Modern & Fun Virginia Wedding Photographer » Creative and fun Virginia Wedding Photography

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Tomorrow is my twenty fifth birthday! I can’t believe I will be a quarter of a century old. And then there’s the fact that I’ll be on the downhill slide to thirty…uh oh. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on my life lately and I can honestly say that things have turned out a lot differently than I ever imagined they would, but there are a lot of good things in my life that I wouldn’t change for anything. I think I’m at that age (or that stage in life) where you start legitimately thinking you are getting old, but you’re really still so young. I thought about it this way this life. I have lived 25 years so far, but I probably have around (hopefully) at least 50 more to go. MORE THAN TWICE WHAT I’VE LIVED NOW! I think your mid twenties can be kind of scary…you’re supposed to have your life together or at least be starting to get your crap together, but a lot of us are still not even sure what we want to do. Until two years ago I didn’t know what I wanted to do either. Until this year what I wanted to do was a pipe dream, not a reality.

I can honestly say at 25 (well after tomorrow) maybe the most important life lesson I’ve learned so far is that I really don’t know anything at all, and there might never be a day when I do. I can learn and learn and learn and still not come close to the tip of the iceberg of what there is to know on earth. The only thing I can do is wake up every day and work hard to be kind, humble, honest, giving, loving, and make choices out of love and empathy rather than anger. I can’t know everything. I can’t do everything. I can’t make everyone happy and trying will only make me unhappy. I’ve learned that anger comes from fear and/or hurt. And that people are mostly good if you give them a chance to be. Oh, and the second most important thing I’ve learned so far is that you can’t change people. You can only change yourself. I want to spend my next 25 years living a peaceful, SIMPLE life. With lots and lots of donuts.

I will be out of the office today and for the rest of the weekend:) My mom is taking me shopping and we have guests coming in from out of town. I love having people stay over with us!!


Hey Katie! Happy early birthday! I hope you and John celebrate your big day with a bang. It’s well-deserved. Being that I’m…let’s just say in my 30’s, I would like to say that approaching your thirties shouldn’t be a downhill slide. I actually find that most people (including myself) are at the best point of their lives, e.g. more career experience have brought great opportunities, better financial situation, happier with yourself because you feel established…I am even in better shape and health than I was in my 20’s for sure. 30 is great. Just know that you have a bunch of awesomeness to look forward to! Happy birthday doll. xoxo

Happy birthday Katie! I agree with Tina, 30’s are great, well so far haha, I just turned 30 last month. It was hard at first but I am settling in nicely and you have lots to look forward to! Enjoy your birthday weekend!!

Happy Birthday my friend! Make sure to spend it well an enjoy the weekend off!

Yaaaay Happy early birthday!!! Enjoy your weekend off!!!!



Tara Shaw

You were the cutest little girl!!!! I want to pick you up and squeeze you. 🙂 You’re going to make beautiful babies one day. xoxo I miss you my friend.

Rolling with the punches

I love it when my clients or a second shooter will tell me that I’m so laid back. I think I mostly love it because I feel that I’m anything BUT laid back. I’m a class A worrier and an out of control planner. I like knowing when and where I plan to be somewhere and I hate it when I try to make plans with a friend and they are super vague about what time they’d like to meet. For most of my life I’ve been the type of person who stresses out about the unknown. I like having a plan or at the very least, some guidelines I can go by for how my day/week will go. For some reason this gives me security and makes me feel a lot safer. I like to feel like I’m at least somewhat in control of my life and knowing what to expect seems to help me.

This week all of my best laid plans seemed to get lost somewhere in the shuffle. I planned out my week pretty carefully because I had A LOT to do. So everything was planned out by day to make me mega efficient. I even scheduled time for me to hang out and spend time with a friend on Thursday evening to celebrate my upcoming birthday. HA. Too bad the weather had other plans. Damn you, rain! So now my Tuesday plans are on Thursday, my original Thursday plans are still TBD, and I’m doing my best to not freak out and to just ROLL with it. I was kind of upset I couldn’t follow through with my shoot on Tuesday, but you know what? When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. So John and I checked the Williamsburg forecast and said screw it, we’re going to Busch Gardens. And guess what? When we got there, only two of the roller coasters were even open. So I ate a corn dog and we rode the open rides, and then we had frosties on our way home. IT WAS THE BEST AFTERNOON. And it totally was what I needed to remind me WHY I’m a full time photographer now…so that I have time to enjoy the little moments like that. The shoot will get done. The flowers have not died (thankfully) and the two people who are involved in it with me have just been the BEST.

