Today is the quickest Monday Mash-Up post ever. I’ve risen before 4:30 am two days in a row now and I’m in desperate need of some sleep, so please excuse this shorter-than-usual Monday Mash-Up! Today’s a day for previews. Tim & Lauren were married on Friday in a beautiful, beautiful ceremony at Trump National Golf Club. I’ve never seen such an outpouring of support for any two newlyweds before, and it’s safe to say that these two are absolutely treasured by their family and friends.

Virginia wedding photographer- Abby Grace Photography

I don’t know if you guys remember but a few months ago, I put out a call for models on my blog for a sort of practice shoot. Well, we finally shot it this morning, and it was exactly what I needed it to be! Thad & Rachel were the sweetest to drive all the way up from Bristol and I’m SO thrilled with how the images are looking so far! Also, how stunning is that bouquet? Rachel of Floral & Bloom is a genius.

Virginia wedding photographer- Abby Grace Photography

Aaand happy Monday!

I first happened upon this gem last year while at Ace Photo in Ashburn- I can’t remember what I was in there to buy, but the guy who was ringing me up at the register was trying to sell me an additional piece of equipment I had no intention of purchasing. It was this small air blower that looked like a rocket ship, “probably some techie toy,” I thought to myself. Frank, the guy behind the counter, remembered that I’d been in to Ace to have my camera’s sensor cleaned before. “If you buy this $20 air blower, I guarantee you’ll be in here less often for those $99 sensor cleanings.” In order to get him to stop badgering me, I bought the stinkin rocket ship and went on my way.

Sometimes, dust finds its way into your camera body and onto your sensor. When that happens, you get these little black specks or squiggly lines on every. single. photo. And that can means hours in front of your computer PhotoShopping the dust out of every image, if you were unlucky enough not to notice it until you’d shot an entire wedding day (I’ve done that, by the way).

This little red rocket ship has saved me on several occasions! I use it before every wedding and portrait session just to give my sensor a little dusting off. If there are any loose fibers or specks of dust on the sensor, they’ll come right off after I use my air blower- all you have to do is place your camera in Bulb mode, take off the lens, and then hold the shutter open to expose the sensor- then hold your camera so it’s pointed toward the ground and squeeze the blower into the open camera body. Any loose dust will fall right out.

This puppy comes in my ThinkTank with me to all of my shoots, just in case I end up getting dust on the sensor throughout the course of the shoot/wedding day. Extreme dust and gunk on my sensor will still require I take it in for cleaning (because I’m too scared to learn to clean it myself), but this air blower is a super easy quick fix that’s worked every time I’ve used it.

So let’s do a giveaway! I’ll send one of these sweet red rocket ships to one of you guys- all you have to do is a leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’ve got planned for the weekend. And go!

  • Samantha - I’m spending my weekend in the sun, sand, and surf at Hilton head island!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea Batey - This looks like a super handy tool! My weekend is going to be spent taking my handsome fiance on a surprise date tonight, and then venturing this weekend to Winchester and then West Virginia to see friends we haven’t seen in a long time :)ReplyCancel

  • Taylor A - This weekend I’ll be meeting with a possible DJ for our wedding, and going to look at houses again with my fiance! No photo shoots this weekend.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey Olson - Planning on spending this weekend helping my mother-in-law unpack in her new home (and taking lots of swim breaks in her pool!) Annnd that looks like a handy tool to have!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Spending the weekend at home. Nothing big planned which is nice for a change!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - My husband and I will be roadtripping around eastern Iowa this weekend – tonight we’re going to a drive-in movie theater (ahhh, they’re so fun!) :), tomorrow I’ll be photographing a wedding in Iowa City, and Sunday we’re back at our home church.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey DeWitt - Taking the weekend off from editing to spend my one year wedding anniversary with my husband :)ReplyCancel

  • Kristie McCallum - If I’m lucky I’ll be painting our master bathroom and giving it a much needed make-over. The hardest part is picking out a paint color!ReplyCancel

  • Alison Snead - Relaxing for most of the weekend (I can hope right?) and letting my little one play in her little swimming pool :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley S - Would love this, Abby! I’ll be shooting a backyard wedding on the river in St. Augustine, Florida and making an IKEA run on Sunday for my new studio! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Desiree - We’re having a quiet weekend at home working on our back yard makeover & landscaping!ReplyCancel

  • Kristen Thomas - Spending the weekend working on the to-do list and things around the house. Cleaning to prep for family coming into townReplyCancel

  • Minh H. - What a cute little gadget! Even if I don’t win it, I’ll look into getting one.
    This week end, no shoot planned, so I’ll get to practice shooting with glow lights and black lights as the only light sources. I’m unsure about that, and I have an event coming up…ReplyCancel

