photography

I'm going to Haiti.

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I am going to Haiti tomorrow.

Tommy and I made the decision at the last minute (one week ago). I have been invited to join the Allow The Children team in Haiti as their photographer for a week and grateful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. I am overwhelmed in a lot of GOOD ways and I hope my presence will be only helpful and uplifting. My goal during this trip is to capture the essence of Haiti as it is and to help raise awareness of the desperate need for support for their country. Specifically, though, in the children's orphanages. 

I've spent the last week trying to get all of my work tasks taken care of while balancing my need to research and prepare for my trip AND get in good, quality time with the family. I've been learning about the history of Haiti and where the country stands now, having lengthy discussions with Tommy about what I'm nervous about and what I'm excited about (and how jealous he is of me), and trying to figure out how to get all of my work done before I leave while also taking breaks to snuggle with Sunday. 

It's been a busy week. But so worth it. I am very excited. And nervous. Oh, so nervous. I cannot recall many times in my life when I have felt genuinely fearful for my life... but I will share that the last time I traveled to a third world country, I spent almost the entire trip in prayer. I was scared. I hope I won't feel this way again, but I do know I am stepping out of my comfort zone and that alone is not a fun thing, per se.

It is surreal... knowing my life will never be the same again after today.

I will try to put into words what my experience is like after I return, but no promises. I remember being fairly speechless after my trip to Nepal in 2009. 

I'd greatly appreciate your prayers for our team and all of those we will be connecting with... and that my camera equipment will not malfunction while we are there. (I'm scared of that, too.)

Graham & Emily | Ashland Engagement Photographer

Internet, meet Graham & Emily. Emily has been a dear friend of mine for years. We met in college our freshman year at Longwood University (did you know I went to Longwood? Oh yes. And a very influential year of my life, it was!) and have been friends since. When she got engaged this year I was SO excited for her! And of course, extremely honored when she asked me to be her photographer. It was awesome to finally meet Graham when we met up for their engagement session. They were adorably sweet together and made my job a cinch! I love engagement sessions so much because it helps show my clients that having your picture taken "isn't so bad." In fact, it's kind of fun and relaxing. Plus, you get to spend the entire session cuddling and loving on each other! Score! :) Here are a few of my favorites from their session:

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Isn't Emily as cute as a button?! And Graham, you're not so bad yourself! :) :)

I'm so excited about their wedding this fall!!

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Equipment used for these pictures:  canon 5d mark ii // canon 50mm f/1.2 lens // canon 70-200mm f/2.8l lens  // canon 16-35mm f/2.8 lens

Liz Cook is the owner and photographer behind sincerely, liz: photography. She is a virginia wedding photographer and virginia portrait photographer who loves virginia weddings and couple photography.

To see more of Liz’s work, check out her latest work as well as some of her favorite weddings. To hire Liz, simply fill out this form.

Life with Sunday | #gratituesday

Last weekend, something big happened. Sunday woke up only about an hour after I put her to bed. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does our routine usually looks like this:

If her cries are whimpery, pitiful “I’m really too tired to be awake” cries, we let her cry for a minute or so. But if she doesn’t fall back to sleep quickly, I will go into her room and pick her up. In the past, I have sat down in the glider and nursed her back to sleep. In recent weeks, I’ve picked her up and just held her for a little bit until she is barely asleep and then laid her back down.

But I always pick her up.

Until last Saturday night. She woke up and threw out a few whimpery cries, but I knew it would be easier if I just went in and coaxed her back to sleep. When I opened the door I found her sitting up in bed, usually a sign of a larger task ahead. I gently said “Sweet girl, what happened? Can you lay back down?” I patted her little pillow and repeated myself. “Sweetie, will you lay back down?”

And you guys, she did. She did!

She laid back down and I covered her with her blanket and rubbed her back for about 30 seconds. And that was that.

It’s small little moments like these that force me to recognize that she is growing up, and she’s never going to stop growing. No matter how much I LOVE this age and how badly I just want her to stay small forever, she is going to keep changing. It makes me sad, yet so excited. Oh, motherhood. Such a pickle you put my emotions in.

So, today, I am using this Gratituesday to express my gratefulness for life with our precious girl. It is good, so good. I know moments are fleeting and you never know how many days you have with each other. Let it be known that our days with Sunday have been the best days of our lives.

Here are a few snapshots of life with Sunday lately.

gratituesday is a weekly post I try to keep up with. Join us at Heavenly Homemakers by sharing your own Gratituesday post!

