Week 1 at ACAC

SUPER VULNERABLE POST!!!!

So, I joined the ACAC in Short Pump. For those of you who don’t know me well…it’s a big deal! I hate working out with a passion. Honestly, it’s one of my biggest insecurities. Since college I have gained weight (like most people!). I have this insecurity that people are looking at me while I work out and judging me for who knows what. You may be rolling your eyes at me but it’s a fear for a lot of people who struggle going to the gym. I not only deal with this at the gym but in any type of group situation. As I have gotten older I have noticed this anxiety that has developed and I have talked myself out of a lot of things that could have proven to be really fun…just because I didn’t want to judged if something went wrong. I am facing this fear. It may not happen overnight but it’s time that it comes to an end. So here is what my first week at the gym looked like!

“Day 1 at the gym before work….success! Let’s see if I can make it to 3pm without consuming an entire gallon of coffee.”

I had planned to take the cycle express class but guess what guys….the gym can be intimidating and I am the first person to admit this insecurity about myself. I have been struggling with having my own private moments lately and along with living healthier, that’s why I am going to the gym. So I shoved those earbuds in and ran (very slowly, I may add) 3 miles while watching House. It was a good first day. I am going to try to be brave and head to Yoga tomorrow morning. I get nervous about this stuff and people laugh because it surprises them about me. I am not very good at trying new things and striving to leave my comfort zone and that is something I am trying to overcome.

What do you guys think? Should I go to Yoga?

“Day 2 at the gym before work…I had zombie like tendencies dragging myself out of my warm bed. Late for my class so I couldn’t go but watching what not to wear while running/walking…mostly walking was fun. Moral of the story. Don’t stay up late if you want to be a functional human being.”

Needless to say, Day 2 was rough. I learned very quickly that if I am not going to be able to pry myself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, that I will just go during lunch or dinner.

“Day 3 at the gym…this time after work because I fell asleep last night at 8pm and woke up at 11:45 bright eyed and bushy tailed. Couldn’t fall asleep until 2am so when it came time to wake up at 5:30, it wasn’t happening. Still made it though! I may be hurting in the morning.”

I actually didn’t mind working out in the evenings. It was a little rough on me because I was exhausted from work but it was really easy to zone out and get on the machines.

“Day 4 at the gym…today I went during lunch and I have to admit I am not a fan. I just felt SO rushed to get my workout done and then shower off. I am going to give it another try tomorrow because I found out that my sweet friend Erin goes too and we have a workout date

So lunch was just okay. I feel like if I miss a workout this is an okay time to make it up. I usually try to work an hour but with lunch I can only squeeze in a 25-30 minute workout.

“Day 5 at the gym…it’s so much better with friends. Sorry if I was wheezing while trying to talk to you Erin Ehrlich-Beard. Apparently I can’t do two things at once very well.”

So much better with friends. Erin is one of a few friends that I actually feel comfortable working out around. It was really nice to just have someone there to talk to! Will totally commit to a workout if a friend is involved.

“Day 6 at the gym…early mornings. GRR!! My legs hurt…. but so far I like this working out thing. I think I’ll keep going.”

I am back to my morning sessions. One reason I like mornings is because I have enough time to get ready in the morning. It’s like my personal time and I don’t have to talk to anyone. ACAC has a killer women’s room. The showers are like top notch hotel showers and then getting ready is just SO easy. My legs hurt today. I am not going to lie.

It’s been a full week since I have joined ACAC and I have gotten in 6 workouts. It has honestly been really fun. I was afraid, I am not going to lie but I have learned so much from this week.

  1. Enough with excuses. I really can do it, even if it’s a low intensity workout.
  2. Stop wondering what others are thinking! They are probably thinking the same thing as you and wondering if YOU are looking at them
  3. One of my friends messaged me that I was starting to inspire her to go back to the gym and I had a revelation. We are all in similar positions and even if you are getting tired of reading my repetitive statuses about my gym experience, someone may need that push! I know I did.

I’ll let you know how week 2 goes!

Bethany & Marcus | Engagement | Goochland, Virginia

Recently my sweet childhood friend, Bethany got married to the love of her life. I was honored to be in her wedding on New Years Eve this year in Downtown Richmond! We had an absolute blast and the wedding was so much fun. A few weeks back,  I was able to snap a few engagement pictures of them while we were out in Goochland, Virginia. You really have to love random fields and farmland out there. We made it just in time for the golden hour and I think captured some pretty fantastic pictures.

I love you both Bethany and Marcus! I hope you are having an amazing trip in Mexico.

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Heather’s Favorite Wedding Pictures of 2016!

