Author Archives: Stephanie Messick

Born and raised on a family owned dairy farm in Fauquier County, along with two siblings, Amanda and Eric. Graduated Liberty High School and went to James Madison University, where I participated in Kappa Pi Honors Fraternity as well as the Marching Royal Dukes! GO DUKES! Graduated in May of 2012 with my B.F.A. in Graphic Design. I worked as a graphic designer in the D.C. area for almost a year after graduating college and then resided in Warrenton, VA to work for the Piedmont Press & Graphics as one of four graphic designers :) Currently, I am managing to balance my full time graphic design job along with my photography business! It's a hectic lifestyle, but I enjoy it!!! About my photography business: I have learned in the world of photography that it is not just about pretty photos, it is all about the EXPERIENCE the photographer gives to the client. And that is what I am out here to do! Give YOU the best experience that you will not forget! From the moment we schedule the session... to the laughs/smiles we share the day of the shoot... to the moment I hand over the package of your images... I make sure that every step of the way leaves my client smiling :)

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You hear me talking about how much I have been enjoying the “off season”, but what does it mean? As a wedding photographer, there are seasons. Seasons of engagement, booking, weddings, engagements, etc. During the winter months we don’t pick up our cameras as frequently as spring/fall. I do an occasional session here and there depending on the event or timing, but other than that I am mainly in my office during the winter months working on my daily tasks and dreaming up big ideas. Even though it can be lonely, it’s actually my favorite season! I have the time to connect with other photographers, spend quality time with Kyle and family/friends and focus on projects for my business. The projects I have been working hard on this winter season are all getting me pumped up for this year! I believe this is the right dose I need every winter season. :) For todays posting, I thought it would be fun to share the random things I have been loving and enjoying during this season of relaxing!

Here are a few random things I’ve been excited about this “off season”:

Chess
Kyle taught me how to play chess! Believe it or not, I’m SUPER competitive and love learning how I can play better.
Stephanie Messick Photography | 5 Random Off Season Loves

SheReadsTruth.com
I absolutely love this website! Instead of soaking up time going through social media every morning, I try to focus on the daily journals of this website. I love how we all can relate to their stories. :) Check it out if you haven’t heard of it!
Stephanie Messick Photography | 5 Random Off Season Loves

Bridal Magazine
This has been something I have been wanting for my brides for a LONG time and finally, it’s a reality! Just had the final revisions done and I’m sending this design out to print today! Wohoo! Cannot wait to see my brides use this resource while planning for their big day. :)
Stephanie Messick Photography | 5 Random Off Season Loves

Learning Calligraphy
If you haven’t heard of SkillShare, my bride/friend recommended this awesome resource to me! You have to check it out if you want to continue education in various topics. They have options of learning package design, calligraphy, branding, photoshop, etc. Yesterday, I sat down and learned about calligraphy since this will be a characteristic of my updated packaging. Cannot wait!
Stephanie Messick Photography | 5 Random Off Season Loves

Essential Oils
Every night, I love breathing in a mixture of oils. Whether it is Lavender and Thieves or just Peace and Calming, Young Living has me hooked! I honestly don’t know everything about this product, but I love diffusing it throughout the night. Not only does it smell amazing, it’s relaxing and it helps with your immune system depending on which oil you choose to diffuse. Time for me to reorder so I’m healthy and tip-top shape for wedding season! :)
Stephanie Messick Photography | 5 Random Off Season Loves

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Taking photos while it is snowing has to be one of my favorite memories of 2014/21013. I have been hoping for another big storm like what we had last year. Snowflakes are so magical in photos! The snow storm came this past weekend when I was sick with a cold but that wasn’t going to stop me from this opportunity, especially if this is the only snow storm of the year. :) Looking back through all of the snow portraits I have taken, there is one obvious word that stands out to me … happiness. Snow brings out the kid in all of us! I love the enthusiasm, the romance and the joy that is documented even though it may have only been 18 degrees outside. Ian and Jess were troopers getting through the eight inches of snow on the ground and the cold temperature!

