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Everyone Loves a Classic: red Hunter rain boots

I’ve wanted a pair of glossy red rain boots for as long as I can remember, and this Christmas, Matt gave me a pair to call my own! It all started with my American Girl doll, Molly. Show of hands: how many of you all had one of those growing up? I know I’m not alone!

The raincoat set for my Molly doll was a gift for either my birthday or Christmas, I can’t remember which, but I can recall with perfect clarity wishing that I had a yellow rain slicker, red rain boots and a matching red umbrella to make dreary days more exciting. It seemed so classically American, so perfectly 1940′s, and call me crazy, but I was jealous of a doll. A DOLL, people. I may have outgrown Molly years ago, but I never stopped looking for that perfect pair of glossy red galoshes.

And then I discovered Hunter rain boots. I know they’re not anything new, heck, they’ve been around for something like 160 years, but I personally only stumbled upon them a couple of years ago. I’d seen a bunch of my friends in the forest green ones, and while they were cute, I was still doing ok with my pink + white striped boots from a few years back.

But then I visited the Hunter website, and there it was: the perfectly shiny, USA-red pair of wellies that I’d been searching for. And it shot RIGHT to the top of my Christmas list! Matt was amazing and made sure to order them and have the package delivered to his parents’ house, just in case I decided to go snooping around our house. I was so excited to find these under the tree on Christmas morning!! No joke, I rejoiced when it rained in the days following Christmas, because it means I had a legitimate excuse to stomp around in my Hunters.

Classic glossy red Hunter rain boots- Abby Grace

Classic glossy red Hunter rain boots- Abby Grace

They’re also perfect for snow! Although I definitely recommend wool socks, because the rubber isn’t at all insulated and your toes will freeze. The wool socks keep your feet perfectly comfortable!

Classic glossy red Hunter rain boots- Abby Grace

Michele - January 25, 2014 - 1:25 am

I had the whole set of Samantha books when I was a kid! Such fun reading memories. I’ve also wanted a pair of Hunter boots for a few years now! Not sure if it rains enough here in Cali to warrant it. =(

Jean - January 24, 2014 - 4:16 pm

Oh, Abby, you are so cute! Love you .

Anna - January 24, 2014 - 1:17 pm

Molly AND Addy are currently under my bed, with all their clothes and accessories I accumulated over the years.

I was just thinking the other day that I need a pair of fancy rubber boots as sometimes you just need a pair… seems we have had a lot of the perfect rubber boot weather lately. I will have to look into Hunter.

Anna
http://www.akginspiration.com

Rachel Wells - January 24, 2014 - 11:52 am

Molly is the best and I love my Hunters, too! I have navy, but I think you’ve talked me into shiny red for my next pair! :)

Andrea Pesce - January 24, 2014 - 11:38 am

I loved my Molly American Doll! Cute boots!

Sabrina - January 24, 2014 - 11:08 am

I have red ones too (with some of their wool socks) and love them!! They were perfect for our snowy wedding we shot on Jan 4. Seriously saved my life!

meghan - January 24, 2014 - 10:41 am

you need the fleece liners that they make for them! nice and toasty warm.

Caitlin Gerres - January 24, 2014 - 9:49 am

I was obsessed with American Girl dolls! I had Felicity and one that looked like me. I loved them so much, I couldn’t bare to get rid of them, so they’re tucked away waiting for little girls. :-)

Laura - January 24, 2014 - 9:19 am

So adorable! Just ordered hot pink ones yesterday!

Shalese Danielle - January 24, 2014 - 8:31 am

I had Molly, too!! My grandma picked her for me because we both wore glasses & pigtails. She seems to have been the perfect choice for you with her British friend (I think her name is Emily Bennett and cannot believe I remember that!) and all!

Bethany - January 24, 2014 - 8:28 am

Ah! I loved my American Girl Doll ♥ I had one of the ones that you created to look like you (back when they 1st came out). She is actually still at my mother’s house in a special source with all her outfits.
And Hunter rain boots are amazing. I highly recommend the liners you can buy for them-they make the boys very cozy even if you’re wearing regular socks.

