Unwind a little. And laugh a lot.

2013 was so awesome. But I was SO tired by the end of it. Mentally, physically – I felt like an 85 year old lady with bad arthritis. Kinda like how I think those super healthy runner enthusiasts feel after a long race – drained, proud and stinky. (I need a sticker for the back of my car that says 0.0 – I don’t run, for the record.)

So with a new year, I’ve promised myself to step away from the internet. LAY DOWN THAT PHONE – you look ridiculous with your head stuck in it anyway. Enjoy time to myself, with friends, with family – like it was 1998. Less online social interaction, more real life fun. Work hard, play hard. Find balance. Stop getting lost in the internet and start getting back to myself. And you have NO idea how much better I feel. My soul is just happier. (I know, I’m now on like level 800 of annoyingly happy.)

This week, I had 3 of my beautiful friends come down from Ohio + Michigan for a few days. They left their busy lives, school, kids and husbands at home and joined me in probably the most hilarious few days of my life. My ribs still hurt from laughing. I acted 21, said YOLO too often and felt amazing about all of it. We stayed up until 4am and celebrated each other’s company just as you know I would. We slept in. A bit slow moving the next morning and a few Tylenol later, we were ready to go. ;)

I introduced 2 more of my local beautiful friends to the crowd and we snuck in about 2 hours of shooting in their 3 day visit. Nothing crazy. Nothing over the top. Nothing overly planned. Just winging it really. Freezing cold, Kentucky winter ‘I should have put on long underwear’ kinda shoot. YOLO, right?! Amanda, the gorgeous gal rocking the short hair, even indulged my ideas of a few dreamy portraits of her complete with my wedding dress and a super quick hot-glue headpiece I made when they were driving down. Throw in a blanket from IKEA and we were ready to go.

So, here are a few favorites from our quick afternoon that we actually had cameras in our hands. I shot everyone but Stephanie (we must have been on the same person shooting rotation – sorry again my pretty princess!), but below I’m sharing links to all their gorgeous work, where you’ll find a few more gorgeous images, and even a few of yours truly.

My heart is happy that we all took time just to enjoy each other. Like in a glitter bombs and unicorns kinda way.

Take a break for yourself. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Mom, a Workaholic, a Business Owner or even just trying to get through those first few college classes – indulge in yourself. Get a massage. Take a trip. Eat your lunch really slow. Get that hair did. Regardless of where you find that break – do it. Because there’s no wasted time when you’re being selfish. After all, if you aren’t in check with yourself, the rest of your life won’t be either.

-And for any photographers reading this – old and new. Embrace friendships. Encourage each other. TRUST each other. This industry is far too cut throat competitive as it is. You’ll always help yourself succeed by helping others do the same. Lift each other up instead of putting others down.

 Short soap box moment – stepping-down. 

And now, my pretty pretty friends. Check their work out below, you won’t be sorry.

Shine On Photography, Sarah Jones
Kent + Stephanie Photography
Bella Posa, Kristy Magdich
Emages by Emily Thomas

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elainajanes@yahoo.comElizabethtown, KY
Always ready to travel