Born to Feel

Holly McGetrick, of  Dandy Boutique , totally keeping her cool backstage at Charleston Fashion Week 2017.

Holly McGetrick, of Dandy Boutique, totally keeping her cool backstage at Charleston Fashion Week 2017.

"Chill out." "Keep your cool." "Stay calm." "Easy does it."

These are all things we hear when under pressure, on fire, jazzed up, or completely stretched.

But why? Staying even in a sea of waves is virtually impossible unless you are a sociopath. When the waves of depression, frustration or fear crash over your head, it's perfectly acceptable to lose it once in a while. The key is not directing that energy to the nearest innocent bystander. But I think sometimes losing your cool is okay.

When you are in panic mode, stop yourself and ask yourself this simple question: will this matter in 5 minutes? 5 days? 5 years? If the answer is a resounding "NO!", then take a deep breath and try go about your business keeping your focus on the big picture. If the answer is "YES!", by all means proceed to lose it. Because I stifling it ain't gonna do you any good, sister.

We were meant to have emotions. We were created as sentient beings. It's normal to feel anxiety, panic, anger, hurt and frustration. As a matter of fact, it's tied to our basic survival insincts. The only difference is now, the threats aren't saving your life against a saber-toothed tiger. We have adapted since surviving wildebeests and other creatures. But the instincts are still there. Our perceived threats are very different now than they were 1 billion years ago.

So next time someone tells you to calm down, smile to yourself and do your thing. Because were born to feel.


A Few Things

Plate South

Plate South

It's been hard to keep up with what I am working on these days. My job takes me from babies to brunches to beautiful women and everything in between.  I am months behind on blog posts and image posts and all the things I want to tell everyone about each amazing day I had - every one seemingly better than the one before it. Here is a short view of some of my latest shoots. I love every delicious bit of my work and I am always grateful I get to carry a camera around with me and take photos of the BEST things in the world!

The Intersection of Joy and Work.

dandy boutique

I had a great time shooting this series for Dandy Boutique here in Charleston recently. The photos are so happy, bright and joyful. And that Venita sure can have a good time on a shoot. She is like a pre-packaged party for 1!

This shoot was so fun and light that it got me thinking a lot about the intersection of joy and work. This is not something people are lucky to have. Some people have very serious jobs (hello and thank you, doctors of the world) that require some often sensitive and precarious interactions. So how do you create joy wherever you are in life, despite what is happening all around you?

I think that answer is as varied as the jobs in the world. For, me it boils down to a few essential things. I know gratitude helps me a lot. And knowing I am only a small part of a bigger plan in this universe also can get me through the harder and more serious times like when I am focused on the drudgery of taxes and bills and broken computers. But I believe it's different for all of us. Sometimes a good cup of coffee might actually change your whole day.

I don't think joy is a permanent thing - every day has good points and not-so-good points. But knowing that I am doing something I love every day certainly helps me enjoy the better part of my life and focus on the parts that aren't so bad after all.

So I believe the joy is there. Sometimes it hides behind the little things. But I do believe it's always there, just waiting to come out and play.

The Tastemakers

Amalia Scatena | Executive Chef at  Cannon Green

Amalia Scatena | Executive Chef at Cannon Green

Chef BJ Dennis  | Personal Chef and Culinary Artist

Chef BJ Dennis | Personal Chef and Culinary Artist

Carrie Morey | Owner of Callie’s Biscuits

Dantera Richardson | Owner of  Swank Desserts

Dantera Richardson | Owner of Swank Desserts

Vinson Petrillo|  Head Chef at  Zero George Cafe + Bar

Vinson Petrillo|  Head Chef at Zero George Cafe + Bar

Vonda Freeman |  The Beverage Director of  Indigo Road Group

Vonda Freeman |  The Beverage Director of Indigo Road Group

As you may know, some of my very favorite things in the world (in no particular order) are as follows: Food, Photography, People, Portraits, Fashion. So few weeks ago when I got a call from my girl Andrea of Charleston Shop Curator to see if I wanted to photograph some ofCharleston's best tastemakers, I leaped at the chance to do this project (Truth be told, I sort of forced her to call me with my voodoo magic, but don't tell her that). Her roster of individuals included some of Charleston's leaders in the food & wine industry right now - coming from all corners of the business.

These people work tirelessly to give us the best dining and drinking experience that Charleston is known for.  And on the cusp of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, the timing was perfect to highlight these amazing people in a way they don't normally get to be shown to the public.

Since these people are usually seen and photographed in their apron, chef jacket, crocs, Andrea and her partner, Venita, had the great idea enhancing their already amazing styles with a fashion shoot.  And lucky for us, Cannon Green graciously let us shoot with their beautiful restaurant as the backdrop to our great shoot.

Did I mention I love what I do?

