Summer 2015 + August Travels | Western NY Wedding Photographer

Where to even begin? I am finally getting around to this post. About my past summer, what went on in my life, and all the august travels I was blessed to have! Summer of 2015 was definitely the most memorable one I have had in a really long time. I have had such a whirlwind of emotions the past 4-6 months. It would be an understatement to say that this is going to be a long blog. This is going to be a super MEGA long blog. (Very corny, I know.) So if you want to keep reading about my long summer and then maybe you can find some relatable information in here that uplifts you, or makes you feel less alone, or like we as humans can come together and laugh in the madness…  Then please keep reading!

After traveling to Mexico and becoming so inspired by Amanda from Into The Colors I had convinced myself I was going to take my savings and open a studio in Bemus. When I was searching online for galleries or a studio, this house came on the market. I saw it within the 24 hours of its posting. Tim and I had been looking at houses in Lakewood, Bemus, and Ashville. (We thought we were just looking for now.) But after looking at this house lets just say my dream of opening a gallery or a studio was put on the back burner right away because we both fell madly in love with this house. It had everything we ever dreamed of. Quiet neighborhood in the “country”, beautifully finished, a man cave, plenty of space, over an acre of land. Etc. (To any of you who have bought a home or are currently searching… you truly KNOW when you KNOW.) We pulled out of the driveway after looking at the home, and about halfway up the street… TEARS. Tears of joy and fear, just pouring out of me. “We will never afford anything this nice, but it feels meant to be.” I stated. I honestly can’t even comprehend how we got this house. I think after that day Tim and I came up with a game-plan the next day to see if we could actually afford this house. I called my realtor the next day and talked about how we loved this house. I’m sure she was surprised because I’m almost convinced that she thought we weren’t going to take buying a home seriously. I remember calling her and expressed my love for this home and she said “Okay… this is what we are going to do!” In a stern yet excited voice.

After I went to put an offer in she showed me around Bemus and we got a beer. (Coolest realtor ever!) I felt like I was in a town I dreamed of living in. Little shops, small business’s, art, and water. It had everything Tim and I both could ever want. (The man cave sold him for sure.)

During the closing process I quit my job in Dunkirk and picked up a seasonal waitressing job at The Italian Fisherman in Bemus. It was such an incredible job and I have nothing but good things to say about that place. If they were open all year around I would still be there. Even though I quit my job in Dunkirk I knew I was going to be out of a job in September because The Italian Fisherman was closing in September. It was a really crazy time in my life knowing I was going to be out of that steady paycheck. 

While all of this stress was going on I had a last minute opportunity to take a trip to Holland, Michigan. I got to see my beautiful friends Nicole and Lauren from Chicago. Alyssa (One of my best friends from middle/highschool) was able to tag along before her big move to Brazil! I was so grateful to take a 7 hour road trip and really get that one on one time with her before she went to open her hair salon. Michigan was amazing. We went paddleboarding, barbecued, and of course drank and caught up. We were in pure vacation mode. I had finished up editing a couple weddings before I left, and I felt truly relaxed knowing that the work that needed to be done, was done. 

Once I got home closing date was still being pushed back. We tried so hard to close before my family vacation to the Outerbanks but it just wasn’t in the cards. But on a positive note the Outerbanks was incredible. Nothing meant more to me than being at the ocean with my family. And you will see how incredible our time was there by all the photographs below.  We embraced the ocean to the absolute fullest. We all went down to the ocean every single day and swam. It was incredible. And the photographs I took while we were there bring me so much joy as I look through them.

When I got back we finally were moving into our home, and it was SO exciting! We are so madly in love with our house. And while all this was going on, I was out of a job with that steady paycheck. This was stressful, but I still had business money holding me up. (Clients, I am so grateful for you!) I ended up finding a second job waitressing/bartending at Peek n Peak resort. I truly truly wanted to be a full time photographer, but I am at that point in my business where I am coming down from a high. I booked 5 weddings for next year within the course of 6 weeks over the summer. I am hoping November-January will do me good for bookings! But until that time happens for me, when I am fully booked, I still need that second job to support me. 

I must say staying positive is key! Tim is so great to me. Keeping me happy and putting up with my moods in the highs and lows of building this business. It has been so hard with moving, juggling a business, paying bills, working other jobs, all the while when trying to be creative and artistic. Lately I have felt stuck in the mud… but have realized I am slowly getting my mojo back. (Haha!) I finally found motivation and excitement to post some personal work. (What better way to post personal work than to start off with your life story about the summer of 2015?!) I revamped my website and changed my logo. I am finally finding my consistent style. Whimsical, rustic, airy, bright, and romantic. I’ve fallen into it all, it feels like me. I am confident about where my business is headed.

It will only go up from here with a positive attitude. Its definitely not easy fighting for what you love, but it is so worth it. Every single day it is worth it!

Thanks for keeping up with me, believing in me, and checking out my August Travels in the middle of October.


Jessi. XO