It’s kind of ironic that this is my life and my career is wedding photography…Wedding photography is SO unpredictable. No two weddings are the same and crazy things pop up all the time where you have to be ready to just roll with it and make it work. And that’s something I love about weddings! I need to learn to love it in real life too. Life is never going to slow down and it’s never going to stop throwing crazy things my way….in fact I think the craziness will be more intense and unpredictable since I’m self employed now. I can’t predict what every day will hold or when I will get paid, or what I will learn or not learn or encounter with every turn I make. But I can learn to roll with it and just go with the flow and look for the good in all of these moments that may or may not frustrate the type A control freak inside of me.

Here’s a peek at something that went as planned this week:) I went out to Sandbridge yesterday afternoon to take some family portraits for April and John and little baby Addy. LOVED their coordinating outfits;)


awwww i love that image. and girl, i mean, i’ve never met you in person, but you definitely seem SUPER laid back and i love that!

April + John | Sandbridge Wedding Photographer

It’s sometimes hard for me to write out this text part to wedding blog posts…most of the time (such as in this case) I feel the images really speak for themselves and they are what truly tells the story of the day…not whatever fun adjectives I can write about how amazing the wedding day was. But in this case it’s especially hard for me to put into words exactly how incredible John and April’s wedding day was. Do I start by describing how despite a few hiccups, John and April stayed laid back and relaxed? Or should I talk about how sweet and consuming their love is and how awesome it was that their baby daughter Adeline was a bridesmaid?  April and John had described their wedding to me as “beach country” and all of their incredibly well executed details were handmade by both of them and their families. April’s mom even made all the bouquets! They also picked the PERFECT time for a bayside ceremony at the Baja restaurant…the light was absolutely GORGEOUS! All in all April and John’s wedding day was pretty amazing. So much so that it’s even harder than normal to sum it all up within a couple paragraphs.

Also, a big thanks to Justin Ferry for second shooting!

First look time!

Congratulations, April + John!

Ceremony + Reception Venue: Baja Restaurant
Catering: Baja Restaurant
Music: Dennis Rossi
Cake: The Lady of Cakes
Bridal Gown: 
Hair + Makeup: Rumors Salon and Spa 



the colors are beautiful! and your detail shots are ON POINT. as usual 🙂

Amanda Thomas

The bride (and all of the colorful details) are absolutely stunning! I have to say, I consider myself VERY lucky to have you as a photographer. These photos are a prime example of beautiful, perfect memories for the bride and groom to love and share for the rest of their lives! Katie, you rock. It’s that simple.

KATIE HOLY CRAP! these are amazing!!!!!!!! you are so freaking talented, girl!

omy I love the cake!!!

So pretty!! I LOVE the details on the beach chair – too pretty!! 😀

ohhh I LOVE HER DRESS! I also love their first kiss. Such a cute wedding Katie!! I’m loving how you edited these! 😉

Beautiful work! Loved every image!

Tina Pezz

I love the kiss picture! What great timing!

Video blog – Family formal tips

Hey there! I’m trying to keep up with video blogging and be faster with getting these out. I’m happy to say that the gap between this video and the last one wasn’t MONTHS like the one between the last two videos. It was only a week! Check out this video (it’s a little longer than normal) in which I answer a frequently asked question and share some of my family formal tips for brides who are currently in the planning process!

EDITED TO CLARIFY…I just realized that when I start the video talking about “family portraits”, how I do them but don’t show them on the blog, and how they are boring except to you and your fam, it could be confused as I’m talking about an actual family portrait session…totally not the case!! I do those too occasionally, and they are SO NOT boring and would def make it on the blog! In this video I’m talking about WEDDING DAY family formals only!! Hope that clears up any of my rambly confusion!! xoxo

FAQ – Family formals! from Katie Hill-Nesbitt on Vimeo.


you. are. so. PRECIOUS. 🙂

i love your video blogs!!

Blogging tips for new bloggers

Blahhhh. Blogggg. Ha! I was going to write out a post about how I prewrite and schedule ALL of my posts in advance because it’s such a time saver and it’s the ONLY way to get 4-5 posts up every week….but then I procrastinated, didn’t do it ahead of time, and now I’m struggling to write this today. I say that I’m struggling because I’m not the world’s best writer (can you tell??) so usually blogging ahead of time is really helpful for me because I get a chance to really think about what I want to say and how I’m going to say it. Unlike today when I actually woke up late (in my defense I was up late last night scratching my entire mosquito bite covered body) and am rushing to get something decent together for you peeps. Without TOO much more useless blabbing, here are a few of my tips for photography bloggers.