Sarah H. - January 24, 2014 - 8:19 am

Look at how cute you are!! These may be the perfect thing to bring with you in March! ;)

Tiffany Heidenthal - January 24, 2014 - 8:18 am

Seriously cute boots. And I had Samantha. I wanted her because she had the nicest furniture :)

Danielle Brooks - January 24, 2014 - 8:16 am

So jealous of your wellies! Wishing I had a pair!

Natalie - January 24, 2014 - 8:09 am

Hunter boots are a must! Love these shots of you! You are gorgeous!

Lessons Learned: File Organization

I’ve never been someone you’d call “organized,” which is strange considering my Type A(ish) personality. I love BEING organized, but sometimes, it’s just so hard to get there! Having adult ADHD (and growing up in a family where we were ALL diagnosed), it’s just been the norm- my parents’ biggest battle with me growing up was getting me to clean my room (I’m sure my dad will leave a sweet sentiment regarding this ongoing war in the comments section). And now that Matt & I have a home of our own, it’s still my biggest struggle, except this time it’s an entire house instead of one bedroom :).

That’s not to say I don’t desire organization- I LOVE, really love the feeling of a clear desk, a tidy living room and squeaky-clean kitchen. Nothing puts me at more peace than having my living space organized. But again, it’s GETTING there that’s the problem. And that’s another thing about ADHD- I’ll look at a room, get completely overwhelmed (no matter how small the mess is), and instead of just digging in, I’ll forego it completely. It’s an incredibly frustrating cycle!  During my first year of shooting weddings on my own, I encountered this issue when it came to file storage and organization. Fortunately for me, my wedding photographer/mentor/friend came over for an afternoon of shooting, tomato soup, and business help, and one of the things she taught me was the importance of CONSISTENT file naming. Prior to her help, I was naming folders in a different way every time I uploaded new images, which made organizing and accessing my archives an utter nightmare.

These days, I have a method for naming everything! From files to hard drives to PASS galleries, I never have to wonder what I named an event when I’m trying to access my old files, which makes locating them a breeze. Let’s start big and then get smaller:

  • As of now, I keep all of my images on external hard drives to make working on the go easy. This year I’ll likely be upgrading to a multi-hard drive system like Synology, but for now, I work off of 1 TB hard drives until they’re full, then I move onto another one. Each drive is named “AGP#”, with the number being whatever sequence the drive is in my collection.
  • Within any particular drive, there are one or two overall folders: “2013″ and “2014″ are the ones on my latest drive, to help me locate files quickly according to when they were taken.
  • Within those yearly folders, I break it down even further- Engagements, Personal, Portraits and Weddings. Tracking with me? Here’s a visual-

When I create a folder for a new wedding/session and import the RAW images, the folder will stay in the same location as the 2013 and 2014 folders- once the images from a wedding have been completely edited, PASSed and delivered, then and only then are they moved into the “2013 > Weddings” folder. It helps keep me up to date on anything that has yet to be completed.

So this is what my hard drive would look like prior to me completing the Smalley Wedding-

File_organization_photographer_002

Now. Let’s talk about file naming.

  • Every engagement session is named “GroomBrideES.” Simple as that. “JohnEmilyES,” “DanSarahES,” etc. etc. I never switch up the order just to keep things consistent.
  • Every wedding is then named “NewlastnameWedding.” So… if the groom’s name was John Smith, it would be “SmithWedding.” Even if the bride is keeping her maiden name, I name the wedding folder with the groom’s last name so I don’t have to guess.
  • Anniversary sessions are just “HusbandWifePS” (for “portrait session”) and ballerina sessions are “NameBalletPS.”

Within every folder, I break it down again. I do this as SOON as I upload the images after a wedding so that I don’t have to worry about it later. Let’s use Ware & Liz’s wedding as an example. Immediately upon creating the “SmalleyWedding” folder on my hard drive, I then insert four more subfolders:

  • Favs
  • Finals
  • LR (I create a new LightRoom catalogue for each wedding and session).
  • RAW- within the RAW folder there’s another subfolder called “5starred”- it’s where I put all of my top picks after culling my images in PhotoMechanic.

