But Really Independent, Not Alone

This weekend I turn 29. To some women, they would be FREAKING OUT if single and alone at this age. But for me, I am stepping back to smell the tulips, dance to JT and not afraid to ask a table for one.

2018 has been a realization learning for myself of how happy I am loving who I am, being my own fan and being independent!

I grew up with the culture of setting a life plan; get an education, get married and have kids. I didn’t know anything else. I would say to myself, “I have bad timing with guys” when it didn’t work out. But when I look back now, it was a sign he wasn’t right and/or I wasn’t ready (thank you signs). The truth is, I didn’t fully appreciate myself. Also, I was still learning who I want to be and what I want to do in life (to be honest, I’m still figuring this out). Our ego can also damage us to not be accepting of who we really are – it can be the false self that leads us in to making excuses to put us down (I’m not as pretty, I’m not as funny, I’m not thin enough). Thank you the “You are a Badass” book for letting me kick my ego’s butt.

Now, I put myself in check of how truly powerful I am! What pushes me to do more and be happily independent is being my own die hard fan. I feel happy looking at myself and for instance, appreciating I got my ass up at 6:00am to conquer a workout class (not every day but when I can!).

I am truly independent and make all of my own choices, because it’s just me (and I like it for now). There are still so many practices I want to build on my self happiness, morning meditation being one. Working on being the best me, I now have no expectation in my life on when I’ll find love, no desire to waste time searching or to rush finding it. The awesome thing is, I already have so much love with family and friends in my life.

Affirmations of these thoughts are key in my everyday life practice because there will be those moments again where I watch Pretty Woman or Say Anything and get down not having my knight sweep me off my feet in a limo or on a lawn mower. BUT I’ll snap into gear – because there is only one of me and I’m pretty damn awesome. Someday, someone truly worthy will see it too.

Here’s to the time of my independent life! Mr. Someone is out there and we’ll meet eventually. Cheers!

Your single and independent gal,

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 9.57.51 AM


Ryder Jonah, a Five O Seven Photo Brand Advocate

I typically visit Minnesota, my home town, twice a year. However, now that my first nephew was born on September 20 my trips to Minnesota may be more often than I think! My Sister, Tricia Jo Leanger, is an amazing new Mommy to Ryder Jonah.  I ventured to Minnesota last weekend to meet him for the first time at 7x weeks old. He is a handsome, healthy little boy. Our first day together babysitting I had to bring out my lens for some photo time just him and I! This is why I had to introduce to everyone Ryder, as he will be an often brand advocate and model for Five O Seven Photo.

I started taking photos of babies when I lived in California with my little roommate Jacob Wayne Burgess, son of Dina Burgess. Ryder is my second baby and now I can say I can proudly add baby photography to my wide array of specialties! The first shoot consisted of a photo backdrop by the coziest items around the house. I propped him in his Boppy Lounger Pillow with a soft blanket to accent as the background. And there you have it! Enjoy the cozy photos of Ryder.

Stakeouts are the Best – The MN Proposal

You remember those iconic movies where they experience stakeouts and it looks like so much fun? (Horrible Bosses 1)

Image result for horrible bosses stakeout

This past weekend I experienced my first stakeout with Five O Seven Photo to capture an engagement proposal! One of my best friend’s boyfriend reached out to me and said, “You have to make it out to Minnesota this weekend, I am proposing to Calley and I want you to take photos of it happening.” Let me caveat here that I live in Dallas and booked a 48-hour stay in Minnesota 2 nights before! Next thing I knew I was flying off to Minnesota. Now the one thing you must know is how on-point and detailed her boyfriend, Andrew, was when we discussed the plan of action for the proposal and the shoot.

Alright here’s whats going down! Once I pull the boat up in front of the pavilion, to your right side looking out at the lake, I’m going to kill the engine and then within a matter of 20 seconds I’ll propose to her. I have a good idea how to do it so just be ready. I’ll text you when we’re close.

This incredible girl had no idea it was coming! She thought they were going fishing. If only she knew her best friend flew in and was up in a pavilion at the Noerenberg Gardens staked out and captured the whole proposal.

This is a huge trend right now of capturing the proposal. A different approach we took for this shoot was that I never revealed myself to them after she said, “Yes!” – throughout the entire on the lake proposal she did not know I was there. This allowed for some real expressions (granted I needed a killer zoom on my Canon 60D, 100-400mm) that can’t be posed for. The downfall to this proposal approach is when you are in this situation you can’t maneuver their body positioning or stance (especially in my situation when they were out in the water). You truly get what you can in the moment and that’s what is the thrill of it! Priceless memories and moments they will have forever. (Plus a trendy on-site proposal shoot to come!)

To keep the story going, the groom-to-be is sharing with Five O Seven Photography audience why this proposal took place on Lake Minnetonka near the Noerenberg Gardens.

The Noerenberg Gardens is a place Calley brought me to on our second date as a surprise and on that date is when I knew that something was different about her and that she was a girl worth pursuing. So I figured what better place to propose than in front of those gardens on the boat. The lake is a special place for both Calley and I and fishing is something we both enjoy and do a lot together so the whole set up was a natural choice.

I didn’t want this to be an average proposal, I really wanted to knock her socks off so I figured what better way to do so then to surprise her with her friends and family… I put together a surprise party back at Calley’s house to show her how much I care about her and her family… and to fly one of her best friends out.