Archive for the ‘Being Artsy’ Category

My Favorite Places – Elsewhere Collaborative

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

You’ve read about some of my favorite places in the Czech Republic and Croatia… now it’s time for some local love!

I am smitten with Greensboro’s art community. It’s so vibrant and diverse. One of my favorite places downtown is Elsewhere Collaborative, a former thrift store turned living museum. When the owner of the thrift store passed away, the space was left, filled to the brim, with all kinds of stuff. Her grandson decided a few years ago to transform the space into an artist collaborative and declared nothing for sale. Resident artists come in from all over the country and create things from the items in the museum. I love that it’s completely unique and has its own special story. Here’s some fun instagram photos I took when Chris, Rachel and I visited earlier this week. You can see some of their projects on their website, here.

I was quite sad that the kitten in residence was out. We all know how I feel about tiny fuzzy animals.

Need. To. Shoot. Pretty. Things.

Friday, July 1st, 2011

photo via weheartit, on Pinterest

I’ve got the jones.

Ever since shooting the lovely Kacey’s bridal portraits a couple of weeks ago, I want to shoot. All. The. Time.

And I can’t tell if it’s fabulous or tragic that I keep getting inspired with all kinds of visions of pretty-styled-shoots, and they take so. much. work. to pull off.

The above photo (via WeHeartIt) is a nod to my current “I must shoot here” obsession. That is all I can tell you right now. Because I still really want to make it happen. We’ll see… it may be something I can save for the fall.

In other news, I’m putting together new business cards soon, and am eagerly awaiting some of the materials… I can’t wait to share them!!! Eee!

Stay tuned for July goals on the blog tomorrow! xo!

Lots of good things in the works!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Hi there, blog reader! Just a quick update before I run off to Louisiana tomorrow. I’m so thrilled with the opportunities coming up in the future. For one, I get to shoot senior portraits for  Chris’s gorgeous and amazingly talented sister, Alyssa. She’s so sweet and creative, and did I mention she’s going to Harvard? YEAH. Talented.

I’m also working on a new portfolio site, which is quite a work in progress– but it’s getting there! And I think I’ve finally settled on a logo. Checking things off the to-do list like crazy!

And last, but certainly not least, I’m working on styling a bridal shoot for the beautiful Kacey Mullaney, whose wedding I’m shooting in July. Inspiration boards are being made, and I’m spending all of my spare time thinking about it. So. Excited.

So that’s what’s going on over here at Iris. How are you? Hope you’re doing wonderfully.

I’ll be scheduling some posts with some pretty things and some link love while I’m gone. Thanks to Pinterest, I’m on a visual inspiration high. And I’m loving it.

See you after my road trip with the love of my life! xo!

May goals and studies in light

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Oh, hello there! As I’m working on my branding and setting up a new portfolio site this week, I spent this evening after work photographing a piece of lace in my window. Unintentionally, it became a study in backlighting, exposure, and composition. I haven’t been shooting enough lately, and this was a nice way to jump back in! So without further ado, a couple of shots and my goals for this month.

  • Decide on a logo
  • Print business cards
  • Travel to Louisiana for the always-lovely Alyssa’s graduation (and enjoy the road trip with my love)
  • Finish Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • Finish Jose Villa’s Fine Art Wedding Photography book (SO GOOD)
  • Schedule a booth at a bridal show
  • Work on my portfolio website (to be finished in early June)
  • Sketch out ideas for a styled shoot.

Can you believe it’s almost summer? Me neither. I’m so giddy.


A dream is a wish your heart makes, and then you work your butt off for it.

Friday, May 6th, 2011


Addicted to dreaming, I find myself making lists of all the things I want to do. It should be easy to become a photographer who can pick up and go wherever in the world she wants, with her husband by her side, for any given amount of time. He’ll get his doctorate, then I’ll get mine, in something that I will then use to become a fantastically accomplished person. He’ll teach and write, and I’ll photograph and do that thing I got my doctorate in, and we’ll dreamily go about our adventurous life with no cares in the world ever. Right?

But graduate school costs money, and getting a photography business off the ground takes work. Hard work– after spending nine hours working equally hard all day. Paying bills alone is difficult, and it is hard to make saving a priority.

I want to get to a point in my career (soon) in which I have the means to travel with Chris. I want to wander and make beautiful things wherever I go. Document it all. But I have grown-up bills now. I am on track to pay off my credit cards by the end of next year. I just bought a car. I pay for my own insurance and, for the first time, I am an adult in complete control of my life and all its gritty, previously unnoticed details.

And this is where I realize that dreams typically don’t just happen. You work for them. You strive, you sweat and you fall into bed exhausted for them. You wake up too early for them and start again. You devote time to your partner and your family, and you make time for play. But in those working hours, you make big things happen.

Because you are in control of your life– your decisions are yours. I don’t know why it’s so easy to forget this. But it’s really empowering, isn’t it?