The “Favs” folder is just for any images that really pop out at me as I’m editing, so if I wanted to share a quick photo to Facebook before the blog post, that’s where it goes. The “Favs” folder usually ends up getting deleted after all is said and done because all of the final images are in the “Finals” folder, so “Favs” is just redundant.

File_organization_photographer_001

Now. One more breakdown. I also divide up the “Finals” folder to make finding particular images within a wedding day easier. Here’s my group of subfolders within “Finals”:

  • 1-Favorites (these are all of the images I’ve chosen for the blog, album, submissions, etc)
  • 2-Getting_ready
  • 3-Bride_groom_portraits
  • 4-Bridal_party
  • 5-Ceremony
  • 6-Family_formals
  • 7-Reception_details
  • 8-Reception

File_organization_photographer_004

I know it may seem like a lot of extra work to export the batch of images and THEN have to separate them into different folders in Bridge, but again: the goal is to make locating images later a breeze for me AND my clients. And actually, the images that go into my “1-Favorites” folder are selected during the editing process in LightRoom- I just rate those particular images with 5 stars, so when I’m done editing, I export the 5 starred images FIRST, and then the rest of them afterwards. Sorting the rest of the images in Bridge literally takes less than 5 minutes.

Phew! That was really long. But hopefully it was helpful! As always, if you have any questions, sound off in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Lauren Jolly - February 3, 2014 - 2:20 pm

This was so helpful, Abby! I’ve always kind of wondered if my way was the best way and how other photographer do this. Thanks for the insight and I’ll probably be switching some stuff around!

Kristina - January 25, 2014 - 12:51 pm

My parents had the same issue with me Abby and then keeping a house clean! It’s such a big struggle!

Jessica Bulloss - January 24, 2014 - 1:10 pm

Wow! This is so helpful! I also have adult ADHD and totally related to all of this and LOVED how you put it together. Will defiantly be changing my own organizational system! Thank you!!

Erin Schrad - January 23, 2014 - 3:51 pm

So you haven’t ever had an issue where you have files or folders named the same thing? I would worry about having two Jack & Jane couples or more than one “SmithWedding”, which is why I incorporated dates into all my file naming just to avoid that. So even if image files are in different folders, the only way there are two files with the same name anywhere on my system is if they are copies of the same image. So I usually do “YYYYMMDD-ShootName-Seq#” for my image file names, and then folders are dated as well to keep things chronological. “YYYYMMDD – Shoot Name”.

So is this what happens when OCD meets ADD?? Because, girl, I have that same desire to be super clean and organized like a model home, but in reality am overwhelmed by the process! There is this whole room in my house that I basically pretend is not there! Honestly, if I could just bring myself to throw some things away, that would probably be half the battle. But then I feel like I should be disposing of it more properly… either recycling or donating or something. So that impedes my process. I just need a declutter fairy!! (And don’t get me started on paper filing… ugh!)

Emily - January 23, 2014 - 10:57 am

This is the third post I’ve seen about photo organization in two days… I think the universe is trying to tell me something!

Alex Hinders - January 23, 2014 - 9:40 am

Well, you’ve inspired me to reorganize on my day off today ;)

Featured!

I know, I know- this isn’t the most riveting kind of blog post in the world, but hey! I think it’s worth celebrating whenever a blog or magazine editor deems my work worthy of publishing. So we’ll trudge on through, and then I promise- tomorrow’s post will be less “LOOK AT ALL THE AMAZING THINGS I’VE DONE” and more educational. Shall we begin? Wonderful!

We haven’t done one of these posts in a while, so excuse me while I play catch-up :).

First off, this is something I should have posted like… LAST January, but it’s still just as exciting now! I was fortunate enough to be selected two years in a row to be a part of the limited list of recommended vendors in Washingtonian Bride & Groom magazine! It’s such a trip to have my name appear on the same list of people like Abby Jiu and Katie Stoops, and I’m incredibly grateful for the Washingtonian for including me.

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John & Emily’s wedding was just featured on Southern Weddings on Monday! Huge bucket list item, right there!

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Ware & Liz’s elegant, classic wedding was one of the very first features on Black Tie Bride- such an honor!

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Eddie & Priyanka’s lavish garden affair was up on the Washingtonian wedding blog. I love these two!