If you aren't familiar with these names, I highly recommend you get familiar with them. Each of these F+B pros bring something uniquely amazing to the experience of food in the Charleston Area.

The Internship

The Intern - with Andrea from Charleston Shop Curator

The Intern - with Andrea from Charleston Shop Curator

I have a special treat today! I had an intern with me all week last intern also known as my 13 year old son - Graham. We had quite a busy week of shoots and meetings and all things shown to people who run small businesses like invoicing and estimates and emails get the idea.

I also showed him the ins and outs of social media and blogging (one of the biggest parts of my days). So as a treat, I asked him to write about his experience on the week and what we did.

So without further it is! Take it away GRAHAM!


The Potato Roll from O-Ku, Charleston, SC

The Potato Roll from O-Ku, Charleston, SC

This past week I was on an internship with my mom, Libby of Libby Williams Photographs. All in all, this whole week has been really fun. I got to experience the weird schedule that my mom has, the people she works with, and all the things it takes to run a business of your own. We had a lot of shooting this week, but did some other really important things that it takes to run a business (like blogging, social media and billing!).

On Monday, we went to Botany Bay Plantation and Steamboat Landing down in Edisto for a personal project she was working on. Tuesday afternoon and evening, we had a photo shoot at a new restaurant in town called 5 Church with the Charleston Shop Curator and The Cocktail Bandits. It was part fashion and part food and lots of fun! Wednesday was a shoot at the Asian restaurant O-Ku – which was my personal favorite – with the Charleston Shop Curator again. It was more fashion, food and fun which seems to be a theme they are working on together (I could get used to that!). And finally on Friday morning, we had a photo shoot with the owner of Compost in My Shoe (Jim) where we photographed him and the process of what it takes to run an organic farm. This is an ongoing project my mom is working on with Jim and has been happening for about a year.

Of course there was lots of other business I learned about, but the shoots for me were the highlight of what we did.

The whole week has been amazing and a truly fun. Who knew work could be fun! Sadly this might be the last time I intern with her... so thank you so much mom for everything that you do and this amazing experience I got to share with you!

_____________ are welcome buddy! I am going to miss my little pack mule next week. Come back anytime!

The Bad Bitches

I recently got a phone call from an amazing group of women here in town called the Bad Bitches. This all-female organization is tied together by their love of all things food. Not only are they hosting exciting and highly sought-after pop-up events around the city, but 100% of their ticket sales go to women in need of assistance to establish themselves in the culinary field. So it's food + feel good! Two of my very favorite things!

As they started on their mission this past year to host events around the city and through all their interviews and discussions, conversations began to pop up that never seemed to get asked of their male counterparts. Questions like "How do you keep your figure?" "Do you eat everything you make?" or "Do you ever feel guilty about eating so much?" began creeping into the conversation. So they decided to answer these questions with an EPIC social media campaign on Instagram: Bad Bitches Talk Body.

When I got the email asking if I'd be interested in supporting them on this storytelling mission, I almost jumped into my car to hug founder of Bad Bitched founder, Sarah Adams, immediately. It was like everything I had ever wanted, worked for, loved and desired came into focus all of a sudden. All the things I love and people I admire were coming together to talk about something near and dear to my heart - body image.

We photographed and interviewed 17 women in one day. Seventeen. All of them came and brought something to the table that was uniquely them and unique to their story about body image. Some of them had struggles. Some of them kicked worry to the curb. But the one thing they share - they are all beautiful in all the ways they should be. Every one of them.

Each story is as uniquely inspiring as each of these women, stripped bare and speaking of the issues they face as women in the food industry. They are all interesting. They are all worth reading. Mostly though, they are all worth getting to know.

"People who love to eat are always the best people!" -Julia Child

Recent muse-ings

A sneak peek at a collaboration with Andrea from Charleston Shop Curator and Scout Magazine in Charleston - 2 of my most favorite things . 

A sneak peek at a collaboration with Andrea from Charleston Shop Curator and Scout Magazine in Charleston - 2 of my most favorite things . 

We have a great and rapidly growing fashion scene here in Charleston. Having spent the better part of my life surrounded by the cobblestone streets, quaintly colored buildings, and sandy beaches of the area, it's refreshing to see fashion has evolved right alongside this beautiful and rapidly growing city.  I attribute this to nothing less than people like Andrea who are at the forefront of the Charleston fashion scene. determined to make our liveable and loveable city more than the bow ties and seersucker it seems to be known for. Andrea spends her time painting this place with a palette of color and style that matches the scene here - progressive, beautiful and timeless. It's a refreshing change and modern view of everything good about our city.

Check out Andrea and her site when you get the chance. You won't be disappointed! And keep your eyes peeled for our collaboration with The Scout Guide! Coming soon!