Decide how often you want to post. For some people, posting three times a week is A LOT. Not everyone has the time or energy (or even CARES) to post every weekday. That’s totally cool! Whatever you choose to do, though, make sure you are consistent. If you post Monday, Wednesday, Friday…do your best to always post Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Consistency is the key to building a readership that will return. Two of my favorite home blogs, Design Sponge and Young House Love post EVERY DAY! So I know there will always be something great to look at and I just check it without them even having to post a link! Some of my photographer friends don’t post every single weekday, but they post several blog posts a week. I still check their blogs very regularly because I KNOW there will more than likely be some new, great content to read/drool over.

Make a calendar. I have a google calendar for the month with all of my sessions, appointments, etc already keyed into it. At the beginning of each month I go through and use the tasks feature to schedule what and when I want to post. I automatically write in “Review in Instagrams” and “Stuff I Love” at the beginning and end of the month since I will be doing those. Then I look at what sessions and weddings I have coming up and schedule a blog post for each one of those within the next week or so after the event. If I have two weddings or sessions to share, I share on Tuesday and Thursday of the following week. If I have one wedding to share from the previous weekend and no engagement or portraits, I share on Wednesday. Once all of my events are keyed in, I go back and fill and holes with other things I want to post about…in a slower season you might see more things like the Confessions of a Former Bride series, or more DIY tutorials. These empty holes are also great spots to put things like the ideas I’ve been saving up to post for a while. This leads me to my next point….

Keep a list/journal/notepad/etc of post ideas. For me, my list is on my iPhone. It’s just a little sheet of the iPhone “notepad” that I  use to keep track of random ideas I have for my blog. I had started a notepad, but I almost never had it with me when I was out so that kind of defeated the purpose. I’m almost always tethered to my phone (I’m obsessed) so it’s just easier for me to do it that way. I jot down any kind of post idea that I think would be neat and the things I get inspired by are really random sometimes! It could even be a snippet of conversation I overheard standing in line somewhere! If you start keeping track of ideas you have, it will become easier and easier to find content for your blog and you will always have a list of backups to post about in the event that you get bloggers block.

Write your posts in advance. HAHA. Like I mentioned above, I try to blog in advance, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. I blame it on my cat and the marathon of Bridezillas that was on yesterday afternoon…it’s really hard for me to resist reality TV. Blogging in advance (when you actually do it) is GREAT because you don’t have to scramble at the last minute and then possibly hit bloggers blog and n0t even have anything to write about. It’s definitely more possible for me to wait to write something til the morning of these days because I don’t have to be at my full time job, but it’s still not something I want to practice all of the time if I want to maintain a consistent schedule.

Be YOURSELF!! This one is so, SO important. When I first started blogging (this was a personal blog that’s too embarrassing to share), I tried to sound very formal and serious and what I thought in my mind to be “professional”. My blog posts didn’t really sound like me at all. Obviously it’s important to maintain some sense of professionalism when you’re blogging, but the photography industry (and the blogosphere for that matter) are so inundated, and the main thing that sets you apart is your awesome personality. This is such a cliche, but if all blogs sounded the same, the world would be a boring place. At least, the blog world would. Your blog is the first place where potential clients will get to know you and get to know what type of person you are. Jasmine Star said somewhere that your goal should be to attract or repel people. I know I butchered that quote, but IT’S SO TRUE. And that’s what you want! If there are people who come to my blog and are offended by my casual tone and my somewhat weird/lame joke attempts, then they are not the clients for me. In the same vein (but opposite) there will be people who stop by my blog and LOVE my bad jokes and decide that I’m at the top of their list just because they like me. When someone tells me they loved reading my blog and can’t wait to have me shoot their wedding because they feel like they already know me, that’s the best feeling in the world and makes all the work that goes into blogging TOTALLY WORTH IT.

I can’t blog without a picture…I feel like it breaks the photographers code or something (yeah, there’s a code). Here’s a preview of April and John’s wedding from this past weekend!



SUCH great tips, katie!! you know i lurve your blog!! 🙂 🙂 and that picture is beautiful 🙂

What wonderful tips friend!! It’s all SO true!! Consistency is definitely key, I have noticed an increase in my followers since I started consistently blogging, and making a calendar is definitely my saving grace!! I lost my July calendar the other day (yes, I’m still archaic and write it out on paper) and I about had a panic attack!! And having a calendar definitely helps the whole write it out beforehand thing too!! If I get inspired, I’ll pump out two or three posts in one day! And yes, being yourself is probably the most important! I love that when I read your blog I can hear your voice, it is wonderful! And so are you 🙂 🙂

Very helpful blog… i have trouble being consistent, and its not because I don’t care but, its because of my time. Great tips though! I should try everything in advance rather than wait the day of. Love the pic! 🙂