  • Joey - I agree one of these are a must have.ReplyCancel

  • Alisha Croghan - Spending the weekend with my little girl! We are taking her to our local drive-in movie theater to see Monster’s University and then off to the Lake on Sunday after church (if the rain hold off!).ReplyCancel

  • Morgan Bayard - I need one of these! I’ll be spending the weekend at two BBQ’s and shooting two portrait sessions!ReplyCancel

  • Jean - A neat little gadget! That would work on my sewing machine! Hope you have a great weekend. We had a nice visit with your brother.ReplyCancel

  • Krisat A. Jones - I could absolutely use one of these! I’m shooting a wedding tomorrow and then on Sunday I’m relaxing with my husband and our new puppy!ReplyCancel

  • Kristie - Wow, I def need this now! This weekend I am going to a baseball game with my cousin.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - That’s awesome! Some of my friends from Mason are visiting me and we’ll be spending the weekend at the beach :)ReplyCancel

  • Tori Watson - i’m off to shoot a wedding today, but tomorrow i’m excited to have a saturday off to spend with aaron & his parents (who are in town visiting) – maybe including some thrift store shopping or painting more of our house. :)

    love this & definitely need one of these little rocket ships!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Wells - I’m spending time with family from out of town, and Sunday I’m heading your way! :)ReplyCancel

  • Clara - My husband is working this weekend, so I will be staying home and finishing up editing a wedding. :)ReplyCancel

  • Meredith VanWagner - My husband’s job relocated us to Memphis, TN in May so this weekend we are thrilled to have my family come for their first visit from Richmond and DC. My husband is picking up the last of them from the airport RIGHT NOW!!!! So Blues and BBQ are on the agenda for the weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin Cooley - I’ll be spending the weekend with my hubby and daughter, relaxing and enjoying time off. I’ll also be culling and editing an engagement session. :)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda B. - Catch up on a little editing (working on a wedding), and spending some quality time with my husband! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashlee - My husband and I are visiting family and friends in Minot, North Dakota this week/weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Jolly - I’m actually really excited for this weekend! A couple friends of mine are shooting a “love” video of Vaughan (my fiance) and me!! Then on Sunday, I have a photo shoot for the videographer’s website photos. Yay! I’ll have my fingers crossed all weekend for this giveaway :)ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie H - Now I know what that black speck is on my photos…guess I need that red rocket!!! Will be heading to the casino tonight then on to a cook-out tomorrow!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tina - OOh I’ve been meaning to pick up one of these bad boys! Ya never know! I’m planning on making a day trip into NYC to finally walk across the brooklyn bridge :)ReplyCancel

  • Brittney Hannon - I’ve definitely had my eye on one of these for awhile! My plans this weekend consist of second shooting a wedding on Saturday and then resting and spending time with my hubby on Sunday! Thanks for the giveaway Abby! =)ReplyCancel

  • Allison Joy - My family is taking a day trip to Washington Island, right off of Door County, WI!ReplyCancel

  • Nikki Santerre - What a fun gadget! This weekend, I’ll be spending tomorrow with my Matt and then shooting a fun bridal session at CNU! Hope you have a lovely weekend, too! :)ReplyCancel

  • Mia Bjerring - This just look and sound like a rocket life saver! I hate when dust finds its way to the sensor! So annoying to have to photoshop it out of the photos!
    I’m going to a graduation party this weekend tomorrow actually! My cousin and her boyfriend graduated and now it’s time to celebrate their new found freedom until September lol and then on Sunday we are having some company over for dinner so that will be nice :) What do you have planned for this weekend? I hope it’s something fun! Happy Friday, Abby!ReplyCancel

  • Holly - We are spending the weekend with family and our new(ish) little boy!ReplyCancel

  • Aubrey - Editing and being inspired by pros like you. :)ReplyCancel

  • Deanna - Driving to Stanton for a wedding!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Agnew - Shooting a wedding on Saturday, off to the city to pick up a new Nikon body and then some relaxing family time on the boat…let’s hope we can fit that all in!ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin Gerres - Our anniversary is Monday, so we’re having a date night, which I think will involve berry picking.ReplyCancel

  • Ashlyn - So Saturdays’ almost over, but I taught a piano lesson, went to the store and I’m going to go workout & practice piano. :) then tomorrow is church. We were busy Wednesday-Friday so we’re taking the weekend slower :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah H. - We went to Austria for the weekend! :DReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Grace - Is it too late to enter? This past weekend I finished editing a newborn session and shot an engagement session; this coming weekend shooting a wedding!ReplyCancel

  • Megan McGee - Abby, I would absolutely love this, a perfect little knick-knack for my bag!ReplyCancel

  • Megan McGee - and this weekend we spent family time inside while in poured all weekend, played games, watched movies and spent quality family time together, much needed too!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Spent the weekend camping at bass River NJ and hanging out out the beach on Long Beach Island! Great time spent with great friends.ReplyCancel

Almost exactly a year ago, we hit publish on my new ShowIt website and blog updates. I was SO excited about the gorgeous site, the clean, quirky design, and the chance to rebrand my business in a way that represented my personality! Well, six months later, during a heart-to-heart mentoring session with Mary, I came to the realization that as awesome as my site was, it wasn’t a true depiction of who I am (you can read more about that HERE).

