Rachael Houser Photography » Wedding Photographer based in Western Kentucky

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Something new I’m trying this year – something I’ve even added to my portrait and wedding workflows so I’m sure to not forget – is to submit to be published online. For years I’ve known about getting published and that Two Bright Lights was the best and easiest way to go about it. I don’t know why I haven’t tried it before now… probably something to do with laziness…

BUT I signed up a couple weeks ago and so far I’ve submitted two engagement sessions for 2015 brides and one’s already been picked up! I am very excited to see it featured next week and will let you guys know when it happens.

ANYWAY. Sessions aren’t difficult and time consuming to submit but weddings are a totally different story. Speaking of story – editors really like having the wedding story written by the bride when a wedding is submitted to be published SO…

Another task I’m adding to all wedding workflows is to ask if the bride would kindly write something up for their wedding and include as much detail as they can (vendors, feelings, decision making, etc) that way there’s more of a chance to have their wedding published! And I mean, who wouldn’t LOVE that?

As an incentive to write up a lovely story, I’m offering a FREE ANNIVERSARY SESSION to every couple whose wedding gets published! And since I don’t want to leave anyone out – this offer is also for 2014 wedding couples! If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please email me (rachael.houser@gmail.com) and I’ll give you more information on the specifics of what publishers and editors are looking for.

Let’s start submitting!

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Two weeks ago I led the very first gathering of Pursuit Community’s new small group of Paducah at our local Books A Million. Why BAM? Because our group is brand spank’ new, I wanted a warm but neutral venue to get together so everyone would feel comfortable coming. It worked out so well that I held a secondary first gathering the following Monday evening for those that were unable to attend that Thursday evening.

For those of you who don’t know what Pursuit Community is, we are a Christian community of creative entrepreneurs – more specifically photographers, bloggers / writers, shop owners, calligraphers, and graphic designers – dedicated to cultivating the art of community and building the Kingdom of God as He uses us in our families, neighborhoods, and the world. We have many groups around the United States, Canada and the Philippines. If you are a woman in any of these categories and would like to learn more about Pursuit Community, visit our Facebook group page and check the directory for a group in your area.

For January’s gathering, I keep the topics of conversation very light – nothing too deep for our first gathering but I definitely intend on getting deeper as we gathering each month. At both initial gatherings, we sat between two 4 person tables, did round-robin introductions, I explained essentially what we were all doing there – what Pursuit Community was and is now about and what Pursuit Paducah could be – and then spent the rest of our time together answering the ladies’ questions.

After each initial gathering, I invited each lady to the Pursuit Paducah Facebook group and if they were ready to commit themselves to this new small group (and the larger national Pursuit Community group) they accepted the invitation to join the group. Every single lovely lady accepted the invite and we are now sitting at 14 active members, all in less than one month of activity! I am more than thrilled at what we’ve already accomplished and so excited to see where God takes this group of women creatives!!

If you think you might be interested in joining us, I invite you to our February gathering! Click here to learn more about it and shoot me an email or message me on Facebook if you have any questions!

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Pantone’s Color of the Year 2015 is Marsala. If you’re like me, you’re asking yourself, What do Marsala even look like? Well my friends, I’ve created a WHOLE WEDDING inspired by the color of the year just for you! OK, and for me too because it was tons fun!

After creating this inspiration board, I’m stinking’ ready to plan our vow renewal and do everything in Marsala! Kidding. Sort of.

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When I attended Katelyn JamesWorkshop in the fall of 2013, I learned MANY valuable tips and tricks on running a successful photography business. One of those tricks I couldn’t wait till I got home to implement (so I didn’t wait and I started that afternoon!) was the idea of a blogging calendar.

Katelyn had her blog calendar set up on her iCal calendar on her computer, which I tried for a couple weeks or so until I figured out why it wasn’t meshing well with my workflow. I am a to-do list maker and I LOVE writing things down and crossing or checking them off – that’s one of the reasons Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner works so well for me – so I sat down a designed a very simple, very ugly printable calendar that I used for all of 2014. And it worked miracles!

In preparing for 2015, I knew I wanted to use my printable calendar for scheduling blog posts again but I wanted to look at something a tad prettier. Thus, this printable was born!

And now YOU can use it too! I created one for each month of 2015 for you to download, print off, and start a better blogging habit!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ZIP FOLDER CONTAINING EVERY MONTH OF 2015!