Ian and Jess, thank you for bearing through the cold weather! You both look so happy in these photos!!! <3 Enjoy looking through some of my favorites! xoxo!

Stephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsStephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow Portraits

Pure happiness! <3

Stephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsStephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsStephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsStephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsLol! An action shot of Lou catching a snowball! He’s pretty talented!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsGorgeous couple!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsLove this shot on the left!
Stephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsStephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsStephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsStephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow PortraitsStephanie Messick Photography | Warrenton, Virginia Snow Portraits

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My siblings and I can never say enough appreciation towards my parents. It’s hard as a kid to understand how much of a blessing it was to have my parents who cared. There were times where we thought their rules were too restricting, but now as an adult I completely understand their intensions. My siblings and I try to bless our parents in some way every Christmas. Sometimes we don’t really have the money to put towards a nice gift, but we try with all of our efforts to make it something special and thoughtful. After all, they deserve to see our thankful hearts after all of these years.

This past Christmas, we really wanted to think outside of the box and surprise them. After a few ideas, we came up with the biggest present yet! We all had to work harder to make this possible, but we were SO anxious to see their reaction! Christmas morning, we had our parents open up a decorating magazine with a tag attached. The tag had a photo of their bedroom explaining that we were taking over for the next few days. They were ecstatic to see the results! In order to make sure of their approval the colors/theme/etc, we briefly explained the plan. Both my dad and mom packed up their bags and moved temporarily into the guest bedroom for three nights. During that time, Eric, Amanda and I worked our tails off shopping for the supplies, painting, painting and more painting. Let me tell you, painting was the most tedious process. Since they have NEVER had a speckle of paint on their walls … well, except for when we were kids ;) … we absolutely needed to prime the walls and the ceiling. I’ll admit that painting the ceiling felt defeating since we were painting white on white. Hah! It did make a difference though having an evenly white coating. After priming the ceiling, tray and the walls it was FINALLY time to paint in color! It was exciting to see the room transform into this cozy space just from painting, especially against the stone fireplace! Let me tell you that once the paint was done, we were in decor mode and thrilled to see everything come together!

BEFORE

BEFORE

Planning out my parents bedroom decor, we knew that they wanted (or I guess my mom) a sage and eggplant colored theme. We tied in accents of gold to contrast against this color scheme and wanted to bring attention to the fireplace as the focus point of the room. After finishing the paint touch ups, hanging up curtains and assembling decor it was FINALLY the moment we all were waiting for! We lit the candles, had our parents close their eyes and walk into their new space. As soon as they opened their eyes, they gasped in disbelief! Their room was no longer a white plain room. Finally, they have a space of their own that is warm and inviting. Seeing their reaction filled our hearts with joy! All of our hard work paid off! This is a project I will never forget as it brought my siblings and I closer together. My mom still has a twinkle in her eye whenever we talk about it. :)

Finally, I have the privilege of sharing this Christmas project with you all today!!! :)

AFTER

Bedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomBedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomBedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomA photo of my parents before they were married. :) So cute!
Bedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomBedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomBedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomBedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomBedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomThe frames above the chaise are places that they have travelled. Great remembrance of their journeys over the years!
Bedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master BedroomBedroom Makeover | Green and Purple Cozy Master Bedroom

I am not sure that my siblings and I can top this idea in the future … oh goodness. Haha! Hope you enjoyed seeing their new space!

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First of all, I hope everyone had a safe and warm weekend! Despite how FREEZING it has been over the past seven days, I was sure to take advantage of the snowy weather. :) I came down with an icky cold last Thursday and wasn’t sure I really wanted to be running around in the snow … even though I was really excited to hear about this unexpected storm. Kyle didn’t want to see me all pooped up in the house so he told me to bundle up and run outside to play. :) We ran around with friends/Kyle’s family until 1:30 a.m. sledding, throwing snow balls or each other around and building a snow elephant! Haha! I’m glad he keeps my childhood spirit alive!