So I will continue pursuing my art, and I will move forward in my career so that Chris and I can see the world together. I will do big things with my life, and not because I think pretty thoughts, but because I work for what I want, and I make those things happen.

In which we decoupage a table

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Chris and I have been working over the course of a couple of weeks to decoupage a lovely large craft/game table that he built. (Yes, blog reader. He built a big awesome table. What a man!)

We chose vintage books from one of our favorite antique stores in Greensboro to decoupage the table. They’re varied in content, style and page size, which gave for some nice depth and variety. It was a fun project to accomplish together, and it was fun to flip through these books and choose the pages to use. I must admit that it felt a bit sacrilegious to tear pages out of A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh,” but now it’s immortalized (or such) on our furniture forevermore!

Here’s a couple shots of the process! Enjoy!

Mood Boards

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

There’s a sweet and delicate balance of being a bride and starting a wedding photography business. Trying to find my niche in the wedding industry + trying to figure out what my fiance and I want for our own wedding! It’s kind of overwhelming and kind of lovely. Granted, Chris and I won’t be tying the knot till 2012, but sometimes I forget that I’m going to be a bride, too! It’s all a whirlwind of lenses and lace and love.

Today I got to have a little bit of fun on the “I’m a bride!” side on BHLDN. Their Mood Boards launched last week, and it’s so… therapeutic to be able to arrange and combine so much prettiness! Le sigh… (also, I SO want that ‘Oui’ ring below!)

Off to read more of Jose Villa’s new book! Yippee!

Pretty paper crane DIY!

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Recently I have developed an affinity for paper cranes. They’re just so magical! So after I saw a “wall of paper cranes” by a gift table on a wedding blog post, I knew I had to make my own. These are super pretty hanging from the ceiling, behind a couch or along a wall that needs some color. I have some hanging by my bed!


For this project, you’ll need:
Origami paper (about 50-100 sheets, depending on how many strings of cranes you want)
Translucent fishing wire
A needle

1.  The most time-consuming part: fold your paper cranes. I used this tutorial on YouTube. He does a good job of demonstrating how to fold origami at a follow-able pace. Give yourself plenty of time for this step. I spent a few days folding cranes in my down-time, but it’s an easy thing to do while watching TV (or listening to Christmas music), especially once you get the hang of it!

2. Once you’ve folded enough cranes for your project (I folded about 54 cranes, enough for six strings of nine cranes), cut a piece of fishing wire about eight feet long. Thread your needle with the fishing wire. Because a tiny needle and clear fishing wire are hard to see in photos, I cut some out of paper just so you can actually see what’s going on.

3. Start by making a knot at the end of the fishing wire farthest from the needle. Leave about six inches of loose wire on the end so that, if you need to, you can tie it to an object to hang it, or just tape the loose end to the ceiling (like I did).

4. Then start stringing your cranes. pierce the needle through the point on the crane’s back (sorry, crane), through the center of the crane, and through the bottom.

5. When you’ve pulled the fishing wire all the way through the crane, tie a knot right below the crane, so that it stays suspended on the fishing wire.

6. Leave about four to six inches between each crane, and repeat steps 4 and 5. I found the easiest way to do this was to string the first two or three cranes, then tape the string to the blade of a ceiling fan (weird, I know) so that I could continue stringing them while they were suspended in the air. This gives you a better idea of how to space the cranes. And they just look really pretty.

7. When you’ve threaded as many cranes as you want, tie a nice double knot at the bottom of the wire and cut loose any extra wire. Suspend from the ceiling (or wherever you want to display them) and you’re done!

Happy Monday and Some Link Love!

Monday, December 6th, 2010

I hope you had a lovely weekend! I sure did. Mine consisted of snow, watching Elf with my man (Who had never seen it! This clearly had to be changed pronto) and reveling in the glories of lit Christmas trees and fires in the fireplace. Magic.

Today I’d like to share some link love– some things that I think are downright beautiful and inspiring.

1. This engagement photo story by Elsie of Red Velvet Art. I mentioned her before because I’m taking her Blog Love E-Course, but I’ll say again how she’s a total inspiration and one of my favorite bloggers ever! Don’t you love the mix of text and photo and props to tell their story?? Super cute storytelling.

2. Creature Comforts Blog. This is my one must-check-daily blog. Completely beautiful and full of DIYs and the most lovely photography I’ve ever seen.

3. The Anthropologist by Anthropologie. Totally incredible images and stories. (Thanks to my friend Michael for introducing me to this!)

4. Emma’s Designblogg. I am totally in love with Scandinavian design. Stockholm is one of my very very favorite places in the whole world. So it’s totally refreshing to see the clean, fresh and bright designs Emma shares on her blog. (And don’t you just LOVE the map wall art in this photo? Brilliant.)

5. The light, airy, beautiful photography and designs of Lobster and Swan. Based in England, she shares recipes, interior design and lots of lovely things.
I’m off to do some online Christmas shopping!! (And in the process, make a little wish list of my own.) Stay tuned for my own pretty DIY project and an engagement session later this week! Happy Monday!