So how do I use mine? Because I’m a wedding photographer and I blog every wedding the Tuesday following a wedding, the first thing I do is fill in wedding blog posts (on Tuesdays of course). Next up comes special occasions, birthdays, and holidays, then engagement and portrait sessions. Of course, being pregnant in my third trimester means that during the months of January-March, I have every Monday blocked off for weekly updates because my gestation weeks start on Sundays. I use the bottom of the calendar page as my “blog ideas” section and jot down ideas that I have and then fill in any blank calendar days with ideas from my list. I write everything in pencil because, you know, life happens and things have to be rearranged. I might be a control freak, but I’m a flexible one ;)

I hope you all enjoy this free printable… maybe next week I’ll have a new one for you ;)

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How Far Along: 29 weeks and 1 day!

Weight Gain/Loss: One of my resolutions was to stop weighing myself so frequently. There’s really nothing I can do (at this point) to defer gaining weight and it was causing me unnecessary stress. My maternity clothes still fit the same, other than the ever expanding belly, so I imagine the weight I gain between now and his birth will be the weight he gains. I’ll probably weigh myself around the half way point of this trimester so we’ll see!

Sleep: I still, and probably will forever!, have the “pregnancy sniffles” from hell. I’m not sleeping as soundly as I would otherwise but all thins considered, a humidifier and breathe right strips really does wonders. Starting to pee more often at night, similar to the first trimester, but that’s not a big deal really.

Best Moment This Week: That ONE time he wasn’t wedging his foot up under my right rib cage. I believe that was on Wednesday. Yea, that was a nice moment. I hope you are sensing the DEEP sarcasm here.

Movement: He is more active than he is resting but I’m getting use to it. I told my mom the other day, though, that feeling his movements make me happy and peaceful. I know he’s doing well in there when he’s moving. Keep growing little man!

Food Cravings/Aversions: Still nothing for either.

What I Miss: Same as last week… sitting down with my feet propped up is best for my constantly swelling legs, ankles, and feet but it’s the most uncomfortable position for my back and right side (remember the foot in my rib cage?). Sitting up at my desk, which provides for more productivity and allows me to sit up and relive some tension in my back, is not good for my swelling lower extremities. And standing up and and walking, which feels better than anything AND assures I get tons done around the house, is not good for my work productivity. For the past week, and I’ll most likely be doing for the rest of this pregnancy, is when position starts being uncomfortable, I move to another position. If you’re a photography or design client of mine, I’m sorry but your project is going to be a bit delayed for this reason… :/

Stretch Marks: Still none, thank God! Crossing my fingers!!

Belly Button: Flattening out more and more every day. It’s so gradual that I’m not sure if I’ll notice much change until it’s completely flat.

Wedding Rings: I imagine I won’t be back in my wedding rings until a few days or weeks after he’s born. I’m OK with that now.

Mood: I had a bit of a melt down the other night, which was the first time during the entire pregnancy but it might not be the last. It wasn’t over anything of significance and it didn’t last long but it happened nevertheless. Other than that, I’ve been normal, I guess? lol

Labor Signs: Braxton Hick’s contractions are still occurring. I know this isn’t accurate BUT for how much “practice” my uterus is getting, I’m hopeful that when real labor contractions start, they’ll be more productive? Haha, that’s wishful thinking for sure!

Milestones: Still waiting for our 30 week ultrasound (next Monday!) so I’ll wait to blog until after that appointment so maybe I’ll have something more to say on the matter :)

Upcoming Appointments/Events: ^

What I look forward to: My dear friend asked me just last night if I was starting to feel “ready” for him to get here. Her little girl is a few months old and she remembers the feeling all too well. I am looking forward to holding him and finally being his momma instead of his parasitic host (haha joking!…. kind of) but at the same time, there are SO many things that need to be completed around the house (project wise) AND for my photography and design business that I still need those 10 or so weeks to prepare for his arrival. Keep baking baby! Momma’s not ready for you just yet!

Weekly Wisdom: As his due date grows closer, my to-do list is growing more terrifying. I did the right thing in not scheduling any sessions between mid February and mid May but, as all creatives know, the work doesn’t stop just because I’m not actively taking photographs. At the end of the year I started taking on design clients again so those projects will still need to be completed before he gets here. Also, there’s this little thing I started on January 7th, and it’s called going back to school to earn my master’s in nursing. Yea, I don’t know what I was thinking. SO my “weekly wisdom” is this: DO NOT overestimate the amount of time you may or may not have during your third trimester, or the energy that will be there one minute (the second trimester was amazing that way) but the gone next (hello third trimester energy zap!). Do not over schedule yourself which extra curricular activities or work related stuff. I ALMOST booked a plain to Las Vegas for the beginning of March for WPPI (a photography thing) but quickly reminded myself that I’ll be 35-36 weeks pregnant and probably shouldn’t be that far away from home. Just in case ;)

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