Stephanie Messick Photography | Snow Portraits

Of course not knowing whether this would be the last snow storm of the year, I decided to jump outside and take some snow photos with this lovely couple! :) Snow sessions are some of my absolute FAVORITE! Especially when it is actively snowing! Thanks Kyle for photographing me in action! xoxo!

Stephanie Messick Photography | Snow Portraits

Sneak peek with more of this lovely couple to come soon!!!! :) Aren’t they precious?!

Stephanie Messick Photography | Snow Portraits

Happy Monday!!!

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Who loves learning new skills? I’m always up for a challenge and I love to learn new things that I can apply to not only my business, but also my personal life. Growing up in a Catholic school, we were required to write in cursive EVERY DAY no matter the class. I transitioned over to public school after 6th grade where I felt relieved I didn’t have to write in cursive. I then started my print streak where I would never turn back to cursive. I came to the point in my life where I had to consistently sign my name. Sure, in high school it was pretty with a little heart over the “i” … well, today it looks like a doctor signature! Not a great impression. Haha! I have decided to venture in to calligraphy!

During my college years of graphic design, I was required to take typography classes. We learned the meaning of why fonts are important. From the style to the hierarchy to the composition to kerning/tracking to the color, etc.  Looking back at this, I am so thankful to have learned these tools for my business. Even though during my college years, I never dreamt of owning my own business! Now I’m able to apply those skills towards my business and it has been SO beneficial!!!

Let All You Do Be Done In LovePrint by Printable Verses on Etsy! Gorgeous work!

Why calligraphy? As you see in my branding, I have a fresh serif font with a cursive font. The cursive brings the element of class and elegance. I want to carry that aspect throughout my branding, including my packaging. This is where the new skill comes in! :) I just finished tweaking my package design to take it to the next level for this year and of course calligraphy is brought in to the picture. I cannot spill too many of the ideas I have planned … yet. :) I realized I never had the chance to share my package design from last year so I’m excited to share that with you once I have this year’s design put together!!! So many fun elements that not only tie in my branding but is personalized to my couples. I’m looking forward to receiving all of the goodies in the mail and have a pre-packaging party!

If you are ever looking to venture into calligraphy, be sure to check out this fabulous calligrapher, Laura Hooper!!! I would love to attend one of their workshops in the future. :) Be sure to follow her on Instagram because the prettiness of her work will make your day!

Happy Friday and stay WARM this weekend! Brrrrr!!!

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It’s that time of the year again where those who gather for Lent give something up as our form of sacrifice. We devote to fasting on Fridays and abstinence to unnecessary cravings in our lives. I have given up Facebook in college which was an amazing experience! I wouldn’t be able to do that now with my business, but I should still restrain the “boredom” urges. There are SO many great ideas out there like donating clothes every week until Easter or limiting your time on social media or giving up ice cream! If you have NO idea what to do, just go to Pinterest and see their ideas! :)

I realized that I need to start treating my body better because after all, we are His masterpiece. For Lent this year, I decided to give up candy/desserts (ice cream, cake, brownies, cookies, pie, etc.), except for dark chocolate (since that’s healthy). It may be cliche … I get it because everyone wants to be healthier … but I REALLY need to restrain from these sweet urges every night. I am sick now for the second time in a month and I have to be 100% healthy for my wedding season. :) So this is a great place to start! It’s going to be hard, but I am going to have tea every night to resist the cravings. Really, sugar is an addiction and I’m ready for the battle. ;)

Stephanie Messick | Lent

Another side of Lent, you can choose to do something beneficial. That may be doing community service or whatever your heart desires for the better. I am going to take time every night to read my 21 day devotional prayer and fasting book called “Seek” by the Pursuit Community. I also really want to read Bob Goff’s “Love Does“. So many things I want to do but of course I know that once the Lent season ends doesn’t mean I should stop there. I want to create/continue great habits throughout this year and the years to come.

Do you have anything in particular that you are giving up for Lent? Would love to hear!!!