Doggin Love No. 6 | Louisville Lifestyle Photographer

I feel like my doggin love has been tested lately.  Between ruined couch cushions, clunky dog crates, broken toenails (mine, not theirs) and being pestered every 5 minutes to let them outside, I’d say I’m definitely being tested.  The past couple weeks I’ve returned the BDD to her crate during the day  (she apparently cannot be trusted with a couch – she either rips the fabric or makes out with it), so Chase is left at her disposal to do what she wants.  I give her toys, but I think she just sleeps.  When I come home though, she’s excited (of course) and doesn’t stop barking.  She sooooo badly wants to get Chevy out of her crate so she chew into her neck and then ignore her for the next six hours.  But the barking – ear-piercing, nonstop and shushing her doesn’t help.

I think Chase has caught on because this bark has also appeared at moments when she asks to go outside, be fed, to toss the frisbee and give her a cookie.  She has turned into a bossy doggin.  Maybe it’s age (she is eight years old after all) or maybe it’s privilege (it isn’t easy being the smart dog).  But I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Last week I thought we’d learn a new trick, a balancing trick.  Chase thought otherwise.  And after only a few minutes of tolerating my “stays” and correction, she’d had enough.  She wanted the cookie that was in my pocket.  She pulled out that bark (I swear the entire neighborhood could hear it) and I immediately shushed her and reminded her that people don’t like barking dogs.  Never mind the lady with the treat, she took matters into her own paws and demanded the cookie and threw in a trick for good measure.

She used to rollover every time she wanted something. Now she turns around.  In a circle. So she never has to take her eye off you.

So I got some photos of my bossy doggin doing a pirouette.

So bossy.  But still cute.

Caili - This is hilarious. I love this post so much!

Brooke Murphy Photography - […] Teach it how to roll over.  Which I accomplished this within the first few months of owning Chase.  She didn’t know how to sit, but she could rollover. 2. Snuggle in bed and wake up with a […]

Mentionable Finds: WordPress Plugins

I’ve been blogging for a few years now and one thing I’ve come to appreciate is the plugin.  Not all are created equal and there are quite a few that don’t do much more than take up space, but the few that I’ve come to love and, over the years, depended on them regularly or not-so-regularly.  And, surprisingly, they’re all free.  So I thought I’d share them with you today.

WordPress Database Backup

Makes backing up website/blog super easy.  So easy in fact that you don’t have to think about it because you can set up the plugin to schedule your backup and email it to you.  I haven’t had to utilize a backup before, but I know a couple of years ago when changing things over on my old blog it kind of went kaput, knowing there was a backup made me breathe easier.  But there’s no worry of trying to find your last backup on your cPanel – because it’s in your inbox.  Boom.

(And in that mentioned instance, my fab friend Susan had fixed it within 15 minutes.  I melted into a puddle of stress when it went down while she remained calm.  And homey got it back up in running lickety split.)

Jetpack

When WordPress switched over to Jetpack, I wasn’t a fan.  And I’m not completely sold on everything it offers.  But it’s handy to have for the stats alone.

I generally utilize Google Analytics for traffic results, but not everyone is comfortable with it.  The main reason I keep the WordPress.com stats is because of familiarity – I was so used to seeing real-time pageviews on my first blog this way I’ve stuck with it ever since.  Is it the best?  Probably not.  But it’s easy to review, has better real-time reporting than expected and who doesn’t like to watch the stat ticker go up on a fantastic blog day?!?

Editorial Calendar

This is a newer plugin to me but I absolutely love it!  Being able to see my scheduled blog posts in a calendar format instead of a list really does allow me to monitor when things are hitting the blog.  I don’t schedule too many posts as I blog about photography sessions as I wrap them up, but for other posts (like maybe this one), it’s nice to know in one glance which days are scheduled with posts.  I could see this being really helpful for those who have a weekly series.