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James & Deanna’s English countryside wedding appeared on my favorite UK wedding blog, Rock My Wedding

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Tyler & Ashley’s sweet Virginia wedding found a home on Heart Love Weddings. I love how much of an emphasis the ladies at HLW put on telling the couple’s STORY- go read Tyler & Ashley’s love story, it’ll make your heart melt.

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The new Virginia wedding blog, Marry & Bright, featured Chris & Alyssa’s wedding day! I’ll never get over how gorgeous her dress was.

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David & Heather’s military wedding at the Naval Academy was so well-loved that it made its way onto Bayside Bride AND Project Wedding!

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I was thrilled to see my film images from Paris make their way onto Charm City Wed for their Vacation Destination series. Paris, I love you.

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Also appearing on Charm City Wed is Billy & Jenny’s sweet, colorful engagement session in Ocean City!

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Jeff & Tracy’s lovely selves were featured on the hippest DC wedding blog around, Capitol Romance :).

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And rounding things out with a bang is the United With Love post featuring images from the Southern Soirée.

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I need to do these posts more frequently so that I’m not trying to catch up on 8+ months of features. But look at you! You made it all the way to the end!

Oh, and last but not least- I’ll be hosting an open Q&A today at 3pm EST within the Shoot & Share Facebook group and I would LOVE to see you there! We’ll be chatting about everything from branding to workflow to blogging, so feel free to hop in and ask about anything you like. Can’t wait to see you there!

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Happy Wednesday!

Terri Baskin - January 25, 2014 - 7:17 am

Congrats! You’re so very deserving of every honor!

Bree - January 22, 2014 - 12:29 pm

Hippest DC wedding blog, eh? ;) thanks for including us in the round up and congrats on all the amazing features! #hustler

Jean - January 22, 2014 - 12:03 pm

Congrats, Abby! You are amazing!

Rebekah Hoyt - January 22, 2014 - 11:23 am

GIRL! So proud of you – these are all such amazing accomplishments!

Tyler & Ashley- an anniversary session in New York City

I’ve come to believe that New York City is the most magical place on earth during the Christmas season. Well, to be honest, New York City is pretty magical during any time of year, but Christmas time is esPECIALLY enchanting. All those lights, the FAO Schwartz decked out in garland, the horse drawn carriages in Central Park bedecked in jingle bells, all of it comes together for one idyllic wintry experience that warms you to the core. Perhaps it was because of the Christmas-y atmosphere that Tyler & Ashley chose New York City as the destination for their celebratory weekend in honor of six month of marriage! And what better way to celebrate than with portraits in Central Park?

You might recognize these two from their destination engagement session or sweet, rustic wedding last June- they’re also the faces behind the newly rebranded Herrinton Weddings! Tyler & Ashley are incredibly talented photographers and videographers, and I’m so excited to watch their business blossom like crazy.

Tyler, Ashley, you guys are such a blast. Thank you for spending a bit of your weekend away with Matt & I. It’s ALWAYS a joy to see you both, and I feel so lucky to have had a third opportunity to photograph you guys!

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

New York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace PhotographyNew York City anniversary session in Central Park- Abby Grace Photography

kaitlyn phipps - January 17, 2014 - 11:51 am

i love every single one! two amazing people in the best city on earth plus abby grace? fantastic.

Ashley Herrinton - January 17, 2014 - 10:38 am

EEEKKK! Thanks for sharing these! Love them!!

Caili - January 17, 2014 - 9:14 am

I looooove their style! Adorable couple. Seriously adorable couple.

Annamarie - January 17, 2014 - 8:49 am

Tyler and Ash you two are the cutest!! I love these! Beautiful shots, Abby!

Emilia Jane - January 17, 2014 - 8:29 am

Beautiful!

Mary Kate- a soft, romantic Washington DC ballerina session

Thank the Lord for Facebook. I complain about it being a time suck, but it’s really been such a magnificent tool for staying in touch with friends from years past. Mary Kate and & I both danced at Conservatory Ballet when we were younger, and Mary Kate went on to major in dance at Butler. Fortunately for me, she was home for Christmas break and had a bit of time to spare for a shoot in DC. Nevermind that the Lincoln Memorial was swarming with tourists and the wind was whipping in and out out something fierce- Mary Kate was as poised and graceful as ever.