It’s here! I actually get so excited to create this blog because it’s the only time that I get to see all my work in one place for the entire year. I want to start this blog by saying thank you to all of my “lovebirds”! You guys made this year such an amazing year filled with a lot of love…and laughter! I had an amazing year. 16 weddings, 20 engagements, 1 styled shoot, and a few personal sessions here and there. Let’s just say I am so proud. This has been my biggest year yet. It has come with a lot of challenges.

One of my biggest challenges has been balancing a full-time day job with a full-time photography business. This has been the first year it has really hit me and pushed me way beyond my limits. I had to learn very quickly that I could not deliver my pictures in my regular time frame that I normally do. It really broke my heart BUT I also learned that I have amazingly patient couples. Some people know me to be a LITTLE bit of a perfectionist and one of the hardest challenges but greatest accomplishments for me was learning that my work was good enough to not be a perfectionist with each and every picture. This year I delivered over 35,000 pictures to my clients….no joke! There is no way that I could have spent as much time as I usually did. You know how I did it? Lightroom Presets! I am pretty sure I am going to have to write a blog about how these suckers saved my life this year.

All in all…I had an amazingly challenging-yet rewarding year. Happy 2016! Bring it on 2017….

My first wedding of 2016! Tyla & Scott…you guys are just too freaking adorable. I remember this portrait session like it was yesterday. I loved hanging out with your family and sweet little Malibu. I have a few canvases that I printed out for my bridal shows and to show off and this first one made the cut!

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Latasha & Chad….oh my heart! This Valentine Museum RVA wedding stole my breath away and I loved how Chad could not stop looking at Latasha. True love right there! Latasha and I hit it off right away…partly because we love to chit chat. Chad is a man of very few words but I got the chance to see him really open up at our Christmas party last year when the guys hung out in the den and played video games! I loved taking pictures of Tasha because she is simply gorgeous. I had a VERY hard time narrowing down pictures for them. Latasha & Chad Wedding Favorites (1 of 1)-42Latasha & Chad Wedding Favorites (1 of 1)-34Latasha & Chad Wedding Favorites (1 of 1)-45

Keisha & Eric! You guys were a royal couple on your wedding, that is for sure. I could have taken pictures of you guys all day long. TRULY! Thank you for including me on this magical experience in Norfolk, Virginia.sufolk virginia princess royal wedding gold pink and black (1 of 1)-57sufolk virginia princess royal wedding gold pink and black (1 of 1)-56sufolk virginia princess royal wedding gold pink and black (1 of 1)-58

Jennifer & Jacob! My fellow nerdy couple…how I could talk to you guys all day long. Jennifer, I am still in awe that on your bridal portrait session you brought me a birthday gift because it was my birthday and ONLY day we both had free! I had colored half of the pictures in my Harry Potter coloring book. Eternally grateful for your friendship. Looking back at these pictures I laugh because we were almost not allowed to walk across the bridge because the water was too high! Jennifer forgot her bouquet on the way over so I had to venture over the bridge during the ceremony without slipping to grab it for her. The entire ceremony watched me as I made my way back. All I remember was saying “This is NOT the time to be a clutz”. Thankfully I made it over and it was a FANTASTIC wedding.Midlothian Virginia Lake Wedding (1 of 1)-106Midlothian Virginia Lake Wedding (1 of 1)-94Midlothian Virginia Lake Wedding (1 of 1)-82

Oh Mandy & Micah! I had such a fun time at your wedding. This was another favorite of mine. You both are such sweet souls and I remember telling Mandy’s mom how blessed I felt to be there. This ceremony was God-filled! I felt him there and teared up so many times. Thank you so much for such a wonderful experience and I loved getting on the dance floor with you both and showing my moves! lynchburg virginia fairytale wedding country chic (1 of 1)-98lynchburg virginia fairytale wedding country chic (1 of 1)-94

Michael & Brittany. My handsome cousin & his gorgeous bride! I have to laugh because Brit has been in our family for a long while now. The entire wedding I was a little nervous because my whole family was watching me. I kept calling Brit’s family the Groom’s family because she has been a cousin to me for so long! I had to push my limits with my photography and face the harsh light in this first picture. It turned out to be both their and my favorite picture from the wedding. Love you both and can’t wait to meet your little addition to the family soon 🙂Deep Creek Lake Wedding Heather Michelle Photography (1 of 1)-109Deep Creek Lake Wedding Heather Michelle Photography (1 of 1)-110Deep Creek Lake Wedding Heather Michelle Photography (1 of 1)-88

I also had to add a few extras because you all know I am just like my Mama but I am a Daddy’s girl. Here is my sweet Aunt Kaka and my daddy together at Michael and Brittany’s wedding. I just love seeing the two of them together 🙂

Deep Creek Lake Wedding Heather Michelle Photography (1 of 1)-134And my super gorgeous sister, Lindsay and my super cute boyfriend, Ben breaking it down on the dance floor! Deep Creek Lake Wedding Heather Michelle Photography (1 of 1)-160