After hemming and hawing over my options, I happened upon a designer whose work really resonated with me- Jeff of J Shipley Creative! And from our first Skype consultation, I knew he was the perfect designer for the daunting task of diving into my brain and putting my vague descriptions and ideas into a website. And I mean VAGUE. He’d send me a round of proofs and I’d come back with feedback like “It’s awesome! Can we make it more New York-ish?” What does that even MEAN, Abby Grace?

Jeff hit “publish” on the website updates yesterday and I’m in love!! We’ve done quite a bit of tweaking, so head over to my main site and check out Jeff’s stunning work! I’m just so thrilled with the final product because it feels like an incarnation of every word I’d use to describe myself and my brand; elegant, classic, simple yet stylish, and organic in the sense that it’s true to who I actually am without the pretense of trying to be something that I’m just plain not. I’m so thankful for Jeff’s style and artistic eye to be able to create such a gorgeous, gorgeous website in a way that feels so ME.

J Shipley Creative website design for Abby Grace Photography

You guys also may have noticed a few changes in the blog layout and header over the past couple of weeks, and I’m so excited that we’re finally settled on a design! What you see now is our final product and I can’t help but feel that it’s just perfect. Perfect for me, perfect for the kinds of brides and grooms I want to attract.

J Shipley Creative blog design for Abby Grace Photography

I’m incredibly passionate about what I do, throwing my entire heart into each and every wedding and engagement that I photograph. Delivering the final PASS gallery from a wedding is like giving my couples a small piece of me, and so it becomes that much more important that everyone of my couples and I really click. Part of attracting the types of couples I want to work with comes from having a online presence that is an authentic representation of me, so that there’s enough information readily available for engaged couples to decide whether or not I’m the right photographer for them. Working with my ideal brides and grooms means an amazing experience for everyone involved, and I believe that both sides deserve the best! So while the process to get this site dialed in has been a long one, it’s been so, so worth it.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


  • Dennis Bullock - It looks so great Abby! Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Janell C. - Awesome look Abby!!! Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Beautiful Abby. Definitely that classic look you are going for. Timelessly gorgeous…you and your brand :)!ReplyCancel

  • Dad - I approve, ’nuff saidReplyCancel

  • Christy Tyler - It looks beautiful Abby!! So elegant and sophisticated! And this is making me want to rebrand AGAIN too. Ah!ReplyCancel

  • Ashlyn - Oh my goodness. Wow. I’m trying to figure out a way to afford a showit site. I haven’t come across one yet that I don’t LOVE. The design is gorgeous- everything fits well and the theme is clear throughout. Love love love it!ReplyCancel

  • Mia Bjerring - Abby, the changes you’ve made to your site and blog are so amazing!! I loved your design before, but I just love it even more now!! So beautiful! And so classy and stylish!ReplyCancel

Matt, this blog post is written to you.

You’ve been my better half for nearly four years now, picking up where I leave off, perfectly in sync without missing a step. You know that I’m passionate and excited, but that when it comes down to the specific logistics of things like getting from point A to B, I tend to get overwhelmed. And that’s where you step in and save the day.

I want to thank you for the past two weeks, for everything you did to make our trip as amazing as it could possibly be. Thank you for taking care of navigating us through London and Paris, for taking charge of the maps of the Tube, for knowing how to get us back to our hotel when I felt completely lost.

Thank you for dealing with my artist’s heart, which meant stopping every 50-100 feet to click a frame of this ecclectic storefront, or that colorful door, or a cliché street performer on the Ponts des Arts. Thank you for indulging my sentimental soul that wanted to spend an hour every day sitting in a café or pub, watching life happen on the streets of these European cities.

Thank you for carrying both of our heavy luggage down the endless staircases of the Paris underground, because you saw what an effort it was for me to do it alone. Thank for allowing me to photograph you over and and over, even though I know you don’t like having your picture taken. And thank you for praying over me that one morning we woke up for a portrait session at dawn and I had the flu. I loved you more in that moment than I think I ever have before.

Most of all, dear Matt, thank you for leading me selflessly, for sacrificing your own introverted comforts of home for my extroverted sense of adventure. Thank you for the most amazing vacation I’ve ever had, for the memories we’ll still reminisce on in fifty years, for the opportunity to be inspired, and for the chance to fall more in love with you. You are my favorite person in the entire world.