All In One SEO Pack

I don’t know a lot about SEO, but what I do know, I implement.  I’ve learned so much about organic search marketing in the last year just at my day job, so taking that knowledge and trying to overlay it on my side business is very insightful when speaking to it within our teams.  And this plugin has made it so much easier to implement SEO on my site than if I were to just do it on my own.  I have a co-worker that swears by Yoast for SEO support on WordPress, but I had trouble installing it… so I’ve stayed with the tried and true All In One.

SendPress

I stumbled upon this gem late last year when I was doing research for starting my newsletter.  It was still in Beta but was a heckuva plugin to find.  It allows you to create emails/newsletters and send batches of emails.  I’ve actually since moved on to MailChimp… mostly because my subscriptions were growing and SendPress took a bit too much room on my server space… but I do love it and watch as they update and expand.  Because it’s an awesome idea!!

katie - I just pinned this so I can keep it handy for multiple readings.

Filling My Bucket | Project Life In Color

My beautiful friend Katie had  a bright idea and within a week or so of pitching the idea to me, we set it in motion.  Several women photographers were brought together and challenged to create a project with Katie and I, Project Life in Color.  An easy premise in reality, where once a month we link up our blogs to promote each other. But it is bigger in that it’s a  project that would encourage creativity and sharing and community among us – which is something that photographers, business owners or not, long for but is sometimes considered taboo.  In only about two weeks, conversations having been fluttering between the ten of us and I don’t mind saying that Katie had a swell idea indeed. :)

For my Life in Color contributions, I really want to focus on my life; the things and people around me, my concerns, my weaknesses, my growths… something that would allow me to think outside of the box not only for my photography submission, but something that will make me stretch out of my writing comfort zone as well.

So here goes…

I’ve been doing a lot of personal reading the last few months.  Most has been learning more about marketing and brand influence since I recently re-branded my photography business, but my latest trip to the library had me floating near the self-help section.  I feel like when you browse these shelves you always divert your eyes from the person standing next to you, but I was hoping to find a book that would help me revitalize my positivity.  I am by nature somewhat pessimistic (I often refer to myself as a realist), but there was something in my gut that was telling me to try harder… that by focusing on myself, maybe everyone around me would be a little bit happier too.

Now this book didn’t give me any “A-HA” moments, but it did make a few things click.  It refers to positive and negative attitudes as adding to or taking away from an invisible bucket.  Your bucket.  And how you’re not the only one that affects your bucket’s contents – the people around you have just as much of an influence.  The author not only provided examples, but talks about influence at home and at work.  And my day job, where I’m a marketing analyst, is where I struggle the most with staying upbeat and living in the land of rainbow-colored marshmallows.

Now I need to clarify my struggle isn’t because I don’t like what I do or the people I work with – analytics is fun [for me] and my co-workers are fabulous – but it did shed light on how I prefer to be recognized for my work (because it’s motivating) and how I interact with my peers.  And this is very important because of the fast-paced and high-stressed environment that comes with working at an advertising agency; we often point out mistakes or the lack of this-or-that because of deadlines we all face.  It’s how the industry works and after being a part of it for seven years, you hear “it is what it is” regularly.

But think about how a compliment or an”attaboy” could prompt a smile and keep positivity running high.  And those could cause more compliments and high-fives to be passed along, thus spreading encouragement further.  It all makes sense (therefore no “A-HAs”), but the unfortunate part is that I can only control what I do right now because, frankly, I’m a minion.  But when good is set in motion, it’s usually paid forward.  Right?  That’s my hope at least.

For the past several years, I’ve made it my daily goal to compliment at least one person and be honest about it.  Whether it’s the shoes they’re wearing, a blog they’ve written or something I saw that happened on Facebook.  And I’ve succeeded.  I’ve even complimented strangers just to meet my daily quota.  But it isn’t enough.  I’ve declared this month “filling buckets” month, where I hope to approach situations with positive outlooks and provide hopeful feedback – because I also fill my bucket as I fill others’.  A small little change that may not be noticed at all… but may make a difference in the end.


