The Journal

Welcome, and thank you for visiting my daily blog! My name is Stephanie, and I'm a wedding + lifestyle portrait photographer based in Warrenton, VA. Feel free to browse around and check out some of my recent work!

FOLLOW ALONG

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

Last year was a whirlwind of a year, and it seems like 2018 is indicating the same deal! Ah! So before January completely escapes me, I want to share a personal post about my 2017 season! :) It was an adventurous, exciting, busy, and honestly bumpy ride, but very rewarding!! God shook me and the path I thought was “the way,” and looking back on the past twelve months, it makes COMPLETE sense why I had to go through that season of life in order to grow an even deeper connection with my faith.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to your right or when you turn to the left.

– Isaiah 30:21

I remember being called to Isaiah 30:21 earlier last year after experiencing some hardships. I didn’t realize at the time that there’s SO much truth behind these words and would become the theme of 2017. It’s funny to think that I chose the word “flourish” as my “word of the year.” I cannot really say that I flourished last year, but on the positive side, seeing how I became a stronger, more independent woman I am today, that is personal success! I’m going into the 2018 planning to flourish, but I have a different word in mind. :) That will be revealed when I present my 2018 goals and aspirations in another blog post!

We won’t spend too much time dwelling on life lessons, especially since this post is intended to be a “highlight reel,” but I think it’s SO important to also bring reality into this “pretty life” below! Life is messy, and it’s definitely not perfect! We are human, we feel pain and betrayal, but when we keep our eyes transfixed on what matters, then you can overcome anything. :) As much as I love looking through these memories, I’m also reminded of the humbling, real moments that occurred last year. This year is a new year and I’m jumping in full throttle with no fear or hesitation! My wedding season is looking incredibly blessed with the most amazing couples, I’m working on balancing time-management while intentionally making time for God, family and friends, and there are exciting changes anticipated, including a new little mascot coming next month!!! :) AH!!! More about that announcement later! Overall, 2017 was a great year, but I’m so glad that chapter is done and a new chapter has started with incredible optimism for the future! Thank you all for making 2017 an unforgettable one! Let’s check out the highlights from the year!!

January

– Traveled to Dallas, Texas and watched JMU win the National Championship!!!! GO DUKESSSS!!! My family and I even made it on ESPN! Whoop! Whoop!
– While in Texas, we got to visit Magnolia Silos, eat a cupcake, shop through the decor, and meet Joanna Gaines’ momma!!!
– Painted my bathroom and designed/built a frame around my mirror. :)

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

February

– Designed and built a new drawer divider system!
– Redesigned my website/blog!! I reworked a TON of backend business projects during this month!
– Celebrated my first homeaversary! :)

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding PhotographerMarch

– Worked my bootay off organizing for the Second Annual Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run!
– Celebrated Pat Smasal’s short-lived life. RIP.
– Celebrated Pixie’s Fifth Birthday!!!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

April

– Organized a successful Second Annual Runaway Brides 5k Fun Run and raised/donated $2,000 to Higgins Hope!!
Outcry Concert! Amaaaazing!
– Went paintballing! Whoop! Whoop!
– Met many friends’ new babes!!! Seemed like a wave of babies came in around this time! Ha!
– Celebrated my mom’s Birthday at Pippin Hill! One of my favorite venues!!!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer
2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

May

– Traveled to the Dominican Republic to photograph David and Lindsay’s wedding day! AMAZING and unforgettable experiences!!!
– Traveled to OuterBanks to photograph Ben and Michelle’s anniversary vow renewal! It was dreammmmy! <3
– I went from snuggling a bunch of babies last month to a bunch of fur babies. :) :) :)
– Received news that the Bachelor casting producer wanted to meet me to be on the show! AH! For those who wanted to know the outcome, I turned down the opportunity. ;) TOTALLY happy about that decision!!!!
– Went to Richmond for the annual Lebanese Food Festival with my mom and my dear friend, Brandy!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

June

– Celebrated Stephanie Messick Photography’s FIFTH business anniversary!!!
– Tried out indoor skydiving! So much fun!!
– Learned how to horseback ride!
– Bachelor nights with my friends were the besstttt!
– Photographed Moo Thru’s ice cream and got to eat it FO FREE! ;) #jobperks

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

July

– Took my family to Chincoteague for a week and experienced incredible sunsets, oyster shooters, and one WICKED storm with some sweet friends/clients while photographing their maternity portraits!!!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

August

Traveled to Hawaii with my dear friend, Brandy!!! One of the top highlights of the year! :) :) :) So many incredible and scary adventures — I’m ready for the next big adventure!
– Also traveled around San Francisco!
– Spent time with friends watching the Bachelor and Polo Matches! So fun!!
– Consumed WAY too many calories in fluids this month!! But I made a White Walker yummy drink for the season finale of Game of Thrones! YUMMMM!!!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

September

– Learned how to make an easy barn door!!! Blog post coming soon so you can also make your own!!! :)
– Watched my uncle in action at the Keller Williams Concert with some friends!
– One of my clients’ kids made me a butterfly and gave it to me during the session. SO sweet!! I still have it hanging in my office!
– Celebrated Sam’s baby shower. :) She’s a wonderful momma!!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

October

– A SUPER busy month of business!!! A great thing. ;) One week, I spent at least 24 hours on the road just traveling to and from sessions/weddings! WHEW!
– Organized a surprise going away party for my brother before he left for Basic training!
– Ate a TON of oysters at the Georgetown Oyster Festival! YUM!!!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

November

– Experienced new places like Gateau’s new Bakery with my friend, Amanda, and Lucketts with my friend, Ali! I cannot believe it took me SO long to go to Luckett’s antique shop!
– Traveled to Florida to spend quality time with my grandparents and family. :) We even went to SeaWorld for a day! SO fun!!
– Hosted my SIXTH annual Christmas Mini Session day!!! Success!!!
– Treated my mom to the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center. :) Best mom/daughter date night!!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

December

– Worked on getting my running time down below the 7-minute mark!!! Whoop! Whoop!
– Went on the best date with Alex! :) Hiked Old Rag and walked 12-miles, over 23,000 steps, we saw a HUGE full-grown black bear and watched the sunset with a glass of wine. Talk about unforgettable!!
– Traveled and experienced Paris through a different perspective and LOVEDDDDD it!!!!!
– Built in relaxation time in my schedule. :)
– Date night with my dad watching the JMU game!!
– Ate and drank my weight in cookies and hot chocolate!!!! YUM!!!
– Celebrated Christmas with family and friends!!! My favorite Holiday!
– Experienced my first snowy wedding!!! GORGEOUS!
– Explored around DC on one of the coldest days!!! #worthit
– Danced my booty off into the New Year at the National venue listening to the greatest 90s music!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

By the way, this “twinning” action was TOTALLY coincidental!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer
2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

So grateful for those who are in my life!!!

2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer2017 Highlights| Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer

I hope your 2018 year has started on a great note! <3

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