situations that I sometimes have trouble with and I wanted to know how you deal with them.”

a) “Are you ever shy around people/models? How do you direct them with poses and such?”

– I wouldn’t say I am shy around models/clients. I really can’t be. I certainly get nervous before meeting/shooting with a model for the first time. Mainly because I don’t know what to expect. However, once I introduce myself, there is no room for me to be shy. Besides, there must be a reason why they are wanting to work with me so I try to have that fuel excitement and not feed my nerves. :) As far as being shy around people in general, I don’t think I will get over it. I am not as shy as I used to be but I still get bashful from time to time.

With posing, I try to direct as little as possible. I make suggestions but usually, I just let people be themselves. That is what I love to capture and so I don’t want to interfere too much. When I am working with models, I direct more because no matter how good the model is, they aren’t seeing what I am and don’t always know what looks best for what we are going for. For shoots based on my own ideas or concepts, I try to have my hand in everything (styling, wardrobe, posing, etc). Those are my absolute favorite! I have like 10 ideas that I am hoping to start in the next year that will eventually be made into series and hopefully books. :) For family shoots, I usually try to strike two deals. The first is made with the parents: If they agree, I have them help me with the deal with the kids. The deal with the kids is that if they do the posed, cheesy photos, they will get to choose a theme for the last set of photos: whatever they want (within reason & budget of course) and the parents have to go along. Usually, the whole family loves the idea and loves the final edit of the photos even more!

b) “Do you ever tell your models what to wear for the type of shoot you want?”

– I guess I kind of answered this in the last question. ha! Yes, I do if it matters. (I actually have two suitcases and some of my closet space filled with costumes, vintage clothes, props, and other pieces specifically saved for photo shoot use.) Otherwise, I let them come up with their own outfits.

c) “Have you found yourself in a situation yet where you might charge a family member or a friend for a shoot? How do you deal with the money situation? I always found this to be very difficult for me. I kind of squirm when it comes down to business.”

– Yes! I am the same way. Isn’t it the worst? I always feel weird. My very first paid shoot was actually for one of my best friends. I tried and tried to do it for free but she wouldn’t have it. She said something like, “Erin, you would not expect to get my stuff for free because you are my friend, so I wouldn’t expect you to give me free shoots. Let me pay you for the photos or…” Needless to say, her threat was definitely convincing enough to let her pay me. I guess what she said before was as well. ;) Ever since, it has gotten easier to charge people for photos, whether I knew them or not. I just have to keep reminding myself that I can’t make a career out of photography and pay the bills when I give discounted or free shoots. In fact, I am taking photos of my nephew for his 1 year birthday this weekend… and my sister is paying me. So DON’T FEEL BAD!! If they love you and care about you, they will understand why they are paying you. :)

Kellie asked:

a) “Where are you from originally?”

– I was born in Rockford, IL. The summer after 6th grade, my mom moved my sisters and I to Springfield, MO. :)

b) “What are some places you’ve lived?”

– Well, I moved at least a dozen times growing up, between Rockford, Kentucky, and here in Springfield. When I graduated, I went to South Carolina for USMC training. I was stationed in 29 Palms, CA and then San Diego. I arrived in Jacksonville, FL December 31, 2007 to be with my (now ex) husband. A little over a year later, I moved back home. I’ve been here since. :)

c) “Where do you want to be in 5 years?”

– I would love to be out of debt or at least to where I can see the end in sight. I would love to be married and pregnant, if I don’t already have a child. I would like to be established in one of my career goals. I want to be the happiest I have ever been. :)

Chelsea asked:

“How did you and Will meet? I love cute love stories, and you guys seem adorable!”

– Thank you so much! Well, this is a fun story that we laugh about regularly. :)

Will and I were involved in a Christian retreat while I was in high school. We are 5 years apart in age, so we didn’t talk much, if at all, then. We knew of each other (I kind of had a tiny crush on him at one point) because we were both very involved and knew/hung around the same people.

When I went off to the Marines, I lost touch with most of the people I associated with from the retreat. It is kind of hard to not get stuck in your own military world. I went through a lot of changes and grew a lot, finding new passions and aspirations. One of those passions was photography. I started looking for photographers to talk to on this new social networking site (to me) called Myspace. (haha) This started as a way for me to find friends in the area that enjoyed the same things I did. I was married and definitely not looking for anything else. I met a couple people but never found anyone who I felt I could be good friends with that I didn’t already know in the area. When I moved to San Diego, I tried a search to see if I could find some new friends and had no luck. Seeing that I was really disappointed, my friend suggested that I make friends from all over and not worry so much about needing “real-life” friends. He also suggested talking with photographers around my hometown so I could have people to hang with when I went for visits. Upon searching around Springfield, Emergent Photography’s profile came up. The profile photo looked beautiful so I clicked on it. I loved all of the photos and felt really inspired by the person’s work.

Upon looking further on the profile, I realized that the photographer was a guitar player from the retreat I used to be involved with. So, after some debating, I decided to email him and get back in touch. I did this… but never received a response. I went on with life, drawing the conclusion that he ended up a jerk.

About a year later, I received an email from that photographer. I was a little shocked and very skeptical about his reasons behind contacting me. However, I decided to entertain the thought of us possibly becoming friends. Besides, I thought he was really cute (my marriage was ending at this point). We talked… and talked… and talked. I don’t think there was anything I felt we couldn’t talk about. We grew pretty close and my little crush reappeared. I tried to stay skeptical so that I could avoid getting hurt again (not feeling quite ready to trust). However, I ended up moving back home (NOT because of him at all). This opened up the door to actually meeting him.

The day came for him to come home from tour (he was in a band, also). And he did. Then he sent me a text message. We arranged a meeting. And there it was. A time. A place. And the butterflies.

Frantically, I raided my sister’s closet and slapped on some makeup in an attempt to look my best. I ventured out, a little late, onto the icy roads of Springfield in my sister’s car. I squinted through the blistery weather beating on the windshield as I drove to Starbucks that afternoon. I walked in and scanned the room… to reveal no one else in the place.

Disappointed, I slumped into a little booth and sulked a bit, halfway thinking that I had been stood up. Then, another text arrived. Minutes later, he walked through the door. We instantly smiled. I was hooked.

He bought me a drink. He asked me questions… lots of questions. We talked a bit, and then… it was 5 hours later. He was hooked. :)

More than one person asked about us so I thought I would elaborate a bit. :)

I hope you enjoyed this Q&A post. Please leave any other questions you may have in the comments or email me. This was fun and I would love to continue this some more. :)

I love you guys! I hope you have had a wonderful day.

love, scout