Baker Street, London- Abby Grace Photography

  • Chelsea Batey - tears. flowing. i love this.ReplyCancel

  • Dani - Matt must be a swell guy!! I love this blog post. I’m so lucky to have a husband that will stop every two seconds for my picture taking obsession even if he does have the same thumbs up pose in every photo I have of him. I love the first sentence in the last paragraph – you are a lucky gal!! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Emily - So sweet!ReplyCancel

  • Nicolette - Now THAT was great. Perfect match!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah H. - Thanks for sharing this with us, Abby! You inspire me, in posts like this, to be a more observant wife – to see how Greg really loves me and cares for me – and how truly blessed I am. Thank you for spiring me on!ReplyCancel

  • Christy Tyler - So so sweet!!! <3ReplyCancel

  • Dad - I tip my hat to the first and only man I ever approved of for my one and only daughter. You were and are the right man and the only one I could have given her to.ReplyCancel

  • Jean - What a nice tribute to Matt. I knew he was a “keeper” from the first time I met him. Love you both!ReplyCancel

  • Morgan T. - made me cryyy <3ReplyCancel

  • Olivia - Literally brought tears to my eyes– what an inspiration to what I should be searching for in a guy :) So happy for you!ReplyCancel

  • Nora E. - This was beautiful! You have found the love that every girl waits for! A simply amazing post :)ReplyCancel

  • rebekah j. - these are always my favorite kinds of posts of all ever.

    (and i’m loving your blog redesign!)ReplyCancel

  • Rebekah Hoyt - This is my favorite blog post you’ve ever written. God is so amazing to design someone for us who is such a perfect fit! His strengths for your weaknesses, and vise versa. Such a beautiful picture of the Gospel!! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Robbie Pruitt - Matt is such a great guy!ReplyCancel

  • Karen Field - What a beautiful way to thank your husband. I’m sure there were things he appreciated about you on the trip, too. By doing it in a public way you lift him up and let others see his wonderful qualities. I hope that both of you were able to find quality time out of the quantity of time. It sounds like you did just that! MomReplyCancel

  • Rachel - What a great reminder to appreciate the small things in a person, especially one you love. Great writing. :)ReplyCancel

HellO my dear friends! It feels so good to be writing again from the US. We’ve had a whirlwind of a time these past two weeks in Europe and I’m so excited to share Matt & I’s adventures with y’all once my film scans come in! I shot a little bit on my mk3, so I’ll have a few images to share during the wait for my film. I’ll make this blog post quick, since it’s already 9 pm! To be fair, I was PLANNING to blog earlier, but our trip down to Richmond (2 hours away) to pick up Lily was delayed, resulting in a delayed post :).

As always, lessons learned/events that transpired over the past week:

  • Among some of the difference in cultures I noticed while we were overseas, the strangest thing I saw was police officers in roller blades on the streets of Paris. I’m not sure if they got the memo, but I believe rolling blading became officially uncool around the time that The Fresh Prince of Bel Air ended.
  • The McDonald’s in Paris sells macarons. And their hamburgers have the option of adding an herbs de provence sauce. Classeh!
  • Coca Cola and tea are STUPID expensive in France- for one of each at a café, we paid nearly 8 euro.
  • However, their croissants and pain au chocolat are amazing. If you’re ever in France, make sure you stop at a patisserie!
  • I discovered a new favorite drink at a Parisian café- steamed milk! All the comforts of a hot beverage, none of the jittery/cracked out side effects of the typical caffeine.

Just a couple of photos from Paris! More to come soon!

Paris, France wedding photographer- Abby Grace Photography

Happy Monday!

  • Jean - I am sure you had a great time, but are glad to be home and have Lily back with you. The photos you posted are beautiful. Can’t wait to see the rest!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - We have rollerblading cops in Austin!ReplyCancel

  • Dad - Did I ever tell you “I’ve been there?” But my pictures won’t hold a candle to yours. Welcome home to my favorite daughter and son in law!ReplyCancel

  • Meghan Hochgesang - You just offended thousands of avid
    Bladers who storm the lakeshore path of Chicago! Memo or not, they don’t care! :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah H. - We’ve found the same thing in Italy with the coca cola prices. We can have a glass of wine for 2 Euros, or even a bottle for 6 Euros, where a coke is almost the same as the bottle of wine!! Supply and demand, I suppose :) I will take advantage of the cheap – but oh sooo good – wine while I can!ReplyCancel

  • Shalese - I sincerely enjoyed following your European adventure on Instagram. :) You make me wish I had taken French instead of those completely useless 8 years of Spanish. . .ReplyCancel

  • Emilia Jane - Love the new blog header!ReplyCancel

  • Rebekah Hoyt - I resent your comment about roller blading being uncool! I own a pair and Matt and I bonded early in our relationship over all things related to in-line skating!ReplyCancel