If we haven't met yet, I'm Ivy! I'm a wedding and senior photographer based in East Tennessee. I hope you'll relax, grab a cup of coffee (or a baja blast), and enjoy seeing my latest work, as well as getting an inside look at my life!

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July 31, 2018

What I’ve Been Up To | July 2018

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You may have noticed that I’ve been MIA on social media over the past 2 weeks. If you’ve been wondering where I am, I have your answers here! From July 14-21, I was vacationing at the beach with my sweet Atkins family. And then from July 22-28, I was on a mission trip to Puerto Rico (with quite a few of those same people)! While I was gone, I pretty much went “off the grid”, as they say. So I wanted to write a blog post for you guys about all the fun things I did while I was gone! Disclaimer: I didn’t take my camera to Puerto Rico, and I didn’t use it every day at the beach, so this post is a rarity – it includes quite a few iPhone photos!

Let’s start with the beach. My sweet, sweet Atkins family has gone on a beach trip every summer since the year I graduated high school (that made this year the 3rd trip!) I seriously love my family so much, and I enjoy getting to spend a week of uninterrupted time with them every summer – no work, no distractions, just us spending time together and enjoying the sun, the waves, and the sand. We always laugh like crazy when we’re together, and the kids have the BEST time building sandcastles and boogie boarding in the ocean. Plus, we have seafood for dinner on the reg when we’re at the beach. A week of full hearts + full bellies? Sign me up! What more could you ask for?

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite pictures from the days we spent soaking up the sun.

Every year I get at least one picture of Si and our cousin Anna playing together in the water. They are just the sweetest! Also, look how focused Koby is in the bottom left.

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Isaac – the sophomore 😱 – waving at me and probably just thinking how he wished I wasn’t taking his picture. Perks of being my cousin, I guess 😂

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As you can see, boogie boarding and sandcastles are always a huge hit. But I always have one question: how does one get that much sand all over his body?

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Mammy and Levi are always so sweet together.

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This is an example of a time when I wished I had a huge telephoto lens. We saw a waterspout one day when we were on the beach! Can you spot it?

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Mammy, Pappy, and Levi always sit together and let the waves crash over their feet. Levi loves it so much!

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Here’s Si and Uncle Eric trying their hand at modeling, and then a few more of Si because he said “Get my good side, Ivy” and I just want everyone to see his personality in these because it’s phenomenal. Wow, I love my brothers.

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Koby + Anna both got buried in the sand one day. Here’s that story retold in photos, for your personal viewing enjoyment.

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Oh, and just to show you guys how much exercise we got at the beach, we had to walk up and down these stairs every. single. time. we. went.

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After a walk like that, it’s only fitting to reward yourself with an ice cream sundae bar, right?

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If you didn’t laugh at the picture of Koby on the bottom left, please look at it again. Also, see the bottom right of the photo above because #girlsclubforever.

Now, if you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You get to see our Atkins family beach photo shoot. We’re actually dressed nice for these, so I’m glad you read far enough to see them!

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Shoutout to the stranger on the beach who was patient + worked hard enough to get a photo of thirteen people all looking at the camera and smiling. And thanks for not stealing my camera. You’re the real MVP. I actually feel bad that I don’t remember your name. I hope you see this note of gratitude.

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Okay, raise your hand if you think my Mammy and Pappy are adorable! (Everyone in the world should be raising their hands right now).

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Uncle Eric, Aunt Cindy, Isaac, and Anna are precious too! I love them so much that I spent an EXTRA WEEK with them (+ Sophie) in Puerto Rico.

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And, last but not least, my sweet little siblings and parents. AKA my pride and joy.

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Photo credit for the pictures with me in them (+ the pirate one of my dad) goes to my Uncle Eric, who I lovingly refer to as my apprentice every summer when we do beach pictures. I set the camera, he takes the photos. He has a good eye. I honestly may really need to hire him. Think he can double as a pastor and photographer?

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I told my parents to walk down the beach and they skipped. Not exactly what I had in mind, but it shows their personalities so I let it slide.

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Mammy + Pappy with their babies and grandbabies. We had basically lost sunlight by this time (we started late because I literally forgot to put a battery in my camera and didn’t realize until we got there – at least it was my family and not a client, I guess?)

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Pappy + Levi walking together = the sweetest thing ever.

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Uncle Eric also took this lovely shot of Mom and Aunt Cindy.

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Here’s Sophie’s annual beach photo shoot with me:

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One more time, #girlsclubforever!

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And some of Mammy + Levi because they’re so cute.

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And the day we got back from this trip, six of us left for Puerto Rico! We spent a week in Guayama and did disaster relief projects like putting up new roofs (well, that was mostly the guys). The girls got to help cook lunch at a shelter + then we all took it to the plaza to feed the homeless, and we also did some odd jobs like sorting out food + throwing out expired items at a relief center.

I rarely had my phone on me except for when we did recreational activities, so prepare to see a lot of the mountains and the beach.

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#girlsclubforever Puerto Rico edition is in the bottom right corner.

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I hope you guys get a kick out of my beach attire!

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That on the right is ice cream ROLLS. I didn’t know that was a thing until last week, but it is and everyone should experience it.

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Here’s one of our whole team together, me and Anna, and Anna wrapped up in my sweatshirt on the plane ride home.

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The past two weeks have been so fun and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve in Puerto Rico. It’s so easy for us to forget sometimes that we can share God’s love through even the simplest acts of kindness and service. Let us actively seek to serve Him and others! I am praying to serve and love him more, and I pray the same for you!

Here’s a picture of the beach in Puerto Rico again, because that’s the best way I can think to end this post. Creation is simply astounding. So, so beautiful. I am so lucky that I get to capture it. Now, it’s back to work for me – and I’m really excited about it!

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Love,

Ivy

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