Sarah & Scott…oh this wedding and these pictures! I had such a blast and can seriously say I will remember this wedding forever. Scott is a history buff and every turn in Lexington, Virginia gave you a sweet southern taste of historical landmarks. I just loved being around this couple because it was truly all about their marriage. Sarah is so low key and just wanted to hang out with her gal pal’s all day long. 🙂lexington virginia wedding navy and sparkles (1 of 1)-62lexington virginia wedding navy and sparkles (1 of 1)-79lexington virginia wedding navy and sparkles (1 of 1)-55

Tara & Andy! Thank you for letting me part of your special day. If you didn’t read their blog, Andy is Ben’s cousin and this day was like a fairy tale! We hung out all day and I will admit it was a little hot! I feel like God answered our prayers because as soon as the ceremony was over and we were all under the tent for the reception, the heavens opened up and let the rain fall down. It’s good luck for it to rain on your wedding day, right? I think so because we had a blast. There was literally a stream flowing over the dance floor and the entire dance floor was “river dancing”. virginia wedding country pink southern belle (1 of 1)-48virginia wedding country pink southern belle (1 of 1)-49virginia wedding country pink southern belle (1 of 1)-60

Naomi & Eric. I remember first meeting with Naomi and feeling this overwhelming sense of calm. She told me their love story and I remember tearing up and really just loving who they were as a couple. If you don’t remember this bride from the blog, she had 13 flowers girls because she never had the chance to be one as a child. She wanted each little girl to feel super special…and oh my lord the cuteness never ended! So excited to hear that you guys will be also adding a sweet addition to the family in 2017! photography virginia wedding photographer heather michelle photography (140 of 254)photography virginia wedding photographer heather michelle photography (138 of 254)photography virginia wedding photographer heather michelle photography (119 of 254)

Holly & Spencer. I remember this being the moment of 2016 where I was feeling so overwhelmed by all that I had going on. I was so stressed and worried about delivering the best pictures I could when I already felt burnt out. Well…your wedding actually gave me all of the motivation and inspiration I needed to finish the year out with a bang. I uploaded your pictures to start editing and cried! Like…not a cute tear here and there. UGLY cried! I am so proud of these pictures. Your family and friend were just about the kindest people I have ever met. Needless to say, I could feel the love through these pictures.

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Jessica & Cabell. The wedding where I was not only the photographer but the Maid of Honor! I can’t thank you enough for including me on your special day. I have always felt very close to both of you and just loved being able to capture your love. Not to mention get to hang out with the coolest people EVER! farmville-virginia-wedding-photographer-heather-michelle-photography-virginia-photographer-1-of-1-37farmville-virginia-wedding-photographer-heather-michelle-photography-virginia-photographer-1-of-1-42farmville-virginia-wedding-photographer-heather-michelle-photography-virginia-photographer-1-of-1-68farmville-virginia-wedding-photographer-heather-michelle-photography-virginia-photographer-1-of-1-96Emily & Josh. Could your pictures have been anymore perfect? When we approached this little boat I had no idea that it would not only match your wedding colors but say P.S. I love you. Happy coincidence! I just love you guys. You are so sweet and I love the way Josh looks at you, Emily. You both have such kind and caring souls and I loved being at your wedding to celebrate your marriage.

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Oh my lord. Here we go…..Tara & Ryan. My sassiest couple yet. When I say that every time I see these two there is more sarcasm and laughter than I have ever experienced with two people. That’s how it goes with these two. Ryan says something sarcastic and Tara belts out laughing. Tara laughs so hard that Ryan starts to laugh. OR Tara is being really sassy and Ryan starts laughing. That make Tara laugh…starting the whole process all over again. These two are true soulmates. I love being around Tara just because she is such a sweet friend to me. Whenever we get together we chit chat like we have known each other for years. I love you both and thank you for ALWAYS making me laugh…and sending me out of your engagement session with a fresh carton of eggs from your chicken coop. That was a first for sure! richmond-virginia-tredegar-historic-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-69richmond-virginia-tredegar-historic-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-52richmond-virginia-tredegar-historic-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-109richmond-virginia-tredegar-historic-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-121

Sherri-Ann & Eric. A love that can bear all storms. That is because their wedding took place smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Matthew. This was a whirlwind of a day with so many great memories. These two lovebirds stole your heart away as they gave their vows to one another. I loved when Eric serenaded Sherri-Ann and danced for her! virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-36virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-33virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-54Melissa & Eric. This day went by in a flash and I am so glad we were able to have so much time for pictures. Farmville, Virginia was full of so many little areas for us to find the perfect spot to take your portraits. I loved watching Eric and his cousin Kyle sing “Man of Constant Sorrow” for the guests. Such a fun day!powhatan-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-86-of-163powhatan-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-88-of-163powhatan-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-76-of-163Becky & Adam. My final wedding of the year! I am so thankful to have gotten to know you both. You guys are so sweet and humble. I absolutely loved taking pictures at the Carillon in Richmond and not only that but got to work with my favorite Caterer ever, Lona Crittenden! You guys really finished my year with a bang as we celebrated the night away. Thank you so much for letting me be part of your day and get to know your sweet family and friends. carillon-wedding-richmond-virginia-wedding-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-49carillon-wedding-richmond-virginia-wedding-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-55carillon-wedding-richmond-virginia-wedding-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-592016….you rocked!

