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January 8, 2020

What you focus on is what will happen. So focus on your dream.

This saying was on someone's Insta feed recently and I had to write it down. "Focus" has been one word that has appeared in conversations, emails, texts recently and so I'm making it one of my words for the new year. I am WAY too easily distracted and I over anyalyze every little thing. So focusing on my dream and letting go of the trivial things the old Katie obsessed about will serve me well. 

My heart for this new year is something that's been churning inside of me since my eye injury in September. My experience in Texas was one I'll never forget. I was on cloud 9 before my injury. I had met my goal for year by September, had watched so many exotic animals run free throughout the desert, got to hunt with Mitch and by myself, got to shoot cacti for days, watched the stars for hours. It was such a freeing experience. Then I got a corneal ulcer and experienced the most pain to date. We came home early and I fought, prayed, be...

November 11, 2019

Our Wild Woman launch is this Sunday. I've had this dream blooming in my heart for almost a year now. It's hard to put one title to it. It's hard to put it into words. This concept is something I've experienced personally and am still learning daily. But this started with the sadness of hearing my photography clients time and time again make derogatory comments about themselves before, during and after photo sessions. They weren't commenting on my ability as a photographer, but their appearance as a human. 

"Can you photoshop my double chin, my spare tire, my rolls, my wrinkles? Can you make me look 20 lbs lighter?" 

We are too hard on ourselves. And at the same time, we don't give ourselves the focus and grace we deserve. 

When you were little, there was something wild, untamed inside of you that the world hadn't influenced yet. Now, instead of seeing yourself as the warrior you once did, you see yourself and instinctively say how fat you look or how you hate your double chin.


July 26, 2019

This was the first of many. And I'm looking for more wild women to join me on this adventure. If your hobbies are more than shopping at Target and sipping on Starbucks, then you, my dear, are a Wild Woman. I'm looking for women who live boldly and unapologetically.

Do you keep chickens? Do you dance? Do you own horses? Do you volunteer? Do you garden or are an herbalist? I would love to book a Wild Woman session to capture you doing what you love most.

This particular wild woman is my friend, Frances. 

She is a wife, mother and artist and she particularly loves to paint birds. 

She loves to collect birds nests, bones and skulls, feathers of all kinds, dried flowers and seed pods and other things found in nature that she thinks are both interesting and beautiful. 

Frances has very few restrictions on life, she connects things that I would rarely put together, and she finds beauty and possibility in the scarcest places.

Frances' beauty isn't like the kind you see on ne...

August 31, 2018

I'm so excited to share this guest blog with you! My friend just sent me this and now I get to share it with you! Enjoy! -Katie

My friend Katie is a phenomenal photographer. I know she thinks she's just getting established and has a lot to learn - we all do. Part of our creative process is learning our craft, expanding our skillset, and pushing ourselves to be better. We never really stop doing any of those things. I wish she could see her work through my eyes, because I think she is already a master of her art.

I'm not here to write about photography per se, but the self-esteem required to be confident in yourself is an underlying theme shared between my perception of Katie's work and the reason for this article.

We attended a Lady Boss meeting last week with local self-employed women. Most of us are makers as well as entrepreneurs. Everyone at the meeting was extremely encouraging and supportive of one another. All were enthusiastic about each speaker's presentation, and feedback was fr...

August 28, 2018

Last week I shot my first boudoir session. I have a newfound respect for boudoir photographers. Both my friend and I were exhausted after shooting for two hours. It's all about the angles and the perfect balance between light and shadows. I'm learning to embrace shadows, the dark makes the light that much more powerful.

"The world needs strong women. Women who will lift and build others, who will love and be loved. Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will." -Amy Tenney

Every woman was once a confident, quirky little girl with the world at her fingertips. And somewhere between then and now, that confidence took a beating. Every woman possesses beauty. The filter in which that beauty is interpreted has been made dingy by society's definition of the word "beauty", but remove that dinginess from your lens and every single woman on the face of this earth possesses beauty. And that's where I can play a part in helping women to see what I see, what God sees and...

