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This blog post is always my favorite (albeit the most time consuming) to put together. It’s a reminder of all the beautiful people I met in 2015, the places we went, and a benchmark of my work at this point in my life. This year, I pulled images that had feeling. The ones that make my heart race. They might not always be in the most extravagant places, but those moments + relationships are what make me love this career and make it meaningful.

Thank YOU to each and every couple/family/individual that walked in front of my camera this season. It’s been a fabulous year.

I usually post my goals with my Best of 2015, but I’ve decided this year to post separately. If you’re curious, read on here.

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  • haley - so, so stunning, captivating, and transcendent. you’re mega talented, lady.ReplyCancel

  • Katie baker - So much passion and work went into these masterpieces! Thank You for sharing your years best images with us…they are breath taking!ReplyCancel

jan07

One of my goals for 2016 was to return to blogging about our life. Instagram and Snapchat (@megangielow) have become an easier outlet for me in the past year, but I thought at the very least I could update here once a month :)

A few of my favorite January memories:

// Hosting a very small NYE celebration at our new home. We dined on good cheese, leftover Christmas cookies, and watched the ball drop with four good friends of ours.

// Nashville trip! Jenna + Kevin used to be our neighbors when we lived in Charlotte, but both of us moved to different cities in 2015. We hadn’t seen them since the fall and wanted to meet their newest addition. We spent a lot of time chatting, playing games with Amos, and cuddling with their newborn, Luca. We adventured to Jeni’s after hearing so much about the popular ice-cream shop (spoiler: Salt & Straw is still my all-time favorite), as well as a few incredible coffee shops. We also got to see Nate & Jaclyn, whom I haven’t seen since Field Trip! It was good to catch up over breakfast and hear that they are enjoying their new home in Nashville.

// Snowmaggedon 2016. We got about a foot of snow in 48 hours in Asheville, which is the most I’ve seen in the Carolinas since we moved here in 2010. We enjoyed playing with Poa in the snow, as well as venturing to Biscuithead in the midst of the storm.

// Asheville Folk Photo Workshop. I’m so excited to be teaching at the AF workshop in April with four of my talented friends! It’s going to be wonderful time for all involved.

// Downtime. One of my favorite things about this time of year is resting and dreaming up ideas for the rest of the season. It’s nice to go from working 60+ hours a week to 20-30 in the winter months. I’ve loved having time to go to yoga, sleeping in, reading many books (more below), catching up with friends, and organizing everything for the 2016 wedding season.

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New Year’s Eve with Alicia + Elizabeth

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Shopping with Brendan in Nashville (L), NYE (R).
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Visiting sweet boy, Amos, and his parents in Nashville.

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January books (L), snow day (R).

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to stop bringing my phone to bed with me. Instead, I’ve been filling that time with reading. It’s been over a month now, and I don’t think I’ll be going to back to old habits. I fall asleep much faster, and I like making time to read even on a busy day. A few books I finished in January:

All The Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)
I recommended this book for our book club because I love it so much! This was one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read in a while. I savored it over the fall season, sipping on a few chapters here and there on flights. I didn’t want it to end. The writing is exquisite. The story is enthralling. WWII culture has always intrigued me, so this definitely filled my curiosities.

Cross Justice (James Patterson)
James Patterson’s novels are a guilty pleasure for me. I can read most of his books in a day because they are easy to read and always suspenseful. Typically, we buy his audiobooks to listen to on our commutes or long trips, but I’ve been working through the Alex Cross series in book form. If you like mystery/thrillers, I would recommend checking out any of his novels.

The Creative Habit (Twyla Tharp)
This book is a good kick in the pants. I love Twyla’s attitude about hard work and creativity. She has dozens of exercises to expand your creative intellect, and her “tough love” makes you want to get up at sunrise and hit the pavement running. Her stories and nuances are mesmerizing, especially to someone who has a dance + musical background.

Make It Happen (Lara Casey)
I’ve always looked up to Lara, and I admire her honesty + faith in her blogging and Instagram posts. Her book has been on my list for a while, and I jumped right into it after receiving the book as a gift for Christmas. This is a great read for any time of the year, but I’m grateful I started off 2016 deep in these pages. Her writing has made me re-analyze the priorities in my business and personal life, along with some wonderful goal-setting techniques.

We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)
This was a quick read. I finished it within 24 hours on one of our snow days. I didn’t realize it was teen fiction when I put it on my book list, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The writing was unique, and the story kept me turning the pages faster and faster until the end.

Dreamers & Deceivers (Glenn Beck)
To be frank, I didn’t really know who Glenn Beck was until Brendan pointed it out when I was reading this one night. I purchased this book at impulse when I saw it on one of the Barnes & Noble tables because of the stories listed, not the author. I’m more of a moderate in my political views, and this book seemed to waver more on the right side of the road. It’s an interesting perspective into many hidden stories in the political + business world, but I felt at times the facts were skewed to make a point. Not my favorite read this month.

The Kind Worth Killing (Peter Swanson)
I listened to this book, but I wish I had read it instead because it was well written. The plot is not a typical whodunnit, which kept my attention. It’s an interesting love story (maybe that description is pushing it…) with some fascinating characters. Definitely worth the read.

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I first met Bailee + Taylor at Cayla + Thomas’ wedding last fall. Bailee stayed in touch (as she’s a graphic designer in the wedding world), and I was elated when they asked if I would shoot their wedding! We spent their engagement session at two very sentimental places. We started at the house that will soon become a first married home. It’s a house that has been a labor of love, as Taylor and his family have tirelessly invested many hours renovating it inside and out. We finished at the farmhouse, a place that has been in Taylor’s family for generations. The property oozes with memories: picking cotton, late-night sleepovers, running around with cousins in the summertime. You could feel the magic as we watched the sun set over acres of cotton fields.
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I have fond memories of living in NYC, and I adore visiting every chance I get. I met Kimberly and Brandon over Skype on the first night we moved into our house in Asheville, and I remember loving them on the spot. Being with them on their wedding day was an equally wonderful experience. They hosted their closest friends and family for brunch and mimosas at the Soho Grand Hotel and gathered around the fireplace for their vows. A few of my favorite memories:

// It was one of the warmest December days in NYC (65º!), which made it relaxing to walk around Central Park for photos. I was expecting snow when they originally booked; instead, we saw people wearing shorts as if it were spring.

// I remember Kimberly skipping and dancing around the park, as we ventured from place to place. Her happiness was radiant, and Brandon kept smiling back at her.

// The toasts! Oh my goodness. I’ve never seen two siblings make a crowd laugh as much as theirs did.

// Kimberly and her dad danced to Crocodile Rock, and it was amazing.

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Morgan and Casey took me on an adventure in Arizona last month. Phoenix is a place near and dear to their hearts. It’s where they fell in love, bought their first home, and adopted Banjo, their sweet pup. After shooting around their beautiful home, we travelled to the Salt River in Mesa to capture the gorgeous glow of the desert at sunset.

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