Becky & Adam | Richmond, Virginia Wedding | Carillon

This Richmond, Virginia wedding was photographed at the Carillion, it was stunning! I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful day and as many people have read on my previous posts, Richmond, Virginia is stunning and gives you a little bit of everything when it comes to settings. We were blessed with crisp and colorful fall trees that made these pictures so wonderful.

Becky & Adam make you believe in love. They make you believe that you truly have a person specifically made for you. Their chemistry is out of this world and this wedding was just FUN! There is no easier way to say it…

The day went by so quickly. The girls got ready at Sola Salon in Midlothian, Virginia and shared quite a few laughs as they prepared for the wedding. We showed up to the Carillon and the wind picked up to what felt like 40 miles an hour. It would whip across the venue. It was so refreshing and honestly made the pictures so fun to take. We were constantly switching things up and going with the flow.

This was my last wedding of the year and I can say how blessed I feel to end with this couple. As the sun went down I couldn’t help but feel a little sadness that even though we had a full reception to attend, it would be over as quickly as it started. It went out with a bang though! From dancing to the photobooth, I can say every guest had a blast.

Adam & Becky, you both are so amazing and loved by so many people. I hope you have the best honeymoon and enjoy life as a married couple. You guys deserve a life full of happiness and I know that has just begun for you both. Love you guys!

 

Salon Sola Salon

Venue Carillon

Caterer Cater2Events

Photo booth Hott Shotz Booth

DJ  Jeff Davis

 

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Melissa & Eric | Powhatan, Virginia | Wedding | Heather Michelle Photography

Powhatan, Virginia is one of those small towns that you could miss very quickly if you aren’t paying attention. Keep your eyes open because this is a wedding you are not going to want to miss.

Melissa & Eric described their relationship to me over dinner at a small cafe in Powhatan. They shared their past about how they grew up together, as their grandfather and father were best friends. They saw each other a lot and regardless of an age difference, they naturally gravitated towards each other.Fast forward a few years and they had several nights of stargazing together. It was on one of those nights they told each other about their feelings…it was history from there.

One thing I really loved about this wedding was how grounded the bridal party was. Getting ready was truly about hanging out with each other and enjoying their time with Eric and Melissa. It was a sweet and thoughtful ceremony that led to a blast of a reception. I couldn’t have asked for a fabulous couple! I enjoyed your special day and thank you for letting me be part of it. Hope you two enjoy your honeymoon!

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Sherry Ann & Eric | Norfolk, Virginia Wedding| Hurricane Matthew | Heather Michelle Photography

What do you get when you have a beautiful Norfolk wedding and Hurricane Matthew comes through!? One whirlwind of a wedding…

Sherry Ann & Eric got married in Norfolk, Virginia last Saturday and it was such a beautiful wedding. They say it’s good luck for rain at your wedding, right? Because this wedding was blessed with a hurricane. I arrived at 11am and there was no rain in sight. We had a beautiful morning with the girls hanging out and laughing in Sandbridge,VA while we got ready. Right as it was time to leave for the ceremony the skies opened up and the rain came down.

That led us to taking pictures inside which was a total blast. The bridal party was ready to have a good time as we took pictures and made the most of what we had. The reception was to DIE for. I loved all of the lights and sparkles. I hope you enjoy the wedding as much as I did.

Sherry Ann & Eric, I hope you are having the best honeymoon and that you enjoy your pictures as much as I did.

Virginia Beach Chesapeake Virginia Wedding Photographer Photography Heather Michelle Photography (1 of 1).jpgvirginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-2virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-3virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-4virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-5virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-6virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-7virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-8virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-9virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-10virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-11virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-12virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-13virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-14virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-15virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-16virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-19virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-20virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-21virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-22virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-23virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-24virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-25virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-26virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-27virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-28virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-29virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-30virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-31virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-32virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-33virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-34virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-35virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-36virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-37virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-38virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-39virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-40virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-41virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-42virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-43virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-44virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-45virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-46virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-47virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-48virginia-beach-chesapeake-virginia-wedding-photographer-photography-heather-michelle-photography-1-of-1-49