Ballerina sessions are such a source of joy for me! Having the chance to document something so innately beautiful and elegant steals my breath away- I feel absolutely connected to my work when I’m photographing ballerinas, and I swear I could fly afterwards. Mary Kate, THANK YOU for giving me the chance to spend afternoon with you. The gawping tourists and bone-chilling winds were so worth it, I can’t wait to shoot together again!

Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace Photography

Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace Photography

Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington_DC_ballet_photographer_019Washington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace PhotographyWashington DC ballerina session- Abby Grace Photography

P.S. I’m always on the lookout for new ballerinas to photograph, so if you’re an active dancer and at least 18 years old, I’d love to talk!

Annamarie - January 23, 2014 - 9:58 pm

I’ve been so busy that I’ve missed these beautiful ballerina sessions until now, but all I have to say is HOLY MOLY!!! THIS IS YOUR CALLING! These are absolutely breathtaking! So much poise and elegance! These make me wish I hadn’t quit ballet when I was 7! haha…I know a couple of ballerinas who live in various places if you want more contacts!:)

james Kronzer Jr. - January 21, 2014 - 5:16 pm

Amazing, beautiful and poetic. Very proud of my niece!!

Jean - January 15, 2014 - 2:39 pm

Outstanding photos! These are so beautiful! Great job, my lovely granddaughter!

Sarah Beth Tapanes - January 15, 2014 - 9:05 am

Goodness gracious, Abby! This is like something out a dream- like most all of your shoots :) So full of beauty. You’re amazing!

Rici - January 15, 2014 - 3:34 am

These are just lovely/AMAzing!!! Beautiful Abby!!
Love the one where she is seated.
~ Saluti.

Jess - January 14, 2014 - 6:36 pm

I shot with a wonderful local dancer awhile back and it was the most amazing shoot of my life! Like you said, I was connected and completely consumed.

I will pass your name along to her, she’a such a joy to work with!

Emily - January 14, 2014 - 6:23 pm

So so beautiful!

Caitlin Gerres - January 14, 2014 - 3:47 pm

They’re all so gorgeous, Abby! That last black and white in the middle caught my breath in my throat! So stunning!

Currie - January 14, 2014 - 3:43 pm

I should mention that I’m going to start ballet classes sometime this year… so how long until we can do a ballerina session?!?! These are so beautiful Abby!!

Hannah Rancourt - January 14, 2014 - 3:35 pm

That last image?!?!?! Perfection!

Mary Rawson - January 14, 2014 - 12:08 pm

Mary Kate is my first grandchild now all grown up and incredibly beautiful and talented. So glad to be able to see these outstanding photos. Thank you!

Kathryn Grace - January 14, 2014 - 10:49 am

So lovely!

Rebekah Hoyt - January 14, 2014 - 9:46 am

I think you should be a full-time ballerina portrait photographer because I could look at these images all day. So, so, sooo gorgeous Abby!!

Tiffany Heidenthal - January 14, 2014 - 9:42 am

SO gorgeous. I love love love these. Dreamy and soft and lovely. Which is how I’d describe a lot of your work actually, but especially these.

Melodie - January 14, 2014 - 9:34 am

Abby, I love these! They are so sweet and peaceful, like a fairytale!

Jenna - January 14, 2014 - 9:26 am

I love the pants off of these photos. Beautiful use of the Lincoln, too! So dreamy.

Sabrina - January 14, 2014 - 9:18 am

Abby… these are just gorgeous. I love that you’ve started doing these sessions. Just looking at them make me feel more beautiful and graceful! ;-)

Caili - January 14, 2014 - 9:04 am

These are soooo peaceful and beautiful. Your work shines through dance! Beautiful, Abby!

Regan Carter - January 14, 2014 - 9:02 am

Oh my word, these are simply incredible!! So dream-like and breath taking!! Amazing work, Abby!

Bethany - January 14, 2014 - 8:54 am

All of these are absolutely stunning! I know it’s a crazy time in DC but doing a ballerina shoot during cherry blossoms could look incredible.

Andrea Pesce - January 14, 2014 - 8:46 am

These are stunning!!