So the great thing about this project is that everyone can interpret it how they like.  So while I’ve taken the focus on a personal wins and struggles, others may have focused on their family life, looked around them for inspiration or set their theme in a completely different direction.  Either way, it’s a fantastic little project that’s moving us all forward and bringing us closer together.

To see the next interpretation of Project Life in Color and continue through our group’s links, visit Sarah’s blog here.

project: Life in Color » Katie Oblinger Photography - […] Now please head on over to my sweet friend, Brooke Murphy’s blog to see her first installment of Life In Color. […]

Melissa - eek! I am a few blogs into the circle and I am already so giddy and inspired (AND it’s 630am and I haven’t had my coffee yet!). love it!

Mrs Comyn - I love it! You are filling buckets indeed!

Tom B. Taker - I like complimenting people and find it very easy to do. At least on the net when I’m being “social.” There’s much that is beautiful in some way, makes me smile, or both.

katie - Love, love, love your interpretation. And I love this shot. And yes, it is nice to get a little recognition every once in a while because “it is what it is” just doesn’t always do it. So to you my friend, well done.

Stephanie Olson - Such an inspiring post Brooke! I had to laugh at your “I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist” comment, because I cannot tell you how many times I have said that myself! I’m definitely putting this book on my must-read list.

Caili - Brooke! This post is beautiful. I love the “divert your eyes” comment about the bookstore. :) But seriously, I love that you are challenging yourself like this…I think that I am going to start having a daily spread the love quota, too!

Andrea - Brooke, yes we do need to get to know each other better. I think we have more in common that I thought. Thank you for being open and sharing this real life thing:) I too am a realist, and have worked hard over the past few years to implement more positive (yet still real) things, attitudes, feelings, or words into my life-whilst not forgetting to keep it genuine. We’ll talk more, I’m sure:)

Christy Tyler - I LOVE this idea of “filling your bucket” and definitely plan to keep this in mind all day every day! Thank you love!

Brooke Murphy Photography - […] I wanted to capture this month for Project Life in Color, I decided I wanted to continue off of last month’s post; not so much focusing on how to be more positive, but finding positive things that exist already […]

Martha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity Photographer

My husband, Mike, has been friends with Alan for years.  They were roommates through most of college, and that’s where he and I became better friends.  When he introduced me to Martha a few years back, I had a gut feeling – that she was the one.  She had a beautiful smile, was somewhat quiet but witty as all get out, had a fantastic laugh… and I was right.  They’ve been together ever since and that makes me happy because I love her to death. ;)

We consider them two of our closest friends.  Mike and Alan work together, we usually double date on Friday nights, we’ve gone cruising together three times now, Martha is always willing to consume ice cream with me, she’s helped me through some knitting mishaps… yeah, we get along well.  So when they shared the news they were expecting, I might have started referring to their baby as “our baby,” as in everyone’s baby.  What can I say, I get a little possessive when it comes to the people I love.  I even hosted “our” baby a shower a few weeks back.  (I joke!!)  (Kind of.)

The past months have been filled with several Friday night conversations about babies.  Baby names, baby nurseries, baby things, baby clothes, baby booties, baby knits, baby cribs, baby showers…  And I can’t believe in the next few days the world will get to meet this baby.  I’ve anticipated his arrival since I first learned of him and he could be born any minute now.  But first I get to share photos from their maternity session.  Martha wanted to take their pictures at home (she tends beautiful gardens) and it was a blast to think of ways to use a home and yard I’ve spent hours in.  I like to think we did a fine job at it too.

Martha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity PhotographerMartha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity PhotographerMartha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity Photographer

One of my favorites.  Martha’s look is perfect.  I fall off my chair every time I look at this photo for too long.

Martha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity PhotographerMartha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity PhotographerMartha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity PhotographerMartha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity PhotographerMartha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity Photographer

LOVE THOSE SMILES!

