Last Post!!!!

Ahh!!!!! The day is finally here — today is my last post on this little wordpress blog! I love this space so much and have grown so much in my time here…but it’s time to move on to bigger & better things :) Tomorrow, my new website will be LAUNCHED!!! *insert excitement happy dances and squeals* :) :) :)

If you’ve followed my new instagram account, you may have noticed one of the big changes I’ve made already: my business name! I almost never go by “Samantha”…unless my mom or Nana are talking to me, and generally only if I’m in trouble (haha), so it seemed a little silly to me to have the core of my business be based around a name that is not ME! So starting tomorrow, everything will be “Sami Renee Photography”…a little bit more fun & sassy and a lot bit more me :)

For some final sneak peeks and to give lots of love to all of those who helped me along the way:

1. My new logo! The fabulous Taylor Schumann of Letters of Grace Calligraphy did the hand-lettering, and my beautiful friend Annarose Girvin digitized it to really make it shine!! They both were PHENOMENAL to work with & I highly highly recommend them :) :)

Screenshot 2014-07-30 16.44.44 Screenshot 2014-07-29 18.01.57

Alternate logos:

Screenshot 2014-08-07 15.14.07


Screenshot 2014-07-30 16.44.54








And my final headshot choice by the oh-so-fun Lane Baldwin:

For the rest…you’ll have to look back tomorrow morning around 8am :) Get excited!! Oh, and there might be a little giveaway up my sleeve to celebrate the launch and to thank you all for supporting and encouraging me along the way! I wouldn’t be here without you!! So, thank you thank you THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart :)

Now I need to go start finish packing for our FINALLY-HERE-TWO-YEARS-LATER-BUT-I’M-STILL-GONNA-CALL-IT-OUR-HONEYMOON trip to our favorite beach in the world — Seaside, FL!!! Don’t worry, I’ve been pre-blogging away, so you will have lots more coming at you next week while I am gone :)

Happy Thursday!!

Love love love,



Monday Lovin’: Summer Photo-Focused Goals

And just like that, it’s another Monday! However, if you happen to be a teacher in the NE Ohio area…this Monday is EXTRA special because IT’S SUMMER BABY!!!!!!! As a result, today’s Monday Love is going to be dedicated to all things summer:

Images courtesy of Pinterest

Images via Pinterest

WOOHOO!!!!! :) :) :)

Now, while I’m super-loving the fact that I’ve already read 2 books, seen a movie, been to the beach twice, photographed two sessions, and not thought about a single lesson plan (wait that’s a lie…I already have notebooks for each of the courses I’m teaching next year & have LOADS of ideas for ways to make my second year of teaching even BETTER than this first :) :) ),  the MAIN thing I’m lovin’ about this whole summer thing is the ability to COMPLETELY focus on this little ol’ business of mine!

If you’ve been following along, you already know that I really started making things official back in March. Looking back on it, I definitely can see that that probably wasn’t the ideal time to begin blogging & website design & logo design & all the other branding / business parts that I dream about pretty much 24/7; however, I knew I needed to just take the leap. I kept telling myself to wait until summer, to hold off on it, but then I realized that it wasn’t really teaching that was keeping me from diving in. It was fear. And ya know what, I was tired of letting FEAR keep me from doing what I love — tired of insecurities telling me I wasn’t good enough to be “legit” — tired of listening to all the million excuses my little brain loves to make!

And ya know what? It’s been really GREAT! Yes, it was a little crazy at times, but I knew that going in! Balancing teaching 180+ high schoolers with STARTING A BUSINESS is a lot!!! So yes, I am definitely loving this chance to be an almost-practically-full-time photographer for the next 10 weeks, and you BEST believe that I am going to take advantage of every single little moment I have :) And in order to make sure I do, I am going to share my to-do list with you all and give you updates along the way! So, here goes nothing! This summer, I’m loving that I will get the chance to:

  • organize my business finances with awesome cute files and folders :)
  • improve and standardize my workflow
  • become an LLC officially
  • blog 3+ days a week and have an internet presence 5 days a week
  • purchase a new external hard drive
  • meet and network with other NE Ohio photographers

And, last-but-definitely-not-least-because-I-am-SO-STINKING-EXCITED:


Guys, this is what I’ve been working on since March. And it’s BIG!!! We’re talking a new blog/website, logo, headshots, business cards, look — EVERYTHING!!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!! No more random wordpress sites and non-uniformity, but rather one COHESIVE look — modern, full of life, and to the point! I’ve been / will be working with awesome people like Lane Baldwin, Taylor Schumann, and AnnaRose Girvin, and I really just can’t wait to see it all come together :) I don’t have an exact date for the launch at this point, but it will be within the next month or two, and it will be amazing!

So that’s it. Those are my big photo focuses — along with learning more and becoming better at what I do, of course! I want to take every moment I can this summer to cross all my Ts and dot all my Is so that I am ready to go even when I’m teaching during the school year! Photography isn’t just a summer passion for me — it’s a life passion, and I want to be the best that I can be. No more listening to fear and worry. :)

Be sure to check back later this week for some non-photo focused goals as well, and some beautiful sessions and sneak peeks from this weekend! And because I just really loved this moment, I’ll leave you with this shot from Jerome and Ashley’s wedding this weekend. They chose to not do a first-look, but wanted a chance to pray together before the craziness of the day began, and I loved it!

2014.6.7 Ventura Wedding Facebook Red-4830_STOMP

Happy Monday!


List Love & A Spring Giveaway: ONE FREE SESSION!!

Lists. I LOVE them! As a teacher, photographer, wife, daughter, friend, and otherwise creative enthusiast, I am FOREVER making lists. Why you may ask? Well, let me list the reasons :)

5 Reasons Why This Girl Loves Lists:

1. Organization. This one’s pretty much self-explanatory. I wear a lot of different hats throughout the day — lists help me get everything done!! Sometimes just creating one makes me feel accomplished, even if I don’t actually get to a single thing on the list right away!! Grocery lists, Teacher lists, Photography lists, Cleaning lists, To-Do lists…bah, I love ’em!

2. Doodling opportunities. Fun titles, creative bullet points, unique fonts — the list goes on! (haha, the list goes on…get it?!?) This step is one of my favorites as a good doodle always increases motivation to complete any & all tasks on the list in the first place :)

3. Crossing things off.  Where else can you get automatic productivity & sense of accomplishment, no matter how menial a task!? Best. thing. ever.

4. Adding more things to the already created list with the sole purpose of immediately crossing them off :) Come on, I know you’ve done it too. Nothing is worse than staring at a list without a single thing marked off…why not throw in a crossed-out “wake up” or “get dressed” to add in a little encouragement?!

5. And finally, because a good to-do list just makes everything better! (Except for when my students are answering a prompt specifically requesting complete paragraphs, and they choose to bullet-point away. GRRRR!!!)

I used to think my love for lists was a little odd, but thanks to BuzzFeed, pretty much the ENTIRE WORLD loves lists now too! They are EVERYWHERE, and I’m not that upset about that.

Annnnyway, you might be wondering why I am blabbing away about lists…and that is because I am officially crossing another bad-boy off of my photo blogging list today!!! WOOHOO!! :) I am SO excited about today’s list item: my first official GIVEAWAY!! That’s right, I am giving away a FREE PORTRAIT SESSION to one lucky fan!!! This could be a family session, kiddos, engagement, anniversary, senior — WHATEVER! The options are limitless :)

Spring Giveaway 2014 Version 2 Black_STOMP


All you have to do to enter is:

1) Share this photo or blog entry on your own Facebook wall and

2) Comment on the photo on Facebook!

**********For a bonus entry, leave a comment on this blog post too :) ***********

I will choose from all the entries and announce the winner on May 1st to celebrate being one month closer to SUMMER!! :) :)

Happy Wednesday, and may the odds be ever  in your favor :P