September 20, 2017

About a month ago, I started booking for fall photos and about a month ago, I started getting a lot of emails with the same question: what to wear?

I am not an expert fashionista. I am only a photographer. But here are some tips that I've shared with my clients and I hope it will help you plan your upcoming photo shoot! (No pressure, it's just your Christmas card photo!)

1. No White. No Black.

I recommend that colors be used for fall photos. And if you choose to do light or dark colors, choose an ivory or cream or gray instead of black and white. My camera just isn't a fan of black and white.

2. Try Not To Match Perfectly.

I know the trend of all white shirts was popular a while back, but what works best with my style of photography is a palette of similar or complementary tones, not exact matching colors. When planning a photo session for my family, I typically find the dress or outfit that I like and fits me best. It typically has a subtle pattern, whether floral or flannel, and I will ch...

May 9, 2017

Growing up, I loved all things tea parties because it was fun and it was also a place where the imagination grabbed the reins and made each new moment unlike the last. 

I also have always been drawn to books, movies, stories with a strong female lead. (I read Jane Eyre in the 5th grade and since then have been a huge Jane Austen fan!) 

So partnering with my fun-loving friend, Dannielle, went so smoothly because not only did we get to support each other in our advertising, booking and return clients, but we got to work together to make this experience fun and successful for everyone. She brought her entire Matilda Jane collection for women and kids to wear during the photo session.  I had such a great time doing these sessions that I realized helping a fellow at-home mother's business is something I'm very passionate about right now. Working from home and raising children and taking care of a home and being a good wife isn't easy! I'm living it- so I know first hand how crazy managing a b...

May 3, 2017

I was born and raised a North Carolina Tarheel. I grew up on a dirt road and I am and always will be a country girl who loves the outdoors. I moved to Franklin County, Georgia in 2006 and have been in this state ever since. I met my husband, Mitch, at Emmanuel College, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in Communication. My first full time job out of college was as a Graphic Designer and that's where I really fell in love with photography and all things marketing.

We bought our first house and moved to Commerce, Ga in 2012 and in December of 2012, we had our son, Gage. (Hence the name 12 Gage)

After my son was born, I decided to be a stay -at- home mother. I also started working part time for The Paper, where I met many incredible local leaders and friends. I started 12 Gage Photography in 2013 and it quickly became my creative outlet for this spit-up covered, exhausted mama. In 2014, my husband took a new job in sales so I had to quit wor...

February 10, 2017

My friend, Frances, and I are starting an exciting journey. We are partnering to bring a local art scene to a historic building in downtown Commerce, GA. She will be crowd-funding the purchase of the building and will have an art studio on the main floor. She will feature her paintings in the large windows that are centered in the heart of downtown. Her business name is Libertas Americana Art. She's a very talented painter who specializes in Americana art. She has also annually donated a unique painting specifically for our events for human trafficking awareness in Hall County, Ga. Frances has a compelling vision for this area and she gives so much of her time and energy to helping others. 

As part of her generosity, she is allowing my business,Twelve-Gage Photography, to use the basement as a studio space! We are so excited about restoring an old building, bringing life back into its walls and putting color back in its windows. We have a long road ahead of us but we both feel that this...

September 24, 2016

My three year old is obsessed with super heroes.

I knew this day was coming but now that it's here, I am a little frustrated how every super hero is portrayed as tall and muscular, not because there's anything wrong with that, but because I know my super hero isn't dressed in a cape and I want my son to someday realize that too.

My super hero is my husband, and he wears worn out work boots, worn in jeans and physically wears himself out everyday working to provide for his family.

So for now I have to bite my tongue and let my mask-wearing toddler don the capes, the suits and the pretend fame while he pretends to beat up the bad guys just like Super Man, Spider-Man and Batman. I know he will learn from his dad the value of honesty, hard work and commitment. I know that this is just a phase where he is learning how good and bad operate and I'm so glad he's choosing to be the good guy. I'm so glad he's choosing to use his imagination and that standing up for someone who can't stand up for th...

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