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Equipment used for these images: canon 5d mark ii // canon 50mm f/1.2 lens

Rosy Baby | Lynchburg Newborn Photographer #sincerelylizphoto

Gosh, there has been so much stuff going on behind the scenes here at Sincerely, Liz, and I wish I could tell you guys ALL about it! We are currently working on a new website, preparing to announce a super-special Valentine's Day opportunity, preparing for the 2013 wedding season, and so much more! I am loving all of it! In the meantime, I still have a ton of sessions to share with you guys. While I'm sharing about my paleo challenge (journey!) over here, I will be posting some more photography related things here on the main part of the blog for a little while. First up - sweet baby Callie. Callie's session is the first of many newborn portrait sessions on the calendar this year! And of course I was totally fighting baby fever after spending the morning holding and cuddling her. I know everyone talks about that "baby smell" that new babies have. Okay, well mothers talk about it. And before I became a mom I could defnitely identify the scent of a newborn baby. But, now that I have held my own babe for hours on end... I not only idenfity the scent... I feel like I am swimming in it when I hold a newborn these days!! Am I alone here? It's just this... BAM... here's a NEWBORN! "I smell like sour milk but isn't it the best smell in the whole world?!" Yes, baby. It really, really is the best smell in the universe.

Oh dear... I am in for some trouble this year! Haha. Okay - onto Callie!!

Callie's big sister, Olivia, made her debut on the blog a few years ago. So of course I was honored to have the opportunity to photograph Callie as well. Just like big sis, Callie was a most excellent model. I am loving the rosy rompers mama bought for her session, too - so, so perfect! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from her session:

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Equipment used for this session:  canon 5d mark ii // canon 50mm f/1.2 lens // canon 35mm f/1.4 lens

Liz Cook is the owner and photographer of sincerely, liz: photography. She is a virginia wedding photographer and virginia portrait photographer who loves virginia weddingsfamily portrait sessions and couple photography.

To see more of Liz’s work, check out her latest work as well as some of her favorite weddings. To hire Liz, simply fill out this form.

2013 Interns: Meet Chelsea | #sincerelylizphoto

Internet, meet Chelsea.

She is adorable, witty, and lovable. I am so excited to have her joining our team this semester. She is passionate about small business, social media, and her husband, Tucker. She will be working with me on PR/Marketing projects. When we get together, we totally have fun nerding out about social media and coming up with fun ideas for the business.

Recently I asked her a few random questions in an attempt to help you all get to know her a bit. I hope you'll take the time to read her answers and welcome her to the team!

  1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be? When I was a child I wanted to be a photographer or writer for National Geographic magazine. My dad collected them for me for most of my childhood, and unknowingly introduced me to the word 'wanderlust'. I still want to travel a ton, but I have since lost my desire to be a National Geographic writer. I'd much rather manage a blog for them these days.
  2. What do you do on your days off? I drink an exorbitant amount of coffee, attempt to clean my house, catch up on TV shows via Hulu, and walk around beautiful downtown Lynchburg. I also attempt to bake things every once and a while.
  3. Tell us about someone that's an important part of your every day life and why he or she is important to you. I'm going to have to go with my wonderful husband, Tucker. He makes every day, and every circumstance an adventure and is a far better companion than I could have ever hoped for or even imagined. We recently got married (July 2012) and are soaking up all of the wonderful things about being newlyweds, especially after dating since high school. He is definitely an important and super fun part of my day!
  4. What is your favorite blog? I have quite a few favorite blogs. My first is A Beautiful Mess, which is a blog I have followed for several years now. It is a lifestyle blog that is simply about creating and enjoying a beautiful life, and it is often my inspiration to enjoy the life I am so blessed to live. Another blog that I just recently found out about is And Then We Saved, which is another lifestyle blog about living on the cheap. It follows a journey of paying off debt, and realizing the fun things that you can do for cheap or free. She also has a ton of fun guides to things like cutting your own hair and making sugar scrubs out of coffee. As someone who is getting ready to graduate college I'm loving a good 'I paid off $50,000 dollars in debt in a year' story.
  5. What is your dream job? My dream job is such a tough scenario to see played out in my actual life. There are so many things that I want to do! I want to be a traveling social media and advertising guru. I want to work from home and have strange and ecclectic children running around my house one day in the distant future. I want to work with my husband and start a graphic design & advertising cooperative that focuses on small business growth and expansion. I want to write and publish book or two. I want to meet & blog about celebrities, tv shows, and movies for a living. I want to be a bakery chef. I want to do a lot of things, but I think I have been given one of the greatest gifts of all: not having a specific dream job. This allows me to dream big, and be happy exactly where I am until I move on to something else.

Yay Chelsea! Doesn't she sound like so much fun?? Here she is in all of her adorableness!

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Equipment used for this session:  canon 5d mark ii // canon 50mm f/1.2 lens

Liz Cook is the owner and photographer of sincerely, liz: photography. She is a virginia wedding photographer and virginia portrait photographer who loves virginia weddingsfamily portrait sessions and couple photography.

To see more of Liz’s work, check out her latest work as well as some of her favorite weddings. To hire Liz, simply fill out this form.