Martha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity PhotographerMartha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity Photographer

Martha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity Photographer

Alan is a carpenter.  He built their shed with the little pagoda roof that I adore.  He also built their baby a crib and it’s gorgeous.  Sure to be a family heirloom.

Martha+Alan {expecting} | Louisville Maternity Photographer

Love love love.  Martha and Alan, I cannot wait to meet your baby and hear his name for the first time.  I cannot wait to see you with him, his little body sleeping on your chests.  I cannot wait to see how you look at each other once you take him home.  Thank you so much for letting me a part of your lives, for photographing you (even if I did lay down in your driveway) and for making enough uncomfortable jokes that you guys laugh uncontrollably – because I love your laughs. Again, CANNOT WAIT!  xoxo

To meet Baby Calvin with his family, click here.

Brooke Murphy Photography - […] editing photos… blogging… you give a little, you lose a little.  But for my friend Martha, it was well worth […]

Diane - You sure did capture her beauty. Now I know what beautiful when pregnant means. I wish I had a picture of me pregnant, even if I wanted to get it over with.

Martha - Brooke you made me cry.

Melanie - What a beautiful post about two amazing people! Love all the photos! Martha, you look absolutely stunning. And don’t worry, it won’t be the last time Brooke makes you cry….In a good way :)

Doo Doo - Very nice, I really like how you present them with the background.

Baby Sadie {newborn} | Louisville Newborn Photographer

Since April, Melanie and Ryan have been back home in Louisville and I don’t think they’ve taken it easy at all.  Between hosting bridal showers, house hunting, moving into a temporary apartment, getting a 2-year-old little kiddo settled in, house finding, and getting ready for a wedding they both were part of, they had their second child.  It sounds hectic as could be and I wholly believe it was (has life even slowed since?), but their newest addition fits perfectly in the middle of it all.

Baby Sadie Paige.  I love this little gal from her itty-bitty toes to her pouty little lips.  And she had grown so much since the three weeks I’d held her at the hospital.  She resembles her big sister when she was a newborn, but other times I see Melanie’s mother in her face.  She was only interested in snacking when I was there and she barely kept her eyes open.  She makes noise constantly, with little grunts coming from her with every little stretch she does.  And she is a wiggle worm – moving so much more than any other three-week-old I’ve photographed.  But what I love most about Baby Sadie is what she does to people around her: watching my friends fall in love every time they look at her and how happy Allie is to have a little sister.

It kills me.  In a good way.

Baby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn PhotographerBaby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn Photographer

Oh Allie – you’re animated expressions just make me so happy.  As do your “mooches.”

Baby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn PhotographerBaby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn Photographer

*love*Baby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn PhotographerBaby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn PhotographerBaby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn Photographer

Seeing my long-time friend, high school classmate and senior prom date holding his children the way that he does fills me with warmth.  I still think of him as that nerdy kid with lame jokes in math class… but when I look at pictures like these I seem to forget it for a just few minutes.

Baby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn PhotographerBaby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn Photographer

There’s that lip, people.  It pouts to the max.  And it’s my favorite feature to date. :)

Baby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn PhotographerBaby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn Photographer

*crossed ankles*

Baby Sadie (newborn} | Louisville Newborn Photographer

My friend is absolutely gorgeous – she has that motherhood glow and I love this photo beyond words.

Melanie and Ryan, I am so proud of you guys becoming parents a second time around.  And I’m so proud to still call you friends and be a part of your family’s life.  Even just finishing this post, I can’t wait to visit soon to play more with Allie and hear her munchkin voice and have new conversations with Sadie while I hold her.  Luz you both. xoxo

To see Melanie and Ryan’s maternity/family session, click here.

Ester - I LOVE that last image, Brooke!!

Katie - I’m with Ester…that last image is perfect.

Brooke Murphy Photography - […] meet Baby Sadie with her family, click here. To see more of Brooke’s work, visit her portfolio. Follow Brooke on Facebook or […]